Emily McDowell designs greeting cards for family and close friends of cancer patients. The messages are blunt and direct. As a former cancer patient herself now in remission, the designer got irritated when her close circle stop visiting and calling her because they didn’t know what to tell her.
She is making things simple by putting the right words on a sentiment which is most of the time sincere and honest but comes out awkward to the patient. Loneliness and solitude is, according to Emily McDowell the most difficult part of the illness to endure. Despite the loss of hair, fatigue and the heavy medical treatments, loosing friends and family members as a support system because they are having a hard time verbalizing encouragements and empathy is painful.
The illustrations on the cards are handmade by the designer herself. The pastel color scheme softens the message which can appear straightforward and cynical but which speaks truly to the patient. Emily McDowell believes these cards can make a difference in the way we communicate. In a digital world where motivational quotes are spread out through Instagram and Facebook, these make a difference because they are palpable and create a direct connection between the friends, family members and the receiver.
Find Emily McDowell’s ‘Empathy Cards’ on her eshop. (via Slate)
Today’s daily dose of inspiration comes from Michael Ostermann. His work is a mixture of vector art and surrealist imagery. Some of his work reminds me of horror flick cover art… all bad acting aside, the cover would be awesome. Very skilled illustrator/designer. Ostermann currently resides in Austria.
Indianapolis artist Nathaniel Russell comin’ through with the brush clutch. I don’t know what stands out more with these – the super subtle humor or the pseudo 70’s illustrative steez, but they’ve got me feeling warm inside. Click past the jump to see more of what I’m talking about. And if you’re out all the way east right now, looks like he’s got a show coming up in Tokyo next month.
Brandon LaGanke and John Carlucci are the duo that make up Gost + Cow Films who have created the world’s first drone filmed pornography (at least as far as anyone on the internet seems to know). This may have you wondering, ‘what does this have to do with art?’, but this project creates major implications for cinematography in general.
The video itself is not really an effective porno. Because it is filmed from so high up, the great majority of the eroticism is lost to lack of detail. The piece is epic, though, and it is quite beautiful and surreal to consider two people making love, or at least having sex, in a vast field, or on top of a strange construction somewhere in a quasi-natural landscape. It creates an entirely different context for the sexual encounters, which in itself is interesting. The artists acknowledge that the film is more an artistic exploration than a true pornographic piece:
“It’s an omniscient point of view, really. We did these shots in places where you couldn’t see much from the ground, but then you put the drone in the air and you can see what’s happening… I would never shoot a real porn like this. If you can’t masturbate to it, man, it’s not a good pornography film.” (Motherboard)
Drones are relatively affordable; you can own one for somewhere between $100-$300. This means that pretty much anyone could be making films like this, assuming they know two people willing to get naked for the camera. Incredible swooping shots of epic landscapes are no longer limited to the cinematographers of planet earth. In Drone Boning, LaGanke and Carlucci either chose not to rest over their subjects, or didn’t posses the knowhow to keep their drone in one spot, but I imagine that it could be accomplished. The idea of an omniscient point of view for film is a tantalizing one. If Drone Boning 2 is ever released, they should try to remain stationary when they reach the couple. Maybe scale the side of an ocean cliff to see two people fucking at its edge. (Via Motherboard)
During a recent trip to Istanbul, Spanish artist Pejac completed a series of three murals in Üsküdar. Titled “Lock, Poster and Shutters,” each piece has been meticulously painted and employs a trompe-l’oeil technique to suggest three-dimensionality. Through painted-on shadows and methods of forced perspective, Pejac renders realistic architectural elements, including a keyhole receding into a stone wall, a ‘poster’ of a lancet window, and unlatched shutters framing a small, intricately patterned screen.
In order to impeccably blend each piece onto its architectonic canvas, Pejac utilizes lifelike, subdued hues—namely black, white, grey, and gold. To further evoke realism, the artist paints each object true to size, and even creates illusions of elemental exposure through synthetic discoloration and signs of tarnish. Echoing the existing imperfections apparent on each façade—including chipped paint, subtle cracks, and accumulated dirt—Pejac’s murals simultaneously trick the eye and call attention to the innate potential that surrounds us on a daily basis.
In an interview with Société Perrier, Pejac notes his recurring “intention to not only play with the concept but with the very perception of reality.” And, if “Lock, Poster and Shutters” is any indication, his playing proves successful.
Danling Xiao is a Sydney-based artist who has started Mundane Matters, a project aimed at coupling fun food sculptures and photography with daily insights and philosophies. The bulk of the project can be seen on Instagram, which is updated daily. The objects she creates range from cute to bizarre—such as a zucchini squid and a grinning, beady-eyed apple—but they all exemplify ingenious ways to recreate and re-represent ordinary objects.
“Is mundanity really mundane?” Danling’s artist statement asks. “Perhaps it is our ignorance?” She argues that by seeing something in a different light, and by allowing ourselves to become curious, we can find joy and creativity in all things. Fruits, vegetables, and the objects they’ve been molded into take on new levels of significance. We become aware of design, and how beauty and utility often arrive together. As Danling suggests, “If we look closer, if we slow down our pace and be more mindful about our inner self and surroundings, we can actually discover a wonderland inside every mundanity.”
Each of Mundane Matters’ posts on Instagram is accompanied by a short write-up, usually updating the viewer on events in Danling’s life. These range from descriptions of dreams, daily practices of overcoming fear, and more general wisdom, such as the importance of nurturing our relationships. Danling’s goal is to spread “humor, creativity, positivity, and stories” through her work, and given Mundane Matters’ beautiful photos and growing social media following, there is no doubt that her art and ideas are connecting with people everywhere.
Art meets commerce in this video directed by the legendary Joe Pytka. Pytka, a cinematographer, director and film maker was so inspired by New York-based artist Nate Lowman’s Just One Eye project with Converse he was inspired to create a short filmed that embodied the spirit of the project.
In the video, the viewer is welcomed into an enigmatic scene with a disembodied eyeball, blood and dimly lit hallways. Something sinister and grim is afoot and then we meet our one-eyed protagonist. It leaves the viewer thinking, just what is going on here? What’s going on is a collaboration between artist Nate Lowman and Converse to make a custom Chuck Taylor shoe. Lowman has cut one of his paintings (depicting a copy of Willem de Kooning’s 1954 portrait of Marilyn Monroe) into as many pairs of unique high-top Chuck Taylors as possible.
The great thing about these collaborations is that it exposes a whole new audience to art and allows them to incorporate it into their every day lives. Lowman’s work has been described by New York Times chief art critic as “down-and-out excursions into collage, graffiti and appropriation.” Lowman’s first critical acclaim came about as a result of a show with P.S.1. He has also collaborated with brands like Supreme to create exclusive products. Each pair of Chuck Taylors from the Just One Eye: Nate Lowman collaboration is a unique piece of art in and of itself, a fragment of a whole. Everyone who owns a pair of this collection will be part of this unique part of Converse history.