They Draw & Travel contest runner up: Dave Douglass

Dave Douglass  Favourite Place: San Francisco, USA "I recently took my wife & kids to Yosemite National Park in California... What an amazing and inspiring place! I had to put all the kid-friendly activities we enjoyed into a map."

Dave Douglass Favourite Place: San Francisco, USA "I recently took my wife & kids to Yosemite National Park in California... What an amazing and inspiring place! I had to put all the kid-friendly activities we enjoyed into a map."

"I live in South Pasadena. It's a favourite for film & television productions because of it's beautiful Craftsman-style homes, friendly small-town feel and proximity to the film industry. I've been learning about some fun shooting locations used in some pretty memorable movies."

"I live in South Pasadena. It's a favourite for film & television productions because of it's beautiful Craftsman-style homes, friendly small-town feel and proximity to the film industry. I've been learning about some fun shooting locations used in some pretty memorable movies."

They Draw & Travel contest runner up: Aunyarat Watanabe

Aunyarat Watanabe  Favourite Place: Bangkok, Thailand "These are my favourite pastry shops in Tokyo. I especially love the apricot cake from Cafe Zinc. (in the lower left corner) It really goes well with their coffee. Please come to Tokyo and enjoy these cute and colourful cakes!"

Aunyarat Watanabe Favourite Place: Bangkok, Thailand "These are my favourite pastry shops in Tokyo. I especially love the apricot cake from Cafe Zinc. (in the lower left corner) It really goes well with their coffee. Please come to Tokyo and enjoy these cute and colourful cakes!"

"When I lived in Sydney, my favourite place was Taronga zoo! The Zoo has animal shows, keeper talks, and animal encounters all day. The best way to arrive at the zoo is via ferry from Circular Quay. Once you arrive at the port, you can catch the rope way known as Sky Safari! It gives you magnificent views of the zoo and the harbour. You can even camp in a safari tent in the zoo, so why not try the Roar and Snore! Sleeping in the zoo is fantastic!"

"When I lived in Sydney, my favourite place was Taronga zoo! The Zoo has animal shows, keeper talks, and animal encounters all day. The best way to arrive at the zoo is via ferry from Circular Quay. Once you arrive at the port, you can catch the rope way known as Sky Safari! It gives you magnificent views of the zoo and the harbour. You can even camp in a safari tent in the zoo, so why not try the Roar and Snore! Sleeping in the zoo is fantastic!"

"The best way to explore Bangkok is pier hopping! It's really cool to go across Chaophraya river by boat, feeling the tropical wind. There are many piers (tha) along the river, and each pier (tha) has its own style. The most popular tourist sights are located between Central Pier to 13th pier (Tha Phra Athit) , but my favourite is 15th pier (Tha Thewet). The 15th pier has a lovely flower market, and you can feed fish while waiting for your boat. Fun! I lived in Dusit district. My apartment was on Suan Ooy street (in the upper left corner). I miss the yummy street food in that neighbourhood!"

"The best way to explore Bangkok is pier hopping! It's really cool to go across Chaophraya river by boat, feeling the tropical wind. There are many piers (tha) along the river, and each pier (tha) has its own style. The most popular tourist sights are located between Central Pier to 13th pier (Tha Phra Athit) , but my favourite is 15th pier (Tha Thewet). The 15th pier has a lovely flower market, and you can feed fish while waiting for your boat. Fun! I lived in Dusit district. My apartment was on Suan Ooy street (in the upper left corner). I miss the yummy street food in that neighbourhood!"

They Draw & Travel contest: honourable mentions

Throughout the day today we are posting the honourable mentions, runners-up, and the winner of the "It's a Creative & Curious World" contest with They Draw & Travel. If you missed this contest, take a look at the contest page to see all of the creative submissions. 

Congratulations to all the honourable mentions!

Yebin Mun  Favourite Place: Seoul, South Korea "I am an illustrator currently living and working in Seoul. I used to go these places with my mom when she visited me. Actually, I love every part of Seoul. Especially, Bukchon Hanok Village. I wish you could visit there once. You will love it."

Yebin Mun Favourite Place: Seoul, South Korea "I am an illustrator currently living and working in Seoul. I used to go these places with my mom when she visited me. Actually, I love every part of Seoul. Especially, Bukchon Hanok Village. I wish you could visit there once. You will love it."

Camila Tubaro  Favourite Place: Buenos Aires, Argentina "This is my point of view of the places I like the most of my city, Buenos Aires. Its colours, its architecture and the spirit of a city full of people, music and culture. The technique I used represents, to me, my child memories of some of these places: some of which still remain and others that no longer exist. However, if they are drawn here it is because they are all important to me and make me feel that, no matter where I go, there will never be any place better than my home: Buenos Aires. Hope you like it!"

Camila Tubaro Favourite Place: Buenos Aires, Argentina "This is my point of view of the places I like the most of my city, Buenos Aires. Its colours, its architecture and the spirit of a city full of people, music and culture. The technique I used represents, to me, my child memories of some of these places: some of which still remain and others that no longer exist. However, if they are drawn here it is because they are all important to me and make me feel that, no matter where I go, there will never be any place better than my home: Buenos Aires. Hope you like it!"

Lori Weitzel  Favourite Place: Orlando, USA "57 Million People visit Orlando each year, and most just hit the amusement parks. This is a map of the other parks not to be missed."

Lori Weitzel Favourite Place: Orlando, USA "57 Million People visit Orlando each year, and most just hit the amusement parks. This is a map of the other parks not to be missed."

Kate Mason  Favourite Place: French Alps, France "I was born in Adelaide & have lived here all my life. I can't imagine living anywhere else. Its smallish and beautiful. and was a very well planned city settlement back in 1836. The River Torrens runs right through the city centre straight out to the beach. Its surrounded by bike paths and you can bike all the way around from beach through the city to the hills. The city centre is made up of orderly blocks & four main squares. The neat city centre is surrounded by parks and gardens. We have everything practical that we need here as well as all the crazy adventurous stuff, and we are paradise for foodies. We are world famous for our Barossa Valley wines, great white sharks, city of Churches, WOMADelaide, Tasting Australia, Adelaide & Fringe Festivals, the magnificent Adelaide Oval Cricket Ground and Tour Down Under Cycling. Adelaide is a great place to raise a family because its a very affordable living city. Its perfect as a base to travel the world, then come home to blissful life. There's no place like home! Ranked in top 10 in The Economists Worlds most liveable cities in 2010, 2011 & 2012. Also ranked THE most liveable city in Australia {Property Council of Australia] in 2011, 2012 & 2013! On my map, I've included all the artsy & quirky & adventurous things to do in Adelaide & surrounds. They are all the places I recommend & take visitors new to our city to. Come & visit & see all the amazing things we have to offer!"

Kate Mason Favourite Place: French Alps, France "I was born in Adelaide & have lived here all my life. I can't imagine living anywhere else. Its smallish and beautiful. and was a very well planned city settlement back in 1836. The River Torrens runs right through the city centre straight out to the beach. Its surrounded by bike paths and you can bike all the way around from beach through the city to the hills. The city centre is made up of orderly blocks & four main squares. The neat city centre is surrounded by parks and gardens. We have everything practical that we need here as well as all the crazy adventurous stuff, and we are paradise for foodies. We are world famous for our Barossa Valley wines, great white sharks, city of Churches, WOMADelaide, Tasting Australia, Adelaide & Fringe Festivals, the magnificent Adelaide Oval Cricket Ground and Tour Down Under Cycling. Adelaide is a great place to raise a family because its a very affordable living city. Its perfect as a base to travel the world, then come home to blissful life. There's no place like home! Ranked in top 10 in The Economists Worlds most liveable cities in 2010, 2011 & 2012. Also ranked THE most liveable city in Australia {Property Council of Australia] in 2011, 2012 & 2013! On my map, I've included all the artsy & quirky & adventurous things to do in Adelaide & surrounds. They are all the places I recommend & take visitors new to our city to. Come & visit & see all the amazing things we have to offer!"

the real Easter bunny

 
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In the spirit of the arrival of Spring, and celebrating the Easter holiday, I thought I would post some photos of my rabbit, Angel. At Christmas my husband surprised me with a trip to the Calgary Humane Society to choose a rabbit to take home. We had talked about getting a dog, but since we live in a condo, we didn't think it would be fair to keep a dog cooped up all day. 

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Having Angel as our pet has been a wonderful experience! She lives in her cage while we're at work, but roams freely around the condo when we're home. (We had to do some bunny-proofing, of course) A lot of people ask me if she needs to be walked. As much as I would love to take her for a jaunt in the park, Angel likes to do her own form of exercise–running laps around the coffee table in the living room at warp speed! Rabbits need 2-4 hours of exercise, play and socialization a day, and Angel gets plenty of that. 

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Easter!

Correy Baldwin on Dear Human's Patchworked In Canada

 
photos from dearhuman.ca

photos from dearhuman.ca

post by Cara Howlett

Dear Human is a husband and wife ceramic company based in Vancouver, Canada. Correy Baldwin, UPPERCASE's copy editor, interviewed the duo made of Jasna Sokolovic and Noel O'Connell for Issue #21's Dynamic Duo section.

Dear Human displayed their project Patchworked in Canada, a project using tiles shipped from Portugal, at the Toronto Design Offisite Festival in January. After the festival ended, Jasna and Noel applied magnets to the tiles and took them to the streets of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver encouraging passersby to find unanticipated beauty in the urban landscape, inviting a moment of pause and response. 

We asked Correy about his experience of finding a tile in Montreal. 

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I found the tiles quite late on a Sunday evening. I was walking home after a night of playing music with friends in their living room on the other end of town—a pretty classic Montreal evening. So when I got home I had a banjo in one hand and a Portuguese tile in the other.

I had already been in touch with Jasna and Noel from Dear Human, so I knew the tiles were around and had been keeping my eye out for them. I’d actually gone out hunting for them specifically a few days earlier, but hadn’t seen any. That night I found them quite accidentally, which seemed more appropriate somehow.

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I only took one of the tiles, and left the other one for someone else to find. At first I kept it at my workspace, but in the end I did probably the most ordinary thing possible and stuck it to my fridge. Jasna and Noel had put magnets on the back of the tiles, so the fridge seemed an obvious place to put it. It’s still there. Maybe this summer I’ll place it on the metal railings of my balcony.

I interviewed Dear Human a few days after I found the tile. Noel wanted to know which one I’d found, and he recognized it as soon as I described the pattern on it. If I hadn’t already been in touch with them, I would have called the number on the back for sure.

A few blocks from where I found [my tile] there’s a small Portuguese square with a lot of beautiful Portuguese tiles around it. I knew they would have found it an irresistible spot, and sure enough, I found a number scattered around the square. I pulled a couple of them off and looked at them, then put them back. A couple of old men had been watching me, and as I left one of them went over and look at them, too. So if Dear Human got a phone call from a confused old man, it’s my fault.

The project was inviting us to be more aware of our surroundings, to pay more attention to the smaller details around us, and I think it did a great job. Long after I found a tile I kept looking a lot more closely at everything while walking around, even in other neighbourhoods.

And I wasn’t just looking for tiles. I was just looking.

 

cassette tape; seen but not heard

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Here's a very intriguing series by Terence Hannum.

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"Typically one does not engage with the material of the cassette. Unless it was being eaten by a tape player, the average consumer never gazed upon its reflective spool. To this point most media requires a certain precious handling of it, the CD, DVD and LP require the listener to hold only the edge." 

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"Perhaps speaking to the ubiquity of the digital file these days, the MP3, FLAC, WAV and others have no real handling instructions. I want to focus on the surface as an engaging texture."

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"I am a visual artist and musician who has used cassette tape in my music and now my material and subject in my visual art. I have an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and teach Art Foundations at Stevenson University outside Baltimore."

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match + maker

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Head on over to Oh My Handmade Goodness for a great post by Jessika Hepburn... I recently enlisted Jessika to interview ceramicist Mariko Paterson for issue #21. Jessika writes:

"I expected we would talk about her work and hopefully connect but imagine my joy when I realized Janine had paired us perfectly, we were totally kindred spirits! What are the chances of finding another creative, multicultural, from Vancouver, collaborative, tattooed lady in our little town? I don’t know but thankfully they were in our favour!"

I suspected the two might enjoy meeting one another and since Mariko is relatively new to their small town they hadn't yet met—even though they're just four blocks apart. The meeting inspired a brilliant idea for a blog series called Match + Maker. I look forward to reading more stories of creative folks matched for interviews and studio tours on Oh My Handmade.

lost & found

Kathryn John sent in a pitch, which led me to explore her website where I discovered this collaborative video project made with Jo Keeling. An ode to collecting, Kathryn writes, "That is my voiceover and the script came from something I wrote for Jo, the filmmaker, with a few tweaks from her to suit the shots she visualized." It was their first effort as part of a digital film making class—I hope they continue their collaboration!

the truck art of India

I received a wealth of submissions for the recent Open Pitch. Not all of them can be included in print, so I will share some here on the blog.

