Monday, November 11, 2019

Fredrick Jamel "Freddie Gibbs" Tipton

Fredrick Jamel Tipton a.k.a "Freddie Gibbs"

Freddie Gibbs is a hip-hop artist from Gary, Indiana, just south of Chicago metro area. Among the mainstream media, he tends to fall more in the "underground" category of hip-hop and rap. However, I believe he has some of the most complete and well-produced albums of all time and is extremely influential for younger artists in the hip-hop industry. He was born in 1982, so he has been through many different eras of hip-hop music. This, I believe gives him a more broad view of different styles of hip-hop and allows him to constantly change and evolve his sound. For example, probably his most popular album, Piñata (2014), produced by legendary producer Madlib, has very old-school vibes and shows how he was inspired by legendary classic hip-hop artists like 2pac, Pusha-T, and Jay-Z. However, in his 2018 mixtape titled Freddie, he implements many elements of modern "trap" music and shows how he is able to evolve to the current hip-hop style and culture. 


This article talks about Freddie's struggles in trying to become a major artist and shows how resilient a person he is. Even now, he has to work hard to keep his image up.

In this interview, Freddie discusses his experiences with racism and police brutality and opens up on his acceptance as a role model within the hip-hop community.

To me, this interview shows a side of Gibbs that we would never normally get to see. He truly opens up about his experiences and talks about the importance of talking about your issues. 

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Kendrick Lamar Duckworth

Kendrick Lamar Duckworth 

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Kendrick Lamar is one of the most influential hip-hop artists of all time. Kendrick started at the bottom, being borne in Compton and having to overcome the life of crime and drugs that the world around him was. I chose Kendrick because he is one of my biggest inspirations, he is one of the smartest Musical artists, this is proven by the fact that he is the first hip-hop artist to win a Pulitzer Prize for his album Damn. Kendrick has worked with some of the biggest names in hip-hop, Kanye West, Chance the rapper, Eminem, and many more. His dictation and nuance are some of the things that truly show his greatness on stage. I was able to see Kendrick Lamar live in 2018 and it was one of the most amazing things in my life, he is a great performer.

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In this article, Kendrick sits down with a journalist and goes through his hit album Damn, explaining things like how it was written, why it was written. He speaks more about who he is as a person and how that affects his music.

In this interview, Kendrick spoke on his album Good kid M.A.A.D city. He spoke on how he thought of race and the impacts of politics.

Kendrick speaks on his thoughts of Kanye West supporting trump and his appreciation for winning a Pulitzer Prize. Kendrick spoke to how he believes a Pulitzer Prize went to a hip-hop artist a long time ago.

Dale Chihuly

Dale Chihuly 

Growing up as a child in the Tacoma area, I was always surrounded by Chihuly glass and art work. From hospital buildings to restaurants to museums, his work would follow me everywhere. Something about it catches my mind as he uses nature as an inspiration, bringing his sculptures to life. His work speaks to me because you can sense the pure passion in what he creates and most of all, its not always easy for him to create these amazing pieces. At a young age Chihuly's brother and father all passed away which then pushed him to follow a path of creating art work. On top of his struggles in the past Chihuly has not actually been able to blow glass for a few decades, due to injuries to his shoulder that has caused him to be unable to lift up a blow pipe and a blind left eye. None the less, Chihuly has never let that stop him when those injuries took place in the middle of his career. Still regarded as one of the top glass artist and a strong activist for nature and all that it has to offer, Chihuly found a way to work around his injuries and continues to create truly amazing works of art. Seeing this dedication to an art form like this and all for the purpose of creating works of art that make me smile is why the work of Dale Chihuly, never fails to make me smile.

A good starting point into looking into "who is chihuly". Obviously, a personal site, however is a nice introduction to some of his pieces and his inspirations

A description of some of his work at the Chihuly garden and glass located at Seattle Center. This link includes some more insights into Chihuly's life, as well as the artwork and venue.

An interesting New York Times article into his injuries and how he works around that in his artistic career. This gives a more deeper look into who he is and what goes through that brilliant mind. 

Raleigh Ritchie, A.K.A. Jacob Anderson

When I was younger, I always thought about what it would be like to be older, what it would be like to be independent. Throughout the last years of my life, I've had an extreme struggle with growing up. Thats what drew me to Raleigh Ritchie, when I heard his song "Time in A Tree". In this song he digs deep into the roots of childhood and the childhood amazement you had but lost along the way. He writes beautifully and a lot of his music really hits that spot for me. Not only that, but he was a Game of Thrones actor as well, and me being a huge fan of that show absolutely was enthralled with him. His lyricism can be seen as simple at times but it does what it has to beautifully, and like I said earlier, he captures childhood imagination. In Time In a Tree my favorite lyric is "You could be a wizard, you could be in NASA, you could write fiction, you could tame raptors". This lyrics really hits for me because it reminded me of when I was a kid and I had plenty of ideas of what to do with my life and the world was truly my oyster. Raleigh captures the childlike essence perfect, and no song has ever stuck with me like that one has.
This article discusses his journey being a musician and an actor. He uses the pseudonym Raleigh Ritchie for music and his real name for acting. Now that Game of Thrones is over he delves into that.
This is just his website. Theres links to his songs on there that are the most popular, and information about him in general.

In this article he discusses a lot of his influences, including Amy Winehouse and also talks again about managing Game of Thrones and his music career. He talks about his perfectionism as well.

Carrie Underwood

When I was growing up I struggled to enjoy art in the same way my peers did, this was especially noticeable when it came to music. I was a child with a lot of sensory issues and music would usually send me into a panicked meltdown, but the first artist that I can remember wanting to listen to and sing along with was Carrie Underwood. Carrie Underwood was the winner of American Idol in 2005 and has gone on to have 26 #1 singles. Carrie Underwood is considered a country music artist, but has also become the designer of a clothing line, and has even made a few appearances as an actress with roles in How I Met Your Mother and Soul Surfer. Some of her hit songs include "Before He Cheats", "Jesus, Take The Wheel", and "Cry Pretty". Although my music taste has changed over the years, I still enjoy Carrie Underwood because of her powerful music and she is a strong role model with the messages she sends through her songs and actions.
This is a link to her website where you can keep up on recent news about her, songs, videos, and more. This link will also bring you to a bio section that will list some of Carrie Underwoods accomplishments and talks about other projects she has been involved in.
This is a list of charities and foundations Carrie Underwood has worked with over the years, this link also talks about other ways she has given back to the community and those in need. With such a big platform and following it is nice to see people use their fame to make others aware of world issues.
This last link has her top 10 songs, as well as links to the corresponding videos and a section about the meaning behind each song. I thought this website was a good example of her evolution as a musician and it showed how meaningful her music is.

Jean Isamu Nagai

Jean Nagai

I first found Jean Nagai while on instagram my freshman year of college! I really enjoy all of his paintings, and feel like I always feel something, or kind of relive a memory! I think a lot of his paintings are meant to be depictions of nature, but using exaggerated colors and forms. I also really love that Nagai has a theme of pointillism through most of his work, which give him a cohesive style, and allows for all of the paintings to be different. Nagai started out in Olympia, which is in my home state so I also feel a certain sense of pride that something I think is so cool is coming right out of my home!

Today, I think art is becoming far more accessible than it has in the past! Nagai is a great example of this. He is from a small town (Olympia, WA) yet I was able to discover a plethora of information about him from 5+ websites right off the bat. He has multiple interviews in smaller journals, as well as a few with bigger sites! 

Jean Nagai, Tone Police (2018)

I think that this interview is a good example of Nagai's laid back perspective on art and life. The interview has some work from about 5 years ago, that shows his sillier side! I think it's cool to have references to points in time for an artist, to see how they grew. 

Jean Nagai, Sage (2017)

This second interview took place in 2017, and I think it shows Nagai's development as an artist. Here he talks more about the intent behind his paintings and  delves deeper into his own personal philosophy. There are a lot more landscape type paintings here, that I think kind of mark a shift in his interests!

Jean Nagai, Avalon (2018)

This is the most current interview of the three I have selected, and to me this is Nagai at his most formed! The interview has a lot of information about Nagai's influences and themes. I think the opening paragraph does a good job of summing up what Nagai's painting put out! 

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston

This website tells you almost everything you need to know about Jennifer Aniston. For instance, it tells you about her early life and how she got started out as an Actress. It also talks about her personal life, by mentioning her parent’s divorce, who she’s been married too, and places she’s lived. Jennifer Aniston’s parents were both actors so she was always around acting. Jennifer Aniston started acting at the age of 11 and has been acting ever since!

This website digs deeper into Jennifer Aniston’s life. For example, it touches on the little facts in Jennifer Aniston’s life and talks about how her parents didn’t want her to be an actress because it’s a tough business and growing up her parents were pretty strict. She was only allowed to watch TV when she was sick. It also mentions the other jobs she had growing up. She was a bike messenger and it was one of the hardest jobs she’s had. Jennifer Aniston was also a waitress and then began acting! This website really explains how her life came to be.

This website gives a very short description of how popular Jennifer Aniston is! She’s so popular that an app Instagram crashed after she made her profile. So many people were following and sharing her picture at the same time the app didn’t know how to react and crashed. It’s amazing how Jennifer Aniston makes such an impact on people’s lives.

Growing up the popular TV show Friends was constantly playing. At a very early age, I was obsessed. Jennifer Aniston had a great influence on my life, I really looked up to her. I’ve seen almost every movie she’s been in and I’ve always followed her on what she’s been up to. I never realized that Jennifer Aniston is truly an artist until taking this class, it has shown me that her work in her movies and TV shows has a great impact on people’s lives and it is a great source of entertainment. She’s proved in her interviews and in the articles listed above that everyone should follow their hearts and do what they want to do because that is how someone is truly successful. Jennifer Aniston is very popular and continues to make an impact on people’s everyday lives.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Maria Pryimachenko

Maria Pryimachenko

Maria Pryimachenko is a Ukrainian folk-art painter, whose works really resonate with me. Her art is a perfect blend of real-life and made-up fairytale images, that completely submerge you into the fairytale world. Her art makes me go back in history and to the time when people knew how to coexist with animals and understood the mystery of nature around them. The animals and plants created by her are not static; there is movement, mystery, and nevertheless harmony. She somehow is able to express the warmness of Ukrainian culture as well as its uniqueness. Through her art, she exposes the very soul of Ukrainian culture, as she attempts to express her emotions and ideas through tales, myths, and the life itself. No wonder that Maria Pyimachenko is titled an Honored Artist of Ukraine.
Maria Pryimachenko grew up around Chornobyl, and after the catastrophe her art may be interpreted differently. With the mutations happening in people and animals, her paintings become a warning or a prophecy even. Interestingly, one of her paintings is called "Atom" and is fairly dark. There is also a detailed description for what inspired her to start painting and where she was getting the ideas from.
The article provides various interesting facts about Maria's life and art. For example, Picasso once said after visiting a Primachenko exhibition in Paris, “I bow down before the artistic miracle of this brilliant Ukrainian.” Exhibitions of her works have proved tremendously popular in Moscow, Poland, Bulgaria, France, and Canada.
Maria suffered the consequences of polio for a major part of her life, which also contributed to her artistic development. As an artist she has a unique worldview, and no matter how her technique was changing, the world of her images always remained the same. 

Calvin Harris

Calvin Harris

Music has always been more significant to me than just some tunes to groove to or sound to have on in the background. Certain artists, albums, and songs are staples of my own personal history, as they cement periods of my life forever in a nostalgic musical memory. Calvin Harris is one of those artists that I have listened to for so long, that each one of his songs represents different eras in my life. He is a Scottish DJ who also writes, produces, and sings on songs he makes with other artists, as well as his own songs. He is most famous for producing the song with Rhianna called "We Found Love", which was the longest lasting #1 single of 2011. I really appreciate in an industry of saturated music and similar sounding artists, it is a breath of fresh air to hear Calvin Harris's unique style of DJ'ing and his iconic voice. He also has a way of being completely universal in his ability to collaborate with a wide range of artists, having each song sound completely individual to the accompanying artist.

This first song is a perfect example of a classic Calvin Harris style beat. It is very melodic in its rhythm, and the addition of Ayah Marar's vocals is unmatched in its perfect unity.

This song reminds me of being 19 years old in the Marine Corps, and living in the barracks with all of my buddies. This song had just came out and it was always played in clubs we went to or parties we threw.

This song was one of Calvin Harris's most remixed songs he ever created. This song was played a lot in clubs when I lived in Liberia, which a lot of African DJ's would put their own cultural addition to remix the song.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Hidetaka Miyazaki

Since I was a child, I have always had a difficult time connecting to art. As an autistic person it is very hard for me to see a painting or drawing and understand the emotional depth and/or meaning behind it. Similarly, I wasn’t even able to listen to music without feeling anxious and overwhelmed until my early teenage years.  However, when I was in third grade, I found that I could connect to art in the form of video games.  Being able to explore entire worlds full of music and art on my own terms allowed me to connect to the world in a way that I never could previously. Therefore, after a lot of research and thought, I have chosen to write this post about my favorite game designer/director, Hidetaka Miyazaki. For those that don’t know, Miyazaki is the creator of Demon Souls (2009), the Dark Souls trilogy (2011-2016), and Bloodborne (2015), as well as various other titles. These games are infamous for their extremely challenging gameplay, but they are also beautifully designed and accompanied by stunning soundtracks.  Even if you’re not interested in video games, I highly recommend looking at the concept art or listening to the soundtracks for these games. Though Hidetaka Miyazaki is not an artist in the traditional sense, I truly believe that he has created art that is just as important and thought-provoking as any painting or symphony. Especially to me. 

Hidetaka Miyazaki is the representative director and president of From Software, the company which developed and published the Souls games, Bloodborne, and other titles of a similar caliber. This website features a lot of great information about the history of the company and the games they have developed over the years.

A few years back I bought the official Bloodborne art book from Japan, and I still love to sit and look through to this day. Although I can’t provide a look into the book, this video game art library provides a ton of detailed images of the concept art for the game.

 Miyazaki has given a lot of interesting interviews, but I found that this one in particular gives a good overview of his journey into video game design and direction. This interview took place in 2015, and as such also includes commentary on the design process of Bloodborne, which at the time had just been released.

Martin Blank

Martin Blank


I chose Martin Blank, a glass blowing artist because I love glass blowing and have taken a glass blowing class here at Western that made my interest in glass blowing grow immensely. Martin Blank is a well known artist in the glass blowing community and is based in Seattle, Washington. Martin is known for his architectural glass installations but some of his newer work is what he calls visual mirroring. It deals with abstract forms and their spatial relationships. Martin Blank is one of my favorite glass blowing artists because he has such a unique way of installing his art pieces and really pushes the boundaries of what any glass blower has done in the past.

This article is a bibliography of Martin Blank and gives you a brief explanation of what Martin is inspired by and what he is capable of as a glass blowing artist. The article goes over some of Martins accomplishments and one of those accomplishments is his art being featured in the new World Trade Center.

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This article is another bibliography of Martin Blank, but goes more in depth about his personal life and the things he has accomplished over the years. Martin started out his career with the famous Dale Chihuly and was on his team for 11 years. Blank states, "It always intrigues me when the forms reveal a negative space that is as vital and potent as the actual objects. Great sculpture is like music, all you have to do is feel it"

I like this article of Martin Blank a lot because it has a portion talking about the artist and then an artist statement that goes in depth of how Martin thinks about his art pieces and his thought process when creating one of his glass sculptures. Also there is a time lapse showing the installation of Martins Crystal Reveal at the Friesen Gallery.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Tracey Emin

While touring Paris this past summer, I was able to visit the Musee d’Orsay. While visiting the Musee d’Orsay, there was a big exhibit that has recently opened and there was a lot of traffic going in and out of the room. In this room was Tracey Emin’s new exhibition, “The Fear of Loving.” The drawings and different mediums included in this exhibition captured the true fears and anxieties that we face as humans when it comes to love. I was drawn to it because the way she expressed these anxieties and fears was so real and raw looking. The pieces of work were all messy and all over the place, just how love is. A lot of her work is similar to this, expressing deep feelings and emotions through her work. She is very good at capturing these emotions and viewing her work allows you to feel the same way the people in her artwork feel. I had never been moved by a piece of work before but this exhibition was incredible, as well as all of her work. 

White Cube features an in-depth synopsis of Tracey Emin’s work as well as what inspires her work. The website also provides pictures of all of her pieces and exhibitions with short, detailed descriptions of each piece and what inspired her for each of them.

Artnet provides more information on who Tracey Emin is, what inspires her work, and what she believes art should communicate and show. The website also provides information on what awards she has won and the awards she has been nominated for. On Artnet you are also able to bid and buy her work. This page is more for buyers looking to buy her work and get to know a basic summary of who she is as an artist. provides a detailed description of who Tracey Emin is and what inspires her work. It also shows what achievements and awards she has received for her work. You are able to view all of her artwork and buy her work off of this website as well. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Meredith Willson

I’ve had a deep love for music and musicals for as long as I can remember.  One of my favorite musicals is The Music Man, the 2003 film version of the same name starring Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenowith.  Meredith Willson wrote the script and songs for The Music Man which started as a Broadway musical (one of the most successful musicals of all time) before first being turned into a film in 1962.  I really connected to this musical because of the small town setting that's similar to where I grew up and the compelling characters.  The Music Man also features some of my favorite songs like “Till There Was You,” “Goodnight, My Someone,” and “76 Trombones.”  A couple of my favorite Christmas carols, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas” and “Pinecones and Holly Berries,” were also written by Meredith Willson.  Willson’s songs are meaningful, classic, and catchy in my opinion which is why I choose to spotlight him.

The Masterworks Broadway website features short, yet detailed, biographies of notable contributors to the Broadway stage including actors, singers, playwrights, composers, lyricists, producers, directors, etc.  This particular page describes some of Meredith Willson’s personal life with more focus on his contributions to the Broadway stage and music fields in general.

The Songwriter’s Hall of Fame honors Meredith Willson through this page featuring a short biography focusing more on his personal life and his songwriting contributions.  There are interactive elements on this page that make navigating the information lots of fun. 

This is the tourism website for Mason City, Iowa where Meredith Willson grew up.  Willson used his hometown as the inspiration for the setting of The Music Man and the 1962 film version was filmed on location in Mason City.  The Visit Mason City website features a biographical timeline of Willson’s life and loads of photos showcasing important locations from the film and Willson’s personal life. 

Monday, November 4, 2019

Derek Hough

Derek Hough

Derek Hough is the performer I strive to emulate since 2013 when I first saw him and his sister Juliane Hough on Dancing with the stars. Not only is he charismatic, he is diversely talented. Derek is a professional dancer, choreographer, best selling author, singer, and actor. His passion for dancing is what propelled me into performing as a young teen. As I have grown up I watched him enter into my favorite roles in musical theater such as Corny Collins from Hairspray. I particularly look up to his attribution to the show Dancing with the Stars. He used his skills and technique to turn celebrities that are no where near professional dancers into just that, helping them shine and grow as performers in their own skin.

This website is home to the Derek Hough Live Tour dates and information about him as a performer as well as his history and credentials. He is currently one of the only dancers to be performing solo around the world.

This is Derek's biography which include details about his childhood, dance back ground, movies he has been in, theater productions he has choreographed, and his current place as a judge on "World of Dance."

This page is from the Dancing with the Stars website on ABC. It tells us a bit about Derek from when he was a pro dancer on the show. This was meant for people watching the show to get to know the pro dancers that the celebrities would be dancing with.