Amazing Worlds II – Stunning Macro Photography by Pyanek

This week, self taught composer and photography Pyanek invites us with him to explore a world invisible to the naked eye in his series Amazing Worlds II.

Amazing World II Stills:

Macro photography isn’t exactly new, but the usual gamut of images typically revolves around flowers, insects, and animals. What I appreciate most about Pyanek’s work is that they create tiny worlds out of either unordinary objects such as paint brushes or items we would usually find unapproachable like bread mold. When commenting on Amazing Worlds II, Pyanek has this to say:

“It’s an exploration of the details of everyday things we might commonly dismiss. In the process of making these series, I experience them as adventures into the worlds within our world.”

Images as beautiful as these deserve a musical score, and that’s exactly what Pyanek created for this piece. Take a look below and if you like the music, be sure to check out their SoundCloud page.

Artist Information

Portfolio: http://pyanek.wix.com/official
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pyanek.official/i
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/pyanek

Daphne and the Fuzz – Burn Down Your House

The music video for Burn Down Your House by Daphne and the Fuzz is an excellent example of doing more with less. Shot with a GoPro (or something similar), the video takes the point of view of the singer as she dances through a small apartment while singing tunes. Edited by Daphne Lz herself, the video relies on clever editing to create an imaginary world that perfectly matches the unique sound of the band. Amazing, high-quality, music videos used to be available only to those who had a large budget and could afford the space as well as the equipment to produce something truly compelling. As Daphne, and other modern artists continue to show us, this is no longer the case. Utilizing cheap technology, artists like Daphne can create wondrous worlds that fit their band’s aesthetic without needing to bring in costly outside help.

Artist Information:

Daphne ‘n the FuzZz is a four piece pop/ indie rock band formed in September of 2012 in Athens Greece. Their compositions and FuzZzy sound comes from mixing pop rock forms with diverse musical influences.

Credits

Daphne and the Fuzz – “Burn Down Your House”
From the album “Daphne and the Fuzz”
Purchase on: iTunes smarturl.it/xy6ui2
Inner Ear Site: smarturl.it/kvrx11
Bandcamp: smarturl.it/0jgm8x
Amazon: smarturl.it/h5ca47
Music, Lyrics: Daphne Lz
Directed & Edited by Daphne Lz
Assistant Director & Production Manager: Afroditi Tavri
Production Assistants & Lighting Technicians: Alexandra Aurora, Hades, Jo Capralou, Kitty Kentezi

Fonts We Love: Kust by Ieva Mezul / Wild Type

Typeface design is a field which has always had my respect. You spend hours laboring over the perfect baseline, loops, bowls, shoulders, stems, brackets, and descenders to create something that can be used across a variety of mediums including print, cinema, and the web. It’s no surprise that certain typefaces can cost upwards a thousand dollars. That said, there are often designers who create beautiful fonts which they give away for free. Today I’d like to introduce you to a beautiful hand-painted font called ‘Kust Font‘ by fashion designer and painter Ieva Mezule  with images by her partner Krisjanis Mezulis.
Kust Free Font Example

The new Kust free font is 80 characters; every letter has a unique structure, with a distorted look. The letters were drawn on hard paper with a thick brush using pure black ink.

Why We Like Kust:

Kust is a very unique font. I took it for a test run and after attempting to find the right texture to place it on, I realized that as a hand-painted font, it works best on paper or other rough textures. While this typeface won’t be useful across a variety of projects, it definitely fills a nice for illustrations or designers looking for an authentic hand-painted feel in their projects.

Kust Extended Font
There is now an extended version of the Kust font available on Wild Type, this new set features 430 characters and is also available in Latin Pro and Cyrillic. If you are a fan of the free font, I definitely recommend spending $4.95 on a a font that won’t let you down.

More About Wild Type:

The Amazing Animals of Illustrator Rade Tepavčević

Playing with brushes, simple color palettes, and nature’s fuzziest, artist Rade Tepavčević has created a wonderland of memorable forest animals. While not part of any particular series, his work below highlights how imagination can take simple parts and turn them into a stunning whole. The artist from Vrbas, Serbia presents work that taps into illustrations commonly seen in books from our childhoods – thick brush strokes and minimal colors leave much for imagination and allows us to create our own narratives around his work.

