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Craft Illustration

Dried Botanics Pressed into Delicate Fauna Compositions by Artist Helen Ahpornsiri

May 28, 2020

Anna Marks

All images © Helen Ahpornsiri, shared with permission

England-based artist Helen Ahpornsiri (previously) presses delicate flowers and plants into wondrous artworks that depict the colorful diversity of the natural world. By foraging botanics from her garden, Ahpornsiri pieces the dried natural matter together in a manner that’s similar to constructing a jigsaw puzzle. “I prefer to use fern and common wildflower species as I like the idea of giving something unassuming, or thought of as a weed, a new narrative—and they are relatively easy to grow!” she says. “The marine algae I use is foraged from beaches on the south coast of England. I search for loose pieces of marine algae along strandlines and in rockpools, especially after stormy seas, to avoid being disruptive to the surrounding ecosystem.”

The artist’s collection features mammals and insects from across the animal kingdom—ranging from peacocks and bees to elephants—some of which are aligned with tiny pieces of gold leaf that reflect the sparkling color and vibrancy of the species she creates. Upon close inspection, the flowers’ color appears faded from the drying process, similar to the way watercolors dry and bleed into their canvas. In one of the artist’s most recent pieces, a comet moth is mounted on black board, with its antenna crafted from a minuscule leaf that elegantly depicts the fragility of the insect’s anatomy.

You can see more of Ahpornsiri’s delicate botanic compositions on her website, on Instagram, and via her shop.

 

 

 



Amazing Science

Deep-Sea Exploration in the Ningaloo Canyons Unveils Gripping Footage of Undiscovered Aquatic Life

May 26, 2020

Grace Ebert

Plunge into the serene depths of the Indian Ocean through new 4K footage from the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s recent dive into the Ningaloo Canyons off the western coast of Australia. Previously unseen by researchers, the exploration captures aquatic life and swaths of the seafloor that have gone unexplored for years. Spanning 180 hours in total, the underwater adventure led to the discovery of more than 30 new aquatic species, in addition to the longest animal ever recorded. A member of the Apolemia genus, the record-breaking organism reaches an unprecedented 154 feet.

The humanless dive used the ROV Sebastian, a robotic underwater vehicle that can bear the pressure of 14,750 feet below water for lengthy durations, far more than people are capable of. See more of the institute’s mesmerizing videos on YouTube and find an extensive collection of deep-sea footage on its site. (via PetaPixel)

 

 

 



Design

This Japanese Zoo is Using Stuffed Capybaras to Visualize Social Distancing

May 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images by @chacha0rca

Take a seat for lunch at Izu Shabonten Zoo in Shizuoka, Japan, and meet your plush dining partners. To help restaurant patrons visualize social distancing guidelines, the zoo has occupied chairs with stuffed capybaras. The soft toys encourage diners to space out among the tables and maintain an appropriate distance.

With only a few other cuddly creatures in the mix, the institution’s main choice is a nod to its decades-long fascination with the giant rodent. Izu Zoo boasts a plethora of capybara-themed programming and souvenirs and also is credited with creating open-air hot baths in 1982 that offer the animals, which are native to South America, a place to bathe, relax, and warm up during cold winters.

Although many of us won’t be visiting the wild creatures in the near future, you can get a glimpse at their steamy retreats below. For similarly visual social distancing, check out Singapore’s tape demarcations. (via Spoon & Tamago)

 

 

 



Art Craft

Hundreds of Intricately Cut Layers Compose Impeccably Detailed Wildlife Sculptures by Patrick Cabral

May 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Patrick Cabral

Manila-based artist Patrick Cabral (previously) layers paper incised with decorative motifs and lacy patterns into dazzling sculptural portraits of wildlife. Ribbed tentacles with alternating gold and white dangle from an octopus, while elegant pieces comprise a rhinoceros’s exterior. Each multi-layered work contains hundreds of individual paper pieces that are entirely hand-cut.

The crowned lion (shown below) spans more than five feet and is one of Cabral’s largest projects to date. “Working on a piece like this is a paradox. It’s a lot of work that usually spans around 3 months. I love the whole process of cutting because it’s sort of meditative for me,” he writes on Instagram. “It’s opposite though once I started assembling the pieces together because it becomes really stressful (especially) on pieces as big as this.”

For more of the artist’s intricate compositions, head to Behance and Instagram.

 

 

 



Craft

A Hypochondriac’s Obsession is Amplified in Mesmerizing Anatomical Mandalas Cut From Paper

May 5, 2020

Vanessa Ruiz

All images © Makerie Studio

For a hypochondriac, any sense of pain or discomfort can be a point of fixation, something specifically known as somatic symptom disorder. This type of obsession inspired paper artist Julie Wilkinson to create a project that would not only distract her from this consuming condition but also bring awareness to an often misunderstood disorder. Her project is aptly titled Manifestation.

Wilkinson told Fubiz that she’s “been hypochondriac for as long as I can remember, and I have always had a fascination with medicine and the psychology related to certain conditions. This project was a way of visualizing the endless cycle that hypochondriacs often find themselves in, where every feeling is magnified, amplified, and where one little ache can turn into multiple symptoms—real or imagined—which take up our thoughts entirely.”

These layered illustrations of anatomical parts in a mandala motif were cut by Wilkinson with none other than a scalpel. The result is a visual expression of somatic symptom disorder—a dizzying array of magnified and multiplied sensations across various interconnected body parts and systems. The mandala is befitting of the meditative and healing nature of the project.

Wilkinson and Joyanne Horscroft make up the transatlantic creative duo behind Makerie Studio. While Wilkinson lives in New York, Horscroft is based in London. Not only are they master paper artists but they’re also set designers, who create imaginative and exquisitely detailed paper sculptures for window displays, events, advertising, and special artistic commissions. They’ve gained the attention of Google, Gucci, Nike, and Victoria’s Secret, to name a few. Wilkinson and Horscroft have developed their own unique paper techniques and are inspired by nature, steampunk mechanicals, and whimsical worlds.

Follow Makerie Studio’s magnificent paper creations and installations on Instagram.

 

 



Art Illustration

Technicolor Animal Portraits Inked in Watercolor Tattoos by Sasha Unisex

April 24, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Sasha Unisex

Based in St. Petersburg, artist Sasha Unisex often begins a bold tattoo concept by painting a prismatic wolf or a cherry blossom-speckled origami crane with watercolor. She fills arrangements of stark shapes and precise gradients with crimson, cerulean, and tangerine hues. When the tattooist recreates her inky animals and florals on her clients’ bodies, the chromatic foxes and cats—which sometimes are outfitted with a plaid hat and pipe—look strikingly similar to the original watercolor paintings.

The artist often shares details about her travels and process, in addition to comparisons of her various wolves, cats, and lions, on her Instagram. If you’re not quite ready to commit to a permanent companion, though, Unisex offers temporary tattoos, prints, and apparel in her shop.

 

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