The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Emory Allen

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Emory Allen

Emory Allen

We’re big fans of Minneapolis based illustrator Emory Allen and his seemingly endless amount of creativity. You may remember his Exquisite Beast project where he chained together a new drawing every day for an entire year, a huge feat for anyone. I’m a fan of Emory’s work because of his ability to create such a diverse creatures and worlds with such a beautiful color palette.

The wallpaper he’s created today is a self-portrait of sorts, portraying a feeling that most creatives encounter.

I revisit this theme in my work from time to time because I always feel like I’m always fighting to keep things organized and keep myself pulled together. Just when I feel caught up, there’s always something trying to stress me out again.

I feel you Emory. I also want to note that this week’s wallpaper is the debut of several new sizes. I’ve added an iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ size, as well as a 3840×2400 size for anyone with giant sized or retina caliber monitors. In theory this should now cover every possible screen size on earth.

Bobby Solomon

October 1, 2014 / By

Next Level Risograph Prints and Postcards by Bienvenue Publishing

Bienvenue Publishing

Bienvenue Publishing is a Zurich based group who are creating some really lovely prints and postcards that are extremely lovely and affordable. Their work is handprinted in limited editions using almost exclusively risography, which allows them to apply each color individually and ensures a high luminosity.

My personal favorite is their print series titled Riverstones (above) which in a vague sense look like stones but in a very artistic, abstract way. As mentioned about it’s all about the amazing colors they’re able to get with these prints that makes them truly shine, literally and figuratively. I’m also impressed with their Morbid Being prints, a series of fighting fish photographed from above.

You can shop their full collection of products by heading on over to their online shop.

Bienvenue Publishing

Bienvenue Publishing

Bienvenue Publishing

Bobby Solomon

September 30, 2014 / By

Ambient Noise Makes Us More Creative

Ambient Noise Makes Us More Productive

My favorite place to work is a noisy, busy coffee shop, specifically, the Intelligentsia in Silver Lake. It’s never not busy, there are always a flood of trust fund kids, yippy dudes with beards writing their screenplays, and the occasional asian tourist snapping photos of the beautifully done Barbara Bestor designed space. Yet with this flood of noise and distraction it’s really the place where I feel like I can focus. The noise to me acts as an enveloping blanket, allowing me to focus singularly on the task in front me.

Thankfully I’m not alone in my admiration for ambience as this 99U piece points out the benefits of noise and how it increases creativity.

Specifically, they separated the participants into four groups and asked all four groups to complete a Remote Associates Test, a commonly used test of creative thinking that asks test-takers to find the relationship between a series of words that appear unrelated. Each of the groups was subjected to a different level of background noise (50 decibels, 70 decibels, 85 decibels, and total silence). When they scored each person’s test, the researchers found that those in the 70 decibel group, exposed to a moderate level of ambient noise, significantly out-performed those in the other three groups. The background noise boosted their creative thinking.

I like that they also included some ambient noise apps as well in case it might be, you know, like midnight and your local coffee shop is closed.

Bobby Solomon

September 30, 2014 / By

Draw Lifelike Faces and Features with a Free Guide from Craftsy (Sponsored)

Draw Lifelike Faces and Features with a Free Guide from Craftsy (Sponsored)

The face can be the most impactful, compelling part of a portrait, but it can also be the most challenging. Learn how to sketch stunning portraits with the free Craftsy PDF guide, Drawing the Human Face: A Primer.

Download the guide instantly and receive 25 illustrated pages of expert guidance from artists Paul Heaston and Sandrine Pelissier. Easily print it if you’d like, and enjoy it forever, in-home or on the go.

Get essential tips and tutorials to capture the human face with riveting realism. Discover easy-to-use formulas for a perfectly-drawn portrait, including lessons on drawing the head and jawline, achieving accurate proportion and placement for the nose and mouth, sketching expressive eyes, and using shading to depict hair with movement and dimension. Bring any subject to life when you learn to draw your best portrait ever.

Get the free guide at Craftsy.com.

Bobby Solomon

September 30, 2014 / By

Designer Matt Chase Creates Powerful Graphics That Are More Like Pieces of Art

Matt Chase

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting designer/illustrator Matt Chase at a meet-up over beers. Curious to see his work I was excited to see that he does fantastic work around editorial illustration and publication design. His work is highly stylized and full of graphic punch, illustrating strong messages with only the minimal elements necessary. You can see that he’s been influenced by some of the great designers out there but I feel like he brings his own unique touches to his pieces.

If you dig his work you can purchase some of them (like the beautiful piece above for The Great Gatsby) over in his shop. The sprinkle popsicle skateboard deck is calling my name.

Matt Chase

Matt Chase

Matt Chase

Matt Chase

Bobby Solomon

September 29, 2014 / By

Thom Yorke Surprisingly Drops Brand New Album, Available Via BitTorrent and Vinyl

Thom Yorke - Tomorrow's Modern Boxes

Seemingly out of nowhere Thom Yorke dropped a new album titled Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes this morning, to the delight of Radiohead nerds around the world. In typical Thom Yorke fashion he opted to release the album through a rather unconventional source: BitTorrent. For $6 you receive a BitTorrent bundle that contains eight tracks and an extremely odd music video featuring close-ups of Yorke’s face and him jumping around with boxing gloves. You be you Thom. You also have the option of buying the album on vinyl which looks pretty rad, though it’s £30.00 price tag might be a tougher pill to swallow. Still, I’m sure it was pressed in a very small edition so you may want to snag one while you can.

Bobby Solomon

September 26, 2014 / By

Ambio, A Stylishly Designed Lamp Filled With Bioluminescent Bacteria

Ambio, A Modern Lamp Filled With Bioluminescent Bacteria

Fusing nature and technology is an interesting practice. Biomimetics is sure to be a field ripe with potential in the near future though a few intrepid designers are already start to spearhead the way. Teresa van Dongen, an Amsterdam based designer who also studied Biology at the University of Amsterdam, hasn’t gone completely biomimetic but you can see the principles in her Ambio light. The “lamp” is filled with a glowing bacteria that was collected from octopi, which when shaken lights up with a beautiful blue tone.

Ocean waves glowing blue in the dark of night, anyone who has ever experienced this knows how magical it looks. The phenomenon is caused by bioluminescent bacteria in seawater that emit light in response to oxygen and movement. This principle inspired me to combine my passion for design and biology in a bioluminescent light installation.

It’s a pretty great idea that certainly has potential for using nature as a source of light. If someone can figure out how to keep the bacteria alive in the glass tube, or create a synthetic version of the bacteria (whatever that might mean) you could imagine these as potential night lights. The physical design of the lamps are also aesthetically beautiful as well, truly adding to the beauty of the idea.

Ambio, A Modern Lamp Filled With Bioluminescent Bacteria

Bobby Solomon

September 25, 2014 / By

Steven Soderbergh Recontextualizes ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ To Highlight It’s Staging

Steven Soderbergh Recontextualizes 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' To Highlight It's Staging

Steven Soderbergh Recontextualizes 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' To Highlight It's Staging

Only a director like Steven Soderbergh would be intrepid enough to turn Steven Spielberg’s classic Raiders of the Lost Ark black and white and overdub it with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ soundtrack music, all in the name of learning. In a recent post on his site he uses this version of the film to teach staging of scenes, an art that Spielberg did masterfully.

I value the ability to stage something well because when it’s done well its pleasures are huge, and most people don’t do it well, which indicates it must not be easy to master (it’s frightening how many opportunities there are to do something wrong in a sequence or a group of scenes. Minefields EVERYWHERE. Fincher said it: there’s potentially a hundred different ways to shoot something but at the end of the day there’s really only two, and one of them is wrong).

It’s actually really interesting to watch the film in such a different way: no color, no dialogue, and a very contemporary soundtrack that’s cut to each scene. My only complaint is that there’s no way to like this, thus no way to be able to watch this on the Vimeo channel on my Apple TV. Watching this on my Macbook Pro is definitely not as impactful as the experience on my TV would be.

Bobby Solomon

September 24, 2014 / By

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