Archive | March, 2011

“How to steal like an artist (and 9 other things nobody told me).”

31 Mar

Check this out. It’s contains some of the best advice I’ve ever read on what it means to be a successful artist, writer, or designer — especially a young one. The credit goes to a Texas-based writer & artist named Austin Kleon.

Some of my favorite points:

Your job is to collect ideas. The best way to collect ideas is to read. Read, read, read, read, read.

You should wonder at the things nobody else is wondering about. If everybody’s wondering about apples, go wonder about oranges.

An artist is a collector. Not a hoarder, mind you, there’s a difference: hoarders collect indiscriminately, the artist collects selectively. They only collect things that they really love.

In this age of information overload and abundance, those who get ahead will be the folks who figure out what to leave out, so they can concentrate on what’s important to them.

Bob Ross taught people how to paint. He gave his secrets away. Martha Stewart teaches you how to make your house and your life awesome. She gives her secrets away.


MeeWha Lee lecture & reception today!

31 Mar


Lecture: March 31 @ 4:50 to 5:50 p.m. in A/C 149

Reception to follow in the Allen Priebe Gallery.

Design Management 101 / MeeWha Lee

Design students at UWO should not miss this opportunity. And have a look at the show in the Priebe beforehand– it’s up right now. From the show announcement:

This exhibition presents a design manager’s portfolio in a manner to both inform and inspire students of graphic design.

MeeWha Lee studied Design at Seoul National University in South Korea and at the University of Iowa. She has taught graphic communications design at two universities and has worked for three Fortune 200 Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies as Design Director. This portfolio comprises her Brand Design and Innovation work from her CPG experience. Currently, she is Associate Director of Design & Innovation at Oscar Mayer/Kraft Foods, Inc.

Exhibition dates: March 8 to 31, 2011.


Think twice before you use that image…

31 Mar


How would you feel if you saw a photograph (or an illustration or a drawing or a logo) that you created being used out in the world without your permission or knowledge? Would you feel honored? Exploited? Both? How would you feel if that image was being sold for someone else’s profit? Here is the story of Noam Galai, who posted a simple photograph in the internet, not knowing that it would take on a life of its own.

Description from Fstoppers, who created and posted the film:

What if you took a set of images that became so popular that it was used hundreds of times all around the world by hundreds of artists, businesses, websites, and publications? As photographers, it’s what we all dream about but what if you were never paid for your work? What if you weren’t even given credit? What if your images were stolen for years and you never had any idea? If there was ever a video to share, this is it. This is Noam Galai’s story.

Thanks to Taine Hatch-Rymer for sharing this link.

Eat by color

30 Mar

From a link sent to me this morning by my dear artist friend Diana Behl: An article in Good magazine about a public art project that uses color to promote the consumption of healthy fruits and vegetables. New York artist Tattfoo Tan created the Nature Matching System by photographing produce purchased at a local farmer’s market, then used the eyedropper tool in Photoshop to specify a bounty of vibrant good-for-you colors. Though I’m certain I see Cheetos orange in there somewhere….

Where the rivers have no name.

30 Mar

Dear Design 3,

Here is the article I was telling you about this morning in critique. It’s about the failure of the Google Map to label the names of rivers. It’s a quick read, and very entertaining.



Josh Wallaert: “Google Maps, Give Us Our River Names.” Design Observer. 3/22/11

How the film “Typeface” has benefitted Hamilton

29 Mar


Worth viewing: a short YouTube video on the positive effect the film “Typeface” has had on the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum.

Our field trip is coming up: Studio Problems in Typography will be making its biannual pilgrimage on Wednesday, April 13th.

You, too, can see the giant two!

Exploring the ruins of a scientific playground

22 Mar

Standing astride the river, with one foot on the plains of Vidalia, Louisiana, and the other on the bluffs of Natchez, Mississippi, my mind was tricked into believing that this could have been a playground and not a complex hydraulic model, an operable toy replete with countless options to alter a small, contained (and fake) universe. — Kristi Dykema Cherame

There’s a fascinating story in today’s Design Observer describing the history of a deserted hydraulic model of the Mississippi River system. The model, located in Clinton, Mississippi, was started  in 1943, using prisoners of war (this was during WWII) to begin the first stages of construction. By the 1990s, advances in computer modeling made the physical model obsolete, and the project was abandoned.

I’ve always found twentieth-century ruins especially spooky and disquieting: a site called Opacity has done an especially good job over the last few years documenting abandoned hospitals, factories, and jails in the US and abroad.

Today, the project is slowly being taken back by the earth. “What remains, concealed by invasive vegetative overgrowth, is the model,” writes Cherame. “And it is surprisingly intact and fairly evenly weathered after two decades of abandonment. The overgrowth has created a protective barrier of holly and poison ivy, making it nearly impossible to see from the park and protecting it from misuse.”

But it was once a tourist attraction. And what fun! Below, a vintage postcard: