Design is Everywhere

design, design inspiration, freelance, guerilla art, invitations, outdoor art, weddings

My whirlwind summer has come to a close and I’m settling into some really fun graphic design projects. I just wanted to take a little time to share a few snapshots from my last several months of absence from the blog! Design is everywhere, so as you make your way around every day, seize the opportunity to find the beautiful in the mundane. If you keep your eyes open and your head up from your smart-thing-of-choice, you never know what you might see!

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I cannot confirm this as a Banksy – because it seems to lack the telltale environmentally integrative storytelling – but this prisoner of Warner Brothers and Paramount (as indicated on the black balls) was spotted in the Marigny just off Frenchmen Street one evening while I walked on a street I’d not taken before. Either way, it was unexpected, clever and has been deemed important enough by someone to cover it with plexi. I love how ruthless New Orleanians are getting in the fight for decent renegade street art. There was a great live discussion recently at Nola.com with local muralist Brandan Odums and nola.com’s Doug MacCash. You can read my own loud mouth opinions over there too. I was particularly struck by the term “low brow” being tossed around last year at the G40 Art Summit in Richmond, Va and have been contemplating the idea ever since. Why would one type of art be more low brow than another? Is it style, environment, artist, concept, simply personal taste? Where is the line?

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This beauty was spotted in the Lower 9th Ward recently, and I had to get a quick, slightly blurry, snap of it. I’ve seen similar work around town and am always fascinated by the amount of detail and symmetry.

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Now, is this clarinet “high brow” since it’s on a hotel in the middle of a tourist district? And because it’s there to mark a space of historical importance? I digress… It was well crafted and I love the scale, either way.

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I’ll close my graffiti rant post with this one that is probably not terribly new to Richmond anymore, but was new to me last weekend. Greg Mike mural at 821 Cafe. I’d love to have some time to go visit all the new pieces that have been installed in Richmond since I moved!

Changing subjects, now that these items have been mailed out, I can share with you a set of wedding invitations I designed for an amazing couple out west:

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And a new set of wedding invitations I’m working on for a fantastic pair of transplanted Virginians:

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So much more to come! The fall is shaping up to be really exciting!

If you’re in the New Orleans area, there is a great speaking engagement tonight at Design WIthin Reach on Magazine by the lovely folks who run Good Fucking Design. I’m hoping to be able to check it out!

Hidden Art in New Orleans

design, fine arts, guerilla art, outdoor art, photography

So far, I think my two favorite things that I’ve discovered about moving to New Orleans are 1.) the fantastically nice, friendly, unique people here and 2.) the hidden treasures of artistic and political drama interspersed among the historical spaces. I love it. I feel like there’s someone’s little mark on the world around every corner.

This past week, I spent some time with a good friend in town for a visit discovering new hangouts (thanks for the delicious wine and snacks Elizabeth’s, Bacchanal and Restaurant R’evolution!) and taking a mini photo adventure through the Bywater. The Bywater is a fantastic mix of old locals and new hipsters – the kind of pairing where you think to yourself “how in the world does this work?” Like every neighborhood, nothing is perfect, but everyone we encountered seemed to be existing in a certain harmony. I was pleasantly surprised to find out how convenient the Bywater is to my Lower Algiers home by way of the Chalmette Ferry. Any day I don’t have to drive through the tiny French Quarter streets during Carnival season is a good day in my book.

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For those of you not in New Orleans, and who didn’t really follow the post-Katrina stories in 2005, above is a permanent representation of the the marks left on homes after they had been checked for inhabitants, bodies, pets, gas, electric, and so on. Every flooded home would have had a spray paint mark to indicate the findings and the date it was checked. This is the first I’ve seen where the homeowner has created a permanent installation where the spray paint once lay. Kenny Klein has a great blog with a graphic to explain the information detailed in these marks. He explains it much better than I ever could and his post on Katrina 6 Years Later is definitely worth a read/look through.

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I’m not sure why I’ve seen large street-side Cy Twombly dedications, but this is not the first one I’ve seen in New Orleans. Coming from Virginia, I have a special place for Cy Twombly in my art-y heart, and I love that he is loved worldwide.

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The two photos above are at the Clouet Gardens, a serene little space created out of a vacant lot – both beautifying the space and neighborhood and also creating a place for locals and passersby to sit and relax.

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photo(meowth)

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Thoughts and Inspiration for the New Year

design, design inspiration, guerilla art, outdoor art

This year has been crazy exciting for the Fried Green Family. We are settling in swimmingly in our new digs and our animals are loving this climate. The office is almost complete and the best news of all is that the great state of Louisiana has granted me permission to make Fried Green Design official! I got my papers and I’m ready to go! The website and facebook are in the works – products to come shortly – and big entrepreneurial things are on the horizon. 2012 was good to me, but I cannot wait for 2013! Look for all kinds of posters and thoughtfully designed stuff for your home in addition to affordable wedding invitations, print collateral and all kinds of announcement options. This will all be on top of the custom freelance work I already do. I’m so happy to finally be moving forward with so many things that have been in the works for so long!

All these new things have gotten me thinking:

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It’s time to be the change you seek. I found a great article today on twitter with 6 reasons to quit your job and follow your passions. I can’t believe I’m one of those people who quit their job now, but I’m so happy. And of course:

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You can only go up from here. I took both of those pictures on a short drive today and it’s like the universe is speaking to me. I also won three prizes in the last two weeks. I have no idea what I did to get on karma’s good side, but I hope I keep doing it!

