Friday, September 24, 2010

Tennis Anyone?

A month or two ago I came across an iPod Touch app called Layer Tennis. I was just searching around for graphic design and art related apps so I didn't really know what to expect. What I found was pretty cool.

Every Friday there is a new match between two designers, each match consists of 10 "volleys". As in the traditional game of tennis there is a serve. In Layer tennis the serve is a file that one of the designers made before the match started. After that the two designers send the image back and forth adding on and changing the image. After each volley the image is posted live on the site and there is a commentator for each match giving often funny and interesting opinions to what each designer has to offer. The most amazing thing to me is that the designers only have 15 minutes for each volley. I repeat, 15 MINUTES! The things these people do is so well done and creative. They never know what the other designer is going to do yet the manage to bring their best. After each match people who hold a "season pass" (myself included) can vote for who think they won the match on Twitter

Adobe does sponsor the site so that automatically tells you there are going to be some high quality designers featured and I haven't been disappointed yet. I admit I've only just gotten to season two (they have three seasons so far) but it is such a great idea and they all know how to deliver. I love match one and four of season one, they are both must sees. Things also start to heat up when animation is added to the equation in a couple matches towards the end of season one.

Season 1, Match 1, Volley 4, Shaun Inman

If anyone wants, I'm totally down for starting our own Layer Tennis Competition. Anyone game?

I don't think that I'll ever be able to watch a normal game of tennis again (not that I ever really watched tennis in the first place). You just never know what to expect, each match is so different.

May X never mark just one spot!


(Image from Layer Tennis)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Little Snapshot

Like I mentioned a few days ago I did a little project that I wanted to post about. This piece is a part of a series that I'm working on. They are lino cuts (one of my favorite medium) that I digitally made into little posters. I have three on my website and this one will get on there soon. In order to prove my absolute adoration with photography, each image is of a camera, so far I have made a print of a Holga (love!), an old Olympus 35mm, a Voigtlander Brillant, and now an  Ansco Cadet. I own each of the cameras I've made a print of except for the Voigtlander (that's my next camera, or at least some kind of dual lens).

The Ansco Cadet is actually my Mother's but I just found out she had it about a month ago. Now, I've been seriously studying photography for about the past two years so why she didn't tell me about it earlier I have no idea. She didn't tell me about it until my Aunt and I were talking about cameras that might be in my grandfather's attic. It was her first camera, my two Aunts also got one each. When I asked why she hadn't told me about it before she said I never asked. I didn't know I was supposed to but that's my Mom for you.

Anyway, on to the goods. I took a bunch of photos of my process so I thought I would share.

Isn't it so cute?
And the box is amazing! Thank God for my Mother's pack-rat tendencies!!
First I made sketch,
Then I made a pencil rubbing of the drawing,
The first round of cuts,
Then I go in and add different widths of lines and make sure all the cuts are deep enough,

I thought I'd give the blue ink a try,
The ink is a little thin but it was just a test print and no I didn't mean to match my nail polish to the ink,
Gotta make sure all the ink is transfered,
Tada! Again, the ink is a little thin but not bad for a test print in my opinion.
The end.
So that's my little project for the week, hope you enjoyed!

May X never mark just one spot!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

You Gotta Like the Like a Leika

This summer I fell in love with everything HBO. I was already a True Blood fan but I also started to watch The Sopranos, Big Love, Six Feet Under, Bored to Death... what can I say? I didn't have a whole lot going on this summer. Anyway, one of my new favorite shows comes from the fabulous HBO, The Neistat Brothers. If you haven't seen the show it's a compilation of home videos made by two brothers, Casey and Van, all about the crazy adventures they have in their life. It's a super simple concept but done so well. They split the show in half so each brother gets 15 minutes to do with what ever they want. The results are funny, crazy, and inspirational all at the same time. They make films about whatever is going on at the moment in their life, not afraid to leave anything out, from stories about how they climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, to finding Van's biological father, to getting their HBO deal. They have their own website here, or here is the HBO page.

Casey on the left and Van on the right.

They use several different low end cameras that they talk about on their show. My favorite camera that they use is what they call the Like a Leika. How amazing is that? It is actually a Canon PowerShot SD780 that is painted black with a Leika logo on it. I don't have a thing for Leikas or anything, I just love the name and thought it was funny. It's little things like that that really make the show the gem that it is. I only found out when researching for this post that Tom Sachs is the creator of the Like a Leika. He is an artist based out of NYC and employed Casey and Van before they got the HBO gig. He also sold 12 of the cameras for $2,500...each. Makes me wish I had thought of that! His website is here.

The Like a Leika!

Throughout their videos they have a bunch of stop actions segments and other low tech touches that make the show feel complete yet spontaneous at the same time. By the end of the season I had convinced myself that I had to move to New York (where they live) and just be creative, go on adventures, and life would work its self out. That idea only lasted a couple of hours, thank goodness. I told you I'm a little crazy, haha. The show is just that inspirational and great.

They also have an AMAZING Polaroid wall that consists of pictures of everyone that had been in their studio. I think I need to start that in my new apartment. All I need is a Polaroid camera and some film and I'll have a great conversation piece!

I think I need more friends...

 It is a great, original show and I think everyone should watch it. The end, no more discussion.

May X never mark just one spot!


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Movin' On Up

I do have another post in the works that might make it on here sometime tonight but I've been a little preoccupied because, drum roll please... I'm moving to Boston! That's right, I'm getting out of good ol' VA and heading up North. It's all kind of happened with in the past few days so that's why I haven't been posting that much. I've been apartment hunting and trying to find out as much as I can about Boston because, well, I've never actually been there. Now I know you must be thinking I'm crazy for just picking up and moving to a completely new city but I have my reasons. I do have some great friends up there, one of which I will be living with, and I also was offered a paid internship that sounds totally rad (more on that once it starts!) and I need a good adventure in my life right about now! I still am finding it a little hard to believe that it's happening, usually I get grand plans in my head but they only stay there for about a day before I'm on to something new. But I'm making it happen! It's going to be scary and different but I think (I hope!) I'm ready for it. Well, ready or not it's happening, I'll be up there within the next couple of weeks, so I think that means a brief break on the blogging. No worries though I'll be back as soon as I get a chance to breathe. 

May X never mark just one spot!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Don't think, Do!

About a year ago this November, I had the opportunity to travel with a group of my friends down to Ft. Benning, Georgia for a few days during Thanksgiving break. We didn't go down for sightseeing or for a relaxing break, not at all. We were making the 12 hour drive to go to a protest against the US Army School of the Americas. 

Now a brief history of the cause: the group that has been putting on the protest and vigil for the past 19 years is called the SOA (School of America) Watch. The School of America is a military training camp for Latin American soldiers located in Ft. Benning. This school has many graduates that have a direct correlation with many murders and massacres of their own innocent people. In short, it's bad real bad. I don't want to get into it to much so for more information check out the SOA Watch's website

So now to my point, this protest was AMAZING and inspired me so much. There were around 20,000 people there (don't quote me on this number I couldn't find any source) all fighting (peacefully of course) for so many people who had lots their lives and families because of this school. There was chanting, singing, marching, it was so powerful and moving. 

I had brought the Nikon D80 that I had been borrowing from a friend and was able to capture it on film.  I'm so in love with the photos and I wanted to share a few with you because the next vigil is coming up this November. It is the 20th anniversary and should be a sight to see. If you can GET DOWN THERE! 

I had no idea when I went down there that I would be around so much raw emotion and have the chance to photograph something so life changing. I've taken photos before of protests and other events but this one was different somehow. I think that it was because everyone's guard was down and no one was holding back anything, anger, sadness, desperation- anything.

Now when I'm working on a photography project it helps to think back to the protest and how I need to stop thinking about things and just shoot. Almost all of my best projects have come from little to no planning. It might sound ridiculous but sometimes I forget how easy it is to take pictures.

Here are a few of the photos I took: 

My friend Jessie!

The marchers who are in the background are all those who crossed the police line.
Anne! The amazing woman who invited us to go to the protest/vigil with her! 

They had a cross for everyone who had lost their life due to an SOA graduate at the end of the march they were put in to the fence at the gates of the school. It was so powerful  and devastating to see how many there were.

I wish I could go this year but it doesn't look like I can due to lack of funds. If anyone ends up going take lots of photos and let me know! Even if you can't go it's a great group to get involved with!

May X never mark just one spot,


PS Thanks Jessie-Lee for the sign off idea! What do you guys think? I think it might be a keeper!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

I have the coolest friends...

So last week two of my friends featured me on their blogs and I think it is only fitting to do the same for them...

I know I mentioned Jessie-Lee's blog, The Hyphen Tantrum, before, but I think I should give her some more credit, she definitely deserves it. As I said, she is the entire reason why I'm writing this now! Her blog is full of all sorts of goodies from funky furniture to beautiful, hand-crafted stationary. When she first told me she had a blog I had no idea I would find all the amazing, inspirational posts that she writes. I met Jessie-Lee down at Lynchburg College while we were both studying graphic design. She is an amazing designer and should definitely post more about her own work (hint hint) because she knows what she is doing and has her own unique style like none I've seen before. She recently got married and did her own wedding invitations which were absolutely stunning and blew away everyone I showed (and you better believe I showed off those puppies). I wish I had some pictures to show you (again, hint hint). I think you all get the picture, now get on over to her blog!

Stephen is another amazing designer that I met while at Lynchburg. His blog, The Blog of Stephen Kissel, is filled with posts about people and projects that are so much fun and beyond creative. His blog is a part of his personal website so while your there be sure to check out his work, he does a lot of custom fonts which are really great and take his designs to the next level. He is also a great illustrator and his characters always make me smile! I find a lot of inspiration from both Stephen's work and the work he posts about.

I can't say enough good things about these people, they have been great friends and colleagues and I can't wait to see what they come up with next!

