Feb 27, 2009

Tattoo machine

Fifth, Sixth, Seventh..., originally uploaded by ImeanHoneyBee.

The contrasting colors in this pic are great aren't they? Also I love the concept of people building tattooing machines, in this day and age how often do we handcraft the tools we work with?

Holy crap! I literally gapsed out loud when I saw this! Amazing!

the king

, originally uploaded by .Bu.

this is adorable! not a huge fan of the font though, its hard to read at first glance but the swirl hair details are fabulous.

deer dj necklace

originally uploaded by Ponygraph.

This is such a bizarre combination of things, a DJ and a giant deer necklace by missdisguise.

Feb 26, 2009

high waisted

High Waisted skirts from Urban Outfitters

I'm really into skirts this season because I own a lot of jeans but I never got into buying skirts in the past. I love the silhouettes UO has going on right now. I bought the two skirts on the right column and they're super cute. I don't think the model's body's do them justice in these pics lol.

From L to R and Top to Bottom

Ecote Watercolor Silk Skirt $58
Silence & Noise Pleated Skirt with Pockets $58
Play by C. Ronson Hi Waist Button Skirt $49.99 (on sale)
byCORPUS Hi-Waisted Gathered Skirt $78

baby deer!

Baby Deer Print by Sharon Montrose

Omg how adorable!!!! Sharon Montrose's fine art animal themed prints are beautiful. I love the color scheme that emerged from this goose print. Buy them over at etsy.

Goose Print by Sharon Montrose

via swissmiss


Omg I had the worst walking commute to work since for whatever reason I decided to wear really uncomfortable shoes D: Bad bad idea! Anyway it was miserable but seeing this dulls the pain a bit.

Mushi Mushi Gocco print by StudioMIKMIK

Feb 25, 2009

Evil Twins Tattoo

Skull and Sakura by Johan of Evil Twins Tattoo

I am loving this style of Black & Grey with a hint of color. This Swedish tattoo shop is filled with some amazing talent, check out their portfolio of work! So beautiful!

I am in awe! *bows down* hahaa.

Design with words

Just LOL!!!! This is my new fav site i can read, found via swissmiss.

I also love this one ...

Deer & Wine

I've started working again and have been too busy to update this blog as frequently as I'd like. I've seen many wonderful and inspiring things and hopefully I get to post them sooner than later. I maintain two blogs and blogging is really like a second job. Between doing the research and finding material to post about, typing up the entry, proofreading it and resizing and retouching the images and what not, a good two or three hours can go by.


Awesome wine labels via all stripes

The color palette on these wine labels have inspired me for a project that I'm working on right now. I'm on a work computer and they haven't upgraded their software and I'm stuck with Illustrator CS2!!! *gasp* It seems almost primitive to be working on it when I've been using CS3 all these months and now there's even CS4!! Anyway I dearly miss the color guide function in CS3 :/


Deer Anatomy Screenprint by Mark Weaver

I saw this on flickr the other night, I love how deers inspire people to make so many weird things lol. I'm tempted to buy the screenprint from etsy but I'm hesitant because I dunno if it would freak me out to have in my tiny studio apartment. The red bg is quite loud, but then I think it would be fun to have something so bizarre in your home.

Feb 24, 2009

Spiderling Cloud Letterpress Edition

I love this limited edition letterpress illustration. It's available for sale on etsy, proceeds go towards a charity that provides books for low income children.

Feb 23, 2009


Engraving by Sam Alfano

I saw an image of Sam Alfano's engraving work over on iLT a few days ago. I absolutely love this style of work, its used a lot in Black & Grey tattoo style. The igraver.com website has some more great examples.
Another great website I found via iLT is Image Spark, its basically an online mood board where users can upload pics that inspire them.

I haven't been keeping up with typography in a while since I was focused more on illustration but I'm doing some contract work involving animated banners whose main feature are words, so typography plays a big part in their design. The typography tag that iLT linked too has some amazing examples for inspiration, check it out.

