David Blackwood

I wandered an art gallery on a recent lazy Sunday afternoon, taking in a somewhat underwhelming feature on work that claimed to define the Eighties, when I chanced upon a small, almost hidden, exhibit located in a side room that showcased Canadian artist David Blackwood. Upon entering the space, I became completely enthralled by his art—the style, the intricacy of his line work, the restrained, yet impactful, use of colour, and the haunting visual narrative he shared of his home province of Newfoundland. It was spellbinding. I am absolutely in love with his craft.

I’ve never visited the Maritimes but feel I’ve gotten a glimpse into this magical world and am left truly inspired. Check out selections from David’s body of work below:

Wesleyville: Seabird Hunters Returning Home, David Blackwood (1991)

Wesleyville: Seabird Hunters Returning Home, David Blackwood (1991)

Great Mummer Unveiled, David Blackwood (2002)

Great Mummer Unveiled, David Blackwood (2002)

Three Mummers on Winsor's Point, David Blackwood (1979)

Three Mummers on Winsor's Point, David Blackwood (1979)

Vigil on Braggs Island, David Blackwood (1973)

Vigil on Braggs Island, David Blackwood (1973)

Loss of the Flora, David Blackwood (1993)

Loss of the Flora, David Blackwood (1993)

Angels and Demons, Portage and Main

I’ve had a creative concept mulling in my head for awhile. I’m still in the process of execution but wanted to share my work as it sits in progress.

The inspiration is my hometown, a place often ostracized for not being beautiful enough, progressive enough or safe enough—arguments that do, I admit, hold a grain of truth but are primarily steeped in ignorance. To many, it is a city that just exists. A sleepy prairie oasis on the Trans-Canada highway acting primarily as a rest stop between Toronto and the more affluent economic hubs of Western Canada.

In a sense, I appreciate this nondescript reputation. It keeps things secret. It keeps things mine.

With this series, which will merge romanticism illustration with modern photography, I aim to celebrate the beauty and ugliness, the darkness and light, of my beloved hometown: Winnipeg.

Winnipeg: Angels and Demons, Portage and Main (©Deborah Clague, 2018)

Winnipeg: Angels and Demons, Portage and Main (©Deborah Clague, 2018)

Tokyo Max

Tokyo Max poster design. I designed this piece based on my interpretation of the riot and opposing restraint to be found in the world's greatest megalopolis (©Deborah Clague, 2015): 

Alternative North Korean Propaganda Posters

As the Democratic People's Republic of Korea prepares to celebrate the 70th anniversary since the founding of its Worker's Party, hundreds of slogans were created to encourage patriotism amongst citizens. 

I've decided to create my own propaganda posters based on these rallying calls, the design of which illustrates the fantastical sentiment being promised while hinting at a conflicting, darker reality. 

FAIRYLAND FOR THE PEOPLE:

COUNTRY OF MUSHROOMS:

BIG FISH HAUL:

NONE OF THEM WILL SURVIVE: 

Mou Hitotsu no Kenkyujo

My second current obsession from Japan is the work of artist Mou Hitotsu no Kenkyujo. I've been developing a lot of digital animations lately and his beautifully detailed flip books, complete with enhanced print features such as die cuts that reveal secret chambers, are providing a mega dose of inspiration. The books are becoming coveted collector items. I recently purchased "God of Bug Eater (Vol.8)" and the pages are already curling from overuse. 

For more information on Mou Hitotsu no Kenkyujo's amazing work, click here

Terada Mokei

Last week I visited Japan Town while in San Francisco and discovered several things that I will probably be obsessing over for the next few months. The first is the 1/100th scale architectural model series by artist Terada Mokei. These very tiny, intricately detailed paper models are sold in sheets that recreate various vignettes of life, from the hustle and bustle of the New York subway system to a competitive swimming event. I really want to assemble one; I feel it would be a great test of patience while learning to hone one's craft. 

For more information on Terada Mokei, click here

Terada Mokei New York subway scene

Terada Mokei New York subway scene

Terada Moeki competitive swimming event scene

Terada Moeki competitive swimming event scene

Terada Mokei wedding scene

Terada Mokei wedding scene

Terada Mokei rice planting scene

Terada Mokei rice planting scene

Terada Mokei fishing scene

Terada Mokei fishing scene

Terada Mokei symphony scene (my favourite)

Terada Mokei symphony scene (my favourite)

To truly appreciate the effort involved in constructing these (and get an accurate sense of scale), watch the video below: