Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Theory Thursday: Urban Farming

National Geographic had an interesting article in a recent issue talking about how some urban centers are transforming their rooftops into green rooftops and the positive environmental impact this might have. You can read the article here.

While reading this article, a thought occurred to me regarding farming and how I had also recently read that we might not be able to grow enough food if the world population keep growing at its current rate. And with all the recent issues with food-borne illnesses, how eating local might become more important now. But where would we get enough farmland to tackle these issues? I have a theory: Urban Farming.

I don't know about you, but in my town I have quite a few developed areas (shopping centers and the like) that have been abandoned for one reason or another. Why not reclaim this land and turn it back into farms? This would do 3 things: 1) employ people and 2) green up otherwise wasted and ugly space, and 3) would also allow more folks to eat locally grown food.

Is this solution perfect? Probably not, but it's a start and I think it would be beneficial to everyone while helping Mother Earth out a bit too.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cool Ink Initiative Prints Help Raise Money for Good Cause!

My buddy Keith from the HOW Design Forum makes hand screened prints for a good cause over at The Ink Initiative had a sale in early July on his limited edition, hand screened prints. The best part? The money from the sale of the prints goes to help out a great cause:

"The concept is simple: Each year we will choose one non-profit organization. We then will design and hand print posters to sell and donate the proceeds from each poster sold to the chosen non-profit organization. No money from sales will be used for personal profit." (quoted from The Ink Initiative website)

I couldn't resist these cool prints and a sale, so I picked up a set of "Outer Space" and "Shutupsicle"...

Sweet! The package has arrived!

And here are the fantastic prints! Hand screened, hand signed and numbered, limited editions.

Thanks to Keith & Jen, excellent work!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Reply to the "Death" of Print

Recently at the Visual Ambassdor they had a post entitled The Death of Print.

Take a second to read the article (it's short, I'll wait....)

Back? Oh good. I just can't see how the death of print a) equals a devaluation of art nor b) equals the death of "real journalism" as the author states. Art is more prolific on the web that has ever been before. There are dozens (and dozens) of sites for artists to not only display their work, but sell it too. No longer is the artist bound by an agent or gallery that takes a percentage of their profits. Most museums are online, some even display parts of their collection online. So please tell me how this is killing art?

The author's second point is that hard investigative journalism is dying alongside print. What? We're entering the age of power to the little people: everyone now has a voice to call out the evil misdeeds of weasel corporations and it will be seen, heard and Facebooked or Retweeted to the entire world in minutes. Compare this to printed newspapers where it would take days (or even longer) for news to spread. This is bad how?

I understand that a big change like the death of print might be scary to a journalist who will need to adapt to this new reality and maybe have to learn some new skills. But if this truly is the death of print (how long has this been promised now, like 10 years?), then I say bring it on, things are getting better not only for artists but for the average person and that's a good thing.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What The?

So at my day job, we do a weekly e-newsletter and we feature new products to our stores in it. A few weeks ago, we had a new product in our healthy stuff department. It sounded harmless enough: Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Juice. It's supposed to help digestion. Still doing good. I was processing the photo in Photoshop and I zoomed into the product label and noticed that it says "Inner Fillet":

Come again? I associate "fillet" with filleted fish or other meat. I don't think I want to drink something that gives/makes my "innards filleted. Methinks next label design should skip that notice...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Schweet Schmap of Nashville!

I just learned that my photo of the exterior of Hatch Show Print in Nashville has been selected for the Schmap guide to Nashville! :D

About Schmap

Schmap is a leading publisher of digital travel guides for 200 destinations throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. More than 90 million Schmap Guides have been downloaded since first release in March 2006: this phenomenally popular series can also be browsed online, with versions optimized for iPhone and Nokia users

Sunday, July 5, 2009


A few of the HOW Design Forum members who were unable to attend this year's HOW Design Conference in Austin decided to have a "kNOwHOW" conference. Nothing fancy, just a few designer friends getting together to share knowledge, friendship and food. Our host, Karma, along with her mom, and fellow HOWie Patti really went all out: we had food, a creative exercise (doodling monsters!), a photobooth, and schwag bags!

It was a great bit of creative inspiration and friendship, well worth the 9 hour drive from Ohio to attend. Enjoy the photos on my Flickr here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Doodle Swap #2

The first Doodle Swap between members of the HOW Design Forum (aka HOWies) was so much fun that I couldn't pass on doing round 2! The trick was working about a few other projects that were all due at that same time.

Fortunately, one project gave me the inspiration for my doodles for round 2 and my interpretations of 4 classic monster movie creatues was born! I did 4 versions each of Frankenstein's Monster, Dracula, and the Mummy, and 2 versions of The Phantom of the Opera (doodle below) (1 for me and 1 for a lucky recipient! :)

Each doodle was done by hand (no retracing or other tricks here) with loving care, or at least by hand.... :P

I tried the smooth vellum artist cards this time and while the colored pencils did work better on them, I still feel as I've not gotten what I'd envisioned outta them. Next round I may try just black and white using my Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens (which ROCK, btw! :)