Rade Tepavčević

Rade Tepavčević

Rade Tepavčević

Rade Tepavčević

Rade Tepavčević

Rade Tepavčević

Artist Information:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rade.tepavcevic.5
Behance: https://www.behance.net/radetepavcevic
DeviantArt: http://rakun94.deviantart.com/
Email: rakun94[at]hotmail.com

An Interview with Picture Perfect Painter, Lauren Elyse

“Talent finds a way” is the artistic slant on the famous quote from Jeff Goldblum’s character in the classic movie Jurassic Park. A common thread among artists that CreativeFluff interviews is that regardless if a child has formal creative training, or is forced to cobble together scraps of this and that to build something from their imagination, that their talent eventually finds an outlet. The trick (and where most artists fall short) is taking that talent and refining it over and over into something cohesive, tangible, and representative of how they view reality. I recently had the pleasure of talking to an artist with an interesting take on humanity’s relationship with nature and how that came to influence her work; that artist is Lauren Elyse. Elyse’s roots begin on the East Coast where industrialization is rampant and expand westwards to sparking oceans and sandy sunsets. Her work is diligent, practised, and very poignant. Be sure to read through our interview with her to see her thoughts on what inspires her and how to get ahead as an artist in 2016.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. When did you decide that you wanted to pursue painting professionally? Is this something you were formally trained to do as a child? Or perhaps something you picked up unexpectedly?

Hi! My name is Lauren and I’m a painter. I grew up on the east coast but booked it out west right around eighteen to chase the waves and from there is where my painting career really rooted. I began painting surfboards and skateboards as a teenager, independently at first, later moving on to collaborate with companies within the industry, and soon surfboards turned into contracts with local businesses for muraling which then translated into private commissions, and everything really just fell together from there.

I had an inkling that painting was going to be something I wanted to dedicate all my energy towards around seventeen when I started college. I made the decision to major in business over art right away because I knew if I wanted it to work, I needed to know how business worked. I don’t know how exactly my teenage self figured this out but I’m sure I had help with this one as my dad is a college professor and has been a great mentor to helping me understand how to achieve what I want in life.

I wasn’t formally trained as a child but it was absolutely due to the enabling and support of my parents that I chased the arts. It didn’t make much sense to me at the time when I began seriously pursuing painting why I had chosen to chase it, but I realize now it had kind of chosen me long before. Growing up my parents always encouraged us to be creative, in just about every way imaginable. My mom was a seamstress when we were young so my sister and I were always in craft and fabric stores. Those were some of my favorite memories, being in those stores amongst all the creative materials (to this day I still love just being in art stores). I remember having my own drafting table from a young age and copying the illustrations in comic books my brothers had given me because I liked the challenge. So yeah, at the time I decided to seriously become an artist, a painter specifically, it seemed out of left field for me, but I guess I’d been working towards that all along.

Other People's Lives Lauren Elsye
Other People’s Lives

It is abundantly clear that nature manifests itself within almost every piece of your artwork. When did you first notice this connection between humans and nature?

I think that connection is something that I’m constantly noticing and exploring, I’m always discovering how much we are linked and I couldn’t pinpoint an exact moment. I’ve always loved being outdoors. I was lucky enough to be the generation on the cusp of our society’s computer age obsession. The internet was just starting to come into being when I was growing up, so being outside was still considered the best past time for kids. I played in the woods, contracted every known form of poison ivy, sumac, oak – you name it – survived to tell about it haha, and at around fifteen I started surfing and lifeguarding. Being in the ocean all the time, learning its rhythms, cycles, and temperament, knowing how close our blood is to salt water, it gets you thinking. That and listening to Modest Mouse’s The Moon and Antarctica. That album heavily influenced my interests and curiosities and came along just at a point when my mind was fully open to every possibility, and it put the idea of who we are in relation to nature into my head for sure.

Misty Morning Lauren Elyse
Misty Morning

Travel influences many of the artists that we talk to at CreativeFluff. Can you tell us what, if any, artistic styles you have picked up while traveling abroad? What about these styles stood out to you above others?

Oh man, this one should be easy but surprisingly I’m having trouble giving an answer. With the internet being what it is my memory is so distorted as to what I’ve seen where and when. I do know, though, that in my travels I’ve often stopped into museums and seen works of art I wasn’t expecting, didn’t know the artist’s even existed, and immediately went back home (cursing all the art history courses I’d ever taken the entire way for skipping over these artists) and researched the bejesus out of them. While studying abroad I’ve seen so many works that I know must absolutely influence my style in subtle or more overt ways – either via techniques or subject matter – but I think most of all what really influences me while traveling is architectural styles. The set up of cities, parks, and gardens. The style of buildings, houses, and the landscaping that enhances them. That’s generally my big take away from traveling.

