The Little-Known Works of Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss

Beyond ‘The Cat in the Hat,’ Dr. Seuss created political cartoons, films and even a couple of books for grown-ups. On March 2, 1904, Theodor Seuss Geisel was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. Twenty-seven years later, under the pseudonym Dr. Seuss, he released his very first book, The Pocket Book of Boners. The book, which is very much not what you’re likely thinking it is, collected “boners” — a now-outdated term for silly errors, found in classroom papers. It sold 1.34 million copies by 1945. In 1937, after dozens of rejections from publishers, Dr. Seuss made his first contribution to children’s literature: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. Within two years, he’d released two more children’s books and begun a hugely successful relationship with Random House that would last the rest of his life. In 1939 he released a book for an adult audience, a humorous spin on        …read more

Dinara Kasko Designs Eye-Popping Pastry Art with 3D Printed Molds

3D printed molds

A baking hobbyist with a background in architecture, Kasko became a dedicated pastry artist using the technology of 3D printed molds to wow admirers around the world. In 2011 Dinara Kasko graduated from Kharkov Architecture University and began what would become a three-year stint as a designer and visualizer working remotely from home. By day, she was either sitting at her computer creating ethereal models or working as a photographer part-time; by night, she was baking cakes in her apartment’s modest kitchen. There she experimented with traditional French recipes, from mousses and sponge cakes to jellies and fruits — and, of course, all kinds of chocolate. It was her hobby, an excuse to work with her hands, and a way to be creative away from her desk. She even considered enrolling in a professional culinary school to study patisserie full-time, but upon discovering that she was expecting her first child,        …read more

The Vibrant Art of Indigenous People Tells a Story of Survival

indigenous people

Indigenous people reclaim their cultural identities through art. A voice is invaluable, and being able to tell one’s story is the key to cultural survival. However, in the case of America’s first people — or indigenous people, a rather simplistic term used to identify over 500 federally recognized tribes in the U.S. — their stories have been censored by the powers that be. Yet a volatile history hasn’t stopped indigenous people from creating a thriving contemporary arts scene. Their stories are worth sharing. A Brief History of Indigenous People in the U.S. In the book Manifestations: New Native Art Criticism, Stephen Fadden and Stephen Wall suggest the relationship between the U.S. government and indigenous people can be broken down into three eras: Formative, Allotment and Reorganization. During the Formative Era (1776-1810), indigenous people fought to maintain sovereignty of their homeland. As the U.S. government grew, its efforts to dominate the land        …read more

Nick Seluk’s ‘The Awkward Yeti’ Is Uniquely Weird (Like All of Us)

The Awkward Yeti

Cartoonist Nick Seluk brings our internal conversations to life with his web comic empire, ‘The Awkward Yeti.’ “Lars might be a little awkward, but that’s what makes him Lars.” That’s how Nick Seluk explains to me the origin story of The Awkward Yeti, a web comic that began as a self-published children’s book in 2012. Lars was moody, anxious and, of course, awkward. “I wanted to introduce very young kids to the idea that not everyone thinks and acts the same way, whether it simply be introversion or even autism spectrum disorders,” Seluk says in an interview from his Detroit home. What grew from that seed has now become a worldwide phenomenon of yeti-like proportions: He’s authored four books collecting his comics. His Facebook page has attracted more than 2.2 million likes. His Instagram feed has reached over a million followers. The Awkward Yeti website is now home to spinoff        …read more

George Peaslee Invites Us into the 3D Canvas of Virtual Reality

virtual reality

By re-creating Impressionist masterpieces, the sculptor helped introduce the world to the unlimited possibilities of art in virtual reality. An animator and sculptor turned virtual reality (VR) artist, George Peaslee gained recognition with his re-creations of famous paintings including Georges Seurat’s Sunday at La Grande Jatte and Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night. In these pieces, he used two Impressionist masterpieces, one perhaps the most recognizable painting in the world, to showcase the amazing possibilities of virtual reality. The problem is that viewing the 3D models in Sketchfab or watching the videos of Peaslee creating in VR doesn’t do the works justice. Nothing you see on your computer screen can. Because the VR X factor, as Peaslee calls it, is the complete immersion into the worlds he creates, and for that you need to invest in a HTC Vive ($599.00) or an Oculus Rift ($399.00). (More on that later.) Selected to        …read more

