Friday, 23 December 2011

Happy Holidays!

A very Merry Christmas to One and All!

Monday, 14 November 2011

An important thing to remember...

A beautiful illustration by Maira Kalman for a book entitled 'Food Rules' by Michael Kullen, a guide to the approach we should take towards food nowadays; that perhaps we should listen to advice from those elder & wiser than us rather than what is 'officially' advised by the government. If you're not hungry enough to eat an apple, you're probably not hungry, and, Place a bouquet of flowers on the table and everything will taste twice as good. 
Sending out the message that food is as much about pleasure and communion as it is about nutrition and health.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Monsters illustrated

It seems one of the illustrators I love & and wrote about recently is the same person that did this print sold in The Hoxton Street Monster supplies, since it's opening last November.

'Zingoula Cudacuda' by BEN NEWMAN 

School term has started again, so I'll be back there the odd morning illustrating the wild & wierd creations the youngsters come up with, as well as mentoring on the Saturday project The Hoxton AM. I'm kind of jealous really as I'd have loved a place like the Ministry to go to when I was young, to have a go at being a journalist, or local press photographer. These are some of the great workshops held regularly at the small shop located on the market, including the recent re-write of The Awfully Bad Guide to Monster Housekeeping. Children from the local schools worked with some top writers and poets on various sections to complete this important guide on on areas of monster Etiquette. But they are in need of some funds to get it published. If you can donate anything please do so here.

The Awfully Bad Guide to Monster Housekeeping from Ministry of Stories on Vimeo.

Alternatively feel free to pop along and buy your next jar of Pickled Eyeballs and support a great project.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Is it a shoe or a sculpture?

Like most women, I absolutely adore shoes in all their shapes, sizes and colours. I make snap purchases, without even considering whether they'll o with anything, or the practicality of them..but these, yes these people are SERIOUS un practical shoes. But I love them! They fuse my love of shoes and art in one.
Created by Israeli born footwear designer, Kobi Levi, these creations are a visual feast, forcing you to look twice and work out how this object can actually fit a foot inside it. Levi says of his work, "The piece is a wearable sculpture. It is "alive" with or without the foot or body".

 Amazingly, all the shoes are hand made in his studio. Follow more creations on his blog.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Making music look good

So I managed to get on down to GLUG the other week & I wasn’t disappointed. The theme was music videos with top directors from the likes of Partizan, SkinFlicks, and Sony Music showcasing some of their best work. It really made me stop and fully appreciate the creativity and crazy amount of hard work that goes into producing some beautiful mini films that you never fully see or just catch a glimpse of.

Here’s a selection of my best video’s & the odd fact or two:

Phil Tidy who has produced some well known videos for the likes of Lily Allen, The Ting Tings, Dizzee Rascal to name a few, showed this great story of a hypocritical TV presenter in this video for Chase and Status
Mike O’Keefe of Sony revealed Jonathan Glazer had a budget of around £100k to produce Jamiroquai’s floor sliding Virtual Insanity. He then went a quarter of a million over budget creating the 3D creature coming out of the sea in the opening sequence of Deeper Underground.
Aside from these facts he showed us the brilliant piece of marketing for the launch of Kasabian's new track 'Underdog'. By recreating Guitar Hero on a massive scale and getting a West London football club to hits the notes at the right time by kicking a football at the relevant colour dot. Hours later of practise, the team manage the full version of the track. You can only imagine their elation.

Directed by Dan Henshaw.

Found Collective have produced some highly creative & powerful films for Pendulum, Depeche Mode and LadyTron. What caught my attention though was this cool viral made for Vodaphone to show The Evolution of the mobile phone. 

Found collective also collaborated on this piece for the Director's showcase in Cannes, making a kinect performance that can only be explained here. The effects produced as you can see are quite intriquing. 

We also got a sneak peak into some of the test video tricks from Henry Schofield of Partizan which was a highlight for me.

And I'd like to leave you with this beautiful film created by an upcoming Mexican Director, Alberto Gomez whose response to Saatchi's 'Hello, Future' music video competition no doubt won him some fans in Cannes where he was announced the Winner. His stylish and beautiful art directed interpretation of Moby's track takes the viewer to another realm.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Psychedelic invigoration

Loving the tribal inspired work of Bristol born illustrator, Ben Newman as profiled in last month's Creative Review. Yes I'm a month behind. Work, holiday, you know how it goes. So I have about five 'drafts' to pop up here - Expect more action! Anyway, a visual feast while you wait... 

