You like me because I'm a scoundrel

Today I read the terrible news about Harrison Ford crashing his plane - I immediately went into deep denial, and wouldn't let anyone in the office say he was in trouble - but apparently he’s OK!  Phew! Of course my immediate reaction was to go looking for pictures of Harrison Ford online as really he is one actor who has been such a huge part of my life. Crazy isn't it? Yes, I know that I don’t know him personally, and it shouldn’t matter because he is just one person in a sea of humanity, but damn it I was worried about the man!

From his epic characterisation of Han Solo in Star Wars to the adorable Jack Trainer in Working Girl, from Blade Runner to Indiana Jones, and more recently his return to the new, and now thankfully Lucas-free, Star Wars films  - Harrison Ford is one childhood crush I just never grew out of. Just look at the smile! He’s a damn handsome scoundrel, a 72 year-old scoundrel yes, but still a scoundrel. 

Ragnar rock!

Pin-ups with ray-guns, skeletal pirate gangsters sailing round old time Las Vegas, space pirates, astronauts and groovy bugs – yes siree Thursday afternoon – I’m talking about the art of California based artist Brandon Ragnar Johnson. Looking at his work it’s almost like a vintage vision of the future jumped out of some 1950s toy packaging and on the way grabbed a can of monster mash. Classic mid-20th Century design resplendent with a complimentary colour palette emerges in a cloud of goodness me wow! Happy days!

Through the looking glass

I think if you have a love of science fiction, then having an affinity with dystopian views of the future is par for the course. If you take a moment to look around at the crumbling yellow-brick road that our society seems to be skipping down delightfully, with no thoughts for the broken oblivion our children will have to face, then it almost seems inevitable that one day we’ll be living in a decaying hellish nightmare of scarce resources and abundant regrets. But hey I could be wrong right?

Regardless of the polluted paradise we seem to be on course with, there is still a disturbing beauty to be found in these apocalyptic possibilities, which is something that the artist Ma Jie seems to capture so gracefully in his environmental concepts and digital matte paintings. He offers us a striking, if not somewhat melancholy, view of the kind of decaying mirror world we may expect to encounter in the not too distant future.

Books and libraries also feature prominently in Ma’s work, which is in itself a wonderful oxymoron. That human kind for all its shiny achievements cannot be rescued from wasting away, even by a wealth of printed knowledge that lies in piles of lost comprehension, softly decomposing, or are perhaps studied by tiny scholars who cannot fathom their meaning.  

Space is awesome!

I may be giving too much away here, but I remember when the Hubble space telescope was launched into space in 1990, and the tense weeks that followed when the boffins who built her realised that there was something wrong with Hubble’s optics. Luckily Hubble was built with space maintenance in mind, and in 1993, 3 years after the launch, astronauts were able to fix the issue with Hubble’s giant mirror. Then it wasn't long before we were treated to amazingly clear images of our galaxy and beyond as Hubble delved into the wider universe taking happy snaps of galaxies, nebulas, supernovas and everything in between.

Named after observational cosmologist (now that's a job title!) Edwin Hubble, this awesome telescope is still bringing us amazing images of space today and has been responsible for some pretty sweet discoveries.  Though it is scheduled to be replaced sometime after 2018, which is a bit sad, we can still take heart in the awesomeness of space that Hubble has revealed to us through it’s pictures.

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The problem with Ant Lucia’s website is that I love everything on it and I want to buy all the prints!! I discovered Ant’s work quite by accident on Pinterest, but my goodness thank the stars! Talk about an amazing collection of work. Ant has worked in illustration for over 12 years and his cheesecake pin-ups of pop-culture heroines is just my cup of tea - especially his Star Wars propaganda posters. Holy Millennium Falcon, are they good! If only I had the wall space … and the budget. Damn my funds-lacking hide!

Ant wears his heart on his sleeve when it comes to his influences, and says that it was under the intoxicating spell of his favourite comic book characters that he was inspired to become an illustrator himself. Ant uses Adobe Illustrator to create his artwork, with the advantage that working digitally allows him the flexibility of applying his illustrations to just about anything he chooses.

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Today I woke up feeling like I just wanted to look at foxes all day. I love these furry little guys. They’re like a cool kind of dog-cat hybrid and if you check out some of the videos online for The Fox Project (a UK based fox rescue non-profit) then you can also see how incredibly affectionate they are. Now I know that living here in Australia foxes are considered a pest as they wreak all sorts of havoc on farms, wildlife and such but human beings introduced them here so really it’s our fault… anyway, before I go off on a fox inspired rant I would like to introduce you to the work of Amanda Mullins. Specifically to the illustrations she created for the children’s book, The Fox Child. I mean how delightful are these little foxy gems!?

Amanda’s illustration and animation work is whimsical and wonderful. Currently she’s a full-time artist for 1st Playable Productions in Troy, New York (USA) but when she’s not hard at work for those guys she might be found doing some freelance stuff or trying to play the Cello of all things (which is really pretty neat!). Before landing in New York however Amanda grew up in Florida, and then traversed Europe for a bit studying in France and working in Germany at Daedalic Entertainment. I couldn't seem to find if The Fox Child had actually been printed, but on her website you can check out some of her lovely animation work.