We may have just arrived here in Austin, but we have been anxiously waiting for the opening of the new Austin Children’s Museum, the Thinkery. Our little boy, Hezekiah, is a year and a half and we wanted to expose him to great atmospheres like this one, where he can learn, experiment, and play. Now the day has come and the Thinkery is open and we couldn’t be more excited. We have already gone once with our little guy and he absolutely loved it. Everything was hands on and allowed him to explore and get dirty. So when we were given the chance to create a poster for their grand opening, we were thrilled. (more…)
As our gift to you all this holiday season, we are marking down the prices of our Noel letterpress cards for the next couple of weeks! We have discounted the cards to $6 individually or set of 6 for only $30. They make a great asset to your gifts, and are perfect to send to friends and family this time of year. You can pick some up in the Brave Shop.
Originally created as our 2012 Christmas cards to give out to family and friends, the NOEL card got a lot of attention. After seeing the demand, we decided to have them letterpressed and now sell them in our Brave Shop. The NOEL letterpress card is a timeless design that is both elegant and simple, making it perfect to send to friends and loved ones this holiday season. It is only $7 and if you buy a set of 5, you get one free! Order yours today and get them in time for the holidays.
If you have ever been camping or backpacking far away from the cities, you have probably seen how incredible the sky is without all of the light pollution. it is amazing to think that even up in the mountains, you are usually not completely without light pollution, and your view of the night sky is somewhat obstructed. Imagine if that obstruction was gone and we could see the stars and galaxies clearly. That is what photographer Thierry Cohen set out to accomplish, and the result is awe inspiring. [The above photograph is Brooklyn Bridge, New York City] (more…)
If I had all the monies in the world, I would be buying fonts like it was my job. Unfortunately this isn’t the case so I prey on sweet sales or do a lot of saving to get the fonts I need. Well folks, a glorious light has pierced through the grey skies of this sad reality, and it is shining down upon us all week. This is the Fontacular event of the century, nay, of all time!
We are getting ready for the holiday over here at Brave the Woods, so in honor of Thanksgiving we have some cookbook themed illustrations to share. These illustrations are from 1950′s cookbooks and illustrated by Kay Lovelace Smith. Believe it or not, old cookbooks are actually a great place to find beautiful illustrations. Most cookbooks in the 50′s and 60′s were filled with really cool, simple, one color illustrations, which is why if we ever see an old Cutco Cookbook or guide, we snatch it up quickly. Enjoy these illustrations, and we will be back Monday! (more…)
Last month we went to Austin City Limits Music Festival. Even though we were rained out on day 3, it was awesome and we would definitely go again. The whole weekend is so well organized and the branding of the festival was great. The branding work was done by design and illustration studio Invisible Creature. We have always been fans of their work, and even shared their wood block monster set here. We wanted to share their awesome work for ACL, better late than never, right? For more pictures and information on thier work for ACL check out Invisible Creature Speaks
There is just one week left until the official start of our latest Skillshare class: Lessons in Launching Your Creative Career: The Art of Self-Promotion. Whether you are a creative just starting out, trying to land that first job, or you are ready to make the big leap and go solo, self-promotion is the key. You may have the best portfolio in the world, but if nobody knows it exists, it doesn’t matter. Come join us in this class and get a step-b-y-step guide to self-promoting your work! Here are some details: (more…)
It is hard to adopt a new social media network when you already have so many. One of the biggest frustrations is building up friends or followers, and then finding out that they put really lame stuff up all of the time. A new app, Fleck – The Bigger Picture, lets you focus on creative themed categories, not friends. This focus helps you get more of what you are looking for and less what you could care less about. We sit on Pinterest boards and it is the same thing pinned over and over again, but a fleeting source of inspiration, or “inspiration of the day” is nice to see, otherwise things begin to feel stale. New ideas and new sources of inspiration everyday is refreshing, and Fleck does a good job of providing a fresher source of inspiration, from users all around the world that share your interests. Here is our take on the app:
The other day we were stoked to have received a copy of Worldwide Challenge Magazine, so we could finally see our illustration in context. You would think after having done this for so long, you wouldn’t get as excited as I do to see my work printed. But I do and I wanted to show you how it turned out. Best part is, I was able to use a style I don’t often get to use on paid projects! Big thanks to Journey Group Inc. who got me the gig, and to Worldwide Challenge Magazine for letting me have so much fun with the illustration.
Back in the late 1940′S and early 1950′s, Northwest Airlines established transpacific flights and started going by the name Northwest Orient Airlines. To make these flights, and other flights that they were already offering more appealing and exciting, they hired artists to create travel posters highlighting the best parts of these locations. The end result is timeless travel posters that are beautiful even by today’s standards. Check out the rest of theses posters to locations like China, Japan, the Philippines, Hawaii, and more.
Those are dishcloths; can you believe it? I don’t know about your dish cloths, but mine are are ratty old pieces of ugly material that I try to hide from the world. I think if these Hauki dish clothes were mine I would never use them! I would probably put them in a frame and hang them up in the kitchen so I could stare at and preserve their beauty while using my old dishcloths. I love the colors, the shapes, the textures, the shadows and details…the list could go on. (more…)
I just learned that your heartbeat is as unique as your finger print. On that singular fact, Bionym created a wristband that turns your passwords into heartbeats. Without storing anything in the wristband itself, it essentially authenticates your identity to devices around you, just by wearing it. I won’t even try explaining all the techy details, so you will have to watch the video and visit their site for that. Just know it is a step in the right direction for wearable technology. (more…)
What if I was to tell you that someone has made a backpack that wouldn’t only last you a lifetime, but also never go out of style? Sounds a bit far-fetched…but not completely. MIJLO is on a mission to create some simple, day-to-day essentials in a way that endures the test of time and helps out the environment as well. Welcome to MIJLO’s Permanent Collection. (more…)
Sign-Making is an art that is getting lost in the advancements of technology. The ability to just print a sign on vinyl has taken away a lot from the art of hand-making a sign from scratch. When we found this video series on Danthonia Design‘s blog, we thought it might be worthwhile to show for anyone who is interested in the process of creating a sign. It takes time, hard-work, and craft to be able to make a sign, but the end-product is worth the work. The series is in three parts, so be sure to keep reading to see the other two. (more…)
Biking is rising in popularity and we are starting to see bike-related design everywhere. One thing that always (or is always supposed to) goes along with biking is helmets. I don’t care how much safer you are while wearing them, helmets are awful. An invisible helmet would be wonderful…if only it were possible. This video, The Invisible Bicycle Helmet | Fredrik Gertten from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo, blew my mind. Evidently, an invisible helmet is possible, and Swedish company Hövding was the one who created it.
It is finally starting to feel somewhat like fall here in Austin. We are still getting used to not really feeling cold, but that is a good thing to have to get used to. In honor of fall, we thought we would post a screenprint we have been digging lately by illustrator James Heimer. The piece, titled “Fall Tunes” is a fun screenprint perfect for this time of year. The mixture of the record player and acorn is pretty clever, and the half tone and texture use really adds depth to the overall piece. (more…)
Who actually listens to the safety procedures when they are on an airplane? I know I don’t. It is the same boring thing that anyone who travels has heard a million times. Yes, I know how to put on a seatbelt. The different airlines have tried to spice things up by adding jokes and making the procedure announcement into videos, but let’s face it, people still don’t pay attention. Virgin America noticed this, and decided to make something that no one would be able to ignore, and the end product is brilliant. (more…)
This year’s winner of the Halloween Print Contest is Jane Sanders! Her wonderful characters, great use of texture, and overall fun, halloween scene is what sealed the deal. Jane’s poster is a perfect example of the type of amazing work that is coming out of this Skillshare course, Communicating with Color, Pattern and Texture. Congrats Jane!
