Archives for posts with tag: art

I’m pleased to announce that this blog is evolving into something more.

That is, it’s becoming a webpage of its own.

Image

ALSO THAT

This website is the next step.

It will still be updated on Mondays.

There will still be a Short of the Week every Wednesday.

There will still be guest posts.

There will be differences, of course.

In aesthetics. In quality. In output.

But the core of the website is still the same.

I’m still the one writing it, after all.

Come check out my new home. 

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Finally got around to doing some painting this week. My kitchen was looking a little sparse art-wise, so I whipped up this bad boy.

That'd do, painting. That'll do.

That’d do, painting. That’ll do.

We eat a lot of pork in my house.

I tried something a little different with this painting, in that it’s on canvas. Normally, I like to paint on canvas or watercolor paper, as it’s a lot cheaper.

I stepped up to the plate though and put this one down on canvas. Of course, I practiced it a bunch of times before I made the final.

Here’s a few of the drafts if you’re curious.

photo 2 (2)

I wanted to do a painting based on the different cuts of pork.

Once I got the shape down, I did some experimenting with color. I wanted the pig to look like it’s been cooked.

pigdraft

This was one of the first attempts. Things were a little too tight for me, so I made the spaces between the cuts wider in the final.

This one looks a little more red, but that’s because I only did one coat on this one instead of the two I did on the final.

This one is hanging in the kitchen, so I’m afraid it’s not for sale.

 

Changing this pace with this week’s pick.

It’s about a camera crew that follows around two serial killers who attempt to kill sixteen victims in twenty four hours.

This one is a little more artsy than some of the other shorts I’ve featured- it’s in black and white and all of the dialogue is in French. That’s about as artsy as you can get.

However, there’s some interesting history with this film.

First off, it’s based on the Kid Cudi song “Maniac” off the album Man in the Moon Pt. 2.  Kid Cudi actually stars in this movie as one of the serial killers (you’ll never guess which one). He also did all the music, which really shouldn’t come as a surprise.

The film was directed and written by Shia LaBeouf before he went completely insane. He even has a brief cameo at the very end.

What I find so interesting about this film is that it’s an interpretation of a song. I love seeing art beget art and I think it’s very cool that Kid Cudi had a direct hand in making this movie.

To me, Maniac takes the genre of the music video a step further. Instead of focusing on the music and lyrics, it’s reinterpreting things by taking the themes and feelings the song embodies and communicates them through another medium, not necessarily featuring the song at all. It’s a kind of translation and it’s certainly something you don’t see every day.

Shia and Kid Cudi did a great job with this short film.

This month’s guest post is by none other than my little sister Maria Theebs.

photo (6)

For her entire life, Maria has been interested in art. I’ve watched her style mature and develop as the years have gone on. I’m immensely proud (and jealous) of my younger sister’s talent, and feel especially fortunate because I have gotten to watch her evolve as an artist.

Here’s a small selection of her immense body of work:

 

My art focuses on experimenting with different mediums, color schemes, and principles of design. I try to blend realism and surrealism in my work to reflect the nature of my imagination. I want my viewers to look at my art and be inspired to explore their own creativity, as my art helps me explore who I am and who I want to be.

My dear friend Keith Roland has kindly agreed to share some of his work with us for this month’s guest post. A talented writer and an excellent photographer, Keith takes us away to a place of fantasy and color. Check out his photography and follow him on Twitter  and Instagram.

Photo Paint 5

This series of photographs began with my return to using Photoshop to editing photos, and ended with me screwing around with excess. Excessive saturation, contrast, vibrancy, all the fun things I was never really able to explore in classes. Basically, it was an interesting experiment, one that I believe went horribly well. I hope you think so, too.

-KR

I’ve been doing some painting in my free time. This one started out life as a doodle, then grew into a proper painting. I wanted to explore the concept of insanity, specifically the precise point in time when a person snaps. I definitely tried to capture that moment with this painting, which I’ve titled Moment of Madness.

“Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone.”

Again, I’ve decided to include pictures of the painting in progress, including the sketch that sparked the concept.

The initial doodle.

The initial doodle.

The face. Things felt a little sparse, so I thought long and hard about how to jazz things up.

The face. Things felt a little sparse, so I thought long and hard about how to jazz things up.

I decided to add some ha's. This still looked pretty sparse, so I decided to fill it out.

I decided to add some ha’s. This still looked pretty sparse, so I decided to fill it out.

 

 

Recently, I wrote a piece of spoken word poetry called “Void.” I performed it at the NU Write Club Open Mic. Here is a ridiculously high quality video of me reading said poem. I wish I had memorized it before going up on stage, but whatever. Not all performances can be perfect. The full text of the poem is below the video, check it out if you want to read along.

(Thanks to Tom Viccaro for filming this)

Void

I’ve got some bad news for
Those of you who think they’re important–
That the universe holds you in a special place
in its heart and watches out for you.
You’re not important.
You’re not special.
You don’t matter.
You are not some beautiful mind
the world has failed to recognize.
It is true that you are a unique
and wonderful snowflake,
but you fail to realize that
in spite of their subtle differences,
snowflakes all look pretty much the same.
The world does not owe you a damn thing.
And while it’s true that you didn’t ask to be here,
it is equally true that the world
did not ask for you.
We like to tell ourselves
there’s a plan, and that things work out
for the best, but we know in the back
of our monkey brains that it is sink or swim–
that it’s been that way for the past
8 billion years.
Sink or swim. Live or die.
It’s a simple choice, really.
I think I know what you all would pick,
based on the fact that you’re all still sitting here, breathing.
The problem is that there is an asterisk
attached to every breath you take:
“The end user agrees to be responsible
for maintaining their own existence, including:
eating, sleeping, and hydration.
The end user agrees to take responsibility
for any such other physical, mental, or emotional demands not detailed above.”
Always read the fine print, because
every time you inhale you are signing
on the dotted line
and dating at the bottom.
I’m not saying this to be a harbinger of doom and gloom.
And I’m no Tyler Durdan trying to subvert the capital system with nihilism and anarchy.
Rather, I’m your friendly neighborhood Spiderman,
swinging by on his web
to remind you that you are the master of your domain.
The world doesn’t care what you do.
There’s two sides to this coin–
You can either go crazy like
some super villain megalomaniac, become lonely and depressed when your career as a Bond villain doesn’t pan out, and off yourself out of spite, living your life like some stupid cliché.
OR there’s plan B:
You realize how liberating it is that the universe doesn’t give one iota of a shit about you.
It doesn’t matter what you do.
Go nuts!
You’re free to do what you want.
The universe doesn’t care.
The only caveat is that you have to do it yourself.
So go forth and build.
But know that you have to put on the hard hat and get your hands dirty.
You have a dream. You have a vision.
Leave something behind to make this world slightly better for those who come after you.
But don’t ever forget about the apathy. Glance periodically at the thermometer to remind yourself of how cold it is.
Do not be like Ozymandias carving your name for mortals to gaze on and despair, because those lone and level sands of time are abrasive and will
rub your name clean from any stone.
Create to inspire. Create to challenge.
It doesn’t matter if you’re painting a picture, or
designing a can opener, or birthing a baby.
As long as you’re putting your heart in it and
your mind to it.
As long as you accept the fact that there will be struggle. As long as you look that ugly monster in the eye and bare your teeth, knowing that no one is going to fight this battle for you.
Never stop pressing forward.
An object in motion stays in motion, so keep your pace and momentum.
Because even though you aren’t special or important, you have potential.
Potential to build something of importance and beauty in an otherwise cruel and careless void.

Sometimes I like to paint. I’m no expert, but I find it very relaxing so I do it when the mood strikes me.

I figured I might as well share my paintings on my blog, instead of just letting them sit in my portfolio gathering dust.

In addition to showing off the final work, I also thought it would be cool to show some pictures of the concept art, in order to give you all an idea of how the painting developed.

The first painting I’m sharing is called “Bear.”

