Archive | October 2011

Egyptian Eyes

Tonight I practiced doing my eyes for Halloween tomorrow. I’m going to be Cleopatra – I found an awesome black and gold dress at The Garment District  in Cambridge with **Sonia** the other day. It’s not vintage and it’s not a costume but it’s just right for me! I LOVE The Garment District  – it’s actually where I found my prom dress nearly 15 years ago.

Today, I made a Cleopatra crown with an asp on it out of papier mache, which I have now decorated with glitter glue and metallic pens. We’ll see how it turns out tomorrow when it’s dry. I got lucky and found a black wig (for $2!) at CVS when I was running errands today. It’s not the fanciest (or the most even) but it will do. My mom had the perfect gold sandals to make the outfit complete.

I’m excited to go out trick-or-treating with my niece and nephew – it will be my last time for a while so I decided to make the most of it. Photos coming soon.

Hope you have a Happy Halloween!

Enjoy, Mari

Small!

*

Not that I’m trying to sell Smart Cars or anything (why aren’t there commercials for bikes?) but I LOVE this satirical look at the United States of BIG. I once had an argument with my Columbia Business School marketing professor about how big is not always better. Of course he didn’t agree.

Enjoy, Mari

Clinton Global Initiative Video

Enjoy, Mari

A Few of My Favorite Things

*

It’s about time I shared a “Favorite Things” post. Here are a few cool things I’ve found around the web recently.

Enjoy, Mari

*

Little Camera Necklace In Silver

I found this on Anechkas Jewelry’s Etsy Shop while browsing different silver and pewter charms. There are quite a few versions of camera charms on Etsy but this was my favorite because it looks the most like my treasured Pentax K1000 that was the first SLR camera I ever owned. It’s what I used to learn darkroom photography and it will always hold a place close to my heart.

*

The Arrow Ring by Dresser Johnson

I have always admired my friend **Tricia’s** Arrow Ring. Made by her friends Kevin Dresser and Kate Johnson, these awesome rings make a statement wherever you go and I’m excited to get one myself soon. Check out the Arrow Ring Flickr Group for images featuring this unique piece of wearable art.

*

Instax Mini Print Window

As you may know, I’m obsessed with the Photojojo website and this is just one item that I’d be happy to buy from them. As the proud owner of an Instax Mini camera, I’m thinking of getting a bunch of these print windows to take to Ecuador so we can display images on our wall easily and aesthetically pleasing.

*

Re-Stickable Decal Photo Frames

Another item from Photojojo that I can see us using to decorate our home in Ecuador. These fun decals can be re-stuck over and over again, which means that you can change the inside image as much as you want.

*

Tiny Hippy Van Charm Necklace

What could be a more perfect charm for me than a VW Peace Van! I found this at Evelyn Mae Creations’ Etsy Shop where she showcases nearly 1,000 other items including another favorite charm of mine – a cupcake tin.

*

Lens Bracelets

A Photojojo original, the lens bracelets allow you to pretend that your arm is a camera lens. What’s cooler than that? Buy them individually or together.

Between the Folds: Awesome Documentary

*

I recently re-watched this documentary about the art of paper folding and was reminded of how well it was done. Rent it, buy it, watch it on Netflix streaming…whatever. It’s totally worth it! Check out the film’s website here.

Enjoy, Mari

 

The Right Kind of Wife?

Thanks to **Sonia** for sharing this with me! She saw it on Boing Boing, which also transcribed the text that I’ve included below.

“Can your wife bake her own bread? Can she get a kid’s leg stitched and not phone you at the office until it’s all over? Find something to talk about when the TV set goes on the blink? Does she worry about the Bomb? Make your neighbors’ children wish that she were their mother? Will she say “Yes” to a camping trip after 50 straight weeks of cooking? Let your daughter keep a pet snake in the back yard? Invite 13 people to dinner even though she only has service for 12? Name a cat “Rover”? Live another year without furniture and take a trip to Europe instead? Let you give up your job with a smile? And mean it? Congratulations.”

