Tools of the Trade: 8 Creators and the Pens, Pencils and Markers They Love

Being creative doesn’t take any specific tool, but after years of work and exploration we all develop our favorites. Maybe the ink from that pen flows just right or makes the perfect tiny dots. Maybe that marker has the color with the most punch. You know what’s best and so do these artists using pens, pencils or markers. We rounded up 8 from past features to learn which tool they like to keep close, and what kind of work they’ve used them for.

Need Color Inspiration? Take Some Tips from Beyoncé

Inspiration is EVERYWHERE. If you need more convincing, just take a look at the entrancing little blog Beyoncé Palettes. Here the singer’s many, many photographs are used as the source for inspired color palettes which harmonize with Queen Bey herself. Whether you’re painting the kid’s room, designing an event website, or searching for a look to set your latest poster apart, this creative exercise is a great example for any designer.

The Art of Saving a Life: Gates Foundation Uses Paper Crafts to Raise Vaccine Awareness

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is on a global mission to save children from life-threatening disease, and their raising awareness using art. Commissioning works from more than 30 world-renowned photographers, painters, sculptors, writers, filmmakers, and musicians, they are telling stories about how vaccines continue to change the course of history. They’re not-so-small goal? Reach all the world’s children by 2020.

These Two Visualizations Will Truly Make You Appreciate Musical Skill

Listening to a concert is one thing, seeing it is another, and this is something different all together. These two videos are the work of Stephen Malinowski, and his Music Animation Machine, or MAM. Using it, he’s distilled complex classical music pieces into colorful visualizations that help us to distinguish between the many instruments, and complex timings involved in performing them. It’s one more way to appreciate these masterworks.

Sydney Opera House is Transformed into a Fantastic Cartoon Animation

The Sydney Opera House is an impressive piece of world architecture, but for the past week it’s been an even greater spectacle. Universal Everything (previously), in collaboration with over 20 different animation studios worldwide, have created a living mural on the side of the iconic structure. I saw it in person last night, and it’s truly magical.

Charming Animated Illustrations from Japanese Artist Maori Sakai

Japanese illustrator Maori Sakai has been drawing charming scenes of those special moments in everyday life, then animating them with a lively happiness that’s simply infectious. Many of her drawings have positive messages that flash through their moving scenes and remind us to focus on the simple and good things in life. “Happiness is by your side” or “Take it easy”.

Star Wars Portraits Made from 10,000s of Staples

Artist James Haggerty creates mosaics from a very unconventional material: LOTS of staples. His only tools in the process are a regular office stapler and the all important staple puller to correct mistakes. His work transforms the ubiquitous office supply into fine artworks with striking accuracy and realistic shading. For his most recent portraits he’s created works featuring 3 characters from the first Star Wars trilogy: C-3PO, Greedo and two versions of Darth Vader.

Pneumàtic: Tire Sculptures Seem to Dissolve Into the Sidewalk

Artists Octavi Serra, Iago Buceta, and Mateu Targa have collaborated on a series of sculptures featuring salvaged car tires that seem to disappear into walls and sidewalks. The trio of artists have made works that play with our mind and our understanding that tires are hugely tough. It makes it almost impossible to comprehend that these aren’t actually sinking into the concrete or brickwork on the streets they inhabit.

In fact, to create each piece, the artists used grinding tools to slice the tire, then placed it back in its natural urban environment to amuse.

HOT TEA Invites You to Swim Surrounded by Fields of Color

Minnesota-based street artist HOT TEA has a thing for rainbows. When we last covered his work, he’d yarn bombed the walkway on New York’s Williamsburg Bridge. Now he’s been tasked with bringing new life to the swimming pool on Roosevelt Island, but instead of using his normal yarn, he’s (thankfully) transformed the space with incredibly bright gradients of paint. 120 gallons to be exact.

A Gigantic 3D-Printed Zoetrope Based on Ruben’s Gruesome Painting, ‘Massacre of the Innocents’

British artist Mat Collishaw (previously) has built a huge 3D-printed zeotrope called All Things Fall. The highly detailed circular sculpture is populated by 350 different figures, environmental elements and architectural pieces which animate when the carousel is spun in front of a synchronised strobe light. In motion, a shockingly grisly scene is revealed.