medium /// digital

lily padula

Imagine having such elaborate, fantastical daydreams that you’d rather spend your life lost in your imagination than living in reality. Enter “maladaptive daydreaming”, a psychiatric condition, and the topic of this lovely animation created by Brooklyn based artist/illustrator Lily Padula for an episode of NPR’s Invisibilia {Invisibilia is one of my favorite podcasts, so when I saw this piece from Lily in my submissions inbox, well, I jumped at the chance to write about it!} The episode/piece is titled, “When Daydreaming Gets In The Way Of Real Life”, and voila, here it is. Enjoy…

Beautiful and sad and wonderful.

“a gift”

Oh, yes! Greece-born, California-based artist Eugenia Loli is on the podcast! I have adored her work for so long and now that I know her story, I’m even more impressed. She went to school for computer science and worked in tech, specializing in backend databases, for years… ah, just like so many other artists… or not. She is completely self-taught and didn’t even start making art until 2011. WHAT!? I had no idea. I also had no idea what led to this major life change, although I had read here and there that an illness was involved. Well, Eugenia and I are covering that and so much more. Have a listen right under “Rising Mountain”, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First, a few of Eugenia’s collages that I’m sure you’ll recognize:

Yes, yes, yes I love them all. And ok, I’ve written about all of them too. One of the things Eugenia often features in her collages … outer space. I loved her explanation for why and so, of course, I’ve included a few of my favorites here:

That mouth. LOVE.

Now, Eugenia mentioned this piece a couple of times. It’s an important one if you want to understand this artist. “Three Minutes to Nirvana”:

And as she mentioned, she has an in-depth description of this piece so that you can understand where she’s coming from in one fell swoop:

“The structure represents all that we can comprehend while in our human form. It’s also what keeps us within boundaries, limiting our existence, experience and understanding. 

The bottom level is about developing, learning, and trying out various routes. In the process, and among progress, there’s also war and misery (as evident by the fire in the background). The cube in the field is the teaser of the ultimate prize, placed in by the people on the top level (the “Ascended”).

The second level is about expanding our horizons further, making the leap towards an enlightened state. Notice the woman in black, ready to make the leap. The man in the staircase, calls her, trying to keep her back, but it’s too late. She has superseded him. She is intrigued by the possibilities. The man also signifies the various forces that will try to keep humanity back on its journey. Notice that the observable universe is also within the boundaries of the structure.

Two humans are attempting to reach the third level. One is climbing the old fashioned way, and the other one is using (transhuman) technology to get there — both choices are acceptable. At the end of their journey, they won’t be “humans” anymore anyway.
Notice the trophy award in the middle of the third level, right below the angels painting. These two people think that this is the ultimate prize. But that’s just a trap. The third level is the most difficult level towards reaching ascendance, because humans will have to leave behind all their vices, delusions, and personal limitations. Most never manage to do that. Their only enemy in this level is themselves. Notice the human skull, hidden by the flying spaghetti monster-like flower.

At the very top, the Ascended people are waiting for more people to make it to the top. In the whole artwork, they are the only element depicted outside of the structure, able to see the bigger picture. They’re beyond time and space. Notice the planet above their heads, alluding that there may be more levels. Knowledge and wisdom have no limits. There’s always something more to explore, know and live.” ~ Eugenia Loli

Beautiful and surreal!

That piece is one of her most important / favorite personal pieces. I asked her to send me a link to her other personal favorites, the more abstract pieces that don’t seem to sell as well. What? That is crazy to me… just look at these beauties:

That hair, oh my goodness, I love that hair so much.

