Death and Life.

Well this will bring a tear to your eye. A beautifully done, hand drawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life, and the inevitable outcome. Created by Marsha Onderstijn with music by Ramon De Wilde, this 5 minute animated short was featured on the EYE film DVD of Selected Dutch Shorts, and is now on Vimeo. Since it was uploaded 6 days ago, it has already been view more than 250,000 times.

“An Undertaking”, A Genuine Relationship With Life, Death and Sawdust.

This is a story about love, craft, and connections. It is a beautifully filmed and edited piece about a grandmother’s request of her grandson. Do yourself a favor and take 8 minutes out of your day and watch this. This is a great little story that is touching and heartfelt. It’s worth watching, not only for the story, but for the beautiful visuals, and the emotional connections that are captured here.

“Michael Yates’ passion for working with wood arose from the wood’s accessibility, its palpable presence and the hope that his efforts would last. But when his grandmother requested that he build her casket, the stability of oak collided with an evocative “conversation” with impermanence, death and the inevitability of absence. In spite of his initial fear and resistance due to our culture’s steadfast avoidance of the D-word, Yates eventually agreed to build the casket and began the real work of constructing a genuine relationship with life, death and sawdust.”

Life After Death. Reinventing Funeral Services Advertising.

The subject of death and funerals in most of the world brings up somber visuals in monochromatic shades of black. Japan, is no exception to this with funeral services being viewed as a largely a black & white affair, with any deviation from the code being considered taboo and disrespectful to the deceased and the family.

The March 11th Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami had a traumatic effect on Japan where so many people died as a result of this tragedy. Issues of life and death, hope and despair, beauty and tragedy became an all too real part of people’s everyday lives in Japan.

In the months that followed the tsunami, funeral home Nishinihon Tenrei approached Tokyo-based ad agency I&S BBDO and asked them to create an ad for funeral services that broke from the standard mode of operation. The request understandably posed several challenges for I&S. The challenge became how to communicate the funeral home’s new role of remembering and celebrating the beauty of a lost person’s life. The result is the spectacular image shown below.


Creative director Mari Nishimura decided to create a real-size human skeleton made from pressed flowers. The image is both beautiful, as well as celebratory, expressing through flowers what remains after death.