History of gang culture in America
BOYZ ‘N THE BLOOD

The history of gang culture in America:

A four pages article for the ‘Red’ issue of WAD magazine.
The great photographer Estevan Oriol liked it and gave me some of his photo to illustrate it!
Learn more about the history of gang culture in the USA.
Do you know how the battle between the Crips and The Bloods first started?

We could hardly deal with the theme of ‘Red’ in urban culture without going to Los Angeles. It may be the City of Angels and all possibilities, but Los Angeles is also the cradle of gang culture and bloody shoot-outs. You know the cliché: the Bloods dressed in red protect their neighbourhood and head off around town to find some Crips to gun down. But behind the bandanas and clinking bling-bling hides a social phenomenon that finds its origins in the very roots of American culture.

HOW DID THE GANG CULTURE START?

“NIGGA QUIT LYIN’, YOU’S A NIGGA FOR LIFE” – SNOOP DOGG
The story began in the 1920s when less than scrupulous landlords invented racial restrictions aimed at stopping African-Americans from living in Los Angeles’ traditionally white neighbourhoods. With the help of some reactionary laws, the landlords stopped all possibility of different communities mixing, and contributed to the reinforcement of a ghetto feeling among the population. Over the years, this segregation established until, by the 1940s, it was a social reality. Racial conflict grew at the same speed as the growth of the ghettos on the east of the city and with more and more people arriving, the neighbourhoods (whose geographic limits were strictly contained) were soon overcrowded. Despite this, the white community continued its firm, overtly racist stance on territorial claims and continued its opposition to the creation of new mixed-race neighbourhoods. The feelings of hate and fear grew to the point that the Ku Klux Klan, which had all but disappeared 20 years earlier, was reborn. Some of the young white population banded together to create “street groups”, small groups whose stated aim was to fight any attempt at integration. Spook Hunters, for example, was a genuine neo-fascist militia beating up blacks who dared to adventure out beyond the perimeters of their allotted urban space. In reaction to this persecution, the first black street groups appeared with names like Devil Hunters, dedicated to protecting themselves from attacks. As black groups sprang up, the white population gradually began to leave the centre of the city, attracted by the expansion of the new suburbs. The neighbourhoods of Watts, Central Avenue and West Adams emptied out and became the cradle of new African-American gangs.
The 1960s saw the first black-on-black conflict. Black groups from different parts of Los Angeles began to face each other down under the cover of claims to different territory. The brawls between eastern and western neighbourhoods became common; the fights were mainly hand-to-hand (even if knives were used occasionally) and murders were rare. The main aim was each neighbourhood gang’s desire to prove to the other group the supremacy of its neighbourhood, while winning the respect of the old-timers.

POLICE ABUSES:

“I BRING CHAOS TO BLOCKS LIKE THE RIOTS IN WATTS” – METHOD MAN
Overcrowding wasn’t the only reason for the overriding feelings of distress. The misery of daily life was added to by an oppressive police presence. Police brutality insidiously reinforced the social pressure and feelings of persecution already growing within the population. The tension was already at a peak when in 1965 the violent arrest of a black driver lit the touch paper… and Watts exploded. The ensuing rebellion and series of violent riots lasted a week, with around 10,000 people taking part in the protest movement. The police were only able to restore order after 34 people had been killed and over 1,000 wounded. Yet it was in the ashes of this social upheaval that the consciences of a people in crisis were awoken. Influenced by the ideology of the Black Panthers and the US Organization, street gangs became radically politicized. The initial aim of the gangs, which over time had become blurred, was brought sharply back into focus through the spreading neo-Marxist message of Black Nationalist militants. Up until that moment, the battle had been a physical one (a defence of the neighbourhood from attack), but post-Watts it became a political battle to defend the neighbourhoods from the attempts at government subjugation. When black extremist organizations threatened to become some of the most important socio-political forces in the country, the police and the government began its attempts to thwart their irresistible rise. The powers-that-be created new paramilitary units (SWAT teams) to combat more efficiently any risk of future riots. The head of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover ordered his agents to try all possible methods to create splits between the different parties. The FBI and CIA reproduced the plan dreamed up to fight Communism: set up a propaganda campaign portraying the political movement as ‘dangerous’ for the general population. This witch-hunt kindled divisions between the Black Panthers and the US Organization, the two main parties. By the early 1970s, the murder of one of the leaders of the Black Panthers, blamed by the police on the US Organization, can be seen as the beginning of the end of black political groups’ influence in Los Angeles.

estevan oriol

Photo by Estevan Oriol

BABY CRIBS & PIRU STREET BOYS:

“I SEE BLOODS AND CRIPS RUNNIN’ UP THE HILL” – 2PAC
The end of the 1960s saw the arrival of a new generation, one that had witnessed the height of the Black Panthers’ power and then watched in silence as it agonisingly collapsed. A whole generation marked by people they saw as social role models. They may have been too young to have taken in the political message, but they remained heavily influenced by the movement’s spirit of protest and fascinated by the party’s dress codes. And it was this attraction to the Panthers’ famous black leather jackets that was at the origin of the creation of the biggest gang in history. In 1969, Raymond Washington, a 15-year-old school kid, gathered together a few of his neighbourhood friends and founded the Baby Avenues, also known as the Baby Cribs. The gang’s original idea was to keep the revolutionary message alive and to protect the neighbourhood’s residents, but their interest quickly turned to more illicit activities. A look was central to the group and its identification with the Black Panthers pushed the members to sport black leather jackets. The gang dedicated itself to looking out for the famous jackets, attacking anyone wearing one and then stealing it. These attacks marked a turning point in Los Angeles’ criminal history when gangs went from fighting themselves to attacking the general population. The media were quick to jump on the gang’s criminal activities, in the process creating a certain aura that had an impact on the city’s young population. There has never been a clear explanation of the Crips name but one is that a local newspaper’s wrote Crips instead of Cribs and the typo stuck. Whatever the reason, from 1972 the gang became known as the Crips. The gang’s image was developed and honed. Between robberies and break-ins, the members paraded around in their jackets, carrying walking sticks and wearing earrings in their right ears. The ‘uniform’, aimed at bringing together the increasing membership, was then borrowed by various political/Mafia-like gangs in Chicago (such as the Disciples and Folk Nation). The increasing violence continued and it didn’t take long for the first murder to be committed: a 16 year old beaten to death for his leather jacket. The media coverage of the event did nothing to dissuade people from joining the Crips or creating their own gang. The phenomenon spread like wildfire, giving a population that had so often been marginalized a way of taking centre stage and finding an identity. At the end of 1972, there were more than 20 gangs and no fewer than 30 murders had been attributed to them. Due to their numerical superiority, the Crips terrorized the other gangs without fear of retribution. The Piru Street Boys decided to unite a number of gangs to create a solid anti-Crips union and protect themselves from the constant intimidation. The Bloods was born and the battle could begin.

CRIPS VERSUS BLOODS:

“GO BACK IN THE DAY, BRITISH KNIGHTS AND GOLD CHAINS” – MISSY ELLIOT
As time went by, the clothing rules of the two sides were established. They allowed the two gangs to affirm their unity and played a major role in the construction of their identity. In opposition to the Crips, who adopted the colour blue and wore their accessories on their right side, the Bloods dressed in red and wore their earrings and jewellery on the left. In prison, where uniforms made colour recognition impossible, members pulled up the trouser leg on the side that matched their gang affiliation. This practice was adopted in the street and even took in baseball caps (the peak was either worn turned to the left or right). The English brand British Knights saw its sales figures explode when the Crips decided to adopt its shoes, less for their looks than the significance of the logo: BK suddenly stood for Blood Killers. The Bloods responded by choosing Calvin Klein with the CK logo standing for Crips Killers. Affiliated with Chicago’s Muslim-influenced Almighty Black P. Stone Nation, the Bloods kept that group’s religious imagery and used the five-pointed star of Islam as their emblem. Over time, the red and blue colours were integrated into the tiniest details: bracelets, fat laces, socks, belts, rings, badges, bandannas, and so on. Some members even went as far as dying the inside of their pockets, which could be easily hidden should the police roll up. The two sides also wore Dickies and Ben Davis khakis, as well as flannel Pendleton shirts.

GANG CULTURE TODAY:

“GANGSTA, GANGSTA! THAT’S WHAT THEY’RE YELLIN'” – NWA
The foundations for modern gangs were laid in the 1980s. As an omen of the escalating violence that was soon to arrive, Raymond Washington, the Crips’ founder, was assassinated in 1979. From that moment on, no fight between the gangs could be settled without a bloody shoot-out. Gang territory moved out of its original inner-city ghettos, first across Los Angeles, then into many of the US’s larger cities. The savagery also grew exponentially and between 1980 and 1995, Los Angeles saw the creation of 150 new gangs, for the most part affiliated with either the Bloods or the Crips. The epidemic continues to spread to this day, reinforced by the catalysts of a number of cultural and social phenomena. Over the last 25 years, unemployment has continued to rise, generating in an already fragilized population a sense of bitterness and despair that sees no possible way out of its lack of prospects. In a more insidious way, cinema and music have contributed to spread the movement’s seductive image. The success in the early 1990s of gangsta rap and films such as ‘Boyz n the Hood’ and ‘Menace II Society’ (even if these films are far from rallying calls to the gangs) contributed to the popularization of the image of the gangsta in American society.
Today, the situation seems to be delicately balanced. With 400 gangs and around 50,000 members, the future of Los Angeles could be bloody. For the moment, while the number of gang members continues to rise, the murder rate has stabilized. The gangs’ aspirations for revolutionary change seem to have been definitively consigned to the past and it can be seen as a shame that the ghetto imagery has too often overshadowed political ideals. The gangsta has become a representation of a spectacular side of American folklore. The gangsta is now an icon, but one whose image is more useful in oiling the wheels of capitalism than fighting the problems of segregation and poverty that brought it into existence in the first place.

CHI BIRMINGHAM
Interview with the US artist

Chi Birmingham interview.

Chi Birmingham is an illustrator living and working in Brooklyn, NY.
He received a BFA in Painting and Drawing from the California College of the Arts and recently receuved an MFA in Illustration at the School of Visual Arts.
More about the US artist.

Chi Birmingham Riot Gear history illustration

Chi Birmingham illustration of the Riot Gear history

PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF
I’m an artist and illustrator with a studio in Brooklyn, NY. I grew up in California, and moved out to the east coast about four years ago.

Chi Birmingham Magic Mirror drawing

Chi Birmingham Magic Mirror drawing

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORK?
Graphic, Direct, Playful.

Chi Birmingham taser illustration

Chi Birmingham taser illustration

PLEASE SHARE WITH US YOUR WORKING PROCESS
Most of the work I have been doing lately has been for newspaper and magazine articles. When I get an assignment, I read the text that my illustration will accompany and start to make a list of ideas. Once I am finished I do a rough drawing of all the ideas I have written down. Once I have three or more that I think could work, I do a tighter sketch of each and send it to my Art Director.
For my final illustrations I work in Flash. I import the sketch and do my draw over it on another layer. I use a stylus and build up the images in layers in the way that I would with a painting. (I used to do all of my work with Gouache, and I think I still work with the same approach.) The software allows me to change individual colors very easily, so I typically start with a grayscale version so that I can make sure that the value relationships are working.

Caveman artwork

Caveman artwork by Chi Birmingham

HOW DOES YOUR ENVIRONMENT INFLUENCE YOUR ART?
I work in a studio with four of my closest friends. During the day we take a lot of time to talk about or work, or just play cards, and it is a big help in keeping me sane.

WHO ARE YOUR INFLUENCES?
I grew up looking at a lot of painters. Richard Diebenkorn, Luc Tuymans, Jenny Saville, Euen Uglow and of course Lucian Freud were my favorites. I wasn’t interested so much in their subject matter, but was very impressed by the way they rendered forms. For the first few years that I painted I was really only interested in draftsmanship and creating a compelling illusion of a light source.
In college I became more interested in using art to tell stories and started looking at a lot of different narrative painters. I started to look more closely at the children’s books I had grown up with and began to cobble together a world for myself that was based very much on the aesthetic of 60’s era Golden Books.

Chi Birmingham book cover

Cover of the book Life In This Old Bones Yet by Chi Birmingham

ANY LAST WORD?
I couldn’t do any of this (and wouldn’t want to) without the support of my incredible wife, Lorissa Rinehart.

