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Category: featured artist friday

Daydream Nation

Sweet baby Ike is sick today. Nasty sick — like twin rivers of Tigris and Euphrates snot sick. It takes a special kind of mama love to kiss a baby’s slimy germ infested face, to comfort them even when they cry like… babies. So, either my nurturing mode is in high gear, or the sleep deprivation is getting the best of me, because when I saw these pictures by Adele Enersen, my icy black heart just melted.

Enersen photographs her baby Mila while she sleeps, quietly (I imagine) constructing impromptu sets out of sheets, socks, blankets and books, for her slumbering stage. I’m not sure if I’m more impressed by the creativity, or by the fact that Enersen’s baby is such a great sleeper… Ok, the creativity part is awesomer (by a small margin).

Have a great weekend!

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Laser Light Show: Now in Full Color!

A hoy, hoy, kiddos!  I’m just barely back from the dead as my seemingly never ending sickness is still doing it’s best to keep me firmly planted on the couch in front of yet another craptastic TNT marathon.  And maybe a little American Idol action.  It’s ok, I only watch audition week, the rest is as lame as this flu I can’t shake.

Anyhoodle, last weekend Erin and little Ike sensed my misery and sent me a link to this (yes, Ike sent the link too, I have proof):

Egads!!!  The full color laser light show mural was almost enough to defibrillate my weak ass back into action.  I followed the link action Erin and Ike were hooking me up with only to find (wait for it)… more murals!!

Be still my beating heart!  Mad genius Matt W Moore takes LLS magic to a whole new level with his layers of color and distorted perspective.  And you know what, he doesn’t just do murals

He has his own typeface (swoon),

A series of surfboards with his art gracing the bottom (who doesn’t, right?),

Some sweet t-shirt graphics for clothing line blood is the new black

and, of course, good old fashioned art

who can guess who’s bedroom these would look awesome in?  Hint:  it’s mine.

But seriously, I’m starting to wonder if the days are just longer in Maine, where Matt is from.  Maybe it’s something about all that syrup and lobster that makes him 12,000 times more productive and awesome than us lazy bones here in Texas.  I don’t know, but it’s really making me need a nap.  Right in front of some reality tv.

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Featured Artist Friday: K-Dawg

Ok, so it’s no secret that I’ve been a bit too busy to put together spellbinding posts.  These days, Erin’s posts are akin to the view one might obtain after weathering the journey to the top of Mt. Everest, while mine are more like, well, looking at swamp water.  It’s not that I don’t love the blog, I do, I just haven’t had the time to source that which my heart doth love the mostest:  great design online

Normally on Fridays I toss up a picture and bid you good weekend, but this week I thought I would mix it up a bit.  I still haven’t gotten the time to find awesome works abroad but I do have access to one portfolio that I do know quite well:  my own.  Hey I’m no Alexander Girard, but I can put together a graphic or two if I have to.  Here are some of my most recent projects (and the source of la massive time suck)

I made this horsey a while ago with the intention of painting him on a wall or screen printing him on to pillows, then the web got inundated with things made out of lots of smaller things and I couldn’t decide what to do:  jump on the trend bandwagon, or admire him on my computer screen.  As of now, it’s only been the latter.  This is one of the only recent personal projects I have as most of my time goes to my clients (and even this is over a year old)

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that Birds Barbershop is one of my biggest clients.  Here are 4 of the gazzillion gig posters I’ve made for them over the last year or so.  Those dudes give a mean haircut, but they also love to party.

And yes, that is 100% a Nagel knock-off up there.  It was intentional, OK?

One of my other clients is Owl Tree Roasting, a fantastic organic coffee brewery here in town, on the left is a sticker for one of the coffee bags they did for Progress Coffee, on the right is a sticker for the Mexican beans they roasted up for Birds.

Massage Harmony keeps me busy (but I dare not complain since my back is nice and loose thanks to them).  Here’s a poster I did for a recent open house they did.  Psst, if you’re in Austin, I can’t recommend them enough, and their prices are SO GOOD

Our pal Jen of Naughty Secretary Club seeks out the K-Dawg for her design skillz every now and again.  Here are a couple of ads I did for her.  Yes, I have a thing for animals in accessories (note the zebra, dog, lamb, and duck on this site, which I also designed)

I made this gig poster for my friend Andy who is a DJ.  He’s awesome.  If you show up to a party and he’s playing, it’s going to be the best night of your scene loving life.

And finally, here’s the baby shower invite I drew for our very own Erin Bear.  I’ve cropped it so you stalkers can’t find my house, but, well, you get the gist.

I’ve got a bunch of other crap, but who wants to look at mock-ups for law firm e-newsletters or keypads for portable foot spas?  Well, maybe that’s your thing.  If so, I’ve got ’em in spades.

Happy Weekend everyone!!!  I promise to make more time for all of you in the coming weeks

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Featured Artist (almost) Friday: Andrea Canalito

As Erin and I have both mentioned before, one of the raddest things about running Design Crisis is meeting new peeps.  Despite almost a year in web publication, we still get all weak in the knees when someone sends us an email love letter, especially when that someone is an artist who’s work we already know and love.  Recently, Andrea Canalito a mixed-medium artist from Houston, TX contacted us and we were giddy with joy.

Twinkle Twinkle Baby, Mixed Media Installation, 2008

You already know how much I love animal furniture, so when I first came across the Deer Cupcakes (with GOLD!!! cups) I nearly fainted.  I was so excited when Andrea contacted us so I could find out more about her work and what inspires her.  

K: In your original email to Design Crisis, you said you were “hungry for aesthetics,” what designers and artists are currently filling your appetite?

AC: I look at a lot of design websites such as design crisis, notcot.orgdesignboom.com, andy altmann and why not associates, and artists like wendy walgate, philip toledano, laurie hogin, elizabeth mcgrath, just to name a very few. 
Below are some shots from a few of the favorites she mentioned:
clockwise from Top Left: Wendy Walgate, philip toledano (psst, you may remember Philip from this post), Laurie Hogin, Elizabeth Mcgrath,
You can certainly see that, like me, Andrea has an affinity for the animal art, I’m liking her more and more!
K: How much do you find that other artists and designers influence your work?  What other inspirations do you have?
AC: Really, I see things everywhere that interest me, mostly including simple and bold contemporary art and design. I’m not a fan of hum-drum and beige. Nor am I a fan of things that do not carry an element of the “strange”. It’s funny because when I meet other designers, I feel like I am so inquisitive about their method and process and it always feels like I am more interested in what they do than they are. I find myself wanting to know how everything works in every arena of aesthetics from digital to traditional. I am also very attracted to city lights such as neon lights, signs, and music video aesthetics from artists like kanye west, lady gaga, and gwen stefani. And, of course, music itself.
K: Without revealing any of your creative secrets, can you tell us a little bit about what goes into making a deer cupcake?
AC: Haha, there are no secrets. They started out as a an idea in my head, and a drawing. I don’t know where they came from, and I couldn’t understand it at the time, but I decided not to try and smother it with sense. Turns out that’s what works for me, so I decided to take a big chance and spend 3 months constructing Twinkle Twinkle Baby, with the deer cupcakes. They are made from various types of foam, modeling material, and paint, so they are surprisingly light. 
I asked Andrea if her cupcakes were for sale, and THANK GOD, they are, you may contact her through her website for pricing information
I love when you can see an artists work and understand their progression, the above two images of Andreas certainly foreshadow the oncoming of her deer cupcake field.
I also catch myself drooling nonstop at these trays on her site:
But WAIT!  I still have more questions:
K: What is the creative scene like in Houston?
AC: It is vast. I always feel overwhelmed trying to find art in a large city because there is so much of it in so many different places, some large spaces, some nooks and crannies. I wish there was one definitive website that would tell you EVERYTHING design/art oriented in the city.  I feel like there is a lot of opportunity for young creatives in Houston, which is good, especially for emerging professionals. There is also a thick traditional art community here, which I have yet to explore, but I’m sure is noteworthy.
K What’s next for you?
AC: I am working on a series of “princess” or rather “not a princess” drawings in collaboration with another artist. They have to do with the idea that as girls, we never reached the princess we always thought we could be. What if there is no magic come to save you? The castle we take is the empire we make with our business cards, our risks and our skills. 
I would also like to work on a concept about my dreams of flying/floating. Both as a form of this physical and mental freedom and ambition. The dreams are so rare, but so great and just make me feel like anything is possible. 
At this point, I’m quite smitten with Ms. Canalito, the aesthetics she is drawn to, as well as the ones she creates herself, mirror my own preferences.  She also seems very busy, creatively. I love when someone has lots of irons in the fire, and Andrea’s irons are very very pretty. 

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Designer Spotlight: Redstart Design

Last Sunday, just after watching back to back episodes of my two favorite shows:  Rock of Love Bus and Tool Academy, I was ripped from the comfort of my bed by a prior obligation.  I had promised a few of my favorite ladies that I would join them for drinks.  Of course, I made said promise at 11 a.m., and was remiss to fulfill said promise at 11 p.m..  Yes, 11 p.m., on a Sunday.  What had I been thinking?  Well, anyway, I’m quite glad that I pulled myself together and scooted out the door because, not only did I have a great time with the favorite ladies, but I also met Michelle Marchesseault of Redstart Design.  

Michelle and her business partner, Rachel Shannon are notorious in Austin for their Op Art commercial and residential murals.   Using nothing but tape (only sometimes) hand painting, and a lot of math, these ladies put together the freshest non-wallpapered backdrops in town. 

The residential mural above was achieved using silver leaf.  Do any of you know how tedious that is?  The painting I did in my living room (by hand-cut stencil and latex paint) took a week and a half, I can’t even imagine how long this takes the ladies:

Perhaps if I had conducted an interview (per our Sunday discussion) I would have learned the answer.  But I was busy working so you dudes get pretty pictures and lots of unanswered questions.

This photo of former partner, Jason, does provide some insight on what a bitch this job must be.  But I have to say, that finished ceiling is out-of-control amazing, and totally worth the effort. 

Clearly, these ladies like ceilings.  Writing this post is only heightening my ever-present craving to scrape all of the popcorn off my ceiling so that I, too, can have the Redstart treatment.

The Vivid Walls of Austin’s Viva Salon

One of the many bedrooms for, ahem, the Real World Austin set

I love when artists and designers post pictures of their process.   Same with set building on DVD extras.  I could probably skip most of the movies I watch and just enjoy all the behind-the-scenes design goodness alone.  Ok, actually, I have done that before, it was pretty damn awesome.

This freeform latex and GOLD LEAF(!!!!!!!!!) residential mural Speaks directly to my heart.  Shhhh… can you hear it?

And I know that I was just getting all mad at Elle Decor the other day about their piss-poor butterfly trend prediction, but I really like the space above.  I’m 100% sure it’s the palette, and the fact that the butterflies aren’t all lame and colorful.

Speaking of animals I love:

This lovely horse is snugly nestled in at one of my favorite bars in town, the Red House.  There are plastic and painted horse heads everywhere, and that, my friends, is a motif I can get behind.

The mural at Frou Frou always caught my eye when I lived a couple of blocks away.  Somehow taking things I don’t generally like on their own:  red and pink, and putting them together, really does it for me.

The ladies of Redstart don’t just sit around contemplating repeating pattern and huffing paint all day, they also get their exercise on by participating in Austin’s own synchronized swimming troupe, The H2Hos.  

So, looking back on my Sunday night on the town, I have to admit, it wasn’t so bad after all, almost as good as Rock of Love Bus, almost.

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