Wednesday, February 27, 2008

New Work: Wired kids 24/7

New piece for Macalaster magazine.
Experimenting with a much more limited palette.
To carry this out means sacrificing realistic colour. (ie making hair navy blue) which is fine with me - hope the AD feels the same way.
Also experimenting with incorporating pattern - the orange dots pattern.
I think the limit palette works and is more interesting than realistic coloring but
it is a departure from my normal colouring style so ...i'll wait and see if the art director approves it!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Just wondering

Its February 15th. Am I the only one who just poured out their egg nog?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

New Work: Facebook girl

Am working on a piece for Macalaster U. called "All teched out". It explores the pros and cons of university kids being wired 24/7.

I drew the sketch very quickly as i was in mad rush to get to a party.
Because i worked quickly the drawing has a nice loose energy to it. Is much better than something i'd work on for hours.
i have to learn this lesson over and over.
I'm going to do the lettering in white and add lots of background elements for interest.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Input: Illustrator and printmaker Nate Williams

Insert 2 images here.
I think Nate Williams is one of the best illustrators working today

His work contains beautiful spontaneous drawings, a very unique colour palette with interesting colour combinationsn fun
inventive lettering and great silk screen like textures. Its also vey strong conceptually.

In addition to being very talented he is also incredibly thoughtful and articulate about his process
On his website he explains that he began a zine called Hola amiga in order to "
nurture and explore the subconscious realm, all in a very low tech way. "

Hola Amiga consists of three main components: Input, Output and Reflection. (sounds like a blog)


are the things going on in my life at that specific moment in time. Input are things ranging from music, environments, letters, emails, cultural learning's to things people say, concepts, observations, food, books, weather, mass media, relationships, inspirational people, experiences, exercise, etc .. basically anything a human experiences.


is Hola Amiga .. the disregarded, impulsive, spontaneous, unconsidered, unplanned, unstudied by-product of life's daily influences. These are my drawing, sketches, thoughts, etc.


is something I just do in my head. This is when I try to bridge the gap and explain the relationship between the Input and Output. Most of the time I don't realize why I decide to use specific imagery at the time. Eventually I track down the source/influence. In life a lot of the time you have an idea and then you execute it. With Hola Amiga I do the opposite ... I execute it and then sometimes successfully track down the idea. Really not much different than trying to explain the odd events of a dream.

i think this is all great.
It also blows my mind that Nate took the zine one step further and decided to apply this approach to his life as well as his art.
He wanted to invest in the less tangible things like learning a language, living in another country, learning about history and nature, and most of all, just having the free time to experience, think, wonder, and discover.

so he quit his job, sold his house and moved to South America where he currents lives.

This guys really knows how to LIVE.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Design Sponge podcast: The woman behind Dwell

Today I listened to Grace Bonney's interview with the two women behind Dwell Studio: Christiane Lemieux + Jennifer Chused. The designers explained that they initially designed bedding to go with the very modern "Boutique hotel" beds going on in the late 90s. They created very clean geometric patterns to go along with the furnishings.
(I remember their big dot duvet made such an incredible impact on me when I first saw it)

Dwell's well known chocolate dot pattern

Some gems from the interview:
When the big companies started ripping off their geometric patterns they didn't worry! They used it as a kick in the pants and decided to "jump off that band wagon and move in a more 'decorator luxe' direction."
They travel the world for inspiration. Christine feels that 'you are a more relaxed when you travel -- so your best ideas come to you then'. "We are always looking for the one piece of fabric at the flea market that contains genius".
Really inspirational interview. Highly recommended.

Ps. Design Sponge has many other great podcasts in their archive including interviews with Thomas Paul, Denyse Schmidt and Lotta Jansdotter. Inspirational and great company when folding laundry!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

New work: Mask lady with a sea of hair

New sample for my website.
Form - Experimenting with the use of white lines (in hair) rather than black
Content - trying to present more quirky less mainstream subject matter

also wanted to add in waves cuz they're kinda trendy.

Gray 318 = Jonathan Gray

I'm bought New Vintage Type by Steven Heller and Gail Anderson for reference this summer and flipping through it this morning for inspiration fell upon a fabulous sample from Jonathan Gray. The hand drawn font on this book cover was taken directly from vintage tattoos. How great.

When i went to his website i discovered that Jonathan Gray = Gray 318. The great design firm responsible for the covers of two of Jonathan Safran Foer's books - that i've always loved.

I love his lettering and design but also the playfulness and self deprecating sense of humour evident in his bio.

Not surprising he's British.
Definitely a new favorite.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

How did I miss this all for so long? Design Observer, Speak up, JH and TBF and Swiss Miss

I started the day by reading the post from VSL Very Short List: a blog I've just begun subscribing to. I discovered it through the Number 17 website as both Emily Oberman and Bonnie Sigler are contributors.
Later in the day I listened to another edition of Design matters.
The topic was Design blogs with guests Rick Poyner of Design Observer and a woman whoops whose name I forget of 'Not Beige'. (love that name for a blog!) and two others whom i also forget. I'm glad I can edit this post later and add in their names.

A digression here.
"Not Beige' makes me think of other companies who names come from definining what they are NOT.
This Aint the Rosedale Library.
and Definitely Not the Opera
but i digress...

Later that day while looking for a font I got drawn into the blog written by the terribly talented typographers Jonathon Hoeffler and Tobias Frere Jones and then later - thorugh Debbie Millman's suggestion --stumbled upon the blog of designer Swiss Miss. (who provided a very cool you tube video of the 5 minute frozen "Happening at Grand Central Station today by Improve the situation" Improv troup)
All these sites were brimming with fabulous images, interesting info, tons of info and inspiration - but almost too much.
I am excited to have just discovered the wonderous world of blogs but accompanying my excitement are two other strong, not entirely positive feelings:
the feeling of having arrived at a party after everyone has been chatting for 4 hours
and the feeling of drowning in a tidal wave of information.

How does anyone find the time to work?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Number 17 Design studio

I always listen to podcasts or radio when i'm workin (i like the combo of learning and working at the same time) and one of my fave podcasts is Design matters with Debbie Millman.

It's recorded from the empire state building in New York and consists of interviews with top graphic designers around the world.
Yesterday I listened to her interview with Emily Oberman of Number 17 Design Studio and I had that wonderful feeling of having a new world open up for me.
Emily was funny, smart, abit self deprecating and very human and when i went to her website i saw that the work she produces (with her partner and long time bestfriend Bonnie Siegler) perfectly matched the personality I heard coming out of my speakers.
The spirit of their work is definitely what I aspire to in my own. Would love to meet them someday too.

This first post isn't perfect but i have to post it now cuz my dear friend chris says my stars are perfectly aligned between 9:30 - 9:36 am.