Prints on Wood Blog

  • chopping block: Joe sorren

    One of the best surprises at Baby Tattooville this year was not the bag full of cool art collectables or watching the art jam take on a life of its own, don't get me wrong, those were high points of the weekend!  But...the most unexpected, wonderful piece was getting a chance to sit down with the one and only Joe Sorren only to find out he is more personable and genuine then I could have ever imagined.  He felt more like a long lost friend then an artist we have been collecting for over 10 years.  In fact he was the first art print we bought and still love today.  And now to  be releasing a series of Sorren prints on wood!  It's an honor all its own.  If you have not heard of Sorren or have been wondering what he has been up to the last few years, read on!

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    POW: When did your formal artistic career begin? Did you always know you wanted to be an artist?

    Joe: I couldn't help but draw, all day in class, after school. Didn't really consider a career until college. Felt more like a pipe dream than a career. Still does. I guess that's part of the appeal.

    Screen shot 2014-11-03 at 10.30.45 AMBecause of Toast by Joe Sorren

    POW: We are beyond excited to be working with you on the release of your new piece, “Coronation” and the mini-portfolio collection of four classic prints which include, Because of Toast, If In This Fire, The Portrait of Roger Meanie, and The Mushroom Hunter. From so many amazing art pieces to choose from, how did you narrow it down to those four?

    Joe: Thanks guys, I am beyond stoked to be working with you all as well! After we discussed the possibility of a recreated mini-portfolio, I started looking through my past pieces. I wanted to show 4 pieces that felt like they both belong together, but where each had its own unique voice within the collection, you know?

    Screen shot 2014-11-03 at 10.31.57 AMCoronation by Joe Sorren

    POW: I was looking through your Facebook the other day and stumbled upon an animated video made by your son of George Harrison’s “What is Life”.  I found the video incredibly beautiful.  How does it feel to see your son follow in your foot steps of artistic expression?  Does your son share the same passion to create art, even if in his own medium, as you do?

    Joe: He is definitely following his own footsteps. I am constantly bowled over by the simplicity and grace he naturally displays in his work as well as his life. Inspiring.

    POW: It was beyond an honor to meet you in person at Baby Tattooville earlier this month where you were joined alongside some of our favorite artists, including Jeff Soto, Bob Dobb, Johnny "KMNDZ" Rodriguez and Tara McPherson.  It was quite a memorable experience in so many different ways.  It will probably be hard to pick one, but did you have a favorite moment from that weekend?

    Joe: I happened to wake up at around 5 am or so on the first morning and was curious if anyone was painting on the shared piece. Being that the piece was not so large, and there were to be 14 artists contributing, I thought it might be my best chance to work on it a bit. So I went down there and only found KMNDZ working on it. I jumped in and we worked together a bit, followed shortly by Brom. Having the chance to work with those amazing painters in the quiet of morning was a special treat to be sure.

    Screen shot 2014-11-03 at 10.36.07 AMThe Mushroom Hunter by Joe Sorren

    POW: One thing I love about your art is the fact that it is almost impossible to find any harsh lines in your work. Your brush strokes make everything seem so light, almost airy. With that being said, what are some of your biggest artistic inspirations? Are there any artists from both past and present that you admire?

    Joe: Sure! I love the usual gang of idiots over at Mad Magazine. Growing up staring at Al Jaffee's line work, Don Martin's incredible characters and sick sense of humor. Sergio...

    Within the art world, I love Twombly; the manic raw nature in his work. The impressionists are a little like Dylan to me. I keep rediscovering them and learning new things from them over the years. I went through a Dutch period not long ago, who doesn't I guess. Painting has so much more to express, and so many incredible ways in which to express, it is an endless fascination for me.

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    For more information on Joe Sorren, please visit:  www.joesorrenlivestream.com/

  • App Review: Green Screen Studio

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    Where is the North Pole exactly? Does Santa really live there? You may be one of those unbelievers but TRUST ME Santa is alive and well!  I have proof, I was actually there!!  Maybe next time I go there you can join me..

    Which leads me to Green Screen, our latest app review.  Since its already mid November and the Christmas songs have been playing in the mall for two weeks, might as well quick fitting the inevitable and join in the Holiday spirit.

