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I was freelancing for a Mailboxes Etc. store in Manchester Didsbury, designing posters, stationery and other print materials when the store owner asked for some ideas for a new shop window to launch the new ownership of the store which could be used to promote the store in press releases on the stores website and social media. Didsbury is a well known 'trendy' and part of Manchester with designer cafes and sophisticated at galleries. Therefore I knew that the usual vinyl window stickers that you see in so many other high street stores would not stand out amongst the crowd. Therefore I put forward the idea of hiring a Cardboard Craftsman artist called Mark O'Brien. He was a well know in the community having exhibited at the Contact Art Gallery in Manchester. While also exhibiting in Tokyo and having worked for a numeber of companies such as the BBC and giant retailer Schuh creating window displays that have featured in Oxford St London. You can see his portfolio here: www.mark-obrien.co.uk
I briefed him on the idea that the new owner wanted to focus on the Postage and Packaging side of his business by having promotions to see increased sales in that area and make sure that the people of Didsbury know that that is what they do as many people just think that they are a local printer and a place to get photocopies done.
Mark came up with a brilliant plan to create a giant globe from cardboard and have delivery planes flying around it and delivery trucks driving along a road at the front of the window. Also there was lots of cardboard envelopes flying all around the window giving the globe a unique frame. After his plan was ok'd by the owner Mark got work and created the amazing display. It was a real head turner and many people have been seen stopping and looking at the display and of course the shop benefited from its popularity.
“In my youth, passion drove me into very serious play; a kind of play I could never do now because I’m too well educated. There’s something wonderful about that form of youth. Where you can let yourself grow and play and be really a brat” Paula Scher
Like many creative people, Scher recognizes that often the best work comes from serious play. The unfortunate thing is that when we create good work from serious play and it becomes successful, then we tend to try and recreate moments of authentic spontaneity so that we can continue creating great work. Well, trying to recreate a moment of spontaneous, uninhibited play that yields great results quickly causes us to become stiff, stale and as Scher says, solemn.
1. START EMBRACING PLAY AND THE UNEXPECTED
2. TAKE ON JOBS THAT ARE A LITTLE BEYOND YOUR ABILITIES
3. DON’T BE AFRAID TO BE A FOOL AND EXPERIMENT
4. DON’T BE AFRAID TO START OVER
5. DON’T CLING TO SUCCESS
6. HELVETICA ISN’T AS GREAT AS PEOPLE THINK…
A client, HFL Engineering wanted some ideas to spruce up their tired looking brochure. Wanting to avoid anything too cheesy and cliche. I created these illustrations to tie in with the idea that complicated machine have beauty. I created these by simply playing with stock images of machine parts in photoshop.
Being a fearless designer can be hard these days. But James Victore believes with simple ink on paper we can change the hearts and minds of the public. So the designer has the responsibilty to have creative courage in spite of the circumstances.
I had the pleasure of attending James Victores skillshare class and I am a big fan of his 'burning question' youtube posts and e-shots. In the design world, he’s a celebrity. His work is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, he’s written books, and has a regular column for Entrepreneur Magazine, not counting the speaking engagements, workshops around the country and countless commercial work. As a speaker, he loves to inspire others to trust their instincts and embrace the fear of being different.
Victore shared a series of posters his studio created for the New York city probation department. After viewing the probation offices, Victore believed the clients needed inspiration when they stepped off the elevator into the drab room. Influenced by the motivational office posters of the past, he created his own take on them with bold imagery and whimsical hand drawn sayings. (Below left is an original poster, on the right, one of the new ones.)
If we could take away just one suggestion from Victore, it would be “do the work.” Have no fear, put your head down and do the work. Armed with this insight, we can all grow into better designers.
'Haunted iphone.' i-phone & Palm Top Theatre 2014
The story of this 'Haunted iphone' movie is that the phone has been haunted by a spirit who was a man that was mugged and killed for his phone. This is based on a number of news reports of true iphone muggings that have happened in the UK and around the world. The phone on display plays a movie that is displayed as a 3D hologram on top of the phone via a Palm Top Theatre. The ghost has glitched all of the files, music, videos, apps etc.
