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      BLOG — ART

      I'M SCARED


      Do you like photos of orcas turning into ducks with octopus arms morphing into celestial planets in space?  Well, you probably would, but unfortunately they doesn't exist in our universe. Lucky for us, they DO exist in the mind of Greg "Craola" Simkins.  He paints in an amazing combination of graffiti and photorealistic surrealism that will take your fragile grasp on the real world and smash it into a billion pieces. (Originally my computer autocorrected that last sentence to "...smash it into a billion pies," which is just awesome.  Maybe even better.) Anyway, Craola is turning his ideas into a stop-motion film, and you can be part of it.  The title is "I'm Scared," and here's the synopsis: Big Brother shares with Little Brother all the frightening things that inhabit the world at night as they try to go to sleep. Small concerns grow into spooky spectres as Big Brother's imagination takes over and their bedroom becomes a playground for monstrous creatures of all types. So yeah, basically it looks to be a great project. And like I said before, you can be part of it.  There's a kickstarter link you can click on right here


      Here's a video of Craola in his studio, painting one of the very characters in the film.  Art is cool.



      Our friend Rich Simmons, renowned artist and hell of a nice guy, has started a movement. We could tell you all about it but we'd probably get it wrong so to avoid messing up his message and we will admit, a little bit out of laziness, we are going to have the words come straight from Rich's site. 

      Art Is The Cure was formed on February 20, 2008 by British artist Rich Simmons as a way to share a story and inspire people to find a cure through creativity in the same way Rich had.

      Through struggling with years of depression, mild autism and social anxiety problems, Rich used art as a creative outlet to deal with it in a positive way. Art was a natural release. Having always been a self-professed art nerd, Rich began to share his art via his Myspace page. In the summer of 2007, Rich was messaged by a girl in America who was curious to learn about the artwork. Rich explained the reasons behind the work and described it as trapping his demons on canvas and getting them out of his system so he could overcome each problem without resorting to self-harm. The paintbrush and spray can became the tools used to get it out of his system instead of razor blades, drugs or alcohol.

      After a few days of not getting a reply, the girl in America got in touch again. She went on to explain in the message that she had struggled with depression and self-harming for a long time, and in previous months had attempted suicide. Hearing Rich talk about how his creativity got the problems out of his system in a positive way, she decided to give it a go as well. During the days of no contact, she had got as many art supplies together as she could and experimented, explored and eventually found a release she had craved for so long. Creativity had become a way to stop the impulse to self-harm and given her the positive outlet she needed. At the end of the message, she explained how she hadn’t thought about self-harming while making art and that Rich had inspired her to find a cure through art and had saved her life and given her hope.

      Months passed and this girl’s story refused to leave Rich’s mind. How was it possible to change a girl’s life who he had never met and was over 3,000 miles away? Rich told the story to close friends and family who encouraged him to learn more about art therapy. This was a revelation and Rich had a new sense of purpose in life to make art therapy more well known and find a new way to get people using art in this way.

      Art Is The Cure was formed on Rich’s 22nd birthday as a way to share his own story of using creativity to overcome problems and, ultimately, inspiring other people to do the same. A new kind of outlook on creative therapy being done by people in their own way, with whatever creative release they had, in their own time and space was formed and quickly gained momentum on Myspace. People heard this story and recognized they too were using creativity to overcome problems in life without realizing the power of what they were subconsciously doing.

      AITC has since grown in momentum over the years and has led to opportunities to work with young people in schools and youth organizations through workshops and lectures about art and it’s potential to be a creative release. Rich has also gone on to win a prestigious Vinspired award in 2009 for being the UK’s ‘most inspirational young volunteer’ and his work with the Prince’s Trust as an ambassador has shaped and motivated the way his own movement is run.

      In 2012, Rich met with a friend, Frazer Miller, at upfest graffiti festival in Bristol, who shared his vision and set upon the most ambitious task in the movements history. The goal was to create an online platform and community for supporters of AITC to share their own stories, their own artwork and to find inspiration from others. The platform would give people the opportunity to inspire people in the same way Rich inspired the girl from America in 2007 and encourage more people to be inspired and to become inspirational. A place that encourages creativity and a platform where a global community of artists can come together to inspire a new generation of creatives.

      Five years to the day after AITC was created in Rich’s bedroom with a simple story on Myspace, the beta version of its own social platform went live. On June 8, 2013, the public launch of AITC's social platform marked another chapter in the movement to continue to bring people together through art.



      If you get the New Tees On The Block reference then you either grew up in the 90's or your television is broken and stuck on VH1. You really need to get that fixed, having only one channel is no way to go through life. Sure you could read a book or go outside, but there are literally hundreds of TV channels that you could be watching and to limit yourself to just VH1 is crazy. Do you know how many shows there are about cooking? Or ghosts? Wait, idea time! Why has no one come up with a paranormal cooking show? It's genius! Don't even think about flying to Hollywood and trying to pitch our million dollar idea. We came up with it first. Not exactly sure how that would work. Celebrity ghost judge? No, it's a terrible idea. You can have it. We've got lots of projects we are already working on over the next few months, and we can't get sidetracked with "Ghost Chef", plus there are three new HMNIM tees coming out next week. And part 2 of the Mark Hoppus "Hi My Name Is" video series, but enough about Mark, let's get the focus back on the new tees. New Tees coming soon.



      This is part of our extremely late San Diego Comic Con coverage. We saw people dressed up as zombies and superheroes, just like every other year, so not a lot to report there. What we do want to talk about is Amanda Visell. You need to get onboard the Visell train. And it's not one of those slow-moving commuter trains. We're talking the high speed 400mph ones, more like a rocket. Her rocket is taking off and you don't want to be left behind, standing in a post-apocalyptic artist wasteland wishing you got on board, but you didn't and now you have to fight off roving gangs of mutants all because you thought you knew what real art was. Now sit down, buckle up, and take your eyes on a ride to Where Eagles Dare.

      Amanda, on the left and the very talented Michelle Valigura to the right. 


      There are many kinds of artists, those that paint, sculpt, write music and those that tattoo. The difference being that a tattooist really has to create a masterpiece in one try, where the others get a couple of shots at it. A tattooist has to lay ink with total certainty and that level of confidence separates them from any other artist. And for that we put the tattooist in a category all of their own.

      We searched the web for some of the best octopus tattoos we could find. Below are some of the best:




      We talk about Mike Mitchell all the time. Is it because he's a talented artist? a ruggedly handsome man? or does he pay us in freshly baked scones? We may never know, but we do know that Mike is curating SPACE!, an art show this friday at Gallery 1988 this Friday.

      See, didn't we say he was rugged? A beard, a beer, a flannel. He is the very definition of rugged.