Who I’m Following on Behance: Zach Bush

zachbush1I can’t quite remember how I was led to this artist, but writing this post has been on my mind for a while now. I suspect it had something to do with his entry in the Tomb Raider Reborn Contest. Anyway, I’m highly intrigued by his work. I literally stare and try to absorb all the details. Zach Bush is an artist who was introduced to the graphic design world in 2006. That summer he was asked to become a web designer, but he only knew computer basics, so he hit the ground running. He taught himself the necessary web skills and beyond. Finding his passion, he switched his major to Graphic Design and the rest is stunning digital art history. He states his entire design process can last between 15 – 40 hours and it shows. Some of his work is featured below, but don’t forget to check him out on Behance, his personal site, or facebook.

He was inspired to make this while listening to Trip Lee’s album The Good Life. Trip Lee is a favorite rap artist of mine. I thought that was cool.

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The Behance Network is a major online tool for creative professionals to showcase their work. Access portfolios from a plethora of talented artists from all different genres. If you create a portfolio or a follower profile you can keep track or “follow” artists that you like. You receive updates whenever they upload a new project. The Behance Network has many perks for it’s users like job postings, competitions, and networking. Check out My Own Portfolio on Behance.

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Tomb Raider Reborn

tr_contestOn March 5, 2013 the latest Tomb Raider game was released, but it didn’t feature the seasoned explorer we’re used to. It’s focuses on the young Lara Croft. It’s about survival and the loss of innocence as she’s thrown into intense situations and pushed beyond physical limits. I was intrigued by the release, but I’m not the type to rush out and buy a game as soon as it comes out, especially with a $60 price tag and not having tried it. Well, I got an opportunity to test it out when I received a free Redbox game code and quite frankly, it rocked! It has all the things I love in a game: powerful storyline, stunning extensive worlds, action, adventure, problem solving and it kept me on the edge of my chair. There was never a dull moment, see for yourself in the trailer below. I didn’t complete Tomb Raider, but it’s now on my buy it list.

What drove me to discuss Tomb Raider was that I stumbled across a design competition held by Square Enix and DeviantART. They challenged artists to develop original artwork depicting Lara Croft’s latest transformation (her rebirth so to speak). The winners received some pretty hefty prizes and the competition was fierce. I was astounded by the amount of entries and the quality of the work submitted. I did not envy the judges, but I did enjoy scrolling through the entries. I’ve included my favorites below. Having played Tomb Raider, I was drawn towards the darker and grittier submissions which I think captured the game’s feel.

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Battle by *tincek-marincek

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Tomb Raider Reborn Contest by *Keevanski

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Tomb by ~Msweeneyart

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TombRaiderFinalNoLogo by ~ArchLimit

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TombRider Reborn by ~Tinosukae

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Tomb Raider Lara – The Rescue by ~frankiewCG

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Tomb Raider reborn contest by ~chuyDeleon

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Lara Tomb Raider Contestby ~Dedyone

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Lara Reborn by ~Griever6260

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Lara Croft Entry by ~benjamindeutscher

Don’t Call It Cake & Easter

cake1So I’m going to be a bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding in May and one of my duties is to look for quirky wedding photos as examples to show the photographer. This of course required a new Pinterest board! Well the other day a photo wandered into my inbox that I thought would be perfect to add. Little did I know this would spark the beginning of a new artistic internet adventure. That photo led to another photo which led to even more wedding related photos, but I slowly found myself not paying attention to people anymore. Wedding cakes were stealing the show. Actually I felt wrong calling them cakes, they were works of art! Imaginative, beautifully handcrafted, ornate, luscious, over-the-top, spunky, vivacious, delicate, delectable… all of these descriptions were flowing through my mind.

At first I would just add them to my Artsy Stuff board, but increasing cake numbers demanded their own platform. So I present to you Not Your Average Cake! It’s not something I would have created normally, but now I think I’ll be taking “cake breaks” every now and again.
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What do these stunning cakes have to do with Easter you ask? Absolutely nothing. Although I highly encourage the eating of cake on said day (or any day for that matter). Easter was last weekend and I wanted to share with you some moments from mine. My church White Chapel, had it’s third Easter Sunrise Service on the beach. It’s always such a beautiful and humbling affair and I’ve been honored to take pictures at each service. This one was particularly special because two family members were baptized. The water was surprisingly warm, but the waves weren’t what you would call baptism-friendly. Here’s a video of with pictures of the service. Most of them were taken by me.


To see images from the very first service check out What a Beachiful Easter!

Free Wallpaper! Silence

Silence stripI feel like my mind races at 120 mph ninety-five percent of the time, but before it gets in gear, I try to find some peace and quiet. This means as soon as I get up I try to isolate myself. I close the door and avoid family ( I have a big one). It helps me prepare for the day ahead. I get some meditative reading done, put things in perspective, affirm what I’m grateful for, and review my tasks for the day. One day this past week, it hit me, even if surround myself with silence, it’s still not quiet. I can still hear myself breathe and feel my heart beat. Yay for being alive! So that inspired me to create this wallpaper I call Silence. It took approximately 3 hours in Photoshop. Enjoy! Feedback is welcome.

 
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This source image was taken by Belovodchenko Anton aka african_fi from sxc.hu.

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The main brushes I used are a part of a Bittbox Freebie: 5 Abstract Porous Brushes.

Pinterest, Beato, and that Silly Beast

pinterest-logoSo my best friend held a bat to my head and said you better join Pinterest or else! Actually it was more along the lines of “Have you heard of Pinterest? It’s a great way to visually collect things you find around the web. Check mine out.” I did and joined shortly thereafter. I’ll be honest, somewhere in the dark recesses of my mind I hoped that this wasn’t yet another social media site that ended up being more annoying than useful. However it came highly recommended by someone I trust, so it was worth a shot. Now, ten months later, Pinterest is an integral part of my life.

For those of you that don’t know, Pinterest is an online tool for visually collecting and organizing the things you love using boards. The “Pin It” button is installed in your browser and when you wander across something you like (recipes, clothing, or that fabulous 5 star hotel suite) you simply hit the button and save the image to one of your categorized boards. It’s so easy and many sites now have their own integrated “Pin It” button.

Now, Pinterest seems like a no-brainer. I learn better visually, especially by studying other artists’ work.  So many spectacular pieces flood my inbox and now when I want to refer back to a particular image I simply go to my Pinterest board, rather than sift through hundreds of emails. It’s also a great way to coordinate with clients. I appreciate any examples they can provide which helps me understand what they like and what they are looking for. When they can present you with an entire board things really start rolling. Don’t worry, boards can be marked private if you’re not ready to share with the world. That’s another aspect of Pinterest that I love, the ability to share what you’ve found and repin from others. It often leads me on a whole new journey of discovery like finding the two artists mentioned below.

On Monday Pinterest announced some enhancements like bigger images, an even cleaner design, and finding other things pinned from the same website. I think they’ll be around for a while so, it’s not too late to jump on the Pinterest bandwagon. Join today or else! Just kidding, but now I’m going to ask you to check out my boards and follow if you like. Here’s a peak:
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Now to the artists
André Beato is a London based artist with kick-butt typographic skills. He works in print and editorial with many published  pieces in his repertoire.
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Silly Beast Illustration is the work of Therese Larsson, a freelance illustrator based in Sweden. She specializes in character design and does storyboarding, sketching, and concept art. Her client list includes: Adidas, Google, McDonalds, Disney, Electrolux,  Toyota,  Digital Artist Magazine, Volkswagen, Coca Cola Zero, Cheetos, Sony Ericsson,  Siemens, Tropicana,  IKEA…

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