Kelsey Beckett’s Femme Fatales

Kelsey Beckett (aka neeka) is the talented illustrator who hails from Detroit. Her online gallery showcases dramatic scenes featuring fierce femme fatales. Kelsey’s digital and traditional art depict incredible detail and color choices. Her blog is a must read; loaded with color studies as she experiments with new work. I eagerly await the launch of her new website, which is coming soon! You can follow her on tumblr and twitter, as well! To be honest- I think Kelsey could have a very bright future in comic book cover art (if she choose to go that route). Kelsey is currently offering $50 commissioned portraits- a great deal from an artist who we will absolutely be seeing more of in the future.











Before the Parade Passes By

Every year on the first Sunday of September the small community in Zundert, Netherlands holds an extremely competitive parade of flowers called Bloemencorso. It began in 1936 and continues to this day. The neighborhood volunteers devote countless hours to building the beautiful eye candy; spending months building the car portion. The flowers are applied to the float within the frantic, final moments before the competition. “It is a day full of fatigue, excitement and emotion because after the procession, the results are announced. The winning car takes the main stage at the market. That moment is the climax of the parade, the Zundert Jubilee where the builders of the winning float burst with joy and celebrate their victory.” I would love to experience the emotions and see the beautiful floats first hand! Check out more of the floats and the winner on the Bloemencorso website, here.

YOU again!?

Where the heck have you been, Nicole?!?? That the F_?!

Truth be told: Many-a places. What a crazy time in the city. Since we were last here, I have gotten married, switched career paths, worked on some amazing projects (person and professional), met some amazing people and overall.. tried to find “normal” when life goes topsy-turvy.  It’s been a blast!

The wedding bells have rung and boy, was it a hectic bliss. The entire night went too fast! It was mostly a blur… but, in a good way. (Can you tell from the picture I was nervous?)

I created an installation for the ceremony. It took a little longer to make then planned and ended up weighting upwards of 90 pounds! That was a fun surprise when it came to safely transporting and mounting. (* a very special thanks to my dad, uncle Danny and Brian *) After the ceremony, the piece became a fun backdrop for photos!

And check out this good lookin’ wedding party:

Our photographer, Alix Klingenberg, is the best! She was completely chill and was able to go with the flow- even when we weren’t exactly sure where the flow was taking us. Alix has an exceptional eye and the amazing talent to capture (not just an image) but an emotion. We are so lucky she agreed to photograph our ceremony.

Meanwhile, in the wonderful world of real– my good friend who happens to be the very talented producer, Mr. Chris Karnak, approached me about a campaign he was starting with his former co-producer, Matt Liston. (You may be familiar with their past film, Chasing October). To be completely honest, I didn’t know the tragic tale of Adam Greenberg- but once I heard his story, I was more than happy to help! For those of you who may not know, Adam Greenberg was a former Cubs player who was hit by the very first pitch of his career in the majors. As a result, Adam received a concussion and vertigo… Never making it back to the big leagues. Well, not until October 2nd! Matt, Chris and Alejandro Marin created a video, petition and street campaign that demanded for Adam’s chance to have “One At Bat”. The campaign went viral and exploded!! Thus, giving Adam his well-deserved second chance with the Marlins. Adam donated his one day salary to charity and it was a heartwarming story all around. How in the heck do I fit in? Well keep an eye our for the dazzling posters that have plastered the nation (created by yours truly).

You see, I had a very good excuse for my absence. And believe me, this is only half the projects that have been going on. My next post will be back to usual; featuring some amazing work by incredible artists!

To see all of Adam and Matt’s journey to the big league, check out the video below! (I make a brief appearance as a major dingus at 02:48) Enjoy!

Teagan White’s Inky Illustrations

Previously, I’ve featured the talented illustrator in St. Paul, Teagan White. Since then, she has posted more intricate renderings of flora and fauna, cute anthropomorphic critters, illustrative typography, and everything in between. Teagan begins each piece with an inky drawing and then digitizes them to add her harmonious color schemes.  Check out her website, here, to see more of her incredible art! And for a wonderful treat, check out her Society6 page to purchase prints.

