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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Foodies rejoice – the future is here! As if obtaining sweets wasn’t easy enough, Candace Nelson, founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes and judge on the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars”, has invented the first-ever cupcake ATM. Wanting 24-hour access to cupcakes during her pregnancy, she came up with the idea of offering up freshly-baked treats available anytime, even when the shop was closed for the night.

The first ATM was set up in front of the famous Sprinkles flagship shop, located in Beverly Hills and is usually accompanied by a large line-up. The vault can house about 600 cupcakes and customers can choose their flavours by using the touch screen and pay with a credit card. The beauty of this ATM is that it also contains cake mixes, special cupcakes for dogs, and even apparel. When you make your purchase, the video screen shows you the process inside the machine, which is a truly novel idea. You can see a robotic arm selecting your cupcake, and watch as it places it into a lovely little cardboard box for you. You don’t have to worry about getting a stale cupcake either – these machines are regularly replenished with fresh sweets all all hours of the day, however, you do have to pay for the convenience, packaging and experience – there is a 50-cent surcharge for the automat cupcakes, compared to obtaining them inside for $3.50 each.

After only seven years on the scene, Sprinkles has really pushed the boundaries in the baked goods world and continues to innovate with new ideas to keep up with their Hollywood celebrity demand. Even the A-listers don’t mind standing in line for one of their delicious confections, but the ATM makes the transaction quick and easy for those on the go. The greatest news is that Sprinkles is going to start expanding across the U.S. with this idea, with nine more locations added in major cities like Chicago, New York, and Washington D.C. this summer. Hopefully they’ll consider moving their enterprise North of the border into our area in the future – at least, if someone else doesn’t get to it first. Fingers crossed!

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SzSz

I guess this illustration by SzSz pretty much sums up how I’m feeling this week. Work has been blowing into our office like a crazy tornado and I’ve been trying to keep on top of it, but that often gets tricky in the world of design. I’m not looking forward to my coworker going on vacation soon, that’s for sure.

In the meantime, I haven’t been able to do much trolling the web for inspiration, but this morning I forced myself to take a break and peruse a few sites, one of which caught my attention. Shadowness is a growing online art community much like DeviantArt where people can post their work. In particular, I was very much impressed with some people’s talent when it comes to creating vector and vexel art, so I thought I’d share a few of the more amusing ones that I came across.

If you want to check out more, visit the Shadowness website.

Enjoy!

SzSz

IsaPanicMonsta

IsaPanicMonsta

IsaPanicMonsta

ika

ika

brads

brads

brads

SILO

SILO

SILO

gene 12

gene 12

gene 12

gemzki002

exoesqueletodv

exoesqueletodv

exoesqueletodv

kepalakardus

kepalakardus

kepalakardus

nofartherapy

nofartherapy

wilmurmurillo

Deftbeat

Deftbeat

oucho

Portugese artist Paulo Arraiano (aka Yup), is a well-known illustrator and magazine Art Director (Slang Magazine, Magnolia Magazine), who has dabbled in several other mediums and has accumulated quite a huge portfolio of work over the years, that includes street art, a clothing line (Palm urban wear), vinyl toys (Speakerdog toy for fellow Infectious artist Ben The Illustrator), CD packaging and iPhone cases, and even a teaching position at the Restart School of Creativity and New Technologies in Lisbon. Whatever medium he chooses, his intuitively distinctive style cascades throughout most of his work, which he amusingly describes as “supafreakyfunny creatures from distant worlds and realities who are invited to be placed in all mediums possible, from digital to walls, clothing, street, toys, skateboards, music, galleries…”. In short, he crosses all platforms and transcends all avenues of articulation with his modes of self-expression.

His art poses many working contradictions – mirroring dualities that exist all around us, such as the one between nature and the urban landscape, as well as the natural vs. the artificial, and he manages to strike a balance between the two. His message is one of exploding positivity, and a celebration of life and evolution. His whole life has been dedicated to the pursuit of artistic expression, having grown up riding skateboards and being influenced by the aggressive, often rebellious spontaneity of urban culture. Juxtapose this with his love of the harmonious fluidity of surfing and Jamaican rhythms, and you have a perfect symbiosis that forms the basis of his creativity. Yup is endlessly pushing towards an evolution of energy, symbiosis, and motion – searching for the ultimate balance between the primitive, simplicity of nature and the complex, artificial, and abstract urban world – to get to the root of all that is.

Yup’s got so many projects and clients under his belt, there’s just not enough hours in the day to talk about them all. Instead, check out more of his stuff on his website.

 

Wow! Can’t believe I’ve gotten to 100 posts already! Time sure flies!

As inhabitants of this planet, we’ve really destroyed our environment – our cities encroach on the once beautiful landscape and are awash with the endless layers of grime that we’ve excreted for centuries, creating a dirty and dismal atmosphere all around us. Two innovative street artists have taken it upon themselves to come up with a solution – rather than add to the toxicity, why not create art by washing it away and make a statement with more of an impact?

British pioneer Paul Curtis (aka Moose), and Brazilian master Alexandre Orion are two amazing artists who use the technique of “reverse graffiti” that has been quickly gaining popularity in some of the grimier parts of the world – a technique that involves taking an extremely polluted surface, and cleaning the surface away to reveal an image.

Several big companies are taking advantage of this new street art phenomenon by having advertising commissioned by these artists, such as Smirnoff and Starbucks, who want to become more innovative in their targeting the youth market in an environmentally sound way, making their image appear “cleaner” than their competitors.

One might think that these forms of environmental art would be welcomed by the communities in which they proliferate, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Some authorities are finding that the practice is destructive. Moose has faced a lot of backlash from The Leeds City Council, who want to rid their community of “rogue advertising”  because it causes “environmental damage”, but according to Moose, “Once you do this, you make people confront whether or not they like people cleaning walls or if they really have a problem with personal expression.” The Leeds City Council retaliated by stating that creating street art without relevant permission can be construed as vandalism and Moose was charged under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act. They wanted him to clean up what he had done – but what did that entail? Throwing grime back up there? Sounds ridiculous, but that’s what happened.

Orion had a slightly more positive outcome when faced with Brazilian authorities – when he created a mural full of skulls in a Sao Paulo transport tunnel to bring awareness to drivers of the impact of vehicle emissions on the environment, the city found they had nothing to charge him with, so they just cleaned the parts of the tunnel that Orion had already cleaned. Orion responded by continuing his cause on the other side of the tunnel – which made Sao Paulo authorities have no choice but to clean the entire tunnel, and all of the other tunnels in the city as well. Mission accomplished!

To find out more about the Reverse Graffiti Project, check out the documentary and visit their website.

To learn more about environmental graffiti, visit the Environmental Graffiti website.

To view the 35 greatest works of environmental graffiti, visit this page.

To learn more about grime writing, visit Symbollix’s website.

Moose

Belgian artist Philip Bosmans’ sketchbook must be an awesome sight to behold – apparently he doesn’t go too far without it, since all of his ideas, inspiration and ideas get crammed into it to avoid them slipping off into oblivion. I wouldn’t mind taking a peek some day.

Bosmans is also known on the streets as “amatic”. He was classically trained as a graphic designer but he’s a self-taught painter and graf artist with a real penchant for the surrealistic qualities of fantasy worlds beyond our own. From his sketchbooks springs forth a bountiful array of organic shapes and colours, strange distorted characters and twisted subject matter. It is not only an escape from the real world, it is an in-depth look at the spectrum of human emotion that is characterized in a dream-like state. I love the way he juxtaposes moods such as overlapping happiness with grief.

He’s also great with digital art as he is on canvas or concrete, constructing seemingly endless numbers of logotypes, and has won numerous awards, most notably the uber-prestigious Macworld UK Digital Artist of the Year Award 2011 for his work entitled “Origins of the Species”.

Currently, Bosmans is being represented by the ARTISHOX Art Agency. Check out his website, and his blog.

Since 2002, husband and wife team Pierre Javelle and Akiko Ida have created a multitude of amazing photographs of a micro universe that exists only between the two of them, and they’re quickly gaining popularity, particularly in the world of gastronomy. Frenchman Pierre met Japanese Akiko while studying in an art school in Paris, and their combined interests are what drew them together – Akiko is a total foodie and Pierre has an affinity for comic books and photography – together, they’ve found the perfect medium for expression, and not only does it work – it’s borderline magical.

The couple present a growing series of photographic diptychs that illustrate little stories in comic book fashion. At this point they must have over 60 of them and they just keep coming. The subject of these photos is usually comprised of gorgeous macro shots of beautifully staged culinary treats, with tiny little people in various forms of action – both ordinary and extraordinary, using the food as a setting, on which they playfully act out their teeny scenarios.

The range of themes varies – from simple domestic scenes to full-on warfare – all of which contain a driving action. The first image usually sets up the little characters in a setting that we can’t quite make out fully, then is followed by a second panel that reveals more of the scene as it unfolds – sometimes illustrating a delightfully amusing punchline of sorts. This all culminates into a quirky way of perceiving things differently, and how the construction of meaning can be achieved through images. Through their imaginative creations, they have managed to meld different forms of photography, including macro, portraiture, landscape and culinary staging. They’ve already been featured in many publications across Europe and continue to gain exposure.

To visit their microcosmos, visit their website.

One man’s garbage is another man’s gold. London-born Robert Bradford takes elements of discarded children’s toys and other oddities and repurposes them into life-size sculptures that speak to the inner child in all of us. Some of them are even blown up to larger-than-life sizes that dominate the senses. Focusing on mainly animals and humans as his subjects, he carefully pieces these works together out of any brightly coloured plastic items he can find – from playthings to combs, buttons, clothes pegs, and other useless bit of miscellany that are usually discarded and thought of as rubbish.

While classically-trained as a visual artist in both the U.S. and the U.K., he also makes a career as a psychotherapist, which kind of puts things into perspective when it comes to analyzing his art. These long-forgotten toys that were easily cast aside are a piece of a much larger puzzle that comprises the human psyche. Each small piece of plastic represents a part of someone’s history, a past unknown to the viewer – a point in time, frozen in order to pass on a piece of someone’s cultural history. It comes as no surprise that some of these sculptures can be comprised of pieces from up to 3,000 toys.

Bradford wasn’t originally intending to make reusing and recycling his modus operandi but each of his creations definitely keeps a few handfuls of plastic out of the landfills that are continuously encroaching on us. What’s more, is that some of these creative pieces are fetching around £12,000 (US $19,000) a pop! How’s that for turning garbage into gold!

To see more of his inspiring works, visit his website.

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