Tuesday January 23rd 2018



Démocratie Créative : Street Art for the People to Play

This project has everything we love about street art.  It’s engaging, original, spontaneous, and here’s the difference…the call to action is immediate : taking back the streets for play.

Created by the French collective, Démocratie Créative,  Spielplatz is a street art project which turns the streets into a playground.

In their words:

Democracy is a project of Creative Studies and artistic actions in public space. Through a participatory approach and we propose experimental to imagine the city and its possibilities.

Our goals are focused on three areas:

question the city on his daily environment

involve residents in the appropriation of their territory

exchange interventions around space

Via with a pointer from Noah Laux

Pixar’s Austin Madison : Persist on Telling Your Story

This came to us through an artist who persists on telling his story, reminding us, not to give up: no matter what.



May 17, 2011

To Whom it May Inspire,

I, like many of you artists out there, constantly shift between two states. The first (and far more preferable of the two) is white-hot, “in the zone” seat-of-the-pants, firing on all cylinders creative mode. This is when you lay your pen down and the ideas pour out like wine from a royal chalice! This happens about 3% of the time.

The other 97% of the time I am in the frustrated, struggling, office-corner-full-of-crumpled-up-paper mode. The important thing is to slog diligently through this quagmire of discouragement and despair. Put on some audio commentary and listen to the stories of professionals who have been making films for decades going through the same slings and arrows of outrageous production problems.

In a word: PERSIST.

PERSIST on telling your story. PERSIST on reaching your audience. PERSIST on staying true to your vision. Remember what Peter Jackson said, “Pain is temporary. Film is forever.” And he of all people should know.

So next time you hit writer’s block, or your computer crashes and you lose an entire night’s work because you didn’t hit save (always hit save), just remember: you’re never far from that next burst of divine creativity. Work through that 97% of murky abyssmal mediocrity to get to that 3% which everyone will remember you for!

I guarantee you, the art will be well worth the work!

Your friend and mine,

Austin Madison



Thank you, Beckett for inspiring this.


Anthony Lister : Street Art in Berlin

Anthony Lister is an Australian artist living in New York.  Working as a street artist on projects that are sometimes “uncommissioned”, Lister has a style that is engaging and immediate.  See the video by Pindarodge which documents a recent trip to Berlin, where Lister was invited to create a show with one week to prepare.

Lister utilized an abandoned sanatorium to paint a pool, with a twist.

Anthony Lister in Berlin from rodgezooi on Vimeo.

Take a look at some of Lister’s other work from the not so distant past, to get a sense of his intuitive and somewhat biting style.


Get Cake Homie

Cake : Patrick Martinez

Somehow this just seems a good way to send best wishes for a happy 4th of July weekend to all our peeps worldwide.  Enjoy!


Kerry Howley : Attracts & Repels with Hair Necklaces

During the mid-nineteenth century hair work became a popular drawing-room occupation as the Victorians used hair in jewelry.  But modernity gave way to a different aesthetic, so that the work from Kerry Howley’s graduate project at Middlesex University makes us pause for the very reasons she decided to do the series:

My concept is a material exploration of attraction and aversion and how we can feel these seemingly opposing emotional responses simultaneously.

The necklaces are made of human hair, a material we are familiar with and take pride in. However once off of the body it becomes an innate source of aversion. I wanted to see if I could make discarded hair attractive again.

Through the familiar form of a necklace, and using patterns and symmetry that we instinctively find aesthetically pleasing, I hoped to create a delicate balance between the viewer/wearers feelings of aversion and attraction.

Howley’s medium was provided by one of her mother’s friends, a Japanese woman with hair down to her waist, who had not cut it in 5 years.  Howley used broken saw blades to cut and then weave about 12 inches (30 cm) of hair.  Each piece takes over 60 hours to create, and her patterns are inspired by wallpaper patterns.

The facts aside, her intention is clearly met, as her beautiful patterns draw us in to notice her disarming choice of material, and then question our feelings.




