Sunday, July 12, 2009

Seasteading Awards

Just catching up on emails and ran across this sent my way via Seasteading. This was fascinating concept, its summer and I love ocean water. Basically, you had to design it on the platform then all else was up to you. The winner was a 27 yo Hungarian graphic artist Andras Gyorfi. He called his creation "Swimming City". I love this but with some minor changes.
Tropical plants, railings so the kids won't fall off the edge, rooftop viewing vistas (including a multi roof jogging/ garden walkway with windbreak) and the building on the far left doesn't have any windows facing the ocean. Not critical review, because I am not savvy in 3D yet so, this is out of my current league. Hey if you have to imagine, I'm putting in my wish list.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

I want to live in this paper house....

An artist friend sent me this way along her travels. This is entirely made of paper. The artist's name is Wataru Itou an he is an art student in Tokyo. I would also like him to get his architecture degree. Amazing. It took four years, the train even moves. The exhibition has a video of him at work at his creation. It is called a "Castle in the Ocean", I believe if I have it right it is being exhibited in a place called Umihotaru (sp). Paper is how I started in design, never went this far, oh too see it in person. This is art, patience and genius. Enjoy.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The price of good design...

I've had several emails lately from designers/artists asking if they should cut their prices to pick up business. The one thing that being around a few years has is that I've seen it all. Mind you every time it is different. Our economy has so many influences, most of which each of us as individuals has no control. What we do have control over our personal situation. Tip: I never way for the economy to turnaround on its own, I've always taken the bull by the horns. Hence still being around a lot of years later.

Lesson 1: Don't cut your prices add to your offerings by pulling skills out and putting them on the table to produce revenue. Every good designer should have been schooled in multiple skills. Darn, I can screen print with materials handy in the house if I needed to. It's what you learned in school to survive the starving artist syndrome.

Lesson 2: The Dolly Parton school of economics. " I do pop music to pay the bills, so it will allow me to sing and write the mountain music I love".

Always have your cash generating skills, there are somethings that don't provide us much but brings you much satisfaction. You need both.

Lesson 3: Are you worth it. I don't cut my hourly fees, I've worked long and hard to earn my pay and then I own the company (as small as it is). I will cut down on extras to cut down my bottom line. Figure ways to streamline that can help the client as well. Simple things, just like emails and client blogs. They save 75% of the time I used to use on the phone. Helps me work with more clients, keeps their hourly consultation costs down.

Lesson 4: Enjoy the slack time, believe me if you are good, it will change over night. So take this time to refresh, catch up on technology and industry news. Improve your skillset, make new contacts and enlarge your circle of influence.

By design, that is the life cycle of business.


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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Part II: An artist never dies, because their work lives forever...

Wow, what a day, I thought we could all use a little love, tough on emotions.

This morning saw the passing of Farrah Fawcett. What dignity she had in handling her illness. She will be missed and my condolences to her family. Life presents us all challenges, but Farrah was blessed. She knew the love of her family and friends. they had a chance to enjoy the time they had knowing what could happen.

Yet, we then find out that Michael Jackson was lost to us as well. Oh so suddenly it seems. Really, how much of a surprise was it. To me I see the tragic figures like Marilyn Monroe and Elvis. People who were extremely talented, powerful; yet lacked the power to have real friends. Farrah had real friends. Michael had hangers on, enablers, people who wanted to use him and his celebrity. Britney, you better be thanking your lucky stars having your parents intervene. In a smaller world, we each see people who are on the road to selfdestruction. Look at the Governor of South Carolina, what was he thinking. How sad.

There is grieving to be done, so many people grew up with MJ's music. He was a playchanger in the music business and I will choose to remember him in his Thriller days, or better yet when singing as a 10 yo with his brothers....ABC...easy as 123. Yes, to me that is Michael Jackson. That is what we need to celebrate and to honor his name, his career.

Like I said in the post about Robert Simmons. An artist never dies, because their work lives forever. Robert if your are listening, introduce Michael to the choir.

Cheers to you Michael, God rest your soul.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

An artist never dies, because their work lives forever...

I had just posted my blog update for today, when word came that a master, artist, craftsman and Charleston icon passed away. Philip Simmons. I just spoke of capturing the spirit. That was Philip Simmons gift.

Philip made the metal that passed his hands sing. He and his craft were one. I only met him once and it was briefly, I wish I was given more time, but there were others who deserved their chance. Children.

I mean it, the kids eyes would light up as he shared his skill and wisdom via a southern gentleman's charm. What amazed me more was how much his eyes would gleam.

Philip Simmons was what we call here in the south a blessing, a southern treasure. I betcha God is commissioning him as we speak for a new set of gates.

For the gatekeeper has arrived.

Cheers in your honor Philip

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Music to lift the spirit....

I just had a conference with someone, we were discussing expectations. Spoke and unspoken.
Quite a subject to ponder, I thought I had very broad expectations then I realized I do have some lofty ones, some I won't "give" on.

There are some terms that are so subjective it is hard to put a finger on. Personally, I believe in God. He is the Creator, the end all Artist, the supreme Designer. I remember when I came to my personal understanding. How can we all come out of nothing. I am a designer and chaos doesn't resolve itself without and intelligent guide. Someone with a vision to see beauty in ugly, to see order in chaos, to see the spirit behind all that is good. In architecture and landscape specifically the term Genus Loci, it means to design to capture the spirit of the place.

To me the definition of good, is if the piece captures that spirit of the place, the spirit of the event, the spirit of the moment. It is when you walk in a gallery and pass by hundreds of photos and you keep coming back to that one. Sometimes it is not one you would normally think you would like. You are just drawn in. It's the house down the street, the one drive just a bit slower by to take it in, the painting that makes you think you know just what the person in the picture was thinking. Or like me the movie that was filmed on the Atlantic coast. In the panning approaching the shore, I could smell the ocean. Now that is how your recognize good design. That is Genus Loci.

I get sent many things, today I was passed along a video from Jon Schmidt. The most played music video on you tube. Why, because he captured the spirit of the music, the spirit of the emotion, the spirit of his 7 yo daughter by interpeting songs from Coldplay and Taylor Swift. Listen and tell me you don't feel better after hearing it.

To me that's the mark of excellence. Anyone can scare you, depress you, affect you by the darkness of life. It takes much more talent, skill and vision to lift the spirit. They always say good comedy is harder to write than good drama.

* before clicking on link turn off the player on my blog below.


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Thursday, June 18, 2009

There's good design, then there's well different...

Running through odds and ends that load up on the desk and mail. This was hilarious, but a real product. Just don't know what the appropriate application would be. Maybe a movie themed media room. Otherwise not a clue.

It is normal that I stash away unique products for "someday I'll need that" thought. It's really not ugly or ill made, well it is just different. Please thank OOOMs


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