Archive for the ‘interviews’ Category
Building cityscapes out of pen, ink and watercolors, Gabriel Campanario can be seen throughout the streets of Seattle capturing the city’s subtle nuances and familiar landmarks both in the pages of his sketchbooks and in his Seattle Sketcher column for the Seattle Times. Even more inspirational is Gabriel’s dedication to the art of sketching. Seeking artistic community and a place to share and celebrate ideas, he spearheaded the Urban Sketchers movement, created to connect artists the world over through the art of sketching. With a network of sketch groups in over 30 countries around the globe, urban sketchers draw on location, immortalizing their cities through lines and colors, and visually sharing their adventures with each other and the world online.
Sketch by sketch, Urban Sketchers has grown and gained momentum, with the latest project resulting in a book filled with over 500 illustrations by artists of all backgrounds. The book not only showcases artists’ sketchbooks, but also discusses each artist’s inspirations, drawing process, and techniques. Inspired to grab her pen and watercolors and start sketching on the spot, Culture Vixen’s Gayle Wheatley caught up with Gabriel to find out more about his illustrated life.
The first time I came across the art of Nancy Mungcal, aka Pretty Little Thieves, I was smitten. I love the way Nancy’s fun illustrations and stylized drawings evoke an aura of distinct playfulness. Her work is delightfully whimsical and I love the way she’s built up a personal repertoire of iconography that is seamlessly threaded into each of her characters throughout her compositions. From drawings to paintings to illustrations, Nancy has a way of creating beautiful shapes and patterns in the most dynamic way. Her art has an appealing folksy charm about it that makes it really unique. So I tracked Nancy down to ask her more about her art process…
Gayle: How did you get started as an artist?
Nancy: I have the typical drawing and making things as a child story. I never really stopped. A few years ago I decided to put my work out there.
Take a moment to prepare yourself because what you’re about to read may shock you, may confound you, may make you glad you’re not reading this out loud to your children.
The Wii remote is not a golf club.
I know, many of us wish that wasn’t true, but no matter how much the Tiger Woods PGA Tour PR team might tell you it is, the small rectangular controller is not. Attempting to recreate your golf grip and swing is almost futile, but that doesn’t stop die-hard golfers from trying. However, now there’s an alternative: the Chicken Stick. What may in fact be the adorable love child of a 9iron and the Nintendo Wii, the Chicken Stick, made by the company Bad Chicken, is a virtual golfer’s dream come true.
The Chicken Stick takes the upper half of a golf club (complete with Golf Pride grip and True Temper® shaft) and grafts on a sturdy holder for the Wii remote. Combined with the Wii and Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf, it offers the promise of allowing the player to bring their real world swing to the virtual course. But is it too good to be true?
Being obsessed with golf, I had to try it out. I had spent several weeks coming up with the best way to hold the remote that let me somewhat recreate my golf grip, but it still wasn’t the same. But after unboxing the Chicken Stick and playing 18 virtual holes, there is no doubt about it, the Chicken Stick does add an unbelievable level of realism to Tiger Woods PGA Tour golf, second only to having a true golf simulator.
I enjoyed the experience of taking a full grip and swinging the club as I played St. Andrews or Torrey Pines, so much so that now I can’t imagine playing the game without it. I’m dependent upon the ‘Stick and in my house it’s become a mandatory accessory.
But the question remains: is it worth the steep $40 price tag? Truthfully, that depends upon your level of obsession. For the casual player, probably not. But for anyone on the fence about purchasing one who has dreamed of having a driving range in their living room complete with a launch monitor detailing your face angle, swing plane, and launch angle, it’s worth every penny.
Having worked as a product designer, I was intrigued by both the concept and execution of the Chicken Stick. I had the chance to interview Bad Chicken co-founder Jordan Brandt about his design process, what it was like designing the Chicken Stick, what design hurdles had to be overcome, and what’s in store for the future.
Gwen van den Eijnde is a genius costume designer whose intricately designed garments reflect his immeasurable creative capacity. His costumes evoke a charming spirit of dark romanticism that borders on the bizarre, while remaining gracefully enchanting and ever-innovative. Gwen’s costumes all have a unique contemporary twist that juxtaposes classically-inspired touches like crowns made from wooden piano keys, and abundant Renaissance period embellishments.
Through precise attention to detail, including make-up and styling, Gwen’s costumes seem to take on theatrical lives of their own—a sheer reflection of his talent. Culture Vixen’s Gayle Wheatley had a chance to chat with Gwen about his art:
Gayle: Where do you find inspiration for your costumes?
Gwen: The inspiration for my costumes mixes historical and contemporary. I’m using forms and elements especially from the baroque times and I try to interpret them in a modern way. I’m also very inspired by costume in films: I grew up watching Peter Greenaway’s movies and Jacques Demy’s film “Donkey Skin.”
Gayle: What first drew you to costume design, and how did you get your start?
Gwen: I started to make costumes when I was still a student in Strasbourg at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs (2000-2005). Originally I wanted to be an illustrator and I also studied Animated Cinema. By means of my costumes I create characters that I bring to life by turning into fantasy beings during performances.
Panaz designer dress
Charlotte Hudders is a talented fashion designer who creates not only visually inventive designs, but exciting costumes as well. Hailing from the UK, Charlotte also spends time abroad in Bali drawing inspiration for her designs. The way she translates her ideas into illustrations and watercolors before ultimately transforming those into fabric is fascinating to observe. Culture Vixen had the chance to talk in depth with Charlotte about her work.
