how things work
how to survive high school, family dinners and other nightmares
To This Day by Shane Koyczan
Her Morning Elegance by Oren Lavie
Oren Lavie's stop motion video represents depression and coexisting with depression to me. Depression is personified by the man dressed in black who follows the woman around on her daily activities. The fact that it is all played out on a bed also holds some significance as it is a symbol of the apathy that accompanies depression and suggests of how a person with depression spends days in bed in despair. While it appears that the person is lazy and apathetic, one would hardly know of the storm raging inside said person's mind and how they were struggling to stay alive, again represented by the lyrics:
"And she fights for her life
As she puts on her coat
And she fights for her life on the train
She looks at the rain
As it pours."
While the song has a darker meaning, the cheerful façade it presents is suggestive of how people with depression mask their sadness with a light, cheerful exterior. Depression can afflict the happiest of people; it's simply harder to see past their smile.
practitioners and different art styles
Leandro Castelao is a Graphic Artist born in Buenos Aires currently living and working in Brooklyn, NY. He studied Graphic Design at the University of Buenos Aires where he has been teaching Typography within Longinotti’s lecture since 2003. His work constantly connects real objects and situations with some personal diagrammatic filter based on his graphic design background. They usually contain single colour, vibrant visual elements with minimal, balanced composition. Movies, nature, science fiction reading, traveling and listening to music comprise his daily creative context. Leandro has completed work for numerous clients: Computer Arts (UK), Ford-Kia, GOOD Magazine, GQ Magazine etc.
Poster for the Argentinean publisher Formato Ediciones about music by Leandro Castelao
A truly prodigious and original artist, Edward St. John Gorey (1925-2000), gave to the world over one hundred works, including The Gashlycrumb Tinies, The Doubtful Guest and The Wuggly Ump; prize-winning set and costume designs for innumerable theater productions from Cape Cod to Broadway; a remarkable number of illustrations in publications such as The New Yorker and The New York Times, and in books by a wide array of authors from Charles Dickens to Edward Lear, Samuel Beckett, John Updike, Virginia Woolf, H.G. Wells, Florence Heide and many others. His well known animated credits for the PBS Mystery series have introduced him to millions of television viewers. Gorey's masterful pen and ink illustrations and his ironic, offbeat and macabre humour have brought him critical acclaim and an avid following throughout the world.
Excerpt from The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey
Brett L. Helquist (born c. 1966) is an American illustrator best known for his work in the children's books A Series of Unfortunate Events. As such, his illustrations for that series have appeared in multiple media, including the books, the audiobook covers, the calendars, and so on.
Helquist's artwork features angular, sharp and mysterious elements, while his pencil sketches feature fine hatched parallel lines. Shadow and light are greatly exaggerated in his works. The end result is a mildly grim, sombre image with playfully dark hints.
According to the biographical information published with that series, Helquist was born in Ganado, Arizona, and grew up in Orem, Utah with his six sisters. As kids, they didn't go to many art museums. He says his love of art came from all the comic books he read. Helquist served as a Mormon missionary in Hong Kong, then earned a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from Brigham Young University, and has lived in New York City since 1993. He has been published in the children's magazine Cricket, and the New York Times. He is represented by Steven Malk of Writers House in New York City.
made to persuade library research task
click on the book covers for more images
Reinventing Letterpress by Charlotte Rivers
Adventures in Letterpress by Brandon Mise
Marian Bantjes is a designer, typographer, writer and illustrator working internationally from her base on a small island off the west coast of Canada, near Vancouver. Bantjes has achieved international prominence as an individual with a recognisable personal signature that shines through all her work, from intensely commercial work for brands anxious to capture the decorative Zeitgeist, to equally intense personal gestures; from collaborations (with Stefan Sagmeister, Pentagram and other celebrated designers) to commissions for magazine and time-consuming pro bono projects.
She started working as a book typesetter in 1984 and opened her own design firm in 1994 employing up to 12 people. In 2003, she left all of that behind to begin an experiment in following love instead of money, by doing work that was highly personal. At the same time she began writing for the design weblog "Speak Up", and her cheeky but thoughtful articles soon gained her recognition in the blogosphere.
