Archive for July, 2011

Doodle doodle doodle (’till you just can’t doodle no more)

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Just like eyes are the window to your soul, I believe that doodling is also another way to get to that destination.  If you’ve ever peeked at anyone’s doodles after they’ve had a class or been on the phone for a long time, you’d be able to tell a lot about them by looking at what they drew. Regardless of quality, a sketch can display a lot about someone’s personality. Even though sometimes the sketches are awful, and sometimes they’re fabulous.

And sometimes, if you’re Christina, your doodles end up turning out like this. It’s just like Cinderella turning into a princess, except with Christina being the godmother, and the wand being talent.

In honor of sketches and personality and life and all that jazz, we give you Doodlers Anonymous, the blog for showing off doodles and sketches. They call themselves a “permanent home for spontaneous art,” which is definitely accurate; people from all over submit their work, and the best are posted in the “Featured Artists” and “Showcase” section. And I do mean “best.” All of the work shown is super-intense and drawn by obviously talented people. (All pictures below courtesy of

Instead of just posting one doodle a person, the blog showcases a lot of their work, and gives a short blurb about each doodler. This way, you can see a series of talent by one person, and learn a little bit more about them through text as well.

Although a picture really is worth a thousand words.

That’s vintage for ya

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Vintage things are one of the best things about life. Actually, apart from love, cake, good photography and cheesy romantic comedies, I can’t think of anything more wonderful than vintage pieces and art. The appeal is the thrill of looking at how the world was before you, depending on what your favorite time period is (I myself am partial to the 1920s). Looking at items from that period is like looking through a time machine, and c’mon—who wouldn’t want to look through a time machine?

Apparently graphic designer and blogger Megan Cummins felt the same way as me, and decided to create Vintage Me Oh My, a blog devoted to all things vintage, all the time. She uses vintage art, ads, photos and typography as inspiration, and she shares all that she has with the general public. (All photos from the Vintage Me Oh My blog.)

A vintage 1920s ad.

An example of vintage-inspiration in signs today.

Brookfield Zoo posters, back in the day (1930s, to be exact).

For all you true vintage-heads out there, check out Etsy’s vintage page, Silver Moon vintage shop in Chicago and and some of the vintage photos from The Sartorialist blog (like, for example, this one). And if you have something cool and vintage to share, Cummins encourages all fans to spread the wealth and email her.

Seriously? How can you not like vintage eras? They give us great gems like these.

And sometimes, we need to capture ourselves

Monday, July 18th, 2011

I don’t know if it’s evident by now, given the amount of recent blog posts I’ve written on this subject, but I am a sucker for photographers. Designers and typographers make me happy, and illustrations get me inspired, but when I see a really, well-shot photo, I get a million tiny little goose bumps, similar to when you see someone you love or when you eat Portillo’s chocolate cake.

Sara Norris’ photography gives me that exact feeling. A 2005 graduate from the Brooks Institute of Photography, Norris captures all subjects with a whimsical, double-take feel, be it carnivals, families or the city. Her combination of capturing things at their most vulnerable and beautiful, and her simple-yet-familiar touch with Photoshop makes her work easy on the eyes.

Photos courtesy of

Her own personal blog is good too, especially with her 365 Day Project she started, where she takes a picture of herself everyday that tells a story about her day. Usually I’m not a big fan of girls taking random pictures of themselves (unless, of course, it’s me), but Norris raises it to an art form, delivering thoughtful, and at times breath-taking, photos.

Photos courtesy of

She’s taken self-portraits to more than just something you do when you’re bored or looking for attention, and moved it to a tool for self-inspection and life-backtracking. Which sounds like something they totally tell you in therapy, which is fitting: good photographer can be good therapy.

The states just got better

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Wouldn’t it be cool to design a poster describing what each of the 50 states mean to you? New York would be “the state that I would love to live in if it didn’t amount to the cost of a small child.” Florida would be “Mickey-Mouse-and-old-people land.” Maine would simply be “mmm…lobster.” And Illinois? Well… I think I would portray Illinois correctly.

I call it like I see it, people.

