Artist Creates Dolls With Vitiligo To Inspire Young Girls

More and more, people are becoming comfortable in their own skin. Plus-size model Natalie Hage shut down a fat-shamer who ridiculed her on an airplane. While the confrontation was awkward, it needed to happen. And anyway, who isn’t in love with their own curves? It’s 2018. Then again, it’s safe to say body positivity still isn’t present everywhere, especially for younger girls.

To combat this, Artist Kay Black is inspiring vitiligo sufferers, specifically, by creating dolls with rare skin conditions.

[Kay Black] began making the dolls as a hobby alongside her “normal” job. She said, “I’m motivated by everyday people I see walking up and down the streets.”

The dolls with vitiligo are made special for each customer and have been praised by a number of celebrities. But Black isn’t after fame — she just wants her buyers to feel appreciated.

“People are literally in tears when they get their dolls. I want to create dolls everyone can relate to.”

She also creates a plethora of other dolls that break the rather dangerous standards set by certain world-renowned toy companies. Other than the dolls with vitiligo, Black customizes ones with realistic features such as freckles or curly hair. This makes them super relatable for young girls.

In line with Black’s advocacy, a model with the skin condition even spoke up regarding her own life. Attached to a selfie showing Winnie Harlow’s whole body is her inspiring message.

“The real difference isn’t my skin. It’s the fact that I don’t find my beauty in the opinions of others. I’m beautiful because I know it. Celebrate Your unique beauty today (& everyday)!”

Making friends with your flaws isn’t the easiest — but it certainly is a step in the right direction. Thanks to people like Black and Harlow, young girls may be motivated to discover how to sincerely love themselves.

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Superhero Pope Francis Shirts Help the Poor

There are a dozen different ways to help the poor outside of huge monetary donations. This Anatolian restaurant is feeding the needy for free. This Philippine community is building bleach lamps from plastic bottles for households without electricity. Graffiti artist MauPal is using Pope Francis as an icon of hope, creating “Superpope” t-shirts to help Vatican-sponsored charities.

“With the economic and social crisis that hit Italy and the world, I saw Francis as a symbol of hope for all,” the artist said.

“I graphically summed up a widely-shared opinion of the pope as someone with a lot of power who is also humane and humble at the same time.”

The Pope Francis shirts aren’t MauPal’s only masterpieces. In previous years, the artist depicted the Pope in various playful forms as street art. However, city cleaners were less than pleased, scrubbing the works off walls near St. Peter’s Basilica.

It was only after that MauPal made the remaining sketches appear on the Pope Francis shirts. And while some are also not appreciative of the cartoon tees, the Pope himself has expressed his approval.

“I offered him the drawing I had painted on a simple piece of wood, a medium I thought fit his (anti-luxury) philosophy. He looked at me, he smiled at me, then he affectionately pinched my cheek,” MauPal said.

If the Pope himself gives a thumbs-up to your work of kindness, you must be doing something right. And more importantly, if the Pope has given your artwork the smiley rubber stamp, well, I’d say you must be pretty skilled with a pencil!

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Green Chandelier Acts As Air Purifier

In a salad, algae may not seem too appetizing, but it sure is a fashion statement. Clarks recently released a shoe made from biomass algae, which seems to have tipped off a trend. Designers now want in on the action, specifically Julian Melchiorri, who built a green chandelier that purifies air.

The green lighting piece is composed of 70 glass leaves filled with green algae, which absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. The transparent liquid filters through light, giving off a warm glow.

The display, called Exhale, is functional indoors and outdoors. It can also take on various forms depending on necessity. How, then, does the algae work its magic? Simple — photosynthesis. Melchiorri is all about function and the environment, and it’s not going unnoticed.

For his efforts, Melchiorri was awarded the Emerging Talent Award during London Design Week, which is given out to individuals who have made an impact within five years of graduation.

It may still be a prototype, but Exhale has surely left its mark on the design industry. With more people like Melchiorri, we may be able to restore the environment — one leaf at a time.

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Bali Beach Club Display Highlights Plastic Pollution

If an entire landfill can be transformed into a revenue-generating energy hub, a resort can promote sustainability. Potato Head Beach Club in Seminyak did just that. It commissioned street artist Eko Nugroho to create a display made entirely of reclaimed plastic waste to highlight plastic pollution.

An impressive 660 pounds of local plastic debris was transformed into the work with which Nugroho hopes will stress the critical need for waste management and conservation.

The piece, titled “Bouquet of Love”, is not Nugroho’s first socio-political artwork. He claims that his projects mostly comment on current events.

“I was deeply drawn to this project because environmental damage and pollution will have an effect on every aspect of life, not just art,”

“My love for Indonesia inspired me to create Bouquet of Love. Indonesia is a rich, magnificent tropical country, which is also experiencing dynamic growth and development.”

Annually, we produce around 300 million tons of plastic worldwide. 8.8 million tons end up in oceans and up to 91% of waste forgoes recycling. It doesn’t take a grand gesture to make an impact on the environment. Make it personal — start at home. You never know the difference you might make.

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Design Is Not Just Pretty — It’s Saving The Planet

Design: its goal may be aesthetics, but it goes way beyond just looks. It’s works like vegetable leather and zero-emissions air conditioning that make design more meaningful than it appears. Some parts of the world may look pristine, but without the sustainability to back it, they end up being wasteful. Here are reasons design is the key to saving the planet.

It’s raising awareness. As you probably learned in middle school, awareness is the best place to start when it comes to change. Things such as infographics or interactive billboards have been altering our perspectives on major issues for decades. What design does that lectures don’t always do is shake up our realities. Whether we like it or not, celebrities endorsing a cause on a poster are often more effective than anything else. But if it’s helping to improve the planet, I’m not mad at it.

If you’ve ever worn eco-fibers, you’ll know design promotes sustainability. Famous retail brands such as Nike and Merrell have started incorporating eco-friendly materials into their shoes and clothing. Much like cosmetics brand Lush, other big names have also transitioned into using minimal to no packaging. Again, if the big guns are going green, everyone else is likely to follow — which means plus points for designers.

If you hadn’t noticed, “trashion” is a big thing in the vogue world. But beyond the clothing industry, using recyclables is also popular in the realm of food. Many startups are turning waste into shopping bags or containers that can be reused to kingdom come. Some groups are even manufacturing edible packaging, which is a little weird — but a big thumbs up anyway. Recycling may not come with a posh label, but it brings an earthy and rustic charm to table.

Just like the iPhone, many others are coming out with products that can do a million things all at once. Designers are not only giving consumers what they want, they’re handing everything over in a compact fashion. Future creators are considering multifunctional commodities. Doing more with less doesn’t apply to just makeup anymore. It covers everything from home appliances to portable gadgets. After all, if you can watch TV, order a pizza, and get your laundry done with the click of a button, why not?

Beyond function and materials, design is also bringing people together. Sharing ideas is what everyone is about these days, and design is its catalyst. In a way, this also guarantees that certain goods don’t go to waste. It is now easier than ever to trade items when they are no longer wanted. Better off in someone else’s hands than in the trash. There are an endless number of websites that help users course donations to various charities. There are even services that help re-construct items that seem a little out of date.

We can no longer deny that the potential of design is exploding. I don’t just mean this in a trendy sense, but that we ought to give people in graphics, interiors, and the industrial world more credit. Anyway, without them, there would be no innovation.

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Book-Writing Is Possible, Even For Non-Writers

The truth is, anyone can write a book. There is no need to seek permission or validation. If people have published books from prison cells, you pretty much have the license to do so anywhere and anytime you please. It will happen — but not without the effort.

Everything about writing is easier said than done. While it’s possible for a non-writer to produce a bestseller, being articulate doesn’t always come naturally. If this is the case, take a writing class. Learn the fundamentals. Figure out how to say what you want to say so that readers are interested and enticed. Now would be a good time to revive past English papers — even the nightmarish ones.

When you think you’ve reigned in (and possibly mastered) some valuable skills, decide what you want to write about. Don’t worry about how your idea may be received. Think about what is meaningful to you and possibly to others. Most important is your outline. Come up with a beginning, middle, and end — but allow things to change.

Set daily goals. Writing a book is not a weekly activity. While a burst of inspiration may up your word count over the weekend, you could encounter a stump. Think about how much writing you can achieve in a day, whether by pages or word count. And don’t bite off more than you can chew. It’s not about writing a lot but writing frequently. Don’t forget to set overall goals as well. Don’t worry about length — but consider whether you want your book to be novella-style or standard length.

In line with setting goals is organizing your schedule. If your daily life is fairly regulated, pick a time to write each day. Think of your schedule as a strict deadline, otherwise you won’t be motivated. Reward yourself for a good job done every now and then.

Publishing a book is not just about you. Find someone who can help edit your work. While it is a good and necessary investment to find a renowned editor, gather feedback from your family and friends. With that being said, don’t take criticism personally. More often than not, people are not out to attack your writing. Be constantly open-minded and think about what others would enjoy as well.

When all is said and done, decide whether you want to hire a publisher or self-publish. While self-publishing may seem like the reasonable thing to do as a first-time book writer, it also demands more work. Are you willing to take risks? Can you go the extra mile? Weigh the pros and cons of each option. Perhaps you can consult with someone involved in the publishing world.

