Pick of the Week: Ally Burke

ally burke (4)Pick of the Week: Ally Burke

This week’s pick is a must for October in preparation for Halloween, artist Ally Burke of deadspiderhands. She’s been a pick twice before but I cannot resist sharing her artwork. I absolutely adore her style and I love the humor of her work. Her shop is primarily prints, stickers, postcards and originals of her twisted portrait illustrations and paintings. She even has a set of special prints, and a zine just for Halloween this year.  I was surprised looking back at my previous posts to see that I had never even shared some of my most beloved pieces of her artwork in my possession. Before I’ve shared some of her postcards and stickers, and a print from Society6 but now I also have 3 original illustrations, a painting, and I even have a commissioned portrait of Victor and me for our 3rd year anniversary. I may pick up even more originals soon as she’s done a few illustrations on dollies that look divine and I’ve been thinking I need a portrait of me and my cat as well (total crazy cat lady, right?)  The experience of working with her on the commission was wonderful and she was more than accommodating to all of my requests and feedback so I’d love to do it again. There isn’t much more I can say as clearly I’m a little entranced with her work but if you need something Halloween themed her shop is great place to look.  If you love her style  I suggest following her on Tumblr or Instagram as well because I find the illustrations of hers I like the most are usually just her everyday sketches that stay in her sketch book.  Here is a look at all the things I have in my little deadspiderhands collections.

ally burke (6)ally burke (5)ally burke (2)ally burke (7)ally burkeally burke (3)ally burke (1)

a few of my favourite items from her shop:

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Featured Artist: Sashiko “Wishcandy” Yuen

wishcandyFeatured Artists: Sashiko”Wishcandy” Yuen

 This week’s featured artist is Wishcandy / Sashiko Yuen a Californian artist who makes illustrations with such mishmash of influences her work cannot help but feel hyper personalized and stylish. It is easy to see the retro influence in her female depictions from hair styles to fashion but it’s her ability to effortlessly combine this with modern fashion and influences like candy flossed hair colors that really makes her work stand out. She also has a fun kitschy element to her illustrations that really serves to add humor to her work. Pizza parachute anyone? Even though she doesn’t politicalize her work at all you cannot help but feel the body positive energy from her work and her depiction of her strong women is a refreshing change in today’s current art scene. It’s amazing seeing the amount of female artists getting out there and getting recognition and I feel it helps so much to have women depicting women in art instead of men. Her work is just fun and exciting and I really wanted to show it to you before the summer starts. Also I like her touches of gore because I’m the type of person who enjoys a little fake blood every now and then, lol. Below is a selection of her work and links to where to find her.

Wishcandy (website)
Etsy (prints, stickers, brooches..)
Facebook (updates)
Society6 (prints – currently closed)
Tumblr (blog)

*all artwork shown in this post are the property of and copyrighted to Sashiko Yuen.

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Featured Artist: Redd Walitzki

redd walitzki

Featured Artist: Redd Walitzki

The featured artist this week is pop-surrealism painter Redd Walitzki from Seattle, Washington. She’s an up and coming artist who’s been featured in influential art magazines like Hi-Fructose and Juxtapoz and has had her work exhibited in galleries all over the West Coast and New York. In the last year it’s been amazing to see her artwork take off and start to reach even wider international audiences. The highlight of her paintings for me is her intricate laser cutting of her canvas. The delicate details of her cuts make her work transcend being just a painting and allows for shadows and further depth when viewing her work. She even use to sell prints of her work that had the same laser cut details as the original pieces, a detail I hope she maintains in future recreations. For her subject matter she paints realistic women with a heavy emphasis on fluidity and movement for them and their surroundings. Her subject matter most often appears to be alternative styled women suspended in a dream surrounded by nature. This aspect of her work reminds me a lot of modern surrealist fashion photography but going beyond what can be achieved through a camera. Her work is very striking and I’m drawn to it immensely, have a look below at some of her work followed by links and where to find her.

Candy Gears (website)
Flickr (photography)
Facebook (updates)
Etsy(prints)

*all artwork shown in this post are the property of and copyrighted to Redd Walitzki.
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Things That Make Me Smile…

All the things that make me smile this month…are not brought to you by Easter. Crazy, I know! So are you happy Easter hasn’t taken over my blog? Seriously though, I still have all my easter decorations up and I refuse to take them down until it’s May. It’s just so cherry in my house when I can see bunny figurines and eggs every where I look. I am sure Victor will be happy when they are all gone though – he is very toleratant of the fact I’m a total weirdo. However I will stop meandering and show you all the things that made me smile this month.

butterButter learning to sit ontop of my computer chair. In less than 1 month she’s pretty much mastered it and will sit there even after I get up.

magic bouncy ballMy magic orb. It’s actually just a bouncy ball with rainbow ribbon swimming around inside.

my little ponyMy newest My Little Pony,I found her for $2 at Value Village

things that make me smile (1)Finding out my favourite books when I was a little kid by Robert Munsch are available in Spanish
(present to my amazing friend Fernando who lives in Chile and just had a baby boy)

things that make me smile (2)My Spring postcards. I put lots of fairy stickers on them and don’t you just love the Chinese New Year international stamp?

things that make me smile (2)Butter finally used her Christmast present! She sat and watched the people below for 10 minutes and giving herself a bath.

india postcardsMy own postcards, sent from India by my brother who’s been there for half a year now exploring the country. These stamps are boss.

things that make me smileThe negatives of Fuji instant film before they dry

slides053 (1024x633)Slides! They are like presents, sometimes amazing, sometimes boring, sometimes crap…

nail decalsMy new fun nail decals! What doesn’t make me smile is that they came a week too late for Easter.

silly self portraitSilly self-portraits where I am stepping on my own face. Also zebra print pajamas.

If you took any photos of random moments or things that made you smile, show me in the comments below!

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Pick of the Week: Deth P. Sun

dethpsun (6)Pick of the Week: Deth P. Sun

This week’s pick of the week is illustrator Deth P. Sun from Berkeley, California. His shop features a lot of various items using his drawings like prints, bags, t-shirts and more. My favourite items are the square stickers that feature a cat character who is heavily featured in Sun’s work. I am obsessed with his character and find the adventures he goes on very charming. I picked up from his store almost all of his stickers as well as “They Come at Night” and “Various Drawings 2012” zines. I love the zines and since they’ve arrived I’ve been through them again and again. His illustrations have a very familiar feel but at the same time are distinct. I cannot help but want to know more about his cat and what adventures he may find himself in next.  It also occurred to me that both of these zines are large enough to easy become coloring books (great for kids or big kids like myself who color while bored at work).  I honestly love these and cannot wait to pick up more of his work. I’m thinking about a t-shirt for Victor as they are really awesome and maybe a print for my art wall. If you want to find out more about Deth P. Sun, check out his blog!

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All the stickers and a few extra things he included like the cute ‘thank you’ note

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Both the zines and a peak inside

a few of my favourite items from his shop:

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Pick of the Week: Liza Corbett

liza corbett

Pick of the Week: Liza Corbett

This week’s pick is the Etsy store “The Summer-Land” by artist Liza Corbett who sells otherworldly original illustrations & sketches, prints, dolls, and embroidery. If I remember correctly I first found her work while trying to find artists who make paper dolls and I fell in love with her fabric dolls. I have never seen an artist before that takes original illustrations and transferred them onto canvas and then made the canvas into a pillow style doll. I absolutely love the idea and wish I could have a whole collection her dolls around my house. Since then I’ve been following her store and when I was looking last month to see if there was anything new I fell in love with this original sketch that I just had to have. I am a big sucker for the right color combination and honestly although it’s a sketch I find it very magical. I was on my rent paycheck and had my Toronto trip coming up so I asked if she could reserve it for a few weeks and she was happy to do so and was so great about it. I also although it was super difficult to decide picked up one of the dolls (hopefully the first in many I will acquire). She packed the sketch with such care I was so surprised the amount of effort and detail she went to make sure it arrived safe (it was in an art tube and in a massive box which was great) and everything was wrapped up in ribbon which really made me smile as it felt like a present. She also very kindly gave me a few pins and mini-prints. Honestly her work is breathtaking and I love the unashamed morbidness of the pieces. Her work feels very genuine and doesn’t rely on the motifs that have become popular in art in the last few years. I really hope I start seeing her work around more and perhaps even an exhibit in Montreal (I can dream, can’t I?). Below are photos of what I picked up and for more information about Liza Corbett check out her website!

liza corbett (3)The original sketch I bought, I haven’t decided where to hang it in my office yet so it’s on the empty wall. It  doesn’t look very large since the wall is blank but it’s 18×24 in which makes it the largest piece of artwork I own.

liza corbett (4) A closer look at the sketch and the amazing colors.

liza corbett (5)The stuffed doll called Louisa V – An Excursionist.

liza corbett (1)I have my doll on the art wall for right now. I love how well it goes with the other pieces.

liza corbett (2)The mini prints she gave me and pins, I cannot wait to frame/wear these. She wrote a really nice note on the back of the one on the right (love that about Etsy store owners).

a few of my favourite items from her shop:

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Pick of the Week: Wishcandy

wishcandy

Pick of the Week: Wishcandy

My pick of the week for this week is the delightful Wishcandy or Sashiko Yuen who makes amazing artwork and sells prints through Society6. She use to run a store on Etsy too that had pins as well as prints but she closed it down for health reasons just before Christmas (which is a shame but hopefully she’ll launch it again when she’s feeling better).  I picked up the two smaller prints from her Etsy store and the large one is from Society6. I just love her work and find her fierce female portraits super cute and delightful.  If you want to find out more about Wish Candy check out her website and her Tumblr!

