Being delirious, exhausted, and feverish through halloween and part of the weekend means much time curled up in bed napping and strangely wandering all over NOTCOT.org, revisiting random posts (i kind of love the random button when i have no clue what i want to look at)… feeling quite a bit better now (thanks to all of you who messaged me on twitter/facebook/etc!), but thought it’d be fun to have a quick roundup of some of the more recent posts that stuck out in my mind! So as usual, click away on the squares to find out more!
I’ve been doing a bit of catch up… as you saw, last week’s vacationing really became a bit busy again ~ hardest part of this “job” is its still so much fun, its hard to actually stop and take a breather, the business and pleasure sides are so inter-mingled! But i did basically take a break from the crazy amount of emails during that time! Anyhow, trying to roadtrip down to Arizona tomorrow, any suggestions of things that we must stop to see on the way back, or wander around to are always appreciated, we’ll probably be in tuscon most of the weekend, and see what happens next week ~ and as long as i have internet, you know i’ll be posting (actually, if you don’t hear from me for too long, get worried!).
Anyhow, its been a really fun week on .org ~ so here are some of the most popular the last few days! Also check out the NotCouture and Liqurious roundups on the next page too! You know the drill ~ click to find out more!
BACKYARD - Pancho Tolchinsky and Catalina Estrada is coming up on Oct 29th at Galeria Ras in Barcelona. Since i can’t make it out there ~ Cati was nice enough to send over a sneak preview of some of her collaborations for us to take a look at!
While her magical digital worlds have always mesmerized me, its incredible to see how well they layer on the backyard photographs of Pancho Tolchinsky. If you’re in Barcelona, please mark your calendar for the 29th, and don’t forget to grab your camera! See the works on the next page, with some close ups too!
The full description:
“Gardens, flowers and gnomes become small pieces of heaven constructed at human scale.
The photographer Pancho Tolchinsky takes us on a trip through his characteristic colors to visit small fragments of heaven in locations as disparate as Scotland, Venice Beach or Jerusalem. In line with his photography, Tolchinsky finds the way to connect reality with imagination, the material world of experience with the ideal world of our memories.
Backyard is the first exhibition in which Tolchinsky collaborates with hi wife, the excellent illustrator Catalina Estrada, known for creating magical worlds field with colors. This couple of artists propose a refine synergy between photography and illustration, creating an aesthetical trip that pulls the viewer from reality into wonderland”
First super pretty NOTCOT Video… in HD even! I’m sure you’ve heard about Banksy’s Village Petstore and Charcoal Grill by now ~ we haven’t been able to stop envying those who have seen it in person, and we have posted the best photosets we can find on .org… even been debating flying out just to go see it! For those catching up, Banksy (the subversive, cheeky, street artist known for stencil art, adding art to museums, pink elephants and more) branched out into animatronics with his Banksy’s Village Petstore and Charcoal Grill
It has been so painful to see so many terrible youtube videos floating around, when i could only guess what the experience must be like in person. Since this is something that deserved to be well documented before it disappeared at the end of Oct, i commissioned filmmaker, Seth Brau, to capture the experience (especially the details!) for those of us too far to visit in the flesh… and when i got back from SF, seth had this incredible video (that i can’t stop watching!) waiting for me! He even found music that closely matched that which is playing in the actual store! Huge thanks to our friend, Daniel Holter of the Burst Collective for helping with the music.
After this incredible piece, i think we may have to see more of Seth’s work on NOTCOT soon… maybe we will have NOTCOT videos more regularly yet… and for comparison (and incase they disappear someday) on the next page you can see screenshots of the official Banksy’s Village Petstore and Charcoal Grill, as well as the Banksy vids (shot in cages/rooms other than the actual petstore).
On random inspiration ~ i was unpacking my bags from freshly getting back to LA ~ and realized being at a conference and sitting in talks was much like being back in school… flowing out of my bags come notebooks, pens, conference packets, scraps of paper, and more covered in scribbles and notes and doodles of an abundance of ideas!
On an even sillier note ~ i realized i’m totally obsessed with the DWR Tools for Living Press Kit that doubles as a super functional notebook that has nice stark white pages and fun super thick cardboard covers! And the Federated Media pen from the CM Summit has been great as well - both visually and functionally (so much, that i even stole dan’s). Both have been ending up in my purse repeatedly enough that i thought they warranted a random sunday post! And while i was showing you that… my “speaker’s gift” from FM was a nice and subtly branded Moleskine! Which is awesome, except playing with it during the summit, made me realize - i find a blank white piece of paper amazingly inspiring… but RULED PAPER, kind of freaks me out. I think there’s something about lined paper that is just too rigid for me - definitely a big fan of the free form. Take a look at closeups of them all on the next page!
