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

Posts tagged ‘art’

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.

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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.)

Rob Ryan’s Beautiful Paper Art

“We’re all the same people we were when we were children.  We’re just bigger and we pretend that we’re not.”

I’ve always been a big fan of this etsy artist, and by now he’s done some fairly high-profile stuff, but he still keeps his sweetness, and honesty and vulnerability in all of his work.

robryan,feb182013

IMAGES: here // here // here // here

robryan1,feb182013
This video for the Etsy Handmade Portrait series is just uplifting.

“A big part of my work is about seeing and appreciating the beauty in the everyday, to make people see how beautiful the world is and how beautiful their lives are.”

“My work is about being alive and its about being being human and about being a person.  And then of course this this other thing, and its Love.  Its a funny thing, there’s something about art that Love is almost a taboo subject – its almost to obvious to make work about. And to me its the most natural thing.  The need to love, to be loved, and the connections and the relationships.”

For more info, check out this article on the Etsy blog, or check out Rob’s etsy page.

My Work! Drawing

Hey kids! So, I haven’t shown any of my work for a while on the blog, so I thought I’d post some stuff.

Here are some sketches and life drawings. (Note: RATED R! There are naked people! If that freaks you out, go take a bathroom break, get some hot chocolate, come back in a little bit. No bigs. It takes a little bit to get used to naked people.) Anyway, I love life drawing. It calms me down so much, and whatever approach you decide to work from, it always makes you see the world dramatically different (e.g. negative space drawing! contour! volumetric! focused body part! strong awareness of perspective! etc.). Also, when you do it a lot, you improve so quick. That is not always the case with some stuff…. I used to do chemistry a lot… did not get that much better at it.. Anyway, I always talk about drawing on this blog, I’m sure you all know I’d MARRY drawing if I could.

myworkdrawings,feb5-2013
(Also, there are many, many other mediums that I love… I think just today, conte is definitely the best medium of all time)

Here are some of my favorite regular, ole’, daily sketches.

myworkdrawings-sketches,feb5-2013
Anyway, any thoughts and feedback would always be appreciated!  I hope you all have a great Tuesday.

Empathy: Desperation

(Images: Mick Jagger portrait Exposed Bryan Adams here // Nabil Elderkin here // Miuccia Prada (photographer unknown) here )

Desperation, I think, is one of the most dynamic states-of-being or emotions we, as humans, can have.  Its so interesting because its so revered on some level, but it is also such a terrible place to be.  Famous or great people always talk about how they were absolutely so desperate – financially, emotionally, physically – and that was the turning point, that is the catalyst that made things change, or made them change themselves.  That great lift of internal force.  But to get to that state, or at least while you are in that state, it is one of the most tragic states-of-being for sure.  To me, it means that your entire self, being is up for grabs.  It also means you will take or give absolutely anything.  People are desperate for love – a love that has been lost, or a love that has not come , people are desperate for money, for shelter, for attention, for fame, for food, for a situation or for a situation to end.  Being so, so vulnerable is quite literally the definition of real desperation.  And it is because of this that greatness or achievement can come of it.  It is when you have nothing else, but to give your actual self.

Really, greatness and grand change always comes from desperation – it is a non-mutually exclusive necessity.  It means that to be successful, you must be desperate on some level (or lucky, of course), but it also means that if you are desperate  you will not always necessarily end in greatness.  This adds such a realness, and an additional layer to the tragedy of this.

In desperation there is no filter, because there is nothing left but the desperation and the need and the desire.  You are pure focus, and what a powerful thing that is.  Desperation is the rain and the long, grey dry spell afterwards.  As a ‘young’ person, I know that nowadays, if a guy asks for a woman’s phone number, and calls her too soon after receiving it, he is seen as ‘desperate’.  And that is a bad thing, because it means that no one has wanted him for so long, that he has become desperate to have connection and love and sex.  But remember boys and everyone, it can go two ways.  Desperation, if you are desperate, is not always a bad thing.  Use your desparation as a hidden unexpected power that you did not know to articulate or that you had.  Applying it is the one real power to getting what you need.  Use it to love and to go extra miles, and kilometers and mountains farther, let it be your constant unrelenting push when your feet are sore and your hair hurts and your teeth are itchy and you are so tired.  Greatness comes from total desperation.

(Images: photographer Lee Jeffries here // drawing of Lauren Bacall here )

[This post was inspired by an episode of Design Matters by Debbie Millman, with  guest Chris Ware]

Links Round Up!

