If I had to make a shortlist of graphic designers who continually inspire, Michael Cina would be so near the top. He’s not only a designer, he’s an artist, a typographer, you name it he’s probably better at it than you. Recently he had an interview featured on The Great Discontent and it’s a wonderful. My favorite part:
You have to take risks in order to move forward—I feel very passionate about that. I always say that if you feel uncomfortable, then you know you’re doing something right. I’ve recently had a new vision for where I want to go, and I’m going for it. If you don’t have a solid vision for where you want to go, you’re just going to meander around without doing the kind of work you really want to do. Last year I made up my mind to get larger branding jobs, custom typefaces, and more gallery exhibits. This week I landed two gallery shows.
Last weekend, Kyle and the dogs and I moved to a brand new apartment. It can be a pain to move into a new place, but when I look at the big picture it’s a therapeutic act. Being able to remove the unnecessary elements of your life and start fresh with a new space allows you to examine things differently. What once worked so well in a space just might not fit anymore, and that’s ok.
All of this change got me thinking about this very blog and what I want it to be. When I first started the site over six years ago it was a site for me to share the things I thought were cool, simple as that. It still works essentially like that, only I think I lost a little bit of myself on the way. I’ve realized that in trying so hard to be a legitimate “website” that I’ve lost the charm and fun of being, well, me.
I still love to write about design, illustration, and art, but my true passion lies in ideas around web design, apps, technology, the future, etc. I’m uncertain if you, the reader, are interested in what I’m interested in. But I do think what’s more important is being honest and putting my true self out there, something I don’t think I’ve done a good job of in the last couple years.
So as simple as that, you’ll start to see a shift in the site. There will be more random thoughts and ideas being pushed out and less of me worrying about whether or not what I’m doing fits with the old space. It’s time to fuck things up, burn things down, and try to again to create something that truly fits me.
I’m often spoiled by the super creative people I get to collaborate with on The Desktop Wallpaper Project. Some times people reach out to me and ask if they can participate, but I can’t always say yes. Most often I write the people who I think are creating amazing things and see if they’d be interested in working together. Today is one of those days where I’m astonished by the high level of quality put into this wallpaper.
It comes from Matt Luckhurst, a designer and illustrator who currently resides in San Francisco. He’s a 2012 ADC Young Guns recipient, he’s illustrated a book about Paul Bunyan, and an all around mega creative guy. For his wallpaper he’s done a series of abstract nude figures, beautifully rendered in warm yellows and oranges with splashes of blue to make it all pop. This is an incredible work of art, and I have to give major props to Matt for creating something this beautiful.
Controlled Burns is a series of imposing images by the American photographer Kevin Cooley. Consisting of large, swirling clouds of smoke, these photographs are as beautiful as they are dramatic.
For Cooley, these images serve as a metaphor for opposition. “Fire is a powerful natural force that we harness for greater good” he says, “it is the only Classical element that we can create on demand, yet when out of control it has the potential for grave destruction”. At the heart of this series lies a simple duality – we can create fire and yet fire brings destruction.
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Many people, including me, are fascinated by outer space. The movements of the NASA Curiosity Rover on Mars are carefully recorded and obsessively followed. The current hit Korean drama, My Love From The Star, is a rom-com involving a 400-year-old handsome alien and the female celebrity whose life he saves. Recently on Brain Pickings, Maria Popova wrote about Carl Sagan’s Murmurs of Earth: The Voyager Interstellar Record. Sagan and his team compiled “the sounds of Earth,” dubbed it the Golden Record, and placed it on the Voyager to transmit a distilled idea of our planet to the galaxies with the possibility that other lifeforms out there might hear it.
Yoskay Yamamoto’s sculptures and carved figurines are a possible interpretation of what these outer space lifeforms might look like. The faces of Yamamoto’s pieces tend to feature small eyes barely open or shut, thin noses with high bridges, and knowing half-smiles. They are usually missing pupils, have large foreheads, and pale skin. I think Yamamoto has imagined a possible martian appearance without going in the direction of tentacles, excess body parts, and slime.
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Having grown up in Switzerland, those that know me are no stranger to my fondness of the country. Those that know me also know of my relentless affection towards Japan—a nation I often refer to as “the Switzerland of Asia.” This is the 150th year of diplomatic relations between the two nations. Surprised? I’m certain everyone is. What’s actually thrilling about this is that to celebrate, the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich has organized an exhibition, Japanese Poster Artists: Cherry Blossom and Asceticism, showcasing the stellar exemplars of renown Japanese graphic design. The exhibit is reflected in an accompanying book, Japan – Nippon, which marks the 26th release of the Lars Müller Publishing’s poster collections.
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Script & Seal is a Brooklyn based design-minded illustration studio of made up of two very fine people, Gavin Potenza & Liz Meyer. Together they make some amazing work including crazy geometric illustrations to sophisticated infographics and retro-inspired book covers. I’ve been a fan of Liz and Gavin’s work for a long time now and it’s incredible to see how far they’ve come. Their color palette choices are always spot-on and they have an incredible ability to make potentially complex pieces something that’s easily digestible by your eyes.
Geoff McFetridge teamed up with Bigelow, makers of teas and stuff, to create this charming little video for a project called While You Were Steeping. In the two minutes it takes for your tea to steep, Geoff paints a lovely image that spreads from his notebook and onto the table itself. Honestly I’ll post anything with Geoff painting, it’s awesome to watch.
You can visit the