Emma Uber’s Fierce Femme Fatales

Artist Emma Uber, of Australia, paints incredibly colorful portraits. Her series of oils and pastels incorporate beautifully detailed—and mainly feminine—faces that blend into backgrounds filled with thick, vibrant strokes, drips and smears of paint, and bursts of colorful shapes and flowers. Her use of a strong color palette and aggressive strokes, set against the soft features and expressionless faces, sparks an intense curiosity about each of her subjects. Voyeurism to the extreme. The women featured within Emma’s portraits are dripping with the seduction of James Bond’s fierce femme fatales. To see more of Emma’s beautiful paintings and works in progress, check out her website and facebook page.

Leonid Afremov’s Colorful World

Artist Leonid Afremov is a Russian–Israeli modern impressionistic who works mainly with a palette knife and oils. Leonid’s vivid paintings are dripping with Spanish and Romanesque architecture, glowing electric light, romantic themes and a permanent, golden autumnal hue.  Visit his website, here, where his amazing work is up for action at more than reasonable prices.

Fabian Perez’s Seducing Art-Noir

Fabian Perez is an artist born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and currently resides in Los Angeles. Fabian is known for his unique style which is infamously exemplified in paintings of the tango and portraits. In 2009 Perez was named the official artist of the 10th annual Latin Grammy Awards. Fabian  likes to paint with acrylic because of it’s drying speed, which allows him to follow his impulses. The bold and symbolic imagery feels intensely passionate and film noir. To see more of his amazing paintings, please visit Fabian’s website, here.

Daniel Uytterhaeghe’s Cityscapes

Artist, Daniel Uytterhaeghe utilizes acrylics to create a glowing canvas. His street paintings transport you to the city for an urban fix. Daniel creates beautiful, silent moments within a buzzing metropolis. Born in 1963 in Lille, France – Daniel is a France based artist whose work can be found in many galleries. To see more of his amazing art, check out his website- here.

“I always feel good when I walk on the street in the city, my eyes are full of light, I enjoy the rain with beautiful reflections of light to paint, it’s like fireworks!” –  Daniel Uytterhaeghe

Miss Aniela’s Surreal Photographs

Natalie Dybisz, who is also known as Miss Aniela, is an amazing surrealist photographer. Her work has been viewed by millions online, exhibited in galleries and fairs worldwide, and she has been described as a “star” by both American Photo and Photoicon. Miss Aniela works with commercial clients, fashion shoots, and has a breath taking fine art portfolio. Her new book covers it all, making it a great resource for those who are interested in portraiture. Miss Aniela’s book is a comprehensive guide to each shot and explains- not only what is in each shot, but why.  It includes Natalie’s creative process as well as showcases top portrait photographer’s work, “taking you on a behind the scenes journey from first concept to post processing.”

“Natalie ‘Miss Aniela’ Dybisz was born in Leeds, 1986, and studied BA English & Media at University of Sussex. Her career as an artist began whilst still at University, and shortly following, was sought to speak in the US for Microsoft and offered solo shows in London and Madrid. She is now a fine-art and commercial photographer based in London. Natalie’s work has been exhibited internationally in Europe and the US, with representation in Madrid, LA and San Diego, and six solo exhibitions to date.”

To see more of Miss Aniela’s surreal photographs, check out her website, blog and book.

Cristina Troufa Paints Stories

Artist Cristina Troufa, born and based in Portugal, received her degree in painting at e Faculdade de Belas Artes do Porto. She currently has a studio in Porto where she teaches classes and paints. Her work has a consistent theme inspired by Portuguese proverbs, popular expressions and cultural references. However, she often does not explain their meanings. Cristina’s prefers us to interpret each piece in our own way. Since negative space is just as important to our understanding of form as the form itself- we are often left wondering about the locations within each piece. It is the location and environment that is usually absent. Her unique style allows our eyes to move on the paintings in a controlled pattern. To see more of her beautiful work, check our Cristina’s blog and her page on Meseon. For more information, check our her interesting interview with Silvia Alonso, here.

