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Sketchtravel

What a wonderful, brilliant, cool concept! Sketchtravel is a project that has taken one sketchbook around the world to 60 different famous illustrators, with the end foal of giving money to charity.

Each artists had one page to fill, and then they would pass it off to the next artist (all passes had to happen in person, no mailing, which is an interesting detail!).

And now that the book is filled, it is going to be auctioned off to raise money for the non-profit Room-to-Read, which focuses on child literacy.

Check out this trailer to see more. The animation is really clever!

Also, the website is awesome.

 

 

Drawn In

I can’t wait to get my hands on this book of images from the sketch books of 44 artists and designers put together by Julia Rothman, who is an amazing artist in her own rite! Such a fun and personal peek into the creative process.

Images via Swiss Miss and Amazon.

Pol Montserrat and Marnich

Send a Valentine…

Last year, one of my very favorite Valentine’s things I came across were the e-cards from Kate Spade, which are designed by a handful of the Kate Spade team’s favorite graphic designers, and I was so excited to see that this year’s cards came out today!

They all have a wonderful handmade and/or cheeky slant to them and are a far cry from the cheesy e-greetings you may be recalling from 1999 when people first got into the idea of e-cards. Click here to send your own e-Valentine’s!

Here are a few of my favorites this year…

Valentine’s at top are by Julia Rothman and Alice Lam.

LustList >> Vintage Blue Note Records

More Blue Note album covers, for the most part art directed by Reid Miles, photos on 1, 2, and 5 by Francis Wolff.

Andy Warhol-Illustrated Blue Note Covers

Did you know that Andy Warhol did illustrations for a few of the Blue Note covers in the late 1950s when he was still working as a commercial artist and had not yet achieved any acclaim?  I am loving the one above.

Are you surprised to see something by Warhol in this expressionistic (and non-pop) style?  Doesn’t the drawing of the woman look very much like a Matisse drawing??  

I’ve just dived head-long into what might be aptly described as an obsession with Blue Note and especially the 1500 and early 4000 series covers art directed by Reid Miles and commonly featuring photography by Francis Wolff.

Many more to come, they are a rich visual history of graphic design, typography, photography, illustration, and the hard bop era of New York jazz…

[More info on Blue Note here]
[Catalog of covers here]

Hand-Painted Wall Ads


 
  Up There Film
- Watch more Videos at Vodpod.
This video about the hand-painted billboards on the sides of buildings in New York, and the people who paint them, has a really magical quality.  It sort of feels like when something starts with an image of the world from outer space and then zooms in and zooms in and zooms in and you finally land on one tiny detail on ground level… here the detail is the little world that revolves around the tiny and dying industry of hand-painted billboards.

It’s one of those things you might stop to think about for a brief moment every once in a while– “Who painted that?  How long did it take?”– but then you never really get answers so your mind never wanders very far.  In this really well-done (love the cinematography and the editing) short sponsored by Stella (brilliant move), you get a close-up peak at this world that not only gives those answers, but also puts human faces to the signs that seem to magically appear around town.

If nothing else, watch the the thirty seconds at the end between  about 12:00 and 12:30… you miss out on the story but the visual is still awesome.

Missed Connections (again)

We shared a bear suit at an apartment party on Saturday night.
I asked for your number and you gave it to me, but somehow I don’t have an area code written down. I had a great time talking with you, and I don’t trust Chance enough to wait until I see you in the elevators…

Missed Connections

“You had a guitar. I had a blue hat. We exchanged glances and smiles on the subway platform. I pretended to read my New Yorker, but I couldn’t concentrate. You got on the Q and I stayed to wait for the B. You were lovely.”

I love reading the missed connections on craigslist and other sites, thinking about how people really do sometimes believe in the fleeting eye contact they shared with a stranger, or believe that they understand something about someone simply through their clothes and body language. And I like that missed connections exist for the sole purpose of, well, connecting to another person. They are never malicious.

This blog, where illustrator Sophie Blackall creates illustrations to match missed connections she reads, is so charming.


It inspires many trains of thought for me…

As in the one at the top, I love the little bits of honesty like “but I couldn’t concentrate,” that result from someone putting something anonymously out into the world. Or as in the one below, the tenderness that would never be expressed face-to-face with a stranger. I like knowing that people think such tender things as they walk around in the world.

“Phoenix w/ crutches: I would like to carry you around piggy back until you can walk again.”

I like that Sophie creates art using material that is already out there in the world waiting to be given a visual form. I mean I suppose that process is actually intrinsic to art, but I like that it is emotions and thoughts coming from someone else originally, and she interprets them. It’s interesting that it’s not an introspective or self-centered art. As she says of the missed connections, “Their messages have the lifespan of a butterfly, I’m trying to pin a few of them down.”

It’s also entertaining how people describe themselves. Sometimes the missed connections start off sweet and then the person says something like, “and I was that toned, attractive brunette guy,” and you’re like, “who would read that arrogant statement and want to reestablish the connection?”

…and also thinking about how the way the one person experienced the interaction could be so totally different from the way the other person perceived it. The writer may have thought it was love, and the sought-after may have just been looking off into space and accidentally made eye contact! Who was it that said that no two people will ever experience anything the same way?

“Remember? Uptown A train. Sunday around 9pm. I was the black dude reading Bukowski’s Post Office. You were reading the Arts and Leisure section. You passed wind rather loudly and started chuckling. I’d like to see you again. The flatulance wasn’t a turn-off.”

Or, as in the case of the one above, maybe one way you know you’re meant to be with someone is that you DO experience things similarly. Maybe this guy was the only other person on the train that thought it was funny that this girl passed gas and then chuckled at it, and he knew they were soul mates!

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