art scene: jim ferguson, chasing a dream and making a scene

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Texas-based artist Jim Ferguson is back at it: he’s making quite the scene and we have a unique opportunity to help bring his vision to life, reaping some pretty sweet benefits in the process. Ferguson was featured here at TCL last fall as someone not to miss during his visit to Wizard World Austin. He’s a hard worker and brilliant prolific artist, constantly creating, curating, and traveling to conventions.

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting Jim or visiting one of his convention booths, you already know how incredibly difficult it can be to choose just one favorite piece from his huge collection of prints. There are currently over 100 from which to choose! For the last year or so, he’s been offering a book of all of his 2012 art prints, which is an amazing value and a clever solution to the aforementioned dilemma. In the past year, though, he’s been arting up a storm and has many new pieces to share.

Let’s help him do it! Supporting the arts is cool, and we’ve got a sweet spot for fellow pop culture geeks. This dude’s work speaks for itself and has many times earned the attention of the iconic actors seen in the movie and television scenes depicted.

Making a Scene 2013 is a collection of the past year’s new work, including fan art based on The Walking Dead, Cheers, The Goonies, and many more. Ferguson is crowd-funding the publication and printing of his new art book via Kickstarter campaign. The donor benefits he’s offering are quite generous and alluring, including acknowledgments and stickers and art prints. (Oh, my!)

Here are some of the new images to be included in Making a Scene 2013:
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As of this week, the initial goal has been reached, meaning the book is a go! But as Ferguson’s subsequent fundraising targets are met, the benefits get even cooler for those who’ve backed the campaign. For example, when the Kickstarter fund hits $10K, backers get bonus goodies and there will be a reprint of the 2012 book in case you missed it the first time around. Beyond that, there’s an opportunity for the artist to drastically lower the general sales price of his books, as well as more prizes for donors.

You can follow the campaign’s progress and see more of Ferguson’s work and whereabouts by liking his Facebook page or following him on Twitter.

fan art friday: friendship is magic

My first commissioned painting of the year was a fun, colorful fan art portrait of the My Little Pony characters Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash. These two ponies have very different personalities, which makes for a lively dynamic between them.

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The painting is 12×12″ acrylic on canvas. Applying so many colors (and at least two layers of each color) is tedious and had to be pretty precise, but I’m quite happy with how it turned out. The lines are bold and thick, and colors vibrant.

My favorite part is seeing the texture show through when I look at it close-up.

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This latest MLP piece has been shipped off to its new owner, and I already miss it, so I’ll likely be making more pony paintings soon. Which MLP character do you like the most? Is there one whose personality reminds you of your own? Leave a comment to tell us about it!

geeking out: clever novelty tea infusers

‘Tis the season for hot tea and gift-giving, and this year I’ve got my eye on a few of these fun and innovative designs.

Arta by Chef’n Tea’s Tree Tea Infuser and Saucer
Holy cow, y’all. This has got to be one of the cutest and most clever things I’ve ever seen. The premise is simple: When placed upside down on top of your teacup full of hot water, the tea infuser ball hangs from the branch and the saucer to which it’s attached traps heat and keeps the water warm. The design and presentation are brilliant, too. Perfect for the eco-friendly tree huggers on your list this year.

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Doctor Who TARDIS Tea Infuser
This officially licensed Doctor Who tea strainer is a ThinkGeek exclusive, and I know more than a few people for whom this would be an amazing present. It’s made of stainless steel with a tiny zinc alloy sonic screwdriver charm at the end of the chain.

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Of course, Kikkerland has a variety of cool designs (as they typically do), but there are a couple in particular that I love:
Robot Infuser and Drip Tray
This little guy is stainless steel, with arms and hands that move for a custom fit to adapt to your mug.

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And, also, THIS. Rocket Infuser and Drip Tray
It’s a stainless steel rocket ship. You know, for an out-of-this-world tea brewing experience. Or something. Anyhow, I want one.

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DCI Tea Rex Infuser
ZOMG, Tea Rex! Get it? TEA Rex? I’m a sucker for a good (or terribly cheesy) pun, especially in product names. This one is made of silicone and seems like a sneaky/awesome way to introduce tea to your kids. Rest assured that if I purchase one of these for my children, I’ll be using it myself when they’re not looking.

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And, last but not least, the beloved ManaTea Infuser!
Having a stressful day? Peruse the wisdom of Calming Manatee memes while your own happy little sea cow brews your relaxing cup of tea. Made of food-safe silicone.

