An A-Z of untranslatable words by Fuchsia Macaree

I’ve loved the work of Irish illustrator Fuchsia Macaree for quite sometime. Her editorial illustrations for the Dublin magazine Totally Dublin have always been a particular favorite of mine and earlier in the month she released a fantastic series of illustrations based on untranslatable words.

It seems that every language has a few examples of these. They are the types of words that don’t necessarily translate directly into English or perhaps require a degree of cultural understanding to truly get their meaning. For example, in Ireland we have ‘craic’ – a word that means a sense of fun and amusement; normally based around good company and entertaining conversation. In Germany they have a word for buildings that are constructed with he sole purpose of inconveniencing a neighbour (neidbau). In Japan they use the word ‘age-tori’ for when someone looks worse after a hair cut. It’s fascinating stuff and Fuchsia’s series sets about bringing all these great words to life.

From A-Z she has created 26 illustrations which explore these fantastic foreign words. Each one rendered with beautiful colors, and fun and playful imagery. My favorite? The German word ‘backpfeifengesicht’. Simply meaning ‘a face in need of a slap’. Now, why don’t we have a word for that in English!?

View the complete collection of Fuchsia’s untranslatable words online here or buy a print of the alphabet online here.

Philip Kennedy

August 31, 2012 / By

The Ventriloquist – A short film starring Kevin Spacey

‘The Ventriloquist’ is a fantastic short film written and directed by Benjamin Leavitt and staring Kevin Spacey. The film came about as part of a wonderful competition set-up by Trigger Street Productions (‘The Social Network’ and ‘21’) and sponsored by Jameson Whiskey. Designed to uncover up-and-coming film talent, the competition asked people in South Africa, Russia and the USA to submit a 7 page script and the winning three entries got to make their short – each one staring Kevin Spacey.

It’s a wonderful idea and the shorts really don’t disappoint. Leavitt’s film is particularly great. It tells the story of an introverted ventriloquist (Spacey) who tries to match wits with his outspoken marionette. What works so well in Leavitt’s film is how it deals with the difficulties of communication. In a world of e-mail, texts, tweets and every-other form of modern communication it’s not too hard to form a connection with Spacey’s character and to empathize with the difficulties he has simply talking to people face-to-face. In this sense, we could all be viewed as being like ventriloquists from time-to-time. Make sure to put some time aside and watch this film.

You can also view the other two great shorts on Jameson Whiskey’s YouTube page. They come well recommended!

Philip Kennedy

August 29, 2012 / By

Charming picture-book illustrations by Gaia Bordicchia

Gaia Bordicchia is a children’s book illustrator based in Italy. Her images are sweet and charming and I particularly love the subtle textures that run through her work.

This year has been a particularly great year for Gaia with the release of two picture books. The first is ‘La Piccola Fiammiferaia’, an Italian adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Little Match Girl; the second is ‘Tartarin de Tarascon’, an adaptation of Tartarin of Tarascon. Both books look really beautiful (some images from them are pictured above) and I’m sure they’re a joy to read. You can see more examples of Gaia’s work online here.

Philip Kennedy

August 28, 2012 / By

‘Funny Heartbeat’ – A new track by Kisses

Kisses 'Funny Heartbeat' Artwork by David Kitz

Funny Heartbeat is the newest track from LA-based indie-pop duo Kisses. The band describe the song as being a look at what’s to come on their second LP, describing it as a combination of “freestyle grooves and sophisticated funk”.

The new track is certainly that and it makes for a great listen, proving that the band haven’t lost any of the magic which made their debut so great. With production from Tim Larcombe and Saint Etienne’s Pete Wiggs, the track is a wonderful slice of sun-kissed dream pop and a great way to kick off your working week!

Philip Kennedy

August 27, 2012 / By

Images from Japan – Watercolors by Kouhei Ashino

Kouhei Ashino

Kouhei Ashino

Kouhei Ashino

Like many, I’ve a fascination with Japanese culture and so I really love these watercolor illustrations by the Tokyo-based painter and illustrator Kouhei Ashino. Originally Ashino worked as a 3D-animator, but in 2008 he decided he wanted to become an illustrator and since then he’s self-published a handful of artist books and zines as well as picking up a number of awards, commissions and exhibitions.

I’m not particularly sure what the full context is for the work above but the images seem to be part of a Japanese television program called Trip to Japan. Unfortunately I can’t tell you much more then that but it’s great to see such detailed illustrations of Japanese life.

It’s also worth noting that watercolors are not the only thing Ashino makes, he also creates some rather wonderful drawings, paintings and collages which are fantastically nieve and far removed from the detailed images above. Check out more of his work on his flickr page here.

Philip Kennedy

August 24, 2012 / By

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