Classic Ink

Tattoos are forever.

Even with laser removal methods today, this is good advice to have in mind before committing to a tattoo. Tattoos have even been found on mummies, thousands of years after they got their ink.

Something that has changed along with those times has been the style of tattoos – understandingly so as the reasons and recipients have changed as well. Different cultures tattoo(ed) for religious or health reasons. Majority of people getting tattoos in the Western world, though, were sailors or those outside of mainstream society – hobos, etc.

These days you’d be hard-pressed to find someone without a tattoo but if you pick two (or even a few) from a crowd, it’s not likely their ink will be in the same style or subject matter.

The old-fashioned or classic tattoo style that was common among early Western tattoos, has taken a modern twist today with some artists. Bold, thick lines and bright colors characterize this style. Tattoo artists still replicate this style of art today, as this tumblr page shows.

Since I’ve been on Instagram more this pas week I’ve found some amazing artists’ accounts. The classic style of tattoo is far from old news I’ve learned recently, as many tattoo artists display this vintage ink.

Paul Dobleman is just one of many tattoo artists on Instagram that have continued a modern version of this classic style.

I hope this has enlightened you on a modern day piece of history and serves as inspiration for your creative endeavors.


Art Around Us

It’s easy to take art for granted; we can walk by or see artwork everyday without thinking twice about how it got there or appreciate the process that created it. Or maybe that’s what makes successful art – it blends in so naturally we admire it but don’t try to investigate its origins.

Either way, I’ve been at Purdue for four years and have only just started looking into the stories behind some of the art pieces I see nearly everyday.

This week I’ve been posting on  Instagram  regularly and my subjects as of recent have been two of the sculptures outside of Pao Hall: Silver Bow and Brickhead Conversations. This has been a great excuse for me to take a deeper look into the creative process and background of these two iconic works.


Silver Bow was crafted by Deborah Butterfield and the process by which she made this and other statues is intriguing to say the least.

She begins by collecting various materials, such as driftwood and spare pieces of metal to fasten together into a (usually horse) form. Butterfield then photographs this piece from as many different angles as necessary to later reassemble it. She uses the driftwood pieces to create castes that are then used to form realistic pieces of bronze wood. Her creation is put back together using these bronze branches and the result is a durable piece of art that, as I said in my Instagram post above, can trick the eye into thinking it’s actually made of wood.

The other artwork I researched outside of Pao is the Brickhead Conversations. James Tyler built these two massive heads for Purdue, but it’s not just the size that make them stand out from other statues.

The reason they’re called the Brickhead Conversations is because as people walk by the statues, a motion detector sets off a recording of nature sounds that emit from the heads. The symphony of insect noises and bird calls were originally recorded in 2008 and a recording of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker has been added to the soundtrack.

I hope this inspires you to learn more about the beauty around you and appreciate different creative processes.


The Art of Injustice

Innocent until proven guilty.

For some, this mantra for our justice system can seem to exclude those that are causing the most damage to our society. Giant corporations get fined for injustices that potentially take hundreds of lives, while other felons are comparably serving life sentences.

Artists Jeff Greenspan and Andrew Tider explore this idea of injustice through their book Captured: People in Prison Drawing People Who Should Be. As the name describes, it’s a collection of portraits by inmates of CEOs, chairmen, etc. of major companies that have committed equally harmful offenses that have not seen justice quite in the same way.

An article by ArtNet looks into the development and creative process behind the book, with commentary from both authors and a thorough description of their work.

Pictured below are two of the pieces featured in Captured. The Koch brothers are ‘charged’ with bribery, supporting terrorism and rigging the system among other dangerous activities. The two remain free and have a net worth of around $80 billion, while the inmate artist of the piece serves 10 years for theft. Regardless of whether you see any injustice in these (and other) comparisons, all of the inmates’ artwork show individual styles and flair and create quite a collection.

It’s also important to note that all the profits from this book go to Bernie Sanders’ campaign, as he’s promised to support the arts and has made corporate responsibility a main part of his electoral race. I’m relaying this purely for the purpose of letting you know where your money would be going, not to endorse any specific presidential candidate, by the way.

Hopefully this has introduced you to a new aspect of the meanings behind some art and inspire you to create!

Purdue Galleries

The art galleries here at Purdue showcase the immense talent on campus as well as around the globe. The slideshow I’ve prepared has images from the Patti and Rusty Rueff Gallery and the Robert L. Ringel Gallery and the current exhibitions at each. Read the captions to learn more.

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5 Instagram Illustrators You Need to be Following

Not literally of course, that would just be creepy. Definitely click follow on their Instagram pages, though.

These five illustrators have unique and masterful artistic styles that are just begging to be noticed. From napkins to finches, they are famous for putting their own spin on the art scene.

  1. @napkinkilla puts everyday cocktail napkins to a new use. More than just doodles, these illustrative portraits are works of art.


2. Finches (as well as other subjects) come to life when @finchfight touches the pen to paper.

View this post on Instagram

It's a cat. It's a bird. A Green Catbird!

A post shared by Abby Diamond (@finchfight) on

3. With a playful imagination, @2dcale’s illustrates things out of a dream.

4. We’ve been taught not to play with our food, but there just might be an exemption in @groehrs case.

5. @guymckinley has a very stylized approach with a pen, one of my favorite on the list.





