• 2.27.15   Amy Taylor Gives a Peek for Nylon

    This far into the winter, sometimes you just want to break out, throw open the windows and let in some air! In the latest issue of Nylon, the story “Peep Show” opens a window in fashion that gives a unique look. Prop Stylist and Set Designer Amy Taylor brought in the themes of what can be seen through the apparel’s windows into the shoot’s sets. By using rolls of cut paper as 3D graphic backgrounds, Amy’s sets reflect what happening in the clothes. She created a fully immersive environment that allows the models to play in a tailor made space, bringing a surreal spin, and making the bold looks feel right at home. Whether the model is popping through a large hole, with her windowed Louis Vuitton bag and top, or stepping through a small window like an avant garde curtain, we see the dynamism these layers add to the looks they surround. We get a glimpse at the hidden, highlighting a reveal, and enticing an invitation to something a little more personal, a little more intimate. Check out the full story photographed by Aaron Richter.
  • 3.2.15   Jason Madara Brings Grace to the Unrefined

    A Civil War fortress may not be the first imagined location for a rug campaign, but when ABC Carpet & Home needed a setting for their latest project, that’s exactly what they chose. Fort Totten in Queens, New York still maintains a U.S. Army Reserve presence, and one of the most dynamic physical settings in the five boroughs. Jason Madara continues his collaboration with the interior giant, highlighting their new Sunclipse Collection, a series of rugs that draws inspiration from the relationship between the sun and the horizon. For the images it was all about harmony. On the outset, there were two very different elements that Jason had to bring together into seamless compositions. “We have these beautiful, warm, colorful delicate rugs, and then this hard, stone, green/grey weathered fort. How do you make those two things harmonious together?” asks Jason, rhetorically. “It’s a delicate balance of light and shadow and manipulating light. And making them basically about texture.” That texture is what leaps out of the images. Whether it’s the fine nap of the broad rugs, or the deep, rough façade of Fort Totten, the images are supremely touchable and communicate what is unique about these elements. Each element reflects the internal relationship inherent in each rug: the hard, unmovable horizon and the elegant arc of the sun. That confluence creates an otherworldly impression. “In reality these carpets would never be in this sort of environment, but in the end they look as if they belong there,” says Jason. “It’s as if this fort, this concrete structure, was made for these rugs." In these compositions, Jason has effectively suspended reality. Bringing together these two alien elements requires no small amount of wrestling. Many different sources and forms of light had to be carefully balanced to create that harmony. Fort Totten is from a bygone era, the sun playing on its stone windows and doorways like a jungle gym. Each opening was a new source of light that couldn’t be controlled, only managed. As the sun arced across the sky during the shoot, Jason had to constantly adjust and shift the compositions. “This was like race for time on some of these shots,” explains Jason. “So I have to override the sun, which was tough, I had to block it where I could and I had to use it where I could. So it was a constant manipulation of strobe versus sun.” The continual recalibration maintained the harmony he needed. The success in the creative direction of this campaign is thanks in large part to Angela Gruszka, ABC Carpet & Home’s Director of Marketing. Her conception and direction of the project guided Jason’s creative path, each of them working towards collaborative creative achievement.
  • 2.27.15   Bigshot Toyworks' Icons Confront Serious Issues

    Subversion is an art form. Taking popular images and finding something new to say about them requires a delicate balance between respecting the original message and finding the kernel of new truth. This is a balance that Bigshot Toyworks understands completely. They’re masters at the form of reinterpretation, having worked on some of the most recognizable characters in pop culture. “It’s always fun to play with those characters, whether it’s for the actual company to reimagine what the character looks like with a bit of a twist, like we’ve done with the Quik Rabbit, My Little Pony, My Pet Monster, developing them for an updated look,” says Klim Kozinevich from Bigshot Toyworks. “It’s always fun to play with that and we always try to have a sense of humor about it and not be gross and disrespectful to the brand.” At the end of the day, they want to maintain the integrity of these characters, borrowing them to make a statement, without changing their souls. For the latest cover of Bloomberg Business magazine, Bigshot Toyworks got to try their hand at Tony the Tiger. Kellogg’s Cereals has seen a dip in sales lately, and Bloomberg’s reporting found a trend between that dip in sales and consumer confidence in the brand. When buyers are more sensitive to particular ingredients (like GMO corn, high added sugars, and dietary preferences) they’ll avoid the products that haven’t adapted to the lifestyle changes they’re making. It’s time for Kellogg’s to catch up to consumer demands. The image Bigshot worked on went through a series of revisions to strike the right tone. They started with more aggressive imagery, finally arriving at an image of Tony the Tiger regarding a bowl of cereal: radioactive in its unappealing existence. It walks the line of framing a major issue without striking a death knell. It’s a gut check, but not a final blow. Tony sees the problem, now it’s time to adjust. Bloomberg was kind enough to show how this revision process proceeded, and we’ve included their visual representation of the development. For the cover of AdWeek, Bigshot got to subvert a whole other set of characters. Like Kellogg’s need to bridge their consumer gap, Hasbro’s My Little Pony empire is in the process of recalibrating to market pressures. Where Kellogg’s is dealing with content, Hasbro has to change delivery. Their current readjustments follow the passions and interests of their fans, which are constantly changing in the evolving market. As kids move away from the television and towards more mobile media, Hasbro’s more conventional media investments are not finding the success they need. So it’s time to change. Klim explains the illustration of these issues in their composition saying, “It’s a My Little Pony character absorbed in all different devices while not paying attention to the TV behind her.” Hasbro’s television network is facing the most serious trouble, and they have to follow their own successes to ensure their brand’s future.
  • 2.25.15   Leonello Calvetti's Crude Math

