Monday, December 28, 2009

I have trouble drawing feet

Most people who draw people will tell you there is a certain trouble area that they can never get quite right. For me that area is feet. Whether it is the angle in relation to the lower leg, the apparent weight or sometimes just the overall size, I always have to draw and redraw the feet. Here is the latest example of my failure:

Location:Sackett St,Brooklyn,United States

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Recent phone pics

Here are a few things I've found interesting lately, so I snapped a phonepic of them.

The delivery bikes outside of sal's pizzerria on court st in Carroll gardens. They wait with eager anticipation of the steaming pies and brown bags full of garlic knots they will distribute to the neighborhood.

My in-laws back in the olden days. They are still as cool as they look here, all these years later.

Jenni on the union st drawbridge overthe gowanus canal, during the recent blizzard. She's getting her gene Kelly on!

Next morning, the backyard at char no. 4.

Cruise ship anchored off the red hook waterfront, a study in expectations.

What? There's a store down the block that sells troubles for a buck fiddy. Mo money mo problems.

Location:Sackett St,Brooklyn,United States

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Finer Line

Why is this referred to as "trick photography" and not retouching? 20/20 has spent a good amount of time putting together a report on what is essentially false advertising - an altered (photoshopped, retouched, whatever) picture standing in for a lesser reality. The are calling it trick photography, which implies that we as viewers are being tricked? Why is this language so different than the language they use when reporting on the retouching of female models? Is it somehow offensive to our cultural sensibilities to think that we could be tricked by a fashion photo, but acceptable and understandable that we would be tricked by an architectural one? Does it say something about what we think we want? What are the cultural politics of desire that are at work here that we would differentiate so completely between two acts that are the same: altering a photograph.

The net result is also the same - the alteration is used to enhance and entice, to put forth an ideal version of what really exists, whether that is a fashion model or a Bahamian resort. The closest they come to conflating the argument with the fashion retouching brouhaha is the weight loss advertisements, but with those they focus more on the fact that the images were stolen.

The caption for the video segment reads, "From hotel to weight-loss ads, photos altered for perfect results." 20/20's thesis for this type of photo alteration is "buyer beware", rather than responsible advertising or labeling of altered photos.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Temporary splash page on my site

I am feeling ambitious and want to redesign my website before the new year. I want it to be as uncluttered and uncomplicated as possible, with direct links to galleries of work and possible a feed from this blog as well. (Not with the terribly ugly dotblogspot template.) Above is the placeholder I threw together today, using the logo I designed for myself earlier this year.

I lifted the negative space "E" from this logo for Ed's Electric logo designed by Siah Design, which is actually a guy named Josiah Jost, and he lives in Alberta. I think I saw this on designboom or some other site like that. I would worry about this theft, but this is just a recent incarnation, as can be seen on this flickr link. Let's call it "inspiration" not theft, the foundation of graphic design!

ID magazine has fallen

According to reports ID magazine is the next to fold. The oldest design magazine in the United States will be no more after they ship the February issue (I think). Having worked in print for the last 9 (nearly 10) years, it is a bizarre thing to see all of these seemingly staunch icons falling one by one to the economic tide.

On the flip side of that, there seem to be some new things in print, like the San Fransisco Panorama, from McSweeny's. Printed in 4-colors in broadsheet tabloid format, it looks like a pretty impressive specimen. Even the advertisements seem to be custom-made for this particular publication. Who knows if this is a viable effort in the long-term, but it is nice to see people putting new and interesting things out there in the physical world.

(image via notcot)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Organizational frenzy

I have a ton of file folders, some that I've had with me for a few months, some for ten years or more. I put everything in these folders: cards from galleries, doodles on napkins, pictures I've torn out of newspapers that I want to use as source material for a drawing, etc. Today I sifted through these and came up with a new filing system. Time will tell if I actually stick to this, but for now I like it.

"draw from this"
"scan this"
"write about this"
"design inspiration" should be "steal from this"
"drawings" I really need flat files
"old ideas"
"city tech" hopefully this one will grow
"Montauk shores" designing a logo and tee shirt print for this

Location:Sackett St,Brooklyn,United States

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Trying hard not to be pithy

In an effort to post more frequently I am going to experiment with more extemporaneous writing. If I can figure out how to tweet 10 or so times a day then I would hope that I can come up with something salient and if not meaningful, maybe in some way poignant.

I saw these roots down the block from my apartment, where I walk daily, yet I had not noticed them before. These are the kind of gnarly bits of wood that just ask you to pick out faces. So stare a little.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


"As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a giant insect."

The opening line to Kafka's iconic story, "the Metamorphasis" is staring down at me from a 'sub-talk' advertisent on the A train this evening. The simplicity of this opening still awes me a bit.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Austin Monthly

Got to do this awesome bit of photoshoppy type-play goodness thanks to the new art director at Austin Monthly, Liz MacFarlane. She is my former desk-mate at Spin Magazine, and a super talented designer, I can't wait to see what she's going to do now that she's got the rudder of a ship.
Here's the source image I used. I got all my type direction from Liz, using available letters to make new ones. I tried my best to keep some of the small details like the pipe connectors between the neon letters. The photographer provided the sky shot that I used in the background as well. (I'll post that credit when I can get it from Liz.)