First of all, Happy Halloween! Though this tableware set is not necessarily “halloweeny” it is still really cool and we wanted to share it with you today. The set is called Lysti (which means “fun” or “carefree” in Finnish). It is designed by Finnish design studio Pattern Bakery for the company Arabia Finland. It is such a fun, well-illustrated set, and the packaging is even pretty cool. The whimsical characters among with patterned hills, clouds, and trees makes for really nice variation and there are always new little details to find. It is simple and complicated at the same time. I feel like stories need to be written about the imaginary world of animals and rainbows that Pattern Bakery created. Have fun and stay safe out there tonight for Halloween! (more…)
Brave the Woods is teaching another class on Skillshare! This class is called Lessons in Launching Your Creative Career: The Art of Self-Promotion. Whether you are a creative just starting out, trying to land that first job, or you are ready to make the big leap and go solo, self-promotion is the key. You may have the best portfolio in the world, but if nobody knows it exists, it doesn’t matter. (more…)
Everyone has that one thing. That thing that gets you through hard times and school, and that you absolutly love. For me that was writing stories, and for Brad that was art. This TED talk is the story of Jarrett J. Krosoczka and how art and writing saved his life and he was able to make his “imagination his vocation.” (more…)
A few months ago, we told you about our latest addiction of buying children’s books. I am here to report that it has gotten worse. We used to just go to thrift shops to find them, but now we are looking online and ordering them too. We have a problem. A very, very good problem. Below are the most recent additions to our collection, filled with wonderful illustrations by some very talented illustrators, and fun stories! Stay tuned for what I am sure will be many bookshelf updates to come in the future. (more…)
Poster art has been around from the beginning of printed artwork (really, even before). Toulouse Lautrec made masterpieces for local events that were pinned on city walls and posts and ripped down or pinned over after the fact. Today, it is no different. Some poster art is absolutely incredible, just to be hung on a dorm room wall or a lamp post. The work of PROP4G4ND4 is no exception. This intricate artwork is full of details, shapes, patterns, and colors that make for some beautiful posters. (more…)
We really love shopping at the thrift shops (stop judging us), and if you have spent as much time in thrift shops as us, you generally know what to expect. The one things all thrift shops have in common, is a surplus of landscape paintings in large frames. We have considered buying them to repurpose the frames, but never the art itself. Artists Chris McMahon and Thryza Segal have come up with the most genius idea to repurpose the art: add monsters!
We were so proud to see that yesterday, The Make Den posted their new logo we just completed for them! To fit their 50′s inspired decor, we busted out the teal and coral and made them a logo to fit right in with their wonderful studio. For such a fun place to work and learn, we felt the logo should reflect that. The playful 50′s style fit them so perfectly. The concept was to mesh sewing with a vintage neon sign. Now wouldn’t this be sweet if it was actually made into a neon sign for their studio? We think so
October is going by fast and it is already half way through the month! Only 16 more days until Halloween! That being said, I thought it would be worth reminding you about the Halloween Print Contest we are running on Skillshare. The winner will win 15 screen prints of their illustration! There is definitely still time to enroll and join the contest, so the details are below:
We are so sorry that we missed Friday Likes last week…but we were having a blast at Austin City Limits! We will post all about that shortly, but in the mean time, we found this cool mobile that we just had to share. I have always been a Calder fan, and have had a soft spot for mobiles, so this one caught my eye. This mobile, Themis Mobile, designed by Clara von Zweigbergk and manufactured by Artecnica is such an interesting mix of colors and geometric shapes. (more…)
When you think of an ad campaign with the purpose of educating key media buyers and planners for a financial magazine, what do you think? Boring. That is until French design studio Substance got ahold of this brief. They created a concept that was interesting, and executed it beautifully for a refreshing ad campaign that takes a turn from the expected. (more…)
It finally happened! Column Five has launched their new site, along with a full company rebrand. When I worked for them a while back, there had been plans to update the website, but they kept having to push it off because they were too busy getting work. What a great problem to have! So now, the unveiling of their new brand is here, and I have to say, it is looking mighty fine.
Back when we attended the Brimfield Antique Show, we saw so many incredible antique signs that we were dying to bring home. Lack of space, funds, and honestly a place to hang the signs made us decide to wait for a better time. Ever since then, we have been pining for handmade signage, especially old-fashioned custom marquee light-up signs. Then, we discovered Sideshow Sign Co. They are the exact definition of craft, creating beautiful typographic signs that are made with expert care and just enough rust and age. Couldn’t you see a “Brave the Woods” custom sign for our studio? We could.
A couple of years ago, when we were preparing for the birth of our son, we started looking for art for his nursery. His nursery is a retro cowboy and indian theme so we wanted bright, colorful, and of course beautiful art to fit within that theme. Annie Oakley from The Heroes of Folk letterpress series by Scotty Reifsnyder fit the bill perfectly. Well, two moves later, and storing it in a safe place (so safe we couldn’t remember), we just found it again and are so excited to hang it in the new nursery. (more…)
Moving into a new home/studio has put us on the hunt for lovely furniture to fill it with. It is so hard when you have a vision for your home, but then can’t track down the right pieces. We spend a lot of time perusing furniture and decor websites online to find the perfect furnishings. This search caused us to stumble on Marz Designs Pendant Collection. Lighting can make or break a home, and an accent piece like one of these is just what could make a room really finished. (more…)
Halloween is just around the corner, and I want to give you an excuse to create that Halloween illustration you have always wanted to make. If you are anything like Krystal and I, we are obsessed with this spooky holiday. We can’t think of a better way to dive into the month of October, than by starting up a Halloween print contest. The winner will win 15 screen prints of their illustration! (more…)
One of our favorite things about Austin, is it’s amount of well-designed independently owned businesses. There seem to be way less chain businesses, and way more mom-and–pop style businesses. And the best part: a lot of them are well branded. One of the best examples of this, is Go Greene Automotive on 1st street. You know that branding has been effective when you are driving down the road and slow down just to see the building and it’s branding. I would honestly go there to get my oil changed just because of the way it looks. (more…)
Sometimes the hardest part about showing clients the final artwork, is getting them to visualize a flat image on a computer are on their products. The best option is to present the art Photoshopped onto products. The tricky part is, finding good pictures that you can legally use for this purpose. Luckily, the catalogue reference book Blank Slate helps solve this problem.
I think it may be nostalgia of the early-gamer generation, or maybe it is the interest in simplification, but 8-bit and shape based art and games are all the rage right now. A program called Hexels allows people to create artwork in a grid-based format using simple shapes, called trixel art. It reminds me of Minecraft and the amazingly sophisticated art and worlds that people can make with the most basic grid. It goes to show that creativity is limitless. (more…)
We are so excited to show you some more work we created in collaboration with 55Hi’s! Our last collaboration was the Space Alphabet poster (still for sale in the Brave Shop) and it was definitely an out of this world hit, so we decided to work together again to make a Dinosaur Alphabet poster. The print is up on the shop now! (more…)
This Thursday, September 26th, I will be giving a design lecture for AIGA Austin. The event is hosted by Olmsted-Kirk Paper Company and will be at Lewis Carnegie studio/exhibit space. The event starts at 6pm with a meet-and-greet followed by my lecture.
I am excited to get to know the extremely talented art community here in Austin and introduce myself a bit . The AIGA Austin’s Facebook post says, “Brad just recently landed in Austin from Boston. His colorful and clever illustrative work reminds us of the expansive palette colors and textures available in Neenah Paper’s new Design Collection,” and I will be sharing a few things about how and why I came to merging design and illustration. If you are around, I would love to see you there!
Attention all of you urban bikers out there! A little while back I was approached by Kathryn Carlson with a chance to create a poster for her ingenious and slick product, the Buca Boot. While Kathryn was going to school in London, she found that cycling through the streets were convenient until she had to carry a lot stuff. She wanted something to attach to her bike that she could use the same way you would a trunk on your car. Something that would not only hold all her things, but also keep them safe. A few years later, and enlisting the help of a few other designers and engineers, she now presents the Buca Boot on Kickstarter.
A collaborative project organized by Dante Zaballa, yielded an amazing result. Dante created the first animation of a man walking, and then invited 62 other artists from around the world to redraw each frame in their own style. The animation is pretty intense as it flies through the animation insanely quick, but each time the video loops a different musician created the score.
