Interview with an Illustrator: Dan Woodger

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Since graduating three years ago Dan Woodger’s oblong-eyed creations have graced the pages of numerous editorials, like ESPN and The New York Times, and have been part of campaigns for GiffGaff, The Webby Awards, and Oreos. It’s easy to see why. His highly stylized, comic book figures have an all-age appeal to them that’s eager to be snapped by companies large and small to give them the charming and cheeky edge they need.

What I love about his work is the Where’s Wally-esque packed-in nature of his pieces where every element is an illustration in itself. Minimalism isn’t in his repertoire. I spoke to Dan about his work and the role education played in his comeuppance (there’s a theme here!) as well as future projects and how he almost became a golfing instructor, to give you young’uns an insight into the mind of an illustrator.

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Michael Arnold

January 7, 2014 / By

Interview with a Business: Neal Whittington of Present & Correct

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In these times of recession and High-Street closures now more than ever stores need to up their game and provide something focused. Combining a digital presence with a physical one is a tricky job but one store that is rolling in the successes of it is Present & Correct – the independent stationary and supply store. Since it’s conception in 2008 it’s been a home of carefully curated global goods all with that certain classic vibe to them without the now tacky ‘vintage’ tag plastered all over it.

I spoke to the founder, Neal Whittington, about how he started Present & Correct, how he keeps it running and his background before hand.

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Michael Arnold

December 18, 2013 / By

Interview with an Agency: Jennifer and Mario of Hugo & Marie

Hugo&Marie_ color_©StevenBrahms_small ©Steven Brahms

Creative agency and artist managers Hugo & Marie is run by Jennifer Marie Gonzalez, who works as the representative and producer, along with her husband and partner Mario Hugo Gonzalez, who works as the agency’s Creative Director. Together they have carved out a sector of the design world, focusing on their carefully curated list of illustrators and designers. Together hey’ve worked with clients like Nowness, Stella McCartney, and Dolce & Gabbana to Microsoft, Wired Magazine and Converse.

Their dedication to the whole product has seen them work, direct, and collaborate on some incredible projects. At times they come across more as fine artists than commercial designers, which they say is an important part of their practice as well as for creatives as a whole. It’s through this process that they have become more than just a creative agency, they’ve situated themselves almost as a brand taking great care of every aspect – so much so that I think it’s fair to say companies seek them out for that “Hugo & Marie look.”

I spoke to them Jennifer and Mario to get an insight into the work they both do and how Hugo & Marie came to be.

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Michael Arnold

December 4, 2013 / By

Interview with an Illustrator: Scott Campbell

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Illustrator, Artist and doodler Scott Campbell has just released the follow up to the successful Great Showdowns book – The Return. It builds upon it’s prequel and again is filled with classic defining Pop Culture moments. It takes on the same competitiveness as a Where’s Wally (or Waldo for you guys across the sea) book where you’re instantly trying to guess the scene as quickly as possible. With no verbal clues you’d have to be a real film buff to get them all correct but even if you don’t the book reads like a more playful version of a coffee table book.

I spoke to Scott recently on the origins of this series and his background in design below.

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Michael Arnold

November 26, 2013 / By

Jason Schmidt captures Takashi Murakami’s monsters (and a beautiful model) in Los Angeles

Takashi Murakami interview with Harper's Bazaar, photos by Jason Schmidt

Harper’s Bazaar published an interview with Takashi Murakami yesterday, one that involves some backstory into his new monster movie Jellyfish Eyes. The interview is fine, kind of short to be honest, but what’s really remarkable is the photo shoot that accompanies the story.

Entitled Murakami’s Monster Magic, the photos were shot by Jason Schmidt and feature model Angela Lindvall as well as Murakami’s cast of movie monsters. The series is pretty fantastic and surreal, a beautiful woman walking around with these bizarre creatures in a variety of random Los Angeles locations – wandering through In-N-Out, lounging at the pool at The Standard Hollywood, or walking through Beverly Hills.

The photos also remind me of Charlie White’s old photo series Understanding Joshua which did a nice job of mixing surreal monsters with idyllic, Hollywood-esque situations. If you’re into these photos you absolutely need to click that link.

Takashi Murakami interview with Harper's Bazaar, photos by Jason Schmidt

Takashi Murakami interview with Harper's Bazaar, photos by Jason Schmidt

Takashi Murakami interview with Harper's Bazaar, photos by Jason Schmidt

Takashi Murakami interview with Harper's Bazaar, photos by Jason Schmidt

Bobby Solomon

November 7, 2013 / By

Businessweek interview with Jonathan Ive and Craig Federighi

Jonathan Ive and Craig Federighi

Last week saw the release of this interview with Jonathan Ive and Craig Federighi over on Businessweek, giving some insight into two of the main men behind Apple. The piece is basically a design/tech love fest, and there are definitely a few gems in there that really make the whole piece. Here’s one of my favorites.

Somehow, because our products are used by more than one person, you don’t accept “OK, there is this polar opinion and this opinion,” because basically then what can happen—and I have seen this in other places—what can happen is that energy then is spent in the debate, rather than the belief that, you know what? We have an ambition that is real because we believe there is a solution. There is an idea that actually transcends that debate.

Bobby Solomon

October 1, 2013 / By

Is technology making us smarter? Clive Thompson thinks so.

I was reading this interview with Clive Thompson in the NY Times last night and he’s got a new book out called “Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better.” The book touches upon the idea that technology isn’t making you dumb, it’s actually supplementing the way our brains already work.

You talk a lot about memory in your book. Are we augmenting our memories with computers, or are we replacing them?

I would say we are augmenting them. When I started the book I was genuinely worried that I was losing my memory to Google, but the more I studied the way that everyday memory works, the more I realized how much we already rely on other outside sources — books, Post-it notes, etc. — but also other people to remember things. We are social thinkers, and we are also social rememberers, we use our co-workers, our partners and our friends to help us retrieve the details about things that they they are better at remembering than we are. And they’ve used us in the same way. Memory has always been social. Now we’re using search engines and computers to augment our memories, too.

The interview was good enough to get me to purchase the book, really looking forward to reading this. And how great is that cover? Simple but effective.

Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better

Bobby Solomon

September 25, 2013 / By

Interview with an Independent Publisher: Cathy Olmedillas of Anorak Magazine

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The term Independent Publisher is barely vast enough to cover the amount of work and different thinking caps you need to put on to be one. In the day of the ‘Print is dead’ generation publishers are increasingly taking more and more control of their end product ensuring that it’s not just a magazine you’re picking up but rather an experience and escape from the real world – not to mention the digital world. No other publication embodies this more than the perfectly put together children’s magazine Anorak.

Since it’s inaugural issue in 2006 it has been able to capture the hearts of children before they are consumed by technology and set free the square eyes of adults after they’ve lost their sense of childish abandon. It’s a magazine that’s had incredible success and after 29 issues (and not to mention numerous other projects) it’s still going strong. I spoke to Founder and Editor Cathy Olmedillas about her start with Anorak Magazine ahead of the release of their BIG BOOK OF ANORAK, an annual 224 page compendium of stories, activities and educational pieces that ran in the early (and now sold out) editions of Anorak.

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Michael Arnold

September 25, 2013 / By

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