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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Barbie is back, Bitch!

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Barbie has in itself become an iconic image ever since she first launched in the 1959. 1990 in fact, saw the release of the best selling barbie doll. She was created with her signature cascading long platinum blonde hair, white skin, long slender legs and of course that teeny tiny vanishing waist that has since become synonymous with the doll brand.

However, jump forward 16 years and Barbie’s best selling doll is very different.  2016 saw the release of the popular fashionista doll which was not only was Latina, but with a much curvier figure and was brunette, as supposed to the white blonde legacy that had preceded her. However, as successful as her sales were she was a one off doll with a limited release.

In spite of this, over the past 2 years sales at Mattel (the manufacturers of Barbie) have been declining, with consumers pushing for diversity within the range, moving away from the stereotypical image that has since become the brands identity.

Vice President Lisa Mcknght established that ‘the brand was losing relevance’ and had to ‘change the conversation’ to keep with with the customers changing viewpoints. Subsequently, they revamped the fashionista line to include a range of skin tones, hair colours and introduced ‘flat feet’ instead of the constantly contorted feet which allowed barbie to always wear high heeled shoes. This change of brand worked, as 2016 became the first in several years that the sales of Barbie did not suffer a decline.

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Mattel had since made a very conscious effort to change its image and is contributing to do so. 2017 will see the release of a bigger range including a tall African American doll with an Afro, as well as a red headed petite girl and a blue haired doll. Additionally their will be 10 skin tones, 4 body types and 15 various hairstyles to ensure their dolls diversity reflects that of women in real life.

So its clear to see that Barbie is changing. No longer will the public be confronted by an impossible standard of the female form but instead with  more realistic images, that truly represent the diversity of women and their bodies. The next few years will be interesting!

Sex education is still failing young gay men and women

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Remember when we were all younger and had THOSE sex ed lesson. They were always a little awkward, I mean lets face it, sex was funny at that age, a taboo subject, something we didn’t really speak openly about in our own friendship circles; let alone in school…with teachers! We all remember the diagrams, putting a condom on some phallic object and lets not forget the whole photos of penis’ and vagina, which come on, at the time just made us feel a little uncomfortable. But after all that do you really remember anything being spoken about gay sex?

I mean, speaking from my own experience i remember it been spoken about very (and I mean brushed over faster Usian Bolt doing the 100 metres). We had a box, and at lunch you could write any questions you had about sex, relations of STI then post them in this little box. And i remember, actually really clearly, my teacher pulling out a small scrap of paper with the question ‘how do gays have sex?’

This of course was followed by a few awkward side glances and a few giggles before the small answer of ‘well, I’m not sure if this is a joke or serious but I’ll answer it anyway, and i believe anally’. I guess that stuck with me to this day as it really wasn’t an explanation at all (and the fact it was seen as a joking matter was completely absurd).

I guess what we are getting at here is that sex education within UK schools is failing young gay men and women. Not only is safe intercourse not being discussed but nor are homosexual relationships as a whole. Additionally this lack of education creates a stigma that gay sex is something to be ashamed off and shouldn’t be discussed.

These preconceived ideas can really be nipped in the bud if children are taught from a younger age that relationships come in a variety of forms and combinations. Children deserve to be taught an all inclusive sex education on how to stay safe and enjoy healthy relationships.

However, its easy to say the government should start providing more of an inclusive education; although, as a teacher myself i know there would be outrage from some parents if I were to begin teaching a fully inclusive sex education within my classroom. Which leads me to the bigger picture…how truly accepted within society is the concept of ‘being gay’ on the whole?

All in all, the issue stems much deeper that first thought…what are your views on the issue?

We’d love to hear!

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