Date Archives June 2010

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Jim Datz

Jim Datz

Ahhh it’s still Wednesday, albeit late, but still true!
This week’s Desktop Wallpaper is quite a gem by the totally talented Jim Datz. I’m sure a lot of you know Jim from his website Neither Fish Nor Fowl and his amazing illustration style. I’m pretty sure I came across Jim’s work on Grain Edit in this interview he did a while back which is filled with all kinds of useful information.

I thought his wallpaper was particularly awesome since summer just started and we could all afford to get lost every now and then. I’m still feeling pretty good since I just got back from Portland but I’m sure there’s a lot of you out there who could use a little vacation. Make this your computer’s wallpaper and then make your dreams happen!


‘The Beach’ by Paul Octavious

Lately I’ve been having this hang up with prints. I understand it’s an easier way for artists, and by artists I mean illustrators and designers, to present their work. But at the same time it’s starting to feel like more crap. I’ve started comparing prints to screen printed t-shirts, which in my mind no one needs anymore of. That said, I can’t say that this ridiculous rule I’ve created for myself holds true to photographers, because, how else would they show their work other than a print?

So I thought I’d share this wonderful image created by Paul Octavious called The Beach which is the quintessential idea of what summer looks like (to me). The photo is available through Wallblank who are charging $30 for a 12″ x 12″ or $70 for a 20″ x 20″. I’m seriously smitten with this print so I’m thinking about diving into the 20″ end of the pool.


History remixer

Is it a game or is it a typeface? Why, it’s both! The History Typeface is made up of 21 individual typefaces that can be stacked, turned on or off, flipped, gibbered, transposed or otherwise manipulated to generate thousands of unique letter forms. Because the the typefaces that make up History share the same metrics, layers play nicely with each other and you shouldn’t be surprised if a sample of the type shifts from absurd to elegant with a mere layer of serifs turned on or off.

History was designed by Peter Bil’ak, who (sporadically) worked on the typeface(s) over the course of 15 years.  The name History is less of a joke than it may initially seem, as each layer of type connotes a particular historic trend. For instance, the “A” in the image above has some pretty fantastic serifs that are modeled after “15th century humanist calligraphy.” And the beginning layer, layer 1, is described by the designer, himself, as  “hairline skeletons of letters inspired by Roman inscriptional capitals from year 80 AD.”

Fortunately for us, his research and work have created a type system that’s delightful enough to confuse with a game.  So play it here.


Sarah McNeil

In Sarah McNeil’s mystical illustrative universe, teas are magical potions, tears are infused with the poisonous disappointment of love and young men can control kitties. Slightly off centre and deliciously quirky, the fine and delicate pencil and pen work that make up her drawings complement the dainty characters that dwell within each piece. Her imagery is evocative of folk tales and alludes to forests, disembodied spirits and strange happenings. It’s a little bit surreal and, at times, slightly otherworldly, but always delightfully enticing.

You can see more of McNeil’s work on her blog, flickr and shop.


Nonprojects | A Mix by Asura & Anenon

Nonprojects | A Mix by Asura & Anenon
Click here to download

About a month or so ago I came across local Los Angeles record label Non Projects after hearing about one of their artists named Asura. I was a huge fan of Asura’s music, as I’ve mentioned him previously before, so I thought I’d also get in touch and see if they’d want to work on a little something for the blog, and they were kind enough to accept.

The mix is actually two people’s points of view, Asura and Anenon, who is an amazing musician himself and also runs Non Projects. Asura, who does the first half, describes it as:

“This mix gathers the music influencing my next steps. West African and Caribbean polyrythms, poylphonic choral compositions (so much Bulgarian), vocal free jazz, endless electronics, filth and black marble and gold. Some examples of the current syntheses are included. All is full of love.”

While the second half by Anenon:

“For this mix, space is the place. Not in the near cliched cosmic jazz sense, but in the actual expanse of the sound. Open wide bliss from Norway (Susanna, Arve Henriksen), the delicate yet epic beauty of early John Cage piano music (“In a Landscape”) along with the darkness of a Paul Bley improvised piano solo. The vast vocals of Will Wiesenfeld in Asura’s ridiculously clean Baths remix and one of my all time favorite solos in jazz history from Miles Davis in “Masqualero,” essentially the audio equivalent of watching a Jackson Pollack painting in action.

Elsewhere, music from close friends is sprinkled throughout alongside a couple of my own remixes and new obsessions (Oneohtrix Point Never, Toro Y Moi and new Caribou material).”

Overall it’s a hugely eclectic mixtape and that’s what I love about. From song to song it’s all over the place but it’s awesome to see the range of music that inspires these guys. I’ve also got to mention that Asura and Anenon have a split album coming on July 20th called Silver Trees/Damiel. I can say that I’ve had the chance to listen to it already and it’s rather brilliant. For more information and/or to pre-order it click here.

Side One: Asura
1. Orchestre Poly – Rhythmo de Cotonou-Malin Kpon O
2. Konono No.1 – Wumbanzanga
3. Oneohtrix Point Never – I Know It’s Taking Pictures From Another Plane (Inside Your Sun)
4. Sourakata – Dioula
5. Gary Bartz and Ntu Troop – DU (rain)
6. Oscar Mcclure – Cardboard (Asura Remix)
7. Quadron – Buster Keaton (Asura Neon Brakes Ruin)
8. Kitka (With Tzvetanka Varimezova) – Kalimanku Denku
9. Neu – Isi
10. Bougouni Yaalali – Track 2
11. Sunn O))) and Boris – The Sinking Belle (Blue Sheep)
12. Bjork – All is Full of Love (Live)
13. Asura – High Life
14. Boredoms – Super Good

Side Two: Anenon
1. [ a. d. l. r. ] – Hikikomori Family Values
2. Julian Priester – Love, Love
3. Caribou – Leave House
4. Miles Davis – Masqualero
5. Rarebit The Destroyer – Tape Shreds
6. Susanna & The Magical Orchestra – Jolene
7. Arve Henriksen – Viewing Infinite Space / Yagya – Snowflake 1
8. Paul Bley – Vocal Tracked
9. Soul II Soul – Back 2 Life (Anenon Remix)
10. John Abercrombie – Timeless
11. John Cage – In a Landscape
12. Oneohtrix Point Never – Zones Without People
13. Baths – Hall (Asura Remix)
14. Take – Incredibright (Anenon Remix)
15. Toro Y Moi – You Hid


Pro Keds Royal Plus Hi Top

Finishing up our little shoe roundup are these sweet Keds (never thought I’d say that) which are metallic and awesome. First off they’re all leather, so they should get better with age. They’re a beautiful color, almost a metallic grey, not too light and not too dark, and the details and stitching are just enough to give it some character. They remind me a lot of something Generic Man might produce if they went a little crazy with adding panels, which in all honesty is a compliment. I’m just upset I can’t find these anywhere!

Found through Svpply


Nike Dunk High Supreme 08 Limited Edition

As you may have noticed we’ve been posting up shoes today on the site, so hopefully you’ve been enjoying them so far. Alex and Danica both posted a couple of items for ladies so I’m posting a couple of pairs for dudes. Honestly I’ve been wearing Sperry’s non-stop lately but I have this constant crush on Dunk-y looking shoes, even if I never wear them.

From what Freshness Mag says these are some kinda’ fancy, limited edition shoe which come in an amazing medium, metallic silver dot pattern which looks woven into the material, not printed on. Usually when a shoe company makes a polka dot print they tend to make it smaller, cuz’, big polka dots are pretty gross. But I think the muted color palette of the shoe make this one a serious winner. No idea where to get it, so good luck finding it!

Found through Freshness Mag


Some Thoughts on Footwear and Elegance

In Genevieve Antoine Dariaux’s indispensable tome to style, A Guide to Elegance: For Every Woman Who Wants to Be Well and Properly Dressed on all Occasions, she sets out extremely strict rules regarding footwear. Please allow me to summarise:

heels higher than 2 or 2 1/2 inches are “extremely vulgar” and high heels worn with trousers “can reduce to vulgarity the most refined appearance”;

open-toed shoes are an absolute no-no, as some brute will undoubtedly step on your toes and if it rains your feet will be soaked (how terribly distasteful);

wedge heels are generally in “bad taste” and will result in an “awkward gait and a heavy leg”;

ankle straps are “unflattering and rather cheap looking”;

shoes that have “exaggeratedly pointed toes” and adornments “that attract too much attention” should be avoided;

ballerinas (the style of shoe, not the dancers) must “never be seen on a city street…for they create an impression of negligence”; and

bright coloured shoes should only be “worn in the evening under electric lights.”

Perusing Dariaux’s tips I was struck by two things: the use of the word “vulgar” (as far as I can ascertain “vulgar” has dropped out of contemporary parlance and has been replaced by inferior sentiments – personally, I feel it should be wholeheartedly resurrected) and the large discrepancy between ideas of elegance enshrined in the 1960s and those held today.

Looking at the styles that are currently being produced by high-end designers, I can’t help but think that poor Genevieve will be turning in her grave. In a season where 1970s-inspired cork and wood wedges have made a comeback, tall and spindly heels are de rigueur, Marc Jacobs continues to design shoes that look like cute animals, colour palettes are out of control and masculine brogues are all the fashion, archaic concepts of elegance have been well and truly thrown out the window. Indeed, I happen to think that ankle straps can be very sophisticated (provided that the wearer does not have cankles) and brightly coloured shoes are always appropriate (except at funerals).

So are poise, style and grace mutable ideas that change from season to season or are they fixed concepts? What gets placed in the trash: Dariaux’s book or my ballerina flats with *shudder* ankle straps? Whatever your opinion, I guess elegance ain’t what it used to be.

The featured styles include Christian Louboutin Corto 85 leather pumps, Chloé Ankle strap canvas ballerina flats, Paloma Barceló Dalila flat espadrille sandals, Marni Square-toe leather pumps, Marc by Marc Jacobs Mouse leather ballerina flats and Church’s Blondie leather brogues. Yeah – don’t worry – I can’t afford them either.