My Favorite “Ceramicists”: Cody Hoyt, Ben Medansky, & Eric Roinestad

An interest of mine that has been rekindled over the past year is the area of ceramics. There’s something about the tactility and the unknown nature of the craft that makes it seem like such an incredible challenge. That’s why I’ve chosen to share a few of my favorite ceramicists, to highlight some of the great work that’s happening in this world.

Cody Hoyt - Ceramics

Cody Hoyt
I knew Cody Hoyt in a previous life. Back in 2009 he was an LA based illustrator and he made this beautifully chaotic wallpaper that I was obsessed with. There was such complexity and depth to the piece and I was madly in love with it.

Nowadays he’s a Brooklyn based sculptor who makes the most amazing ceramic vessels, embedded with swirling, abstract patterns that clearly reference his previous sensibilities but perhaps in a more refined form.

Cody Hoyt - Ceramics

Cody Hoyt - Ceramics

Ben Medansky - Ceramics

Ben Medansky
Ben Medansky is an incredibly talented guy who has an extremely unique view of the world. This sensibility rings throughout all of his work, usually as some sort of abstract, off the wall piece that you can’t help but smile about. As you’ll see below he’s incorporated a lot of Yves Klein-esque blues, golds, and silvers, that pair so very well with the more neutral colored glazes. Drinking your coffee in the morning could only be more fun with Ben’s mugs.

Ben Medansky - Ceramics

Ben Medansky - Ceramics

Eric Roinestad - Ceramics

Eric Roinestad
Back in July I interviewed Los Angeles ceramics artist and designer Eric Roinestad because I had recently became obsessed with his work. What makes Eric’s work stand out for me is his use of Southern California plant life but also objects like the “shot up tin cans” which hint at the unnatural aspects of desert life. You can visit his site to see the full range of amazing vessels he’s currently working on.

Eric Roinestad - Ceramics

Eric Roinestad - Ceramics

Bobby Solomon

December 17, 2014 / By

My Favorite “Pair of Shoes”: Singh and Son Kishtee Slip Ons

Singh and Son Kishtee Slip Ons

As a design-y guy my shoe collection tends to lean toward the eclectic. For me the most standout shoes I own would be my Nike Flyknits with their variegated patterns and unusual construction. Yet without fail the pair of shoes that receive the most compliments and remarks are these beautiful shoes by Singh And Son, an updated version of a classic slip-on that has been around for decades in India.

Singh and Son Kishtee Slip Ons

These shoes are named and modeled after a traditional sailing vessel, the Kishtee. They’re also built sturdily like a boat, featuring leather tops that come in a black, brown, midnight blue, or oxblood red, and natural leather soles that age extremely beautifully. I believe it’s the simplicity in form yet richness in material that make these shoes shine brighter than the rest. They also happen to be perfect for a city like LA where we have sunny, amazing weather 95% of the time.

Snag a pair for yourself or a loved one in the Singh and Son shop.

Bobby Solomon

December 17, 2014 / By

My Favorite “Vision of the Future”: ‘Wanderers’ a short film by Erik Wernquist

'Wanderers' a short film by Erik Wernquist

'Wanderers' a short film by Erik Wernquist

Being a science fiction fan I can always appreciate the concepts of people who envision the future. This is especially true of Wanderers, a short film crated by Erik Wernquist that explores what our future expansion into the Solar System could look like.

Although admittedly speculative, the visuals in the film are all based on scientific ideas and concepts of what our future in space might look like, if it ever happens. All the locations depicted in the film are digital recreations of actual places in the Solar System, built from real photos and map data where available.

There’s a subtlety to Erik’s film that sells it for me. While the locales are exotic the ships and suits are in the realm of believability. At parts it felt like it could be a poignant, artistic version of a Red Bull commercial, echoing the Stratos jump made by Felix Baumgartner.

I think the short beautifully encapsulates the ingenuity and creativity of man. If we can imagine incredible achievements such as these, why would they not be possible?

Bobby Solomon

December 16, 2014 / By

My Favorite “Coffee Shop”: Go Get Em Tiger

My Favorite "Coffee Shop": Go Get Em Tiger

As designers we tend to glamorize coffee. It’s the “fuel” for our projects, it’s the drink that keeps us motivated late at night. Perhaps you could even say we fetishize it. I’d add to the cult of coffee that we all have our favorite places we love to visit. That one shop that knows you, that knows your drink of choice, that with a glance makes you feel at home.

For me that spot is Go Get Em Tiger, a newish coffee shop that only opened last June but is already seen as one of the best in LA. It’s also the sister site of G&B Coffee which is located in the now trendy Grand Central Market which was named one of the Hot 10 places in America by Bon Appetit. Together they’re doing coffee a little differently, and it’s the little things that really matter.

My Favorite "Coffee Shop": Go Get Em Tiger Photo by @alwaysjudging

I would say the immediate difference between GGET and other coffee shops is the general vibe of the place. Rather than wait in line you belly up to a bar, first come first serve, which makes it a much more casual affair. It also helps if you’re a regular, and within seconds someone can swing by and ask if you want your usual. They’re also seating inside and out, dogs are totally welcome, most of the time the doors are always open, and it’s pretty consistently bright inside the space thanks to the big, west facing windows.

My Favorite "Coffee Shop": Go Get Em Tiger Photos by @candacesmkim & @lifeserial

Their ability to pull espresso shots is impeccable, in fact their barista Charles Babinski recently won the 2015 South West Regional Barista Competition, so you can only imagine the level of quality that’s being served. I’m a purist personally and only order the sweet latte. It’s what you’d think it is, a latte, hot or iced, that’s been sweetened with agave, which gives it a much more mild sweetness compared to artificial sweeteners.

My Favorite "Coffee Shop": Go Get Em Tiger Photos by @ccllim_jy & @jarliek

My Favorite "Coffee Shop": Go Get Em Tiger Photo by @monicais

Overall, Go Get Em Tiger gets all the details right. The perfect drinks, the perfect space, the perfect staff who know how to make you feel welcome. The next time you’re in Los Angeles, this is the place to go.

Go Get Em Tiger
230 N Larchmont Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90004

Bobby Solomon

December 16, 2014 / By

Apply Now For the Masters Degree in Branding at the School of Visual Arts (Sponsored)

Masters Degree in Branding at the School of Visual Arts

The Masters in Branding Program at The School of Visual Arts is a one-year graduate degree program that examines the relationship between design and strategy, and the power of design thinking as a way to combine creative skills with the problem-solving and decision-making processes of design and business.

Students graduating from this program will be able to take advantage of new market opportunities, and to deliver innovative, successful and sustainable project outcomes in the worlds of design, advertising, marketing and business.

The required coursework for this degree program is organized into five progressive segments: culture, behavior, business, commerce and creative. Each discipline will work both independently and cohesively with the others, but rigorous attention will be paid to each field to determine and define the modern practice of branding.

The Masters in Branding Program at The School of Visual Arts is currently accepting application for the class of 2016.

Visit sva.edu to learn more and apply.

Bobby Solomon

December 16, 2014 / By

My Favorite “Design Studio”: Anagrama

My Favorite "Design Studio": Anagrama

You’d think choosing a favorite design studio of the year would be a challenge but honestly it wasn’t. In my mind there was one studio that stood above the rest, who with every project released fascinating, exhilarating, envy-inducing work again and again. For me the obvious choice was Mexico based Anagrama.

My Favorite "Design Studio": Anagrama

My Favorite "Design Studio": Anagrama

In the last year they’ve finished 37 projects (that I can see on their site) and each is of such a high caliber that it’s nearly impossible to pick favorites (but I will). You have projects like their work for Very, a real estate brand that feels like pure luxury. It’s minimally branded with a custom serif logo that’s quite beautifully paired with a shiny copper and lots of black. Or take a look at their work for Vivana, a super foods brand that they created packaging for. Yet again they took a (super) minimal approach that features the ingredients front and center on white which communicates clearly the purity and naturalness of what’s inside.

My Favorite "Design Studio": Anagrama

My Favorite "Design Studio": Anagrama

A recent favorite is the work they did for a Mexican beer company Cervecería de Colima. The type for each of the bottles gives each it’s own unique vibe, but the muted color palette for the labels ties the brand together. Literally topping off each bottle is a vibrant bottle cap that comes in stunning shades of turquoise, magenta, and yellow. Their restraint with color is found in many of their projects though I feel that this one is done superbly.

I’m excited to see what the next year hold’s for the team at Anagrama. The work they’re doing inspire me to push further and to experiment with branding in design, showing me that I should push my team and the teams I work with to try new and exciting things. If the world had more studios like Anagrama our lives would be filled with so many more beautiful things and places.

My Favorite "Design Studio": Anagrama

My Favorite "Design Studio": Anagrama

My Favorite "Design Studio": Anagrama

My Favorite "Design Studio": Anagrama

My Favorite "Design Studio": Anagrama

Bobby Solomon

December 15, 2014 / By

My Favorite “Designer as Teacher”: Aaron Draplin Builds A Logo In 10 Minutes

Aaron Draplin Builds A Logo In 15 Minutes

Portland based designer Aaron Draplin is well-known for his straightforward attitude and no-nonsense sense of design. You could even describe him as a “champion” for the design community, a person who has an immense output of quality designs, and by all accounts I’ve heard, one of the nicest and most supportive folks on earth.

Last week he took Lynda.com‘s logo design challenge, creating a really simple, strong mark in less than 10 minutes. He walks you through his process and his reasoning which gives you a fascinating look at how he gets from nothing to something. His confidence and the easy way he demonstrates his work makes you feel like you should go out and make 100 logos on your lunch hour. Love this guy.

Bobby Solomon

December 15, 2014 / By

The Fox Is Black’s “My Favorite Things” 2014

The Fox Is Black's "My Favorite Things" 2014

Traditionally I’ve never done gift guides, not really my style, and I’m not a fan of “Best Of” lists either, very subjective and overly time restrictive. This year I’ve decided to put together a week of posts highlighting My Favorite Things, ranging from food, to design, to fashion, to experiences. Might you want to purchase some of these things? Sure, but the point is really to highlight the talented folks who’ve inspired me. Hopefully you can feel equally inspired by their output and take that energy into the new year.

Bobby Solomon

December 15, 2014 / By

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