Today’s technology is sophisticated enough to make game design a legit art form. Designer Sandro Tatinashvili mostly design game backgrounds, but they decided to take a break and create these ambient animations of mini scenes. Together, each scene looks like it could be a part of a larger story, either a short animation or a video game, but that’s what’s most appealing about it, the suggestion of something larger. But ultimately, these are just a couple of beautiful looking gifs. And you can’t argue with that.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016||No Comments »|
Typically the words “tiny dancer” makes us think of Elton John’s popular song of the same name. But illustrator Charlotte Smith took the literal approach with her series Tiny Dancers, which feature, you guessed it, gifs of tiny dancers. With her simple drawing style, she highlights famous dance scenes, like Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” side-step or Billy Elliot‘s cathartic leaps. But probably our favorite thing about it is how she uses simplicity to illustrate how easily we remember certain pop culture landmarks. Now excuse us. We’re gonna go watch Moonrise Kingdom again.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016||No Comments »|
Brooklyn-based graphic designer Victoria Spencer, who also goes by Witchoria, has a clever way of expressing heartache. Her ongoing Human Error series merges both old and new motifs, creating an experience that’s unique but oh-so familiar.
Using simple Polaroid photos she conveys the limits of depression, self-loathing, and heartbreak by combining them with Apple error messages. The juxtaposition is striking, merging the cold language of technology with the human experience.
If you’re on Tumblr you’ve probably stumbled across her work on more than one occasion. But what you might not know is that you can view her complete series on her Behance page. She also sells prints on Society6.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Wednesday, January 13th, 2016||No Comments »|
It’s rare for us to describe someone’s work as “dainty,” but that’s the first word that enters our head when looking at Portuguese illustrator Raquel Costa‘s work. Her unique aesthetic, which mixes storybook-style art with classic Victorian-esque literature, is one of the most unique things about her. And although she has several ongoing illustration projects in the works, our favorite is Songbook. The series is a collection of illustrated works inspired by song lyrics. From Aimee Man to the Arctic Moneys, the series takes a literal approach to the lyrics, spinning vibrant illustrations that capture the energy of the song without losing Costa’s visual personality. With only six pieces in the series so far–and with “work in progress” plastered across Costa’s site–here’s hoping more illustrations will be added in the future.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Monday, January 4th, 2016||No Comments »|
Dragons are pretty passé in the fantasy genre, definitely reaching its death knell after that horrendous Eragon movie, but Jack Campbell’s new series, The Pillars of Reality, is definitely turning the tide. Originally released as an Audible exclusive, The Dragons of Dorcastle introduces a world inhabited by two powerful guilds, Mages and Mechanics, and the struggle between its two most promising proteges, Alain and Mari.
I expected to find this story trite and its YA heroes to be cardboard cutouts of angst, but I was seriously hooked on the world and character building Campbell managed. It’s a heavily character driven story where the audience is introduced to the age old conflict between these two guilds through the principle characters and their struggles with each other. Is The Dragons of Dorcastle and the eventual romance between Alain and Mari kind of tropey? Yes. But it does those tropes justice, nailing the whole damaged character angle and slowly developing its forbidden romance. When tropes are done right and the pacing of the story is good, it makes a fun an entertaining read from start to finish.
|Recommended by J. Harbinger||Tuesday, June 30th, 2015||No Comments »|
I got introduced to Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series when I was 13, at a time when I was awkwardly making a literary transition from Harry Potter and Redwall to The Catcher in the Rye and Anthem. I zoomed through the series, not even taking a breath or, god-forbid, sleeping after finishing one installment and starting the next. It was my first exposure to steampunk, and I loved the descriptions of alternate Earth’s Oxford, the concept of dæmons, and the devastatingly high-stakes adventures of the two young protagonists. However, I never returned to the series. I reread most of my books, following the familiar paths of The Fellowship of the Ring or revisiting the absurdist jokes in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but I’ve never got back around to His Dark Materials until I got into Audible.
Now everyone can enjoy The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass with a full-cast voicing each character and Pullman himself narrating with his clipped but soft Oxbridge English accent. The unabridged reading is performed in a way that really brings back all the wonder and magic of when I first read the series a little over a decade ago and should be one of the first titles added into anyone’s Audible library.
|Recommended by J. Harbinger||Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015||No Comments »|
Rick Riordan did a great job reinvigorating the Greek mythos with his Percy Jackson series, but for those of us who have outgrown preteen protagonists battling monsters, the Orphans of Chaos trilogy offers a wider mythology and grittier story.
Victor, Amelia, Vanity, Colin, and Quentin are five orphans locked up in a bizarre boarding school where the strangest thing they’ve encountered thus far is themselves. They have abilities, sight, dreams, and powerful enemies lurking just beyond, a part of a celestial struggle they are merely victims of.
|Recommended by J. Harbinger||Friday, April 17th, 2015||No Comments »|