This week, my feed-reader continues to be dominated by both animation links and the World Cup (hurray for both the US and Germany advancing to the round of 16 today!). However, since I already posted the best World Cup links, and I still haven’t seen Toy Story 3, I thought I would focus on a few of the illustrators I’ve come across recently.
Danielle has a lovely style that blends beautiful type with vintage-looking illustrations. I noticed her work for her adaptions of Hoffmann’s Der Struwwelpeter, and fell in love with her hand-lettering.
I met Jerrod through twitter earlier this month and have been Loving his illustration Flickr stream ever since. Lots of fun kawaii adaptions of favorite animated characters and more: Ãœber cute!
Gemma has a really great sketchy feel to her work, and I love her patterns: good inspiration for work!
Of course, all images are borrowed from each artist’s site and are copyrighted byÂ them.
It seems as though my commute lengthens with each passing day of nice weather. When I used to take the El every day, I would simply pack a book or something else to occupy myself with…but I hear that is frowned upon when driving a car on the highway. Luckily, a couple of weeks ago I rediscovered iTunes U and also broadened my list of Podcasts. Bam! Interesting commute + not falling asleep in all of the bumper-to-bumper traffic = a good drive had by all. Plus, it has the added bonus of helping me achieve some of this year’s Design Resolutions. The best part is that they are all free! Below are a few of my favorites from the past two weeks:
Josh and Chuck crack me up: they’re like your two favorite guy-friends who hang out all the time talking about random things like the history of the Muppets. Except they have a podcast. They actually DO have an episode on the history of the Muppets that a friend sent to me…and then I found myself listening to them banter about ninjas, Tourette Syndrome, castles, pirates, the history of Braille…
Stuff You Missed in History Class
Also from HowStuffWorks.com, this podcast focuses on all of the fun parts of history class minus the pop quizes. You know…the stuff they never teach you because it would be too interesting. The episodes on the Book of Kells and Michelangelo are particularly interesting if you’re an art history buff.
The University of South Florida has created audiobooks for hundreds of classic titles. If you like classic literature, I highly recommend this as a resource. Currently, I’m listening to Peter Pan since I’ve never actually read it.
Oxford University’s Lectures from Medieval English
literature, linguistics, art history
Dr. Stuart D. Lee’s lectures on Old English in literature and in context are fascinating to me. They are a great mix of linguistics, art history (pertaining to illuminated manuscripts), world history, and literature. Plus, I love seeing the similarities between Old English and modern German.
Building a Business
Also from Oxford, this lecture series focuses on starting your own company. Although mainly geared towards the technology industry, the lecture can apply to any business sector. The first episode on taxes and accounting was a little dry and didn’t pertain to entrepreneurs in the States, but the following episodes are of interest.
A couple weeks ago, Jason Schwartz challenged me to do A Project A Week (APAW): something that I have since included in my Design Resolutions for the year. The past two weeks have been spent finishing up projects that were already in progress. This week, I hope to start working on some new work.
Week 1: Prost! Tea Towel
Week 1 was spent finishing up the embroidery work on the third tea towel in my series (see the first two here). I still need to iron it after washing before I can take better photos, but thought that I would go ahead and share the sneak peek photo. I feel like this pattern allowed me to experiment a bit more with various satin stitches. Note the Prussian Blue? I tried to make the blue/creme motif match the colors on a Meissen vase I bought during my first trip to Germany.
Week 2: Behance Page
This past week I worked on slowly migrating my AIGA portfolio over to Behance. I must say that I’m rather impressed with all of the customization options that Behance offers. I’m not quite finished uploading everything, but will slowly make more projects public as I finish the descriptions. You can view my page either by clicking on the badge to the right or by going here. Any one else on Behance? I haven’t had time to look around for other people…
What’s Next for APAW?
This week I plan on creating some goodies to share: watch for them to be posted this coming weekend.
