Thursday, December 06, 2007


I've added a couple new links to the side panel of sites I've been exploring a lot lately. First is Wooster Collective, a site that focuses on a lot of street and contemporary art. The second is Urban Outfitter's blog, which I've been enjoying immensely, as it can be viewed in either chronological order or by city, and gives a nice array of exposure to everyone from graphic designers to musicians to other trends. Both worth a perusal!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Design | Commercial | Olympics

Reflecting a current trend in design (or so Jenne assures me), the efforts of the creative team at Meomi (pronounced Me-Oh-My, I suspect) have been chosen as the official mascots of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. A different direction than that mascots from the last Olympic Games in Turin, though very reminiscent of the Cheburashka character used by the Russians as team mascot during the Turin games.

Of course Cheburashka dates from a 1950's children's book, so it goes to show that what goes around comes around in design trends, and that we can't blame the Happy Tree Friends for everything.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Media | Internet | 'Tis the Season

The holiday season works a little differently here in the Netherlands, with Sinterklaas arriving on December 5th, well in advance of Baby Jesus.

Fortunately there's the internet (or, more accurately the World Wide Web) to deliver properly-scheduled holiday cheer. Once you sift through all the crap about Black Friday, Mauve Monday, Taupe Tuesday or whatever fictitious days the media has fabricated to sell column inches, there is a treasure trove of sights and sounds on the web that show how, despite the endless marketing blitz, we haven't completely lost the plot.

On a musical note (ba-dum-bum), The Pandora Podcasts have a great piece on the origins and musical structure of many popular Christmas songs. And, if the malls don't saturate your carol capacity, there's heaps of radio stations streaming xmas music 24/7. If you do reach critical mass as quickly as I do but still want to keep the holiday spirit then there's NPR's roots-music Christmas from the World Cafe show from 2005 plus a whole lot more!

There's great art kicking around, with loads of vintage royalty-free (though not free-free) stuff to see, as well as contemporary royalty-free (and free-free with an account) at Getty.

So regardless of where you hang your kerchief or cap before settling down for a long winter's nap there should be something out there to spark that merry feeling.

Happy Holidays!

P.S. if you happen to be in Portland on December 15th you can catch the Tuba Christmas Concert apparently.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Illustration | Yuka Yamaguchi

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I've been following Yuka Yamaguchi's blog, Plastique Monkey, for a while now, which I discovered totally at random googling something like "barley mushroom risotto". Discovering her quirky watercolor and pencil sketches – not to mention the totally adorable photos of her newborn son – has been a real treat. So much so that I printed the above sketch and tacked it to one of the walls of my cube for some visual stimulii.

Illustration | Dan Hillier

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Discovered these fantastic Victorian engravings yesterday while looking at boing boing for a bit. Check out the rest of his interesting pieces at his site.

Design | Poetic Licence, Polyvore

There's a growing trend for these very interesting sites where you can move parts around and create your own design -- kind of like a dumbed down Photoshop/Illustrator. Poetic Licence is a UK-based shoe manufacturer whose site allows you to create your own ad for their shoes by giving you some logos, photos, words and other elements to play around with. Polyvore is a little more advanced and is an application (available both on its own site and on Facebook) where you can play around with creating your own outfits based on thousands of pre-loaded shots of clothes. The design comes in by creating your own personal dream outfits (or real outfits, I suppose) in a sleek and polished way that resembles the pages of a fashion magazine. Clearly there's major potential here for revenue if the clothes you represent pay money to be on the page; from a more personal standpoint, it affords hours of fun for any girl (or guy) who thrives on the creativity and self-expression that comes from putting clothes and design elements together -- even if they're out of your price range.

Art & Design | Doma

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I'm kicking myself for missing the boat on posting the brilliant Orangina commercial and print work I was gushing over last week, so that will now be an incentive to get on it a little faster and update this blog the second I see something really cool. Like this amazing design work from Buenos Aires collective DOMA, a bunch of Argentines who started out doing street art and then morphed their talents into a lot of cool design and video work (a lot of the design work in the form of awesome toys).


Friday, November 02, 2007

Advertising | Website | Orange

This site for Orange (the mobile provider in the UK) is one of THE. COOLEST. THINGS. I've seen in a long time. It just made me giddy with excitement for the cool stuff you can do on the internet and made me excited to work in advertising. In keeping with Orange's "good things should never end" strategy, it amplifies this idea in a gorgeous, fun, and shareable way. From a British agency called Poke London.

Via Adverblog.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Music | Concert Footage | Fabchannel

I was pointed in the direction of by a friend who is much more aware of these things. These things being all things Dutch, seeings how he speaks the language whereas the only Dutch anything coming out of my mouth are the salt dropjes as I spit them across the room after being lulled into a false sense of candy-security.

