Archived entries for Art & Design

“Lemons make me smell so great!”

This isn’t going to be much of a post, I just wanted to give more attention to a certain (now infamous?) sticker from my 80s sticker book I shared the other day: this weird, kind of disturbing sticker of an uncommonly intelligent fish laying on a dinner platter encircled by lemons. He’s pretty enthusiastic for a fish who’s about to be eaten. He’s also self-aware enough to realize fish smells pretty bad, cooked or not.

Weird Fishy Lemon Sticker

And before you ask, yes, I purposely cropped the featured image of the lemon sticker so that it spells “emo.” This fish should be fucking emo, but instead he has rather complacently accepted his fate.

What’s his backstory?

This trippy synthesizer animation is totally mesmerizing me today.

To steal a line from Gin & Juice, Moog’s got the cultivatin’ music that be captivatin’ me.

This is essentially a glorified ad for the new Moog Sub Phatty synthesizer, but it’s awesome nonetheless. And you don’t even need to be on drugs to appreciate it. This is exactly the type of thing I love looking at, which is probably why I enjoyed the also-trippy-as-balls musical game Dyad as much as I did.

In honor of the new Moog Sub Phatty analog synthesizer Flying Lotus & Adult Swim veteran, Adam ‘Lilfuchs’ Fuchs collaborated on a short animation called Moog Sub Phatty: New Machine For Living. You can hear the new Sub Phatty analog synthesizer in Flying Lotus’s original score for the animation, called ‘Such a Square’.

 [via Gizmodo] 

 

I think I’m in love…with this guy’s insanely cool pop culture artwork.

When I first caught a glimpse of these bleeding cool pop culture portraits by Chilean artist Fabian Ciraolo, my eyes nearly melted in their sockets. It’s like he’s managed to tap into my stream of consciousness–where there exists a nebulous mashup of music, pop culture icons, Saturday morning cartoons, horror, and cult films–and illustrate it.

I mean, Julie Andrews in leopard-print leggings wearing a Joy Division t-shirt as she gives us an almost-flash of her tits? Skeletor in a 70s-looking used car salesman plaid suit? COME ON. I love these. I love everything about them; the overexposed pastels, the dreamy patterned backgrounds, the fact that they could have been lifted from one of my everyday 80s music-fueled hallucinations…

She-Ra - Fab Ciraolo

Beetlejuice - Fab Ciraolo

More Human Than Humans - Fab Ciraolo

Marilyn Monroe - Fab Ciraolo

Julie Andrews - Fab Ciraolo

Dorothy - Fab Ciraolo

Evolution - Fab Ciraolo

Edward Scissorhands - Fab Ciraolo

Diana - Fab Ciraolo

Old School Heroes - Fab Ciraolo

Come And Play With Us - Fab Ciraolo

Skeletor - Fab Ciraolo

There’s plenty more to see on Fab Ciraolo’s blog, which you’ll probably need to translate. I would also follow him on Twitter–if I could understand anything the man tweets.

[Discovered via The Curious Brain]

My dream job is to do nothing.

This week’s assignment from The League was an interesting one:

If money was not a concern and you could choose any career path, what would be your ultimate dream job? 

Well, first of all, there’s a false assumption here that I would want to have this thing called “a job” if I didn’t have to. If money was not a concern, I would happily live out my days playing video games, watching movies, reading books, etc. etc. and get out even less than I do now. That’s right, I would do nothing.

But, if I have to give an answer (and you know how seriously I take these League assignments, so I will), my first inclination would be to say I’d pursue something creative, whether it’s writing a novel or screenplay, directing a film, or rekindling my long-held dream of designing a video game–specifically a point-and-click adventure game just like my personal gaming hero, Jane Jensen.

But my problem, as always, is the fear that once it becomes my job to do these things, I’ll cease being passionate about them. That’s kind of the bitch about creative endeavors. Once things like contracts and money and deadlines and obligations and other people’s opinions are involved, I’m almost positive I will lose interest. I often wonder what amazing films, books and games would exist if the talent behind such works had absolute creative power and unlimited resources. Then again, I look at guys like George Lucas and start to re-think this position.

