DENY Designs Artist of The Week: Valentina Ramos

The DENY Designs featured artist of the week is Valentina Ramos.  Her bright and playful artworks have been a consistent hit with DENY Designs fans – we love working with her!

About Valentina Ramos:

“After 15 years working as a graphic designer, Valentina Ramos started to create other arts and crafts. From these creations, Valentina Design was born: her world of fantasies and dreams; where her uplifting drawings and designs took shape.”

“In her Miami studio, this Venezuelan artist spent countless happy hours playing with her paints and her Rapidograph Pens. She enjoys working with different materials, but black ink is one of the mediums you will always find in her original prints, paintings and drawings. Her love for artworks with little intricate details are a signature of her own drawing style.”

 

To see all of Valentina Ramos‘ artwork on DENY Designs products, visit her artist page here: http://denydesigns.com/collections/valentina-ramos-all-art

Wednesday What?! Looking At Pictures of Cute Animals Makes You More Productive

Oogle away! A Japanese study has just been published that claims that looking at pictures of cute animals improves your mood and increases productivity in the workplace. So now your 27 minutes spent on Daily Puppy at work when your boss isn’t looking are totally legit.

According to the  study lead by Japanese researcher Hiroshi Nittono for Hiroshima University, looking at pictures of puppies and panda cams and grumpy, grumpy cat videos at work is great for both you and your boss.

Results show that participants performed tasks requiring focused attention more carefully after viewing cute images. This is interpreted as the result of a narrowed attentional focus induced by the cuteness-triggered positive emotion that is associated with approach motivation and the tendency toward systematic processing.

For the study, Nittono and his colleagues studied a group of 48 students as they completed a task similar to the American board game “Operation.” The students attempted the task three times; the first after looking at a series of pictures of baby animals, then after seeing adult animals and finally after seeing pictures of delicious foods.

The students who looked at cute animals did far better at the game then did peers who observed adult animals or food, outperforming their peers by a “significant margin,” according to Gawker.

Why the improvement in mood and productivity? One reason was linked to a behavior tendency of adults to slow down speech when talking to puppies and kittens. These behaviors “may transfer to subsequent task performance,” according to the Washington Post.

Another reason may be connected to human nurturing instincts. “If viewing cute things makes the viewer more attentive, the performance of a non-motor perceptual task would also be improved,” the study stated.

So continue awwww-ing at your desk, because these little guys aren’t really a distraction.

 

images via

DENY Designs Artist of The Week: Jacqueline Maldonado

The DENY Designs featured artist of the week is Jacqueline Maldonado. Jacqueline joined the DENY Designs team in early 2012, and we are so happy to have her! We were drawn immediately to Jacqueline’s vibrant (an incredibly unique) designs. As the year moves on, she is constantly surprising our team with new artworks – making her profile truly standout in the art community!

More about Jacqueline Maldonado:

Jacqueline Maldonado is a New York City native currently residing in Southern California. She spent most of her adult career in various facets of the fashion industry, all the while nurturing her artistic talent through higher education in visual art and developing a discipline in her artistic practice. In her recent move across the country, Jacqueline took a leap of faith to pursue her art as a full-time endeavor. Equipped with sharp focus, ambition, determination, resourcefulness and innate talent, in a very short time, she is beginning to see success as a professional artist. She sells her works as prints and originals and also partners with several retailers and manufacturers who print her work on various products. She is proud to be partnering now with DENY Designs!”

Jacqueline Maldonado The Red Sea Modern Clock

“Jacqueline works in a variety of media and explores many styles and modes of artistic expression; including but not limited to: watercolor, oil pastel, photography, digital imaging, graphic design, textile and surface design. Often, she combines several of these media, inventing unique and modern forms of art. She creates compositions derived from many sources and amalgamations of inspiration: imagination, emotion, nature, memory, and music. When asked to comment on her work, Jacqueline states, “I think about what can be communicated through line, form, tone, composition and the relationship of these elements to each other. I aim to create imaginative work; work that holds mystery, work that is poetic, and work that is luminous with color.”

Check out some of her fabulous designs on DENY Designs products: 

To see all of Jacqueline Maldonado’s amazing art on DENY Designs products, visit her artist page here: http://denydesigns.com/collections/jacqueline-maldonado-all-art

Hilarious Fingerprint Portraits by Artist Dito Von Tease

Recognize any of these fingerprints? Well you should thanks to the elusive Italian artist known only as Dito Von Tease.

Dito has embarked on a project called Ditology that features eerily familiar portraits of celebrities on the ordinary human finger. The faces produced on each solo finger range from the well-known public personality (Steve Jobs) and political figure (Che Guevara) to the fictional icon (Mr. T) and religious guru (Dalai Lama). There is no person that is off limits in this lighthearted, comical series. Every “person” in the presented portraits is intricately adorned, costumed, and given an appropriate backdrop.

In addition to the ongoing project’s humorous nature, the artist behind the work adds another level of playfulness through his entirely appropriate chosen name “Dito” that translates as “finger” in Italian, which would also mean that Ditology translates as Fingerology. What’s perhaps most ironic in all of this is that we often use fingerprints to identify people, yet Dito Von Tease has managed to retain some anonymity by only exposing his fingerprints.

 

images via

Friday Bright: Amazingly Colorful Art Installations Made with Thread

It is truly incredible how something so basic like a piece of colored thread can be turned into a glorious masterpiece. Artist Gabriel Dawe does just that. Originally from Mexico-city, the Dallas-based artist has been continually creating these jaw-dropping installations that pop up places around the work like Belgium, Canada, Barcelona and the UK.

Gabriel Dawe creates site-specific installations that explore the connection between fashion and architecture, and how they relate to the human need for shelter in all its shapes and forms. “His work is centered in the exploration of textiles, aiming to examine the complicated construction of gender and identity in his native Mexico and attempting to subvert the notions of masculinity and machismo prevalent in the present day.”

All we can say is WOW.

 

images via

Mirror, Mirror: Artist Uses Reflections to Create Amazing Artworks

via This Is Colossal:

Photographer Daniel Kukla who has a background in both biology and anthropology has a new series of work called The Edge Effect where he photographed square mirrors propped on easels in locations around Joshua Tree National Park to catch the reflection of the horizon behind him.

The resulting images create the bizarre effect of looking at a paintings sitting in the middle of the desert. Of the work Kukla says:

In March of 2012, I was awarded an artist’s residency by the United States National Park Service in southern California’s Joshua Tree National Park. While staying in the Park, I spent much of my time visiting the borderlands of the park and the areas where the low Sonoran desert meets the high Mojave desert. While hiking and driving, I caught glimpses of the border space created by the meeting of distinct ecosystems in juxtaposition, referred to as the Edge Effect in the ecological sciences. To document this unique confluence of terrains, I hiked out a large mirror and painter’s easel into the wilderness and captured opposing elements within the environment. Using a single visual plane, this series of images unifies the play of temporal phenomena, contrasts of color and texture, and natural interactions of the environment itself.

Check out some of the photos below, and you can see his website for several more photos.

 

images via

DENY Designs Artist of The Week: Leah Flores

The DENY Designs featured artist of the week is Leah Flores. Leah is new to the DENY Designs team this past month and her unique photography/typography-esque style is one that we have fallen in love with – we are sure you will too!

About Leah Flores:

Leah Flores is a Portland-based artist who brings together her love of photography and illustration to create adventuresome designs. Born in the Pacific Northwest on Leap Year Day 1988, Leah is a first-generation American with Costa Rican and Scottish roots. In her work you will find mountains, forests, and wildflowers woven with hand-lettered evocations to go explore the natural world.

Don’t you love these?!

To see all of Leah Flores designs on DENY products, visit her page here: http://denydesigns.com/collections/leah-flores-all-art

Typography Thursday: Artist Creates Typeface From Bubble Wrap

If you are anything like us, the second you get your hands on a piece of bubble wrap, it’s a goner. Not sure if there has ever in the history of our office been a piece of bubble wrap that entered without being squeezed. This is precisely why we are so impressed by artist Lo Siento. 

