Design Mascots! (Orange men evolved to different colors). Available on

My biggest personal discovery as a "designer" (I try not to use this term too much) is that there life outside of orange. This has altered my entire world, considering I was born only being able to see the "orange" part of the color spectrum. Now that I'm healed and can see more of the world (admittedly I have used some blues) in all of its wonderful colors, I've now taken all of those little orange men and adapted most of them to other color horizons…like blue…green…yellow…coffee…..

Here's some examples:

Design Mascot Bright Idea_0001_YellowDesign Mascot Einstein_0008_LimeDesign Mascot Fishing_0007_BlueDesign Mascot Contractor Three_0010_Gray

For a quick preview of these, check out my flickr sets. There are about 150 of them available as previews. has the greatest selection of these alternate colors. See here:

(If you check my other sites such as Istock or Crestock you will mostly see just orange men).  My hope is that these added colors will open up new design possibilities — or at least just add convenience!

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Here I am!

And here I am!

Well, I just moved into Vox. This is a big step for me because I've never blogged before! I'm generally not a person that likes to waste my time, or yours for that matter! :) 

However, its certainly not a waste of time if I happen to share something beneficial or useful, right?

Well, I have written an extensive tutorial on how to work with Gradient Meshes in Illustrator. To see what exactly an image composed of gradient meshes can look like in Illustrator, see the example to the right.

See the tuturial here:

My hope is to add a tutorial here now and then, which will keep this blog nice and useful for both of us! Besides that, check out my illustrations. If you have any of your own, please message me, I'd love to see them!

 - Leo


Photoreal Vectors and Gradient Meshes
Photoreal Vectors and Gradient Meshes

the Orange Factor
the Orange Factor


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Wardenclyffe Tower Magnifying Transmitter Progress

The JesterArts/Leo Blanchette Design and Illustration blog has moved to WordPress: Check it out for designer tutorials and JesterArts updates!

Bringing to Life a Historic Dream.

 I sent out the call to those interested in being a part of resurrecting this interesting, yet almost forgotten piece of history, the Wardenclyffe Tower. Especially a drafting person to fill in the technical gaps in design. The response was overwhelmingly non-existent! One could hear a cricket chirp all the from the village of Smiljan near the town of Gospić, Austrian Empire. In response to that half interested cricket, I've begun and am now well into this project of creating a somewhat realistic visualisation of this forgotten dream.

I have acculated a small collection of  visual references plus some overall measurements of the tower, but much of it as like piecing together a fossil, having to to re-invent certain parts of it to fill in the gaps that have been lost to the erosion that time tends to exert.

Despite the extremely low response, I do believe these images will be very helpful on the subject. After scouring the libraries and internet for resources, its now apparent that any future individual looking for Nikola Tesla related imaging will be benefited. See screenshots of the progress in this blog post.

Oh, Nikola Tesla was born in the village of Smiljan near the town of Gospić, Austrian Empire.

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Check Out my Webcam!

Yet another 3d robotic creation! This was a lot of fun — I wanted to make a robot that was somewhat realistic and didn't take long to render. The result was this 3d webcam robot.

He is created in blender 3d, and uses material nodes (basically overlapping material effects) as well as render nodes (sort of like an in-program post-processing tool like photoshop) to create the effect of realism. He doesn't actually require raytracing to achieve the "real" so renders take less than five minutes. In the near future I'm going to get a huge line of images produced on a variety of subjects. In the meantime, his existing images are highly useful!

Feel free to check them out!

Robot Web Cam GesturingRobot Web Cam Walking Toward Viewer.Robot Web Cam in LineRobot Web Cam Holding Business Card.Robot Web Cam Holding Pencil

Read and post comments | Send to a friend — Redesigned. Thank You

A special thanks to (Kenny Adams, Jamie Voetsch) for helping in Redesigning The new layout works beautifully, and now like, collections are available for download for the customers who require more images at a reduced bulk price. Without a doubt a lot of special programming had to be accomplished for certain functions of the website, and Kenny has been one awesome problem solver! A special thanks to!!! Screenshot below.

