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A) INSPIRATIONS

Obey
The OBEY sticker campaign can be explained as an experiment in Phenomenology. Heidegger describes Phenomenology as “the process of letting things manifest themselves.” Phenomenology attempts to enable people to see clearly something that is right before their eyes but obscured; things that are so taken for granted that they are muted by abstract observation. The FIRST AIM OF PHENOMENOLOGY is to reawaken a sense of wonder about one’s environment. The OBEY sticker attempts to stimulate curiosity and bring people to question both the sticker and their relationship with their surroundings. Because people are not used to seeing advertisements or propaganda for which the product or motive is not obvious, frequent and novel encounters with the sticker provoke thought and possible frustration, nevertheless revitalizing the viewer’s perception and attention to detail. The sticker has no meaning but exists only to cause people to react, to contemplate and search for meaning in the sticker. Because OBEY has no actual meaning, the various reactions and interpretations of those who view it reflect their personality and the nature of their sensibilities. Many people who are familiar with the sticker find the image itself amusing, recognizing it as nonsensical, and are able to derive straightforward visual pleasure without burdening themselves with an explanation. The PARANOID OR CONSERVATIVE VIEWER however may be confused by the sticker’s persistent presence and condemn it as an underground cult with subversive intentions. Many stickers have been peeled down by people who were annoyed by them, considering them an eye sore and an act of petty vandalism, which is ironic considering the number of commercial graphic images everyone in American society is assaulted with daily. Another phenomenon the sticker has brought to light is the trendy and CONSPICUOUSLY CONSUMPTIVE nature of many members of society. For those who have been surrounded by the sticker, its familiarity and cultural resonance is comforting and owning a sticker provides a souvenir or keepsake, a memento. People have often demanded the sticker merely because they have seen it everywhere and possessing a sticker provides a sense of belonging. The Giant sticker seems mostly to be embraced by those who are (or at least want to seem to be) rebellious. Even though these people may not know the meaning of the sticker, they enjoy its slightly disruptive underground quality and wish to contribute to the furthering of its humorous and absurd presence which seems to somehow be antiestablishment/societal convention. Giant stickers are both embraced and rejected, the reason behind which, upon examination reflects the psyche of the viewer. Whether the reaction be positive or negative, the stickers existence is worthy as long as it causes people to consider the details and meanings of their surroundings. In the name of fun and observation. Shepard Fairey, 1990

Art Sites

Artspan

Deviant Art
deviantART was created to entertain, inspire, and empower the artist in all of us. Founded in August 2000, deviantART is the largest online social network for artists and art enthusiasts with over 13 million registered members, attracting 35 million unique visitors per month. As a community destination, deviantART is a platform that allows emerging and established artists to exhibit, promote, and share their works within a peer community dedicated to the arts. The site's vibrant social network environment receives over 100,000 daily uploads of original art works ranging from traditional media, such as painting and sculpture, to digital art, pixel art, films and anime.
Illustration Mundo
Whether you are a professional illustrator or an aspiring illustrator just starting out, here are a few articles I wrote that you might find useful.
New Mexico Arts
New Mexico Arts is the state arts agency and a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. The 15-member governor-appointed New Mexico Arts Commission serves as our advisory body. Our primary function is to provide financial support for arts services and programs to non-profit organizations statewide and to administer the 1% public art program for the state of New Mexico.
Portrait Society of America
The Portrait Society was formed in 1998 as a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to increase aesthetic and technical knowledge of the practicing portrait artist, artist's representatives, art students and the general public. Since then, we have grown to a membership of nearly 3,000. Each year we host hundreds of artists at educational events, workshops and conferences; mail thousands of copies of International Artist Magazine and our own The Art of the Portrait Journal to artists around the globe; provide support for emerging artists; and connect communities of artists through our State Ambassador Outreach Program. Many of our programs are available at a discounted or free rate to high school and college age students, as we strive to support and provide educational access to coming generations of artists.
The Trompe l'Oeil Society of Artists
The Trompe l'Oeil Society of Artists was founded in early 2001 by Larry Charles and Don Clapper as a means to perpetuate this profession and to educate art lovers about this scarce art form. There are currently seven members exhibiting full-time with the Trompe l'Oeil Society: Eric Conklin, Michael Molnar, Gregory West, Gerald Hodge, Don Clapper, Larry Charles and Gary Erbe. Their gallery affiliations range from Singapore to London, from San Francisco to New York City.

Art Supply

Dick Blick
The Best Art Supplies ...at the best discounts! Since 1911, artists have turned to Dick Blick Art Materials for dependable savings, a huge selection, and fine customer service on art supplies.

Artists

Axis
AXIS (born March 26, 1973 in London) is a contemporary illustrator/painter who emerged from Los Angeles' seminal street scene in the late 1980's. He is most noted for his convoluted and hyper-stylized freehand illustrations, which has appeared in L.A., Austin, Seattle, Baltimore, Tokyo, and Berlin. As a child, Axis moved from London to Los Angeles with his family and developed a number of musical and artistic influences including Mozart, Bach, The Germs, Black Sabbath, Black Flag, John Fogerty, Benny Hill, Ub Iwerks, Tex Avery, Rick Griffin, Monty Python, Norman Rockwell, Preston Blair, and R. Crumb. An early convert to skateboarding and punk rock, by the mid-90's he had cemented his reputation as one of the most prolific artists working in Los Angeles.
Bob Dob
I love to create worlds where the dark side of human nature is present. Life isn’t always good times. While in our youth we experience many things we would rather forget, but this is what makes us who we are. It defines us. That’s why my characters have an adolescent quality to them. I’ve been very fortunate in experiencing and hearing many great stories, which now find there way into my paintings. I guess the best way to describe my profession is I’m a visual storyteller.
Braldt Bralds
Braldt Bralds was born in the Netherlands in 1951. As a child he learned of the profession of illustration, and his course was set. His father brought home scraps of paper from a paper mill, and Braldt drew continuously. When twelve he began attending the Grafische School in Rotterdam, where he was instructed in graphic arts and the printing trade. Aside from this training, Braldt is self-taught.
Camille Engel
Welcome to the website of Camille Engel, an American contemporary realist oil painter, internationally acclaimed, and known for her use of rich colors, textures, and intricate detail. Her still life oil paintings, in fact, have “a mastery of line, color, and value,” says avid art collector Harold Roe. “Her realism oil paintings are passionate and exquisitely rendered—I proudly own four Camille Engel still life originals, one of which is touring United States museums through 2011.”
Cecil Kim
Cecil was born in Seoul, Korea where he grew up most of his childhood and began learning basic art training at local atelier during high school winter breaks, Cecil always liked painting still-life using watercolor. While he was deciding whether he should study painting instead of studying engineering or history journalism, His family decided to move to US when he was 17. Kims family settled in Irvine where Cecil started to take art classes from Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. After 2 years of exloring different avenues in art and design, Cecil got accepted into Art Center College of Design where he graduated with Honor in illustration with scholarship in 1996. First job was at Imaginary Forces where Cecil worked with Creative Directors to pitch film opening sequences and special FX imagery. With a portfolio of production illustration and FX storyboards, Cecil landed his first staff production job at SquareUSA in Marina Del Rey, California as a cinematic storyboard artist to work on Parasite Eve.
Chris Buzelli

Craola
I haven’t always liked stretching canvas and never thought I would be doing it on a regular basis but these days, it has become more of an adventure than a chore. It is the sponge that soaks up all the thoughts going on in my head. Having an overactive imagination since a very young age, it has always made sense to me that any artwork I develop should be composed of these vivid thoughts. What used to take form in crayons and pencil, evolved into pen and ink drawings, spray painted murals and computer graphics, and has further morphed into the acrylic paintings I create these days. My childhood obsessions with Disney cartoons, Lorne Greens’ New Wilderness and books such as Watership Down and The Phantom Tollbooth have become fodder for my work as it develops today.
Darcie
From a very young age, I began to pursue my passionate interest in drawing. Without the aide of teaching, I sketched all manner of subjects from real life scenery to still life. At age ten, I had my first lesson in painting with oils. Today, my passion for art continues to flourish. My personality lends itself to the humorous side of life, which allows me to express myself through my work, while I continually strive to stretch the boundaries of my viewer's imagination. My method of expression is through Rebuses... (ree-buses) puzzles or riddles in which pictures represent words or phrases.
J Rodney Reveal
In my paintings, I try to translate my feelings of a place or an object onto paper with the same emotional impact that I receive when I experience it.
Jacquelineg Nott
South Bend, Indiana, United States In her paintings, Gnott attempts to capture the significance and reality of one moment in time and to study what appear to be the mundane objects of life, to explore the minute details and to vividly express them on paper with the fluidity of watercolor. “When people see my work, they often feel a sense of warmth and nostalgia, remembering back to simpler times.” While Gnott’s subjects are commonplace, her paintings are anything but. They show a mastery of light and shadow, and they have an emotional quality that can be felt as well as seen. While her talent and creative abilities continue to win accolades across the Country, her true gratification comes from watching people enjoy the treasures she creates. She continues to reside in South Bend, Indiana with her two black German Shepherds Baby Thorn & Sweet Baby Brier.
Jeff Soto

