• 8.26.14   FunJob Goes Ape

    The term “Guerilla Marketing” has nothing to do with gorillas. But don’t tell Pizza.de, because they’re having too much fun with people in ape costumes. The German website that facilitates ordering food online presents themselves to the same crowd that goes to music festivals. They were looking to bring unique experiences with them out into the wild. Pizza.de wanted to step up their game a little bit. Instead of just getting participants involved by passing out bananas and interacting with costumed actors, they wanted to offer an immersive experience. So they got FunJob to help them create it. The result was Monkey Island, a gigantic, interactive experience that came from a much smaller seed. “Specifically, they wanted a bounce-house,” explains Steve Saiz of FunJob. “But we reached out and gave them a bunch more things.” That’s an understatement. FunJob ended up conceptualizing and creating an entire bounce world. From inflatable banana jousting, to ball pit jacuzzis, to sumo wrestling. “We just tried to keep expanding on what they started with.” That’s how things go over at FunJob. For them, it’s all about creative growth. “We very much like to listen to what their needs are and always expand on it. Make it the most exciting, and keep building and building on it.” The way FunJob stays expansive with their work is by destroying intellectual boundaries and taking nothing for granted. Their brainstorming process is free and easy. “It runs pretty organically. Our ideas can come from anywhere,” Steve says. “We try to put our ideas in the hat and see what comes out. We’re always trying to find the best solution.” That sort of creative dexterity ensures that they always get the best activations possible. That’s how they got Monkey Island to be what it is: an actual bounce island oasis in the insanity of the festival. Participants take off their shoes, step onto the island, and get to run free and wild. There are places to sit down and chat, the bounce-house is located in the mouth of the huge gorilla in the back, and costumed actors interact with the participants to show them how to maximize their experience. Unfortunately for them, no one from FunJob has been able to experience Monkey Island for themselves yet. The bounce-house experience has been too busy moving around Europe, delighting festival goers as it travels. “Maybe one day,” says Steve. “I’m dying to experience it. It’s so fun.”
  • 8.29.14   Ars Thanea Brings the Doom and Gloom

    If you’re one of any of the millions of fans of the show Game of Thrones on HBO, you might be trying to find a (safe) way to get closer to the show. Truthfully, Westeros (the fictional setting of the series) is a brutal and unsafe place, so maybe you don’t actually want to be there. But if you want to pretend, CGI masters Ars Thanea have something just for you. Despite what some news broadcasters will tell you, the weather is not always the most exciting thing the world, but it’s necessary information. Why not spice it up a little? Ars Thanea did just that by adding Game of Thrones styling and text to a basic weather app to bring that little bit of brutality to an otherwise banal task. For the app, Ars Thanea designed a series of weather “icons” to match what’s happening in the sky. Everything is represented from the sun, to storms, to wind. For the style, they took from the iconic steel in The Seven Kingdoms (another name for Westeros). All the icons are carved or shaped out of steel. But like Game of Thrones, they’re a little lived in. Patches of rust speckle the otherwise flawless metals. Like a knight with a bloody sword, their icons show a worn elegance signature to the world of Game of Thrones. In addition to the ominous icons, there’s the option to include quotes spoken by characters from the show. These all relate to what’s happening with the weather as well. Phrases like “Dark clouds, gloomy news” and “Fear cuts deeper than swords,” add just the right amount of anxiety that you can’t get from your typical weather app. Ars Thanea produced this app in conjunction with HBO to celebrate the release of the fourth Game of Thrones season. As each season goes on, the characters’ futures get more and more bleak. Like a rainy day reflected in rusty steel. "It's always too cold or too hot without hope for a happy ending of the season," Ars Thanea says to explain the bleak look of their visuals. It is an apt statement. The show has become famous for losing scores of their most beloved characters, one right after the other. It's no wonder a fan would look to a stormy sky and find reason in the bleary forecast. The app is available for purchase now! Unfortunately, unless you speak Polish, the app may not be for you, since it’s currently only available in Poland.
  • 8.27.14   Mike Piscitelli Visualizes Personal Flavor

