Tag Archives: Illustration

Skulls, Skeletons and Tequila, Espolón has it all!

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Espolón Advertising by Steven Noble 

Espolón Tequila is one unique, innovative brand that features a smooth, delicate flavour along with a creative label that will leave a very memorable impression! As soon as I recognised the bottle of Espolón, I instantly developed to the urge to purchase a bottle for myself and the product design immediately attracted my attention. While I was tempted to try the tequila, I wanted to keep the bottle for the inspiring label / packaging.

So what makes this bottle of tequila so interesting? Well, the tequila isn’t too overpowering, Espolón does create some fantastic Paloma’s on a warm summers day, the packaging is inspiring and the overall brand features a very compelling story! The label features a range of lively, animated skeletons and the overall style does feature similarities to the Mexican Day of the Dead Festival that invites deceased family members and spirits to partake in the celebration, as referenced by Regina.M Marchi.1 I’ve mentioned these particular elements in my previous posts but I’ll briefly mention some of the most important points. If you are interested in viewing the previous posts just click on the links to Part I and Part II

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Espolón Advertising – Steven Noble

Espolón’s product design features similarities to the works of José Guadalupe Posada and there is an illustration known as the “The Calavera of Don Quixote 1910” that appears almost identical to the label; Espolon’s design presents a very distinctive appropriation that reflect’s Mexico’s cultural and historical background.2 I’m assuming that Posada’s prints would be available under ‘free use,’ this would be a very interesting area to explore or research in the next week. According to Regina.M.Marchi, Posada is an influential artist / printmaker from Mexico who produced a range of delightful prints or illustrations featuring a range of enthusiastic, animated skeletons during the 19th century.

In the illustrations, the playful skeletons partake in a range of activities or events wearing a range of outfits or accessories and Posada’s distinctive style provides a humorous perspective of death, as referenced by Marchi.3 Espolón have used these lively skeletons to advertise their tequila, although I can’t see anything wrong with this, the story does feature some cultural associations or symbology that provides context to the overall brand. Espolón delivers a level of authenticity through the packaging or product design that is inspired by one unique symbol.

espolon-revolutionEspolón Product Design / Labelling 

According to the Espolón official website, “Master Distiller, Cirilo Oropeza” created a brand of Tequila that was named after the spur found on the back of a Rooster’s heal and “Espolón pays tribute to the legendary bird so important within Mexican culture.”4 This is a very fascinating concept that has invited me to research the significance behind the rooster and Elías Domínguez Barajas in the ‘Function of Proverbs in Discourse’ explains that the rooster features a connection to “bravery, pride and confidence” within Mexican Culture.5

This is a very interesting discovery that definitely adds a level of interest towards Espolón and the brand’s overall history. While I’m interested in researching the cultural and historical associations related to the brand, I do enjoy a glass of Blanco with a slice of lime. This particular type of Tequila works exceptionally well as a cocktail or a mixed drink and I would definitely recommend Espolón if you intend to create a Paloma or an Espresso Martini.

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José Guadalupe Posada – Print / Illustration: 
The Calavera of Don Quixote, 1910

The tequila also works as a delicious alcoholic beverage just by itself with some ice and a slice of lime. While there are other brands of tequila that feature an outstanding flavour, Espolón is exceptional for the price and it’s very affordable, especially for the overall quality! So if you’re planning a dinner party and you need Tequila for a dozen Paloma’s, this is definitely the one to go for!

According to Espolon’s website, the tequila features “100% pure agave” that is created / distilled in “Los Altos, Mexico.” From a personal opinion, I do enjoy the Blanco compared the Respado that is aged for several months in an “oak barrel,” as referenced by Espolón.6 This is just my personal preference and I prefer something with a smooth flavour or texture. If you’re new to tequila, I would recommend the Blanco to start off with, if you’re searching for something with a strong, full-bodied flavour then the Respado is an excellent choice.

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Espolón features some very compelling, yet distinctive advertisements that are very admirable and the designs are created by Steven Noble. Last but not least, I thought I would briefly mention my recent discovery in regards to my statistics on my WordPress profile.

This year so far, I’ve received 482 views for my previous post in regards to Espolón tequila that ranked number six on my top posts for 2015. This is a very interesting conclusion that demonstrates Espolón’s increase in popularity. Perhaps there is a demand for skulls and tequila, it’ll be interesting to observe the statistics overtime in order to view any significant changes.

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So if you enjoy relaxing on the deck chair with a refreshing glass of tequila, I would recommend Espolón! Not only will you receive a high quality product, you’ll obtain an awesome bottle with some incredible designs including skulls, skeletons and a rooster, what more could you possibly ask for? If you love skulls and tequila, this is the brand for you.

Espolón also features a Facebook Page and a Twitter Page that is worth viewing if you wish to acquire further information! These amazing advertisements are created by Steven Noble, click on the link to view the artist’s Behance Portfolio.

References

1.Marchi, Regina.M, The Day of the Dead in the USA: The Migration and Transformation of a Cultural Phenomenan (New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2009) p.26-27
2.Regina, The Day of the Dead in the USA, p.27-28
3.Regina, The Day of the Dead in the USA, p.27-28
4.Espolón Tequila, “A Legend in the Making,” 2013 (Accessed 9/2/15) http://www.tequilaespolon.com/en/?age=verified
5.Barajas, Elías Domínguez, The Function of Proverbs in Discourse: The Case of a Mexican Transnational Social Network (New York: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, 2010) p.100
6.Espolón Tequila, “Tasting Notes,” 2013 (Accessed 9/2/15) http://www.tequilaespolon.com/en/?age=verified


The Works of Lora Zombie Present Vibrant Colours, Inspiring Designs and Skulls

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Girls Loves Skulls – Lora Zombie

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been particularly interested in Lora Zombie, a painter / illustrator from Russia who has created a series of colourful, eclectic designs that are combined with influential icons and pop culture references. At first I was amazed by the artist’s intricate style including the high level of detail or craftsmanship as well as the dripping paint that oozes towards the bottom of each individual painting / illustration.

According to Lora Zombie’s official website, the artist is internationally renowned through various social media platforms, blogs and exhibitions within Russia and the United States. I decided to search through Lora Zombie’s inspiring online portfolio and I have recently discovered that the skull is a popular symbol within the artist’s work.

Zombie’s illustrations are often categorised as ‘grunge art,’ however there is limited information in regards to this particular style, this is definitely something I’ll have to research later down the track; from a personal perspective, Lora Zombie’s work features a similar appearance to graffiti art.

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Puppies and Skulls – Lora Zombie

‘Girls Loves Skulls’ for instance features a young girl embracing a large multicoloured skull within the centre of the image. This is one of my favourite illustrations by Lora Zombie; the combination of vibrant colours and paint splatters create a remarkable, yet dynamic style that successfully delivers a playful, optimistic approach towards death and the human skull, this is just my personal point of view anyway.

The visual aesthetics provide a level of curiosity and fascination; the skull in particular becomes a significant focal point that instantly attracts the viewer’s attention. The bold, vibrant colours compliment the contour of the skull as well as the young girl on the left hand side; her plain white dress along with her black, knee-length socks provides a dramatic composition with the other elements within the image.

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Pugs and Skulls – Lora Zombie

The young girl appears to be rather excited or pleased to be holding this multicoloured skull that features a rather concerned expression. The refined detail definitely provides the subjects with a unique personality that are emphasised through the loud, vibrant colours as well as the harsh brush strokes.

There is another work in particular that has captured my attention; Lora Zombie’s ‘Puppies and Skulls’ is colourful, playful and absolutely gorgeous! The name summarises the work pretty well, this illustration features at least three colourful skulls that are surrounded by a range of adorable puppies, this is such a cute, yet artistic combination.

‘Pugs and Skulls’ also features a similar style and aesthetic; the work features a pile of small multicoloured skulls that are integrated with a crowd of energetic puppies, this is just too adorable! I could honestly write about the artist’s work for hours, as I thoroughly enjoy the humorous, yet comical twist within these imaginative designs. Overall, Lora Zombie’s work delivers a high level of creativity and innovation that is combined with a lively, yet vivacious characteristic.

If you would like to view Lora Zombie’s portfolio or website, just click on the links below.

References

http://lorazombie.com/

https://www.facebook.com/LoraZombie (Images from Facebook)

http://lora-zombie.tumblr.com/

http://instagram.com/lorazombie

https://www.threadless.com/made/lora-zombie


Mike Makatron: The McDeath Burger on Smith Street, Fitzroy

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Last week, I decided to walk through Smith Street in Melbourne Fitzroy, where I discovered a piece of graffiti on the side of the wall. I immediately stopped at the side of the road and continued to stare at this vibrant and creative design.

The image features a skull along with an Australian flag, cigarette butts, piano keys, USB cables and a range of dollar notes that are enclosed within a burger bun. These items are combined with lettuce, tomato and mustard, all the elements you would normally find in a traditional beef burger.

The use of colour, shape and composition is striking, especially if you’re standing on the opposite side of the road. I was on my way to buy ice cream, however I decided to cross the road to take a closer look at the graffiti. The skull appears quite pixelated up close and the graffiti directs your gaze towards the very top of the building. From a distance the dots almost blend together to create a tonal effect, this also creates a unique perspective!

The detail is incredible and the design is quite different to anything I have seen before. I then began to wonder who designed this piece of graffiti and I suddenly recognised the artist’s tag / signature right next to the skull.

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Mike Maka aka Makatron is a local artist from Melbourne who specialises in graffiti, street art and illustration that often explores the relationship between mankind, technology and the natural world. This design in particular has questioned whether these consumable items affect our environment or our natural surroundings.

One could argue that the work reflects consumerism and mass production within contemporary western society, however the skull presents the notion of death, decay and decomposition. This creates a very innovative composition; each element appears to feature some kind of meaning or representation. I was intrigued with the connection between nature, death and commercialism; as a result I decided to search for additional information in regards to Makatron’s work.

According to Makatron’s Facebook page the design is also known as the McDeath Burger. This title definitely provides context towards the overall work, these commercial products could potentially cause death or fatality later down the track. The design directs the viewer’s attention towards each individual element and it quite difficult to focus on one specific area.

I decided to take some photographs of Makatron’s McDeath Burger and I began to search through the images on my computer. After a couple of weeks, I recognised an aboriginal flag at the very top of the burger and I cannot believe that I haven’t noticed this before. I began to question whether the flag would have any connection or association with the overall image.

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There is limited information in regards to the McDeath Burger, however the flag may represent the way the indigenous culture is used as a commercial attraction. I begin to search for all the possible meanings or explanations behind the work and this is what I enjoy the most, the McDeath burger definitely invites the viewer to consider how these material products may potentially affect the world around us.

The design bursts with colour and Makatron’s street art definitely adds vibrancy to Melbourne’s inner CBD. This is what I love about Melbourne, you can find the most extraordinary designs or creations with an abandoned alley way or the side of the street; once you go exploring, it’s surprising what you’ll actually find.

I would definitely recommend taking a walk down Smith Street to see Makatron’s design; if you live too far away, check out the artist’s website / portfolio, as there are some great designs on display!

References

http://www.makatron.com/biopropaganda/

https://www.facebook.com/MikeMakatronArt

http://mike-maka.tumblr.com/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikemaka/page1/


Interesting Skull Illustration in Melbourne

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Illustration I discovered in Melbourne – Artist Unknown

While I was walking through Melbourne, I have discovered quite an interesting illustration that has been posted onto the back of a road sign. Most of the alley ways in Melbourne do contain graffiti and some other quirky illustrations; there some incredible designs especially in Hosier Lane! This illustration in particular features a skull, while the design itself is rather simple, the skull does feature some interesting characteristics.

I’m not too sure who has created this illustration, although I was definitely intrigued by this particular image, I decided to take a quick snap shot on my to the train station. So I have noticed something very interesting, I have suddenly decided that Melbourne is saturated with skulls! Every time I visit the city I cannot help recognising all the skull t-shirts, illustrations, graffiti art, coffee mugs, paintings, books, pencil cases and yes the list will just keep going and going!

Every time I walk down an alley way, I notice skulls imprinted onto the wall, they are just everywhere. Why is that? why are we all so fascinated with the skull? It’s who we are, under the layer of skin is a human skull and all of these images may encourage us to realise that death is an inevitable thing.

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Illustration – Artist Unknown

Well that’s not all to say that every person in this world is attracted to skulls, of course popular culture is completely saturated with the image of the skull that may emphasise our fascination with something that we all fear the most, the idea that we will never live forever, the idea that we can die at any given moment, as referenced by Elizabeth Klaver’s publication ‘ Sites of Autopsy in Contemporary Culture’1

Ok so I don’t want to go too deep, I was purely fascinated by this one particular illustration that I stumbled upon in the city. The image is quite minimal and there are some humorous features / attributes, to be honest the design would make a fantastic t-shirt design! Why it has been attached to the back of a road sign, I’m not entirely sure, although I do enjoy finding all these quirky patterns and designs around Melbourne. Stay tuned as I will try to find some information about the artist who has produced this image!

1. Klaver, Elizabeth. Sites of Autospy in Contemporary Culture.  New York: State University of New York 2005.


Sean Breasley’s Halloween Pumpkin 2013

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Vector Illustration produced by Sean Breasley, 2013

Hey Everyone,

So a couple of weeks ago, Sean designed a Pumpkin Skull specifically for Halloween, this is my favourite piece so far. The texture does provide an interesting effect, the shape of the pumpkin appears rather sinister, although the use of colour definitely adds a level of vibrancy!

All the different lines provide a unique composition, the pumpkin does appear distressed and deteriorated, which actually suits the theme of Halloween. In a way, the pumpkin features a wrinkly appearance, for some particular reason the image reminds me of Nightmare on Elm Street, which is a rather strange correlation!

The circular patterns and designs also provide a level of depth to the image, the circular shapes behind the pumpkin also adds another interesting element to the overall design,

Sean does create a range of vibrant vector illustrations that are inspired by the depiction of the human skull in contemporary art, design and popular culture. Sean also assists me with the Black Calavera blog and Facebook page, today I thought I would write about Sean’s illustration as they primarily focus upon the image of the skull.

If you would like to view Sean’s collection, then I would definitely recommend visiting Sean’s WordPress site or you can either view the Black Calavera Facebook page.

That’s everything for now, stay tuned for further updates!

http://seanbreasley.wordpress.com/

http://seanbreasley.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/halloween-pumpkin-2013/

https://www.facebook.com/BlackCalavera22


Ben Sanders, Skull Thief

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Last week, the Australian Centre of Moving Image presented the second annual creative arts conference in Melbourne, known as Field Trip. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the conference this year, although I did manage to get my hands on a catalogue with all the different artists and illustrators that have presented their work at the event.

Ok so I have been to the very first field trip in 2012 and it was great to listen to all the artists, photographers, illustrators, animators and film makers from around the world! I was actually sitting on the edge of my set frantically writing ideas in my note pad, the guest speakers were very inspiring, in fact I was inspired for the entire weekend after Field Trip.

While I was browsing through the latest catalogue, I recognised the works of Ben Sanders, an artist / illustrator based in Melbourne, Victoria. Sanders illustrations are renowned within the advertising industry and the artist has worked for many international corporations such as Vodaphone, Visa, Libra and Time Magazine.

There is one illustration in particular that has captured my attention, Sander’s “skull thief” features the shape of a human skull that is juxtaposed with a dark, textured surface. This two-dimensional skull does feature a very interesting design and the curves invite me to take a closer look at the image. In fact I discovered something rather remarkable the night before, I suddenly realised that the illustration features two different images!

If you take a closer look at Sander’s illustration, you will recognise a dark figure holding a very large sack behind his shoulders. Honestly, I have been looking at this particular illustration for the past few days and I didn’t even realise the ambiguous figure within the very centre of the image. Sander’s illustration is rather clever, the artist has used the shape of the skull to create a dark silhouette of a person carrying some kind of bag or sack.

I began to question how does the skull relates to the figure within the image? According to Sander’s official website and blog, “Skull Thief” reflects a particular moment in time, where museums were taking skeletal remains from “indigenous communities” and preserving them as artefacts within their own establishment, the story was also mentioned in the Australian Geographic who have released a very interesting article in relation to these ethical and cultural issues.

Scott Mitchell from the Australian Geographic believes that the Museums should return the skeletal remains to the ‘indigenous communities’ who have been affected by these practises or procedures. In the article, “Return Aboriginal Sacred Objects”, Scott Mitchell quotes “The first is the active trade in Aboriginal sacred objects. Search online and you are almost guaranteed to find pictures of objects for sale – a distressing violation of cultural protocol”.

In a way, I do agree with Mitchell’s argument, as the skull for instance can contain social and cultural ‘value’, the skull has the power to reflect a person’s identity, this is also mentioned in Mitchell’s article on the National Geographic Website.

So this leads me to my next question….is this a form of grave robbing? Well yes it is, these museums were taking something that did not belong to them in the first place! 

Once you begin to examine Sander’s illustration, you’ll suddenly begin to realise that the image does tell a story, a story that reflects the loss of cultural integrity  across many aboriginal communities, where the skeletal remains are removed and restored as artefacts within Western society.

In fact, I find Sanders illustration so intriguing, I just cannot stop reading about this subject, the juxtaposition between the skull and the mysterious figure does successfully communicates these issues within a creative and innovative manner. 

For more information please click on the URL links below.

Ben Sanders Website: http://www.bensanders.com.au/

Ben Sanders Blog: http://bensillustrations.blogspot.com.au/search?q=skull

Mitchell, Scott, “Opinion Return Sacred Objects”, The Australian Geographic, 2012, accessed 17/4/12, http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/journal/should-museums-hold-aboriginal-sacred-objects.htm


Sugar Skull Wallpaper Designed by Emily Evans

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The other day, I discovered another interesting photograph on Facebook that features Day of the Dead, Sugar Skull wallpaper designed by Emily Evans. I was rather intrigued by the pattern and the design, as soon as I signed into Facebook, I instantly clicked onto the photograph and I just could not take my eyes off the golden sugar skulls.

The pattern does feature a unique style and the dark background effectively contrasts with the sugar skulls, especially the detail around the eye sockets, the nose and the jaw line. What I do find particularly fascinating about the sugar skulls are the eye sockets, when I view the photograph for an extended period of time, the different shapes and patterns appear to rotate.

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After ten to fifteen minutes, I actually believed that the eye sockets were rotating, in a way the wallpaper does create an illusion. Every time I view the photograph, I always find a different pattern or design that I haven’t noticed before, there’s always something new to discover. The wallpaper is rather elegant, the design isn’t too overpowering and the sugar skulls do feature a very creative and decorative style.

When I discovered this particular photograph, I just imagined myself using the wallpaper within my own bedroom or bathroom, it would just complement my collection of sugar skulls that I have produced over the past six months. In fact I’m so impressed with the design, I would even use the wallpaper in my lounge room!

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So who has actually designed the sugar skull wallpaper? Emily Evans is a “medical illustrator” based in London who combines her own medical knowledge with creative and imaginative designs. There is limited information in regards to Emily Evans designs, although I have wondered whether Evans has combined both her artistic and scientific knowledge in order to create the sugar skull wallpaper.

The sugar skulls are a unique choice and I have wondered whether Emily Evans has simply recreated the skull due to it current popularity within the contemporary visual culture. I have also questioned whether the wallpaper has any connection to Mexico’s cultural or historical heritage, where sugar skulls are often decorated especially for the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration that reunites the living with the deceased.

At the moment, I just have so many different questions and I am determined to find the answers, stay tuned for the second half of the post! For more information please visit Emily Evans official website for further information. All photographs are sourced from Emily Evans Website.

http://www.emilyevansillustration.com/day-of-the-dead-sugar-skull-wallpaper-anatomy-boutique/

http://www.formfiftyfive.com/2013/04/emily-evans-body-of-work/