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Dots and More Dots

Yayoi Kusama

Man, I wish I could have taken my twin two-year olds to Australia (OK, via teleportation, not the 20 hour flight from NYC to Brisbane) to take part in this art installation at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art.

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama created a large, blank canvas out of a living environment, called The Obliteration Room. Everything—couches, walls, light fixtures, cabinets, plants, and dishes—were painted the whitest of whites. Then, over a two week period, all of the children who visited the museum were given thousands and thousands of colored adhesive dots and invited to transform the space. An eruption of color ensued.

The finished product is now on display for all to see through March 12, 2012 as part of Kusama’s Look Now, See Forever exhibition in the museum.

There’s a fun interactive game for kids (and adults, trust me) on the museum’s website where you can cover your own room with dots and learn more about the artist at a kid-friendly level.

The Architect and The Painter

Charles and Ray Eames

I’ve been a huge fan of Charles and Ray Eames—the husband and wife dynamic design duo, best remembered for their mid-century modern furniture—since I was first introduced to them on a high school field trip to the Museum of Modern Art. So, I was really excited to see that PBS’ American Masters series was premiering a film about them called “The Architect and The Painter” on December 19th. Unfortunately, life got in the way and I forgot to set the DVR, so I missed it. Luckily, PBS has the full length film available on their website. It’s worth a viewing to learn more about this fascinating pair and their influence on American culture.

Note: This happens to be my second post involving them… See Ice Cube and the Eames.

Ice Cube and Eames

Before he became a rapper and an actor, Ice Cube studied architectural drafting, so it’s not completely out of left field that he agreed to pay homage to this revolutionary husband and wife design team and the art and architecture of Los Angeles in a promotional video for “Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. from 1945 – 1980.” Over sixty cultural institutions across Southern California are celebrating the birth of the L.A. art scene, including the various L.A. art movements of the postwar era and their continued influence on art and design today.

What impresses this proud South Central native about Charles and Ray? Their resourcefulness. “…Got off-the-shelf factory windows, prefabricated walls…They were doing mash-ups before mash-ups even existed.”

A Day in the Life of a Star Wars Imperial Army Soldier

Stormtroopers fishing

Swedish photographer Kristina Alexanderson created an interesting challenge for herself 332 days ago: take a picture every day for a year of Star Wars stormtroopers—new and old—in a variety of daily life activities. Using only the action figures, tiny props, and cleverly, a LEGO figurine as a child stormtrooper, Alexanderson images sweetly humanize these not-so-nice foot soldiers of Darth Vader and the Dark Side.

Someday, Iceland. Someday.

I have a mild to medium obsession with all things related to the homeland of Björk. It is a country of extreme contrasts—a place where fire and ice co-exist, where the Aurora Borealis meets summer’s midnight sun. It is next on my list of far away lands to visit and things like this breathtaking time-lapse video from photographer Joe Capra fuel that desire. Made over 17 essentially sleepless days in June, Capra shot 38,000 images and traveled 2900 miles across the spectacular landscape capturing Iceland’s amazingly vivid colors, unusual shapes and beautiful light.

Six Steps to Successfully Partnering With an Illustrator

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Sample Illustrators' Work

I can’t draw.

Well, that’s not entirely true. At least not the way I once could and certainly not the way an illustrator can. Developing a style, a methodology, a great idea and bringing it to fruition takes a lot of passion and talent. And patience. That’s why I’m happy to partner with someone from this group of gifted folks whenever I can.

I’ve been fortunate to work with wide range of illustrators, not just in style or personality, but also locale. The UK has been a hotbed of talent for my needs, but I’ve worked with folks as far away as Japan and as close as, well, across the office (see Vaughn Fender). The digital age and FedEx have made it easy to go global for a great piece of custom art.

I’ve also been fortunate to have 99% of these collaborations work out really well. I gather from colleagues and friends in the design industry that I have an impressive track record (Watch, now I’ve probably jinxed myself).

So, that got me pondering: What is it about my process of commissioning an illustration that is so successful and enjoyable? read on

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