The Barcelona-based artist is the mastermind behind creating some lovely typeface designs using only bubble wrap, colored dye and a syringe. Lo Siento carefully injects each bubble to create a gorgeous 4-D typeface that can be seen from any angle.

“[Each typography] is always inspired by a study of the grid,” Lo Siento said. “Each existing grid can hide a typographic character and thus, an alphabet.” In other words, rules were meant to be broken. And then rewritten in bubble wrap and food coloring.

Check it out:

 

images via

Brilliant Color: RGB Colorspace Atlas

Color lovers rejoice!

New York-based artist Tauba Auerbach has beautifully created an 8 x 8 x 8-inch hard-back cube atlas that effectively documents every variation of RGB color possible!

Named the RGB Colorspace Atlas, the book is a digital offset print on paper with airbrushed cloth cover and book edges create a colorful reference volume of all the colors in existence. The special binding was co-designed by the artist herself in collaboration with daniel e. kelm, and were printed at Wide Awake Garage, an independent bookbinder, with help from Leah Hughes.

Pretty gorgeous right?

 

images via

DENY Designs Artist of The Week: Happee Monkee

The DENY Designs featured artist of the week is Happee Monkee. New to the DENY Designs team last month, Happee Monkee’s photography designs are already a hit among DENY fans. Her use of scrabble pieces in her work create a way to bring a bright and happy message into your home that we love!

About Happee Monkee:

“As a young child, I was a little trigger monster. I played with my dad’s old film camera and loved how it magically immortalizes time. After years of snappy happy shots, I’ve learned to compose my photographs and play with light to produce desirable results. Many of Happee Monkee’s photos are from my travels around extraordinary places in the world. I am so fortunate to have been to Japan, Paris, Sweden, Moscow, London, Venice and many other amazing countries. I’ve previously worked in a publishing house, as a stylist and travel writer.”

To see all of Happee Monkee’s designs on DENY products, visit her artist profile page here: http://denydesigns.com/collections/happee-monkee-all-art

Friday Forecast: PANTONE Reveals Top 10 Colors For Spring 2013

It’s that time of year again!  With New York Fashion Week in full swing and designers showcasing their newest looks for Spring 2013, PANTONE has just revealed what colors you will see the most next year.

Now you can plan that Spring wardrobe ahead of time – just make sure it includes something that is ‘Monaco Blue’ – PANTONE’s top color for the spring fashion season of 2013. According to PANTONE Color Institute’s executive director, Leatrice Eiseman, she describes Monaco Blue as a “wonderful, calming and anchoring color” to the rest of collection.

What other colors can you expect next Spring? PANTONE’s other top 9 colors include ‘Dusk Blue’, ‘Emerald’, ‘Grayed Jade’, ‘Linen’, ‘Poppy Red’, ‘African Violet’, ‘Tender Shoots’, ‘Lemon Zest’ and ‘Nectarine’.

So, do you love or hate these color choices?

images via

Would You Like Fries With That? The World’s Largest Burger

Would you like fries with that? We don’t think you’ll have room after this one… The Black Bear Casino Resort in Minnesota just set the Guinness World Record for the world’s biggest burger on September 2, 2012.

This record setting beast weighed 2,014-tons, and consisted of 60 pounds of bacon, 50 pounds of lettuce, 50 pounds of sliced onion, 40 pounds of pickles and was topped off with 40 pounds of good ole’ American cheese.

While on the grill, the massive burger required a crane to flip it over – and took about 4 hours to cook in a special outdoor oven, while the toasted bun took 7 hours to bake.

“What I saw today was a feat of remarkable teamwork that resulted in a world record burger that actually tastes really good,’ said Guinness Records representative Philip Robertson.

After the record was confirmed, the burger was sliced and diced for the crowd to enjoy — for free! Yum!

 

images via

DENY Designs Artist of The Week: Khristian A. Howell

The DENY Designs featured artist of the week is Khristian Howell.  Khristian is known for her bright and extremely unique color and pattern designs – which we are constantly falling more and more in love with!