Finally, after months of saying we would have our shop up, it is finally up. Currently we have three products in the store, and many more to come. We have had enough people asking for prints that, even though our shop is small and rough around the edges, we wanted something up and functioning. Many of the pieces we have been asked to sell in the shop have been client work, so unfortunately we cannot sell them. But for some good news we have some awesome prints coming soon to the shop, including another alphabet poster, but this time with dinosaurs. (more…)
Austin, Texas is full of unique little shops that sell antiques and artwork, gathered from artists all over the world. One store in particular, Mi Casa Gallery, has quickly become my favorite to visit, as it contains a large collection of museum quality religious and folk art from mainly Latin America. As soon as you walk in the front door you are bombarded with colors and the smell of potpourri, mixed in with aged wood. And immediately in front of you will be an assortment of imaginative, colorful, carved wooden creatures. They are called “Alebrijes“. (more…)
I know I am a bit behind on this, but I am proud to announce that Brave the Woods is featured in Work/Life 3, The Uppercase Directory of Illustration. The Directory features 100 illustrators from all around the globe. With a little bio about each artist and a custom piece of art, created solely for the directory, the book is much more than a directory. It is both inspiring and beautiful. The cover alone, by Jeff Rogers, is something to behold.
I couldn’t wait until Friday to post this to our Friday Likes, so it is going up today. Krystal and I were strolling around South Congress, in Austin, when we saw these toy dinosaur planters being sold at a vendor’s tent, named The Plaid Pigeon. They were way too cool to pass up, so I bought one for the office. (more…)
A few months back we had the amazing opportunity to create these anniversary tote bags for Naked Juice and Izze. To celebrate the events, they passed out these bags to all who attended. Each illustration represents the area that each company was founded. Naked Juice celebrated 30 years of business since starting in Santa Monica, CA. And Izze celebrated 10 years since its beginning in Boulder, Colorado. These were really fun pieces for great clients.
This is the week of birthdays here at Brave the Woods, starting today with Brad’s birthday. Maybe it’s just me, but finding a birthday card is the worst task. There are so many to choose from, and most of them look awful or say something ridiculous. Birthday cards have been around since the ancient Egyptians. They used to write their messages on papyrus scrolls and deliver them to each other on special occasions. You would think by now we could get them right. (more…)
For me, Chinese is one of those languages that is overwhelming to even think about learning. The sheer number of characters in the language gives me anxiety. But it is clear that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to learn it, seeing as how there are at least 1.3 billion people you could then communicate with. So how could someone like me, with all my doubts, learn Chinese? There is Chineasy.
Now that I am working from home, it is time for me to start thinking about getting my office put together. Right now I have a maze of boxes leading to my desk, and I am getting a bit claustrophobic. Getting things off the ground and on the walls is easier said than done. Looking into shelving units is a bit depressing because the ones I want are way out of my budget, and the others aren’t all that exciting/sturdy. So I am thinking about building my own, and here are some of my favorite DIY shelving units I found online lately. Hopefully these give you some great, cheap ideas on how to make some truly unique shelving that fits your needs and space.
Putting together an international art show with 100 different artists of varying styles and techniques seems like a lot of work. Too much work. It seems much easier to just invent 100 international artists and “become” them to curate and art show instead. Artists Shea Hembrey did just that. This funny video looks into his process of becoming 100 very different artists and the whole experience of changing thought processes and styles to think like these non-existent artists.
As long time fans of Alexander Girard, it is always fun to see old products that he sold in his T&O shop. This pillow collection was sold in his very short-lived Textile and Objects 1961 shop and features classic Girard illustrations. When I first saw these, I thought that it would be so fun to track down and own this collection for our home…but in what condition and at what price? (more…)
Hello from Austin, TX! Hopefully, in the past week or so while we were moving, you didn’t give up on us ever posting again. We have now settled into our new place and are officially back to business and regular posting. The drive from Boston to Austin was definitely a beast, but we made it! Being here means very exciting things are in store for Brave the Woods. (more…)
We have exciting news over here at Brave the Woods: We’re moving! That’s right, we are packing up our lives in Boston and making the trek to Austin, Texas. We couldn’t be more excited about this new stage and huge stepping stone for the studio. As part of the move, we have registered Brave the Woods as an LLC and made everything official. We have also made the decision to leave Arnold Worldwide, and make Brave the Woods a full-time gig. The time with Arnold and in Boston has been a wonderful experience, and we have loved the opportunities we have had here, but the time has come to move forward. (more…)
Our home/studio is a chaotic mess of boxes and packaging materials right now (we will explain later this week). Living among boxes made me think about what else we could do with all of these boxes when we are done with them, instead of just throwing them away or sending them to the recycling center. It turns out a lot of other people have had the same thoughts, and come up with some pretty cool ideas. Here is some of my favorite ideas of how to use leftover moving boxes in a creative way.
A group of artists in Boston created Signs for the Homeless, where they give a donation and a new, custom painted sign to the homeless in exchange for their old one. I love seeing such creativity and compassion in my own town! See all the before and after signage and read their back stories here.
Today we are proud to reveal our new Space Alphabet poster that we created in collaboration with 55 Hi’s! And not only do you get intergalactic goodness like planets, quasars and black holes to represent each letter, but you also get a neat fact to go with it! And they are now up for sale at 55 Hi’s for 20% off today only! (more…)
Welcome to the new Event Farm brand and website! I was lucky enough to get onto a small team here at Arnold Worldwide and work with Event Farm directly to give them a complete overhaul of their brand. My role was to establish the brand look, elements and, of course, the logo. Event Farm is a company that provides branded invitation, ticketing & guest registration experiences for events. To make events go by even smoother and easier, they created iPad check-in apps & custom event websites that are unique to a company’s brand. (more…)
Today I have the wonderful opportunity to guest post on one of my favorite blogs, Design Work Life. You may have seen our work featured there multiple times, and for that we are super grateful! If you don’t already have DWL bookmarked on your browser, you are missing out. Go check out the blog and I will be back to blogging here tomorrow. Have a great day!
If you are anything like us, getting rid of the last few pieces of Ikea furniture in your home is like a right of passage to becoming an adult. You realize you want your furniture to last more than a few months before the veneer peels off, or the particle board warps. But their products can look so good! And for that reason we tend to find ourselves back at Ikea. We still shop there, but we now come in with a critical eye, gleaning through the faux finishes and woods to find real gems. The Lövet table seems to be just that. (more…)
My new addiction is now going to thrift shops and picking vintage children’s books. This time around I found three of the Let’s-Read-And-Find-Out science books from 1961-1963. To make things even better, I only paid 72¢ for each! They are the hardcover versions in great condition with some really fun, mid-century-style illustrations. Considering they hadn’t landed on the moon yet when these were published, the facts are mostly correct haha. (more…)
I love it when I find beautiful artwork that is associated with an awesome cause. Recently Node teamed up artists from around the world with Nepalese rug makers to make these incredible rug collaborations. The rug makers are founding members of Fair Trade Nepal, where employees receive lessons in literacy and other business skills. Not only that, but their work helps support local schools and orphanages. This is such neat idea. (more…)
ARTCRANK Boston was a success! Sadly we weren’t able to go see it for ourselves, as we are vacationing in Seattle until next week. But we heard all the updates via instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and it seemed like a great turnout and people really enjoyed it! Though we missed the show, we were told that our print was the best seller and nearly sold out! Thanks to everyone who picked up a print, and for those who still want to purchase one, we are thinking about printing another run in a different color. Stay tuned for updates in the Brave the Woods shop that is coming REAL soon:) (more…)
If you are in Boston this weekend, then cancel everything and go to the ARTCRANK poster show! ARTCRANK comes to select cities each year and I am so glad it came to Boston before our move to Austin next month. The show invites a few talented local artists to create bicycle-inspired poster art to sell to the community. It is to provide affordable, original artworks to bring to your home.
