Today I placed Geode #4 into its home in Echo Park. It lives in the wall of the Taix French Restaurant right off of Sunset.
This one was actually the very first geode I ever made. It was the largest by far and meant to fit in a wall in the Arts District but I sadly had mis-measured by an inch all around (I didn’t understand the foreign tape measure I was using). I luckily found this new hole on Taix while on my way to brunch last weekend. It was only larger by a little all around, so I took my original apart and remade it. It was easier than cutting it away and making it smaller.
I put it in this afternoon and it didn’t exactly fit in the end so I have plans to revisit during the night this weekend and do a little mending.
Here’s geode number 3! This one lives on the east side of Spring Street between 7th and 8th Streets. It was such a huge challenge to figure out how to properly handle this space—this one looks like Frankenstein on the back end. I changed my mind a dozen times on how to fit the piece and decide where the geode formations should go.
I first measured and went home and built the piece to fit. I went back and tried to put it in but quickly realized there were major mortar and brick pieces in my way in the seams of the hole (where the missing mortar is). I decided to shorten the length of the mortar areas and not the depth but realized then I would have to create hundreds of those teeny tiny shapes to fit. So then I shortened the depth of the mortar areas so I could cosmetically make it seem like it goes deep but someone hasn’t chiseled that far back yet.
Somehow, even after testing, the geode didn’t fit when I went back to install! I had to mash it in, causing a few tears. I also had to cut part of it away at the top, that’s why you see scissors on the ground as I’m installing below.
I wish I could have filled every mortar area missing but I simply don’t have the man-power at this time. Therefore, this was an excellent test. I’m not totally happy with it, but glad I figured something out and learned some lessons.
A quick look at the new geode I’m making. These paper shapes will go in a space about .25″ high. I want to challenge myself as I move forward with these, how small can I make them? How big can I make them?!
As I work on my next geodes and installations for downtown Los Angeles, I’d like to post a few in progress images of the second geode I created. This one was a test to see if I could do a geode this small, as the first couple I did were much larger. The next few images are of the piece in progress—not painted, still fitting the last pieces in to fill space, and a view of it in size relation to my hand. You can also see the types of shapes I’m building first in order to puzzle the whole thing together. I am using mathematical nets to create solid figures such as pyramids, truncated tetrahedron, and rhombic prisms.
Last night I placed my second geode. This one is in a little more high traffic area on Traction (near 3rd), right near Novel Cafe. I felt we should be a little more discreet placing and documenting this one since every time I went to measure and check the pipe there were at least 10 people standing nearby. Therefore we placed it and took the photos last night versus during the day. The images are very dark, but I was obliged to keep them that way, the geode looks pretty cool shining out even at night. Happily, this morning, my friend Bryan who works a couple doors down spotted it all on his own and took a bright iphone photo, below.
This one is about 2.875″ wide around the outer ring and gets smaller .5″ deep. The much smaller shapes for the geode were definitely a challenge to build. It was helpful that my nails were long so I could fold more delicately the past week. This one is painted a metallic gold, which I think helps contrast it from the gray pipe. The paint unfortunately did not like my glue—after I sprayed it the first time, I went out to check and all the glue had fallen apart and the geode looked combusted. I spent hours re-gluing with a tougher glue. The fun of art lessons!
Yesterday was the deadline for the Communication Arts Typography Competition. I decided to enter the image above, an altered version of the Blow Up Flyer I created for the San Francisco Blow Up Forever party. I loved the flyer we created but I wanted to send something simpler and a step more conceptual. The paper letters actually blowing up out of the paper are super fun and I wanted to utilize the natural shadow they create when shooting them in the sun. This is the original, unretouched photo I used:
The idea of using the shadow keeps the image simple and natural. If something was literally blowing up out of the paper it definitely leaves that shadow (as proof above). This is what I love about using tangible items to create artwork, rather than making it up yourself on the computer. The one extra step of creating physical letters gives me the 3D image and the shadows to work off of.
The result, Blow Up and Get Down!
Last week I designed this flyer for my friends that throw the party, Blow Up, in San Francisco. Late summer, they are going to throw a super Blow Up called, Blow Up Forever—with two dance rooms and a killer line up. We will be continuing to hone this design, but this was the kickoff flyer passed out last week.
Continuing my setup for the stop motion video mentioned in my last post, my studio has gathered a low hanging fog…
I’m preparing for a short stop motion film for my friends’ website. They are starting a new brand for screen writing and filmmaking together and we need some imagery. The idea is to create several short videos that are classically cinematic and then use them super-sized, running in the background of their content. One image they’ve created is the well-used flying through stormy clouds, lightning flashing, and coming across the logo floating in the air. I decided to “Michel Gondry” the idea by creating a stop motion video of the idea. I started with the paper letters that I’ve already created and am now creating and test shooting the clouds (seen above). The clouds will keep me busy for a while, then on to the foil lightning bolts.
I recently rocked my letter “B” paper construction for my friend’s facebook profile photo. The typeface is Cambria bold, approximately 3″ high. I went for it and added serifs this time to these paper constructions with great success. I have a full logo for Bishop/Tuzin created—I’ll post that next.
My very first foray into stop motion. Yes I know it’s blurry, yes I know it’s fast, but yes I do think it’s fun. I got the concept down, now onto the equipment…
Last night I watched a dark claymation film called Mary and Max. It’s a story of two unlikely friends, an obese, middle-aged New Yorker and a young outcast from Australia, Mary. I had never heard of it before, but I can’t resist anything claymation and I noticed the voice actors were the likes of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Toni Collette, and Eric Bana. Also, it won a ton of awards when it hit the festival circuit a few years ago.