Chris Sanders
SEXY GIRLS OF THE WEEK

Chris Sanders draws sexy girls and I love his artworks.

I like girls.
Every Wednesday, your favorite collection of illustrated babes. This week, LA artist Chris Sanders, who joined Walt Disney Feature Animation in 1987 as the first person hired into Feature Animation’s newly formed visual development department. He worked on Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, or Mulan. After 20 successful and inspired years at Disney Animation, Sanders recently moved to Dreamworks Animation where he is currently directing his next animated feature film.
More about the US illustrator Chris Anders.
All sexy girls.

Drawing of a sexy girl by Chris Sanders

Drawing of a sexy girl by Chris Sanders

Illustration of a sexy chick trying her bikini

Illustration of a sexy chick trying her bikini

Artwork of a sexy girl trying a bikini

Artwork of a sexy girl trying a bikini

Cute girl playing with a small fox

Cute girl playing with a small fox

Sketch by Chris Sanders

Sketch by Chris Sanders

ERIN SUPINSKI
Interview with the US illustrator

Erin Supinski is a US illustrator I interviewed.

Erin is an illustrator living in Brooklyn.
In her free time, she likes out-of-the-city adventures, eating snacks, and trying to do pull-ups.
More about the US artist Erin Supinski.

Erin Supinski artwork based on Poland food

Erin Supinski artwork based on Poland food

PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF
My name is Erin Supinski. I am a recent graduate of the School of Visual Arts MFA Illustration as Visual Essay program. I currently live in Brooklyn with my boyfriend and our cats, Velcro and MurryPurry.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORK?
Delicate. Subtle. Humorous. I work primarily in watercolor, though I do love drawing and would like to incorporate more.

Erin Supinski typography work for Bibliophile

Erin Supinski typography work for Bibliophile

PLEASE SHARE WITH US YOUR WORKING PROCESS
I love doing research! So when I start a major project, I start with doing a ton of research. Then I move on to the sketching phase. I make pretty rough sketches focusing mainly on composition. Then I very lightly draw a fairly detailed drawing onto my paper (usually arches 300lb hot press). Next I move in with watercolors. I start with the very lightest and most subtle washes, allowing the colors to bleed and run, and then I continue to build from there. When I think the painting is nearing completion, I’ll go in pull out the highlights, and I’ll take a dip pen or very fine brush to add fine details. I love the texture of the paint on the paper and the way watercolors bleed together, so I try to let that show through as much as possible.

Erin Supinski drawing of a girl waiting for the bus

Erin Supinski drawing of a girl waiting for the bus

HOW DOES YOUR ENVIRONMENT INFLUENCE YOUR ART?
Living in Brooklyn, I’m pretty spoiled by my proximity to really stunning art work. If I’m feeling uninspired I can be at any number of famous museums or world-class galleries to jump start the creative juices. But living in such a high-intensity city can take its toll, and lately I’ve been inclined to lock myself in my studio with a good audio book and work.

WHO ARE YOUR INFLUENCES?
I’m a huge fan of naturalist painters like Maria Sibylla Merian, Mark Catesby or John James Audubon. I love their scientific approach and straightforward observations combined with an obvious appreciation for beauty and (I think) a sense of humor. On the more contemporary end of the spectrum I’m really inspired by the work of artists like Lauren Nassef, Leanne Shapton, Ruth Marten, and Lauren Redniss (to name a few).

Erin Supinski embroidery art

Erin Supinski embroidery art

ANY LAST WORD?
Thanks for interviewing me! I’ve never done an interview before…

AKO CASTUERA
Interview with the US artist

Ako Castuera is an artist based in Los Angeles.

Ako is a painter, sculptor, writer, and knitter.
You can’t go wrong with a work that involves nature, humans, and dinosaurs.
More about the LA artist Ako Castuera.

Ako Castuera watercolor

Ako Castuera watercolor

PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF
My name is Ako Castuera. I like to paint and make things with my hands. I’m currently a storyboard artist on Adventure Time.

Ako Castuera typography art

Ako Castuera typography art

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORK?
My work is colorful and I like to have the freedom to improvise and change. Lately I have been painting landscapes in watercolor. They are often about the relationship between humans and our home planet.