Jen Lobo

Joel Nakamura
Joel Nakamura likes to tell the story about the day he was walking across Santa Fe Plaza, close by the Palace of the Governors where Native Americans ply their arts and crafts to tourists passing on the sidewalk. A tourist spied Joel, resplendent in his Santa Fe "uniform"- well-worn cowboy boots, silver and turquoise belt buckle, bolo tie and cowboy hat. The woman, visiting from Texas, approached him and, gently pressing her hand to his arm, asked: "Excuse me sir, which Pueblo are you from?"
Jonathan Frank
After earning his first juried award in 2000, he was convinced that he could be a contender in the real art world. From 2003 to 2006, he traveled around the country participating in the art festival circuit, resulting in his paintings being acquired by galleries around the southwest and by private collectors in places as far reaching as Israel, Japan and New Zealand. In 2005, having the opportunity to move anywhere, he was able to combine his passion for red rock country and his life as an artist and moved to Southern Utah near his beloved Arches National Park.
Kory Fluckiger
Kory Fluckiger lives in Utah with his wife Heather McKinnon and their daughter. With no formal watercolor training, Kory has been painting professionally since 2001, during which time he has had solo exhibitions at the Eccles Community Art Center’s Carriage House Gallery (Spring 2004) and at Olive and Dahlia on historic 25th Street in Ogden, UT (Summer 2005). He has also shown his work in the Springville Art Museum, participated in a Utah Arts Counsel traveling exhibition, created floral designs for Art in Bloom at the University of Utah’s Utah Museum of Fine Arts, juried art competitions, donated original work for various auctions and charities including volunteering to paint murals in an orphanage in Chiapas, Mexico. He has been listed as a collected Utah artist in Salt Lake magazine as well as being featured in the magazine Utah Style and Design (Fall 2002) for mural work. His painting entitled “Hydrangea Blue” has been selected for a museum tour from 2008 to 2011 by the International Guild of Realism. He is the winner of the 2007 cover competition for American Artist’s Watercolor magazine and has recently been awarded the Florence Kahn Memorial Award for his poetry chapbook On the Way to Fish for Shiner by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies.
Mark Garro
After 15 years as a successful Illustrator and cover artist for more than 100 paperbacks in the fantasy genre, Garro has exploded onto the fine art scene, exhibiting his paintings nationally and internationally. His growing collector base eagerly await his next meticulously designed and executed work.
Mark Garro
After 15 years as a successful Illustrator and cover artist for more than 100 paperbacks in the fantasy genre, Garro has exploded onto the fine art scene, exhibiting his paintings nationally and internationally. His growing collector base eagerly await his next meticulously designed and executed work.
Mark Ryden
Blending themes of pop culture with techniques reminiscent of the old masters, Mark Ryden has created a singular style that blurs the traditional boundaries between high and low art. His work first garnered attention in the 1990s when he ushered in a new genre of painting, "Pop Surrealism", dragging a host of followers in his wake. Ryden has trumped the initial surrealist strategies by choosing subject matter loaded with cultural connotation. Ryden’s vocabulary ranges from cryptic to cute, treading a fine line between nostalgic cliché and disturbing archetype. Seduced by his infinitely detailed and meticulously glazed surfaces, the viewer is confronted with the juxtaposition of the childhood innocence and the mysterious recesses of the soul. A subtle disquiet inhabits his paintings; the work is achingly beautiful as it hints at darker psychic stuff beneath the surface of cultural kitsch. In Ryden's world cherubic girls rub elbows with strange and mysterious figures. Ornately carved frames lend the paintings a baroque exuberance that adds gravity to their enigmatic themes. Mark Ryden received a BFA in 1987 from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. His paintings have been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide, including a retrospective “Wondertoonel” at the Frye Museum of Art in Seattle and Pasadena Museum of California Art, and in the exhibition "The Artist's Museum" at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
Nathan Ota
