I am Eric Carl, currently employed at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Los Angeles as a web designer and instructor.

On this blog I will reveal all that I know and love about art, design and the creative process.

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Large versions available on my Flickr page.


Shannon Keller

Shannon Keller is a fine artist and illustrator that I have the pleasure of working with over at Gnomon. I just recently finished helping her out with her website and in return she drew this excellent portrait of me. I think it treads a strange line between tongue-in-cheek and grotesque. I like it.


Frank Chimero on Visual Consumption and the Designer’s Ego

I generally try to avoid regurgitating content from other blogs around here, but I thought this little morsel of insight was too nice not to try and share with a few other people. Frank Chimero has this to say from a recent interview he did:

Showing design for design’s sake only tells you that a thing exists and describes how it looks, not why it exists. To consume that way is to live on a very cursory level, and I think that leaves us wanting.

Frank is in a way referring to sites like Ffffound or other curated art and design blogs that frequently post nice work devoid of context. He’s spot on here. I actually rarely visit Ffffound because I find that not only does it present work in a vaccum, but it keeps me a little too aware of what’s in right now. I’d much rather be a little naive and produce work that appeals to me personally that get too concerned with what the current hot topic is.

He also has this to say:

“Oh, design is about everything but design, so all this other stuff. Design exists for food and culture and linguistics and dog walkers and the city and agile programming methods and the federal deficit and the Hubble telescope.” Life is much happier once you see design as a cultural vessel, and realize it’s more productive and more nourishing to focus on the culture than the vessel. It’s a great lesson in humility. Forget that designer’s ego stuff: we’re servants.

What more can you say? Thanks Frank. I’m guilty of the designers’ ego as much as anyone else and stuff like this is a refreshing dose of reality.

Make sure you follow Frank’s blog for more of his thoughts and check out his great illustrations while you’re at it.


Fantastic Planet

I’ve uploaded a set of still frames to my Flickr account from the 1973 French animated film Fantastic Planet. The film is directed by René Laloux, who also later directed 1982’s Time Masters, which I posted about previously.

The film is a roughly animated and richly illustrated surreal journey that I found to be a real treat. Not to mention it has a great, eerily melancholy soundtrack that is best described by this reviewer on Amazon:

“Made in the 1973, it is heavily orchestrated, extended abstract funk. Electric harpsichords and wha wha guitars rule the landscape. There are tempo changes and dynamic shifts galore: the music can be creepy one minute, funky the next, then lilting. This album is a study in how to make an album packed with sounds, but with a consistent thread, created by the texture of the instruments.”

Check out the trailer on YouTube for a brief glimpse at the film and a sampling of the music.


Epic Collection of Vintage Fumetti and Paperback Scans on Flickr

Curt Purcell of the excellent Groovy Age of Horror blog has put together a Flickr account to share scans from his epic collection of sleazy, vintage Italian comics and horror books. I am eternally grateful to Curt for introducing me to the existence of these delightfully kitschy and inappropriate comics and paperbacks!

I am only posting 4 select images above because I really want to you to visit his Flickr account to see the rest. Here’s to hoping he has even more to post in the future!

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Cognosco Art Show at Gnomon Gallery This Saturday

I really should have mentioned this earlier but I just wanted to plug what is going to be a totally cool art opening tomorrow night! Cognosco will be a collection of personal work by artists from a certain major video game developer. We aren’t really allowed to share the name but I’ll bet you can figure it out for yourself. See you there!

Gnomon Gallery
Saturday, August 8th 2009
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm

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Sketch Theatre

Sketch Theatre is a fancy website where you can watch a variety of talented artists draw super cool pictures!

I had the pleasure of helping do a complete redesign of the site, which just went live today. In a mad rush to get it finished for Comic-Con (visit Sketch Theatre at Booth #5363!) we managed to finish the whole thing in about 2 and a half weeks. Building on top of the existing On Demand WordPress theme (from Press75) sped things up significantly. It’s still a little rough around the edges in some regards, but we’ll continue to tighten it up over time.

Make sure you check out a few of my favorite sketches by Kali Fontecchio, Axel 13, and David Levy.


A Journey Round My Skull

I just ran across the Flickr account, blog and Twitter feed of A Journey Round my Skull. He describes his epic collection of vintage book scans with these words:

Unhealthy book fetishism from a reader, collector, and amateur historian of forgotten literature.

So basically he posts tons of uniquely amazing images that you would surely be a fool to not keep up with! The four images above are all from a series of posts on Biology Today, a 1972 biology textbook.


Arbito’s Resin Figures

Arbito continues to blow minds across the universe with hs recent resin sculpted figures. Totally rad! Check out more at his blog and Flickr account.

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French Robots

Update: Fred Blanchard in the comments has informed me that these are most likely inspired by the work of Roman Cieslewicz. The artist for the first image is Jean-Luc Moreau.

These two images are lucky finds while browsing through the March 1982 issue of Omni Magazine. I’m in love with them.

The article unfortunately provided no credits to the artist, only mentioning that they were student work created at a French institution, part of an assignment for graphic design students to reimagine robots in a unique way. Let me know if have info about the artist!

As usual, super-big versions are available on my Flickr account. I’d like to note that my Flickr account just recently hit 2 million views. Totally rad! I love Flickr.