process

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The Monolith: Artist Gwyneth Leech Turns the Destructive Force of a New Building Into a Source of Inspiration

November 29, 2017

Christopher Jobson

NYC artist Gwyneth Leech is probably best known for her ongoing series of colorful painted cup suspensions, a project that began when she “bribed” herself with a cup of coffee in the morning on the way to her Midtown Manhattan studio, a mental trick to help overcome the nemesis of artist’s block and the drudgery of living in the city. Facing a string of personal losses, Leech was shocked to learn that the pending construction of a high-rise hotel would soon block her 13-story view of the skyline—she would also soon lose one of her primary sources of inspiration.

However, instead of moving to a new studio, Leech decided to incorporate the rising construction site into her artistic practice, painting the structure day by day as it slowly encroached outside her window. Filmmaker Angelo J. Guglielmo, Jr. deftly captures this flurry of creativity against a stark backdrop of grief. Via Ivan Kander for Short of the Week:

Proving the power of art, Leech is able to transform the pedestrian (like the coffee cups she’s famous for doodling on) into the profound. A construction site is magically transformed into a symbolic representation of one’s place in life. And, in turn, the film ends up being greater than sum of it’s parts—a short that while not the most polished visually, really grabs the viewer emotionally, without ever succumbing to saccharinity.

You can follow more of Leech’s artwork on Instagram.

 

 



The Secret Life of the Pencil: An Abstract Portrait Series of Today’s Creatives as Seen Through Their Pencils

November 8, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Celia Birtwell

Photographer Mike Tinney and industrial designer Alex Hammond were discussing the current state of technology and creativity when they had an observation: with enormous advances in technology, client demands for speed and quick turnaround often venture into the unreasonable leaving precious little time for thinking, sketching, or ideation. Despite advancements in software, the duo found that pencils remained central to their own process of formulating ideas and began to wonder if this held through across creative industries.

“The pencil and its ability to bridge the gap between hand and paper so effectively makes it exceptionally powerful, and as we’ve found, still much loved amongst the creative heroes of our generation,” shares Hammond. As they reached out to other established artists, designers, and photographers they began to request writing utensils to photograph using a special setup. “For each pencil we art directed the shoot to have a very subtle ‘nod’ to them or their work. When that wasn’t suitable, we let the pencil they had chosen to represent them talk for itself, documenting them in their purest form.”

Tinney and Hammond gathered the pencil portraits together in the new book The Secret Life of the Pencil available worldwide through Laurence King.

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Thomas Heatherwick

Henry Holland

Anish Kapoor

Nick Park

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The Painstaking 12-Month Process of Crafting a Traditional Korean Inlaid Lacquer Box

August 25, 2017

Laura Staugaitis

This four and a half minute-long video from Victoria & Albert Museum condenses the twelve months of meticulous labor that are required to make a traditional Korean inlaid lacquer box. Featuring skilled craftsman Lee Kwang-Woong, the video shows each of the many steps, starting with harvesting sap from a lacquer tree, and including fret sawing, charcoal polishing, and lacquer curing. Although we’re just spectators in the process, the behind-the-scenes footage makes the final product shots that much more satisfying. (via Core77)

 

 



New Text Drawings Formed by Letters From Religious Texts by Meg Hitchcock

September 6, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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It’s been awhile since we’ve written about Meg Hitchcock‘s work (previously), first covering her practice in 2011 when she spent 135 hours gluing tens of thousands of individuals letters from the Koran to transcribe the Book of Revelation from the Christian New Testament. Hitchcock continues to produce religious-based text works that dissect the word of God, discouraging her audience from a literal reading by ignoring punctuation and spacing in the sentences she forms. Recently her text drawings have become a bit more figural, forming feet, scarves, and niqabs on paper with thousands of sourced letters.

“The labor-intensive aspect of my work is a meditation practice as well as an exploration of the various forms of devotion,” said Hitchcock in an artist statement. “A long history in evangelical Christianity formed my core beliefs about God and transcendence, but I later relinquished the Christian path. I now gravitate toward Eastern Mysticism, and am deeply moved by Islam. My work is a celebration of the diverse experiences of spirituality and the universal need for connection with something greater than oneself. In the end, the holy word of God may be nothing more than a sublime expression of our shared humanity.”

Hitchcock’s work is currently presented in the group exhibition “This is Not a Book” at the San Jose Institute for Contemporary Art through September 11, 2016. (via Booooooom)

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Take a Peek Inside the Studio of Insectophile Sculptor Edouard Martinet

May 24, 2016

Christopher Jobson

Fascinated by the biological forms of insects, fish, and arthropods, artist Edouard Martinet assembles gargantuan depictions of the creatures with found automotive and bicycle parts. While we’ve shared many of his sculptures here on Colossal (previously here and here), this behind-the-scenes visit of his workshop sheds a fantastic light on the scale and detail of his creations. Martinet’s ability to build something so organic from mechanical components is nothing short of astounding. Directed by Will Farrell. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)

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A Wood Turned Bamboo Death Star by Frank Howarth

May 4, 2016

Christopher Jobson

In this new timelapse video, woodworker Frank Howarth (previously) demonstrates how he designed and constructed a replica of the Star Wars’ Death Star out of bamboo. The Portland-based designer, who also has a degree in architecture from Harvard, shares much of his behind-the-scenes processes through his wildly popular YouTube channel. I expected to skip through different parts of the video, but Howarth has an uncanny ability to film himself working, it really is worth watching the whole thing straight through. Even the sound design is great.

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A Fascinating Step-by-Step Animation Showing the Technique of Making a Bronze Cast

March 28, 2016

Christopher Jobson

Created for the Hadrian Exhibition at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem last December, this short animation details the elaborate process of creating a bronze cast using the lost-wax technique. The mix of stop motion and 2D animation is perfect for showing the materials used in each step along with helpful cross sections of what happens inside the mold. It’s so interesting to realize that the image depicted is transferred five times through different mediums —the original sculpture, plaster mold, wax, plaster again, bronze—before arriving at the final bronze artwork. Directed and animated by Renana Aldor and Kobi Vogman. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)