Friday, October 30, 2009

Slash and Ghost Stories


In anticipation of Halloween, I found the most fitting exhibits to the occasion from the Museum of Arts and Design. From Slash: Paper Under the Knife are two pieces that use laser cut technology.

"Theatre for Magicians" by Sara Shafiei and "Your House" by Olafur Eliasson.

Photos by Saraben Studio and kremo respectively.




From Ghost Stories: New Design from Nendo is the Fade-Out Chair pictured above made of synthetic material and rubber.

Photo by Masayuki Hayashi.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

South Front Antique Market

This past weekend I parked in front of the South Front Antique Market to get to the River Arts Fest and then decided to stop in and browse the selection. I was looking for casters in particular and found more than I imagined. {All casters were $2.50 each.} See what other things caught my eye below.




Check it out this weekend! It's a pretty well-stocked showroom with nothing I would call junk. Although not listed on their website, they have furniture too.

South Front Antique Market
374 South Front Street {Downtown}
Memphis, TN 38103
ph +1.901.229.0299 or +1.901.527.0109
Click here for website.

{ Store Hours } Tuesday to Saturday ~ 10 am to 4:30 pm

Photos by Sophorn.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fave Find For My Girls


Love this collection from Nervous System. The 2 necklaces and bracelet shown are machine cut to create designs you wouldn't expect from a flexible material like the rubber or felt used here. Their etsy shop will be a definite visit to find gifts for all the fabulous ladies I know.

Found via Design Milk. Photos from Nervous System website.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

River Arts Fest ~ Don't Miss Day 2

Day 1 of the River Arts Fest in the South Main Arts District was definitely the highlight of downtown yesterday. Today should be another gorgeous day to shop for great art and crafts and to enjoy live music. Below are my highlights from yesterday to definitely check out.
***
Urban Folk Art by Anthony Pack / Booth located near Ernestine and Hazel's /Just as I was admiring these whimsical creations, Anthony Pack was just awarded a prize for Best in Show {I believe that is the prize name). It was well-deserved. I do love the collection even the handcrafted wooden sign.


***

Serena Kojimoto Studio / Booth located near Ernestine and Hazel's /A jewelry booth was not rare so I passed many of them after a quick glance but this particular booth made me stop to admire. The orange and blue colors were the real eye-catchers. It would go great with all the black I wear.


***

CrepeMaker / The Opulence Entree Crepe ~ Chicken, Artichoke Hearts, and Spinach / They had such a great selection of entree and dessert crepes. I only had time to try the Opulence crepe shown below. I am definitely going back for one of the dessert crepes though.

Photos by Sophorn.

Friday, October 23, 2009

To Be Heard ~ Our Own Voice Theatre Troupe Presents Boxing Unformed / My Lunch with Randy

For 18 years, the non-profit group Our Own Voice Theatre Troupe has given a voice to those dealing with mental illness and the topic of mental health. Their latest production speaks about schizophrenia in a comedic way. The back and forth conversation that can be likened to a boxing match is to be heard and definitely to be seen. See details from the group below.



Our Own Voice Theatre Troupe presents Boxing Unformed / My Lunch with Randy a “post-modern comedy” that explores living with schizophrenia through dance, theatrical image-making and improvisation.

Upcoming Performances
October 23 and 24 ~ 8 pm
October 25 ~ 3 pm
At TheatreWorks, 2085 Monroe
General admission $10 and $8 for students and seniors.
Sunday matinees are pay-what-you- can shows.

For reservations or more information, call (901) 274-1000.
Visit them on the web here.

More Details
The production will be directed by company founder Bill Baker and was written by long-time troupe member Randy Youngblood. This will be the tenth collaboration between the two men, and it’s fair to say that the company’s experimental techniques have developed to a large part from Baker’s efforts to bring Youngblood’s challenging texts to the stage.

Written in a style that has been described as “seemingly random non sequiturs gaining in resonance and texture,” Youngblood’s scripts like Supergroups A+, (1999), Country Spacecraft Ballerina (2002), Good Time Speech (2003) and Broadminded Mental Brains (2005) have pushed the company to develop its uniquely collaborative style of rehearsal and performance.“We self-consciously sought to represent the creative encounters that bring these words from the pen to the stage,” Baker said. “As the two old friends meet over a meal to discuss the play, the company will become the words of the script through dance, theatrical image-making and improvisation, with emphasis on improvisation. We’re excited. No two shows will be exactly the same.”

