The Environmental Sculptures of Aganetha Dyck

Hailing from Canada, and the recipient of numerous awards, Aganetha Dyck is an artist of a slightly different color; she is, in short, an environmentalist, and her most recent works concern in particular the plight of bees. She questions what would happen – not just to humans, as a species, but to all life in our ecosystem, should bees die out. It’s a hot button issue, and one that’s perhaps been neglected by the art world.

Aganetha Dyck

She might not be said to work alone, though. In fact, she collaborates with dozens and dozens of others – all of them bees. Cleverly manipulating their natural proclivity to build honeycomb, along with apiary feeder boards and hive blankets (if you’re not entirely sure what these are, ask your local beekeeper), Dyck fuses man-made inorganics such as lamp bases and ceramic figurines with the organic geometry of the bees’ handiwork.

Aganetha Dyck

The results are surprisingly varied, all of which can be seen in her online galleries. They range from incredible sculptural structures, all waxy labyrinth and molten gold, that wouldn’t look out of place in some old-fashioned, traditional effects-laden science-fiction film, all the way through to vintage junk covered in beeswax to various degrees, looking like the dead relics of a bygone age, forgotten by humans and re-appropriated by the bees. The most recent pieces, those incorporating feeder boards, are perhaps those more obviously tied in to her motivation, evoking as they do ruin, sparsity, neglect, and even – with their thin vertical strips of runged beeswax – bones. The message is never hammered home, never delivered heavy-handedly – after all, Dyck is an explorer, a questioner, not a preacher – but the suggestion is clear: we ought to be thinking very carefully about how we treat our bees; the lives of our two very different species, as well as those of other species, are more entwined than we perhaps realize.

Aganetha Dyck

So the next time we’re at the store and pick up a jar of honey, a beeswax candle, or bar of chocolate flecked with honeycomb pieces, let’s take a moment to reflect on where those materials come from and the debt we owe to those small, but far from insignificant creatures we so often overlook. And not only the bees, for a message of conservation and compassion for other species doesn’t stop there; we’re all part of the same, global, interconnected ecosystem. It’s not a new message, and perhaps it’s not a very trendy one, but artists like Dyck provide us with new and stimulating tools for considering its deeper implications.

More about the artist:

Check out her entire portfolio.
Watch her bees work on Vimeo.

HOW 2014 Logo Design Competition & Awards

Always be hustling. HOW has launched it’s annual logo design competition and we want to make sure that you have the opportunity to compete for glory and awards. As an artist, it’s always important to get your name out there and the more competitions you win, the more you have to add to your resume when attempting to woo a potential client.


  • All logos must be submitted online by 11:59 pm EST on July 1, 2014 August 1, 2014.
  • The image size of the file must not exceed 1280 x 1024 pixels.
  • The image can be saved at a resolution that will enable us to zoom in to see details during judging, but the file size must not exceed 5MB. File formats: .gif, .jpeg, .png, .pdf; preferably in RGB color mode.
  • Credit all persons involved in the creation of the piece. HOW isn’t responsible for incorrect, illegible or incomplete credit information.
  • Student work is accepted.
  • Submitted work must have been released between January 1, 2013 and August 1, 2014.


  • Early-Bird Deadline: July 1, 2014
  • All entries are $45 per logo.
  • Deadline: August 1, 2014
  • All entries are $55 per logo.
  • All entries must be submitted online no later than 11:59 pm EST on the deadline date.
  • By submitting work and entry fees, entrants acknowledge HOW’s right to reproduce images of their work and showcase the winners on HOW’s website, print materials, related digital products and display the projects at HOW events.
  • HOW assumes all entries are original and are the works and property of the entrant, with all rights granted therein.
  • HOW is not liable for any copyright infringement on the part of the entrant and will not become involved in copyright disputes.


