The Great Discontent interviews designer John Maeda about his path in life, his mentors, taking risks, and lots of great stuff. This point about being a part of a community caught my eye.
Is it important to you to be part of a creative community?
Creative or not, it’s important to be in a diverse community with people who have different backgrounds and skills. I think that’s why New York is such a great place to live. There’s so much diversity. I’d rather be a creature in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef that is teeming with life of all kinds than in someone’s pond with carp.
Couldn’t agree more. Limiting your learning environment to those like you limits the amount of things you can learn overall.
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.
I’ve always thought that with the decreasing readership of print it wasn’t that it needed to keep up with the times but rather retarget itself. It seemed to me that print could be kept alive not by dumbing down but by smartening up and aiming itself at a new audience. You only need to take a look at some of the most recent additions to the magazine world to see I might not be far off. Editors and Designers are putting far more emphasis on creating something that will be read rather than skimmed. Filling a niche for a quality travel magazine aimed at women is SUITCASE, run by 23 year old Editor-in-Chief Serena Guen. With its feet in culture and fashion, SUITCASE has received much accolade and without sounding superfluous looks on track to perhaps become the feminine Monocle.
I spoke to the adventurous and ambitious Serena on the origins of SUITCASE and her outlook on learning and work.
One of my resolutions from the last year was to do more to help good people. We’re all so busy all the time that I think something as simple as this can get lost in the rush. Helping creatives who are doing really interesting projects are especially important, and that’s why I’m sharing The Great Discontent’s Kickstarter who are raising money to start a magazine.
We started TGD as a digital publication, and we’ll continue to release digital issues, however, we’ve always dreamt of making a physical magazine. And now we’re doing it! The Great Discontent Magazine, Issue 1, will be a beautiful way to preserve some of the content we’ve featured online and allow it to be enjoyed virtually anywhere.
The magazine will be a gorgeous, full color piece around 240 pages. It will feature 15 interviews with individuals who have also taken leaps, including Sara Blake, Scott and Vik Harrison of charity: water, James Victore, Zack Arias, Elle Luna, Ike Edeani, Debbie Millman, Joshua Davis, and more! Select interviews will include updates and/or commentary, and we might throw in a surprise or two.
Tina and Ryan are such amazing people and it’s inspiring to see them follow their dreams like this. Supporting people like this is important to our industry as it makes all boats rise. It brings together creatives and makes our digital world a little bit smaller. I think it’s also important to note that the magazine is being designed by the ever-talented Frank Chimero so you know it’ll be beautifully designed.
If you’re unfamiliar with The Great Discontent you can read the interview I did with them from last February by clicking here.
Since graduating three years ago Dan Woodger’s oblong-eyed creations have graced the pages of numerous editorials, like ESPN and The New York Times, and have been part of campaigns for GiffGaff, The Webby Awards, and Oreos. It’s easy to see why. His highly stylized, comic book figures have an all-age appeal to them that’s eager to be snapped by companies large and small to give them the charming and cheeky edge they need.
What I love about his work is the Where’s Wally-esque packed-in nature of his pieces where every element is an illustration in itself. Minimalism isn’t in his repertoire. I spoke to Dan about his work and the role education played in his comeuppance (there’s a theme here!) as well as future projects and how he almost became a golfing instructor, to give you young’uns an insight into the mind of an illustrator.
In these times of recession and High-Street closures now more than ever stores need to up their game and provide something focused. Combining a digital presence with a physical one is a tricky job but one store that is rolling in the successes of it is Present & Correct – the independent stationary and supply store. Since it’s conception in 2008 it’s been a home of carefully curated global goods all with that certain classic vibe to them without the now tacky ‘vintage’ tag plastered all over it.
I spoke to the founder, Neal Whittington, about how he started Present & Correct, how he keeps it running and his background before hand.
Creative agency and artist managers Hugo & Marie is run by Jennifer Marie Gonzalez, who works as the representative and producer, along with her husband and partner Mario Hugo Gonzalez, who works as the agency’s Creative Director. Together they have carved out a sector of the design world, focusing on their carefully curated list of illustrators and designers. Together hey’ve worked with clients like Nowness, Stella McCartney, and Dolce & Gabbana to Microsoft, Wired Magazine and Converse.
Their dedication to the whole product has seen them work, direct, and collaborate on some incredible projects. At times they come across more as fine artists than commercial designers, which they say is an important part of their practice as well as for creatives as a whole. It’s through this process that they have become more than just a creative agency, they’ve situated themselves almost as a brand taking great care of every aspect – so much so that I think it’s fair to say companies seek them out for that “Hugo & Marie look.”
I spoke to them Jennifer and Mario to get an insight into the work they both do and how Hugo & Marie came to be.
Illustrator, Artist and doodler Scott Campbell has just released the follow up to the successful Great Showdowns book – The Return. It builds upon it’s prequel and again is filled with classic defining Pop Culture moments. It takes on the same competitiveness as a Where’s Wally (or Waldo for you guys across the sea) book where you’re instantly trying to guess the scene as quickly as possible. With no verbal clues you’d have to be a real film buff to get them all correct but even if you don’t the book reads like a more playful version of a coffee table book.
I spoke to Scott recently on the origins of this series and his background in design below.
Harper’s Bazaar published an interview with Takashi Murakami yesterday, one that involves some backstory into his new monster movie Jellyfish Eyes. The interview is fine, kind of short to be honest, but what’s really remarkable is the photo shoot that accompanies the story.
Entitled Murakami’s Monster Magic, the photos were shot by Jason Schmidt and feature model Angela Lindvall as well as Murakami’s cast of movie monsters. The series is pretty fantastic and surreal, a beautiful woman walking around with these bizarre creatures in a variety of random Los Angeles locations – wandering through In-N-Out, lounging at the pool at The Standard Hollywood, or walking through Beverly Hills.
The photos also remind me of Charlie White’s old photo series Understanding Joshua which did a nice job of mixing surreal monsters with idyllic, Hollywood-esque situations. If you’re into these photos you absolutely need to click that link.
Last week saw the release of this interview with Jonathan Ive and Craig Federighi over on Businessweek, giving some insight into two of the main men behind Apple. The piece is basically a design/tech love fest, and there are definitely a few gems in there that really make the whole piece. Here’s one of my favorites.
Somehow, because our products are used by more than one person, you don’t accept “OK, there is this polar opinion and this opinion,” because basically then what can happen—and I have seen this in other places—what can happen is that energy then is spent in the debate, rather than the belief that, you know what? We have an ambition that is real because we believe there is a solution. There is an idea that actually transcends that debate.