Our Favorite Day of the Dead Art – 2014 Edition

The Day of the Dead, or Dia de Muertos, is a holiday originating in Mexico that lasts for three days, between 31st of October to 2nd of November and has as main focus the remembrance of loved ones who have passed away. Being associated with a particular aesthetics, such as skeletons, skulls, flamboyant costumes and colourful flowers, as well as specific food, most notably sugar skulls, the holiday has spread its influence beyond Mexico, often losing most of its meaning in the process. Nonetheless, the holiday has become a household-name in the United States and elsewhere, where it maintained its unique semblance and deconstruction of morbidity, an aspect that has left an important mark on the visual arts. The following list tries to cover the history of the Day of the Dead in art, both traditional and less so.

1.     La Cavalera Catrina

day of the dead

The original etching of “La Cavalera Catrina” (The Elegant Skull) is not so much inspired by The Day of the Dead, as it is an inspiration upon it. Created by José Guadalupe Posada in the 1910s, it has become one of the most iconic images of Death in Mexico and has started being used in Day of the Dead celebrations. Its initial subtext was to mock the aspirations Mexicans had for the customs of the European aristocracy.

2.     Frida Kahlo’s Day of the Dead

day of the dead

This ceramic folk art depicts Mexican painter Frida Kahlo with Day of the Dead hair decorations, in homage to her famous self-portraits. Beyond the obvious Mexican connection, Kahlo has even more links to the iconic elements of the Day of the Dead, being her husband, Diego Rivera who has painted the surrealist mural “Sueño de una tarde dominical en la Alameda Central”, which further cemented La Cavalera Catrina in the Mexican folk characters pantheon.

3.     Super Skull II

day of the dead

Building on elements that were already there, such as surreal images of skulls and powerful colours, it is often that Day of the Dead drawings are given a further psychedelic edge. This example, by Thaneeya McArdle, perfectly illustrates this trend, bridging the traditional Mexican motifs with a 1960s American flower-power look.

4.     Darth Vader Mask

day of the dead

We don’t know if the Day of the Dead is celebrated in a galaxy far, far away, or what it’s translation in Wookiee would be, but we do know that this Darth Vader mask with Día de los Muertos motifs, part of a series by John Karpinsky, would make a great decoration for a motorcycle helmet.

5.     Grim Fandango

day of the dead

This one’s a bit cheeky, but since video games are starting to be rightfully recognized as an art medium, Grim Fandango deserves to be here. An adventure game which draws many of its ideas and aesthetics from the Day of the Dead, from the Aztec belief of afterlife to the omnipresent skulls, Grim Fandango is the, by far, the game of the Halloween season.

6.     Zombie Boy (Rick Genest)

day of the dead

Probably among the most famous tattoos in the world, Rick Genest’s full-body skeletal art piece is clearly inspired from more traditional Day of the Dead makeup. The unusual tattoo made Genest‘s face instantly recognizable and even landed him a few movie roles and cameos.

7.     Hello Kitty/Day of the Dead mash-up

day of the dead

In a combination of two of the most recognizable cultural exports from across the globe, Californian artist Pristine Cartera Turkus has created a Japanese – Mexican connection though art, painting the striking “Hello Kitty Day of the Dead”, telling of the way that the holiday has long since exceeded the borders of its native Mexico or even those of the Spanish-speaking world.

8.     Day of the Dead wedding

day of the dead

Deviantart user scumbugg designed this neat picture to adorn the invitations of a Day of the Dead-themed wedding. In recent years quite a few couples opted for this theme for their wedding decorations, taking advantage of the myriad of costumes available for men, women and children, as well as the ability to keep the party at least semi-formal.

5 Great Pumpkin Carving Stencils for Fall 2014

Carving the Halloween pumpkin is one of the most enjoyable activities of the year except unwrapping Christmas gifts. There are several styles of carving, but one of the easiest and most rewarding one is that involving a stencil to create the exact piece you are interested in. Numerous printable stencils are available on the internet for free and all you have to do is choose your favorite piece and use it right away. Whether you want a scary Halloween pumpkin or a lovely one, there is no way you can go wrong. You can find stencils ranging from Tinkerbell to zombies or Michael Myers. If your kids love Disney productions you can mellow it down and choose neat pumpkin carving stencils like Elsa. Carving Halloween pumpkins is easy and cool with the right ideas, but spending time with your loved ones while you are doing it is the most important outcome.

