One of Popcorn Horror’s newest features is our Blog Spotlight, where we highlight awesome blogging examples from the indie horror community. Here’s a blog that’s existed for a while, and I’ve followed for many years, but have only just got around to paying tribute to. Skull-A-Day is the creation of artist Noah Scalin who in his work explores the theme of transience – specifically the temporary nature of our individual lives and tenuous nature of human existence on the planet. Rooted in the medieval concept of memento mori, a reflection on mortality meant to spur a greater reverence for life and reevaluation of priorities, Scalin’s work asks us to take notice of everyday moments. These theories often contrast images of violence and death with societal advancement, perhaps an indication of where Scalin acquired his passion for skulls.
In 2007, Scalin began a daily online art project challenging himself to create a skull every day for 365 days. The first piece was an orange paper skull silhouette cut freehand with scissors and backed onto black card. Within the year, Noah had stuck with the project and posted a 365th birthday skull cake to celebrate the milestone.
In 2008, Noah launched Skull-A-Day 2.0, inviting fans of the blog to contribute their own skull pieces. Collecting a range of artwork from all over the world, Scalin released the first 150 fan pieces as a book titled SKULLS. The following year, Skull-A-Day super fans Tatman and Citizen Agent joined the blogging team to create their own 365 skull images and manage the increasing number of fan submissions. Abby AKA Azurafae also joined the team to create her own skull collection in 2010. The skulls, both from official members and fan submissions. Some are intricate, beautiful art pieces. Some are scribblings, face paintings, edibles, wearables, printables and toys. Some are skulls found in media, advertising or everyday life. Many are submitted with personal stories and essays attached, giving an extra level of intrigue.
June 3rd, 2011 marked the start of Skull-A-Day 5.0. To celebrate the fifth year of the project Noah committed to making 100 skull paintings. The team behind the blog also launched ‘Skull Appreciation Day’. Observed on June 4th, the event is an ‘official international day of cranial love’.
Since, then, the blog has enjoyed success out with the internet, with skull themed exhibitions being hosted at the International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago, and Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum. Last year, Chop Suey Books Books published a brand new Skull-A-Day book featuring all 365 of Noah’s original skulls. The book displays all 365 unique creations, plus behind the scenes stories & photos along with a new essay about the project and a foreword by Mütter Museum curator Anna Dhody.