Viewing Archive ~ April, 2012

Monday Monday Monday, how you continue to inspire me. This week, I have a special talented friend that I’d like to introduce to everyone, meet Michele Tenki. Michele and myself attended the Ontario College of Art & Design back in the day, we’ve known eachother for quite a while now. Asides from being an extremely talented individual, Tenki, much like myself has a passion for Design which she has chosen to pursue as a career (and is doing quite well for herself for that matter). Her work continues to inspire me whenever I’m exposed to it, her website also is fresh and just a pleasure to visit every now and then. Enjoy Tenki!

I: What’s the earliest memory of a creative activity you did?

M: Not going to lie, drawing on my bedroom wall. I had a decorative rug that acted as a headboard and I drew underneath it so my parents couldn’t see it. Another early creative experience was creating a logo. I was twelve and my dad let me design it for his company, an incredible gesture that I didn’t fully appreciate at that age. Looking back it’s nothing to brag about, but I do admire it for its originality and that it was hand drawn.

I: If you weren’t doing what you do right now, what would you be doing?

M: I can’t think of anything else I would rather do. I love it. People have told me that the passion will fade over time, but I refuse to believe this, in fact it’s only getting stronger. There’s a lot to learn.

I: Inspiration, who? what? where?

M: Getting out of the house and going for a walk. Inspiration is easy to find on the web but it’s not tangible. It’s a different visceral experience – a more rewarding one – when physically finding something you least expect.

I: Share any of piece your work, recent or old and talk about it.

M: 5 months ago I was asked to art direct The Fourth Period – a hockey lifestyle magazine. I knew nothing of hockey and had never designed a magazine. It’s been something I’ve always wanted to do and wasn’t going to let fear get in the way. I detached myself from the worst possible outcome and dove right in. It’s been a humbling experience and a constant work in progress.

I: Name 5 websites that you check often.

M: When I get ready in the morning I try to listen to a talk from Ted Talks. It starts the day of right and motivates me to make the day count.

When I need a good kick in the ass to get some work done I check out UnderConsideration.

When I need to stay on top of web design trends I visit Siteinspire.

DesignTaxi is good for afternoon lulls.

And Google Analytics is a lot of fun to track activity (or lack of activity) on my website. Especially the ‘Real-Time’ tool. It’s insane what google is up to these days.

Monday is here people, time for some inspiration courtesy of a talented young fella. I recently came across his work online, meet  Ricky Linn. A graphic design student at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Ricky self describes himself as “I like to think of myself as a robot simply for the fact that I wish to trick my brain into thinking that I do not require sleep. I love anything and everything that is mid-century design and my work is incredibly influenced by the masters that have come before us, while infusing my own personality into the work I create. I freelance projects on the side to pay the rent and in my rare free time try to remember that I’m still relatively young and try to do young people related things.”

I: What’s the earliest memory of a creative activity you did?

R: I wish I could say that I was one of those kids who had always been drawing since I was little but that is not the case. Growing up, my first passion were my Lego sets. I would spend hours and hours building buildings and towns and cities with my legos and because of that my mom always kind of thought I would end up as an architect. Later in elementary school my friend and I would create adventure story books where we took turns drawing and writing pages of our stories. We amassed quite a collection of those little books. They were all pretty much just stick figures and the sort but I remember it being really fun so I thought I might be an illustrator or comic book artist. After that art kind of took a back seat though for a long time until near the end of high school where I discovered graphic design and fell in love with it.

I: If you weren’t doing what you do right now, what would you be doing?

R: Probably something in social sciences. Before I discovered graphic design I was convinced I would go into either anthropology or history. In high school I honestly enjoyed reading history textbooks and atlases and trying to memorize where all the different countries were. I also have a great fascination with nature and wildlife. As a kid my favorite shows would always be the nature documentaries and I just sat there amazed at the world and the worlds beyond us.

I: Inspiration, who? what? where?

R: Last summer I took an Introduction to Modernism course and was incredibly lucky to have a great instructor teaching it. She really opened my mind to the incredibly rich history of early to mid-century graphic design. Given my general interest in history and graphic design, I fell absolutely in love with all of it. I was blown away by how those designs, crafted over fifty years prior without the aid of any computers, were able to stand the test of time and look as contemporary as they do today. Suprematism, Constructivism, Minimalism, De Stijl, Bauhaus, etc. All these schools of thought have incredible influence on my style of work. The work of Alvin Lustig, McKnight Kauffer, and El Lissitsky, to name just a few, are also incredible inspirations.

Before I took that course I had been emulating those styles into my work simply because I liked the way it looked, having seen some random bits of work online from Ffffound and such, not knowing who had done it or why. But now I understand why I like it and what it means to create such work, and it pushes me to follow in their footsteps.

Then there are of course all the contemporary designers who are creating great work today whom I like to call my design heroes: Frank Chimero, Mikey Burton, Richard Perez, Evan Stremke, Mark Weaver, Ty Wilkins, Tim Boelaars, Brent Couchman, Scott Hill, Mike Lemanski, the pair at Always with Honor and Eight Hour Day, the list is endless. As students we are in no short supply of heroes to choose from.