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Wardenclyffe Tower — Nikola Tesla’s Dream of Wireless Energy Transmission

Wardenclyffe Tower 3d Visualization,
Upcoming JesterArts Illustrations
Tesla: Man Out of Time
Tesla: Man Out of Time
Margaret Cheney

Would you like to read an inspiring, powerful, and yet sad story? Read Man out of Time, by Margaret Cheney.  Nikola Tesla was different from other inventors of his day or prior in many ways. He is credited for pioneering the concept of alternating current, creating the alternating current motor, plus a few other concepts that literally drive industry today.

But who has ever heard of the wireless transmission of electrical energy? He had hoped to accomplish this through his concept of the "magnifying transmitter". This was his greatest dream, of which all of his work was leading up to. It would be a clean, efficient, and elegant way to provide communications services and energy to the entire globe without power lines or environmentally destructive methods of any sort. It seems like a thing of the future, and yet it was on the verge of becoming a reality as far back as 1903.

The Wardenclyffe Tower which was to house the magnifying transmitter was near completion and then shut down when investors realized a disturbing fact concerning this invention: Who can profit from supplying free energy? A new type of technological society was at its birth in those days. Industry much the same as our present day was powered not by electricity, but money. So many of Tesla's inventions and endeavors were really just stepping stones to this grand invention which he would never complete due to economic reasons. He did not see this as a defeat. He stated: "The present is theirs ; the future, for which I really work , is mine."

Photo example below of the almost completed Wardenclyffe Tower:


So this project, a realistic 3d depiction of the Wardenclyffe tower, has been on my to-do list for a long time. I'll be using the free open source software Blender 3d to create it, and the resulting illustrations will be free to use keeping in stride with the purpose behind the invention itself: Keeping it FREE.

I'll be giving attention to all of the important details and will be making special efforts not to stray from accuracy. I will also do various renditions of the same model to serve educators and enthusiasts alike for any purpose they find. It will be free, and no, its not a marketing ploy. Keep checking back for updates.

NOTE: I am looking for qualified volunteers to help with layouts for the tower itself. See this thread:






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AO-Maru the Friendly Robot

AO-Maru the Friendly Robot.

I created this robot as a sort of "friendliness assistant" to designers. AO-Maru is a technological wonder, inquisitive in nature, and does his job very well when it comes to bringing to life concepts such as (obviously) robotics, web design, programming, and more. He's also been used in medical and community design projects!

Like all of my 3d work, he is created and rendered in Blender 3d. This particular model uses Yafray to render, since yafray does a wonderful job at accomplishing realism without having to wait five days for the render to complete.

In the near future I intend to render many more poses, hopefully involving unique objects besides the robot himself, and  involved in as many conceptual and useable situations as possible.

If you would like to see the entire series, feel free to visit my website or my flickr photostream.

If you would like any special poses, please send me your requests. I may be able to get a few done.

Glossy Robot Standing Holding SignGlossy Red Robot ReclinedBlue Ninja Robot Posed Defensively3d Robot Father and Son3d Robot Looking Up at Stars3d Robo Sitting Sign Green

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Orange Man Color Changes — Tutorial in Adobe Illustrator

A little known fact is that Orange Men are like little chameleons — they can change color according to your design needs!

…they just need a little help.

Thank goodness for the Adobe Illustrator Magic Wand and Eyedropper tool, which this tutorial will teach you how to use!

First, why don't you swipe this little picture goodie below: A color pallet of the default design mascot color variations. A tutorial on how to change orange men to other colors follows below.

This is an easy tutorial. It uses pictures!

Step 1: Have a vector orange man ready. If you don't have any, you can find them at

Step 2.
Look at picture below. It shows where our essential tools for this operation are located.


Click on the picture if you need to see closer. It works on all the pictures. Be sure to use back button afterward on your browser!