Ten Winners & one Readers’ Choice will be chosen to receive:

  • The Top 10 Logo Design Winners are recognized in a public gallery on, a site that receives over 3 million visits annually. Check out previous winner galleries.
  • The gallery containing the Top 10 Logo Winners will be promoted in HOW’s design newsletter, which reaches nearly 80,000 subscribers
  • From the Top 10 winners, visitors to will have a window of time to vote for one Reader’s Choice Best of Show winner, which will receive additional attention as the featured project in Behind the Design, a column in HOW magazine
  • All 10 winners will receive a prize pack of design books from HOW’s official online store – and a year-long membership to Design TV.

The Modern Illustrations of Mattias Snygg

I’ve been looking at artists who produce a lot of dense, intricate works lately, and felt it was time for a change. So today we’re taking a gander at the rather more modernistic art of Mattias Snygg. Snygg spends much of his time working in the worlds of video games and films, both producing illustrations and as artistic director, as well as working on more personal artworks. As one might expect from this, his portfolio showcases a generous melange of styles, from the chunky strokes and ill-defined outlines of his more painterly pieces, to the vibrant sci-fi/fantasy pulp of others. Included are landscapes, portraiture, creature design, and still lifes, all executed with aplomb.


This sort of thing is perhaps typical of a concept artist working today, their portfolio a combination of what might broadly be termed ‘work’ and ‘leisure’; that is, pieces produced for projects, for clients, and pieces done in the artist’s own time, to bulk out the portfolio and show off more range. Such an artist is expected to be able to pull off a number of styles, on almost any subject, at will, and it is this chameleonic nature that is most impressive of this all-too-often overlooked genre of artist. An artist working only for themselves can (and often does) find a niche for themselves and relegate themselves to producing variations on a theme for the rest of their lives; the ‘working artist’, much less so. By necessity they must be versatile, highly skilled, and expansive of creativity.


Snygg most certainly fits the bill. Even his most pedestrian works – a painting of a chicken, for example – are awash with life and movement, the whole setting evoked in just a few broad sweeps of the brush. His battlecruisers blaze across galaxies teeming with mystery and populated with entirely alien beasts, and his eldritch horrors are, well, suitably eldritch. The viewer is almost overwhelmed by the variety on offer, kid in a candy shop style, and yet, despite this veritable mixed bag, there is a distinct feeling of Snygg-ness over the whole thing. Whether painting crow-headed businessmen, euphoric nudes, anthropomorphic space hedgehogs, or merely a pig sniffing the ground, in whatever style it may be, Snygg manages to imbue it with his signature, so that there is most definitely a coherence and we can be sure we are looking at the collected works of one artist with a singular – if impressively broad – vision.


Artist Information

View his entire portfolio.
Follow him on Facebook.
Connect with him on LinkedIn.

The Atmospheric Photography of Kevin J. Short

Today we bring you the work of up-and-coming photographer and multimedia artist Kevin J. Short. Based in San Francisco, Kevin has worked as a talented designer and photographer producing evocative pictures while exploring art in any form he sees fit. People who knew Kevin growing up might be surprised to find him in the photography field; having gone to school for architecture it maybe come as a surprise to see him where he is today. Kevin is a man of many skills and enjoys flexing his creative muscle.

Kevin Short Photography

“I’m a self taught artist and have been practicing in various media for about a decade. I started with painting, and have since moved into digitally fabricated works, some video, and now photography. and of course, architecture and design along at the same time as well. so I kind of do everything.”

Like many things, Kevin jumped into photography with nothing but a DSLR in hand and I have to say, the results are promising. Composition comes naturally to Kevin and each of his shots are clearly thought-out and well composed; this can likely be attributed to his training as an architect. Taking a picture is more than a simple click – in Kevin’s world it is about building a scene and laying the foundation for the audience’s interactions with his work.

Kevin Short Photography

“…color has always been a huge theme in my work… mostly big bold colors that compliment and contrast to form a well balanced composition. a lot of time when creating art, I think of color and form as the media with which I am creating, not so much the physical paint or photograph itself.”