    There is a drink for every Starbucks customer. Tea or Coffee? Iced or Hot? Venti or Tall? The combinations are almost infinite. Every drink reflects the person ordering, their tastes and personalities distilled into a drink. But the customization doesn’t only come from in front of the counter. Behind the counter, each Starbucks employee engages with the orders they fulfill in their own personal way. For the launch of Starbucks’ newest drinks, Teavana Shaken Iced Teas, photographer Mike Piscitelli shot real life Starbucks baristas who make these drinks every day. He got them in the process of shaking the same tea that they serve to their customers. The clearly visible excitement wasn’t hammed up for the photographs, though. Working with actual employees is a little different from using actors and models. Usually, “real life” people need to be coaxed out a little bit through performance. Not so with the Starbucks baristas. “They were really into being Starbucks employees,” Mike explains. It didn’t hurt that Mike had built a fun and retro playlist for everyone to listen and jam out to. (He called it “90s Summertime School Girls” and it featured singers like Jewel and Natalie Imbruglia.)  Not only did he get them in action, but he also got their signature shakes. In the ads, behind each of these drink makers is a light drawing of the way they handle their own shakers, bringing the same customization to the images as customers add to their drinks. “That’s them building it,” Mike explains the real time light paintings. “None of them were posed, that’s all movement.” They achieved the look by attaching LED lights to the shakers and the hands of each barista, and shooting the shaking process in the pitch black. They tried a few different methods, but once they figured out the technical aspect, it was all about getting the authentic movements on camera.  It was a lot of fun, but there was also a lot of anticipation. “It’s a two and a half second exposure and it takes eight seconds for the camera and computer to process it,” Mike explains. “So you shoot it and then wait. In the dark.” Everyone huddled around those screens. Mike, his crew, 72andSunny (the agency that coordinated the project), and Starbucks, all waiting in that blacked out sound stage. Seconds ticked by in the dark and in the quiet, until the shot appeared on screen. “The patterns turned out insane.”  Mike says the shoot was one of the easiest he’s had to date. Not because the process was simple (it took two sound stages, multiple set ups, and an incredible amount of planning), but because everyone was so genuinely excited and happy to be there. That makes all the difference in the world.
  • 8.25.14   The Natural Beauty of Fitness

    For Fitness’ latest piece on how to fit an effortless beauty regimen into a busy lifestyle, Tom Corbett and the magazine chose to shoot a model highlighting her unblemished, unobstructed skin. Lingerie shoots require a little more subtlety from the photographer to keep everyone comfortable. “A key part of shoots like this is creating a fun, informal, and friendly atmosphere,” Tom explains. “I find out the models favorite playlist and blast it from the speakers and we just generally try and have a laugh.” And it works. What we see is a disarmed model permitting a vulnerability that is absent in a lot of fashion photography. Soliciting a model’s performance is only half Tom’s job. He also has to make sure the audience feels what he wants them to feel. For this shoot they wanted something soft, something that was natural. They wanted to show that beauty is natural and easy, it doesn’t require a ton of work. So Tom reached into his photographer’s bag of tricks to achieve that look. “On the technical side we used a technique involving flaring the lens on these shots,” Tom says, explaining the morning light look of the shoot. “I loved the colors and mood that resulted.” That morning mood communicates to the viewer that they can do this too. The comfort that Tom worked so hard to create reaches directly through the images and empowers the reader. Part of keeping everyone comfortable and happy on set was allowing ideas to flow freely. By giving power over to the model to dictate her own movements and poses, not only was she more comfortable, Tom was able to capture images he wouldn’t have found otherwise. “Experimenting with this was probably the most rewarding side of this shoot as it gave the client something unexpected.” Tom’s desire and willingness to collaborate is what brings his shoots over the top, and “Natural Beauty” for Fitness Magazine is no exception.
  • 8.22.14   Will You Be Able to Take Progressive's Flo Home?

    We all know Flo, Progressive Insurance’s spunky saleswoman who just really wants to help out. Her excited sincerity is infectious and charming, inspiring legions of fans and a lot of attention for Progressive. The insurance company was looking for a new way to present their beloved mascot to those fans, so they contracted Bigshot Toyworks to create a series of Flo action figures. “What we were trying to do is play up some of her key features which are her signature hairdo, big smile, and highly expressive eyes,” explains Klim Kozinevich of Bigshot Toyworks. They wanted to, “Use the essence of her character.” Fitting her into an expanding roster of careers, the folks at Bigshot and Progressive ventured to show off her range of potential abilities, from Trucker, to Plumber, to Baker. She comes outfitted in her signature Progressive apron, and a ton of accessories for each job. The series is ongoing, so who knows how many jobs Flo has left to do? Either way, she’s getting down and dirty. “We were just having fun generating these concepts, and visualizing them,” says Klim about the collaborative relationship with Arnold Worldwide, who manages Progressive’s advertising. “It’s just been a joy working on this project with them.” A lot of times when creative companies work with large brands like Progressive, the amount of clearances and rules can hinder the creative process. Not so with this project. Bigshot and Arnold stayed in constant communication to flow as creatively as possible. The results show what happens when you stay dynamic and flexible in a creative relationship. If you can believe it, what you see aren’t actual toys. They’re CGI composites. “The original intent of this wasn’t to make a toy, it was just to make a series of print ads,” says Klim. “But because of how our process works, action figures are possible.” Does that mean this is going to turn into an action figure? Plenty of people are asking for them, but we can’t know for sure. For now, we have to satisfy ourselves admiring the detail and variation that Bigshot Toyworks and Progressive brought to the range.
  • 8.28.14   Todd Selby Paints Love Notes

    The average US Consumer is never more than three feet from their phone. Our phones are a part of us. They go everywhere with us because we bring them along. And depending on cellular service, sometimes we have to follow them. As newer models come out, we reshape our lives around different sizes, new cords, new placement of microphones and speakers. Isn’t it time a phone were created around our lives, and not the other way around? Samsung’s Galaxy Note is striving to shape itself around the lives of its users, and they had Todd Selby prove it in their “Love Notes” Campaign. Todd met with a handful of creative, exciting people to show off how they interact with their Samsung phones and how the devices enable their lives. “The way I work with people is it’s about them telling their stories,” says Todd. “It’s collaborative. It’s a dialogue about their life and how we can best show off their life, their interests, and what they do.” In less than 90 seconds we’re let into the private spaces of these energetic people (including Mark Hunter, proud B&A artist!). He makes this happen letting them be themselves in front of the camera. “I’m always very conscientious of how it can be really uncomfortable to have a whole camera crew in your face,” Todd says. “I’m very conscientious about relating to people in a way that they understand that project I’m working on is to tell their story to the world. And people really like that.” Once the subjects realize that everyone is on the same side, they open up and relax. And then Todd is able to catch those personal moments that are signature to his work. Todd helps bring life to these stories not just through his intimate and playful direction of the pieces, but also by adding his signature illustrations to the videos. Todd highlights key moments and items by adding authentic watercolors to bring more of a lively and mischievous energy. Mark Hunter’s Cobrasnake sides up from behind for a group selfie. Day Day Wannaslip’s electric clippers scoot across the room, ready to shape and style. Diva Dompe’s energy transmitting crystals float across the frame, spreading love and peace with them. By adding these illustrative elements, Todd is able to bring an extra level of communication to the videos that would otherwise be overlooked with just standard motion. They bring extra attention to moments that cannot be missed. “I document colorful, creative, interesting people in their own spaces and tell their stories through my films, photography, and illustration,” explains Todd. “That’s what I do.” It’s impossible to distill an entire person in only one mode, so Todd engages in all of them to get as full a picture as possible. “You really need all the pieces of the puzzle to tell the story to the viewer.”
  • 8.21.14   Tiffany Patton Gets Wild in the Jewish Museum

    When Tiffany Patton arrived at the Jewish Museum in New York City to shoot an editorial for The Wild Magazine, she knew it was going to be something special. She was working with a brand new Parisian style magazine, a photographer she loves and trust, Drew Malo Johnson, and they were using a bold makeup execution. The whole idea behind their story was inspired by the museum's exhibit Other Primary Structures (no longer in exhibition). Bringing together an international roster of artists, the exhibit consists of bold 1960s minimalist sculptures that challenge space, form, and color. Drew wanted to reflect the sculptures in the apparel, but also create a direct correlation to the makeup, which is a bolder step than normal. “We were so thrilled to be at the Jewish Museum with the sculptures,” Tiffany says about the experience. “It definitely did reflect what we were trying to do.” Taking cues from the bold colors and structural elements, Tiffany painted strong, broad lines in bright colors around the model’s eye for a Mod look. Shooting in a museum presented a challenge. They didn’t want to risk damaging any of the art, so all makeup had to be applied away from the artwork. They used a small bathroom, whose lighting was beautiful for a bathroom but not quite ideal for makeup application. That meant that Tiffany employed her expertise in color matching and painting to get the precise lines that they needed to reflect the work. Other than the colored lines around the eyes, Tiffany avoided using too much makeup on the rest of the model’s face. She wanted to make sure the model’s freckles were visible. “This model loved her spots. I loved her spots. And it felt like summer,” says Tiffany. “In the summer time we wear less. We don’t want to cover up the skin as much.” 
Instagram
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  • New work from Alexander Fedosov. Www.thednalife.com #thednalife #art #illustration #detail #alexanderfedosov #portrait
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  • Enjoyed our GameDay pop-up ARTISAN MKT today! Tune in 2maro for day 2 \\ 1:30-9pm #livemusic #localcoffeeroaster #bru #looseleafteas #handmadegoods #ceramics #paintings #leatherwork #fashionablefinds
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  • Old shelving to new shelving! Organizing my entire work and home space.
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Events
  • 9.8.14
    Josh Cochran Talk @ Apple Store Soho

    Join Josh Cochran for a talk at the Apple Store Soho Sept 8 at 7pm

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