Wednesday, March 30, 2011

O-wow ~ Stitched Illustrations

Here's a great project to start the o-wow series back up again. These illustrations by Peter Crawley that are not drawn but stitched are just amazing. The architectural ones along with the graphic design pieces fascinate and inspire me particularly. See more of his work here.

Found via of paper and things. O-wow graphic label by Sophorn.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sussex Recordings Logo / Test 1

The cover art for Tristan Clopet's latest single is done, and I would really love to show it now but it's probably cooler to wait till it reveals itself on iTunes and Tristan's facebook page. It's pretty radical from the first set of options I showed last week.  In the meantime, the record label that Tristan's full-length album will be released on needed a logo.  The rearing horse was requested which was fairly easy to piece together from images I found but finding the right font, as always, took a little more time.  A standard font was modified in detail, particularly the ends of the R, d, and g.  The rest was a sizing exercise.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Guest Music Mix {Todd}

The song for each day of this  week will be provided by my new friend Todd who has sent me music suggestions a plenty so I thought it would be easier to just have him takeover the playlist.  See the featured artists this week with a brief description from Todd on his picks then stay tuned as each song is revealed each day. / Thanks Todd!

M / Raphael Saadiq / I love the mix of the old sounds mixed with new vibes. Raphael Saadiq has somehow channeled the ghost of Buddy Holly.
T / Passion Pit / Included this song on a mix CD for my wife. It’s now her and my daughter’s new favorite dance song. I know that’s trite, but you can’t help dancing to it. If you can’t you’re a robot. Freak.
W Chad Valley / I can’t put my finger on why I love this song, but I do. It passes the 10 second test with authority and the beat is infectious.
TH / Erik B and Rakim / (Throwback) I come from times of yore when rap music made sense and you didn’t have to have strippers in your video to make it a good song. Erik B and Rakim provided some of the best East Coast beats of their time and are always in my musical rotation.
F / Eva Cassidy / (Cover) This song is hauntingly beautiful. I’d never heard of either band but trust me, my goggle will be finding them soon enough. The song starts off as if some guy were just playing a guitar in a libraryand then a girl with this amazing voice walks by and starts singing this random song. Then it all comes together in this delicate yet powerful ballad.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tasted ~ PieLab

Driving through west Alabama from Memphis to Monroeville, Alabama, my hometown, doesn’t exactly take you near PieLab, but an hour of extra drive time didn’t even phase me after learning about this recent James Beard finalist restaurant, proving “design can change the world”.  PieLab started as a pop-up shop in Greensboro, Alabama - the same town that architecture professors Sambo Mockbee and D.K. Ruth started Auburn University’s Rural Studio years ago.  The success and heart of Rural Studio’s mission to use design to heal the community have since inspired designers including those within Project M, the creators of PieLab, to do the same.   Through selling pie and providing a ‘civic clubhouse’ where ideas are exchanged, the design collective ProjectM wanted to initiate change through design and other unexpected ways.

We were greeted the moment we walked in as they were making more pies in the upfront open kitchen.  Fridays were pizza pie days but we went for the dessert pies that they recommended out of the about 8 available– the Irish cheesecake for me and the chocolate walnut pie for Atticus.  Fitting to their clubhouse mission, three big community tables filled the second half of the storefront space.  When he saw the cool green color of the St. Patrick’s Day themed cheesecake, he requested we make a trade.  When he saw the green drink that the gentlemen at our table had, he requested that too which sparked conversation because we had to ask exactly what he was drinking. It was the special lime flavored drink. We then ended up sharing each others dishes as usual, and I really can’t say I could pick a favorite of the two. They were both very delicious. 

The interior space and most of the furniture including the movable walls were made from reclaimed material.  The design is very similar to the Rural Studio style especially when you see the construction of the table legs. I also loved the edge detail where the wood planks were intentionally left staggered.  In the corner of the dining area, a small area was dedicated to more design - PieLab gear such as custom designed t-shirts, tote bags, and posters. Behind the movable storage walls were work stations for those volunteering with HERO, a local non-profit group and current managers of PieLab.  Also in the back was the coolest bathroom I have ever seen in a restaurant.  Just so minimal, rustic, artsy, and edgy all at the same time.  The single vertical pivot door was constructed like a barn door, and at the very end of the narrow room was the graphic framed like a painting above the toilet advising you the flush handle is on the left side. 

