Charmaine Olivia is an artist’s artist.
This San Diego-born, San Francisco-based self-taught artist is extremely prolific, regularly doing more than half a dozen gallery showings a year. Her work is colourful, imaginative, intense, and gratifying to those who see the emotion behind each subject.
Olivia is a revolving, evolving door of inspiration, and the phases she goes through is evident in her work. She is also accessible online, having a presence on tumblr, instagram, facebook, and twitter. You’ll find her personal posts to be revealing about her views on art and working as an artist, and the peeks she gives into her personal studio make you like her that much more.
She is especially loved here at UrbanLandfill, where we regularly play a cat-and-mouse game with her store, trying to get our hands on her limited-edition prints to decorate our office.
© 2013 Charmaine Olivia All Rights Reserved.
I came into the comics industry a little late (and by that, I merely mean I found 2 years ago that comics had chicks with guns and a definite need to showcase bad ass action scenes and teenage angst). But it didn’t take me long to find – and fall in love with – Joshua Middleton’s work.
The Pennsylvania-born artist has worked with several publishing companies, including CrossGen, Marvel, and more recently, DC. He is the cover artist for Vertigo’s American Virgin, and has been doing greatly depicted Supergirl covers. With his creator-owned series, Sky Between Branches, an exclusive contract with DC Comics, and a 2004 Eisner nomination under his belt, Middleton is the type of guy you want to take to dinner and prod him for details about his ingenious work (not, of course, that you’d want to prod him with anything).
NYX, the Marvel limited series (2003-2005), was the first time I glimpsed his work. With a penchant for bending the rules of American mainstream comics, Middleton does most of the art process himself (rather than splitting it up between artists, as most comic endeavors do), and makes very clever work of it.
Those who are familiar with his work would describe it as European and Japanese-inspired, with very little weight-variation (aka, the lines in which the characters are drawn are balanced, and not biased), and his colors are usually flat, with little gradients and painted effects (except on backgrounds). His palette usually consists of neutral, soft colors with an affinity for a blue that’s pushed almost to grey.
His work is perfect for titles such as Fables, Street Fighter (where the color is more engrossing), Serenity (see above cover for one of the main characters, River, holding a gun), NYX, and also titles such as Supergirl, Vixen, First Thunder (Superman/Shazam), and American Virgin.
Another reason to be a fan of Middleton’s is that on his blog, he tells his readers some of his tips and tricks, letting them in on the secret. On the blog, he also publishes new covers and gives his opinions on them.
Make sure you
ALL ARTWORK © 2009 JOSHUA MIDDLETON – ALL CHARACTERS © THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS
Cecilia Segura is an installation artist based in Barcelona, Spain. Her work, seen above and below, are marks of a woman who knows the simplicity and beauty of minimalism. Working with a few elements at a time (color, texture, light), Segura brings in a mood that can only be described as comforting, but invigorating.
She is expert in printmaking, graphic design, and light installations.
Sophie Varela is a young, talented artist from Paris, France. Since graduating with a diploma in Media and Art in 2004, she has since moved on into to doing freelance work (Varela collaborates with two agencies – one in Paris and one in Italy).
Varela is known for her ability to transform her muses into illustrations that are then used as editorials in every facet of the design/entertainment industry. While she is primarily focused on the feminitiy of her pieces, there is an overt sexuality that moves through each piece and has become a main idea in her main body of work.
Very traditionalist in her methodology and tools, Varela experiments with modern society and “Rebirth” period techniques.
I’m really into Abigail Pope. She’s a young photographer from New York City who, it seems, spends a lot of time in Latin America.
What I love about her work is her ability to bring her viewers in with her ability to compose not only with the placement of objects, but with the use (or nonuse) of color.
And for a woman who brings powerful photographs, she’s also a filmmaker:
Now that’s a woman with talent and insight.
I love, love, love this artist. New York based Marion Bolognesi (whose father, Aurelio Bolognesi, is an artistic furniture maker) was first brought to my attention through Tank Theory, a company whose close ties to street wear and fine art intermingle.
Her incredible use of watercolor and design move into other forms of art, like flyers and digital product rendering.