And finally, here is Eugenia looking particularly cool… drop some outer space into those circular glasses and she’d have a ‘Eugenia Loli artwork’ on her hands. The towel and tote photo is from her Instagram feed … her collages turned into objects, and used at the beach on her last trip home to Greece:

So fun! Thanks to Eugenia for telling me all of her stories … so insightful, honest, and genuine; thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode; and thank you for listening. There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Eugenia’s blog posts re: creating/selling your collage work
  2. Eugenia’s Online Shop (prints, bags, pillows, towels and more!)
  3. Eugenia on Instagram
  4. David Delruelle, collage artist


isabelle menin

Magical, fairytale, flora-filled dreamscapes by Brussels based photographer Isabelle Menin. Yes, photographer. I totally thought these were collages or insane paintings when I first saw them, but no, they’re manipulated photographs. Here is a chunk of Isabelle’s bio to give a bit of background:

After graduating from the Graphic Research School (ERG) in Brussels, she has explored painting for 10 years while working in graphic design and illustration. Nature has always been a recurring theme for the artist, particularly flora. After exhibiting several times in Belgium, Isabelle Menin decided to abandon painting to turn to digital photography. Taking pictures, scanning pieces of nature, the artist constantly plays with textures and colours, transforming them, mixing them, in order to give shape to a fictional nature, dense and flamboyant at the same time.

There’s also a really interesting interview on her site that goes into deep detail about how/why she does what she does.

{Some of her work is currently hanging in a group show, titled “Garden on Orchard”, at Muriel Guepin Gallery in New York – Opening Reception July 12, 6-8pm – show runs until August 19}

anne bentley

If I told you these were casting storyboards for the next Wes Anderson film, I bet you’d believe me… ok, they’re not, but they should be! These pieces are all from the “people” section in the portfolio of Boston based artist/illustrator Anne Bentley. She uses traditional painting and drawing with digital techniques, resulting in a slew of characters that I’d love to meet … or at least eavesdrop on at a cafe. Happy weekend! {Found via Thrive Art Studio’s Instagram}

ps. If you happen to be in Toronto this weekend, come to the opening of my latest show, “That Night In Toronto”, 4-7pm at Mayberry Fine Art, across from the AGO.

laura hendricks

I want to go there. But I can’t. None of us can. Nope, American artist (Utah based) Laura Hendricks photographs all sorts of lovely locations, and then combines them, creating dreamy collaged together places that don’t exist anywhere else except her portfolio. Here’s why she does what she does…


Well, consider me reminded! Love.

hsiao-ron cheng


Seriously, every time I drop by her portfolio site, Taipei based artist/illustrator Hsiao-Ron Cheng has more fabulous pieces! Her portraits are my favorite… can you tell? Sigh. Elegant and dreamy.

braeden cox


Annnnnd, exhale. There is something very calming about this work. All of these pieces are by Portland based artist Braeden Cox, from her series titled “Other Worlds“. Sigh. Yep, these all look like really nice other worlds to be in right this very minute. Here’s to a quiet, peaceful weekend.

reine paradis


Storyboards for a beautiful, and slightly insane, movie? They very well could be! This series, titled “Jungle”, is the surreal, vibrant, and beautifully composed work of LA based French artist Reine Paradis:

“Each scene is imagined and pre conceptualized before shooting in real locations. All the objects are meticulously designed and placed within the scene, along with Paradis herself as the central figure.”

Aha! I wondered how she got that lady in red to do all of those crazy things. Hm, I wonder what’s going to happen in the sequel.

frances berry


It’s very rare for me to write about digital work, but boy oh boy, I do love the way this lady stretches a pixel! I wrote about American artist Frances Berry in 2013. I just discovered her most recent series, titled “Lines We Live By”, and had to write a new post immediately! Everyday vintage scenes in candy colored goodness stretched with modern techniques. Loooooove.

kyra schmidt


Ah, dreamy. This series, titled “Transcriptions”, is the work of American photographer Kyra Schmidt. I would love to be wandering through the forest, and turn a corner to find pink, nude, and lavender screens floating magically in the air. Ok, that will probably never happen, so I’ll just breathe deeply and look at these pieces. Here are Kyra’s words about this project:

“I collaborate with each environment using sun, rain, and other natural elements to produce views that are outside of our perception, only made visual through camera-less photographic recording processes. These prints are then superimposed with images of the landscapes within which they were created as a way to ground each piece within its origin. The digital “installations” of analogue processes serves as a way to explore how technology aids us in our navigation of the everyday and affects our physical and psychological perception of the world around us.”

Happy Monday.