Monthly Archives: April 2015

Heart-Shaped Chocolate Cake

Heart-Shaped Chocolate Cake
The secrets of a 3/4 perspective delicious illustration.

Chocolate and strawberries are old-well known natural aphrodysiacs. So why not mix them to create a powerful elisir and give it to the one you love? The best way to hide your love drug is to put it in plain sight, under the form of a tricky heart-shaped chocolate cake! Then you will just have to say “Happy Birthday” and start eating the cake together. Wait a few seconds and celebrate!

This digital illustration I made for a special person has subliminal messages, so it works like a real cake. The composition and the graphic elements are designed to create the illusion in your brain of the chemical involved while eating dark chocolate mixed with strawberries.
It’s a simple, minimal, and isometric digital illustration. Anyway, it still comes with its lace paper pad!

This product is a creation of pastry chef Sir Joe W., known for using only selected high-quality ingredients. We also do personal deliveries. Stay tuned and check out our cake shop for more secret recipes!

Jesus Charlie: Happy Birthday Mr. Chaplin!

Jesus Charlie
Digital sarcasm for a freedom of speech experiment.

English filmmaker and comic actor, Sir Charlie Chaplin, was born on the 16th of April, 1889. One of his famous quotes was «To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it»! So, after the tragic events that took place in Paris on the morning of 7 January 2015, I decided to create this digital illustration as a meta social experiment about freedom of speech. The slogan Je suis Charlie (French for “I’m Charlie”) appeared five days after the Charlie Hebdo shooting, when people of France, and all around the world, joined in the streets to demonstrate solidarity for the victims and to promote freedom of speech. This phrase first appeared on the weekly satirical newspaper’s website as soon as it went back online. It spread out on the streets, and it became viral on the Internet and Social Medias, helped by the hashtag on Twitter #jesuischarlie or the English version #iamcharlie.

I took this opportunity to test freedom of speech on the Web. That’s why I decided to mix religion, humor, creativity, and ways of thinking.
The inspiring slogan Je suis Charlie generated the word game Jesus Charlie, understandable by a wide audience, despite that most of the time puns are not easy to render in different languages. But the two words used work well for both English and Spanish speakers (two of the most spoken languages in the world), plus the iconography involved is well recognized world-wide. Jesus Christ and Charlie Chaplin are two internationally famous icons. Almost as popular as the Beatles (according to John Lennon). So this semiotic crossover has different levels of meaning. For example, the understanding of one of the Christian teachings: tolerance.

Sometimes people take themselves too seriously, and that leads to anger. That’s why there’s so much violence in the world. The creator of the Tramp used to say «A day without laughter is a day wasted». You’re right Mr. Chaplin. That’s why I wish you Happy Birthday with this little digital tribute.

Altare della Patria at Sunset

Sunset On Altare Della PatriaThe majesty of the National Monument to the first king of a unified Italy.

Here’s a glimpse of the eternal city of Rome. It’s a shot of the Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland), also known as Il Vittoriano, one of the largest monuments in Rome. Located near Piazza Venezia, this majestic structure was designed by Italian architect Giuseppe Sacconi in honour of Victor Emmanuel II (Vittorio Emanuele II di Savoia), the first king of a united Italy. It houses the tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Milite Ignoto) and its eternal flame which burns under the white statue of the ancient goddess Roma, a mythological character representing the Roman Empire.

With its sculptures, bas-reliefs and Corinthian columns, reminiscences of the linear harmony of Greek classical architecture, the Altare della Patria is a paradise for architectural photography lovers. Especially at sunset, when the clean white marble turns pink, painted by the last rays of the evening sun.

This photo was taken with a simple digital camera, a Canon PowerShot A3300 IS, that I’m using to prove one of my theories: What makes the difference in photography is the photographer’s eye, not the equipment. Sure, a good quality camera and lens, a nice subject and a bit of luck are important too, but the backbone of a good picture is the cut of the shot!

The Origin of April Fools’ Day Fish

Fish In The Sky
The flying fish of April doodle.

The jokes and hoaxes made to celebrate the 1st of April, a.k.a. April Fools’ Day , are called Pesce d’Aprile (literally “Fish of April”) in Italy. The same in France, where it’s known as Poisson d’Avril. April Fools’ is somehow related to the spring equinox and probably originated from New Year’s Day, celebrated in most European towns during the Middle Ages on the 25th of March with a week-long holiday that ended by the 1st of April.
Some have speculated that this tradition started when Pope Gregory XIII introduced  the Gregorian calendar (also called the Christian calendar or the Western calendar) in 1582, changing New Years’ Day from the 1st of April to the 1st of January. So the ones following the new calendar were making jokes and having fun about those who were still following the old one. Another theory says that the celebration originated from the enemies of Christianity who adopted this date to make fun of Christians because, according to the Christian calendar introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, Jesus died on the 1st of April, 33 A.D. The fish may have been taken from the manner in which the early Christians used to identify themselves, known as the “sign of the fish” or the “Jesus fish”. This secret Christian symbol originated from the Greek word for “fish”, ΙΧΘΥΣ (Ichthus), which was the acronym and acrostic for “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour”, in Greek Ίησοῦς Χριστός, Θεοῦ Υἱός, Σωτήρ, (Iēsous Christos, Theou Yios, Sōtēr).

The flying fish image on this post is a doodle I made in 2008 in one of my sketchbooks that was originally a register I found inside an old library in Mexico while some friends were shooting a short film. It’s ink and crayon on old Mexican paper!
Know what 1st of April is about, and don’t be fooled on New Year’s Day, I mean, on April Fools’ Day!