Justin Oaksford is a concept artist who received his Bachelor’s degree in Entertainment design from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. He splits his time working as a visual development artist at 343 Industries in Seattle and teaching character design at Digipen Institute of Technology in their MFA program for Spring 2014 Semester. Justin has worked on HALO 4 – Shipped, and is part of the creative team behind Project Spark (currently in development). He said: “I’m passionate about animation, games, and the potential to tell stories with both.”
Every now and then we get exceptionally talented artists of whom we know nothing about. Rositsa Ergina has just been added to the ever-growing list. There are only three things that the internet knows about her: 1) She’s a graphic designer, 2) she’s from Dobrinishte, Bulgaria, and 3) she makes awesome black and white landscape photos of mountains. Landscape photographers like her are obviously hard core mountaineers, how else would she be able to take these pictures? Just looking at a few of her shots is already making me dizzy.
Dan LuVisi is a writer and conceptual artist who is currently based in California. He has more than ten years of experience under his belt and he has been commissioned by some of the biggest names in industry – Microsoft, 20th Century Fox, and DC Comics to name just a few. One of his most recent series re-imagines popular cartoon characters. The series, aptly named “Popped Culture” features grittier and/or deranged versions of Homer Simpson (as well as other Simpson’s characters), Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Elmo, Cookie Monster, Ernie and Bert, and even Mike from Monster’s Inc. A glance at any one of Dan’s creations is enough to shatter your fond memories of these characters. Horrible, yes, but in a good way.
Hirotoshi Ito takes the cake for crafting these awesome, weir, and downright bizarre rock sculptures. He takes ordinary river rocks and turns them into zippered, sliced, and grinning versions of themselves. Hirohito juxtaposes the natural cracks and seams in a rock into whatever shape he happens to fancy, topping it all off with shiny (sometimes fluffy) modifications that bring them to life. It’s not uusual for his rock sculptures to grin right back at you, or reveal treasure hidden within. He said: “Although I work with various kinds of stones, most of my work consists of optimizing a stone’s original shape.”
Herakut is actually a partnership between Jasmin Siddiqui Hera and Falk Lehmann Akut. Both of them studied Visual Communication and Graphic Design with extensive backgrounds in graffiti. Their collaborations can be found all over the world including San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Melbourne, Kathmandu, and New York. They started working together in 2004 with Hera setting the character’s form while Akut paints the photorealistic elements. References to the character’s life can often be found as short quotes or passages integrated into the artwork itself. This fantastically artistic duo is currently based in Germany.
Steve Axford is enjoying his retirement by tracking down the world’s rarest fungi. He lives in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales in Australia and most of the mushrooms you see here are local flora. Steve has also captured pretty unique shots of mushrooms from Tasmania and Victoria. He said: “The world, for me, is dominated by living things and the planet we live on . My photography is an avenue into exploring this world. My interests cover everything from micro fungi to volcanoes, though more of my time now is spent with the fungi than the volcanoes. . . Nothing exists in isolation and the more you look, the more you find.”
Manuel Savariz Santos is a Spanish photographer whose first reaction to an approaching thunderstorm isn’t to find shelter, but to run outside with his camera. It is with this habit of his that he managed to capture these amazing shots of cities in the midst of thunderstorms, lightning storms, and breath-taking sunsets. I bet it took him a thousand mediocre shots just to capture a perfect one. Manuel is currently based in Argentina, Spain.
Benedict Radcliffe is a designer and sculptor who has gained world-wide popularity with his frame cars. The cars are startlingly realistic for something completely made out of wire. They look like something an invisible man might ride to work. The hollow, see-through,make-believe automobiles are innocuously parked on curbs, daring passersby to “drive” them Flintstones style. Benedict is a graduate of the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow. He has been involved in various architectural commissions and signature sculptural pieces for international clients. When not traveling, he is currently based in London where he has his own studio.
Grzegorz Rutkowski is an awesome Polish artist who makes kickass illustrations. According to an interview, he said that the best thing in concept art is this whole creating process. Sometimes one has to start from scratch, building whole ideas step by step. For giving ideas life, nothing beats the traditional pencil and paper. When asked about his penchant for sharp contrasts in his work, Grzegorz said: “I’m still looking for perfect way to show what I want to “tell” to my audience. I choose this sharp-contrast way because I’m feeling comfortable in this stylistic; I’m a fantasy fan, more dark then light. But also, I think it has to do with the general perception; certain people see things in pink colors, others in dark, and it has nothing to do with frame of mind.”
Gilf! is a prolific street and conceptual artist currently wreaking havoc on the various walls (and in some instances, doors) of Brooklyn, NYC. Gilf! obtained her bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She had her first solo show just last year at Arcilesi Homberg Fine Art in New York. During an interview, she said: “I make art that poses questions to and present solutions for the challenges we face as a global community. Whether it be the street, a gallery, museum, or the internet it is important to have these discussions in various dimensions to produce the most thoughtful, comprehensive, and effective solutions. . . As I work to create comprehensive progress through my art I hope you will choose to be an active participant in the discussion, and momentous change we will build together.”