• 1.22.15   Ars Thanea Scores with an Air Ball for Nike

    Air balls are embarrassing things. The phrase connotes those moments when a shot is taken in basketball and it is so far off that it doesn’t touch the rim, net, or backboard. It is a total miss. But the phrase “air ball” is tantalizing. The ball, the focus of the game, the object from which the entire game revolves, is energetically weighty, holding the hopes and anxieties of every player and fan watching. But an “air ball” is light, mobile, and agile. It is inherently a part of its surroundings. It’s a rich idea.  Nike asked Ars Thanea to interpret the idea of an “Air Ball” in a way that would express their latest line of basketball apparel. What came out of their creative sessions was a ball whose airness wasn’t merely attributed to the air that fills it, but rather something whose abilities and ambitions allowed it to carve through the air on its own whim. The result is a self-reliant machine that takes the guise of a regular basketball. But it is anything but regular. In their process to discover what this semi-autonomous could look like, Ars Thanea went through a process of digital sketching, examining different options from color to jet propulsion placement, to the throw of heat and light from its engines. The compositing process in a project like this is always lengthy and challenging, but we’ve included images from six different points of the process so you can see how the image develops over time. Selling the reality of CGI comes in the infinite details. Computers and vector are good at impossible smoothness and cleanliness, but they won’t feel real. To really sell the image, Ars Thanea had to lock down elements that are so wildly variable that they have to be real. The rich environment of a basketball court including court lines and nets is reflected in the glossy surface, while tiny inconsistencies on internal patterns look handmade. Even the intense “heat” off the engine warps the surrounding elements to inject a special layer of reality on the smallest elements.  “Air ball” is supposed to describe a shot that is taken and totally missed, but it can also mean something else entirely. As Ars Thanea explains, it can also mean, “giving the impression of the ability to fly and reaching the unreached.” Score.
  • 1.23.15   Microsoft's Renegades by Platon

    We know that Platon is best fulfilled photographing rebels. He photographs revolutionaries, provocateurs. So for the uninitiated, his shoot of Satya Nadella for the cover of Wired Magazine might have seemed out of place. Microsoft’s newest CEO, from the look of him, does not seem like a textbook renegade, but one glance around his office, whose inhabitants include an opened iPad box and a cricket bat, and it’s easy to see what is different about this man. The insular culture of Microsoft that gained them so much in the late 80s and 90s has become a liability in a tech culture that is built on open source collaboration and the future of community computing. Nadella, in his first year as CEO, has built upon the cultural restructuring started by Steve Ballmer, making for a new internal structure primed to change the way Microsoft operates in tech. As Jessi Hempel would have readers understand in her story “Restart” for Wired about Satya Nadella and his new Microsoft, the best way to view the new company does business is by looking through their HoloLens project. Microsoft’s latest device is best described as “augmented-reality goggles” that marry the physical and virtual worlds, using the lenses as clear screens that the goggles can project imagery onto, allowing digital representations to blend into the perception of reality. When Jessi tested them out she played games by collecting digital coins off physical landmarks, and wired a light switch while an engineer on video chat drew holographic instructions and diagrams. It all happened less than an inch from her face, within the HoloLens. The device follows the natural progression of GoogleGlass to deeper integration and wider possibilities. What’s most remarkable about HoloLens isn’t so much the technology, but that it has a place to live at Microsoft. The tech titan has made itself synonymous with isolation. Having intentionally programed their hardware and software to not play nice with other brands, Miscrosoft held a firm grip in the initial tech boom, but that unfair play has caught up with them. Nadella is changing all that. The HoloLens runs on Windows 10 and will be set up to accept any number of developer applications. To the regular consumer in 2015, this would be a no-brainer. But in Microsoft’s inward facing cultural past, it’s a major shift, being shepherded by Nadella. This shift primes Microsoft to step into an entirely new sphere of technology, one where Microsoft becomes a part of an active community, instead of an isolated entity.  Platon was also on hand to shoot Chief Experience Officer Julie Larson-Green, who is overseeing consumer devices, and Project HoloLens Chief Inventor Alex Kipman whose initial pitch of the project lead to Kinect, but is finally starting to explore its potential.
  • 1.21.15   Oxygen's Triple Artist Family Affair