So come this Saturday night at 5:00pm at the Fourthwall Project and pick up some sweet, screen printed bike posters for your walls! Look for my print (above) when your there! And if you can’t make it to the show, I will be selling all the unsold posters online, so don’t worry
Oh boy do these illustrations take me back to all those comics and Hardy Boy books I read growing up. I am awestruck by the beautifully framed scenes and characters that have so much life and movement. I miss those classic, rough outlines of characters and environments with pops of color that add so much drama to each illustration. (more…)
This weekend we headed down to Brimfield, MA for their summer antique show. If you haven’t heard of it, the Brimfield Antique Show (or Grnad Trunk Show) is one of the largest antique shows/flea markets in the county, held three times a year: one week in May, July, and September. There are dealers from all over the world with some of the most unique antiques ranging from furniture, to medical equipment, to mannequins and doll body parts. We couldn’t miss an opportunity to visit and look for some fun stuff to add to the house and studio. (more…)
Technology has effected the evolution of pretty much every aspect of modern life. Books are no stranger to this progression, from cave walls to iPads they have been evolving for ages. This TED talk from Joe Sabia explores this idea from the first guy, Lothar Meggendorfer, who decided to change the standard book into a pop-up book and change storytelling. This concept of technology playing a role in the evolution of inventions can applied to all careers as well; especially art. Artists started with plants and clay as ink, and then paints came along, then pens and other tools, then computers came with thier programs and completely changed the game again. It is definitely an interesting concept to think about.
Noah’s Arc is a topic that so many artists have tried to interpret. One of my favorite interpretations thus far, would have to be this series by Spanish illustrator and designer Martin Leon Baretto. There is so much to love about this series: textures, layering, awesome color pallete, interesting shapes, long composition, and balance. I think the visual interest is really enhanced by the tall and thin composition, and the balance of overall piece, like just the small Moses and tower above the water in the first illustration, or the hanging anchor in the second one. Overall its a pretty cool series. (more…)
It’s always refreshing to see product designs that break the norm. Beer cans, in my opinion, have some of the busiest (and often ugliest) packaging designs out there. Don’t get me wrong, there are the token few brands with cool logos that break the mold of the stereotypical beer can, but they are few and far between. I think that is why the simple and clean branding of Angry Beer caught my eye. (more…)
After being out of college for some time now, I find myself craving moments where I get to be a student again. Not often do those opportunities arrive, with working a full-time job and freelancing in all my spare time afterward. But the other week, my employer, Arnold Worldwide, decided to have local calligrapher, Liz Roessler, come in a teach a workshop! (more…)
While perusing Pinterest, looking for some fabric patters for an upcoming project, I was pleased to come across the wonderful work of Tracy Walker. Unfortunately, finding her work has made me sad that I cannot turn every piece into fabric and make the most awesome quilt you’ve ever seen out of it. The organic shapes, textures, colors, and patterns all work so well with each other. I also love how well each of the pieces in her portfolio are such different subjects but work well together to showcase her original style. The work that I found on Pinterest was the squirrel, whale, octopus series (featured below), which is now on my wish list for sure.
DKNG Studios just made my Friday a whole lot happier. Now available in their shop is their new postcard set featuring some of my favorite work of theirs. These guys are so talented, who wouldn’t want a series of beautiful postcards from them for only $10! Get your wallets out and make the best purchase of your week. You can purchase them here, I already did. (more…)
In a world where everything is digital, but everyone wants handmade, we spend so much time manipulating our work to make it look handmade. A novel concept would be to actually make things by hand. That’s why I love this invitation from Studio Polpo. At first glance you would think they just did some awesome texture and shadow work, but upon further investigation you discover that those little pieces are actually hand-cut paper. Color me impressed. The monochromatic color scheme and well balanced design is just the icing on the cake. (more…)
Probably more known for his caricature-type illustration work, I noticed Stanley Chow also has some amazing illustrations showcasing his ability to capture female forms. More importantly, he knows how create an environment that complements and interacts with those forms. His work reminds me of Mads Berg‘s work a bit as well, but most definitely holds its own uniqueness. Here are some of my favorites of Chow’s work. Take a look at his full portfolio of work here.
Very recently, our incredibly talented friends decided to make the leap from day-jobs to working for themselves full-time and created Monolith Design Collective. Monolith is comprised of Marshall Meier, Ruba Tadros, and Jesse Lee. Despite being a new design company, they are definitely not new to design, all being veterans in the field. They have always been such an inspiration to us and great teachers on how to get local clients just by being locals. Their work can be seen all over Southern California in restaurants, bars, and other local businesses. Being the stellar people they are, they took time out of their busy schedules to answer some questions we had about their work and their process. Check out what they had to say:
Krystal and I had been eyeing the incredible peacock prints by Lab Partners for some time now. Not sure why we waited so long to purchase one of these for ourselves, but boy are we happy we did! Seeing it online is one thing, but seeing the actual print in person is something else. Can’t wait to see it framed and mounted on the wall. Oh, and our friends at Mama’s Sauce did an impeccable job on the printing as always.
Choose from 3 other colors of peacock prints at their site here.
Fear affects all of us, but did we ever think of the effect that the fear is having on our creative confidence? This TED talk by designer David Kelley is all about transforming our fears into useable creative confidence. My favorite thing he says is that we should not divide the world into creatives and non-creatives, but instead realize that all of us are naturally creative. We all have fears to overcome, and it is comforting to know that our fears can help instead of hinder us in the long-run. David Kelley is the founder of the design firm IDEO. He is also a professor at Stanford University.
Last year, we attended the California Design 1930-1965 exhibit in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). It was such a great exhibit of mid-century modern design and architecture. The pictures, posters and furniture were so inspiring to see, and there was even a replica of the Eames living room! After the exhibit, the gift shop had the book California Design 1930-1965 “Living in a Modern Way”. We wanted it so badly, but couldn’t really splurge for it at that time. Ever since, Brad has been talking about wanting that book, so I decided that the only reasonable thing to do was to get it for him for Father’s Day. It is such a gem, with over 300 pages jam packed with examples and information of one of the most stunning eras in design history. It was definitely worth the buy and will be a great addition to our library. (more…)
Sometimes it is nice to be deceived. This time it happened while stumbling into the illustrations of Ryo Takemasa. At first I was enticed by the bold color choices, but then I almost left it at that until I stopped to really look them. They are deceptively simple, because how he made them look so simple is really complex. (more…)
Normally I don’t really hit on tech topics, but with all this iOS 7 news, and me owning an iPhone, I do have some opinions on the matter. And it is glaringly apparent that I am not alone. My Twitter feed has been exploding with downer comments about the flat design, icons, typography, the change in general, etc. My thoughts are this…
We love our dog, she is like another child in our family. That is probably part of why this illustration set caught our eye, that, and how awesome it is. These illustrations, created by polish designer and illustrator Agata Dudek, were made for Special Edition SENS Magazine. The color combinations are amazing, and especially the use of blue as a texture and shadow. The details really make these illustrations and tell a story. Check out the rest of the series below, and see more of her work on Behance. (more…)
I am far from the first person to be raving about this Boston-based duo’s branding talent, but I couldn’t resist. As a relatively new resident to Boston, and admiring their work on businesses around town, I was stoked to hear we were practically neighbors. What intrigued me the most about their branding work was how it felt appropriate for not only the business, but the area. To see some more amazing, customized type and branding examples, check out Commoner Inc., design studio of Richie Stewart and Brook Towlson. (more…)
Who wouldn’t want a beautifully designed mid-century modern home for only $11, 250? The only downside: that was the cost in 1958. I seriously wish that this ad was current, but it fun to look at these blasts from the past. Our dream is to find a mid-century modern home and restore it to its former glory. The architecture is beautiful; open floor plans, so many textures, windows galore, and perfect for entertaining. These ads are so neat to look at because they have the house blueprints and even the landscaping blueprints included. Check out the zoomed in version of the ad, and a few other homes for sale at the same time period. (more…)
A look at the geometric forms, and use of block colors makes a comparison between Pablo Lobato and Pablo Picasso easy. Though Picasso’s work was far more abstract, Lobato’s work has a similar appeal. His use of pop culture subjects and adding a caricatured twist to them is fun and interesting. (more…)
I am finally able to reveal my Illustrated Map of America, divided by regions and filled with several of the American stereotypes that make this country awesome. Originally it was created for part of a campaign for a client, but sadly the entire thing got scrapped and I was left with this map that took me hours to complete. Unfortunately I can’t sell it as prints, but I had to show it to the world in some way or another. (more…)
I am always a sucker for cute, little animal illustrations. These little friends in particular caught my eye because of the clever combination of simple, flat shapes, colors and lines. Shunsuke Satake is a Japanese based illustrator that is responsible for these little critters, and so many more. Check out his site to see more of his fun illustrations here.
The devastation in Oklahoma has left many people wondering what they can do to help. Some creatives have come together to create OK/Strong Relief Tees. The tees are $20 each and 10o% of the profits go to the OK Strong Disaster Relief Fund by the United Way of Central Oklahoma. It’s a very small price for an awesome tee that goes to an even more awesome cause. We just bought the OK Tee by our very talented friend Ty Wilkins, and can’t wait for it to get here.
Just in time for Memorial Day weekend my Barnegat Lighthouse prints went up for sale. The historic lighthouse on Long Beach Island, New Jersey is just the first of the Landmarks of the Shore series, commissioned by The Municipal Prints Company. And 5% of all net sales go to the constant relief efforts of Superstorm Sandy. (more…)
As all creative people know, creativity cannot happen when unreasonable restraints are given. This is not to say that all restrictions are bad, because restrictions, like we talked about in this post, actually help to breed creativity. Unreasonable constraints, such as ridiculously short deadlines, can cut off creativity in the process of trying to just create something. This video shows the truth of this theory, demonstrated on elementary school kids. The idea too is that your first idea, is almost always not your best idea. The first idea is the discardable literal, get-the-job-done idea. A process of trial, error, and experimentation is what creates real results, and this process takes time.
Though you may have already heard of the book Kern and Burn, I just ordered a copy for myself and I have to let you in on why I am so excited. But before that, if this is breaking news for you, you should know that this was all organized by Jessica Karle Heltzel and Tim Hoover. They both run the online and print publication, called Kern and Burn, that collects essays and interviews of those who are design entrepreneurs. Now they have created a book around the very subject, and it was all made possible through their Kickstarter.com campaign. (more…)
I, like most children, grew up reading a large collection of fables and fairytales. I used to love to look at all of the pictures and imagine myself in their world. I really like when I can find books that remind of my childhood, and are nice to look at at the same time (because lets face it, not all of the books I owned as a kid where very well illustrated). “The Magical Book of Pombo” definitely falls under the nice to look at category.
If you have worked creatively with a corporation, you may sympathize with this video. Sometimes, too much over thinking and group input can kill creativity completely. Trying to be politically correct, please everyone, and include everything can ruin a design. This video shows how difficult it would be to design something as simple as the stop sign, within a corporate office where everyone feels the need to have input. All I can say, is that I am grateful for the stop sign we have. (more…)
Summer is pretty much here, and these illustrations are a perfect reminder of that. This series of synchronized swimmers called See Ya In the Water is from artist Simone Massoni. I really enjoyed this series. The forms are so fluid and elegant, and very reminiscent of something on an old Vogue cover.
A good friend and extremely talented designer, Josh Balleza, informed me of the site redesign he took part in at Owen Jones. From a user’s standpoint, the site is truly captivating. It is easy to navigate with lots of beautiful and interesting little details. The site design is so neat, I forgot to mention the work is equally amazing. Go take a look for yourself!
For Mother’s Day this past weekend, Brad spoiled me and got me some beautiful notebooks and a card from Rifle Paper Co. We have admired the stationary and other products done by Rifle Paper Co. for some time now, but just have never purchased anything. I love my new notebooks. They are perfect bound, gorgeous covers, high-quality paper, and pretty sturdy. I love the attention to detail with gold impression on the cover and even surprise gold stripes on the inside cover. The card was lovely with a hand-painted look to it, and the colors of both notebooks and the card are beautiful. Overall, just really quality products and a wonderful print job. I can’t wait to get something else from Rifle Paper Co. now (there is an iPhone case I am eyeing). (more…)
“Anything can be created from yarn as long as it is made with love,” at least that is the philosophy of artist Kate Jenkins. In this digital age, hand-made work is becoming much rarer, and it is refreshing to see art made entirely without all of the programs. Jenkins’ unique style makes her bright, fun, semi-nostlagic, and mostly food-related art stand out in a world of 2d. Each piece is completely unique and original, crocheted for various client work, cards, and prints. See more of her portfolio here and here. (more…)
I can’t get over these clever forms of these circus performers. Despite the characters being created out of such plain shapes, with a little help from smart shading and lost and found shapes, these turned out so full of life! Those textures and hints of colors are perfect. And yes, this is another series I have posted of illustrator, Jonas Bergstrand. Go see his whole gallery of work here.
Like most design-loving parents, we are always keeping an eye out for well-designed, educational toys for the little man. The Creative Wooden Creatures Kit fits both the functional and educational aspect, while looking cool. Made from sustainable wood, this kit is a myriad of animal body parts and connectors for kids to play with and create. They can either be literal and create the animals as they are “supposed” to be, or can use their imaginations to make up their own new creature. It is a great way for kids to learn the form of animals while still being creative. (more…)
We apologize for being MIA the past few days. We have been in Austin, TX. We had a wonderful trip hanging out in the city, spending time with some designers that we have been dying to meet in person, and eating at some of the most delicious restaurants. Austin is such an artistic city. Everything seems to be bursting with creativity and beauty. Every sign, store-front, airstream, building, and restaurant is artwork. (more…)
These simple little characters caught my eye the today because they have so much movement and feeling to them that I had to share them. It is incredible how much of a story one can tell with human forms. The series was created as a personal project by Eiko Ojala, who has created some landscape pieces as well in this same cut paper style that have received a lot of attention lately.
A couple of weeks ago we posted the Drawnimal app for kids that encourages them to think outside the box. Going along with the theme of interactive learning, we found an interactive book for iPad and iPhone called Petting Zoo. Petting Zoo is a book concepted and animated by Christoph Niemann that allows kids to interact with the story. Kids tap and swipe the animals to see how they react. The illustration has marker-drawn look that is very simple and friendly for kids to enjoy, and each animation is complete with music and sound effects, as well as a little humor. It is basically an electronic petting zoo. (more…)
Can Krystal and I get married again!? Seeing this incredible set of prints created by Austin Petito for his own wedding makes me wish I had gone through design classes before I got married. The breadth and the quality of the entire set is stunning. As you continue to examine each element in the wedding package, you continue to find little gems in the form of illustrations, flourishes and typography. This nautical themed wedding package blew me out of the water. (more…)
There is still time to sign up for the Skillshare course Learn the Ins and Outs of Illustrator. Enrollment has been moved back a week so the class doesn’t start now until May 13. One of the great things about Skillshare is that you can learn at your own pace. It is a 2 week course, but you have the materials indefinitely to refresh or learn from whenever you want. The purpose of this class is to help teach Adobe Illustrator to those who haven’t touched the program, or who have but still feel intimidated and need some help. This class will be a perfect prerequisite to any design or illustration course that requires Illustrator. It is a 2 week course for only $20! All the video tutorials will be short and cover a large range of tools and tips to make you more efficient and comfortable in the program.
Use the promo code: BLOGGED to get 25% off your entry fee. Please help spread the word if you know of anyone who would benefit from this course!
You may know John Cleese from his comedic Monty Python fame. Being a Monty Python fan, this lecture caught my eye, and I was happily surprised to find how wonderful the lecture was for creatives. Cleese discusses how to be creative and the ways to create creativity. He has some great points. (more…)
Say what you will about iPhone camera apps and all their hipster filters, but not everyone is complaining. Timo Meyer, an artist based in Germany, took on a neat personal project using only Instagram and VSCO Cam (no Photoshop). The natural restrictions of his tools led him to some pretty intriguing photographs that made me look twice. (more…)
I’m a big fan of organic products. Not only are they better for you and the environment, but they usually also have cool earthy packaging. My biggest complaint with organic packaging though, is the fact that the colors are always so drab. Don’t get me wrong, I love earth tones, but sometimes I would love companies to use some of the brighter more happy earth colors so that I’m not always looking at a sea of brown, tan, grey, and green. I think that is partly why I love the Moon Valley Organics packaging so much that was done by Seattle branding and design firm Partly Sunny (such a clever name). They were definitely not afraid of color in this branding.
