Tuesday, July 27, 2010

45: mixtape - dog days vol. 2

dog days vol. 2 album art

Download (.zip): http://www.mediafire.com/?rh78ra2oloz3nzk

It is with great pleasure that I bring you the second installment of my summer playlist, featuring Johnny Flynn (le swoon... Purchase his new album, Been Listening when you can -- it's divine, I tell you! Divine!), Jessica Lea Mayfield (she has an amazing track record including a recent performance on A Prairie Home Companion, and she's only twenty!), and my British husband Bobby Long. Includes 16 songs that add up to just over an hour of absolutely fabulous sounds. May it prove to be excellent background music as you carry out the remainder of your dastardly/non-dastardly deeds.

Download (.zip): http://www.mediafire.com/?rh78ra2oloz3nzk

McFearless - Kings of Leon
Stained - Blue Foundation
Blinding - Florence + the Machine
I'm On Fire - Bat for Lashes
Left to Lie - Bobby Long
The Lengths - The Black Keys
The Wrote & The Writ - Johnny Flynn
Various Stages - Great Lake Swimmers
I Don't Mind - Marcus Foster
The Bucket - Kings of Leon
Drumming Song - Florence + the Machine
Arizona - Kings of Leon
Hey Ya (acoustic) - Mat Weddle
Kiss Me Again - Jessica Lea Mayfield
Good Love - Bat for Lashes
Dog Days Are Over - Florence + the Machine

Download (.zip): http://www.mediafire.com/?rh78ra2oloz3nzk

Side note: I realize that most of the artists in this mix are tied someway or another to a certain vampire-related franchise, which skeeves me out a tiny bit... but it's also kind of reassuring to know that my aural aesthetic is evidently satisfactory enough to warrant some sort of entry into the world of OSTs. There may be hope for me as a soundtrack designer yet.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

44: re: museum quality or market success

(Second photo via The Dieline)

Last fall, Kraft Foods updated its natural cheese packaging to give it a cleaner, fresher feel. Goodbye to familiar lettering and vibrant colors -- hello to the new, minimal, sans-serif look. Interestingly, this same package design has now been scrapped from supermarkets, evidently due to poor sales performance.

In response to this apparent consumer snubbery of "good design," Michael Colton -- Director of Design and Strategy at Brandimage -- shares his thoughts in an opinion article on The Dieline (link).

I really love this point that he makes:
To understand design that works, you must evaluate design under a different lens than the one used to identify aesthetic beauty. Design that works seeps beneath consumer consciousness, while we are very aware and appreciative of museum quality. Design that works uses subtle visual cues such as beading water on glass or the reveal of the inner fleshy part of the fruit to trigger hunger and craving in the primitive brain. Design that works, sells volumes, while design that is beautiful is heralded in the design community.
If you have some time to spare (and if you're interested in design, packaging, buying things, etc.), do read the entire piece. It's a tad bit lengthy but a great read nonetheless.

Monday, July 19, 2010

43: the hidden world of girls

Speaking of interesting projects in which you share personal things you've created, a few days ago, I found a brief feature on NPR, titled "Dear Diary: A Peek Inside The Pages Of Our Lives." (The story is just one brick in their Hidden World of Girls series, which you can keep up with in its entirety here.)

In short, NPR is compiling a database of intimate (private, confidential, innermost) diary entries from girls. With enough of these pages, NPR says, we can "form a comprehensive tapestry -- from elation to depression -- of life experiences. And give us insight into a world most people rarely see."

I really like the sound of this project. I don't know about you, but the idea of sharing secrets with strangers is just so appealing to me... especially given that so many of these strangers have probably, if not certainly, felt the same insecurities, fears, joy, sadness that I myself have gone through. What can I say? I'm a sucker for that common thread.

If this open diary call intrigues you as much as it intrigues me, you will find the following information useful:
How Can You Help? Submit pictures or scans of your diary's pages — or even the pages of your mother's diaries or grandmother's diaries.
How To Submit: Photos should be submitted through The Hidden World Of Girl's Flickr group. Or if it makes things easier, just upload them anywhere and leave us a link to the picture in the comments section. We will be getting in touch with you through Flickr mail or through the e-mail address provided when you sign up for an NPR community account. On Flickr, you'll know if you've submitted photos correctly if they show up here.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

42: mixtape - dog days vol. 1

dog days vol. 1 cover

dog days vol. 1 tracklist

Download (.zip): http://www.mediafire.com/?kgz0xzykyi3ztzj

It's hot here. And rainy. And humid. All at once. And I'm pretty sure someone has put my life on pause or something, because my days are going by very, very slowly... Welcome to the dog days of summer, right?

According to this mysterious thing called Brady's Clavis Calendarium, the dog days refer to the time when "the seas boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid, causing to man burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies." Sounds awful.

...Awfully exciting, that is!

I'm happy to present the first part of my summer soundtrack, entitled dog days vol. 1. This mix consists of one hour, two minutes, and nine seconds of assorted tunes and dancey-dance music to accompany the boiling seas, mad dogs, and feverish, hysterical and/or frenzied people in your life. (I've included a smattering of lazier songs for you languid creatures, as well.)