Whew! What a marathon 2 weeks again. I have been hard at work on both a freelance project (an annual report) and on getting AIGA KC’s blog ready to launch a new series of interviews and articles. Unfortunately, the combo of the two have zapped all of my time the past couple of weeks: hence, the lack of posts. On a related note, I also didn’t have much time to scour my feed-reader of late. The little bit I did get to look at it, however, led me to the miscellaneous links below:
Rainbow Brite is Redesigned
Ok, this subject is very near and dear to my heart. With the exception of Jem, I doubt there was a doll I carried around by the neck more than my Rainbow Brite doll or her Color Kids, nor was there a show that I watched more. Some guys can name every Nintendo game ever made, and some chicks can tell you the backstory to the entire Rogue-Gambit story arch, but I can rattle off every detail about Rainbow Brite. There. I said it. (What? We all know I am a closet-nerd.)
Anyways. Just recently, Hallmark announced the redesign and rerelease of Rainbow Brite along with the launch of 3 dolls (Rainbow Brite, Tickled Pink, and Moonglow). I have mixed feelings on this. On the one hand, I have always wanted to own the Moonglow doll. (Quite possibly one of the most rare of the original toy series…and only available in Germany.) But on the other hand, is nothing sacred?? I don’t like how they redesigned her at all! Must they bring back and ruin all of our childhood cartoons? (CareBears? Strawberry Shortcake?? The upcoming Smurfs movie???) And I’m still waiting for them to release the entire original cartoon series on DVD in the US. (Why does Germany get it first??) Ok, enough of my rant. (But on the other hand, if they do continue to bring back all of these cartoons, then maybe there will actually be a good Saturday morning line-up again…)
Wallâ€¢E Computer Case
I saw this on Coudal’s feed: how awesome is this desktop computer?? Over on English Russia, they have the entire process photographed.
Gold Leaf Rocks…Literally.
You know, I’ve always wanted to work with gold leaf, but have never really had a good project for it. Then D*S pointed me to this awesome How-To. Wouldn’t they be great on a shelf next to a couple of antique books? Or maybe just next to a vase and some flowers… Definitely on my to-do list!
Mucha Window, St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague
I love Mucha + I love Stained Glass = This Window is Awesome! (Be sure to check out the rest of his Prague photos: beautiful city!) I can’t believe I was right next to St. Vitus when I was in Prague and I didn’t go in! I had no idea this window even existed until I saw it on Coudal’s feed. *Le Sigh* I’ll just have to add it to my list of things to see before I die.
While blogging about the things I’m passionate about yesterday, I remembered that I had totally forgotten to post about the Goethe Institut in Washington, DC. Since hearing about the Goethe Institut in high school, I had always wanted to visit one of their offices, but never had the chance until our TransAtlantic Program reunion last month. Straight from their About page, the Goethe Institut is “the Federal Republic of Germanyâ€™s cultural institution operational worldwide,” and the DC office didn’t disappoint.
Film/Neu is their series of foreign films shown in the small theater. The office entrance showcased a few posters from some of the past features. (I especially love Good Bye Lenin! â€” it’s such an excellent film, and I love the design!)
We were able to pick up a whole bunch of free bilingual publications: most of which were rather well designed. Nachtrecorder was one such publication that features beautiful black/white photography of German cities at night. Great design (I’ll have to take a photo) and great interviews/articles about the subjects photographed. We also got some really awesome buttons: who wouldn’t want a button that says “Na, und?” or “Prost!”
After a short program in the theater, we had lunch upstairs in their gallery space.
The exhibit that was currently showing was Ivonne Thein‘s Thirty-Two Kilos.
Normally, I’m not a fan of this subject matter, but I really loved the lighting and just everything about these. You just couldn’t stop looking at them on the wall.
In any case, it was a really great visit, and I wish we had an office close-by so I could go to some of their programs or classes.
This post may be totally off-topic, but I just needed to put it out there because perhaps others struggle with the same issue. So I’ve been having a bit of a quarter-life crisis (to quote John Mayer) on and off for the past year. And in helping my sister make some decisions about whether she should double-major, I seem to have thrown myself back into indecision about my own future.
You see, I’ve always had a hard time narrowing down my passions into a career path. How do you know what you are “supposed” to do? My friends and family are probably tired of me wondering that over the past ten years or so (if you’re reading, sorry to bombard you with it again). Basically it comes down to this: I’m passionate about many things…none of which really seem to interrelate.
