Chinese culture has always showcased a strong cultural legacy in the graphic arts, producing some of the world’s most talented artists and juxtaposing the ancient traditions with cutting edge concepts. Shanghai-based illustrator Shan Jiang lives and breathes these very ideologies through his creations which portray a strong sense of the contemporary against the rigid structure of traditional Asian techniques.
His work clearly illustrates the contradiction between rooting himself deeply in the often delicate and sensitive lines of beautifully detailed images in contrast with the strong basic abstract and somewhat surreal qualities of stylized modern graphics. His inspiration is often comprised of the environment that surrounds him – the evolution of a society that is two-sided, a world inhabited by skyscrapers and bungalows, ancient superstitions, expanding subcultures and communist dogma.
Currently Shan Jiang works for ILoveDust, based out of South England (from his home in Beijing), and has started up his own company, Bad Image. His extensive client list includes corporate giants such as Miller Beer, Starbucks, Nike, Levi’s, Coca Cola, and many others, but he’s very versatile and also likes to dabble in independent projects such as children’s books.
See more of Shan Jiang’s work on his beautiful website.
While morning television usually spells the antithesis of inspiration in my world, I was greeted this morning with an unremarkable fluff piece on hand-painted shoes. The artist they had on the show was less than interesting, and once I visited her Etsy site, I was doubly unimpressed, but it triggered a thought – how many other people are out there designing beautiful one-of-a-kind shoes? This led me to do a little “investimagating”, as I like to call it, into the world of custom shoe design. These are only a few of the multitudes of awesome designs and artwork (in no particular order), that’s currently out there (and it barely scratches the surface).
Here’s a few sites that also carry impressive custom shoe designs, if this kind of thing tickles your fancy:
Studio Jellyfish Shoes
Punk Your Chucks
Mallory Musante Shoes
This is by no means an exhaustive list, so feel free to let me know if you come across any other good sources!
I’m not usually a fan of Nike products, being that they’re an evil corporation and all (yadda yadda), but I can’t resist drooling over these new special edition 420 dunk sneaks, released just in time for the Stoner’s Holiday. Todd Bratrud is the creative genius behind these well-coordinated kicks, as well as the skate company the High5. The Cheech and Chong SB features two different sneakers, each incorporating the essence of the characters from their appearance in Up In Smoke - Cheech’s trademark red beanie and Chong’s characteristic red bandana. They also include a tear away canvas that reveals green suede underneath.
These sneakers are guaranteed to be tough to find in stores today though – they’re limited to only 1000, so the best thing to do is to find out where they are selling closest to you via the 420 Forum Thread. Happy trails!
At the young age of 23, designer/illustrator Gianluca Fallone has been busily filling his portfolio with an incredible body of work, and has successfully landed commissions with big names like Nike, MTV, Daft Punk, and the Cartoon Network. He originally hails from Argentina but currently resides in London, and has primarily been inspired by Japanese cartoons and animation – no wonder everyone from all four corners of the earth are clamouring for his awesome electric designs.
Check out more of his stuff here.