Christmas Picks: Under $30

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Today I am sharing some present ideas found online for under $30 that would make a great gift for a friend, girlfriend, boyfriend or yourself (Treat yourself!) this holiday. If you want to see last week’s post with under $15 gift ideas click, here. I’m currently obsessed with all of these and hoping after I finished my Christmas shopping I can buy one of these for myself. The dragon bracelet is my fav. even though I make my own scale maille bracelets but that color is impossible to find. Hope this helps!

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Review: Twinkles by Miss Van

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Miss Van “Twinkles

Miss Van’s first book “Twinkles” is a 88 paged hard covered book featuring her paintings from the art show of the same name as well as others.   Miss Van or Vanessa Alice Bensimon started out as a graffiti artist in France before moving into paintings around 2004. Her feminine characters have taken a departure from the cartoonish quality of her street art into more mature and refined area and the colors this time around seem to be more dark and intense but as always they remain the focus of her work. “Twinkles” is filled with her known coy and mischievous feminine figures as well as exploring the themes of masks, animals, and the circus/cabaret.   The work is presented in the book almost always on its own with some spanning across both pages and a few side by side. I love the order of her work and how it moves you along to the different ideas she is exploring, dipping in to the brighter paintings before bring you back into the moodier pieces. However the physical layout doesn’t work as much as it could, the paintings spanning across to pages frequently are left with the usual awkward placement of the focus being concealed in the spine of the book. And as most paintings are left simply on one side, I grew a little weary of the bright white page beside it taking me out of her tone. I think they would have been better off doubling up the pages as it works wonderfully when they do and kept me more immersed. They added information of each work to the page with name, year, and material – always a nice touch. The quality of the book is very good and I always enjoy books on the large scale, measuring at 25cm by 32cm. There is a brief intro in the beginning of the book that servers are highlighting the progression of her work and add more context to the paintings. I would have liked to have had something written in her own words instead. All in all “Twinkles” shows a move in her work to a darker tone and it does a great job of showing the reader her work from around that time (2010). This is book for the fan of her later painting work, much like her newer book “Wild at Heart”. It must be said that it is still a great book to pick up even if you are more a fan of her graffiti or earlier brighter colorful paintings. Her work absolutely captures my attention and I am pleased to have added this to my collection.

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Saturday Review: 3D Art Book

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3D Art Book

The 3D Art Book by designer Tristan Eaton is a collection of street art and contemporary art transformed into a 3D version of themselves. With 100 pieces of contemporary artwork this 223 pages book has almost every current artist represented like James Jean, Tara Mcpherson, Shepard Fairey, Junko Mizuno, Miss Van, Ron English and many others from genres like street art, graffiti, pop surrealism and graphic design. Eaton with this book is trying to bring back the 3D popularized in the 50’s, you know the one that needs those retro style red and blue-lens glasses to view. (Dont worry along with the book you receive 2 pairs of 3D glasses to help you view these artworks) As a kid I loved three-dimensional pictures, there is something about the popping out and trippy nature that really always appealed to me, however as an adult beside the occasional 3D movie I haven’t really looked much into 3D world beside a random piece of art here and there. What Eaton has done as taken know artist’s work and transformed them to a whole new piece, using this nostalgic form of 3D. I love this novelty, its very appealing to me and that’s why I picked up this book because it seemed a great way to experience artwork – and it is. The book is fantastic, you feel apart of the artwork and it adds elements never previous felt about each work, however there is some cons with this style. For instant I found a few images never really ‘popped’ for me, despite starting at them for a long time*, instead they came across limp (*you have to look at each image for certain amount of time so you eyes can adjust and actually reveal the 3D effect). As well as a person who has average motion sickness (I wouldn’t consider myself to have extreme or sever motion sickness at all) this book is deadly, after going through the book for 10minutes I manged to give myself a 2 hour long headache and I can mange to watch most 3D movies without issue. However this last con is avoidable, so it is definitely worth hitting up the gravol is you have any issues with motion sickness or 3D effects so this book can be fully enjoyed. I loved it, there is enough artwork in here to satisfy the genre you like, for example if graffiti doesn’t do it for you, there is still plenty of other stuff to look at it. My favourite pieces where James Jean “Shattered”, UPSO “Untitled” and Mint and Serf “Untitled”. The artwork ranges from full page, two pages, and everything in between and it is just plain neat to flip through. I loved it so much and will come back and re-look at it again and again. The novelty of the 3D never wears off while your looking through the book and the pacing  and sequence is very well thought out. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a good collection of contemporary artists works or for anyone who’s ever liked 3D, and really as a child of the 80’s and early 90’s didn’t who didn’t love 3D; I remember having comics and stickers and being over the moon when I found something that required those retro 3D glasses.

I’ve added images below of the book so if you have by any chance 3D glasses at home you can have a quick look at some of the artwork.

 

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