Step 3: Add the color pallet you swiped onto your Adobe Illustrator work area.  Picture Below:


Step 4:
Change the settings on your magic wand tool from default  number to 0. This is done by double-clicking the icon on the tool tray. Pic below. (After this I'm going to stop saying picture below, ok?)


Step 5: Use the Lasso Tool to draw a selection line around the area you want to operate on…which is usually the orange man/woman. Sometimes the orange men have props and objects separate from them. We do not want these to be affected, so we will lock them in the next steps.


Step 6: Lock inverse. Start by going to the menue items Select/Inverse. When you've selected inverse, then go to object/lock, thus locking all that other stuff you don't want to touch in this operation.



Step 7: Magic Wand tool, selecting colors. Click the magic wand tool on the tool tray or push "Y" on your keyboard. Then click the shadow/dark oranges of the orange person you are working on.


Step 8: Eyedropper color change: Having done that, now click the eyedropper tool on the tool pallet push "i" on your keyboard to bring up the eyedropper tool. The darks of the orange person should still be selected as shown above. Now click the dark blue on the color pallet to switch the color from dark orange to dark blue.


Step 9: Deselect by clicking somewhere on the empty workspace, and then repeat the steps previous on the mid-tone of the orange person. Magic wand, eyedropper, sample. Same with the highlight.


Step 10: With your design mascot completed, unlock the rest of the objects on the canvas to free up the illustration for further editing/access.


Of course, you do not have to use the color pallet. You can, if you wish, just magic-wand color areas then bring up the color options menues to switch them to whatever you wish. I don't mind!

Learn Actions

If your a designer that intends to use A LOT of orange people, then something else you may wish to learn is how to use ACTIONS. That will GREATLY reduce the clicking involved in this operation. I would not be able to generate so many color variation orange men without them. A simple search online: "Adobe Illustrator Actions Tutorial" should get you started.

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JesterArts — Mindsystems Project Overview

PROJECT: Mindsystems Robot Mascot.

This is a brief project summary for customers who would like to know the process of completing an illustration project for their business through JesterArts.

I worked with Mindsystems on the creative development of a new mascot logo, for their new product 'Mindsystems Amode'. Mindsystems runs a fun, dynamic and experienced work place…they wanted to reflect their corporate culture in their new mascot. So I came up with Mindbot! Asides from being a fun bunch to work with, it looks like their new product is awesome! ("

Here is the initial render with the bare shapes, based closely on the concept sketch:

 The details on the body of the robot were loosely represented in the initial sketch, but a lot was open to creative flow. Alex had already created a professional and attractive pattern for the website involving semi-transparent squares, so it was a no-brainer to make sure the robot himself included these. I did a vector derivative of his initial pattern, and then adapted it to the robot in the UV mapping. Squares pattern example below:

It was a great example of an ideal project in the creative flow, the fun shared, and basically what one can experience when coming to JesterArts for such projects.

Related Links:



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Announcing a New Line of Microstock Bots!

Announcing a New Line of Microstock Bots!

A lot went into the preperation of this highly optimal workflow. But now I can announce a new series of robots to make their entrance into the world of Microstock! Pictures below:


Toon Robot SEO TwoToon Robo PresentingToon Robot Heavenward


Toon Robot Sitting and SignToon Robot Holding SignToon Robot SEO


There will be more on the way! These were simply my test subjects to see if my ideas would work properly between Illustrator and Blender 3d. I also intend to do animations with this robot, which will be available on any microstock sites supporting video.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend A Special Home for the Orange Man

The orange man has his own website! Thanks to the unsung heros at www.ClipArtOf.Com, this cute little hub of orange man activity now exists on the internet! This site is special! It will exist specifically for the purpose of making orange men available to the internet in much broader supply!

Curious? is where its happening. Most people don't know this, but if you put your nose to your computer monitor and smell the orange man, you can actually smell the citrus-ness eminating from the little character. Stop what your doing and smell this picture below:


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Behind the Scenes: JesterArts Character Creation

I've been doing so much 3d work lately I've been dreaming in polygons. To get to sleep I count vertices, and when I wake up I'm subconsciously thinking of rigging strategies to get the best movement out of a character.

