The simple patent drawing was once a work of art

A flying machine from the 1860s drawn with shading, colors and detail not seen in today's patent illustrations.
A flying machine from the 1860s drawn with shading, colors and detail not seen in today's patent illustrations.
Photo: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

The illustration that accompanies a patent application is a first glimpse inside the head of the inventor. Finally, an idea becomes a possibility, and even if an invention later proves to be impractical or an outright failure, the drawing serves as a tangible record of humanity’s quest to solve problems and move forward.
 
But the modern day patent sketches are stark chicken scratches compared to the intricately detailed, da Vinciesque artworks that once accompanied applications to the United States Patent & Trade Office, which first opened in 1790.

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.

These brilliant gaming posters are worth framing

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FULLSCREEN

Zelda Sword

"The sword was one of my first, I've always loved The Legend of Zelda and the detail in the Master Sword, so I wanted to make something simple and different."

Altair

"Assassin's Creed was always in the back of my mind to make because I've followed it from the beginning, I wanted to make a piece that didn't show a face so it could essentially be a nameless assassin."

Vergil

"The original Devil May Cry was a pain in the butt for me, I wasn't very good at it, so I finally got around to playing the remake which got a lot of hate for the redesign but I absolutely loved the look and story, so I wanted to make accompanying pieces."

Dante

"The original Devil May Cry was a pain in the butt for me, I wasn't very good at it, so I finally got around to playing the remake which got a lot of hate for the redesign but I absolutely loved the look and story, so I wanted to make accompanying pieces."

Sirens

"I have played many hours of Borderlands with my best friend, he loves the sirens so this was a present to him for Christmas."

Angel

"My friend loved his present so much he asked me to make him one of Angel to complete his siren set."

Claptrap

"Claptrap is a humorous character that everyone loves, I wanted something simple and in your face, kind of like he is."

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Delsin

"I told myself I would wait to get a next gen system, but 5 months later I have a PlayStation 4 (hah). Infamous Second Son looks visually amazing so I am currently working on a piece about that."

Robert Pfaff is a young illustrator living in Michigan. He’s also a hard-core gamer with a love for all things pixellated, so he decided to combine both passions together and create this amazingly evocative set of digital artwork.

We found his work to be compelling, so asked Pfaff to choose his favorites and tell us a little about what they meant to him.

Pfaff is thinking about printing and selling his work on posters; if you’d like to encourage him, be sure to visit his artist page on Adobe’s portfolio site, Behance.

Source: Robert Pfaff

Kinemac: The Gateway To Creating 3D Animation On The Mac [Deals]

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CoM - kinemac_mainframe_630x473

Some of the best viral videos I’ve seen either primarily feature digital animation or use it in some form or another. It’s been a while since I’ve dabbled in moviemaking (although what the Mac offered in that space is what drew me away from Windows initially) but I’ve noticed how the tools are helping good movies become even greater. Sure, story comes first – but if you have the know-how and the right tools in your arsenal, you can really take your film to the next level.

The Mac comes armed with a great tool already in iMovie, but that doesn’t really cover the animation front all too well. Something like Kinemac is what you’l need for that – and Cult of Mac Deals has it available for a limited time for only $49.99.

Sick Of Being A Pirate For Halloween? Try Steve Jobs On For Size

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steve jobs mask

This might be the ultimate nightmare Halloween mask in Redmond, Wa. Regular Cult visitors will no doubt have seen it alongside ads for CultofMac Editor Leander Kahney’s book, Inside Steve’s Brain. The illustration was crafted by graphic designer Dan Draper, who also rendered the uncannily close image of the new MacBook Air for our scoop on the MBA’s details.

A life-size image suitable for plastering over an actual face can be found at Draper’s flickr page. Heads up! Trick or iPod Shuffle!