See your book through to the end. Be proud of yourself, separate from sales. Most of all, keep writing. You don’t have to produce another book. If you’ve fallen in love with the craft, there are many different ways to engage with it. Keep practicing! Start a blog. Write a column. Create a zine. Constantly hone your skills. You never know when you’ll come up with something even more meaningful.

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Abandoned Castle Gets A Funky Makeover

Some long-forgotten buildings remain perpetually neglected and in the past. Even the most prestigious have-been structures don’t always get a second chance. Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel hopes to change this–at least for one abandoned castle in France.

Spanish street artist Okuda San Miguel… is known for creating prismatic, geometric murals that cover abandoned historic churches, city streets, high-rises, and the sides of trucks and trains. Okuda has transformed an abandoned 19th-century chateau in France’s Loire Valley into a pop art paradise.

The makeover is going to promote a French street art festival, LaBel Valette. While street art is usually given a bad rep, it seems Okuda is turning things around.

The mural’s title is Skull in the Mirror. Okuda painted two large-scale geometric skulls across the castle’s white facade, and added colorful polka dots and paint accents to the remaining blank surfaces.

Looks like Lichtenstein proteges are going to have to step aside. Skull in the Mirror is nothing short of astounding!

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Artist Uses Baking Ingredients To Make Celeb Portraits

Not every artist is keen on using just paint. Some use garbage. Others prefer books. And those who fear nothing use blood. This celebrity-obsessed artist creates portraits using baking ingredients such as salt, coffee, and baking soda.

[Allan] Wallace works with all kinds of mediums, from common oil paint and spray paint, to tree leaves and cereal.

Salt was only the beginning, as he quickly realized that he could achieve similar results with other grainy or powdery things, like coffee or baking soda.

The impressive artist has already garnered the attention of comedy giant Kevin Hart, whom he created a salt portrait for. But Wallace’s work is no laughing matter, proving he can “paint” on pretty much any surface.

In case you’re wondering what Wallace uses as a canvas for his salt portraits, he sometimes sprinkles the salt on a black board, but most times he just uses his living room table.

Wallace is clearly appreciative of his fans on social media.

“It was mind-blowing. I felt really blessed. I am an artist and I want other people to love my work. I love it when individuals acknowledge the work I put in.”

Remember, kids: if you’re a budding Da Vinci without access to acrylics or oils, you can always raid your kitchen.

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Artist Builds Parthenon Out Of Books

Some artists boast unusual styles–take the pixel painter who creates portraits out of virtually anything. Others, like Michelangelo, are famous for their grandeur. Artist Marta Minujin is definitely (and literally) making it big, having built a Parthenon using 100,000 books.

Minujín… didn’t just erect that 45-foot-tall structure anywhere. Rather, she chose to build it in the town of Kassel, Germany — and more specifically a plaza called Friedrichsplatz. It was there that, in 1933, members of the Nazi Party burned approximately 2,000 books.

During the “Campaign Against the Un-German Spirit,”… Nazis attempted to do away with any… works… they saw as “un-German” or having corruptive Jewish or “decadent” qualities. During this campaign, the Nazis burned thousands of works of literature that they deemed degenerate or subversive.

Not only did Minujin take months to build the Parthenon–she had to identify 170 banned and censored books. Now that’s symbolism for you. Minujin had also constructed a book-thenon in the 80s following the fall of the military junta in Argentina.

By building these Parthenons, Minujín says she seeks to highlight one thing: that the open exchange of ideas — not their suppression — is the key to building a stable democratic state.

Minujin’s art is a true testament to literature. And who knows? We may run into another Parthenon in the near future.

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Pixel Artist Makes Masterpieces Out Of Anything

They say the best artists can create using the most unusual mediums. I’ve seen portraits crafted with thumbtacks, and landscapes painted with coffee. But Filipino “pixel art wizard” Kel Cruz takes it a step further with some unexpected materials.

Cruz, who works as a male nurse, used to create pixelated art the old fashioned way, with a ballpoint pen. Since then, he has used lipstick, colored tape, rubber stamps, beer and even woven pieces of paper to create some truly awe-inspiring masterpieces.

Cruz’s most controversial medium so far has been his own blood, which he used to create a portrait of… Harley Quinn.

I’ve got to hand it to this guy because I can barely sit to get my blood drawn. Then again, he is a nurse. Cruz can produce a 4-by-5 foot piece in just 2 or 3 days.

Cruz’s fascinating pixelated portraits have won the artist a legion of fans on online social networks like Facebook and Instagram, and have even attracted the attention of television stations in the Philippines.

With that kind of skill, an exhibit wouldn’t be too unlikely!

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