Tiny Suspended Worlds

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Here at VinylOctopus we love an intricate piece of work and there no exception with today’s artist, Dutch born Rosa de Jong. Much like a ship in a bottle she handcrafts beautiful, delicate minute worlds inside long slender glass tubes. These tiny land masses supporting various elements such as tress, buildings and tents, whilst they appear to suspend in mid-air; lending a sense of tranquility to her work.

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Titled ‘Micro Matters’ her pieces actually require zero planning, with De Jong stating that she often wings it and simply places this where they look right. Usually taking on average a day to complete, she uses various elements such as sticks and bark bought into the house by her cat.

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Overall her work aims to look at what we call home and how it compares to the entire world, reflecting on how small and comfortable our own tiny world can seem in the grand scheme of things.

If you love her work as much as we do, take a look at her instagram @byrosa we’ve already followed!

Sloppy Joseph

Well aren’t you all lucky buggers, two top artist interviews in two days…we do treat you well!

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So today we are really excited to introduce to you Sloppy Joseph! His work is relatively simple but has a real element of thought behind it. Often depicting everyday elements but with a sense of almost hopelessness to them, in fact quite often depicting the same male and his cat. Additionally, his use of dusty pinks and greens only aids to tone of his work.

We managed to catch up with Sloppy Joe for a quick chat…

So Joe, tell us a bit about you growing up, was art always such a such a big factor in your life?

Growing up, art was something that I’ve always enjoyed. Drawing in particular, was a huge part of my childhood.

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So when did you decide to make a career out of it?
I’m actually still not quite a professional artist yet but one day I hope to be! I’m studying Fine Arts at the University of Cincinnati at the moment and working at a restaurant part-time.

So, where do you get your initial ideas and inspiration from? Are you influenced by anything or anyone in particular?

My initial inspiration typically comes just from sitting and thinking listening to rap music. Most of my ideas are rather sporadic if I’m being honest.

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How do you get from your beginning idea to your final result?

Typically I get to my end result by drawing my illustration in pencil first, then inking it with a sharpie. I then either scan or photograph the drawing and bring it into photoshop where I can edit and add color. It’s a bit more of a design oriented process.

What’re you currently working on that excites you?

Right now the thing that I’m working on that excites me the most is getting some clothing printed! I’ve always wanted to be able to produce t shirts as a way to market my art and I’m excited to get that up and going soon.

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Ah cool, we look forward to seeing/wearing them. Finally, what does the future hold for you and your art?

I’m not really sure what the future will hold for me and my art, but right now I’m trying to take things one day at a time.

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We just like to take this time to say thanks to Sloppy Joseph a great guy and an amazing artist. Take a look at more of his work by giving him a follow on Instagram @sloppy_joseph_ you won’t be disappointed!

The incredible Monsters, Skulls and Demons of Matt Reid

It’s easy to see what caught our attention to Australian born Matt Reid’s work. His crisp and clean, striking black and white  truly take us on a trip of all thing grim. We caught up with Sydney based Matt to find out more about him and his work.

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Hey Matt, so tell us a bit about you growing up, was art always a key factor in your life?

Growing up, the extent of my art was early morning cartoons or reading comics. It wasn’t  until I was older that I began to appreciate art for art sake.
Even from a young age though I loved line doodling monsters and such. I’ve always had a love for the macabre though, if you look through my old sketch books  it is nothing but
a child’s rendition of skulls and demons.

So when did you transition from being a child doodling to becoming a professional artist as a full time career?

It was only recently actually (6 months to a year ago) that my art career took off and  its been a bit of a roller coaster ever since. In the last 6 months my social media has sort of boomed and I’ve had an influx of work.

Where do you get your initial ideas and inspiration from? Are you influenced by anything or anyone in particular?

My idea’s are usually derived from either a  phrase or sentence that resonates enough with me to create some sort of mental image. I’ve always enjoyed Gothic fiction novels and darker imagery. Style wise I love traditional line work like the works of Gustave Dore or M C Escher, so stylistically they were big influences.  I have a few modern day influences as well; the works of The Godmachine, Dan Mumford and Richey Beckett have been huge impacts on my illustration career as a whole. They were the artists who inspired me to even try to get into the industry so without them I wouldn’t be doing this.

So tell us, how do you then get from this inspiration or initial idea to your final result?

