Michael Dascola

November 29, 2010 | by admin in web design

Michael Dascola creates user-centered websites, consults on application usability and assists with web strategies. He has been using computers since 1982 and started his professional career as a graphic designer in 2000.

Most portfolio sites showcase what a person can do: their work and skill set. He decided to take a different turn by not only showing what he can do, but illustrating who he is. The site graphically speaks in metaphor with a simple message: he surrounds himself with high-tech toys, but he’s an old school guy to the core! You can see this metaphor displayed several times from the obvious, “My Techy Timeline,” showcasing his humble beginnings, to the not-so-obvious illustration of a guy playing Pong on a high def TV. The leg lamp, in the basement/footer, is an homage to one of his favorite movies as a child: A Christmas Story.

I really love the concept of the timeline infographic and see it as a unique differentiation from his design competition. It really gives the viewer a glimpse into his personal brand and is an alternative way to depict his extensive experience. It’s also something that could become even more of a powerful call-to-action element by allowing the user to click deeper into the past events that inspired the original timeline.

Follow @RaleighDesigner on Twitter.

* Images and content used with permission from artist.
Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.

Royal Steamline

November 20, 2010 | by admin in paper, product

At Royal Steamline, you’ll find original, customizable wedding invitations from a time that never was. Their designs are not for the traditional at heart, but are music to the ears of offbeat brides everywhere searching for alternative invites. Their designs blend a variety of influences that include dark, clockwork, and fin de siècle elements. They infuse a subtle (and sometimes anachronistic) combination of shadows, textures and vintage illustrations to convey a sense of eras strange and forgotten. Sea monsters mingle next to robotic ravens, and gentlemen scientists have tea with rockabilly rebels.

Aerin and Jeremy, a husband-and-wife design team in Portland, works with brides and grooms to create invitations from scratch, as well as offer a line of readymade, customizable invitations a range of themes including Steampunk, Victorian Gothic, and Retro. With package names such as EdisonGram, Two-Ring Circus, the Tappan Sea and Six-Toed Cat, the invitations are wonderfully far outside of the normal wedding invitation styles. Their templates are inspired by a wide variety of design details such as Duesenberg Model SJ, sideshow posters, an Ozark Hootenanny, Edwardian accents, Bauhaus-era fonts and Sailor Jerry tattoos.

I know firsthand how time-consuming it can be to create custom invitations with deckled edges and rounded corners. For instance, my husband and I had an ancient Celtic wedding, so I spent many hours illustrating and designing our wedding invitation to look like a frame from the illuminated manuscript of the Book of Kells. Getting the right printer, paper and print settings are paramount to creating the right look for a vintage, non-traditional wedding. After spending many weeks on my own, I find the pricing at Royal Steamline to be quite reasonable. In fact, I don’t understand how they can offer such prices for a creating what is essentially an original work of art!

If you’re looking to create your own unique wedding invitations, contact the Royal Steamline Captain first!

* Images and content used with permission from artist.
Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.

Art & Ghosts

November 19, 2010 | by admin in illustration

Louise of Art & Ghosts is an artist that truly understands what type of story she is trying to tell and perfectly captures the visual essence of the unknown… the mysterious. Though, the creative act is not performed by her alone; the spectator deciphers it and thus adds their contribution to it. While she prefers people to interpret her meticulous digital illustrations by looking into their own ‘mirror’, it’s a treat when she shares the surreal and haunting concepts that provided the inspiration.

Although, we’ve known of her incredible talent for a long time, take a journey back through her archived blog and you’ll see the incredible advancement in her technique and intricate details over the last few years. Many of her images are like silent fictions that could never be written and remind her of the spaces between words, a pause before action, the turning point on a journey to who knows where. They are her very own worlds, yet the characters that populate them are a mystery to her. Their facial expressions speak volumes and they have tales to tell that she is not even aware of yet. She is adept at utilizing landscapes that are suggestive of the significance of the character’s silent and serene internal worlds.

What goes on in her head… I wonder?

Follow @artandghosts on Twitter.

* Images and content used with permission from artist.
Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.

Claudia Hek

November 15, 2010 | by admin in art, illustration

Thick lines and lovely ladies, that’s what Dutch autodidact artist Claudia Hek , age 34, is all about. Inspired by Pop Art, old school tattoo imagery and 40’s & 50’s pin-ups, Claudia Hek’s work reflects her view of beauty that sends a bright spark into the world. Using bright colors and primarily women’s figures in all manner of professions (pirate wench to gun-slinging bandit), Claudia had created a new vision of these timeless subjects by evoking the raw modern passion of a bygone era in her paintings. Not only is Claudia a talented painter, but she is a prolific poster designer for bands worldwide. She also creates logos and stickers, t-shirts designs for bands, clothing labels and burlesque starlettes all around the world and has her own line of T-shirts that she sells in various shops and through her website.

I was born on the rustic island Terschelling. I never really fit in there and dropped out of school on an early age and then decided to move to Amsterdam. There, I got introduced to the rock & roll scene by working in bars and playing in bands. This also was my introduction to graphic design since I’d always been drawing and painting but mainly realistic portraiture and women’s figures. But through making posters for shows, my work got more graphic with thick outlines.

