A few posts back, I spoke about the value of getting distracted and splitting onto different tangents when searching online for public domain resources for product creation. This week, whilst searching for something completely different I came across some vintage Japanese woodblock prints by Katsushika Hokusai.
These amazing prints were produced in the late 18th- early 19th centuries which puts them firmly in the public domain. I love the vibrancy of the colors and the attention to detail in Hokusai’s work. Having been previously unaware of this artist I beagn searching for other examples of his work online which, turned into a complete education for me about an entire school of art – Ukiyo-e – (about which I previously knew nothing) and; the discovery of many other artists of this school.
A search on Wiki yields hundreds of high quality, high resolution examples of this school of art. This is a typical instance for me of one of those occassions when ‘product creation’ alrm bells start to ring. There is limitless potential for creating products with these beautiful images such as a simple picture cd, prints or even a book (not as over-ambitious as it sounds – there are several ‘print on demand’ publishers online who will produce books in any quantity for reasonable prices).
Another discovery I made whilst searching for these Japanses prints was a site called Visipix. Now, I have been working with public domain images for a number of years and yet, I had never seen this fantastic site before. For me, this is a perfect example of how you can never ‘finish looking’ online and how there are always new sites / resources to discover. Just this week , I have learned from fellow Masterclass students of several useful sites of which I previously has no knowledge (thanks everyone!). Anyway, back to Visipix; a search in the Fine Art section for Katsushika Hokusai produces 2776 image results!
Having discovered this site, I couldn’t resist searching around with a couple of keywords which led me to even more discoveries of new art work. Again, illustrating my earlier point about the benefits to be gained from going off on tangents. Here’s just few examples of amazing illustrations I found:
This Art Nouveau advertising poster is by Dutch artist Jan Toroop. This would make a beautiful print.
Hendrick Goltzius – another Dutch artist / engraver whose work I was previously unfamiliar with.
Architectural drawing by Johann Jacob Schuebler. These type of prints are extremely popular at the moment as indeed is anything concerning architectural drawing, vintage house plans, construction guides etc
Click HERE to see more vintage architectural drawing
Click HERE to see a vintage encyclopedia of architecture
Click HERE to see vintage House Plans & construction manuals