Every month, Beautiful Bizarre chooses one of our favourite artists to TAKE OVER our social media for the day. On 13 June, Mab Graves took over beautiful.bizarre and we loved learning more about her inspirations and how they have affected her work and career.
We are so excited to present this Take Over with the unique and charming Mab Graves. One of the most amazing and lovely artists on the planet. We can’t get enough of her gorgeous work. Piece after piece you will fall in love, wonderful and joyous creations from an amazing person that emits everything that is good. We adore you and look forward to sharing some of the work that influenced and inspired you, over to you Mab!
Hey Guys! My name is Mab Graves and I’m an Indianapolis, IN, USA based fine art painter. This is one of my pieces, which sums up my work pretty well. I love infusing a sense of humor and narrative with intensely detailed little pieces that have stories and secrets all over. I’m super stoked to be teaming up with beautiful.bizarre today to share some of my top Art Throbs! It was basically impossible to narrow my list of favorites down to only 8 artists, so instead of just my favorites, I decided to highlight the top 8 artists who influenced me early on and influenced my early development and inspired me to become an artist. I hope you enjoy my Top 8 – and maybe meet a few new artists today! More than anything, I want to encourage you all to give your kids exposure to art. All my earliest passions for drawing started from Children’s Books and I can’t even measure the impact they have had on my life and career. Give your kids beautiful books! You never know how the turn of one page could change their lives….
Gennady Spirin is hands down my favorite artist of all time, and he has held that position nearly my whole life. I discovered his book “The Nose” at the library before I could even read and I remember being completely mesmerized and feeling like I had discovered an intensely special secret. 20+ years later his work continues to take my breath away and make me ache with awe. Spirin’s watercolors are the gold standard for me and are a constant challenge and inspiration to go deeper, smaller and more detailed with each piece I create. The impact he has had on my work and career has been huge.
James Jean is arguably one of the greatest living painters of our time. His work is so fluid, emotive and downright incredible that it sometimes makes my brain hurt just looking at it. I can’t even begin to decipher the workings of his genius so I simply have to turn off my exploded mind, relax and float down the stream of delirious, inspired, humbled oblivion his works take me to. My very favorite aspect of Jean’s work is his ability to convey story, emotion and narrative – his ‘Fables” covers are a perfect example of that and were a big inspiration to me early on.
Rudolph Zallinger is the artist behind my favorite painting of all time “The Age of Reptiles” a 110-foot mural in the Peabody Museum of Natural History. In 1943 he was a pioneer Paleo Artist giving life, color and form to creatures that so much of society at that time had no knowledge of. The scale and complexity of Zallinger’s work is truly amazing – every time I look at his work, I notice something new. His work was a keystone of inspiration for my “Children of the Nephilim” series this upcoming fall.
Ray Caesar‘s work was the very first exposure I had to Pop Surrealism as a 14 year-old kid and is probably the reason I became a pop surrealist myself. His work spoke to me and seemed to understand something inside of me that I had no words for. His works have a bleak, dramatic, quiet, sinister edge disarmingly belied by the nature of his soft tones, and gentle subjects. Caesar’s works are an utterly captivating and intoxicating experience and owning one of his pieces has been on my bucket list for half my life now.
K.Y. Craft is another artist I discovered earlier on in life – in my teens- who had a huge impact on me. Her intricate details, vibrant candle-lit colors, and surrealist environments enthralled me then, and continue to this day. Kinuko’s work is so delicate and decadent you can almost taste it with your eyes. It’s incredible. She disappeared from the scene a few years ago and I had no idea if she was still painting – but I just discovered she is releasing a new book “Beauty and the Beast” this July and I am SO stoked! Check out her other books online and buy them for every artistic child in your life – you never know the impact it could have on them! It was huge for me.
Iassen Ghiuselev: I was surprised to realize that 3 of my top 8 favorite artists of all time are exclusively Children’s book illustrators – Iassen Ghiuselev is the last one I want to introduce you to today. Ghiuselev’s desaturated color palette, often completely surprising angles and intricate details, especially his unparalleled grasp of fabrics and clothing have always enchanted me.
Rumiko Takahashi was the very first Manga artist I discovered as a teen, and her work like Inuyasha, Lum, Ranma ½, and Mermaid Saga were the gateway drug that tumbled me down the anime rabbit hole and brought me to other incredible artists like CLAMP, Yōji Enokido, Hayao Miyazaki, and eventually even Western graphic novels like Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and Bill Willingham’s Fables. Each one of those creators had a huge impact on me, and my work, but Rumiko Takahashi holds a special place in my heart because she was my first.
Yoshitaka Amano is one of the greatest illustrators ever. I feel so lucky to be an artist living and working now – in a time that I get to experience Amano’s works as they are happening. Aside from Amano’s incredible lines, his movement is probably what I find most captivating about his works – everything he paints is alive – floating, falling, exploding… there is not a stagnant brush stroke that escapes his hand. He has released a couple books with collections of his works and each one is an absolute must for any art library!
This is the final piece chosen by Mab Graves – Her Waifs and Strays. Thank you so much for sharing these amazing artists and wonderful pieces with our readers. We are so grateful that you found the time to TAKE OVER beautiful.bizarre socials. We love you Mab!