There is a recent trend in research finding, that kids are using their imaginations less, and not thinking outside the box and being creative as often. Some researchers blame technology for this sad new trend, saying that kids don’t have opportunities to use thier imagination and creativity due to overstimulation. Drawnimal may be the start of a movement for kids apps, to push kids out of just the device. (more…)
What a nice surprise it was to receive a package from 55 Hi’s! A little while back I had the opportunity to collaborate on some greeting cards for the 55 Hi’s shop. I illustrated these two, screen printed congrats cards for expecting parents. You can buy both the little girl version here, and the little boy version here. Then to make things even better, they came in a care package with other 55 Hi’s swag. See the full project here. (more…)
The other day I happened upon this poster designed by Justin Schafer. Being the cool guy he is, he sent a copy of it to my doorstep after I told him amazing I thought it was. Little did I know that it was 24″ x 36″! Now I am going to have to make room on my wall. I love the intricate use of minimal shapes and lines that make up the card design. Thanks again Justin!
Great news everyone! I am teaching a new online Skillshare course, and it is now open for enrollment! The course is called, Learn the Ins and Outs of Illustrator, and its purpose is to help teach Adobe Illustrator to those who haven’t touched the program, or who have but still feel intimidated and need some help. My last course, Communicating with Color, Pattern and Texture, was an absolute blast to teach, and I will be teaching it again in about a month. But I realized that a lot of my students either didn’t know how to use the program at all, or were just so new to the program, that it made it hard for them to complete the project. This class will be a perfect prerequisite to any design or illustration course that requires Illustrator. It is a 2 week course for only $20! All the video tutorials will be short and cover a large range of tools and tips to make you more efficient and comfortable in the program.
Use the promo code: BLOGGED to get 25% off your entry fee. Spread the word if you know of anyone who would benefit from this course!
I just received a pleasant surprise in my email inbox today from my friend, Frank Ferrao, owner of Simplex Opera. As a developer and software designer, he created this incredibly handy extension called Preview Pix. If you are anything like me, I clutter the space around my Adobe Illustrator art board with reference images for my projects. Either that or I have my images up via the previewer. Preview Pix is an extension you can open within your programs that can showcase your reference images in one area without ever leaving your program. See all the features on the extension, along with the other extensions by Simplex Opera here.
The new business cards just came in the mail today! I finally convinced myself to design these little puppies after writing down my email address on enough napkins. Though I didn’t go all out and have these letter pressed, I was impressed with the quality of the print and paper. There is nothing worse than a flimsy business card so I was intrigued when I heard about the Luxe cards by MOO. Because of the beautiful, black sheet of paper sandwiched between the white, the cards are the perfect thickness. Then, to make things even better, the price is very attractive as well. (more…)
Just thought I would post this little experiment of mine that I did for the University of Phoenix. I used a few more textures than I normally would, along with some new ones like the film grain overlay. After teaching my Skillshare course, Communicate with Color, Pattern and Texture, I figured I needed to play around a bit more out of my comfort zone. This piece where I visualized a phoenix out of matchsticks was a great exercise and really made me wish I had more time to play. Look for opportunities to get your hands dirty and experiment. I just read a fantastic article about taking advantage of downtime as a freelancer on How Design. Best time to pursue your own work is when you don’t have work from clients. Take advantage of that time. The more mileage you have under your belt, the better you will become.
At first glance, you may think that this piece of typography is a mixed media installment. I did. I was even looking where I could purchase it for my wall. It’s not real. (Don’t worry, my mind was blown too.) This piece of art is the collaboration work of Welsh digital artist Craig Minchington of Adora Design, and London designer and illustrator Tim Miness. (more…)
Chip Kidd is arguably one of the most famous book designers out there. He has worked on everything from Batman to Jurassic Park. Not only is he incredibly talented, it turns out he is pretty funny too. (more…)
Sadly, my online Skillshare course, Communicate with Color, Pattern and Texture, is now over. I can’t express how truly enjoyable the process of teaching and interacting with this class was. There was over a thousand students who ended up attending, which was exciting and terrifying. This was my first time teaching a course, and having that many people interested in what I had to share was humbling. I don’t know how many of my students read my blog, but I want to thank each of them for participating and helping me learn as well. Most often in my life, if I have to explain what I am doing, I end up understanding it so much better. This was an amazing experience that I will definitely take part in again in the near future. So stay posted for my next course. (more…)
Well designed packaging makes all the difference. It doesn’t matter how great your product is, if the packaging is awful I won’t buy it. Inversely, if the packaging is good, I will buy something and take a risk on the quality of product. Packaging is everything. Luckily for Balzac’s Coffee Roasters, their packaging is pretty great. Both their signature line and the Atwood blend are full of nice typography and hand drawn flourishes. I especially like the signature lines “brown bag” style. The packaging was designed by Chad Roberts Design. (more…)
Not often do I find myself longing to be in Philadelphia, but today I am. For the first time ever, Paula Scher of Pentagram and Seymour Chwast of Push Pin will be featured in a joint exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The show, dubbed Double Portrait, showcases over 300 design pieces the two have created over the years. I am especially excited for all the wonderful typography that will be on display. Then to make the show even more special, Paula and Seymour designed the entire experience. If you are around before April 14th, you should go check it out and tell me how it went. (more…)
We all love a good typographic experiment. This faux fossilized typography, created by Austrian designer Andreas Scheiger, is a treat for the 8 year-old fossil hunter in all of us. I remember getting those fossil sets for my birthday where you chip away at a block to discover plastic dinosaur “bones”; this is much better. Sheiger created the series as part of an ongoing project called “Evolution of Type.” (more…)
These stunning characters were too neat to pass up. The minimal forms and skillfully placed gradients remind me of the era of vintage travel posters. Illustrator, Mads Berg, has a knack for using vivid colors and beautiful body forms. In conjunction with the skillful use of typography, these posters he did for Hansen’s Ice Cream are a grand slam. See more of his Berg’s work here. (more…)
Seeing this Black and Red series by Luke Pearson immediately made me stop and want to look closer. I love the opportunities that limited color palettes create for an illustration. The lack of color options forces you to find ways to add interest and variation into the piece by using patterns, textures and line work. Not only do these examples prove that, but they each have imbedded within them, an element of wit. Hopefully you enjoy them as much as I did. (more…)
I am a big sucker for illustrations that do an amazing job of depicting nature. Not everything from this New Zealand based illustrator, Angela Keoghan, is nature themed, but her choice of colors and painterly texturing is so lovely. As if all her work was taken from old story books, she mentions that she passionate about illustration as being a form of storytelling. Her work has been in galleries, magazines, books and more. See here full portfolio of work here.
This year I had the wonderful opportunity to brand (everything but the website) Camp NaNoWriMo 2013. The camp is run by The Office of Letters and Light who organize web-based events for children and adults to be inspired and encouragement they need to reach their creative potential. So for the Camp, they offer free, online resources to help you write a novel in one month. At nearly 15,000 writers already having signed up, the Camp has been a hit. If you need that extra motivation and support to start writing that novel you always wanted to write, join Camp NaNoWriMo! (more…)
I am a sucker for unconventional websites. The website for Island Creek Oyster Bar is such a neat portrayal of their brand. I bet if I was shown each of these brand elements separately I wouldn’t think they felt cohesive. But all together the brand really comes alive. Go see for yourself.
Today I had the amazing opportunity to take the one-day course, Presenting Data and Information, by Edward Tufte! I have been using his books as bibles for visualizing information ever since college. Unfortunately I never owned the books myself because everyone else around me who I worked with had them. But, as part of the ticket price to Tufte’s course, I was given all four of his books. Though the real highlight of this whole experience was the opportunity to take feverish notes from such a master in this field. Here are a few key takeaways that I got from this course… (more…)
Hail Pixel has to be the easiest, and largest online color palette generating tool I have ever used. You simply drag your mouse around the screen to reveal the full spectrum of colors, and then you just click to save that color. Scrolling adjusts the saturation. Then you just keep repeating and making swatches. The best part is that you can see all the colors full screen and right next to each other. It is the simple things in life right? Enjoy it here!
Multitasking is all the rage right now. We want to be able to talk on the phone, while sending an email, while uploading a picture, and all at the same time, playing catch with our firstborn. Multitasking is great, or is it? What are we missing while trying not to miss out on anything? Product designer, Paolo Cardini explores this concept with monotasking smartphone covers.
