Coles Phillips “fade-away” technique

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The story goes that he developed his “fade-away” technique as a money-saving exercise. Upmarket magazines would typically print covers in full-colour, but Phillips’ style allowed them to print a single or two-colour cover and have their magazine still look great.

Artist Coles Phillips (1880 – 1927)

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Writing by hand makes your brain wait

In writing by hand, we deliberately pause to make the brain wait. This forced interruption, called disinfluency, yields more thoughtful writing.

There’s a reason many successful writers from David Foster Wallace to JK Rowling opt to write with pen and paper. When your mind moves as fast as the computer keys, you tend to overproduce. It’s like taking down all the professor’s notes in class. While everything gets consumed none of the words have staying power.

There’s no such thing as a tranquil flood of information.

It’s true: the more you get down, the more you have to play with. They even say to write continuously to push out our ideas. But acceleration can reduce the quality of your prose. The neurons need time to connect to each other in order to talk with more clarity.

All writing is in the edit. Yet, keyboard or longhand, the doubts still remain.

Surreal paintings by Lithuanian artist Gediminas Pranckevičius

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Conceptual artist and illustrator Gediminas Pranckevicius creates digital art that instantly whisk viewers off into a world of imagination. The Lithuania-born artist uses soft light and blended colors to create harmonious worlds where it is easy to get lost in the surreal stories.

He uses software like Photoshop to produce the playful digital drawings that feature imaginative creations like giant trolls, flying pigs, and houses and towns perched on top of precariously balanced mountaintops. His places and characters come alive through layer upon layer of intricate details, which are evident in the final work.

(via)

Sabine Weiss: Observations of French life in the 1950s

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But despite being one of the most distinctive photographers of the 20th century, Weiss insists that she is not an artist. “I am an artisan,” she says. “I don’t create anything: I am just a witness of what I see and what interests me, which has always been human beings.”

Read Sabine Weiss: an accidental tourist at 93

Georg Scholz’s revenge creativity

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Scholz’ early works were determinedly critical of society. One of them goes back to a painful personal experience, when, on return hungry from the war, he attempted to buy something to eat for himself and his family, only to be pointed by a farmer in the direction of the compost heap. It was this sort of heartless individual to whose meanness the artist erected a lasting monument in his Industrial Farmers of 1920.

(via Darran Anderson)

The unclassifiable

When we stop becoming someone for everyone, we start to find the right people instead.

That’s not to say we want to remain unknown or unclassifiable. One can still ride the wave of uniqueness and make a big splash.

Do you think Radiohead cares about the pop charts? The band thrives at the fringes, showing fans where sound could be headed, not where it’s been.

People love Apple because they make instruments for creativity you never knew you’d need. It also gives its customers, the curators and creators, all the spotlight.

We don’t have to dumb down our work for the masses when we can make more interesting things for the micro. Wider adoption, should it happen, happens to the ideas worth spreading.

Helmut Lang’s “Global Taxi Project”

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Helmut Lang became the first fashion brand to advertise on New York City taxicabs in 1998. Such spots were typically reserved for Broadway shows.

Twenty years later, the brand is bringing the mobile ads back on 275 New York City taxis along with an exclusive globally-promoted taxi hoodie on its website.

Check out the video of the Hong Kong cabbie sporting the new top.

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Balenciaga’s $1490 ‘T-Shirt Shirt’ is ugly but awesome

Via @Balenciaga on Instagram
Via @Balenciaga

Luxury fashion house Balenciaga knows how to nail the type of ugly design that gets people talking.

In Fall 2017, it debuted the Bernie Sanders-inspired logo he used for his 2016 campaign. But this time around, the company once referred to as “the master of all” by Christian Dior, will release a double-shirt as part of its Fall 2018 lineup.

Said its creative director Demna Gvasali on the rule-breaking t-shirt shirt:

“I think it’s very interesting, the definition of ugly. I think it’s also very interesting to find this line where ugly becomes beautiful or where beautiful becomes ugly. That’s a challenge I like. I think that’s a part of what fashion stands for and I like that people think my clothes are ugly; I think it’s a compliment.”

Ugly can be beautiful. Prada’s head fashion designer Miuccia Prada agrees: “The investigation of ugliness is, to me, more interesting than the bourgeois idea of beauty. And why? Because ugly is human. It touches the bad and the dirty side of people.”

The rebel in me loves the concept, but not with that hefty price tag.

 

Art as stimuli

gif by SambMotion

We need art just as we need food. Yes, art is unnecessary. It is “everything you don’t have to do,” as Brian Eno put it. But it’s also the fuel that powers emotions and deeper thinking.

“Music is, to me, proof of the existence of God. It is so extraordinarily full of magic, and in tough times of my life I can listen to music and it makes such a difference.” ― Kurt Vonnegut

Alter an image, modify a sound. It doesn’t matter if the visual or the audible illustrate irreality. For the maker and the viewer, art offers an exit out of happiness.

Inspiration is stimuli

Art helps drive human progress. It is a snapshot in time, illustrating the context and habits of now and yesterday. Cinemagraphs of waves reminds us that water controls the Earth. Images of loose plastic remind us not to dump problems on tomorrow.

Art reminds us to slow down, to compel ourselves to see the beauty of what’s already there. So obsessed with innovation, especially in the chase of ephemeral pixels, it’s easy to forget how we had it before. We must build responsibly.

“Another flaw in human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.” – Kurt Vonnegut

Stylization is inessential. But it drives culture. It ensures the durability of both uniqueness and artifice.