I: Share any of piece your work, recent or old and talk about it.

R: The Been Everywhere project is a collaboration project started by Adrian Walsh that invites 92 different designers to commemorate a location that appears in the song “I’ve Been Everywhere” One of the locations mentioned in the song was Pasadena, California where I go to school right now so it was only natural that I represented the city. I completed this one a little less than a month ago. I have a great love and hate relationship with Pasadena. On the one hand it is a great place to live and work but on the other it is also a constant reminder of all the hard work and sacrifices I’ve had to make since coming here.

I: Name 5 websites that you check often.


4月の中旬を過ぎた頃、本当に素晴らしい「ツネオカ ジュンイチ」という日本人アーティストに会った。私は、彼が自身の最新の作品と一緒に一通のメールを私に送ってくれていたことに気が付いた。私はすぐに彼の独特なテクニックとスタイルに引きつけられ、即座に彼のウェッブサイトを貪り食うように読んだ。私は、彼がどんな人物なのか知るためには対談をもつべきだ、とその時思った。対談をすると、彼は、親切で、礼儀正しく、非常に才能のある人物だとわかった。わたしは とても うれしい。

Halfway through April and time to meet a really inspiring soul, Japanese artist Junichi Tsuneoka. I came across Junichi’s work through a casual email he sent my way sharing some of his latest works of art. I was instantly captured by his unique technique and style that I immediately went to devour the content on his website for more inspiration, I knew at that point and time, that I had to have a conversation with him and peer into his mind! In speaking with him, I found a kind, polite and extremely talented individual.

I: 記憶に残る中で、あなたの一番最初の創作活動はなんですか?
What’s the earliest memory of a creative activity you did?

J:  実際に覚えている訳ではないのですが2歳ぐらいのときに、レゴブロックで、何かを組み立てる代わりに床にブロックを並べて絵を作っていた写真が残っています。

I actually barely remember this but there is a photo of me when I was about 2, I was playing with LEGO blocks. I wasn’t building anything, but instead I was using those blocks as if they were paint. I was laying out those blocks on the floor to create a picture. I probably didn’t know what I was supposed to with the blocks but seems like I already knew how to make an image.

I: もし、今とは違うことをしているとしたら、何をしていますか?
If you weren’t doing what you do right now, what would you be doing?

J: それでもやはり何か創造性のある仕事をしていると思います。

I would be a writer of some sort. Probably writing some stories. Still something creative.

I: あなたのインスピレーションは誰から、何から、どこから?
Inspiration, who? what? where?

J:  一番影響を受けているのは浮世絵だと思います。いろんな作家さんを好きになるのですが、ずっと昔から一貫して好きなのは浮世絵の国芳です。個人的には国芳の作品が一番ダイナミックな感じがするので特に好きです。

My biggest inspiration of all time is old Japanese wood block print (uki yo-e). My favorite is Kuniyoshi. Personally his work shows dynamics and bold compositions the most out of all the other
uki yo-e artists.

I: 最近でも昔でも少しでいいので、あなたの作品をについて何か話をしてもらえませんか?
Share any of piece your work, recent or old and talk about it.

J: ちょうど今年は辰年だということで、この作品を紹介したいと思います。今回は新しい手法を取り入れてみました。普通であれば作品は全てコンピューターで処理するのですが、このデザインは最初にレーザーで竹の板に彫ってもらい、それを木版として、和紙に印刷しました。結果、デジタルと伝統的な手法の面白い組み合わせの作品になったと思います。手彫りでは不可能な細かい線や、模様も、ベクターとレーザーのテクノロジーにより可能になりました。さらにそれを和紙に木版することにより、掠れ具合等デジタルでは不可能な表現ができました。元々竹を材料に非常に繊細な製品を作るクライエントがあったのですが、彼らのプロダクトからインスピレーションを受けました。竹というのは環境にも優しいのも利点だと思います。

Since 2012 is year of the dragon, I would like to show you this piece. I tried something new here. I usually create everything in digital, but I have a laser engraving company (GROVE) engrave this design onto a bamboo plate. Then I took the plate to make wood block print onto rice paper. As a result, it’s a great collaboration between traditional art and digital art. It is really hard to engrave by hand with this much detail, but vector and laser technology made it possible. At the same time, by printing on rice paper and using bamboo block as a printing medium, it created random but beautiful texture on the positive areas which would be very flat if it’s done solely in digital. Grove has been my client for a while and they make fine bamboo products and that really inspired me to do this piece.

I: あなたが、よくチェックするウェッブサイトの名前を5つあげてください。
Name 5 websites that you check often.


Monday morning, time to get inspired by someone who does it differently, meet installation artist Brian Kersbergen AKA ROYALSTEEZ. I met Brian in the countryside town of Breda, The Netherlands. We were part of a joint exhibit titled “Profilers” at gallery KOP. We had dinner together and enjoyed a couple cool chats, asides from being a very interesting and inspiring individual, I admire the way Brian thinks and views the world. Brian always manages to challenge our perceptions on what we deem as appropriate or acceptable. Which I think is much needed in this day and age of political correctness.