About Khristian A Howell:

“I am a color and pattern expert and I create artwork for a range of licensed products including fabrics, stationery, wallcoverings, and more.  More importantly I am embarking on a color revolution. I believe in living a life uncommon. I am certain that exploration, listening, and hope can teach us new things about ourselves and each other.  It is this passion for travel and living a life inspired that I hope is evident in all my work. I am positive one person can teach the world one honest footstep at at time. I deeply believe in living a life that is colorful, balanced, and inspired. If you believe in the magic of truly inspired design, let’s make something beautiful – together.”

“I have been very lucky to work with a list of amazing and varied clients including Better Homes and Gardens, Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Tiny Prints, Andrews McMeel Publishing, Eddie Bauer, REI, Anthology Fabrics, Shutterfly, HGTV.com and more. I also love working with small business like Hey Baby Studio and Olive + Oliver who trust me with their budding branding concepts.  Big news! I am now available to work with private clients! Let’s collaborate and make your space a place you will adore.”

Check out some of Khristian Howell’s fab designs on DENY products:

To shop all of Khristian Howell’s designs at DENY, visit:  http://denydesigns.com/collections/khristian-a-howell-all-art

Thanks for stopping by our blog!  Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest too!

You Think This is A Photograph? Well It’s Not.

So you think this is a photograph?

Well it’s not. Yes, you read that correctly – this is not a photograph, but actually a portrait – a real-live hand-drawn portrait by Portugal-based lawyer and hobbyist,  Samuel Silva.

Pretty incredible right? Samuel Silva uses nothing but paper and standard ballpoint pens – yes, the pens that you doodle stick figures with in your meetings. His hyperrealistic portrait uses eight different colors and it took him about 30 hours to complete.

When asked if he’s a professional artist, he replies, “No, I’m just a lawyer, art is just a hobby for me, although it takes from 5 to 50 hours to finish each drawing.”

He should really consider quitting his day job as a Lawyer.

The first picture above is Silva’s hand-drawn portrait, while the one directly below is the photograph.

But wait! There’s more! Check out some more of his absolutely stunning works below, once again, using ONLY pen:

images via

Incredible: Tiny Sculptures Carved from Crayons

When you think of Crayons, what usually comes to mind? Probably something along the lines of Kindergarten and coloring books right? Well not for the talented Vietnam-born artist Diem Chau. For Chau, a Crayon is not used to color, but is just the start of some of the most amazing detailed carvings and sculptures.

“Chau combines common mediums and common means to create delicate vignettes of fleeting memory, gesture and form, resulting in works that combine egalitarian sensibility and minimalist restraint. Her work touches on the value of Storytelling, Myths and its ability to connect us to each other through cultural and humanistic similarities. Chau’s current work drifts into new territory by exploring the periphery of the narrative, moments forgotten and faded, or too brief to retain.”

Check them out:

 

images via

Happy Duvet Tuesday! DENY Designs Duvet Cover Giveaway

Yep. We know it has been awhile, but it is back! It is time for our favorite day of the week (except Friday) - DUVET TUESDAY!

We want to give anyone and everyone who participates the chance to win their very own DENY Designs Duvet Cover.  Nothing beats curling up under the covers after a long day. And what better way to unwind than to surround yourself with gorgeous, fantastical artwork? Turn your basic, boring down comforter into the super stylish focal point of your bedroom – one that your friends and family will surely be jealous of.

We think that’s pretty rad, it’s a $190 value!  Plus, who doesn’t want to snuggle up in something that is free?

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 12.22.14 PM

It’s pretty simple, to enter, just follow DENY Designs on both Facebook and Twitter and then fill out this very, very short form (you only have to enter your name, email, your fave DENY Designs artist and why you really want a duvet) to be entered to win a DENY Designs duvet cover:

http://blog.denydesigns.com/duvet-tuesday-giveaway

We will announce the winner next Tuesday, August 28th on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Good luck, and keep on designing!