The following submission is from Shantanu Suman, a graphic designer from India who currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina:

After working as an art director for over six years in India, I left my job in 2010 to get my Masters in Graphic Design at the University of Florida. During this unanticipated adventure I found myself exploring a long buried love for the truck art of India. During the summer of 2012, I traveled to India for 45 days, carried out extensive research and collaborated with friends to make Horn Please—a documentary film that narrates the story of the Indian truck art. I was accountable for developing the concept and doing the research of the project. I also acted as the joint director, director of photography, and art director to work with a team of individuals who played their own role during the making of the film." 

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The trucking industry of India has played an instrumental role in shaping Indian trade and commerce for decades. It’s a common belief among the truck owners of India that a beautiful truck is good for business and therefore the owners decorate their trucks with ornamented designs and vivid colors. My initial research during 2011, demonstrated that little has been done to document this vernacular art form of India. It was this lack that inspired me to do further research. During the summer of 2012, I traveled in six cities of India and collected information about the Indian truck art and people related to this art form. The information collected during this trip has acted as a catalyst to develop some design projects, an exhibition and finally a documentary film — Horn Please

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The designs painted on the trucks do not merely represent an aesthetic purpose, but also attempt to depict religious, sentimental, and emotional viewpoints of the people related to the truck industry. My research focused on the ways in which this vernacular art form influences not just the world of art but also the lives of its artists and the truckers who interact with it on a daily basis. Largely, it investigates whether this traditional art, as a unique form of expression, will survive the modern day demands of the industry. 

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Project Horn Please is aimed at raising social awareness and engaging people through voices and aesthetics of the Indian trucking Industry. It marks the starting of a campaign in which design would serve as research rather than another visually pleasing piece of work. Although I have spent the last couple of years researching on the truck art of India, I believe that there is more that needs to be accomplished. During my research trip in India, I stumbled upon something really beautiful. What I found in these places of decline was a sense of pride among the people working there. There was an excitement to share their stories—about their families, about the journeys, about the beautiful symbols and motifs and of the age old tradition of decorating their trucks, of which still not many are familiar with. They are the torchbearers of a beautiful custom of adding a personal touch and creating an identity with their vehicles. 

For a photo gallery of Indian truck art, click here. For forthcoming screenings of this documentary, go here.

making future magic

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This film explores playful uses for the increasingly ubiquitous ‘glowing rectangles’ that inhabit the world. We use photographic and animation techniques that were developed to draw moving 3-dimensional typography and objects with an iPad. In dark environments, we play movies on the surface of the iPad that extrude 3-d light forms as they move through the exposure. Multiple exposures with slightly different movies make up the stop-frame animation. 

Though this project dates to 2010, I still found it quite surprising and clever. For more, click here.

make it last, make it count

The UPPERCASE Creative Manifesto is available as a free download until December 26.

The UPPERCASE Creative Manifesto is available as a free download until December 26.

Over the past couple years, I have been working on improving my "scrawl" as I call it. I use UPPERCASE projects as a reason to get out my brush pen and start lettering. Some efforts are more successful than others, but overall I think I am finding my style. 

As a Christmas gift to you, dear readers, here is the UPPERCASE creative manifesto available as a free download until December 26. (After that, it will be available as a print for sale in the new poster section I'm setting up in our online shop.) I hope my quirky lettering will inspire you in your creative endeavours through the coming year. Merry Christmas!

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Lost & Found

From Vimeo: In a remote corner of New Zealand’s South Island, tucked away among the last remaining tracts of native forest, lies a little-known place of wonder. It is the life’s work and extraordinary creation of inventor, artist and self-confessed tinkerer, Blair Somerville. For over ten years Blair has single-handedly owned, operated and ceaselessly expanded the Lost Gypsy Gallery, his wonderland of homegrown wizardry and a playground for kids and adults alike. Using only recycled materials, Blair takes DIY to artistic extremes. His creations are ingenious, interactive, and often hilariously impractical. They take many shapes and forms and share an uncanny ability to amaze, entertain and inspire. ‘Lost & Found’ invites you to take a peek into Blair's bizarre and beautiful world.

{ Thanks to Eva Franco for the link. }

pixeli.st

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Other than a photo of Finley with Santa from last year, we don't have any photographs of our son on display. I have to confess that when Finley was a baby, though I absolutely adored taking pictures of him in the moment and am so glad that I did, it was too emotional for me to look at those photos later... he was changing and growing so fast, all these little amazing moments were so fleeting. Trying to put together a baby book, I failed a few times. With the exception of two Blurb books of Instagram photos, I still haven't made him a baby book.

