animals

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Photography

Richly Hued Portraits of Elegant Chinese Goldfish by Tsubaki

June 25, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Evanescent fins, pebbled hoods, and glowing orange scales of small fish take center stage in photographs by Tsubaki. The Taiwanese photographer shares with Colossal that they seek to “let more people appreciate this beauty from the Chinese world, which represents peace, beauty and richness.” People have been cultivating goldfish for thousands of years, Tsubaki explains, and their presence is replicated in patterns ranging from wood carving to textiles. The photographer is interested in showcasing creatures of such ancient and historic meaning using a modern technique.

Tsubaki is especially drawn to Lionhead goldfish, but also documents Ranchu, Red Hat, Tosakin, and Ryukin breeds. Each photograph features a solitary fish, with a black background bringing out the translucent colors and elegant silhouettes of the aquatic animals. You can see more of Tsubaki’s fish studies on Behance and Instagram.

 

 



Design Food

An Everyday Ritual Becomes a Zoological Tour with a Japanese Company’s Animal Tea Bags

June 17, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Japanese tea company Ocean Tea Bag elevates an everyday ritual into an animal adventure. Intricate tea bag designs range from giant squids and otters to red pandas and cephalopods. Layers, folds, and perforations help to create the details of each creature’s body, which also doubles as a pouch for the tea blend inside. The company was created by Takahashi Shota and launched its first product, a dolphin design, with a crowdfunding campaign in 2015. Since then, Shota has added a vast menagerie of animals to the product line. Luckily, the company started accepting overseas orders just a few weeks ago. Sets of individual animals/flavors and variety packs are available on the Ocean Tea Bag website.

 

 



Illustration

Frazzled Cats Formed From Hundreds of Hatched Lines by Luis Coelho

June 14, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Meeko, Zipps, and Bubi”

Illustrator Luis Coelho uses cross-hatching and stippling to form wide-eyed and bushy-tailed cats, armadillos, and flying squirrels. The seemingly surprised stylized animals are built using carefully placed short lines that build texture and volume. Coelho, who lives in his hometown of Guimarães, Portugal, shares with Colossal that he has had a lifelong affinity for art. After studying painting and illustration in college and in Barcelona, he explored other paths for several years. Coelho returned to art in seeking the meditative qualities of the practice:

One day I gave both my two nieces a blank sheet and I told them that they would have to decide what animals should appear on those white papers and that then I would have to draw those animals for them. I also told that those animals would be the guardians of their dreams and whenever they needed to get out of a nightmare they just needed to call them. What I didn’t know at that moment was that those two drawings marked the very beginning of the style that I’m working today.

Inspired by the delight he felt in collaborating with his nieces, Coelho has focused his formerly wide-ranging art practice on animal interpretations for the young and young at heart. “Maybe because it started this way, I feel like all my creatures seem to have come out of a dream world, somewhat obscure but also adorable,” Coelho explains. Through sharing his work online, the artist has been able to leave his office job and pursue illustration full-time. You can see more from Coelho on his web shop and Instagram, where he accepts commissions. If you enjoy these critters, also look into the work of Kamwei Fong and Lindsey Thomas.

“Johnny Crumpets”

“Papami”

“Phoebe”

“Plopsy”

“Puffin”

“Panpan”

“Zipps”

 

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Art Illustration

Black and White Illustrations by Redmer Hoekstra Merge Animals with Architectural Elements

June 13, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Netherlands-based artist Redmer Hoekstra (previously) presents surreal depictions of animals merged with architectural exteriors and everyday objects. The illustrator combines hawks and bell towers, giraffes and toothbrushes, and imagines a goose composed of saxophones rather than feathers. The playful drawings are both literal and abstract: one sad wiener dog is tied in the middle  like an edible frank, and pair of swans’ soft tufted feathers fly off like dandelion seeds. Soon Hoekstra will begin a large-scale drawing titled “Noah’s Ark II,” a reimagining of the famous boat occupied by the animals “that didn’t make it,” he explains to Colossal. You can see more of the artist’s work on Behance and Instagram, and view works for sale in his shop.

 

 



Art Photography

Rugged Greenery and Soaring Birds Unite Abstracted Landscapes of Iceland and Botswana

June 11, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Iceland

Photographer Zack Seckler (previously) continues to document the Earth’s surface from above. The New York-based artist travels to a wide range of landscapes, and flies above them in small airplanes to provide a zoomed-out perspective. His abstracted images simultaneously show the unique beauty of each location’s topography, while also highlighting the continuity of our shared planet. In places as different as Botswana and Iceland, the rippling surface and cool tones of waterways, the graceful paths of birds in flight, and the rich texture of forests and brush are united in their rugged beauty.