Usually I’ll sketch up an image on paper, with little to no detail. Once i’m happy with the general layout and composition of the artwork I will begin to add detail in pencil. It hits a certain point where I just switch to pens, inking in my line work first, followed by line work shading / cross hatching and at the end I fill in the voids with a marker. When that is finished I scan the artwork into Photoshop and using the contrast and brightness tool I
solidify my blacks and add in back ground details (such as the moon and stars) as it contrasts the foreground better and appears cleaner. In Photoshop I will also remove any blemishes or smudges that are visible. Giving the final artwork a rather crisp, clean feeling.

5. What’re you currently working on that excites you?
I am currently working on a few projects but I am very excited to be working on an artwork for a Australian band called Amber Architect.  The artwork is something completely out of my element and composition wise is very different from alot of my other pieces as well.

That sounds really cool, so then  what does the future hold for you and your art?

All I can hope for with my art is to grow, to progress in both dedication and skill to the craft. I love what I do but I’m always trying to improve my style and try out new mediums and such. If I could do this for the rest of my life, I will be a very happy man.

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Matt truly is a skilled artist, that cant be disputed. If you want to check out his large body of work take a look at his Instagram @m_r92

You wont be disappointed! We cant wait to order one of his prints and get it up on the wall!

Black and white beauty

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Today we introduce you to the incredible work of Colombian artist and illustrator, Alejandro García. Working exclusively in black and white he creates beautiful images often fusing natural aspects with human forms to create human avian hybrids. Additionally, his pieces are always thought provoking and have an element of shock and macabre to them.

Unfortunately, we don’t know a whole lot about Alejandro or his incredible work however, we will let you be the judge as it truly does speak for itself…

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Mixing it up!

Here at VinylOctopus we love a whole lot of different types of art, however there’s something about using a different medium that we love. And that’s exactly what drew us to artist Holly Voden. Carefully and quickly she uses a mix of resin and coloured paints to create stunning pieces, each beautifully unique.

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She begins with a large canvas before throwing/pouring/sploshing/splattering (anything really) paint over it, which are then layered multiple times, providing depth her work. Next, using a heat gun she both dries and mixes the pant to create hypnotic, almost cosmic landscapes. Additionally, once dried the resin produces a reflective, almost polished finish that appears to flow beautifully and captures the eye.

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Check out the time lapse video of Voden creating one of her art resin pieces below.

Additionally check out more of her work at http://www.hollyvoden.com

Puzzling together the pixels

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It’s clear to see what immediately drew us to the incredible sculpture work of artist Hsu Tung Han. He creates beautiful, lifelike sculptures of the human form simply from carving wood. However, his pieces reflect the modern world as they appear pixelated, glitches appear to scatter across his work. As if portions are missing, being replaced with something similar, but all together by the same.

Each sculpture is meticulously planned out. First preparation drawings are created before modelling it from clay. Only then can the final piece begin to be carefully crafted and constructed . By using pieces of either walnut, teak or African wax wood the sculpture can be carved and placed together, like a 3D jigsaw puzzle.

Han describes how he uses both the negative and positive space to set his piece into motion. Subsequently, the pixels, once placed, show a ‘tranquility pulled apart’ by unrest.

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Now, we understand his work may not be to everyone’s taste (as is the case with most art), however his level skill cannot be disputed. Hsu Tung Han truly shows how an artist can beautifully manipulate their medium to produce exciting results.

A Russian Fairytale

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As much as I love art with a fantasy element, it can sometimes verge slightly too far over the line. It can become almost ‘nerdy’ and cliché. I say cliché as,for example, often all the men will be be depicted as having rippling muscles and the woman in skimpy outfits or (even worse) armour plates (which lets face it wouldn’t provide protection from anything larger than a teaspoon, but do give her a fuck tonne of cleavage)!

However, this is not the case with the work of Margarita Kareva, her beautiful photography work captures the essence of Russian fairytales. As a child Kareva’s passion was reading. Delving deep into stories filled with all manner of mystic and fantastic creatures this translated and extended into her photography work (which subsequently, she only began a mere 5 years ago by chance).

Her work depicts woman against breathtaking landscapes and backdrops providing a sense of wonder, mystery and in many cases, power. This paired with her expert use of elaborate props and intricately created costumes she crafts enchanting portraits which truly capture the viewers mind and sense of wonder.

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Take a look a more of her stunning work by visiting her Instagram page @karevamargo