There's some great current concerts available for viewing, including The Handsome Furs (what up, Canada?), The Arcade Fire (holla if you're feeling me, Canucks!), You Say Party! We Say Die! (seriously, can I get a shout out here, Canada?), CSS (hola!), Duke Special (top o' the mornin'), Michael Franti and Spearhead as well as Ani Difranco (keep your arms down, hippies), and The Cold War Kids before they graduated to the big hall. There's Damien Rice and Bright Eyes if you want to look at your shoes for an extended period of time, and several year's worth of Dutch Air Guitar Championships if you wanna get your rock on :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Advertising | Commercial | Hungary

Yes, I've been neglecting this site for far too long. Hopefully that will change soon and I will resume posting with more frequency. Anyhoo, today I was searching for photos of '90s ravers (don't ask) and stumbled up on this amazing, totally inspired commercial from Hungary.

Kind of makes you realise how a really good, simple ad can be done on the cheap and doesn't even need to be in a language you understand to communicate the basic idea.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Art | Web | Kevin Cornell

I don't know what all the fuss is about. Or, more accurately, I don't know who would complain about image searches. I find myself increasingly using them to sift through the pages upon pages of results much faster than I could by reading the text synopses, and usually with more accurate results per click. Plus, the random "stumble upon" factor is much higher with image searches.

Case in point, Bearskinrug, "the webspace of illustrator and designer Kevin Cornell". I was performing a spur-of-the-moment image search for a 'coffee break' themed sight gag I was leaving for a chum on a 'social networking' site. The style of the art on Bearskinrug immediately caught my eye, and a few clicks later I had myself a new desktop. Brilliant stuff.

One of the various sock monkeys at Bearskinrug

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Video | Justice | Dance

We've mentioned Justice here previously but I'd thought I'd throw myself back into unsticking brains again with their newest video which currently has me doing the d-a-n-c-e to my ipod on the train platforms knowing full well that other waiting passengers can't hear the music. Too bad for them. Anyway, check out this out. If you loved hypercolor t-shirts, wait'll you get a load of these.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Website | Reality Carnival

I have no idea what first led me to discover the strange and kooky website Reality Carnival, but ever since I bookmarked it a few weeks ago, I find myself returning multiple times a day to check out its eclectic array of links on everything from curious subjects (like bizarre trees and M.C. Escher drawings made of Legos) to mathematical quandries to crazy psychedelic explorations to science fact and fiction. Really out there stuff, at least for someone without a Ph.D. in physics. But supremely fascinating nonetheless.

Video | Sesame Street | Classics

A friend turned me on to the awesome amount of old Sesame Street clips on You Tube. I haven't watched Sesame Street since a lot of these made their original television appearance, but they're all brilliantly inspired -- funny enough for adults while (I guess) teaching kids how to read. Hey, it worked for me, right?

My current fav -- how I still feel about food to this day.

Cookie Monster at the disco, spoofing Isaac Hayes' theme from Shaft. "Cookie? Me so 'ooooongreeee."

And this, while not from Sesame Street but the equally brilliant Muppet Show, remains one of the funniest things I've ever seen.

How I love Animal. *Sigh*

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Advertising | Humour | Effective

I don't know how many funny ads I have seen in the last few years that succeed in making the audience laugh and completely fail to sell the product. Well, I guess the proverbial 1000 monkeys finally hit paydirt - because not only did I laugh when viewing this commercial, but I was actually able to find it on the web on my first search-engine attempt - meaning that I partially remembered what it was schilling. I'm probably no closer to actually buying this stuff, but I am happy to see that one ad agency seems to remember that the client is the one paying the bills, not the Yuk Yuks cabaret down the road.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Comics | Married to the Sea

A friend recently sent me a link to one of these funny comics and I've spent the last few minutes perusing some of the other quirky, off-beat comics on their site. Glad to see someone finally juxtaposed ghost riding the whip with 1800s illustration. Here's hoping they come up with one soon for thizz face. Or maybe they already have. Who cares, let's get hyphy ... nineteenth century styley, yo.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Music | Internet | Recent Innovations

I was looking up the track listings for the newest album from Canada's band-du-jour, Arcade Fire, when I stumbled across this website courtesy of your friendly neighborhood search engine.

That site, and my new zip code in Western Australia, reminded me that Sia, one of my favorite pint-sized musicians, has recently updated her website. I wonder if that means more solo material for her after secondment with Zero7 for the past several years....

Also, I really dig the faux-Edwardian styling of the Arcade Fire, and the ever eclectic proletariat fashion of The Decemberists, shown above.

