16Bit: A Video Game-Inspired Comic by Raul Aguiar

Raul Aguiar is an illustrator from São Paulo, Brazil whose style speaks to his obvious love for video games. He is the creator of 16Bit, an adventure comic book about '90s video games and movies, which will be released in December at Comic Con Experience in São Paulo.

Check out a few more teases of 16Bit:

See more of Raul Aguiar's work on Behance.

Artist Fabian Oefner Creates Beautiful Photos that Visualize Sound

"Dancing Colors," is a striking photo series by Zurich, Switzerland-based artist Fabian Oefner that visualizes sound through capturing the motion it creates. 

Oefner placed tiny colored crystals on top of a membrane above a loud speaker. When he turned on the speaker, the vibration of the music would cause the crystals to jump, thus "making sound waves visible."

Using high-speed photography, Oefner caught the crystals in motion, creating waves, splashes, and explosions of color. The results are fantastic!

Read more about the making of "Dancing Colors" on 500px, where he shared his process.

Via: Laughing Squid, Visual News

Artist JK Keller Smears the Lines of Lo and Hi-Tech

Jonathan Keller Keller, from Homer, Alaska, creates art that amusingly comments on the tech-obsessed world we live in. 

For example, his "iPhone Oil Paintings" are animated screenshots and a photo of an iPhone screen smeared with oily finger swipe markings. 

And Boxbots are robots made in the lowest tech materials around – actual cardboard boxes and packaging.

But lately, Keller has been getting attention for his distorted remixes of episodes of Seinfeld, The Simpsons, Star Trek, and The X-Files that he posts on Youtube.

Keller alters each program to make them look like he's sending each episode through a Macbook's Photobooth program – the images distort, widen, narrow, glitch, and flicker to comic effect. Is it a critique on the ever-changing technology that renders old media useless, or is it just an artist being funny. Or maybe both? Watch the following videos and decide for yourself. 

Artist Interview: Cam Floyd on Being an Artist in LA and The Emotions of Gabi Gabril

From "The Emotions of Gabi Garil"

From "The Emotions of Gabi Garil"

Cam Floyd is the creator of today's newest collection, "The Emotions of Gabi Gabril." Like the mysterious title, the pieces in Floyd's collection are appropriately intriguing and enigmatic. The animated characters in "Gabri Gabril" come straight from the beyond – sci-fi figures in technicolor palettes and mesmerizing patterns. But something about them feels a bit ancient and reverential, too. 

I spoke with the Los Angeles-based artist to uncover more about his collection and find out more about the person  behind the art. 

The man himself, Cam Floyd

The man himself, Cam Floyd

What's your NeonMob collection about? Why did you decide to make an animated collection?

My collection is a series of masks and headpieces for an imagined futuristic culture. It was an open subject and I felt like I could experiment and get some unexpected results. I was experimenting with .gifs at the time and liked how they can bring an extra layer of life and dimension to a still image. 

From "The Emotions of Gabi Garil"

From "The Emotions of Gabi Garil"

It seems like the art scene in LA is pretty strong these days. Lots of artists from all over are moving there – is that a good or bad thing for you, personally? What do you like about living in LA and what's it like being an artist in LA?

I personally really like living and working as an artist in LA. There are a lot of factions of the art world present here, which keeps things interesting. I like the mix of fine art and commercial art – there seems to be a healthy balance between the two rather than any competitiveness and it makes for a vibrant community. Working as a freelance illustrator and concept artist I really value being around others working in my field, either for inspiration or commiseration. 



Who are your main artistic influences?

My artistic influences change all the time and there are truly too many to name. One of the challenges of making a career in art is constantly pushing and incorporating new knowledge and approaches into the work. This makes finding new inspiration crucial. Recently I've been influenced by the 3D work of Vitaly Bulgarov and others. I'm also really enjoying the work of Japanese Horror-Manga artists Junji Ito and Suehiro Maruo. I love the interaction of the beautifully drawn black and white line work with such terrifying imagery – it makes for a very powerful experience. Mix that with a little Caspar David-Friedrich and you'll get an idea of what I've been into recently. 