Hope you love it as much as I do! Here's the tracklist, and cover art is posted above (click the thumbnails for bigger sizes):

Seasun - Delorean
U + Me = - Dan Black
Moth's Wings - Passion Pit
Blood Bank - Bon Iver
You're Gorgeous - Babybird
Make You Crazy - Brett Dennen & Femi Kuti
Amsterdam - Peter Bjorn and John
The King and All of His Men - Wolf Gang
Brackett WI - Bon Iver
I Feel It All - Feist
Something Good Can Work - Two Door Cinema Club
The Golden Floor - Snow Patrol
Untitled 06 - Brand New
Leaving You Behind (ft. Lykke Li) [explicit] - Amanda Blank
Soco Amaretto Lime - Brand New
Excuses - The Morning Benders

Download (.zip): http://www.mediafire.com/?kgz0xzykyi3ztzj

Check it out and let me know what you think. And of course, if you like what you hear, be sure to support these artists directly. Go to their shows (with me, preferably -- I love concert buddies, I need more), buy their music and merchandise, give them lots of love/cupcakes/secret handshakes/kisses, you know the drill.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

41: the sketchbook project

The Sketchbook Project: 2011

A few days ago, my friend Sam filled me in on a fun little piece of news... The Brooklyn Art Library is installing a permanent sketchbook collection, and is crowd-sourcing for content (ha, that sounds just as dopey in print as it did in my head). What I mean is, anyone from anywhere can participate in the exhibition -- you just have to pay $25 for a medium-sized Moleskine Cahier/Volant and other handling fees (the sketchbook is barcoded and catalogued so that it'll never get lost, and so you can have access to stats on how many people have looked through it, etc.).

It looks super neat, and you get the pride and satisfaction of being part of a collection that tours the country (it's coming to Atlanta in April 2011! Spring Break plans, anyone?). If you want to participate, you have to sign up here by Oct. 31, 2010, and finish and mail out your book by Jan. 15, 2011.

Loads more details and fun information at The Sketchbook Project.

And speaking of sketchbooks, these are a few of my own pages from 2007-2008 that I like for their haphazard yet endearing qualities. (Click for larger images.)

2nd semester blow off mark stop using me okay untitled
in the middle untitled untitled

Swell. Well, I'm off to watch Germany kick some culo. Happy weekend!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

40: i like wacom tablets

I have every intention of purchasing a Wacom Bamboo Pen tablet -- instead of a tattoo as originally planned -- for my birthday, so I thought I'd gear up for the big day by displaying a small gallery of my favorite illustrations that have been done using a tablet.

Above are illustrations by the famous Kris Atomic -- she uses an Intuos for her design work and did a great post on her whole illustration process a few months ago (link). She has such a distinct style. I love.

These two were done by my friend Gizem Vural. She's an illustrator and graphic design student in Istanbul, and she is frickin' amazing! Seriously. All the quirky and precise details, the patterns that are so prevalent in all her work, the narratives that each piece tells... I'm sort of obsessed. You can keep up with Gizem via Tumblr (link).

Maria Diamantes is an illustrator from Barcelona. I really love the imperfections in her lines -- they sort of run into each other at times, they're kinda squiggly, they're not totally consistent, but they are still very detailed and clean. Her drawings all have a very quaint feel to them. It's always nice to see personality in an artist or designer's work.

These illustrations were done by Rita, a graphic design student in Colombia. Gorgeous line work, really lovely textures. The last one is my absolute fav.

Monday, July 5, 2010

39: shredded shirts and a serious update

If Tim Burton paired up with Raquel Allegra to design a T-shirt for AT&T, this is what it would look like (give or take a bar):

In other news, I've been on a major "series" kick recently. I'm really good at making lists (also known as a series of points -- possibly also known as a line... har har har... okay, stop it, Tiffany), so I'll do that here, instead of just spitting out a giant blob of words.
  • Watching: FIFA World Cup 2010. This is technically a series, though I'm not sure anyone actually calls it that...
  • Listening: NPR's Tiny Desk Concert series, which I've been catching up on and love-love-loving.
  • Listening, continued: Currently, I'm also jamming to a series of super obscure, super recherché songs right now. Yeah. My vocabulary is so indie that I bet you had to look that one up. I'm so hip that I'm square.
  • Reading: The Chronicles of Narnia book series. (I'm half-way through Prince Caspian. I keep picturing Binbons as Caspian. It's awesome.)
  • Considering: The different "series"-related prompts in the Cooper Union hometests. When I'm bored or procrastinating, I stalk different applicants' hometests. This one is nice.
  • Viewing: My friend Sam's crazy, slightly sassy, completely brilliant series of photographs, entitled "You're My Little Cupcake".
  • Researching: A series of botanical journals.
  • Planning: My WK12 application, which will be a series of books. Or a series of something...-I-don't-know-what. I'm pretty sure I won't actually be sending this in, on account of I'm barely twenty, and I'm still highly lacking in life [and work] experience, and oh yeah, I'm still in school! Ha. Ha. But I consider it good exercise for my creative muscles, and it's also way less intimidating than doing Cooper's hometest for fun. Ha. I'll keep you posted on any project developments.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

38: edward cullen piñata

This is really just a quick housekeeping issue, but...

For those of you who are searching for Edward Cullen piñatas and keep finding yourself at my blog -- it's called Father Piñata, by the way... no Edwards with candy here, unfortunately -- please redirect your searches to the World of Piñatas, where you will find a very small but hopefully sufficient variety of Twilight-related piñatas for your party-throwing merriment. Additionally, you could always make your own if you have a strong hankering to bash in Edward Cullen's face, in particular. Okay, cool. Best of luck!