Category: Art

ArtBehind the Scenes: Interview with a Trader Joe’s Chalkboard Artist

Good afternoon, LuLu*s loves! Today I am super stoked to bring you one of the coolest things I’ve found in forever! After reconnecting a few months ago, I discovered that my lovely friend Rachel is currently working as a chalkboard artist at Trader Joe’s – yeah, she makes those awesome signs all over the store! She is awesome and she graciously agreed to submit to my interviewing her to give all you ladies a sneak peek into her colorful world!
So, we know you do the chalkboards at Trader Joe’s. What is your official title?
Crew member! My position is the same as everyone else in the store; I just get to do special tasks.
What do you do exactly?
All the signs in Trader Joe’s are handmade. With the exception of receipts, if it has words on it we design it in-store. On paper, I’m responsible for making sure that every product has a shelf tag with a price and for highlighting products. In reality, that has translated to everything from sewing a giant turkey, crafting a 4 foot 3D hot air balloon out of paper, small illustrations, and much more.
 
It’s pretty rare to be an artist in your twenties . . . and get paid for it. How do you feel about that?
I feel really lucky. Making a sign for cereal may not be the kind of art that allows for a lot of emotional expression, but I get the opportunity to experiment, learn new skills, and color almost everyday . . . and as you mentioned, get paid for it!  You can’t beat that!
 
Do you have any artistic inspirations or role models?
Dana Tanamachi is definitely a role model. She is bringing a lot of positive attention to hand lettering. I love the vintage styling and how accessible her work feels. I want to apprentice under her!
 
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
The most challenging part of the job is finding snap-inspiration when you just aren’t excited about the product.  It might be the third time you’ve designed a sign for the same cereal, and you have to make it seem exhilarating . . . you gotta get creative.
 
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
The best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten was to “get out of your own way.”  Sometimes we create roadblocks for ourselves that don’t exist; you have to believe it’s possible in order to really pursue your dreams.
 
Favorite drawing medium? 
Chalk is great for its handmade appeal, but I think Woodcraft markers may edge out chalk for my favorite medium.  I use them at work almost exclusively and have recently bought a set for myself. They are so pigmented and you can use them on almost every surface imaginable.
And an extra-special treat, crafted just for us!

Like whatcha see? If you’d like to see more of Rachel’s work, visit her blog: Font or Fiction!

 

ArtCamel Art: Bikaner Camel Festival of Rajasthan, India

Who doesn’t love a festival? The food, the music, the . . . camels? Yes! Welcome to the Bikaner Camel Festival, a two-day festival that takes place every year in Rajasthan, India.
 
The festival praises the four-legged desert inhabitant with camel parades, camel racing, camel dancing (say what?!) and even contests to judge the best decorated camels.  
The best part of the festivities is how decked out these camels get with elaborate saddles, mirrors, flowers, and more! The competition looks fierce! 
 
 
 
 
 
The local residents take up to three years to master their camel’s fur design, allowing for the hair to grow in so it can be trimmed and styled in intricate patterns. Beautiful. Especially, since it doesn’t hurt the camels!
 
 
 
 
 
Check out more camels and their decor here
 
(Photos courtesy of JeannieJeannie.com)

 

ArtPencil Vs. Camera: The Awesome Artwork of Ben Heine

Twenty-eight year old Belgian artist Ben Heine is probably now one of my absolute favorites. Not only is he a brilliant painter and drawer, but his imagination in creating scenes and graphic designs is just so unique. The internet makes many artists a dime a dozen, but Ben’s work stands out particularly in my mind. This particular series, known as “Pencil Vs. Camera” was begun in 2010 after writing a letter to his family:
 
“Reading my letter before putting it in the envelope, I saw in transparency the television behind the paper. I then realized it would be great to make something similar in a single image showing 2 different actions. I went outside and drew ‘Pencil Vs. Camera 1′ which is very simple and shows 2 chairs with a small table. About 1/4 of the scene is represented on the paper, the other 3/4 happens on the photo.”
 
 
And that’s pretty much how the rest of the pictures in this series are created as well. Each of the papers is done in black and white, while the background is often in color and features vibrant aspects of life – people, animals, scenery, and ideas.
 
 
 
 

 

 
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I just make art for people. I want them to dream and forget their daily troubles. I used to write poems many years ago, I want to convey a poetic and philosophical meaning into my pictures, each new creation should tell a story and generate an intense emotion, like a poem, like a melody.”
 
Want more? check out Ben’s entire gallery of Pencil Vs. Camera drawings on his website. Or, check out his Facebook!
 
(Pics, quotes, and info courtesy of benheine.com.)

ArtIllustrator: Luci Everett

 
I’d like to introduce you to the work of Australian illustrator, Luci Everett, a mistress of paper, watercolor and collage! With a curious, Indie sensibility and a soft, feminine hand, her darling little works remind me of long summer vacations spent journaling, drawing and whiling away hours with handicraft.
 
 
 
Below are a few pages from her book, Pillow Fight, which she describes as, “A visual & experimental documentation of the whimsical, illogical, curious and frightening nature of dreams. A tactile book which documents dreams collected from friends and strangers visually translated in surprising ways.”
 
 
 
 
 
Attention Readers! Do you draw or illustrate? We would love to see your work and possibly feature it on our blog! Email sienna@lulus.com with images or a link to your work!

ArtWTF Art History

Art History class just got waaaayyy less boring. 
 
I recently stumbled across, WTF Art History, a tumblr created “for everyone interested in art history who has asked, WTF?” And seriously – there are a ton of things out there that fit the bill. This blog is fantastic, because whoever runs it has compiled artwork from the past few centuries into pretty much every funny, awkward, and innappropriate category you can think of, with a couple of random awesome ones just thrown in there for fun. And to top it off, the captions for each post are hilarious.
 
Check out a few of my favorite WTF pictures below.
 
Francesco del Cossa, Saint Lucy(detail), c. 1473/1474, tempera on panel.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
 
Marinus van Reymerswaele, Two Tax Gatherers, ca. 1540, oil on panel.  The National Gallery, London
 
Thomas Rowlandson, Theatrical Leap Frog,  1804, etching and watercolor.  Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco
Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Spring (Allegory of Spring),1573, oil on canvas.  Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid
 
Caravaggio, Medusa, 1597, oil on canvas mounted on wood.  Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
 
Chen Wenling, What You See May Not Be Real, 2009, fiberglass and paint. Installation in Beijing Art Gallery in 2009
 

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Four Figures on a Step, c. 1655-60, oil on canvas.  Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
 
Giovanni Cariani, Saint Agatha, c. 1516-1517, oil on canvas.  National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh
 
There are a lot more inappropriate captions and awkward photos that I couldn’t in good conscience post on here, but feel free to check ‘em out on the website for yourself. After all, it’s educational!