New Yorker illustrator plays with his art on Instagram

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From Abstract Sunday, an Instagram Feed by the illustrator Christoph Niemann. Illustration by Christoph Niemann
From Abstract Sunday, an Instagram feed by illustrator Christoph Niemann. Illustration: Christoph Niemann

Artists don’t always explain themselves well.

Even acclaimed illustrator Christoph Niemann, who can articulate the mysteries of creativity better than many, doesn’t always understand the moment when the head, heart and eyes merge with skills and gifts to produce a brilliant piece. It’s like trying to put into words the act of breathing.

But every Sunday, we can behold the headwaters of his creative flow.

The inside story of Apple’s amazing Hangzhou Store mural

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Wang Dongling's poem at the Hengzhou Apple Store. Photo: Apple
Wang Dongling's poem at the Hangzhou Apple Store. Photo: Apple

Apple’s stunning new store in Hangzhou China is drawing raves, even though no one has seen what it’ll actually look like. The outside of the store has been covered with a giant Apple Store sized mural during construction, only instead of throwing up another boring white box, Apple teamed up with famous calligrapher Wang Dongling to create a beautiful poem on the outside.

To celebrate the upcoming West Lake store, Apple published a video today going behind the scenes with Dongling and his creative process for creating the artwork on the store. Dongling is renowned for his experimentation in merging Western and Chinese forms to push calligraphy in a new direction.

“The lines in calligraphy need to have life in them”, Dangling says in the video. “They need to have an aesthetic feeling. They need to have a kind of magical energy endowed by nature.”

Watch the full behind the scenes clip below:

Dirty car artist leaves masterpieces in the dust

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One person's dirty car window is Scott Wade's canvass. Wade found a museum mashup - Mona Lisa and Starry Night - on this dirty window. Photo courtesy of Scott Wade
One person's dirty car window is Scott Wade's canvas. Wade created a museum mashup -- The Mona Lisa and Starry Night -- on this grimy glass. Photo courtesy Scott Wade

He is an Eagle Scout, a versatile bar-band drummer and a senior GUI designer for a company that creates mobile apps for the health care industry.

But Scott Wade is famous for drawing dirty pictures.

It’s not the content that raises eyebrows but the canvas on which Wade creates. Present him with a dirty car and see why some call him the “da Vinci of Dust.”

Who hasn’t walked by a car coated in dirt and used their finger to scrawl the message, “Wash me”? Wade, inspired by the dirt roads of his home state of Texas, uses a car’s dirty window as an opportunity to create elaborate landscapes, detailed portraiture with subtle shading and re-imagined classic works like The Mona Lisa or Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

One man’s progress bar is another man’s artistic expression

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This indecision's buggin' me... Photo: Viktor Hertz
This indecision's buggin' me... Photo: Viktor Hertz

That other man being, in this case, freelance graphic designer Viktor Hertz, who spends some of his time making fun little art pieces out of Macintosh progress bars.

He calls this project his “work in progress bars,” and you can see his whole collection on his main page, as well as some of his other illustration work over on Behance. Continue below to see a few more tasty treats from Hertz, who calls it “a quick and silly little side-project of mine.”

This painter sees the world through 8-bit glasses

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"R2-D2" by Adam Lister
R2-D2 is just one of Adam Lister's 8-bit-inspired pop culture artworks.

Remember being lost in the 8-bit world of Atari and Nintendo? When Adam Lister was a boy, he couldn’t spend enough time in his basement playing Pong, Space Invaders or Donkey Kong.

Games and graphics, of course, evolved, and the chiptune music of those game consoles went silent long ago. But the graphic language where characters are a rough collection of cubes and rectangles still speaks to Lister.

It is the lens through which he views art history and pop culture in a series of more than 250 watercolor paintings he created over a three-year period.