Gore makeup girls and artists on trains

(Plus a random short film about the dangers of trying too hard to fit in)

Another hodgepodge of art-related stuff:

In The Rising Gore Girls of Instagram, Hazel Cills discusses how creating ridiculously realistic gore/special effects makeup is gaining popularity among young women.

She writes that "In an industry that increasingly demands young women be “well”—which so often means conventionally pretty, gooey, laboriously clean inside and out—it is refreshing that there is a parallel Instagram universe where girls are using makeup to make themselves look purposefully unwell. Perhaps even half-dead."

Check it out the photos, they're amazing. I saw this in action a couple of weeks ago at the children's library I work at. Two kids came up to me to show off their (what I thought were real) busted up faces (nothing too horrible, a black eye, a little blood, but still, I freaked out because I seriously thought they had just been in a fight). Turns out, one of them was just really into this type of makeup. She mentioned that she'd picked up this skill simply from watching YouTube videos. I actually hate gore and horror movies, but this artistic side of it is intriguing and awesome to me.

Keep at it, girls.

Speaking of artistic gore/violence, I came across this super creepy doll video on Captain Awkward's blog (CA is fantastic, btw, and I will have to get around to sharing some of the career advice she gives to artists). Though I try to focus my own blog on painting, drawing, and the like (I know very little about the world of film, music, and dance), this video was too disturbing and mesmerizing to not share.

Lastly, I happened to be riding the train the other day, and happened to notice something interesting on the front page of Metra's newsletter. There's a group of artists called Urban Sketchers Chicago, themselves part of a larger international community of artists who create on-location drawings. There are about 450 members of the Chicago group, and about 10 practice their sketching on the Metra (I'm curious to find out how many sketch on the EL, I'll have to check out their blog more closely some time). Here's one of the drawings:



Wells Street Art Fest, and some new paintings

Last weekend, I showed in the painting category at the Wells Street Art Fest. My setup:

Wells St..jpg

The weather was great (no rain always = GREAT), and it was a fun show with a definite party atmosphere. Sales were pretty meh though--it was pretty hot both days, and I think a lot of people were mostly just there to drink, not spend money on art (which I don't blame them for). I've made a lot more money at smaller, lesser-known fests (that have much lower vendor fees) so I'll probably stick to those in the future.

Despite all that, I still had a good time! The best part was seeing friends of mine who stopped by, which is always great. I've said this before, and I know it sounds very cheesy, but perhaps the best thing about creating art is that it gives me an opportunity to connect with people (both friends and strangers) in a really fun and authentic way. I'm mostly not good at "mingling" and "networking" and that sort of thing--I'm an introvert, so I'd much rather be at home painting cats--but what's actually even more fun for me is talking about my paintings of cats (and my other art), with anyone who will listen. That, I love, and am completely comfortable with. And when the show was over, my friends all swooped in (without me asking) and insisted on helping take down my paintings and trek them back to my dad's car (moments of spontaneous kindness are always just the best thing to witness). 

The other good thing about the show is that it inspired (/panicked) me into finishing the following paintings in just a couple of months:

On the Beach.jpg
Yeah, it's a bigger, painted version of my Zen Elephant colored pencil drawing (on my home page)

Yeah, it's a bigger, painted version of my Zen Elephant colored pencil drawing (on my home page)

It's June! Here are some links

I can't believe it's only a week until the Wells Street Art Fest (stop by, I'll post more details soon!), and I've been working like crazy to get ready for it, but during my in-between time I came across the following interesting stuff over the past month: 

Yay!!! Today's Google doodle celebrates Gilbert Baker, the artist and activist who created the rainbow flag. I love the fact that he taught himself to sew so he could dress like David Bowie, and I love this quote from him: “Together, we’re changing our world, our planet, from a place of hate and violence and war to a place of love and diversity and acceptance. That is why we’re here. That’s the big, long rainbow — from before me to well after me."  (What? I'm not crying, it's just seasonal allergies). 

A few (older) articles on stolen art:  A Chicago Muralist Plagiarized a Black Female Artist's Depiction of Michelle Obama; Here's What Happens When Some Yale Bro Steals Your Art

I've never been a big tattoo person, but these flower tattoos, OMG (I especially love #6). 


Happy Spring!!

I finished the below cartoon back in February and meant to post it in March....is it really May already?? 