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    The landing page for the app is where you can choose your top image and your background image. I went ahead and used the camera feature of the homepage to take a picture of myself and used an image of the north pole I had found on Google.

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    Once you have your images selected, you're taken to the work screen where you can then manipulate your images and work with pan/zoom, move top, and erase/unerase [bottom icons]. The top icons is where you can find the undo/redo, replace (where you can choose to change your top and bottom images as needed), green screen sensitivity and eraser. The green screen icon basically allows you to change the sensitivity of the green screen and will let you play around with different transparency levels for both of your images.

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    The final purple icon is the eraser option which lets you manipulate both the size and opacity of the brush.

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    You'll want to make sure you really zoom into your image as much as possible and play around with the different brush sizes and opacities when it comes to hard to reach areas and blending harsh edges.

    Once you're satisfied with your image you can then hit the red icon at the upper left hand corner to save your image, amongst other options.

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    Overall, I liked this app. I especially liked the minimalist user interface and the fact that it had great tactile workability. The only thing I would complain about with regards to this app is its price, which I thought was too steep for an app that doesn't have more options for customization other than just erasing, and for that reason I give it a wood rating of 3.

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    So grab the app and join me at the North Pole this Christmas season!

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    For more information on Green Screen please visit: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/green-screen-studio/

  • Chopping Block: Martin Donnelly

    A few weeks ago we posted an image on IG and Facebook by Martin Donnelly which seemed to strike a cord with many of you.  It was a print that featured characters from a popular kids show "Adventure Time" for an exhibit at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles.  After weeks of persuading, Martin agreed to release a special version of the print on Prints on Wood!  Thank you Martin!!

    Before the print release on Monday, we grabbed a few minutes from Martin Donnelly to find out more behind his alter egos Mezzetty and Known As UnKnown.   His work explores the world of cinema, TV, music, and all things pop culture. We got some insight into his favorite shows, his artistic obstacles and how his upbringing in the UK shaped his art.

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    DSC00729Casualties of War, the Great Mushroom War by Martin Donnelly

    POW: I just love your pop culture driven art! Particularly the one of Leon and Mathilda from “The Professional”, as it’s known here in the U.S. What is it about pop culture that draw you in artistically?

    Martin: I think it’s that there is such a wealth of interesting characters to choose from. I can quite literally close my eyes, put my hand in the box, pull out any name from any film or TV show and there will always be something unique to capture. It can be challenging, but always rewarding.

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    Sample by Mezzetty

    POW: Besides illustrative work, you also photograph under the name “Mezzetty”. The photographs I found on your site are so gorgeous and seductive. What was your main focus when taking these images?

    Martin: I fall in and out of love with photography; I think it’s just about not having the time to do everything I want. I have rediscovered it recently working on a show about traditional tattoos and the people that wear or create them. http://www.letitbleedshow.com.

    I find it difficult to explain my photographic work. Sometimes it’s as simple as capturing a certain kind of ‘nothingness’ in individuals. There is something beautiful about just letting the model drift off into their only little world before I begin to shoot. The layering elements add a level of dreamy voyeurism. Apparently it’s my signature look! I’m starting to play around with light a lot more, taking a few more risks. It’s seems to be working so far.

    Screen shot 2014-11-03 at 12.13.48 PMLeon & Mathilda by Known as Unknown

    POW: It says on your website that you’ve been in the creative field for over 15 years. What has been the most challenging period for you as an artist in all of that time?

    Martin: I find it challenging to juggle so many disciplines. I change roles on a daily bases (in my day job) anything from art directing, script writing, ad concepting, animation, photography, project managing or just good old fashioned graphic design. Its can be hard to continually flick the switch, that’s why it’s great to have something that I can control (Known as Unknown & Mezzetty) without the added pressure of pleasing the bill payers!

    POW: Something I thought was hilarious was your “About” section on your Tumblr where you describe that your want your tombstone to one day read “Here lies Martin Donnelly. He lived and loved, but never got around to watching The Wire or Breaking Bad, even though everybody he knew had watched it and said he would love it.” I was in tears because it’s exactly how I feel! Would you say you have an all time favorite film or show that continues to inspire your work?

    Martin: I do need to up date that… I have managed to watch all of Breaking Bad, finally, and yes I did love it (as predicted) but The Wire is another challenge for another day. There isn’t really one specific show that inspires me, It’s more like hundred. Anything from Spaced, Ulysses, Thunder Cats, Carnival, Game of Thrones, True Detectives, The IT Crowd, Father Ted… The list is endless… and films I could talk all day about.

    Screen shot 2014-11-03 at 12.22.58 PMJules and Vincent by Martin Donnelly

    POW: Living in the UK is similar but at the same time vastly different then living in the US.  Was there a particular event or time during your childhood and upbringing in England that shaped your creative work? Maybe a certain moment where you knew you wanted to make creating art a career?

    Martin: I loved comic books when I was young. Here we had (have) a comic called 2000AD. It was pretty unconventional, not really about your standard good guys fighting the good fight. They were all anti heroes fighting for their own ideals. I quite liked that darker approach, even as child.  The vision of the future was dirty, chaotic and confused. The whole thing was like the tales from the Mos Eisley bar, I could totally see each character frequenting that place (apart fro Judge Dredd, he would enforce it with the iron fist of the law). I started drawing all the characters; ABC warriors, Judge Death and Strontium Dog and the rest is history.

    POW: Where do you see yourself creatively in the next 15 years?

    Martin: I don’t know what I’m doing next week let alone in the next decade. More of the same I hope.

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    For more information on Martin Donnelly, please visit http://known-as-unknown.tumblr.com/

  • Designer Con 2014

    It would be hard to find a person that has not heard of ComicCon, well at least in Southern California.  You know, that little convention in San Diego with an attendance of over 130,000 people.  Well, it wasn't always that popular, just a few years ago it was a relatively modest comic book and science fiction/fantasy convention.   It was also a place were up and coming, along with established pop artists could show and sell their latest work.

    In recent years, because of the rising booth space costs and the expense, not to mention hassle, of attending ComicCon, many artists and vendors began to look for other options.  Two of those vendors being October Toys (Ayleen Gaspar) and 3D Retro (Ben Goretsky) who happen to be the co-producers of.....yep you guessed it, DesignerCon.

    DSC00867 Considering they are both manufactures of collectable toys, it made sense that DesignerCon initially focused on collectable toys and figures.  Within a few years, pop art found its way in through a natural crossover as so many contemporary artists release both toys and prints interchangeably.

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    We found out about DesignerCon or more commonly know as "DCon" just after the 2013 convention.  After a few enthusiastic reviews, we couldn't wait for DCon 2014!   With months of planning, booth building, print making behind us, on Friday, November 7th we were ready for DCon!

    Setting up the booth:  Here is where the fun begins!  We roll into DCon and see Jeff Soto setting up his booth right behind us and To Die For setting up on the other side, we could not have asked for a more perfect combination of neighbors....umm well uhh.. asking helps too. (thanks Ayleen and Ben!)  Not sure if Soto will be as excited to be our neighbor next year after he pulled out the longest sliver I have ever seen.

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    Sorry Jeff, that looks like it hurt, good thing it wasn't your drawing hand.

    Immediately we begin uncrating and setting up the booth walls, hanging the art and in no time the booth begins to take shape.  Before we finish Luke Chueh swings by, after fighting a few hours of Friday night LA traffic to sign his Boba prints and the marquee print.

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    I think he was just as excited as we were about the release the next day.

    Before we go, Jason Limon finishes signing the Catcreeper figures and Berrytop Swirlpapa.  He is jumping back and forth from setting up his booth to taking care of the print release with our booth.   That's after a 20 hour drive from Texas the day before!  Your amazing Jason!

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    As they begin to kick everyone out of the hall we are the last to leave, but at long last, the booth is done!

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    DAY 1: D-Day is here and we are ready...well almost!  Before the show opens Chris Ryniak stops by to sign the official DCon prints, with not much sleep, I won't mention how many times we lost count signing the prints.  My brain definitely needs a few hours to warm up when computing large math problems like 12 plus 1.

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    As if right on cue, in comes the beautiful Tara McPherson ready to sign her release of Umibozu Lake.  A little Starbucks and a silver sharpie is all she needs to get through 100 prints in no time flat!

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    Once those are done, we are ready to roll!  Oh wait, where's Jeff Soto??  His booth is right behind us... we steal him over for a few minutes to sign his prints.

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    Nathan Ota comes by and creates the perfect photo opp with Jeff and the big marquee prints.

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    Then Nathan grabs a chair and begins to draw on the back side of each print in his DCon release of Early Bird.

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    It was amazing to see first hand his immense talent and desire to give each print a special touch, making each one a sort of original.

    Boba! Boba! Boba!  For the first hour of the show it was the most used word and for about two hours, Luke was busy signing and doodling on the back of the prints.

    DSC00835Just like Nathan, Luke Chueh took his time to draw a unique sketch for each fan who patiently waited in an line that stretched on for over an hour.

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    Luke was busy signing prints for over two hours until he had to run off to another booth that was releasing his vinyl toy. Around that time Johnny KMNDZ Rodriguez was there to pick up where Luke left off.  Johnny's print "Nothing New Under the Sun" was his first release with us, we were pumped to premier it at DCon.

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    Maybe we just got lucky but every artist we worked with at DCon was gracious, down to earth and most of all generous with the time they spent with each fan that came to visit them at the booth.

    In between signings we broke away from the booth to walk around the convention, do a bit of shopping ourselves and meet some of the other vendors.

    One of the first stops was at one of our favorite artist's booth, Jason Limon.  His hand made figures were incredible, we couldn't leave with out taking home one of the strange creatures.

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    IMG_6438This ^^^ lucky fellow has a new forever home with us.

    But our home was not complete with out a few other peculiar looking creators to keep him company. IMG_6460

    The only problem is you can't take just one, you know.. they get lonely.  Yep, we have a pair, not identical twins, fraternal, they have the same momma, Circus Posterus.

    By the time we got back to our booth To Die For was hosting an artist signing with Craola and the line was overflowing down the isle.  Afterwards he stopped by our booth to sign his marquee print, "Puppets Pathos“.

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    Always incredibly friendly and polite, it was great catching up with Craola before he had to leave to another event that evening.  Which also marked the end of Day One!  And an unbelievably great day at that!

    DAY 2:  One of the best part of Sunday was opening the convention at 10 am, but the next best thing was opening with Jason Limon signing at the booth.

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    The release of our first dimensional art piece, The Catcreeper, was the brain child of Jason.  The first sketch was drawn on this plane ride home after his first visit to Prints on Wood.

    catcreeper-1We love to experiment with new ideas and materials so we jumped at the opportunity to try something new.

    Speaking of new, Jeff Soto's marquee piece, The Soto Fish, was a collaborative print/original piece where we alternated printing and painting on the medium including a bit of hand laid gold leaf on the tooth of the "fish".

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    This was a test run for a smaller edition of prints coming soon in 2015.

    For DCon, Jeff re-released "The Guitarist Seeker" in a limited edition larger print, twice the size as the original 6x6 release.  DSC00971 IMG_6466

    Probably the most sought after print at our booth was the little Soto Fish prints that were given away for a IG post and mailing list sign up.  By Sunday afternoon over 400 Soto Fish prints had swam into the arms of happy DCon attendees and most of them signed by the artist himself.
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    Rounding out the day, Tara McPerson came back to a line of fans eager to meet her.

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    Her marquee piece "Supernova II" was a personal favorite and may be a release coming soon...

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    At the conclusion of Designer Con 2014, we were extremely pleased with the whole experience and cannot wait until next year to raise the bar further. We already have tons of ideas floating around to make the event even better (Hint: double the size?). We would also like to sincerely thank our artists and buyers for their continued support. Without all of you this could not have been made possible. Thanks to you, we are able to successfully create art that embraces style rooted in sustainability.   See you next year!

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  • App review: Sketch Guru

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    For this week’s app review, we decided to take it back to basics. Every art piece in our collection was created using some type of medium i.e. watercolor, acrylic or even digital media. This week, we tried to recreate those same effects using our own photos with Sketch Guru, let's see what kind of art it could help us come up with.

    The first screen you’ll see when you open the app after downloading is a home screen with a camera, gallery, cloud and configuration icons. As usual, I wanted to choose a picture I had taken previously, so I selected the gallery icon.

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    From here you’ll be taken to the cropping option where you can choose different ratios and sizes for your image. You can also choose to reflect your picture using the small arrow icon next to the refresh icon. If you don’t want to select an already preset ratio, you can always use the small blue tabs to customize the size you want. I chose the 4:3 option for my image and hit the green check mark button at the upper right hand corner.

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    From here on, you’ll basically be choosing from one of the many finishes they have available. I decided to give Gouache a try but thought it looked way too washed out (no pun intended).

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    I attempted to do some clean up by clicking on the levers icon in the bottom left of the picture. Here you can adjust different variables including brightness, saturation, and hue selection. Sometimes these variables will change depending on if you choose a finish that’s paint based or pencil based.

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    You’ll notice some finishes create decent works of art out of your images, while others fall behind like the 8bit option.

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    It’s all a matter of looking around and tweaking some of your settings.  After previewing all of the finishes, I finally settled on the first ColorPencil option.

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    The app itself did a pretty good job of creating the pencil outlines for me, but I did go back and harden the pencil lines using the first option in the levers menu.

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     After I was done, I hit the download icon at the upper right hand corner and chose the high-resolution option to be able to print it on wood.

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    The final image turned out really cool, I like the idea of transforming an beautiful landscape image into an artistic print and this app makes it easy!

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    I would give this app a rating of 3 wood. It was good enough considering it’s a free app but I wish it not only had a better user interface, but also more variety when it came to customization.

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    For more information on the Sketch Guru App, please visit the iTunes App Store.

  • Prints on Wood x DCon 2014

    In just a few days Designer Con 2014, other wise know as "DCon", is coming to Pasadena Convention Center.  No longer a one room convention with a few toy vendors, DCon has grown to over 300 artist and toy vendors including yours truly.   Beginning on Saturday, November 8th, the doors will open at 9:00 am with a admission price of just $5 per person per day.  No wonder the hype and anticipation of this event is growing each day and hour as we inch closer to Saturday!

    For those planning to attend DCon, we have nine exclusive print releases that will be available beginning Saturday at 9 am with signings by each artist through out the weekend.  In addition our booth with feature a single (1/1) large print by each artist that will be available for sale at the show.

    Don't have extra cash but want a cool print on wood? Come by our booth #512 and receive a free Jeff Soto mini print*.

    The following is a list of each print release and the time of the artist live signing at the booth.

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    The Guitarist by Jeff Soto

    Signed and numbered, 12" x 12", $100

    Jeff Soto live signing: Sunday 12:30 - 1:30 pm

    McPherson-Umibozu Lake

    Umibozu Lake by Tara McPherson

    Signed and numbered, 12" x 12", $100

    Tara McPherson live signing: Saturday 9:30 - 10:30 am and Sunday 2:00 - 3:00 pm

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    Pico the Whale by Greg "Craola" Simkins

    Signed and numbered, 5" x 7", $60

    Greg "Craola" Simkins live signing: Saturday 1 - 2 pm

    Boba Full Web

    Boba by Luke Chueh

    Signed and numbered, 9" x 12", $100

    Luke Chueh live signing:  Saturday 12 - 1 pm

    Jason Limon-Berrytop Swirlpapa

    Berrytop Swirlpapa by Jason Limon

    Signed and numbered, 11" x 14", $120

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    Catcreeper by Jason Limon

    Signed and numbered, dimensional print, $125

    Jason Limon live signing: Sunday 11 am - 12 pm

    Johnny KMNDZ Rodriguez

    Nothing New Under the Sun by Johnny "KMNDZ" Rodriguez

    Signed and numbered, 11" x 14", $75

    Johnny "KMNDZ" Rodriguez live signing: Saturday 2 - 3 pm

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    Early Bird by Nathan Ota

    Signed and numbered, 8" x 8", $65

    Nathan Ota live signing: Saturday 11 am - 12 pm

    DCon print- Chris Ryniak

    DCon 2014 by Chris Ryniak

    Signed and numbered, 8" x 8", $40

    Chris Ryniak live signing: Sunday TBD

    *receive Jeff Soto mini-print free by tagging or following @PrintsonWood

  • Chopping Block: Zeet

    Half way around the world we were able to catch up with Australian based artist, Paul "Zeet" Zeaiter, whose art you will in no doubt fall in love with. We got to talk about about his beginnings as an artist, his ritual when it comes to creating his pieces, and why he might just end up on the face of the next Bombay Sapphire bottle you party with.

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    Rough sketch of "Little China Girl"

    POW: Zeet, can you give us some insight into your career as an artist? When did you begin to illustrate and what motivated you to do so?

    Zeet: I began to illustrate on and off at about 5 years old, i loved Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry and Disney cartoons. I used to make up characters and draw them in my sketch book, which i still have. Then i discovered Mario Brothers and Street Fighter games, and used to copy the characters from those games. I started to read comics at around 10, and loved to draw Spiderman, Storm and Venom. Then i got into hip-hop around 13, and used to draw all the logos of my favourite old school hip-hop groups when i was listening to the records. From that point on i took a break from drawing, and did a short course in design when i was about 20 years old - i planned to go to art school but that never happened. Since then I’ve been in the commercial world of graphic design / art direction, and had a burning desire to explore more creative avenues like illustration and music. The last few months i’ve decided to stop working commercially for a while, and focus on building a body of illustration work. So it’s been a long break between 13 and now!

    I wasn’t being creatively fulfilled in the design world anymore, i had a great career working in London, LA, and Sydney and involved in many awesome projects and clients. But things got a bit stale and i always had a bank of visual ideas in the back of my head which i never made time to work on. I decided to take the leap, and close business down for a year or so to explore my ideas.

    Screen shot 2014-10-10 at 11.24.26 AMLittle China Girl by Zeet

    POW: How would you describe your art?

    Zeet: I’m influenced by many different things, music being the biggest influence like many other artists. The pop-surrealism world is also a massive influence on me. I suppose my art at times can be symbolic and surreal, with a pop and street twist. I’ve only just started to explore, so i’m not sure where it will lead me, but i would say for the future pieces i’m planning will be symbolic, spiritual, surreal and pop/music/street influenced. There may be a few political pieces in there one day too. I want to remain versatile, i don’t want to attach myself to a particular style or theme. Each piece will take on it’s own style and evolve to serve the idea or message of that particular piece.

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    Goldfish 1 by Zeet

    POW: While visiting your Facebook page I noticed your art piece “Transcendence” is in the running to be featured in an art series by Bombay Sapphire. I voted for your piece by the way! How did your involvement with this project come about?

    Zeet: Thanks for the vote! I follow an artist on Instagram, Hueman - massive fan of her work. She posted something on her page about it, and i took the opportunity to submit Transcendence. I’ve also always wanted to attend Art Basel in Miami, this will be my first year attending. It would be cool if my piece happened to make the final cut! The colors also seem to fit the Bombay Sapphire brand coincidentally…

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    Transcendence by Zeet

    POW: Speaking of “Transcendence”, can you tell us a little bit more about it? What themes were you exploring when you created this piece?

    Zeet: This idea came to me in my sleep one night. It’s part of what i’m going through right now personally and creatively, and many people close to me. I was exploring spirituality in this piece and the appearance of sacred geometry throughout nature. I always loved the idea of symbolism and hidden meanings in art, and allowing viewers to interpret and discover for themselves. I am also innately curious about the design of our world and universe, and why things are a certain way, and the miracle of whoever created it and it’s purpose and the role we have to play in it all.

    The peacock is a symbol of integrity and the beauty we can achieve when we show our true colors and authentic selves. The 3 heads represent the higher self, the subconscious and the ego. The light emanating from the heads represents the crown chakras, used to communicate with our spiritual nature. The peacock's eyes and eyes on the feathers are closed in a reflective, meditative state and mindfulness. The open eye represents the awakening, the 3rd eye and intuition. The third eye refers to the gate that leads to inner realms and spaces of higher consciousness. It is related to the pineal gland in our brains and often referred to as the principal seat of the soul; represented by the pine cones in the foreground. Sacred geometry in the form of the fibonacci sequence and spirals appear throughout this piece, the spiral arrangement of pine cones, uncurling ferns, the spiral cactus, the shell of the snail, the cell structure in wings of the dragonfly and most obvious the spiral arrangement of the eyes on the peacock feathers. The skulls represent the death or shedding the layers of our ego as we continue to liberate ourselves through our spiritual journey. Shedding the ego refers to no longer being controlled by it, no longer being pushed or pulled by our attachments or our aversions and acceptance of constant change, yet unmoved by those changes.