Earlier this year, I watched a crowdfunding campaign that promised to turn digital photos and Instagrams into oil paintings for less than $150. I'm always taking personal photos but they end up stored in the cloud and on my laptop, rarely to be seen again. Curious, I decided to support the campaign and recently I received my Pixeli.st painting in the mail. I am so pleased with the resulting painting, it is so much better than I imagined.

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I knew that the paintings were made by Chinese artists, but the thing that was lacking with the final oil painting was a credit and brief bio about the individual who created it. I emailed Pixeli.st and asked them about their process. Will Freeman replied:

China has a number of "art villages" which are generally small areas of cities where artists congregate. Some are famous for creative and cutting edge art like "the 798" in Beijing. Others are places where less successful artists find cheap housing and hang out with their peers, "like Songzhuang" in Beijing. Still others are centres for art production and export. Xiamen, a smaller city in Fujian province, where our artists live, is one of these. Xiamen actually has two "art villages", but artists and export factories are scattered all around the city. A lot of the oil paintings you find in home-interiors shops, hotel rooms, etc are made in Xiamen or Shenzhen. Most of these are done by migrant workers who create the same paintings hundreds, or even thousands, of times over in an assembly line fashion (one person paints the top corner, the next person paintings the bottom corner, and so on). The artists we use tend to be art-school graduates who do custom one-off painting projects and act as art directors for these assembly line sort of factories. They are extremely talented painters, but tend to see painting as a fun job—a means to earn a living—rather than purely a creative pursuit.

When we receive an order, our team's most important job is to chose the right artist for the particular photo. Some of our artists excel in human portraits; others paint mostly landscapes; others prefer cityscapes; and so on. A painting is usually finished about ten days after the order is placed. Our art staff then reviews the painting to make sure there are no alterations are needed. I'd say about 30% of our paintings require revisions. When someone places a custom order with us, we bring them into this process by sending them photos of their finished painting and allowing them to comment on any changes they'd like. After a painting is approved for shipping, we do all packaging at a central location in Xiamen and ship with various express carriers. The whole process tends to take 3-5 weeks, depending on how burdened the shipping companies are at a particular time. 

The photo I submitted is on the left, the painting on the right.

The photo I submitted is on the left, the painting on the right.

Will said that artist bios was something they were working on. I think giving credit where credit is due would only add value to a painting that was relatively inexpensive and created by someone with genuine talent. Thank you to whomever painted such a lovely portrait of my Finley—I can tell it was done with care and great skill!

Find out more about Pixeli.st here.

Bill & Editta: New York City

The countdown to my New York trip is on: the whole family is leaving this Saturday for a week-long experience. I'll be a judge at the Society of Illustrators and will be attending the Nearly Impossible conference. It's going to be a whirlwind, but if there's anything that you think is a must-see activity, event or destination, I welcome your suggestions in the comments on via Twitter.

A still from the movie, Bill Cunningham at home on the streets.

A still from the movie, Bill Cunningham at home on the streets.

To get in the New York state of mind, this weekend I thoroughly enjoyed watching the documentary Bill Cunningham New York . It chronicles the 80-year-old-and-then-some Bill, an intrepid street fashion photographer. It is an amusing and touching portrait of a man who has literally dedicated his life to his creative pursuit.

For most of his career, Bill lived a monk-like existance in an artist studio above Carnegie Hall. Surrounded by filing cabinets and stacks of books and magazines, he slept on a simple cot and didn't have a kitchen. During the filming of the movie (released 2011), Bill and the other residence were faced with finding new accommodations. There is another documentary dedicated to these artists and their stories:  Lost Bohemia .

For most of his career, Bill lived a monk-like existance in an artist studio above Carnegie Hall. Surrounded by filing cabinets and stacks of books and magazines, he slept on a simple cot and didn't have a kitchen. During the filming of the movie (released 2011), Bill and the other residence were faced with finding new accommodations. There is another documentary dedicated to these artists and their stories: Lost Bohemia.

The film also introduced me to classic celebrity photographer Editta Sherman—she just celebrated her 101st birthday. 

Bill photographer Editta in 1976 for a fashion book entitled  Facades , a celebration of 200 years of fashion and architecture in NYC.

Bill photographer Editta in 1976 for a fashion book entitled Facades, a celebration of 200 years of fashion and architecture in NYC.