Looking at these pieces of art, you probably would never assume that an animal actually created them. Animals, especially our close relatives the primates, are much more creative beings than we give them credit for. These artworks, created by Gorillas, Chimpanzees, and Orangutans, are the product of the animal’s innate creativity, not coaching and training from their caretakers like the popular elephant painting videos.
Illustrating on iPads is being taken to a whole new level. This is the second illustrator I have found in the past two weeks that has done amazing things using nothing but an iPad to create their work. (see also iPad finger paintings of Jorge Colombo) At first glance, my mind didn’t even register this art as digital. The uneven edges and shapes gave it a woodblock feel almost. Siggi Eggertsson is responsible for these works titled, Channeling. It was originally exhibited at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Madrid in October 2012. He said he actually prefers drawing on the computer now, over drawing by hand. Well, I don’t care what he uses, if this is the result. These prints are going to be up for sale soon as well, so stay tuned. See all the works from the exhibit here.
Tomorrow is the first official day of class on Skillshare! If you haven’t already signed up, here’s your chance! We already have a fantastic turnout, so thanks so everyone who has already joined! The digital illustration course is going to be on how to communicate using color, pattern and texture. I will let you in on my own creative process and provide lectures, outside resources, and custom tutorials. Go sign up at Skillshare and use the promo code BRAVE for 25% off! See you in class!
As soon as I saw these character illustrations I had put them up on my blog. I just think the textures, colors and forms of these animals are simply amazing. Andrew Shek is a character designer, living in Toronto, Canada, who has worked with big names in animation such as Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, Walt Disney Pictures and many more. He has been drawing since 2 years old, and has always had a fascination with drawing elephants. He works with watercolors, ink, and photoshop in his work, but likes to work with markers the most because of the organic feeling they have. (more…)
Have you ever been on vacation and needed a place to work for a bit? Or, have you ever thought it would be super cool to have a Couchsurfing or Craigslist type site for a desk or even for studio rentals. Open Studio Club is that site. Open Studio Club allows designers and artists to post and search for desk or studio space. Their goal is to help creatives find affordable studio space. With their ultra-simple website, you can easily search for space by location, browse studios, browse desk space, browse work cafes, or upload your own listings. The service is completely free, private, and for creatives only. Be careful, planning out a freelance life on the go, traveling worldwide sharing studio space, can get tempting after spending any amount of time on Open Studio Club.
These caricatures of the actors who played Batman throughout the years made me laugh. I found this incredible little series while perusing the gallery of work done by the illustrator, Jonas Bergstrand. Inevitably I will be featuring much more of his work on the blog, but there is just so much amazing work to choose from, in so many styles, that I am going to have to space it out for you. If you absolutely can’t wait, here is his website. (more…)
Tonight I had the wonderful opportunity to attend Adobe’s Create Now conference at MIT. The speaker was Rufus Deuchler, Sr. Worldwide Evangelist for Adobe Creative Solutions. He did a superb job of not only explaining the ins and outs of the Creative Cloud, but really inspired me to get out of my comfort zone and try out the other Adobe products. And, thanks to the Creative Cloud, with your subscription to the service you can have access to all of them! I could go on all night about all the amazing features offered, but you explore that on your own. Just know that if you knew about all of the amazing things you can do with Creative Cloud, you would be a fool to buy the boxed Adobe software ever again. My mind was officially blown, and I am signing up for the service tonight. See when the conference comes to your city and don’t miss it.
Oh the wonderful world of, LA based illustrator, Andrew Holder. Every time I see this guy’s work it just makes me happy. I like to pride myself in being good with colors, but he makes me jealous. His success comes from gutsy, wide range of colors used in his work. That in combination with the textures and shapes makes some really interesting compositions that leave you with a lot to stare at. Check out all of his work here. (more…)
A new documentary called Design & Thinking has been released for screenings! The film was born in result of the lack of creativity and collaboration we are seeing in today’s business, society and cultural landscapes. Interviewed in the documentary is an all-star cast of creative entrepreneurs, who break down the importance of “design thinking” in the 21st Century. Unfortunately it doesn’t come out on video for a bit, but you can pre-order you dvd now. Check out screenings and pricing here.
Finger painting is often thought of as something little kids do, smudging colorful paint in messy patterns during kindergarten art class. Jorge Colombo has not only perfected the art of finger painting, he has also done it without paint. Colombo uses his iphone and ipad to illustrate magazine covers and create pretty incredible art work. He originally used just his iphone to create entire illustrations but has since switched to using the ipad for his finger paintings. His first cover illustration for The New Yorker was published in 2009. The main subject for his finger painting illustrations is New York City, but he has scenery paintings and even portraits in his repertoire. Looking at Colombo’s work, it is hard to believe that they were created with fingers on a tablet or phone screen. Technology is amazing, but what people can do with it is even more spectacular. (more…)
I am not sure why, as humans, we are so interested in abandoned architecture, but the eeriness of ruined remnants of the past is so alluring. A couple of months ago, I posted about modern ruins, and now I have a mid-century modern treat for you. Swedish photographer, Mikael Olsson, spent six years (2000-2006) visiting two abandoned homes each summer, and documenting them photographically as time passed. Both homes were designed and lived in by famous modernist Swiss designer/architect Bruno Mathsson. Olsson took two different approaches in photographing the homes. In the first home, Södrakull, Olsson never entered the home, taking all of the pictures from the outside through curtains and slightly obstructed windows. These photos have more of a peeping-tom feeling to them. In the second home, Frösakull, Olsson took pictures inside the house, moving around curtains and left behind furniture.
Is it safe to say that we have all, at least once, cursed out our phones for its clumsy autocorrect technology when texting? You better believe I have…a lot. So I am happy to report that someone is trying to improve that. Fleksy is a brand new technology that can detect the words you are entering, even if you miss every single key. But what is most amazing about Fleksy isn’t the cutting edge technology, but the reason behind its creation. It was designed with the user in mind. If you think this makes things more efficient for you, think of what this means for someone who is blind. Human centered design has always fascinated me, and Fleksy did not disappoint. Download the free app at the App Store.
Discovering beautiful type specimens is always exciting. This one in particular was an experiment of trying to merge both the carved nature of serif fonts, with the natural form of a brush script. Though the influence of the brush script is subtle, the serif typeface that was once was very classic, now feels fresh and contemporary. And what I love most about this is the fact that they made up a challenge for themselves to create this on their own. Always inspiring to see designers produce amazing work without a client. (more…)
Oh what vintage hand lettering goodness by Dan Cassaro. Recently added to his site are type and lettering work he did for American icon, Carhartt. It was funny because today I thought I would try my hand out with some custom hand lettering. But once I finished, I saw all of these by Dan. Ugh…I feel like I am a kid scribbling on the wall with crayons compared to him. Though, I was very happy to find them and show them off because they are a great source of inspiration. His lettering skills blow me away.
Information graphics are all the rage right now. Unfortunately, infographics are, more often than not, used incorrectly, and the information they are trying to convey is either hidden or lost completely in irrelevant numbers and text. This map of the Paris Metro is the definition of an infographic in my opinion: a graphic that conveys information. Without a single written word, this map tells the viewer more than a label or text box could. The illustration style also turns something stiff and mechanical, like a metro system, into an organic network. I personally have never been to Paris, but you better believe that when I go for the first time, this map will be in my purse.
Ahoy from Boston! This past weekend I had the opportunity to meet up with an old college buddy, Chad Hansen, of First Mate Photo Co. He and his wife Rebecca make up the photography company duo, and just recently they unveiled their new site and branding! As Massachusetts residents, the maritime theme is not only appropriate, but also minimal enough to let their amazing photos stand out. They usually just do wedding photography, but I was able to get him to take a few personal portraits for my site. What a friend he is. (more…)
Our son’s first birthday is coming up next month, and these count and stack blocks, designed by Eight Hour Day, are definitely going to be one of his gifts. I am always blown away by how they manage to make such fun illustrations, with such simple, geometric shapes and patterns. They make it look so easy. Go purchase your own set at Uncle Goose. (more…)
Chances are you have already seen this short film, but it is definitely worth seeing again. Something about it just felt so nostalgic, it’s fun. And for being just a short film, it feels like so much more. Colin Hesterley, creative director at The Academy, did such a great job on this.