For one thing, I’m immensely passionate about design: one of the reasons why I started this blog and have gotten involved with our local AIGA chapter. I love book design and would love to one day work at a publishing company. Screen-printing and letterpress open so many options not available in digital technologies, and I can’t wait to explore all of the ideas bouncing around my head. Likewise, I’ve noticed I have a totally different aesthetic in my approach to web-design, and want to learn more, more, more.
Similarly, I’m absolutely and totally in love with animation—have been since I was about 5. I could bore you with long rants about how Sleeping Beauty is one of the most perfect films of all time. Listening to the Animation Podcast episodes and reading blogs like Animation Treasures or Colorful Animation Expressions are enough to have me ready to go back to school. But I really am in love with traditional 2D animation (and maybe claymation), so it’s hard to find outlets for that in the current industry. (Unless James Baxter is hiring right now…I would kill to meet him and pick his brain over a cup of coffee.)
On a totally unrelated note, I’m a (not-so-) secretly reformed science nerd. Sitting at our brother’s Regional Science Olympiad tournament, my sister and I were discussing what was wrong with the two of us for not going into something that we both obviously loved to do. Chemistry/geology…I can’t get enough of both of them—even now. And after coaching my brother for the past several months of tournament season, I’m ready to go spelunking. I think I almost died of happiness just visiting the Rock/Mineral section of the Natural History Museum in D.C. last month. The discovery that there are actually people who do forensic qualitative analysis to determine the make-up of pigments used in illuminated manuscripts was almost enough to drive me back to a college admissions office. (Btw, art history is another of my favorite subjects…)
Yet another interest of mine is linguistics: specifically European languages. If you’ve read my blog for very long, you’ll know I’m a German-phile. After taking German since middle-school, I found that I missed it too much in college and had to add it as a minor. If I had known that the field of linguistic anthropology existed, I probably would have switched my major. Luckily, an internship over seas with a German design firm allowed me to combine the 2 passions…and I never fail to get energized by the reunions we’ve had every year since. Particularly because all of us are from such diverse educational backgrounds. Each year, I come back wanting to educate others about German-American relations. Currently, I’m trying (slowly!) to teach myself Czech so I can better articulate my appreciation for the kolač. 😉
Mind you, this is all very much an internal conflict, so no need to worry about me making drastic life changes. (And short of designing a German book based on an animated film about the rock cycle, I doubt I’ll ever be able to use all my passions at once.) But I often ponder just how things might be different if I had gone to college for a very different path… But what all of this has taught me is that it’s perfectly okay—if not necessary—to have interests outside of your line of work. They give you inspiration, motivation, and a unique perspective to approach it with. Milton Glaser addressed my classmates and I during a college trip to NYC. The biggest thing I took away from that talk was him saying how important it was to have interests outside of design: how it will fuel your creativity. He then followed that up with the advice to “always be astonished by what you see around you.” I think about that quote a lot: you don’t have to eat, breath, and sleep one thing for the rest of your life. There is so much wonder in the world and so much to be passionate about.
On 30, Jan 2009 | No Comments | In Design Life, Inspiration, Letterpress/Printmaking, New Work, Photography, Product Design, Think Green, Typography, Web Design, Animation, Book Design, Illustration | By Lorraine
…and late. Well that was extremely annoying last night. I’ll attempt to remember everything as I had it written. And my apologies for the absence of this column the past several weeks: hopefully this triple-stuffed edition will make up for it. 😉 (On a side note, I’m paranoid that I’ll lose the post again, so I’m not going to preview it just in case. If something doesn’t work, comment and I’ll fix it. :-[ )
For the Home:
- Design*Sponge broke the sad news that Domino Magazine has folded. But even more sadly for myself personally, Home Companion Magazine folded this month. I’m really going to miss their DIY/vintage ideas!
- Johanna Basford was featured on anything goes, and I REALLY want the plates (for some reason, I couldn’t post the photo…)
- I also Love these coffee-filter garlands that Creature Comforts posted a How-To on. Who says decorating has to be expensive?