What’s your ultimate dream job?

Wondering what this is all about? This week’s assignment from The League of Extraordinary Bloggers was to pretend that money was no concern and pursue a career we’re passionate about. Here’s what my fellow Leaguers said:

Adamotomy wants to do something involving management…and golf?
Fortune and Glory Days wishes he could be a toy hunter. Or an archaeologist! They’re the same thing, really.
That Figures wants to explore space. SPACE, bitches!
Lair of the Dork Horde already has his dream job. And yeah, we’re all jealous.
Flashlights are Something to Eat wishes he could work at and indie record store, like in High Fidelity.
The Man Who Stares At Toys wants to write a book on the history of toys! Fitting.
Hench Girl’s dream job is very specific: to be a Well-Heeled Executive of a Sleazy Company I admire that kind of brazenness.

Pop Art Pop Tart: Moving LEGO Nyan Cat

Well this is certainly the most internet-y of internet-iest things I’ve seen today. An animated, moving LEGO sculpture of perennial favorite internet meme, Nyan Cat…in a Flickr video. The only thing more internet bait-worthy would be a Gangnam Style Christmas lights display. No, wait, that already happened. (Multiple times, apparently.)

This “pop art pop tart” (Do you like that? It took me five whole minutes to think of it!) was created by artist H. Y. Leung, who made a bunch of other cool LEGO creations you can check out here.

On a related note…did you know Nyan Cat has lyrics?

Nyan Cat Lyrics

 

Animated 8-Bit Pixel Art Celebrates the History of Music

So there’s this awesome guy named Josh who has this awesome Tumblr, Music History in GIFs, filled with his awesome animated pixel art that celebrates music’s most awesome moments in history. I know, I’m using the world “awesome” a lot, but in this case it’s well-deserved. Each 8-bit animated GIF also comes with a side of musical trivia so you can brush up on those all-important pop culture facts, like knowing that MC Hammer introduced parachute pants to the world in 1990, and there was much rejoicing.

Here are some of my favorites, for obvious reasons:

1990 - MC Hammer Scores a ridiculously popular hit, and popularizes parachute pants!

1993 - Prince changes his name to an unpronounceable symbol, later dubbed Love Symbol #2

1987 - Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" goes #1, RickRolling is born.

1991 - Nirvana releases Nevermind. Grunge is in full swing.

1983 - Michael Jackson debuts the moonwalk on Mo Town 25 during Billie Jean.

1980 - The Cure releases their US Debut, Boys Don’t Cry,

[via BuzzFeed by way of The Curious Brain]

These Nintendo Roombas can vacuum my floor anytime.

I’ve wanted a Roomba ever since I saw one of those YouTube videos of cats riding around on them, not to mention the fact that I’m lazy, but now I have a new, much cooler reason:

For SUPER iam8bit, a group art exhibition featuring over 100 artists remixing their 80′s videogame memories, we collaborated with iRobot and fabricator Kelice Penney to create a series of “character covers” for several different Roomba models.

Hand-made and intricately detailed, their functionality was unaltered. And while the presence of a cleaning device might usually be poo poo’d in a party scenario, the thousands of guests at the SUPER iam8bit opening welcomed these creatures with mouths agape.

I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone realized “Roomba” rhymes perfectly with “Goomba,” which is one of the characters from the Mario games featured in this video, along with red and green Koopa shells and an Octorok from The Legend of Zelda. Sadly, none of them are Metroids.

I predict an immediate demand for custom geeky Roomba covers on Etsy.

[Thanks OHMZ]

The Rap Coloring Book…is exactly what it sounds like, i.e. awesome.

For those of you who don’t know the difference between Ice Cube and Ice-T, the Jumbo Activity & Rap Coloring Book is here to make learning fun. And shit.

It’s a Tumblr created by Bun B–the rapper who introduced the word “trill” to my vernacular–that includes printable coloring pages and fun-tivities that will sharpen your staying-within-the-lines and connect-the-dots skills while teaching you very important rap facts, like how rappers love weed and money, or that Vanilla Ice was once relevant. (Although, in hindsight The Rap Spelling Book might have been a little more useful. I still struggle with my “izzles” and proper usage of apostrophes.)