Ever since I can remember, I have always found myself drawing over doing my homework. My early influences came from cartoons on television, comic books, photographs and Punk-rock flyers. I can still remember sneaking into my older brothers room and raiding his ,"Vamperella" comics and trying to copy or trace all the covers I could get my hands on. Classical art never really interested me at that time so I turned to what really spoke to me with artists such as, Robert Williams, Olivia, Puss Head and Raymond Pettibon. Traditional art never came into the picture till I started high school but it still didn't speak to me. I always found myself gravitating toward popular culture and at that time it was graffiti. I was completely hooked! I loved everything about it, the clicking of the ball in the can when shook, the sound of the constant flow of the paint, the scraping of the can against the wall when drawing, the colors, the scale, the friendships and the complete feeling of freedom. Till this day, whenever I smell spray paint in the air, it brings back good times. I still dabbled a little in graffiti once I entered the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California but a whole new world of art was opening my eyes with Illustration. I never knew what I wanted to do when I entered college and kind of left it in the hands of the instructors to lead me in whatever direction I was going. It was a bit frustrating at first but soon after, I started to get it and knew that I was going to be an Illustrator. Shortly after graduating in 1993, I started working as a freelance Artist for newspapers, magazines, recording companies, background art for the gaming industry and gallery.
Roq la Rue
Roq La Rue gallery was opened back in 1998 as a reaction to the Northwest's then lack of alternative art spaces. Fueled by a devotion to the rapidly growing Lowbrow/Pop Surrealism art movement, the gallery quickly gained notoriety, and respect, as one of only of a handful of galleries globally (at the time) willing to show the work. As a bonus, an enthusiastic community of collectors responded quickly to the gallery's eclectic mix of artists, whose outlaw sensibilities and counter-cultural subject matter was rendered with undeniable ability and vision. Since that exciting time, Roq la Rue has moved several times, before finally landing at its largest, and poshest, digs yet, settling into a historic art deco building in the Belltown neighborhood of downtown Seattle. We've expanded our vision & program by working with artists and collectors around the globe, gained national & international recognition, and earned a solid reputation. It's been an amazing and rewarding ride thus far. Everyone involved with Roq La Rue, including partners Mark Long, Sarah Novotny, and John Kintz, love, and are committed to, Roq La Rue, the artists the gallery exhibits and the extended community we are honored to be a part of. We hope to continue to be a supportive and exciting space that helps launch new artists and bring greater exposure to more established ones.
Scott G Brooks
Scott G Brooks lives and works in Washington, DC. His subject matter ranges from simple portraiture to intricate narratives. In his paintings, he takes social, psychological, and political issues and injects them with a dark sense of humor. Anatomical distortions separate the figures from the photographic ideal, which gives him the freedom to create his own distorted reality. His work is described as twisted and offbeat, sentimental, and disturbing. In addition to exhibiting in galleries, he has also illustrated several children's books. His influences include Mad Magazine, Disney, Saturday morning cartoons, and talking heads on cable news.
Scott Musgrove

Steve Hanks
Steve Hanks is recognized as one of the best watercolor artists working today. The detail, color and realism of Steve Hanks' paintings are unheard of in this difficult medium. A softly worn patterned quilt, the play of light on the thin veil of surf on sand, or the delicate expression of a child—-Steve Hanks captures these patterns of life better than anyone.
Will Wilson
Wilson is a master of his painting craft. He creates between 8-10 works each year, ranging in size from 9 x 10 inches to 70 x 50 inches. He paints portraits, allegorical figures, trompe l'oeil, and still life layered with narrative. His paintings are tight and precise. For Wilson, it is important to observe, then render all of his subjects in the greatest detail. His work is often whimsical and fantastic, a unique marriage of disciplined execution and a boundless, blossoming imagination. Each of his works contains contemporary references, addressing a multitude of ideas embedded in his meticulously crafted compositions.