Category Popular culture

Japanese Polaroid voodoo

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Gotta love Polaroid voodoo.

A design conference and an urban tale

Chip Kidd’s new motto: Bitch, I don’t know your life!!

Yesterday I attended Reach, Princeton University’s forth-annual graphic design conference. The event had a great line up of interesting speakers and I left Princeton thinking about how I might apply current design trends and concepts to my own work.

The most entertaining speaker of the day was designer Chip Kidd. The guy kills it on stage and I loved his story about a fast food chicken order gone funny. In his story, a customer and a cashier quip back and forth until the cashier ends up yelling: “Bitch, I don’t know your life!” Today, as I was editing a few photos from the conference, I decided to google the funny line to see if any background details came up. I found these two clips which leads me to conclude the line is just part of an urban tale. The first clip below was uploaded in 2006 and the second clip is from the movie Baby Mama (2008).

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Finally, here are a few more conference photos from my very (obviously) stationary seat:

Speaker: Stephen Doyle of Doyle Partners

Speaker: David Reinfurt of Princeton

Speaker: Paula Scher of Pentagram

Speaker: Bethany Johns of RISD

Speaker: Debbie Millman of Sterling Brands and AIGA

Speaker: Willy Wong of NYC & Company

Working with constraints: A year of shooting toys

I got used to the smell of new Made in China vinyl.

Throughout most of 2010, I photographed limited-edition toys, apparel and accessories for Kidrobot, Inc. Every week or so I’d carry a box of fantastical creatures to my studio to document, creatively, using only white or black or other neutral backgrounds. For a while I really wanted to take the toys out into the real world. I wondered if the bunny-inspired Dunnys would look better against a wall of tall grasses or if the plush toys would be more inviting in a quiet bedroom. The challenge of having narrow parameters grew on me however. I began to see the toys as characters in a story I had to bring to life using only light and darkness as tools.  After working this way for almost a year, I’m convinced that creative constraints can help make room for new growth and fun exploration.

The following is a collection of images from the year that I wanted to share. I hope you enjoy the photographs and the awesomely designed toys.

Bordo Bello and a tub drain

On September 30, 2010, folks in Denver will head over to a skateboard art fundraiser known as Bordo Bello to check out around 200 custom designed boards. The event helps raise money for some design scholarships and other arts programs organized by AIGA Colorado. If you’re around, you should buy a ticket and check it out.

I was asked to make a board a few weeks back. While I initially couldn’t think of an idea for a board, a thought for a photo came to me while I was showering one day.

Too odd I wondered? Some folks on Facebook and Twitter gave me feedback:

I liked the range of responses. So I setup my camera, popped some flashes, and ended up with this image – click through for a slightly larger version.

So I wonder. What does a photo of a tub drain make you think of?

Update: Here’s a photo of my wood backed board hanging. So exciting to see. Photo courtesy of Bordo Bello.

Facebook: To like or not to like?

I’ve recently been thinking a lot about Facebook’s “Like” button and how it seems to have so quickly become a big part part of my online life. With every photo, link, or news story there’s this innocent looking white hand and blue sleeve calling out for interaction.

The thumb seems to be here to stay too. Within a week of Facebook announcing the “Like” button’s availability, 50,000 websites added the functionality to their sites. Many however aren’t fans and have criticized Facebook’s reach and management of our collective privacy.

So is the ‘Like” button harmless? Is Facebook too powerful?

While I personally have mixed feelings about riding the thumb wave, I thought I’d try to consider things further by re-imagining the omnipresent white hand through a photograph. With some theatrical paint and a piece of rolled up blue paper for a sleeve, I shot this on Friday. I figured it might have some stock use too.

The question is still open though. What do you think? Do you like or not like?

NBC’s Parks and Recreation photo shoot: “Now the real art begins”

This week, the crew of NBC’s Park and Recreation work on a summer catalog. Great funnies ensue.

“Ann are you posing for an ad for hepatitis or a promo for a park?”

This could be a nice spot for an ad campaign: See what happens when you don’t hire a professional? ;)