PLEASE SHARE WITH US YOUR WORKING PROCESS
Improvisation is a big part of the way I work, and the materials I choose are an important part of that. I try to go for tools and paints that seem to have their own life, which is sort of a willy nilly description, but it’s like a gut reaction that demands to be followed. I have to find materials that I get along with, because we will be working together, I’m not going to control everything. I try to let their characteristics influence my choices while I am working. Lately I’ve been starting with loose, abstracted layers of watercolor on paper. I work wet, and then apply glazes. Sometimes I have a very clear idea of what I’m going for, other times I am looking into the paint to find a way to an image, and either way I start loose, and work towards bringing out detail.

Ako Castuera fox drawing

Ako Castuera fox drawing

HOW DOES YOUR ENVIRONMENT INFLUENCE YOUR ART?
My environment is absurd. life in a developed country is an ecological disaster, and life in Southern California presents extreme examples of man made living gone wrong. The patterns made by tract housing developments seen from overhead are beautiful, but also starkly terrifying. I just think they look like death. I paint a lot of roads and houses because they represent a conflict between the dream of a cozy, stable middle class life, and the reality of being part of a food chain that on the successful end includes rapacious consumption of the riches of the earth, and on the losing end includes defaulting on home mortgages, debt slavery, and a lot of human misery.
The houses I paint are often built on dinosaurs, and I like to put them together because, number one, it is fun, and I used to think the hills by my house were dino bodies covered in earth. Dinosaurs are a reminder of extinction, and illustrate a childlike understanding of the prehistoric past, which I connect to our present times, and uncertain future. It sounds rather doomsday, but I have a lot of love for my home of Southern California. I have hopes that life here will adapt and flourish.

Ako Castuera artwork Barker

Ako Castuera artwork Barker

WHO ARE YOUR INFLUENCES?
Like most artists, I have a lot of influences. To name one or two here would leave out a hundred or more. I think people are interested in artists who are couples, so I’ll mention Rob Sato, who is an artist I admire, and have been living with and working around for 13 years.

Ako Castuera painting Another Day

Ako Castuera painting Another Day

ANY LAST WORD?
I wish more drivers would use their turn signal.

DETH P SUN
Interview with the US artist

Interview with the US artist Deth P Sun

Deth P. Sun is a painter and illustrator who lives and works in California.
He exhibits his work about 10-12 times a year, usually in group shows, but sometimes takes up a solo exhibition.
More about the US artist Deth P. Sun.

Inside Deth P Sun working art studio

Inside Deth P Sun working art studio

PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF
I’m an artist who resides in Berkeley, California. I do illustrations every so often, and I make funny paintings.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORK?
I prefer to just show people what I do.

Various artworks by Deth P Sun

Various artworks by Deth P Sun

PLEASE SHARE WITH US YOUR WORKING PROCESS
I usually write down little things to remind me what I’m thinking about, and then I sketch stuff out. And then I paint.

Deth P Sun drawing of his favorite superhero cat

Deth P Sun drawing of his favorite superhero cat

HOW DOES YOUR ENVIRONMENT INFLUENCE YOUR ART?
I don’t know if does, other than when it gets pretty cold, I don’t particularly like painting. It takes forever for things to dry and most If the weather is warm I feel more like painting. And if the Giants are losing I’m also more incline to work.

Deth P Sun NY Riots artwork

Deth P Sun NY Riots artwork

WHO ARE YOUR INFLUENCES?

  • Tove Jannson
  • Richard Scarry
  • Edward Gorey
  • My girlfriend Marci Washington
Deth P Sun illustration

Deth P Sun illustration

ANY LAST WORD?
No.

JESS WORBY
Interview with the US artist

Jess Worby tells us more about his various art activities in a cool interview.

As you know, I do a lot of stuffs, so I had to like Jess Worby.
Jess does everything. Fine art, comics, illustrations, installations, and he also writes stories and essays and does print and web design. He is the author/artist of a short graphic novel called A Walk in the Park and a children’s book, Things I Like: A Kid’s Book.
More about the US artist Jess Worby.