Kevin Short Photography

Kevin was kind enough to provide images to one of his favourite series entitled When the Night is New; this photography series tells the story of a girl – a girl not much different than a girl we all know – who is getting ready for a night out. The viewer is able to enjoy an intimate look into her experience and watch the details of her cosmetic ritual. What she is preparing for is entirely outside of our knowledge. A first date? A breakup? Perhaps she’s meeting with her mother to  discuss a recent cancer diagnosis. Kevin allows the viewer to supplement the story with their own imagination. It’s hard to not take note of Kevin’s use of colors and lighting; by focusing on bright colors (the girl’s hair) we are forced to keep the girl in our mind as we explore each picture.

Kevin Short Photography

Kevin had words about himself as an artist that I think are very important for any person currently (or considering) pursuing a creative lifestyle should take note of:

“I really start by trying to understand exactly what scene or mood or emotion or texture or vibe I would like to portray through a particular piece, and then let the media choice come through on its own. I guess I don’t want to be limited by having a set “style” or single medium that I work with. Art is about creation and expression. as an artist my point of view always evolves, as I get older and have new experiences my ideas about the world evolve. this is a good thing. I think fundamentally, being an artist is a particular way that I have chosen to experience my life and the world. there were many options, and I chose art.”

Kevin is the modern Renaissance man. He flits from medium to medium thoroughly exploring each one and incorporating it into his overall style. He only takes what he needs and the rest is left to the wind. What’s impressive is his ability to synthesize everything he’s learned from a multitude of creative fields and use it to further evolve as an artist.

Artist Information:

Contact Kevin at [email protected]
Take a look at his entire portfolio.
Follow Kevin on Facebook.
Keep up with him on Instagram.

Art in Unexpected Places – A Layover Story of Philadelphia Airport

After a flight cancellation at Philadelphia International Airport last week, I found myself with time to kill; time to explore the airport at my leisure. I didn’t expect to get much out of it besides stretching my legs a little, but was pleasantly surprised to find there was a large and varied range of art exhibits on display throughout the airport.


There’s been something of an explosion of this sort of thing – art in unexpected public places (I’ve seen it in shopping malls, on construction hoardings, even on public transport) – and it presents an interesting opportunity for contemporary artists to have their work seen by a large audience who might not normally go out of their way to discover it.

The works at PIA are a mix of temporary and permanent exhibits, many of which have been specially commissioned by the airport. They feature a diverse mix of local artists working in all manner of media, from painting to sculpture, photography to textiles, and can be found both in the terminals, and between them; so much of it, in fact, that even after exploring for a few hours, I hadn’t spotted everything. Some of the more obvious exhibits were the sculpture, which included the sea-creature-esque glass chandeliers of Adam Wallacavage, and geometric paper-folding work of Delainey Barclay, as well as a wonderful piece spanning the entire check-in floor and also visible from a walkway above: Ralph Helmick and Stuart Schechter’s ‘Impulse’ – a series of airplanes suspended from the ceiling, and constructed from hundreds of tiny castings of birds of all species.

into-the-fold-delainey barclayPerhaps my personal favorite of the works I saw was Sarah Zwerling’s photographic work, ‘Hamilton Street, Philadelphia’. Innovative use of glass, natural light, and space creates a tranquil oasis nestled between the bustle of passengers rushing for their flight, and the doldrums of those inevitable layovers. One can almost feel, for a moment, as if they were walking down a tree-lined avenue in Spring, rather than trapped in Terminal A. This Spring theme was continued in glass mosaic work by Ava Blitz, floral sculpture by Michele Tremblay, and a series of painted panels by Deirdre Murphy, cleverly displayed as the viewer rode a long moving walkway between terminals.

Unfortunately there isn’t room for me to talk about everything – not even the works I did see – but I could guarantee there was something for everyone. It’s unlikely most will get a chance to see it all in person – if you’re passing through Philly airport then you’re probably running for a gate – but the idea of placing local art at such high visibility points as an airport is a wonderful one, allowing for huge exposure in varied spaces, and bringing people and art together in ways neither party might think of or expect. I certainly found it highly refreshing, and it turned what would have been an absolute drudge of a day at the airport into an experience – a day at the art gallery. I can only hope the idea catches on.

