Aug 20, 2006

Daniel Krall, with whom I collaborated on One Plus One, has a couple of relatively new projects going: a weblog to augment his portfolio site, and a new studio called the Black Box Project.

Paul Hornschemeier, part of the Holy Consumption, and with whom I would collaborate in a heartbeat if I got the chance, has a band called Arks, and they're good. If you don't believe me, there's a ton of free content at their website.

These are all things you should enjoy.

Aug 14, 2006

Going back for 20+ years now, some of the most vital and interesting popular art has been found on the bottom of skateboard decks. From this to this and a host of others in between, it's some of the best work going.

Thinking about this intersection of skating and art led me, thankfully, to remember Neil Blender. In addition to being an accomplished skater in his own right, Blender is/was also an incredibly talented artist. He brought a true illustrator's sensibility to his graphics that transcended his form, and he's one of those people whose influence is huge but whose name is not as known as it ought to be. I'm not going to overstate it by making a "without Neil Blender..." claim, but it's tempting. He's an inspiration.

As far as I can gather, this is what he's up to these days:

And dig this video (w/Lance Mountain), particularly the part with the dog/halfpipe cuts:

Link him up and give him some props.

Aug 11, 2006

The ever-excellent Typographica brings news that is wonderful indeed:

Helvetica, the film

There's some heavyweight talent on both sides of the camera. The director is the same person who produced the Wilco documentary, and the interview list is practically a who's who. What I'm most excited about, however, is the professed point/mission:
Since millions of people see and use Helvetica every day, I guess I just wondered, "Why?" How did a typeface drawn by a little-known Swiss designer in 1957 become one of the most popular ways for us to communicate our words fifty years later? And what are the repercussions of that popularity, has it resulted in the globalization of our visual culture? Does a storefront today look the same in Minneapolis, Melbourne and Munich? How do we interact with type on a daily basis? And what about the effects of technology on type and graphic design, and the ways we consume it?
It's no secret to any of you how I feel about typography. Type is the one constant that runs through written, spoken, and visual communication, and as such carries a weight that can't be overstated. The idea of a film that explores its relationship with our culture and, by extension, attempts to address those complex relationships sounds, to me, like just what the doctor ordered.

I also learned today how to properly format block quotes. I'm always toiling on your behalf.

Aug 6, 2006

Sad news last week with the passing of Arthur Lee. I was never the biggest Love fan, but I always liked what I heard and, of course, I dig Forever Changes. I first heard of Lee and Love courtesy of DC's the Make-Up, who introduced him to me and probably many others via their track "Free Arthur Lee". As a tribute to Lee, here it is:

The Make-Up - Free Arthur Lee (mp3)

Aug 4, 2006

I didn't buy much at Comic Con this year, a marked departure from my usual habits. Lacking money will do that to you. But I did pick up the latest installment of Anders Nilsen's Big Questions series, and I'd be terribly remiss if I didn't mention it.

Nilsen is a serious talent, and I can't recommend his books enough. He has an impressive ability to blend the abstract and the emotional to create work that both moves you and makes you think. He's doing the kind of comics that I wish everyone was reading, because if they did they'd understand the potential of the medium.

While you're at it, he also designed a painfully hot skateboard deck. Check it out.

He's part of The Holy Consumption, and Paul, Jeffrey, and John are equally worth your attention. They're all pretty amazing.

I should also point something out here, not just for this post but for many others: I want you all to know that when I recommend something, it is only because I believe in it and feel as though the folks who come by here, because you're interested in my work and/or what I have to say, will dig it likewise. This weblog is guided by passion (and positivity) above all else.

I also picked up one other book worth mentioning, and I'll do that as soon as I'm finished reading it.

Aug 2, 2006

If you could read my mind, love
What a tale my thoughts could tell
Just like an old time movie
'bout a ghost from a wishing well
In a castle dark, or a fortress strong
With chains upon my feet
You know that ghost is me
And I will never be set free
As long as I'm a ghost you can't see

When I first listened to the latest Johnny Cash collection I was immediately floored by his tender and vulnerable rendition of Gordon Lightfoot's If You Could Read My Mind (excerpted above). I listened to it four or five times straight in a row, marveling at not only Cash's performance but at the song itself. I'd heard it a hundred times before, but until it was recast I never had any reason to actually listen. It's a shame, too, because I'd been missing out. Lightfoot, it turns out, is a hell of a songwriter. iTunes has a five song collection from Rhino available for just $3.99, and I heartily recommend picking it up. You'll likely recognize the songs, but try to forget that. Give it a good, honest listen and see if it doesn't impress.

Plus, look at him. He's cool.