You've done work for editorial publications like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Portland Mercury. How did you first start getting editorial jobs? Do you have advice or words of wisdom for other artists who are interested in creating artwork for publications or media? 

Working in editorial illustration has been a goal of mine since attending college at MICA. I originally went to school with the intention of being a concept artist but was really drawn to the real-world application of editorial work. It became clear to me that I wanted to contribute and work with real stories and news. In terms of getting work, it's hard to beat face-to-face interactions with Art Directors. It's much easier to trust someone you've spoken to than a faceless entity on the internet. When I can't do that I send out postcards as well as personal emails to clients I'd like to work with. It's vital to keep making work regardless of the feedback you get from promotion. Don't get discouraged if nobody has a parade because you sent out a promo.

Your style varies across your portfolio. Some work looks more handdrawn, some work looks more digital. How do you decide what style to use for certain work – especially for client work?

Clients typically want to hire you based off a particular piece you've already made. Often they'll tell you what work of yours they responded to or what they think would work best for the job. It's risky to do something completely new for a client job so I make time to experiment on my own and incorporate my more successful ventures into client work. I remember being so hung up on the idea of "style" in school – I think it can be poisonous to concentrate on too much. It's simply a combination of your natural hand, the materials you choose, and what subjects you typically like to work with. The only important thing is to continue creating, your style will work itself out.



What are you working on these days that you're really excited about? 

Freelancing is always exciting because there's such a mix of different subjects and media. Every job is unique. Right now I'm really excited to start sketching and planning for a new painting for Supersonic's 5th Annual Invitational show which goes up January 2016 at Spoke Art is San Francisco. I've participated every year and it's always a good opportunity to get back to my traditional roots and do a big, labor-intensive, everything-I-got oil painting. I've also spent a lot of time this past year working with a friend, Orpheus Collar, to adapt Rick Riordian's "The Throne of Fire" to graphic novel for Disney-Hyperion. Finally, I'm finishing up an album cover as well as a few smaller editorial jobs I'm excited to share. It's hectic but very rewarding work.

Ajuan Mance Attempts to Break Stereotypes by Drawing "1001 Black Men"

Since June 2010, Oakland's Ajuan Mance has been drawing portraits of black men. Almost five years later, she's less than 200 short of her goal of drawing 1001.

1001 Black  Men is an online collection of drawings by Mance, an artist, zine-maker, and professor who specializes in African American literature at Mills College. She started drawing portraits as a way to broaden the representation of black men in popular culture – to get beyond stereotypes and "create images of Black men that reflect the wonderful complexity of African American lives–our history so deeply embedded in our present, our celebrations so often tempered by grief and, yes, the pleasure and danger we find in so many of the people, places, and activities that give us joy." With all the recent news of racial profiling and the deaths of young black men by police in Baltimore, Ferguson, Oakland, and elsewhere in the U.S., the importance of Mance's project resonates strongly. 

But it's not just how non-African Americans represent black men that interested Mance. She also feels that black media has failed to show the possibilities of what it is to be African American today. In an interview with California Institute of Integral Studies, Mance noted, "Certainly mainstream media represents African Americans in a marginalized and often problematic way…but then I started looking through Black magazines with a different perspective and started thinking about how ideas of representation were manifest in Black media. Each Black magazine has a specific way that they depict men, and the categories are limiting. It was looking at Essence magazine’s "Men We Love" issue that made me think, what would happen if I tried to draw Black men without asking them to be anything in particular?"

And so she did. Mance has drawn images of African American men she's seen at Bent-Con and the Alternative Press Expo, shopping at Whole Foods, driving in cars, riding public transportation,  or met at art supply stores. Mance creates her drawings in a three-step process: all the drawings are created in pen on paper, then scanned into her computer, and then colored in Photoshop. Sometimes, she adds backgrounds using altered photographs. Her influences that inspired the style she chose – heavy black lines and a limited color palette – include street art heroes like Shepard Fairey and Doze Green, as well as working in stained glass. The resulting images are bold, striking, and especially, when seen together, are powerful.  

See all 836 and counting of the 1001 Black Men on Ajuan Mance's site.