    Collaborations can be tricky. When multiple artists come together to create a single work, all those different points of view and ways of working can rub up against one another to challenge the creative process. Oxygen’s new reality competition show, “Street Art Throwdown,” needed a campaign to express everything that the show encapsulated. The necessary concept reached beyond the capabilities of a single artist, so they went further. True to the show, Oxygen needed to express the full range of pop art and competition, so they needed multiple artists. And they chose three different artists from B&A. Each of these artists are comfortably a part of our roster, and their collaboration created a seamless collection of work that outpaced potential, and the process was as smooth as could be. A combination live action and animation required a base of solid photography and video. Kareem Black's photography, both in still and motion, allowed a firm base for the progress of the project. Timed trials and high stakes situations create a crucible of energy on the show, all surrounded by the creation of good art. That nearly manic pressure spirals and focuses in on itself, so Kareem’s imagery had to highlight the pointed dynamism. Capturing no fewer than six artists running through the same streets that will find themselves the focus of the throwdown, Kareem was able to grab ahold of that energy bringing the competitors to the forefront. Since Kareem's work was the first step of a larger process, he had to complete his job within the context of what ilovedust, the illustrators, and Shotopop, the animators, were going to need. “What we’re trying to do is documentary, shaky visuals, very kintetic energy. That’s what we’re doing with the stills,” explains Kareem. “For the motion it was a little more planned out, with the camera on tracks. That makes it easier for Shotopop to follow the motion of the shot.” Then Kareem turned over his work to the other artists. On top of Kareem’s images are illustrations made to enhance the story, created by ilovedust. Though the competition is between artists, their work is what will be judged. Each week, each project, each challenge is a character in and of itself. Not only are the pieces what will be measured against each other, they are created, fostered, and completed on screen. The full lives of this work will be experienced by the audience and will take on independent lives. ilovedust’s illustrations on top of the still images show the separate, but parallel focus of these two elements. By bringing in a whole other creative force to complete this portion of the campaign, the story that Oxygen is telling for “Street Art Throwdown,” grabs the full depth of both pieces. Finally, with Kareem’s presentation of the competitors, and ilovedust’s composition of their work, all that was left to express was how these elements come together in a live state. Shotopop was onboard to bring movement into the illustrations, tying them into Kareem’s videography for the full experience. As opened spray paint cans unfurl their paint like clouds of fabric, and brushes race to the finish line, the energy and event are composed in movement. “You can’t not have fun animating those illustrations. They’re super playful,” says Casper Franken of Shotopop. “It’s the kind of project where it’s hard not to have fun because there’s so many cool, quirky, fun things in it.” It is more than a static metaphor, it becomes a complete experiential representation. The show, that premieres February 3, promises to find the next Banksy. But that’s for the judges to decide. 
  • 1.16.15   Chloe Aftel Brings Levi’s Home

    Most of the time when a photographer shoots for a brand they do it for a campaign that has been calibrated and planned. There’s a focus in mind, either a season of apparel, or a new tact for the identity of the brand. The looks are focused, controlled, and edited in such a manner that they have a specific direction that speaks to what the brand needs as the outcome of the campaign. But sometimes the project is a little freer. When Chloe Aftel shot her latest Levi’s project she took the reigns. “I went and did all the shopping beforehand and found what I liked,” Chloe explains. “I found everything that I thought would be cool for this shoot.” That included finding vintage pairs of Levi’s from the 1970’s including some that had been distressed and customized. For her models, Chloe chose people she’s been working with for years. “I really wanted it to feel real, I really wanted it to feel genuine, and like these peoples’ lives in the clothing,“ Chloe says. Having worked with both of these models for all this time, they’ve all changed along with each other, and that parallel evolution allowed for unparalleled intimacy. On top of that, Chloe shot the entire project on film (both instant and standard). After prints were made, she had them scanned and the digital process began there. It offered not just the elusive substance that comes with the physical process of film and instant, but also the variables that are inherent in the technology. The light leaks, the double exposure, these things are doable in digital, but they happen naturally in film. It’s collaborative and intimate not only with subject and photographer, but also in medium, creating a seamless integration of artist and product. A project with depth at this level is only possible if the client trusts the artist to make these choices. And Levi’s offered exactly that. Matthew Wright, the Art Director who worked with Chloe on this project, offered her the creative freedom to follow her impulses. According to Chloe, Matt effectively gave her the direction to, “find the clothes that you want, and go do something that’s not about what the time of year is or where we are, but something that’s just about an atmosphere, and a lifestyle and people.” The results are timeless, close, and dripping with brand affinity.
  • 1.15.15   The Truth of Creative Exploration with Andrew Rae

    We are social beings. We hunger for connection with one another, and finding a common experience. As more and more of that experience happens online, our worlds become smaller and closer together creating a collective community. It is to that online community that we bring the results of our daily lives and we share them with one other, usually for a good laugh. Syzygy Group, the digital marketing agency, took a look at 2014 and found some of the most effective and invasive moments of the whole year. They whittled them down to their top twenty and asked illustrator Andrew Rae to take a crack at compiling all those moments into a single image. Using only optional clues, anyone is welcome to take a look at Andrew’s illustration and make their best guesses at the list of “20 Things.” Participants can win a signed print of the illustration just by engaging. 20 separate elements are a lot to juggle when it comes to squeezing everything into an image. It can be a tall order. “At first I was kind of like, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to put this together, where do you start?’” says Andrew of approaching the project at first. “I actually found myself just naturally starting to work things together.” Initially he was going to work on each element separately, but by starting from a creative place, everything started to come together. As soon as Andrew gave into that creative impulse, the layout for the drawing presented itself. “I just started drawing really, and as the idea of how to draw each element came to me, it also seems to be quite apparent how to put it all together in an image,” he says. “It all kind of fell into place which is nice because it doesn’t always work like that.” Part of the joy of this project was that Andrew got to poke fun at all these pop culture events. “It’s quite nice to have a go at U2,” Andrew said with a laugh. “They were very open to me having some fun with it.” It was that creative allowance that meant Andrew was able to find his way into the piece and give it the composition it needed. Now the question remains, can you find all “20 Things that happened on the Internet in 2014”?
  • 1.16.15   Sadaf Razi Gets Friendly with Fashion

