The Intriguing Illustrations of Jun Cen

Charming illustrations are a valuable asset for both commercial and recreational viewing. They can turn a completely dull advertisement for a lawn mower into a nostalgic reminder of Good Ol’ American values where dad mowed the lawn while mom baked a less-than-memorable apple pie. Perhaps she’d even set it out on the window sill where a cat/dog/child might comically knock it over in an attempt to steal it. Good thing mom is prepared with a second pie stowed away in the oven.

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See what happened there? A simple illustration can trigger a vivid response within your imagination. Illustrator Jun Cen is mastered the ability to illicit feelings from the viewer through his minimalist drawings.

Jun Cen

Jun is an award winning Chinese illustrator and animator who is currently based in New York. He received his MFA degree from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2013. Jun has already receieved the recognition he deserves in the form of the Overall New Talent winner of AOI Illustration Awards(UK) and the Merit Winner of 3×3 Student competition.

black-dress2

Artist Information:

Check out his entire portfolio.
Follower him on Tumblr.
Catch up with him on Twitter.
Like his work on Facebook.

The Ultimate Marketing Guide for Artists: Part 1

Creative Fluff has put together a step by step marketing guide for aspiring and talented artists. We’ve gathered all the best practices of everything from how to properly contact a website you wish to promote your work all the way to generating buzz across social media. There are always new opportunities for artists to present themselves being created everyday within the digital landscape. Wouldn’t it be nice to have one, handy reference guide to learn it all?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Artists – why do you hate me so?

I get so many useless emails asking me to, ‘check out this’ or, ‘please write about that’. The most amazing one we ever got simply had the word, ‘hi’ and a link to cement blocks. This both entertains and infinitely depresses me. Surely you already realise this, but most of these emails go straight into the trash section of the inbox. I’ve been meaning to rectify this for a while now, because these artists can’t possibly be doing this on purpose. They’re just overlooking a crucial detail in advertising their works.

They say first impressions are the most important. This is especially true of an artist, as the first judgement comes entirely from your aesthetical value. This doesn’t just include your actual artwork. It also includes your first contact with us.

It only takes a cursory glance to decide whether to feature an artist here.

Did that seem harsh? I’m sure it is. Being an artist is incredibly difficult. You rely entirely on the opinions of your audience. The sad truth that many of you don’t realise is that you do not provide entertainment for them. They provide opportunities for you.

So, let’s assume you’ve given us a terrible email. Already I’m expecting nothing from you. I go to your included link with a resigned heart to see if you can really back up your total disregard for professionalism. I’m usually out in under a minute. Why?

  • If I go to your website and I can’t figure out what buttons to click to see your portfolio? Out.
  • If I go to your website and music starts blaring at me from the background? Out.
  • If I go to your website and my speed suddenly dips because you’ve got a giant flash into? Out.
  • If you don’t have the necessary information about yourself and your art? OUT.

I come to see your work, not a stage production. I come to look at your efforts and learn about you as an artist. When your artwork is overshadowed by your website or I see no details or information page about you and your work, that tells me that as an artist, you don’t care.

You don’t care about your work and you don’t care about your professionalism. It also tells me that you don’t care whether you become successful in your chosen path.

Our aim at CF is to provide the underappreciated artist with free publicity. We want to help you because we want to see your work. We want to encourage you because we understand how difficult it is to make it in this business. And art is a business.

Social networking and proper representation are the tools with which you’ll get out there. They’re what will enable you to share your creativity with the world. You could always go old-school and wait until you die in the hopes that someone will notice what you did, but that’s no good to you right now is it?

There are times when, despite the lack of information, I will contact you. This is because your artwork is exceptional. This is a rare example that I don’t often see. Do you really want to leave your career to chance? To the bleak hope that you are the diamond in the rough? That you are the artist the scrolls foretold of?

That ain’t no way to get out there, buddy.

I’m going to be honest here – sometimes I don’t want to bother getting in contact with you. It slows the entire process of writing an article if I have to contact you, wait for your convenient replies, and then begin the process of extracting what information I need from you for a feature piece. More so when it’s your duty to provide that information for potential employers, journalists and advertisers in the first place. You have hindered our work due to your unprofessionalism. This is a symbiotic working relationship and effort must come from both sides.

I’m not writing this for my own benefit. If I can’t write about you, I’ll move on to the next artist, and the one after that. I’ll keep going until I find an artist that will work with me. This is disappointing for both of us. I want to write about your work. I want to tell people about you. I’m also sure that you want that extra publicity.

I guarantee that having a proper portfolio page will increase your chances of being featured. Not just here at CF, but everywhere.