I decided it would be an extremely good use of my time to bust out the crayons and have at it.

2pac Connect the Dots

Vanilla Ice Trading Card

I swear, I have no idea what the Ink Outlines filter in Photoshop is. I did that last one completely by hand. Honest.

[Thanks UPROXX]

This Gangnam Style Halloween light show is cheering me up.

You’ve all seen those crazy Christmas lights displays that synch up to music, right? Well here’s an awesome one for Halloween–or not awesome, if you’re already sick of this song; I haven’t reached that point yet.

From Leesburg, VA, this stunning Halloween light show set to Psy’s “Gangnam Style” utilizes over 8,500 lights and roughly 250 channels of computer animation. It was created by Edwards Landing Lights who says it took about a year to make. (Yes, I’m aware Gangnam Style is only a few months old. I had the same reaction at first.) The video description goes on to say that the Gangnam Style theme was something that was added at the last minute–presumably after realizing that anything associated with “Gangnam Style” = viral video gold. Well done, nerds.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6t7oowAsGs

Freddy, Jason, Michael & Chucky Together on One Awesome Retro-tastic Poster

If I had an extra $45 to blow (or I guess technically it would be $48 with shipping & handling) I would so buy this limited edition poster by The Dude Designs which pays glorious homage to the artwork on classic 80s horror movie VHS tapes:

Video Nasty - The Dude Designs

Oh how I miss the days of VCRs with pop-up tape decks! I used to get in trouble for pressing eject just to watch the deck pop up, then slam it closed, then press eject again, then slam it close, then press eject again… Shut up, it was fun. You guys don’t even know.

Can you imagine if there was really a horror movie with Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers AND Chucky? My head would explode from the sheer awesome.

[via Dread Central]

Frightful New ‘Frankenweenie’ Posters are a Throwback to Old Monster Movies

I saw these new Frankenweenie posters over at Dread Central and they’re just too cool not to re-post.  I’ll give you ONE guess as to which one’s my favorite.

Frankenweenie - Back from Beyond

Frankenweenie - Curse of the Mummy Hamster

Frankenweenie - Day of the Turtle

Frankenweenie - Return of the Vampire Cat

Frankenweenie - Night of the Were-Rat

Frankenweenie - Sparky's Return

 Frankenweenie opens in theaters this Friday! Are you going to see it?

Looking Back on 25+ Years of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles [Infographic]

 So, here’s a thing I did that you Ninja Turtle fans might appreciate.

A few weeks ago UnderScoopFire (friends of ShezCrafti.com and one of my favorite places to litter the internet) asked me if I’d like to do a TMNT-related guest post in anticipation of the new Nickelodeon show and to wax nerdy about the general awesomeness that is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Naturally I said SHELL YES!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a franchise that’s going on 30 years old and one that many of us grew up with. Over the years there’s been many different versions of the Turtles across all media–comics, TV, film, toys, video games–even the stage. I wanted to do something to pay my respects to the past three decades of TMNT history and showcase the many different versions of the Turtles.

This infographic is the result:

[Click here to view it full-size]

TMNT History Infographic

Head on over to UnderScoopFire to read my guest post Shellebrating 25+ Years of TMNT History and check out all the other retro-tastic content the site offers for us children of the 80s!

Album Art Porn: Glass Candy – Beatbox

As it turns out, randomly picking albums I’ve never heard of to listen to based 100% on cover art I find attractive is proving to be a viable method of discovering good new music. So far my Album Art Porn project has yielded three new-to-me albums with at least a 7/10 rating, and today it produced another winner.  I’m 4 and 0.

