Monday, 16 October 2017

Happy Halloween - Day 16 - Maria Arriola (Bunny Prince)

Yesterday's post was actually scary right?! (right?) so for Monday let's ease back in with the down right silly and cute again. These cutie little spooky creations are from the imagination of Maria Arriola otherwise known as Bunny Prince.

I am now banned from buying Halloween things as I just bought a vampire Mr Potato Head. I've crossed a line guys. BUT YOU HAVEN'T. JOIN US HERE IN RIDICULOUS HALLOWEEN TOWN. And you can display that you've moved in and truly taken on the Halloween spirit by wearing one of these pins proudly (and then I can live vicariously through you . Sorry wallet)

These guys are selling fast so be quick and grab your own little smiling haunted house or spooky budgie on her etsy and keep up with Maria's creations on her instagram.

Happy Halloween - Day 15 - It Follows

I'm cutting it fine this evening but just in time for this Sunday's seriously spooky post I'm changing it up and sharing a film with you. I just had the absolute pleasure of seeing the film The Endless, a brilliant horror movie however not quite what I want to share with you today.

Tonight I want to share with you the complete terror that is David Mitchell's It Follows. I don't like scary films. I don't enjoy that sensation and I really REALLY hate films with supernatural themes, however somehow I made an exception for what will probably be the most frightening thing I will ever watch. It is also however one of the best films I have ever seen.
It Follows has the thoroughly bizarre premise of a girl wakes up after sleeping with a guy to be told he has sexually transmitted a walking monster to her. He tells her "it isn't fast but it isn't stupid". If it gets to you, you're dead. If you sleep with someone, you pass it on. If it kills the person you last slept with, it comes back to you. It slowly walks step by step and takes the form of everyone from huge frightening men to people you know. Only you can see it but others can see the effect it has. The plot line sounds so ridiculous that Mitchell himself said when pitching it he had to just stick to story boards to try an come away from the fact it is a film about a sexually transmitted demon.

Bare with me here though, It Follows does the clever thing of existing outside of time but manages to reference those hazy suburban based American horror stories of the 80s and 90s, whilst throwing in the odd gadget that makes no sense but somehow makes it all the more unnerving. Seriously what is it about the American suburbs that gives such a perfect spooky backdrop? I feel like there's something about teenagers and all those emotions buzzing around with no where to over flow into that mimic that stillness of a summer with nothing to do.

The soundtrack is a complete masterpiece. An 80s synth based foreboding dream that I would have had on repeat if it didn't put me so on edge. You can actually listen to the whole thing on YouTube.
I honestly cannot wait to see what Mitchell does next and I could not recommend this as your honestly terrifying off beat Halloween movie enough. Although maybe keep the lights on for this one.. watch the trailer here.

Happy Halloween - Day 14 - Aleksandra Waliszewska

At the weekend I like to give you someone to explore and if there was anyone who's pieces demanded your attention to understand their utter strangeness it's Aleksandra Waliszewska.

I came across Aleksandra on flickr, years and years ago. Her paintings are confronting and terrifying and were always presented without any explanation. I liked the idea that she was trying to work through some misunderstood emotion in her head, or indeed she roamed some frighteningly wild corner of Poland and was bringing us into the nightmarish creatures she saw.

Aleksandra has since come forward saying she wants the meaning of her paintings to be discovered by the onlooker. I like the idea that despite how honestly terrifying her pieces are she wants you to look closer to try and untangle the reason she has placed in these unnerving scenes.

 I honestly have about 17 favourite pieces from this fantastic artist (as happens when you've been following someone's career for several years) so this is possibly not the last you will see of Aleksandra on this page. 

I urge you to explore her flickr, it is truly a horrifying wonderland.

Happy Halloween - Day 13 - Kiki Smith

OK OK I missed Friday the 13th. I'm sick, cut me some slack! To make up for Friday the 13th let's talk about a piece that is honestly scary.

This terrifying sculpture is Kiki Smith's Lilith. The story goes, in Jewish lore, that before there was Eve there was Lilith. When Lilith demanded that she be treated as Adam's equal she was cast out of the Garden of Eden and forced to become a demon. Eve replaced her, placing the importance on submissiveness and not equality between the sexes. 

So there's a nice counterpart for the problems many women go through everyday. The reminder that strong women, demanding to be treated the same as their male counterparts, has been going on since the Garden of Eden is perhaps the really scary message of this frightening little sculpture.

You can see more of Kiki's thoroughly thought provoking work here.

Happy Halloween - Day 12 - Danilo Stankovic

Happy Thursday Halloween hunters. On this breezy Thursday I am bringing you the intriguing Danilo Stankovic. Danilo's work seems to be absolutely heaped in folklore. 

There's symbol emblazoned shadows hiding in the woods, masked dancers and not quite humans tending to the forest.

It's a brilliant case of not being quite sure what you're seeing. You're forced to look back to try and make sense of Danilo's figures but it often leaves you with a creeping sense that you'll never truly know what you saw. 

Danilo keeps a well updated blog which you can read here and I totally urge you to take a closer look.

Happy Halloween - Day 11 - Theo Mercier

Good evening Halloween lovers. First of all I want to make a gross public display of affection for my incredibly helpful boyfriend who has very kindly been posting these updates whilst I've been off galavanting in 30 degree heat in Spain! But now let's get back from the gross and onto the creepy!

Older readers may remember that I have posted Theo Mercier before but I couldn't not drag him up from the depths of these features for a mid week treat. His work is just too perfect. It's nearly always mostly frightening but a little bit silly, however that's sometimes an even more unnerving combination. 

A few of these pieces seem to be inspired by a poem called Exposure Desperanza (workshop). It talks about the zombies and ghosts coming from the workshop. I hope Theo sees himself as a Dr Frankenstein figure with his shadow cast huge on a workshop wall as his sculptures come to life. He gives them horns, skeletons, glaring eyes, dripping limbs and then....sunglasses.

You can see more of his utterly briliant work here.

Happy Halloween - Day 10 - Glitter Punk's Pumpkins

I mean...I did forewarn you there would be a healthy dose of cute thrown into this Halloween season. I don't even have an excuse here. I went looking for a cute pumpkin okay. It was what I wanted. A pumpkin for all seasons! Just subtle enough (hur hur as if I know what subtle is) to wear all year around but just daft enough to show off a very honest love for PSL themed time of year (not that I can actually drink coffee..). Seek and ye shall find they say and I found the mighty Sarah of Glitter Punk.

Now the second piece of acrylic magic here, oh so subtle and witch like. Wear it with a short black corset front dress and a cheap witchhat and your simple Halloween costume is succinct, pretty and FINISHED. But you didn't come here for that, you came for the love of Halloween goddamnit and that's how I feel every time I wear this pin (of course I bought it!).

Sarah has some AMAZING work, all of it available for you to wear and show everyone how much of a witch/pumpkin lover you are, and you can find all of it here.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Happy Halloween - Day 9 - Amber Seegmiller

Everyone is always in a hurry on a Monday so here's just one special piece from one special lady. I've been following Amber Seegmiller for years now. Her work often has a very strong undertone referencing mental health, especially when it comes to the loneliness a lot artists feel. Amber however has managed to harness that sadness and translate it into symbolic and interesting pieces that it has been a joy to unpick and marvel at over the years.

Amber is also one of those mad people who undertakes Inktober every year and I thoroughly suggest you keep up with her creations on her instagram.

I'd feel bad if I also didn't draw your attention to her pin she has made where 50% of the profits go towards the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network ( however we do need to draw this one back to Halloween and this piece she completed this piece for an older Inktober that I've always really loved for its spooky silliness and I hope you do too.

Happy Halloween - Day 8 - Magical Maidens

Let's lighten it up for this pretty dam mild October Sunday shall we? I was introduced to Jazlyn of Magical Maidens by my wonderful girl gang who also share in my love for a really good pin. They also somehow collectively all love Halloween even more than myself (oh yeah it's possible) and when I saw this pin strategically placed on one of their jumpers as October came in I had to know where it came from.