Go for the Gold

Michael Phelps. Carl Lewis. Gabby Douglas. Olympic champions like these are memorable for their athletic ability, but what if there are other non-athletic areas they excel in as well? How can we recognize that as well?

From 1912-1952, this idea was taken into consideration (to a point) and Olympic medals were given out for fine arts. As long as the work was themed around an athletic endeavor, an artist could medal in the Olympics.

Imagine being able to bring home an Olympic medal for your artwork. I won an award in high school for one of my pieces and I thought that felt pretty impressive. That’s far from being nationally and internationally recognized for artistic talent, though.


The first year for this competition in the modern Olympic games, Walter Winans won a gold medal for his sculpture, An American Trotter (pictured below). He had previously gotten a gold medal in the 1908 Olympics for shooting, making him the first modern Olympic champion in both artistic and athletic competition.

An American Trotter by Walter Winans

During this period, the Olympic games awarded 151 bronze, silver and gold medals to fine art submissions like Winans’. These included various paintings, illustrations and more sculptures.

Interestingly enough, many artists had beef with the fine arts competition of the Olympic games. The competition was started by outsiders of the artistic community and the artists didn’t always agree with the criteria or judgments, which resulted in many artists not entering work in the competition.

Understanding this, and the removal of such competition in the games today, it seems that the Olympics may be better suited in judging athletic excellence. Leaving the art competitions to the art critics and focusing on athletic performance, the Olympics have obviously done the right thing and remained the highest recognition for athletes around the world.


In the spirit of finding inspiration for art or just new artwork to look at, I have created a Pinterest board specifically for this blog to do just that. Check out some of the fun things I have pinned and get those creative juices flowing!

Written on the Walls

Inspiration is written on the walls.

Well, at least it can be. Especially in the case of unurth. Street art from around the world is compiled by two bloggers on this site with the help, of course, of those who send in pictures/information about street art in their area.

If you’re ever at a lull in your creative process, regardless of the medium or subject matter, I recommend visiting unurth’s site. There’s art from not only around the whole world, but in almost every imaginable media. This images, for example, sample the depth of the variety of art that unurth collects.

I learned about in a high school art class, and I’ve intermittently visited it throughout the years, usually when I was looking for new and exciting art. This blog has helped inspire me when I’ve needed it and I hope that it can do the same for you!


Feel the Love

When I came to Purdue, I had no idea what I wanted to do for the rest of my life (does anyone, really). Being introduced to Liberal Arts, though, I realized that it’s less about a title and more about finding what you love.

I “decided” on General Communications as a major, but I have three minors and many interests even beyond those. I love the opportunity this major has given me to explore other interests and the wide array of career paths it has made available.

In light of Valentine’s day and all the other LA students with similar experiences as mine, Purdue is encouraging students to show their love for the college of Liberal Arts this week during Love Liberal Arts. All this week the college has been putting on events like handing out free hot chocolate, t-shirts (pictured below) and buttons (like the one pictured above).

If you haven’t been able to attend any/all of the events for this week (no worries, I’m guilty too), there’s still time to join in the fun. There’s an Alumni Advice Panel tonight and a chance tomorrow to meet and speak with Kristen Dawes, a Liberal Arts alumna who currently works for Tiffany & Co. The instructors for GS 300 are putting on the latter event, and I would highly suggest either attending or registering for this class next semester. The course is titled Liberal Arts Influentials, and it’s a great way to interact and network with LA alumni. I took this class last year and I found it very helpful in finding out ways to connect with companies and begin networking with professionals.

If you want to show you’re love in a different way, say, with social media, Liberal Arts at Purdue also has a Twitter account (@PurdueLibArts) and an Instagram (@purdueliberalarts – click to follow them above).

Tell your story and/or take an awesome picture using #loveliberalarts and help Purdue LA feel the love!

Alzheimer’s in Art

“There are currently over 5 million people living with Alzheimer’s disease in the United States, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.”

Even despite this incredible statistic, Alzheimer’s and dementia tend to be a taboo subject in today’s society. Marilyn Raichle, though, has started a discussion about these life altering conditions in a remarkable way.

In an article by The Seattle Times, she explains how her mother began painting and creating art after getting Alzheimer’s, which helped them connect during a difficult time. Her mother’s art helped her realize that her mother was still there and lessen her fear of the disease. The article covers the art exhibit in the Seattle City Hall recently put on by Raichle’s organization, The Art of Alzheimer’s.

The exhibit showcases over 50 works of art by those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. A topic usually draped in sadness or fear is depicted in a different light through these artworks.

Here are some pieces featured on their website:

Though I haven’t dealt with Alzheimer’s on a personal level, I think it’s a wonderful therapy and method of expression that The Art of Alzheimer’s has made available to the community.

If you feel the urge to support those affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia in our own Lafayette community, you can get involved with the Lafayette chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. There are many opportunities to get involved and similarly help end the stigma that comes with the disease.

Art can bring people together even in times where it seems the division between family members or friends couldn’t be bigger. Raichle has created a forum for those seemingly lost or gone to express themselves and connect with others in a beautiful way.