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

Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Anything She Wants

A couple months ago an incident may have or may not have happened while I was romantically working at a coffee shop.  Let us assume: this story is true, coffee shops are UNromantic.

I am working at cash, like I have been for a while.  Person after person comes by, I take their order, ask them if they would like white, whole wheat or multi-grain.  Ask them if they would like a small medium or large.  I answer their questions about the soup of the day and about our gluten free bread.  I review their order with them and ask them if they would like anything else?  This happens over and over again, many days, weeks in a row.

It is a Sunday morning and a young, normal-looking (un-good-looking) couple comes in to order healthy, post-workout breakfast.  I go through everything, I review their order and I ask them, “Would you like anything else?”  The boyfriend says to me, “Anything she wants.”

I took a step back (mentally), and smiled at the camera observing my life.  In that moment, I shocked.  I imagined a different place and time and that I was in a comic strip.  And then I said nothing, and imagined an art project I would make of it.

Tapestry A La Rio

“Roberto Burle Marx (1909 – 1994) was a Brazilian landscape architect (as well as a painter, print maker,ecologist, naturalist, artist and musician) whose designs of parks and gardens made him world famous. He is accredited with having introduced modernist landscape architecture to Brazil. He was known as a modern nature artist and a public urban space designer.” here

burlemarx,june19-2013

IMAGE: New York Times  // here // here.

Display Design Using Mannequins

Embrace mannequins in your display design:

displaymannequins,june19-2013

IMAGES: Beek Wilder //  High kicks // Display and gown from the exhibition designed by Erdem in 2008 // Chloe Paris.

p.s. : 101’th post! Woo!

Ai Weiwei’s Snake

aiweiweiportrait,june13-2013IMAGE: here

Ai Weiwei was named by the Wall Street Journal as the World’s Most Influential Artist.

“…Weiwei took the top spot in the magazine’s annual list of influencers, beating last year’s No. 1 pick Larry Gagosian, the well-known art dealer who represents Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons… According to ArtReview, the rankings are based on financial clout as well as activity over the past year. It’s been an eventful one for Mr. Ai, who was released in June after 81 days of detention by Chinese authorities. Since then he has spoken out about his imprisonment and resumed his use of Twitter, two activities that may violate the terms of his release.” here

Although he is the ‘World’s Most Influential Artist’, I must admit that I actually am not all that familiar with his work.  I mean, I’ve heard about his name and exploits enough times, but only one of his pieces really comes to mind – the famous installation with thousands of hand sculpted and painted sunflower seeds.  I am planning on watching his doccumentary soon, and will probably do a post about him (look out for that), but I have to say, whether I can say that I know him more than I know his work, Weiwei is an influential artist that runs his business damn well.

He he is a ‘successful’ artist – and I say successful with a grain of salt, for who has the same definition of success? Yada, yada… – because he plays/is the part.  He lives a life of art, and ‘of his (business) goals’.  Every aspect of his life is focused towards his purpose, and he markets himself so successfully because of this.  The clothes he wears, his facial hair, his time in jail, his installations and work obviously, and even the amount of work he’s able to produce.  These all point in the direction of his portfolio, so that he becomes an icon of his work.  And I feel as though this all comes naturally to him – his clothes, his words, etc. – because he embraces his work as a way of life.  Thus small, everyday decisions follow.

I recently read one of the best posts I think Scott Schumann of TheSartorialist fashion blog has ever posted.  The post was in response to a backlash he had received from commenting on one of his photographs of a fashion student in Mexico City that “…it was nice to see a student that actually looked like she was interested in working in the fashion business.”(here)  People said that it was an unfair comment and that a student’s schedule doesn’t allow one to always look ‘good’.  Scott’s response was this:

To be a successful fashion designer, it’s not all about what happens in the design studio.

You have to learn something about how to manage a business (especially since most designers start their businesses balancing between being the designer, accountant, press agent, etc), how to articulate your design concept and how to personally embody the spirit of the brand you hope to build.

Do you think Karl ever says “I’m too busy/tired to look like Karl today?” (And before you say “oh he has massive numbers of people helping him” believe me, he is more busy than any design student.)

Most design schools don’t do a great job teaching this reality to students so you can put off until after you graduate to start learning these other skills and habits, but why wait? Start manifesting these skills/habits now.

At least challenge yourself to start personally embodying the spirit of your design aesthetic; Karl looks like his designs, Giorgio looks like his designs, Raf looks like his designs. It’s not easy, but neither is the fashion industry.
here

From his time in jail and his protests, his work, his intensity, Ai Weiwei, just like Karl Lagerfeld, feels like his designs.

*

There is an exhibition coming up soon of Weiwei’s work at the Art Gallery of Ontario, so to promote it he installed this piece in the hallway made of backpacks called “Snake Ceiling”, 2009.  The description of the pieces is as follows:

‘On May 12, 2008, a massive earthquake in China’s Sichuan province killed approximately 90 000 people.  Ai Weiwei created this serpentine sculpture, made of about 400 backpacks, to commemorate the more than 5,000 schoolchildren who were killed when their shoddily constructed schools collapsed.  Government officials refused to release the numnber of deaths, or acknowledge any accountability so in 2009, Ai Weiwei launched a “citizen investigation” to ensure that neither the children nor the devastation would be forgotten.  He wrote: “Can these facts be altered? The hearts stopped beating, their limbs decayed, and their shouts disappeared with their breath can these be retured? Wave upon wave of mighty propaganda from the national state apparatus cannot erase the persistent memories of the survivors…. People’s hearts will call out each of your names, the name that belonged to you will be remembered.  When it is called out again, you will rise from the dead and be contented spirits.’

aiweiweisnake,june13-2013
Of course this pieces is so my style, but despite that, to look up and see a snake overhead is cool to say the least.  Never mind the fascination surrounding his cause.  Anyway, I hope you all have a great week and a great Monday.

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
4) SAMPLE WORK

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.)

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.

vernerpaton2,may5-2013
vernerpaton,may5-2013
vernerpaton1,may5-2013


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

Uniqlo Displays

I’ve recently noticed that there are so few websites online that feature display and exhibition design, so I’m going to make it my job to show you guys some beautiful work in these fields as much as I can.

One fabulous example is Uniqlo‘s recently showroom, styled by Nicola Formichetti, the stylist who also worked on the company’s lookbook.   I love the creativity and the importance she put into details of the styling in the showroom.  She took a component (mannequin heads) that most people ignore (either that, or do the quirky, color-wig thing), and not only used it to style the collection, but helped bring interest or life to the displays, as a human wearing the clothes hopefully would.

apr21-2013,uniqlo

See how she uses different the materials, fabric, form, shape to create related, relevant (life-style-wise), but still unexpected headpieces?  To read more about them, check out the article SuzieBubble wrote!  I also borrowed all of my pictures from her fabulous blog.

apr24-2013,uniqlo1

IMAGES: all viaSuzieBubble.

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