The importance of having the necessary information on your site is integral to your career as an artist. The fact that it is so rare to see an artist who has provided it that I become literally grateful to them is just ridiculous. Please…

WORK WITH US HERE, ARTISTS.

Tips for a first introduction.

Keep your introduction concise.
I have small dreams. This is one of them.
My name is Artist, and I specialise in this type of artwork.
I would like to work with you on having my artwork featured in your magazine.
You can view an example of my artwork here.
My personal information is here.
Please contact me if you have any further questions.”
An email like that pretty much makes me honour-bound to properly view your work.

Keep your website clean.
If I visit a house and my host has to pull laundry off the suite before I can sit down, I’m already disappointed. The same goes for your website. I understand that you want to showcase your artistic skills. If you can’t do that with your actual artwork, then you’re probably in the wrong profession. If I have to wait for a flash into or music file to load, I’m already disappointed.

Dedicate a page to your information.
Without proper personal information, we cannot form an article. You’d be a disembodied group of images, floating on the internet without anything to support you. We need to be able to introduce you to our readers. For that, we need you to introduce yourself to us.

  • Your location.
  • Your education.
  • Your specialisation.
  • Who you work for, or how you sell your work.
  • Who you are.
  • Your methods and techniques.
  • How you got started, why you work the way you do.

If you don’t have a big fancy site or can’t figure out coding, you impoverished bastard, at least include it in the damned email. When the information above is provided prior to us having to contact you, the chances of receiving a feature greatly increases. Like, a lot. A super amount. Seriously. You don’t even know…
But you should.

I cannot stress how important this information it. It seems so straight-forward that I shouldn’t even have to inform you of it. Providing your details is the difference between being simply advertised and being actually appreciated. We can advertise your works, but that won’t make you stand out. It produces a sub-par article that pleases no one.

At CF we have no interest in just advertising you. We want to write quality, personable articles so that even the most casual art-appreciator can enjoy new artists. That is our mission. We want to laud you to the world. We want your work, and you, to be enjoyed.

This is the difference between our magazine and a directory.

Note from the author –
I get that speaking about yourself in third-person or having eight pages of self-contained dialogue is pretentious as fuck but that’s okay. You’re artists, you’re supposed to be pretentious as fuck. We get that. As long as you ain’t writin’ what you had for lunch or the first time you got your sexy on, there’s probably no such thing as too much information. (note: probably gonna have to edit this out sometime. You guys always have ways of surprising us.)

MOST IMPORTANT: I WANT to hear from you. I really, really do. And not just because not having to hunt you down makes my life way easier, oh no. Because of feelings and stuff. I want to hear from you so much I’mma go ahead and stick my email right here, because that means I know you read this and I know you’re not going to fill my inbox with shit that disregards the entire point. Have my email. I trust you guys. And also…
Our editor is scary. You’d better believe he’s scary. You would regret doing that.

Show me what you got! zola@creativefluff.com

Click here to read part 2

The Rustic Photographs of Pictorialist Cally Whitham

Every point in space tells a story and it’s the photographer’s objective to capture these moments in time. It is through the lens that the ordinary has the power to become the extraordinary, but only if the camera is in the hands of an artist. Pictorialist Cally Whitham, possesses an unnatural talent for casting what we might consider as the mundane, in a romantic light. Car lots are are transformed for heaps of parts into a most inviting, colourful, and metallic landscape.

Cally Whitham

Her work takes what is and shows you what it could, and even should be. What may have been a blight on the landscape is now a favourable memory, a nostalgic moment. Whitham’s photographs are the antithesis to the notion that we should take the world as it is, not how it should be. With each shutter and flash she rebukes the essence of that philosophy.

Cally Whitham

Whitham is a photographic artist from New Zealand – her pictures are filled with romantic notions of finding value in banality. She graduated from school with a focus in photography in the early 90’s; from there she went on to exhibit and sell her work, leading her (rightfully so) to a number of awards. She worked in the commercial industry until having a family in early 2000.

“Her work identifies aesthetic value where none appears apparent and often invites viewers to reflect on our rural beginnings.”

Cally Whitham

It’s difficult to distinguish between Whitham’s photographs of New Zealand and rural America. Her work translates well between rural Western cultures and shows common threads and shared beginnings of a myriad of people.

Artist Information

Browse her entire portfolio.
Contact her directly.
Like her work on Facebook.

The Super Nice Artwork of Teagan White

“Her artwork is nice.” said Fred.

“Yes, yes it is nice.” I replied.

My high school English teachers gave us all lectures on never using the word ‘nice’. It was kind of a deal when I was a kid. “Why use nice when there are so many other words you could use?” they would say emphatically, marching up and down the narrow strip in front of our classes.