And if those photos aren’t good enough for you to feel inspired in life and make you want to do something great, here’s a picture of a 75-degree Christmas Eve on the Mississippi. Coming from Virginia (where they got three inches of snow the same day) I had no idea it could be like this:

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With the new year almost upon us, I’m thinking of taking on one of those 365 projects – like design something every day, take a picture a day, pet your cat once a day and document it. I feel like this would be good discipline for me and probably a good creative outlet that won’t necessarily have anything to do with work. If any of you has a suggestion or some feedback on this idea, I’d love to hear it!

I just want to give a shout out to a logo I pass almost every day on my way to/from ZukaBaby. Brigade coffee truck has a lovely, simple logo that I find totally inspiring. Stick it on that cute little truck, and the brigade theme is complete. After fighting with simple code and web stuff over the last couple of days, I really appreciate their super simple website landing page too. I love it.

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And lastly, I want to document the Frostop before it’s not there anymore. I don’t know that it’s going anywhere, but it’s right down the street from my house and seems like something that could be there one day and bulldozed the next. I love it too.

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Happy New Year y’all!

RVA Mural Update

exhibitions, fine arts, guerilla art, painting

Awesome. Go to my flickr stream (below) for the rest. And check back for updates. I’ve become obsessed.

Pixel Pancho working in Manchester this morning. 1201 N. Hull Street.

Aryz down by the Farmer’s Market, 117 N. 17th Street

Jaz working over near Comfort, 212 W. Broad

Lelo, 414 W. Broad

ROA work at Bellytimber Tavern, 1501 W. Main

For the Love of Street Art

design, exhibitions, fine arts, painting

By now, I’m sure you’re all familiar with (and maybe sick of) my love of guerilla, deviant and fully-sanctioned street art. For a designer, and maker of generally very small things, I certainly do love an oversized piece of obtrusive art on a building or wall. Richmond must have felt me losing interest in our ebbing and flowing art scene, because we are about to play host to a group of muralists and street artists from all over the place – coming here to (re)decorate several blocks of our flood wall, now that our outdated, faded-out, historically-themed banners have come down. This will all be taking place near what has been recently dubbed the Shockoe Design District, below our main Downtown area.

To be totally honest, I’m not entirely clear on what the Shockoe Design District is. Is it a bunch of merchants that happen to be design-related? Is it a geographical location? Is it a series of events? Is it all of the above? What I do know is that the SDD has held two events called Shockoe Design Day, where the Virginia Street Gallery played host to talks, tastings, gallery shows and retail sales. Pretty cool idea, but I’d like a little more information. My understanding was that this most recent event was about American furniture, which was not enough to get me downtown in the rain on a Saturday! I have Google and a re-upholstery project at home, if I want to learn about furniture in the rain. Little info is currently on the SDD website or their Facebook page, so I’ve been scouring the local news for info, with not a lot of detail to be found. I need a vision statement and purpose, people. I’m too A Type (or just lazy?) for this “show up and find out” nonsense!

So anyway, back to the murals! I guess the event is being called the RVA Street Festival. The mural project is part of the G40 Art Summit being held in Richmond this year, that will also include a massive series of gallery shows “to benefit humanitarian missions around the world.” I’m going to check out as much of this stuff as time allows, mainly because it’s all so vague and I’m dying of curiosity! These events are all, theoretically, set to coincide with the official naming of Richmond’s Art District (or Arts District, or ArtBusiness District, depending on the source you reference…) Geographically, this area does not appear to overlap with the Shockoe Design District and/or the mural project. But the idea and sentiment do, for sure.

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Photo of muralist Mickael Broth work on 2nd and Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia

In other mostly-related news, I read that photographer Martha Cooper is in Richmond, though in true local news fashion, I have no idea what this means other than I might walk right past her in a bar or something. I read that she’s here for the G40, but is she exhibiting, photographing, speaking? If you’re not familiar, Ms. Cooper famously documented graffiti and graffiti artists in New York years ago. Cool stuff for sure.

The G40 website has the list of exhibits, shows and muralists and a schedule if you’re interested.

Fun Bits of Graphic Design

design, film art, guerilla art, outdoor art

Nothing too crazy to report over here in cold Virginny today, but I ran into this interesting article about a street artist in the Northeast whose work I’d love to run into. Stephen ESPO Powers is spreading his large-scale messages on the sides of buildings, often phrases overheard from people on the street. I wish Richmond street artists had some artistic integrity, creativity and, well, balls. Read the article on the Huffington Post here.

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Photo borrowed from the Huffington Post site. Photo credit Jaime Rojo. Don’t forget to cite your sources friends, or the man will go all SOPA/PIPA on you.

The second thing I wanted to mention is that we saw The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo a bit ago, and maybe this is old news, but the open credits were totally amazing! YouTube it, if that’s your thing. It’s out there, but in the spirit of anti-piracy I’ll encourage you to go see the film for yourself. 🙂

Happy 12th Night Y’all!

design, freelance, guerilla art, inspirational people, non-profit

We’re headed down to New Orleans bright and early in the morning! In the spirit of our trip, I wanted to share this article about guerilla doorway art – something that seems to be cropping up here and there, even in Richmond. Although I’m pretty sure the doorway art on West Broad was City-sanctioned and/or commissioned. Regardless… read the quicky article about the anonymous artists at Nola.com.

I have always loved guerilla art, but don’t fancy myself stealthy enough to actually go through the process on my own. I’m pretty sure I’d get busted immediately. C’est la vie. Sidetrack over. New Orleans has been a hub for guerilla art for some time now, but especially since the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, now attracting “big name” guerilla artists. Banksy blew through back in 2008, around the third anniversary of the disaster. More recently, Candy Chang has been community-projecting-it-up around town. I love how all-encompassing the New Orleans experience can be, yet it would be so easy to miss if you hide in the French Quarter the whole time.

Excitedface! More fun and design when we return!