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Visiting a Miniature ‘Star Wars’ Universe with...

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 17:58

Visiting a Miniature ‘Star Wars’ Universe with @jeremy_ennis_1979

For more intricately detailed Star Wars iconography from Jeremy, follow @jeremy_ennis_1979 on Instagram. For more Star Wars fan art in honor of May the Fourth (Star Wars Day), explore the #starwarsart hashtag.

Jeremy Ennis’ (@jeremy_ennis_1979) micro-illustrations celebrate Star Wars in stunning detail. As a student working on his natural science illustration certificate, the Seattle-based artist plays with the techniques he learns in his studies by drawing his favorite characters and ships from the beloved film franchise.

“I’m a huge Star Wars fan. I came to the Star Wars movies late, actually. I watched A New Hope when I was 13 years old back in 1992,” he says. “I was so drawn in and impressed by the visuals and the creative attention to detail.”

Although his day-to-day work focuses on the patterns and textures of the natural world, much of Jeremy’s creative work is sparked by the intangible — from music to galaxies far, far away. “I am a self-taught violinist,” he says. “I am also really into the order and chaos of the universe, and spend a lot of time learning about astrophysics.”

Before he pursued an illustration degree, Jeremy grew up in Ontario, Canada, where he was a self-described “hitchhiking homeless guy” from age 15 to 20. Now 36, the experience shaped how he approaches his art.

“I spent those years hitching back and forth across Canada, and I met so many different kinds of people and paradigms,” he says. “I had to learn to adapt to all different circumstances to survive. It’s definitely influenced who I am and how I see the world.”

On the Front Lines Fighting Forest Fires with @caitlinchinn May...

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 14:03

On the Front Lines Fighting Forest Fires with @caitlinchinn

May 4 is International Firefighters’ Day. To see more moments — both adventurous and mundane — from Caitlin’s life as a firefighter with the La Grande Hotshots, follow @caitlinchinn on Instagram.

“Getting stalked by cougars and run-ins with pissed off bears … Feeling the earth BOOM when a 700-year-old tree that was burning out from the roots cracked and hit the ground not even 100 feet away … Getting drenched with water from rogue bucket drops, and splattered with red retardant from air tankers.”

In five years of fighting forest fires, three of them as a member of an elite 20-person Hotshot crew based in Northeast Oregon, Caitlin Chinn (@caitlinchinn) has had her share of harrowing experiences. For Caitlin, who grew up outside of Seattle, a grueling and dangerous job was not preordained. “I overcame way more difficult social obstacles to become a firefighter than physical ones,” she says. But a life of adventure, where work and play are largely indistinguishable, is exactly what she sought out.

The La Grande Hotshots’ season begins May 18, and kicks off with an 80-hour session of training and physical endurance tests. Then, they wait. “The early-season fires are typically in the Southwest or Alaska, so we’ll probably be headed there first,” Caitlin says.

“I take pictures from places many people don’t get to see and provide my own perspective,” says Caitlin, who emphatically rejects labels people might ascribe to her. “I am just an ordinary person with an extraordinary part-time job. If I happen to inspire people, great!”