    Style is all about identity. We wear the clothes that make us feel like how we want to be seen. Whether dressing for an occasion, work, or a lazy weekend, what we put on our backs is an expression of who we are. But what are we without our relationships? Stylist Sadaf Razi’s latest project with Seventeen Magazine explores how fashion and relationships come together. Photographer Tom Schirmacher posed friends, sisters, roommates, and young love to show how relationships come together, and Sadaf’s styling showed off how they connect through fashion. Sadaf highlights colors, textures, and patterns and how styles can play off one another and reflect in the people we spend our time with. Whether those reflections are direct, like two twin sisters, or show differences, like the two BFFs whose polar styles highlight variation, we are made better by those who we share our lives with. And it doesn’t hurt that we can get some good style tips along the way. 
  • 1.20.15   Jamie Chung Ignites TIME's Cover

    It’s hard to pay attention to the international conversation and not feel anxious, at the very least.  Tensions all over the globe are strung as tight as they can be, and in some places those tensions have snapped. International conflicts in the Middle East are raging deep into their second decade, while what looks more and more like a second Cold War rears its head between Russia and the rest of the world, Boko Haram continues its unbelievable bloodshed in Nigeria, and bombings thunder through Yemen. To the West, most of these issues seemed comfortably distant across oceans or thick borders, but on January 7, that distance was closed. The attack against Charlie Hebdo in Paris brought into stark focus cultural differences between the French publishing community and some religious extremists. It drew a stark line between those who believe in free speech at all costs, and others who find particular speech unforgivable acts of war. The question has now been raised over if this attack is a harbinger of the new future of a constant state of conflict, or if it is an isolated event.  TIME Magazine posed this question in their January 24 issue with the cover story, “After Paris.” Photographer Jamie Chung was tasked with bringing these incredibly complex and emotional ideas into a single image for the cover, and did so in record time. Like a tinderbox in the midst of catching, Jamie lined up a series of matches, and captured the ignition from one to the other. Each match throws off its own explosion in the parade of one to the other, without knowing how far it will go. It encapsulates not only the damage that we see in our recent past, but the future we have laid ahead of us if we do not take action. The fire burns, and threatens to go further, unless we find another way. Like everything in the news world, this project happened quickly, going from assignment to newsstands in less than two days, and not only was it lionized on the cover of TIME, but the magazine animated it for their Instagram account. Check out the cover, and press play to see Jamie's composition in action.
B&A Instafeed. Images From Our Artists & Community
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  • Regram from my main slice @thomas_barwick printing Slouch comics 1992 in Falmouth. Amazing....
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  • An original graphic novel by Pop Chart Lab’s own Will Prince, Judas: The Last Days chronicles history’s preeminent backstabber: Two thousand years after he betrayed Messiah, all Judas wants to do is kill himself. So why can’t he? 
Available at comic-book stores now (and regular-book stores soon)!
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  • #NYC #hudsonriver #runner
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  • Did hell just freeze over, or is it just a sign that #the4horsies of the #pocalypse kickstarter is close to being funded and are are living in the #endtimes ? Or it may just be the #spiritworld #diy edition #maddie
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  • Best
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  • Jean Larcher, RIP 😢 #calligraphy #lettering #letters #typography #type #typespire #penmanship #monochrome
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  • Kitchen light
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  • #mariowagner #landscapes
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  • Just arrived in LONDON, but I already miss my COACH WINDOW at COLETTE!!
#london #paris #france #England #colette #coach #secretsociety #busterlefauve #buster #garybaseman #baseman
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  • Buzzarama arcade, Brooklyn. #retrogames #vintagegames #videogames #racing #cars #vintagecars  #empathynyc
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  • My jams for the second leg of my flight. #nojacketrequired came out 30 years ago today! I remember listening to this album as a kid, it
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  • Nice. My dad used to have one of those....
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  • The advantages of having the dog sitter drop off near the Bronx #arthuravenue #bronx #nyc
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  • Soooooooo excited!! I got copies of my books yesterday!! Thank you @chroniclebooks!!! 😆😆😆#chroniclebooks#bunny#piglet#pig#childrensbook#cb#children#kid#game#run#art#artist#cute
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  • SUNday!
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  • In June 1968, Karl Philberth arrived at Jarl-Joset Station, a forlorn cluster of buildings near the center of the Greenland Ice Sheet. He had traveled for two weeks to reach this place, trundling along at walking speed in a caterpillar-tracked personnel carrier. Philberth was a self-employed physicist and inventor from Munich, Germany. He had come here, at age 39, to investigate an ambitious but controversial plan: to store the world’s nuclear waste deep in the ice sheets of Greenland or Antarctica. More at WIRED.com. (📷 Expéditions Polaires Françaises)
    likes 1259 // comments 14
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