Watchman's Note

This is a journey to the best designs in the world of Handpicked and presented (along with my own artwork) by yours truly, the driving force behind Surreality designs. We'll discover great artists and special products -mostly with a taste for the eccentric. But let us not confine ourselves in specific genres: the possibilities are endless and so is the great art one can find at Zazzle.


Cards as an art form

I think of cards -postcards and greeting cards- as small, portable posters. It's a great format for an artist to showcase his work and for us to easily obtain, enjoy and offer it. The beautiful cards I found in Oblique validate my opinion. The Venus de Milo above (inspired from one of the most appraised works of ancient Greek sculpture) is an exquisite example of Oblique's art: minimal, monochromatic, modern with a classical twist, well-balanced. Seemingly simple lines that let the design breathe and shine.

COURAGE by oblique
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These virtues are obvious in all the store's cards. The emblematic Courage shows one more of the fine and stylish things you can find there. See them, buy them and offer them to someone you care about. They're tiny (and affordable) works of art!


Blast from the past

I found several great things while perusing CAMcGuire's store. I first discovered her through her great Dear John letter card (which you can see in my Top 10 unusual Valentine's day designs list). I couldn't help noticing some real gems in her vintage inspired style.
First, this absolutely great photograph with a detail from a cracked mirror of an abandoned truck. I love this photo. I love the balanced frame, the cracks, the rusty metal, the sense of the past, of human absence and of a whole life passing through the stuff we own and use. It's one of these rare posters that tell stories.

Then I saw this old tape on an iPhone case. A great idea, executed in a stylized, rough way that brings a completely new look (well, always in an old-school concept!) to an object that lacks the patina of time. Nice work from a store full of oldie treasures!


Sexy mug

25. vanitas mug
25. vanitas by jeanzapata
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Every time you take a sip from this mug this voluptuous comic book beauty will be watching you. Not a bad deal, especially considering that she is made only of black lines on a black and red background. What perplexes me -and makes it more interesting- is that the artist (the talented Jean Zapata) named it vanitas, which is an artistic shorthand for the meaninglessness of earthly life and vanity.
So, what we have here is a killer brunette as a symbol of the certainty of death... Not a bad combination of elements, don't you think?


Crash test drinking and cow abductees

A crash test dummy drinks it off in a bar, while a duck solemnly watches. Is this an unusual painting to put on an iPad case? It may be, and it makes me like it all the more because of this. It has an eerie, surreal mood -and I just love the painted palm trees in the bar stool!
Welcome to the wonderful, strange world of Leah Saulnier, an extraordinary artist with a keen eye for weird themes that mix dreamlike situations with a subtle sense of humor. Her colors are astonishing and the concepts she comes up with, make me jealous!

The alien school bus abducting a cow is another one of my (many) favorites of her amazing store. When it comes to creating beauty from over the top ideas, she's the absolute queen of the show. Let's not forget that she created one of my favorite 2011 calendars as well -behold the link below. Leah, you rule!


Pumping those pounds

This is a postcard (Found on JB Wystan's store) that would appeal to gym freaks, trainers, weightlifters, bodybuilders or just plain curiosity seekers like myself. I've acquired a taste for images of textures or objects printed on products.They seem to become metaphors of what the photo represents.
Take this card, for example: whatever you choose to write in the back can get a whole new meaning when connected with the weight in front. You can play with words or find new ways to express yourself. No need to carry the load all by yourself anymore!


The yeti and the whale

My surreality sensors are about to explode in front of this mouse pad. Lionel the Lion-faced boy (a two-headed Chewbacca look-alike) stands under a jumping whale. The duo is pictured in front of London's Hammersmith Bridge -plus a red background. Folks... you have to see this.
It's one of Zosia Olenska's artworks and, boy, is she unexpected or what! Her themes include peacock mutants, sea foxes, guts and all sorts of crazy stuff that make eccentric people like me happy! Way to go, Zosia!

Enter the octagon

A traditional Japanese octagonal element gets revamped and becomes the latest my Retropop series -Nihon is the casual term for Japan.

A strong, bold black and white symbol surrounded by pink. Somehow, it reminds me of something from a martial arts movie: the color and the floral element inside don't seem to water down the power radiated from the octagon.

A balanced, beautiful design, offered on many products in the Octagon Nihon line.


Grim Reaper, upgraded

Reaper 3.0 shirt
Reaper 3.0 by ShazJustice
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With strange aeons even death may get up-to-date. Shaz Justice sees to it and offers this ringer shirt with a darkly humorous cartoon of a new and improved Charon. The design belongs to her "Lighter side of Dark" series: gothic art that doesn't take itself too seriously and brings a smile to your face.
Her characters range from cute to hilarious -or both, as this Reaper 3.0 comes to prove. I just love his golden scull necklace, and I can't help but noticing the downsizing that took place, considering that the traditional Reaper was depicted as much taller. It looks like Death jumped on the "efficiency and sustainability" bandwagon!


