Archives for posts with tag: culture

Autumn is finally upon us, and time for all things pumpkin spice (don’t get us started), as well as corn mazes and such. Which got us thinking… have you ever seen rice paddy art? Originating in Japan, rice paddy art is achieved when people plant rice of various types and colors to create giant pictures in a paddy field. Inakadate, a Japanese village in the prefecture of Aomori is thought to be the birthplace of this fascinating art form that dates back not thousands of years, but to the early 1990s. As a way to revitalize their village, officials of Inakadate decided to cleverly capitalize on a natural resource of 2,000+ years as a way to boost tourism and celebrate their culture. Since then stunning aerial masterpieces have been created year after year, gaining Inakadate recognition not only through local tourism but also through astounded onlookers by way of the internet (much like yourself). Media company Great Big Story, with their uncanny ability to tell stories, recently produced a beautifully shot piece profiling Inakadate, which garnered their stunning landscape and ingenuity further attention.

Via greatbigstory.com and vill.inakadate.lg.jp

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Art and design can be powerful tools to raise awareness and permeate public consciousness. Visual impact can often be more commanding than words alone. Ecuadorian artist Maria Jose Cabezas clearly knows this, and capitalizes on the ability of well-conceived, expertly executed imagery to convey a message. With a global culture steeped in preoccupation with physical appearances, Cabezas’s work here clearly has a place. She sheds light on sensitive issues that rarely get the attention they deserve, like anorexia and bulimia. In her own words, Cabezas hopes to “enlighten the consequences of the obsession with beauty.” This work could not be more relevant, and we really appreciate the merits of Cabezas’s work, not only artistically, but also socially.

Via Behance

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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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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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