Portfolios are the only way for designers to be evaluated and picked up for a job. Michael Lester was challenged to get his out there and he did. Literally. His portfolio is the size of a postage stamp, has pages that can be flipped and everything!
He reduced his ideas to only feature the key notions, making his portfolio a synthesis of short sentences facing shrinked illustrations. He conceived the whole thing at home. Testing the format by printing over 100 times the mini book on his home printer and finally hand bounding it himself.
The project originated as a brief from Jelly London for the D&AD New Blood Festival, challenging students to get people talking about their work.
“They say the best ideas fit on a Post-it note,” says Michael Lester “so I decided to take it a step further, seeing how little could tell the most.”
The world’s smallest portfolio went above and beyond Michael Lester’s expectations. The news went viral on the internet, creating a buzz around the portfolio hence his work. As a designer and illustrator he could not have wanted a better publicity. Proving that not only the idea is essential but the guts to actually do it is even more crucial. In a world where being the best at standard tasks is the challenge, standing out by going out of the norms is obviously what works. A superbe lesson taught, thank you Michael.
Perhaps one of the more curious photo projects to surface recently is the glow worm pictures from Joe Michael. He photographed the insect in its natural environment on million year old limestone caves in New Zealand. The bioluminescent effect on the viewer is mystical and shows the perfect combination of scientific documentation and aesthetic beauty. Very Lord Of the Rings or Elfish, the glow worms allow you to see the caves in a different way. Because of their unique structure the insects project a nature consciously created by a higher design and you begin wondering for what purpose? In the meantime we can enjoy the spectacle they have become. Their green light projects an unusual glow reminiscent of constellations and lighthouses seen off into the distance on a foggy night. It also hints at infrared paranormal activity.
The worms vary in size attesting to the irregular light structure captured in the caves which provides further awe to their curiosity. In some Larvae species the adult female will glow to attract males during mating season. In others the light is used as a warning signal to predators or to lure prey.
The art of pencil carving is becoming more and more widespread, intricate, and skilled. Over the past few years we have come to see many incredible things being carved from the humble pencil. Whether it is colored, or plain graphite, a leaden tip can be transformed into many icons, symbols or dioramas. Artist Tom Lynall‘s effort sees him shaping pencil tips into emojis, tiny characters and landscapes. From an artist’s paint palette, to idyllic pastoral views, to Rapunzel in her tower, to the hearts, lightning bolts and happy faces from our smart phones, Lynall is capable of achieving great detail on a minute scale.
A bespoke jeweler by trade, Lynall is no stranger to working at this level, or at the pace required to finish a delicate piece. But only having started his pencil carving hobby last November, he is quickly adapting to his new material. Being malleable and dense, graphite is an ideal material to carve intricate and complicate details into. He says about his new time consuming hobby:
I love art but I have never been able to draw so this is a good way for me to create things with the limitations of my skill. The main tool I use is the scalpel blade shown in the pictures as well as a few pins which I have altered the end of to give me different blades.
This is great fun to do so if you would like to give it a go the best advice I can give is to not get annoyed when they break, they are extremely fragile but once your done they are fantastically satisfying. (Source)
The incredibly detailed pen and ink illustrators of Toronto based artist Paul Jackson take on the form of animals and humans, with their insides ascending from their bodies. His rendering of skeletal structures of wolves, dinosaurs, and humans is anatomically something to be admired. His illustrations have a dark aura, as he portrays different animals with layers of organs erupting from their skin. We can see Jackson’s well-refined skill in the very believable texture of the fur, skin, and bone in his work. Each illustration remains very realistic, despite their mystical nature. His creatures are like spirit-animals that are attempting to rise out of their earthly shell, erupting out of their exteriors.
There is a strong element of life and death his Jackson’s work, as many of his drawings contain half living creature and half skeleton. Pushing this boundary of the living world even further, many of Jackson’s works contain a visible “glitch.” There is a disruption in the composition. A face slowly turns into waves of “white noise,” like a sound wave encountering interference. This interference literally blurs the line between a creature, like Jackson’s bear, that is alive, with one that is dead. The artist has created his work on a large and small scale, and even has many of them available as prints, t-shirts, and patches. Make sure to check out his website for more astonishing illustrations and a great time-lapse video of the artist in action.
If you can’t get to a beach this summer, then you will be thankful for design duo Snarkitecture‘s new installation at the National Building Museum in Washington DC. The space is filled with 1 million translucent polystyrene balls in a massive wading pool, the floor is carpeted and scattered with deck chairs and beach umbrellas, inviting the beach goers to enjoy a day reading, wading, or playing paddle ball. There is even a summery snack bar available selling popcorn, candy, chocolate bars and soda pop. Every Wednesday the Museum offers different events where the snack bar will also offer bar service.