The imagery was super fun and dark and I kept getting little surprises from the scenes. I love the fish smoking underwater, the bubble bath design, and all the small details throughout. Beware of death by embalming fluid, hard psychiatric emotions, disgusting-looking characters, and ground up goldfish.
Many years ago I created these houses out of clay. They were fired without glaze because our school’s glaze was pretty much of home made quality and I didn’t trust it. I wanted some Dr. Suess type colors—pink and purple and green and red—that were bright and brilliant. Thus, they went uncolored for many years. The other day, I woke up and had the idea to just spray paint them chrome. The next day I bought the paint, the next day they were painted. I love their new color and what a great feeling to finally finally finally finish.
Twelve bookcases filled with books and four more to go! I see the light at the end of the tunnel for this project and I’ve been working my butt off to get here. I’m so excited to get this done that I’m actually having fun doing it now. It’s an ironic feeling, I always enjoyed doing this work, but sometimes when you know you have days of work ahead of you you grudgingly move forward. Now I’m sprinting and smiling the whole way through. Onward!!
Jeez! Months and months ago I started this project; and each step has taken forever and/or I’ve procrastinated starting. I’m on the final step of building this piece—the books. I created the bookshelves about three months ago, the text about four months ago, the trees five months ago, and so on…
The Story of Emily in the Afterlife is a script that my friends Gregory Tuzin and Brent Bishop (now Bishop/Tuzin) have written. I’m designing perhaps an over-the-top design for their poster to help advertise the package. The final set-up will be 4′ x 6′ large, something Gregory will be setting up and lighting for ultimate effect. I’m still not going to share the sketch of the whole piece, so here is the latest small piece I’ve finally started to tackle.
The bookshelves above are made of foam core and the books are pieces of wood (usually used by architecture students) lined up and painted. These shelves will not be photographed this close up or with so much light, so the end product will appear to have more depth and show less flaws.
I did a little vector art for my new graphic design brand, A Common Name. I kind of like the colors I used and all of the shapes layered over each other at this point. This isn’t the end result, but it’s fun to share a little weekend process.
While flipping through Nylon this month, I noticed this awesome ad by Burton. It’s not the exactly something I’ve never seen, but I love that there is no digital typography in this ad. I’ve always been a huge fan of using major amounts of imagery and teeny tiny small typography, the imagery is more interesting! But when you can find a solution that is unobtrusive, thank you. This is the kind of tactile design I like to see, especially since I’ve been hand building my typography lately. This is the type of work I’d love to integrate my design career with.
While starting photo shoots for my new brand, A Common Name, I got a few distractions. There are a few too many adorable animals trying their own layouts or probably just flat out disapproving my designs. They are way too cute to get mad at, so we happily documented their ideas..
The above two images are raw shots of a typeface I’m building for my new design brand called, A Common Name. I’ve been physically building two different typefaces into 3-dimensional paper type. The plan is to place the letters onto complex surfaces to photograph. The end result would only feature one of the typefaces set in different locations—on grass, on a brick wall, in a river (oh yes, we’re going large scale too). I had so many typefaces in mind for this, even extremely round letters. Somehow these square/rectangle shapes appeal to me, when I lay them in any which way on a surface, they create amazing patterns and shapes (see above). I’m also happy with the possible juxtaposition of placing such rigid letters in natural settings.
A background on the name:
A Common Name comes from months of searching for a new business name and finding that nothing that pertains to me in the design world hasn’t already been used. Smith is THE most common name in the U.S. I cannot use it in any way, shape, or form because it’s already been done and used. I landed on A Common Name because of this problem. Many names have become common and so many design firms have “common” and regular used phrases. It’s hard to feel original, especially in the web world.
A Common Name will be a title for myself, for original design work, for a design firm. Everything has a common name, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t amazing.
I was reading a Times Fashion magazine and came across this incredible artist, Nathalie Djurberg. I hesitated adding her to my collection of inspiration because she’s a little out of the realm of what I’m working on—but she does relate as far as stop motion, which yes, I do plan on working with on my paper art.
Her twisted art is disturbing yet somehow still attractive. The characters are crudely made but really work with her usual subject matter, which are often chilling. Some videos touch subjects of rape, mutilation, death, destruction—all things that she feels she must create but cannot talk about. Watching the videos, I can’t help but feel she has some demons, yet the worlds she creates are incredibly cinematic and have beautiful production value. Something I hope to achieve along the way.
I’ve finally finished the photography for the final designs for Jonah Ray‘s website. In my last post, I mentioned, what? Eight zombies? Try 22. I definitely needed to fill up the space and show a slew of zombies coming towards the camera. I love the television sets—my very favorite detail is the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew watching the largest image of Jonah. He’s a MST3K junky so I thought it would be a great detail.
I have created two versions that Greg photographed for me—a dark version and a white/light version. Unfortunately, the setup for the scene was not as perfect for the lighter version, but I still really like the effect. I can’t decide which I like better, so I decided to share both. Any opinions out there?
With a hectic week last week, I didn’t quite get where I wanted with the Zombie website design for Jonah Ray. I hesitated including this style test, but I think it’s a good example of process in this project.
The whole idea for this page design would be to have TVs showing Jonah in stills from his stand up or his youtube clips. The zombies would be clamoring forward in the background. Originally, I wanted to have Jonah in the foreground, zombies and TVs in the background, but I decided to do away with a figure of Jonah and make multiple TVs with his image.
The image above is the first TV I created. Here, I am testing size, proportion, and depth all in comparison with the zombies. I’m pretty happy with the size I created in relation to the figures so I’ve created two more TVs and about 8 more zombies to place into the image. I should have photos of the results in the next day or so.