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I am one of Edgar Artis’ 400,000 followers on Instagram. His work is so incredible, I wanted to share him some more! Artis is an Armenian fashion illustrator. He uses everyday household objects and food items to create the most amazing fashion sketches of gorgeous dresses. Each and every creation will wow you. When I say everyday household objects, I am referring to items such as burnt matchsticks, spoons, butter and pomegranate seeds just to name a few. He also makes cut-outs of dresses and uses everyday scenes as the patterning or image on the dress. 

Follow him on Instagram or check out this quick story to see more of his gorgeous work.

The Biggest and Greatest Wall

Photo: Abby Lowell

Twenty-four years in the making, skier and plank-collector Pat Harmon has created the biggest and greatest wall ever—made from skis! And, it cost me and Mexico nothing.

The Harmon Ski Wall in Juneau, Alaska, began as a fence made of 20 pairs of retired skis left over from a local ski swap. Harmon’s intent was never to create a barrier. Quite the contrary—it was designed as a welcoming symbol. The wall, as it stands today, is made up of 230 pairs of skis three-stories in the air lining the highway approach to the local Juneau ski area.

In an interview with Powder magazine, Harmon was asked “Does anyone have a problem with the wall?” He admitted that some people felt that it violated the zoning restrictions for fences. Fortunately, a blogger recognized the artistic value of the ski wall and responded by saying “Yeah, well, that’s not a fence, that’s a work of art and there’s no height restriction on that.” For the locals, the ski wall provides Juneau a unique point of interest. There is nothing else like it and people from all over the world recognize this and have paid a visit. Happy couples have even documented their special day while standing with their wedding parties at the ski wall.

To find out more about this wonderful work of art, please take a minute to read this article.

Art Theorist or Physicist?

Autumn Rhythm, Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock’s paintings mirror nature’s patterns, like branching trees, snowflakes, waves—and the structure of the human eye, says University of Oregon physicist Michael Taylor. Taylor, a self-proclaimed multidisciplinary thinker and problem solver, is a physicist/painter/photographer. It is through his unusual combination of talents he has been able to view Pollock’s Abstract Expressionist paintings from an “ordered chaos” perspective.

As a profession, Taylor studies the movement of electrical currents. While studying nanoelectronics, where currents create fractal patterns—an ordered chaos—Taylor made an astounding connection between Pollack’s splattered paintings and the flow of electrical currents. After closer study, Taylor determined that Pollack’s paintings are fractal and may explain why people find them so pleasing. As a man of science, Taylor conducted a study on human responses to fractal patterns. As he suspected, humans showed a positive response to images which contained a mathematical fractal dimension. Hence, our attraction to the soothing qualities of Pollock’s paintings and nature’s beauty. Since our exposure to Pollock’s paintings cannot be a daily ritual, Taylor’s remarks and advice seem very reasonable and healthy. “We need these natural patterns to look at and we’re not getting enough of them,” said Taylor. “As we increasingly surround ourselves with straight Euclidean built environments, we risk losing our connection to the natural stress-reducer that is visual fluency. It all adds up to yet another reason to bring greenery back to cities and get outside more often.”

To find out more about nature’s patterns, fractals, and Pollock’s paintings please visit Florence William’s article in The Atlantic.

Dry Town


“It’s a dry town /
No beer, no liquor for miles around /
I’d give a nickel for a sip or two to wash me down /
Outta this dry town.”

I’m not a huge Gillian Welch fan (though, admittedly, she is a very clever lyricist), but my father-in-law is, and he came across the video for the American singer-songwriter’s latest song, “Dry Town.” Using a few plastic dolls, some anthropomorphized shot glasses and nip bottles, plus Welch’s own toy ’71 Buick, animator Rachel Blumberg (a former drummer for The Decemberists and Bright Eyes) created a delightful, humorous animation using good, old fashioned stop motion to bring Welch’s musical storytelling to life in a really clever way. So, grab yourself a drink, and have a look and listen.

Download a Masterpiece v2.0

A while back I had written a post about Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum and their open access policy that allows unrestricted use of any images from its digitized artworks in the public domain. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has just joined the movement. Now, anyone can download images directly from the Met’s website and can use them however they want. That’s over 375,000 images from the Met’s collection, a big chunk of the 1.5 million works in their archive. An additional 65,000 artworks have been digitized, but are not in the public domain. read on

My Choice for Most Creative Game of the Year: Stardew Valley


2016 has now finally concluded. Many consider 2016 to be the worst year in recent memory. Not many good things came out of it. That’s why, to me, the video game Stardew Valley was a breath of fresh air when I discovered it Christmas week.

Stardew Valley is a video game. To be specific, it is a farming simulator video game. That may sound very boring at first, however, if you take a minute to review the game’s visuals or a video of the game, you will see the game world is full of beautifully vibrant pixel graphic charm and serene music. Stardew Valley looks like it was made for the Super Nintendo with its cute character and adorable animal sprites, however it’s a very recent game made for PC and Mac. As the player, you inherit a farm from your recently deceased grandfather. You get sick of your life working in a cubicle in the city and move to the old farm located in Stardew Valley. Once there, you turn an old dilapidated farm into a fully functioning farm that produces crops, animals, wine and other artisanal goods. While you do this, you can become friends with the other local residents of Stardew Valley. You can even get married and have kids. Stardew Valley also houses many secrets for you, the player, to uncover. read on

The Only Nice Thing About Russia These Days

Image: Anna Pozharskaya

The beaches of Ussuri Bay, Russia were once off limits to bathers. Located in the northeastern part of Peter the Great Gulf, it was formerly known as a Soviet-era industrial hub for glass making. During Soviet times, shards of glass and porcelain littered the beach from years of careless dumping and litter-filled river run-off. Today “Glass Beach,” is one of the most uniquely beautiful in the world. Nature has kindly taken care of the danger through tidal action, leaving behind nothing but tumbled glass—pieces of bright blues, greens, reds, and all shades in between. Photographers from the Siberian Times have documented the unique beauty of “Glass Beach.” Please take a look.

100 Artists on What Makes America Great

The Creative Action Network has commissioned 100 artists to visually depict “What Makes America Great.” Starting this past January 20th, a poster a day will be released for the next 100 days. Browse the collection as it grows. Posters can be downloaded or purchased. Sale proceeds will go to the artists and Dream Corps, CNN commentator Van Jones’ charitable organization.

Plurality Makes America Great” by Juana Medina – January 25th, 2017
Freedom of Speech Makes America Great” by Jennifer Brigham – January 28th, 2017


Compassion and Commerce IKEA-Style

By 2019, consumers will be able to support Syrian refugees by shopping at IKEA (in select markets). Sweden-based IKEA plans to employ 200 Syrian women refugees in Jordan. To get this initiative going, IKEA is working with organizations focused on women’s issues. Employing 200 refugees of the 655,000 men, women, and children currently displaced in Jordan is just a drop in an enormous bucket. But, it’s a start. Here in the US, the chances are slim that we will ever be able to buy a Syrian refugee-made rug. Our only hope would be for compassionate trade exemptions to be made on current international trade agreements.

This is not IKEA’s only expression of corporate compassion, IKEA has also donated $33.3 million for lighting and renewable energy projects in refugee camps in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Wow, thank you IKEA!


Thanks IKEA

Congratulations to the 2016 Design of the Year recipient: Better Shelter, designed by the IKEA Foundation and the UN Refugee Agency. The Design Museum in London awarded the 2016 Beazley Design Award in architecture to Better Shelter: a flat-pack, 68 component, modular refugee shelter, which can be assembled in a few hours. Unrest has forced thousands of men, women, and children to flee their homes. As refugees, they are stranded awaiting peace or a new life. Better Shelter provides a crisis shelter for these displaced families, while preserving their dignity and meeting a very basic need: the security of having a roof over their head. While so many are turning their backs or casting a blind eye to a humanitarian crisis, IKEA has put to use their flat-pack technology to help relieve human suffering. Thanks IKEA.

As designers, we can find meaningful inspiration through comments made by Jana Scholze, a Beazley Award juror: “Providing not only a design, but secure manufacture, as well as distribution, makes this project relevant and even optimistic. It shows the power of design to respond to the conditions we are in and transform them.”

For a closer look, please visit: bettershelter.org

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