Friday, January 30, 2009

Inspiration: Paula Scher

Fantastic Ted talk by Paula Scher.
She differentiates between Serious and Solemn work and then goes on to outline the conditions which are present when she produces her best (Serious) work.
She explains that she is usually underqualified for the job and involved in serious play.
When this work becomes perfected (therefore Solemn) - and copied by other designers!- it's time to move on to a new challenge.
I love her chart above which outlines this creative pattern.

Inspiration: Galbraith and Paul

Discovered this incredible textile company Galbraith and Paul based in Philadelphia.
Love love their simple patterns and beautiful understated colours.
Faves include Trellis, Birch and Zinnia above. yum.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hot shop: Good Egg

Good Egg; a wonderful new shop in Kensington market which is owned by my friend Mika Bareket got a rave review in the Globe and Mail today. (run on sentence) yay Mika! Congrats!

Address = 267 Augusta Ave. Toronto

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Some of my illustration with hand lettering.

Monday, January 19, 2009

wow. Dailyroutines blog

Through Very Short List I discovered an incredibly interesting blog Daily Routines which explores a topic which has always deeply interested me: How writers, artists and other interesting people organize their days.
What a goldmine of fascinating stuff. How am I ever gonna get any work done?!

Check out this daily schema typed up by Ben Frankin! I love his instruction for noon - 1pm.
" Read or look over my accounts and dine".
I love this piece and hope to make a large silk screen print of it sometime in 09.
Taking orders now. (I know such a business gal - Ben would approve)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Antiques: Chair Table Lamp + Kevin Austin

One of my favorite antique shops in the city is Chair Table Lamp at 1156 Yonge Street. It's owned by dealer/stylist Kevin Austin, who is also a frequent contributor to Style at Home magazine. Kevin buys alot of items which could fall under the term "Industrial chic" ie. pieces with lots of metal, well worn wood and a great patina. Below are photos from a recent visit. Favorite items included a beautiful old sawbuck table and some old bowling pins. The piece de resistance however was a metal + pine rack on wheels from an early 20C shoe factory. It was so quirky and worn in - I couldn't resist! The last photo shows the rack in it's new (temporary) home in my silk screen studio. In my ideal future I'd like to place it in my kitchen and display solid white dishes on it for a great contrast. ooh ahh.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Objectified Trailer on line + Hello to Scott!

The trailer of Gary Hustwit's new film Objectified is online. From these first 100 seconds it looks to be up to the standard of his first fantastic documentary Helvetica.
I've shown a screen grab from the trailer which shows MUJI on Broadway: a favorite shop of my sweet friend Scott in Manhattan.
Hi Scott!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

wow: Louise Fili's apt

The apt of graphic designer Louise Fili was featured on Design Sponge today. Quite to die for (and you can certainly see where she gleans her inspiration for her wonderful restaurant graphics and packaging)
I loved everything but especially this shot of a color-coded shelf in her office with flea market finds from Italy + France. Love the tins and that guy with the realistic face and very graphic tie.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Being Erica

Really love this new series on cbc.
Created by Jana Sinyor.
Erin Karpluk is great as the lead Erica Strange.

New prints: Big Orange Scissors

I have been working on a 2nd edition of my Big orange scissors print. (One of the prints which appeared in Wish magazine). Here are some photos of the process of silk screening it and the final result.
The print is printed on Acid free 100% cotton mould BFK Rives paper from France.
It measures 29.5" x 41 " and is 800.00 (CDN) unframed.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Cintiq tablet

I am trying to learn how to use my new Cintiq tablet.
My head hurts.

One of my top five for inspiration: Hillman Curtis

Recently I re-listened to Debbie Millman's interview with Filmmaker/Designer /Author Hillman Curtis.
It's available from the website of her radio show Design Matters.
I had first listened to it after I heard him speak at the 2007 Design Thinkers conference. His soulfulness emanated from the stage that day -corny but true! - and I was compelled to learn more about him.
His story of going from work that had become uninspired and routine to work that was very meaningful for him was really inspirational. (And incredibly similiar to the path Frank Gehry outlined in the documentary Sketches of Frank Gehrey.. but I digress)
I loved how Hillman encouraged artists to be vulnerable and keep themselves open. My favorite line from the interview was "When I do work that feels really true... I feel closer to God.
Great guy.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Design Loves A Depression

Great article in New York Times yesterday by Michael Canell.
Design Loves A Depression.
via Apartment therapy
Good quotes:

"Design tends to thrive in hard times. In the scarcity of the 1940s, Charles and Ray Eames produced furniture and other products of enduring appeal from cheap materials like plastic, resin and plywood, and Italian design flowered in the aftermath of World War II."

And from Paola Antonelli quoted in the same article -

"What designers do really well is work within constraints, work with what they have. This might be the time when designers can really do their job, and do it in a humanistic spirit."

Yes yay for constraints! restraints! and limitations! All good for aiding creativity.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Pack your bags! James Yang's Away from Home

Wow. James Yangs's film Away From Home really makes me want to pack my bags. (and not forget my scanner and memory stick!) These gutsy illustrators are very inspirational.
(Where to first? Barcelona, Berlin or Argentina...)
First presented at the ICON Illustration Conference last summer.
via the fabulous Swiss Miss. Thanks.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Lynda Barry: On Creativity and Not listening to the 2 Questions

For New Year's Day Q replayed Jian's fabulous interview with Lynda Barry. Lynda was speaking about her latest book What it is which was described as part autobiography, part philosophical exploration and many parts instructional guide. She made a strong case for the belief that creative work has more to do with mental health than entertainment.
She cited some research that explained that the brain flow of children involved in deep play and the brain flow of adults in deep concentration is identical. Consequently she believes that creative work has a biological function ie. it should not be done just so you can hear someone say "This is good". She feels if we don't use it it's like having a vitamin deficiency. YES.
The point is that it is good to make something for no reason, but just for the experience itself. And she goes on to say that the neat thing is that if the experience is good, it'll transfer in the "marks' you make. YES.
Also explains that there are 2 questions that inhibit adults and present an obstacle to creativity:
"Is it good?"
"Does this Suck?"
She advises us to ignore those 2 questions and just create.
You can listen to the full interview by going here. I highly recommend it.