*Edit: Sorry this edit is a day late but I was in Toronto, she actually reopened her Etsy store on the weekend which is exciting. It may be only temporary so if you see something you like order ASAP. Link here!

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a few favourite prints:

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Pick of the Week: Society6

society6 (10)

Pick of the Week: Society6

Society6 is a store front where you can buy high quality giclée prints and other items like tote bags, mugs, t-shirts, and phone case from artists around the world. I have ordered from Society6 twice before and since I often link to Society6 artists pages in my featured artist posts on Saturdays and will be recommending prints from there on my Christmas picks starting next week I thought I’d share my experience with them. First off though I’d like to mention that this will only be a review of their prints as I’ve never bought any of the other items and will likely not do so in the upcoming future.

The positives:

The giclée prints are definitely high quality and look amazing whether it’s a smaller print or a larger print. The price does depend on the artist however I find the prints across the board are very reasonably priced and since the store often runs a free shipping deal usually once a month it helps with the cost (they actually just finished one this weekend). They also take care when shipping to make sure the prints arrive without any damage, that means smaller prints are shipped with a cardboard square on both sides of the print and for large prints they ship them in a cardboard tube. I’ve never received any damaged prints although you will have to take the time to flatten out the prints if you received them in the tube. My experience with their customer service department was very good as well. The first order I ever got from them I actually noticed imperfections that looked like printing errors in my two large prints and notified customer service. Without any hesitation they notify me that they were sending 2 replacements for the prints in questions at no charge and didn’t requiring me to return the default prints. Although I will mention their contact form is not the easiest to fill out.

society6 (11)closer look at the details of the print: society6 (4)

Minor issues:

It’s very hard to find good artists through their community as the same artists are always featured and even after relooking months later you end up seeing pretty much the same artwork as before. Another minor disappointment is they ship with DHL which is terrible for Canadians because the brokerage price for shipping is very high ($10 consistently regardless of how much you purchased). The second and probably the one that bothers me the most is the 1 inch board…it’s awful. Now I understand the store is aimed at international customers as well as North Americans so the ability to trim down the print to fit a frame is great but…I don’t want to have to do this. It should be a choice. None of the prints will fit any standard frame, in fact some of them are just plain bizarrely sized even if you remove the 1 inch board and when buying you have to remember that they never tell the true size of the actual print as all prints sizes are calculated with the board in mind meaning the print is 2 inches shorter in height and width.

society6 (8)

The Negatives:

The marketplace is not catered but rather generic to satisfy the broadest range of artist’s work as possible. There is no moderation it seems to artists that created their mini stores on the marketplace. Meaning there is no standard sizes it seems between artist and the work itself is not inspected for quality control. As I mention earlier about receiving 2 prints that had printing flaws in them, well after I received the 2nd set of prints with the same errors I look at the original image on the artist’s page and realized that these error were in fact in the image the artist uploaded to Society6 and happened prior to Society6 even printing it off.  It was very disheartening to me that now I have to inspect images very carefully before ordering to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen again. This seems like something Society6 should have hired employees to do so their customers can enjoy a carefree buying experience of knowing the quality is the same across the marketplace. All in all though these negatives would not persuaded me to stop using Society6 as my main way of buying prints but merely make me more willing to purchase prints in alternative ways if available by that specific artist.


 

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Featured Artist: Caitlin Hackett

caitlin hackett

Feature Artist: Caitlin Hackett

This week’s featured artist is one of my current obsessions Caitlin Hackett. She is an artist based out of Brooklyn whose medium is illustration and paintings.  She grew up in northern California and says her love of nature came from being “surrounded by redwood trees and mountains” and it’s easy to see that in her work. Most of her current works heavily feature the theme of anthropomorphism and mysticism in relation to animals. Her work deals with the conflicting existence of both humans and animals in the same space and the relations between them. The underline tension we as humans have with nature seem to be one of the causes for the rather dark tone of her work. The nuances are there however I don’t think her work is heavy handed with any kind of direct message. Her explorations of the conflict is very gripping and the images she creates although grotesque in their transformation still contain that regal and haunting beauty that all creations of nature have.  I adore her work and have several prints of her paintings hanging in my house; I would recommend checking out her work. Below is a few of my favourites pieces and the links on where to find her below that.

Contemporary Mythology (website)
Facebook (updates)
Society6 (prints for purchase)
Gallery Nucleus (originals)
 
StoreEnvy (originals and prints)

*all artwork shown in this post are the property of and copyrighted to Caitlin Hackett.

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