One of my favorite art forms is staged photography.  I love when sets are built and photos are taken of a reality that could never truly exist.  I love when a medium that's used primarily for documentation captures something that's purely fantasy.  This juxtaposition between fantasy and reality also captures my wee little heart when photography and illustration are combined.

images via the cool hunter

You know I will never shy away from layered patterns.  When they are combined with some optical-illusion photo trickery, I pretty much want to pee my pants.  I've yet to see anyone do it better than Nikki Farquharson, the self proclaimed mixed media girl.

Be sure to cruise over to Nikki's website for a boatload more photo / illustration genius.

On a decidedly more rudimentary level is this photo / illustration combo of Kate Moss holding a cartoon doll.  Of course this exists.  Things don't really happen in photography until they happen to Kate Moss, right?  Oh, this here artist is un-the-f-known.  sorry dudes.

Alberto Seveso takes the photo illustration combo to the extreme.  While the design is striking, I feel like it may be just a hair too computer generated for me.  The patterns within the girls skin, however, are right up my alley.

Much like the Kate Moss cartoon image, Chloe combined Disney characters with actual photos for a campaign several seasons ago.  Do you guys remember this?  I never could get on board with all the Disney stuff everywhere.

via trendland

Ok, so there's actually no illustration in this photo / illustration image by Thomas Lelu.  It' paint.  It's my blog.  I like the image, sue me.

I know I've shown you this Antony and the Johnson's album cover before, but I really love the photo / illustration combo here.  And, look!  No paint!

via a glam little project

Here's a sweet little version of drawings on photographs.  I especially like the leaves in the upper left corner.

And another subtle example via fashion line Permanent Vacation

And bringing up the rear we've got one of my favorite examples of illustration on photography.  Illustrator Florence Johann spiffed up these images for Jalouse fashion magazine.  Did you see the girl in the middle has a goose for a hand?!  Holy lord that's good.

Lately I've been drawing over lots of found paintings, but I think it's time I start setting my sharpie on some photographs, clearly that's where the magic's at.

Won't You Take Me To Shantytown?

People, I am tired. It was a boozy week (+ end) full of birthdays, house parties and the death of our beloved cat, Poop Log (RIP, little buddy, and yes, that really was his name). So maybe I'm still a little delirious, or maybe cardboard furniture is kind of... awesome. Sure it's cheap and tacky, but recycling is good, right? And occasionally it can be very modern material-centric, like Frank Gehry's quintessential cardboard chair:

gehry chair

Or cardboard can go for baroque like Giles Miller's wardrobe and grandfather clock over at UK-based Farm Designs. Check out the cute mustache handles:


Miller also produces seating that belies its humble origins:


The one on the right looks kind of painful, like sitting on the flying buttresses of a Spanish cathedral, but lefty has potential. He reminds me of the Togo sofas from Ligne Roset but comes a little closer to fitting into my furniture budget (which has recently been restricted to about $100 for a sofa off Craigslist). At $1500 it's still a pricey piece, especially considering that it's made of material usually functioning as wrapping paper for whatever it is you're actually buying.

Of course, the craft conscious legions have realized that cardboard is a great material for DIYers. The corrugated form is super strong, but it's still easy to cut with -- what else? -- a box cutter. The good folks at Designboom have several projects that you can do yourself:


And taking it 500 steps further are the Cartonnistes over at Instructables:

cardboard wardrobe

That desk does not look even remotely like cardboard and I love the idea that anyone could make furniture cheaply! Cardboard is so very democratic. Usually I'm all about wood, but have you ever tried to make anything out of wood? It's hard. Really hard. Plus I need all ten digits to type.

If you don't feel capable of starting from scratch, you can always order cardboard Legos from Bloxes and build yourself an entire Hooverville:


Is it just me or do those people seriously need to get to work??? Or maybe I'm just jealous that no job of mine has ever allowed me to to build a giant cardboard giraffe.

Really, though, all of my cardboard dreams will probably amount to little more than this:


Sitting on the street, drinking a beer while chilling on my sweet cardboard chair, hopefully without an orange bar over my eyes.

Eat your heart out, Claes Oldenbourg.