Created in 1991, Our Own Voice Theatre Troupe is a non-profit organization working to empower people marginalized by mental illness and striving to engage our community in dialogue about mental health.

Another Way to Support Our Own Voice Theatre Troupe

What if Our Own Voice Theatre Troupe earned a penny every time you searched the Internet? Or how about if a percentage of every purchase you made online went to support our troupe? Now it can!

GoodSearch.com is a new Yahoo-powered search engine that donates half its advertising revenue, about a penny per search, to the charities its users designate. Use it just as you would any search engine, get quality search results from Yahoo, and donate to OOVTT at the same time! It's easy and free.

GoodShop.com is a new online shopping mall which donates up to 37 percent of each purchase to your favorite cause or nonprofit organization! Hundreds of great stores including Target, Gap, Best Buy, ebay, Macy's and Barnes & Noble have teamed up with GoodShop and every time you place an order, you'll be supporting Our Own Voice.

Just go to www.goodsearch.com and be sure to enter Our Own Voice Theatre Troupe as the charity you want to support.

Poster (pictured above) designed by Allison Hennie.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Motivational Mondays : Women are Heroes

I have featured the work of French photographer JR before when admiring the sheer size and unique application of his portraits, but today his work is admired for using his art to uplift the spirits of some of poorest people in this world. Specifically, his latest exhibit “Women are Heroes” speaks volumes about how important women are in the success of its people. I say this, not necessarily as a woman, but more as a mother. It reminds me of the statement Dress for Success Memphis uses in defining the importance of helping women become self-sufficient. When a woman / a mother is changed, a child is changed; and as our future, our community will be changed, for the better.


His photos enliven the slums of Kibera in Naiobi, Kenya. Trains, buses, walls and rooftops become the gallery space.







On many levels his photos help the village. As the photos are printed on water-resistant vinyl, they also help provide a layer of protection over the loosely laid rooftops.

He has also had the portraits of women installed in Cambodia (as in photo below), India, and Brazil.



Below is a trailer from the first film from JR currently titled “Women are Heroes.” It is to be released in 2010.


Photos from JR Website. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Drifting Creatives ~ The Interview

I'd like to welcome today's guests Gavin Braman and Martin Hooper of driftingcreatives, a mobile design firm, featured in yesterday's Motivational Monday because of their adventurous spirit in making the most out of their situation. They would have been featured even if we had not crossed paths during their detour to Memphis for the national AIGA conference MAKE I THINK last week. This interview though likely springs from having them stay as upstairs guests and, I guess, researching everything possible about them before trusting them with the key to our apartment :) The questions I formed during the search are below.

When did you graduate / what was the date of the very first video "day zero"? {see previous posting to see video.}
Day zero was May 20th about 3 days after we walked across the stage (may17th?). Day 1 (first day on the road) was three days later.

I am sure you've already thought about this but it seems that working with clients with the use of the internet and email with graphic design can probably be done remotely without ever meeting face to face, why are you traveling? What are the advantages?
We work remotely on most projects, even if we connect with a client in a city we pass through, we typically finish the project remotely. We travel because we can! The mobility of design is really incredible because as designers we need to experience as much as we can. We're always exposed to problems in new fields/professions/cultures/environments/cities/etc. We solve them through research and experience. Traveling is just a tool.

We also travel to meet designers around the country. The number of people we've been able to meet and talk with in the last four months has taught us more than any experience in our life so far. Hopefully we're giving a broad perspective of what kind of design is out there for students. Sometimes it's good to get outside the comfort ring and explore. We're just trying to make it easier for that to happen.

I can see networking is probably one of the answers to that. How important is that to your business?
Networking is KING. Without twitter this whole trip wouldn't have been possible. Since we haven't done any direct advertising for ourselves, nearly every every cent that has gone into DC has been the result of some sort of networking. Every person we meet, online or in person, has the potential to blossom into a very awesome connection. It's definitely important to our business, but it's also just awesome to build relationships across the country. We've made some great friends.

