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One of my favourite mediums in art is the simplicity of pen and ink and the limitless creativity that they can unleash. Hailing from Toronto, Ben Tour’s gorgeous pen and ink illustrations are a perfect example of how one can manipulate these simple tools in order to create emotion in truly dramatic pieces of art. His paintings and illustrations have been featured in such popular publications such as Playboy, Colour, and Juxtapoz and has also showcased his incredible talent in galleries across Canada and the U.S. – and lest I forget that he’s indulged big name clients like Absolut, Burton, Nike Snowboarding, BMW and Lifetime Collective with his amazing work. Currently residing in Vancouver, he’s come a long way from his humble beginnings as a Sheridan College student and continues to produce stunning work. He’s got a real Ralph Steadman kind of quality. Some of my favourite stuff comes from his sketchbooks – what I wouldn’t do to rifle through some of those over a cup of coffee!

To find out more about Ben Tour, check out his website.

Belgian artist Philip Bosmans’ sketchbook must be an awesome sight to behold – apparently he doesn’t go too far without it, since all of his ideas, inspiration and ideas get crammed into it to avoid them slipping off into oblivion. I wouldn’t mind taking a peek some day.

Bosmans is also known on the streets as “amatic”. He was classically trained as a graphic designer but he’s a self-taught painter and graf artist with a real penchant for the surrealistic qualities of fantasy worlds beyond our own. From his sketchbooks springs forth a bountiful array of organic shapes and colours, strange distorted characters and twisted subject matter. It is not only an escape from the real world, it is an in-depth look at the spectrum of human emotion that is characterized in a dream-like state. I love the way he juxtaposes moods such as overlapping happiness with grief.

He’s also great with digital art as he is on canvas or concrete, constructing seemingly endless numbers of logotypes, and has won numerous awards, most notably the uber-prestigious Macworld UK Digital Artist of the Year Award 2011 for his work entitled “Origins of the Species”.

Currently, Bosmans is being represented by the ARTISHOX Art Agency. Check out his website, and his blog.

World Piecebook

Although it was released in June 2011, this book is still worth getting excited about if you’re a fan of graffiti. Following on the coattails of The Secret Drawings of Graffiti Writers and Piecebook Reloaded: Rare Graffiti Drawings, this volume celebrates the graf artist’s most prized gear: the blackbook. These private drawings hail from around the globe, featuring the art of well-known writers like Casino, Atome and Demote (Australia), Rens, Bates, and Swet (Denmark), Bacon, Zek and Virus (Canada), Zombie, Drax and Oker (England), Rio and Nami (Brazil), Nezm, Sniper and Shiro (Japan), Ders and Dare (Switzerland), Lunar & Dock (Croatia), Resm and Kas (Belgium), Blend, Rek and Ske (Puerto Rico), and many more.

Sacha Jenkins and David Villorente (Chino.A), the masterminds behind this work, are both veterans in the genre, and have many years of collective experience in the international graffiti scene between the both of them, and are sure not to disappoint. Buy it on Amazon or check it out at your local graffiti shop.

For more books on graffiti and street art, check out the shop at Bombing Science.

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