Today’s discovery came about during a highly scientific process in which I typed a bunch of words into Google Image Search and skimmed through the results. The words I input were “candy,” “electric,” “feverish,” and “album.” This is the image I was most compelled to click on:

Glass Candy - Beatbox

If I were a more attractive, fashion-conscientious kind of girl (and dropped about 20 pounds) and like a thousand times more narcissistic, I would totally have a Warholesque self-portrait like this hanging in my living room. I would even glue jewels to my face, or whatever those are supposed to be on her left cheek. It’s hip, it’s glamorous, it says, “I went crazy with the fuchsia eye shadow by smearing it all over my head and look at all the fucks I give!”

I must have an affinity for those shocking shades of hot pink and electric blue, because that’s the same color combination that drew me to The Electric Punanny Mixtapes which ended up being unimaginably awesome. The above album is called Beatbox. It was released in 2007 and is the second studio album of the electronic outfit Glass Candy, who Wikipedia describes as being a blend of No Wave, glam rock and Italo Disco–so far so good.

But what does it sound like?

The first track was an awkward but intriguing introduction. It starts off like an 80s aerobics class with the instructor encouraging everyone to “work that body!” over a simplistic beat, and then vocalist Ida No gives something of a cheesy pseudo-lesson in metaphysics: “Our world, our lives, our bodies, they are constantly changing. But there’s a rhythm that runs through it all and that’s where we’ll find our true selves. We live in a universe of transformations, but the heavenly beat is a constant. So keep on dancing!” OK, space lady!

The rest of the tracks are pure gold. Some of them, like “Last Night I Met a Costume,” could be part of the score for Beyond the Black Rainbow. Breathy, sensual female vocals over heavy synth waves, chill, low-frequency bass lines and simple electrical beats with frequent square and sawtooth leads. (At times like these, when I’m trying to describe the subtle differences in electronic music styles, I wish my musical knowledge was more expansive.) None of it is very melodic, but it all sounds so very avant-garde and 1984-ish, much like that Rise of the Obsidian Interstellar chiptunes album I reviewed a while back. I thoroughly enjoyed all 9 tracks of this Beatbox album and fully plan on further delving into Glass Candy’s other synth-tastic musical offerings.

ShezCrafti’s Rating:

8 out of 10 stars.

                                      

What is Album Art Porn?

A recur­ring fea­ture in which I ran­domly pick an album I’ve never heard of to lis­ten to and review based solely on its cover art. It could turn out to be the most amaz­ing thing I’ve ever heard…or com­pletely suck.

Of Course Jedi Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Have Lightsaber Ninja Weapons

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how awesome, amazing, and amazingly awesome this mashup of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Star Wars is, but I do need to ask just one very important question:

Where can I get a pair of lightsaber sais?

Jedi Leonardo

Jedi Leonardo

Jedi Michaelangelo

Jedi Michaelangelo

Jedi Donatello

Jedi Donatello

Jedi Raphael

Jedi Raphael

Jedi TMNT fan art by ~Q-Dog2099 on DeviantArt

[via Technabob]

And now comes the part where we get to have fun imagining what the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would be named if they really existed inside the Star Wars universe. Any takers?

Would you still love the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles if they looked like this?

Here’s a look at one artist’s drastically different, mildly frightening, take on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:

Ron English's TMNT

Poor Donatello looks like he went swimming in the lake near the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant.

This is a poster for an upcoming event in Vegas that will celebrate the launch of a new line of TMNT-themed watches designed by prolific pop culture artist Ron English.

NYC based accessories brand FLuD and world renown artist Ron English have teamed up to bring Ron’s work onto his latest canvas, a FLUD watch. The accessories and art worlds collide on this collaboration featuring Ron’s interpretation of the world’s mod recognizable vigilante martial arts reptiles: the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. [via Vibe]

It’s always cool to see pop culture icons, even my beloved Ninja Turtles, interpreted in new and different ways. Ron English’s work blends the familiar with the realm of the bizarre in bold designs and the use of eye-meltingly bright colors. Check out his Popaganda gallery for even more twisted pop culture art.

Are your Etsy purchases supporting hipster sweatshops?

Think twice before you buy your next handcrafted, vintage-look, beaded, artisan, beachgrass, crochet WHATEVER THE FUCK with birds on it from Etsy. You could be supporting sw-etsy shops full of overworked, underpaid manic pixie dream girls surrounded by glitter and Apple products.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blV2Ar9lT1Q

Please. Think of the hipsters.