Certified weirdo

Weirdo multi t shirt shirt
Weirdo multi t shirt by andi_bird
Shop Zazzle for another t shirt.Zazzle

Some of us have no trouble communicating our unusual personalities to the world! So, for all you weirdos out there, this is the ultimate t-shirt! This crazy cartoon/bird/unidentifiable creature hugs the word weirdo -while sporting an amiable hat, I might add.
Great design by Andi Bird, a graphic designer from California. Kudos for making a shirt that suits my mood!


Watched by a thousand eyes

Countless eyes on a shapeless, jelly-like form? Yes, this gelatinous blob looks like a shoggoth to me! It's been a long time since I saw any Lovecraftian design worth talking about and I'm glad I found this green maelstrom.
Am I the only one who thinks that this is actually  funny?
This poster was created by David Robinson for his Cydonian store, a place where he presents his strange artwork: from eccentric space landscapes to things that go bump in the night.


Women, ancient and modern

The Light Keeper speckcase
The Light Keeper by Paty_Vidour
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I love the lines in the art of argentine Patricia Vidour.
I love their intricacy and power, their ability to create a new world. Paty paints women and expresses all
aspects of femininity with themes that transgress ages and eras.

My personal favorite is this stunning Mayan queen. There is a certain pose, a sense of ritual that I find irresistible.


Mildred on a ski mask

Have you ever considered your torso as a face with a ski mask? This trippy t-shirt by Mildred gives a new meaning to the eyes without a face concept. Eccentric, surreal, unexpectedly funny... A talented artist offering just what the doctor ordered!
I also liked Mildred's blog and you may like it too.


Furry enough?

It struck me as weird and camp. So I did it! I put fur on stuff. Well, not fur exactly... I put a photo texture of fur on stuff. So now you can have your own furry iPhone 3G Speck case or your furry mouse pad...

Looks soft and plush enough to fondle! Kitsch, you say? Well, in a funny way that's exactly the point, Dear Watson! You may even get addicted enough to buy yourselves some furry Keds shoes:

They are furry as it gets (considering they're made of canvas) and they do have a certain appeal. So, go furry on stuff -the Surreality way- on my Furry products page!


Gary Moore, RIP

This outstanding blues, rock and heavy metal guitarist is dead at 58. I wish I couldn't believe a word of this but, alas...

iPad, chrome and bones

Chrome Bones speckcase
Chrome Bones by artNimages
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The photographic lens of ArtNimages unites two worldviews and technologies in what may be the first ever hot rod,skull decorated iPad case! Just when you thought that things couldn't get weirder than they already are, comes an artist's eye and proves you wrong...
So, there it is: with a mean looking grill, a serious pair of classic headlights and a killer fender, the hot rod iPad case will make your gadget the most take-no-bullshit-from-nobody thing around.


Coffee mug tsunami

I don't know about you but, me, I can't have enough coffee mugs. I'm not really into tea but I couldn't live without coffee and I just love a good mug! This one here, created by Mariela Alvarez Xiloj (an artist/photographer from Puerto Rico) for Xalomako, is my current favorite. It pictures a city in the throes of a tsunami. Colorful, fresh and vibrant, like most of the stuff of the store.


Hand-drawn Head

The Head is an exquisite animated short film, made out of solid craftsmanship and surreal imagination. Watch the weird adventures of it's hero, a huge robot-like creature that absorbs things in his head, and admire the talents of the Argentine artists Matias Vigliano, Dante Zaballa and Ariel Gandolfo -art direction, animation and sound design, respectively.


Top 10 Unusual Valentine's Day designs

Well, it's that corny time of year again and Surreality Watch wants to make sure that if you absolutely must make an ass of yourself then at least you'll do in style. So, here's my list of this year's top ten unexpected, atypical and noteworthy artwork that people have put on products on -in random order. Let the sentimental consumerfest begin:


A "Dear John" letter guarantees you won't be easily forgotten! Great idea from CAMcGuire.


Good typography makes for a minimal and tasteful necklace. Very nice work from Star Stream Design.


A cartoon Cupid -rather careless with his arrows- in this funny t-shirt from Badger Pie.


Love's weapon and good graphic design on this delicious card from Destructobot.


A striking dark card with a simple (and rather ambiguous...) message of love, from Seguidilla.


Let the robot do the talking with this cool card from Spacedust!


The folks at Strk3 tell it like it is: love is a battlefield. That's why you'll need their nifty Love Grenade poster.


This distressed anti-valentine's t-shirt turns cliches upside down. Great misanthropy from InsaniTEE.


The next-to-worst case scenario, splendidly conceived by The Anti Card store.


Some people are literal and laconic in the matters of the heart! Gorgeous card from -once again- Destructobot.

(+1 more...)
This ends the list but there is one more thing to be said. I do believe that my own Slippery Love Sign artwork is not bad at all!

Available in t-shirts and other products and blah-blah-blah, right here!

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