Adam Hayes and The Washington Post Have Some Lessons from 3rd Graders
Kids notice everything. Their brains are little sponges, absorbing the behavior of the adults that surround them, picking up on the cues from witnessing social interactions, and taking on everything else they see. As witnesses who are still digesting “the way things work” without the egos and the socially ascribed intellectual status, sometimes their own interpretations of impossible issues are closer to wisdom than anything the adults in the room have been able to come up with. Recognizing this, The Washington Post Magazine brought together a bunch of 3rd Graders from the Washington DC area and asked them about a host of issues. Their responses were compiled in the latest issue of Washington Post Magazine, and the publication invited Adam Hayes to design their cover and a few alternate compositions.
The illustration with typography featuring the title of the piece, ‘The World According to Washington’s Third-Graders,’ is presented in no fewer than four combinations of colors and layouts. In each other them the effect is the same: this is a conversation with kids. They’re made up to look like the decorations in a classroom, but it raises the question who is teaching who? The way these kids think about the world is unanimously simpler than the way adults think about it, but often that simplicity is the part that we forgot, that’s the aspect that trips us up.
Adam’s illustration plays with that dichotomy, giving us the opportunity to see both sides, while having an element of subversion. Because of the youthful scholastic nature of the illustration we almost expect the conversation to be shallow, but with questions about the 2016 election, racism, climate change, and much more, the topics plumb deeper. It’s almost an implicit bait and switch, but in the best service: education.
Good Magazine Gets Real About Climate Change with Adam Hayes
When Bloomberg’s Good Magazine invited Adam Hayes to help them bring Mike Bloomberg and Carl Pope’s newest book ‘Climate of Hope’ to live in a digital article, they did it with a healthy dose of trust. The direction was pretty light, offering a ton of creative control to Adam who sifted through the book and found the insights that were most impactful to him. Then he created companion imagery to help bring it to life. “The brief was loose, but underneath there was a very clear message to convey. Once immersed in the project, my ideas developed quickly and I could be confident in developing the right concept,” says Adam Hayes. “As an artist, I find having the freedom to create in a project like this gives a greater sense of ownership to the work. I'm no longer reacting to something but collaborating, helping to create something much larger and successful than it’s individual parts.” By setting Adam and his skill loose Bloomberg opened the door for greater success.
Through all twelve images you’ll notice that Adam used a strictly limited color palate of only three colors: black, white, and yellow. This limitation, and the colors chosen, was purposeful for a very good reason. “Deliberately limiting the colours was my way of giving the messages within each of these artworks greater impact. My concept was to create a kind of ‘protest aesthetic’, simplifying each book extract into a single line with a protest banner vernacular,” explains Adam. “Incidentally, I chose this yellow as it adds a bit of hope in there too. The sketchy, bold lines add urgency to the illustrations, but the colour provides the optimism.”
Optimism is something of a reach when discussing climate science. Nary a day goes by without some horrific update on our decent into a boiling planetary prospect. But as Adam learned, as rough of a position as we’re in there’s still some space to do right. “I learned a lot about alternate ways to tackle climate change here, the book has many solutions to climate issue I have never even considered before. Yes we’re running out of time, and yes there are things we need to take action on immediately, but there’s also opportunity here. We can be empowered fight climate change, and succeed despite the foolish actions of some governments.” A healthy future requires all of our action, on a pretty large scale, but we must be inspired to do so. Hopefully Adam’s work offers the push we need to take up arms against an unsavory future and take responsibility for our planet.
Adam Hayes Puts Creativity on the Map
Sometimes creativity feels like an island. An artist’s mind requires a unique look at the world, and that can feel isolating. When a creative person comes back to the rest of us, they show us what they’ve discovered in their exploration, bringing back a map of new findings, sometimes showing us how they got there while other times leading us there blindfolded, letting us find our own way back to the familiar. This summer Ars Nova, the indie New York theater, is celebrating their annual ANT Fest with a series of more than a dozen acts with a poster designed by Adam Hayes. Adam reached deeply into the exploratory process with the folks over at Studio Usher to help visualize the perfect image for the poster. He created a map of an invented place and put each of the acts on the map, letting inspiration flow from spontaneity and a little bit of kismet. “My job was to conjure up an imaginary land where each of these acts could exist, using the geographical features to categorize each performance,” Adam explains. “The tricky bit was to accommodate the acts, which straddle the different genres - these are the ones that sit in-between the geographical zones.”
When creating an original piece for a performance with a ton of artists, it’s all about balance. The hosts of the event spent a lot of time and effort balancing the acts to create an awesome festival. The ANT Fest is diverse and exciting, exploratory in nature, but still has to remain attractive to anyone who is new to it. Adam kept it light and exciting, bringing a little personality to each person he mapped out. Adam used photographs of each of the actual performer’s faces but everything else was original illustration. “I drew bodies for each of the head photographs, basing these mainly on the locations they were in,” says Adam. “Some relate more closely to their act, like the girl with the guitar, but it was more playful to have surfers at the beach and drunken youths at the ruins!” That meant dozens and dozens of variables that had to be accounted for, each one speaking to a different truth for an artist or their act. After each of those elements was honored everything came together.
