Friday, June 27, 2008

Color Me Bad

Ok, I have to be honest with you, I really really didn't see this trend coming but for the last week or two I've been seeing coloring books and crayons running rampant across this world wide web of ours. Witness:

Pages from the gangsta rap coloring book by Aye Jay Moreno. I imagine that this is what Hope would have colored in when she was 4. The rest of us weren't that cool for another 20 years. For the less hip color-er, there's this option:

From the Executive Coloring Book by Marcie Hans, Dennis Altman & Martin A. Cohen. It's totally worth reading this for the captions, the one above says: "THIS IS ME, I am an executive. Executives are important. they go to important offices and do important things. Color my underwear important." If only I had that color!

As usual, some kids over on etsy are catching on:
Top row: The Iraq War Activity Book by a4ds, Bottom row, The Bottom Drawer Coloring book, by Interrobang. I can't get enough of that silly tattoo on her back. My husband would probably color the hell out of this book but I won't let him, ha ha.

The crayon and coloring mania continues with some awesome sculptures and actual carved crayons. Etsy seller Crayon Fawn recycles old crayons to make these cute sweet deer. I used to melt crayons in cupcake tins but they were that silly boring shape and all the colors just melted together into one big sad coloring party of tears.

Artist Diem Chau actually takes the time to hand whittle incredibly detailed people out of crayons. I don't have the patience to color a whole picture so there's no way in hell you're going to find me taking a small blade to colored wax for hours on end. But, man, they are awesome!

Diem Chau has a total rival out there in the crayon carving world, Pete Goldlust. I wonder, if these two met would they be the perfect couple or mortal enemies. I curse at you crayon enemy! Could be fun?

I think it's interesting that Chau's crayons are of people, and a bit softer while Goldlusts are so architectural and masculine. You could trap one of Chau's girls in those crayons. Danger!

I also came across John Zoller who's using the coloring book style of drawing in his artwork:
Coal Cars Coming Out of a Mine in West Virginia from the United States Color and Learn series. Zoller decided coloring book style just wasn't enough, so he went ahead and added Acrylic, Glitter, Rhinestones, Pipe Cleaners and Phosphorescent paint to his 20 x 24 piece. DE-LIGHT-FUL!

If you're into coloring, but not so much into books and maybe very into walls (like me!) you might want to purchase this made to be colored wallpaper:

Sitting Comfortably wallpaper available at minimoderns. I love that they incorporated actual classic chair designs. My walls could totally rock this.

Here are some other great coloring finds:

Sample pages from Fake Project. Fake Project gives graffiti artists a chance to try their chops before takin it to the streets. Good thing, how embarrassing would it be if you found out in front of all of your friends that your tag looked stupid on a giant billboard. Thanks Fake Project!

Apparently, the Chinese have been onto this coloring thing for a while and have been marketing coloring books to adults in a more mainstream setting, they even have a coloring for the elderly section

Graphic designer, Mimiko Akiyama, has created a Song Colouring Book especially for the elderly. The book features illustrations based on old nursery rhymes and popular songs. Filling in the colours, thus moving your hands, and singing the illustrated songs are ways for the elderly to stimulate their minds. Crazy.

All colored out? Well, I've got one more thing to show you then you're dismissed to recess where you can go color on your own:
Fan coloring book from the Loretta Lynn concert that Jen Posted on over at The Naughty Secretary Club blog. I think this was the first coloring book I noticed (because it's awesome!) and ever since I've been seeing them pop up everywhere.

So, that's that. Get out some crayons, draw some line shapes on your vans, and you'll totally be the most popular kid in class for the next 5 days.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tentacles instead of Toes

It’s no big secret that tentacled sea creatures have been all the rage in the world of Indie arts and crafts for sometime now. Variations on the squid and the octopus were bounded to happen, I just wasn’t expecting a Victorian slant. That’s right Victorian as in big houses with gingerbread woodwork, frilly dresses with bustles and guys with skinny mustaches and top hats. Think 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea meets The Age of Innocence.

A fun example I first spotted on the Fabulist was the work of Dan Hiller. He has an amazing set of prints with mom, dad and their daughter all half man half cellaphod. Enter Modofly who makes the prints portable in the form of journals.

Perhaps my favorite of all the Octopus people is the work of Ray Cesar. I first stumbled upon Ray in an issue of Juxtapoz Magazine and was mesmerized. Ray often works with the theme of Victorian lady/girls that just so happen to have tentacles instead of toes. Ebb Tide is a perfect example.

Of course Etsy artists, who are often more ahead of the curve than most have their fair share of examples. Starting at the top corner we have Ten Arms for You by The Black Apple, Edward by 315 Thomas, Octo Girl by Cicada Field Journal and Hunters Princess by Anne Julie.

I’m waiting with baited breath for half jellyfish people from the 80’s. Feathered hair and blue eye shadow on top with stringy tentacles on the bottom.