              

Accessorize: Back To School In Style

School’s in session! Maybe not your favorite time of year, but if you have to go back, at least bring along some super fun accessories! We’ve run across so many great items that might make Summer ending a little less sad and doing schoolwork a little more exciting.

Here are our top 10 fave Back To School accessories we think you’ll love as much as we do:

1.  Guess Who Framed Wall Art:  $19
2. Grassy Charging Station:  $22
3. LCD Alarm Clock:  $10.99
4. Electronic Goldfish in Bowl:  $14.99
5. Dog Balloon Lamp:  $25
6. DENY Designs Nicole Martinez ‘Beaker” Throw Pillow:  $39
7. Face Mug:  $18
8. Ollie Owl Bookends:  $16
9. Honey Badger Floor Mat:  $50
10. USB Mini-Fridge:  $19.95

Winning: National Geographic Photo Contest Winners Announced

National Geographic is known for their stunning photo journalistic and landscape photographs, so it is no surprise that the winners of the National Geographic Traveler Magazine 24th Annual photo contest have some absolutely incredible talent.

National Geographic Traveler Magazine received more than 12,000 entries from 6,615 talented photographers in 152 countries around the globe. Using the power of photography, contestants shared their lives through their work. Taken in locations ranging from Afghanistan to Vietnam, the winning pictures show everything from peaceful landscapes to unexpected moments. However, all of them depict the beauty of the places and people that make traveling memorable.

Here are the 12 winning photographs – each with an amazing story behind them.

FIRST PLACE WINNER: BUTTERFLY
Photo and caption by Cedric Houin
This image was shot in the Kyrgyz lands of the Wakhan Corridor. The intimacy of this everyday life moment, shot inside of a family yurt, is in total contrast with the harsh environment these nomadic tribes live in. On the right we notice a television and a sound console. These tribes live weeks away from any village by foot. In spite of being located at an altitude of 4,300 meters in one of the most remote areas of Afghanistan they are equipped with solar panels, satellite dishes and cellphones. Ancestral ways of living, with touches of modernity.

SECOND PLACE WINNER: MY BALLOON
Photo and caption by Vo Anh Kiet
H’mong children play with their balloons on a foggy day in Moc Chau, Son La province, Vietnam; photographed January 2012.

THIRD PLACE WINNER: DEVOTEES
Photo and caption by Andrea Guarneri
During the Easter holy celebration called “Misteri” in Trapani, the devotees carry the scenes of Christ’s passion on their shoulders all night long. When the day comes they take a break.

MERIT WINNER: LOOKING INTO ANOTHER WORLD
Photo and caption by Fred An
This is the great Japanese maple tree in the Portland Japanese Gardens. I tried to bring a different perspective of this frequently photographed tree.

MERIT WINNER: LOST IN TIME – AN ANCIENT FOREST
Photo and caption by Ken Thorne
Near the city of Morondava, on the West coast of Madagascar lies an ancient forest of Baobab trees. Unique to Madagascar, the endemic species is sacred to the Malagasy people, and rightly so. Walking amongst these giants is like nothing else on this planet. Some of the trees here are over a thousand years old. It is a spiritual place, almost magical.

MERIT WINNER: UNDERWATER SURF
Photo and caption by Lucia Griggi
Taken at Cloud Break at an outer reef in Fiji, a surfer duck dives his board to clear the rolling waves of the raw ocean.

MERIT WINNER: BAGAN BLISS
Photo and caption by Peter DeMarco
More than 2,000 Buddhist temples and pagodas fill the plains of Bagan. Once the capital of the Pagan Empire, farmers now raise their livestock within the centuries old complex. The best way to see Bagan, apart from a ride on a hot air balloon, is by bicycle. It’s easy to get off the beaten path and live out your wildest Indiana Jones fantasy.

MERIT WINNER: OLD MEN WITH DJELLABA
Photo and caption by SauKhiang Chau
The Last Supper Of Da Vinci? No, They are just some old men of Chefchaouen with djellaba, sitting and talking each other.

