Blogs We Like: Ashton Dame
As far as influences go, Ashton Dame's are both immediately apparent and permanently entangled. Looking over this list she recently made, it’s easy to suss out the effects of people like Otomo, Gorey, or Mignola, both in line sizes/function and in the proportions of her figures.
But upon closer inspection, these general similarities are blended in a way that completely defies easy separation—it’s impossible to see what’s doing what. Dame’s influences form an enormous structuring constellation or matrix, yet no single atom therein can be viewed directly. They flutter, move, blend together the harder you try to isolate them.
Dame’s thematic foci are equally fluid but far less provocative of dissection. There’s the all-important sense of worldedness, which is elevates expands even the best illustration; but, at the same time, this definition and cohesion is friendly, welcoming, and unforced in its creation of novelty. Whether overtly monstrous or bumbly and playful, Dame’s figures all possess an inviting weirdness that doesn’t demand unpacking so much as it encourages comradely co-travel. Dame’s many oddities are kindred to the viewer—a remarkably difficult effect to create in any medium, and one which makes her illustration wildly, excitingly real.
Check out Ashton’s main site/store too.
User Spotlight: Richard Van Lent
After waking up to the year’s first snowfall, those of us who managed to crawl out of bed and into the office today were in pretty sleepy states. Normally we just make 12-14 pots of coffee and have a chug-off, but I opted to comb the receipts for warm-locale photography instead. Richard Van Lent delivered.
Van Lent’s work is soaked in Kiwi sun and love thereof. Gorgeous surf scenes, glowing waves, and people who generally seem to be having a great time without outerwear: all that and more make Van Lent’s blog a wonderful winter antidote. We’re also incredibly proud to see it all displayed in our Expo theme.
at Victoria Harbour
It snows about twice a year in Victoria. This morning was one of those times. (at Fernwood)
Blogs We Like: Emily Rabbit
Emily Rabbit's current fixation on Wights (wraith-like creatures from fantasy literature) is one of the best genre art projects on Tumblr. As a whole, they incorporate some of the most intricate and evocative elements of fantasy game and character design, with a swirling mix of medievalism, esotericism, early human myth and, of course, babely ass-kickery.
They’re also remarkably, gorgeously drawn. For all the attention to symbolism and thematic content that usually accompanies fantasy art, Rabbit’s illustration possesses a strong sense of mastery and skill that challenges more simplistic gazing. Bright yet conservatively colored, each Wight is an awesome example confident feminist fantasy art that never sinks to pedantic sexualization to make its impact.
User Spotlight: Jay Gaskill
Though it may seem a little counterintuitive, Jay Gaskill's highly abstract painting does, in fact, reflect his East-coastiness a bit. In Pacific coast painting, abstraction gravitates more toward cosmological, stellar shapes and magnitudes. I don't mean this in a derogatory, “new-agey” way at all—it's simply something that's a part of West coast art's DNA.
Gaskill’s art is more architectural and muscular. It’s not big sky art, but rather painting generated from deep inside human structures, abstractions that swim out of cement, collectives, and stories. His choice of acrylic (in most cases) also fits this characterization, providing an almost machinic saturation of color in each piece. We’re also super flattered to see it all in Readymade, which was designed especially for artists and galleries.
Blogs We Like: Chris Davie
If you’ve been following us for a while, you know my heart beats huge, lumpy burps for the Bartkira Project—and ongoing collaboration of dozens of artists, remaking Katsuhiro Otomo’s manga epic “Akira” with the cast of The Simpsons. James Harvey's done the bulk of the organizational work so far, and today Chris Davie's contribution arrived. We've all been monosyllabically exclaiming since: very “apes around the monolith.”
Bartkira is meant to highlight and celebrate the myriad stylistic and technical differences among its contributors, but Davie’s installment is almost jarring in its uniqueness. With his background in game/character design for Lucid, Davie’s illustration looks 3-D modeled, but is in fact hand-drawn and painted. It’s chewy, deeply detailed work with tons of stylistic flourishes, taking full advantage of Davie’s expertise in digital modeling to really enrich drawn comic art. His character mockups (the bulk of what’s on his blog so far) feel similarly layered, and it’s awesome to see an artist who’s so incredibly talented and versatile on Tumblr.
You can find Chris on Twitter too.
Blogs We Like: Amelia Senville
There’s an intriguing relationship between the two poles of Amelia Senville's work. On one side, there's vibrant abstract illustration; and on the other more humorous figurative work. Each style is reflected in the other, sometimes subtly but more often in beautifully novel combinations of aesthetic elements.
This internal relationship strengthens a feeling of coherence in her style and logic. Each piece builds upon a growing vocabulary and “fabric”, so to speak. And as a result, her blog is endlessly inspiring and expansive.
Stuff You Can Use: Bitcoin for Shopify
Regardless of your stance on connected issues, it’s safe to say most people feel some skepticism toward global financial and monetary practices. Bitcoin is probably the most interesting and effective experiment in decentralized currency in recent memory, attempting to work around the mess with a bullshit-less approach to exchange. We’re glad to see that Shopify is among the first ecommerce platforms to integrate into its payment methods.
Whether you’re selling art, clothing, jewelry, black market hyenas, or “incense,” Bitcoin is a cool and super simple payment method to setup. We won’t bother you with a full primer on Bitcoin (go here for that), but we’re big fans and are excited to see how this affects Shopify traffic and sales. For more info on how to setup Bitcoin on your storefront, check out the related Shopify blog post and documentation.
Dazzling McDuck-vault of Bitcoins courtesy of uuzo.
Just standard Victoria stuff, nbd.
(at Legislative Assembly of British Columbia)
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