We love a well-designed product, especially an educational and interactive well-designed product. These globes, designed and created by Geografia, definitely fit that description. They are so much fun and are an awesome learning tool as well. Our family loves to travel, and plan to travel even more in the future, so I really like the idea of a fold up globe that attaches to my luggage. I am one of those people that sits on the airplane with the travel magazine, checking the airplanes routes on the maps in the back periodically throughout the trip. The “voyage” foldable globe allows me to easily pull it out and unfold to have a whole globe with me wherever I am. Even cooler, the “voyage” globe comes in three styles: timezones, climate, and nations. That’s right, you can check out wind patterns on your fold-up globe. (more…)
I have been waiting for an opportunity to bring some attention to the illustration/design work of Martin Azambuja. One day I spotted his work on Dribbble and immediately had to go check out his portfolio site. He is such a versatile artist, as you can see in his illustrations and branding work. It is refreshing to see such tasteful use of textures and hand drawn type in one project, and then a bold, geometric illustration in the next. Go take a look at his work either on Dribbble or his personal portfolio site. (more…)
I was so happy to find this interview clip of Jack White explaining how limitations and restrictions can be the catalyst to creativity. The seemingly oxymoronic concept is something that I too have realized to be true. Jack goes on in more detail about how this pertains to his achievements in music. It is a fascinating 3 min video from an enormously creative and talented individual. If you want to see the entire documentary, it is titled, The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights.
Great news! Starting March 19, I will be teaching a two week, online digital illustration course on Skillshare.com. The class will speak directly to the use of color, pattern and texture in digital illustration. As students go through the course, they will have the chance incorporate what they have learned into their own illustration. From concept to completion, I will be providing feedback, sharing design resources, explaining my own design process, and providing examples to help all along the way. By the end students will not only come away with a beautiful illustration to hang on their wall, but also a strong understanding of the importance and process of incorporating color, pattern and texture into their own art. Go to Skillshare.com to sign up for the class! Use the promo code BRAVE, and get 25% off the price of the class. And please feel free to spread the word!
One of the biggest perks about living in Boston, is all of the history. The city is full of museums and historical sites to check out. One of our new favorites has to be the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum for its uniqueness and vast collection. Last night we went to the museum because it was open late for Thursdays, and it was a fun place to spend Valentine’s Day together. We were one of the only people there, so we had it all to ourselves. Being able to explore the giant home without anyone else around was eery to say the least, but also an incredible experience that takes you back into the mind of the museums old owner, Isabella Stewart Gardner. (more…)
In honor of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share some love on some very cool prints and blocks from House Industries. They have a whole set of hearts prints with the word “love” written in various languages. My favorite though, is their blocks. The blocks come in a set of four, each side displaying “love” in a different language. The blocks also act as a puzzle, displaying different languages when stacked in different ways. When stacked into a larger square, the blocks spells out “love” in English. (more…)
So the first month of the new year has escaped me, and I still have yet to buy a 2013 calendar for my wall. How relieved and happy I was to stumble upon this wonderful rooster screenprint wall calendar by Albert & Marie! And to make things even better, it is on sale in their Etsy shop for only $7! I can’t wait for mine to come in the mail. Go see them for yourself at their shop. (more…)
Here is a look at the newest project completed here at Brave the Woods. A good friend of mine, and former boss at Column Five Media, Josh Ritchie, commissioned this print for his new home in Newport Beach, CA. As you may already know, I moved cross country to Boston not too long ago. And I am really missing SoCal. So this was a great opportunity to make something that sums up how I remember that place. See the full project here.
I finally discovered who illustrated the cover of Naïve -Modernism and Folklore in Contemporary Graphic Design! Finnish illustrator, Pietari Posti, who blows me away with his mix of lyrical/raw lines and geometric shapes with bright pops of color. If you haven’t already, go see the rest of his work here. (more…)
The lost art of wood type was something only to be found in antique stores, by typography junkies or interior designers looking for some nice accent letters for their shelf. So many ornate and personality-filled typefaces have been forgotten, ink still dried on, left only in the memories of old advertisements. That is, until Wood Type Revival launched a Kickstarter campaign to save wood type and make it accessible in the digital age. (more…)
There are a few things I absolutely love: babies, food, modern design and elephants. The only thing I may love more, is a combination of all of those things. Thank goodness for Huset and the Blafre Breakfast Set. The simple, whimsical design combines all of my favorite things in a cup, plate, and bowl. Even the gift box looks nice. Along with the breakfast set, they have a lunchbox with the same design, a notebook, and a tote bag. I’m still a kid right? (more…)
For February, Brave the Woods was chosen as HOW’s Top 10 Websites for Designers! Each month HOW looks for the best promo sites of designers and illustrators, and puts together a list. It is such an honor to be recognized by HOW Design, and being listed with other great sites. Take a look at all the sites for this month here.
We were so excited the other day to receive a wood-mounted print of my Help Ink poster submission in the mail, courtesy of Drew Carson. The poster was mounted on bamboo from Plywerk, a company that specializes in eco-conscious photo mounting. If you aren’t already familiar with Help Ink, they are non-profit that invites artists to contribute artwork to be sold, and then a portion of the profit goes toward a charity of the buyers choosing. I was honored to be asked to contribute. If you want to support a cause, go check out the art, and make your favorite purchases.
The very talented print maker and textile designer, Lizzy House is at it again. She just finished the artwork for Soak Wash‘s new fragrance Yuzu. The artwork is playful and well executed with it’s simplicity. I would almost buy the product just for the packaging, though I am sure the scent is delightful too. Soak creates specialty laundry soap for delicates. The new fragrance is set to launch February 11. (more…)
First off, I never thought I would ever be blogging about a convenience store’s branding. But Swedish design firm, BVD, has done the impossible. Their approach was to emphasize the iconic stripes and modernize the brand. Strangely, it does feel modern, but super retro at the same time. Overall, I think the brand is a fresh new take to the store that birthed Slurpees. If only the new designs would make it to America. (more…)
Last week I received Infographics: The Power of Visual Storytelling in the mail from Column Five Media! Before I left C5, they were in the final stages of preparing the book for publishing. So seeing it now was a pleasant surprise. Using a myriad of examples of their own work, the book explains what makes inographics successful and relevant. There is a lot more to infographics than big numbers and fun illustrations. Order your own book here and find out what all the hype is about.
Sometimes in the urban sprawl, it’s hard to find beauty and inspiration, especially in abandoned, dilapidated, run-down buildings. A series of 30 photographs featured on Francesco Mugnai’s blog shows how these eyesores can be a beautiful source of wonder, inspiration, and can be even a little bit magical. Images of plant infested infrastructure and the skeletons of colosseums showcase the beauty that can be found if we take the time to look at our world in a more creative light.
I can’t tell you how many weather apps I have gone through now, but I think this is the one. Solar is a super minimal weather app with mesmerizing colorscapes reflecting the temperature. As you drag your finger up or down on the screen you move through the hours of the day seeing the forecast, all while the colors continue to change. For those of you who aren’t that into weather, this may just make you a believer. Go check it out in the App Store.
When we moved to Boston, we wanted to find some good furniture pieces to spice up our otherwise dull decor. After hunting through antique shops and spending countless hours on Craigslist, we were coming up short and about to settle on a boring, cheap coffee table. That is,until Brad made an awesome find, a diamond in the rough if you will. (more…)
Israeli illustrator, Einat Tsarfati amazed me with her eclectic portfolio of work. Sometimes she uses a simple, graphic style with lots of bright colors. In others she has loose pen drawings with minimal color. Yet no matter what style she seems to use, it ends up looking great. And not only is it aesthetic, but her illustrations all tell a story. It makes sense why she uses so many styles. Here are some of my favorites from her website:
When you hear the word “dazzle,” the first thing that comes to mind is definitely not World War I warships, but oddly, that was a common term in military camouflage of the war era. Dazzle camouflage was not sequence and boas, but instead an op art style of painting used on warships throughout World War I and World War II.
As a guitar player and father of a little boy, these beautifully simple and customizable, 3 string guitars immediately made it onto my wishlist. Your kid can handpick each part of the guitar to build their own, personalized instrument. And once they grow out of a certain body style, or want to move to the next level, they can upgrade with a new color, body, or even a longer neck.