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makeup monday: becoming the visible woman

This past weekend, November 22-24, I worked alongside the creators of Masters Of The Obvious (a sci-fi space parody web comic) at Wizard World Austin Comic Con, dressed up as their character The Visible Woman.

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Pulling together this look was a group effort, and it worked out beautifully with only a few obstacles along the way. I just happened to already have the right hair (when straightened with a flat iron), though I did need to trim my bangs a bit for the appropriate fringe.

For the makeup, I kept the eyes neutral and classic with brown shadow and black mascara. The Visible Woman, in illustrated form, has white eyes, but we tried that with the mask and it looked a little creepy so in the end we just let my actual eyes show instead. The mask was affixed to my face with liquid latex, which held up wonderfully each day and came off without any fuss or special products.

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To complete the face, I applied red lipstick (stila’s liquid lipstick with NYX liner), and drew on a black mole with an eyeliner pencil. I also flipped out the ends of my hair for a more cartoony effect, as seen in some of the comic illustrations.

Hound Comics and the Stan Lee Foundation

Dan Price, co-creator of the Masters Of The Obvious comic series by Hound Comics, worked with me and costumer/seamstress Melissa Livingston-Weaver over the last couple of months to build the perfect costume for the character. Melissa pieced together every detail, using a combination of DIY and manufactured parts. She made and attached the belt, cut a custom domino mask out of textured vinyl material, and gathered the white gauntlets and boots to complete the look.

Visible Woman and Masters of the Obvious created by Dan Price and Bonn Adame.

Here are some of the awesome pics we snapped at the con, including visits from my friends Allison and Autumn, and a close encounter with a seriously cool Lydia cosplayer!

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fan art friday: jim ferguson is making a scene

This week’s fan art post is a really exciting one, as I recently met the artist and truly feel like his body of work contains something to appeal to absolutely everyone. Jim Ferguson’s booth caught our attention last month at Alamo City Comic Con, and I’m thrilled that he’s in Austin this weekend for Wizard World.

Often we feature cartoon or comic book fan art, so this is a little different. Jim creates movie and television scene fan art, always intricate and iconic, and often retro. The vivid coloring and landscape orientation found in each of Jim’s artworks are what really drew me in initially. He has both an Etsy shop and a Facebook page, and a huge selection of amazing pop culture fan art from which to purchase. Of course, if you’re attending Wizard World Comic Con, you can stop by booth B40 and pick up your favorite.

Here’s a new piece inspired by The Walking Dead
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Art and photo by Jim Ferguson. You can be among the very first to snag the Merle Dixon print this weekend in person or next week in his Etsy shop.

One of my personal favorites is this from Who Framed Roger Rabbit (and my birthday is next month! /hint) –
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Check out Jim’s website for more examples of his impressive collection of fan art, and to learn more about the artist. jimfergusonart.com (If you can’t decide on just one piece to take home, he also has a book!)

makeup monday: pikachu + technicolor

This weekend, while working on a new Pokemon art and accessories gift set (soon to be listed in my Etsy shop!), I thought it’d be fun to try a series of character-inspired makeup looks for the blog. Honestly, I’m not sure why I didn’t think of this sooner. Here’s the first, inspired by Pikachu!

(Products and details after the jump.)

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The key to this look is in the details. I used the same yellow and brown color scheme as is found on Pikachu’s tail, with red lips to emulate the red of his cheeks. In the outer corner of each eye, I drew a lightning bolt zig-zag with liquid eyeliner.

All eye shadows used are from Makeup Forever’s Technicolor palette. I bought it over the summer at Sephora, but they no longer carry it, so you can snag it online. Any of the colors can be purchased individually in stores as well. I used the bright yellow for the main color, blended with dark brown in the outer 1/3 of the eye and in the crease of my eyelid. Shimmery tan to blend and white on the brow bone. The eyeliner is e.l.f. liquid eyeliner; you’ll need to have a patient and steady hand for the zig-zag detail. On my lips I used Stainiac in Beauty Queen and Stila liquid lipstick in Beso.

What do you think of this look? I found it to be practical enough to wear out around town, but when I was complimented on my makeup and then explained it was influenced by Pikachu, people instantly noticed the related features and colors. In my opinion, that kind of subtlety and attention to detail is what makes facial fan art successful. Do you have any suggestions for characters, cartoon or otherwise, that you’d like to see me try in a future post? Leave a comment below!



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