Contemporary Realism Painter David Cunningham aka Mistereducated

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You may or may not know that David Cunningham is my fiancé and long term love with whom I raise 4 children with, but before all of that he was an artist. We met because he was an artist, an art professor to be exact, and I’ve always felt strongly that his work is stunning. I felt this way prior to falling in love with him, his work is just shockingly rich. He inspired me endlessly to push myself further than I thought as a professor and as an artist and I never forgot those lessons.

His paintings themselves look as though they are windows peering into a space of stylized almost-photographicly delicate realism. I can most assure you that you will be amazed that *all* the small images below are actually paintings (or drawings) that he has spent hours upon hours on while detailing each square inch. The finished paintings are even more rich where you can really see the details; they are amazing because of the reality he creates within them. I’m a lucky girl to have this beauty and skill under my roof. Although he is male, and we have rarely featured males, I think it’s time. Skill and beauty know no sex, race or religion and nor does the unconventionality that is Miseducated.

How long have you been creating art?
That depends on what your definition of “art” is. Like most kids, I loved to draw, color, paint, build models, play with playdough, etc. Unlike most kids, I never stopped. As for “art” , art only happens on occasion. It is unique, personal, and beyond me as the creator. I think the first time that happened was around 2003.

What is your preferred medium?
Nothing beats the lumosity and color richness you can achieve with oil paint.

Did it ever become your main focus and when?
After Undergraduate school I opened up my own studio and made work full time (mostly ceramics.) Honestly, it was a very lonely time for me. I worked 8-10 hours every day and would go several days without seeing anyone. This was the days before podcasts and audiobooks a plenty that keep me company these days in the studio. It was lonely. I am an introvert but not that introverted. I found out in graduate school that teaching helped me become a better artist. It balanced me… giving me an opportunity to interact with others and exchange ideas. I have been balancing teaching as an art professor and studio work ever sense.

What has been your favorite exhibition or event to be involved in?
One of my stone paintings won Best in Show at the Contemporary Realism Biennial several years back. It really floored me. It was a national show featuring some of the best realistic art in America. It was an honor just to be included…to win was epic.

What inspires you most?
Beauty. Not beauty that others can easily recognize, but beauty that is overlooked. That is one of the things that I like about painting stones. They are extraordinary but no one really pays attention to them. The work I have to do as an artist is to make others see the beauty that I see.

How do you deal with artist’s block?
I make work. Often this isn’t the afore mentioned “art” but just studies or master copies. Anything to keep working. Pressure to perform… to make something great scares away the muse.

What has been your favorite work you’ve created?
I don’t really have favorites. Some are clearly better than others, but they are all my children. I am always surprised at what work connects with people. That is why I do it. It isn’t really important if it connects with me. My job is just to make the work. That’s it. Show up and do it.

Do you have any odd stories about one of your pieces?
I had a large painting that I had spent many hours on and all of the parts were beautifully painted, but the composition was off. I tried to sell it for cheap with no takers. I then got the idea to cut it up into 4 small paintings. Each of the small paintings sold for more than I was asking for the whole painting.

Favorites:
Color? blue-grey
Food? watermelon, steak, lobster
Animal? goats
Music? Coldplay, Radiohead, mellow indie rock
Magazine? I don’t have time to read! I listen to audio books and podcasts though.
Movie? Forrest Gump and Pulp Fiction
Book? The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Do you have any advice for readers interested in turning their hobby into their main focus?
Read the War of Art and do what it says. Live as modestly as you can so you have as much time as possible to make your work. Don’t give up. Art is a war of attrition. Perseverance and hard work beats talent.

What do you feel is a recipe for success?
First you have to define what success is. Otherwise, how will you know if you hit it? Secondly, find mentors (people who are doing what you want to do). Do what they do and you will get what they get.

Would you say you’re Miseducated?
I am Mistereducated. Predictably logical unless you are a woman then I am a mystery.

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my sun sets to rise again by david cunningham

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Learn more here:
David Cunningham Official Web Portfolio & Shop
Official Facebook Page

Emma Bell: Decadent Fashion and Accessory Designer

Emma Bell is a fashion designer that has what you need if you’re into kitschy decadence like I am. Now only are her creations adorable but she’s always been as sweet as can be, we met long ago online while I was living in Tokyo — she sent me the sweetest email ever and we’re still planning a collaboration.

So enjoy her delightfully kitschy cuteness that is sure to make your eyes drool for cake and fast food. Her look book radiates sweet rainbows making me want it all. Enjoy her color covered candy for your body! With collaborations with companies such as Irregular Choice you certainly have quite the amazing selection ahead of you! I cannot wait to see what she does next.

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Behind the Bunny with Jessica Borutski

One upon a time the wonderful world of Jessica Borutski visited me through my tv set while I was enjoying one of my favorite past-times, watching independent toons! Imagine my amazement when everything that I love in a cartoon danced across the screen in a delicious display of cuteness, gloom and perfect electronic music. Did I mention LOLLIPOPS? I know you want to know that sweet girl behind the bunny (or panda!)!

