Student Spotlight 2: Katie Kirkton

I met Katie Kirkton a little while back at an AIGA portfolio review. The piece that caught my eye was her Chihuly piece. I have seen his work in person when he visited Kalamazoo Michigan and her work really conveys the feel of it. The colors, photographs, and the structured typography all come together really nicely.

I also am a big fan of the brochure with his signature on it. It creates a fantastic texture and really conveys the kind of free forms that Chihuly creates in his work.

Thanks for keeping me updated on your work Katie!

Out Learning for the Day

You might have seen this up yesterday until I took it down and replaced it with the video. Still wanted to have this one up though. Today I'm at an Adobe conference learning lots of cool new things.  Maybe it will lead to some great new ideas. Hopefully one of these days I have one of those ideas, and it makes me a very happy man (rich would be good too, but I can settle with just happy).

100th Post!

A Year in the Life of.... from The Large Bear on Vimeo.

So this is the surprise I promised a little while back! I figured it would be great to celebrate my 2nd year at my studio and the 100th post on the blog all at once!

I started this video with the very first photo just over 2 years ago, worked on it for a year, and then just kind of got lazy and never finished it.

So a little about the video:

This is a time lapse video of the first year of my life at the design studio I work for.
I got here when there as literally nothing in the room, one of the first things I did with the new computer was take a photo. Somehow I decided to start doing this everyday. I have forgotten days here and there, but still ended up with a good chunk of them.
You can see the office build behind me (I built all of the furniture here), my hair grows and gets cut, beard grows in and out, etc. Sit back and enjoy.

Also, I had planned on putting music along with it. But with the idea that somebody would probably sue me and I couldn't find any good royalty free music that I wanted, that idea went out the window a bit. So if you see this, and you have some of your own music that you would think would go with it (a bit fast paced), send me a message. If it works out, i'll get it on there and hopefully get your name out there a bit too.

Poster Clips Part Deux

I posted about these posters clips from the MUT back during poster week . I finally found the other place I saw the photos that shows them off a bit better.

Love the color coordination of the gig posters as well. Always good finds over at Apartment Therapy .

Sorry for a not so involved post. Killer headache tonight, laid around for most of the night and got nothing done...

How I Feel

This is a drawing my friend Laura sent over to me today with the simple message:

"This is how I feel today"

I think we've all had that day haven't we? We talked for a bit about the drawing and might work on it and make it into a screenprint. Slight changes here and there (maybe replace the eyeball with something else) and make a poster out of it.

The First Day of Fall

Well it's that time of the year again, Fall is here. The weather lately has seemed to fit that too since it has been a bit cooler and a bit wetter then normal. We went on a 14 mile bike ride over the weekend, and I am excited to keep doing it as the trees turn. For some reason Fall has just become one of my favorite seasons. Summer used to be great when you would get it off from school, but when you have to work, it is just hot. I love winter and snow, but there isn't enough snow here to do anything with it, and it is just cold (-30 anyone? How the hell did that happen last year?). So I think we have a winner with Fall.

Doesn't hurt that I just love the smell of Fall in the air, you know that smell? Getting cider and donuts, picking out pumpkins, cornmazes (yes, I live in the Midwest...), all so good.

I only thought that this print was fitting for the turn of the seasons. This framed print is available over on Pressed Leaf for $395. No, its not cheap, but I do have to say that is is amazing. The part that is winning me over is the texture. The areas of the stems that are coming up "off" the paper a bit just adds so many visual layers to it. Plus, the vibrant color and the patterning is just amazing. Go check out the rest of the work there because it is quite amazing what they do with pressed leaves.

Oh, and this won't be the last fall related post, plenty more to come.

Summer Has Come and Gone

The last day of summer. Although it hasn't felt that much like summer, cooler weather and some rains, I'm ready for it. Can't say it is the end of some BBQ for me though, since I grill outdoors all year long.

This is a painting by John Tebeau and I think it doesn't even have to be explained why it says "summer." All it needs is a pool (or beach) and a cooler of beer. Available as an original painting for $400 or a print for $19.

It all started with a U

Today I want to share the typeface Museo with you. I ran across it this week while looking for a different typeface for a new logo, and I went with it's Sans brother instead.

However, I really like this typeface. The serifs are different from everything out there, but yet it's not that "out there" that it can't be used in a wide range of applications.

Doesn't hurt that you can actually download a couple weights of both Museo and Museo Sans for free to give it a try before you dive right into the entire family.

Time Flies

2 Years

Well, today marked the day that I started my job 2 years ago. On one hand it seems like it has flown by and then other times it seems like it has been dragging. Overall it's been great though. You never know what might be around the next turn.

So to commemorate my 2 years here, I am actually going to finish a project I started when I started my job (give or take a week). I worked on it almost every day for a year, and I am finally going to finish it. A lot of you that know me already know what it is, but hopefully are ready for it to be done too. I will put some finishing touches on it this weekend.

Wakka Wakka Wakka

Very cool Pac Man bag I found over on technabob. I mean how cool is that? I am a big fan of the second one because it is a bit more low key, but the first one is nice and bright.

Too bad they are only in Korea right now, the $39 price tag isn't bad though.

Makes me think about a design project I am working on, and how I might have to do a second one...

Boontje and HP

Time to pair a little technology and design, and in a good way
Tord Boontje Studio has been working with HP and have developed a new case for the Mini 110 netbook. It features some illustrations and patterning that is characteristic to Boontje and is a little bit different then current laptop cases. It is not a flat image. It uses a new technology called "HP Imprint 3D" so that the image is constructed out of many different layers and add some real depth to the images. It looks as all of that is under a smooth finish though so you don't have to worry about it getting destroyed throughout your daily life.
The design is a white on white pattern consisting of plants and endangered animals. It looks as if some of it is reflective as well, as you can see in one of the photos. Also, the designers are available as 15 wallpapers included on the netbook and other items such as mice will be coming out as well.
The great thing? They are not going to completely screw the customers and jack the price on it because it has a famous name attached to it (along with a new technology to make it etc.). It is supposed to retail for $399 which is in line with their other offerings.
[pictures and via Engadget and Laptop ]

Renegade Full Report

As Promised time for a full report on the Renegade Craft Fair.

First things first, I had been looking forward to go to this for quite awhile, so I was all ready to be dazzled. However, overall I probably give it a 7 out of 10. Leaps and bounds above the standard touring art fair that seems to show up everywhere, but room for improvement.

My biggest gripe for the entire event would be parking, of the extreme lack thereof. I double and triple checked the website for information. It told me how to get there if taking the EL, if I was biking, but nothing about a car. I live 2 hours away from Chicago, biking isn't an option... Looked for other info online and in past years this was a bad area as well... great start. So after 2 traffic jams, we were in the area, and yup, no parking. The fair is basically set up in a neighborhood, so there aren't any parking garages, and about 60% (or more) of the street parking is permit only. After driving around for 20 min, and almost just giving up, I scored a spot.

Step 1: Get there - CHECK

It was much bigger then I expected, and had white tents as far as the eye could see as well as so many people near the booths you could barely move. I didn't even go in a lot of them because it was just too packed with people. Plus the people were for the lack of better words, assholes. Pushy, grabby, etc. They would push right in front of you only to stop right in the middle of the flow of "traffic." People would just stand in large groups right outside a booth and chat, when they were obviously in everyone's way. I mean come on people, look around you, have common sense.

So, after that rant, lets break it down into some lists:

  • Overall Great contest for an art fair, not too many watercolors of a beach going on if you know what I mean
  • Some illustrators I have seen on the web forever and got to see in person
  • I met Jay Ryan
  • Found art that would normally be somewhat hard to find (although most of it is actually on etsy you just need to look)
  • Free
  • Some good food and beer tent (although I didn't have any beer)
  • No parking
  • Everybody else who was there (ha... I sound like I need to live in a shack out in the woods or something)
  • Booth after booth of overpriced screen printed t-shirts. $30 for a t-shirt, probably not. That's just me though.
  • Lack of vendors who excepted credit card (even the food). I have taken this as a normal part of everyday life and didn't expect people to not except it (maybe some, but not THAT many). One place actually accepted checks, but not plastic. I didn't bring a ton of cash one me since I had planned on credit cards, so I was wrong.

To expand on the last con above I think etsy is the culprit behind this part though. Most of the vendors are on etsy and etsy takes care of all of the transactions for them. So if that is the only place you sell, you don't need CC services. However, then put yourself in a setting like this, and now you can only take cash, and limit your potential cash flow. It seems like there would be a way to do it with a smart phone and paypal (actually I know you can).

Ok, so back to the rating of a 7 out of 10. It was fun, I am glad I went, and will try to go up for the holiday sale. However, I think I prefer the much smaller and low key INDIEana Craft Exchange that I went to last year. But Renegade started out small too, and it's just grown to where it is now. I know the planners put a lot into it, but there are some problems that need to be fixed. Parking, and maybe some diversity of vendors, too much of the same thing.

Renegade Quick Recap

Entrance On the Paulina Street Side
I actually got to meet and chat with Jay Ryan for a bit. Very Awesome. Didn't know we were doing the "make faces" thing in the photo so I look kind of like a dweeb (I also think this might be the first time some of you readers have seen me, my secret is out!)
Sadly the booth was busy and I didn't have a chance to inquire about her undead. Coincidentally there is a bear right there and I also like the living dead...hmmmmm

Happy Monday everyone!

So I was actually able to make it up to the Renegade Craft Fair this weekend and I am planning on doing a much more involved post on the event this week, but since I am pretty tired, just a quick recap for now.

Plenty more pictures to come.

One thing this makes me want to get up off my ass more then ever and start working on some stuff. I need to find a way to screenprint here, top of the list. I am currently building a small shelf thing, and coating the new desktop I built, and like 9 other projects, but it is not enough!

Renegade This Weekend

For anyone in the general Chicago vicinity this weekend, try and go and check out the Renegade Craft Fair.  I am going to be up there and will have a full report for all of you on Monday. Hopefully it will all go good!

Branislav Kropilak - Photographer

Above are some of the amazing photographs by Branislav Kropilak  (at the time of writing this, his site seems to be down). I have photography on the brain tonight, and I knew exactly what I wanted to post. His photo are been around on the popular design blogs here and there, but it's my turn.

Kropilak is a photographer originally from Batislava Slovakia and they just aren't your ordinary landscape shots. Instead he takes photos of most things people would pass by. Billboards for instance, photographed from directly under them. So they loose the feeling that they are billboards and instead look like pieces of intergalactic equipment. He also takes photos of the insides of parking garages with some interesting outcomes. Last, he takes photographs near airports with long exposures and records flight paths with lights.

All of this is simply amazing. Shot well, lit well, everything.

So photography is on my mind. However most of these would have been shot with natural lighting with nice long exposures and the kind of photography on my mind is off camera strobe lighting. Anyone want to teach me how to get setup for this? I have checked out a few lighting blogs and I am beyond lost. Makes me wish I took a bit more photography in school, or if I ever do go back to school to go for photography (with the 2 choices being more design and photography).

What a Day

09 / 09 / 09

So it is one of "those" kinds of day, the numerical kind. This won't be around again for a long long time.

However you can celebrate Mole Day coming up which is the celebration of the numerical number mole, which is 6.02 x 1023, so we celebrate it on October 23rd. I remember having partys in Chemistry for that one back in high school.

Sorry no real post today, I am trying to fix something on the blog. As you can see the nice page counter at the bottom is gone. I found a flaw in it, and unless I can fix it, I won't be using it anymore, just the stupid "Older" link. Very sad.

Hand Made Stamp of Approval

This is a "hand made" stamp for sale over at Twine. It caught my eye first with the good idea to somehow mark your goods as handmade. Wether you are a screen printer, sewer (is that how you spell someone who sews, not like a drain pipe?), drawer, crafter, or something else.

But then it got me to thinking, if you are into making things handmade, why not hand make the stamp yourself? Yes, for some that would be above and beyond, but really, a stamp that says handmade, which is not handmade is kind of an oxymoron. Isn't it?

If you want to mark your goods you can pick it up for $6.50 over in their store.

Couch Guitar Straps - I am 8-bit Edition

We all know that I am somewhat obsessed with video games. While I was traveling last week, I did not have a NES for my daily mario on it, so sad. As a fan of video games I am also a fan of video game art and "I am 8-Bit". If you don't know what that is it is in LA each year and is a gallery event filled with video game inspired art. Very cool. 

Above is the guitar hero guitar strap that was created in conjunction with" I am 8-bit" from Couch Guitar Straps. It also happens to be the strap on my guitar hero guitar. Love it. I am also thinking about / working on painting my guitar to go along wih the strap. Maybe soon I will have some time to work on that. I will be posting the end result on here for sure, maybe some process pics.

*NOTE I was told today how I didn't mention that my awesome wife got me the guitar strap... Well she did, and now I pay for being wrong.

A Little of My Own Work

Well Poster Week is coming to a close, and I think it went rather well. Maybe next time I won't plan a week with a lot of extra posts on a week where I am traveling, not too smart...

So I thought I would try and end the week with a little bit of a self promotional plug. This is a poster that I created last year. I went up to Chicago to learn how to screenprint (better) from Steve at the Screwnall Press, and this is the end result. I am pretty happy with the outcome. The poster is 3 inks, orange, dark grey, and metallic silver

It is available in my Etsy store and you can click the link over on the right side of the page to get there. There is a bit more of a description of the poster on the Etsy page as well as a couple more photos. The plan is to take the money I make from these posters and put it back into my art. So if I sell a few, it goes towards more supplies and therefore more art.

This is just a taste of some of my work, I am hoping to have a lot more of it up soon. I have some lithographs from school I am going to post on here and on the etsy store and I am currently working on a couple of bllock prints.

Have a great long weekend everyone!