Gayle Wheatley (GW): How did you decide to pursue design and how did you get started as a designer?
Charlotte Hudders (CH): I was always very passionate about art and design at school. My parents encouraged my brothers and I to be creative. My mum is an artist and trained as a dressmaker. She would make us wonderful outfits and costumes growing up. I think that is probably where my passion for fashion and costumes began!
After leaving school I studied art foundation for a year before going on to study theater and performance design at Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.
Although I was drawn to studying fashion and textiles, I still wanted to expand my knowledge in other areas of design. The course enabled me to explore a range of different design opportunities: costume, fashion, set design, and prop making. Being able to learn these different disciplines has really enabled me to push the boundaries of fashion and costume design by using unconventional techniques and materials.
Dress made from shopping bags, Cricket Boutique
GW: What is the craziest costume you’ve ever designed?
CH: I love designing costumes that incorporate prop making into them. I designed a costume based on the character ‘Silky’ from the Enid Blyton book The Magical Faraway Tree where the theme was to design it as though Terry Gilliam directed the screen version. Instead of having beautiful silky hair like the story suggests, the costume depicted a much darker side to Silky’s nature. Her skirt suggests that she has come out of a cocoon and that she was originally a silk worm! The organic nature of her costume reflects her natural environment, dried out cabbages are sewn into the corset with elements of hand painting and burnt out organza (pictured below).
Roller derby is sweeping the country by storm and derby counterculture is in turn ballooning, creating an entire empire centered upon strong, sexy women. Armed with clever names and flashy outfits, these tough all-girl squads are kicking some serious butt.
Culture Vixen’s Gayle Wheatley tracked down Sandra Frame, storyboard and animation artist by day, who moonlights as the mighty Tara Armov of the LA Derby Dolls by night. In an exclusive in-depth interview, Tara shares insight into her two passions: skating and art.
Gayle Wheatley (GW): Which came first, art or roller derby, and how did you get your start in each? Which of these two passions is closer to your heart?
Tara Armov (TA): The art definitely came first! I’ve drawn for the majority of my life. Derby came along about seven years ago.
It’s hard to say which is closer to my heart as both have had a profound effect on me in different ways but sometimes over the same issues. Being insecure yet able to express myself through either art or derby are reoccurring thoughts and feelings in my life.
GW: What inspires you as an artist? How has roller derby played a part in your art?
TA: I think both art and derby let me express emotions and feelings that I can’t do any other way. I find inspiration in vibrant colors and dynamic compositions in art, usually figurative in one form or another. Derby just boosts what I already get inspired by to begin with.
Sandy Ostrau’s wonderful paintings are filled with lush splashes of colorful energy. Composed on location, Sandy paints iconic Northern California landscapes, adding her own distinct artistic zest. As a result, Sandy’s paintings have an indescribable magical element about them. Light spills dynamically down dizzying hillsides, telephone wires are braided together with thick brush strokes of sky, waves swallow tiny chunks of rock, and the sea and sky duel for dominance over the horizon line.
Culture Vixen’s Gayle Wheatley caught up with Sandy to discuss art and creative inspirations.
Gayle Wheatley: How did you get your start as an artist?
Sandy Ostrau: Even as a kid art was my thing. I drew and painted on everything through high school and into college studying Art History. I started selling hand painted furniture, clothing, and ceramics in the 90′s and had a contract for my designs with Nordstrom department stores selling silk screened designs as wearable art. My line was selling well but I was spending too much of my time on sales and business and less and less time on art so I closed up shop and began taking oil painting and drawing classes at the Palo Alto Art Center. I fell in love with oil, a very forgiving medium, and began to focus on plein-air landscape painting.
GW: What are some of your artistic inspirations?
SO: I found two fabulous teachers, Brigitte Curt and Jim Smyth and studied painting with them. Over the years I was influenced by Bay Area artists Seldon Gile and the Society of Six artists and many of the iconic artists of the Bay Area Figurative movement including Richard Diebenkorn and Elmer Bischoff. From this influence I have developed my own style of modern landscapes.
Emily Weil is a talented artist based in Oakland, California who creates stunning large-format watercolors. Her mixed media Abstract Series (pictured here) combines watercolors with varied materials such as charcoal, ink, pencil, pastel, and even some good old “French dirt”. In addition to her work as an artist, Emily is also the founder of Red Eye Design, a graphic design studio with an impressive client list that includes Bon Appétit, UC Santa Barbara, and Sony Entertainment.
Culture Vixen caught up with Emily to find out more about her creative process:
Culture Vixen: How did you get started as an artist?
Emily Weil: I’ve always had a pencil in my hand, it seems, since I was little. Went to art school (CCAC), studied graphic design. Along the way I took various watercolor workshops, loving that medium. A year and a half ago I stumbled upon the artist and gifted teacher, Leigh Hyams, teaching an art workshop at Esalen, on the central California coast. She encourages her students to toss out the rules, and things learned at school, and be true to the feelings and passions that move us as creative humans, using our own powerful, personal voices. I try to express myself authentically and honestly. I certainly work best when I am not worrying about the final product, or what someone more talented than I am might think about my work!