Searching Lauren Elyse
Searching

In regards to the selection of work which you sent to us, can you tell us about your artistic process? Where did this idea come from? Do you sketch a painting prior applying acrylics or oils? At what point do you stare at your work and think ‘I am finished’?

My process is definitely more than half a mental one. I’m a constant observer and I’m always searching for inspiration. When something strikes me I’ll mentally file it away, sometimes jot down a thumbnail if I’m really enthused on an idea, but often times it’s just fragments that swirl around in my brain until something bubbles up that I know could work as a painting. I’m not huge on sketching, I wish I was, I love to draw, but depending on the piece I’m pretty quick to skip details, value and tonal studies in the underdrawing and begin experimenting with paint. I wouldn’t recommend it haha, it’s definitely more frustrating at times, but I like the energy that comes with pushing paint around as opposed to step by stepping it (though I’m generally more calm when I do take that route).

The works here really are pretty much just that, fragments that swirled themselves together, influenced by life experiences, other artist’s work I admire, my own observations and emotions, each one serving a purpose for something I need to get out and say. Knowing when it’s finished generally comes down to looking at it and understanding that one more brush stroke and the whole thing could fall apart. That’s usually my signal more than asking ‘am I satisfied?’ I ask, how easily can I ruin all I’ve built up to this point. That’s not to say I don’t often step over that line, but sometimes it means the destruction of a painting, other times it really makes a piece. The end point is something I acknowledge, sometimes ignore, and I’ve been known to pick up older work and continue expanding on them. So I guess nothing really is ever truly finished.

Mind vs Mouth Lauren Elyse
Mind vs Mouth

Are you currently featured in any galleries? What would you say your overall goal for your art career?

I am currently represented by Harbor Gallery here in Norfolk, Virginia. As far as my career goes, I suppose I want what any artist wants, to be able to thrive as an artist. I’d really love for my art to take me places, allow me to travel more. I’d even like to teach one day. But to give a more focused answer, my biggest goal would be to get people tuned back into nature, to look inward and ask themselves the questions my work proposes, or just feel the feels I’m putting out. And to get everyone turned on to art, all art.

Do you have any advice for aspiring artists looking to not only develop as as a creative, but someone who wants to profit and sustain themselves with their work?

So many things. For one, learn how to be a business (wo)man. The hardest part of what I do is juggling so many aspects of my own career. From marketing to communications, accounting to being able to step into the zone and focus on what is at the core of all this – the art. It’s not easy. Have realistic expectations, be humble. Learn to take criticism and grow from it. If someone cares enough to criticize you it means you’re getting a reaction (which is better than ambivalence) and they care enough to try and make you see your work from a different perspective. Just remember to take it with a grain of salt and stick by what you know you should be working towards. Apart from that the one thing I don’t think I can stress enough with anyone wanting to really further themselves as an artist is to learn the history, rules, and principles of your craft. Study and practice them tirelessly. Only when you know the accumulated effort of artists before you and the rules that govern do you know how to break free from them, and in that space will you really be able to create something uniquely your own.

Artist Information

Portfolio: laurenelysefineart.com
Twitter: twitter.com/laurenelyseart
Instagram: instagram.com/laurenelyseart
Facebook: facebook.com/laurenelysefineart

12 Days of Video Game Reviews: Jotun

Beautiful games are not always good games and good games are not always beautiful. Finding the right mix of aesthetics, game mechanics, and story-telling is what keeps me up at night (on Steam) and when I find a good mix of all three I like to shout it from my digital rooftop. I’m happy to share with you Jotun – a hand-drawn (yes hand-drawn) action, exploration game steeped heavily in Norse mythology. You play as a warrior named Thora whom died in the most lame way possible: her boat crashed and she drowned to death. Fate is on her side however and she is granted the chance to redeem herself and enter Valhalla as long as she can prove her valor to the Gods.

Jotun Game

The most striking thing about Jotun are the visuals. Right from the opening scenes explaining the circumstances motivating Thora’s journey, you can tell that the graphics are better than AAA video game quality. Moreover, once the gameplay starts you can tell my the animation of the character models that each part of the game is animated frame-by-frame. Something not often seen within indie games. The game mechanics are straightforward as you have a pretty standard set of attacks you can make against monsters. Sparsely placed enemies have the player focus on the visuals more than trying to achieve any specific goal. Jotun is in direct contrast with Titan Souls, a game reviewed on here earlier.

