Art, process and design blog of an aspiring industrial designer.

Archive for May, 2013

Cerise Doucède Portrait Series

I have a new computer. Hallelujah I say! I am not going to pretend that it was some travesty that my ‘r’ and ‘f’ and ‘4’ key weren’t working, but the random black screen was putting a damper on my log of display design / exhibition design / art installations / inspiration blogging. And it was putting a damper on your reading, probably.

Today I have an extra special treat. A while back I encountered this fabulous photo-series by the photographer Cerise Doucède. When I talk about this series, I want to say that I’m showing you photography and portraiture, but then I want to say that its sculpture and installation work, and then I just want to say that it ‘crosses boundaries and disciplines‘ and is dang amazing. I love, I mean really, really love, this kind of photography. It is certainly not for everyone, but it seems so honest in fantasy-sort-of-way.

Do you ever fantasize? I don’t mean sexually fantasize (although, hello non-Thor Hemsworth! I heard you and Miley broke up and that you miss being the love interest on a show about an elephant princess…?), I mean life-fantasize. Do you ever pause what you are doing and wonder what it would be like if you were in another time or country? Or if you were dying or in love? (I feel like its a great inspiration exercise..) Or when things are monotonous at work, do you picture yourself breaking out in Hall & Oates? (That was a personal favorite fantasy of mine at work a couple years back..) I’m pretty sure that these photos are my favorite alternate-reality, photography fantasies realized.


There’s a great article on the series over at, and my favorite excerpt is this:

Usually, removing the strings that hold up objects is done in post-processing, but Doucède chose to leave them visible to create a bridge between reality and fiction. “Otherwise it’s just a fictional or fantastical photo and I didn’t want that…” she says.

I love that very important detail that although the series explores fantasy, it is distinctly real-life.


IMAGES: all from


What are your fantasies that you have in day-to-day life? Share your non-sexual fantasies below! (Wow, this post is so HBO edgy.)

Computer Eugoogly

(Zoolander reference.  Remember those?!)

My computer is in a coma phase right now, where it is half awake and half dead, but fully vegetable.  As a result, I haven’t had any access to Photoshop, which is giving me bits of withdrawal, and which is also preventing me from showing you guys some good design, installation work and art.:(  Until the new computer comes, please all bear with me and enjoy these more text-based posts.  I guess I will actually have to use my remaining skill and prowess at the written word, that I did not manage to lose to engineering (hopefully)….

Anyway, just wanted to point out to you guys two great cool things!

First of all, I’d like to give a thanks to my friend Helen for the shout out on her blog!  Hellen has 3 awesome blogs, herself:, and (I know. I make a hot mess on one blog, never mind managing 3!) One of her blogs documents her adventures travelling after graduating from university.   Her fashion-news blog is also pretty great, especially for those not so into the traditional fashion blogs, and she has a beautiful poetry blog.  She’s also an awesome blog friend, and she’s seriously an old soul, so if you think you’d be into them, check some of her blogs out at the links above!

Second of all, I wanted to refer you all to Demitri Martin‘s live show, If I (which you can find youtube).  It’s about an hour long but it is so fascinating, and funny, and inspiring.  In it, he talks about leaving Law School to be a comedian, his obsession with riddles and puzzles, and how he tried to optimize his happiness level.

ONE Year Old!! for This Kaleidoscope Body…

Today is my 1 year anniversary, and I have completed over 90 posts!  I am so thankful to all of you who came along for my journey and kept reading even through my long exam break-periods and my random weird talk.  I really feel as though I’ve made so many friends through this blog and I’m so grateful.  I also started using this blog as an inspiration journal, so I want to thank all the readers who don’t think those posts are crazy talk.

My goals for next year is to always provide better content, keep the blog more focused, post more of my work, get more followers and gather more comments.  I feel like this blog and I have grown so much from my first post, and I want to thank you so much for sticking by me and staying with me throughout this real life journey.  PIZZA CELEBRATION!

The Importance of Side Projects

If you didn’t already know, side projects are IMPORTANT.

In whatever industry you are daring to work in.  Even the ‘irrelevant’ projects.  If you didn’t already know this, you are super late to the party.  I have heard so many great professionals, artists, and entrepreneurs speak about the importance of side projects, so listen closely.

In my opinion, and again, from what I’ve read from great people, side projects are arguably more important for your personal sanity and career of choice than school in a chosen field, or even employment experience in a chosen field.  This is because it shows:
1)  initiative,
2) potential (no client!! no limits!),
3) dependability and dedication, and

These four things are so essential for any hard working individual who inspires. Initiative and hustle are very important with everything being so fast and available these days (-> laziness runs rampant).  You have to be the one to grab it!  Also, when you work on a side project on your own time and money, it can literally be anything you want it to be, and thus holds so much potential.  It can be long-lasting and over the top and epic and beautiful, but also, if you fail, no big deal.  Just start again tomorrow.

Dependability and dedication are a given with side projects.  There are no real deadlines, you are not getting paid to do this and maybe no one will even see it.  Its almost more the opposite – often friends don’t get it, tell you its not as important as hanging out with them, and you run into at least two snags during the process (its becoming not what you were planning, you run out of materials, you are off schedule, your dog pooped on part of it).  But from this, you become self-motivated AND you become dependable.