Poetic Kinetics Transforms the View with Giant Hovering Sculptures

Poetic Kinetics

They’ll tell you to go big or go home. At Poetic Kinetics, they opt for enormous. If you’ve never been to Pershing Square in Los Angeles, you can run a quick Google search on the park and learn, first, that it was dedicated as a public space in 1866; second, that it’s run by the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks; and third, that it merits headlines like “How Los Angeles Got a Pershing Square Everyone Hates.” That last bit is courtesy of Curbed Los Angeles in an account of the park’s jarring original design scheme. The writer cites the LA Times in a perfect explanation of what went wrong with Pershing Square: “The square’s dramatic architecture is so harsh in its efforts to discourage the homeless and drug dealers that other people feel uncomfortable there too.” The irony is that the park ended up deterring everyone except the        …read more

4 Stained Glass Artists Transforming Spaces with Light

stained glass

These creators design inspiring, constantly changing atmospheres with stained glass and natural light. There’s something about glass, especially stained glass, that has captured the attention and appreciation of people for centuries, from the Gothic cathedrals of medieval Europe, to the James Carpenter–designed dome in the new transportation complex in downtown New York City. Glass’s transparency is the most obvious reason, its ability to color, reflect and refract light, but it’s what the light does to the space, and to people in the space, that makes it enduring. As stained glass master Narcissus Quagliata has said, “The medium is so powerful because the light goes straight to the soul.” The use of stained glass in Western architecture began as a way to add light and imagery to religious buildings in medieval Europe. From 1100 to 1500 CE, artists illustrated biblical stories in windows along the halls of church buildings and large        …read more

Pippa Dyrlaga Designs Paper Art in Jaw-Dropping Detail

paper art

Paper-cutting nerds have long known about Pippa Dyrlaga, but now the world is taking notice of this paper art phenom. It’s hard to fathom the enormity of skill required to pull off a stunning paper-cut piece. When you find an artist blessed with such a deft hand, such a masterful eye that can see through both the wide and microscopic lens, your jaw drops. With the paper art of a master, the accents found in the tiniest of details are mind-boggling. That’s how I felt — cross my arty heart, hope to die — when I first got acquainted with Pippa Dyrlaga’s paper cuts. The UK artist creates these snapshots of wildlife and architecture by engaging in a delicate process that requires the most patient fingers. She uses a sheet of paper to carve and cut a silhouette of the image she’d like to create and uses a scalpel or X-Acto        …read more

3D Printing for Everyone: Stunning Designs and How to Get Started

3D printing

3D printing is making the unfathomable real, and it’s available to everyone. With 3D printing, the revolution in manufacturing is here. And it’s not just engineers, material scientists, inventors, artists and entrepreneurs using the technology. It’s anyone who wants to create a miniature, replicate something, make a new game piece, solve a problem or just experiment and have fun. 3D printing is making the impossible possible, and it’s making it accessible to everyone. 3D printing pioneer Joshua Harker wanted to make in real space what he could only draw in two dimensions. This drove his experimentation with the additive process. In combining art and engineering, he “wanted to bridge the traditional medium [of sculpture] with new technology” and be able to create objects “that never could be made before.” His Tangle series uses organic forms so complex with tapering forms, knots and bends that they couldn’t be made any other way.        …read more

Painting the Solar System with Pigments of the Desert

solar system

Stella Maria Baer paints the solar system with sand and cacti pigments, evoking the otherworldly landscape of the American Southwest. Stella Maria Baer — a widely respected painter and photographer who currently resides in Denver, Colorado — grew up in the enchanted, surreal deserts of Santa Fe, New Mexico, in a family of artists going back generations. “Art was always part of our family’s language and landscape,” she explains. Her mother was a weaver, and her father owned an art gallery. One of her grandmothers was a sculptor, and one of her grandfathers was a photographer. With such influences, she grew up experiencing art in many forms — from the visual to the tactile to the gallery. Originally from California, her family moved to Santa Fe when Baer was just a few years old. Yet it is her grandfather’s photography — largely featuring California — that she recalls most vividly        …read more