Wow. Super crazy monday, just slowed down by the arrival of a very unexpected gift from one of my favorite artists, Catalina Estrada! Sat down in the hallway, popped open the tube, and it just kind of took my breath away. Gorgeously packaged (she decorated the tube so nicely and simply with stamps even!) ~ fun little cards greet you upon opening, and a signed print from the recent show she did with Pancho Tolchinsky: Backyard, with her illustrations beautifully layered over his photographs.
So, this post is a huge "THANK YOU, Cati!!!" ~ and i had to share how cool it is with all of you as well! I guess i'll have to hit up the framers soon! So many posters and artworks i've had stashed in tubes over the last year or so... i think the living room of the new house next month may have to become a secret NOTCOT gallery! Check out more pics on the next page!
As promised, here's a look into the "THE DRAWING ROOM" curated by Audrey Kawasaki at Thinkspace that opened last night. As can be expected ~ extremely packed, people flowing onto the streets, drinking and clutching their limited edition prints like gold, inside people following audrey around in hopes of taking their picture with her... all her works sold out instantly... really, amazing show... and you can see all of my random pics in the notcot gallery ~ and all of the pieces at the thinkspace site, but what was really above and beyond any normal gallery showing was Audrey's display in the front window space.
She basically recreated her studio in the window, like a dreamy lifesize diorama or creative goodness ~ filled with vintage finds and half finished sketches, it was like stepping into the world behind the works within the gallery, and it was beautiful! As she says on her blog, "i've been working on the front room installation for the past couple nights... it is suppose to represent an artist's workspace/studio/nook, and it pretty much turned out to be a duplicate of my own. i can practically live there!" I wouldn't be able to resist watching, pressed against the window, if she were to really "move in" and do some sketching in that adorable space!
Hard not to be intrigued when you get an email saying "RHODE ISLAND SCHOOL OF DESIGN PARTNERS WITH THE THREADLESS SELECT SERIES TO LAUNCH FIRST-EVER GUEST CURATED SERIES Collection Curated by RISD President John Maeda to Launch on November 6 Featuring Theme of Newness, with Exclusive Designs by Faculty Members"
Art school president and art world superstar team up with ugc t-shirt company.... that would sound pretty incredible already, but the idea of Threadless Select reaching out and working with John Maeda and RISD staff to create 4 t-shirts just blew my mind a little. So take a look at all 4 designs on the next page, as well as the press release!
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).
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'sartist 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.
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!
I interviewed a fictitious house! Ok, well that's the one liner i've used for people who either don't know Twitter, Sci-Fi's Eureka, or both. For those who know ~ I twitterviewed a self actuated residential automated habitat! (aka S.A.R.A.H.)... and perhaps the most unexpected and exciting part of the whole experience was getting a sneak peek at the creative background for this television wonderhouse ~ while twitterviewing, S.A.R.A.H. shared some blueprints, set photos, and early sketches of what the house was planned to look like. Definitely some fun creative food for thought...
So first, here's a little background ~ Eureka has been one of my tv indulgences for some time now... there's something so playful and creatively inspiring about how they've managed to mix some very smart, sciencey ideas with some very pretty, glossy, innovative gadgetry in their magically hidden town of geniuses (you can watch full episodes on the Eureka site now if you want to see what i mean). Much of what shows up, often reminds me of crazy designer concepts and prototypes we dream up and read about constantly... So when i found out they decided to go all web 2.0 and have both a twitter (written by the house AI) and a tumblr (Eureka Unscripted - the behind the scenes blog), i couldn't resist reaching out to see if they were willing to take it one step further and let me interview the AI over twitter! Afterall, we seldom do interviews here, and definitely focus more on design than people, so how perfect is it to interview the design versus the designer? So as you can see, the idea quickly blossomed, and last night turned into a fun hour long ramble between us over twitter, which even exposed some visually inspiring behind the scenes sneak peeks (including one of my messy desk)!
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!
Written On The City has been collecting up imagery from around the world of textual street art ~ and the book is now here! This project is the brainchild of Axel Albin and Josh Kamler of Language In Common. Trying a new form of book review ~ scanned in a bunch of random pieces of pages i liked to give you a feel for things on the next page!