- These pillows just crack me up:
- Drawn! posted links to Cody Walker’s technical illustration tutorials such as the one below for Advanced Isometric Illustrations:
- Think Green: D*S also posted a cute project using old matchbooks to make mini-notepads. I can’t wait to use recycled paper at the office to make some…
- You can photoshop your own photographs to look like Tilt-Shift photography with this tutorial…or just plug it into the Tilt-Shift Maker
- I loved the article over at Animation Treasures about Ludwig Richter, a 19th c. German illustrator who worked in woodcuts. Gorgeous:
- Katie Kirk and Nathan Strandberg did an awesome job with Eli No! as posted on Grain Edit:
- Grandma’s Graphics has an excellent gallery of public domain illustrations from the likes of Harry Clarke and Sir John Tenniel (of Alice in Wonderland fame):
- Who knew that Berlin has a Buchstabenmuseum?? Designistoshare has an excellent article on The Letter Museum.
- CR reported that the British Library hopes to acquire the Macclesfield Alphabet Book, a 16th c. type specimen: the article is complete with delicious pictures of the book’s spreads.
For Further Reading:
- ReubenMiller listed the Top 90 Design Blogs according to Alexa
- Urban Sketchers has got some great inspiration for my Sketch-More-Resolution
And finally, Polaroid Lives! and I REALLY REALLY want to see Coraline now:
Whew! What an amazing vacation! I had some time to finish nearly all of my personal projects in progress–some of which I’ll be blogging about soon–as well as time for family fun and a stint at jury duty (not all that fun to tell you the truth…). But now I’m back and back to posting!
I was checking our AIGA chapter’s Flickr stats recently and noticed an awesome set on a fellow board member’s Flickr page. Nate’s uploaded an awesome collection of Reichsbanknote that he bought at the Berliner TrÃ¶delmarkt the last time he was in Berlin. (of which I’m totally jealous of…)
You may remember the link to Steven Heller’s post on Germany’s Notgeld that I posted back in a September edition of Wednesday’s Weekly Reader. The colorful, and often wonderfully designed, bills were issued locally by cities during the deep depression that hit Germany between the two World Wars in order to combat the rising inflation.
Anyways, enjoy the collection and a huge thanks to Nate for sharing it!
Well, as promised, Weekly Reader is back with 2 weeks worth of links to share. Twice the fun? You betcha!
Analog is Better:
Has anyone else noticed aÂ resurgenceÂ in non-digital-based technology? Personally, I’ve always worried that I was born in the wrong decade: I love antique things, and especially film, too much to totally get along with the digital age. I should be posting more about my foray’s into using my antique camera once the film gets developed. Here are some great finds (all courtesy of Coudal)…
- Pin-Hole Camera that you assemble yourself
- 8mm Films make a come-back in Japan
- Cute TRL Cameras that use 35mm (again in Japan…must be a trend…)
- And for a non-film-just-for-fun-link, Letterpress Chocolates for the type-nerd in your life. (via AisleOne)
A Couple How-To’s of Interest:
- Etsy shares how to dry flowers
- Swissmiss posted a link to 400+ Photoshop Actions for download
- Get perfect handwriting by learning how to Write Like an Architect (also via Coudal)
And, of course, the German Connection:
- Steven Heller blogged this past week about Weimar-era Germany and Austria’sÂ Notgeld, and has some beautiful examples like the one I pulled from his page below:
Here’s hoping he puts out a book about these next…(or maybe he already has? who can keep up with them all?)
Since this week’s Sunday Type was focused on Czech Type, it reminded me that I have been meaning to post about this site for a while now: The Little Czech Primer.
In my “spare” time, I’ve been trying to learn more Czech. There doesn’t seem to be as many resources for learning Czech on the web (if anyone knows of a good podcast, let me know), but in my searching, I stumbled across this little gem. LCP is basically a cute little flash card site, and I really like the simple illustrations:
When your mouse hovers over the word, you see its English equilivent. What fun, simple line drawings! I’m not sure if they are original to the site, or pulled from other language resources (some seem to have Russian in the background). It reminds me of some of the fun illustrations that were in my German textbooks while in school: wouldn’t a foreign language book be a fun project?