If your in the discovering mood, here are some other friends of mine who you should check out as well:

Brandon Hunter at (blog) and (portfolio)
Jake Mace at
Katie Scott at
Myles Katherine at

I wish I could write about each one of them but I feel like I've already gone on long enough so I'll save that for another time.

Still searching for the proper send off,


(images from and respectively)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Color Theory

So I've seen a bunch of posts about arranging books by color and I thought I would give it a try to spruce up my bookshelves. Honestly it didn't work out quite as I had hoped but that is mainly due to the middle shelf being just a bit to short to fit in some of my books. I also need more green books. I definitely like it better though, maybe it's my slightly OCD tendencies taking over but it just looks so much more organized. Which of course is ironic because before I rearranged them I had them all grouped together by series and on different shelves depending on if I had read them yet or if they were worth reading again, among other categories that I'm sure only my crazy brain could figure out. By now I guess I should realize that I always pick form over function! Unfortunately my bookshelf is currently the only part of my room that reflects that. Maybe I'll have to do a post about a weekend room makeover. That could be very fun!

Here are the before and afters! I do think it works until after the black, where I put all the books that couldn't fit on the second shelf. And like I said a little more green would be nice to fill it out. I'll have to keep that in mind when I'm a famous graphic designer, designing hundreds of book covers!


Later gators!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dirty Design

Earlier this summer I stumbled across a New York based designer, Annica Lydenberg and her company Dirty Bandits. I absolutely love her spunky illustrations and custom typography. She has a great combination of humor and style that is very refreshing.  She does a lot of client work and then some stationary too. Check out these prints...

Who doesn't love cheesy pickup lines? And as an added bonus she posts monthly themed calenders for your computer's desktop. This month's theme? National honey month! It's a cute treat each month and brightens up my desktop. They are screen prints too that you can buy, if it was the beginning of the year I totally would have gotten them! Maybe we'll all be lucky and she'll do a set for 2011!

Umm, can you say adorable?!

Even as a vegetarian I love it!

Buzz buzz!

She sells a lot of her work on Etsy, including the pieces I linked, so be sure to check it out!

That's all for now!

(all images can be found at

A Little Thursday Fun!

I've never really been a big blog follower but when I decided to start my own I figured I should do some research. I found some really interesting blogs that are very inspiring, including one from the Jones Design Company. She posts a lot of little DIY projects that are really cute. There was one on silhouettes that I thought looked fun so I did a few and I think that they could be really cute hung up in a group with some fun frames. I didn't follow the tutorial exactly but if you don't know Photoshop then her tutorial is a good jumping of point. They didn't take me any time at all once I had the picture of myself that I liked. Try it out and see what you come up with!

I love the patterns and colors that she used so I tried the same, a modern take on an old classic

The classic look.
A little taste of the 70's, haha.

This one started out red but looked a little too much like blood, ew!

I've always loved the simplicity and elegance of silhouettes. Since they are so easy it is definitely an easy decorating fix! I think I might have to explore this further. I might redo the top ones and print them out to hang up. If I do I'll definitely post pictures! I'm definitely going to retake a photo to use, in these I was smiling and I think it makes my mouth looks a little funny, haha.

Have fun,


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My First Post!

Wow, I can't really explain why but I'm a little nervous writing this post. I don't really expect to get a lot of readers or anything so I don't know what it is I have to be nervous about. I think that I just really want to be able to make this blog in to something that I can enjoy and have fun with. I've started many a journal and the longest one only lasted a few months. I've always liked the idea but lacked the commitment to write down my thoughts and feelings everyday, or for that matter, weekly or even monthly.

So I guess that's why I'm nervous, answering my own curiosity. I don't want this blog to fall by the wayside as so many of my attempts at journaling have.

And I'm not going to let it. I'm excited about this blog. I don't know what exactly what it is I have to say (which I'm sure is a no-no in blog writing 101 but as I said I'm not expecting a whole lot of readers anyway) but I'm going to find something to say. That will be my promise to you (whoever you is).

Most of my journals start out with some sort of promise of me writing at least one entry every other day. Soon enough I'm writing a single sentence every other day saying how I don't feel like writing and I'll make up for it another day, and then, nothing at all. So I'm not going to make that promise here, I'll write when I feel like it, whether it be 5 times a day or once a year (God, I hope that isn't the case!), and this way I think this blog will feel more like a hobby rather then a chore.

To wrap up I'll apologize for my little conversation with myself. I don't see this blog as a place for my deepest and darkest thoughts, so this will be the only post like this, I swear. I'm thinking of this as more of a literary and visual sketchbook (whatever that might mean). A place of creativity and experiments. I already have a list of topics that will hopefully excite someone else as much as they have me excited.

I don't have any snazzy sign-off yet so it's just my name for now,


P.S.- I really wanted to mention a quick thank-you to Jessie Lee who inspired me to start this blog, you should check out her's over at the The Hyphen Tantrum. It's really great and a lot of fun!!

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