Feb 22, 2009


Coraline visual development drawings by Burst of Beaden

via Illustration Friday

Check out the bigger version on the link, they're amazing. I love the color schemes and line art quality. I haven't seen the movie Coraline as yet but I would love to see a movie done in the style of the drawings. Reminds me of some old school Hanna Barbera cartoons for some reason. Also check out Jon Klassen's blog with some more amazing work.

Feb 21, 2009

Fever Ray - When I grow up

When I Grow Up from Fever Ray on Vimeo.

I love the surreal and weird nature of the Fever Ray videos so far.

Feb 20, 2009

Pillow Talk

I have this thing for interior decorating. I recently started to buy some cool pillowcases and pillows for my bed. I got a Marimekko set from CB2 but they're also some awesome ones over on etsy.com
From left to right and top to bottom:

Ukiyo5 Pillowcase - Riku $35
Lit 101 Pillow $19.95
Boo Pillow by Chris Bettig $32
Origami Pigeon Pillow $36
Vintage Pocket Watch Pillowcase set $18
Koi Fish Pillowcase set $14.99 (on sale)

Feb 19, 2009

Rain in Paris

by the cherry blossom girl on flickr

by marceline on flickr

by Anushka In Repair on flickr

Some of my favorite photos on flickr, I like these pics of Parisian neighborhoods, I feel as if you rarely see that in people's Parisian pics. I love mundane neighborhood shots like these.

Diesel Spring/Summer 09

Diesel Intimates

Diesel is one of my favorite brands, not for their jeans but more so for their accessories line, jewelry and bags. Last year they introduced an underwear line and this year they have a home textiles line of products so you can make your home much more rock n' roll looking, although I don't know how safe these studded hand towels are.

Diesel Home Textiles

Etsy Favs

B&W Whimsy

Some of my fav items from my favorite sellers on etsy. I don't think I've ever actually bought anything from anyone on etsy, then gain my disposable income for the past year has been very little and I stopped shopping for the sake of shopping. But if we want to help the economy we need to buy stuff lol and what better way than to support these selfmade small businesses.
You can find some amazing items on etsy for great prices that you wouldn't find anywhere else.

Papercut Print Tree House $25
Lets Eat Gocco Printed Invitation $3.50
Oh Deer Necklace $20
Craft Scissor Earrings $8.00
Wonderland I'm Late Necklace $22
Octopus Sliver Platted Necklace $11

Vintage Fashion Inspiration

Piksi_'s Fashion Flickr

I came across this wonderful fashion photostream on flickr run by a young lady from Finland. She takes pics of her day to day vintage inspired fashions. She's gorgeous and has a great body to pull off these types of clothes. I need to get back into being creative with my wardrobe, I tend to dress very practical since I live in the city and I like to be able to get around with ease. So I avoid wearing heels because Philly streets just destroy them if you wear them too often and I like to walk fast lol. I also don't tend to buy skirts because I can never find any to fit my tiny waist, there's too much vanity sizing in stores and size 0s are more like size 3s -.-; But I love getting dresses for summer and little cardigans. My favorite store to get cute and relatively inexpensive items is Zara.

I love her outfits because they look like they'd be great for the office. They're fashionable yet formal enough to wear to the office. I'm starting to work again on monday and I need to build up an office friendly wardrobe. The place I work at is very, very casual but I need to define a workplace wardrobe so that when I'm on my off time I don't wear the same kind of clothes to the bar and movies. I've been trying to build up a date wardrobe too, but I was unemployed and didn't feel like spending the money lol. So maybe now that I'll be earning some dough I'll shell out for some cute Spring date outfits.

Piksi_'s Wardrobe Slideshow

Feb 18, 2009

Lily Allen - The Fear

Lily Allen - The Fear

This video is so cute, I think Lily Allen is super adorable and I'm really loving the lyrics on her latest album Its Not Me, Its You. Its rare to find such honest lyrics coming out from the current music scene.

Feb 17, 2009

Obama offers cookies

Office in Air Force One

President Obama offers cookies in the White House's movie theater

How cute! Cookies from the President, those cookies couldn't convince the vast majority of House and Senate Republicans to vote for the stimulus bill. The office in Air Force One is amazing! It barely looks like they're all in a plane.

