Posts in Art/Animation
Some of the Coolest Tiny Apartments Around the Web

I’m not sure why, but I’ve been obsessed with tiny home and tiny apartment YouTube videos, As my fiancee can attest too, I’ve been watching WAY too many of these tours. I just find it fascinating how people pack their entire lives into small spaces and still manage to make them look really nice and livable.

I’ll try and break down my favorites by design style. Each video/space that I picked represents areas or furniture concepts that I hope to incorporate into the house I’m getting soon. Without further ado, here are some of my favorite ones and be sure to give a follow to all of these awesome YouTubers.

Modern Geek

This first tour is from a YouTuber named SpacySpice. He is a digital interior designer and wanted to show off his own home. I wanted to start with this one because it’s one of my favorites. The fold out bed/work area is so cool. Sometimes I watch videos like these and I’ll see a few areas that look kind of throw together, but this guy thought out every inch of the apartment. I’ve also never seen such a small kitchen that’s so functional.

Minimalist

I’ve always dreamed of being a minimalist, but I love collecting TOO DAMN MUCH. Luckily, I can live vicariously through YouTubers who do. This apartment is from a YouTuber named Rawvana. Her Loft is amazing in its layout and design. My favorite features are the modern kitchen and the wooden stairs.

Traveling through this apartment, I miss the loft that I used to have, (though this one is A LOT cooler than mine was). It gave me a few ideas on certain areas of our future house than can follow the minimalist lifestyle.

Artsy Fold Out

This one comes to us a YouTube series on a channel called Never Too Small. (Nothing Freudian about that.) I fell in love with this apartment the second that Michael Bay directed this guys kitchen. The way it transforms and fold out is such a cool concept and something I’ve never seen before. On top of that, the natural light is amazing the colors of the space flow nicely with it all.

Views / Modern

Here’s another awesome, tiny apartment from Never Too Small. Although it isn’t furnished yet in the video, the space all leads to my favorite part about it: the view. This would be a dream spectacle to wake up to each morning.

Everything

What can I say, this is my perfect apartment. It’s modern, functional, great views, smart home features, and the perfect balcony, (minus the constant rain where he lives). It might be a little bigger than the other apartments, but it’s still pretty tiny and extremely nice.

I think my favorite part is the large windows and beautiful view. My only complaint is the lack of art however he addresses this in the video so he plans on filling it and making it even more into my living space soul mate. Check out the video below and more on Justin’s YouTube channel, Justin Tse.

My Interview with Emily Griffin and Her Wonderful Art.

Twitter is one of those places on the internet where getting lost either takes you to something really terrible or presents something really interesting or fantastic. A few weeks ago I was browsing through my feed where a lot of really terrible stuff popped up (fight videos, political discourse, depression, etc.) as it often does - when all of a sudden, a nugget of wonderfulness appeared; it was Emily's art.

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I'm always on the look out for interesting and talented people to interview for my Koonagi's World Blog, so I reached out. I love to learn about what inspires different artists and what drives them to create. I explored her website, Day Brighten, and her art. I dug it and most of all, I connected to it.

She messaged me back a couple days later after getting back from a trip and the rest of this article just sort of fell into place. Without further ado, here's my interview with the talented Emily Griffin.

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What are your earliest memories of creating art and how did that translate into being a passion?

I’ve been creating art since I was super little - it’s always something I felt really comfortable doing, especially as I realized I didn’t really like playing sports as my mom tried getting me into different hobbies when I was younger. It helps that you get to draw a lot for projects in school, so I could do it for a grade and for fun all at once, and even help my friends that didn’t like drawing.

When I was in college, I was encouraged to go a “safer” route and studied business, but I still minored in watercolor. That + getting an iPad Pro was what really kept me painting and drawing as an adult, and then got lucky enough to find some opportunities for commissioned projects and to work with HelloGiggles on my weekly feature, “A Wednesday Cute”. Word of mouth from Twitter was truly the catalyst for most of my work today.
— EG

 What artists or things in everyday life inspire you or your work?

I follow so many artists on Instagram and am inspired by bits and pieces of their work constantly - color, texture, humor, the way they illustrate emotion with cartoon styles. I’ve been a longtime supporter of The Sad Ghost Club and their focus on mental health (I also love ghosts). I also find everything about Hiller Goodspeed’s work incredibly charming. A lot of my personal work feels close to these artists, in that it’s cute and generally has a lot to do with feelings and small, special moments (even goofy ones).

I also tend to use a lot of muted pastels in my work, which is very much tied to the way I dress and accessorize. I like to keep things soft.
— EG

Do you have any art pieces or art-related achievements you're particularly proud of creating?

My final watercolor series at the end of college is still one of my proudest achievements. I painted seven space scenes and really love how they look, and how much time I dedicated to them. Each little star is hand-painted!
— EG
More recently, I’m proud of several pieces that I made last summer. I was going through a really exhausting and heartbreaking time in my life and still kept drawing through it. I feel like I achieved the level of emotional clarity that I wanted to with these - which is cool, because I’m usually hard on myself and only see where I could have illustrated something better.
— EG

What projects are you working on now?

I just finished a lot of illustrations for some awesome tech talks.
— EG

Some of Emily's Brilliant Tech Talk Illustrations:

Now I am “relaxing” a little bit with pet portraits (and a moose!) and couple portraits, which are my typical projects. I’m also working on a pin design for a local meetup :)
— EG

Where can people follow you and your work?

You can follow me on Instagram @daybrighten for most of my work, and I’m also super active on Twitter @emilywithcurls. You can also view more of my work on daybrighten.com or on Tumblr.
— EG

As you can tell "Day Brighten" isn't just the name for her website, but really describes her personality and art as well. Art can make you feel a lot of different ways, but Emily's seems to always convey a positive vibe, even when the subject matter may not be. I think that's what drives me to her work most; it quite literally brightens my day.

I'd like to thank Emily for taking the time out of her busy schedule for this interview. I can't wait to see what she creates next. Whatever it is, I have no doubts that it will bring more joy into a world that desperately needs it.

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Matt Groening and His New Animated Show on Netflix

For anyone that knows me or has been to my home, you know I'm a huge Simpsons and Futurama fan. I've been collecting toys, memorabilia, and comics from both shows for some time. I'm really just a huge supporter of anything Matt Groening creates. This goes all the way back to his "Life in Hell" and "Love is Hell" comic books. 

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I became attached to Groening's work back when I was a child. My late uncle Terry would turn The Simpsons on each day and we'd laugh until our stomachs hurt. My parents weren't the biggest fans, but it may have been out of rebellion that made me like the show even more.

Fast forward in time, and my best friend Neil and I would watch episode after episode of Futurama in his room. I believe he had the first four seasons all on DVD. This show became a staple in our friendship with the random jokes and quotes, from mainly side characters like Roberto.

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Imagine my surprise when a co-worker of mine mentioned he had seen a post on The Nerdist announcing a new made-for-Netflix show by the creator who brought me so many great memories. Not only that, but it's bringing back some of the same voice actors we've all grown to love. Eric Andre has also been added to the list, among others. The show is called Disenchantment.

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IMDB describes the show as "The medieval misadventures of a hard-drinking princess, her feisty elf, and her personal demon." Not much else has been released other than that the show will premiere on Netflix on August 17th and will likely mirror (somewhat) a Game of Thrones-type world. Here are a few more screenshots released:

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I can't wait for August.

My 8 Favorite Side Characters from the Simpsons.

This was a really hard article to create. I love so many of the side characters that Matt Groening and his team have created, but alas, this is but one article and not a twelve book series. I decided to stick with the number eight since most of the Simpsons should live in a base eight world, even though they don't. Let's do this.

1. Groundskeeper Willie

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Groundskeeper Willie first appeared in episode 27 in the "Principal Charming" episode. Since then, Willie has ripped his shirt off and/or yelled in his Scottish accent more times than I have ever been able to successfully rip my shirt off (that number would be set in a world of base 0).

2. Ole Gil

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Poor, poor Gil. He just wants a piece of that American dream. Gil has been a favorite of mine since the Cookie from the West side scene. I think we can all relate to Gil and him feeling like he's stuck in life, though the difference is he actually stays stuck.

