Inspiring Artists Rex Ray and the Marimekko group

Amazing, abstract and handcrafted, with a retrofuturistic feel, Rex Ray’s work is always identifiable, whether as fine art seen on museum or gallery walls, in hip restaurants and boutique hotels — or graphic design, on books, CD covers or rock posters. And, much like me, he wore both hats! Ray worked on a wide range of custom projects for Apple, Dreamworks, Swatch and David Bowie, among others. He worked as a graphic artist by day, but searched for ways to break free of the computer during the evenings, and it eventually led to his unique hand-executed style.

The funny thing is, as he did more and more work "hands-on" he began to look for ways to achieve a similar aesthetic as he could accomplish with his computer! Talk about irony.

My Skillshare Class, Rex Ray Inspired Design Using Illustrator and Photoshop, takes this story to heart. So much of what I know about Rex inspires me. He passed away of cancer at 56 years old, around my age, and I can't help but think of what he could have done in the years he missed, those years I am living now, mid-life (ish). Every artist needs goals and aspirations about their future as artists, and I know I am always thinking of long term, inspiring, and challenging goals.

Growing as an artist isn't always about painting more, however. You can set goals that help you grow not just your skill, but your creativity, and these are some of the best goals to set, because they are just darn good fun. Creativity should be fun! And there is nothing wrong with using digital means to help produce fine art. Watch the video links I am providing here. I love the part where he talks about being told he is "not an artist", but a graphic designer. Hmmm. I bet whoever told him that didn't see that the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art would eventually hang his work.

Whatever goals you want to achieve as an artist in future, you must have an approach through which you can achieve those dreams. My class will guide you through MY process for producing Rex-Ray inspired art pieces. Additionally, if you already do not have clear goals set, using some of the methods listed can help you realize your goals and devise methods on how to achieve them. This class will show you some methods you can use to exercise your fine arts digitally while planning your future goals and dreams as a licensing canvas art artist. Here's a look at the piece I produced for this class. I will show you my entire process, from start to finish:

Make sure you check the links for a great history lesson on Rex. Use this link for 2 weeks free on Skillshare. You can watch an unlimited number of classes throughout that 2 week period:




And here are the video links I mentioned:

How to Make a Rex Ray

Finding Beauty Along the Edges  -  Remembering Rex Ray-1956-2015


If you are looking for something fun and easy to do this weekend, check out this class I published. It's fun and easy!

Simple Quick Marimekko-Inspired Layered Design

In this class, I will help you to create a striking artwork in the classic Finnish style. I have drawn inspiration from the bold shapes and colors of Marimekko, as well as artists like Liz-Kohler Brown and Ophelia Pang. In this one class, you will find all the practical skills required to use the Blob Brush and the Shapebuilder tools. The two tools work together so seamlessly! I have plenty of other ideas

and pointers too, as I demonstrate my workflow from start to finnish (lol). I am also teaching you techniques for adding depth and interest to patterns created in this style! You will create foreground, middle ground and background layers which make your pattern so much more interesting! It will be a fun little adventure for you. Believe it or not, it is just over half an hour long!


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