Art

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

My latest iOS gaming obsession is Monument Valley, a new platformer inspired by the art of M.C. Escher. You play as Ida, a silent princess who must navigate a series of seemingly impossible architecture by solving puzzles and avoiding the Crow People and other strange inhabitants.

Each level presents a structure that looks impossible to traverse at first, but by moving or rotating sections of the environment, you can alter these optical illusions to create a path where none existed before. Watch the official trailer and you'll see what I mean.

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As noted in a behind-the-scenes video, every stage is like a different work of art, beautiful enough to be printed out and hung on a wall. As you interact with Ida's world, you are greeted with pleasant sound effects and music, so I recommend playing with headphones for the best experience. (I wonder if the developers plan to release the soundtrack, because I would buy it.)

Monument Valley is one of the most gorgeous and thoughtfully considered games I've seen on iOS, one that answers the question, "Are video games art?" with a resounding yes! And it's only $4, so there's not much reason to stay away.

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Dear Mr. Watterson

Here's the trailer for the upcoming documentary that takes a look at the life and work of Bill Watterson, the creator of Calvin and Hobbes. It would be an understatement to say that I'm really excited about seeing this film.

After you watch the trailer, be sure to also check out Gavin Aung Than's excellent comic-strip recreation of Watterson's most famous inspirational speech over on Zen Pencils.

"Beautiful and Cosmically Meaningful"

New Scientist has a fascinating report of an ex-con who suffered a stroke and woke up having a newfound artistic sensibility.

“I'll paint three or six or nine pictures at a time. I see those numbers in my head all the time. Canvases became too costly, so I started painting the ceilings and the wallpaper and the floor. I can't stop painting and sculpting. Give me a mountain and I'll turn it into a profile. If you give me a bare tree I'll change it, so when spring come all the leaves will create the face, the mouth, the lips. Without hurting the tree.”

The mind can be a mysterious and often wondrous thing.

(via @pourmecoffee, who you should be following if you're not already)

McNabb and Co.

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McNabb and Co. is a design studio that specializes in woodworking. I've been browsing through their gallery and I'm just amazed at the uniqueness and detail of their pieces, especially those within the City Series collection.

These guys are hoping to double the size of the City Series, and have turned to Kickstarter to make it happen. Backers not only get to support an awesome design project, but if they pledge enough money they receive some unique city pieces, ranging from a single building ($10 pledge), to a neighborhood ($25 pledge), and all the way up to a metropolis ($475 pledge).

These guys are doing something really wonderful, and I hope they manage to meet their funding goal.

Made With Paper

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Paper is one of the most popular apps for the iPad, and for good reason. It's the perfect app for expressing your artistic side, and people have been able to create some quite impressive artwork with it. Developers FiftyThree obviously know this, and they've put together a gallery of some fantastic pieces created with the app that I highly recommend checking out.

I'm continually amazed by the stuff people can create with tools like this.

Psychedelic River

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Yesterday I came across these psychedelic images of the Mississippi River, as traced by Harold Fisk back in 1944. These things are incredible, and Fisk traced quite a large span of the river this way, stretching from southern Illinois to southern Lousiana. You can see them all stitched together here but be sure to look at each one individually to really get a good look at the all the little details.