3. McBain!

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I honestly wish they would have made an entire episode based on a McBain movie, (unless that happened in one of the newer seasons and I just haven't seen it?) Luckily, someone kind of did it for us. McBAINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!

4. Comic Book Guy (Stan Lee Too?)

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Comic Book Guy's sarcasm melts my heart with joy and complete hatred. He is the epitome of every comic book shop owner I've met and hated (though I've also liked plenty of owners as well, like the owner of this place.) One of my favorite episodes is when Stan Lee shows up to the shop and refuses to leave. The ole' hero-to-annoyance gag. "THE THING WILL FIT IN YOUR BATMOBILE!"

5. Principal Skinner/Superintendent Chalmers

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I know this is two different characters, but it's their dynamic that I like more than either one of them alone. One of the scenes I like to quote the most is when the superintendent comes over to Skinner's to eat and he's trying to hide the fact that he burnt the food. "Aurora Borealis!?" 

6. The Canyanero

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To me, the Canyonero is a character in itself. I think I may like it more than Maude (good riddance.) Remember, the answer is always... CANYONEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

 7. Cletus

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Cletus is a representation of about a quarter of the people I saw growing up in Garland, Texas. Hell, I was probably a little Cletus-like from time to time.  Extra shout out to Tiffany, Heather, Cody, Dylan, Dermott, Jordan, Taylor, Britney, Wesley, Rumer, Scout, Cassidy, Zoe, Chloe, Max, Hunter, Kendall, Caitlin, Noah, Sash, Morgan, Kira, Ian, Lauren, Cubert, Phil.

8. Milhouse

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Milhouse and I share a bond; we were basically the same person when I was a kid. I'm not sure who my Lisa was when I was younger, but I'm sure I had a million like her reject me. I even made him the strongest character in a card game I created. (I gotcho back, Mil.) As an adult however, I find myself often thinking like Milhouse in this scene:

Honorable Mentions: 

Why Gravity Falls Will Always Be One Of My Favorite Cartoons.

In this day and age, we tend to binge watch a lot of TV series from their inception thanks to Netflix, HULU, and the internet in general. I often find it takes a few episodes to really get into a show, (like Rick and Morty or Game of Thrones). That was not the case however when I tuned into a show called Gravity Falls.

 Photo courtesy of  Nintendo Enthusiast  (They're planning on making a G.F. game!)

Photo courtesy of Nintendo Enthusiast (They're planning on making a G.F. game!)

I began watching Gravity Falls last year on a whim after finishing up the most recent episode of The Last Man on Earth. Within the first 10 minutes, I was hooked. Partly because I related to Dipper right off the bat. Maybe not intelligence-wise, but in his thirst for adventure and science.

In the show, Dipper is on summer vacation with his sister Mabel visiting their Grunklestan in a small town called Gravity Falls. I won't give too many spoilers away, but even from the first episode, you can tell there is a lot more going on in Gravity Falls than meets the eye. I think the shows creator, Alex Hirsch, said it best:

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This is really what makes the show so amazing. The animation style is great and the town aesthetics create a creepy/fun atmosphere, but the characters are what really drive the show. I honestly haven't seen a cartoon since The Simpsons that made me really care about each individual person/creature like Gravity Falls does. I can't name one character that annoys me besides the ones who are suppose to. (Damn you, Gideon.)

 Gif courtesy of Amino

Gif courtesy of Amino

I don't want to compare this show too much to The Simpsons because the show obviously stands on its own, but a lot of the jokes remind me of when The Simpsons were still in their heyday of comedy.  This may also be a reason I connected to the Gravity Falls sense of humor so quickly.

Why Gravity Falls Will Always Be One Of My Favorite Cartoons:

Ultimately, this show reminded me of when I would go on adventures with my sister and late uncle. These would usually consist of indoor, as well as outdoor activities. At one point, we would all gather around the computer after school in the late 1990's and play "Are You Afraid of the Dark - Orpheo's Curse".

