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I get the feeling that this whole blog thing has been sort of abandoned, but I am sick and bored and can’t sleep so¬† here is a post.
I have been meaning to blog about this artist from the start, but somehow I never got around to it. Anyway, at long last, here is Shaun Tan. I’ve been a bit of a fan of his since I first read The Arrival a few years ago, and a few months ago I picked up another of his books, Tales from Outer Suburbia. The Arrival is a tale told entirely with pictures, all pencil on paper, while Tales is a book of stories complimented with illustrations in various media. His art is captivating, emotional, sometimes whimsical and surreal, and always beautifully done.

THE ARRIVAL

I first came across this quite a while ago and was immediately taken with the concept. The Arrival begins as the wordless story of a man who parts with his family to venture into a forgein country in hope of a better life, but later becomes a collection of the stories of those who have been displaced from their homes. It is masterfully told through page after page of beautiful pencil drawings that perfectly convey the meaning of the story.

TALES FROM OUTER SUBURBIA

The stories in this book deal with many subjects, all told in a quiet an unassuming way that makes them seem nearly common and familiar, as if all of the houses on your street might actually have missles in their gardens. Reading them now I find it almost unsettling, though not all of the stories in the book have a dark side to them. The art that goes with them is just as simple but striking, and once again Tan is able to capture the right emotion in his work.

Here is his website. Perhaps I will bring the books in once school begins, if anyone is interested.

This stuff is so neat. But, I’d like to see how she paints on canvas.

alexa meade

Art can be used in many different ways, and one that I find particulairly interesting is as propaganda. Especially war propaganda, as countries always want to bolster national pride and recruit troops during times of war, and an easy way to do this is through propaganda posters. I’ve got a small collection of posters from WWII on my computer that I’ve gotten from various sites, so I thought I’d share.

(it’s hard to see, but there are a bunch of little Hitler faces around the phone booth in the first poster, and the face in the painting in the second is him too)

These are some of the posters for the Allies and the Axis, mostly from the US, Canada, and Germany, though there is one from Belgium. Some of them aimed to inspire pride in the troops, and others offered ways that people not participating in battle, generally women and children, could help the war effort. Some of them are warnings, and some are just funny. All of them use imagery, and usually in a very specific way. Notice, all of the soldiers, women, and children are very young, attractive, and happy, whereas the enemy is old and grizzled. And what about that guy driving alone? Looking pretty sneaky in that purple suit and fedora. All of the Germans are looking pretty blonde as well.

Here’s a video, if you’re interested in seeing more.

Here is a picture:

Here is a drawing:

Here is how it came to be:

http://tinypic.com/r/3038p5g/6

I thought it would be nice to have an actual post on here, so here we go. I’m not much of a blogger, but I’ll do what I can.

These are just some of my more recent tablet doodles.