“My work is always looked upon the world of women in Portugal. This is because each country has its customs even though there is always some resemblances. I paint the popular wisdom of sayings, the conversations I heard as a child among women, the folklore, stories of my life and my family. In most of my paintings I also paint animals because there is always an animal that represents certain situation or human character in the folklore. The purpose of my job is to show how I see the mentality and customs of the Portuguese society. I do not want to do a criticism but rather an exhibition. All the elements that appear in my paintings have always a meaning and a purpose.” – Cristina Troufa

Christiane Vleugels’ Divas

Christiane Vleugels, uber talented artist in Belgium, paints giant photo-realist portraits with oil. Her surreal use of light mixed with photo-realist details and proportions create her strong stylistic technique. Christiane’s interest in art began at the very young age of twelve, when her parents enrolled her into the Academy of Fine Arts; she was taught under the talented Herman Cornelis. Afterward, Christaine continued her art education at SISA and the Royal Academy of Antwerp.

Her work eventually began to exhibit in Egypt, Liverpool and the Galerie Des Beaux Art in Germany. As many artists have designers have experienced, the success came with much pressure and stress.

“For years I was forced to take on numberless commissions, many of them reproductions. When I look back at those tiresome years, during which I often felt myself under incredible pressure and even, at times, uninspired, I realize they were a necessary part of my artistic journey. After all, it is by taking on all those commissions that I learned to perfect my technique. I really do think I owe my various skills to that endless list of reproductions, strange as it may sound,” – Christiane Vleugels

Christiane no longer represses her urge to paint the ideas that spontaneously sprouted in her heart. As she describes on her website, her art is meant to tempt people to dream. To see more of Christiane’s portraits, visit her gallery on deviantart, here.

Jon Foster’s Thrill-Seekers

Jon Foster is a well-known Rhode Island illustrator, who is responsible for the creation of many science fiction and fantasy book covers, as well as comic book covers and graphic stories. His art has graced the cover and pages of DC and Dark Horse. Jon’s work features the emotions of thrill-seekers, in the moment when good and evil collide and adventure soars.

After completing his studies in illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1989, Jon went on to practice his technique of oil paintings on canvas. Before a project is complete, Foster scans his paintings into a computer to add digital effects. Lush and rich, Jon’s paintings of magical and fantastic worlds have established him as a comic artist icon. To enjoy more of his art, visit Jon’s website and Behance page.

“From content, to composition, down to the application of the paint, Jon makes you feel what is going on in his worlds…and his worlds are never one dimensional. The delightful paintings often have a underpinning of sadness, the sad paintings are often subverted with a dash of humor, the horrifying images are somehow beautiful…and the loving paintings often have just a bit of rust — and some dings and scratches — that makes the characters all the more loveable for their flaws.” – Irene Gallo, Creative Director for and Tor Books


A Trip Down the Rabbit Hole with Kirsty Mitchell

The magical English artist/photographer, Kirsty Mitchell is planning to release her 3 year ongoing series, “Wonderland” this summer. The series began after her mother tragically passed from a brain tumor; resulting in Kirsty’s dive into the imaginary world. Working as a full-time fashion designer while creating the series is evident in her dramatic wardrobes.  Working beside the talented hair and make-up artist, Elbie Van Eeden, the team created breath-taking props, wigs, and sets that are so remarkable, it’s hard to describe in any way except other-worldly. As the series continued, the sets and costumes became bigger and bigger as Kirsty began working on the project full-time. Her story is one of inspiration and strength. I, amongst many, eagerly await her exhibition and book. To see some of the amazing photos, please visit Kirsty’s website: here. And! Make sure to visit the behind-the-scenes photos, which demonstrate the how elaborate the set design really is!