    Almost every major conflict from the last half century can be attributed to struggles over energy. Oil’s value has gone from monetary to cultural, representing all the baggage that’s been attached to the market and political engagements. Contemporary oil companies are the most profitable corporate endeavors in human history, and they're tied to a market swayed by the volume of natural resources, untethered from human desire. Because of new methods of extraction, the prices of oil have fallen by more than 50% in six months. It’s changing the way the industry, and the world, are doing their calculations on the future of energy. Fortune Magazine dove into how the economics surrounding oil have changed, and put the story on their cover for the International edition. “Oil’s New Math: How oil’s dramatic plunge has changed the energy equation” explains to the rest of us how the terrain has changed, what we should expect, and what remains in question. On thing is for certain: a lot of economic researchers are looking for answers in between graphs and calculators. It’s a lot of math.  To illustrate the ideas within the story, the magazine tapped Leonello Calvetti to create a compelling image speaking to the issues. Leonello was given a wide berth to experiment, using the theme of math and playing off of mathematical symbols. No stranger to using liquids, he gave Fortune a range of options and together they narrowed it down to using the multiplication symbol. “I suggested we use the multiplication symbol because I thought it was the most beautiful and interesting sign,” says Leonello. “And they liked it so we went ahead with it.” As an Italian illustrator, Leonello has illustrated oil before, but crude oil is a game all its own. He experimented with different techniques before arriving at the final composition. “I did some research and went online to see how crude oil looks more closely. It has some transparency only when it becomes very thin,” explains Leonello, which explains that color gradient you see in his illustration. Substances like crude oil are especially challenging to get exactly right. We’ve included some of Leonello’s sketches on the way to the final cover image so you can seehow texture and color changed as he and Fortune worked together.
  • 2.23.15   Polyester Gets Personal with Mass Mutual

    Insurance is about protecting those you love. We spend a great deal of our lives providing for those we care about and the idea of leaving them with nothing is unbearable for many. Life Insurance acts as a protection for the people we leave behind, along with other financial apparatus to provide for any other contingency. These are constructs created for financial security, but at heart are about the relationships and feelings for those whose futures they secure. For their latest campaign, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, decided to get at the heart of these issues to communicate all the different products and services they provide. The issues are serious, and deserve the respect of time and focus, getting at the heart of actual experiences. They created a campaign, in conjunction with Mullen, called “In Their Words.” Using audio culled from years of in-person interviews with actual Mass Mutual customers, Brian Rea created illustrations around these stories that Polyester Studio animated into narratives. To make sure the spots hit the right tone, Polyester had to balance between aesthetic and story telling. Since they were developing animated pieces with audio captured from real life, the calibration had to be right on. “The agency, Mullen, wanted to make sure the animation was pretty restrained and subtle and not over the top,” explains Jeremy Dimmock, Polyester co-founder. Bringing to life the illustrations of Brian Rea meant fusing styles into pieces that communicated these powerful ideas. “They’re all really emotional and some pretty heavy subjects, but I think they’re all handled really well, really deftly, and they all tell a really nice story,” says Bob Zagorskis, the other co-founder of Polyester. Polyester typically uses their talents on spots that are shorter in length and quicker in pacing. The Mass Mutual pieces, because of their emotionality, needed more room to breathe, so they constructed much longer narratives. “Doing commercials, and stuff like that, you don’t get a chance to work on pieces like this that are longer and more film-like,” says Bob. “I think that was most interesting, actually telling stories over an extended period of time.” Since the pieces are given the time to tell the whole story, we get involved in the teller’s life and experience. And we see how the products that Mass Mutual offers actually affects these peoples’ lives. By shirking traditional advertising, they actually tell the full and truest story, relying only on honesty and plain telling.
  • 2.26.15   Jonas Fredwall Karlsson Breaks Spain's Biggest Scandal

