Tagged: artist

Embroidery artist Jessica So Ren Tang

Here, 25-year-old embroidery artist and warehouse production worker  Jessica So Ren Tang, from San Francisco, tells us all about her beautiful hand-stitched pieces and the inspiration behind them…

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“As a child I knew I wanted a career in the arts. Throughout school I learned and experimented with various mediums, I started embroidering and playing with fabric and thread in my senior year of college in preparation for my senior exhibition. I graduated with a BA in Studio Art at Mills College in Oakland, CA.”

“I had semester-long assignment which involved playing with different materials and. for one of the experiments. I made a cup noodle container. I quickly found that styrofoam was a poor sewing material, so I began to replicate a cup noodle container with fabric instead. I enjoyed the softness and texture of embroidery in my sculpture pieces and I continued looking for other objects to replicate. I was more interested in sculpture but disliked the bulk clay and similar mediums had.

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“I continued to embroider because I loved the flexibility it gave me, as well as its rich history of being women’s work. In the future I want to explore more fibre art and sculpture and keep pushing my skills in fabric and thread.

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“I draw inspiration from memories of my childhood and my experiences of being an Asian American woman. For my object series, I look for items that I have bought or used that have Asian/American significance and use. Specifically, I look for Asian snacks and containers that I have used or seen in my childhood. Replicating objects in fibre is my way of exploring my Asian American identity – it is a way for me to replicate the duality of being too Chinese to be American and too western to be really Chinese.

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“Initially, it was not my intention for my pieces to have connections with tattoo art. Replacing the skin of suggestively posed Asian women was intended to obscure the girl’s identity, in an attempt to address this Asian American dual identity experience. the girls’ facial markers are removed but replaced with an Asian pattern, still retaining an Asian identity but non-specific to her ethnicity. But the style of pattern on the girl has specific origins to an Asian culture. I look for a variety of Asian patterns but so far they are mainly of Japanese and Chinese origins. Although I am looking to expand to different Asian patterns in my future pieces.

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“My girl series was inspired by Ikenaga Yasunari’s paintings of women and textile patterned clothing. The female forms help to emphasise the feminine medium that is embroidery, but it is also a familiar image that I express myself through. I create a little piece of myself through each girl, in the hopes of creating a tangible object that encompasses my Asian American experiences.

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“The colours in the patterns help to highlight a figure but to pull back and flatten – sort of like a silent wallflower girl. The facelessness of the women is to suggest a general Asian identity without pinpointing a specific nationality. Extending the pattern to the entire body was more aesthetically cohesive and balanced. Having the pattern on just the face drew too much attention to the head when I wanted the entire figure to be emphasised.

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“My object series, depending on the size and complexity, range from a week to a little over a month to be finished. Each mini girl takes about 50 hours of stitching and 100 hours for the larger girl pieces, as everything is stitched by hand.

“My works are currently not for sale for a variety of reasons. I still have a small body of work due to how long it takes me to complete one piece and exhibiting would be difficult if I started selling, I’m still attached to my pieces and I’m hard pressed to let them go, and I don’t have much free time outside of my day job and selling would take me away from working on my art. Of course, many of these reasons will eventually be solved and I do plan on selling my work.”

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View more of Jessica’s work on Instagram: @jessicasorentang

The Art of Filip Hodas

24-year-old 3D artist Filip Hodas based in Prague, creates mesmerising beautiful and surreal art. Digitally crafted, Hodas transforms the earth’s landscapes with bursts of pastel colours, billowing smoke and dreamy textures, his textural collages feature enchanting crystals and animal skulls – we just can’t get enough! 

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Sonia Kolner Illustration

24-year-old Sonia Kolner is an illustrator and retail worker based in Oakland California. We chatted to Sonia about her dark illustrations, what inspires her and her tattoo collection… 

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Inspired by Things&Ink  Sonia created this illustration just for us…

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What medium do you use? How do you create each piece? I use mainly crowquill for my pen and ink work. I also work on printmaking from time to time, mostly consisting of lithography. I create each piece digitally and traditionally. The end result is always fully traditional, however I like to collage digitally beforehand. It makes planning a lot quicker and I can scan/scale elements easily. I am committed to the idea of being a pro at Photoshop slowly but surely.

What do you like to draw? I love drawing anything anatomy related, eyes, patterns, distorted or conjoined things. I also find comfort in drawing nature such as flowers, and of course snakes and bats.

