The Year in Art 2014

Art Director Cap Blackard reflects on the CoS Art Department's biggest year yet.


    Making art should always be exciting.

    There’s a charge that comes from finding answers in the work, whether it’s the flash of a planned concept being realized or the happy accident of spontaneity yielding something brilliant. With every piece there’s always the trick of pulling something from nothing and the reward of creation — even if you’re never quite happy with it.

    Doing art for CoS is a guarantee that the work is always exciting. Week to week, month to month, the subjects are always changing. Each new assignment brings new challenges: the challenge of personifying a record from the fragments available pre-release, the challenge of immersing yourself in a performer you’ve never heard before, the challenge of personifying music while maintaining iconography. It can be daunting, but the unknown is thrilling. We inevitably end up asking ourselves both how the art we’re representing can be expressed within our own styles, as well as how the art might change our style.

    Here at CoS, we’re all about art interfacing with art. The conversation of popular culture — the songs, images, and forces that inspire us — is a dialogue that begets more art. Better art, smarter art, more divisive art, more appeasing art, and more subversive art. We like to think that our original art serves as a logical extension of that dialogue.


    CoS‘ staff of freelance artists are an incredible force of talent. This year, we not only have this annual collection of work to show for it, but a single piece exemplifying how different our styles are and how well they work in tandem. On the next page, you’ll see our Tom Petty collaboration merging five distinct pieces into one unified image. Beyond that we’ve highlighted this year’s work from each artist — each piece an adventure in its own right.

    In a lot of ways, this is only the beginning. Now that CoS covers film, the floodgates of possibility have been flung wider still. For this past week of movie-based annual lists, I put aside my watercolors and turned to photography. I submerged photos in colored dye, cut Xeroxes of Scarlett Johansson into a million pieces, faked a pregnancy test, and staged a fatality in my driveway. Every project is a new risk, but we dive into the dark, determined to stick the landing.

    We hope you’ll keep an eye peeled for our next thrill-seeking barrage of pop art in 2015. And hey, if you’re so inspired, pick up a print, pillowcase, laptop skin, and more at our CoS store — all the proceeds go to the artists.

    -Cap Blackard
    Art Director



    Tom Petty Faces - colorThis piece was created for the summer edition of FACES, our quarterly literary magazine. Each volume focuses on a single artist; for the Tom Petty edition, we split a single image between five artists.

    Top Left: Cap Blackard  – Buy Prints + More

    Top Center: Jacob Livengood  – Buy Prints + More

    Top Right: Kailyn Boehm  – Buy Prints + More

    Bottom Left: Steven Fiche  – Buy Prints + More

    Bottom Right: Virgina McCarthy – Buy Prints + More

    Buy Prints + More of the full piece:  Color | Sepia

    Steven Fiche

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