Jotun Game

If Titan Souls wants you to feel constantly pressured and that every move you make is a life-or-death decision, then Jotun wants you to remember that you are already dead. Enjoy the beauty of Yggdrasil before you battle massive Titans to prove your worth so that you may drink and fight with your ancestors in Valhalla. While Titan Souls constantly reminds you of how small you are, Jotun never makes you feel less-than. You feel like a hero. You feel like you can conquer the cold and any foe that stands before you. Jotun is an uplifting game and even as you die and have to repeat certain levels, it never reached a point where I felt pressured or frustrated. The level of difficulty of the bosses is offest by how just damn beautiful everything is around you.

Jotun Game

Jotun is currently on sale over at Steam and if you want great gameplay, an intriguing story, and beautiful world-building, I highly suggest picking up a copy.

Jotun Information:

After quitting his job in January 2014, Will Dubé and friends brought Jotun to Kickstarter in July of the same year. Raising over $64,000 from 2,299 backers, Jotun was also Greenlit in under a week. The success of the Kickstarter campaign consolidated the team and the vision and allowed us to get additionnal funding from the Canadian Media Fund and the Montreal Inc Foundation. Jotun is releasing on Steam (Windows, Mac and Linux) on September 29th, 2015.

Website: http://jotungame.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jotungame
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jotungame
Download: http://store.steampowered.com/app/323580

12 Days of Video Game Reviews: Party Hard

Co-Editor and Writer, Zola Paulse, requested that I review Party Hard as the next installment of Creative Fluff’s Video Game Review Advent Calendar. It was a toss-up between Final Fantasy III, Toren, and Party Hard and she made a snappy decision for me. Without any fanfare, let me tell you about a game where it’s 3am, you can’t sleep, and you play as a maybe-retired serial killer.

Party hard is a pixel drawn, stealth strategy game about stopping a party by any means necessary. Not intriguing yet? Let me try again. You’re a raging psychopath. It’s almost 4am and downstairs some college kids are throwing an all-night rager. Kids are puking in the street. Some guy is dancing in a bear costume. Heck, even the cops are leaving the party alone because it’s that frustrating. You decide that you possess the unique set of skills to bring your beautiful suburban neighborhood some well-earned peace and quiet. You grab a knife, your mask, some clothes and head downstairs and across the street to shut the party down permanently.

Party Hard Game
The game’s mechanics are fairly straightforward. You are able to use the majority of items within the environment in order to kill the unsuspecting partygoers. Interacting with certain objects allows you to booby-trap them (rig an explosion), sabotage them (poison some drinks) or hide the bodies (I’ve always wanted to hide a body in an ice machine). The maps are fairly static but the items and placement of objects you can interact with are procedural. This gives you the ability to at least learn from past mistakes and create a generic plan for the next time you boot up a level. The goal is to pick off victims one-by-one (or set a room of them on fire like I did). Oh – you can also dance. Literally there is a button for dancing and I find this highly amusing personally. Sometimes you just have to shake it off (the blood that is).
Party Hard Game

While you start off as a single killer, there is the ability to unlock multiple characters – each with their own motivations for wanting to get rid of people at parties. With each of these characters the game still remains the same – you can trigger random events like the DEA coming in, SWAY teams, Paramedics, FireFighters and more to roll in and ruin the party. Which brings me to two things that are shockingly real about this game even though I don’t think it was the intent:

  1. Swatting: You can literally fake a SWAT call and the team rolls in and murders a bunch of people and then rolls out. This would be funny if it didn’t actually happen in America.
  2. The cops don’t kill you when they catch you. This is great because ideally you always want to incapacitate the criminal and then put them up for trial. In reality – this doesn’t happen and it’s like… why?

Neither of those two points detracts from the game during gameplay and only came to mind when I sat and thought about it for a few seconds. Party Hard provides fun for fans of stealth games as well as 80s synth beats. Pick up a copy when you have a chance or just try the demo and see if you like it.

Party Hard Information:

It’s 3am. Your neighbors are having a loud party. Stop them. Party Hard is tinyBuild’s award-winning stealth strategy game about stopping the party by any means.

TinyBuild Information:

TinyBuild has partnered up with dozens of indie developers, acting as a publishing partner – providing funding, knowledge, production, artwork, guidance, etc – to make other devs’ games better.