Its time for a vacation, I think. Today I stopped at a bike shop and checked out some Kawasaki Ninjas, and for once I actually found myself interested in the real thing, and not just wondering how I'd make a model of it.

But while I'm still locked in the 3d thing, exploring new horizons with concepts, here is a small breakdown of how this stuff is done! Are you a customer? This will be enjoyable to see what is done to get to the finished product.

No doubt you've seen enough behind-the-scenes extra features — heck, a twelve year old knows it by now — to know whats involved in the creation of a 3d character! But here's another one in case you haven't had enough!

 Most 3d artists enjoy showing the rendered product, but many 3d artists want to see the wireframe where a true assessment of quality can be made. Its not enough to construct the 3d model to "look right" but the "Edge flow", that is, the arrangement of the geometry, must be properly created to allow the greatest and most natural range of movement.

Screenshot Ant Workspace1Ant Workspace Screenshot WorkflowHamster Workspace Screenshot

The hardest part of the entire process, for me, is rendering and re-rendering to get the lighting and materials right. Thats because its so incredibly time consuming. But the end results are usually worth the time involved.

Hamster and DrillJester Hamster

The ant series is probably going to be more practical to the needs of the market, and I'm glad I spent a little extra time on it. The textures were created in Zbrush, a program made specifically for adding detail onto the model as one might paint a sculpture. Here are the texture maps created for the ant:

Ant Normal MapAnt Body

The multicolored map on the left is responsible for adding the smaller geometric details in the texture. It "fakes" things like cracks and bumps in the texture. It uses the RGB values as coordinates instead of color, telling the renderer to simulate the effect of changes in surface qualities. This map is called a "normal map" because it has to do with the "normals" of the polygon faces, that is, the direction in which the polygons face.

The map on the right is a typical texture map, wrapping an image around the model itself. All 3d model textures are stored as flat images, assigned to "UV coordinates". UV coordinates are the same as XY, except with different letters, so that its not confused with XY coordinates of 3d space.

The end result is an ant of low geometric detail that looks realistic, due to a strategic use of textures.

Hope you enjoyed this brief walk-through of the JesterArts workflow! If you have any questions, let me know. These models are available on my website if you'd like to use them!


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Reel Mess Advergame in Beta Testing

I enjoyed this project greatly!

Its an advergame called "Reel Mess" where the object of the game is to untangle the fishing line. They had me do most of the art for it, so I went all out in Adobe Illustrator and did some serious gradient mesh/vector images that were cartoony enough not to be too realistic.

Heres some screenshots:



If you want to check it out before it is live, you can register a free account on If you go to the "My Profile" page and edit your profile, you'll see a checkbox in the lower right of the screen that says "I want to play beta games." If you check that, then click on the "Games" button in the main nav, you should see it at the top of the list (with a red "BETA" next to it). Play away! There is also a link to the forum for this game if you want to leave any comments.

(Please let me know if the link no longer works) 

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AO-Maru Used in Popular Science Magazine!

AO-Maru was used in Popular Science Magazine!

It was an article about medical robots! I never figured AO-Maru to be much of a doctor, but I guess he is just full of surprises! Screenshot below.

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Ten Free Images on

Ten Free Illustrations on!

When did the word "free" stop meaning "free"? You know, as in something to be given without charge. For instance, if I search out "free download" on a leading search engine I'll most certainly find 309,000,000 matches, but how many of those are actually free? Usually I can expect that it will be "Free to try, then pay after trial" or something like that, but people use the term misleadingly.

So knowing this sad reality when we say "FREE ILLUSTRATIONS DOWNLOAD!" or FREE CLIPART or "FREE LARGESCALE IMAGES!" it can be assured that its FREE! No strings attached. Now that we've covered this, here is a little preview of which ten images I've made free to the public.

