As an arts blogger I spend most of my day looking at amazing things created by artists, performers and creatives. If you’re reading Beautiful/Decay, a good portion of your time is likely also spent in awe of the creative output of others. I decided to make a move to the other side of the screen, rolled up my sleeves and learned to create something awesome. I joined forces with Skillshare, an online learning community that provides access to over 15,000 creative classes, to help accelerate my creative inspiration. Whether you’re looking to learn graphic design, illustration, photography or practically anything else, Skillshare can teach you what you need to know to execute your vision. Even better, they’re offering Beautiful/Decay readers two free months of Skillshare Premium (usually it’s $10 per month). Visit this link to redeem the promo or use the promo code BEAUTIFULDECAY..
Toronto based artist Trevor Wheatley takes common slang to the streets, placing words and lingo in the public sphere where you cannot ignore it. He constructs large-scale sculptures of words like “real talk” and “nah” and installs them amongst trees and in rivers. Can you imagine hiking and seeing the word “squad” as you looked up into the trees? His often boldly colored text becomes so out of place in the wilderness, creating a very surreal site. Each installation displays strong pop-culture references of phrases commonly used. Interested in typography, Wheatley’s text-based work is range in font, color, and materials.
Wheatley takes this common language and makes it static, giving it a more permanent element. Language and slang changes so frequently, a word or phrase could be outdated as soon as Wheatley has completed the installation. Nevertheless, they bring back nostalgia and even add a bit of humor to their environment. Slang and lingo can often bring to mind a certain type of person or stereotype that we associate with the word or phrase. Wheatley’s sculptures take us beyond these preconceived notions of language by taking them out of their usual context and placing them in a new environment. Like taking a word out of its original context can change it’s meaning, the artist gives new meaning and life to the lingo, as they are located in serene nature. (via Juxtapoz)
In the site-specific installation Anxiety Map, designer Alexia Mosby documents an overactive mind’s anxious thoughts. It’s a personal map, and one that boldly displays the many things that run through your head as you’re leaving your home. Over the course of two flights of stairs, you’re doubting that the stove was turned off or the door was locked. After making your way to the bottom of the steps, you come to the conclusion that you have to go back and check.
Anxiety Map uses stairs, walls, and even railings to transmit her text in black masking tape. At certain angles letters look distorted, and it’s only when you approach them from very specific ways that they appear correct. Otherwise, they are stretched, shortened, and sometimes incomprehensible – not dissimilar to the thoughts in our head.
Considerably ancient art form of calligraphy is brought to new dimensions by Tolga Girgin, a Turkish electrical engineer by trade and graphic designer by heart. His series of 3D calligraphic artworks witness how a little bit of imagination and skill can breathe life to a slowly disappearing craft.
Looking at Girgin’s graceful letters and strokes it seems like they are going to leap off the page and float into thin air. The eye-catching effect is achieved by combining skillful shading and perspective. Bright colors also do justice for Girgin’s works. His letterforms look more like paper cut-outs than two-dimensional drawings.
Girgin also practices “calligraffiti” which blends the properties of calligraphic style with modern day graffiti: the art of writing meets the art of getting your (pseudo) name up in an urban environment. Calligraffiti borrows inspiration from ancient lettering styles: Japanese ancient brush characters, Arabic pictorial scripts, medieval books and quill writing. The new form of art was originally named and pioneered by Dutch artist Niels Shoe Meulman. (via Colossal)
German design studio FOREAL has created an impeccable set of 3D alphabet renderings for their personal project “Sculpted Alphabet”. Playful series features the whole English alphabet made from various everyday objects, food products and even body parts. The whole set of 26 letters was created by two designers, Benjamin Simon and Dirk Schuster.
“New tools, new playgrounds. One single rule: Choose a letter and sculpt it! Maxon gave us it’s new sculpting tools with the last releases of Cinema 4D. Our goal was to create the whole alphabet and achieve some completely new ways how type can be built and seen. A playful execution of that self-initiated project helped us to gain some significant experience in cgi sculpting techniques while having a lot of fun. We hope you enjoy these as we did.”
The project by FOREAL is a candid illustration of how three-dimensional CGI (computer-generated imagery) has moved forward and continues to grow in capabilities. The artistic 3D alphabet was designed using one of the agency’s illustration tools, Maxon Cinema 4D. According to the producers, it is one of the greatest tools for recreating even the slightest details, such as hair or fur.
Born in Canada, raised in the Chinese tradition, and based in New York, interdisciplinary artist Sougwen Chung has created an interactive, animated font called Kinecdysis that you can experience first-hand here. Recommended for polymaths, poets, and prophets, Kinecdysis is inspired by “the motif of ecdysis (from Ancient Greek: ἐκδύω, ekduo, to take off, strip off).”
Chung’s statement explains, “At the epilogue of transformation, what remains? Ecdysis is the process of shedding or casting off the exoskeleton in invertebrate organisms. As a metaphor for writing, it is in equal parts an assemblage, homage and exorcism of the self in all its prior iterations. It is the verbal vestige that forms the story of our private ecdysis… within it, the narratives that contain the modicum of our memory.”
You can view the entire animated gif alphabet here.
Bones automatically insinuate death, and often are the only physical remnant that insinuates life once existed. Shen Shaomin‘s bone works are equal parts terrifying and fascinating, man-made memorials to human intervention on the planet. Creatures that never have been or should be are pieced together from human and animal skeletons. The bones are carved and relief-carved with text taken from several sources, including the Bible, the Koran, and various sources. Inscribed in English, Arabic, and Chinese, the texts serve as warnings to the two largest industrial nations in the world of the damage being caused to the planet.
Related to the Chinese practice of bonsai, or long-term manipulation of a living tree to one’s will based on aesthetic and stylistic choices, Shaomin has also used bonsai in past works as a metaphor for human intervention upon nature.
In an interview with the University of Sydney’s ARTSPACE CHINA, Shaomin explains the terror he hopes to evoke in his skeletal works, “China’s current situation is very much like my bonsais. At first glance you will find it beautiful, but once you look more carefully you’ll see there are terrifying things behind that beauty. China has over a billion people, but over 800 million of those people are peasants. A peasant’s standard of life in China is still pretty basic. They say that if every one of those 800 Chinese peasants showered every day it would take more than all the water on the planet. That’s a scary thought.” (via myampgoesto11)
French digital artist JC Debroize has created an unsettling font called “The Human Type” using modeling clay and digital effects. Debroize completed this project as the creative director for the graphic design studio Kerozen. After using modeling clay to render the shapes of the letters, Debroize took photos of both the letters and the faces of the 7 Kerozen team members. “Then I made a mapping of skin textures on the letters with Photoshop and added the hair and the eyes,” Debroize elaborates. “It was not a problem to show an unflattering image of us. We laughed a lot making this.” (via laughing squid)