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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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:

 

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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?

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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!

 

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Light In The Dark: Long Exposure Shots using LED Lights

Janne Parviainen is the creative genius, artist and photographer behind this series of shots where he “paints” a room with LED lights and captures the images using a long exposure setting on his camera.

According to Parviainen, no post-production editing was done on the photos and the results came directly from what was captured on the camera – pretty awesome right?

Paviainen said that it took him about 30 minutes to create each shot – by running back and forth through the room, tracing each of the objects with a colored LED light.

Check them out:

 

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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:

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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:

 

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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

Foodie Friday: Typographic Posters Celebrating Cuisines From Around The World

Combining his love for food and typography, Phiadelphia-based artist and creative director Roni Lagin has created a brilliant series of typographic posters that foodies around the world are sure to love. The poster series celebrate the renowned foods and cuisine types from each of the different cities from around the world.

His series, titled ‘Delicious City Prints‘ has covered some of the most popular foodie capitals around the world – such as New York, Paris, New Orleans, London and Chicago, creating a visual, fun way to check out cuisine from around the world!

Check out some of Lagin’s posters below: 

 

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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.

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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, BobbĂ© 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,” BobbĂ© 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.”

 

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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?

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Relax and Unwind: Art Installations Made from Pins and Strings

Australia-based tactile typographer Dominique Falla uses only Illustrator, pins and hundreds of yards of colored string to create large-scale typographic art installations.

For all of her installations she uses the same technique: “I draw the type by hand, scan it, redraw it in Illustrator and then make the physical from pin and string. Hundreds and hundreds of meters of string!” says Falla.

She has so many great past creations, but one piece created for Strutten’s Square One exhibition, an event that pays homage to Brisbane creatives, titled Relax and Unwind, really caught our eye.  It took Falla seven hours to hammer in the pins and 18 more to wind all that string. “I liked the idea of ‘unwinding’ being made out of wound string,” she says.

Check the photos of Relax and Unwind below, as well as some of her other brilliant pieces!

 

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DENY Designs Artist of The Week: Madart, Inc.

The DENY Designs featured artist of the week this week is Madart, Inc.

Madart Inc Winter Sparkle Throw Pillow

Madart, Inc. has been with the DENY Designs family from the very beginning.  We were immediately drawn to her incredible use of color and the unique way her designs have the ability to lighten up any space. Her incredible portfolio is expanding – almost on a weekly basis, providing DENY Designs with a never-ending array of amazing artworks!

About Madart, Inc.:

I am a self taught contemporary artist, living out my dream of being able to create beautiful art as a profession As long as I can remember I have been drawn to art and have always had a pencil or brush in hand.

I draw my inspiration from nature and everyday subjects around me. Living in one of the most remote places on the planet, the Bush of Alaska, as well as tropical paradise, Hawaii and Florida, has allowed me to use many different aspects in my art to inspire me. It can be trees, boats, birds, vibrant sunsets, water, palm trees, cities, martinis; anything I see around me can be used to it’s fullest extent to draw the viewer into each piece and provide them with an enriching and pleasurable experience. I strive for my art to have an element of surprise, and at the same time, effect each person on a personal level with elements that they can relate to from their own life-experiences.

The closest style I feel my art fits into is a mix of Contemporary Eclecticism and Pop. And yet, it is different and unique in it’s own way, which is refreshing, and full of light and laughter. My goal as an artist is to bring happiness and joy into people’s lives through art. If every time someone looks at my art and it makes them smile, I know I have achieved part of my dream and purpose in life.

To see all of Madart, Inc.’s designs on DENY Products, visit: http://denydesigns.com/collections/madart-inc-all-art

      

Too Cute: Photographer Captures Unusual Animal Pairings

Get ready to saw “awwww”!

British photographer Mark Taylor has an uncanny knack for bringing out the cuddly sides of his subjects’. Mark Taylor creatively pairs pets and animals like kittens and ducklings and then captures their interactions – some of which are too darn cute for words.

His photographs are a legacy from his late mother Jane Burton who pioneered the style so familiar on calendars in offices and maths teacher classrooms everywhere. His work has even graced the cover of National Geographic Magazine.

So far, he has had no cases of them eating each other.

 

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Paper Cut: Intricate Hand-Cut Paper Designs

Australia-based artist Lisa Rodden slices, layers, paints and folds paper to create delicate and detailed three-dimensional hand-cut paper art, in all different shapes, sizes and subjects.

In her ‘Hand Cut Paper Works’ series, shadows interplay with colors to give paper feathers, fish scales and geometric shapes an intricate, life-like feel – pretty amazing what you can do with such simple materials!

 

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Drop It: Incredible Water Drop Refraction Photos

You have to check out the work of Markus Reugels, an incredibly talented German photographer that specializes in high-speed and macro photography. Much of his photography centers around water drops and the brilliant splashes, reflections and shapes they create.

In his series entitled Refractions, Markus takes high-speed photographs of water droplets as they fall in front of a background image. With amazing timing and persistence, Markus is able to capture the ‘refraction’ of the image inside the droplet of water.

The results speak for themselves.

 

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Forget Pumpkins: Amazing Watermelon Carvings

Can’t wait until Halloween to get your carving fix in? Well neither could artists from Sparks Fly Design.  Taking a break from their pumpkin carving sculptures (which are also incredible), these talented artists took a more summery approach and used watermelon instead.

Pretty impressive!

 

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Do Not Pass Go: Awesome Monopoly Street Art

Board game geeks and street art enthusiasts alike will love the Monopoly-themed art found in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood – we sure do!

From a sidewalk painted as a property card to a pile of plywood Chance cards, the installations by street artist named Bored, are an impressive nod to the classic game and an interactive twist on what have become street art standards — sidewalk stencils and wheatpaste posters.

 

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