    In a fourteen-page exclusive with Vanity Fair España, Diego Torres tells the whole story of his place in the Spanish Nóos Institute scandal that is rocking the European country. Facing more than 16 years in prison for embezzlement, fraud, money laundering, and other charges for mishandling €6m in public funds, Torres isn’t willing to take it lying down. The results of the six hour interview are more than simple confession; Diego is letting it all hang out, implicating everyone involved, including the royal family. From payoffs, to cover ups, to major miscarriages of justice, Torres refuses to be the patsy in a scandal that is much bigger than his own part. So he took his story to Vanity Fair and it is the whole story. Breathing life into Torres’ account, populating all 14 pages, are portraits taken by photographer Jonas Fredwall Karlsson. Like any high stakes tell all, there was hesitance and a couple false starts. Jonas travelled to Barcelona twice before they were able to execute the shoot. In the time leading up to the project, Jonas and Vanity Fair planned out the shots as well as they could, expecting some understandable constraints. “This is a business guy. And there were ideas that I had in advance that the magazine wasn’t sure he’d be willing to do. Like taking off his jacket, unbuttoning his sleeves,” says Jonas. He even had the idea of shooting Torres reclining in the bathtub, but their expectation was: “He would never go down in the bathtub, absolutely not!” It turned out, all Jonas had to do was ask. In their preshoot meeting, Torres was understandably nervous. “This was a big deal for him,” explains Jonas. But when the time came to shoot, Torres arrived as a collaborator. “With digital you can take a picture and show the subject and clear it with them,” says Jonas. “Most of the time you can say, ‘Can we try to do a picture of you in the bathtub?’ And then they agree to do that and they never ask to see the picture.” That's precisely what Jonas offered Torres, but it turned out it wasn't necessary. Torres nestled into the tub and they got the shot. No stress, no muss. After all was said and done, Jonas was clear to say that this is his kind of project. “It’s the kind of story I really enjoy doing, because it’s a real story with a real interest and it’s something that’s important,” says Jonas. “It’s great to do it for a magazine like Vanity Fair because they let me have the luxury of spending time.” The long time relationship Jonas has with Vanity Fair means there’s mutual trust, a crucial element for such an impactful story.
  • 2.24.15   The Rhoads Capture Father John Misty for Rolling Stone

