We’ve investigated some important issues within the creative industries this year – such as diversity and London’s studio crisis – but where would we be without a little fun? The weird and wonderful projects are what defines being creative, and we’ve definitely seen some strange projects over the year.
Take a look at a giant Kanye West head making an appearance at Bestival and Luca Paulli’s series of humorous GIFs about what you could do with extendable arms among other photography, art and design projects.
A giant Kanye West head
You may remember the iconic inflatable Lionel Richie Head that made an appearance at Bestival in 2013.
It was the creative work of Hungry Castle and Cool Shit. Because of its incredible popularity and praise by industry greats, the giant inflatable head is made a comeback at this year’s Bestival – but this time it was none other than Kanye West, and it was bigger than ever.
Hungry Castle brings meme culture into the real world by creating large inflatable sculptures. The collective has been around for the last four years, exhibiting a giant inflatable poo emoji that makes ice cream, a laser cat, big bird, Nicolas Cage in a cage, and bananas dancing like bananas, among other internet-inspired ideas.
LCC post grad Caicai He’s strange GIFs
Illustration and visual media post graduate from London College of Communication Caicai’s final project depicts an online world caught up in each others business.
Touching on the idea that digital media can provide a vast stage for gossip, Caicai attempts to present a transparent society by interlacing different spaces together through iconic digital signs such as computer windows, folders, a search bar and more.
Butcher Billy's book covers
Butcher Billy's latest project again puts a darkly humorous spin on the pop culture of decades past. Gere he's applied the iconic cover design style of early Stephen King books to 80s 'pop classics' (as well as some earlier songs that would have be played next to them on pop radio stations back then).
You can see them all in this story, while listening to this Spotify playlist of the tracks we've created for you.
Isaac Alvarez's Photoshopped dogs
LA-based photographer Isaac Alvarez is usually known for his dramatic portraits that resonate with emotions.
But Isaac was fed up with people judging his pit bulls, so he decided to create a series of images with dogs and their owners to show all breeds "are not bad", it just depends "how it is raised".
In his series Reflection of Me, each dog’s head can be seen attached to its owner’s body, in a truly bizarre fashion.
Agile Films threaten clients with violence
Production houses are often vying to work with the best advertising agencies. But in a city like London where there is ample choice of creative agencies, although this is a great thing, it can be hard to make your voice heard and noticed over others.
Shoreditch-based animation and production company Agile Films has taken a different approach to deal with this – sending through terror-filled short animations to three different advertising agencies based in London – rather than turning on the "charm and sugary bribes to get on the right side".
GoT claymation style models
Mexico-based illustrator and character designer, who goes by the name El Grand Chamaco (but otherwise keeps a low profile), has created a bizarre yet fantastic series of CG 3D illustrations for the beginning of GoT Season 7. They're in the style of claymation characters – GoT reimagined by Aardman, if you will.
El Grand Chamaco's series includes vibrant cartoon style portraits of Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Cersei and Jaime Lannister – among other iconic characters.
GIFs of people with extendable arms
We see a lot of interesting projects at Digital Arts, but creating GIFs for a fake campaign for a fake pill that gives you extendable arms is definitely one of the more stranger concepts.
Luca Paulli at Picasso Pictures has dedicated his precious time to producing a series of humorous GIFs for a “brand” called Ugrow - essentially a pill which enables an individual’s arm to extend to “unbelievable lengths”.
The painstakingly detailed work behind three print posters for Lego’s campaign 'Build the future' sent Bangkok-based CG studio, Illusion, home with four awards from Cannes Lions this year.
Illusion worked alongside agency Oglivy Group Thailand (as they’ve done so for 16 years) to win three silver awards in Print and one bronze in design for Outdoor for the stunning posters. In each poster, a child is seen inside a giant Lego suit representing the careers of a firefighter, rockstar and astronaut. Illusion created each poster to replicate a giant Lego structure.
Awful clip art from 1994
These badly-drawn centaurs, Z-list celebrities and bizarre scenes have been taken from Corel’s 10,000-strong CD-ROM of vector artwork.
Clip art was the 90s version of today's cheesy, cheap stock photography. Before iStock, Shutterstock et al made stock photos affordable to the masses, licensing a single photo would cost hundreds of pounds and involve a negotiation with a sales rep over usage over the phone.
Instead marketing presentation and documents relied on clip art often-crudely-drawn representations of every business concept you could think of from two men – and it was always men – sealing a deal with a handshake to a burger at the company BBQ.
Pop culture icons gone insects
Richard Wilkinson is best known for producing digital editorial illustrations heavy with emotion. We even got him to do a masterclass on bringing emotion to digital portraits a few years ago. But recently he's turned his attention to more quirky subject matter - though still rendering them with intense attention to detail and lighting.
Arthropoda Iconicus sees figures from Star Wars, Pokemon and Disney transformed - Gregor Samsa-like - into giant insects (ok, there's no sense of scale so they could actually be insect-sized, but permit we riffing on Kafka).
We caught up with Richard to find out more about the project, and his approach to his artworks whether the subjects are human, object or invertebrate.
Truly bizarre Christmas tree
This is probably the most unusual Christmas tree you’ve seen, throwing away every part of traditional Christmas as we know it. This tree replaces tinsel, lights and an angel at the top with brightly-coloured Alice in Wonderland characters and Christmas objects.
High-profile set designer, illustrator and artist Gary Card created the eight-foot Christmas tree for London’s five-star Sanderson Hotel entirely out of plasticine (umm, but why?) – and it’s just been placed in the reception area this week.