November 30, 2009

Trouble Gum.

Finally I went to see the Society of Illustrator's Children Book Art show on Tuesday night. I made it just in time as the show officially closed on Wednesday. In awe of everything as usual and wanted to jet straight to Pearl Paint on my way home to Brooklyn to buy new watercolors so I could start those children's illustrations I want to start doing every year at around this time. For real, this time, I am going to start. Perhaps if I put it out to the world (aka the internet) then this will be the year I really do this. Perhaps a new idea to refresh this blog of mine. Perhaps.It's crazy how such inspiration stems from the root of my love of art – the basic beauty of children's book illustrations (which, most times isn't that basic at all – it's detailed and wonderful).

My favorite of the show is the book above, Trouble Gum, by Matthew Cordell. Of course I had to check out his website and see what else he has done and ended up reading some of his blog too. Great clean work and he even does illustrations for his wife's YA books (what a talented family they are!). Check 'em all out here.

November 25, 2009

Kate Spade 20.

Ah, Kate Spade, how you make me happy. Check out this link and roll your mouse over EVERYTHING! Just a simple little animation for each number (don't forget to click for more at the bottom of the first page) but enough to keep you smiling – before getting into your car and driving 4 hours north, along with lots of other people driving north. Hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving weekend. May it be just the right amount of time with your family and friends, whether you are staying put and hosting dinner yourself, going out to eat or traveling.

I know I can't wait to spend time with my family (some of which I haven't seen since LAST Thanksgiving), seeing how my lil' cousin has grown (from two years old to three! She is going to be a lil' chatterbox, I am sure of it), seeing good friends from home and overall just enjoying delicious home-cooked meals.

November 24, 2009

Anthropologie Household Monsters.

It's a pretty safe bet that whether I walk into an Anthropologie store or peruse their catalog online or in hand, I am going to ooohhh and aaahhh and wish for almost all of everything I see. This recent trip to their site was no different as I discovered some hysterical large-scale embroidered canvas pieces by artist Ruth Ashton. Check them all out here.

November 23, 2009

After Party: Chandon.

Seeing this commercial on TV yesterday afternoon was such a breath of fresh air. Not only do I think that most television commercials are lacking inventiveness but also in the alcohol industry around the holiday time, they can be pretty stale. A typical holiday-looking event with pretty people drinking and having a splendid time on some private rooftop. Bo-ring.

Well, Chandon changed my view with this commercial yesterday. It started off looking as typical (previously mentioned fancy roofdeck party and pretty people) but took it a step further. Using the elements that make up the top of their champagne bottle (the wire, foil and cork) their ad people created two fabulous characters who do a wonderful dance around their own party setting. Check it out here (stills are above) to get the full effect.

November 20, 2009

Fantastic Mr. Fox & New York Magazine.

Retrieving my New York Magazine from our narrow silver mailbox in our apartment building makes my Monday (though as of recently, it has been coming on Tuesday. Anyone else?). Not only do I anticipate doing the crossword puzzle on the subway the next day (I know, I know. I'm a word geek) but I know the articles and other regular favorite sections (Dining Out and the Intelligencer to name a couple) will make my rides that much faster to and from work.

This week I was extra excited when I saw the cast of "Fantastic Mr. Fox" on the cover as well as an "inside the shooting of the cover". I love the behind-the-scenes information – one perfect single shot is not just taken, it is MADE. Hours of hard work (and in this case 6 hours of prep for these lil' figures) and a cast of specified creatives. I of course had to WATCH the behind-the-scenes which was conveniently on the NY Magazine website.

November 19, 2009

Random Thursday.

Loved the lollipop-nature of the trees in Villa Borghese

One of the many impressive sculptures inside the Vatican Museum

One of these seriously talented and artistic street artists who sit and pretend like they are really part of the scenery/street. This guy didn't budge when I took his photo and other tourists crowded around for a bit.

I know this is crazy, its my first post since last Friday. I have actually been doing really great work "stuff" which involved a two-day photoshoot for the brand I design for. It was exciting and great experience to be working with real people and not inanimate objects such as cookies, cocktails or bottles. All went well and as we speak I am making contact sheets of the past two days photographs. I have none to share with you from the shoot BUT thought I would share three random photos from Rome that I took last year when I was there. Katie and Erik were here visiting this weekend (who I was able to share some time with in Rome) and so there was a bit of reminiscing which led me to want to post a couple of photos of the trip here today since I have not done any design/photo/illustration-related research/finding.

November 13, 2009

Kwiat and Holly Houk.

LOVE these ads for jewelry company Kwiat made possible by talented artist and illustrator, Holly Houk. I love the clever juxtaposition of art and jewelry. Some of my favorites above, but they can all be seen from the Kwiat site.

Illustrated Calories.

A good article and a great (and entertaining but true) illustration talking about menu calorie-labeling.

November 12, 2009

Zoo Studio: Barcelona.

Nothing reminds me more about Barcelona than seeing work from their talented design studios. Just learned about this one, Zoo Studio, this morning and couldn't stop clicking through their site which is chock-full of inspiring design. Just a few samples above but I would check out their full site for more.

November 11, 2009

Designers & Their Food.

Over the past few years I have realized that I have a serious addiction – food photography and gourmet food packaging.

I think it all started when I was younger and used to flip through my Mom and Grandma's
Bon Appetit magazines. The gorgeous colors of the meals and luscious foods laid out on the 2-dimensional glossy pages between my 7 year-old hands held me captive. Hands that at that time probably had only helped my Mom pour chocolate chips into cookie batter. Today? It's the magazine's combination of photography and colors and textures and layouts that hold my almost 30 year-old eyes in awe.

Being a designer means always being on alert and so a trip to the grocery store, the neighborhood restaurant, and even the deli on the corner results in scoping all things food and design related. I am not the only one who does this. There are all of the designers and food stylists who MADE this beautiful work possible.

It is with this keen eye that I am always on the lookout for combo of food and design and can't believe that I somehow missed the August Food Issue in PRINT magazine (well, perhaps our subscription here at work ran out). They interviewed designers who do awe-inspiring work (some actually in the food field) and also had them make one of their favorite recipes which they photographed along the way (see above). Of course, their end presentation is spot-on as are their answers to the interviewer's questions. Check them all out:

Louise Fili
Peter Buchanan-Smith
Matteo Bolgna
Alan Dye
Julie Hirschfeld
Khoi Vinh

November 10, 2009

Happy 40th Birthday Sesame Street!

One of the very first shows I ever watched on TV, Sesame Street, turns 40 today! I have such fond memories of it. Reading more and more about it recently (due to its 40th b-day) I have learned a lot about the deep meaning of the show and how groundbreaking it really was. I hope it lives on forever! New York Magazine had a quick graphic of when certain characters were introduced to the show and I learned that Elmo was introduced the year I was born so next year Elmo will turn the big 3-0!

November 9, 2009

Chocolate: A Love Story.

I wish I could share more illustrations/graphics with you from this book, Chocolate: A Love Story (65 Dessert Recipes from Max Brenner). Here is a better description from the good ole Strand Book Store. I flipped through it Barnes and Noble during lunch today and came close to walking out of the store with it in a bag (paid for, of course) along with about 8 other cookbooks I wanted. Each spread of Brenner's book had a deliciously designed illustration from Yonatan Factor (whose personal website I am totally unable to find. Google, I need your help here!). Please go on your lunch break tomorrow and check it out!

November 6, 2009


These trees might look pretty, but watch for their droppings... (image from here)

Well dear readers (yes Mom, that includes you), I must apologize for this blog a-lackin' in material the last few weeks. I think since coming back from the glorious and refreshing vacation we had in Costa Rica, that I hit a wall with the blog and feel like I am scrounging around for design, ideas, things to post about. I mean I posted about Brussels Sprouts at the beginning of the week for goodness sake! Brussels Sprouts!

Dear readers, I am sorry. I have hit a wall as hard as I almost hit the pavement this morning walking to the subway. Yes, I was carefully trying to NOT step on those nasty smelling gingko biloba pods that are littered on the avenue I walk to get to the train in the morning (that article that I just linked isn't my neighborhood but makes me feel better that all of Brooklyn must share this). The irony being that I tried so hard not to step on them with just a tip of the toe of my beautiful brown boots from Spain that I almost ended up with my entire body/coat/bag/newspaper covered in them. Ughhhh. I can't even fathom that demise. Long story short I slipped, but caught myself before taking a nose dive into the guts of the biloba pods. Though entirely graceless, I managed to eke by with just a dab of nastiness on my boot toe.

Anyhow, I digress. Perhaps after the weekend I will know where I am going with this blog. It's been around for about 2 years and I can say that my greatest posts were the ones I put the most of my love into were the series from Spain. If I could find a way to bring back personal photography combined with real writing, I think that might be where this blog is going, but don't hold me to it.

Either way, thanks for bearing with me as I leave you SANS posts more days than with...

November 4, 2009

Schroeder Milk.

This is by far the best packaging I have seen in awhile (via Lovely Package). Perhaps I am jaded because the client actually let the designer keep it clean. Let the product stand for itself. Maybe because they didn't try and muck it up with 80 different claims stating that milk does this and milk does that. Milk is milk. And Schroeder gets it and knows their consumer is smart. Kudos to the design studio Capsule who made this beauty possible AND to Schroeder for letting them run with a fabulous idea. God, I wish I lived in Minnesota so I could buy this at the store...


After seeing just the one computer wallpaper for offer via Design*Sponge, I knew I had to check out the rest of UK-based ISAK's portfolio of work. I am glad I did! Such cute and clean illustrations and patterns that they turned into real wallpaper and other items for the home. Check them all out here!

November 3, 2009

Brussels Sprouts.

I think that food is designed. I think that recipes are in fact, works of art. I feel creative when I take groceries and raw foods and combine them just so, to turn a bag of seemingly random ingredients into a meal. So imagine my awe at this latest Brussels sprouts design by Mark Bittman (one of my favorite food bloggers). He has added bacon and figs and called it mid-fall salad! Check it out here.

Brussels sprouts, myself and my plate were first introduced for the first time in my life last year. I had low expectations that were exceeded with flying colors. I was pleasantly surprised at how sweet and delicious they were – nothing how I imagined the one vegetable that seems to get mocked the most when it comes to finicky child and adult eaters. Who knew? Eating them plain and roasted with just a bit of salt was absolutely delicious but here, by some fine design and Mark Bittman's imagination, we have something pretty amazing!

Photo above from NY Times