Archives for category: Design

While we generally appreciate 3D rendering and the technology behind it, we must admit that extraneous use of it (which is rather rampant) is not only irritating from a conceptual standpoint, but also has a general desensitizing effect. So we were surprised and delighted to come across the work of Athens, Greece-based architect Katerina Kamprani. Her ongoing series, fittingly titled The Uncomfortable, explores the redesign of useful objects to make them uncomfortable to use. Kamprani purposefully and thoughtfully reworks each item in twisted ways. She states. “[I] decided to create and design for all the wrong reasons. Vindictive and nasty? Or a helpful study of everyday objects?” Whatever the motivation, we love staring at these, imagining how (un)useful each object would be, and the depraved humor that would ensue. We salute Kamprani for designing with purpose and humor, nicely done.

Some more stellar 3D work here and here and here.

Via kkstudio.gr

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Whatever you prefer to call it – hyper-realistic, super-realistic, photo-realistic – what’s real is the remarkable level of skill involved. We’re so taken with this type of art, we’ve featured it several times before (here and here and here and here). This time, it’s the work of Singapore-based artist Ivan Hoo. What makes his work unique is his canvas of choice… a simple board of wood. Hoo’s incredibly realistic pieces interact directly with the wood surface, creating the illusion of three-dimensionality. What’s even more impressive is that Hoo is self-taught. Armed with a few colored pencils, pastels and inks, Hoo transforms everyday objects into drawings with unbelievable results. His Starbucks cup is one of our favorites. Try not to drool too much.

Via Instagram and Tumblr

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Alright a lot have ask for different angle of the Starbucks drawing.

A video posted by Ivan Hoo (@ivanhooart) on

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[Nutella.Spill.] artwork for Mess Hall Gallery Penang ,Malaysia#wip. #pastel on wood.

A video posted by Ivan Hoo (@ivanhooart) on

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Working on a new drawing.✨😊#wip Full video on my Facebook page Ivan Hoo Art.

A video posted by Ivan Hoo (@ivanhooart) on

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[Detail.;] #BoykoKolev inspired piece..More progress on my Tumblr @ivanhooart.

A video posted by Ivan Hoo (@ivanhooart) on

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So, we stumbled upon this viral video recently, and were in complete awe. You will be too, if you haven’t seen it already, guaranteed. It made us ponder the irony of being so taken with corporate logos carefully drawn by hand, even though that’s exactly how they were developed in the not so distant past. It’s no wonder this video has circulated so rapidly… we live and design in a time when doing things without the use of a computer is such a novelty. Armed with little more than some calligraphy pens, London-based Seb Lester, a trained graphic designer with a penchant for calligraphy, miraculously recreates distinct and recognizable complex letterforms with complete ease and surprising accuracy. Sit back snd marvel, as these logos seem to just emerge from his steady hand. We bow down to Lester and his tremendous talents.

Compilation video below, plus a few of our other favorites follow. Can you guess what’s about to materialize as he starts each logo?

Keep up with Lester and all of his hand drawn logos on his various social media channels: Instagram, Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube, Twitter

Via seblester.com and Vimeo

More doodling.

A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on

Harry Potter

A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on

I doodle a lot.

A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on

Latest doodle

A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on

News doodle

A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on

Few athletes are as globally recognizable as icon David Beckham. Even here in the U.S. where soccer is not nearly the sports juggernaught that it is just about everywhere else on the planet, Beckham is a mainstay in the fabric of our vast celebrity culture. So it was fitting that the Bleacher Report recently commissioned artists to create unique illustrations of the soccer superstar to mark his 40th birthday. We really love the diversity of styles here. We won’t mention our favorites, but it’s safe to say that they are all pretty fantastic in their own way. These assorted artists, whose backgrounds and influences are as distinct as their artistic styles, include Steve Welsh (UK); Alexis Marcou (New York City), previous post here; Sebastián Domenech (Buenos Aires); Dave Merrell (UK), previous post here; Brandon Spahn (Bloomington, Indiana); Bram Vanhaeren (Belgium); Nikkolas Smith (Los Angeles); Melvin Rodas (Philippines); Rory Martin (San Francisco); Gabriel De Los Rios (New York City); James White (Nova Scotia).

Via Bleacher Report

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Sometimes to be original, you need to draw inspiration from the past, as contradictory as that sounds. Dutch photographer Hendrik Kerstens did just that with an arresting series with his daughter Paula as his subject. What began as capturing childhood moments morphed into fascinating photographs in the style of seventeenth century Dutch paintings… with a modern twist. Kerstens recalls, “One day Paula came back from horseback riding. She took off her cap and I was struck by the image of her hair held together by a hair-net. It reminded me of the portraits by the Dutch masters and I portrayed her in that fashion. After that I started to do more portraits in which I refer to the paintings of that era. The thing that fascinates me in particular is the way a seventeenth-century painting is seen as a surface which can be read as a description of everyday life as opposed to the paintings of the Italian renaissance, which usually tell a story. Northern European painting relies much more on craftsmanship and the perfect rendition of the subject. The use of light is instrumental in this.” As are Paula’s placid, if not austere, facial expressions… so reminiscent of the work of Johannes Vermeer and other Dutch masters. Kerstens’s outstanding work can be found in museums and galleries around the world, and has inspired tastemakers as diverse as Elton John and Alexander McQueen.