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Creating Hydraulic or Pneumatic Tubes in Blender 3d Tutorial

Creating Hydraulic or Pneumatic Tubes in Blender 3d Tutorial

By "hooking" points of paths to "empty" objects in blender 3d you can create tubes that move with the objects they are connected to via parenting – in this case, a pneumatic piston used for a robot arm.

This tutorial assumes you are familiar with basic modelling in blender. So I won't go into great detail with basic functions like how to move and rotate objects, parent/child objects, etc.

So how bout some pictures to see the effect at work!

Piston level with tubes:









Piston rotated counter-clockwise:









Piston rotated clockwise:










Looking at the above examples, you can see that regardless of which way the piston is rotated, the tube sticks in place to where its connected. Its a very useful effect for many purposes, and not hard to impliment at all. For this project the piston will be used to move a robot's arm, and to make it realistic, I wanted the tubes running through the mechanical work of the robot, flexing and bowing naturally.

1: So first, in the usual manner, add a UV sphere. That is [spacebar, add, mesh, UVsphere]. See screenshot below.














2: After you've created your UVsphere and hit [tab] to get into object mode, add a path over the same spot. [space, add, curve, path]. I suppose you could use a bezier curve or something, but I use paths because they are less restrictive.  














3: Now you end up with this millipede looking thing. Thats a path. All those things comprising the millipede's legs are actually arrows showing which way the path is pointing.  












4: Move the path [g] left, so that the tip of the path is somewhere around the middle of the sphere or near its left side. It doesn't matter for this example really, we're just making a rough example to learn from.













5: To make your path into an actual tube type in the values you see here. Make sure you are in edit mode and you will see the little window here holding the values listed below. Change them to what you see in the little screenshot below. If you do it right, you will see it go from a basic path to a tube. Notice as you move points on the path that the tube conforms around it.








Please note I moved the path over a bit so you could see the example better.













6: Here is where the really cool trick comes in. Click on the path and [tab] into edit mode if you are not already there. Click [right mouse button] the last point on the path. Then push [ctrl H] which will bring up this "hooks" window. Select the "add new empty" option to add an empty object.  

An "empty object" is simply a placeholder, or an invisible object, which is handy for situations like this. They don't render, but are objects nonetheless. It'll make sence in a few steps.












7: See those arrows pointing in line with the X,Y,Z axis? That is an empty object. True to its name, its empty! Nothing but an invisible place holder. Thankfully we have this handy XYZ arrow thing so we don't lose it. Notice if you move the "empty" the path will always point to it. One more step left! 












8: If you didn't already anticipate it, we're going to make the Empty a child of the UVsphere. Do this by selecting the two of them and pushing [ctrl P] where it will ask "make parent" and you select "OK". Now the Empty is a child of the UVsphere object, and wherever you move the UVsphere the tube will go to. Now all sorts of possibilities are running through your mind — like vacuum hoses, exposed arteries on mutant beasts, cables…!

See the screenshots below to see the effect at work:
























This ends my simple tubes tutorial. Check back for more how-tos on Illustrator and Blender 3d!

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Custom Robo, Created for your Business

I get many inquiries asking me to create "custom robot mascots" for people's businesses, often "like AO-Maru" the robot I sell through microstock libraries. Here are some basic questions answered, if you ever wish to have a custom 3d robot mascot created. After the questions, see some examples of custom robots I've recently created for people.

Q: How much does a custom 3d robot mascot cost?
A: 1,500 on average, depending upon complexity. First four renders are free, then $90 a pose/render afterward.

Q: Do I own the 3d model file itself, and can I manipulate it and re-render it myself?
A: Yes, after the model is complete you get the Blender 3d file (download free program from and you can do whatever you want with it, including use other designers to create renders! Wow, cool huh?

Q: How long does it take to create a custom robo for my business/mascot needs.
A: About two weeks. May take longer depending on busy-ness. Depending on my situation, you may be on a waiting list, but be sure to contact me — I may have an open time slot.

