Human Being Journal 5: Cover the Cover Winners

December 09 2014

During the month of November, we challenged our Instagram followers to reinterpret the cover of Human Being Journal 5 — any medium, any style with the directive to Cover the Cover and its iconic photograph of Ana Kraš by Marcelo Gomes. The response was fantastic, with dozens of entries coming in from as far away as Italy, Japan and New Zealand as well as all over North America. Creativity was off the charts and included video, photography, sculpture and imagery in media as diverse as watercolor, macaroni, buffalo sauce and corn chips.

This week we gathered the entrants, put them up for a vote among everyone at Need Supply Co. Today we announce the winners and share some other fan favorites.

By a landslide, the Grand Prize goes to James Young, a BFA student at RISD, and his wonderfully imaginative transformation of Ana Kraš into a wooden doll.


@jamesyoung1: “I reimagined Ana Kraš as an inanimate human doll: carved of wood with hinged compartments, a painted bodice, threaded yarn hair, knitted cloth organs, and HBJ5 signature black circle-red fill motif – inside head shell and behind the barcode.”

Silver goes to the lovely Jane Van Velden and her lower than lo-fi woven mosaic.


@jvanvelden: “I was inspired by Ana Kraš’ Bonbons; stumbling upon them was my first exposure to her work, and I have been an admirer ever since. I used embroidery thread to weave a pixelated image of the Journal’s cover in homage to the geometric shapes of her… bonbons.” 

Bronze, by the slimmest of margins, goes to Megan Jensen and her fun mini tapestry.


@lillemous: Tapestry woven by hand on a 18”x21” lap loom out of natural fibers and hung with a 1/4″ copper pipe. Detailed stitches inspired by the meticulous design of Human Being Journal Issue 5 and the effortless style of Ana Kraš.”

And the rest of our favorites, in no particular order. Of special note are two video entries not shown here, one serene and sophisticated by @moiras and a cheeky take on Tinder by @spiritsandwich, who described her piece as “a fun mash-up of HBJ covers old and new, with that new app everyone’s talking about. Will swiping right ever be this much fun?” Check both out on their feeds!


@tallulahfontaine: “I just wanted to take the girl from the cover and make her my own. Drawing her in a way that looks like the girls I normally draw and including the moth because I use it as a symbol of change.”


@naomihia: “I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to speak about racial inequality because of the name of the journal being Human Being! I used digital media to get a consistent look to make the idea of the want for equality more apparent having people focus on just the skin tones! I used influential celebrities of color in America to bring awareness to this issue in a subtle way that people can recognize and empathize with and placed them in a gradient of skin colors!”


@cdaryla: “I was initially tracing a projected image of HBJ on a 34″x27″ pad and ran out of time before I had to get ready for work. When I got to work, I was sent to dry storage to look for something — I saw all of the different colors and realized that food would be a much better medium. I used 9 9×9 plates, blue tortilla chips, buffalo sauce, coffee grounds, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, sugar, kosher salt, olives, balsamic glaze, an apple peel, and red peppers.”


@karin.kellner: “Si tratta di un intervento realizzato con mixed media, elaborando schizzi fatti a china, matita e acquarello attraverso il digitale.” (“It’s a mixed media piece in India ink, pencil and watercolor and put together onscreen.) 

We featured the Milan-based illustrator back in the halcyon days of July — Interview: Karin Kellner.


@aiko_fukuda: “When I saw the cover of Human Being Journal 5, it reminded me of Christmas for some reason. (Probably the red edge made me feel so?!) Since it’s winter time, sI decided to draw something that relates to Christmas and blessing you my deer!”

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@hannahandersonn: “As soon as I saw the post on Instagram and saw that one of the recreation suggestions was macaroni I knew immediately that’s what I had to do. As I was working on it I felt as though I were 5 years old again. I used to make so much macaroni art, but this one was definitely a little bit more difficult, so much fun though! I did most of the colors in sections. I was a little bit hesitant to post because it was something completely new for me, but I ended up loving it. It’s a nice feeling to really enjoy and like the things that you create.”


@joshuandrson: That gaze. And that hair.


@christopherjindo: “For my rendition of the cover I was inspired the polarizing restoration of the painting Ecce Homo by Cecelia Gimenez from 2012. I recently saw Ms. Kraš on the streets of New York and wanted to pay tribute to her beauty by comparing her to a portrait of our lord and savior Jesus Christ. I used photoshop to make sure the nuances of the HBJournal and my recreation we’re as exact as possible, like the drop shadow I added to Jesus that parallels Ana’s shadow in the cover.”


@sophielourdesknight: “I am soft and cracked, pushed but formed. Balancing, leaning, causing marks and stains. I am being human, something simple.”


@ward_love goes Freud and Foucault all at once.


@cameroncharleslewis: “This was probably the third photo that I snapped of my dog, Harvey. My idea was to capure this perfectly ‘framed’ shot of his face. When I checked the camera and saw this image I instantly knew it was the perfect outtake where I could ironically say ‘nailed it.’ Oh and p.s., if you’ve ever met my dog, then you’ll know he’s a human being. :)”

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@brandonstraus: “I’ve been working on a series of drawings comparing houseplants in various states of growth, with human bodies in various states of life and undress. I’m speaking to a life of desire and confinements like a city, or a pot indoors. It started as a drawing, then was scanned and screen printed, to make multiples, like the magazine, and I employed my shitty handwriting and painterly brushstrokes, like a human being.”


@seapawlowski: “I started off just working on the cover as a drawing from observation and as I recreated it multiple times with slight alternations I figured why not include the rest of the journal (back cover, side, and filling) to ultimately create what we see here.”


@daphzzz channeled some serious Lichtenstein.

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@sarahnoble_: “This was TOTALLY more important at 11:45pm to finish than to study for my exam the next day, and I loved trying this style of artwork for the first time; so relaxing and worth the time looking over it.”


@morganelizabethhull: “I was having one of those weeks where things just kept breaking. I’m cleaning up the shards of this shattered mirror, laughing at filling yet another garage bag with glass, when I thought ‘hey, I’m a human being — this is life. I then picked my favorite shard and finger painted the Journal cover onto it, leaving the face blank. Partly for a lack of talent, and Ana Kraš being too beautiful to capture, but mainly I wanted people to be able to look into it, see themselves and say ‘I am a human being.’ I guess a broken mirror isn’t so unlucky after all” 


@klaus_the_gnome: “I spend a lot of time traveling for my adventures, which means lots of reading while I’m on the road! The gnome edition of HBJ5 is the perfect travel companion for keeping me up to date with the global gnome community far and wide.”


@freckledcanvas: “Although I prefer painting in oil, I mostly work in watercolor for the convenience and portability. My interpretation of the Human Being Journal cover was inspired by the idea of living life with extreme minimalism in some areas and adventurous maximalism in others (bare face, crazy hair).” 

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And an unofficial entry from our own @marleigiela, who says “Barbie can do everything, even be on the cover of the Human Being Journal.”