A mandala is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism representing the universe. Kathy Klein is an Arizona-based artist who loves creating flower mandalas in the great outdoors. She calls the pieces ‘danmalas’ which means ‘the giver of garlands’ in Sanskrit. Her ephemeral installations are photographed and then left to be discovered by others. Her creative process involves getting into a meditative state and then gathering flowers and other natural objects while waiting for inspiration to strike. Her danmalas are reflections which points towards life’s abundance and reminds us all to listen to the unheard voice of nature.
Daniel Nimmervoll is an Austria-based photographer who managed to capture these incredible macro shots of water droplets using his high speed camera. If you look closely at that shot above, you can see the .22 caliber bullet that passed through the column of water produced by the drop of water as it hit the surface. Might I point out that capturing a bullet in flight (albeit a low caliber one) is no mean feat by itself, capturing one as it passes through a drop of water which exists for a millisecond is relatively unheard of. High tech equipment can only do so much, it is to the photographer that wields them to whom due credit should be given. Kudos to Daniel for having the patience and the talent to capture these incredible shots.
Kilian Schoenberger, one of the finest contemporary landscape photographers. He recently went on a mission to find as many hidden places on earth that resembles the settings of “The Tales of the Brother’s Grimm”. He scoured most of Middle Europe just to find those perfect spots imbued with a sense of mystery and unseen power. His task no mean feat by itself, is made even more challenging by the fact that Kilian is actually colorblind. He has deuteranopia, a condition wherein the colors green and red are indistinguishable. When asked about his creative process, he said: “Others are doing yoga – I am ascending mountains in the darkness of the night. Immersing in my own tranquil world step by step. The stoic rhythm of hiking through the gloom – the gently looming dawn and finally the satisfying moment when I reach my final location.“
A true artist sees creative potential in everything. Mark Khaisman, a promising artist from Ukraine spotted the potential behind one of the most mundane everyday objects – packing tape. He strategically sticks pieces of packing tape on a plexiglass base. Clever lighting behind the glass highlights the resulting image beautifully. His subjects range from 20th century cultural icons to scenes from old Hollywood movies. The final images are often sepia-toned which lends it a bit of nostalgic charm.
Joseph Ford is the artist behind these creative mash-ups that seamlessly combines aerial photography with textiles. The series was inspired by Joseph’s recent trip to Mauritius, Morocco, and Sicily where he spent his time flying around in a helicopter taking aerial shots of the terrain below. According to one website: “The combination of images creates a fascinating interaction, highlighting the appeal of each image, which would have been less remarkable on their own.” Joseph has a degree in French and Italian at the University of Cambridge. He got his first break as a photographer in 2004 with an advertising campaign for TBWA Paris. When not abroad for photo shoots, he lives in Brighton, UK.
Erik Johansson is a young and talented photographer and retouch artist from Sweden. He is a self-taught artist who transitioned from a noob into a master image manipulator in just a few years. Erik’s creative process starts with an idea, usually a weird or wacky one. He loves putting his subjects into an alternate universe where the laws of physics are defied at every turn. Here’s a rundown of some of the concepts he dreamed up and managed to execute perfectly: hand-stitched winters, boating on grassy plain, Mobius bridges, and dreams that somehow creep into your reality. I have to agree with one website when they described Erik’s work as ‘Echoing the mathematical preciseness of M.C. Escher and the jocularity of Salvador Dalí.’ Erik is now based in Berlin, Germany.
Philip Rostron describes himself as an Imagemaker, a term he invented himself. Originally from England, he honed his craft in Canada before moving into the United States to establish his very own creative studio, Instil Productions. His studio is best known for collaborative problem solving. Together with a team of dedicated and talented artists, Philip produces some of the best advertising images in the market today. His passion lies in finding the perfect visual solution that will best communicate the marketing idea. For him, the idea is everything.
Ilya Kalimuli is a Moscow-based designer who decided to redesign a couple of famous brands. His work is clever, funny, and practically oozing with creativity. A McDonald’s laptop, M&M bullets, Adobe beauty products, Dropbox specimen cups, Heinz blood products (still in 57 varieties), Tic Tac time bombs, a holey Crocs umbrella, and my personal favorite: Kinder Surprise condoms. Ilya was an engineer before devoting his time to design. He currently lives and works in Russia.
The premise of Jeff’s Wars on Kinkade series is simple: What happens if the Empire decide to invade Kinkade’s paintings? The result is somewhat hilarious as Imperial Star Destroyers, clone storm troopers, and Hoth-crushing AT-ATs ruin the totally idyllic mood of the paintings. Jeff’s photomanipulation is so subtle, the intruders look like they were in the original paintings. You’d expect the idyllic to clash with the violent, but oddly enough, they it in well together. One of my favorites is an unsuspecting house being stalked by an AT walker.
Charles Clary is a Tennessee-based artist who expresses his creative abilities through meticulously hand-cut paper sculptures. The sculptures resemble detailed topographical graphs or close-ups of microscopic organisms.The centerpiece of one of his exhibits is a 30-foot long sculpture dedicated to his mother, Kirsten Clary who recently passed away from cancer. Charles spends up to 12 hours everyday, cutting each layer of his sculptures by hand. He said: “I use paper to create a world of fiction that challenges the viewer to suspend disbelief and venture into my fabricated reality. Towers of paper and color jut into the viewer’s space inviting playful interactions between the viewer and this conceived world. ”