1. Batman signal

pumpkin carving stencils

The Dark Knight is one of the most beloved superhero characters, you can’t go wrong with this one. This stencil’s advantage is that the famous Batman signal is symmetrical, so it’s easy to reproduce. Just stick the stencil to the pumpkin and start carving gently around it. Depending on your artistic skills, there are other alternatives. Some decided to reproduce the Joker’s face, while others chose Batman’s recognizable square face. It all depends on how creative you want to get.

2. Super Mario

pumpkin carving stencils

The childhood hero is a guy who eats magic mushrooms, so your child probably loves him. You are not going to spook anyone by using the gaming icon. But if you got there, it probably wasn’t your intention at all. You’ll manage to create a more welcoming atmosphere, so get ready to surrender your candy to the armies of children who will assault your house this Friday.

3. Tinkerbell

pumpkin carving stencils

This cool Tinkerbell carved in your pumpkin could fit your daughter’s aspirations of being a princess. It’s definitely less scary than zombie carvings. Disney inspired carves in your Halloween pumpkins are fun and creative for the whole family and you can choose from a wide range of characters like Tinkerbell, Ariel or Mulan. That should fit many of the family requests, but if it doesn’t, there are always alternatives like Star wars carvings or, if you’re looking for some haunted look, a scary skull to draw children away from “trick or treat” your house.

4.  Sponge Bob

pumpkin carving stencils

Although you can choose some animal shaped carving, like a wolf, a cat or a dog, if you want something really funny and probably with higher chances of being unique, you can try Spongebob, our favorite kids-oriented theme. Although if you do it right it might pass as scary, this carving can actually be very cute, if you are bored of all the witch-themed pumpkins. Because of its two frontal teeth and those wide eyes trademark, Spongebob’s image is actually easy to be reproduce and guests won’t have problems recognizing the character.

5. Owl

pumpkin carving stencils

Owls are night creatures we love and these are the animals we’d like to have on our own pumpkin. You can find owl patterns all over the internet, from simple to strikingly complex. Zombie pumpkins offer patterns with some degrees of difficulty marked, so you can choose wisely before embarking in a carving adventure. Obviously, if you plan to win a contest with your carving skills, you might want to choose something more elaborate than a static creature with big eyes. But if you want to impress your neighbors with your porch pumpkins, fear not, there are various patterns of owl faces all over the web, from scary to cute.  In the end, you have to choose the right pumpkin carving stencils for you.

8 Great Homemade Halloween Costumes in 2014

The best way to impress people with your homemade Halloween costume this year is to come up with a couple of strategies. Do you have any physical trait that makes you look like a celebrity or can you use one as a foundation for such a costume? Or do you want to come up with couple costumes or even family costumes? You don’t have to make up your mind yet about one particular strategy, but bear these ideas in mind while you attempt to find the best solution for you. Most of all, Halloween is all about fun, so make sure you enjoy your little project! So here are eight ideas to for great homemade Halloween costumes.

1. Oberyn Martell

Oberyn Martell

Probably everyone at the party has seen the terrifying Game of Thrones episode where, spoiler alert, Oberyn lost his head. The scene was as brutal as it was tragic, a great combination. The costume in itself will really have an important contribution, but be careful to replicate the exact shaving. It shouldn’t be too hard and it’s quite distinctive.

2. Ice bucket Challenge Costume

ice bucket challenge

The ice bucket challenge was the 2014 fad. Moreover, it’s really recent, so that will make it even more effective. You have to design a system that will hold the bucket comfortably on your head. Cut some plastic in the shape of ice cubes and tie them around your head, that’s easy.

3. Cloud giving nude celebrity pictures

Cloud

The Fappening took place even more recently. Was it a good thing, was it bad thing? Yes, it was bad, there’s the answer, as it violated the privacy of numerous women. But that doesn’t forbid us from using one of the hottest media events of the year as a homemade Halloween costume idea.