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What inspires you? Really, really good music. I would say a lot of creative people whether it’s other artists, musicians, skaters, writers, etc. Also, any other unique beings who have their own style, tastes and opinions that I find to be inspiring and good to converse with. A few of my close friendships inspire me, as I find myself getting into unexpected deep conversations with them about life, death, trust, and everything in between. Often what inspires me as well is other people’s stories. I always treasure when someone trusts me enough to open up about their suffering and or other personal things. Because it’s an extreme challenge, those small moments inspire me and I hold them dearly. Other than that I would say last but not least, nature, animals, and old school Japanese art. The list could go on!

How would you describe your style? Organized chaos. Visually and emotionally.

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Are there any other artists that you admire, do they influence your work? Of course. My current favorites are Suehiro Maruo and Junji Ito. I love both artists work because of not only their talent, but also the psychological twists to their pieces and stories. I enjoy art that’s intriguing and leaves me wondering. I never liked comics, but Junji Ito’s Uzumaki series is gory, emotionally haunting and nothing short of brilliant. Besides them, about two years ago I used to have a long list of artists, but now I find I get most of my inspiration from old books, music, and certain conversations.

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Can you tell us about your own tattoos? I have quite a few so I’ll just talk about my two most recent ones that I drew and designed that mean the most to me. I got conjoined Japanese Noh Masks in June, done by Arielle Coupe. In September I got a chrysanthemum done by Michael Deschenes. The tattoos are on the same forearm, one in the front and the other in the back, close to the elbow. Both of them are super talented and translated my drawings onto skin seamlessly. I’m planning to get a snake that sort of intertwines itself among these two current tattoos.

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What drives you to create work that draws upon the motifs and the style of tattooing? Pen and ink stippling/hatching style is my driving force. I like how much dedication and patience it takes.  I never used to think that my work drew upon tattoo motifs, until anyone who saw my work would asked me if I either a) Would design them a tattoo, or b) If I would consider being a tattoo artist. That’s when I started to notice a pattern and blackwork translates quite easily into a tattoo these days.

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Do you do commissions? Where can people buy your work? Absolutely. You can contact me through my website and we can chat. www.soniakolnerillustration.co. You can purchase my work on Society6 https://society6.com/soniakolnerillustration

Lea Katz Illustration

19-year-old Lea Katz is a resident artist based in Melbourne, Australia, soon to be living in Bavaria, Germany. We chatted to Lea about the beautiful women she draws and how tattoos make her feel about her body…

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Inspired by Things&Ink Lea created this illustration just for us…

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What medium do you use? How do you create each piece? I work digitally and traditionally. For my digital paintings, I use a graphic tablet and Photoshop. When I work traditionally, I usually rely on pencils, ink and sometimes watercolour. I also love mixing my drawings with other elements to create a collage-like look. I have some gold paper for example, that I combine with my drawings, sometimes I use photos from magazines for that and on other days, I just take whatever I can find and glue it to my sketches.
When I get to work, my usual process is to start out with a very messy sketch that I refine until I’m happy with it. Once that’s done, I begin to work on details to achieve a semi-realist look on certain parts of the artwork (like the face, when I draw a portrait), when I’m finished with that, I start bringing in flat shapes and lines and in the end, I combine it with different scans (in digital paintings), older drawings and photos.

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What kinds of things do you draw? I love drawing portraits, but I also enjoy drawing flowers, nature and birds. Every now and then I also do some typography, but I really need

What is it about women that makes you want to draw them? I guess it’s something that I do since I’m a kid, so it’s almost like a habit now. I love women, I love being a woman (most of the time, at least) and women get so much shit so often, that I just want to celebrate women and femininity in my paintings. I draw them as queens, strong, proud and independent, cover them in gold and all things fabulous.

What inspires you? Huge inspirations for me are art history and music. I’ve always been a little art nerd and a huge fan of art nouveau and surrealism, which are two big influences on my work. Music is a big part of my life, I always listen to music, I love singing (even if I’m a horrible singer. Doesn’t stop me though) and there are always songs that just make me want to catch the vibe of it and put it in a painting.

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How would you describe your style? I’d say my style is a mixture of semi-realism, art nouveau, graphic design and sometimes surrealism. It’s basically a huge collage of styles that I love and try to combine into one piece of work.

Do you admire any other artists, do they influence your work? Definitely! Frida Kahlo, Alfons Mucha, Gustav Klimt, Cindy Sherman, Man Ray and Hannah Höch are people that never stop inspiring me. I love Frida’s self-portraits, Mucha’s girls and Klimt’s golden paintings. Cindy Sherman’s photography is simply fascinating to see, as well as Man Ray’s and Hannah Höch’s dadaist collages.

