Spray Painting with Utrecht

July 31, 2011 at 2:48 pm (Art, Art Event, Education, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, free, social event, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

On Saturday, July 30th Utrecht Art Supply in Fort Lauderdale held an urban art spray painting demonstration with local artist, and Baltimore native, James Damatt. During the presentation participants learned about the different Montana Spraypaint products and caps, what they do and how to perform different techniques with them. The presentation was attended by a small group of people, each of whom had the opportunity to try their hand at some of the techniques. There is discussion of Utrecht holding a similar workshop with other urban artists in the coming months to show different techniques within the art form.

You can see some of Damatt’s work gracing walls in the Wynwood area of Miami as well the FAT Village Arts District in Ft. Lauderdale. FAT Village has continuous art walks held the last Saturday of every month with several artists’ studios open to the public. Damatt currently has a large piece on the south side of the warehouses at NW 5th Street and NW 1st Avenue in Fort Lauderdale.

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Today Goes Out-of-Body

September 28, 2009 at 9:32 pm (Education, News, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

OutOfBody

This morning the Today Show reported on the AWARE (AWAreness during Resuscitation) study. The study is trying to determine if people really do have out-of-body experiences (or if it’s just a mind trick) and what the implications of a true out-of-body experience are. Involved in the study are 25 major medical centers throughout Europe, Canada, and 2 hospitals in the United States.

As part of the study a special monitor is placed on a coding patient to determine the amount of oxygen perfusion in the brain; a picture is also placed on a shelf above the bed in each hospital room. The shelf is high enough that the picture can’t be seen from floor level, and the idea is that someone would see the picture if they were having a true out-of-body experience. I wonder what was chosen for this picture, or maybe its just a sign that says:

“You are dead!

Option A: Go toward the light

Option B: Go back to your body and tell us you saw this sign”

It will be interesting to see what the study unearths. Will it confirm the possibility of life after death, or just open a host of new questions? Either way it reminds of the movie Ghost Dad with Bill Cosby. The UK Resuscitation Council, the Horizon Research Foundation, and the Nour Foundation in the United States are supplying funding for the study.

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5 Ways to Stay Current as a Creative

September 2, 2009 at 12:08 pm (Art Event, Design, Design Events, economy, Education, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, marketing, Miami, networking, News, social event, Social Events & Networking, social media, South Florida, Uncategorized, unemployment) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

gaping1You’ve been downsized, laid-off, or decided it was time to strike out on your own and try the world of full-time freelancing and consulting…Now what? In school we’re taught that “no one designs in a vacuum”, but lets face it, when your whole company consists of you, your computer, and maybe a pet, you are not constantly surrounding by other creatives that provide inspiring stimuli. Have no fear, here are five ways I’ve found to keep myself  out of the vacuum and up to date while working as a design consultant:

1. Stay in the loop through social media
Social media can mean different things to different people, but what it comes down to is forging relationships with people online who you may not have otherwise met or stayed in contact with. Though reluctant to it at first, I have found Twitter to be one of the most informational and beneficial social media hubs. The reason for this is because I follow other professionals, media outlets, and design related companies and websites through Twitter. Here’s an example of a tweet from Smashing Magazine:

“@SmashingMag: 30 Amazing Retro Posters and Flyers – http://bit.ly/nG9i4#retro #inspiration

If I’m interested in the topic I don’t have to search through the website, because the link is right there. Other good online networking and portfolio sites are: Facebook, LinkedIn, Behance, and Coroflot.

2. Socialize and network in real face-to-face situations.
If you are on Twitter or Tumblr you might want to attend a local tweetup, where twitter members gather to have real conversations. Refresh and barcamp activities are usually free and informative. The open platform allows for a wide variety of topics to be covered by several presenters. Meetup.com is another great resource. You can find social groups for just about anything. I’ve written several posts about the Shoot Miami photography group that I belong to, but there are groups for WordPress, photoshop, young professionals, etc.

You can also go to art galleries, design events, museum openings, and other social events. Mix with a new demographic, tell them what you do, and maybe you’ll generate some new business contacts.

3. Read industry (and non-industry) related publications:
You don’t have to subscribe to the publications because most of them are online. Some of my favorites for inspiration are: Smashing Magazine, Inspired Magazine, Freelance Switch, Web Designer Depot, and Wired Magazine, and I still receive printed versions of Event Design Magazine. Computer Arts Magazine is a great resource that I check out when I go to book stores, and Smithsonian Magazine and Reader’s Digest are a great resources for escaping from all the creative stimulus when you want a well written and engaging story.