MERIT WINNER: THE VILLAGE OF GASADALUR
Photo and caption by Ken Bower
The village of Gásadalur and the island of Mykines in the background.
Until a tunnel was built in 2004, the 16 residents living in Gásadalur had to take a strenuous hike or horseback over the steep 400 meter mountain in order to make it to the other villages.
It was a rare sunny day in the Faroe Islands and I had to wait until the clouds rolled in to provide some softer light. I decided to go with a long exposure (1 minute 10 seconds) to illustrate the force of the wind and a serene sea among the isolated islands.

MERIT WINNER: SWIMMING IN THE RAIN
Photo and caption by Camila Massu
My sister in the south of Chile. We are sitting at home next to the fireplace in our southern lake house when it suddenly began to pour uncontrollably. Had to rush into the lake to take this snapshot!

VIEWERS’ CHOICE WINNER: HUSET
Photo and caption by Michelle Schantz
A lonely cabin is illuminated under the Northern Lights in Finnmark, Norway.

You can see the full stories behind each photo here: http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/traveler-magazine/photo-contest/2012/.

images via

Incredible: Artist Creates Portraits Using Cassette Tape

(via DesignTaxi)

Princeton-based artist Erika Iris has created various portraits of famous musicians using recycled cassette tapes.

In her series called ‘Ghost in the Machine’, she uses black shiny tape from the long forgotten audio device and turns it into intricate portrayals of the musicians.

According to Iris, her works were inspired from a phrase by British philosopher Gilbert Ryle—who once described how a spirit lives in a body. She imagines that humans are just like cassettes—our thoughts merely wrapped in our awkward ‘body’ packaging.

images via

 

Half Drag: Vogue Italy Brilliantly Depicts the Two Faces of Drag Queens

(from DesignTaxi.com)

Photographer Leland Bobbé’s world of photos expresses the modernity of humanity, humanity in the third millennium.

In his portrait series ‘I mezzi drag di’ (“The means of drag”, or “Half drag”) for Vogue Italy, Bobbé brilliantly depicts the two faces of drag queens—“the Nietzschean ‘overman’: the man that goes beyond, who is beyond. Not male, not female, not biological”, according to Vogue Italy.

In ‘Half Drag’, the split-faced images show men changing themselves and finding their feminine side in parallel to their masculine side—exploring the concept of contemporary queer and sexuality—clearly showing the difference, and clearly showing what wonders make-up can do.

Though the images look as if they’re made of two separate faces and joined together, they were not constructed in post-production.

“These images are part of an ongoing series of portraits of Drag Queens in half drag. With this series my intention is to capture both the male and the alter-ego female side of these subjects in one image,” Bobbé said.

“Through the power of hair and makeup these men are able to completely transform themselves and find their female side while simultaneously showing their male side. These are composed in camera and are not two separate images joined together.”

 

images via

Step Up: Plastic Figures Hold Up Glass Floor

Floor is an art piece that features 180,000 plastic figures crowded together with arms turned skyward, holding up glass plates that are able to support the weight of visitors. It was created by South Korean artist Do Ho Suh and can be seen at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute.

Would you trust the little guys to hold up their end of the deal?

image via

DENY Designs Artist of The Week: Casey Rogers

The DENY Designs featured artist of the week is Casey Rogers! 

Casey Rogers is new to the DENY Designs team and just like us, she is a true animal lover with a great sense of humor. We can’t help but to fall in love with her funny, cute and cuddly animal art (especially the design “Puglet”).

About Casey Rodgers:

My name is Casey Rogers- I am an illustrator from a little town called Stroud in the UK. I graduated from Loughborough university with a BA Hons in printed textiles.

I love to draw all things furry, feathery and fluffy, hopefully with a sense of humour and a unique style. I have had a lifelong fascination with animals of all different shapes and sizes and love to draw their beautiful little faces. I hope I bring a sense of fun and interest to the subject matter.

To see all of Casey Rodgers artwork on DENY Designs products, visit her artist page at: http://denydesigns.com/collections/casey-rogers-all-art