Happy (yesterday) birthday to Artist Brian Sparrow! Brian has a traditional background in printmaking, but we’re really into his new black and gold symbolism series that has an Egyptian vibe. Ray & I met Brian at the Cotton Candy Machine’s Roebling Fair this summer, where we were all vendors. As soon as I saw his esoteric inspired art I wanted to know more. Keep reading to see his connection to black dogs and other symbols.
It’s serendipitous that this week’s Artist Yao Xiao illustrated the official cover image of Katy Perry’s single “Dark Horse”, because Yao is coming at you like a dark horse. Here from China on a U.S. Artist Visa, she’s currently calling New York City her home. Her illustrations have a sophistication in her variety of marks and use of true to life details, with every space of each composition given the same level of careful drawing mastery. I got a chance to chat with her on July 4th morning, before a fun day of overeating and trying to see the sliver of a view from our roof of the Macy’s fireworks. Find out more about this upcoming illustrator and enjoy the interview.
You might want to get yourself a snack, because I totally lost track of time interviewing Illustrator Kali Ciesemier. She’s fresh to NYC after spending the last few years teaching at MICA in Baltimore, MD. Her illustrations have a spark of life that’s illuminated in every intricate and very carefully planned out detail. She finds a perfect balance of simple flat surfaces and subtle true to life elements, like the bend of a knee or dusty chalkboard. Kali also doles out some fantastic illustration advice on her website sometimes. Did you get that snack yet?
Hailing from the icy land of beer and cheese, we bring you Printmaker Patrick Smyczek. He’s the one-man powerhouse running the Milwaukee based T-shirt company Beast USA. Although he primarily specializes in a wide range of printmaking techniques, he’s an equally extraordinary illustrator. At times it’s hard to decide which is more impressive – his attention to detail in drawing or printing. Get yourself one of his amazing shirts while supplies last and the price is too good to be true. As they do in Wisconsin, grab yourself a frosty brewsky and enjoy our interview.
∆ NSFW ∆ This is our first official NSFW Artist Interview. Heather Benjamin doesn’t seem to have any inhibitions when it comes to expressing herself creatively. I first fell in love with her art in 2010 when I picked up a copy of Sad People Sex #4 at the NY Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1. Her in-your-face-with-a-huge-dildo imagery is completely transmitted from her subconscious and conscious reflections. I feel like I speak a similar artistic language as Heather, but when she speaks she roars, and it’s kinda terrifying, but majestic. Read on to see our cosmic conversation.
Today we bring you one of Baltimore’s best, Illustrator and Author Kevin Sherry. His newest children’s book Turtle Island, published under the Penguin umbrella, was just released yesterday. Recently he’s been tapping into his inner child and making waves in the children’s book industry. If you’re a Charm City local or elementary student, you can also catch one of his performances that includes a giant blue bear head, puppet friends, and some pop song covers. His perseverance and whimsically refined style make him an unstoppable force – even when he has to start over from square one. Read on to see wtf is Brain Bear, if you don’t already know.
There’s a blurred line between this week’s Artist Jonny Negron’s subconscious and his canvas. Or an acid trip. His illustrations are rich in symbolism, from metaphysical glyphs to Amazonian women epitomizing fertility goddesses. He currently lives in Austin, keeping it weird. Very weird. You still have until April 27 to check out his latest show up at Farewell Books, if you happen to be in Texas. I’ve been a big fan of Jonny’s for a few years, so it was super exciting getting to pick his brain over the phone.
Eco-conscious Artist Heather Clements is cutting millions of tiny shapes out of paper and making a name for herself down in Panama City. She is a master at the art of cut paper illustrations, and her style is certainly a cut above the rest (pun intended). Her language of visual and conceptual elements in nature, as well as her tight technical abilities gives her art a breath of life. Slow your roll, slip on some flip flops, and get into the mindset of this talented Floridian.
- Shanon Weltman
Illustrator Michael Hoeweler specializes in realistic sumi ink portraits he sometimes digitally colors, but that’s only a fraction of his talent. Whether it’s the skin of a celebrity or mango, he masterfully conveys the surface and weight of anything he renders. It’s no shock his list of clients seems to never end and is full of some of the biggest names out there. Although Michael is a very down to earth guy, his eye/hand coordination is on another planet. Keep reading to learn about his how his career took off in the city that never sleeps. Click here to read the interview.