Woah! Hey guys! I am sorry I have been so out for so long! (Like 3 weeks long!) That exam was indeed killer, but we will see how it goes.. Anyway, I am back to school! And although there are so many inspiring and fun things here (sometimes I wake up and just think, “Is this my life? This is so awesome!?”), I need to STAY FOCUSED. That line under my blog name says that I am going from engineering to industrial design, and DAMN STRAIGHT I AM GOING TO DO IT. I am going to do it even if it kills me. (That is so intense! I did not mean to be that intense, but maybe like %87 of the intenseness. Wait, yes I did mean it to be that intense! I’m getting in, dammit!)

On an unrelated note, now that I’m back to school I made an observation about engineering classes:
It is so weird how for years and years, throughout high school and my general life I would not feel at all sheepish to wear the ‘flamboyant’ clothes that I did. White, slouchy, 80’s leather boots – I wore them in high school. Lacy pirate blouse – yep, own it.

Anyway, as a future artist/designer, that totally makes sense. BUT, these past few years, I kept asking myself “Why do I slowly end up dressing more boring in school?” And coming back after a summer of doing art, it is more obvious than ever! I’ve realized the reason of why I feel just can’t wear as crazy clothes in engineering classes: It just doesn’t ‘fit’/make sense to wear outfits that are high maintenance in those situations.

It is not because I’m not confident enough or because I feel I would be looked down on, or because my classmates wouldn’t understand it… (although they wouldn’t..) ..  It really is because it would just be so out of place, wearing something bothersome or unnecessary+bothersome in an engineering class. Therefore, crazy blouses – still wear them. Hair wax and tinted lip baum – yep. High heels (even wedges, comfortable heels, etc.) – can’t wear! Too high maintenance. Fussy clothes – I never feel comfortable wearing them in class.

NOTE: Engineering girls out there! This is just me! If you can wear fussy things to eng classes, DO IT!! Being young and wearing crazy clothes is so fun. OWN those heels. Also, this obviously does not pertain to working engineering girls. Boys wear shirts and ties. We can wear fussy outfits and wedges to work if we damn well please.

Anyway, since it is Monday, I will do the link round up that I would’ve posted on Friday! I hope you all enjoy!


1. John Steinbeck on Falling in Love: A 1958 Letter. “If it is right, it happens — The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.”  Here, Brainpickings.

2. The Sartorialist did some work for the new coach line, and trust me, I would be the last to say this (Coach generally isn’t my style), but these bags are all pretty damn beautiful. With their natural colors and their worn-leather potential, and classic styles, and unisex-ish aesthetic, I actually am really loving them. AND they got smart and hired The Sartorialist, who obviously did an awesome job (watch the video!).  photo here.

3. Marchesa’s Spring 2013 line. Not usually a huge Marchesa fan (they do crazy beautiful stuff, but I feel like they are not really artists. They always have the exact same aesthetic, and although its very marketable, I feel like they are never actually doing something new) BUT, this line is actually kinda cool.  It was inspired by 1960’s and Indian fashion and colors, both of which I approve of! Beautiful colors/flowy fabric + anything 1960’s  —> I am there. (@honestlywtf) photo here.

4. In general, I LOVE Bri’s advice page. I feel like she is telling me secrets, that I really shouldn’t tell anyone cause they are too good.

5. I know everyone’s been talking about this book, but it looks really fascinating.  It Will Be Exhilarating was written by the guys who made Glif, the famous ipod/iphone tripod attachments.  They’ve launched two successful Kickstarter projects, being a part of the new era of independent hardware manufacturing.
“This book was written to offer guidance and inspiration for those charting a similar path, and covers topics such as running a small business, creating hardware products independently, launching a Kickstarter project, and tips for promoting your products. Everything is told through the lens of our own experience.” (@swissmiss)  photo here.

6. Been reading Girl Crush Magazine again, and man!, these girls are awesome! Check out Ariele Alasko who is a furniture designer in Brooklyn.  Coming from being a girl in mechanical engineering, RESPECT. Also, coming from a girl who loves well-made furniture… (umm, Industrial design much?)  Here‘s her blog!

7. DIY – sliced shades! here.

8. Kelli Anderson is one of my top personal and professional role models.  Here’s her TEDxPhoenix talk.

9. Cool colorful print called Coda, found here.

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