    Sarah and Chris Rhoads, of We Are The Rhoads, are huge music buffs as it is, so when Rolling Stone got in contact with them to shoot Josh Tillman of Father John Misty, they were excited to take on the project. A handful of his latest albums are in their vinyl rotation, and his unique sound is what has spoken to them. “His music has a folky, unique, psychedelic vibe, which we tend to gravitate to,” explains Sarah Rhoads. “It’s its own thing, which is really cool. His music has this sort of introspective intellectualism about it that's intriguing, and when you meet him he’s kind of exactly like that.” The Rhoads invited Josh up to their house to hang out and drink some coffee, shooting around their property and nearby Griffith Park. One of the most striking elements of their shoot with Josh is the solemn depth of the energy behind the images. That stillness is inherent to Josh, and his sensibilities. But that doesn’t mean that he and The Rhoads didn’t have any fun in their time together. Shooting in Los Angeles means that they attracted a little bit of attention, and Josh’s handling of the rubberneckers gave everyone a chuckle. “His personality type is the kind to go with it. So he would wave and introduce himself as Christian Bale,” says Chris laughing. “I think as much as he can be goofy, at the end of the day he’s actually quite intellectual, and a serious person.” By showing all aspects of himself to The Rhoads, they were able to reflect the full personality of the musician, pulling from all sides. That dichotomy is reflected most elegantly in the photo where Josh is leaning his forehead against a tree. “I asked him to hug the tree… and that’s what he did. So it’s perfect, I feel like,” says Sarah. It’s a moment that started off with a silly request that opened a window into a part of Josh you may not see otherwise. “For us, the most successful photoshoots are the ones where we can really get a strong portrait where we capture the heart and essence of who somebody is, and they’re vulnerable enough. I really feel like you can see into who he is.” A part of fame is remaining a half step away from vulnerability, keeping a distance between the self and the image. But it’s the photographer’s job to close that distance, which is what Chris and Sarah are always working towards. “I feel like the performer is kind of a mask that he sometimes wears, which I guess we all kind of do,” says Chris. “So building enough trust and comfort where he can relax and actually be himself. I think that’s what you see there.”
B&A Instafeed. Images From Our Artists & Community
  • Winter river surfing in Germany, these people need to move to California! #mytinyatlas @tinyatlasquarterly
    likes 17 // comments 1
  • ONLY 2 DAYS LEFT to visit my MUSEUM HOME at K11 Shanghai!  Say goodbye to the ENLIGHTENED CHOU! Will you come visit on the last day with me?
#k11 #k11shanghai #shanghaiK11 #shanghai #china #thedoorisalwaysopen #welcometomyhome #museum #enlightenedchou #garybaseman #baseman
    likes 278 // comments 3
  • My little friend Timon made me a farewell drawing. It
    likes 84 // comments 1
  • Doodle 😀 #doodle#art#artist#doodleart#kid#nursey#childrensbook#book#illustration#illustrator#artist#pink#girl#hello
    likes 59 // comments 2
  • One of my new pairs of bins. #dope #normcore #DJharvey
    likes 35 // comments 3
  • With my other other-half at the Duomo last night. Ciao Milano, always happy to come and happy to go!!
    likes 47 // comments
  • "What A Life #2" from the "What A Life" series (2014). Bedtime now, until tomorrow! Sweet dreams 💤💤 #tamartakesover #gsinstatakeover @tamarlevine ⭐️
    likes 11 // comments
  • Winding through Tularosa, New Mexico with these two photographers, goofballs, lovebirds and great friends. #mytinyatlas of @philipeastman and @portablesera image @ernathan
    likes 1438 // comments 18
  • Finding vintage treasures of this place outside of town. Looks about the same, different cars down there. White Sands National Monument. #mytinyatlas image @ernathan
    likes 759 // comments 5
  • Finding out what all the fuss is about out here in White Sands National Monument, New Mexico with a #TevaUpgrade on our feet for exploring. Here is the stunning (inside and out) @portablesera helping us create a feature for our upcoming EARTH issue. @teva #mytinyatlas image @ernathan
    likes 914 // comments 11
  • Congratulations to our March contest winner, @betsypetersen for her awesome product shot! A baby sleeve of #picattoo and chubby fingers? We are in love!

Remember, we are picking winners EVERY month from those who show us their INK361 products, tagged with either #picattoo, #fastbook, or #printwithink361. Winners get 12 months of prizes!
    likes 2432 // comments 13
  • Where it always begins or has begun #earinn @dana_gallagher
    likes 210 // comments 5
  • My favorite frupple left New York but gave me the cutest C ring to match her M ring. Safe travels red! @createdbyredm
    likes 12 // comments
  • Me and Jonathan Levine @ his 10th. Anniversary party #party #jonathanlevine #art
    likes 30 // comments 3
  • Staying home for a moment. Here a peek into the simple joys (including a moment to reflect by yourself) at home with @aud_bod and her lovely baby. #mytinyatlas (tiny!)
    likes 1425 // comments 37
  • #volare #italian #oldschool #village #nyc
    likes 271 // comments 12
  • Toby wanted TAIWANESE FOOD for dinner and ate at Hao ji!
Have you ever been?
#taipei #taiwan #dinner #toby #tobylovesyou #tobystravels #garybaseman #baseman
    likes 848 // comments 3
  • Dinner for one #bar #volare #nyc #village #oldschool #italian
    likes 189 // comments 1
  • The WINNER of our bag giveaway with @alitedesigns is @lslindell -thank you for sharing what is in your bag for a road-trip through the Deep South. Your entry was chosen by Alite
    likes 1026 // comments 17
  • Best decoupage bar in NYC #volare #oldschool #italian
    likes 178 // comments
  • Fun games strike a balance between decisions and time...
    likes 75 // comments 5
  • Well overdue #earinn #blackandtan #guinness #beer
    likes 193 // comments 6
  • Ralf Brueck‘s images transform daily life into a sci-fi wonderland. Distorted shapes and glitches disrupt otherwise normal landscapes, making it easy to imagine paranormal activity or a good old-fashioned beaming up. In his series Dekonstruktion and Distortion, Brueck brings the unnatural closer to home. More at WIRED.com. (📷 Ralf Brueck)
    likes 2055 // comments 17
  • Maybe work out what your #dream is before you start #chasing it... // Tags: #advice #futura #fortunecookie #type #typography #typographic #typespire #monochrome #sansserif #black #white #millenials
    likes 58 // comments 2
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