Every Friday, I’m compiling a list of five things that meet one criterion. “What is that criterion,” you ask? Well, it’s going to change every week and you’re just going to have to try and keep up.
Five Great Art and Design Blogs You May Not Know About
To appreciate art that wasn’t monumentally famous was once a monumental challenge. Museums can be intimidating and cold and alienating. Galleries may feature unknowns with a unique perspective but the particular style on display may not be for everyone and it may only be there for a few weeks. Plus, exhibitions constantly rotate and you may miss a great one and even if you see something terrific in person, you may not be able to buy any of the art so you’re stuck with memories or pictures or a clipping from a newspaper or magazine.
Basically, you didn’t know where or when to go to see art that you would like and there was no way to memorialize the occasions on which you did stumble upon something that you liked. It was a prickly situation.
Enter: the Internet.
For everyone who just wants to look at art and think about it (and decide whether or not it speaks to them in some way), the Internet and art blogs, in particular, are perfect. A format driven by visuals with minimal textual distraction? That’s how art should be initially experienced — it’s the ideal version of an art gallery! No eerie silences, no cheese spreads, no coffee, no berets; just you at your computer, going at your own pace and not concerned with hiding your reactions. If you don’t want to learn about art history or theory from some stranger standing next to you, you don’t have to learn about it. Art blogs post a picture or two of a certain artist’s body of work, and a link to more. If you see something you like, you investigate it further. If you don’t like it, you keep scrolling. Bang. Next.
So, naturally, the next step is to sift through the countless bookmark-worthy art blogs out there. And who do you turn to, for that sort of legwork? You know exactly who.
Nearly everyday, Erin Loechner scours the web for beauty that inspires, delights, and questions. Whether it’s installations, paintings, or handmade clothing, Design for Mankind is a light, simply assembled blog that absolutely will appeal to everyone, in some way. In addition to exhibiting art of all kinds, Loechner offers up very unique gift-giving guides around the holidays and will give plenty of cool, creative items away to faithful readers. No matter what keeps you coming back, Design For Mankind is a blog that will brighten up your day and inevitably put a little hop in your step.
Whichever creative medium it is you’re searching for, PICDIT has you covered. In addition to primarily displaying the work of photographers, this blog will bombard you with the work of truly talented painters and designers, this site digs deeper via interviews with featured artists and reviews of reader-submitted art magazines. Plus, they’ll send you free stickers. Plainly designed, PICDIT would make a great addition to anyone’s daily Internet routine.
Focusing particularly on graphic design and illustration, Looks Like Good Design is a very sleek blog by Swiss graphic designer Jonas Kamber (a guy who also makes unique iPhone cases) that showcases the best work from all sorts of artists around the world. In addition to the standard options of ‘Share’ and ‘Comment’, every post also contains a ‘vote’ feature so that you can let Kamber and the world know what you consider the most awesome. Oh, and the site is designed so that you never have to click “Previous Posts” or “Next Page”; as you scroll down, the next bunch of posts will automatically load and appear – it seems unimportant but it’s a pretty neat little wrinkle that sets this site apart.
Run by Vancouver artist Jeff Hamada, the tagline for Booooooom! is simple: go out and be creative. And if the site’s startlingly quick ascension to popularity is any indication (the list of blog ‘Friends’ on the right side of the page is almost unbelievable, in its length), people are more than willing to comply. Really, if you have to choose a colorful blog featuring everything from animation to photography that also happens to have seven of the same vowels in the title, this is the one.
A freelance designer based in Los Angeles, Bobby Solomon decided to put all the thoughts that didn’t get the reactions he wanted in real life into a blog. The name “Kitsune Noir” is derived from one Japanese word (Kitsune, meaning “fox”) and one French word (Noir, meaning “black”). A Wes Anderson fan who likes Radiohead and Yo La Tengo, Solomon goes above and beyond the normal art blog, offering organized collections/ongoing endeavors like The Desktop Wallpaper Project and the Kitsune Noir Mixtape/Mixcast (a weekly musical jaunt that always really delivers) that wonderfully integrate the site’s content and style into your life outside of a webpage.