Q: Do I have to put money down?
A: No — you pay after project is complete. Copyright is transfered at time of sale. If you choose not to pay or project is terminated, I simply keep the robot for my own use.

Q: Can my robot be animated?
A: Yes, simple animations. I create the robot for basic still posing, and is not optimized for animation. Also, animations cost different depending upon complexity.

Q: Can you supply a list of people you've done projects for of this nature so I know what I'm getting into?
A: Yes. No point in having all that money on the line and not know what your getting into!

Q: Will this be a fun project?

See past examples below.—-tuba-robot.html

Tuba Rocket PreviewTuba Cute Pose PreviewTuba Skate Board Preview—-mindsystems-project-overview.html

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JesterArts Now Selling Illustrations on

Thanks to JesterArts has taken to flight in selling illustrations on!

Whats the advantage of this? Every time you spend three minutes searching and buying an Illustration (or two, or three) on a hamster is set free to the wild.

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I have a plan to use robots to take over the world. Unfortunately, they never leave the "concept illustration" phase. These were a lot of fun. For once I stepped aside from the pure "what will sell" approach to the "just have fun for a change" approach where I got to be like a the little boy I used to be drawing in math class. Hope you like them!


Search Engine BotRobot BehemothRobot Fire Wall


Robot MiniWeb Crawler BotRSS Bot

And here is a desktop wallpaper! Simply follow the link below the picture to choose the size you want.

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Shiro Maru — New Robot to be Added to AO-Maru Series

I've just completed a new robot for the AO-Maru series! Since a hard drive crash some time ago, I had lost the original model for a webcam robot that had gained some popularity, so this new robot will be replacing it! I was going for "Clean" and also wanted to create a few variations simulating sketches and technical drawings. He will be a good friend for AO-Maru!


Read and post comments | Send to a friend Soon to Sell Illustrations! Thank you

For internet imaging, times are funny. Actually, times are funny for everyone, which is actually funny in itself. But things are always funny in stock photography/illustration. Constantly changing search algorithms, thousands upon thousands of contributors adding thousands of images – daily, and forums bustling with talk on those very subjects, with threads being locked/deleted so as not to cause panic and negativity, and people scrambling like mad cramming out new images involving new spins on old concepts, and complaining about stealing eachother's ideas and lack of sales. That was a very long and confusing sentence. Please read it again and e-mail me if you find errors.

Getting lost in the crowd is easy when it comes to internet imaging — but not when your wearing a Jester's hat. Now Orange Men, AO-Maru, and all the accompanying illustrations will be sold separately from the crowd in a nice, refreshing interface that is not too much on the eyes.

So now under construction is the new being created by the nice people at They are geniuses, multitaskers, and I believe must have a refrigerator devoted to energy drinks. How else are they doing it?

Well, I've managed to write an entire blog entry and I haven't inserted a meaningful  picture that goes with the subject. Let me look in my archives here…

Ah…here you go. Its totally not related, but should look good.

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Web Crawler

My latest creation, #2 of the "Bots" series.


Its a web crawler, such as is used by search engines to spider websites and to collect information. There is a tutorial coming up, but I'm trying to find a bot that will be simple enough to make a tutorial that will not span 80 steps.


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JesterArts Project Round-Up — TUBA Robot.

Here is another project off of the JesterArts render pipeline! The results say enough — description below!

Tuba Skate Board PreviewTuba Cute Pose PreviewTuba Peace PreviewTuba Rocket Preview


A robot model done for This was a fun project with very creative art direction. Explanation of character below.
Influenced by the fusion of music, fashion, art, and sports TUBA GEAR is something of an anthem for survivors, adventurers, sports enthusiasts, active lifestyle followers and fashion lovers overall.

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Free (for Non-Profit Use Illustration) of AO-Maru Environmental Worker

AO-Maru is ready to plant some rainforests! 

This image is free for your non-profit use! With JesterArts evolving and finding new purposes for illustrating, expect to see more free images!

I'd love to know what you use him for.


(Navigate to my flickr account by clicking on the image to get access to the large high res version)

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