I have been working on a freelance base for the last 9 years and had exhibitions worldwide and her work is well known in the underground scene. I live in a real cozy house in Amsterdam with my two cats Binkie & Bonkie. I’m not a 9-5 studio type of person so she works at home and prefer to shut herself off from the world like a medieval monk just working on her art.

For paintings, I work with Golden acrylics and for my graphics I work by making several sketches and then creating the final design by using fine liners, Indian ink and brushes and doing the refining and coloring in in the computer using Photoshop.

To get something that will go perfect in the Captain’s Cabin (or for the captain himself) check out www.claudiahek.net. Follow @ClaudiaHek on Twitter.

Thanks to Claudia for inspiring us!

* Images and content used with permission from artist.
Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.

Fran Bishop

November 10, 2010 | by admin in handmade

Fran Bishop is a designer of many creations. She has designed large 3-dimensional art installations, holographic drumsticks, Gothic Victorian home decor items, erotic photographic installations, personalized photo tile wall installations, set designs for props for the theater and her current passion, artisan jewelry.

I love the adorably cute Hobbit style playhouse she has listed on the FranBishopDesigns Etsy shop. It has a unique shape, attention to detail and solid wood construction by “Grandpa Steve” complete with a “grass” hobbit roof. “Grandpa Steve” is the master wood craftsman behind many creations that far exceed expectations. The custom playhouses measure 4 feet tall by 4 feet deep by 8 feet long and can be personalized for a boy or girl. Though due to the size and weight, local pickup is available if you live near Marietta, GA.

* Images and content used with permission from artist.
Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.

Cart Before the Horse

November 9, 2010 | by admin in handmade

Jo James and Dylan Curry of Cart Before the Horse are a husband and wife artistic duo making incredibly creative folk art dolls inspired by storybook characters and curiosities. Their shop is a treasure room of intricate wonders for modern collectors of the strange and marvelous. Jo is the designer, sculptor, and painter and Dylan does the sewing and photography. Each of their limited edition pieces are individually hand drawn and painted.

And if you’re still itching for more curiosity, I recommend you check out their Etsy featured seller interview here.

Etsy Shop
Jo’s blog
Dylan’s blog

* Images and content used with permission from artist.
Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.

Anne Holman

November 5, 2010 | by admin in handmade, jewelry

I love my exquisite Anne Holman vintage map pendant of Edinburgh, Scotland made from an antique world atlas. Originally, I bought this necklace from for my husband because his family is from Scotland. Though, he doesn’t know that I secretly kept it for myself!

Anne Holman’s portfolio of custom metal work is hand made one by one. She uses certified recycled precious metals and reclaimed antiques whenever possible in her work. The bezel settings are individually formed, cut and soldered by hand and have a gentle oxidation and a light brushing to leaving a rich antiqued surface. Each is a heirloom quality piece sealed and preserved behind a magnifying resin.

The simplicity of the lighting, translucence and composition of her photography consistently shows off the excellent craftsmanship of the pieces. More Etsy sellers should take note of how she successfully brands herself, her stunning photography techniques and stellar customer service.

* Images and content used with permission from artist.
Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.

Fawn Fruits

November 3, 2010 | by admin in art

Fawn Fruits aka Daniel Hyun Lim is an illustrator based in Los Angeles. He is currently an illustration instructor at Otis college of Art and Design, Santa Monica College and Red Engine Studios.

He’s an amazingly talented intuitive artist who doesn’t sketch out an elaborate design, but relishes the spontaneity of the art and moves things as he goes with colored pencils and acrylics. A lot of the subjects from his paintings come randomly—he keeps his eyes open to anything and everything. His works are somewhat timeless with a striking juxtaposition of muted versus vibrant hues. The colors are an anchor to reality and are a huge factor to the symbolic message that he is telling.

With his 1000 Drawings project, he aimed to take on 1000 portraits at $100 each. This project, although based on lighthearted subject matters, is about the empowerment of the individual and a system to work around the system. He takes great joy when people finds his work and purchases it. He came up with this idea to pay for rent while retaining and to regain his skills as an artist, and finding a new audience to hold him accountable. In order for him to draw the girly drawings, he needed to hide behind an alias. The name Fawn Fruits was born with these drawings. Fawn, being a favorite peaceful animal… and Fruits, Japanese street fashion. He’s had to put the 1000 drawings on hold while working for upcoming gallery shows.

As he mentioned in a recent Juxtapoz interview, there are enough serious paintings in the world that shout and make big statements. He wants his work to be more subtle and speak peacefully to the viewer and to bring a moment of tranquility. His dream is to show the world some love, one Fawn Fruits at a time.

Follow @fawnfruits on Twitter.

Website Bakery is an exhibition and inspiration showcase gallery that aggregates art, design, web design, illustration, handmade, products, etc. Curated by Kimberly Coles, Creative Director, Illustrator and Web Designer.

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