4. Start a blog:
Having a blog and actually trying to write interesting, topical, and engaging information everyday really helps to change your thinking. You start looking for new technologies, techniques, events, and anything else worthy of note to add to your blog. Pick a general topic you are interested in and write about it. As our good friend Benjamin Franklin said: “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

5. Expand your creative horizons:
While working full-time you probably hit a comfortable stride. You knew what your boss wanted to see, how things should be done, and what type of clientele you were dealing with, so shake it up a little bit! Do projects outside of your comfort zone; this helps you expand your design reach. Be careful not to over extend yourself, but look for a project that is in a different style than what you are used to, or a new industry that you haven’t explored. E.g. I recently created a logo for a cake decorator. Most of the concepts I did were feminine with script fonts. This is not my usual style at all, but it expanded my design style a little further.

Another great thing you can do is volunteer. Find a museum or charitable organization within your field to help support with your time. You’ll feel better about yourself, have access to industry developments, and make valuable contacts all while doing some good in your community.

Hopefully these 5 little tips will help to keep you out of that design vacuum. Good luck in this new phase of your life, and remember to enjoy the journey.

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Disney Exhibit Moves the Norton to the Music

August 29, 2009 at 11:46 pm (advertising, Art, Art Event, Education, Florida, Gallery Opening, News, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Disney-Music

Disney: The Music Behind the Magic 1928-Today, an exhibit held at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida, “explores the integral role that music has played in every facet of Disney’s success, from animation and film to TV, radio and Broadway, as well as the record label’s key songs, composers and performers, and their impact on popular music and culture.”

The exhibit starts with the earliest musical works from Disney including the “birth” of Mickey Mouse with his debut in Steamboat Willie on November 18, 1928 and covers the 80 years since then. Through the exhibit you will see (as described by the Experience Music Project in Seattle, Washington):

More than 65 rare artifacts, including animation storyboards, musical charts, rare recordings, sound effects equipment, Mickey Mouse Club outfits, and costumes from theatrical productions such as Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King.

Five interpretive films, all of which are being made specifically for the exhibition and feature Disney artists and experts with excerpts of Disney films to illustrate key points:

  • The first film explores Disney’s innovative musical storytelling in its early animations, from Steamboat Willie to Bambi.
  • The second film examines the critical role of music in Disney’s animation renaissance in the late 1980s, starting with The Little Mermaid; it features filmed interviews with composers Alan Menken and Phil Collins, film critic Leonard Maltin, and other Disney historians.
  • The third film looks at the music and making of Mary Poppins, the pinnacle of Disney’s live-action musicals. It includes interviews with the film’s composer, Richard Sherman, as well as other Disney artists and experts.
  • The fourth film considers Disney’s musical legacy, exploring its influence and impact on popular music and culture
  • The fifth film is a 15-20-minute overview of Disney music shown in our theater and introducing visitors to the exhibit themes and narrative.

Four exciting interactives designed to create hands-on experience for visitors of all ages:

  • Name-That-Disney-Tune is a game show in which four contestants or teams test their knowledge of Disney melodies, lyrics, composers and performers.
  • Sound Effects Challenge has four visitors work as a team and use Foley equipment to create and record the sound effects for one or two Disney cartoons, then watch the results to judge their future as sound effects experts.
  • Remix Disney Hits is a chance for visitors to remix hit songs by Walt Disney Records artists and then compare their mix to the original release.

Wonder Mine did a great job in designing this traveling exhibit. It was laid out nicely, created some good background visuals for the experience, and was very informative –  Did you know that in 1937 doctors warned parents that watching the color cartoon Snow White would damage their kids eyes permanently? If you want to experience this exhibit, hurry, it closes at the Norton on September 6th.

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Crying Indian – Why Do We Remember?

July 26, 2009 at 1:29 pm (advertising, Branding, commercials, Education, marketing, TV advertising) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

The other day myself and some other instructors were preparing for a presentation to kids covering First Aid for the Environment. Jokingly I said, “Why don’t we show the crying Indian ad.” That got me thinking; what makes this ad memorable?

The ad I was referring to was actually a Public Service Announcement  (PSA) that first aired more than 10 years before I was born; yet I remember it to this day. That is a testament to how long the ad ran, and how memorable it was. With its “People Start Pollution. People can stop it.” tagline, the PSA arguably kicked off the green movement (though Keep America Beautiful had been running PSAs since the early ‘60s).

Yes, this PSA is memorable, but what did it actually accomplish? According to the Ad Council “By the end of the campaign, Keep America Beautiful local teams had helped to reduce litter by as much as 88% in 300 communities, 38 states, and several countries.”

