"It is almost impossible for me to create without colour."

Columbian artist Ximena Escobar has taken the concept of paint by numbers into a completely different medium. By cutting up coloured felt, she assembles portraits of beautiful women with florals. "This medium is very special to me because the colours also have texture and that makes my work richer and more interesting," she explains. "It is a medium where I can't mix the colours, every one of them is a solid block, so I need to use them in a way I can blend the colours without mixing them. That challenges my work and takes me to some interesting and exciting results."

"Colour is a very important element in my work. It defines the mood of what I am creating, it is also the way I communicate my aesthetic no matter which medium I'm using. Colour inspires and challenges me all the time."

"Colour is part of what I am as an artist. I was born in Colombia which is a very tropical and colourful country. It is almost impossible for me to create something without colour, it is how I communicate what I want to say."

"Colour is the first thing my eyes see and comprehend."

Many of the colour submissions that I've shared in the magazine or in my newsletters are definitely in the realm of the tactile such as paint, paper and fibre. But most of us are also creative with our digital media. UPPERCASE reader Paloma Diaz-Dickson shares her digital palettes with us.

"With the flood of art and design images available to browse on the internet, I find myself liking or disliking pieces usually based on the colour choices. Colour is the first thing my eyes see and comprehend before I look closer to distinguish shape and content. I started collecting colour palettes that draw me in, and in turn, that Photoshop file is the first place I look before starting a project. Sometimes I'll choose an existing palette, sometimes I'll modify it or combine two or more together to get the effect I want. Colour is the source of all my inspiration."

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Printing 3d objects with water, oil-based ink and gravity

Kirsi Enkovaara‘s Landscape of Gravity:

Landscape of Gravity was inspired by distorted reflections on a surface of water. The phenomenon that enable to capture this almost invisible movement is oil paint floating on top of water. The technique developed to this projects combines this phenomenon and movement of water effected by gravity. All the objects made for the collection are vessels with a hole in the bottom. The vessels are filled with water and topped with oil paint and drained. This phenomenon of gravity pulling the water down transmits the movement of the water to the surface of the vessel while the water level goes down. After this the vessel is transformed in to a object as the inside of the vessel turn inside out revealing the natural pattern.

Read more on Confessions of a Design Geek and the artist's website.

Calligraphy Auditions: deadline is July 21

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Call for Submissions: Issue #23

Calligraphy

The fall issue of UPPERCASE magazine will have a special focus on the art of calligraphy. I'd love to see your work and share it with our readers!

The submissions for "Calligraphy Auditions" are in two parts. Your digital submission and a mailed-in example of your work. The best submissions will be featured in the print edition of the magazine as well as on our blog.

Mail in a 5 x 7 example on card stock (either in an envelope or sent as a postcard) showing off your calligraphic skills by writing about why you love calligraphy or demonstrating what makes hand-lettered messages so appealing. The card should be exclusively calligraphic.

UPPERCASE magazine
#201b - 908, 17th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
T2T 0A3

The online application form will close on July 21, 2014, so you must complete that before mailing anything. Mailed submissions should arrive before July 25, 2014. 

To submit your work, click here.

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#uppercaselove: Stephanie Brockway

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I'm really enjoying the colourful photos of issue 22 coming through over Instagram! (Remember to post the photo with @uppercasemag #uppercaselove so that I can find it easily.) The image above, by Stephanie Brockway, caught my eye. I chuckled that her third most recent photo was of chickens (chickens are three degrees of separation from UPPERCASE?), so I put her latest three images here to show the sequence.

Ripe bananas and other outtakes from issue 22

Cover artist Shelley Davies was wonderful to work with. And she is always so generous with her creativity! Above's an "outtake" called Ripe Banana.

I asked Shelley to make the collage for the cover because of her affinity for working with paint swatches, her love of incorporating type into her work and her overall exuberance for bright colour. Here are some more colourful compositions from Shelley. 

Here are some roughs that Shelley made when working on the cover. We decided that the radiating colour wheel was more dynamic, but these studies are nice on their own!

Perfect explorations of colour by Sophie Smallhorn

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Just discovered the stunning works exploring colour and form of London-based artist Sophie Smallhorn

{ via Present & Correct }

Featured Stockist: Allscript, Singapore

The folks at Allscript Magazines (our distributor and stockist in Singapore and Malaysia) are enjoying a delicious dinner!

type tuesday: These amazing labels are painted!