Jess Worby soldiers painting

Jess Worby soldiers painting

PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF
Hi, I am Jess Worby. I am an artist who makes fine art, illustration and comics. I live in New York. We just got hit by a hurricane. It’s ok though.

Jess Worby Oh Boy artwork exhibited

Jess Worby Oh Boy artwork exhibited

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORK?
I make pictures and stories about the absurd, dream-like parts of reality. I think a lot about how different people’s perceptions of the world can be and how weird and great that is, which is why I like to experiment with new methods and ways of looking at things. I’ve been drawing a lot of creatures and people in costumes lately.

Jess Worby Koukeri painting

Jess Worby Koukeri painting

PLEASE SHARE WITH US YOUR WORKING PROCESS
Most of the time, it starts in my sketchbook — either drawing from observation or something more iconic and imagined. Some things mutate and become abstract almost to the point of incomprehensibility, which I like just as much as stuff that pokes you in the face with its content. From there, some drawings are the seed of new themes for work or characters for a new story, but most of the time they are just little experiments that help me learn more about what I can do.

Jess Worby installation for an exhibition

Jess Worby installation for an exhibition

HOW DOES YOUR ENVIRONMENT INFLUENCE YOUR ART?
Living in New York probably lends an edge to my work. There is so much tension everywhere. That is not to say that I would just be doing watercolor landscapes or plein air stuff if I were elsewhere, just that the stuff I do make has that kind of energy to it. Or maybe I am just more anxious and paranoid here and my work is suffering. Who knows.

Jess Worby heads drawing

Jess Worby heads drawing

WHO ARE YOUR INFLUENCES?
This is always a hard one for me… For one, I look at a lot of contemporary comics. There seem to be a lot more cartoonists making great work right now despite lack of funds or time than any other kind of artist. The indie comics community is a serious force. I like really contemplative stuff like Anders Nielsen or Kevin Huizenga, but I am also really into more raw, spontaneous stuff like Brian Chippendale. Also, Moebius. For pure craft and imagination there’s no one who comes even close.
Other than that, let’s see… Jim Henson, Saul Steinberg, Ralph Steadman, Egon Schiele, Brad Neely, Taiyo Matsumoto, Edward Gorey, Eiichiro Oda, Haruki Murakami…

ANY LAST WORD?
Mercy?

Jess Worby Phanatic character

Jess Worby Phanatic character

Adam Braun
SEXY GIRLS OF THE WEEK

US artist Adam Braun has produced an inspiring collection of sexy artworks.

Discover illustrations and paintings of really exciting sexy babes.
I really love girls myself.
On this blog, I bring you an amazing collection of illustrated babes every Wednesday. This week, a talented artist from Ohio.

Artwork of a naked girl called Anissa by Adam Braun

Artwork of a naked girl called Anissa by Adam Braun

Another sexy drawing by Adam

Another sexy drawing by Adam

Cute girl with big boobs for a nice drawing

Cute girl with big boobs for a nice drawing

Sexy vampi painting

Sexy vampi painting

Lindsay poses naked for an Adam Braun's artwork

Lindsay poses naked for an Adam Braun’s artwork

DANIEL FISHEL
Interview with the US artist

Daniel Fishel is a talented US artist.

More precisely, Daniel Fishel is an illustrator and a hand letterer/designer.
Living is New York, his work has been featured in countless medias and galleries. No, he is not related to Danielle Fishel.
More about the multi-talented artist Daniel Fishel.
Buy his artworks.

Winners And Losers painting by Daniel Fishel

Winners And Losers painting by Daniel Fishel

PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF
My name is Daniel Fishel and I am an illustrator/designer living in Queens, NY. After attending undergrad at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, I moved to New York to pursue a graduate studies degree at School of Visual Arts and a career in illustration. Clients I’ve work for include the Los Angeles Times, Nylon Guys Magazine and No Sleep Records. When I am not working I am usually biking around my neighborhood, listening to records, looking up youtube videos of Boston Terriers or occasionally answering emails by people who think I am “Danielle Fishel”. You know the actress that played Topanga in Boy Meets World.

Daniel Fishel draws an empty street beautifully

Daniel Fishel draws an empty street beautifully

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORK?
The work that I create, I consider to be conceptual illustration. Not so much in the purest form where I am drawing puzzle pieces and rubix cubes all day for business magazines, but its more on an emotional level. Typically the work I create is about a character that is being confronted by another character or it’s interacting with something in the space. I use metaphor, color, the placement of the figures on the page and sometimes lighting to better tell the story being told.

Lifeguard Observations by Daniel Fishel

Lifeguard Observations by Daniel Fishel

PLEASE SHARE WITH US YOUR WORKING PROCESS
It doesn’t matter if the piece I am working on is for a magazine or for the gallery wall. Often times the process for me is the same. If I am working with a magazine, I am taking the content they provide and distilling the content into a sentence. From that sentence I try to take the subject matter and a personal frame of reference that I can bring into the piece. The same thing goes with a painting I would do for a gallery. Instead of taking the content from a magazine, I have to build my own conceptual narrative to build an image. The difference here though is for a gallery piece I am making a physical painting, where as for an illustration, I am compositing linework overtop of swatches of paint, lino block/silk screen textures, and ink washes in photoshop. The difference is six to eight hours for an illustration versus twenty to thirty hours for a painting. I guess it takes longer to make a painting for me because I am more conservative about how I lay down colors because theres no command + Z in real life.

Daniel Fishel artwork

Daniel Fishel artwork

HOW DOES YOUR ENVIRONMENT INFLUENCE YOUR ART?
Living in New York is some what of a wanderlust. I am constantly engaging with a large variety of people, eating lots of different foods, and hearing tons of different music from all over the world. It all adds to my visual vocabulary that I wouldn’t have if I had continued living in a small town in Pennsylvania.

Daniel Fishel drawing for Allison Weiss

Daniel Fishel drawing for Allison Weiss

WHO ARE YOUR INFLUENCES?
Cy Twombly, Raymond Pettibon, Mia Christopher, Cristy Road, Rene Magritte, Cuban Poster Art, 80’s/90’s Skate Decks, and hundreds of gig posters I’ve seen over the years.

ANY LAST WORD?
Unguard, I will let you try my Wu Tang Style.

MIKE RUBENDALL
Tattoo Age by Vice video

Full series of the video about US tattoo artist Mike Rubendall by Vice for the Tattoo Age series.

Video about the famous American tattoo artist called Mike Rubendall.
Vice Tattoo Age video series introduce Mike Rubendall from Massapequa, New York. In the series we learns about his unique work, visits his tattoo shop, Kings Avenue Tattoo, and meets his mentors and friends, including Danish tattoo legend, Henning Jorgensen, Frank Romano, and acclaimed actor Steve Guttenberg.
More about the US tattoo artist Mike Rubendall.
More about Vice

Huge black and white back tattoo by Mike Rubendall tattoo age

Huge black and white back tattoo by Mike Rubendall, the artist presented in the tattoo age series.

Vice Tattoo Age Part. 1 video about Mike Rubendall.

Here comes the first part of Mike Rubendall presentation for the Vice Tattoo Age series from Vice video.
The talented US tattoo artist takes us with him in a tour inside his neighborhood.
In this video Mike Rubendall shows us the little town where he spent his childhood.
This video his a great opportunity to discover the artist in his working environment.
Mike Rubendall also brings us in his tattoo shop called Kings Ave Tattoo.
Get inspired and get inked!

Amazing tattoo by Mike Rubendall Vice Tattoo Age

Amazing tattoo by Mike Rubendall

Mike Rubendall video for Vice Part.2.

Here comes the second part of the Tattoo Age series directed by Vice video.
In this new video, Mike Rubendall talks about his beginings as a tattoo artist.
He told us how he was guided by the tattoo veteran and his close friend Frank Romano.
You will also see exclusive footage of Mike getting inked by the legendary Filip Leu.

Front tattoo by Mike Rubendall

Front tattoo by Mike

Mike Rubendall final video by Vice.

Here comes the final part of the Tattoo Age series from Vice video.

In this video you will learn more about the inspiring American tattoo artist.
Mike owes two shops and has three children.
The artist also has to face a high demand and must organize a hectic tattoo schedule.
Watch the video to discover how Mike is able to meet the deadlines and make it works.

Tattoo Mike Rubendall

Tattoo by the US artist Mike Rubendall