Art and Design

Meet Pepper (and Stan Lau) | Sideshow Collectibles

It looks like the girl in the picture I have as my site logo is getting even more popular. Below is an article taken from the blog on Sideshowtoy’s talking to the artist behind “Pepper” and the project they will be embarking on together.

If you’ve been a fan of pop culture art for any amount of time there’s a good chance that you’ve heard the name Stanley Lau.  Better known as “Artgerm” across countless boards and forums, particularly DeviantArt, Stanley is an artist with an unparalleled eye and ability for creating masterpieces from pop culture and comic icons that we know and love.

Sideshow and Stanley have worked together on some great projects together in the past, but this time around we’re doing something a little different  – we’d like to introduce you to Pepper.

Pepper is an original character that Stanley created and Sideshow is extremely pleased to announce our first Pepper statue and Premium Art Print.

To learn more about Pepper we went straight to the source, Stanley himself:

Can you tell us a little about the Pepper Project and how the character came to be?

Pepper was first created in 2004, as a means for me to explore different art styles with a unified subject.  Back then I was running an advertising and design studio as the Senior Art Director, and it was my job to inspire my graphic designers with different art directions for various clients.  Therefore it was a rather important factor for me to be very sensitive to different artistic trends and visual approaches.  Unfortunately, I had very little chance to draw and paint with my design oriented projects, so I decided to initiate a personal project that can keep myself going as an artist and consistently expand my comfort zone to be more adaptable.  I named her Pepper mainly because the name of my studio at the time was Paprika, and I wanted her mildly “hot and spicy.”

Does she have a backstory?

Honestly, I didn’t give her a backstory when she was first created.  In fact, she didn’t even have a fixed look aside from her mega headphones – which have become the iconic element that her fans recognize.  Nevertheless, I’ve had a few discussions with my friends a few years ago to give her a possible backstory.  Loosely speaking she is an Inter-Dimensional Super Agent who travels to different universes to either deliver, or acquire, important information and items that help build the arc of her story.  Whichever world she teleports herself to (via listening to the music of that particular world), she adopts the look of that world visually.  It helps to explain why she looks different every time!

Basically Pepper is a cheerful, outspoken, and outgoing person.  She has a great sense of humour along with being agile, witty, righteous,…and a kung-fu master.

Where else has she been presented before (magazines, art blogs, etc)?

A few years ago I launched a Pepper art contest on deviantArt to invite artists all over the world to create their own interpretation of Pepper.  I received a ton of entries and hand selected many of them to build and print the first Pepper Project art book.  All of the entries can still be viewed here –

She has also been featured on the cover of publications like ImagineFX, Advanced Photoshop, and Corel Painter magazine.

Is this the first time Pepper will be presented as a 3D statue?

I’ve been approached by other toy companies to create a Pepper statue, but nothing has ever felt right or come to fruition before.  I suppose it’s been really hard to translate my art into a 3D form, so yea, this will be the very first official Pepper statue!

How has your experience been collaborating on her with Sideshow so far?

Knowing that Pepper is an unknown character to the comic and statue world, I wanted to first establish a good working relationship with Sideshow and build the trust before pushing forward. Fortunately, it has been a joyride and the creative freedom that I have been receiving from them is inspiring. I must say that the digital sculpt was nothing less than extraordinary. I’m really looking forward to our future collaborations as well!

Source: Meet Pepper (and Stan Lau) | Sideshow Collectibles

The Fantastic Art of Luis Royo

One of my passions is fantasy art. Ever since I can remember, I’ve collected art books of this kind or another. There are many great artists such as Jim Burns (one of his pictures is on the home page of my site), Rodney Mathews (I have one of his pictures on some of my social network pages). There are other great artists too, such as Boris Vallejo, Sorayama, Frank Frazetta,  Roger Dean and Syd Mead to name a few.

luis royo photo
Photo by Antonio Tajuelo

Luis Royo is Spanish and has had many of his paintings as the front cover of Heavy Metal magazine and been the inspiration for many fantasy writers. If you’re not familiar with Heavy Metal magazine, it’s an anthology monthly that collects together fantasy stories, mostly in comic book form, aimed mostly at the adult readers. No it’s not all naked woman and sex, but there are some very deep and mind bending stories that are not for the super hero comic kiddies.

Royo’s breadth of work is such that his fans will buy his art on anything from T-shirts to Tarot cards. Magazines have written articles on him and his work can be seen at festivals and art galleries devoted to just his work. His artwork is mostly dark fantasy based, usually with beautiful woman, either portrayed as delicate and in need of protection, to the opposite end of the scale as warriors brandishing a sword and surrounded by their dead foes. It’s certainly what he is best known for. Although he has moved into other areas such as futuristic landscapes and cover art for books. For example the cover of Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin’s  The Ice Dragon.

He has a very professional web site, which is well worth a look.

Here a few of his works for you to enjoy.

Luis Royo
Ties of Power

Japanese Artist Creates Amazingly Realistic Miniature Dioramas

There’s something fascinating about model building. We all remember doing them as kids. Not having much patience and wanting them to be glued and painted as soon as possible. Of course real model makers have a lot more patience than that. When you’ve tried your hand at model making you can recognise when somebody has put an enormous amount of time and patience into a model. Even more so when that model is made from scratch with basic materials.
For real dedication and an eye for detail the following are excellent examples of a model maker who has lots of patience and skill.

miniature diorama of a garbage dump
miniature diorama of a garbage dump

Satoshi Araki, an artist from Tokyo, creates highly realistic miniature models of towns, vehicles, and a lot of other objects from everyday life. He is particularly skilled at making small-scale dioramas of chaotic cityscapes that are affected by urban decay, pollution, or warfare.

Satoshi mostly uses Styrofoam board to make these incredibly intricate and complex models – he cuts them down to the desired shape and size, paints them, and then glues them together. He explains on his blog that he uses Google Image Search to pull up images that he later uses as a visual reference. These images help him create scenes that are very life-like, down to the smallest detail.

Amazing Realistic Portraits by Olga Larionova

These portraits are by Russian artist Olga Larionova. They are even move amazing when you know they are not photographs but done entirely in pencil. Wonderful attention to detail and mind boggling at the same time.

If you want to see more of Olga’s work, you can find it on Deviant Art here.

Since I first post this the links to the pictures I had linked here were removed from the source. So for know I recommend going to the above link which (at this time) is still active. 

Or lets try this one for a while.

Light -FairyARTos