TMNT Sketches by Alex Deligiannis

I didn’t go to SDCC this year, but one of the only things I cared about purchasing there (other than this and this) are prints of these awesome Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sketches by artist Alex Deligiannis. He was nice enough to save a set for me and let me purchase them afterward, and they just arrived in the mail today.

 Alex Deligiannis TMNT Prints

I plan on getting them framed together with one of those four-way matte windows, and hanging the piece above a display of TMNT collectibles.

Leonardo by Alex Deligiannis

Raphael by Alex Deligiannis

Donatello by Alex Deligiannis

Michaelangelo by Alex Deligiannis

I loved this nice little touch on the package:

TMNT Sketch by Alex Deligiannis

Alex Deligiannis is an animation and comics artist who is currently working on Nickelodeon’s upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot. If you like his style but you’re not familiar with his work, do yourself a favor and go check out his gallery; there’s all kinds of kickassery there.  He’s an all-around nice dude, too.

My New Favorite Tumblr: Toy Box Kids

Ever notice how obnoxiously happy the kids and families they show on toy boxes are? Like playing with that toy is the greatest goddamn thing that’s ever happened in their lives, no matter how shitty the toy is?

Very rarely are such embarrassing displays of enthusiasm over a toy completely warranted, say, that Christmas morning when you opened your Nintendo 64. But in toy box world these types of reactions are the norm. And not only are the kids excited, but Mom and Dad look just as thrilled to be part of the action with big, smug grins that indicate their hard-earned money was well spent on a product that shut those damn brats up for a few hours.

I found a great Tumblr today that chronicles these phony depictions of toy life where “toy box families are having fun forever!” Here’s a sampling of some of the retro cheesiness you’ll find there:

Snafu Maze Game

Stanley Cup Power Play

Double Trouble

[via Tumblr: Toy Box Kids]

Puma.com Goes 8bit with Free Running Game

I normally would have little reason to visit Puma’s brand website because I’m a lazy slob I can’t remember the last time I did something remotely athletic, but I landed there earlier today in the process of helping to pull a marketing presentation together.

Here’s what I was greeted with:

Run Puma Run

Puma has given its homepage an 8bit makeover, and there’s a fun, free running game for you to play, complete with Nintendo-like sounds and graphics. It’s pretty simple: run forward while collecting power-ups and jumping over hurdles and rocks. The Zelda-esque hearts are a nice touch.  I also like that your speed is measured in things like “molasses” and “business casual.” Cute.

Finish Line

Pretty cool, Puma, but why does “The Runner” have to be the black character? THIS IS CLEARLY RACISM AND IT OFFENDS ME.*

Race Characters

*Not really.

Is Run Puma Run a cool game by a hip, forward-thinking brand, or just an example of blatant pandering to the coveted 30+ adult gamer demographic? I don’t know.

What I do know is that I just wasted ten minutes of my life playing it.

The Most Awesome Papercraft I’ve Ever Seen

FrobotAs someone who spends copious amounts of time on these here tubes, I’ve seen a bunch of great-looking papercrafts during my epic Pinterest and Tumblr time-wasting marathons, but none quite so awesome as the creations of Bryan from PaperFoldables.com.

He’s the same guy who did those super hip Adventure Time paper foldables that are currently making the rounds.

And I must say—wow!

Here’s a sampling of what you’ll find over there:

Paper Foldables

Papercraft

Bryan provides printable PDFs for all of his awesome creations–just click on any design.

If you’ve read this blog more than once, you know I’m a huge Ninja Turtles fan, so naturally my eye was immediately drawn to the kickass Krang foldable you see in the bottom left corner, above. Here’s what the PDF print-out looks like:

Krang Foldable Paper

Now go have fun decorating your office with ALL THE PAPER FOLDABLES. Just don’t hate me when you run out of printer ink.

Follow Bryan on Twitter (@paperfoldables) and tell him he rocks.