Continuing the theme of our fantastic experience at Create Upstate last week in Syracuse (previous post here), we’d like to introduce you to Curtis Canham of CSA Creative Studio. Canham is an art director/designer/educator based in the Albany area with an impressive and diverse portfolio, from sophisticated packaging to illustration-driven infographics to consumer-facing web design. Along with running a full service design studio, Canham also finds the time to educate the next generation of designers as a design professor at The Center for Art and Design at The College of Saint Rose in Albany. With all of this important work, Canham, believe it or not, is also working on publishing a fundamental typography book. Busy guy, indeed. Last week, Canham ran a table in the marketplace at Create Upstate extolling the virtues of a-holes that quickly caught our attention. A-holes? What the what!? Canham drew us in with his impassioned discourse about his forthcoming book, A-holes: A Type Book. He enlightened us on such things as the anatomy of a-holes, historic a-holes, famous a-holes. and families of a-holes. All of this perceived potty talk may elicit gasps from those who don’t know any better. But being the typography nerds that we are, we, of course, understand and appreciate the double entendre. Aside from the obvious, an a-hole is also the negative space, or counter, within the “A” characters. Canham’s book taps right into a brand of humor we Barbour folk love. With only 5 days left, Canham is in the home stretch of a Kickstarter campaign to fund a first printing of his 130-page book. Don’t be an a-hole… pledge a few bucks, please.
Via csacreativestudio.com and Kickstarter
Gabe was particularly taken with all of this, and his name was fittingly drawn for an A-hole t-shirt at Create Upstate! In his own words, “you are what you wear.” Bahahahahaha!
A couple members of the Barbour team had the honor of witnessing a speaking engagement by the incomparable Dana Tanamachi at Create Upstate in Syracuse last week. The event itself was terrific, from the impressive venue (great food, btw), awesome vendors, and stellar lineup of speakers. One highlight was undoubtedly the inspirational work and philosophy of Tanamachi. Honestly, we’re not saying anything new here, just bowing down, as most who are exposed to her transcendent work tend to do. Texas-bred, Brooklyn-based Tanamachi, whose lettering work is quite ubiquitous (you’ve probably seen it, or a rip-off of it, and may not have realized it was hers), seems quite gracious, humble, passionate and sincere when discussing her craft. She’s not some Brooklyn hipster who is too cool for school. Her tremendous talents seemed to have emerged over time, and her rise in the design world happened organically, which we truly admire. Tanamachi is a rock star among our peers, and we are just happy to have spent an engaging hour in her presence. Here’s a small sampling of her formidable body of work… prepare to drool.
Full disclosure: we’re having a moment of design envy. And for several reasons. The subject of our aspirational glares is Big Apple-based designer/illustrator José Guizar’s self-initiated, ongoing weekly project Windows of New York. First, we are truly inspired by “daily” projects. We admire the commitment of artists who hone their craft through some sort of consistent work, whether it be daily, weekly, monthly (for example, here and here and here). It truly is a creative exercise, to motivate one’s self to conjure creativity for the sake of it, and at regular intervals, no less. Second, with distractions aplenty, from our Apple i-devices, to social media, to everyday hustle and bustle, being mindful enough to stop and appreciate architectural details around us is easier said than done. Such inquisitiveness and passion are what drives Guizar. Finally, his incredible illustration skills really make this project what it is. In the hands of a less-skilled artist, this undertaking wouldn’t be quite so notable. But Guizar’s spare, yet detailed design approach is perfectly engaging. From his flat style, to his terrific sense of color and composition, to his attention to typography, Guizar’s growing collection of diverse architectural specimens reflects his personal spirit of curiosity and exploration, and should be cherished and admired by designers for quite sometime. Hats off to Guizar for a well-conceived and expertly executed personal project.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again… the proliferation of superhero movies in recent years has spawned all sorts of superhero art (here and here and here), which we are generally fond of. If art is a barometer for cultural consciousness, then fantasy and escapism seem to be at the forefront of people’s thoughts lately. Dubai-based fashion and portrait photographer Martin Beck, however, looks at these extraordinary characters and personas as rather ordinary, beyond their colorful costumes. Beck’s series, We Can Be Heroes, is a collection of superbly gritty portraits of regular people with regular struggles, who might not otherwise be viewed as heroes. Beck, in his own words: “When we think of superheroes, we think of perfect bodies and beautiful faces., achieving unbelievable feats. There are people we idealize as characters that can do no wrong and only seem to exist in our daydreams. This project tries to humanize superheroes. Despite our flaws and failures, each of us, in our own way, can be heroes to our family, our friends, our colleagues and we all have the potential to help others. My Heroes are regular people not restricted by race, religion or beliefs. They live among us, they surround us, they are everywhere. Everyone is a superhero.”
When it comes to an art medium we can really sink our teeth into, food is near the top of our list. After all, few things bring people together like food. It’s relatable, familiar, often comforting, and let’s face it, essential to our very being. Philadelphia-based photographer Dominic Episcopo invites viewers to “Meat America” through this engaging and polarizing series of photographs of, well, meat — carved, molded, manipulated — to look like American icons. Episcopo describes the project as “an eye-opening and artery-closing tour of America’s spirit of entrepreneurship, rebellion and positivity.” From Elvis, to Lincoln, to the Liberty Bell as subjects, Episcopo’s carnivorous wit shines through. And his photography skills are not too shabby either. Patriotic protein aside, Episcopo’s sense of composition and lighting is stellar. A less skilled photographer would not have pulled this off so well. Episcopo’s book available here.
More food art here and here and here.
Trash versus treasure is all relative, as everyone pretty much knows by now. Rhode Island-based artist Tom Deininger takes the old adage to heart through his remarkable collage work. From idealistic landscapes (one of which is inspired by Impressionist master Monet), to detailed portraiture, to denim seascapes, to large-scale commissions, Deininger truly transforms found, often discarded, objects into things of beauty and awe. We imagine his workspace to look like The Island of Misfit Toys. It takes true skill, an acute sense of space and color, to compose these stunning pieces. To say that Deininger is an accomplished collage artist is an understatement. Incredible work.
More killer collage work here, here and here.