Marian’s art and design crosses boundaries of time, style and technology. She is known for her detailed and lovingly precise vector art, her obsessive hand work, her patterning and ornament. Often hired to create custom type for magazines, advertising and special projects, Marian’s work has an underlying structure and formality that frames its organic, fluid nature. It is these combinations and juxtapositions that draw the interest of such a wide variety of designers and typographers, from experienced formalists to young students.
Her 2010 book “I Wonder" is an exploration of the marriage of word and image, written and illuminated by herself throughout, it is alternately mysterious, thoughtful, personal and funny.
She also teaches typography through the Emily Carr Institute in Vancouver.
"I can remember scribbling on walls … probably when I was two or three. I remember a book with little drawings in the margins, one of which was of some beetles (and this is how I imagined The Beatles, as a band of beetles like the drawings in the book). When my mother died, I reclaimed a package of old drawings and writings, and was overjoyed to see them again." -Bantjes, on being asked what her earliest graphic memory was.
O Beloved Dentist by Marian Bantjes
A wild turn from her usual work, Bantjes plays with sentimental humour, gory affection and intimacy and a peculiar niche for this piece. The gothic type, the warm rich red and the simplistic format of this piece give off an Edward Gorey-esque vibe of macabre secretiveness, a quiet willing seductiveness that seems to suggest a loverly emotion towards someone so clinical and impersonal as a dentist. The piece bears none of her signature ornamentation, no frills or fancies, simply a quiet repeated mantra of "lower the mask, dear dentist, lower the mask."
Transparent Things (reissue design for Nabokov's book) by Marian Bantjes
"John Gall at Random House invited me to take part in a project whereby 21 designers are invited to create a cover for reissues of Nabokov’s books … but within the prescribed format of creating a specimen box (Nabokov collected butterflies) with pins and “paper”, to create the cover. My book was “Transparent Things” so I used the pins to suspend 4 layers of acetate, with dots of transparent ink on each later." -from Bantjes' website.
Bantjes carries forth her understanding of simplicity in this neatly presented, gridded piece. Cute and colourful, the cover preserves the playful child-like quality that is suggested by the thought of Nabokov collecting butterflies, and seems to tack childhood memories, like taxidermised butterflies, on display in a specimen box.
Mario Hugo is a New York based artist, designer, and co-founder of Hugo & Marie. Though he spends an inordinate amount of time in front of his computer, he still feels most honest with a pencil and two or more sheets of paper. Mario has worked with clients that include Stella McCartney, Rihanna, Dolce & Gabbana and Lorde.
Born to Argentine parents, Mario Hugo Gonzalez is the eldest of four first-generation children. Always a natural with pen and paper, he studied fine art and sociology at Boston College, but a junior-year trip to Sydney led him by chance to the Semi Permanent design conference. He returned wanting “to learn more about speaking to people and communications,” so he transferred to Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute to study art direction. After graduating in 2005, Hugo took a job at interdisciplinary studio Syrup NYC, working on websites for the MTV Video Music Awards and L’Oréal. Describing that work as “too ephemeral and strange for me," he says he prefers to create “things for people to treasure, to keep and look at in 15 years.”
His work is predominantly black-and-white with spare use of color (he confesses to being partly color-blind). The overall effect is at once new and old: technically precise, yet aged and imperfect. He says, “I’m inspired by a lot of cultural references, but none of them are recent.”
Mario’s work has been exhibited around the world including at Illustrative in Berlin, If You Could in London, Communications in Los Angeles, and at Vallery in Barcelona, which was home to his first solo show in 2007.
Shocks by Mario Hugo
"Direction, design, and illustration for Shocks, the 7th release on ESP Institute. This sleeve plays with your brain if you stare awhile - there are a couple different ways of seeing it."
Minimal, stark and frugal, this piece shows Hugo's simplistic approach to most of his works. His simple use of shadow seems to lift the letters off the page and give them dimension and life. It is quite similar to Sonya Dyakova's "Frieze" typeface, playing on shadow and light.
