Drawing

Slide Over With HMM

I spend most of my day working on a computer in programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, and Premier and on my iPad using apps like Art Rage, or Sketchbook. These tools allow me to create everything from illustrations to motion graphics and video. As great as all of these tools are, they can’t replace the tactile feeling of putting pen to paper and actually drawing.

As a designer, I am always looking for quality drafting tools and drawing implements. That pen or pencil with the right weight balance, and feel in the hand. While it seems like something that should be easy it’s not. The right tool makes all the difference and you can feel it as soon as you pick up a pen or pencil that has it.

Recently I discovered HMM, a Japanese company whose goal is to make “The Ordinary Classy”. The name stands for Human-Mechanic-Method and they specialize in the manufacture of finely crafted coffee ware and office accessories.

“We focus on polishing the details that make utensils unique and human. With selected materials and craftsmanship our products are classic and timeless. They are ready to embellish your daily life.” HMM

What I picked up from them is “Slide“. A winner of this year’s iF Design Award, Slide is a stylish and multi-functional ruler and pen in one. Finely crafted from milled aluminum, and coated in a matte black finish.

The sleek tool features a unique magnetic structure that allows the pen and ruler to be split up into two pieces, or be reassembled back into one with a feeling that is fluid, and smooth.

Slide has a triangular shape to the body with one side that is distinctively flat while the other two roll into a gently curved edge. It feels really comfortable in my hand. The pen writes and draws beautifully with smooth ink flow allowing for a lighter touch and more control. The pen can be used independently from the ruler or with it by simply pushing it forward to expose the tip. With the ruler attached to the pen, the back takes on the same gently curving arch with an almost indistinguishable seam between the pen and the ruler.

The ruler is all metric measurements. That makes sense since it is a Japanese product designed for the world market. That doesn’t bother me at all though. I’m not going to be using it for doing much measuring, I’ll be using it to help me draw straight lines when I need them.

The packaging is impressive as well. Well thought out and executed with sustainable materials. Slide comes in a matte black cardboard sleeve. Inside there is a stacked chipboard container that has been cut to hold the device in place. The container is wrapped in a black paper liner that contains simple instructions on how to refill the pen and use it.

Along with the packaging, there is a really well-designed catalog of HMM products. Minimal layout and simple type treatments really round out the emphasis on the quality HMM put into their product and package design.

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The End Of The World Is Coming. Lets Study Some Art.

In a world where everything seems to be going to hell in a hand basket, and science is predicting the end of life in the next great mass extinction, it’s nice to know that there is art in the world. The world might be coming to an end at some point in the future, but you still have a chance to educate yourself about art thanks to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum loading 205 free art history books to the Internet Archive, all of which are available as PDF’s or ePub books.  Yes now as you contemplate the end of the world and hone your apocalypse survival skills you can bone up on the finer things and learn about Max Ernst, The Italian Metamorphosis, French Art in the 1970’s, Joseph Cornell, Francis Bacon, Pop Art in the 60’s and so much more.

Yes now as you contemplate the end of the world and hone your apocalypse survival skills you can bone up on the finer things and learn about Max Ernst, The Italian Metamorphosis, French Art in the 1970’s, Joseph Cornell, Francis Bacon, Pop Art in the 60’s and so much more.  Just be sure and pick up a solar powered charger for your phone or tablet so you can keep reading them after the power grid fails.

For the last 5 years, theGuggenheim has been digitizing its exhibition catalogs and art books, placing the results online. So if you want to study some art history this is the right place.  The collection also includes catalogs of retrospective exhibitions on masters like Paul Klee, Robert Rauschenberg, and Mark Rothko. Or you can explore older art with Chinese art in the 20th centurycraftsmen of ancient Perusculpture and works on paper or  Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection: From Picasso to Pollock. What better way to spend your time when you aren’t trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.

Remember it is the arts and culture that separate us from the animals. Well that and opposable thumbs, larger brain capacity, the ability to create advanced tools, and a few other things.

Truck Art!

Art collector and businessman Jaime Colsa has come up with a way to bring art to the people every day. He is using trucks, as in semi’s as canvasses to showcase the latest trends in painting, drawing and urban art in Spain. For Colsa the trucks challenge each artist to deal with scale, budgets and other obstacles that they had probably not dealt with before.  They are also challenged with the fact the canvas is moving, rendering each work a fleeting moment for it’s audience. It’s a great idea. Get the art out of the gallery space, expose thousands of people to it, and challenge artists to work in a new way. I wish someone would bring this same kind of program over from Europe to the USA.

“Undersong”, Motionpoems.

Matt Smithson, and Man vs Magnet directed and produced “Undersong” for Motionpoems. The animated short is built around the adapted poem by Stacey Lynn Brown, and dedicated to Jake Adam York. The short is voiced by Yaa Asantewa, with additional sound design by Sound Lounge. Asantewa’s voice guides you through the story accompanied by a score from Joshua Smoak. The hand drawn animation is timed perfectly to the voice over and the visuals draw you into the story so well. I’ve watched this over and over noticing small details that I missed with each viewing. It’s a great way to lose yourself for a few minutes on a summer afternoon.

Lets Go To Lithuania.

I’ve never been to Lithuania but now that I’ve seen the worlds longest infographic from design studio Zazu I kind of want to go. The infographic is illustrated with line art that tells you how to get there. some general facts and info on things like population, currency exchange traditional food, and some of their iconic sights to visit. I love the look of this image. There is a certain late 1960’s early 1970’s feel to it with an updated appeal. It has a nice blend between hand drawn, and obviously computer generated, and I’m OK with that. I’m kind of over the sketchy chalkboard art look that has been burning up the design world for the last few years.

To-Lithuania-Infographic

Artist Wes Lang, “THE STUDIO” by I DO ART.

From the 29th of March to the 7th of September 2014, artist Wes Lang has an exhibit of his work showing at ARoS Aarhus Museum of Art. The video below from  is an interview with the artist in his studio and on location at the museum. Lang gives insight into his creative process, and brings to light a simple fact about creativity. Sometimes you just know when something is right, when it’s done, when to stop working on it. More often than not, your brain turns off as you go into that zen zone of creativity and the good stuff just happens. At one point around the 4:30 minute mark he talks about coming back to his studio the next day and not remembering creating certain things from the night before. I can relate to that. Sometimes you are so in the zone of creativity it’s as though something else takes over for you, a muse, a creative spirit, another part of your brain, something, and it’s all good.

Etching Castles in a Grain of Sand.

Once again the Creators Project has released a new video that makes you step back and think. The video below features photographer Vik Muniz and designer Marcelo Coelho who, using science and technology have drawn castles on a grain of sand. The project involves transferring Muniz’s drawings made with a camera lucida to a grain of sane that is less than 1 millimeter wide. The process is done with an ion beam focused on the tiny object which etches the image onto the surface. The narrative makes you stop and think about the imagery, concept of scale, the blend of art and science, and the direction that photography is headed as we move forward.