“It has been a roller coaster of emotion, and an enormous amount of effort, but now (finally) Wonderland is in it final stages, with its completion planned for the end of the summer 2012. There is still a great deal to be done, but for the first time in 3 years the end is almost in sight. At the point of writing this I still don’t know what the future holds, I just know that the day I see my mother’s name printed on the inside cover of the Wonderland book, it will feel like I have finally fulfilled my promise to myself…. and her precious memory.” -Kirsty Mitchell

Yuta Onoda’s Amazing Illustrations

Yuta Onoda was originally born in Japan and presently lives and works in Toronto, Canada. He is an incredible illustrator / painter who has been commissioned for many magazine editorial illustrations. He has been shaping his art aesthetic through various forms of media, finding new avenues to express himself. Yuta is refining his style, based from his coursework from Sheridan College. Many of his personal pieces were drawn together using graphite, inks, and acrylics, combined with Photoshop to more or less define his style. Stemming from his childhood love of comics, Yuto outlines his images. He also likes to infuse his artwork with decorative elements and details, which comes from his love of Art Nouveau and Ukiyo-e, Japanese woodblock prints. Currently, he has been merging Eastern styles with North American content, like the outdoor spirit of the Canadian wilderness. To see more of Yuta Onada’s amazing illustrations, check out his website and Behance page!

Noel Cruz: Ain’t Makin’ Your Gramma’s Dolls

Continuing with the doll theme, it is my unbelievable pleasure to feature Noel Cruz. Noel uses doll faces as a three-dimensional canvas. Armed with acrylics and ultra fine brushes, he paints intricate photo-realist portraits. It’s incredible. What is even more incredible is Noel’s inspirational story of how he became a pop art icon.  Born in Manila, with a disadvantaged family the financial pressures forced him to live with his aunt in a small, sparsely furnished apartment. By the age of ten, Noel started drawing and by age 16 he was helping support his family by taking commissions for portraits. He has now been repainting dolls for 11 years, when his wife first brought up the idea. Noel lists every doll he paints on eBay. From conception to finished product, Noel’s masterpieces take him 3-6 day. Doing the hairstyle alone can take him anywhere from several hours to a day, depending on how simple or complicated the hairstyle is. To see more of Noel’s art, check out his website and deviantArt page. And to see his listings on eBay, click here!

Dina Goldstein Gives Us A Happy Ending (Kind of..)

Vancouver photographer, Dina Goldstein has done it again! Dina has an amazing way of pulling back the curtain to let the world see in. This time, she takes a look at our favorites childhood icons through a different lens. Within her latest series, “In The Dollhouse”, Dina revealed an alternate ending for Barbie and Ken. In 2009 Dina debuted, “Fallen Princesses” and gave us a look into the grim future of well-known fairy tales to reveal their not-so-happy ending. “Fallen Princesses” has swept the nation, awards and has been published internationally. Her works is even studied in high schools and universities! Incredible! Her sense of humor is great, but it’s her attention to every detail that is genius. To see more of Dina’s work, check out her website. She also has behind the scenes websites for each series (Thank you, Dina!) : “In The Dollhouse” and Fallen Princesses”

“‘In the doll house’ examines the less than perfect life of B and K. B is a super doll, the most successful doll in the world. Her partner K is grappling with his sexuality and finds himself in a loveless marriage. He struggles with his position in the household and faces his lack of authenticity.” – Dina Goldstein

“In The Dollhouse”

Fallen Princesses”

The Enchanting Art of Vero Navarro Castillo

Vero Navarro Castillo is an incredibly talented illustrator based in Madrid. She depicts a fantastic story within each detailed piece. Using colored pencils, markers and digital editing, Vero creates magical scenes. Her illustrated characters carry an haunting presence that are beautiful yet ominous. Her work is enchanting! You may have seen her commissioned work with advertising agencies DDB, GSW NY or Modafoca.  Graduating in Fine Arts at the University of San Carlos in Valencia, she is now illustrating for many authors. Make sure you check out her incredible blog, Flickr photostream and website. She also sells prints on society6.

Darling D[di:]

Illustrator from Hokkaido, D[di:] has become well-known for her graphic novels “Fantastic Silent” and “Kigurumi”, while she was still a student at the Tama University of Arts studying oil painting. Her illustrated books have created a new genre called “Novel-Comic”.  Within her work, D[di:] mainly uses colored pencils; she also uses gouache and watercolor. With an incredible mixture of talent, she writes and draws. With her delicate touch of illustration, unique sense of rhythm and lyrical wordings, she has energetically continued to create cynical but sweet world of works. As a rare artist in wide range of genres such as novels, comics, illustrations, fashion and design, she has many celebrities from various fields to support her. To see more of D[di:]’s work or purchase her books and prints, visit her website and blog.