So what makes this and other ads so memorable and effective? Do we connect with it emotionally – responding to the Indian crying? Did it bring to the surface something we hadn’t thought of before – what litter does to the environment? Was it just provocative enough to get us thinking? I believe it was a combination of these factors, along with the simple clear message that it put in front of the viewer.

Ironically an Italian played the Indian, and there were a few more Keep America Beautiful PSAs of similar style and content made, but none as successful as the crying Indian in the canoe. Regardless, it remains one of the most memorable and impactful ads almost 40 years after it first aired.

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Photo Walk’n – Part 4, The Map

July 7, 2009 at 8:04 am (Art, Art Event, Design, Design Events, Education, Florida, free, Graphic Design, Illustration, Miami, networking, photo walk, photography, social event, Social Events & Networking, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

South_Beach_MapScott Kelby’s Second Annual Worldwide Photo Walk is nearly here. In order to help those of you attending the South Beach walk, we have created a map indicating places that may be of interest during the walk. The locations are ones where we have had photographic luck in the past, but no one is required to visit any of these during the walk.

The starting and ending locations are designated with stars, and four of South Beach’s parking garages are marked as well. Photographic reference for some of the designated locations can be found here.

For more information on the South Beach walk, please, visit the Photo Walk section of this blog, or the Photo Walk Website.

Hope to see you all there, and happy shooting!

Download the Map

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Shooting Miami Through a Pint of Guiness

June 30, 2009 at 5:20 pm (Art, Art Event, Education, free, Miami, networking, photo walk, photography, social event, Social Events & Networking, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Anniversary_Speed_Graphic_II copy

Last night was my first venture to a Shoot Miami Meetup. Anytime you get a group of people together who are passionate about one topic, good discussions are sure to follow.  In attendance were people hailing from a wide variety of camera platforms – Nikon, Canon, Sony, etc – and photographic experience levels.

The upstairs room of John Martin’s Irish Pub in the Gables was filled with photographic portfolios from the members. Some of these photographs yielded stories of photographing gators from a few feet away, painting with light, and macro (or micro, depending on platform) shooting techniques referencing a variety of subject matters.

The gathering was informative and helpful. ZiZi, the group leader, is heading up the Photo Walk along Lincoln Road on the 18th of July – I’ll be leading the South Beach walk around the same time. They have a Fourth of July outing planned for Miami Beach, as well as a meetup for the Miami – Homestead Speedway FARA Race in early August.

I look forward to doing more with this group in the future. The seem very low-key and willing to share ideas and techniques.

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Photo Walk’n – Part 2

June 21, 2009 at 11:09 pm (Art Event, Design Events, Education, Florida, free, Graphic Design, Miami, networking, photo walk, photography, social event, Social Events & Networking, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Photowalk shirts

There’s less than a month to go until Scott Kelby’s Second Annual Worldwide Photo Walk! As I mentioned in a previous post, I will be doing the South Beach walk on Miami Beach July 18th.

The anticipation builds each day that we get closer to the event. According to the website there are now “over 17,000 people signed up for over 1,000 walks around the world…” To add to the excitement Nikon and X-Rite recently signed up as sponsors. Being a Nikon guy, this is great news – they’re giving away a D700 and 24-200mm lens as one of the prizes.

For the second annual walk, Towner Jones Photography created a special T-shirt. Not only is it special because it’s branded to the event, but $5 from every order goes to the Springs of Hope Kenya Orphanage.

I hope you all join a walk in your area; this is going to be a great event!

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Spring Portfolio Review – Day 2

June 18, 2009 at 6:39 pm (Art, Art Event, Design, Design Events, Education, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, free, networking, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

From left to right: Event Flier, Fondant Monkeys, James Vincent, Sarah Tarbett, Mike Gaitan, Dan Burgos

Today I visited my alma mater, The Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, for their portfolio review. The work was good as usual. The Industrial Design department had a fairly good showing of design for manufacturing, design process, rapid prototyping, etc. Graphic’s print portfolios were executed with technical skill, and Animation had a good mix of 2D & 3D work. Unfortunately I did not have time to visit every major, or look deeply through many portfolios. What I did see was presented professionally and beautifully. One of the aspects that stood out was the display of cakes that lined the entry wall to presentation room. Though not created by graduates, these fondant-decorated creations from the Advance Pastry & Display Class led by Chef Peter R. Babcock were a welcome addition to the day. Congratulations to the all of the Spring 2009 graduates!

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