These are a series of photos by Pete Souza that were put up on the White House website to track the President's courting of Congress men and women to vote for the stimulus package that he signed into law today.
They also set up this website Recovery.gov so that citizens can track the spending of the money in the bill and see the results of the money that's being invested in various projects. You can also read the full bill on the website, which not even the people voting on it got the chance to do o.O;

I have the say the series of photographs are kind of odd, the compositions are awkward but not in an interesting cutting edge or artistic way. Gawker said they seemed very claustrophobic, but I guess Souza was trying to get them to be very candid and in the moment.

Lily Allen


Lily Allen in Glamour UK magazine


I think these shots of Lily Allen in the March edition of Glamour UK are so cute! I love the concept and the Union Jack flag always leads to strong and amazing imagery. See more at the source.

Below is a sampler of songs from her new album It's Not Me, It's You..

Feb 13, 2009


Today is the big day for all chocolate sellers, flower growers and greeting card makers! These industries are hoping for a bump in the black during this time of recession. From my experience out yesterday in Philadelphia, men and women are not shy about purchasing some of the best chocolates from Godiva (the line in the store went out the door) and sexy little things from Victoria's Secret. Frankly I think retail hasn't been severely affected in Philadelphia, I mean the shops are always filled with people on the weekends, specially when we get the odd day with 58 degree weather in February.

I made this card to send out to my friends because valentine's shouldn't just be an occasion for lovers, because they're all types of love aren't they? I love designing little things to send out to friends, its one of the reasons I started to make my own stationary in the first place.

Vector Illustration for You Are A Sweetie

You are a Sweetie printed version (Back and Front)

I treated myself to chocolates, roses and jewelry! There's no rule that says you can't give yourself those things because Valentine's Day should be about loving yourself too.

♥ Pink Roses and Sakura earrings from Juicy Couture ♥

Hello Kitty meets M.A.C

AD Campaign for Hello Kitty for M.A.C makeup line

Very gorgeous ad inspired by Alice in Wonderland. My only gripe with it is that a lot of the shots of the Alice character focused on the model's legs, if only they had cast a model with a nice set of legs that didn't make you think eating disorder every time they came on screen. I'm sorry but toothpick legs like that just look weird and unattractive to me. Aside from that visually its a beautiful piece of promo video.

Feb 12, 2009

Kat Von D High Voltage Tattoo

High Voltage Tattoo
$19.79 on Amazon

Last week I picked up Kat Von D's first book entitled High Voltage Tattoo, I was pretty excited to flip through it because I've been wanting her to release a compilation of her tattoo work for a long time. I think the skills she has in terms of rendering realistic imagery onto the skin are just mind blowing.

I first became familiar with her work on the TLC show Miami Ink, on that show she was the only female crew member of an all male tattoo shop, although the men on the show had some great skills of their own hers really stood out to me. Before I saw her work I didn't give much thought to the artistry that really goes into tattooing, I didn't know much about it or had any respect for it, but seeing the things she was able to accomplish with a needle, ink and skin, were really amazing to me. It made me look at tattooing on a whole other level and her attention to detail, the intricacy and Baroque inspired artistry that she puts in her work are really inspiring to me.

Memorial tattoo by Kat Von D

Kat Von D now has her own show on TLC, called L.A Ink, for her shop she focused on hiring a mostly female and very talented main crew. The contents of the book range from the biographical to her portfolio of work. I wasn't that interested in the bio stuff as much, but I loved the portfolio section more than anything.
I can't really put into words how beautifully designed this book is, its something that you have to see for yourself. Conceptually its very Gothic and has many little intricate details that totally reflect the artistic and personal style and lifestyle of Ms. Von D herself. It makes for a great coffee table book and an awesome reference piece if you're an illustrator interested in tattoo work, or just someone who is a fan of hers and her work.

She specializes in Black & Grey work, which she thinks allows for more realism. My favorite thing about her work are all the little details she adds like the filigree and her use of shading to add volume and dimension. When I first started illustrating my work was very minimal but that was more because I was lazy and not a chosen aesthetic. Her work inspires me to take more time and really add those details that will make my work look like a completed piece instead of something half way done. You can always tell when you work needs that extra something to make it pop.