Can you tell us about your tattoos? I just got my first tattoo in March this year when I visited Amsterdam so I don’t have too many yet. My first tattoo was a beautiful little heart by Angelique Houtkamp, as a souvenir that reminds me of one of my favourite cities. Next, I got a flower on my wrist and after that Frida Kahlo from her “Wounded Deer” painting, which is a piece of art that has a lot of personal meaning to me. And since this Frida was tattooed in a more traditional style, I decided to get another one. This time, full on classic Frida as we know her. It was also my first tattoo in Australia, done by the amazing Marian Machismo.

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How do tattoos make you feel? Have they made you feel differently about your body? Tattoos make me feel great, they make me feel like a badass and I’m happy that they give me the ability to carry things that I love with me wherever I go. They definitely changed a lot about how I view myself and my body. I, like probably every person who had to go through puberty, have a lot of insecurities, I’m unhappy with that part of my body, this could be thinner, this patch of skin has too many freckles, blah blah blah. You probably know what I mean. Covering myself in art that I love changed the way I look at myself. I don’t look at my arm and worry about it being too fat or too whatever anymore, I look at it and see my beautiful tattoos and feel incredible. In fact, I’m happy for every inch of skin that I have because it’s potential tattoo-space.
Do you have any future tattoo plans? Definitely. My next appointment is in September, with Clare Hampshire from Hot Copper Studio here in Melbourne. And I have a lot of Australian artists on my list that I need to get a tattoo from before I move back to Germany in January.

Do you do commissions? Where can people buy your art? I do! I love doing commissions. I sell prints, shirts and a ton of products with my drawings on it via redbubble and I’m always open to sell my original, traditional drawings.

The Art of Jana Brike

Latvian artist Jana Brike creates oil paintings that explore notions of innocence and coming-of-age narratives.

Her inspirations for work has been as diverse as: folklore fairytales, children book illustrations, imaginative soviet animation films and supernaturally realistic classical painting; the colorful forbidden rare secret imagery of the western pop culture surrounded by mystical, almost religious tone for the soviet children; the terrifying war and deportation stories that her grandparents, and their little brothers and sister witnessed as small children; pompous alienated eerie atmosphere of the catholic church ceremonies in the Latvian countryside, and the breathtakingly beautiful ballet performances in the opera house, where she was taken since the age of two, as well as others. – all the bitter-sweetness and irreality of the every day.

The main focus of Jana Brike’s art is  the internal space and state of a human soul – dreams, longing, love, pain, growing up and self-discovery.

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Sailor’s Wives

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Aphrodite with Kitten

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The End of the Last Unicorn

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Paradise of Shared Solitude

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Gardener and the Centre of the Universe

Mike Dargas

German artist Mike Dargas creates realism pieces with oil on canvas that show captured moments of intense intimacy and closeness.

In his portraits, Mike is not limited on certain types. He portrays young and old, beautiful and dark, fragile and strong people. They are lost in thoughts, show inner conflicts or transmit a unique or even holy calmness. The perfection of his technique seems to seek for the perfect image, like he was searching for the soul within each single one. With his works Mike Dargas challenges us to take a deeper look, to understand the nature of human being and to question our own emotional perception.

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Free Fallin

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Nothing Else Matters 

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Mutual Trust

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Blackened

The art of Frances Cannon

Frances Cannon is a 23-year-old artist and student from Melbourne, Australia, we chat to her about her body positive illustrations and what inspires her…

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Do you have a background in art? I have been drawing ever since I was a kid. It was fairly obvious to me from an early age that I wanted to study art and become an artist! I have just finished my Bachelor of Art (Fine Art) and I hope to study more and keep growing and expanding as an artist!

What inspires you pieces? I am inspired by humanity. Whether I draw about the body, emotions, relationships, life/death, dreams – everything revolves about what it is to be human. I am currently involved heavily in the body positive movement as well as empowerment of women and a lot of my art that I post online focusses on that subject.

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What message are you hoping to spread? I want people to see my art and feel connected. To feel warmth and happiness when they see it and to know they are not alone in their experiences.

Do you consider yourself a member of the body positive community? Absolutely! I had a lot of trouble loving my body when I was growing up, but over time I have learnt that hating myself takes way to much energy and that loving myself is so much easier and makes life SO much better! I definitely recommend.

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What medium do you use? What types of things do you draw? What medium I use depends on whether I am working from home or from my studio. My apartment is very cramped and doesn’t really have space for big works of art, so I usually do ink drawings or small watercolour paintings. When I have a studio I expand to doing big drawings in charcoal, or big watercolour or gouache paintings. I draw naked ladies a lot (though I do draw other things as well). The naked form is something I find truly beautiful and I find it empowering to draw bodies similar to my own.