Seckler’s upcoming solo show, Above, at ClampArt in New York City opens on June 27 and runs through August 9, 2019. You can see more from the artist on Facebook and Instagram.

Botswana

Iceland

Botswana

Iceland

Botswana

Iceland

Botswana

 

 



Art

Shadowy Animals Infiltrate Desolate Spaces in Illustrations by Jenna Barton

June 8, 2019

Andrew LaSane

“Stairwell” – Images courtesy of Jenna Barton

Utah-based illustrator Jenna Barton (previously) creates shadowy portraits of animals inspired by her dreams, travels, experiences, and the aesthetic and emotions of the rural environments where she grew up. While she does integrate watercolor into some of her illustrations, Barton’s work is primarily digital. The style she refers to as “magical-realism-animal-gothic” came about around 2017, after she completed her BFA in Illustration and decided to take some time to escape the constraints of school and to focus on art that she cared about.

I hark back a lot to my childhood in Idaho, as well as looking to my current environment in Utah, to inform my work. I’d like to capture the strange emotions that I always felt in rural and empty places, and the daydreams I’ve had there. It’s those liminal spaces that I like best, and I’m interested in the structures that bring the human world into nature—radio towers, houses, power lines—especially in the absence of humans themselves.

Barton tells Colossal that many of her subjects are mammals because they share traits with humans, “while at the same time existing in a very different world from them.” Lurking big cats and silhouetted dogs and deer stare blankly with white eyes and stoic postures against relatively simple backgrounds—a window, a staircase, clouds—which give the illustrations a sense of mystery. “Animals with elegant silhouettes, like canines and deer, are special favorites for their graceful looks and sense of motion,” Barton explains. “I give most of my subjects glowing white eyes to indicate the presence of a supernatural element and to suggest that the figures pictured are something between animals and spirits, or gods.”

Barton’s otherworldly works are available as prints via her webstore, and you can also check out more of her animal portraits on Instagram.

“Tracers”

“Gone Cold”

“Grease and Smoke”

“Sentinels”

“Black Lamb”

“Shiver”

 

 



Art

PangeaSeed’s Sea Walls Program Works to Save Earth’s Oceans One Mural at a Time

June 2, 2019

Andrew LaSane

NYCHOS

Combining art and activism, the PangeaSeed Foundation is a Hawaii-based nonprofit organization that is doing its part to help save Earth’s waters with its “Sea Walls: Artists For Oceans” international mural program. Since its inception in 2014, over 350 ocean-themed murals have been painted in 15 countries by the organization’s network of over 300 artists. With activations in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Mexico, and several other locations around the globe, the initiative engages the public and educates the world about critical environmental issues threatening our most precious resources through art, film screenings, and discussions.

PangeaSeed founder and executive director Tré Packard tells Colossal that when it comes to choosing which artists to work with and what they should paint, balance and community are key. “We always aim to create a balance between international, national and local artists,” he said. “Over the years, with the Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans program being nomadic, we’ve learned the importance of community ownership of the murals once we’ve packed up and left town. There tends to be so many incredible local creatives in the areas we host projects, so we work hand in hand with the local project director to help identify local artists who we invite to participate in the project.” Artists are given a list of topics to choose from and together with the team narrow it down to one. The murals are site-specific in that they address issues relevant to the places where they are painted. Some artists have even connected with local scientists and activists during the planning stage to better inform their designs.

Aaron Glasson and Jason Botkin

“The beauty of public art lies in the fact that it is a public good where even ‘non-artsy’ folks can be touched and empowered by experiencing the process or the finished product,” Packard said about the mural  program. “In addition to encouraging other artists to create for a purpose, our chief goal is to effect positive behavioral change at the individual and community level, so we’re thrilled when fans who aren’t artistically inclined are moved.” As for ways that people can get involved and help, he suggests finding ways to use less plastic, eating sustainable seafood, and voting for politicians with ocean-minded ideas.

Packard says that there are some dream projects on the horizon for Sea Walls, but those details are still under wraps for now. To learn more about the foundation and its upcoming activations, follow @pangeaseed and @Seawalls_ on social media.

Aaron Glasson and Jason Botkin (detail)

Seth Globepainter

Curiot

James Bullough and Li Hill

Onur

Phlegm

Sepe

Spok

Vans the Omega