Archives for category: Design

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

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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!

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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.

Via tanamachistudio.com

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Spring is in the air (sorta), and with summer just around the corner, we thought a beach-related post was in order. A favorite pastime of many is spending warm sunny days building sand castles on the beach. They take many forms, from bucket molds, to deep moat formations, to the ubiquitous drip castle. A Massachusetts artist simply known as SandCastleMatt creates incredible sand structures that stand out from the rest. What’s unique about Matt’s work is that his designs almost look organic, like they naturally emerge from the beach. Using found objects, like sticks, vines, wood and other repurposed junk, Matt builds a framework to support his structures. Then he employs the classic drip method, which conceals the bones of his impressive ephemeral work. a few years back, a viral photo mistakingly identified one of his structures as the result of a lightening strike in the sand, which was later debunked by Scientific American (here).

Via Flickr and Vimeo

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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.

Via windowsofnewyork.com

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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.”

Via martinbeckphotography.com

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In addition to being aesthetically innovative, Torino, Italy-based photographer Giorgio Cravero’s series, entitled simply Colors, is also fueled by a belief that we humans are slowly killing nature’s bounty. Cravero shot the fruits and vegetables, then masterfully retouched them to look like the life (color) is dripping away. “Men are poison for the earth. Behind this work there’s the story of what we are and of our arrogance when we think that we really count…. Here, in that cabbage which was sadly left to its fate, lies all the tragic meaning of our smallness and of our short memory, because we should have stayed there, close and loyal to the Earth, we should have stayed humble.” Though we may not totally agree with Cravero’s sullen position, we understand the sentiment. And there’s certainly no denying his immense talent and superb execution of these photographs.

Via Behance

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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.

Via meatamerica.com

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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.

Via tomdeiningerart.com

 

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Ah, spring is (finally) in the air. A time-honored tradition for many, decorating eggs, is taken to a whole other level by truly skilled artists (here and here). Brooklyn-based tattoo artist turned fine artist Scott Campbell is among said artists, innovating egg decoration even further. In fact, “decoration” is probably much too casual a term… this is art. Campbell uses his exceptional illustration skills to produce graphite drawings inside ostrich eggshells. Mind blowing, we know. The intricacy of his work, and sheer beauty of his compositions, on what we can only imagine to be a rather trying surface, is awe-inspiring. Campbell’s subject matter of choice, not only with his eggshell art but throughout his body of work, focuses on the visual juxtaposition of life and death. Needless to say, we are absolutely taken with his work.

Via scottcampbellstudio.com and marcjancou.com and Instagram

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Using toilet paper rolls in craft projects is pretty common in the elementary school set. But not so much in the art world. Paris-based sculptor/paper artist Junior Fritz Jacquet defies convention with these remarkably expressive masks. Each made from a single toilet paper roll masterfully manipulated by Jacquet, this set of 40 masks is really something to behold. Inspired by the traditional art of origami, Jacquet sculpts the cardboard by hand, then applies pigment and shellac. Just terrific.

Via juniorfritzjacquet.com and matthieugauchet.fr

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