BULLSHIT, CAPTAIN EDUCATION. SOMETIMES THINGS ARE JUST REALLY NICE.

Teagan White Illustration

Teagan White is a Minnesota-based freelancer who specialises in just the nicest designs and illustrations you ever did see. She grew up in Chicago before moving to Minnesota where she studied at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design, graduating in 2012 with a BFA in Illustration. 2012? That was like, yesterday, wasn’t it? I guess that makes her an emerging artist then.

She’s doing well for herself, with quite the impressive résumé, including designs, illustrations and typographies, CD covers and promotional artworks and, recently, a newly published children’s book released by Tundra Books entitled Adventures with Barefoot Critters.

Omg her stuff is so nice. How does she do it? EVEN HER SPOOKY STUFF IS NICE.

Teagan White Illustration

Teagan’s delicate designs, organic and wistful, are easily enjoyable by all ages.

Go on. Enjoy them. Enjoy them right now.

Teagan White Illustration

Something about her muted colours and intricate, flowing designs, little floating leaves and lack of constrictive lines makes me feel particularly nostalgic. It reminds me exactly of the old annual books I used to collect as a kid. It also reminds me of wallpaper. If Teagan White started designing for wallpaper she would make bank, dag.

However, the most interesting thing that struck me when I happened upon this artist, obviously besides how NICE her artwork is, was that her art makes me think of a modern-styled William Morris. I dunno, maybe it’s just ‘cause she did birds.

REALLY NICE BIRDS.

Teagan White Illustration

I’m not supposed to end with an image so here are some other words that come to mind when I view Teagan White’s artwork:

  • Nice
  • gentle
  • curly
  • intricate
  • nice
  • detailed
  • warm
  • cosy
  • nice

Visit her website
Like her on Facebook
Follow her on Twitter
Do whatever it is you guys do on Tumblr

Modern Baseball – “Your Graduation” Directed by Kyle Thrash

Music videos aim to marry the visual with the auditory in a way that best expresses the personality of both song and composer. It’s a tricky business and the majority of these undertakings usually resort to tried and tired tropes. Rap video? Get some girls shaking their butts, maybe some spinning rims if we’re feeling classy. Indie rock song? Someone smash light-bulbs on the ground and then cut to a macro shot with a slow-motion filter.

It’s not that ropes are inherently bad, it’s how we communicate a vast amount of ideas in a short amount of time – for example a woman wearing a red dress in a mostly black and white film means something very specific: the femme fatale.

Modern Baseball    Your Graduation  1

Modern Baseball    Your Graduation  3

The band, Modern Baseball released a music video for their song “Your Graduation” which was directed by Kyle Thrash. Unsurprisingly, the band started out as a group of high school friends and their music has evolved into an indie rock sound infused with pop and punk.

What I appreciate about both the band and direction by Kyle is how it accurately captures the awkwardness of our teenage years. The use of a main character who doesn’t look like the typical young male protagonist brings the visuals a bit closer to home. At some point, we were all the fat/weird/different/boring/creepy kid in school. Each shot is able to stand on its own and serves as a testament to the skillful use of cinematography. The video tells a story, a tale which most of us are familiar with in one form or another.

Modern Baseball    Your Graduation 4

Modern Baseball    Your Graduation  2

More about the Director:

Contact him here: kyle.z.thrash@gmail.com
Follow him on instagram
Follow him on Twitter

Credits:

CAST (In Order of Appearance)
Natalie Merlino, Anne Marie Rymal, Janelle Engle, Cristiana Caruso, Julie Mercik, Virginia Lawler, Lucy Stone, Danielle Brief

CREW
Director: Kyle Thrash
Producer: Demetrios Tzamaras
Writer: Kyle Thrash, Ashley Smith
1st AD: Kristina Massie
Director of Photography: Eric Teti, Vince Tuths
1st AC: Mike Koziel
Gaffer: Michael Piantadosi
Key Grip: Jacob Overholt
Grip: Anthony Marotta, Adam Roberts, Josh Brede
Set Dec/Props: Holland Messina, Connie Chung
Hair & Makeup / Wardrobe: Erica Dillman, Ashley Bandier
Rain Machine Operator: Marc Tobash, Donovan Batts, Casey Worron

POST

Editor: John Komar @ Kinarf LLC
Assistant Editor: Lyle Zanca
Colorist: Samuel Gursky @ Irving Harvey
MODERN BASEBALL
Guitar/Vocals: Brendan Lukens
Guitar: Jacob Ewald
Bass: Ian Farmer
Drums/Vocals: Sean Huber
Special Thanks: Eric Osman, Run For Cover Records, Philadelphia Film Office, Evan Kaucher and everyone @ The El House