I have been reading a lot of blogs lately, and I keep gravitating to sites that deal with the more artistic side of design. I have always envied other peoples' artistic sensibilities; because despite my artistic aspirations, my pragmatism always seems to run my life. I suppose that's why I'm a designer instead of a sculptor. Anyhow, two blogs (Designboner out of Chicago and Whorange from LA) have proved to be real finds. Through them, I get a glimpse of what's cool and what's beautiful. And those elements are presented with a sense of humor and joy I find inspiring. Many thanks to the kids behind Designboner and Whorange. Through Whorange, I came to see the work of a Portland-based artist and designer named Matte Stephens, whose work you can see below.
I have a Paul Klee hanging in my office. Paul Klee is tied for my favorite artist of the 20th century with Mark Rothko. Matte Stephens appeals to me because in his work I can see a continuation of the life and work of Paul Klee but at the same time I can see reminders of the great animations of Hanna Barberra and later, John Kricfalusi. These works are gorgeous and cool on the surface, but they have an accessible deeper layer that I find irresistible.
Matte sells his work through a website I just learned about recently too. Etsy is a website dedicated to the sale of handmade items and art and it's a huge site. Through Etsy, anybody can buy great new art; and great new artists like Matte Stephens can sell to anybody. What a great idea and what a brilliant use of the Internet. Spend some time poking around on that website and buy something from Matte Stephens.