Date Archives June 2010


I can’t remember where I spotted the work of Aphte but I think it’s one of the most fun things I’ve seen in a while. Aphte, who’s real name is Daniel Abensour, is a French illustrator who dabbles in both the traditional and digital worlds, creating all these really fun characters that reminds me of Friends With You but with an Os Gemeos palette. Browsing through his portfolio there’s so much work, and since it’s all so detailed an will take you quite a while to soak it all in.

The top image is a bunch of little characters that he found in his backyard and the smaller one is a bizarre skater, which might be my favorite of them all. I would love to see an epic skate video game starring that little guy, it would be trippy and completely insane.


Ryan Chapman

I received an email from UK illustrator/designer Ryan Chapman asking me to check out his work and I found a ton of fun stuff. My favorite of the bunch were these super limited vinyl figures he creates which only come in editions of 10. The guy above is called The Mystical Thinker and comes with a removable ‘piece of mind’. How clever! I also bought a couple of his acrylic paintings, so neener neener.

He also runs a great little blog called Color By Numbers which I guarantee is filled with worthwhile ideas and stuff.


Mark McGinnis

Somewhere between the worlds or illustration and design lies the work of Mark McGinnis, a Brooklyn based artist who creates some really strong images. I use the word strong because everything I saw seemed to tell some kind of story, like they were way more than just pretty images. He has a great sense of color, as seen evidenced above, and the paint-y textures everywhere give his images a nice depth.

I put the funny car images at top because it reminded me of my Art Center at Night classes. I was taking a product and transportation design class so I was drawing 10 fully rendered car designs a week. For those who haven’t attempted such a thing it’s not easy, and coming up with new car shapes is a bit challenging. So I’d make up the most bullshit cars ever, like one that looked like a macaroni (and was inspired by the macaroni salad I consumed nonstop) and another that was fish shaped. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who thinks this way.

Found through Beautiful/Decay


Stine Pettersen

The work of Norwegian photographer Stine Pettersen displays a considered focus on the human form. The eye of her camera rests on nubile torsos, capturing the manner in which natural light inhabits the surface of her subjects’ skin. Further, she frames them in unrefined and isolated settings that require that the body is the centre of each composition.

In so doing, Pettersen zeros in on a certain vulnerability that some of her subjects openly display, while others attempt to keep it hidden within themselves. Like the best photographs, her images take on the characteristics of a film still and encourage the viewer to imagine stories and inner lives for her photographic subjects. There is the overt presence of visual beauty, but there is also the whisper of something else.



Between 1971 and 1977, the Environmental Protection Agency payed freelance photographers $150 dollars a day to document, in a very broad sense, the environment. Now, after almost forty years, thousands of the photographs are available here, with many more of the nearly 17,000 available through the National Archives’ Archival Research Catalog (warning: the ARC can be cumbersome.)

These pictures are fantastic and illustrate that the 70’s were about much “more than disco and streaking.” A lot of the photographs document smog, sprawl and the effects of the gas shortage, but the intentionally broad definition of environment lead photographers to capture a variety of images that you might not expect.  For instance,  would you expect some guy washing his Frito-Lay truck or expect what looks a lot like the parking surrounding the Hollywood Bowl, but is actually a parking lot in downtown Cincinnati to be the results of a government-sponsored photography project?   Gifford D. Hampshire directed the project, and intended for the project to continue in perpetuity, but the project was strangled in 1977 by budget cuts and politics.


This Is An Invitation: Drinks and Fun in Portland

About a week ago I mentioned I’d be in Portland and I wanted to throw a little party, so with the help of some friends up here I’m having a little get together at Aalto Lounge and you, my lovely, amazing readers, are all invited. I know it’s short notice but if you’re free from 7PM onward then come on out and grab a drink with me! The party will go on into the wee hours of the night, so if you can’t be there early it’s not a problem.

Aalto Lounge
3356 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214 (map)

Come out and say hi, meet tons of great creative folks, and have some yummy drinks with me!


A Delicious Breakfast at Broder Cafe

Yesterday morning Frank took me to one of his favorite breakfast spots called Broder Cafe, a beautiful little place that serves Scandinavian foods. To start we got an order of aebleskivers (which in Danish means apple slices) which are these wonderful, fluffy pastries that you dip in lemon curd and marion berry jam. Honestly they were some of the most delicious little pastries I’ve ever had.

For my main meal Frank and I ended up getting the same thing, a bacon, mushroom, gouda scramble with a potato latke and toast. It was amazing as the photos above make it look, really rich and a ton of flavor. The onions in the latke were perfect and the mushrooms in the scramble were a perfect consistency. The coffee was also delicious and most important to me, the service was great. We always had water at our table and the waiter (who may have been the owner?) checked in on us frequently.

If you’re in Portland or are just visiting this is place is a must visit.


Space Suit of the Week

This week’s Space Suit was suggested by helpful reader, Scott.  Thanks Scott.

In 1946, skiing on Mons Huygens would have been even more surprising than this woman’s face suggests. But scientists’ eyes were surely wider when ice was detected around the moon’s polar regions several decades later.  But at the close of World War 2, we had an immediate problem: to think of something to do with all our rockets. And attaching them to snow skis is a wonderful idea. We also had a reduced demand for aircraft and it was in this period that the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation turned its attention to space exploration and developed the Grumman Moon Suit.

But Grumman wasn’t alone when its thinking turned to space. The hundred-something Science Fiction book covers in this flickr set confirm the popularity of these titles well before we ever walked on the surface of the Moon.  And although we never drove Hispano-Suiza “Xenia” Coupes lookalikes around on the moon, the rovers we used to explore the lunar surface are still there collecting space dust. I imagine that before being scanned many of the science fiction books suffered the same fate on book shelves far away from the worlds they imagined.


P.S. This week’s image reminds me of this poem.

Wood Wood Spring/Summer 2010

Following a viewing of the nautical-themed designs for Wood Wood’s spring/summer collection, I was left with a decidedly summery feeling. The irony is that I am currently wearing three layers of clothing, my hands are a delightful shade of purple and I have wrapped myself in a blanket. On reflection, it is hardly a coincidence that I have featured garments from the Scandinavian label that could possibly be layered and worn during cooler weather. I didn’t do it on purpose, I promise.

Aside from blazers and light sweaters, their latest collection also includes swimwear, loose-silhouetted dresses and cute shorts. There is a nice aesthetic flow from the feminine pieces to the masculine garments that is united by the collection’s subdued palette and simple embellishments. To be honest, I would consider a few pieces from both the ladies’ collection and the menswear selection – such is the appeal of Wood Wood’s laid-back and effortless style.


‘The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics’

Continuing the videos about shapes phenomenon I point your eyes to this amazing video called The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics. The video tells the story of a straight line who’s in love with a dot, but the dot falls in love with the crazy, freewheeling squiggle. Soon though the dot realizes that the squiggle is actually a mess and that the line is exactly what she wants in life… ok that was kind of a shit interpretation of the story, but you get the gist of it.

The video was directed by cartoon legend Chuck Jones and and Maurice Noble but was based on the book of the same name. The movie was such a big hit in fact that it won the Academy Award for Animated Short Film in 1965. Yet again, it’s annoying that there aren’t more cartoons like this these days. I wonder if Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network would fun something like this again?