This is one of the designs that got me accepted into the Wells Street Art Festival (coming up in June), so when I made greeting cards out of it to send to my friends, I took great pride in being able to write to them "Hope you enjoy my latest JURY-APPROVED design."

No....I didn't actually write that (though I think I probably did mention the show to some receivers, sorry guys, I am pretty super excited about it). Speaking of which, I have a lot to do to get ready for it, so that's what I'll be working on for the next 6 weeks.... 

Good things worth reading

Art-related news worth sharing that I came across in the past month or so:

What if Trump Really Does End Money for the Arts? Btw, I think Doggie Hamlet ("a dance project set in a Vermont field with dogs and sheep") sounds like one of the more brilliant and wonderful art projects I've ever heard of. I DON'T WANT TO LIVE IN WORLD WHERE WE CAN'T HAVE THINGS LIKE DOGGY HAMLET.

MoMa Shelves Western Canon Works, Replaces With Art From Banned Countries

Teen Recreates Van Gogh Painting On Her Leg Instead Of Self-Harming

This Simple Comic Perfectly Explains Privilege, And Everyone Must Read It

Children’s Book Author Mary Engelbreit Made a Great Poster for People to Take to the Women’s March I love this! Mary Engelbreit's work (though it can be a little schmaltzy) has inspired me since I was very young. I love that she's completely open and unapologetic about supporting progressive causes.


Mackinac Island

I just finished this color-pencil drawing of Mackinac Island (the island in Michigan on Lake Huron where they don't allow cars, just bikes and horses). It's based on a photograph that two friends of mine wanted me to depict, along with two other Michigan scenes (the first one being my "Road in Michigan" drawing, the third one I'll be finishing over Thanksgiving week). 

Happy Halloween

In commemoration of my favorite holiday, here a few Halloween cartoons--one by Zach Weinersmith (whose permission to share his work is very appreciated) and one by me.

Zach's comic:

Halloween comic.jpg

I came across Zach's comic last Halloween, and loved it. The way in which languages continuously change and evolve fascinates me, but what's equally interesting is how resistant we can be to this change. It seems that many people who are otherwise very open and welcoming to cultural change and progress in other areas seem to like to hold tight to the "rules" of grammar-which are themselves really quite arbitrary, and dictated, like most things, by society's power structures (Mona Chalabi made an interesting video about this recently). 

And here's my cartoon:

Have a fun Halloween, all.

xox Janine

An Art Exhibit for Dogs (!!!!!!)

Designer Dominic Wilcox has created the best show ever in the history of art with a London exhibit that's just for dogs. Just look at how happy and excited all the dogs are, awwwwww.

The exhibit was commissioned by UK insurance company More Th>n as part of their #PlayMore campaign, aimed at encouraging people to devote more time to playing with their pets. The exhibit's website also lists "lots of ideas of fun games and activities you can play with your dogs and cats" even if you missed the show. Because More Th>n is a British company, play ideas for dogs include "Splash at the seaside", and my favorite "Survey your land from a castle: Dogs love to find new territory to explore. So why not take them back in time to a historic castle where they can conquer new land." Yes, of course, why not?

Their play ideas for cats are just as adorable, and just as British (one of their ideas is to "Play football with your cat by gently throwing them a small, soft ball and allowing them to catch it. You’ll soon find out how good a goalkeeper they are!"). I'm digressing a little from the art exhibit, but this whole thing is so cute, I'm dying. 

Of course, it's all part of a marketing campaign for pet insurance, but I think it's worth noting that More Th>n also does a lot to help animals in need by supporting the UK's Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). So, perhaps, some of the extra media buzz/profit generated by the campaign will lead to more awareness/money for animals beyond those whose people can afford to buy them insurance (or take them to art exhibits, for that matter).

To sum this up: I think Dominic can just retire now, as he's obviously reached the pinnacle of artistic greatness with this exhibit. Unless....he decides to do a show for cats, which I totally call happening next.....



Save the Date Design

This weekend I finished a save-the-date design for my friends Christina and Kainen. I met Christina when we were both in the Peace Corps in Ukraine. The symbol on top is Christina and Kainen's logo: a combination of X (Christina's nickname) and K, which looks like the Cyrillic letter Ж. Ж is used in Ukrainian and Russian to create the "jzha" sound (and also happens to be the first letter of my name in Russian/Ukrainian, so, I'm a fan).