Up in SF ~ wedding this weekend, tried to take a little break, now presentation thing today, conference next two days ~ agh! Basically running around a little too crazed at the moment, so wanted to give you a roundup of the best of the last week and a half over at NOTCOT.org! You know the drill, click whatever interests you to find out more up there!
I have long been a fan of APAK, the husband and wife team of Aaron and Ayumi K. Piland. They create fantastic, colorful worlds in their work, filled with little forest creatures and quiet narratives. They live in Portland now and in Japan in the past and I imagine that their environments and cultural heritage very much influence their work. APAK’s artist statement: “They create artwork together as a way exploring the beauty, mystery, and magic of life as well as expressing their love for life and each other. They are known in particular for creating rich and colorful gouache/acrylic paintings on wood featuring the utopian lives and adventures of curious little beings living in lush fantastic environments surrounded by friendly little animals, the landscapes are familiar yet surreal, hinting at a fantastic narrative while suggesting truths about the real world at the same time.” Their work can be found here, and purchased here.
Here’s another one from the plethora of pics that have been waiting to become posts ~ while traveling with Veuve Clicquot in Reims, we had a special tour in the VCP Maison de Patrimoine (think: amazing archives of the history of Veuve since the 1800’s in one room) by Fabienne Huttaux, the Historical Resource Manager. And amongst the many things she showed us (like the originals of the first shipment ever made, which was to Venice, and the first invoice to the USA, including some as movie props…) ~ i was most fascinated by the evolution of the labels! With full white glove treatment, we were shown this little book that housed every label variation since the beginning, long before the signature yellow label was even yellow… personally my favorites are the oldest ones, with elephants from the trading company logos distributing them. In addition to label imagery, you can also get a peek at the shelves and shelves of resources, as well as closer looks at some of the documents i mentioned, the typography not only on the documents but the spines of the archives were stunning, and make me wish we were still trained as thoroughly to have perfect cursive handwriting.
DWR’s second Tools For Living store launches tomorrow, and i just popped into the Santa Monica store for a quick press preview… it is GORGEOUS. And in this heat wave, you won’t want to leave the lovely, spacious, air conditioned store filled with designer goodies that are fully functional in your everyday life!
While i can’t even imagine picking all of my favorites and temptations from the store quite yet (perhaps we’ll save that for the gift guide!) ~ i couldn’t help myself when taking pics, and ended up with about 30 on the next page to give you a feel for the store in person. There really is something so great about being able to spin around a store ooohing and ahhhhing about products i’ve only seen online, or have been unable to find in the US that i saw at foreign trade shows. So especially for those who aren’t close enough to pop into the DWR Tools For Living Santa Monica or SoHo stores, take a browse at the gallery on the next page! With holiday shopping around the corner, i can already tell this will be one of my new last minute gift stops…
New NOTCOT Gallery Tags!!! If you peek to the left and right you’ll see the work of Kimberly Wu ~ talented illustrator and art center transportation design grad, currently working for Honda Advanced Design studio in Pasadena, CA. I love how the internet works - I stumbled across Kimberly’s Blog and was intrigued enough by the images of the grad show projects to post it to NOTCOT.org (but too shy to email her for more info at the time!), and got an incredible response from NOTCOT readers! Then she posted about being on org, and i had to comment, at which point she emailed me back so many emails filled with high res pics ~ and i only fell further in love with her unique and gorgeous blend of illustration styles and car design renders! Many emails back and forth later, a simple post wouldn’t do her work with JOY justice, so here they are in the NOTCOT Gallery and Tags! View all of Kimberly Wu’s JOY in the NOTCOT Gallery.
In her own words, here’s what Kimberly had to say when i asked her about her background and the JOY Project: “To answer your questions, I was very interested in illustration, mainly doing a lot of figure and landscape painting, before deciding to go to Art Center for car design. It was a completely different route than I thought I would be taking, but I ended up using my illustration skills towards my style in designing cars. I think my goal was to try to separate myself from the typical way car designers sketch and design-I’m kind of obsessed with color and style in my work. What’s next is to start working! I was lucky to land a position at the Honda Advanced Design studio in old town, Pasadena.
