Smooshy brain, branding time

I’m worn-out from a heavy work week, looking for a brain escape. Exactly the perfect time for me to stumble upon your bright, cute video with soothing electro music!

(from MCM – Mode Creation Munich)


Animated gifs my first love

From If we don't, remember me.

"Los Angeles, November 2019, Part III (I, II)" Blade Runner (1982)

8 1/2, from If we don't, remember me

“Why do you smile that way? l never know if you’re judging me, absolving me or mocking me.” 8½ (1963)

From If we don’t, remember me, via BoingBoing

Officially launched today! The launch coincides with the video premiere of Joe’s cover of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells, which features his vast vintage keyboard collection played by a bunch of rad NYC girl keyboardists. I’m in there somewhere!

I was inspired by the woodgrain detail that many of those old keyboards have. I wanted to give his site the same vintage feel, like a Southern California den from the 70s.

Thanks to George Miguel for all his excellent backend work on the project, steadfastness, encouragement and general loveliness.

Christine Rosamond’s Women

Recently my friend Ce Ce Chin, creative director of the awesome shoe line 80%20, turned me onto the works of Christine Rosamond when she guest blogged for The Daily Knickerbocker.

Rosamond’s work is affecting because of its spareness and sureness of line, soft color palette, use of negative space, and most compellingly, the direct, unflinching gaze of her subjects. Ce Ce calls her women “beautiful, defiant, free spirited and yet vulnerable. They are both knowing and longing.” The duality of knowing and longing strikes a deep chord. I love the languid mood that her drawing style evokes.

Christine Rosamond, "Rosemary," 1980


Christine Rosamond, "Asia," 1973


Rosamond’s life story is rife with themes of identity-seeking, self-doubt, rebellion, intense passion, destructive insecurity — themes universal to many women. Her mother was controlling and violent, and stifled her nascent talent in favor of her brother’s art; the women in her work shuck off any hint of the retreating doormat that might have formed from such repression, and instead radiate confidence, sensuality, sophistication, and power. Even a woman sitting in her car in the path of a steam train blithely smokes a cigarette, showing no apparent concern for her imminent demise. No wonder Rosamond outsold Norman Rockwell and Salvador Dali in the 70s, when women were experiencing liberation and wanted visual totems of their new-found freedom.

Christine Rosamond, "Summer Mood," 1973

Summer Mood

Christine Rosamond, "Rachel"


Christine Rosamond, 1980


Christine Rosamond, "The Crossing"

The Crossing

Rosamond died by drowning in the Pacific Ocean in 1994. She was swept away in the undertow. Interestingly, there doesn’t seem to be a Wikipedia entry for her.

Christine Rosamond, "Last Work," 1994

Last Work (1994)

Christmas windows

It’s supposed to snow 5 inches tonight in New York….now’s a perfect time to revisit the fantasy windows from Bergdorf’s while sipping hot cocoa.

Our intrepid explorer always dresses appropriately for space travel

‘Where shall we go tonight?’

Her trusty sidekick Davina always at her side

‘Davina, that nebula system looks just like my Swarovski clutch!’

Her oldest and best friend 'Suitcase'...

...and sweet but shy 'Ocho' keep them company on long journeys

Not to be outdone, her baby sister prepares for a journey to the center of the earth

Which ocean will provide the shortest route?

Maybe the constellations can be her guide

Of course they both plan to be back in time for the holiday ball

Who will wear the ostrich?

The fastest way back from the earth's core is giraffe-necked antelope...

...and this, bien sûr, is the swiftest way back from space!

Rainn Wilson on Life’s Big Questions

A few weeks ago, Beliefnet’s editors and I pitched an idea to Rainn Wilson’s team to coincide with the release of his book Soul Pancake. He could shoot homemade videos of himself answering “life’s big questions” — Why is talking about God so awkward? How literally should we interpret religious texts? — and we’d put together a nice-looking package to match their branding and feature it on our website. They loved the idea, but the turnaround was pretty quick — about two weeks. I worked closely with designer Bill Safsel on the design and UX, integrated Facebook comments and a Twitter feed to give the page a sense of interactivity, and project managed from conception to launch. Operating on a skeleton crew these days, we weren’t able to get a live FB feed coded like we wanted, but the customized Twitter widget helps keeps things fresh. It was a small, fun project to execute and we’re all pretty proud of it. We’d love to do a series of celebrities answering life’s big questions, this time including real-time responses from our users.

Rainn Wilson on Life’s Big Questions

Rainn is of the Bahá’í faith, which could be described as an Islamic version of Unitarian Universalism.

Black Swan posters

Here are some alternate posters for Black Swan, a new movie starring Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel and Mila Kunis.

These two have a stark Soviet beauty to them, with a sense of the dancer being controlled by a force greater than she can handle. Is this a story about a dancer being consumed by the performance until she loses herself?

design by La Boca

design by La Boca

These two treat the dancer as a precious object who exists solely in service to her master. She is either diminished or duplicated; in both cases she is interchangeable with any other dancer. Her inner life is lost and these versions fall kind of flat for me.

design by La Boca

design by La Boca

It’s this creepy poster that says the most about the main character’s central conflict (darkness vs. innocence, the price of perfection) and alludes to an element of horror in the movie.  The theatrical styling, blown-out lighting, her flat expression and retouching of the whites of her eyes all hint that this is an intensely psychological story about one dancer’s descent into guile, or madness. It makes me want to see the movie despite my not being a fan of Natalie Portman nor Winona Ryder (also in the movie).

design by Bemis Balkind