When asked about her pen name,

“I wanted to sign a name like I do not know nationalities and gender” –  D[di:]

Alexandra Levasseur’s Amazing Art

Artist Alexandra Levasseur is a native of Shawinigan, Quebec, and now lives and works as an illustrator in Montreal. There are many wonderful themes within Alexandra’s work, including lush floral prints, teal, and the elements of natures (heat/fire vs. water). This year, she created a series of paintings that are organized by her emotion due to the weather/changing of seasons. As the year continued, the setting within each piece develops and reflects the internal struggle of the character. Check out more of Alexandra’s amazing work on her website, blog and Behance page! She currently has an exhibit entitled, “Diary of Seasonal Emotional Transmutations” from June 3rd to June 30th at Glamort, Tattoo and Art Gallery in Montreal. Also, prints of her work can be purchased on Etsy!

Past illustrations and paintings that are not within “Diary of Seasonal Emotional Transmutations“, but are so amazing- I had to share:

We Love Marynn Up!

I am smitten with the work of the incredible ECV Graphic design student, Marynn Up. Living in Nantes, France, this amazingly talented 21 old creative is putting the romance into portraits. Armed with graphite, she portrays emotion in an amazing way, staying true to the characters integrity within each piece. Guided by her search for realism, Marynn’s illustrative endeavors touch on the romantic side of traditional portraiture, with hints of text work and appealing hues. Marynn’s incredible portraits have the same alluring, almost voyeuristic, quality as Niki Pilkington. To see more of Marynn’s beautiful work, check out her website, here. Also, be sure to appreciate her talent on Behance, visit her Facebook and follow her on Twitter. She will also be coming out with an online store soon!


Peter Clark’s Incredible Collages

Using found paper as his palette, artist Peter Clark creates intricate three-dimensional collages. He shades with density of print and creates substance and movement with lines plucked from old maps or manuscripts he finds in antique shops. Clark’s pieces are innovative as he utilizes the patterns and textures in a humorous way. Peter focuses much of his expertise on creating dog collage portraits, however his clothing and people portraits are equally incredible. To see more of Peter’s incredible collage sculptures, check out his website where you can purchase his book and original art!

Stickyline’s Skyline

Architectural design studio, Stickyline, based in Hong Kong, created a series of paper helmets shaped as iconic buildings from their famous skyline. The team selected the Cultural Center, Space Museum, International Finance Center, HSBC Headquarters and the Convention and Exhibition Center for this amazing project. By folding bright paper into building-shaped hats for their series entitled, “Masked Creature”, the Stickyline team hoped to showcase the harmonic connection between the people and the buildings. The helmets were made as part of the deTour 2011 design event. As they introduce the familiar structures with a new perspective, the Stickyline team certainly give us a new understanding of the beautiful city.

Martine Johanna’s Fairy Tales

Amsterdam based artist, Martine Johanna was born and raised in the Netherlands. Martine started to draw and paint after working as a fashion designer. Her amazing illustrations depict an almost dark, fairy tale. I absolutely love her technique of drawing and using pastel on wood. Check out all of her paintings and illustrations on her website, here. And if you are in the area, be sure to attend her group show in June and July at the gallery Fontana Fortura in Amsterdam.

Charlotte Mann’s Insanely Detailed Doodles

London-based artist, Charlotte Mann uses intricate life-sized drawings for her installations. Using only a black marker, she depicts scenes of furniture, clutter and even floor boards! Charlotte uses a special water-based marker called the Posca marker pen, which is non toxic. This prevents her from feeling light-headed from the fumes, during long drawing sessions. Her wall murals take away the need for acquiring fancy decorations and even furniture in some cases. She has collaborated with fashion designer Peter Jensen to create breathtaking backdrops for various fashion shows. Check out all of Charlotte’s insanely detailed doodles on her webpage.