Magical Maidens is more well known for its cute little magical girls and adorably dorky ditto versions of them. However this pumpkin strategically turned into a bob. I can't get over it. It's just too much. I hope I get the chance to actually carve huge shining anime eyes into a pumpkin one day, but for now this pin will do the job nicely.

Make sure you check out more of Jazlyn's work here and support her kickstarter here!

Happy Halloween - Day 7 - Mario Puc

I always remember coming across a Reddit thread a while ago where someone described a situation when they were a little kid in their parents' car whenever they were driving at night time. They would always picture some strange ghostly creature running at the same speed of the car just out of view behind the bushes lining the road. 

It stuck in my mind because I always used to imagine that too, and it seems like we are not alone in this bizarre thought process.

Mario Pucic's work reminds me of those nights. Those really crisp nights heading into winter where you can only see as far as the car's headlights. Those seemingly empty winding country roads where you think you see something but when you turn back there's nothing there. 

Mario's series No Monuments While Traveling is a beautiful tribute to the road trip, which you can see more of on his Behance, but there's something really unnerving about his photos taken at night.

Maybe he thought he had seen something on some long, barely traveled American road but when he looked back to take a photograph this was all he saw? Probably not but wouldn't that be cool?

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Happy Halloween - Day 6 - Amber Coultis

Happy Freaky Friday everyone and ohhh I've been saving this one as an end of week (trick or) treat.

This is the work of Amber Coultis, a very swish and professional graphic designer. However on her etsy she goes as Vector Penguin and my god I don't think I have ever wanted so many pins from one place.

She has had the stroke of genius to dress up our favourite characters from the wonderful Studio Ghibli films (which I would argue are already pretty spooky) and put them in Halloween costumes. 

Even the susuwatari! My favourite under appreciated Ghibil characters! I hope you feel as excited by these as I do so you can join me in my quest to wear something a little bit Halloween themed every day.
You can see more of this amazing collection on her etsy

Happy Halloween - Day 5 - Takashi Murakami for Harpers Bazaar

Oops guess who's behind! Let's get back on track -quickly- with the incredible Takashi Murakami. 

Now okay Murakami is hugely famous but this October I'm here to bring you my favourites when it comes to everything even a little bit Halloweenie and monsters, for me anyway, are at the top of my list.

I love big monsters. I recently bought Colossal, I have a cuddly Godzilla, and I have a real love of all large cryptids. 

So when Murakami released these photos with his monsters from his directorial debut "Jellyfish Eyes" I squirrelled them away knowing they'd come in useful one day.

They're just casually going about their day, walking the dog hanging with their model girlfriends, going for brunch, y'know usual monster stuff.
You can see more of the campaign here

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Happy Halloween - Day 4 - Jon Klassen

Good afternoon all, I hope you're all managing to get over that mid-week hump. For Day 4 of Halloween posting we're sticking with illustration but I'm doing something I rarely do and I'm sharing a rather well established and famous illustrator with you.

Jon Klassen has done work for the Olympics, music videos for U2, worked on Coraline and has published a number of successful Children's books.But I'm not sharing any of that with you (especially that U2 video..although that perhaps would be scary coming from me). 

No I came across this funny little comic of his about a ghost who finds a door in the woods. Perhaps what we're seeing is a ghost finally escaping to the beyond. I like the idea that something so small and cute is also so mysterious. I hope you like that idea too.

You can see a lot of his work on his tumblr which acts as his website 

but to be honest I prefer his Gallery Nucleus page

Happy Halloween - Day 3 - Jillian Tamaki

I'm enjoying the idea of really switching up the different kinds of media I share with you guys for this veritable Oktoberfest of Halloween themed goodies (I'm just really trying to avoid using the word Spooktacular). However for this quiet Tuesday night I'm going back to good old illustration with the ever brilliant Jillian Temaki and her take on Halloween costumes. 

Jillian does far far faaaar more sophisticated and beautiful work which you can see here and I will be sharing more of it in the future but for now, perhaps debate putting away your idea for a *sexy Pennywise* outfit and consider the possibilities of a sexy boiled egg costume.