Modern Guilt by Mario Hugo for Beck
Bold and iconic conceptual packaging for Beck's eleventh studio album, Modern Guilt. Created for Interscope Records. Mario's concepts were re-appropriated for the tour in 2008.
The font preserves the rustic elements of unpolished wood, further heightened by the blocky shapes and shelf-like composition. The only peculiarity seems to be the break between the letters of the word "MODERN". Compositionally, it seems rather lacklustre, but the font is highly successful and uses the wood element to its full potential.
Clara Terne is a art director, illustrator and image-maker educated in London College of Communication and is currently based in Stockholm, Sweden. Her work has been acknowledged by leading international design magazines such as Creative Review, Étapes and *Wallpaper. Clara is inspired by everyday boredom, and how to escape it. She likes to investigate the everyday, taking small events and trying to see them from a different angle.
She works on a variety of projects, alone and in collaborations, with an interest in technology, storytelling and visual expression running through all of them. Self described as aiming for work that is explorative, playful and ever evolving, Clara makes it happen with a nice mix of illustration and custom typography.
"I often ponder over the physical limitations of everyday life. The sense of my body being trapped in the here and now, in being able to imagine so much and experience so little in comparison, and the downhearted disappointment of it all. I have tried to find ways to bridge the gap between the physical place and the mental space. I strive to create escapes from our rigid surroundings – to create little holes in the everyday where the void creates content. " - Clara Terne.
Most of Clara's work seems to feature pastel isometric or geodesic structures and balloon-like shapes, playing from almost a childlike view of the world. Simple vectors and flat colours feature heavily in her work, lending it a sort of collaged feel. A peculiar blend of blobby and angular, her work seems like something that would be found in a child's drawer of toys, full of rocks and pencil and spare toy parts, fluffy things and crystalline objects.
The Storm by Clara Terne
"My film focuses on the aspects of transformation, loss and lonelyness in the novel.
Based on the short story: An attempt at nuclear physics/Försök till kärnfysik by Jonas Hassen Khemiri."
Clara Terne for Wired Japan
Clara Terne for This That These & Those
Solomon "Sol" LeWitt was born in 1928. An American sculptor, draughtsman, lithographer and etcher, he was born in Hartford, Connecticut. He studied at Syracuse University, New York from 1945-9. After having abandoned painting in 1962, he began to experiment with abstract black and white reliefs, followed in 1963 by relief constructions with nested enclosures projecting into space, and box- and table-like constructions.
From 1965-6 he worked in series using a simple form such as an open or closed cube as module to create structures in accordance with a pre-determined, logical system. He also taught at the Museum of Modern Art School, New York (1964-7), at Cooper Union, New York (1967-8), at the School of Visual Arts, New York (1969-70) and at New York University from 1970. In 1968 he began to create wall drawings, to be carried out by himself or others in accordance with his specifications, and also produced series of lithographs, etchings and screenprints.
Sol LeWitt earned a place in the history of art for his leading role in the movement. His belief in the artist as a generator of ideas was instrumental in the transition from the modern to the postmodern era. Conceptual art, expounded by LeWitt as an intellectual, pragmatic act, added a new dimension to the artist's role.
"When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art." - Sol LeWitt.
Again, LeWitt's work feature careful use of space and line as well as traditional isometric figures and blocky shapes. With the exception of a few Splotch works and his coloured electrical tape wall drawings, most of his works use a frugal grey, black and white palette. Simple and structural, LeWitt's work features strong conceptual themes and uses a range of scales from small landscapes to massive wall drawings.
Wall Drawings by Sol LeWitt
Lines from the midpoints of lines by Sol LeWitt
Zine (Paula Rego AND HonorE Daumier)
Subject Matter: Domestic and humanitarian themes, sexual themes, themes of abortion, human flaws, darker, more macabre sides to seemingly innocent fairytales and fantasy stories, featuring anthropomorphism and cultural influences.
Techniques: Painting, print-making
Audience: The archetypal domestic housewife, a feminist or female audience (however made mostly for exhibits and galleries)
Unhappy Courtship by Paula Rego
Subject Matter: Political themes, satire, the upper middle class or bourgeoisie, tongue in cheek humour based on generalisations of social convention or political figures in 19th century France.