It was a mystery game that we beat as a team. Watching Gravity Falls, mixed with those memories, sparked a really special feeling inside of me. I may not be able to go on those adventures with them anymore, but I feel like I'm watching something similar play out in a really familiar way on Hirsch's show. It may just be another cartoon to some, but it feels like so much more to me and I’m filled with joy every time I watch an episode.

If you're reading this and you have no earthly, (or non-earthly) idea of what I'm talking about because you haven't seen the show, I HIGHLY recommend it. Thanks for making such an awesome show, Alex!  

 The lady and I on Halloween this year! (With surprise guest: Soos.)

The lady and I on Halloween this year! (With surprise guest: Soos.)

Incredible Insect Micro Sculptures by Levon Biss
Micro miniatures (also called micro art or micro sculptures) is a fine art form. Micro miniatures are made by using a microscope to take a photograph in sections and then blending the final product.
— Wikipedia
 What I imagine Levon says to himself each day as an affirmation. 

What I imagine Levon says to himself each day as an affirmation. 

Per my morning routine, I was listening to a TED Talk that happen to feature a photographer named Levon Biss. Although his career is in normal photography, his dive into creating micro sculpture photographs came about more recently, as he explains from the TED stage. in a presentation called, "Levon Biss: Mind-blowing, magnified portraits of insects".

Levon's side transition into micro sculptures happened by chance when his son brought a beetle from a nearby garden into the house. As him and his son viewed it under a microscope, his son had received for Christmas, he realized how beautiful this particular beetle species (that he passed each day) actually was. His interest in insects and how they looked close up began. 

If you visit his website, you can see a catalogue of his work.

After listening to the TED Talk, I was eager to see these photographs for myself. Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed. Two of my favorites are the Orchid Cuckoo Bee and the Tricoloured Jewel Beetle:

On his website, you can zoom in on each picture and see the incredible details of each bug that he's captured.

As you can see in the video earlier in the article, his art is on display in the form of large, hi-def photographs that move from museum to museum, wowing visitors along the way. 

 Display at the Naturhistorisches Museum Basel in Basel, Switzerland being shown through October 29, 2017.

Display at the Naturhistorisches Museum Basel in Basel, Switzerland being shown through October 29, 2017.

Huffpost: Was ‘The Lion King’ Copied From A Japanese Cartoon? Here’s The Real Story

I don't usually make articles into re-blog/shit posts and yet, here we are. Here's how this came about by a chain of events:

  • A co-worker was talking about how much he hated the Marvel show "Iron Fist" on Netflix.
  • I watched the series, but I didn't know the origin story.
  • I read the origin story and found that one of the events in the original story closely mirrored Disney's "The Lion King".
  • I mentioned this to said co-worker when a second co-worker chimed in with, "It's all a rip off of "Kimba, The White Lion".
  • I didn't know what this was and found the article below.

Okay, so we're caught up. I'm sharing because I didn't know anything about this and I found it incredibly interesting the a childhood movie favorite could be a ripoff. Not sure who I believe, but either way, it seems like the creator of Kimba would have been proud if it were in fact an ode to his creation. 

Confused or not, check out the article below. Huffpost created a really good write up on this.   

Was 'The Lion King' Copied From A Japanese Cartoon? Here's The Real Story

Ever since " The Lion King" debuted a little more than 20 years ago, everything the light touches has been its kingdom. The movie is one of the most cherished Disney films of all time, it was turned into the most successful musical ever and its soundtrack was Disney's most decorated until "Frozen" came along.

Meet Artist Joanna Winograd and Our Children's Book Collaboration

About 3 years ago, I wrote a short children's book about a star named Herbert. The story covers his life while explaining how a star and its orbiting planets form and die in space. After the story's completion, I went on a hunt for an illustrator.

Over the years, artists have come and gone. After a long arduous search, I posted the collaboration idea to a website called Art Connect. This website connects artists with other artists to create joint projects. After a couple days of posting, I received quite a few inquiries, but none as amazing as an artist named Joanna Winograd.