The bold graphic shapes and colour palette have quite a retro style about them, while the symmetry plays havoc with your eyes - Love them!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Top TV

Well BETC & Evian had a job on their hands to better their dancing babies ad of last year, but I think they've done a good job with the latest 'Evian Baby Inside'. This one uses a stop frame technique of adults waering t-shirts with babie's bodies printed from the neckline in various positions, giving the illusion that these people with 'young' bodies are dancing around. Ending with the famous 'Live Young' strapline. Well resolved.

Another fav I have put up for my own purposes is the 'Cats with thumbs' ad for Cravendale released earlier this year. I must've missed it as only by chance saw it through a youtube link. But it did make me laugh out loud:

By W+K London

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Oh crap.
There almost always comes a time in a creatives' career when an idea that they had many moons ago sits idle in their book/ bottom drawer and it isn't long before someone goes and bloody makes the thing. Is that flattering or just a case of ideas existing out there somewhere and people tapping into it as and when appropriate? In my case it was a campaign I thought up for Topshop to make the shopper's experience more bearable and convenient for those with fast paced lifestyles. It was more a technological solution as such than a conceptual idea, but it was based on the frustrations many feel (especially in winter) at having to undress and re-layer up to try on an outfit, This way,m with my special mirror, shopper's can try on clothes of their choice with minimum effort.
However with ever changing technology and brand competition it was only a matter of time before something similar was made:

Created by Russian agency AR Door

Using Microsoft Kinect and augmented reality, Topshop's flagship store in Moscow installed their very own virtual fitting room last month. A built-in camera recognizes a human body and superimposes a 3D model of a garment; allowing shopper to try outfits, switching clothes using simple gestures.

And below was my campaign thought up last November, quietly shown in my portfolio:

(All work shown above is original ideas by myself and not reproduced to the best of my knowledge at the time of production)

Had I had the contacts in the right places, who knows my 'Topshop Express' could well have come to fruition!
Oh well. Back to the drawing board.


Tuesday, 24 May 2011


For anyone who gets obsessed with type to the point of actually being turned on by it - these are for you. Tart cards are the small flyers prostitutes advertise their services, and place in phone boxes. Yet these are designed with a twist. Using the names of well known typefaces, Fold7 design studio created these inviting you to be teased, spanked or dominated by a font. Although written with such wit, there is a serious cause being highlighted here. The sexual criminal underworld often subjects many to violent and horrid experiences. The Helen Bamber Foundation helps to rebuild lives broken by human rights violations, and an exhibition was held by all designers invited to take part in the project.


Monday, 23 May 2011

Monstrous update

I'd like to give a little nod and hoorah to the Ministry of Stories where I volunteer occasionally. It's been going for six months now and all involved have done a fantastic job in getting it up & running, spreading the word and making it it a huge success already. The Hoxton Street Monster supplies is fast becoming the place to go in the East end, (five-eyed creatures have been seen to queue up in an orderly fashion of a saturday afternoon). And the kids who visit benefit hugely from the many workshops held to assist their reading and writing skills and generally provide them with a fun place to go to get excited about books. The children from the drop-in sessions have published their first title, "Green Wobbly Things Dancing", which I myself found to make an entertaining night-time read. A group also worked on and produced a local newspaper, The Hoxton A.M. over the Easter break. Interviewing locals along the market and reporting on the history of the area.
The volunteers all got together for a knees up recently and were graced with entertainment from a variety of talented literaries. My favourite was a few performances by acclaimed poet/actress/writer/illustrator and all-round funny lady Laura Dockrill. She spoke and rhymed in character with such wit, it totally changed my sterotypical view of performance poetry.

Writers and design agency WeMadeThis have all been nominated in the upcoming D&AD awards in Writing for Design category for all the wonderful products and branding that make up the Hoxton Monster Supplies.

So please visit, volunteer & purchase anything from this wonderful project & keep the Monster work going!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Arr-yoo-spee-king cl-ee-er-lee?

I'm loving the phonetic ads scattered around for Google Voice search - they really make you stop and literally 'speak' the words in your head. The campaign is based on the insight that when you usually speak to automatic search technology on the phone it normally takes three attempts for the woman in an extremely posh recorded voice says - "Did you mean Lancashire?" when you were clearly saying 'Leicester Square' in your best Queen's English. And so with Google voice search for mobile, you have to say it to get -phonetically, in order to get the right result.

My Favourite:

Thursday, 21 April 2011

mumbai taxi art

For anyone that was at glug a month or so ago, they will have seen the amazing video of the taxi art meticulously done in Mumbai - presented by Eliza of Creative Review. I had to put it up here as it was a nice to see a family run business still continued and brightening up the streets of the city. The craft that goes into making the graphic stickers is really quite amazing.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Likey likey

On my usual image search/ style reference came across this dude. Really liked it so popped it up here:

By Tom Genower

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

What does a Storylook like? : part II

A short delay for my follow up about The Story 2011 - I just like to leave you hanging...