Also ~ the letter, business cards, stickers, etc were so fun, i scanned those for you to check out too! And the next time you see some great texty street art, snap a pic and send it over to Written On The City!
I first met Andrio Abero back in 2001 at a party in San Francisco where we bonded over a mutual love of music and design. Andy went on to become one of the foremost graphic designers in the Pacific Northwest, particularly known for his show posters. His work is smart and graphic, and I love the way he plays with texture and typography in his illustrations. Since founding 33 RPM in 2000, Andy has produced a huge body of work (I had a hard time choosing my favorites for this post), including the Bumbershoot 2006 campaign, and a bunch of magazine illustrations for New Scientist, Business Week, and The New Republic to name a few.
Late night inspirations ~ just fell into another one of those random research distractions that the internet so easily sucks me into... this time the starting point was a discussion with Rose (the R of A+R) during the Lucky shoot, and it came up that her sister was a musician and artist, so being curious, did some poking around and came across Blanca Apodaca's uber page, which then led me to the images of her painting her newest album cover on her dining table - which i happily perused while listening to songs from her new album Butterfly Core (Sugar Painted Valentine is stuck in my head at the moment)... Anyhow, loved the mix of styles in her album cover, it seems to be a fascinating mix of.... hippie - gangsta - colorful trippiness? See more images on the next page --
I Am 8-Bit #4 had its opening last night at the World of Wonder Storefront Gallery in Hollywood... and although larger venue, the crowd was even MORE insane than last time, the press tables even more chaotic, and the crowd control and speed of getting people in and out was a bit lacking, however the bouncers were incredibly nice... that said, once you got in, the music was thumping, few were dancing, but many were guzzling, as the floor was pretty much coated in spilt beer... and there was much crowding around the incredible array of gamer inspired art work! But my favorite moment of the whole night... the guy who was taking pictures with his PSP! And the window displays, they made great use of the large storefront windows - from random installations with old controllers, to that couple playing arcade games in their underwear, and the street fighter bricks and more... anyhow, i tried to streamline the pics i took to give you an overview of the experience on the next page, and you can view the full unphotoshopped selection in the gallery.
Inspiring spaces ~ call it studio envy, fascination with creative spaces, growing up seeing the work of Shepard Fairey and his crew on streets not walls... as promised, here's part 1 of 2 on the little tour of Obey Giant HQ, Studio Number One, and the Subliminal Projects Gallery while i was at Simple Pleasures 01 (Thank you, Yosi and Joycie!) So instead of flooding you with words, just browse through the pics on the next page for my visual tour of their inspiring spaces and things that caught my eye! (and check out the Studio Number One portfolio too!)
Perfect way to spend a saturday? With good friends, old and new, surrounded by inspiration of all forms (zines, art, artists, designers, photographers, musicians)... in the world of OBEY Giant... as magically facilitated by Shepard Fairey's Studio Number One, who graciously opened up their parking lot to set the scene for the first Simple Pleasures event, "an on-going series of cultural investigations" - This one was focused on zine culture, and in addition to many booths ~ there was an Obey raffle (5$ got you a tote bag of goodies and a chance to win some limited ed posters) ~ the delicious Green Truck lunch truck (amazing burgers, all organic and local, and runs on biodiesel) ~ bake sale of 1$ tempting sweets ~ and we got to kick back to tunes of the DJ Diabetic (Shepard Fairey) and Daedelus... oh and on mind blowing experiences, i got a tour/sneak peek of the studio space of Studio Number One, a chance to take in all the art and inspiration filling their walls... and even chat with Shepard Fairey in his incredible office (wall to wall art and books and toys)... peek at some upcoming works... and wander the Subliminal Projects Gallery downstairs as well... all in all, a phenomenally inspiring day all around. I can't wait for Simple Pleasures 02!
Ok, so it's 4am on a Saturday night, i just got home... and as much as i claim i'll head right to bed... after i take a peek at my pics... you know me... i can't help but share them with you before i crash. SO, here's the compromise... first things first, see the next page to see the experience of Simple Pleasures, and coming soon will be a peek into the Studio Number One and Shepard Fairey's studios!