Techniques: Mainly drawings or lithography
Audience: Wide ranging audience, possibly the working class or proletariat, anyone and everyone who read the newspapers he was featured in.
The Crinoline in Winter by Honoré Daumier
Robert Macaire, Mendiant Distingué by Honoré Daumier
Subject Matter: Punk music and punk subcultures
Methods of production: Possibly collaging and photocopy?
Audience: Punk fans
One Beat Zine
Subject Matter: Intersectional feminism, sexuality, punk rock music, celebration of female punk figures, female empowerment
Methods of production: Mixed media scans, digital production and mass printing
Audience: The feminist queercore punk scene
light and exposure
Alexander Harding received his BFA in Painting from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2002. He returned to MassArt in 2011 and received his MFA in Photography. Alexander has been in numerous group shows throughout the United States and abroad, most notably the Cultivated: New Photography from New England exhibit and the FIFA International Photography Festival in Brazil. He currently works as a Curatorial Assistant in the department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Yale University Art Gallery and teaches both photography and art history at The Hartford Art School and the University of New Haven. The extreme close-up still life photographer moved to Cheshire, Connecticut six months ago from Wallingford, where he lived for several years. Alexander now lives there with his wife.
While light is an intrinsic function of photography, when it’s employed as a subject the results are inimitable. As James Turrell stated, “Light is not so much something that reveals, as it is itself the revelation.”
It is this idea that Harding cites as his inspiration for his series Visible Light, a photographic series that evokes a narrative of phantom shapes, dreamy moods, and mystic properties that only light can inspire. In this way, Harding uses light as both the medium and subject.
Hiroshi Sugimoto was born in Tokyo in 1948. In 1970 he moved to Los Angeles and studied photography at the Art Center College of Design. He lives in New York and Tokyo. He is best known for his highly stylized photographic series of seascapes, movie theaters, natural history dioramas, waxworks and Buddhist sculptures. These series provoke fundamental questions about the relationship of photography and time, as well as exploring the mysterious and ineffable nature of reality.
Sugimoto has defined what it means to be a multi-disciplined contemporary artist, blurring the lines between photography, painting, installation, and most recently, architecture. His iconic photographs have bridged Eastern and Western ideologies, tracing the origins of time and societal progress along the way. Preserving and picturing memory and time is a central theme of Sugimoto’s photography, including the ongoing series Dioramas (1976– ), Theaters (1978– ), and Seascapes (1980– ). His work is held in numerous public collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo and The National Gallery, London.
In The Praise of Shadow by Hiroshi Sugimoto
Power of Optics by au Hikari
This slick commercial for Japanese high-speed optical internet service au Hikari has a pretty novel take on the Rube Goldberg Machine. Each sequence in the device is powered (or otherwise set in motion) by a single beam of light sent through magnifying glasses and mirrors to burn strings, pop balloons, and melt bits of ice.
Speed of Light
The speed of light in vacuum, commonly denoted c, is a universal physical constant important in many areas of physics. Its value is exactly 299792458 metres per second, as the length of the metre is defined from this constant and the international standard for time. According to special relativity, c is the maximum speed at which all matter and information in the universe can travel.
It takes sunlight an average of 8 minutes and 20 seconds to travel from the Sun to the Earth.
Photons are created by fusion reactions inside the Sun's core. They start off as gamma radiation and then are emitted and absorbed countless times in the Sun's radiative zone, wandering around inside the massive star before they finally reach the surface.
These photons striking your eyeballs were created tens of thousands of years ago and it took that long for them to be emitted by the sun. Once they escaped the surface, it was only a short 8 minutes for those photons to cross the vast distance from the Sun to the Earth.
As you look outward into space, you're actually looking backwards in time.