Reuse Project of the Day : Judith Klausner : Oreo Cameos

A simply lovely use for Oreos by Judith Klausner.

Tobias Wong : Candle that Burns the Scent of New York Times

When we saw this idea by conceptual designer Tobias Wong, who died too young at 35 last year, we immediately wanted one.  His work, always smart, gorgeous and ironic, often turned our ideas upside down.

Wong's Engagement Ring design

So it doesn’t surprise that this limited-edition run of 1000 scented candles sold out immediately.  The work considers the death of print as we remember the scent of a newspaper when burned. The candle is described as :

A sweet mix of cedar, pulp and other vaguely homey aromas, this candle is not nearly as acrid and punchy as the smell of a normal Morning Edition. In short, it’s a memory straight from the mind of a romantic who loved print but wouldn’t dare express it without provocation.

Kudos to those smart enough to jump on the opportunity, and we’ll let you know if they consider another run.


Video of the Day : Be Africa by Bibi Tanga & the Selenites

Post-production props go to the French animation duo Soandsau for this homage to feel goodness from Bibi Tanga and the Selenites.  Be Africa just lets the good stuff happen in a joyful aural and visual feast.

Found this via @helenwalters, whose wonderful blog thoughtyoushouldseethis.com is a plethora of daily inspiration.  Thank you Helen, thank you Bibi Tanga and the Selenites…thank you, Africa for inspiring some sunshine on this gray, NorCal Wednesday.

Paper Cut Project : The Simple Material of Paper Fashioned

Perhaps you’ve seen the work of Paper Cut Project, though a recent collaboration on a micro-collection of wigs (above) with luxury brand Cartier, is a slight departure from the pairs’s exclusive use of white paper.  

The work rides the line between art, papercraft and fashion, but we’ll let Amy Flurry and Nikki Salk, partners in the venture describe their Paper Cut Project:

Picture a perfectly natural leaf that folds and folds again, ties, ducks under, rises, curls, roles, spreads wings, grows fur and might even form eyes, all without moving at all. It’s the opposite of trickery and a reminder :

That’s what white paper can do – allow you to use simple tools to cut it, shape it and recombine elements to form a new whole.

Whether adornment, flora or fauna, mean to be a mask or to be unmasked, these not so delicate paper objects behave like trifles, flat sheets of vellum that slipped into adolescence overnight and wake into morning to become imperfect, handmade things. While we work hard to let the paper do what it does, which is to allow a bit of soft finery back into an over-polished world, when our designs come close, but not too, to what I had imagined, I always remember: no two snowflakes are identical either.

However one defines the work, we find its lyrical and transformative qualities charming, and wonder at the next imaginings of the creators.


Charley Harper’s Graphical Nature on View in Germany

Charley Harper Fotocollage Todd Oldham, 2007

My friend Michele Lott, who designed the mixing reality logo, introduced me to Charley Harper’s iconic work.  An American modernist, Harper’s influence on graphic design is profound.  Cincinnati-based,  Harper lived from August 4, 1922 – June 10, 2007, and maintained a studio there for over 40 years.

Charley Harper said of his art : When I look at a wildlife or nature subject, I don’t see the feathers in the wings, I just count the wings. I see exciting shapes, colour combinations, patterns, textures, fascinating behaviour and endless possibilities for making interesting pictures.

In a style he called “minimal realism”, Harper used flat planes of color, geometry and bold graphic statements to simplify complex systems of nature.  Silkscreen was a medium he utilized often, as his style lent itself to it’s technical results.

Many years later, his breakthrough vision asks us still, to consider nature from a different perspective.  He changed the way we see, and his influence can still be felt in graphic design, advertising and the art of now.

Germany’s  Kunstverein Hamburg assembled more than 60 silk screens of Charley Harper’s for the first exhibition of Harper’s work in that country.  And we can thank them for the opportunity to consider his seminal style whose originality is unmistakable and highly influential.

A few years back, designer Todd Oldham did an interview with Harper in his studio.  Do enjoy Oldham’s fond memories of Harper’s influence, and a few more of his endearing images.


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