Conceptually reminiscent of the work of Steve Payne (here)

Via danzigergallery.com and Facebook

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Some of the best, most thought-provoking art and design is best viewed from a variety of angles. In fact, the work of Brooklyn-based artist Michael Murphy relies on varying vantage points. Murphy’s large-scale, complex structures are profoundly awe-inspiring (these photos surely don’t do them justice, they are best viewed in person). His multi-layered, multi-dimensional sculptures consist of suspended objects that, when viewed from different perspectives, reveal something more. Murphy explains, “[my] large-scale works seek to dominate the viewer’s physical and mental space, captivating the critical thought process as one circles around the various entities that form a cohesive whole. Pieces initially experienced on a visually flat plane resonate with meaning upon closer inspection, opening up cerebral capacities to perpetual reconsideration. The mesmerizing effect of the varied angles and ingredients of [my] sculptures provoke thought, using aesthetic titillation as their gateway.” Murphy’s conceptual approach, paired with his calculated orchestration of these phenomenal installations, is a true marvel on a many levels. Wow.

Via mmike.com

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Food and color are two of our favorite things… combine that with very systematic arrangements, and we’re in seventh heaven. So when we stumbled upon the work of Seattle-based photographer/food fanatic Brittany Wright, we were immediately taken with her stunning compositions. Wright not only arranges fruit and vegetables in a spectrum that’s pleasing to the eye, but she also captures changes through the aging process, and sometimes cooking. Her approach is actually less like food photography, and more abstract. Wright’s terrific sense of color is clear in her very nuanced groupings. She has even branched out from fresh produce, and started exploring other types of foods too. Wright’s work appeals to us on a variety of levels, and if her growing number of Instagram followers is any indication, we’re not alone in that.

More orderly food photography here and here and here.

Via wrightkitchen.com and Instagram

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Cubism, widely considered the most influential art movement of the 20th century, was pioneered by Picasso and Braque in the early 1900s. By definition, cubism is a style and movement in which perspective with a single viewpoint was abandoned and use was made of simple geometric shapes, interlocking planes, and even collage. Dutch artist Enno de Kroon takes this one step further, using the unique landscape of the universal egg carton to his advantage in what he calls “eggcubism”. de Kroon had always experimented with distortions of perspective, and he found that the egg carton as his canvas presented a new and unique challenge that forced him to approach painting in a new way. The challenge is not only limited to de Kroon as the creator, but the viewer’s perception is also challenged. de Kroon explains, “The waves of the egg cartons limit the viewer’s perception; they also make him aware of his positioning towards the image. The intentional limitation in subjective perception gives room for imagination and recall: the process of occlusion. By a fusion of direct and indirect perception conventional imagery is overtaken. At first sight this leads to a physical and mental incompleteness, that forces an integration which can only take place within the inner experience, apart from time and space. One could say that the complete image just emerges sublimated in the viewers mind. Gestalt psychology states that human perception aims for completeness. Perceptions are being added subconsciously. My eggcubist works evoke conscious and dynamic adding. The objects not only refer to themselves, they also refer to each other as a series.” In a digital age of augmented reality and immersive 3D experiences, de Kroon’s eggcubism pays homage to traditional cubism, with an interactive twist.

Via ennodekroon.nl and Flickr

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It’s been a week now, and we’re still stimulated by our experience at Create Upstate (related posts here, here, here and here). One unexpectedly enlightening address, Anatomy of a Maker, was given by Dora Drimalas, Principal of San Francisco-based Hybrid Design. Drimalas, along with her husband Brian Flynn, is at the helm of this full-service creative agency. Not many firms can tout a client list as impressive as Hybrid’s: Nike, Disney, Apple, Microsoft, Sony and Yahoo, to name a few. One might assume with such corporate powerhouse clientele, the leadership at Hybrid would be solely focused on churning out work at a breakneck pace to meet countless and differing demands. While client needs are certain a priority at Hybrid, Drimalas and Flynn seem to have a distinct passion for the timeless craft of design. This creative spirit doesn’t necessarily oppose a frame of mind needed to manage corporate demands, but certainly bucks a stereotype. When global paper manufacturer Mohawk approached Hybrid a couple years ago to reevaluate their perspective on paper in an increasingly digital world, Drimalas and company drew from their personal enthusiasm, philosophy and high regard for the heritage of craftsmanship. With that partnership, Mohawk Maker Quarterly was born. It’s much more than an indulgent paper promotion, it’s a publication with real substance. Drimalas spoke to the content within the latest issue (No. 6) with great fervor, explaining that the relatively recent dominance and ephemeral nature of digital communication positions print communication, like many other time-honored aspects of art and culture, at an elevated level. With a swing of the cultural pendulum, printers and designers are once again craftspeople, reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts movement over a century ago. It’s what Drimalas referred to as Arts and Crafts 2.0. The morsals of food for thought that Drimalas posed are too numerous to mention here. We were inspired not only by the content of Drimalas’s discourse, but also by the flawless design and printing of the Maker publication. Contact your paper rep if you do not have one of these in your hands.

Via hybrid-design.com and mohawkconnects.com

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Balancing work and family is an issue close to our hearts. The culture at Barbour fosters this balance brilliantly, so we listened intently when Amanda Altman of Rochester-based A3 Design took the stage at Create Upstate (see related posts here, here and here) last week. Her speech, entitled Mind My Own Business, explored the ins and outs of Altman’s experiences of not only running, but also refocusing and repositioning, a design studio with her husband, Alan. And all while juggling the demands of marriage and family. We were taken with Altman’s sincerity and candor on a subject that’s not often brought to the forefront. If her articulation was any indication, Altman could honestly have a second career as a life coach for creatives. If we had to choose a highlight, this frank pearl of wisdom pretty much sums it up: “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life… bullshit!”

Altman made a smart choice to show “pretty pictures” of A3’s outstanding body of work while speaking (scroll down for a sampling). Needless to say, the Altmans seem to be balancing masterfully. Really well done.

Via a3-design.com

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