The Joy project was something I decided to do in my free time. I didn’t have any constraints from school or instructors so I was free to do whatever I wanted. The project began in the Fall 2007, and it matured through each season until I finished in Summer 2008. The idea was to create a character vehicle, instead of just designing another car to be driven; I wanted the Joy to be like an animated toy almost. The colors all reflect the mood of each season, and are important in showing off Joy’s attitude.”
So, with that ~ click the tags to view all of Kimberly Wu’s JOY in the NOTCOT Gallery… and if we’re lucky we’ll be seeing more of her illustrations (and maybe even driving one of her designs!) in the near future!
Perhaps one of the best parts INSIDE that Esquire 75th Anniversary E-ink covered magazine…. they commissioned a variety of artists to create the imagery to go with their 75 most important people pieces. And most eye catching… is certainly Dominic Wilcox’s “The Immaculate Threads” ~ which cheekily takes on Steve Jobs’ uniform of glasses, jeans, and black turtleneck… and places them in iPod like clear plastic containers, all perfectly lined up… It certainly reinforces the idea of Jobs as God (the god who gave us the jesus phone?). Can’t you just picture him getting his dry cleaning in these boxes, popping one open, and he’s ready to go for the day? See more images of the piece on the next page!
I love it when you’re excited about an event, but then the physical invite comes… and its JUST as fun - to the point where you want to pop it into a frame even! I’ve been pretty giddy about the idea of DWR branching into smaller gift/products, which they are appropriately calling “Tools For Living”. The Santa Monica store is opening October 2nd ~ and i can’t wait for the opening! Also, i think we can all agree that this will probably be a hit for holiday shopping -
The DWR: Tools for Living store is adjacent to Santa Monica’s DWR Studio, on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and 4th Street, where Route 66 meets the ocean. Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade is one of Southern California’s most bustling districts, the ideal setting for DWR’s first cash-and-carry concept. You’ll find well-designed items for travel, work, kitchen, outdoor and more. Plus, with free, custom gift wrapping, DWR: Tool for Living is the area’s best bet for the ideal gift for anyone who is design obsessed. Robert Rodriguez runs the store with his friendly staff.
So more to come on the launch… but for now, check out the full invite design on the next page! Love the silhouettes - black and the one red on a nice hefty cardboard…
Curious how the magic happens? I have always been mesmerized watching master marker renderers and sketch artists at work… While visiting Toyota Calty Design Research, i had a chance to see Project Chief Designer, Ian Cartabiano, show us how it’s really done on a huge apple monitor and wacom tablet (he’s old school, and likes having the tablet while seeing the screen, versus those who love the Cintiqs).
So you can see one of my little home videos (one of these days with some combination of time, energy, extra pair of hands, etc i will make proper videos with real editing and maybe even music?) ~ giving you a quick skip through the presentation ~ from initial stages, to some highlights, to a flip back and forth between finished and initial sketches, and the crucial signature!
But honestly, if you want to learn how to sketch cars properly, you should probably go take Ian’s class at Art Center ~ after graduating Art Center, he got pulled right into Toyota and has been there for 11 years… while simultaneously teaching… keep an eye out for his latest exterior design, the 2009 Venza!
Yesterday Toyota (for the first time) opened up it’s Calty Design Research doors to a tiny group of journalists (Core77, KCRW/NPR, Architect Magazine, Dwell, Inhabitat, DesignMom, Zaproot, and i was honored to be included in the group)… and as we all know, security and secrecy in the car industry is nearly impenetrable, with design secrets that manage to be kept under wraps for years before the public even gets wind of the concepts, it was an honor (and SO much fun) to get an inside look at Toyota’s studios and their work flow… AND to be able to share it with you!
So first off, my favorite part ~ really it brought out the kindergartner in all of us, get handed a tool, and a HUGE (yes, life size car sized) piece of clay, and are told to go to it. And then sat down at a bench with mini’s to carve away at your own car? Ok so perhaps that only slightly over simplifying it, but i’m sure you can imagine the delight of poking at clay… while assisted by some of the most talented car designer and modelers… who with a quick flip of their wrist and a few slashes with a pairing knife, off fly a few pieces of clay and you’re staring at the dream sportscar you never knew you wanted. Then you see what my unplanned mohawked/finned masterpiece turns out like after more effort and less finesse. Let’s just say we fully understand and were quickly humbled by how skilled these modelers and designer are…