4. Chauffeur with a cardboard sign that says “Malaysia Airlines: Flight 370″

MH370

Flight MH 370 hasn’t been found yet, even though several nations organized the most extensive and expensive search operation in history. Using the idea for this Halloween party is equally tempting and offensive, as the costume is ridiculously simple, yet utterly macabre.

5. Elsa, Frozen

Elsa

The Snow Queen is a great choice if you loved one of the most progressive Disney films ever made. Elsa was challenge for the film’s directors, but the end result mesmerized everyone. You’ll need a great dress, as well as a perfect long blond hair. A wig might do if that’s not the case. And last, you should really practice the smile.

6. Robin Williams, Jumanji

Jumanji

We all loved Robin Williams and it may be the right time to show our humble homage to one of the greatest comics. Maybe some will go as Mrs. Doubtfire, but his Alan Parish character in Jumanji is our choice. You have to look rough. Wild long hair and beard are a must and they are easy to replicate. A couple of leaves around the neck and a worn-out beige robe should round the image.

7. Bent iPhone 6

bent iphone 6

Ok, that might be kind of hard to pull off, but not impossible. Doesn’t matter if you care about the device or not, many others do and that stands as a good enough reason. See if Samsung pays for it, they just might.

8. Groot

groot

Who are you? Oh, you are the Monarch of the Planet X, I see. The costume should be easy to assemble if you have enough tree bark and adhesive. The more you drink, the easier it will be to just repeat the phrase over and over.

These are some suggestions if you want ideas for homemade Halloween costumes that will be up to date with this year’s events and celebrities.

10 Statement Shoes for a Fashionable Creepy Look

Fashion trends are sometimes magnificent ways of expressing yourself and at the same time an institutionalized way of communication. When it comes to shoes, most women fantasize about different shapes and colors as particularly expressing their unique personality. But what is the limit of fashion when it comes to shoes? None, as we can see below with 10 awesome and sometimes scary statement shoes we could find for you.

1.  Inside-Out Shoes

With this Sveta Kletina pair, you can be sure you will be an elegant and somehow weird attraction, because these shoes look like they have a life of their own, unfolding right before your eyes. They might as well yell: “Hey, look at this sexy feet”.

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2.  Folded Paper Shoes

This pair is totally fabulous when your intention is to avoid being labeled as “trying to hard”, because with these you might as well look normcore, out of your unaffected attitude. And we bet you can’t easily find them owned by someone else, so any awkward situation would be gracefully avoided. And if you want to be even cooler, they are for unisex use.

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3. Gold Digger Shoes

Although this might sound like a good idea and it’s certainly funny and visually nice to see some gold-ish miniature sculptures covering your toes, you should be aware of your Marxist friends who could be less amused about walking over some honest working man. Give them a try though; you could look like a sexy wealthy lady with servants at her feet.

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4. Teeth Shoes

Imagine you need to be classy and unconventional at the same time. This pair with creepy teeth is right what you need: the comfortable fashion safety of the upper part together with the devilish look of the lower part. And you never know when you might need to dig in your garden to plant some seeds for your future little farm. We know, it’s funny, but if this doesn’t work, wear them at the next Halloween party.

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5. Punk Shoes

Does your outfit need a strong statement item to show you are a though girl? These punk shoes could add a twist to your look, just don’t try to over enthusiastically style your hair the same way, one body part covered with that weirdly shaped comb might be enough.

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6.  Virgin Mary Shoes

These 3D printed pair somehow resembles a walk into a museum with old sculptures, but their atypical form might be the perfect way to impress your audience with a combination of bourgeoisie sophistication mixed with high tech innovations, just enough to send the right message.  Make sure your mother doesn’t think they are two beautiful vases to be filled up with unnecessary items like flowers or two china items to expose. Although it wouldn’t be that bad, would it?

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7.  Drunk Heels Shoes

Sometimes fashion industry really helps us feeling special with some small, uncomfortable-to-watch changes in a shoe design.  These heels can’t seem to find their place, but they are mischievously placed to impress your gazer with your stylish nonconformity.

