Sunday, October 31, 2010

Skull-A-Day Press: Pumpkin Anatomy Skull part III

Still more great press on my Pumpkin Anatomy Skull!...

The LA Times 

Geek Mom

and even PostSecret like the image enough to include it as their Halloween greeting...

[BONUS] Pumpkin Anatomy Skull Follow-Up

It's been so nice seeing such a positive response to my Pumpkin Anatomy Skull over the last few days!

Not only has there been a bunch of great press, but several people have made their own versions! Below are a few we've been sent so far...

Kyndra made this jumbo one...

My friend Erin made this one for her office pumpkin party and won second place!...

Sam Snoek-Brown in Dubai made this "homage" to the interior skull pumpkin...
And here's an updated image of the original that's now several days old...

And of course if you've made your own version please do share it with us!


[BONUS] Skull and Stripes Pumpkin

Every year, my daughter's school has pumpkin event. Each class designs a pumpkin and a willing parent makes that design happen on a pumpkin. Last year, my daughter's class choose a dalmatian. This year, with out my prior knowledge, she advised everyone to draw a skull. They all did (I wish I had photos of all those skull drawings.) and choose their favorite. The winning drawing was sent home with my daughter and I got carved my interpretation of it. I don't know if it won the school contest, but I was satisfied that the class loved it. Like the other skull pumpkin I carved, I used wood carving tools on this one too.

I'm sure many of you made skull pumpkins too, so please submit them to us. Happy Halloween!

Sunday Simulacra - Version 4.22

Happy Halloween, skull hunters. Today's simulacrum have an extra bit of creepiness to enhance today's mood.

Shelik awoke to the horror of a bloody blanket one morning. "This skull was inadvertently drawn in my own blood. Long story short: Alcohol, cut my chin open, bled like mad, cleaned it up as best as I could, and then went to bed. I awoke to a bloody blanket and a skull smiling smugly back at me."

Angela Ramirez has discovered what must be a haunted outhouse. "The simulacra is my friend BMac's outhouse in McCarthy Alaska. You would not believe how many times I walked passed this simulacra before I 'saw' it."

And I'm gonna take you way back to Braincase XVII where we first got wind of evil's aroma when Phil and Mady found this devilish cinnamon skull lurking in their coffee filter.

Thanks as always to the skull hunters out there. I hope today's festivities find you in the presence of many happy skulls. Perhaps you'll even catch a simulacra of your own that you can submit. That would be awesomely ghoulish!

“Countdown To Halloween”
IT'S FINALY HERE! Happy Halloween, everyone!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

[BONUS] Papercraft Skull in Use

Inspired by 72. Papercraft Skull (with Articulated Jaw), the folks at Le Cagibi in Lille, France have put together this amazing exhibition at the L'hybride Theater titled “The Crypt”.

The exhibit is on the subject "Tête de Mort" (dead head / skull in french). “The Crypt” includes painting, drawing, sculpture as well as 300 paper skulls which go up to the ceiling decorated by artists Albert Foolmoon, Antoine Duthoit, Ar-Déco, and Sebh.

If you feel like making your own custom designed Crypt you can also download a blank version of the pattern as well. As always, if you make something new please send us a picture or two so we can share with everyone here.

Jaunty Chap Skull

Christine Benjamin is here with her "Jaunty Chap" to start off this Halloween weekend properly. This dapper gentleman is needle felted and painted paperclay.

Once this fellow gets into the spirit I'm sure he'll be up dancing a jig, spooking the kids, and amassing as much candy as he possibly can. Or at least that's what I picture him doing. Thanks, Christine, for helping to provide a colorful kickoff to this spirited weekend!

“Countdown To Halloween”
1 more day and counting...IT'S ALMOST HERE!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Skull-A-Day Press: Pumpkin Anatomy Skull part II

More nice press about my Pumpkin Anatomy Skull:

[BONUS] New Skull-A-Day print/League of Space Pirates single

I'm very excited to announce that my League of Space Pirates project has released it's first single and it features a limited edition Skull-A-Day letterpress print that is only available as part of this package...

It's a one-of-a-kind, limited edition, white vinyl 10 inch that is custom die-cut to look like an 8-bit digitized record and comes with an original numbered art print. This extremely limited edition package features the League of Space Pirate’s original track Lonesome No More and a cover of Search and Destroy by Iggy Pop’s The Stooges.

You can see it in action in this video...

Get your own HERE. But don't delay only 275 have been made! Plus the first 50 people that order one will get an additional signed copy of the print for free!

[Flashback Friday] 96. Squash(ed) Skull & #224. Butternut Skull

Welcome to another addition of Flashback Friday.** This year the guest editors, Citizen Agent, Tatman, and myself, Azurafae, are taking turns counting down our personal favorite 17 skulls from the Original 365.25 Year. So please join us as we visit the archives and add our additional commentary on some of the original pieces.

Since Halloween is in 2 days, I figured I would treat you to two of my favorite gourd skulls.

I like seeing that these are skulls carved from squash which are in the same plant family as pumpkins. In Ireland, the original Jack-O-Lanterns were carved from turnips to scare away the mythical character Stingy Jack and general evil spirits. If you read the story, you will see why we call them Jack-O-Lanterns. The classic Jack-O-Lantern face is supposed to represent a skull, so of course carving more distinct skulls into squash or pumpkins is perfect.

Gourds are the perfect plant for carving. Their flesh and meat are easy to carve into and hold up well to detailed shaping. I like how the white one still has it's seeds. It's like peaking into a brain through the orbital and nasal holes. The choice of color is of course, very close to a natural skull. I like the butternut squash's elongated jaw. In a way it reminds me of Edvard Munch's "The Scream", but with finer details due to being a sculpture vs a painting. Noah is very good at carving fruits and veggies, so it was hard to choose my favorite, but these two were something different than the now traditional pumpkin carving, so I thought they would work best for today. They also give you a refreshing idea of what else you can use to carve your Halloween Jack-O-Lantern.

**Flashback Friday was a weekly countdown of the fan selected top 52 skulls of Skull-A-Day 1.o. Each week during year 3.0 The Skullmaster posted the original skull along with some additional commentary in order from lowest to highest rated, with the #1 skull appearing in the last week of year 3.0, all 52 can be found here.

Aluminum Skull

Artist LF from the United Kingdom told us: “I wanted to make a Skull out of Aluminum foil. I thought it would take many meters, but this test attempt took only 3ft of the 75ft of foil I bought for the project.”

ALU41 C says:

This is a wonderful piece. The SkullMaster made a solid version of this back in the original project, but I am really liking this version. The hollow nature of it reminds me that this could possibly be used as a mask. Thank you for submitting your work, and if you happen to get inspired in your next version of this to make a mask please make sure you send us a picture.

“Countdown To Halloween”
2 more days and counting...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Skull-A-Day Press: Pumpkin Anatomy Skull

There have been several kind mentions of my Pumpkin Anatomy Skull online...

And the one who got the ball rolling...

Dia de la Abby #22: Sugar Skull Cookies

I know this is another baking one, but I wanted to make a sugar skull, but in cookie form. Dia de los Muertos is in 4 days, so I thought this was an appropriate time to make these.

Finished Sugar Skull Cookie

Custom Made Skull Cookie Cutters

I have to thank my dad for helping me with this one. Many years ago, he made my mom and me custom heart shaped cookie cutters for Valentine's Day cookies. I couldn't find the skull shape I wanted and also, I wanted these cookies to be 100% one of a kind. He made the cookie cutters out of aluminum, tiny nuts and tiny bolts, based off of skulls I drew for this project.

I used a sugar cookie and a icing recipe to make the dough and hard white icing for the cookies. I wanted the decoration of them to be similar to that of the traditional sugar skulls of Dia de los Muertos. I like the idea of sugar skulls, but don't want to eat something that is basically pure sugar or buy molds for them...because that wouldn't be custom. Sugar cookies seemed like a perfect solution. I'm giving my dad the huge cookie as a thank you for helping and also because my parents are watching our daughter this Saturday. We are going to the Gallery5's Pre-Halloween Dinner Party with Noah, because hanging out with Noah is fun and Skull-A-Day is one of the sponsors. If you would like to know how my dad made the cookie cutters and how I made the cookies, read the handy dandy tutorial.

Every week in the 4.0 year, I will be post my own Dia de la Abby posts as well as a tutorial with instructions on how I made my piece. Hopefully you feel inspired by my posts just as I was by Noah's Skull-A-Day 1.0 daily project. Need more of me than just a weekly dose, follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook.


Ken Vorstenbosch, from Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, "made this in photoshop, with all the iPhone and crap going on, I thought this was kinda cool."

I'm one of those weird people who doesn't have any of these "new" techy gadgets. Well, I have GPS, but that is because otherwise I would currently be lost somewhere. I wonder what sort of apps an ISkull would have. Would it be able to locate the closest cemeteries, taxidermist and morgues? I hope it wouldn't constantly have a dead signal...because I might as well throw it in the gadget graveyard I have collecting from every time we have to upgrade gadgets. Maybe I can rest in peace with my mom's 1st cell know, the huge kind with the bag for the battery. I suspect about a year or two after it's launch, they will release a huge one and call it the ISkeleton.

“Countdown To Halloween”
3 more days and counting...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

[BONUS] 382. Pumpkin Anatomy Skull

After some careful dissection I discovered what the inside of a Jack-O'-Lantern really looks like!...

HAPPY (almost) HALLOWEEN everyone, I hope you have tons of spooky fun this holiday season. And of course if you make your own skull-y pumpkins definitely send us a picture!

Skull from a Cause

Joeskull Wallace sent us this skull with a message. He said: “I arranged some of the scraps to
enhance the skull factor of my remnants. This is a skull I created after a project using milk and juice cartons to create change purses. I saw one in a store and thought, ‘what a great way to recycle milk cartons’. I found a template to make them and plan to sell them to help raise money for a skatepark in my town.”

Half Pipe C says:

What a great idea. I love that not only are you up-cycling the cartons into something usable, but that they are going to be used for a good cause. Thank you for sharing this arranged work with us, and best of luck to you in your fund raising endeavors.

“Countdown To Halloween”
4 more days and counting...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

365: A Daily Creativity Journal

I'm very excited to announce that my new book 365: A Daily Creativity Journal is being published on December 15th!

The book is a functional journal designed to encourage and inspire others to get the benefits of daily practice by starting their own yearlong project. It offers 365 project prompts to kick start your creativity, plus plenty of room for journaling, sketching, and jotting down ideas. I also give advice about how to choose your subject and document your work. There are even 11 interviews from other successful daily project makers (including the musician Jonathan Coulton!). Plus there are DIY instructions for some basic techniques like quilling, clay-making, paper pop-up engineering, and more!

You can pre-order the book now from your local independent bookstore, or through all major online retailers including: Powell's Books,, QBookshop, Barnes & Noble, and Borders.

In addition I've started a companion blog ( where I'll be posting about inspiring 365 projects that I've found and are made by readers of the book. I hope you'll consider adding it to your list of blogs to follow.

And hey, if you've already made a 365 project or are in the process of making one be sure to tell me about it so I can share it on the site and grab one of the badges I've made (see below) to show people what you're up to!

Expect to hear more about this book as the release date draws near and book related events are scheduled!

SuZanna Skull

Let me pause for a brief moment to present you with one of my favorite emails thus far. SuZanna Anna penned this little nugget, "I know it's not as unusual as a lot of the stuff you post but its mine so it rocks :)".

"Heaven And Hell"

24" x 36" acrylic on canvas

I couldn't agree more, SuZanna. No matter how many art critics there are in this world, there will always be more artists out there willing to express their creativity if only for the satisfaction of themselves. With that being said, I want to get onboard the "SuZanna Anna art rocks" bus. I love the way the paint looks as if it's been burned onto the canvas. It gives the skull great dimension while recreating the brittleness of dried human bones. Plus, it's an excellent tribute to the late, great Ronnie James Dio. So here's to you, me, and all of the crazy, creative, skull fan artists out there doing what we love. "Sail on, sing a song, carry on...cause We Rock!"

“Countdown To Halloween”
5 more days and counting...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sponsor Thank You: The Mütter Museum

As you may have noticed after over three years without outside funding Skull-A-Day is now accepting sponsors to the site and I am pleased as punch that my friends at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia's Mütter Museum were here for the inaugural month.

The museum houses an incredible collection of medical objects and anatomical specimens that are truly unparalleled. Anyone who is visiting (or living in) the Philadelphia area owes it to themselves to spend some time in this beautiful space.

I've had the honor of visiting the museum several times in the past year and am delighted that the folks there have become my friends.

I hope you will take some time to explore the Mütter's site and be sure to check out the awesome collection of stuff available for sale in their terrific store too.

And of course if you're interested in sponsoring Skull-A-Day in the future please check out the information HERE.

Shown above 379. Mütter's Skull of Brains.

Halloween Catrina

Tisha Jordan, from Maryland, made this hand painted skull Halloween Costume in 2009.

I love the over the top Catrina costume. The make-up great with all of the intricate sugar skull details. I like the hair flowers, spider veil and velvet dress. It's all very funeral, which is the point of a Catrina. I'm impressed and a little creeped out. Well done! This gives me a few ideas for my own Halloween costume this year.

“Countdown To Halloween”
6 more days and counting...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday Simulacra - Version 4.21

Joshua Haplea found this "really old stained glass windows at a local Church. Huron Ohio. Skull or flowers?" I see both skulls and flowers. Of course, I'm partial to using both in my own skull art.

Noah spotted this simulacra in New Orleans. "It was in the French Quarter of course." I chose the "more spooky version", because I liked seeing some of the other details of the building too. Plus, it's a group of skulls. The more skull the merrier!

Keep sending those pictures in to our submissions address. Just keep in mind that since we only post simulacra once a week it might take a little longer than normal for it to be posted.

“Countdown To Halloween”
7 more days and counting...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Spooky Skull Painting Saturday

Jared Moran, who was also featured way back in the 2.0 year here, has since been honing his talent and sends us these paintings.




Thanks for sharing these also, Jared. I still enjoyed seeing your skull pile again, but I do like the direction your art is going. Your paintings make me feel like I'm looking at a still frame from a horror movie. The dark, forboding skulls tell a tale of gruesome events waiting to happen. Except for the tree...grub worms are always scary!

“Countdown To Halloween”
8 more days and counting...