Jean-Michel Basquiat is arguably one of the most influential artists of the Neo-Expressionist art movement of the 1970s and 1980s, and certainly one of the most significant artists of his generation. Known for his loose and rough graphic style of painting, Basquiat went from an obscure New York City graffiti artist to art superstar almost overnight. He’s a personal favorite of mine and the following is a brief overview of his life and career.
National Quilt Day was March 21st, and I spent it at the Craft and Folk Art Museum falling in love with all these man-made quilts. And by man-made, I mean that quite literally: Every single piece was constructed by a contemporary male quilt artist, and these were NOT your grannie’s patchworks. It was really awesome to see some contemporary masculine artists express themselves through textiles, which is a medium I’m very passionate about because of how much potential it has to function as texture, art, utility, and economic resourcefulness.
I came across this inspiring little video shortly after the New Year and it completely blew me away. It features an excerpt from an interview featuring Ira Glass, the host and producer of the wonderful radio show “This American Life” on NPR. In the interview, Glass offers up some sound advice for someone starting out in broadcast journalism, but his words will resonate with anyone working in a creative field. As a graphic designer, this short video hit me pretty hard and it perfectly encapsulates how I feel towards my own work. Oh, and the motion graphics and typography are pretty slick, too!
It is so hard to imagine a life with no text messaging or emails, where you could just get the point across without having to interrupt someone or be interrupted. But then, what are we really doing that is more important than talking to a real live person who is genuinely spending the same amount of energy and time to reach out to me? It’s so easy for this paranoia to segue into self-centered guilt.
The other day I read a friend’s Facebook status which disappointedly admitted to trying to “pinch” the text of a magazine to zoom out. “I’m afraid,” he deduced, “If print is not dead yet, then it is just a broken touch screen”.
While some of us have been caught trying to swipe right through a newspaper, we are the ones holding the newspaper nonetheless. Magazines, books, records, letters, posters, have prevailed regardless, if not just for their novelty or nostalgia. With the advent of new media and digital, the days of the printed page were thought to be numbered. But considering the prevalence of social networking, media, and interaction, it becomes apparent that these digital advances surfaced primarily to serve a valuable need for data, connectivity, and touch. When you think of it this way, technology now has the ability to evolve these mediums–not destroy them. That is to say, technology could be what bridges the gap between art and science, physical and digital, and it’s already happening.
Growing up in the US while constantly being exposed to the East-Asia’s “culture of cute” was a clash of two opposite worlds. In America, businesses are more focused on making their products look “cool” or “slick” to sell. A well known example is Apple – their products are designed to be minimalist, straight-forward, and reflect “cool” for Western culture. Overseas in Eastern-Asia such as Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, many products focus on “cute” and “colorful” to appeal to the general public. Continue reading
If you’re looking to use your professional skills to help out some nonprofit organizations, Catchafire is the perfect match. Catchafire matches nonprofit organizations that need awesome talent to help them with specific projects. So if you feel like giving back, check out their manifesto below and get cracking on some work for social good. They have a wide range of projects that need different skill sets, so there’s probably something right up your alley, whatever that is.
A while back I posted a talk by cartoonist Matthew Diffee on creativity because I thought it was relevant when discussing process. Creativity is a complicated subject. There’s no formula for being creative or coming up with a creative solution, but I’ve compiled some talks that I think shed some light on the concept and how to put yourself in a place for optimizing out of the box thinking.
This first talk by John Cleese is what got me started thinking about these, and far and away I think is the most important to watch. That said, I think everyone will be able to take something away from each of these, so have fun. Continue reading
Looking to pick up a new skill but no time or patience for the classroom? It might be time to fire up Minecraft. As it turns out, Minecraft’s sandbox nature and relatively low spec requirements make it an ideal virtual classroom for students to interface with teachers and learn on a variety of subjects. Continue reading
The end of the year was a very “Cormac McCarthy” time for me. I read through both The Road and No Country for Old Men in addition to catching the divisive
The Counselor in theaters. So when I stumbled upon The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura and read a review comparing it to McCarthy’s works, I was intrigued. Although I didn’t know whether it would be derivative or fresh, I decided to pull the trigger and take a chance on a book I knew nothing about. Continue reading