Leatherman is celebrating its 25th anniversary with the Argentum Collection ~ an incredible (and pricey) line of limited edition hand-crafted leathermans by world-renowned artist and silversmith Adrian Pallarols. There are 7 pieces in the collection, and The Charge Dorado is $40,000, the Charge Acanto $12,000... and they work their way down to a mere $240 for a little Squirt Lagrima de Luna. See more close ups on the next page, as well as pics of sketches, more info on the artist, and you've got to see the video at the Argentum Collection page.
chats with a few friends and fellow leatherman loyals... and we all agree so far, we're not completely sure what the appeal is, but i'm rather fascinated by the juxtaposition of the perfectly engineered with the artisan, 7th generation, craftsman combination... and i do kind of want the Acanto, if only it was a Wave?
Martinis + Pop Art? How could i resist a press release that starts with "After collaborating to create an Ad Campaign for their vermouths in the late 1950's, MARTINI & ROSSI brings Warhol's iconic artwork and style back to life with a modern twist. From canvases to cocktails, MARTINI & ROSSI has embarked on a new advertising and cocktail campaign - The MARTINI Factory - aimed at redefining vermouth and the art of the aperitif. The vermouth aperitif drinking occasion, hugely popular in Europe, has yet to take hold in the U.S. market where cocktails dominate popular culture. This new campaign offers consumers an array of innovative vermouth cocktails featuring contemporary ingredients. MARTINI & ROSSI will also unveil a collection of six innovative Warhol-inspired vermouth cocktails at an invitation-only MARTINI & ROSSI Warhol Factory party - being held in NYC on August 6th - what would have been Warhol's 80th birthday."
Take a look at the original 50's and 60's advertisements by Warhol on the next page, as well as some of the new Martini Factory Drinks! With playful names like the Factory Martini, Velvet Edie, Pop Art 'Tini, Bohemian Cocktail, and more... this is certainly one of my favorite retro/present campaigns of the moment, and the merging of art + drink is such a perfect match.
Another find at at GLOW ~ was a collection of suspended robots under the pier, EX-SE-08, Shieh Chieh Huang. Made from plastic bags, plastic bottles of various sizes, computer fans, portable dvd players - all combined with circuit boards and what looked like many power adapters for the larger pieces... these robots were buzzing and breathing (well the bags looked like inhaling and exhaling oxygen bags that come down in airplane emergencies?) and spinning about - while filled with glowing lights, black lights, and uv glowing liquids... It was mesmerizing to say the least, especially when i wandered back in around 5am in a bit of a haze... i ended up taking more video of these creatures than pictures, so check out the video below for an overview of them in action, and a few more pics as well on the next page!
The show stealer at GLOW yesterday was hands down, Usman Haque's Primal Source. Ask anyone who went what the best thing they saw was and odds are they will say "that giant fountain projection thing".
On so many levels, this was an incredible art installation ~ a GIANT screen of water that with rear projection, set up such that the dark night sky served as the perfect backdrop for the perfectly clear visualizations - but it's not just about watching, the group interaction element was there too: a series of microphones against the fence encourage the audience to participate by screaming into them in order to directly alter the visualizations. It was the only piece that truly sucked everyone into it, and kept them there for ages. Kids of all ages were absolutely mesmerized. And yes, i admit, it was one of the first things i was drawn to, even from up at the park - and i went back multiple times in that 12 hour window... and there were ALWAYS crowds at the piece... even at 5am. See images of Usman Haque's Primal Source from all angles on the next page ~ as well as a video to give you the full effect of how awesome this was to behold in person!
I think i've waited 25 years for GLOW to happen - i love my beach towns, and Santa Monica is where i grew up, and the first ocean and beach i ever touched... and FINALLY, the City of Santa Monica let go of all their many rules for 12 precious hours (and we went, from 7pm to about 6:30am) - with an incredible first GLOW festival - the pier, with its new crazy uberbright-LED ferris wheel, the whole park overlooking PCH, the neighboring restaurants and shops, the beach, the work out rings and ropes - all packed with people of all sorts and all ages all night long... enjoying various music, techno/eco-art installations, and ultimately just each others company, and how nice it was to have all of this come together so beautifully and so playfully in Santa Monica. So before i get into the specific installations i have to show you video of... here's an overview post to give you a feel of what an incredibly nice 12 hours it was... highlights are definitely lying on the beach listening to pirate lullabies at 3am, the interactive projection on a HUGE water spray, the computer fan driven upcycled electronic organisms under the pier, and watching people from such varying walks of life coming together for this Santa Monica first. (Oh and for really odd things, in the midst of all of this, we even ended up at Google for drinks, since the bars were just maddness - which led to a finger rocket war through the cubicles.)
