We're Still Here—Colossal Turns 10!

August 18, 2020


Image for Colossal by Dave Whyte

Today, Colossal is officially 10 years old. 👏 🎉 👏 🎉 👏 What began as the personal blog of our founder and editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson has since grown into an international platform for publishing the work of artists, designers, and other wildly creative people from all walks of life.

Reaching more than 152 million visitors and serving nearly a half-billion pageviews, we’ve shared the creative output of more than 6,000 artists, both emerging and established. Colossal has curated exhibitions, film programs, partnered with incredible artists and institutions, and interviewed some of the most interesting artists working today.

As many of you can probably relate, almost all plans we made to celebrate our 10th year publishing have been systematically rescheduled, canceled, or otherwise delayed due to Covid-19. We had so many exciting things to share with you, and for now, it’s all on the back burner. This time has also made it difficult for us to make plans—and even struggle to exist—as our revenue model has shifted toward a platform that is supported more through our members than advertising. We can say vaguely that the Colossal Shop will return imminently, we’re soon to launch an annual grant for artists, and a handful of exhibitions are in the cards whether virtual or in real life.

Colossal doesn’t exist in a vacuum. In addition to readers, there are dozens of other publications that have contributed directly to our existence, and we’ve tried our best to reciprocate the love. We’d like to take a moment specifically to send an internet high-five to the people and publications that have helped guide us along the way including Spoon & Tamago, This Isn’t Happiness, Kottke, My Modern Met, Hyperallergic, designboom, swissmiss, Hi-Fructose, Juxtapoz, Booooooom, StreetArtNews, The Jealous Curator, Brain Pickings, Visual Fodder, It’s Nice That, Creative Boom, and The Kid Should See This. These publications help form the backbone of our visual and culture diet and you should read every single one of them.

And lastly, thank you to our incredible contributors: Laura Staugaitis, Kate Sierzputoski, Grace Ebert, Johnny Waldman, Andrew LaSane, Sasha Bogojev, Anna Marks, and Vanessa Ruiz (and welcome, Claire Voon!). Their words have helped bring the work of thousands to life here on this site, and Colossal simply wouldn’t exist without them.

With your help, our path forward is much clearer than it was just a few months ago. For those of you who have become Colossal Members, THANK YOU. Your support means everything to us and has put us in a position to not just exist but potentially to grow in the coming months.



Art Colossal

Interview: Artist Roberto Benavidez Shares His Fascination with Paper Sculpture and the Stories Behind His Fantastical Piñatas

May 26, 2020

Grace Ebert

From the Hieronymus Bosch Piñatas series. All images © Roberto Benavidez, shared with permission

Harboring an ongoing fascination with the piñata, artist Roberto Benavidez (previously) centers his practice on translation as he crafts fantastical creatures and scenes from Hieronymus Bosch’s paintings, medieval manuscripts, and landscape photographs.

When it comes to the form, that’s the challenge for me. The sculptor in me wants to not necessarily replicate the reference material but to capture the spirit of it. At times making adjustments that are either self-referential or just a play on the history of the piñata.

In the most recent interview available to Colossal Members, Benavidez dives into religion, sin, and how conceptions of his own identity impact his sculptures, no matter their original sources. He speaks with managing editor Grace Ebert about the joys of working within the constraints of paper and limiting himself to traditional aspects of piñata making.


From the Illuminated Piñata series



Art Colossal

Interview: Artist Lola Dupré Discusses Change, Technology, and the Financial Pressures of Creative Work

May 19, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Keith,” 16.5 x 11.5 inches. All images © Lola Dupré, shared with permission

Artist Lola Dupré (previously) is devoted to the tangible, a dedication that anchors her practice of physically cutting and pasting paper and photographs into surreal collages.

I think people become so fixated on a rigid belief that they refuse to discuss other ideas. It makes them angry. I think one of the best things you can do, one of the most powerful things you can do, is change your mind about something. Let go of your belief in being correct and accept that everything can be done better, said better.

She recently discussed her earliest influences, how she’s coping in the current moment, and her fascination with algorithms and data in the latest interview for Colossal Members.

“Lunna” for Le Mile Magazine #21




Skillshare Classes to Engage Your Creativity through Watercolor Flora, Striking Posters, and Houseplant Care

April 13, 2020

Grace Ebert

Considering many of you found our previous Skillshare picks useful, we thought we’d share another selection of courses from the popular online platform that we’re loving here at Colossal. This next round encompasses art, design, and even the basics of home gardening in simple, multi-lesson units. If you need some completely offline entertainment, check out these modern puzzles and DIY kits, too.

Designed for novices, this watercolor course by illustrator Rosalie Haizlett teaches the basics of rendering natural features. She’ll walk through taking reference photos, sketching, layering paint, and adding texture to create vibrant mushrooms and ferns.


Based in East Sussex, artist Seb Lester (previously) guides students through essential calligraphy techniques in his 15-lesson course. You’ll learn to write your name with elegant flourishes and even get a printable workbook for an extra dose of instruction.


Designers Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips offer a basic graphic design course that explains the principles of scale, framing, grids, and hierarchy. Previous students have designed a variety of spreads like the one above, and the instructors say the main takeaway is this: “Graphic design is all about relationships — the relationships between one design element and another, that element and the page, and that element and yourself.”


Learn to adorn hand-drawn letters with beautiful florals in Gemma O’Brien’s 12 lessons. The Australian artist utilizes drawing techniques with digital collage, creating a dramatic combination of the two.


Based on his own poster-a-day project, digital artist and photographer Temi Coker is offering a course focused on merging type and images into striking posters. He leads students through capturing the right images and Photoshop basics and even provides a guide for sharing work on social media.


While this pick has a slightly different focus, it’ll still get your hands just as dirty as learning to use watercolor or hand-lettering with ink. Botanist Chris Satch from The Sill teaches potting techniques, basic care, troubleshooting, and ways to ensure that your houseplants thrive.


Alanna Cartier knows that capturing high-quality and effective photographs of artwork can be difficult. In her 11-lesson course for all skill levels, the Toronto-based artist and illustrator teaches how to take effective images for social media and online shops without spending an entire day.



Art Colossal

Interview: A Conversation with Artist Nicolas V. Sanchez Explores His Relationship to Family, Memory, and Identity

April 6, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Toro Patina (Blanco)” (2019), colored ballpoint pen, 10 x 15 inches. All images © Nicolas V. Sanchez, shared with permission

Known for his unbelievably realistic drawings rendered in ballpoint pen, New York City-based artist Nicolas V. Sanchez discusses his technique and subject matter, which ranges from domestic scenes to farm animals. In the latest interview for Colossal Members, Sanchez draws connections between his family, memories of his childhood, and how those have shaped his identity.

Left: “El Colorado” (2020), colored ballpoint pen, 10 x 14 inches. Right: “El Giro de Oro” (2020), colored ballpoint pen, 10 x 14 inches



Art Colossal

Interview: Tiffanie Turner Discusses Her Evolving Understanding of Beauty and How the Climate Crisis Impacts Her Realistic Florals

March 23, 2020

Grace Ebert

Photo by Shaun Roberts, courtesy of Eleanor Harwood Gallery

San Francisco-based artist Tiffanie Turner is known for creating large-scale paper flowers that embody themes of beauty and aging. In the latest interview for Colossal Members, Turner spoke with our managing editor, Grace Ebert, about her relationship to botany, how she manages her time, and the role teaching plays in her work.



A Colossal


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