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8. Creepy Bubbles Shoes

If you’re on a tight budget, don’t go too far with your imagination, just choose this pair of transparent plastic shoes that look so much like an invisible eczema on your skin. They are probably cheap and from a distance you might look like you’re walking with your bare feet, but how cool is that you don’t have to struggle to match their color with your clothes?

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 9.  Fairytale Shoes

They are nice because they do look like they got out straight from a princess story, but isn’t the way you think you might crash that little guy holding your foot kind of creepy? This is our choice for a fair amount of creepiness, but not that much so as to scare any human being near you.

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10. Grabbing Fingers Shoes

Yes, we would very much like these were real shoes, but they are a kind of terrifying and colorful sculpture instead.  But the very thought of wearing them make you look like a really approachable and warm person. Also a morbid one. They would make one fine pair of statement shoes.

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7 Extreme Body Modifications

We are all free to do anything we wish to our bodies. The concept of art and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as we all know. While some may find something beautiful and attractive, others can find it repulsive and even insane. That’s the case with extreme body modifications. If you’re not familiar with this form of “body art”, let us tell you that it’s like piercing your ears but taken to a whole new level. We would like to share some of the extreme body modifications fashionable at the moment. Not for the squeamish.

1. Branding

human branding extreme body modifications

You may have heard about animal branding. It’s the process of burning a mark onto the skin of livestock, usually cattle, so that the owner knows his animals. Human branding follows the same process except that the reasons for doing it differ. People brand their skin for beauty purposes. Imagine having a hot iron on your skin and the scar it leaves after. That’s human branding.

2. Subdermal Implants

subdermal impants extreme body modifications

Another trendy extreme body modification technique is the subdermal implant. The name is pretty self explanatory. It refers to a piece of jewelry that is implanted underneath the skin, thus leaving a kind of a 3D design. If you don’t mind having a foreign object inside your body you could try having a subdermal implant and tell us how it feels. We’re pretty curious but kind of reticent of doing it ourselves.

3. Tongue Splitting

tongue splitting extreme body modifications

This is one of the most extreme body modifications techniques on our lists. We warn you, it is definitely not for the faint of heart. Tongue splitting or tongue bifurcation is when the tongue is surgically cut in the middle creating a “snake tongue effect”. This technique is pretty dangerous because one can damage the taste buds and leave you tasteless. But maybe life would be a lot easier when all food tastes the same, what do you think? Kidding, of course. Do not try this at home.

4. Teeth Sharpening

teeth sharpening extreme body modifications

If you ever wanted to be a vampire and have those cool, animal-like long sharp canine teeth, then teeth sharpening is the extreme body modification for you. This is done by filing the tooth in order to sharpen it or give it the shape one desires. This technique is also pretty risky because it can damage the tooth enamel, making it more sensitive to hot or cold and more susceptible to cavities and tooth decay. Unless you’re a Twilight fan, we don’t recommend this to anyone.

5. Tightlacing

tightlacing extreme body modifications

This is not a new form of extreme body modification. Ladies have been doing it ever since corsets first appeared. Tightlacing is the practice of wearing a very tight corset to achieve a very small waist.

6. Eye Tattoos

eye rattoos extreme body modifications

On our list of extreme body modifications we had to mention eye tattoos. Although it’s a pretty recent form of extreme body modification, eye tattooing has been used since the 19th century for correcting defects in blind people’s eyes. Now it’s done only for beauty’s sake. This procedure is performed with a normal tattoo needle or a regular syringe. The pigment is injected or tattooed on the eyeball. Again, it’s not something we would recommend doing at home by yourself.

7. Extraocular Implant

extraocular implant extreme body modifications

The extreme form of body modification called extraocular impant is done by actually implanting an object, usually a piece of jewelry in your eyeball. It sounds crazy but there are people doing it. The risks of infections or blindness keep many people from doing it, though.

This was our list of extreme body modifications. Do you have any? Do you want to share your experience with our readers? We would love to hear from you.