While I think this ad was probably progressive for the time it’s funny to read now. It was in a 1963 issue of LIFE Magazine and appeared just a few short pages away from a story on the first female astronaut to go in space – Russian NOT American mind you. So, they were trying but it was still a version of Don Draper who was creating this ad for a male audience. Just because it was a progressive attempt doesn’t change the fact that it’s describing “the right kind of wife” even if she sounds pretty cool for her times.

Enjoy, Mari

Ads Inspired By Artworks

Today I saw a Drugfree.org Public Service Announcement on TV that sounded eerily familiar. It’s so new that I actually can’t find a video of it online (wouldn’t you think they’d try to have their PSAs everywhere – especially online where the kids are hanging these days?) so I’ll have to describe it.

Here’s the scene: a mother is talking to her daughter in the front hall of their house about drugs she found while she is waving them around in a plastic baggie (it wouldn’t be complete without the plastic baggie). Instead of the usual melodramatic conversations they have in these sorts of situations, the actors are describing their comments such as the mother saying: “alarming accusation” and the daughter saying: “defensive evasive response,” to which the mother replies something like, “horrible comment I will regret later.”

Now, don’t quote me on this because I was only half watching while working on my computer at the same time so the words aren’t exact but the premise is clear: a perfect post-modern comment on how we communicate. The only reason why I even noticed the PSA at all is because I’ve heard the exact same premise from the Neo-Futurists. In fact, this same bit was highlighted on the “20 Acts in 60 Minutes” episode of This American Life that you can listen to for free here.

This echo got me to thinking about the other artistic echoes I see on TV in particular where advertisers have been influenced by artists. I did some digging online and see that others are taking notice too. This is so pervasive these days that while I was ruminating on the subject I saw ANOTHER commercial (the Chevy one below) that also fits into this category.

There was quite a bit of chatter about the AT&T commercial when it came out and some discussion of the others as well. The two main sides in these discussions seem to be those who think that the ad agencies “ripped off” the artists and are mad that these artistic ideas are being used to sell things while the other side thinks that ideas are fair game.

I’m somewhere in the middle. Certainly if there was some inspiration from an artist or an art project (you make the call below) then I think that some credit should be given to the original work especially if it is for commercial purposes. However, We live in a post-modern, remix culture where the lines are blurry as to who thought of the idea first. As Mark Twain once said: “Adam was the only man who, when saying a good thing, knew that nobody had said it before him.”

Here are 3 more prime examples of this phenomenon. Enjoy, Mari

*

Artwork

Her Morning Elegance

*

Echoes:

Amazon Kindle

&

Goody Simple Styles

*

Artwork:

Dear Photograph

&

Looking into the Past

&

Ben Heine

*

Echo:

Chevy Then & Now

*

Artwork:

The Gates

*

Echo:

AT&T Rethink Possible

Occupy Together With Design

This incredible project is an opportunity for designers to help support the Occupy Together Movement (including Occupy Wall St. and the sister protests around the world). Much like the amazing group of creative professionals that came together to share designs for posters, buttons, and bumper stickers during the protests at the 2004 Republican National Convention in NYC (I was there) as well as for Obama’s first presidential campaign, this is an example of design playing a role in politics – specifically peaceful protest movements.

Check out how to get involved as a designer for Occupy Together campaigns here, where you’ll find a toolkit and a list of designs needed. If you can’t be there in person – your designs can!

See below for one of the enduring images from No RNC NYC 2004.

Enjoy, Mari

*

*

From Occupy Design’s website:

“Occupy Design is a grassroots project connecting designers with on-the-ground demonstrators in the Occupy Together movement. The project’s goal is to create freely available visual tools around a common graphic language to unite the 99%. The project places an emphasis on producing infographics and icons to improve the communication of the movement’s messages and the data surrounding them across the world.”

Also see:

New York Times article about 2004 No RNC Protest posters

Steve Jobs Commencement Address

{This is a prepared text of the Commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005 from Stanford.edu.}

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation.

Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss. Read More…

Occupy Wall Street Makes Front Page in Bangladesh


The front page of a newspaper in Dhaka, Bangladesh runs a story on an Occupy Wall Street solidarity protest in London. The whole world seems to be watching. Read more

%d bloggers like this: