Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Found objects as art and fiction

[edit: 02-05-09] My former web space with JPG Magazine has been deleted in order to create new space under the name "abstractLatte"; I published the article in my blog so that it can still be read...http://abstractlatte.blogspot.com/2009/01/found-objects-as-art-and-fiction.html.

I wrote an article for JPG Magazine's website community concerning creative inspiration and how to attain it when faced with a creative block. Although the article focuses on photography, you could apply it to any situation with a few adjustments to the overall process. link to article:

Buy Handmade

Maybe you've received a handmade gift from someone at some point in time, or maybe you've given someone a gift that we crafted with our own hands. At the very least, you've walked past a storefront window and seen handmade items for sale. In a world that seems to be dominated by cookie-cutter commercial goods, handmade items are a fresh way to appreciate your friends, family, and life in general on a more personal level. As an artist, I can definitely identify with a handmade approach towards life.

Well, today I found this website and decided to make my pledge (although at the time of this screenshot, my pledge hasn't shown up yet!)...

At the very least, check out the site and keep it in the back of your mind this holiday season!



For those of you that aren't already aware, Etsy is one of the best things about the internet. Their focus on the personal and the handmade is a fresh approach in a world dominated by consumer, cookie-cutter products.

In their own words:

"Etsy is an online marketplace for buying & selling all things handmade.

Our mission is to enable people to make a living making things, and to
reconnect makers with buyers.

Our vision is to build a new economy and present a better choice:

Buy, Sell, and Live Handmade."

I strongly encourage you to check out their site, even if only to browse. Etsy is a site that truly keeps on giving...http://www.etsy.com/index.php

Sunday, October 19, 2008

from the butterfly exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC

something to consider

A trio of butterflies, almost reckless in their fun, flap bold, brittle and beautiful in a game of 'let's duck and weave through the visitors, silently bumping them with a puff of air'.

They chose life over looks.

© 2008 joe blend. All rights reserved.

It was a really interesting exhibit. In a relatively small room/corridor, sealed to keep in the humidity and the flapping exhibits, the butterflies were everywhere and nowhere. No sounds to indicate movement, just a flutter in your peripheral vision or a flash of color next to a leaf. And you had to watch every step you made, there was no way of knowing where (or when) a butterfly would decide to sit.

To see one in public is amazing; to see many of them in one space is profound.

url - http://www.mnh.si.edu/

Saturday, October 18, 2008

a NICE endeavor

So I'm browsing some blogs of interest and I came across the Operation NICE website. What a great idea! The endeavor to make this world a better place is taking a new approach on a larger scale and it's meeting this challenge with great success!

Check out the site at
http://www.operationnice.com/ and see how you can contribute!

found objects - "bottle cap and dice"

I occasionally like to direct my camera towards the ground to see what I can find. It's interesting to see what objects are just lying around, waiting to be discovered; what's one person's litter is another's art.

The best part about this kind of subject, aside from the discovery, is the challenge of creating a composition without disturbing the object(s). Shooting candid allows the story to be honest so it's important to me to leave things where I found them.

equipment: dslr, 18-55mm lens with polarizing filter

© 2008 joe blend. All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

"I'm asking for the extra espresso shot because there's a lot to do and I just woke up."

Several months ago, I realized I didn't know what I was trying to accomplish as an artist.

Over the past several months, picking up a pen to draw or planning a few hours to shoot a hundred photos seemed like old habits that were on their way out. My writing continued. And I was reading...a lot; my home library became more interesting to me than my sketchbook and that's a hard thing to accept as a visual artist.

As I said, I'd increased my reading. Publications like "The New Yorker" and the "A Series of Unfortunate Events" series by Lemony Snicket fascinated me and I started to realize I wanted my work to have more function, more utility. Although I didn't mind creating fine art, I wanted there to be an aspect of my work that provided an experience. I revisited my journal writing, the stuff I'd scribbled and scratched out over the last several months that pertained to my future in the arts. And this is when things started to click into place. Among my scribblings were comments on Kramer Books and Afterwords Cafe (a really cool local bookstore/cafe in Washington DC) and notes on various sketchbooks of very talented illustrators, along with references to art journals. That's when it hit me. I needed to make a change.

So I've decided that I'm taking my work and blog in a fresh direction...handmade books and art, and more of a bookstore/cafe approach to my blog. I guess it's not so much a new direction as a reallocation of my skills and creative focus.

Some sample work:

A table of contents page from a small writing zine

A sample spread

I'll post more images as projects near completion but look for writing and drawing previews as well!

above images and content © 2008 joe blend. All rights reserved.