I love the fact that drawings she did as a kid are included in the book. I still keep a lot of my early drawings from when I was around 5 or 6, and some of the sketches I did in school while bored lol. Its great to look back on that stuff and see how much you've grown as an artist over the span of your life.

I highly recommend checking out the book if you're a fan of hers or you want to see some great examples of tattoo work if you're interested in getting one done yourself. The book has advice on how to go about selecting your tattoo, finding an artist, what you need to communicate to your artist, what the process will entail and what to do to take care of your tattoos. She also has a section where she busts some tattoo myths. There's a 3 page layout chronicling all the individual tattoos on her body, and at the end of the book the work from some favorite fellow tattoo artists is featured.

Its a great book, filled with rock n roll and some of the best tattoos in the world!

Kat Von D will be doing a book signing at Borders Bookstore on Broad Street in Philadelphia on March 7th! So look out for her in a bookstore near you.

MTV Duelo

MTV_duelo_01, originally uploaded by indio san.

I love everything about this design, its from indio_san over on Flickr. The textures and 3D aspects of it are fabulous and it has a nice use of a sunburst and the way the waves are illustrated are very organic and awesome. Great color scheme too.

Feb 11, 2009

Michelle Obama in Vogue


"I first met Mrs. Obama at an impromptu dinner at Oprah Winfrey's house in Santa Barbara, California, on the eve of the divine Ms. O's Legends Ball in 2005. I was seated between the then Senator Barack Obama's wife and Tina Turner. Do I remember what Michelle was wearing? Not at all. What I do remember was how informed she was on so many topics. And when she said she actually knew who I was, I was so flattered my jaw dropped."

The disconnect is so apparent in that paragraph, I find Michelle Obama an inspiring and memorable FIrst Lady not because of what she wears but because of what comes out of her mouth. Her mind, intelligence, demeanor and fearless-ness are far more inspiring traits than the clothes she chooses to wear. That's why the fashion industry's obsession with trying to turn her into another woman who only cares about clothes is so annoying to me.

"What Michelle Obama is less focused on—in direct inverse proportion to the focus of the public—is fashion. Which isn't to say that she doesn't appreciate good clothes. Or that the fashion choices of a woman whose image will shortly be—or already is—among the most recognizable in the entire world aren't iconic. And thus far, those choices have been fearless. Every moment she sallies forth, she will be scrutinized, then alternately set on a pedestal or skewered."

Its too bad that what she wears will be more coverage and recognition than the policies she wants to work on and promote. Just because of her gender the media has already put her into this box, she's a woman she MUST like clothes and we will only pay attention to that because that's what other women are interested in and relate to -.-;

What I find most exciting about Michelle Obama being in the public eye is that she is an example of a fiercely intelligent woman who isn't afraid to tease her husband and doesn't fawn at him and take a back seat. We see so few examples of women like that in media that I wish her narrative would be more about her brain rather than her wardrobe. But hopefully in time her endeavors as First Lady will get the attention they deserve.

Read the entire Vogue article here

Valentine's Day cards

Sweet Cupcake

Part of my February design goals was to design a series of Valentine's Day themed cards. I went into a wonderful paper/card store the other day and looked at their Valentine's cards and they were all cheesy and in the same shade of red and pink D: When I first started to put these together the color scheme was no where near pink or red, they started out blue and black actually lol. But my new favorite and indispensible part of Adobe Illustrator CS3 is the color guide function. It makes picking your color schemes much easier, basically you just select a color and go to the color guide and it lists all that color's complements, analogs, compounds, etc. Best thing they ever added to that program in my opinion because color schemes are kind of difficult for me.

This cupcake design was inspired by a tattoo trend, usually when people think of tattoos they think of really scary things like skulls and what not. But a lot of girls love getting cupcake tattoos as evidence by this large gallery on flickr. The first time I ever saw one was in Inked magazine when they had a feature on Twinkie Chan.