In the two hours we were there, we witnessed truly diverse sets of people – locals, visitors, young and old – enjoying pie and each others company.  We'll surely try to make this our rest stop of choice. 

Photos by Sophorn ~ See more photos that didn't make the post here.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thanks Benihana

Christopher, as FoodieMemphis coordinator, got invited to a media tasting at Benihana last night. We must really thank them tons for treating us to a great experience. Above is one of the recommended items on their menu ~ the chicken fried rice.  Look for a full review from Christopher later on this blog.

Photo by Sophorn

EqualGravity ~ Smoky Mountains Poster Sneak Peek

EqualGravity is very close to launching it's mission to give the national park souvenir market more design and eco-friendly choices. Here is the first look at the Smoky Mountains poster that will be available for sale after the launch.

Poster illustration by Sophorn. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tristan Clopet Single Cover Art / Progress Snapshot No. 1

There are 9 various options worth showing above for the single "A Chat with My Brain" by Tristan Clopet.  The columns are labeled 1 through 3 and rows A through C. Starting from the top left is Option A1 and so forth.  Explanations of each option listed below:

General Notes ~ I have listened to the rough cut of the song over and over to understand the lyrics and have really liked it the more I listen.  The words and meaning in the song that I kept in mind were the love/hate relationship with his brain and "half" this and "half" that. Not bipolar, mind you, but just tension.  I began very minimal and abstract focusing on layout and color then found a profile picture of Tristan to work with.

A1 ~ Hand-drawn outline and a bit imperfect representation of the brain in plan view because all the purely geometric and hard line shapes didn't seem to work.

A2 ~ More abstract representation of the brain in plan view with a dark blue background instead of black. Color pallette inspired by Mark Rothko, an artist Tristan wanted us to use for inspiration.

A3 ~ A2 with a more vibrant color combination.

B1 ~ Tristan's profile with overlapping circles representing the tension from opposing sides. This feels very British punk for some reason with these two colors so maybe more color studies can make this layout work.

B2 ~ Use of the gradient to make the opposing colors find some harmony in the middle.

B3 ~ The background is an enlarge photo of a brain scan that will in its final form is really supposed to look like a watercolor.

C1 ~ B3 with single's title text added. Letters "grow" to be more organic like the brain.

C2 ~ It seems the image is obviously a brain so making the text a secondary layer you can discover.

C3 ~ The beauty of the colors seems obstructed by the text so this tries a new text layout.  Maybe text could go smaller in a later version.

Below are the flier options for B1 and B3.

Make sure to discover Tristan's music in the links below if you haven't already.

Tristan ClopĂȘt
myspace  TristanClopet

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Beauty Queens

Congratulations to my nieces for doing so well in their beauty pageant over the weekend. Taylor got top 7 and Alex won 1st runner-up. My sister Sophea did a great job with their hair and make-up, which took more than 3 hours and left me only 10 minutes to photograph their complete look.

Photos by Sophorn.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy Friday and Upcoming

After not having our AC working for a 4 hour drive, our stop at Pie Lab in Greensboro, Alabama was very welcoming. Here's a photo of Atticus against the reclaimed wood wall at Pie Lab.  In fact, almost everything from the walls to the awesome tables and benches were built from reclaimed material. I'll share a ton more food and design photos soon.

Other personally exciting posts coming up include the single and full album cover design for Tristan Clopet, a very talented singer/songwriter based out of Miami and New York. Such a thrill to be asked as I was first a fan. Already in the works are the poster illustrations for the Memphis-based company Equal Gravity showing the beauty of our natural landscapes. Stay tuned and have a great weekend.

Photo by Sophorn

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Urban Outfitters Opens Next Week!

In exactly one week, the Urban Outfitters store opens its Memphis location, which is situated right at the gateway of Cooper-Young and more importantly right in my neighborhood. I've been oohing over their cool neon signage and interior space the last few days. Hope to take more photos after all the merchandise fills in.

Store location and Address ~ Corner of Central and Cooper, 2151 Central Ave

Camera phone photos by Sophorn.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Put a Little Spring in Your Step

Happy "Spring"
I've been in awe of this spring fashion spread by JUCO for over two months waiting for the right time to post it. Although the first day of spring is March 22, this week is spring break for many schools including Atticus' and today is definitely going to feel more like spring with the extra hour of sunlight. That should put a little spring in your step. / See more photos below and in their Behance portfolio here. The model has obvious skills as she catches this much height and can still pose. Several poses have a dance form but I love the ones where she looks magically levitated.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Foodie Memphis at Abyssinia {Sneak Peek}

We packed the house last night and got so much food. Thanks to Yilma at Abyssinia for the feast. I got to eat the things I often crave and delicious items I haven't tried before. The photo above is the typical hands-only bite we enjoyed.  See the full review soon on the Foodie Memphis blog.

To my new friend Bart in Winnipeg, this is the Ethiopian fare I told you about. Memphis has incredible local food.

Photo by Sophorn.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tasted ~ Asian Palace

The official first time we tried Asian Palace I regretfully didn’t bring a camera. It was the archimania office birthday lunch for Mr. Pang at his favorite Chinese restaurant in Memphis. I sort of felt out of the loop as I noticed a majority of the customers were Asian.

Our second visit with my parents over the weekend tried to recreate that lunch order as best as possible. We arrived starving so we were thrilled the carts of dim sum and soups came as soon as we were seated. This ordering without needing to look at the menu is also why I don’t have all the dishes properly labeled. I can assure you that everything we tried was worth ordering again. Below is a descriptive list of what we ordered corresponding with the photos. Favorites marked with an asterick*

~Hot Tea*
~Chicken feet: My parents enjoyed this dish and even ordered more to take home. I passed this time.
~Rice Soup: With bits of chicken, boiled egg, and other items I enjoyed but couldn’t identify.
~Shrimp in Noodle or Chee Cheong Fun* and Beef in Noodle* {not pictured}
~Sauteed Greens
~Sweet Bun stuffed with barbecue pork*
~Combination Fried Rice cooked without soy sauce, combination meaning pork, Chinese sausage, and shrimp.
~Pork and Shrimp Sil Myl*
~Banana Mango Smoothie* from a very large selection of flavors

Asian Palace
Near Summer Drive-In
5266 Summer
Memphis, TN
Ph +1.901.766-0831

Cart Service only on weekends.

Asian Palace  on Urbanspoon

Photos by Sophorn

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sunday Brunch at Three Angels Diner

I've been to Three Angels Diner for a great lunch and dinner before but for the first time yesterday, tried their brunch menu.  We usually like to split dishes when eating out, but the three of us found something different we didn't want to pass up.  

Here's what we tasted below:
{Atticus} Diner French Toast ~ Peanut butter Banana Nutella stuffed ciabatta bread with powdered sugar and maple syrup
{Christopher} Tato Cakes ~ 3 potato onion cakes, house made applesauce, bacon, and sour cream
{Sophorn} The Kitchen Sink ~  Beef brisket hash, home made sausage, bacon, garlic cheese grits, flat top potatoes, cheese, topped with 2 fried eggs, and house made salsa  

All three dishes were well prepared combining the ingredients as good as it sounded when we read it off the menu.  "Atticus, do you want the French Toast with peanut butter banana Nutella..." "Yes" was the no-brainer response he interjected before I finished reading.  I was impressed they served the potato pancakes with applesauce and sour cream, a favorite combination I create at home. I wanted several items on the menu so instead of deciding on just one, I ordered the "The Kitchen Sink," which made the choice easy.  I think the server was surprised I ordered it as she set down the heaping plate in front of me.  It was easily the best breakfast platter I've had out or at home.

From the photos, you will also see that the colorful chairs and walls made a great backdrop to the kid friendly restaurant. We sat right next to the pinball machine that kept Atticus occupied as we waited for our food, so next time we'll make sure to bring more quarters.

Three Angels Diner
2617 Broad Ave
Memphis, TN

Brunch 11am to 5 pm
Closed Mondays

Photos by Sophorn
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