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July 31, 2013

The Work of Kymia Nawabi



I first met fine artist Kymia Nawabi at her graduate thesis show while we were both students at the University of Florida (we later became roommates when I first moved to New York). I was immediately drawn to her large scale mixed media work, filled with texture, disfigured bodies and limbs, swirling around in a controlled chaos. The pieces felt like surreal dreams or memories, deeply personal and sometimes bizarre or disturbing.

Kymia's latest work continues to explore new narratives and mythologies with expertly rendered figures, beautiful lines and intricate detail. I'm constantly blown away by her skilled use of different mediums, her drawing ability and the conceptual nature of her work. Her talents were on full display in 2011 as winner of Bravo's reality competition show "Work of Art: The Next Great Artist", resulting in a solo exhibition at The Brooklyn Museum. You can find more of Kymia's work at www.kymianawabi.com.


July 25, 2013

Drawing with Carly Jean Andrews



Carly Jean Andrews is an illustrator and artist based in Brooklyn, New York. We've been friends for a decade now, and I've watched her drawings and artwork evolve and grow throughout that time.

When I look at someone's art, I usually judge what's in front of me, the skill involved in making a specific piece, or the concepts and ideas behind it. I sometimes forget about the thousands of drawings, sketchbook pages, and hours spent defining an original style and point of view. Having followed Carly's work for the past ten years, I see that time and commitment in everything she does. She draws more than anyone I know, and it's evident in her confident linework, unique portraits and exploration of color and figure. These are some of her most recent drawings, and they remind me how your art can change and progress through years of constant practice. I look forward to seeing how this work continues to evolve over time.

For more of Carly's art (some NSFW) go to http://carlyjeanandrews.tumblr.com/


July 19, 2013

The Daily Battles of Mu Pan

Mu Pan is a New York based artist who creates some of the most visually rich work I've ever seen. I was lucky to meet him earlier this year and got a chance to talk about his process, while also getting a glimpse into two of his sketchbooks. Each page of these books can stand alone as a work of art. As a whole, they represent a daily exploration of his life, thoughts, and experiences melded with historical events, cultural icons, symbolism and epic conflict. Mu's art is his life's work, and he's fully committed to pushing it to its farthest limits. There's a lot to see in his paintings and drawings, so make sure you visit his website and blog to fully enjoy the scope and detail of it all.


July 4, 2013

Collabs with Boyd Shropshire

Boyd Shropshire is a talented graphic designer, musician and artist. He's also one of my old friends from the UF design program, my roommate when I moved to NYC, and frequent collaborator since 2005.

Our first collabs happened accidentally. While drawing on the same piece of paper, he crossed out what I had done and wrote some words on top of it. I think that unlocked something in my mind, that the drawings weren't precious. They could be fast, loose, weird and free. These pieces of paper lead to large-scale ink drawings, a two-person art show called Vernacular Shlamacular, collaborative sketchbooks, collages, songs, and creating the artwork for Kurt Vile's album "Childish Prodigy" on Matador Records.







Our two distinct styles created a third style, where you couldn't tell who did what. But the overall feel of the stuff we made was that we really didn't care what anybody thought about it. The important thing was to make the work.

Drawing is usually a very solo process. Just you, your sketchbook and pen. But I think collaborations are essential to revealing parts of your work that you didn't know existed. It's also awesome when you get to draw with your friends.

For Boyd's art and design, check out www.boydshropshire.com. He also runs a label with his girlfriend Cassandra called Wonderland Archives, where you can find his music alongside some other great artists.






May 2, 2013

From Street to Cardboard

I am mesmerized by German street artist DOME's series on cardboard. He paints human bodies with eerie postures and proportions. The decaying canvas sets the mood for his stencil characters, who emit the sense that they are falling apart as well. His use of mixed media is also intriguing. The work above was made with acrylic, pencil, and espresso. Overall, it's gloomy, dingy, and endlessly fascinating.


November 29, 2012

Saturated

You can't discuss Diela Maharanie's art without praising her prismatic, high-gloss, candy-like use of color. But, it's the colored noses of her women - a mere dab on the face - that somehow command my attention even amidst a wild assortment of patterns and animals. It's as if their skin has saturated the vibrant world they inhabit.

You now have the chance to color her work yourself - Diela is one of the 60 artists featured in our new coloring book!


April 10, 2012

How to be Instagram Popular

I drew the image above almost seven months ago, but it feels more fitting today than it did then. In the last week, Instagram went from being just a popular iPhone photo app to becoming the most popular photo sharing tool the world has ever seen.

A few days ago they released an Android phone version and just yesterday Facebook bought them for one billion dollars. They boast well over 30 million users and now with Facebook on their side, I expect that number will quickly double.

Like any huge network that hosts people sharing things, you get a lot of crap. A lot of garbage that finds its way onto the "popular" page too. If that's your objective, follow the steps above and you'll get there sooner rather than later. But if you ache for the creative and the inspired, I've been putting a list together of some really cool artists that hang out and share what they're working on.







It's a good resource if you're just joining the community and I expect to be adding more along the way (feel free to share it with others). You can find parts one, two and three here and while on Instagram, stay in touch, follow me by searching OKAT or DOODLERS.




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