Do you have any tattoos? What do you think of tattoos in general? Yes I have many! My current favourites are a tattoo of the character from The BFG, a book by Roald Dahl (my favourite childhood author). Another favourite is one of my own drawings of a girl hugging herself (a little reminder to love myself and my body). I love tattoos (especially black line-work tattoos) and I plan on getting lots more!

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Interview with Morg Armeni

Our Italian contributor Ilaria Pauletti chatted to Morg Armeni a travelling  tattooist and artist, about how Morg puts her soul into everything she does and how her passion for life is felt by all… 

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Your style is very traditional but you have put your own stamp on the genre, did you choose to tattoo in this way or did it choose you? It’s nice to think that ‘he’ chose me, and it can be true, in some ways. I love to put my own sort on magic into the tattoos I do. I actually use symbols that are familiar to me, coming from art, my musical background, and everything I like. Then I recreate an image that conceptually can be interpreted in various ways.
I like to imagine an idea, but also its opposite, both in colours and shapes. The contrasts are what make the difference.

When did you fall in love with art and tattoos? Since I was very small, even in kindergarten, my grandfather used to take me to Staglieno (a monumental cemetery in Genova). I could stay there for hours, I was fascinated by those beautiful statues and bas-reliefs.
I started drawing when I was 12-years-old, and I went to see my first exhibition, well the first I chose to see, which was Dalí After that I fell even more in love with art. At art school, in addition to learning the techniques of drawing, I studied the history of art and I loved ancient and medieval art. My love for tattoos was born from a fascination with the mystery and the underground scene in the 80s. All my musical idols were tattooed, and it was also thanks to them that I wanted to be tattooed.

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It seems like you have a sixth sense when you are about to create something for your clients, you always find the best way to draw any subject. What  are your methods for researching and creating a tattoo? I try to get to know the client first and understand how I can translate their idea into a tattoo.  I prepare a first drawing and then I simplify it, sometimes I also use photographs as references to edit my subjects. Often people are attracted to my imagination, and I think I accurately transform what a clients wants into a drawing.I like it when they trust my interpretation and my style of art.

Do tattoos leave a mark on your life, as much as on the client’s ?
Yes, of course! I put a lot of love into the creation of the subjects I tattoo. Often my customers and I reach a sort of harmony during the tattooing process and ritual which creates very positive vibrations that resurface when I happen to see them again.

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There are many differences between your paintings and your tattoos. Can you tell us the main ones? The main differences are the canvas and the techniques. I have to consider that the skin changes and ages, and that my customers will have my tattoos forever on their skin. With regard to the tattoo, I try to make sure that the subject represents and fits the wearer. I play with the customer’s ideas until the concept becomes a workable tattoo. That’s why I love sharp lines and contrasts.

In painting, I am definitely more surreal and visionary. For instance, I love micro realistic details for my paintings, but you won’t see many of them in my tattoos. I am in constant evolution in both fields, and both have my dedication.

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You have some really amazing pieces (by Rob Admiraal and Rudy Fritsch, just to name a few). Who else have you been tattooed by? Who do you plan to get tattooed by in the future?
I’m very proud of my tattoos and they make me happy, and these two guys you mentioned have been among the greatest inspiration I have had.
I also have pieces by Amanda Toy, Monga, Angelique Houtkamp and many others! I have a lot of talented friends from whom I would like to be tattooed by.
The list never ends!

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I am still so in love with the artwork you created that was exhibited at Somerset House. Can you tell us more about the whole process? I was excited when I got asked to contribute to this great event! I gave it my all to create something worthy of a museum like Somerset House.

It took me a month to decide what to paint, but it came to me in a dream and I created Flora’s clock. It really exists and is composed of different species of flowers, from all around the world, that open or close at a given time, so the flowers can be used like a clock to tell the time. The painting represents time, seasons, beauty, inner growth and realization of what we are, in the here and in the now.
Now I am also focused on some new paintings that will be exhibited in March at my solo show in Rome.

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Can you tell us why you decided to close your own studio in Genova? I let go a part of my life, yes. I closed my studio because I wanted to change, taking off a bit of bureaucracy, only dedicating myself to art and creation.
I will surely do some guest spots in London and in Milan, (Milano City Ink and Oink Farm) and now I’m living in Rome and guesting in some great studios.

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And finally do you have any personal advice for our readers?
I highly recommend to people, and also to myself, to spread positive feelings, as much as possible! So that we can change and affect more and more the reality around us and to improve the world in which we all live. It’s hard work but we can do it!