It’s also a great way to build a portfolio, and continue to let your creative self naturally evolve.  Even if you are really great at writing fiction revolving around 9/11, sometimes you just have to move onto the next phase of your creative life and write romances taking place in the turn of the century.  You are no longer that person who wrote your first novel – you’ve grown, you’re happier/more depressed, you’ve explored it.  A side project is a great way to do that without pressure, or your editor saying that they’re not  really interested in this new kind of novel from you at the moment.  It is really one of the best ways to get the kind of clients you want and to focus your work in the area you want.

One fabulous example of a side project is starting a blog….. but there are SO many people doing all sorts of different side projects out there.

Here are some amazing examples:

Jessica Hische.  Jessica works as a letterer and illustrator, and with her early web presence started posting many different side projects on the internet.  Some of those include Daily Drop Cap (where she created a new letter of the alphabet every day. So far she has gone through 12 alphabets, but has since stopped the project).  She also made Mom, This Is How Twitter Works, Don’t Fear The Internet, Inker Linker, Should I Work For Free?, a doodle blog, etc. etc…  All while working and maintaining her own personal blog…. She makes me feel so lazy. Check out way more of her side projects right here (since she is the Queen of Side Projects, for reals).

-Tina Roth Eisenberg, aka SwissMiss.  In addition to starting her design blog as a side project, which has since become one of the most popular design blogs of all time, Tina has also created Creative Mornings a free, creative, conference-like lecture series that has since spread to major cities across the globe, Tattly, a design-y temporary tattoo company, and the design-y to-do app, Teux Deux.

Ji Lee. Currently a communication designer at Facebook, Ji Lee created and started the famous Bubble Project, the word as image project, and so many other side projects.

Aaron Draplin.  Graphic designer who created Field Notes as a side project!

Kate Bigaman-Burt.  Drew copies of her receipts until they were paid off, and then drew everything she bought in a day, everyday.  She’s been drawing daily since February 2006.  Crazy.

I could go on and on, but alas, I must go floss.  Go start a side project! Tell me about it in the comments!  (Also, if you need some tips or encouragement, re-read this post or check out this link or this one.)

Nicholas Kirkwood Display Ring Pops

Although not as risky as I’d like to go with such a great theme, I really enjoyed this window and store display done for Nicholas Kirkwood SS12′ by Robert Storey.  He used such simple, basic geometry, and yet I feel as though he made the shapes side-by-side look so complex, neat and well thought-out.  I also love the mismatching of colors between the stands, the plateaus and frames, beside the mismatching of colors of the heel and sole of the shoe, and those on the body of the shoe.  Hat tip to CreativeBloq blog for an awesome post.

Another thing I liked about this piece, other than the fact that its super fun and current, is that it kinda has something 80’s-revival about it, without being so obvious.  The whole pedestal thing for the shoes obviously has to be there in order to adequately display the product (fabulous shoes), but for anyone who has ever studied art, that pedestal implies pedestals used in traditional Greek and Roman art. For me, seeing those platforms done with that funky colored lucite is just such an unexpected 80’s throwback reference, that I’m not sure is actually intended…  But I love it.

Also, this display is totally reminiscent of Ring-Pops.

IMAGES: here

Vernier Panton

Vernier Panton is such an amazing artist and so influential to me!  He really embraced and pushed the futurist, space-age style of the 60’s and created environments, not just restaurants, bars or hotels, with his designs.


IMAGES:  1 // // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8  // 9

Try Something

If any of you are worried that you aren’t ready yet for something or if you are waiting to learn stuff first or get knowledge/experience under your belt, remember to just Try Something this week.  You really can’t wait until you know who you are to start a project.   (The secret is you will never know yourself well enough to start a project.)

On the podcast, Design Matters, I was listening to Debbie Milman talk with Design Army, and the power-couple being interviewed said this:
“It’s never an idea until its excecuted.  You have to excecute. There are so many ideas floating around, and until you do it, it’s really doesn’t mean something.  So many people say, ‘Oh well, I had that idea first’.  Well, you didn’t do it first, so …. ”

Its easy to feel like you don’t want to embarrass yourself or waste people’s time, but in order to do something amazing you must put yourself out there.  It might start off embarrassing or bad or clumsy, but it is the only way you can practice and evolve and create something that is worthy of your good taste.

People even identify with the unclear ideas, because in reality, even those of us that brand ourselves well on the interwebz, don’t know ourselves nearly clearly enough.  We are constatly changing and evolving.  Sometimes I wish my About Me picture didn’t look so friendly. I sometimes wish it looked more polarizing and weird and aggressive and “murder-y in a hot way” (Lena Dunham, poet).  But I hope with time, and with the development of my blog and myself as a professional, that I will be like wine and fancy cheese.  I will age well, and get more expensive with time.

To get a client or to impress your boss or to get into grad school or to get an A, you don’t have to be good enough for yourself – you only have to be good enough for them.  Others can see things in your work that you don’t see, or will know how you and your work will look in a month better than you will.  I’m not saying lower your quality and settle for other people’s assessment of your work, but put yourself out there in order to give yourself opportunities you’ve always hoped for even before you are up to your own standards.  From someone who knows, sometimes you just have to jump and hope for the best.

Ways to try things this week:
-Don’t wait until you buy excersize clothes.  Just go in old shorts and a camp tshirt now.
-Start the website you’ve been wanting to
-Apply for the job
-Join a group or club
-Watch this video from Alex Beadon
-Talk to or email one of your heros
-Compete to win
-Raise your expectations, and believe the new expectations are possible

Dayna @kaleidoscopebrain

(photo taken and edited by me)

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