"Your shadow is a confirmation that light has traveled nearly 93 million miles unobstructed, only to be deprived of reaching the ground in the final few feet thanks to you."
london underground and illustration styles
London Tube Map
Peter Chan for A Series of Unfortunate Events
Alex Puvilland for Mr. Peabody and Sherman
Soppy by Philippa Rice
The Little Book of Jewish Celebrations by Yelena Bryksenkova
A surprising number of people suffer from mental health disorders, stress and anxiety. It is estimated that one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, while one in six experience a neurotic disorder such as anxiety or depression. However social norm dictates brushing such statistics under the rug and continuing as functioning members of society when getting out of bed alone can be a herculean task.
However, anxiety is not a statistic nor a formula. It cannot be explained in concrete terms. This project aims to visually explain this abstraction and show that not only is there a life beyond anxiety, but a life in cooperation with it.
I suffered from prolonged academic anxiety during high school due to performance, peer and familial pressures to excel. It debilitated me both mentally and physically. While I came out of this period of suffering alive, if exhausted and drained, many do not.
This project does not aim to be comprehensive, nor does it iterate the only way to deal with academic anxiety. It only presents the views of a single person who was lucky enough to make it through many tears, exams, doctors' waiting rooms and dinners with disapproving family members with her hope in the world and love of life intact.
Links on Anxiety and Depression
During Sleep (2002) - Chiharu Shiota
Chiharu Shiota's installation again represents depression to me; the same bed imagery as Lavie's stop motion is used. The black threads seem to suggest something dark and sinister, the fearful thoughts and nightmares of the quietly suffering.
Johnny Kelly is a Director & Animator from Dublin, based in London. He graduated from The Royal College of Art where he completed an MA in Animation and was awarded the Conran Foundation Award by the Provost, Sir Terence Conran. Most of his animation work features simple shapes, playful ideas and bright or pastel colours. His graduation short film, Procrastination, has been well received and won him the Jerwood Moving Image Prize 08 and was selected to be part of the Saatchi & Saatchi New Director Showcase. Johnny is represented by Nexus Productions (UK) and Free Agents (USA).
Procrastination by Johnny Kelly
Russell Cobb is a leading artist Illustrator based in the UK. Russell's background in design and fine art enables his work to sit comfortably in both arenas. Russell's commercial and personal work has been exhibited in London, Berlin, Zurich and Paris. He has guest lectured at many leading establishments throughout the UK and Europe, amongst others Central Saint Martins School of Art London, Grafill Oslo and the Association of Dutch Designers Amsterdam.
Russell's working practise is based on hundreds of sketchbooks and working drawings, containing Russell’s unique and quirky view of the world, and it’s this working method that underpins his commissioned work. He uses Photoshop to scan sketches and to try compositions for the final artwork but the computer is only a supporting tool rather than the creative element at the heart of his work. At the core is the drawing process informed by his personal life and interests. Although his works often remind of a comic-style narrative and titles such as ‘The Exploration Works’ suggest a common theme they never use obvious metaphors to represent ideas. Instead, he has invented his own rather unique visual language making him one of the most versatile illustrators currently working in the UK.
Four Seasons by Russell Cobb
Illustration from The Reptile Room by Brett Helquist
The Handy Book of Artistic Printing by Doug Clouse and Angela Voulangas
Poster #1 by Marian Bantjes
"She describes her self-promotional Poster #1 as the turning point, both aesthetically, because it encapsulated the direction she wanted to go in, and in terms of recognition: it caught the attention of designers and art directors." -from Eye Magazine
An undeveloped yet still elegant cursive characterises Bantjes' first foray into what will eventually become her signature. Unbalanced curves, concentrated at an already heavy text centre reveal the dilettante aspirations of graceful, flowing ornamentation.
how are you (?) by Marian Bantjes
"I have started a series called 'public private communications’, that being sentences which I or anyone might have said privately to a close friend, but have a larger universality when put in the public sphere. This piece was printed recently in Ladies & Gentlemen magazine." -Bantjes on how are you (?) from designboom.
Bantjes' peculiar, weaving and almost calligraphic style is inherently visible in this piece. She sacrifices legibility for intricacy and opulence in design, which is enough to attract the viewer for a closer look, whereupon the message of the piece becomes visible. Perhaps this prolonged understanding of the message is calculated, in pursuance of the theme of 'public private communications', in which the privacy of the conversation is maintained. It is lost in the chaos of surrounding conversations, each brought into focus only upon concentration on the particular thread, otherwise mingling in the interwoven tapestry of vibrant life.
