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I am pretty sure…

…that “I can’t even” started in Tumblr from a bunch of people a few years ago, who are now in their 20s and probably won’t use it anymore because they, I mean WE’ve grown up. Hehe.

Fine Art Bullshittery

This is an informal albeit informed rant. I just had to get some opinions out, but it’s not a formal essay. Lest I offend grammar, syntax and ‘Elements of Style’ nazis :)

At an art opening, $$$ patron scrutinizes a painting and says, “His brushwork has really improved!”

What brushwork? Bull crap. Brushwork was of no importance. The painting was so formlessly surreal to borderline abstract that from a technical standpoint, one really does not require expert “brushwork” in order to paint it.

The artist wrote lengthily about the obscure symbolisms in his work. Technical execution or “brushwork” was never of primary concern. At least he was honest about that. I couldn’t help but wonder, Did anyone care so much about what he wanted to say as much as what his paintings would be worth? I feel like a lot of people weren’t really sure what to look at, but were just widening their eyes and holding these intense gazes, as if to make themselves believe there was a sincere semblance of understanding and interest. I admire the ones who, post-event, admitted to not getting what was so good about it.

As art dealer Arne Glimcher said, “The value of a painting at an auction isn’t really the value of the painting. It’s the value of the two [rich and powerful] people bidding against each other because they want the painting.”

I agree. Money talks. And I’m a pragmatist. So whether or not we deem it to be bullshit, the fine art industry is thriving because it is funded by the very powerful and insanely wealthy few. And if it’s generating a lot of income, then I guess bullshittery is, from an entirely practical standpoint, a viable strategy. But that’s for enterprising realists and cynics. Ah cynicism. I’ve had to take this standpoint because humble little freelance designers like me cannot criticize the system without sounding just a little bit sour grapey. And I don’t want to be that person.

We can’t win.

Ironically, fine artists, the people who tend to be most after authenticity and originality, are kept alive by the very things that oppose their values — materialism, superficial status and the egos linked to power and wealth. I think this is why Rothko killed himself. The system that gave him bread and butter, then fame and wealth, was the very system that he loathed. 

And speaking for a lot of creative individuals, it’s very difficult to champion authenticity and originality when you are faced with the monthly rent, day-to-day expenses, food, a depleting bank account and maybe you didn’t mean for it to but the baby just happened.

We can’t win.



♪ And you’re sugar and spice
and everything nice
You’ve got monroe hips
your poison lips and knives
Sugar and spice
and everything nice
You’ve got open wounds
and a young boy’s pride ♫

—“Film Noir” by The Gaslight Anthem



Image from the film DOA (1950)

I love the imagery conveyed by The Gaslight Anthem’s lyrics. And I’m not sure if this was the band’s intention but it seems that the same girl described as having "monroe hips, poison lips and knives" is also described as having "open wounds and a young boy’s pride". I love thatGreat character portrait right there.

Alfred Kowalski (1849-1915)

Reminder to study this guy’s work


Every villain has a reason.

Except Ozai, he was just an asshole.

This is insightful and funny rolled into one post. I loveit! XD

(via benditlikekorra)

Nobody questions the latest versions of my software and devices because I make more with mine than most people consume with theirs. Heh.


Evening Cape

Maria Gallenga

Early 1920s


(via amortentiafashion)

What animal are you?

Best Answer:

Mongoose. Seemingly non-threatening and cute but can kill a cobra.

That opportunistic squirrel at the end trying to steal the meal is another story though. :))

Some select concept art work I did for a game project that got shelved. This was from last year, actually. And it was totally just left! No NDA issues, since they upped some of the stuff online already during a crowd-funding phase.

Unfortunately there were some budget cuts from top. And the client/employer I was corresponding with suddenly ran off without a word. Yeah, shit happened no matter how I protected myself by agreement or how meticulous I was about transactions and follow-ups.  Oh well, at least I earned some money from this and I got to practice a lot, too. On the job is always the best training.

Ural Owls

I really love the first one ^__^

Sorry, I forget the specific image sources but these are from my reference library, taken from various Google Image searches. 


The “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” is a fictional magical car from the 1986 British musical film of the same name.

And no, the fact that I know this is not necessarily indicative of my age. I’m just savvy with these things, but this came out before I was born :)

"It must be nice to be so privileged, and be able to forgive anyone."

- poignant line from a comic book. 


TODAY NASA IS 56!!  And helping celebrate, I’m helping remind everyone of all the awesome stuff that exists in the world because of NASA, with my illustrations for Amy Shira Teitel's great article It’s Not Just Tang: NASA’s Widespread Influence on Everyday Design, today on

(Source:, via headscape)

Building Studies and Application in Design Sketches

The first two pages are studies from reference. This is very important for me as it allows me to really get a good grasp of the proportions of building sections with respect to each other, e.g. distribution and elevation of stories, entrance-to-gate-to-roof ratios, etc. 

For the last images— Taking the info I’ve learned from the studies, I tried designing my own building front elevations. I intend to use these for a world-building project.

I specifically chose Romanesque and Indo-Saracenic architecture. But I also took the liberty of gathering and using some Byzantine references on the side since historically, that’s where medieval Christian and Muslim aesthetics intersect. In my mind, if I want to combine Roman and Saracenic designs, there is no point making it up on my own because existing, functional solutions are actually already provided for by the Byzantine architects of history!

Also shown are my materials. I use a very light grey marker* to block in my shapes, then I line it with a super fine 0.04 Pilot G-Tec pen. I then use midtone greys (two shades away from each other) for shadows. At the end, I use a fatter line to draw around each building thumbnail, in order to separate and distinguish them as uniquely readable silhouettes. I find that it is easier to get a quick read of each unique shape if you do this fat line around each of them. That way it’s easier to compare and select which designs are working for you :)

*Prismacolor TRIA: NG08. NG stands for Neutral Grey. If you use Copics, I think the equivalent is T1 or T2. (T stands for Toner, I presume)