The Beach is a part of the program the Museum likes to offer each year – they dedicate the 10,000 square foot space to a gimmicky exhibition that will draw the crowds. And this year the honor went to Snarkitecture to produce something that would entertain the masses. Established by Alex Mustonen and Daniel Arsham, Snarkitecture is a design studio that focuses on minimal and intelligent design solutions, not only for spaces, but for objects as well. Drawing their name from Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of The Snark, the team like a challenge and enjoy re-imagining existing objects and architecture. The poem describes an “impossible voyage of an improbable crew to find an inconceivable creature”, and Mustonen and Arsham take on this idea quite literally. They state their mission as:
Snarkitecture’s approach focuses on the viewer’s experience and memory, creating moments of wonder and interaction that allow people to engage directly with their surrounding environment. By transforming the familiar into the extraordinary, Snarkitecture makes architecture perform the unexpected. (Source)
The duo have been responsible for some very clever installations in many different spaces. You can check out their back catalog here. Or take your bathing suit and towel and head to their artificial paradise. The Beach is open until September 7. (Via Washingtonian)
Recently, Mobstr published a series of images of a progressive graffiti “experiment” that spanned the course of a year, entitled “The Curious Frontier of Red.” On the wall of an electricity substation in Hackney Wick, London, the artist engaged in a strange and amusing battle with a local council worker. Mobstr explains the project’s inspiration:
“I cycled past this wall on the way to work for years. I noticed that graffiti painted within the red area was ‘buffed’ with red paint. However, graffiti outside the red area would be removed via pressure washing. This prompted the start of an experiment. Unlike other works, I was very uncertain as to what results it would yield. Below is what transpired over the course of a year.” (Source)
Over the 30 images included in his documentation (see the full series here), you can see how Mobstr’s game escalated: at first, he writes “red.” This word is painted over and re-marked numerous times as it gradually migrates to the top, where, eventually, the words “pressure wash” appear on the brick. The council cleaner then paints over the words “pressure wash” with red, to which Mobstr teasingly replies: “You went above the line.” In a hilarious effort to defeat the graffiti artist, the entire wall is painted red. “Thanks mate, it’s been fun,” Mobstr concludes.
Light-hearted and witty, Mobstr’s “red frontier” provides a visual dialogue demonstrating the battle against (and social delegitimization of) graffiti art. Luckily, Mobstr seems to be having fun with these cat-and-mouse battles, much to our amusement. Check out Mobstr’s website and Instagram to view more of his work.
The street art and murals of artist Okuda San Miguel drip with color and burst with energy, until they are no longer held on a brick wall, but spilling out into real life, in three-dimensional form. The Madrid-based artist uses a pop surrealist style to create large scale murals that transform public spaces into places of geometric, vibrant color and imagery. His work is so incredibly stunning, that it is almost as if the street walls cannot contain them. Public works like his painted phone booth contain an element that explodes from the piece. Color drips from the phone booth, fusing Okuda’s work with the real world. He often transforms his murals into three dimensional sculptures, creating an even more dynamic and captivating piece. As if Okuda’s mural that resembles a multicolored starburst didn’t demand our attention enough, he has a sculpture piece that brings the mural into the third dimension.
Okuda’s beautifully fractured, geometric style is applied to murals, street art, smaller scale paintings, and sculptures. Whichever medium the artist so chooses, he creates works that are both mesermizing and transfixing. His paintings often use similar imagery, such as velumptuous, nude bodies, animal heads, and skulls. A fascinating juxtoposition is formed when certain subjects of Okuda’s paintings are covered in colorful shapes, while others have a smoother texture rendered in black and white. It is interesting that often the face or head will be full of color, while the more organic forms such as a nude body or a tree branch will be absent of it. Okuda portrays what lies underneath the bright shapes as monochromatic forms, exposing our sameness and human connection below our exteriors.
What if all our food was served sushi style? Would it be more appetizing? And would we eat less if everything was the same size? The artist/design team of Lernert and Sander asks that question and ponders the aesthetic of making food dimensionally equal. In an ambitious project they took dozens of food items and cut them into uniform cubes then photographed the results. The final result is an array of colors which resembles a very large tray of sushi. The different pieces offer an interesting palette through color but the size seems well a bit static. Overall it has a futuristic vibe but is it appetizing? In other words, would you rather eat cherry pie in a cube or oozing with cherries? It probably works better as a puzzle because its display references word and board games. The puzzle at hand would be guessing at quick glance what food group or item you’re eating from. Still only eye candy maybe there’s a chef or game designer out there that can make something else of the food seen here; and attempt to make something more than just the perfect square. (via 1designperday)