Archives for category: Instructional

Australian photographer James Popsys has some serious skills behind both the lens and his MacBook Pro, but his work is anything but serious. Popsys is not one to indulge in self-importance or highbrow projects but rather focuses on manipulating scenes from everyday life into playful, sometimes ironic works. That’s not to say his approach is not conceptual or smart… Popsys just can’t help but inject his subversive sense of humor into his surreal photographs. In these globally solemn and often humorless times, Popsys’s work is refreshing. Keep it coming.

Via jamespopsys.com

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We feature fan art (here and here and here) from time to time… we are all about equal opportunity, and certainly feel there’s a place for such creativity. While some in the art community discount fan art because it is based on someone else’s original content, we are from the camp that believes fan art, though not necessarily a complete original expression of the artist because it is derived from already existing content, is a creative expression nonetheless. Fan artists add their own individual style, which is intrinsically expressive and unique. One such case is that of Montreal-based artist Dada, who has a clear penchant for Disney stories in particular. She draws familiar Disney characters not necessarily to mimic them exactly, but to present them in new and distinctive ways. Dada’s latest series merges beloved Disney heroes with their often maligned counterparts. Her drawing skills are impressive, and we love the process videos she often posts on social media. This nod to a very open and unfettered process of art making is certainly in the spirit of Disney, and just reinforces the sense that we all share a love and admiration for their wondrous storytelling. What fun it is to see these clear juxtapositions of good versus evil. Well done.

Via Instagram

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It’s that time of year… Halloween-inspired art comes to the forefront, and is somehow appreciated just a little bit more, given the increased interest in all things ghosts, goblins, werewolves and the like. Say what you will, but there is no less artistic merit in thoughtfully conceived, masterfully executed art, no matter the subject matter. British paper artist Marc Hagan-Guirey, also known as Paper Dandy, is like a wizard with little more than an Xacto and a single sheet of paper (yes, no glue or adhesive of any kind). He’s well-versed in the art of “kirigami”, a variation of origami that includes cutting of the paper (from Japanese “kiru” = to cut, “kami” = paper). It is also called “Kirie”. From “Kiru”= to cut, “e”= picture. Hagan-Guirey’s latest project, cleverly titled Horrorgami, draws its inspiration from classic horror films. The recently released book (available here), derived from his well-received exhibition a few years back, features “20 gruesome scenes to cut and fold”. We love the intricate details Hagan-Guirey achieves, and the expression in his work. The photos throughout the book are also notable, lit in such a way that really brings each piece to life. More paper art posts here and here and here.

Happy Halloween!

Via paperdandy.co.uk

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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 post shared by Seb Lester (@seblester) on

Harry Potter

A post shared by Seb Lester (@seblester) on

I doodle a lot.

A post shared by Seb Lester (@seblester) on

Latest doodle

A post shared by Seb Lester (@seblester) on

News doodle

A post shared by Seb Lester (@seblester) on

In keeping with our (hopefully) weeklong theme of Create Upstate 2015 (other posts here and here), we turn the spotlight on fellow Rochester-based designer (and educator/writer) Mitch Goldstein. Those behind the planning of Create Upstate clearly made a deliberate decision to have Goldstein kick off the main event. Goldstein is the perfect blend of adept designer and engaging speaker, and his talk about The Habit of Making got us charged up right out of the box. It almost felt like church for designers, and Goldstein was giving a homily. In essence, Goldstein discussed his habit of making for the sake of making, and how it has made him a better designer. This daily 30-minute creative exercise, which he and his wife Anne Jordan call “inside walking”, has given way to some pretty impressive work (below and here). Goldstein stressed the importance of letting go, and not worrying about making something “good” or even “finished”, but just focus on the making part. We are not really doing Goldstein’s sermon any justice here, just know that this is sage advice that we hope to get into the habit of following. Be sure to scroll down for products from Goldstein’s “walks”, and a sampling of his superb client work, some of which originated directly from said walks.

Via mitchgoldstein.com and Tumblr

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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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Infographics, by design, are meant to present complex information quickly and clearly. And given our ever shortening attention span (digesting information in the form of Tweets, texts, etc.), the proliferation of infographics is upon us. Munich-based design studio Kurzgesagt (German for “in a nutshell“) is particularly adept at breaking down information and presenting it in an engaging and comprehensible fashion. When applied to traditional cornerstones of education like the solar system, or even current topics of interest like fracking or the situation in Iraq, infographics from Kurzgesagt, led by Philipp Dettmer and Stephan Rether, are able to inform and captivate in extraordinary ways. Kurzgesagt says it best when describing their terrific piece The Solar System: Our Home in Space: “The solar system – well known from countless documentaries. 3D animation on black background. This infographic videos tries something different. Animated infographics and a focus on minimalistic design puts the information up front. We take the viewer on a trip through the solar system, visiting planets, asteroids and the sun.” This piece should be a primer for all secondary school-aged students when learning about basic astronomy. From a design perspective, their sense of typography and color, as well as their use of flat animation, are spot on. Be sure to check out their piece on Iraq… we certainly learned a thing or two.

Via kurzgesagt.org

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Though sort of a novelty, since most folks who visit this microsite won’t actually travel around Scandinavia, Volvo’s Cross Country Travels site and mobile app are really well designed and fun to navigate. Interactive Art Director Robert Lindström documents the creative process here. Love the badges too… nice uniformity among the variety of illustrations.

Via xctravels.com

Anyone who knows Barbour Design as a group knows we have a collective love of food. So this fun, mouthwatering project by Chicago design graduate student Kelly Pratt is close to our hearts (and stomachs). Pratt is in the process of preparing an authentic sandwich for each state, then photographing and designing a poster of each. Sounds simple, but Pratt really takes her time with each one, researching popular sandwiches then preparing them with the help of friends and family. Social media now seem to be part of the process, with Pratt soliciting votes for which ‘wich should be next. And for all those foodies out there, prints of each poster are for sale. 12 sandwiches/posters and counting….

Via statelysandwiches.com

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