More information about all the current exhibits and artists can be found on the airport’s website here.

The Japanese Pinup Art of ONEQ

Pinup art, largely a product of American society, draws inspiration from the ‘good ol’ days’ when women existed in the media for the pleasure of male-viewing. A nostalgia of this time period has kept the art of pinup alive and well in contemporary society and has even managed to jump borders and seep into the art stream of vastly different cultures. Today I’m pleased to present the amazing Pinup work of Japanese Illustrating powerhouse: ONEQ. ONEQ was born in 1981 in Japan’s southeast Kyushu island and her work mixes a variety of Japanese and American aesthetics to create something that is truly East meets West.

ONEQ Pinups

ONEQ works as a freelance illustrator successfully combining any genre of art in order to create magazine covers, DVD covers, fashion clothing, and even manga illustrations. Her ability to combine the pinup style portrait with the Japanese aesthetic of thick and defined black lines has won her international fandom (deservedly of course).

ONEQ Pinups

If I were forced to describe her artwork in a single phrase, I would be pleased to refer to it as “Pinup Pop Art”. Her pinup work has a clear underground flavor and successfully draws inspiration from the pop art movement of the 70’s. Her work is simple and defined, yet full of flavor – it’s a perfectly balanced meal presented on a tastefully designed plate for the viewer.

ONEQ Pinups

Like most modern artists, ONEQ starts traditionally before taking her work into the digital realm. Pencil and ink are her first line of defense and her creations end in Photoshop where she begins the cleanup and coloring process. Much like traditional wall scrolls, she utilizes orange and red tones throughout the majority of her work and pays homage to the natural beauty that is the Japanese maple tree leaf. Recently, she has been focusing my work on old Japanese manga style illustration.

More about the artist:

Check out their entire portfolio.
Like their work on Facebook.

The Surreal Art of Eric Heyninck

An artist with so many strings to his bow he could replace half the orchestra if only he weren’t so reclusive, Eric Heyninck’s work encompasses both traditional and digital media, as well as photography and – though at the time of writing this section of his website is under construction – music and poetry. Having worked as an artist for some forty years, Heyninck knows the ropes (hell, he probably invented a few of them) and it shows in his work – controlled, confident, and loaded with the weight of a long personal lore.

Eric Heyinick

This personal mythology is an integral part of Heyninck’s work. While the images do stand apart as their own entities, it’s only really when one reads into his story, his unique perspective on the world and his life, that the viewer truly gets an understanding of the universe she’s stepping into. Inspired by Max Ernst and the Dadaists as much as by Greek mythology, much of his traditional work consists of Hellish, surrealistic landscapes fused with organic elements. They bring to mind the work of Bosch (much like Ben Tolman, the subject of my last article), but also the prog-rock album covers of the Seventies, which themselves were often Classically-inspired, or something you might find in an old book on demonology. Each piece in his portfolio features often-extensive notes on background and meaning as well as images of the work in progress, and although sometimes it is better to let a painting speak for itself, I find in this case the descriptions add a whole other layer of richness and mystery.

Eric Heyinick

Working in a muted palette, which gives the work the look of something unearthed from centuries ago, Heyninck uses a multitude of colour to create mountains of flotsam, hills seemingly constructed purely of living beings, or ancient, hewn from the land architecture. There is something about these works which seems vaguely ominous, as if they touch on a border of the human psyche we were not meant to cross; as in Heyninck, perhaps, has unlocked a door – or at least peeped through the keyhole – to a space between spaces, to the kind of old world horror the plagued that minds of artists and writers in the early-to-mid last millennium.

Eric Heyinick

Born in Belgium, and spending much of his time now alternating between there and France, Heyninck continues to produce works in all mediums to challenge and engage the viewer, much as – in his words – he was challenged by them during their creation. Steep yourself in his mythology, see through his photographs how the world we know becomes transformed into the world of his paintings, and then, hopefully, emerge on the other side.

More About the Artist:

Check out his entire portfolio.
Like his work on Facebook.