Rena Littleson is Great With Graphite

Rena Littleson, an artist working out of Australia, received her B.A. in contemporary arts in 2005 and Post Graduate Degree in Graphic Design at RMIT in 2006-2007. Rena created a series of self portraits for a group show in Melbourne entitled Drawn Again. Armed with pencil and watercolor on paper, she creates incredible photo-realistic drawings. On her website, you can see many pictures of her remarkable lifestyle and other cartoon inspired pieces which make up her versatile portfolio. As described by her representing agency, Just Another Agency, “Rena has a bit of a dark sense of humour at times, often producing work which can be grotesque or violent yet playful and beautiful at the same time. She works in a photorealistic style, with a focus on portraiture, which has more recently been influenced by her growing interest in graphic design and graphic novels. She is currently working on a series of comics for her first graphic novel.”

To see more of her work, visit her website and flickr page.

Rich Pellegrino’s Magical Masterpieces

Rich Pellegrino is a very talented illustrator and artist, based out of Providence, Rhode Island. His use of color and light gives the portraits a whimsical feel, while staying true to the individual’s character. Rich has an ongoing series of pop icon portraits which feature the head and shoulders of Marilyn Monroe, The Royal Tenenbaums, Willy Wonka, and Star Wars, to name a few. In his recent series, “RESUSCITATORUM“, Rich dives into a new realm by showcasing the entire body of his subjects. Resuscitatorum is Latin for “reinvigorate” or “refresh”, which perfectly describes his reinvention of European fairy tales. Right now, you can see his exhibit at Translations Art Gallery in Canton, Ohio. Be sure to keep up with Rich’s blog for previews of his latest work, exhibition schedules and more. I especially enjoy his sketch book pages, many featured below, that he posts on his blog! Also check out his Etsy page to purchase prints and original art! And appreciate his work on Behance.

“During my research for this show I was re-introduced to the European fairy tales by famed writers Charles Perrault, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, and Joseph Jacobs.  I also revisited some of Shakespeare’s plays and the Bible.  Fables such as “Sleeping Beauty” and “The Girl Without Hands” inspired me to reinterpret these tales in new ways. My thought was to simplify each into a single narrative portrait of the protagonist with ornaments gathered from her journey.” – Rich Pellegrino

Heather Bullach Does It Again!!!!

This weekend was incredibly eventful. On a very personal note, I traveled to my hometown of Canton, Ohio to attend my wedding shower! For a city that was hit hard by the recession, it has proven to be equally as resilient! You may be familiar with some of the cities more well-known features- the Football Hall of Fame and McKinley Museum. But I’d like to highlight a source of constant amazement: the incredible art district! Sculptures line the streets of downtown Canton and a variety of galleries have moved into the previously vacant buildings. Every month, people fill the streets and walk from gallery to gallery during an event called “First Friday”.

One incredibly talented artist named Heather Bullach is located in this magical city. Her portraits are breathtaking! I truly believe that Heather must see the world in a different and beautiful light- as her unique attention to color has the power to captivate all. Heather specializes in oils however, her work with pastels is second to none. I am honored to hang the portrait below of Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle in my living room. And recently, Heather amazed me once again, when she created three portraits which I gave to the bridesmaids in my wedding. Thank you so much Heather!! Check out more of Heather’s award-winning work, on her website- here. Or at her facebook page, where she posts all her new pieces and updates fans on her exhibit schedule.

Tran Nguyen is Dreamy!

Born in Vietnam and based in Georgia artist, Tran Nguyen is a master at creating magical paintings. In face, I wouldn’t be surprised if she was commissioned to illustrate the covers for comic books in the future!  She frequently uses elements of surrealism, magic, art nouveau and geometric patterns.  Tran (pronounced Tron) often employs muted, carefully controlled palettes and subtle textures. She frequently works “out of the box” by playfully extending parts of her images beyond the bounds of their background, as well as suggesting dimensional qualities of her geometric elements as though some of them floated above the surface of the picture.

Her paintings are created with a careful process of color pencils that are then glazed over with a thin layer of acrylic on paper. To see an in-depth look of the process behind theses masterpieces, check out the Richard Solomon website, here. You can also find an interesting Q and A session with Tran at, here. Tran Nguyen is represented by Richard Solomon- you can see all of her dreamy paintings on their website, here. Also, be sure to check out and appreciate her behance page! She also has a blog, here.