Tag Archives: Illustration

Jessie Riches Part II


Vampire Girl, Jessie Riches

A few months ago, I discovered the works of Jessie Riches while I was walking through the shopping centre in Geelong. Ok I know this is a pretty strange place to find an artwork, although I have recognised a painting by Jessie Riches in the front window of a book store. I’m not entirely sure whether Riches artwork was reproduced for display purposes, although I must admit the painting featured some extraordinary colours and designs.

The painting features the skull and cross-bones juxtaposed with a dark green background along with decorative patterns and designs. I would always walk past this particular book store and I always wondered who had actually created this painting / design, one day I decided to actually stop at the front window and I recognised Jessie Riches’s signature at the very bottom.

Unfortunately I have taken a photograph with my old phone and for some reason I never saved the actual image. Anyway, I decided to research Jessie Riches on the internet at home and I discovered that the skull was a popular image within the artist’s work. According to Riche’s website, the artist has worked with watercolour, acrylic, pencil, digital media and graphic design, Riches is also a tattoo artist and I have realised that these particular designs do provide a unique aesthetic.

In a way, Riches has merged her tattoo designs with her graphic / digital art, Riches’s “Vampire Girl” for instance, features a rather obscure character who is composed with two cartoonish skulls that are placed within the centre of the image. The remainder of the image features intricate patterns and designs that creates a strong contrast with the mysterious character; the juxtaposition between the rose, the skull and the tombstones may symbolise the border between life and death.

The illustration also reminds me of tattoo art especially the juxtaposition between the skull and the rose; these two particular designs do appear very popular within the tattoo industry; I must admit, most of the tattoos I have seen either feature a rose, a skull or a dragon. Riches work also features very strong, vibrant colours that emphasises the detail within the background, such as the graveyard and the tombstones.

In fact Vampire Girl does feature a high level of detail, each time I view this particular illustration, I always find something interesting or fascinating. There is an obvious connection between the vampire, the graveyards and the skulls, although I do not fully understand how the rat or the tarot / playing cards relate to the other elements within the image. Actually this is a good thing, if everything was obvious there would be nothing new to discover, the ambiguity invites me to take another closer look at Riche’s artwork.

The visual aesthetic, the subject matter and the meaning is surreal, even the vampire’s long pointy ears and her sharp teeth feature very surreal characteristics. Jessie Riches’s has produced some extraordinary work and some intriguing designs; I would recommend visiting the artist’s website for more information. If you would like to read the first half of the story, please click on the link below/



Scott Campbell


Tattoo Artist, Scott Campbell uses American Dollar Notes to create an Amazing Three Dimensional Skull!

While browsing the internet, I discovered the works of Scott Campbell, a tattoo artist who has worked for some of the biggest names in Hollywood including Marc Jacob’s, Heath Ledger and Orlando Bloom! Campbell has exhibited his work around the world, including a skull that has been carved from American Dollar Bills. The level of detail is very impressive and I just couldn’t believe that the artist had used real dollar bills for his work!

At first, I thought the sculpture was carved from fake currency, I soon discovered that everything was real, in fact the artist has crafted the skull from $11,000 as referenced by Tafline Laylin. Campbell has meticulously placed one dollar notes one on top of the other in order to create this 60 cm installation; I wonder how much this artwork is really worth.


The dollar notes add a textural, tactile quality to the skull that emphasises the eye sockets, the nose and the jaw. The skull effectively contrasts with the rectangular box that is also made from American dollar notes; Campbell’s three dimensional skull is one of the most fascinating installations I have seen this year! The way the artist has approached the medium and the subject matter is very innovative, unique and inspiring.

I was rather shocked when I realised that Campbell has used real money for his installation; Damien Hirst has used real diamonds to create the base of the human skull although I have never heard of an artwork that has been made from dollar bills, it’s quite extraordinary to say the least! I discovered a video clip on YouTube that features Scott Campbell’s work; the installation features a skull with illustrative and decorative designs that is juxtaposed with US dollar notes. The fact that the skull is laser etched is remarkable, the actual construction of the skull is simply amazing!


Campbell’s approach to the dollar notes creates such a unique and vibrant aesthetic; the different patterns and designs within the skull creates an extraordinary composition with the American dollar notes. The illustrations also remind me of Campbell’s tattoo designs, in a way the artist has incorporated his designs into his sculptural work, where tattoo art becomes a three dimensional illustration.

The skull has become a popular symbol in various tattoo designs and it is interesting to observe the artist’s ability to transfer this particular subject matter into a sculptural art form. Now there are contemporary art spaces around the metropolitan suburbs that are promoting tattoo artists from all around the world, tattoos have become increasingly popular within contemporary art and design; it’s quite difficult to walk through the city without recognising at least one person with a tattoo.


Campbell’s work is titled, “Day of the Dead”, which I find particularly interesting, the decorative designs Campbell has used for his installation are simiilar to the Mexican hand crafted skulls that are associated with the Day of the Dead festival. The sugar skulls in particular are frequently used for tattoo designs and I have noticed so many people with at least one sugar skull tattooed to their arm or chest. The different swirls and the circular patterns within Campbell’s skull do feature similar characteristics to the Mexican sugar skulls, especially the patterns around the eye sockets and the nose.

The composition between the skull and the US dollar notes may suggest the downfall in commercialism and mass production, I’m not a hundred percent sure what the artwork represents, it’s the ambiguity and the spontaneity that makes Campbell’s work so inspiring!

For more information please click on the links below.





Melbourne’s Street Art


Graffiti opposite Brunswick Street by House of Meggs

The Skull in Melbourne’s Urban Street Culture. 

Over the weekend, I decided to explore the graffiti around Flinders Lane and Brunswick Street in Melbourne, there are some designs around the city that are just incredible and the level of detail is very inspiring! All the different colours, patterns and illustrations add a creative vibe to the city, where the empty lane ways are transformed into an outdoor gallery space. Technically you are still viewing art in a public space without the frames and the technical equipment.

I have realised that the graffiti does change over a certain period of time, it’s almost impossible to walk into an alley way without noticing something different. Hosier Lane for instance regularly changes their designs year after year, the street is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in Melbourne! This is what I find so interesting, every time I visit Hosier Lane, I know I’ll find something completely different, something unique, I know I wont be viewing the same old artwork.


Random Skull in Melbourne Alleyway 

So I decided to wonder around an empty alley way on a saturday afternoon, I discovered some interesting street art that I just had to photograph! The whole street was abandoned, all I could see was overfilled rubbish bins, piles of cardboard and rubbish bags dumped all over the place. To be honest, the street was quite a mess, although I still enjoyed all the graffiti and street art along the walls.

I have realised that the skull is a very popular image in urban street art, I noticed a skull in almost every lane way I had walked through. So why is the skull such a popular image in Melbourne’s street culture? From billboard advertisements to printed t-shirts, the visual culture is completely saturated with skulls, it’s almost impossible to walk through the city without noticing a skull.


Another Skull Image within Flinders Lane

Maybe we’re all trying to reproduce the skull in order to desensitise ourselves to the idea of death, the idea that life itself will not last forever. Or maybe it’s the other way around, the idea of death could be very fascinating to some of us and the skull may symbolise society’s own connection with death, who knows really. The skull appears to be a popular image that people are generally interested in whether it’s fashion, advertising or street art.

Before I walked to the station, I visited Hosier Lane for the last time and the entire street was buzzing with tourists, photographers and couples looking for something to eat. There was even a wedding and a photo shoot in one of the side streets, Hosier Lane is a very vibrant spot and the graffiti is amazing to say the least!


Graffiti / Street Art in Hosier Lane

This is by far one of the most interesting destinations in Melbourne, it’s not everyday you see a skateboard super glued to a wall, a photo shoot featuring batman, dozens of milk cartons stacked one on top of the other and a bride having her photograph taken in front of the most creative street art I have ever seen. There’s always something random to find and it’s the spontaneity that makes this street so interesting, if you haven’t been before I would recommend visiting Hosier Lane if you are into graffiti and street art.

Dead Era


Howdy from Texas by Edgar Regalado 

Unique Product Branding by Dead Era

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been following Blood Sweet Vector, a site filled with inspiring illustrations from some of the top designers!

I stumbled across a brand known as Dead Era, a company that sells fashion accessories for both men and women. I have never heard of Dead Era until I noticed an illustration on Blood Sweet Vector that features a skeleton driving a motor vehicle.

With the eyes popping out of the eye sockets and the tongue draped to the side, the skeleton’s animated facial expressions do provide a comical, even satirical quality to the illustration. The image was designed by Edgar Regalado, an illustrator who works for Dead Era.


Illustration from Dead Era

I just couldn’t help myself, I just had to visit the website! I was really inspired by the illustration and I was just dying to find out the concept behind the brand. As I scrolled through the website, I noticed that there were other illustrations with skulls and skeletons.

What I do find rather amusing is the logo or the banner at the top of the website; the face  appears similar to a zombie and the cap may suggest that the company specialises in urban street culture / skater culture.

The history of the company features a very creative and innovative style, the layout appears similar to a story board and the illustrations definitely captures the viewer’s attention.


Dead Era Logo

This is by far the most impressive website I have ever seen, the absence of colour is very effective and the pages are easy to navigate, it’s always a good start when you are able to find the information you need!

Dead Era tells the story of a teenager who dispares over the rise in technology that has turned society into lifeless zombies with no ideas to spare. According to the website, Dead Era has established an innovative, creative apparel in order to “reanimate the deadest souls”.

The way Dead Era describes their company is creative, this is by far the most creative website I have seen so far! In a way, Dead Era have used the idea of death for a unique fashion label, the layout and the display is very professional yet imaginative!

For more information please click on Dead Era’s official website for more information.



Mictlancihuatl, 2012 by Sean Breasley


Print by Sean Breasley. The Frame is Straight I was too short to take a Photo of the Whole Image.

3/1/2013 – Illustration of Mictlantecuhitl as Christmas Present

On Christmas I had received an original print from my boyfriend, Sean Breasely who is a talented illustrator and a graphic designer. When I had first seen the drawing last year, I was impressed with the level of detail, just to see the way the drawing was produced in illustrator was quite incredible.


What amazes me, is the fact that each individual skull features a unique style and characteristic; the detail provides each skull with it’s own personality. Each skull is used to compose the shape of the woman’s hair; her pale face contrasts with the animated skulls and their lively facial expressions.


Sean has explained that the illustration was inspired by my own research project, “Black Calavera” where I had used makeup to replicate the Mexican sugar skulls  within a Western / European context via black and white photography. I must admit, the illustration does look like me, even the shape of the nose! In fact, I am impressed with the overall design.


Even though I have watched Sean create the illustration on the computer, I was quite pleased to see a large print that was wrapped in colourful christmas paper.
As soon as I saw the print under the miniature christmas tree, I was utterly delighted!


As soon as I unwrapped the print, I asked myself where I would hang this lovely print I have received. Well this is a good question because most of the space of my wall has been covered with posters, artworks, magazine covers and photographs. Well of course I had to make some room, but I decided to place the print opposite my bed and because I am short it has been placed at the ideal height, which is also a bonus.


The print has become a memento, the image reminds me of the research and the work I have produced last year as part of my university project. It is nice to have an original artwork on the wall; something that reminds me of my own research project. The work is also titled, “Mictlancihuatl” who is the goddess of death in Aztec Mythology, this is a concept I have explored throughout my project and I am pleased to see such an elaborate illustration on my very own wall.


I would recommend visiting Sean’s blog, there is some great work on display at the moment. Please click on the URL link for further information.



Jessie Riches

3/12/12 – Mexican Sugar Skull by Jessie Riches

While walking through the Geelong shopping centre, I had recognised a painting from a local artist known as Jessie Riches who has painted the skull and cross bones with bright, vibrant colours and intricate patterns. The painting is currently displayed in the front window of a book store in Geelong Westfield, from my most recent visit, I decided to undertake some further research into the artist.

Jessie Riches is a local artist in Geelong and her website explains that the artist specialises in painting, design and illustration. Riches bio also mentions that the works on display are inspired by tattoo art. When I viewed Riches work for the first time, the use and colour as well as composition did remind me of tattoo art.Riches work also reminds me of pop art surrealism, the bold patterns and the vibrant colours definitely provide the artist’s characters with unique characteristics.

While searching through the artist’s website, I did come across a painting / illustration of a young woman with the Mexican Day of the Dead skull painted onto her own face. This work in particular presents certain elements from the Mexican sugar skulls that is quite distinctive from all the other paintings, illustrations or photographs I have seen. The face paint is quite subtle and the patterns do compliment the roses that appear to have been tattooed to the woman’s neck.

The different colours and the patterns definitely captures my attention, to me the painting presents a unique juxtaposition between tattoo art and the Mexican Day of the Dead. If you are interested in Riche’s work, please click on the link below to visit her artworks.




Image sourced  from Fieldey’s Blog. “The New Holy Trinity”

4/10/12 – Skulls in Fieldey’s Skateboard and Surfboard Designs!

A few weeks ago, I had found a really interesting blog, Fieldey is an Australian artist from Perth who creates illustrative and artistic designs for skateboards and surfboards. The Logo at the very top of the blog definitely attracts my attention and I decided to search through the site. I found some really interesting surfboard designs that feature similarities to the Mexican Day of the Dead skulls.

As I read through the post, I realised that the designs portray highly influential artists who had passed away in their late 20’s, these artists include “Amy Whinehouse, Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix” as referenced by Fieldey. This is definitely a very interesting idea and the designs feature a striking composition between colour, form and tone. These three main components definitely highlights the characters who may feature similar characteristics to a zombie wearing Mexican Day of the Dead face paint.

These particular designs also reflects the artist’s interests in tattoo art and the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration. One could argue that, the skateboards do feature similarities to various tattoo designs through the use of typography and images such as roses, guns, martini glasses and leaves. These works are incredible and extremely well designed! if you are into skateboard designs I would definitely recommend reading through this particular blog post.

If you’re into skulls in skateboard and surfboard designs that I would also recommend checking out Fieldey’s website, http://www.fieldey.com/

Don’t forget the check out these other amazing sites! 😀