Art Posts

Inspiration en Lo-fi Hip Hop & Fashion Magazines

There are days when I really want to make art…

I can feel creative juices flowing in my bones but I don’t have any concrete ideas. One of my favorite things to do in this situation is open a fashion magazine, (though any magazine will do). I flip through until I find something I like and I rip it out. I don’t have to be sure why I like it and it doesn’t matter if I end up using it or not. I just keep ripping out as many things as I want until an idea has struck me. I might pull out anything from a photo with an interesting composition to something simple like a color.

Watercolor, marker & fashion magazine over sketchbook paper

Cat Lady

I got the idea for this while working on a previous piece. I was trying to find a collage element and this image from some fashion designer’s advertisement caught my eye. I got ideas for it right away. I knew I wouldn’t use it for what I was currently working on but ripped it out and put it aside, I knew that I wanted to cut the photo in half and draw in the other half by hand. I also had the vague thought of making the scene visible through a window. Later, as I started to draw the other half of the face, I figured it might be interesting to distort it. I started to stretch her face out and thought; let’s add a drawn-in cat for symmetry, it can be the one stretching out the woman’s face.


Caught in a Daydream; Futuristic City Girl

This painting is really a play on the “album art” for a lo-fi hip hop playlist I came across recently. I had slowly been discovering lo-fi for the past few years, but in the last 6 months or so this genre has become instrumental in my everyday life. Lo-fi hip hop and jazz songs are more than just songs, they are vibes. I find these playlists to be almost like movies for your subconscious. You can curate your inner world with them.

I also took cues from this underground Korean hip hop and R&B playlist. When I close my eyes and listen to it, I always imagine some girl living in a metropolis foreign to her, looking out of her high-rise apartment window at a purple-ish pink-ish sunrise or sunset. I discovered this playlist a year after living in Korea, while I was living in Ibiza. On leisurely mornings I would open my big double windows looking out over Ibiza town and play this while getting ready, making art or just gazing out the window.

This is my second real watercolor painting so I was mostly looking for an interesting image to practice with. One of my goals was to push myself with the color pallet.

Marker, watercolor, fashion magazine over sketchbook paper

Spot of Tea

I started this piece when I REALLY had no idea what to draw. I began flipping through either a Vogue or an Elle and I found a conceptual fashion advertisement with a model holding a teapot. I thought that might be interesting so I cut out just the teapot and the hands. A few pages later, I saw a black and white photo of a diner with a cup on the table and I took the cup aside. Right away I got this image in my head of bright acid koolaid being poured from up high down into the cup.

I had drawn a slightly surreal version of a tree while at a park recently and I ended up incorporating that here, rather than attaching a human body to the hands and arms. Earlier while flipping through, I pulled this small image of a woman sitting in a chair and knew I had to add it in somehow too. Something about her bare back and crouched over posture gave me the feeling that she needed wings, (which I drew on with marker). I originally meant to cut off the hands holding the back of the chair, but then decided the texture and color of the sleaves looked cool. I proceeded to attach this gold-sleaved arm to the tree and add another similar one on the left side. Finally, I added one last arm, sin sleave, holding another cup up, possibly waiting for the teapot’s offering.

Pencil, watercolor, vaious magazines over sketch paper

All I See is Orange

One day while looking through magazines for inspiration, I saw a photo of a woman sitting in a chair holding oranges up over her eyes. The photo had this desolate, desaturated background with stark fall/winter trees, and then this woman with a reserved front, but a slightly whimsical, carfree nature coming through as she recjects her mundane surroundings by playing with oranges.

I pulled this photo aside and put it on my bulletin board. Probably around a month later I made this collage. I made the subject here topless mostly because I think the female form is interesting to draw. As soon as I started sketching I remember envisioning a triangle around her. I knew it would be light blue or green, I guess to contrast against the oranges. I cut out a small light glare from a photograph and expanded on it by tracing it and then recreating its’ twin with paint and pencil. It was no longer a mere reflection on a window. It became a form of its own. I split the word “libre” in half, turned it upside down. played with where the other half could be by painting red boxes. This subject might be pensive of what it means to be free or how to let herself become freer. I continued to split clouds apart. Split a grassy field with a strip of water. playing with reality, possibilities, alternate existences.

The bottom right corner is actually a painted version of a photograph I took while in university. Originally I photoshopped trees on to the nude body of my friend, turning her into a landscape. I’m interested in the ways people interact and identify with nature. Though this woman with oranges is clearly the focal point of the piece, each box could be viewed as an image of its own. I’ve always been inspire by the compositional style of Robert Rauschenberg and I looked at his work a lot while designing the composition of this collage.

Original photo that cought my eye
Old project from my digital photo
class in university

Red Hair at Night, Hold On Tight

The idea for this painting came to me randomly while sitting at my desk. I just saw an image in my head of a girl with hair flowing straight out in a horizontal line while she was laying on her back. I kind of decided on red hair right away. At first, I was thinking mystical, elvish, fairytale vibes. I don’t think elvish characters came through with these women at all but I think the notion of fairytale can be felt with the night time fish sky and the alternate sea made of wavy locks.

I found this image of a woman floating underwater a while back while working on my Lost in Lima drawing series. Something about the form and its position within the water struck me as dark and beautiful. There’s an element of mystery as you can’t see what’s on the other side of the water. Maybe there is some alternate dimension that the floating woman is looking into. This woman is floating underwater with her head out to breath…but it looks almost like she could be drowning by breathing the air on the other side. My painting plays with ideas of transcending one’s physical existence, while still being connected to existence itself. The fish at the bottom follow the woman’s path upward to another plane. Even I don’t know exactly where or what this plane is. I find Lo-fi music often fosters these exporative and experimental ideas, in a way we can’t express easily through language.

I originally planned to play on the old sailor’s saying by writing, “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red hair at night, you better hold on tight”, directly into the painting. However by the time I had drawn everything I didn’t feel the need for text anymore.

Photo that informed the subjects painted here, found on google images

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