Getting the shape of the bear down

Getting the shape of the bear down

I explored the idea of throwing in some cubs as well.

I explored the idea of throwing in some cubs as well.

The finished product!

The finished product!

 

I know, I know.

It’s been too long since I’ve posted.

I apologize for leading you all to believe that I’ve kicked the bucket, or worse: have stopped writing. I assure you that these reports are greatly exaggerated.

I’ve been very busy wrapping up some loose ends and have now entered a new stage in my life, a stage where I will get to frequently update this blog.

In the spirit of my unexplained absence, I want to talk about a special type of art called blackout poetry.

Blackout poetry is special because it is the manipulation of an already existent text. The artist does not add any words of their own. Rather, they take what they have been given and change the meaning through the process of omission. By removing certain words, the meaning and context of the text is changed, creating a new piece of art in the process.

The easiest way to go about this is by just using a marker to cross out the words that you want to omit. I’ve found it’s best to read through the text first and decide which words you want to keep.

You can make a blackout poem out of any type of written text, though I’ve found that old, worn books tend to bring the most character. It’s probably also better to use a book that you don’t care about, since you’ll be ripping pages out of it and blacking out the words.

Here is an example of a blackout poem I made a few days ago.

This poem started life as a page from The Divine Comedy

This poem started life as a page from The Divine Comedy

Try your hand at making a blackout poem yourself.

A question that people often ask me is where I get my ideas. Personally, I think this is a stupid sentiment because it implies that I just pop down to Target and pick up a big bag of ideas.

This dude wishes he was clever enough to come up with the title of this post.

This dude wishes he was clever enough to come up with the title of this post.

The truth is that I don’t think any creative person knows where they get their inspiration from. One minute, they’re staring off into space and the next they’re struck with the idea for their next great painting (or story or song or sculpture…).

But I also don’t believe that the Muses come down from their thrones on Olympus and bless the worthy with impulses to create. I think there’s a middle ground that creative forces occupy.

I would go so far to say that all creative endeavors are a reaction, either to real life, another creative endeavor, or a combination of the two. Every original concept is borrowed (stolen) from someplace else.

That isn’t to say that everything is plagiarized. In fact, the difference between the regular creative process and plagiarism is the fact that an artist admits that they are stealing from someplace else and hopes that (at least some of) the audience will recognize the roots of their creation, while a plagiarist hopes that the audience will not recognize the roots of their creation and that the work will be solely attributed to them.

The fact is that we are inspired by everything around us. Snippets of conversation heard on the subway. Opening lines of our favorite novels. Interactions taken out of context and at face value. Walks through the park on a sunny day.

The most surprising thing about this is not the fact that artists steal from their day to day lives. That is the least surprising bit of all and anybody with at least a couple of brain cells flickering in their skulls should realize that one. However, I can understand the fact that artists take from other artist can be startling.

The thing that many people fail to remember about the world is that everything is derivative. Everything is built upon everything else. While this rule applies heavily to art, it also governs science, technology, and politics. Because of the way we perceive time, that is the only way we can streamline things: by adapting and reapplying what we liked and what worked and what went well and discarding what didn’t. Though the effects of this concept are more tangible and visible in the sciences and humanities, the arts also abide by this law.

Look at the evolution of paintings: things went from Realism, where images where painted in an effort to capture how they were in everyday life, to Impressionism, where the impression of the object was the subject of a painting with less focus on the realistic form of the object, then Post-Impressionism and Expressionism, where the form of an object was distorted even more by the emotional lens of the painting, then to Cubism, an experimental art form made famous by the likes of Picasso where distortion was the main event, then to Surrealism and Dadaism, where shit just got weird.

This is only a fraction of the timeline of the evolution of one school of art, but the point remains: the painters all built off of one another’s work. There was a dialogue of art, with responses and attacks and homages flying back and from one another.

I guess there’s one thing to take away from this rant: only a fool chases the specter of an original idea because there is no such thing. Everything builds on everything else and scientists aren’t the only one who stand on the shoulders of giants.

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