To start from the beginning, click here. And if you're a start in the middle kind of person read on, that's cool...but you might be missing something good!
Basically I took part in a one day conference where top speakers presented what they believe makes up a story.

Nick Ryan specialises in sound design and he introduced us to his now successful, audio game "Papa Sangre". I actually wrote a piece about it here, but it was great to hear the thinking behind it in full. Nick explained how by setting the scence & immersing players in a room of complete darkness, the sounds played to them allow them to visualise in their minds their own story. The senses are heightened once you remove sight, and the experience powerfully dramatic .

He also made an interesting point how we, from a very early age, associate different sounds with visuals automatically i.e like being shown in a picture book a cow and being told it makes the sound 'moo'. This in a similar way narrows our imagination of what sound can be, in the same way that adults become stifled by education, and are less imaginative than children. So similar sounds & effects are often used in film for instance as familiarity sets the scene for us.

Next up Lucy Kimbell took us through her personal project where she collected & documented the results of a questionnaire she sent to friends and colleagues, asking "What am I Worth?' It was interesting how obedient people were when asked to fill out a form, answering often personal questions about a person, that you may hesitate to do in person. She then created a complete audit of the results, and created "Lucy's Index" (or LIX), turning her own feelings and actions into measurable factors. The website then portrayed her as a commodity to float on the stock exchange, providing a daily figure based on factors affecting her that day. It was a fascinating approach to data, especially how we are obsessed with updating out status' and moods on social media sites. This project was done before sites like Klout and Datum, but it really does makes you question how much of your 'worth' you want to disclose to the world.

Mary Hamilton completely lightened the tone by shooting foam bullets from her Zombie LARP machine guns. The what? yeah, I wasn't familiar either. LARP stands for Live Action RePlay - a gaming term for, well live gaming. (Which to the average joe is just, playing a game). So everyone gets together, is put in a room with toy guns, fake blood and people dressed as Zombies, and participants kind of make up the game as they go along. Her angle was that the game is like a 'story - machine', and the really interesting bit happens after when everyone "froths", and people recall what has just taken place. Her presentation was put together by these wicked stick men slides:

There are two more speakers to mention, but since one is the great Martin Parr and will probably take up a long post, I think I'll do a part III. Like all good stories, there should be a Beginning, Middle and End. So stay tuned... 

Monday, 21 March 2011

What Type Are You?

Beautiful interactive film by Pentagram that explores the personality of typefaces by asking the viewer 'psychological' questions to determine their 'type'.
A Slavic speaking phrenologist asks four questions relating to your personality. The charm lies in the way he delves into your psyche: asking how relaxed you are by likening it to your approach to a box of chocolates. You are then presented with your 'type' and a short film telling you the history an characteristics of that font. I was Archetype Hairline - Modern, a straightforward appearance, with outbreaks of elegance and tiny dots of emotion.

Archetype hairline

Ahem, that's on a quiet day. Really I'm Archetype Doesburg - A brutally fair & assertive typeface, expressing strength of form and firmness of purpose. I'd "wrestle with anyone that says that C's are any less significant than E's". - Damn right!

Archetype Van Doesburg

Thursday, 17 March 2011

When I think words may be better than pictures

Ok, so the latest trend going around is all this visual notetaking at conferences and seminars. Cool huh? Well yes and no. Take these done by Eva Lottchen at The Story 2011 that I attended. These are quite detailed and beautifully presented; in fact they save me on reporting on what happened since I haven't written up part two of my notes yet!

However, looking at some of the notes on Ogilvy's new 'notes page' where people can upload their visual notes, and I can't blimmin' understand them. I wanted to find out what had been going on at the SWSX conference everyone's tweeting about, but check this - it all look's more interesting than a page of writing, but I can't make head nor tail of it. It is some else's shorthand and summary of the day - perhaps a great reminder/ nudge for those who were there, but to the outsider, not the best solution.

Nora Herting

So as an avid visualiser and illustrator I'm still on the fence about this. Maybe I need to watch last year's seminar on how to do Visual Notetaking to understand why it's so great. Let me know.

Monday, 14 March 2011

neat stuff

This rather neat deskstop app for Ikea by Hungarian agency Laboratory uses a very similar idea to that in my Muji 'Obsessive Compulsive Order' campaign. Only they have the technical know-how to make it happen. Neat.