NOTCOT Note: Here's another fun one from our resident architect, Anna (Sub-Studio)!
David Lewis of Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis was one of my studio professors back when I was studying architecture at Cornell and he was very influential in the way that I learned how to draw and present information. LTL has perfected the art of multi-media drawing, using computer models to generate the building forms and to create severe, impossible perspectives and sections, and then hand-drawing hyper-detailed drawings which are layered on top of the model. The meticulousness of the drawings is amazing and I love the texture that the pencil provides - the more intense and detailed a section of a drawing, the dirtier it is.
Besides great drawings, LTL also creates really beautiful built spaces that are focused on materials and construction methods. The same attention to detail in their drawings shows up in their built work. I've only chosen to include their restaurant work in this post (after the jump), but LTL also has a bunch of great large scale projects and competitions on their website. If you want to see more of their drawn work, you should definitely check out a recently published a book of their work, Opportunistic Architecture, or an older publication, Situation Normal, by P.A. Press.
Incase has done it again... waking me up to yet another giddiness inducing package. They always manage to put me in the best moods with their great packaging (from packaging of the product, to the silver penned notes to go with them!). I'm sure you've been seeing these new limited edition cases buzzing around the web all morning, but here's an unboxing and some close up pics of my own. And for those just catching up...
Incase has teamed up once again with Arkitip Magazine, and this time they've pulled in one or my favorite artists, Craig Costello aka "KRINK" aka "KR", the legendary creator of KRINK inks and markers and artist behind those awesome silver drippy mail boxes! So this new KRINK Sleeve is the first in the "Curate by Arkitip" series. First impression, was being smitten by the silver on black drippiness, so messy, yet so clean. Next thing to hit me... although it is an awesome art product, the quality is incredible, but then again what else would you expect from Incase? This would be such a fun case to carry into a formal meeting... if not just to see what the reactions are like! Anyhow, go see the many pics on the next page, as well as the video with behind the scenes on how this sleeve came to be.
i know it sounds silly, but part of me is dying to spraypaint 'NOTCOT' on mine...
Zune has been a great supporter of the arts with their Zune Arts initiative, and its been incredible to see all of the artists - illustration, 3d, animation, and now graphic artists they have been supporting! The latest project is The Lost Ones: "a graphic novel written by celebrated writer Steve Niles. For the Zune-commissioned novel, Niles was paired up with visual artists Dr. Revolt, Gary Panter, Kime Buzzelli and Morning Breath to take the reader on an epic journey through time and space. Each artist illustrated a different chapter of the novel." On the next page you can check out a trailer video... i've also pulled some of my favorite pages from the novel, as well as the covers of the various chapters.
GIVEAWAY! There are two sets of a special collectors edition of the novel with a silk screened cover and poster waiting for two lucky readers ~ so leave a comment with your favorite on/offline comic and why you love it (by monday night PST) for a chance to win it!
NOTCOT Note: I was up till 6am working on the sites, squashing bugs and adding new secret features with dan, and working with linhchi getting new navigation bars (see up top!) across all the sites, and giving in to the "notEmpire" as people have been jokingly calling us for some time now! Also, added NotLabs, for all those miscellaneous side projects! SO, i'm super thrilled that Anna of the fabulous Sub-Studio had my back and prepared this great post for you!
I saw Adam Haynes' work over at Evasèe recently and love it - love the color palette, the graphic/comic book style illustration, the fantastic industrial subject matter...everything! Adam is based in Bend, OR and has freelanced for a number of impressive clients - Nike, Adidas, Transworld...His website is still somewhat under construction, but you can find a fair bit of his work online. See more of his work on the next page!