Always being more of a music fan than a music purveyor, I was really impressed with Pandora's Podcasts on the elements of popular music. Great for music listeners, critics, and makers, they are a quick listen at around 8 minutes each - just short enough to stop you from killing them for repeating the same tune with each example. Of course the short-list of songs illustrating whichever style they describe in the podcasts is a nice touch, and might just make you go "hmmmmm" like it's 1993.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Art| Flickr | 11 Spring Street - Wooster Collective

Yep, it's one of those days where it's 17:26 and my brain is officially jelly. I've been thinking thinking thinking since the minute I got in, and my brain needs a break. Good thing I found this vibrant collection of photos on Flickr of the 11 Spring Street Wooster Collective -- link from a blog I've been reading a lot lately, Get-Around-Girl. Anyway, check the photos out, indulge in the bright colours and funky graffiti, and feel your brain go 'aaaaaah.'

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Music | High Contrast | "Everything's Different"

Those of you who know me know of my ardent love for drum & bass, probably my all-time favourite sound. So I was super excited when I got the latest podcast from Hospitality a to find this video for "Everything's Different" from High Contrast whose High Society and FABRICLIVE albums are two of my favourites from the past couple years. Great song, great video, great way to kick off 2007.

Heck, while you're at it, check out this video for "Racing Green," off the High Society album. So good I need to take a break from work.

Now if only I could figure out under what rock the drum & bass scene in NY is hiding. In the meantime obsessing over the dubplates at Hopsital will have to do. Why am I not a deejay?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Comedy | Stand-up | Outclassed by the audience

We all know a guy just like this one :)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Music | C-mon & Kypski

I'm at work on a Sunday, so I've decided to declare it an official C-mon & Kypski Sunday and post some of the best videos from this Dutch hip hop group. Enjoy!

Video for "Shitty Bum".

Video for "Bumpy Road."

Video of Kypski scratching.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Art | Paper Cut | Peter Callesen

And to think all I did during art class was eat the glue. Paper cut art by Peter Callesen.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Video | Minilogue | "Hitchhikers Choice"

Very cool video made for Swedish group Minilogue by Swedish design/animation/awesome/musical group Ljudbilden & Piloten.
via Conversational Capital

Friday, January 12, 2007

Art | Sculpture | Ron Mueck

Last Saturday I headed off to the Brooklyn Museum of Art to catch two exhibitions, the first a retrospective of Annie Liebowitz and the second some sculptures by sculptor Ron Mueck. Ever read Paul Arden's "Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite"? This is the sculptor mentioned by Arden who was formally trained as a model maker for TV and film but found his calling as a true artist. I was excited for the Liebowitz work, but the BMA was so unbelievably crowded that it was hard to much face time with her photographs, many of which were postcard-sized. The Mueck stuff, on the other hand, is large and imposing, and absolutely mind-blowing. It's larger-than-life sculptures in totally realistic poses, with expressions so realistic it looks as though they'll blink in any minute. Or small sculptures that look like little human dolls, replete with little fingernails and body hair. The sculptures are very impressive, especially upon realising that Mueck and a team of assistants go through a process that combines photography, drawing, sculpture, and model-making, every stage of the process a unique art form in and of itself. The exhibition prompts questions about the nature of 'realism' in today's art world, and whether you chose to dwell on such matters or leave such questions to the art pros, Mueck's sculptures are fascinating, right down to the last hair.

Photography | Soviet Bus Shelters | Christopher Herwig

I started my new job this week and have found myself buried under a deluge of work that has not ceased until this minute, today. I have exactly one hour til my next meeting, and thought, since I have been typing pretty much nonstop since Day One of Full-Time Employment, that I'd relax by spending a little time on ye olde blogge.

Anyways, I was browsing one of my favourite sites, BoingBoing, and came across a link to this super cool collection of oft-decaying Soviet-era bus shelters on Polar Inertia, a journal of nomadic and popular culture, which can only be described as looking as though they belong on in an ancient Mongol planet of the future (wrap your brain around that one!). Here's one such photo, for more check out the collection on photographer Christopher Herwig's site.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Music | Canadiana | Semprini Records

I tracked this label down thanks to a lead from a friend who gave me a copy of the soundtrack to Regular or Super, a Canadian documentary on the life and work of influential architect Mies van der Rohe.

Semprini Records is a Canadian based label with a small but diverse catalogue, and there is an excellent selection of music to listen to from each of the three groups that the label publishes - a little something for every musical palate.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Art | Photography | Ramette & Frapiccini

The Maison Européenne de la Photographie (European House of Photography)is showing an exposition on the revolutionary photo news magazine Vu that ran from 1928 to 1940. I went to check it out and while it was well done, what really caught my eye was some modern work outside of the exhibit. Parisian photographer Philippe Ramette's work humourously features gravity defying businessmen. Italian Eva Frapiccini is another photographer whose work on display is unique with its original focus points. If you're in Paris, stop by for some visionary indulgence. If you're not in Paris,(sigh) the links will have to do...