What are some interesting observations you've made or things you've learned maybe from only being out on the road?
We've grown incredibly as designers, but we are most inspired by the amazing nature of people. Everyone has been unbelievably nice, welcoming, trusting, supportive, and we are amazed every day by how generous people can be. (Minus the person in Memphis that broke into our car and stole our gps, although we have to thank you for not stealing our computers.)

How do you plan what cities to visit?
The first round we didn't really plan very well at all. We just kind of got in the car and left, we had a few cities that we knew we wanted to stop in but other than that our travel was really organic. i.e. "Where do you want to go today?"

Since this system obviously had its draw backs we decided to switch it up a bit on the second round. We set up a Google map and asked people to put a pin in it if they had one of three things, a place to sleep, a designer/firm to meet with, or a little work to help us out. This worked out wonderfully and we ended up with a loop around the U.S.

You've visited large cities and small but I like how you stressed the small town concept of needing smart design? Have they been receptive?
Most of the towns we've visited have been very confused not only by what we're doing but by design in general. That being said we've done a few jobs in small towns, but most of the time you strike out. On the other hand, some of our remote work comes from small towns in Texas. People in small towns need smart design and are willing to trust you, but that relationship can't always be built in three days. It takes a while for business owners in small towns to come around to what design can do for them.

Do you take suggestions for places to visit? The small town-design need idea above reminds me of the architecture projects in one of the poorest counties in Alabama via the work of the architecture students at Rural Studio. I would suggest that Newbern and Greensboro where the Rural Studio mainly works, as a place you should visit and maybe collaborate with them on a project.
When we started the second round we took suggestions of places to visit, we're not sure when round three will happen but if it does we'll make sure to check it out.

What's the greatest motivation to take on an "adventure" like this? If money, name the 2nd :)
The "adventure" part of the trip was a big factor for both of us. We also really wanted to help students like us. We had no idea what design looked like around the country and we wanted to help ourselves and other students learn and grow. Money isn't on the list!

Does one of you work in the car during the drive? Do you have any drive time where you are both looking for ways to pass the time? Do you play the typical road games or do you play any innovative road games that only graphic designers would only create?
Most of the time, the person in the passenger seat is drawing or working. We don't really play too many games. We also spend time talking about the most random subjects you could ever imagine. We're going to continue to operate as a firm when we get back home, so we have a lot of time to talk about business also. Here are a couple of silly videos of us in the car — a little word association among other randomness in the car and some terrible singing

Who takes the great photograph series of you guys holding the laptops?
Gavin is the photographer, usually with the help of our backpacks in a pile and a timer.Our original promo pictures were done by our good friend Savannah Smith.

What was the result of your "guerilla graphic design" exercise with the massage studio? Did they contact you and take you up on the new logos? Would you do that again? {click here and see posting "Take these Logos"}
We never heard from them, it was just for our entertainment though. We had been cold calling all day and needed a little creative excitement. We might do it again, it was fun.

Martin, how will getting married affect this endeavor? Well, as of now, we have about six days left on the road. Right now there are no def. plans for Round Three, but you never know. My fiancé is really understanding about what I'm doing so if I can't video chat one night, she normally forgives me. We're setting up our own firm and we'll probably stay put 10 months out of the year, I think she's okay with that. haha

***
Thanks for the interview Gavin and Martin. You're welcome to stay upstairs apartment anytime you're in Memphis {if it's not rented of course.} Also thanks for the cool t-shirts you left for us.




You can buy the t-shirt pictured above here to help them on their adventure or donate here.

Contact

driftingcreatives / driftingcreatives@gmail.com
Martin Hooper / mhooper627@gmail.com
Gavin Braman / gavinbraman@gmail.com
On Twitter @driftcreate
http://www.driftingcreatives.com/

Photos from driftingcreatives.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Motivational Mondays: Drifting Creatives

Instead of sitting around waiting for work, these recent graduates are taking life and their career in their own hands, and as designers are doing it a little bit differently and more creatively. See their introductory video explaining the idea behind Drifting Creatives and stay tuned for my interview with creative duo Martin Hooper and Gavin Braman.

Also see their previous feature in Process Magazine here.

Friday, October 9, 2009

To Crave ~ SOLE Restaurant / Downtown Memphis

Here's a sneak peek into the food feature on one of Memphis' newest restaurant SOLE restaurant and raw bar. The full feature will have my interview with executive chef Mathew Crone. Stay tuned.

