Our culture has started down a path of continuous development cycles. New products appear which are then replaced by something sleeker and faster the following year. Some people go to great lengths to get a new, cool device, like wait overnight outside of a store in the pouring rain. The video above by The Jullien Brothers illustrates this very phenomenon in a hysterical way, a literal race to get the “Z Phone”. Imagine a modern day episode of Wacky Races illustrated in Jean Jullien’s beautiful art style accompanied by beats from his brother Niwouinwouin.
Yau Hoong Tang is a Kuala Lumpur based illustrator and designer who’s work is totally mind-bending. What you see above are a series of illustrations he did where he bends light in the most interesting of ways. It’s pretty awesome how he was able to come up with so many different variations on such a simple idea. I think my favorites are the UFO light lifting objects off the table and the rainbows going back and forth forever. This is just a small sample of his work, and I’d recommend browsing through his Flickr as well.
While I was in Portland I had no less than five peple telling me “You have to go to Beam & Anchor.” With such an overwhelming response I knew I had to go, so I grabbed furniture maker and old friend Eric Trine and he took me on an incredible tour of the place. Essentially Beam & Anchor is a two story building with two purposes: Make stuff on the top floor, sell stuff on the bottom floor. The showroom of the bottom floor is fantastic, filled with more handmade goods than you can imagine. Wallets, chairs, pottery, stationary, you name it they have it. It’s like being a kid in a candy shop.
The top floor is a dedicated workspace inhabited by folks making furniture, upholstering, sopa making, painting and creating leather goods. I had a chance to meet Matt from Wood & Faulk who’s not only a very nice guy but an extremely talented maker. I’d known Matt’s work beforehand so it was great to poke around his studio and see some of the behind-the-scenes magic.
Funny enough wooden eyewear manufacturers Shwood, who are also based in Portland, released a new video in their MAKERS series featuring Beam & Anchor. I think they did a great job of nailing the vibe of the space and giving a sense of just how much passion there is inside Beam & Anchor.
Beginnings is the aptly titled debut EP from British shoe-gazers Night Flowers. Released back in March, the EP is made up of four early demos from the band. It’s a promising debut and a great listens for fans of dream-pop and shoegazing.
Their track Dials is a really nice listen and I love the sweet backing vocals provided by Hester Ullyart. Beginnings is available to download free of charge from the band’s Bandcamp here.
I’d love to move to Portland. There’s a thriving creative scene, great places to eat and drink; what more could you ask for? Last week Kyle and I travelled to Portland for a few days to meet up with friends. It’s astounding how many people I’ve come to know over the last 5 years. I’ve featured many of their work here on the site, and in some cases, I’ve even been able to work with them. What’s even more amazing is that they all know each other. Granted, Portland is a rather small town. You could walk across downtown in about 15 minutes. But there’s a sort of kinship between the creatives in Portland, a glue that keeps them connected.
In places like Los Angeles or New York I often feel like there’s an unhealthy sense of rivalry. That in order to survive you may need to keep someone else down. In Portland it’s the exact opposite. If one person is doing something new and creative it only fuels others to work harder and to better themselves. To speak plainly I’m envious. How I wish that Los Angeles had such a tight knit group of people to call each other a creative family. But due to L.A.’s unfortunate geography I don’t see that happening soon.
Add to that the fact that there’s a beautiful looking restaurant on every corner. Creativity doesn’t end at art or design, it’s just as apparent in the food and beverages of the city. I was in town for three days, had three amazing dinners and more cups of coffee than I should have. It seems as though the cities occupants have a desire to make Portland the best it can possibly be, so they’re constantly gentrifying The City of Roses.
All that said, I don’t think I could ever move to Portland. While visiting it rained, it hailed, it poured. It was sunny as well, but I’d call the weather bipolar at best. As I write this in Los Angeles it’s 75 degrees out, sunny, and just plain gorgeous. When I moved to Los Angeles 7 years ago I was fleeing the rainy weather of Sacramento’s soggy winters and I haven’t looked back since. When it comes down to it’s simply a matter of preference. For all the positives of Portland, the weather is the one thing I could never learn to love. Thankfully for me a visit is only a two hour plane ride away.