I instantly fell in love with her art. After looking through a few pages on her website, I knew she was the person I wanted to team up with for this book. In addition to our collab, I wanted to share Joanna's past work and provide a space where you, the reader, can get to know her and her amazing creations. Even though we're separated by roughly 5,200 miles, through the magic of the electronic internet machine, I sent her over some interview questions. Let's dive get to it, shall we? 

What are your earliest memories of creating art and what fueled your passion for it?

It is difficult to find a particular memory, but since I can remember painting, drawing and creating is what i like the most and the way I feel most comfortable to express myself. But I think is not exactly a passion, is the way I am, I need to create the same as I need to eat.
— JW

Are there any artists or things that inspire you or your work the most?

My inspirations come from everything around me, starting with the religious art from the Middle Ages over traditional Latin-American art to actually every comment or behavior of people around me.
I like to observe everything and to think about everything, even to develop sociological theories about our time and people’s behavior. And I like to tell some of those thoughts in my artwork.
— JW

Do you have any art pieces that you're particularly proud of creating?

I am proud of the children’s book « les monsters au plafond » that I made together with (Sevrine Loison who wrote the text) and the menus and the illustrations I made for Candelaria (a famous cocktail bar and taqueria in Paris). I think those are my favorite projects.
— JW

For my last question, I wanted to inquire about her past collaborative endeavors. I know for me, this is my first collaboration with an illustrator, so it was interesting to find out whether or not she is seasoned when it comes to teaming up on a creative project. 

Do you normally collaborate with other artists or is this your first big collaboration?

The book « le moistures au plafond » was my first collaboration, and I really like to draw the stories that someone else writes! So I hope there are many more to come. :) 
— JW

I'm incredibly blessed to have found such a talented artist to not only interview, but work with on a children's book. Joanna and I want to give everyone a small preview of an early design for the book entitled, "The Life and Death of Herbert the Star" and the art style she's illustrating it with.

 Page 7 From Our Children's Book

Page 7 From Our Children's Book

The Life and Death of Herbert the Star will be out later this year/early next year. I hope to collaborate with Joanna on a bunch of projects like this one in the future and I thank her for allowing me the time to interview her. I will keep everyone updated on our book's progression and publication as time goes on. In the meantime, explore her website and let her know how awesome her works are!

Visiting Ron Mueck's Amazing Sculpture Exhibit at MFAH

At the beginning of April 2017, I had the chance to visit a one-of-a-kind art exhibit by an amazing sculptor named Ron Mueck. Before I fake being an art connoisseur, I have to say that I had never heard of Mueck's work until my visit on April 8th at the The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Even this article was created for selfish reasons, as I wanted to write a piece where as I research and write, I learn about this creator with you. Let's dive in.

Background  

 Ron Mueck’s Studio, January 2013. Photo by Gautier Deblonde.

Ron Mueck’s Studio, January 2013. Photo by Gautier Deblonde.

Ron began his career in Australia similar to my favorite artist, Wayne White, as a creator and voice for a children's show where he was a puppeteer. His most notable early works were on the movie Labyrinth and on Jim Henson's series The Storyteller. Shortly after, Mueck created his own animatronics advertising company in London, England.

In 1996, he flowed gracefully into the world of fine art. His goal with his work was to make his sculptures so realistic that when viewed from any angle, they were precise and accurate to true human form. This of course is just regurgitated information from Wikipedia, so let's get to the actual exhibit that I attended.

The Exhibit

From the first sculpture, the realism of each piece was breathtaking. On most, I would lean in as close as possible (without security tasing me of course) to look for artist imperfections. There were none to be found, at least by me. 

His work wasn't merely just beautiful imagery, but emanated a different story or feeling with each character. From the over worked single mother to the theme of racism prevalent in our society, Mueck seemed to bob and weave through almost every aspect of humanity and culture alive today. 

The thing that struck a chord in me most was their facial expressions. Ron perfectly captured the subtle and obvious nuances of human emotion in a way a talented, traveling photographer might capture.

The photos below are in the order they appeared in the exhibit. I hope you enjoy Ron Mueck's art as I know I did. Let's take a walk through.

To learn more about Ron Mueck's work, you can visit Hauserwirth   and to see his process, check out the video below from Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain