emotions

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with emotions



Illustration

Imagined, Homebound Characters by Felicia Chiao Illustrate the Struggles of Mental Health

July 8, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Dissociation.” All images © Felicia Chiao, shared with permission

Felicia Chiao (previously) often channels anxiety and other complex emotions into layered illustrations depicting anonymous characters in a variety of states. The fictional works are connected to narratives of the mundane: a supine character floats in a bathtub, another grasps a coffee mug while peering out the window, and others sit idly. Despite their whimsy, many of the scenes evoke a sense of loneliness and feature a frowning face or dark, foreboding character looming nearby.

Chiao’s recent pieces often confine subjects to their plant-filled homes, a timely adjustment to reflect the current moment. “The drawings help me explore emotions that I don’t know how to describe with words,” the illustrator tells Colossal. She frequently shares her gel pen and Copic marker works on Instagram, where she says she’s grown a supportive, empathetic audience that resonates with her emotive projects.

Chiao currently is part of a group exhibition at Giant Robot and offers prints, stickers, and face masks of her fantastic illustrations on Society6.

 

“Peonies”

“Anxiety Attack”

Left: “Quarantine.” Right: “Bath”

“Better Days”

“Blue”

Left: “Nothing Lasts.” Right: “Strange Feeling”

“Flood”

 

 



Animation

A Minimally Animated Paper Box Expresses a Surprising Range of Human Emotions

June 18, 2020

Grace Ebert

Most health experts say you shouldn’t bottle up your emotions, and an amusing new animation by Paris-based designer Benoit Leva proves you can’t box them up either. “I am Square” features a white, paper carton that’s literally bursting with emotions and feelings. Coinciding with a series of prompts, the box retreats when shy, floats in a dreamy state, and turns pink in a moment of empathy. To check out more of Leva’s emotive—and relatable—animations, head to Vimeo and Instagram.

 

 

 



Illustration

Expressive Dogs Shake and Sniff in Kaleidoscopic Illustrations by Marina Okhromenko

March 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Marina Okhromenko

Swirling patches of fur and bespeckled eyes characterize the emotive dogs in Marina Okhromenko’s digital illustrations. Hoping to capture varying degrees of joy, devotion, and adoration, the Moscow-based illustrator depicts twelve dogs wearing different expressions, each distinguished through their eagerness and the intensity of their stares. One pup curiously pushes its nose through a pale blue gap, while another’s tongue hangs from its mouth as it pants.

In an interview with Adobe Create, Okhromenko talked about her lifelong love for experimenting with color combinations. “As a child, my favorite toy was a kaleidoscope—you take and mix different colored pieces, and the result is always beautiful. A similar aesthetic in my work is my unique voice,” she said.

Okhromenko is also the publisher of ORE Lab, a notebook design company. The expressive portraits were created as part of ORE’s project called arTTask, which connects art with productivity, an intersection that’s one of Okhromenko’s current obsessions.  “We are seeing this more and more as high-tech companies decorate their walls and surrounding spaces with interesting illustrations. In our environment, we call this neuro-office,” she said. “I’m interested in how to design a personal space to combine the simplicity of minimalism with the beauty of fireworks.” To keep up with the illustrator’s vibrant projects, head to Instagram and Behance.

 

 



Craft

Faces Emerge from Minimalist Ceramics by Fan Yanting to Consider Emotional Depth

February 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Fan Yanting

Just like a recent study reporting that facial expressions are more complex than we think, Fan Yanting wants to delve into the sentiment behind the scowl or smirk on a stranger’s face. The Taiwanese artist shapes small vessels and dinnerware in neutral tones that don a series of emotions, from an unsmiling vase to a set of defensive mugs. Only starting to create ceramics during the last year, Fan hand-sculpts each set of eyes, nose, and mouth without deciding which emotion he’s trying to capture beforehand. “I empty my mind when I’m sculpting the human faces. I might plan the pottery shape and maybe where I’d like to position the face, but I don’t start with specific character designs in mind,” the artist tells Neocha.

Fan’s focus on expressions derives from how he sees human relationships, saying people often respond to those around them by projecting their own understandings of what a facial expression signifies. “Maybe a face will remind someone of an old friend, a family member, or the coffee shop owner down the street. By leading viewers to experience everyday items that have different faces, I hope to explore this phenomenon in my work,” the artist says. To see which emotion pops up next, head to Instagram. (via Lustik)

 

 



Animation

Six Kinetic Characters: Light-Hearted Interpretations of Universal Emotions by Animator Lucas Zanotto

November 14, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Six Kinetic Characters” illustrates relatable emotional gestures through animated characters in a new short by Lucas Zanotto (previously). Emotional roller coasters, mood swings, and crossed eyes are conveyed in 3-D renders, which Zanotto shades with nostalgic pastel colors.

“I always really enjoyed building models and focus on textures, shapes and colors in my first career as a product designer,” Zanotto tells Colossal. “I moved towards film-making and directing commercials while always trying to keep this analog element in my work.” Zanotto has found that 3-D modeling software feels similar to working with his hands as he did in previous projects, and has been a satisfying “full circle” moment in his creative career.

The multi-talented designer shares his work on Vimeo and Instagram, the latter of which he enjoys to be able to “speak straight to people and create entertainment without any barriers in between.”

 

 



Illustration

Complex Societal Issues Conveyed in Minimalist Editorial Illustrations by Eiko Ojala

October 18, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Illustrator Eiko Ojala (previously) tackles complex topics with masterfully simple images. Though his work often appears to be made with layered paper, the artist clarifies on his website that he works digitally, building each image from scratch. Cleverly using negative space, mirroring, and raking angles, Ojala conveys nuances of the human experience within tight creative constraints. The Estonian illustrator works with clients around the world to provide imagery on articles ranging from loneliness to climate change: recent publications include Oprah Magazine, Harvard Business Review, and The New York Times. Explore more of Ojala’s illustration portfolio on Behance. Select works are also available as fine art prints on Saatchi Art.

 

 



Art

Mercurial Emotions Carved into New Glitched Sculptures by Yoshitoshi Kanemaki

May 22, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Japanese sculptor Yoshitoshi Kanemaki (previously) captures the emotional complexities of youth in his glitched 3-dimensional portraits. Kanemaki carves tree trunks into figures—often young women—whose faces are multiplied in expressions that range from distressed to joyful in a single sculpture. The figures’ casual, natural poses seem to capture them in real time: some of the artist’s characters perch on chairs mid-conversation, and others gesture with their arms to express confidence or bashfulness. In his finished works, Kanemaki usually uses lifelike coloring, but for one recent sculpture shown in detail below, the artist experimented with creating the sensation of an out-of-focus image by using soft, blurred shapes and colors to complete the expression. See more of the sculptor’s finished and in-progress works on Instagram and Facebook. (via Hi-Fructose)

 

 

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