I: What’s the earliest memory of a creative activity you did?

R: At the age of 7 I regularly went to school dressing myself up as a clown. After my teacher start complaining that the other kids in class had problems concentrating on their work my mom hide her makeup.

I: If you weren’t doing what you do right now, what would you be doing?

R: I guess a salesman. I am very good in selling stuff you really don’t need. Or a teacher. Witch is almost the same. (PS. I really wanted to be a pig because they can have a 30 minute long orgasm, but in your question you did not say ‘anything you like’ and I guess wanting to be an animal would be kinda silly so…)

I: Inspiration, who? what? where?

R: Dogs are a big source of inspiration. As well the philosophical side of dog-anthropology as well the political side. And chess. When I play chess I make notes of the moves of my opponent. Thousands of pages filled with strategies. I use these to figure stuff out. Sometimes I read the notes of a game I’ve played years ago and I get very emotional. Like I just read a persons life story… very heavy. And sometimes I hear music too. And when I hear this music I start to draw with my eyes closed. I try to manifest the tones on paper. Strangely all the drawing I have made look like eggplants. This must mean something I haven’t figure out yet.

I: Share any of piece your work, recent or old and talk about it.

R: I have a strange fascination with the swasafix. And after making this piece I wanted to destroy it. I changed my mind a thousand times, everyday. The swasafix is pure fear; it’s an image of terrible pain. It even hurts to pronounce its name. And yet the symbol has conquered my memory, it lives in my head, even if it remains taboo. The swasafix is everywhere, haunting the specter of history; and yet it’s unmentionable, irreproducible, wrapped in a blanket of silence. I’m not trying to offend anyone. I don’t want to raise a new conflict or create some publicity; I would just like that image to become a territory for negotiation or a test of our psychoses.

I: Name 5 websites that you check often.

Cake Farts (NSFW)
Daily Puppy
E! online
& My Bank Account.

Time for another “late monday afternoon” edition of obsession sessions from Chile, meet Tomas Vergara. I recently found out about  this amazing Chileans’ work through the awesome website Devour. Tomas, left his day-time job to follow his dream, and produce one heck-uv-an amazing short 3d animated film. Single-handedly. The film is one of the coolest, most inspiring indie animated films I’ve seen in quite a while. Recently, I was able to take a look into the mind of this talented young man.

I: What’s the earliest memory of a creative activity you did?

T: When I was a kid I used to draw cars. I had notebooks full of car designs. The main rule was to make original brands and models. It had to be something that didn’t exist. Obviously, at that age I didn’t think about originality or such things. Just made more sense to make stuff that did not exist.

I: If you weren’t doing what you do right now, what would you be doing?

T: I’d probably be doing film scores, racing on rally cars or drifting.

I: Inspiration, who? what? where?

T: Inspiration. Marketing gurus like Seth Godin, or big entrepeneurs like Steve Jobs. Filmmakers like Nolan or Spielberg. Sounds a bit obvious, but it is really inspiring to me how they started and how they are doing now. Makes everything feel so much closer. The fact that they share all their knowledge is very inspiring to me too.

I: Share any of piece your work, recent or old and talk about it.

T: I left my job because I wanted to make cool stuff, but we were producing crap and the people that owned it did not seem to care. Extremely short deadlines and terrible concepts from the agency. It was a very uninspiring work environment. There was, however, the money thing. Whatever you want to do, you need that. So I got in campaign of saving money, cut all expenses, and sell all the stuff that didn’t give me money, like my tv or my ps3. The short film was all that mattered.

After a few months, I left the job. If I was to make something that ambitious with a very tiny budget, I needed a place where I could stay isolated without any distraction. Went about 500 miles to the south, because it is cheap and a lot more inspiring to work. Rented a cabin in the woods, and there I stayed for the next 6 months.

There was some cool stuff to the project too, not all related to it, but to the whole experience.

  • Learned to juggle clubs.
  • Learned to animate
  • Learned to rig a character
  • Did read about 14 books, and I’m not a reader.
  • Dropped about 60 pounds, I was overweight.
  • At a given moment, I slept 5 hours a day for 3 weeks straight. My break was to have lunch, which I gave exactly 7 minutes. One day, I forgot to sleep and eat for about 30 hours. I almost pass out, and then got scared. If something happend, nobody would be there to know. Eventually I realized all that was counter productive.
  • 40+ Blue Screens of Death
  • 15+ light cuts (a lot of storms around there)
  • 38 different stories written to produce in the future.
  • 269 Shots
  • 19,000+ Rendered frames
  • Started to render in parallel 24/7 after 3 months of production, in the very same machine I was working on. Used 5 cores for that and worked with the 1 left.

I: Name 5 websites that you check often.


Hi, I'm Ibraheem Youssef
I'm a Creative,
currently based in Toronto.

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