That’s kind of the concept of the Fifty and Fifty art print project. Created by design company Society6 (and more specifically, started by designer Dan Cassaro), a different artist was assigned to a different state. They took the motto of the state they were working on, and then created a design around it. (Each of the art prints are on ultra-smooth, 100% cotton rags. Also, each picture below is courtesy of


New Jersey

These designs are made to look classical and aged, and are intriguing as well. It would be interesting to get into the mind of the designer, and see what made them think of their state like that. For example, Illinois is “State Sovereign, National Union” (our state motto)…with hotdog wieners for the I’s.

Why? Are wieners the state food? I think I’ve eaten a total of five hotdogs in Illinois before. Maybe.

Despite the lack of artists’ comments, though, the project is funky, a great, handy way to memorize each state’s saying and another set of designs that I wish were put on T-shirts.

Maryland’s motto, my new mantra.

1+1 equals art

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

I don’t think I need to tell you that math is everywhere. Without geometry, you wouldn’t be able to put your car in a parking space without angry stares. Without addition, you wouldn’t be able to know how much more your recent paycheck is making you richer. And I don’t even need to mention what you couldn’t do without the knowledge of simple fractions.

You wouldn't get an equal portion of my famous macaroni-and-cheese casserole, and you'd be miserable. MISERABLE.

Math can create some wonderful things, and art is no exception. Maryland Institute College of Art student Jordan Sondler uses shapes—whether conventionally or slightly bent—to make illustrations, sketches and doodles. She also writes in cute, block print handwriting to write quirky little captions and text. (All pictures courtesy of

The beautiful Adele, in shapes.

I hope her illustrations soon pops up on T-shirts, bags and the like. Jordan has got some unique talent going on that could work for apparel design. She has things to say with geometrically fun text, and it needs to be shown to more of the world.

Seriously. The girl speaks truth. I want these shapes on a T-shirt.

I hope her illustrations soon become designs on T-shirts, bags and the like. Jordan has got some unique talent going on that could work for apparel design. She has things to say with geometrically fun text, and it needs to be shown to more of the world.

There’s magic in the pencil

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

I’ve worked with pencil all my life (standardize tests, crossword puzzle victories, chewing on erasers, etc.) and I’ve even sketched a little with them (and by “sketching” I mean doodling while I’m on the phone), but I’ve never known a pencil to do this:

All photos courtesy of

This is artwork from T.S. Abe. She sketches portraits of fictional everyday people using pencil art. However, she does it with such precise shading and detail that the pictures look like black-and-white photos. I could say more, but I think it’s best if I follow the philosophy that “a picture is worth a thousand words” and let you look instead

This one is my absolute favorite. How does she get it so that it looks so much like a photo?!

Wow. Just wow.

Photos from everyone

Friday, July 1st, 2011

It goes without saying that teamwork is important in day-to-day interactions. What would happen if the Boston Red Sox didn’t cooperate? If the White House Cabinet refused to work together? If the servers at Jimmy Johns constantly ignored each other? America would crumble, that’s what. Or at the very least, Boston baseball would be shamed, Obama’s power would disintegrate and we’d lose out on the best sandwiches known to man. Life would be sad.

Sometimes in art, it’s easy to try and work solo for the sake of letting your own talent and ideas shine through your own work. However, photo group Grasshopper sees the value of working as a team. Even though one photographer may be hired for an editorial or advertising shoot, all of the photographers help and pitch in with their ideas and experience. And don’t think the combination of artist makes for less-than-stellar pictures; in fact, I think because they work together, the photography is stunning.

Courtesy of

The neat thing about Grasshopper is that even though they work closely together, they don’t lose their personal creativity. If you look at the photos hard enough, you’d be able to pick out everyone’s strengths. Jeremy Kohm specializes in whimsical landscapes and shots of carefree yet offhanded people. John Fiorucci does inanimate objects, animals and happy old people. Angela Lewis captures beautiful girls; Kourosh Keshiri does well-known beautiful girls, famous middle-aged men and products for men. And Aristea Rizakos shoots inanimate objects in homes, as well as a few scenes outside of houses.

Courtesy of

Teamwork without conformity. It’s a slightly strange concept, but Grasshopper has won over ten artistic awards, including the Applied Arts Photography Annual award for four years, so they must be doing something right.