Don't miss their Lobster Bake this Saturday night 10/10/09. Get a salad or lobster bisque and a whole lobster wtih peruvian potatoes, almond cole slaw and corn fritters for just $29.


Entrance to SOLE from Westin Lobby {with Atticus, the blur, in the foreground} and the Field Greens Salad ~candied pecans, goat cheese, crispy yams & caramelized shallot vinaigrette.


Springer Mountain Chicken Breast ~crispy polenta cake, collard greens & poultry jus. Everything was perfect. The polenta cake was the surprise favorite.


The bar and stock. Quite the selection.

SOLE restaurant and raw bar
At the Westin Hotel across from the FedEx Forum
221 South Third Street
Memphis, TN 38103
ph +1.901.334.5950
f +1.901.334.5959

Special thanks to Sheetal, SOLE Director of Sales and Catering.
All photos by Sophorn.

Sole Restaurant & Raw Bar on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Capturing Pure Happiness


Going higher, higher, and higher in the ferris wheel at Memphest 2009.
Photo by Sophorn.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Inside the {Logo} Design ~ Buck Daddy Blog / Part 3 / Experimentation

Even though I had initial ideas in my head, I started by just looking at the letterforms in a sans serif font {myriad} in black and gray to distill the big ideas and changing them virtually one change at a time to make sure I am as thorough with displaying, for the purpose of this posting, all design directions as possible. I wanted the printed letters/words to inform me of any ideas or to just show me that something for sure doesn't work.

None of these are refined but just one step into an idea, enough to help the client decide whether it should be further explored and refined. Below is the first series.



What's distilled} The gray starts to show the idea for a highlighting color which means the words can move closer together. Conceptually, it also seems to make more sense that the word "DADDY" should be in a bright color since it relates more obviously to kids. The all-capital letters helps clean up the logo, especially when you zoom out or squint. The squint test: it's a test I use to see if the silhouette is appealing and shaping up nicely.



What's distilled} The image of the father tossing a child up in the air is a familiar one that's usually associated with dads and always makes me smile. Conveying a good emotion is always a good thing. I will need to refine the image if it continues to be explored.



What's distilled} The evolvement of the vertical stack is definitely cleaner towards the bottom right. I see more potential with this series than the previous ones.



What's distilled} This series is a bit bleak since I don't have a large catalog of fonts to choose from, and I don't know if I have the time to create a custom font. I definitely don't think the thin font conveys the right message of strength, do you?

What's distilled} This series is where I started with ideas for the mark first to help inform the rest of the logo. I understand the text bubble symbol is commonly used for blogs and communication logos but I wanted to see if it was appropriate and if it could be done from a fresh perspective. The bottom symbol doubles the message since it also looks like a computer screen.

I haven't experimented yet with 3-D options. I want to wait for Buck's comments about the series above first. Please feel free to share your thoughts too.

Stay tuned for Part 4 / Either Refining Ideas or More Experimentation and Studies.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Motivational Mondays : Something Good in Memphis



It's easy for the negative aspects of Memphis and any city really to be publicized and really stick in people's minds, but MIFA {Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association} is starting a new campaign for Memphis ~ Something Good in Memphis {SGIM}. This online campaign celebrates the positive side of Memphis by celebrating the people and their acts of kindness which make Memphis a better place for all of us. Visit SGIM to nominate someone that makes a positive impact on Memphis today.

Below is a recent example of a stranger's act of kindness shared through twitter.
Starbucks on Poplar/Prescott, a woman offered to pay for me so I wouldn't have to go out in the rain b/c I left my wallet in the car - SGIM!

Related Links MIFA / Channel 5 Story & Video / Live from Memphis Blog Holtermonster in Hiding

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fave Find: For My Boys

We're a big fan of Threadless tees since their designs are contributed by graphic artists. One of these talented artists is Glenn Jones who has started his own place online to shop his designs specifically. I found one for my husband and one for my 3-year-old that they would love. Christopher hates Barney. (Do all men?) Atticus loves Thomas the Train and would love to sport tough Thomas / transformer Thomas.



Prehistoric Freak



Split Personality

Related Links Glenn Jones Behance Portfolio / Shop Glennz

Photos from Glennz website.
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