Seeking Design Inspiration

architecture, design inspiration, outdoor art, photography

I’ve been in need of some graphic design and artistic inspiration these last few weeks. I’m trying to clear out the headspace, turn off Netflix and get out into the world a little more. Getting trapped in the Every Day can put a lid on creativity really quickly. On a philosophical level, I’m trying to make sense of all my time spent on social media, and in doing so, I’m seeking out deeper meaning from hours logged on blogs and Twitter. I’ve picked up a few gems this week that I wanted to share with you. These are just a few beauties in a sea of constant chatter.

One of my recent clients, a couple getting married on Bayou St. John, were so inspired by where they live, they dedicated their wedding programs and venue to the area. It has gotten me thinking about the space I occupy in New Orleans and the space it occupies in me.

new orleans wedding invitation

In my down time (of which I am trying to create more) I’m focusing on the minutia of daily activities. Commuting across town can be a real drain on one’s existence, but during my commute there is an opportunity to be on one of the highest points in the City and see incredible weather systems from a 360 view. I have never seen sunsets like the sunsets in New Orleans.

new orleans sunset

During the day, I work in an area of town that is pretty stark, situated alongside Lake Pontchartrain. I require much urban time, so I head back into the thick of it for lunch many days. I am always amazed at how dedicated people are to their space on the urban landscape. Every square inch is an opportunity to make a statement. I feel like I’m squandering my personal opportunity of a yard. (Note to self: Must work on that.)

bywater new orleans garden

The other morning, the Fried Green Husband and I went on an adventure to buy plants and came across our second sunrise of the morning. Sunrise over Brown’s Dairy, to be exact.

new orleans sun

My last bit of New Orleans inspiration comes from the deterioration and history of our town. There is something constantly surprising about the level of erosion on the surfaces and infrastructure here. It’s beautiful and a little heartbreaking, but mostly I’m drawn to the “what it could be” and “what it once was” of the situation. It’s amazing. Like a blank canvas in a lot of ways. It’s like staring at a blank canvas, but being overrun with ideas. It’s amazing.

new orleans house

fountain armstrong park new orleans

Design News from the Internetz

advertising, architecture, branding, design, guerilla art, outdoor art, typography

I saw an article yesterday about a fun project that someone is trying to get started in Richmond – PARK(ing) Day! You may recall my previous post about my love of the parklet. Well, PARK(ing) Day is a wide spread event, held September 21 this year, where people put money into a parking meter for whatever time it will allow and then they roll out a mini park in the space instead of putting a car there. More details on the PARK(ing) Day website and some history about the event. I think this sounds amazingly fun and it’s not something we’ve seen yet in Richmond (or many other cities I frequent).

Image of the original parklet from PARK(ing) Day website.

In other news from the internetz, what is up with the Chinese ghost towns? This is so creepy and confusing to me. Working in infrastructure in the US makes me ask all kinds of questions about who thought that building new “cities” 2 hours from existing cities and not connecting them with any kind of mass transportation was a good idea? China doesn’t have as many cars as the US. And who is the target consumer for these spaces? China, though economically miles ahead of many many other developed countries still has an extremely large poor population. Hearing that they have a surplus of these high-end apartments and retails spaces is truly disturbing.

On a lighter note, here are some wonderfully minimalistic print ads for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

Image from Bored Panda.

Lastly, I just want to say that I’m thrilled not to have to see that hideous London Olympics logo anymore. I’m looking forward to the breath of fresh air and good taste that is the Rio logo.

It  makes sense without being too literal, the colors are lovely and there’s something really unique about it.
Seriously, what happened London? Was that the only design bid you received?

Image from the Guardian.

London’s 2012 logo was designed by the firm Wolff Olins, and I suppose it was supposed to be avant garde and edgy or something. It’s looking a little dated already, to me.

Rio has enlisted the firm Tatil Design from Brazil to design the logo for the 2016 games. I don’t speak or read Portuguese, but what I can pick out from their site has something to do with using the human figure as inspiration for a logo that would recreate well in 3D. Way to keep it classy, Brazil.

SFO Art Fun Part 2

architecture, design, exhibitions, fine arts, galleries, guerilla art, outdoor art, painting, poster, vintage design

Welcome back for Part 2 of my San Francisco artventures. I finally encountered one of the reclaimed parking lot spaces I’ve been reading about on Untapped Cities. I love a good parklet. This was a particularly adorable “porch” for a restaurant in the Haight.

Also in the Haight, I found one of my secret crushes – odd bathroom graffiti. Yep, that’s my pink camera strap. I’m totally professional.

But seriously, I did make it to the SFMOMA to see some of the highlights I’d been hoping to catch. First up, the Parra piece was awesome. It’s huge and bold and strategically placed. Worth a visit for sure. I wish there has been more Parra pieces to see!

I stopped into the Paul Klee/Josef Albers comparative exhibit. The museum tried to explain and showcase the similarities in the focus of these seemingly unrelated artists. It was kind of a cool concept, for sure. And the pieces were great.

I got the chance to go to Alcatraz for the first time this go-around, and one of my favorite parts (besides the creepy fog and birds all over the island) was the room with old movie posters near the gift shop.

The middle, sort of orange block poster is one of my favorites ever – thank you Saul Bass.

And lastly, on a mostly related note, we visited a fantastic winery called Artesa in the Napa Valley. Not only did they have great wine (available for retail in a lot of states) but they also had an incredible spread of land overlooking the Valley and incorporating some unique architectural, water and sculptural elements. I also got to spend some quality time with our fabulous hosts from Modern Commissary. Thanks guys, y’all are amazing tour guides!