• 9.30.15   Shotopop Gets Creative with Clarks' Colorful History

    Clarks’ latest ad campaign is not what you would expect from a shoe company that has been around for almost two hundred years. The dynamic imagery created by Shotopop, in partnership with McFaul + Day, is the result of unprecedented exploration and research on the other side of an open creative relationship between the creative group and the shoe company. “They wanted to do a kind of unconventional visual for these three iconic shoes,” explains Casper Franken of Shotopop. “There was almost no brief at all, they wanted to kind of make something that’s physical and they wanted to show the history of the shoes in doing this.” The Shotopop team headed to the Clarks headquarters and spent a significant amount of time with the Clarks archivists to learn everything they could about the brand’s history, anything that would help them create some amazing visuals. “We found out some really interesting things that we didn’t know about the shoes, where they came from, the history, the people that made them, what influenced and inspired them,” Casper explains. “We took this information back with us and built a world around each shoe that was influenced by the history and the social context of that shoe.” They used every tiny bit of information to inform the final imagery that was a combination of paper craft and photography.  Casper was excited to share with us some of the things he learned that he and the Shotopop team incorporated into the final compositions. One of the most surprising things they learned was about the history of the Wallabee and how it found some unexpected support in a market that Clarks didn’t target at first. “When the shoes came out not much happened until sometime in the 1980s. The New York hip hop scene started wearing the shoes and they caught on incredibly fast,” says Casper. “It just became a hip hop icon.” That’s why you’ll see iconography of both New York and hip hop in the image for the Wallabee, as well as some Native American inspiration that helped to inspire the shoe in the first place. Each image contains strange little additions that Casper says not everyone is going to understand but they’re all rooted in Clarks’ history. One of the more seemingly eclectic images is the Desert Boot that includes, among other things, a sand castle, a car’s gas pedal, and a key. But, as Casper explains, this is all a part of the shoes’ history. “Nathan Clark, a lover of fast cars, was kind of the crazy brother who invented the Desert Boot and he had this weird thing where he always stashed things away wherever he went,” says Casper. “He was a world traveler, and he had little boxes in every country, in every place of the world where he would go. That’s why we put a little key in the pedal there.”  The exploration that Clarks afforded Shotopop made this project uniquely satisfying for the team. It brought them an exceptional and rich level of creative fulfillment. “It’s rare to have a project that’s so open where you can do so much research and kind of get to know the brand so well, especially when it’s a brand like Clarks that has such a colorful history,” says Casper. “It was a lot of fun to make and to explore.” The eclectic nature of each image is what’s so compelling about them, ever more compelling to know its all based on the true history of the historic brand.
  • 10.2.15   Donald Trump's Stratospheric Ambitions by Stan Chow and Jamie Chung for The New York Times Magazine

    Donald Trump has captivated the political sphere as we've watched this real-estate-mogul-turned-reality-TV-star turn into something that looks like a politician. His rise has been quick and high but almost two months into this strange story his future seems unknown. The New York Times Magazine needed to encapsulate the entire essence of this remarkable story in a visual metaphor for this week's issue. They came up with a balloon and in a bit of artistic serendipity had illustrator Stan Chow and photographer Jamie Chung collaborate on the final image, but not directly. The first step was to get Stan's take on Donald Trump. Stan has an unofficial policy that he won't immortalize anyone in portrait unless he likes them, and he doesn't like Donald Trump. But considering the man has become a national phenomenon (and international phenomenon, as Stan is from the UK), it was just a matter of time before Stan had to put pen to paper. Fitting the image on the balloon presented a challenge, but with a bunch of testing, and communication with the magazine’s Deputy Art Director Jason Sfetko, they were able to get a perfect fit. For Stan, this project was liberating and inspiring because his work is usually needed in 2D. “It gave me more ideas of what I can do in the future,” Stan says. “I’ve never thought out of the box like that, and to actually see that done makes me think about more possibilities of how I can actually use my work.” Once they solved how Stan's illustration was going to fit on the balloon the challenge went to Jaime Chung to capture the final image. The problem with these balloons, as Jamie tells it, was buoyancy. Helium is a finite resource and so providers have to mix it with other gasses that are not as strong. The illustration decal on the balloon affected the helium's ability to hold the balloon aloft with added weight so Jamie had to simulate the floating. It ended up being to their benefit because it offered the control Jamie needed to show off the balloon’s major asset. “It’s kind of really about showcasing the illustration,” Jamie explains. “I’m just trying to give it a little more dimensionality.” “It’s funny how such subtle things can change the meaning of something,” says Gail Bichler, Design Director of The New York Times Magazine, discussing how they framed the balloon for the cover. “We tried a lot of different positions, whether it would be cropped off the page, or sinking down a little bit, or rising up… All these things have a subtle meaning, so we experimented a lot.” They finally arrived at the image on the cover that Gail says they chose because it’s pretty open to interpretation. What do you see?
  • 10.1.15   Steven Laxton and the NFL's Heroes for Bose