You Me #1 by Marian Bantjes
Another beautifully intricate and weaving piece by Bantjes, this one however seems to overthrow the precise, repetitive and patterned opulence of the previous one and presents a visceral, natural quality, almost like the sharp twigs of overgrown hedges twining together. Reminiscent of a ribcage, the delicate stems seem to ensconce the heart in a protective embrace, a heart which reads 'You Me'. A soft Delft blue on faded yellowing paper, this Beatrix Potter-esque piece seems to remind one of warm, intimate illustrations from children's fairytale books and seem to suggest a "happily ever after".
Valentines 2011 by Marian Bantjes
A vibrantly neon play on colour and form characterises this piece. Angles and curves collide and coalesce, bound in the simple shape of a heart. The geometric shapes complement the playful colours nicely and present a sharp, precise and almost mathematical air. A different take on ornamentation, these hearts seem to highlight Bantjes' stylistic progression, showing off her adaptability.
Off The Wall - Mario Hugo
Hugo talks about collaborating with several music artists to produce album art and CD covers, relying heavily on typographical elements to convey the ideas behind the music. His tailored use of typography for each artist shows his aptitude and honing skills in using a minimal amount to present the concepts the music represents.
United Bamboo by Mario Hugo
Large typographic treatments for New York based label, United Bamboo.
Overlapping lines, tasteful greyscale monotones and faded, limited colour swatches seem to be the go-to elements for this piece. Somewhere between faded denim and watercolour, the composition evokes the thought of delicately coloured pebbles on a shoal beach on a grey, cloudy day. Wonderfully balanced and composed, the piece shows Hugo's understanding of line and space.
Wallpaper by Clara Terne
What's Up North! by Clara Terne
Wall Drawings by Sol LeWitt
Cubes by Sol LeWitt
Splotch #3 by Sol LeWitt
The Dance by Paula Rego
Snow White Playing with her Father's Trophies by Paula Rego
"In Swallows The Poison Apple, Paula Rego revises the tale of Snow White to expose the fallible value of youth. Dressed in traditional Disney garb, this Snow White isn’t a beautiful princess, but a middle-aged woman. Pictured moments after eating the poison apple, she lays sprawled amidst overturned furniture, suggesting painful and violent demise. Clutching her skirts, she alludes to her sexual nature, as if clinging to something slipping away. Her body lies between a blanket adorned with spring blossoms, and a sinister backdrop of red and black. Rego illustrates the conflict of reality encroaching on the socially imposed myths of female worth, construing aging as both a physical and psychological violation."
Tout Ce Qu'on Voudra #39 by Honoré Daumier
DESI GIRL Zine
Subject Matter: Cultural appropriation, cultural dissociation and being on the fringes of two different cultures, neither of which fully accept you while both fetishise the other
Methods of production: Online zine
Audience: Non-residents of India, people of Indian heritage but who have drifted away from the orthodoxy of Indian culture while still preserving the aesthetic elements of the culture
Joe by Hiroshi Sugimoto
Theaters by Hiroshi Sugimoto
Drawing with Sunlight by Tochka
Tochka + Daito Manabe + Motoi Ishibashi “DRAWING LIGHT”
Light continues to be a theme of video work even as times change and technology evolves. This exhibition introduces two sets of video artists (TOCHKA and Daito Manabe + Motoi Ishibashi) and the light they create through their work.
TOCHKA is an art duo acts by Nagata Takeshi and Monno Kazue. They invented new method of making animation called PiKA PiKA, which is the combination of long exposure and stop motion animation technique. It enables everyone to make animation with drawings by penlights in the air. Their playing field is very wide from experimental animations to illustrations.
Links for Daytime Long Exposure Photography
-Change shutter speed to bulb (using manual settings in digital cameras)
-Use low ISO and aperture (exposure should be minimum)
-Use an ND filter (preferably ND8 or ND9, dark acetate can also be used if cut properly)
-Tripod is essential