Monday, November 7, 2022

Omnia vincit amor

Ilsee, Princess de Tripoli illustration by Alphonse Mucha

It is with a heavy heart that I'm going to be retiring from this blog. I started it on Tumblr way back in 2012 not knowing what it would expand into. It was a great outlet to help me with depression and going to college. I made it my mission to find some of the most beautiful objects and buildings that people made and collect them all in one place. I think I was mostly successful with that mission.

Right now I haven't had the time nor energy to devote to scouring the web for these beautiful things. I think I'm starting to recover from my lifelong depression and am taking a more active approach in my life.

I will always love Art Nouveau I think, and sharing these wonderful works of art and craftsmanship inspired a lot of people. My favorite part of blogging was discovering talented artists of today who had not yet found their audience and promoting them on the blog. 

Right now my interests have changed and I am deeply, deeply interested in the field of natural building. One of my dreams is to build an "earthbag" home in the style of Art Nouveau. I think, to hand sculpt a house would be amazing. Environmentally friendly/alternative buildings (like cob homes, strawbale, hempcrete etc.) are a fantastic opportunity right now since so many people are struggling to afford a traditional home. Earthbag homes are inexpensive, they do not take an expert to make (you can learn how to build), and are very durable.

My life has gone from seeking & surrounding myself with inspiration to wanting to create fantastic stuff in the flesh. There is so much darkness in the world and society at the moment, but people need to realize that that's not all there is, that's just what is being presented. There is so much beauty, wonder and amazing phenomena out there in the world. There are wonderful people, kind deeds being realized every day and so much out there that is worth saving and loving.

I think, as things progress into the future, the world will get more complicated and will do so quickly. With so many things happening it is going to take a lot of adaptation and altering personal mindsets for humans to be successful in the future. The world is going to reach 8 BILLION people soon! We need to wake up to the fact that we are all connected to each other, that this planet needs protecting, and that we are not the only species in the world. We all need each other.

I tend to believe in the best of people. I love seeing the depths of potential (realized by artists and others) and to see wonderful things expressed and come into being.

We can all be a part of making the world a safer, kinder and more beautiful place. There's so many possibilities and opportunities to create and participate in the world you would want to be in.

I know this all might sound hokey but humans have a great capacity to create amazing things. Find those people or objects that give you inspiration and let them saturate your life. Be inspired and try not to give into the darkness or sadness that comes with life sometimes.

I have given ten years of my life to this blog and I am so glad it brought beauty and joy to others from around the world.

I am not anticipating coming back, but if anyone wants to follow me I will be on Pinterest. My new account username is "snowsandsugar".

Feel free to browse the archives of the tumblr and facebook of Art Nouveau Style. There is ten years worth of dedicated curating on there ;-) I have truly loved the comments, the questions and the compliments over the years. 

Thank you for coming on this journey with me. I hope each reader finds a beautiful dream to realize and believe in, and discovers that love is truly a great force and it is up to every one of us to make the world we want to exist in!


Saturday, December 25, 2021

Yoshitaka Amano

Hello readers! Long time no see!

I've been wondering lately on what topics I should cover but have found one which is pretty cool.

I have been sifting through old pictures I saved on my computer (from over 10 years ago!) and came across some amazing paintings. These are paintings by Japanese artist Yoshitaka Amano.

Yoshitaka Amano is best known for his concept artwork/designs for the roleplaying video game 'Final Fantasy', although he has also worked on other notable productions.

Amano was born on March 26, 1952 in Shizuoka, Japan. In his early artistic career (1960's-70's) he worked on animes like 'Speed Racer' and 'Gatchaman' while being influenced by the art of traditional Western-style comic books. As time went on he was hired to design and paint fantasy and science fiction artworks.

During the late 80's to mid 90's Amano was a concept & character designer for the popular Final Fantasy video games (The Final Fantasy series, according to Wikipedia, is one of the best selling video game series of all time). Not only did he work on all of the logos, but he also designed the main characters and enemies for many of the games.

What made Amano's work stand out from other artists of the time was that his style incorporated Art Nouveau and elements of Fantasy art. Amano's lines are delicate, with colors of gold amid muted and soft tones. His female portraits show elaborate jewelry and ornamentation, almost as if they are princesses...and the men resemble knights, with fantastical armor and weaponry. You can tell Amano takes a slight inspiration and nod to Gustav Klimt with the gold accents in his art and a tribute to the Art Nouveau genre with the costumes and outfits he designs.

His personal style was in contrast to the big-eyed cartoon style of the time. Instead of drawing large shiny pupils, the eyes of his subjects come across as demure and soft, some of the figures looking as if they had just woken up from a long sleep.

 In addition to working on video games and animation, Amano also collaborated with famed writer Neil Gaiman on one of his Sandman comic book series. The collaboration earned him several awards and a nomination for the Science Fiction/Fantasy Hugo award.

Amano has produced many art books which collect his designs and paintings. These books span a period of over 20 years of his art and are a window into the brilliant work of a very talented man.

I hope you all will enjoy these pictures, as much as I have re-discovering them!

All images are (c) to Yoshitaka Amano/Respectful owners

Friday, August 2, 2019

Enchanted Living: Art Nouveau issue

Several months ago I happened to learn that Enchanted Living Magazine (formerly Faerie Magazine) was in the process of making an Art Nouveau issue for Summer. I knew of the magazine since I was a teenager and I was intrigued to see the magazine's take on the subject of Art Nouveau. I have to say, after receiving it in the mail, that it is a lovely piece that features some of the most talented AN artists of today and covers topics relating to that era.

Inside this summer issue are multiple articles coupled with lovely and gorgeous photographs, capturing the true essence of Art Nouveau. It feels almost like you are looking at a real life Mucha painting on the pages and the breadth of talent is remarkable. I especially loved the showcases on fashion and jewelry design - not to mention the traditional art and photographs as well.

Among the artists/companies I recognized were: Kelly Morgen, Yoann Lossel, Matt Hughes, Stephanie Young and Firefly Path. I feel a sense of happiness in knowing that I reblogged some of their creations way back a few years ago on Tumblr. I'm so happy to see them gain some extra recognition for their abilities. Truly talented people! (and if you want to see my interview with Kelly Morgen, click here!)

I was also pleased to see the issue discuss novel ideas like Solarpunk and the inspirations of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Overall it was an excellent issue and was a treat to see in the mail. It felt like my birthday present had arrived early! Everything was so beautiful, professional and well put together. I highly recommend ordering this issue if you love Art Nouveau.

You can order the issue here if you like.

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