Odd pairings are always interesting. Earlier today Alec Bladwin released a new episode of his podcast Here’s The Thing featuring Radiohead and Atoms For Peace frontman Thom Yorke. To me, it sounds like an incredibly odd pairing, the movie star and the rock star, trading stories and getting deep. But the end result is actually quite interesting to listen to. Baldwin is a fantastic host who can masterfully guide the conversation to get such wonderful answers out of Yorke, while Yorke actually turns out to be a delightful, chatty guest. Highly recommended if you’re a fan of either of these guys.
Found through The Scout – Thom Yorke photo by Phil Fisk
Last month Nobrow Press launched an exciting new children’s book imprint called Flying Eye Books. Over the last 4 years Nobrow have been producing some really incredible books and comics and it’s exciting to see that they’re now bringing their talents to the world of children’s books. Focusing solely on publications for kids aged 4 to 11, the new imprint isn’t just exciting news for Nobrow fans, it’s exciting news for kids everywhere!
Over the course of the next year they aim to release 12 new titles, ranging from picture books and comic books, to fiction and non-fiction. Some are generated in-house while others are translated versions of handpicked French and German titles. Looking at their upcoming releases it’s clear to see that these new books will be just as good as their parent publisher’s output.
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I always thought it would be cool to do interviews on The Fox Is Black. I’ve made some pretty cool friends over the years so it makes a lot of sense. But then these two midwest folks, Ryan and Tina Essmaker, decided to move to New York and start a site called The Great Discontent which is essentially everything I wanted to do only a hundred times better. TGD has taken the idea of an interview and turned it into a an art form, mixing words and imagery seamlessly.
Earlier this morning the interview I did with them went live and I can honestly say I’m so honored to be part of what they’re doing. In it I describe my process of being some kid from the suburbs that really had no idea what he wanted to do in life (other than “make art”) to running The Fox Is Black and having a full time job as an art director at Disney Interactive. It’s also about being passionate in your work and life, and that the only way you’ll succeed is if you put a lot of hard work into the things your most passionate about. Anyhow, hopefully you get something inspiring from the interview, I had a lot of fun talking with Tina and Ryan, they’re great folks.
You can read the interview by clicking here.
Over on The Great Discontent they have a really great interview with Jon Contino, the Brooklyn based artist and designer. I’ve worked with Jon on a bunch of projects for the site and it feels like I know him, but it’s great to be able to read about his life, how he got to where he is and his passions. This is my favorite question from the interview.
Are you satisfied creatively?
No. Definitely not. There’s no way it’ll ever happen. I get to do stuff that I enjoy, but there are so many things I could be doing that I either don’t have the time for or don’t yet have the skills for. I am satisfied to the extent that I’m in a position where I get to decide what I want to do. Years ago, I didn’t have that luxury. In that sense, I’m happy, but there are still people who don’t know my name, companies I haven’t worked for, and things I haven’t done yet. I think that if you’re an artist and you’re satisfied, then you’re a failure—honestly. There’s more out there than you could ever imagine. If you’re satisfied, you’re done being an artist.
Starting September 6 Stephen Powers will have a brand new show at the Joshua Liner Gallery, featuring a gallery of enamel on aluminum works which look really amazing. In conjunction, i-D magazine interviewed Stephen about the show, his thoughts on street art today, and the slow rise of the sign painter.
In your ESPO days you targeted shops that appeared to be out of business and grates that were already heavily vandalised and described it as a public service, do you feel your work still acts in this way?
I like going where the blight is, wherever it is. That’s been a constant since 1984. I like making a place better with my markings. Sometimes all you need to improve a situation is a can of flat black spray paint.
Last week we talked about the current wave of new acts coming from Finland and the burgeoning scene that’s taking place there. Inspired by the attitudes of acts abroad and fueled by a desire for international exposure, today’s Finnish bands are creating fresh and unique sounds. Acts are also adopting the ethos of DIY culture and creating the types of music that they want to make, turning Finland into one of the most exciting countries producing music today.
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Finland is a country best known for its heavy-metal and hard rock yet things are changing. The current music scene is buzzing with a new generation of musicians, producers and collectives eager to create great sounds. I spoke with a number of them to discuss this new wave of Finnish music.
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Late last night Wired published a wonderful piece on Jack Dorsey, the man behind Twitter and Square. Oft compared to Steve Jobs (but essentially nothing like him), it was cool to see such an in-depth piece on him. He’s such an inspiring guy, I mean, he’s only 35 and look at all that he’s done. Here’s a snippet I loved.
Like Jobs, Dorsey has proclivities that have helped him build something of a cult of personality. Every Friday he indoctrinates new employees with a forced march through the streets of San Francisco, beginning at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the Ferry Building, heading into the canyons of the Financial District, and emerging in the startup haven south of Market Street where Square resides. During the walk, Dorsey outlines what he calls the Four Corners of Square. “It’s something that codifies our ethic,” he says. “I really spent a lot of time on it.” But he is mum on the details of this vaguely Masonic concept. “If I told you, you’d have to work here,” he says with a tight smile.
Dorsey also boasts a Jobs-like obsession with design and detail. In early 2011 he became captivated by the idea of using a wallet metaphor in a Square app. William Henderson, a former Apple operating system specialist who now works as a software engineer at Square, says, “Jack got so excited that he came to work one day with a stack of 10 leather wallets.” For hours, Dorsey and his team deconstructed every detail. He was especially fond of the Hermè8s. (He adores the brand and pronounces its name “air-MEZH,” as if he were raised in a duty-free shop.) The team designed a digital wallet that faithfully replicated its austere majesty, down to the stitching. It even carried a monogram, extracting initials from the user’s registration information and dropping the trailing dot after the second initial, just as Hermè8s does. The credit cards, which fit into their slots at slightly asymmetrical angles, were stamped with holograms that changed color when the screen was tilted.