    When the NFL partnered with Bose last year, it represented an interesting shift in the way that America’s largest sport listened to music. It was a huge move on a huge stage, and who better than Bernstein & Andriulli newcomer Steven Laxton to help tell the story of this new partnership? For their latest campaign, Steven teamed up with Bose and the NFL to show off Bose’s new line of products with their spokesmen Russell Wilson and JJ Watt. "We wanted these images to look three dimensional with the Bose product coming towards the lens,” Steven explains. “There was actually quite a bit of lighting involved to create this depth of field. We had to shoot it in stages to get the hands and bodies of the athletes, and the product all together.” It presented a fantastic technical challenge that Steven and his team were ready to tackle. These images are huge technological challenges, but JJ and Russell are busy guys and only had a limited amount of time. So Steven and his team spent a significant amount of time prepping and testing their set ups so that when the players arrived on set there wouldn't be any surprises and they could be super efficient and let the players get comfortable on set. As Steven explains, their challenge was "making sure it was a well oiled machine before they arrived so we could get those images.” Time was limited so they arranged the entire process to maximize every moment with Russell and JJ, and it paid off. All of Steven's work has an epic, heightened energy to it that translated perfectly to a project that featured the stars of America's biggest sport. "Most pictures I take I try to make really dynamic and larger than life. For this project the shots needed to be heroic, they're almost like statues,” Steven says. “These are big characters that people watch every weekend. There's a hero-like status that football players are given.” Steven served up that status, pairing them with Bose products, giving us the stars we watch every weekend in the way we imagine them to be. A heroic challenge in its own right.
  • 9.25.15   Elisa Flowers Plays with Paper Dolls

    Photographer GL Wood likes to play, especially with convention. Most notably, perhaps, GL's vision has captured Nicki Minaj, whose legs were extended across her cover art for Pink Friday, and in countless magazines. It is exaggerations like this that allow him to give an impression of the world that is beyond what we see with just our eyes, presenting a different glass we can take on and shape our experiences. In his latest project, Paper Dolls, GL Wood examines the newest Fall / Winter 2015 looks in Women's fashion with the help of makeup artist Elisa Flowers. The experience is playful; the final presentation shows real collages of pieces from Balenciaga, Balmain, Alexander McQueen, Valentino, and many more on top of a single model, as if she were a paper doll. It is an examination of how the viewer of a magazine sees themselves in the fashions off the page. The model poses playfully, and exaggeratedly, showing off the inherent humor of the shoot. She reminds us that in some ways, this is a game. Blue and green eyeshadows and a bold red lip are reminiscent of the painted on colors of dolls freshly removed from their packages. With her tongue placed firmly inside a well rouged cheek, we are given the opportunity for a laugh, gazing upon fashion that is normally so out of reach but has suddenly been made immediately accessible. It is the game that disarms the viewer, the whimsy that reminds us that this is here for us. It allows us to enjoy the experience, even if we'll never have the clothes beyond playing with them as paper dolls. The editorial is in the August issue of Life Style, a Chinese magazine with an obvious eye towards fashion.
  • 9.22.15   Sawdust Covers Esquire's 1000th Issue

    Few names in publishing command the same awe and respect as Esquire Magazine. The publication has been in print for decades, and October 2015 marks their 1000th issue, a distinction almost no magazines earn. To mark 1000 issues, Esquire released a very special issue as well as doing something unprecedented: they are now offering their entire archive online for anyone who wants to see it. To celebrate this magnanimous step while paying homage to their history, Esquire teamed up with creative studio Sawdust for the cover of the 1000th issue and surrounding media.  Esquire has been at the forefront of timeless culture all this time with covers and stories that have come to define almost every era since they first started running in 1933, something that the Sawdust team had the front of their minds when they got down to work. “We are big admirers of Esquire, of course, such talented people have worked with them over the years and graced the covers,” says Rob Gonzalez of Sawdust. “This was a great privilege.” They made sure to bring Esquire a collection of different ideas for Esquire to choose from, and the magazine was so taken with the work that they decided to include every design. “The most satisfying part of this project was when we presented three different ideas for the cover, they liked them all so much that they ended up using everything, throughout different parts of the magazine,” says Rob. “We’re still pinching ourselves.”  Sawdust designed two bespoke compositions of the number 1000 for the magazine that references their long history. Like a jump back to the 1930s, drawing references to graphic Bauhaus heritage and the weights of design from a pre-World War II era, the imagery is at once nostalgic and prescient, creating imagery that is as attractive now as it is rooted in history. “At the forefront of our minds was being respectful of the heritage and simply the amount of time that needs to pass in order to allow for 1000 issues of a magazine to be made,” explains Rob. “All those people that have contributed over the years… It was about finding something that aesthetically felt classic yet modern, timeless yet current.” To get the full experience, pick up Esquires 1000th issue, on stands now, or click through to their website and see their entire archive with the lead in by Sawdust.
  • 9.29.15   Mark Hunter Exceeds Wildfox's New Demands

    We don’t have to tell you that Mark Hunter has been collaborating with Wildfox for years. Their working relationship goes far back to the beginning of the brand and Mark’s own career, but each have grown independently, thanks in part to how they’ve grown together. Wildfox’s latest growth in the fashion world is their new fragrance that is licensed and managed by Elizabeth Arden, the beauty heavyweight. In order to keep a consistent look with the rest of Wildfox’s visual identity, having Mark Hunter shoot the campaign was a no brainer, but because it was a totally different kind of product it was going to be a totally different kind of shoot. Typically, when Mark teams up with Wildfox they keep everything super agile so that they can create a library of imagery for Wildfox to build a whole world around the visual language. But for Elizabeth Arden there were certain tones they had to hit and images they needed to capture, so Mark blended his own relaxed style into the format that Elizabeth Arden required. “The whole approach of this was a bit different,” says Mark. “The production was a lot bigger, there were a lot more people on set. They had a lot of live animals on set from snakes to fancy birds and other exotic things to sort of elevate the shoot. So there was a lot going on.” Despite all the extra moving pieces, Mark was still able to do exactly what he needed to do without losing a hint of his signature energy and style. The blend ended up being seamless, creating the continuity between Elizabeth Arden’s different expectations and the relationship that Mark and Wildfox have nourished over the years.  “Everyone on the Arden team was super happy with the final images,” says Mark. “This is just the beginning of the launch, so these images are going to be seen a lot in more mass than any of the previous Wildfox campaigns. There will be displays in all the department stores, there’s a print campaign, and there’s billboards going up as we speak. So it’s going to have a bigger reach, which is definitely exciting.” As their relationship grows, so does the work they do together and no one could be happier with the results.
  • 9.28.15   Pete Fowler Tackles Europe's Refugee Crisis in Comic Form

    Art has the ability to cut to the center of an issue that is difficult to discuss. Visual communication can say things directly to the heart of the viewer in the way that news reports and articles cannot. A direct emotional line from one human to another speaks to these questions with immediacy and passion, begging response that could ultimately contribute to the betterment of global problems. When Pete Fowler was invited to be a part of Off Life's ongoing weekly YELLOW comic series, he had the opportunity draw upon any number of current events, but decided to focus on Europe’s current situation with their incredible influx of refugees. “My work rarely touches on real world events and situations,” Pete told Off Life. “Although I have a very keen interest in what’s going on, I tend to draw mostly from my imagination. But recently I’ve been looking for some way to respond, as a human, to what’s going on around us. You can’t get away from the mess that’s being made.” Pete saw an opportunity to do his part, to put it in a visual context that could inspire others to at least pay attention, maybe even get involved.  It’s no question that the refugee situation in Europe is at a crisis and ignoring it isn’t going to make it go away. Closed borders, riots, and overly aggressive policing was particularly affecting to Pete as he watched it escalate and boil over. The tension keeping the disaster from being solved is between concerned governments, hesitant populations, and split constituencies. Obviously it wasn’t happening in his literal backyard, but with the immediacy that social media and the news cycle offers, it feels like it is. “It’s with this in mind that I approached this illustration,” Pete explains. “With a purely human and emotional take on our fellow human’s situations and struggles, I wanted to portray the situation, perhaps sitting to one side of the fence a little, I must admit.” The emotions in the piece are clearly evident. The title for his piece is a direct line to Pete’s personal experience of witnessing the global humanitarian struggle. “My initial thoughts when watching the story unfold via Twitter and news sites was ‘this shouldn’t be happening’. I don’t think I can really say more than that to be honest, so let’s call this piece: This Shouldn’t Be Happening.” Sometimes art has the power to change the way we think about issues that are as important as this one. Perhaps this piece can help shift the way you see the world. Check out Pete Fowler's newly updated portfolio here.
B&A Instafeed
  • .@jasonmadarastudio
    likes 34 // comments
  • No matter where you are, make a home there. Animation by @found_studio and @bannecker.
    likes 81 // comments 4
  • @joeyldotcom is showing teasers of his upcoming @lavazzaofficial calendar over on his Instagram. Check it!
    likes 42 // comments 1
  • Keep beating. Paper craft by @kylejbean.
    likes 92 // comments
  • Two things about balloons: they rise, and then they... P💥P. The full story on this incredible cover by @stan_chow and @jamiechungphoto coming later this week. Stay tuned!
    likes 93 // comments 1
  • Hey Barbie! Over here! Over here! GIF by @jamiechungphoto, recently seen on the homepage of @nytimes.
    likes 36 // comments 2
  • Duck, duck, goose? CGI by @the_operators.
    likes 96 // comments 1
  • Happy First Day of Fall! Chris and Sarah Rhoads of @wearetherhoads keep it fresh and fun even as the weather gets cooler. 😎 #fall
    likes 63 // comments
  • @arsthanea helps usher in the new 11 Bit Studios game "This War of Mine: The Little Ones" with this teaser showing that kids will always be kids, even in war.
    likes 41 // comments
  • @platon
    likes 55 // comments
  • Celebrate every win like a touchdown! GIF by @madebyradio.
    likes 92 // comments
  • It was @megan_massacre
    likes 61 // comments 1
  • Did you see that four of our illustrators have created work for @chipotlemexicangrill this season? Take a bite out of @davehomerdraws, @inkymole, @mrahayes, or Harriet Russell!
    likes 31 // comments
  • The veritable @bhopdaalien is our #ManCrushMonday, photographed here by @steven_laxton. #mcm
    likes 39 // comments 2
  • Walking out of the office on #friday like this illustration by @yukoart. #tgif
    likes 82 // comments 1
  • Sometimes you
    likes 55 // comments
  • Our #WomanCrushWednesday is @jessiann_gravel with her hubby @chico_lachowski in @tomcorbettnyc
    likes 75 // comments
  • The days are already starting to get shorter, but rather than mourn the summer we can delight in seeing the world change around us. @stephenwilkes shows us that change so efficiently in this Day To Night photograph from Yosemite.
    likes 56 // comments
  • How to make the Tuesday after Labor Day work. This piece by @kylejbean is very much the way. #morning #goodmorning #coffee #morningmotivation
    likes 91 // comments 6
  • This weekend we celebrate the hard working men and women of the United States. @dobenatwork
    likes 47 // comments 1
  • Wondering what our #WhaleCrushWednesday is? This wonderous white whale whistfully winding in the wake of his wader. Illustrated by @chrisbuzelli
    likes 136 // comments 1
  • Who is the real Stephen Colbert? @platon sought to answer that question on the latest cover of @time. #transformationtuesday
    likes 65 // comments
  • @mrcraigward got typographic with ferrofluid. Details on our blog.
    likes 81 // comments
  • Hoo is really making this campaign season exciting? 😏 Illusion CGI reimagined this major magnate as a feathery fowl. #Trump #donaldtrump #cgi
    likes 72 // comments 5
  • 10.8.15
    Erwin Olaf: Skin Deep @ Hamiltons Gallery London

    Oct 8 - Nov 14, 2015, Private Viewing with Artist Oct 6 @ Hamiltons Gallery London

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