These amazing old labels are not lithographed... these are gouache mockups that were presented to clients for approval. Read all about this special collection from Letterform Archive in the current issue of UPPERCASE.

Reader pics: Tiffany Pratt

“Colour is life energy and one of the most powerful pure forces. It is the air that I breathe. How and why I choose certain colours is deeply personal for me, and I do it with a lot of purpose. I associate people with colours, I see experiences and moments through colours and I always dream of colours. This is why I need to create, make and design. Colour acts as the road map through my life and sets me apart, making who I am and how I see the world special.”

Read all about Tiffany Pratt in the current issue and follow her colourful Instagram here.

featured stockist: Bird on a Wire, Vancouver

If you're in Vancouver and looking for a wonderful place to inspire your creative side this weekend, please visit Bird on a Wire Creations on 2535 Main Street. More than a store, it is a community and learning space that supports artists and the buy local movement. Says owner Kate Nagel, "We strive to create a supportive environment where new and established artists and artisans can learn from each other and bring their wares to market without investing in nasty overhead. We provide the staff, space and traffic to help create sustainable incomes."

Bird on a Wire Creations is open this weekend: Saturday from 10–6 and from noon to 5 on Sunday. For more details—and to shop from their online selection—please visit their website.

Hello Pattern by Judy Kaufmann

Judy Kaufmann has just released this fresh collection of patterns. "This collection has a wide selection of geometric, organic, typographic forms which can be applied from paper to fabric, from wood to walls." Her fantastical representations of her patterns in use is a terrific way of promoting this new work.

Judy is another talented designer who was featured in the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide in the spring issue. 

Colours and Emotions with Maria Carluccio

In response to my weekly newsletter that I sent on Tuesday, Maria Carluccio shares this composition with us, made of chopped up old watercolour paintings. "It was so liberating!" she exclaims.

"Out with the old, in with the new—reusing old art to make new art."

"I highly recommend it as a fun way to explore colour connection," advises Maria. "After I pieced these together I started thinking about how colours remind me of emotions and feelings so I wrote in pencil the first thing that came to me when I thought of that swatch."

Maria is one of the 100 artists profiled in the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide included in the spring issue (#21). The Guide is also available as a free download when you sign up for my newsletter—I'll send inspiring content directly to your inbox once a week!

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Making a Tartan with Donna Wilson (and friends!)

Donna Wilson was recently honoured with the task of designing a tartan for Aberdeen, Scotland, the area where she grew up. "Tartan is such an important part of our tradition and heritage, and we should never lose that," she says. "I hope to be able to make a difference to the manufacturers who will be weaving it and create something that will be a lasting symbol of Aberdeenshire.”

Donna worked with schoolchildren to select a palette that reflected the natural beauty of the region. They selected and refined the following colours:

Old Meldrum: A gold/copper inspired by the stills at the Glengarioch Distillery, and as one pupil point out-—it's also the colour of whisky!

Stonehaven: A pinky red seen in Aberdeenshire sunsets, and a colour often spotted at the infamous 'Aunt Betty’s' sweetshop in Stonehaven.

Aboyne: A frosty lichen green found in the Ladywood Forest.

Fraserburgh: A lilac/blue symbolizing the seas and skies around Fraserburgh.

Kintore: A forest green from all the woodlands around Kintore.

Harvest: A barley colour that reminded Donna of the farm where she grew up, and her favourite time of year.

Peterhead: A minty green from the seas and sea spray of Peterhead.

The tartan can be purchased by the yard or as a scarf on Donna's website.

type tuesday: Always Play Amongst Friends

If I lived in San Francisco, I'd go to this

Featured Stockist: Prize

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Prize is a "modern general store" in Ashland, Oregon. They've just received our summer issue and they have plenty of back issues to go along with it—you could make quite a handsome collection! Prizeshoppe is their new handle on Instagram and it looks like their images will be pretty and colourful. Follow along!

cover closeups

It feels good to see this one in person!

Cover by the wonderful Shelley Davies

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i wish...

Aunyarat Watanabe was featured in the newsletter that I sent yesterday. She's quite happy about being published in the summer issue, too! If I could personally deliver a magazine to her and each of my readers, I would.

If you'd like to receive my weekly e-newsletter, "An UPPERCASE Letter", please join here.

Twenty-two!

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dip, splatter, scratch: intimate calligraphy

{ via @fatwreck RT @garywhitta }

The call for calligraphic submissions is open!

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