Artwork: The Tank & the Butterflies

Posted by Sherrie Thai of

Tank & Butterflies T-Shirt by sherrie thai of shaireproductions

This Tank and Butterflies t-shirt illustration was digitally created and is a commentary on society’s ignorance/greed ultimately destroying the fragility of nature’s beauty. However, like all art, it’s open to interpretation. =0)

Artwork: Tribal Eagle

This tribal eagle was created by hand, scanned, then cleaned up on the computer. I rarely use the Wacom tablet for concept art and illustration. For me, the tangibility of drawing on paper far outweighs the coldness of the computer.

Since the Olympics and July 4th are coming up, it’s a fitting time for a self-promotion. After creating the artwork, I thought it would be interesting as a shirt. I’m trying not to create many duplicates of artwork on paper and t-shirts, but this one seems to work well as both.

Artwork: Dual Dragons

I actually created this dragon design a couple years ago for a 18×24 glass etching–to be placed in a gallery. It was a good 100 hours of work. Unfortunately, the glass etching was accidently destroyed by another’s hand. I was glad to have saved the original design, and thought it was time to give the dragons a new life.

This tribal style artwork was created by hand, then scanned, and digitally colored. The top dragon is created in an Eastern/Asian form, while the bottom dragon is done in a Western style. The inspiration of this piece was personal–growing up Chinese-American and being privy to the two cultures. It’s a duality, but never as one.

Music Innovation: The Genie

Musicians like The Genie is what makes art such a source of inspiration. On his Myspace bio, it states that his performances involve “live looping, slide guitar, and beatboxing.” The Genie proves that art in itself is about evolution, growth, and pushing the envelope.

Graffiti’s Gone Mobile!

Voice of the Streets is a interesting site that gives graffiti writers and artists a way to receive feedback on their work anonymously. Because it’s in Beta form, the functionality of the site isn’t really smooth, but the concept is pretty hot. The graff artists could upload their work and receive a unique QR Code (which conveys info like URL, images, phone numbers, etc), all the while uploading their own voice message. If someone recognizes the work, they could leave the artist a voice-mail response to their work.

There aren’t many uploads to this website and it seems to be a global project, so there are language barriers involved. Adding a simple text feedback option could be advantageous to the site so artists could translate the response if it was in a different language or if the voice-mail fails somehow.

Engaging the graffiti artists with their public/fanbase through technology is an interesting one as it provides an open, anonymous channel of communication, while increasing visibility for the artist.

Artwork: Dragon Bodysuit

Here’s a throwback to Asian tattooing styles. The drawing on the right was the initial graphite drawing on vellum; the girl was drawn separately. They were then scanned, cleaned up, collaged, and digitally colored in Photoshop.

I haven’t designed tattoos in a while, so this image has been clawing its way through my head till now. I owe so much to tattooing–as an illustrator (picking up different visual styles) and as a designer (logo work and lettering). It’s also made me realize that everything has potential and can be a source of inspiration. With such a rich history (dating back to paleolithic ages), it’s great to see that tattooing is rising past being a mere fad. The inspiration for my artwork “Dragon Bodysuit” is the Irezumi or Japanese tattoo, and the artist and master tattooist, Horiyoshi III.

Here are some notable artists who’ve created artworks of tattooed women: Richard Chesler, Caroline Young, Luis Royo, and Olivia.

Inspirations: Art & Life

I became inspired today by two very different artists. In Talib Kweli’s “Listen” music video, the urban art of Kofie is incorporated as motion graphics. The video is a few years old, but the artwork is still hip and vibrant. Kofie’s work is very deliberate, yet expressionistic. Hip hop has created a platform for a global youth culture and it’s always fascinating to see different art-forms merge.

Another inspiration was seeing the film “War Photographer” and being exposed to the deeply moving documentary photography of James Nachtwey. He braves the battlefields and streets to capture the human condition and the stories behind them. His photos are morbidly beautiful and intimate–art with a conscience.

Artwork: Ghosts from Khmer Rouge (Heritage Series)

. Art by Sherrie Thai of

This piece was inspired by the stories of my family–of tragedies from the hands of the Khmer Rouge (Pol Pot), military intervention, and refugee camps. Different times beget different circumstances, but overall, history repeats itself. In a general sense, this piece is also a commentary on the atrocities of war, power, and corruption. Because this artwork comes from a very personal space, it holds great sentimental value. My family is ethnically Chinese, but have faced the same atrocities as Cambodians and Vietnamese from the Khmer Rouge. Modern Pan-Asian pollination has unified different cultures through basic life experiences. Sparked by personal events and a sense of self-exploration, I’m glad to have finally created the first (in hopefully–many) artistic tributes to my family and culture: The Heritage Series.

The initial illustration on the right is graphite on vellum. From there, I scanned in the artwork, collaged patterns (created from my brush pen) and digitally colored the piece. In many of my mixed media pieces, I tend to leave certain areas in grayscale. I’ve always loved juxtaposing detail with simplicity–in concept or through visual elements (Graphic Alchemy). While the Buddha monument is in the foreground, it’s mostly monochrome–the viewer gets drawn into the detail, and not distracted by color. Although color can be a powerful tool, I like to emphasize the simplicity of the subject matter by taking color away. View Larger Version

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