Can’t Get Out of Bed?

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Marcus Aurelius (121 – 180 AD) was a Roman Emperor and a practicing Stoic. He was also pretty good at motivating people:

“At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: ‘I have to go to work — as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for — the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?’

— But it’s nicer in here …

So you were born to feel ‘nice’? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands?

— But we have to sleep sometime …

Agreed. But nature set a limit on that — as it did on eating and drinking. And you’re over the limit. You’ve had more than enough of that. But not of working. There you’re still below your quota.

You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you. People who love what they do wear themselves down doing it, they even forget to wash or eat. Do you have less respect for your own nature than the engraver does for engraving, the dancer for the dance, the miser for money or the social climber for status? When they’re really possessed by what they do, they’d rather stop eating and sleeping than give up practicing their arts.

Is helping others less valuable to you? Not worth your effort?”

(Found on

Miniature Magic

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Mexican photographer, digital artist, and graphic designer Felix Hernandez Rodriguez is still in touch with his inner-child. He is a master at creating magical photographs using miniature toys, but you have to look very closely to see what he is actually doing.

Thanks to his behind-the-scenes photos we get to see some of the tricks he uses to create his pictures. Icing sugar, cigarette smoke, scale models are photographed with a macro lens in order to capture all the details and by using a technique where multiple photos are combined he creates a wider focus. He later uses Photoshop to bring it all together.

Hernandez Rodriguez: Scale is one of the most important aspects of my photography. If what you want is to give the sense of “realism” to your scaled models (toys), you will generally need to get close with your camera.MTM3NDI5Mzk4MjQzNTgzMTQ0MTM3NDI5Mzk4MjQzNjQ4NjgwMTM3NDI5Mzk4MjQzNzc5NzUzMTM3NDI5Mzk4MjQzNjQ4NjgxMTM3NDI5Mzk4MjQzNTgzMTQ1

The Love Car | The Making Of from Retouching Academy.

All images © Felix Hernandez Rodriguez / More work on
(h/t: /



What Lies Beneath…

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Artist Jessica Wohl has created a series of manipulated portraits that is equally funny and disturbing. Some remind me of Chewbacca , others seem more sinister. Who are these people with their faces stitched into anonymity, what are they hiding behind their masks?

On her website Wohl says: Particularly drawn to the home and its residents, I exploit the uncanny while subverting domestic representations of perfection and happiness. I use obsession, personification, and gothic overtones to convey the idea that looks can be deceiving, and I interpret the family, the posed portrait and the suburban tract home as stages where this unsettling dynamic plays out.


Wohl: I use sewing as a metaphor for “keeping it together.” This relentless need to prevent things from “ripping apart at the seams” speaks to the human need for connection, while simultaneously masking this vulnerability to appear composed in the eyes of others…


5256b7e1757775df-Wohl_SparkleFace_AAFPageImage-497433-4720389-DoubleVisionBronzePageImage-497433-4720388-DoubleVisionBlueAll images © Jessica Wohl

Art Deco Elegance

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art / beauty / inspiration / LONG

Erté (pseudonym for Roman Petrovich Tyrtov, 1892-1990) was a Russian Art Deco illustrator, graphic artist, costume & set designer. He created the covers for Harper’s Bazaar in the twenties and thirties and many other illustrated magazines. His distinctive, elegant drawings helped to form what we think of as typical Art Deco style.


Most images © the State Hermitage