It was a fun design to do and I love the color scheme, it complements the things that are illustrated and makes me think of yummy sweets and chocolate, although getting the right shape for the top of the cupcake took some time D:

I also wanted to do a design for men, when I sat down to think about what kind of tattoo inspired designs would be appropriate for men I realized that men get a lot of motifs and designs that are usually associated with women outside of the tattoo world. Whether that be roses or cherry blossoms in American style tattoo or Japanese traditional style. I bought Kat Von D's book which I will post more about later and I wanted to do some black & grey inspired roses along with this pistol design I originally made for a screenprint.
The trick was recreating a textured version in Illustrator, I really like how this design turned out, there's another version that says Death Before Dishonor, a Sailor Jerry reference and I thought it seemed appropriate given the content of the drawing.

Overall my goal was to create some designs that weren't totally conventional and that could also be used for any occasion just not the big hallmark holiday. Valentine's is a weird holiday, it creates really odd expectations on the part of men and women. Women are taught to expect roses, candy and jewelry and men are taught that that's what all women want and that's what they need to give them in order to make them happy on this day.
Frankly I find the whole roses and candy think corny and unoriginal, because its not like that guy put a lot of thought into buying those things right? Also there's that whole other underbelly of it where women are expected to give sex in return for the man's investment in $85 bouquet of roses and jewelry. LOL, in the end it ends up being really unromantic and just a headache for both parties involved.

I hope you all have a great Valentine's day be it with your friends or significant other.

Feb 10, 2009

Michelle Obama & Fashion

Vogue U.S. March Cover featuring First Lady Michelle Obama

The high-end fashion industry has an unhealthy obsession with First Lady Michelle Obama, every time I read coverage about it, they seem to want to reduce this highly accomplished and intelligent woman to someone who's only role in the Obama administration is to provide the fashion industry with an opportunity to congratulate themselves.
This is a woman who wears clothes from H&M and J. Crew and doesn't go out of her way to be particularly fashion forward, so the obsession the fashion industry has with her comes across as so desperate.

Here in Philadelphia, local high-end shop Joan Shepp has a window display dedicated to Michelle Obama that somehow relates to celebrating Black history month, even though the designer clothes in the display aren't all my African American designers. And the First Lady hasn't worn any of the dresses in the display either, so its just like pics of the Obama family surrounded by dresses and designer sketches selected by Andre Leon Talley. Its just feeding off the Obama brand and seems like a really weird and desperate tie-in.

Photos taken by me.

Feb 9, 2009

Blue & Yellow


Steven Klein photography via Jezebel

Wow the male model's painted mask is one of the more visually arresting images that I've seen in a fashion shoot in a while. Reminds me a lot of The Joker. Also I love the use of color in this his wardrobe and makeup, the combo of yellow and red don't usually lead to such a sinister visual combo but I think the model's facial structure adds a lot too.

More pics and commentary at the source.

Feb 6, 2009

Julie Becker in Inked Magazine

Tattoo artist Julie Becker
Inked Magazine September 08 issue

This is one of my all time favorite photoshoots featured in Inked magazine. Inked is a rare tattoo magazine in terms of design, it debuted in Fall of 06 and when I picked it up I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw inside. I was like ... wow its so clean and not tacky looking! I really commend the design team behind the magazine because it really stands a cut above all the other tattoo magazines, which all have this same kind of trashy look. My first impression of Inked was that it was a lifestyle magazine for people who love tattoos or happened to be tattooed themselves. They hire great photographers and models and the magazine itself looks very highend. And not to mention that they have some great interviews and other written pieces.

Anyway this particular shoot was amazing, I ended up cutting out a lot of the pics and framing them on my wall in some filigree/gothic decorative frames. My only gripe with Inked is that their celebrity photoshoots rarely have any close-up or detailed photos of the person's tattoo. I mean I figure this personality is in the magazine because of their love for tattoos, so I want to see what tattoos they have. Don't make them wear a long sleeve dress shirt if that have a full sleeve. It defeats the whole purpose of being in a magazine dedicated to tattoo culture. I think that's why I loved Becker's shoot so much, the photos really captured the beauty and detail of her tattoos and it wasn't just an excuse to style her in lingerie and kimono robes.