Outside the Box

Starbucks, Broadway & Pearl

Quirky Characters

Cortney Grim, like her artist alias suggests (“Grimmdiana Bones,” a Beetlejuice reference), sees art as a way to make people laugh and improve lives. For her box, Grim created a whimsical old dude named Abe who embodies the uniqueness of the people of Eugene: a mix of unconventionality and humor with a twist of craziness.

With his gold-rimmed glasses and striped tank top, this grandpa is playing with a balloon — a reminder for people to stay playful with childlike wonder. “We’re definitely a quirky town,” Grim says.

Funny and colorful characters are what Grim loves the most. “I sort of got the mental image of someone holding the box and seeing its arms around, and I pictured that if you saw it in the streets, it might just crack you up and make your day,” she adds.

At 30, Grim’s main activity is tattooing at Springfield’s Indelible Ink Tattoo, which is reflected in her artwork through sharp line work and a cartoon-inspired style. “I really enjoyed trying to take something complicated and making it simple, fun and cartoony. This box is definitely an example of that,” she says.

Follow Grim at facebook.com/cortney.tattoos. 

Thunderbird Mkt., 99 W. Broadway.

Skulls and Butts

Samuel Clatterbuck is a pop culture fanatic. He grew up drawing Ninja Turtles, reading Jack Kirby’s comic books and watching Star Wars and, at 29, he’s writing his first comic book. The 72-page “half art-zine, half narrative” has an expected release for the end of 2014.

“It’s about being dared to go to a haunted house and then a ghost is offering you acid,” Clatterbuck says, “which is way crazier than human acid.”

Mostly inspired by artists like Andy Warhol and Keith Haring, Clatterbuck’s style is all about uncluttered lines and dark humor. “I just want to draw skulls and butts,” he tells EW. His artwork, like most comics, plays with double meanings: simple, kidlike but refined drawings that convey complex adult ideas like the emblematic Mad magazine of the ’60s.

“It’s cartoony and cute but it’s for adults essentially,” he says. “I like drawing things that are normally really cute and make them a little gross or draw things that are really gross and add big cute eyes or make their tongues a little bit silly.”

“I like iconic things,” Clatterbuck adds. “There’s this person who said that the most noticeable things in the world are McDonald’s golden arches, Christianity’s cross and Mickey Mouse. They’re all very bold but also very simple.”

Follow Clatterbuck on instagram.com/samuel_rules.

Bijou Metro, 43 W. Broadway.


Elizabeth Blue Currier always felt disconnected with her home state, Florida. When she visited Scotland at 16, she fell in love with the dark, foggy landscapes of the country and its gloomy atmosphere. Currier felt an “instant affinity” with Great Britain, leading her to study illustration in Cornwall, England.

Currier’s artwork is mostly centered on crime, dark humor and the struggle between life and death. “I love scary stuff. I like confronting fears and stories and kind of getting a thrill from it,” she says, remembering how her childhood was marked by the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm. “The gloomier the better,” she says.

As a cheerful, soft-spoken woman, Currier likes to warn people about her work. “It might not be what you’re expecting,’” she says, “because I know that’s not the impression I give off.”

Duality is thus a recurrent theme for the artist, who has a twin sister. “I love being a mother. I like cleaning the house, gardening and things like that,” Currier says, “but I also I have an interest for really dark and gory things.”

Part one of her three-part comic book, The Micanopy Murders, is available on Currier’s Etsy shop (wkly.ws/1t4); she hopes to finish part two this year.

Follow Currier at elizabethblueillustrations.tumblr.com and etsy.com/shop/elizabethblue.

Tokyo Tonkatsu. 201 W. Broadway

Whimsy and Unicorns

Anna Helena Jackson is an adult artist with a child’s spirit. Her playful, colorful style inspired by ’60s aesthetics genuinely feels like a mood booster for viewers of her work. With pieces bursting with rainbows, psychedelic characters and “magic,” the artist’s positive energy is contagious.

“Often people tell me that it revitalizes them, that they feel excited because it reminded them of their playful, childhood spirit inside of them,” she says. “People often forget to laugh, to dance and just be silly and free.” She adds, “They told me that my art makes them remember their whimsicalness.”

Vibrant colors as well as kaleidoscopic patterns are at the very core of Jackson’s artwork, which goes beyond drawings. From decorating cars to dance and illustration to body painting, Jackson’s work is diverse, yet she has one goal: to make art more accessible and less intimidating through collaborative pieces like her own car (“a four-eyed cat with a bumper made from fake plants”) and performances where the audience is part of the creation process.

“I just want to get people excited about creating, and remind them that we are all the artists and we are all the creators,” she says. “We can all create together and make amazing things.”

For more of Jackson’s work, visit The Redoux Parlour, Just Hair or annahelenajackson.wix.com/loveisall. 

The Hult Center

Street Color

If you’ve ever walked by the corner of 10th and Willamette, you’ve probably noticed quite an unusual meter box, painted with colorful animals and offbeat characters. After being one of the winners of the city of Eugene’s “Art the Box” last year, Bayne Gardner hasn’t stopped developing his artwork all around town, whether it is on boxes, murals or sidewalks.

“I like the idea of unexpected artwork in certain places,” Gardner says. “I appreciate it when there’s a box that you’ve seen a million times and all of a sudden has some type of artwork on it.” Gardner loves street art and uses paints as much as spray cans or chalk, expanding his art to the streets of Eugene and Springfield.

Gardner’s artwork seems saturated and abstract at first glance, but if you look closer, intertwined characters and shapes emerge, forming a bright, dense painting. Mainly composed of color patterns, Gardner usually starts with a wash of paint and then becomes inspired by their shapes. “It’s kind of an accidental art sometimes,” he says.

From multiple color waves, the painting slowly surfaces, giving birth to owls, flowers or elephants. His style is fun, spontaneous and full of animated characters and monsters marking our city’s streets.

See more of Gardner’s work at baynegardner.com.

Photos by Trask Bedortha