    POW: I usually find that every artist has his or her own ritual when it comes to his or her workspace and surroundings before starting on a piece. Do you have any rituals when it comes to painting and working?

    Zeet: My ritual is that music has to always be playing. I work best when i listen to roots reggae or trip-hop / electronica. I like to be organised, so i usually have a clean workspace and desk before i begin a new piece. I also spend a few hours before starting on an idea to sketch a few studies on the subject from different angles to get an understanding and idea of that particular element, and to learn more about it and how it behaves. I spend another couple hours or so surfing the internet and collecting reference images to assist me in realising my ideas and making creative decisions, and getting ideas for colour schemes. I’m still very much a student as i have had no formal art training. I like to have my trusty light pad close so i can make a million revisions to my sketches!

    And a triple shot coffee in the morning to get me kick-started, as i am still getting used to being an early riser!

    Screen shot 2014-10-10 at 11.29.38 AMGoldfish 2 by Zeet

    POW: Can you give us some more details about any upcoming work or projects you may have in store?

    Zeet: I plan to create a follow up to the Transcendence piece, but these take a lot of time. I have a few other projects in front of it, then i’ll get to it. I am planning on creating a few pieces to raise money for critically endangered animals that are close to my heart. Particularly the big cats - tigers especially - and rhino. After visiting South Africa this year, I didn’t see any rhino, and discovered they are in terrible shape right now. The rangers were saying at the current rate of poaching, they only have a few years left. One of the biggest syndicates that were caught trading rhino horns were the veterinarians that were trusted to protect them - it’s a scary thought. Some other pieces on the list are homages to favourite musicians and films… i’ll eventually get to that!

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    For more information on Zeet, please visit https://www.behance.net/zeet-art and https://www.facebook.com/zeetart

  • App Review: Ghost Lens+

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    It’s finally October and you know what that means……HALLOWEEN! My personal favorite time of the year, when the weather starts getting chilly and everything Pumpkin flavored starts making its way into stores. For this reason, this week’s app review will focus on an awesome Halloween themed app “Ghost Lens + Clone and Ghost Photo ”, where users can spook up their images and turn themselves into ghosts. Lets see how it did!

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    Once you download the app you’ll get a screen full of various options such as Video, Photo, and Photo + Video. Because it’s free you’ll notice a lot of ads, but you are given the choice to purchase the app for $1.99 to unlock all layers and filters.

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    I wanted to stick to the ghost effect, which comes free with the app so I didn’t have to make any additional purchases. I liked the fact that the app gives you a tutorial right on the screen when you first choose your ghost option.

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    Once you take the picture and are satisfied with your ghost effect, you’ll be taken to another screen with various options: filter, fuzzy, refresh, and next. Up on the top you’ll have a normal picture option and the square option, which will allow you to add a color to the sides of your photo.

    Going back to the filter option, the app will choose one of the photos for you to work on one at a time. The filters are also the same ones you find on Instagram. The second little trick we are given to work with is “fuzzy”, where you can choose to better blend your ghostly figures. I hit “refresh” after just to try it out, but it didn’t do anything, maybe a glitch?

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    You can also use the built in photo editor by clicking directly on your photo, which will bring it up from a pop up menu. Here you have more options to choose from: enhance, effects, frames, stickers, sharpen, text and more. All of these categories have free options to choose from, as well as ones you can purchase.

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    Once you’re completely done with your pictures, you can then hit next on the right hand corner and save to your camera roll or open with social media apps like Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

    For my final photo, I decided to lie on the ground and pretend I was sleeping to then be able to take a picture of myself “waking up” from my body like I had just gone through a near death experience. You can choose whatever position you want to start from and go from there. Using the app, I had a friend take the picture of me laying down on the floor and what the app will do on its own is take the first picture, save it in the background, and wait for you to take the next picture of whatever you want your ghost to be doing. In the case for me, my second photo was taken while I was sitting in an upright position.

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    Overall, I really liked this app. It was easy to use and had some great customization options considering it’s a free app. My only complaint was that the app itself was really laggy and would freeze at times. I would still give it a wood rating of 4.RATING

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    For more information on Ghost Lens+ please visit: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ghost-lens+

  • SurfExpo 2014 - Wake Awards

    Have you ever been to SURFEXPO?  Yeah.. us either, but a few weeks ago some prints on wood were there!  Those lucky wood planks became a cherished prize at the Wake Awards that was held in conjunction with SURFEXPO 2014.   For those of us who weren't fortunate enough to attend, SurfExpo, is the largest industry only trade show held twice a year, every January and September, in Orlando, Florida.

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    The expo showcases everything and anything related to board sports, i.e, wake, surf, and skate. The expo also holds demo days, fashion shows, seminars, and the Wake Awards, an award that showcases the best in wake over the past year, put on by WAKEBOARDING magazine.

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    The Wake Awards have been held every September for the past 11 years, with awards going to the best athletes in the sport. Most winners are determined by select industry voting, while others, such as the Indmar Trick of the Year, are selected from videos submitted by the riders throughout the year.

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    For this year’s award, we were excited to collaborate with WAKEBOARDING magazine to design a trophy as unique as the sport and athletes themselves. This year’s design was inspired by 50’s era television test cards with a modern twist that also incorporated the 2015 Wake Awards branding, along with a distressed version of vintage color bars to add color to the natural wood grain.

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    We couldn't have been happier with the way they printed on wood, maybe next year we will get to join the wood prints at SurfExpo!

    For more information on SurfExpo, visit http://www.surfexpo.com/

    For more information on WAKEBOARDING Magazine, visit http://www.wakeboardingmag.com/

  • Chopping Block: Lou Patrou

    A self-taught artist and native New Yorker, Lou Patrou's career has spanned nearly four decades.  You can understand our excitement when we got a chance to hear the inside scoop of his creative process, inspirations and what he does when he's not painting.

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    POW: Looking through your works, I see a variety of styles and patterns. How would you describe your art?

    Lou: My descriptions of my art have changed over the years just as my styles have changed. I guess the category would be a mix of pop surrealism, design and contemporary. I do an awful lot of faces and often work designs and patterns into them. I am intrigued with distilling down shapes and forms and puzzling with colors. I don't do illustration jobs, so I have no agenda or deadlines and am completely free to follow my own ideas. I might explore one type of look or I might do a series, I never know.

    POW: You’ve worked in a number of industries, including television and motion pictures, to product design. Did your previous work inspire your current art?

    Lou: Across the years I worked in any creative fields I could find and I have always strived to keep that all separate and clear of my art. Everything a person does influences everything else, whether you are aware of it or not. I notice that I include certain shapes and textures that are implanted in my mind from everyday sights, like subway signs or architectural elements.

    blueflowers-bb583e09d5-crop-4x5.jpg.thumbnail_3Blue Flower by Lou Patrou

    POW: Do you recall the moment you decided to concentrate on fine art?

    Lou: When I moved to New York in 2000, I decided it was time to start showing all of the work I had done over the years and finally start promoting myself as an artist.

    Screen shot 2014-09-19 at 1.02.48 PMSilvie Plaid by Lou Patrou

    POW: I particularly love the Sylvie and Hank Plaid wood prints you collaborated with us on. What was your inspiration for these two characters and how do you go about re-imagining them as frequently as you do?

    Lou: Hank & Sylvie were first imagined as a 1950s salt & pepper shaker style matching set of male / female characters. The original drawings are done in black & white pencil on 50" sheets of paper. I remember being obsessed with making the shapes and gradations very smooth and clean. I incorporated some nice elegant designs into them. They were scanned and colorized for this print and their backgrounds changed. Hank & Sylvie will be made into a collectible ball point pen early next year, limited to 500 pieces. It will be sold in a signed numbered artist case and the metal clip will be a polished silver sculpt of Hank.

    Screen shot 2014-09-19 at 1.04.41 PMHank Plaid by Lou Patrou

    POW: What has been the most rewarding aspect of being an artist?

    Lou: It has always been about the satisfaction of the creative process for me, coming up with an idea and seeing where it leads.

    POW: When you are not painting, what other activities do you partake in that make you happy and inspire your creativity?

    Lou: I go into Manhattan for a city experience and also like to take a walk through the woods, and then there's always music!

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    For more information on Lou Patrou, please visit http://www.patrou.com/

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