HOT TREND #3: A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

This is the third installment in a little series I've put together. Each week or so, I'll pick a hip and happenin' illustration or design trend and walk you through how to do it yourself! So let's get started with:

TREND #3:

The Existentially-Charged Children's Drawing

We've all seen these drawings. They pop up intermittently on instagram feeds which mainly feature poorly-lit expressionless selfies and have more pictures of art supplies than of actual art.

These drawings are ‘simple’ and ‘real.’ They masterfully juxtapose the raw ineptitudes of childhood art with that bleak, inevitable post-puberty disillusionment.

It is the perfect art form for those who don't want to go to art school, but desire to communicate that they’ve really totally changed to the few old high school friends who still follow them on social media. “I’m no longer the sweaty kid who was way too into the theater club and never shared my flaming hot cheetos,” these drawings whisper insistently, “I think about souls and have an aesthetic now.”


How to do it yourself:


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There you go! Proclaim to instagram your deep, deep internal depths.


A disclaimer for those of you who are mentally drafting a very angry and very eloquent email right now: This is one of those tongue-in-cheek things that you shouldn’t take too seriously. All joking aside however, these trends that I actually really enjoy working with. I also follow and respect many incredible artists who ride these styles to the stars.

HOT TREND #2: A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

This is the second installment in a little series I've put together. Each week or so, I'll pick a hip and happenin' illustration or design trend and walk you through how to do it yourself! So let's get started with:

TREND #2:

Martha Stewart Bastardizes Folk Art

You can spot this trend everywhere. The vapid, flat florals are easy to find on mugs, greeting cards, tote bags, and on all the other useless chachkies that book stores sell because they can’t stay open on declining book sales alone.

However, slapping flowers on junk has been popular for an extremely long time. Rosemåling was the name of the trend when it first got started in rural Norway in the 18th century. At first, Rosemalers were guild-trained specialists who traveled around to paint the homes of rich folk, but then amateur posers went around and started painting smaller things like cups and boxes. Now you too can join in the tradition of slow decline by digitally painting amateur florals onto etsy banners and blogs!


How to do it yourself:


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There you go! Floral away to your hearts' contents.


A disclaimer for those of you who are mentally drafting a very angry and very eloquent email right now: This is one of those tongue-in-cheek things that you shouldn’t take too seriously. All joking aside however, these trends that I actually really enjoy working with. I also follow and respect many incredible artists who ride these styles to the stars.

Hot Trend #1: A Step-by-Step Guide

This is the first installment in a little series I've put together. Each week or so, I'll pick a hip and happenin' illustration or design trend and walk you through how to do it yourself! So let's get started with:

 

Trend #1:

Tattoos for the skin of your small, new but totally vintage business

 

About the trend: 

The American tattoo industry had its beginnings on the taboo side of the fence. However, after a long and interesting history (that you can go read about someplace else), it has been exalted, popularized, and celebrated to the point where it’s so extremely common that it’s almost boring. Seriously, one in five americans has some ink. And if you live in a place like Portland, “do you have any tattoos” is just a less presumptuous way of saying, “So show me your tatts.”

Naturally, a statistic that good is reflected in our dear, capitalistic american marketplace.

When Jimmy-John-Joe gets a cute back tatt and a week later he realized that he can’t actually see it himself, what does he do? He goes and he buys a laptop sticker that he can look at!

When Sally-jane-lacy runs out of skin room, what does she do? Gets a bunch of inked up shirts and hats and socks to keep the style rolling!

When Benny-Mo-Benjaminson gets his first, super cool american traditional style tatt, he feels super fricken cool because he’s in the culture club now. So what does he do? Goes to that super fricken cool authentic beer and taco shop that has a tatt style brand so that he can show off to a crowd that will dig his new ink.

Tatt calls to tatt. And the trend isn’t gonna die anytime soon, so hop on for the ride why don’t you.


How to do it yourself:


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So there you have it! Trends are easy.

Go exploit and enjoy it. Cheers.

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A disclaimer for those of you who are mentally drafting a very angry and very eloquent email right now: This is one of those tongue-in-cheek things that you shouldn’t take too seriously. All joking aside however, these trends that I actually really enjoy working with. I also follow and respect many incredible artists who ride these styles to the stars.

Mount Shasta

Camping on my own has been something I've had apprehension about for a while, but I finally tackled it. I could have tackled it in a warmer and less extreme manner, but it probably wouldn't have been nearly as beautiful.

On my way down from Portland to the Bay Area for Thanksgiving, I opted for a campsite that cost about as much as the average sketchy motel. I drove to the city of Weed, followed instructions which led me down a few dirt roads, and then arrived at the site just in time for sunset.

I had found a site where land owners rent out their private property to campers. Some are just little sites in backyard gardens, but some are in unadulterated sweeping valleys of dry brush with unbeatable views of Mount Shasta. You can guess which I went for.

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There was a distant hint of the property owner's rooftop, but aside from that, it was raw as far as the eye could see. There was no snow on the shrubby ground, but Mount Shasta itself was very close and very snowy. I could feel the bite as it got darker and darker, so I soon bundled up in my car for the night.

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Despite the protection of a down sleeping back and heavy comforter, I was cold to the edge of my endurance level. I read by lantern light for a little while, but soon decided that I'd rather just be unconscious for most of the dark and cold hours.

An alarm woke me up just a little before sunrise. I pulled on extra layers, admired the thick layer of ice that had formed both inside and out of my car, and then got out to explore.

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Everything was spiked with frost and pink from the intensely saturated sun rising. I climbed around up a rocky ridge just beside my site. The owner had sent me a message saying that this ridge was created by an old lava flow and had been used as a Native American ceremonial site at some point. It was certainly a good place for it, I thought. The ridge afforded a panoramic view of the surrounding valley, where sweeping shrubby slopes gave way to distant bumps of hills poking up through pink low-hanging fog.

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Eventually the pink flush cooled down to blue. I kept going along the ridge and found birds eating frosty juniper berries. My fingers and toes started to go simultaneously numb and painful, so I decided it was time to go back to town and get some warm things. 

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Laika

Art galleries are already a place where I'm more emotionally vulnerable, but this exhibit got me bad. The Laika "Animating Life" exhibit shows off all the meticulously made props and showcases the extreme lengths that the artists and animators go to deliver Laika's stop-motion movies.

It means more than I can articulate that there are entire companies of people who are dedicated to such excellence of toil--and that it still has a place in the mainstream even. Laika Studios is located right in Hillsboro! Only a short drive from where I'm living now. I hope they do tours so that I can go cry all over the production studios too. 

Amy's Gorge-and-Us Birthday

Amy, John, and Sarah were in town for Dani's wedding, so I got to hang out with them on Amy's birthday! We all live in different corners of the country, so the opportunities we get to hang out all together are really phenomenal. And we did not waste it.

We drove out to the Columbia River Gorge and just wandered around to see what we would find. We came across a fish hatchery, ten million fall-colored trees, and a row of abandoned old fishing docks! It was my first time really getting out since moving here, so the impact of the scenery was especially strong. All in all, not a day I'll forget easily or ever.

Note: some of these were snapped by Amy!

Danielle Hearn

My dear and beautiful friend Dani became a married person! And I'm so honored that I got to be there with her to see it happen (and to take a few photos and video). 

The venue was almost as stunning as Dani herself. Very fitting. I had no idea that vineyards turned bright yellow in Autumn! My friend Amy was the real wedding photographer, so these are just a few quick photos from rehearsal day and some fun ones of the bridesmaids out in the vineyard. 

Congratulations Kory and Dani! We all had an amazing time celebrating your marriage!