You impressed the socks off of me when we met and you’ve never stopped. I knew you wouldn’t stop until you reached the top! What is a huge goal you are stunned to have accomplished? What goal (s) are you still striving for?
Thanks! (: XOX. A goal of mine that I have reached was when my designs were chosen by Warner Brothers for the new Looney Tunes show they are creating! It was a huge honor!!
The next goal I want to reach is to finish my short film called “The Good Little Bunny With The Big Bad Teeth”. I have been working on it in my free time over the last 4 years and I want to enter it in as many film festivals as I can!!

When faced with impressive corporations like Warner Brothers and Nickelodeon, what do you do to prepare yourself for success?
I have been lucky, I have always been approached by them to do work. I always just make sure the artwork I do is to the best of my ability. I give them drawings I like and just hope that they will like them too.

Did you ever expect to become so LOONEY (toons)?
Hahaha! I guess it just makes sense. I taught myself to draw by studying the short cartoons from the 1940’s,1930’s and a bit of the 1950’s. I have always loved the characters. So now that I actually work officially with characters like Bugs Bunny is sooo great because it comes very naturally to me to draw in that style.

Who is your favorite toon (not created by you)?
I would have to say “Oswald The Lucky Rabbit”. He is a black and white character created in the early 1920’s.He looks kinda like Mickey but cooler.

Who is your favorite toon (created by you)?
I think “Toaster Head”. He is always happy, and Toast pops outta his head so that’s pretty awesome!

Where do you find inspirations from the world around? What really inspires you to work?
I get inspired by cute animals, great music, good color combos and long city walks.

With artists it’s always scary to spill your soul about future plans and goals, especially since they may develop and change. Do you have projects for the future you can indirectly discuss?
On the Business side of things I will be doing some work on a show for Disney. Some concept is needed for a new girls show. That’s all I can say for now! (; After I finish my short film I am making a children’s book with a friend who is doing the writing. I am excited to get away from animation and just do some great Illustrations. The story is about a young girl who is an outcast without any friends. She is a genius though when it comes to making gizmos and gadgets. She makes amazing things out of trinkets she finds in the garbage. She creates the ultimate friend with a Toaster as a head! That’s where the fun begins!!

What’s so great about today? .. and what do you do to prepare for tomorrow? How do you make sure each day counts?
The great thing about today is I get two days a week to completely work on my own personal animated film! The other three days of the work week I am working on Looney Tunes!! To prepare for tomorrow I always make sure I am not staying stagnant in my artistic development. I will be living in Paris for a month in November were I am going to study art at the Louvre! I want to draw and study all sorts of paintings and sculptures. Never stop learning!

Do you find your work taking time away from other hobbies and interests? Or is it your all-consuming passion?
Even though a majority of my life is spent drawing, painting or animating I don’t find it hard taking time from other hobbies. I love being out and about. If I am not working on art I am out walking the city, bike riding along the canal, watching movies, sipping wine, hanging with friends. I love just being out! (: I have to take a break from animation to get re-inspired to create.

How do you prefer your environment to look?
I love urban environments with old buildings, like Montreal and some parts of Ottawa. I also love beautiful parks in cities. Especially around dusk when the sun is going down and everything has a yellow wash to it and shadows become long!

Favorite music? and Why?
Lights, Crystal Castles, Ratatat, Broken Social Scene
I love this music because they use amazing sounds. I love anything cute and electric sounding. They are amazing to listen to as I draw.

Motto:
I like this one: Live without regret! (:

Are you Miseducated? What makes you Miseducated?
I’m miseducated because I enjoy drawing so much that I sometimes forget about the real world!! My education consists of colors, cuteness and fun. That would be considered a miseducation to some I am sure.

What do you want people to feel or understand when they look at your work?
I just want to make people feel good. I want them to feel the way I feel when I am creating the character. Pure happiness and fun!

Were you always a cartoonist? (kiddies sketching kitties in their notebooks?)
Always!! I have not stopped drawing since I was 3. My math teacher used to freak out with my math book being filled with bunnies and other strange rodent drawings.

What was your first finished cartoon? How did you feel when it was complete and ready for others to view?
My first finished cartoon was ” I Like Pandas” I felt nervous and very excited when it was first premiered in the Ottawa International film festival. I remember sitting in the theatre in my seat clutching my knees to my chest. When people laughed I was so relived. I was worried nobody else would find it funny.

Are your illustrations and ideas inspired by your life experiences and/or people in your life?
Yes I always try to take things from life. I see alot of my pug Lucy in the Pandas. I draw alot of my girl friends too.

MUST HAVE for any cartoonist:
A must have for any cartoonist in my opinion is to make sure you draw from life. Characterize all things you like. Be inspired by other styles and don’t completely copy them. If you do these two things you can really develop a great style.

Eeee! I think we’re about finished here. Do you have any diy goodies you’d like to teach us to make?
I have the Printable Panda paper toys I want to share! We have many more planned for the future as well!!