The Palm Top Theatre is a device uses a similar holographic technique used by Peppers Ghost. Peppers Ghost was used in Victorian theaters across London in the 1860s whereby a ghostly figure was projected on stage. Hidden from the audience's view, an actor dressed in a ghostly costume would stand facing a 45 - degree angled massive slab of glass. The audience would be able to see the glass, but not the director completely. Specifically angled lighting would reflect the actor’s image into the plate of glass, a transparent ghost like reflection would appear in front of the audience.
The Palm Top Theatre invented by media artist Jitsuro Mase produces the same 3-D illusion effect as Peppers Ghost. He invented a way to make 3D images using the 2D screen of an iPhone, iPod touch or an iPad. 3-D film. 3D film and video has been making resurgence in our culture, as demonstrated by the release of one 3D feature film after another, and the recent inclusion of the technology into televisions.
[yellow_box] Professor Paul Sermon, Salford University
"The Haunted i-phone is an excellent piece of work. Suzanne has really pushed herself in producing this piece and taken herself out of her comfort zone. Each decision in the process of creating the work has been carefully considered, and whole project has moved on a great deal from her initial proposal 6 months ago, to what she presented in her Degree Show. Her level of commitment is evident, but she has strived hard to challenge every aspect of the process. The work is extremely professional and is an excellent example of what can be achieved via the palm top theatre."[/yellow_box]
For the design of the cuttings, I have been influenced by the subversive paper cuttings at ‘The First Cut’ exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery, 2012. 31 international artists who cut, sculpt and manipulate paper, transform this humble material into fantastical works of art. These artists include Kara Walker, Beatrice Coron, James Aldridge and Chris Kenny. I was also inspired by African art especially the tribal masks and the African themed musical 'The Lion King'.
Since its invention, paper has gone through great development. People are never tired of experimenting its function and beauty – an exciting exploration of the potentials and possibilities of paper starts from Paper Works.Paper Works sets off the evolution of this pure material by introducing incredible paper projects for products, exhibitions, fashions and other industries. Artists and designers choose paper of different colour, size, texture and fibre and bring their techniques into play, cutting, folding, binding, etc. When you are tired of computer works and back to explore handicrafts, try paper - it rocks, and it can be everything.
I decided to create a nightmare world where by the main characters are tree monsters. The tree monsters have been inspired by african art, mainly masks and the art of the silhouette. Most masks have been carved from wood and bone and so look great used as monster faces on the neck of creepy tree silhouettes. There is also an eclectic mix of other scary and not so scary creatures such as a bat monster, snake monster, spider monster, elephant crow hybrid monster and many more.
I printed the designs and shared them friends to do interesting things with and share what they have done on my blog.
My Research blog
Using the African masks to create monsters was very easy because they already look so scary. The dead looking trees also made great spindly bodies for the monsters. As soon as I put them both together I knew I had created some truly freaky characters, ideal for a nightmare tale.My friends used the cuttings in different ways. They were printed out and used as scary masks. One friend wore the mask and went on a journey in his car and then went shopping in Tescos. The photos he took look really bizarre. Masks were also put on teddy bears and even a baby. One photo I thought was very funny was one of 'Tree Monster' blowing bubbles.The cuttings were also used to create interesting silhouette effects by lighting the monsters from behind. This created some very scary images.
There were also some some small cuttings used and arranged on a cutting mat. I really like the roughly cut out look of these laid on the grid. It was a clever idea to have the skeleton hanging from one of the lines.
The cuttings have also been used as very strange decorations for window and plant pots. They have even been stuck along pieces of cotton to tell stories.
When all of the photos were posted onto my blog I decided to create a story from them. You can see it here below.
First a spider appears in the kitchen cupboard, then lots of monsters appear. Then one of the monsters possesses a man by sliding down his mouth. You can then see the man becoming a tree monster with branches for legs and arms and a monstrous face. Then you can see that this man's teddy bear has also been possessed. The newly possessed man then decides to go for a car ride to the supermarket. He sees his new monster face in the wind mirror. As he parks his car he sees that the parking symbols on the road have also turned into tree monsters. He decides not to panic and do his shopping. He then goes home to bed and reads a story book about how to survive a zombie attack.
I have no a experience with paper cutting art so it it took a while to get used to, I had to suffer minor few finger cuts but nothing serious.
I found that most of the people I shared my cuttings with were not happy with posting straight onto my blog. They found it easier to send them direct to me by email or text message as most photos of the cuttings were taken on camera phones.
I would like to expand on this project by sharing with more people to create more interesting and varied results.