Monday, December 31, 2007

verge of 08

well, here we are on the verge of 2008. i've just been on a nice little road trip / work trip with lance that included a stay at my brother's holiday house north of auckland. very cool.

anyway, the intention - like last year - is to get some creative projects finished during my work holidays. that includes (somewhat dauntingly) a revamp of my website. it also includes realising some concepts i've had in mind for some time for visual pieces.

i'm working on a series (long-term) that incorporates grid designs done on my etch-a-sketch. today i finished the second of these pieces - 'plastic stag'. it's satisfying to complete this, because the idea for this particular image began to emerge very early this year when i took the background image at a music team retreat in the country.

here's the finished piece:

i'm immensely pleased with the final result as it truly incorporates all the aesthetic elements i like - the etch-a grid, iconography, text and photography. the photography itself has good colours and subject matter (i like switches and plastic forms). the text reads "plastic stag [bagged and mounted by a plastic huntsman]. barometer rising. safe little world."

meanwhile, to provide more background material for these pieces i fulfilled another long-term idea to go into town when it was quiet in the evenings and get some pictures of urban walls. the lighting was great and as well as the walls i was thinking of, i also found a few more nice ones. i had my work camera (a sony fixed lens that provides 10.3 mp images) at home so i used that.

here are a couple of examples:

so that's about the sum for now. happy new year - hope it's a good one.

on the headphones: 'rain' by fat freddy's drop, from the album 'live at the matterhorn'.

Monday, December 24, 2007

the story of stuff

please have a look at this little video. it's called 'the story of stuff' and it is an excellent summary of the whole consumerism, global economy thing and its inherent problems. the presenter talks to you a bit like a primary school teacher, but it's worth watching anyway (cool animation graphics).

here is the first part (5 minutes). the whole thing is 20 minutes long and you can watch it at

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

what makes you so busy?

the workload i used to have and which i once thought was full-on now seems like something of a holiday since taking on quite a bit of extra work a few months ago. it's been good, but i'm definitely looking forward to a nice break and a chance to do some non-commercial creative projects (like getting up and running and doing some more artworks).

in the midst of all my busy work (which has also included editing, designing and releasing a new castle publishing book, completing work on the typesetting of a book for the salvation army, creating issue 3 of abb engineering's bimonthly product update, and various work for HOTmilk), here are a couple of quite nice looking projects that i've worked on in the last month or so...

reservegroup b&b website

this was my first project for my new web photojournalism job. i wrote all the content and took a lot of the photos for this b&b establishment. the guys at reservegroup did a beautiful job of the design. my first project went live a week or so ago.

a screenshot of the front page (have a nosey at the whole site here):

expanse christmas card

another cool project i worked on was a christmas card for my friend alex, who operates a town planning consultancy called 'expanse'. the brief was to create a card to communicate that expanse had purchased a dairy cow through world vision's 'gifts of hope' programme.

the first step was to create this hand-drawn / hand-painted cow (which i did with some reference photos, photoshop and my wacom tablet):

i then overlaid it on a stock photo of a city street at night (to bring in the town-planning aspect) that included christmas colours, making the image look painterly, adding a bright glow behind the cow and including the phrase "the cattle are lowing..."

the card was printed digitally on gloss stock and came up right nice.

on the headphones: 'call a cab' by lionrock.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

the home of the future

i'm hoping to get a bit more time soon to make some more posts on my blogs... but for now a slacker's post.

here are a couple of videos about 'the house of the future' at disneyland back in the day (found via boingboing - which, by the way, would be the blog to choose if you were going to read just one blog a day). sponsored by monsanto chemicals it was made almost entirely out of plastic. what a safe little world that would be.

part 1:

part 2:

on the headphones: 'go it alone' by beck, from the album 'guero'.