“Once I positioned all of the characters, the map came to life with strange cartographic icons and I was able to have a lot of fun with it,” says Adam. It’s not every day that visual artists get to collaborate with performers, musical or otherwise, so this poster for the ANT Fest was not only unique, it was a creative treat. These kinds of projects are sometimes hard to find, but lucky for us Adam provided a map.
Happy Holidays: 2015 in Review
As we come together with loved ones and friends to close the year, we’d like to take this time to reflect on some of our favorite moments from the last year. Included here is a list of some of our favorite stories we’ve had the pleasure to share with our community and friends. This year our artists helped usher in the next generation of Star Wars stars, discovered what bacteria lurk in NYC’s subways, sent hundreds of mean postcards to adoring fans, and put their own stamp on the 2016 Presidential campaign.
Our artists have done amazing things, so let’s take some time to remember some of the best stories from 2015 before turning our focus to the New Year.
We hope you have Wonderful Holidays, and a Happy New Year.
Weeks before Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit theaters, Marco Grob photographed the cast of the highly anticipated movie for Time Magazine. Not only did he get to photograph the human stars, he also got to spend time with the famous R2-D2 and meet the newest favorite: BB-8.
Riding the New York City subway can be a precarious situation, not because of the unpredictable riders but because of what lurks on the handrails. Craig Ward wanted to see what exactly he has holding onto every day and the answers were both beautiful and revolting.
Sawdust and Nike Reach New Heights
One project with international powerhouse Nike is celebration enough, but when Sawdust teamed up with the athletic juggernaut for three bespoke typefaces it was an honor. Not only were they creating these solutions for Nike, but they'd be paired with LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Durant, three of the most powerful names in basketball. What they created turly elevated the game.
This year Joey L joined Annie Leibovitz, Erwin Olaf, and David LaChapelle as a photographer for Lavazza's annual calendar. With the theme “From Father to Son,” Joey L examined how the tradition of sustainable farming is passed on from generation to generation, and how food gets to our tables from around the world.
People's Sexiest Man Alive is always a hotly watched and eagerly awaited issue, and frequently their most popular. When Marc Hom got the call to photograph their non-traditional choice this year, David Beckham, it was an honor and a thrill. And on the day of the shoot, Beckham didn't disappoint.
For more than a decade Stephen Wilkes has been pursuing his ongoing personal project of condensing an entire day into a single photograph. This year, Stephen showed off some of his favorite shots at the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, a great way to look back on all the work he's done, and look forward to what's still to come.
Over the course of months with locations stretching from The Costume Institute to the Louvre's vault, and even the private archive of Yves Saint Laurent, Platon captured the epic vastness of the Met's latest blockbuster. "China: Through the Looking Glass" examines how China's history has impacted the rest of the world through design influence, and Platon was able to photograph every step along the way.
Mr. Bingo's ongoing series "Hate Mail" pits the artist against those who pay for the pleasure of being berated by him through the post. Enough fans have gotten their kicks this way that he turned them all into a book that catalyzed an enormously successful Kickstarter. Books are available for purchase now!
Living a life in the limelight isn't always easy, so when We Are The Rhoads teamed up with Taylor Swift for their latest Keds campaign, they immediately found common ground. By creating a safe space the mega celebrity was able to focus on the moments with Sarah and Chris, resulting in images that are effortlessly Taylor.
Style is communication and a stylist has the power to shape how their subject communicates to the world. For Uzo Aduba's cover of As If Magazine, Stacey Jones dove into feminine luxury, offering the Emmy Award winning actress the opportunity to step away from the orange jumpsuits that her fans so often see her in.
Paris is a hotbed of fashion and style, making it a dream destination for many and attracting artists from all over the world. Tom Corbett is no different. On his latest assignment for Somerset he really sank his teeth into the city, taking advantage of every block and street corner, capturing the beauty of the city and the ease of its powerful energy.
It's hard to describe Donald Trump's political rise, so sometimes the best option is to not even try. When The New York Times Magazine tasked Stanley Chow and Jamie Chung with an image that spoke to the story they got right to work on something that felt honest but was also a lot of fun.
When Marcus Bleasdale began his work as a photojournalist it was to make a difference, but an artist can never be sure if their hopes are going to come to fruition. Marcus' has. His work with Human Rights Watch has lead to changes in law, and even helped end a war. Their joint gallery show, "Impact," proved it.
Chipotle has seen better days, but before their troubles they made a very solid decision when they asked Harriet Russell, Sarah J. Coleman, Adam Hayes, and Dave Homer to create illustrations for their bags and cups. Each illustrator was paired up with a writer whose pieces were to serve as the inspiration, and the results are as delicious as you can imagine.
Ken Fulk is a master at interior design, and Douglas Friedman is a master at photographing interiors. When the two came together in a show-stopping shoot of Elle Decor, Fulk's vision leapt off the page thanks to Douglas' unique ability to translate space into flawless photographic composition.
Bernie Sanders represents one of the most interesting political stories this season, and like any political character his whole persona is hard to distill into a single image (even a photograph!). Ryan McAmis took his time, and dug deeply into his bag of tricks, creating a portrait for the cover of National Journal that is as honest a representation as we've ever seen.
It's not every day that passion projects turn directly into corporate campaigns, but when UPS saw Brian Doben's "At Work" series they knew they needed it for themselves. Brian extended the project, meeting with read UPS customers that happened to run their own small businesses, to see what it's really like to work with a company that caters to their needs.
Cinemagraphs are becoming more and more popular, but Chloe Aftel was there since day one. In fact, she's sort of become a go-to photographer to create these captive moments that she finds particular expressive because of their ability to inject more emotion and more story.
Sometimes the best way to talk about serious issues is with a good laugh, so when Todd Selby linked up with Evolve on a series of gun safety PSA they imagined what other things kids get into. Whether it's playing with condoms like balloons, or tampons like Wolverine's claws: the kids will get into anything and, most of the time, it can be hilarious.
Few artists are as closely watched as Banksy whose work is discussed and devoured the world over, so when James Joyce got the call to be included in Banksy's latest installation it was a no-brainer. James' contributions ended up including the cover of Dismaland's catalogue, a piece that has now been distributed the world over and marked as a coveted accomplishment for any creative CV.
We cannot pretend we know what the future will hold, but if we had to bet we'd bet on Roof Studios' vision. They were tasked with glimpsing ahead for a spot with Toshiba that envisions how our relationship with technology will continue to deepen and grow, and shows us what that will look like.
Ice Skating GIF by Nomoco.
Four B&A Artists Illuminate Your Lunchtime Chipotle Burrito
“Must a cup, or bag, suffer an existence that is limited to just one humble purpose, defined merely by its simple function?” is the question that Chipotle poses itself for their Cultivating Thought series of portable packaging. The chain restaurant taps authors and writers to surrender ideas for Chipotle’s customers to read and engage with when they’re sitting eating their burritos and tacos. Each writer’s piece is offered to a visual artist to bring it to life and this season Bernstein & Andriulli has four artists who were brought on to illustrate these big ideas. Harriet Russell imagined Mary Roach’s “Two-Minute Revelation,” Sarah J. Coleman (aka inkymole) brought Laura Hillenbrand’s “Two-Minute Ode to Chocolate” to life, Adam Hayes illustrated Jonathan Franzen’s “Two-Minute Driving Lesson,” and Dave Homer illuminated Sue Monk Kidd’s “Two minutes or Two Questions.”
The idea of the project really resonated with Harriet Russell, who sees a certain poetry in using these items that we usually don’t think twice about as a starting point for a deeper discussion. “The idea of using a bag or a cup as a canvas for visualising a story is a great one, and turns something that is usually a throwaway item into something really special and thought provoking,” says Harriet. Dave Homer felt a similar excitement for the project, not least of which because it was with Chipotle. “To be asked to participate in this Chipotle project was really exciting,” says Dave. “Such a beautifully simple idea of combining a short piece of great writing, with an illustrated interpretation was really interesting to me.” The illustrations help engage the reader on different levels from the text, ultimately creating an immersive experience on the side of a cup.
With so many different artists come many different processes. We’ve included the artwork from each artist in varying formats dependent upon their process. Adam Hayes’ process included reading Jonathan Franzen’s piece over and over. “I drew up lots of quick ideas with a pencil over the text whilst reading and re-reading it; many of those first visuals ended up in the final artwork,” says Adam. Each artist has their own way of working, but each of their methods brought them to a completed product Chipotle bag or cup.
For an artist, it’s not only a thrill to engage these products from this new direction, but also to be involved with a company as big as Chipotle who is making an active push to change the way we see fast food. “I LOVE Chipotle,” extolls Adam Hayes. “It’s my go-to lunch spot whenever I’m in New York or in London. (If only they’d open a branch here in Abergavenny, Wales.) It feels good to have my illustrations as part of a food company that’s doing things properly.” For Sarah Coleman, the choice of Laura Hillenbrand’s Ode to Chocolate was particularly personal. “Having been vegan for 18 years and having spent most of my adult life striving to make ethically appropriate buying choices - which has sometimes, historically, made life tricky and more expensive - the whole piece of prose was spookily appropriate for me.”
Few things in this world are as personal as food, and few relationships are as important as with what one decides to put into their body and nourish themselves. But any artist will tell you, their relationship with expression is equal to that – or in some cases, even more intense. Chipotle’s Cultivating Thought series brings that to life and thanks to these artists you can take a bite. Bon appetit.
Adam Hayes and Kai & Sunny Find Inspiration with IBM
It’s 2015, and in this age we know that the internet isn’t just a series of tubes. But sometimes it feels like maybe we’re just plugged into a digital world through our screens. It can feel difficult to connect with the real world around us, losing an element of tangibility, and finding a lack of inspiration. For their latest community push IBM is trying to reconnect users to that seemingly missing inspiration and to show us how they think. Rather than becoming the neo-stereotypical digital zombies, IBM is showing us that there is still passion to draw from this world. Especially in the digital world.
Through a series of posters, IBM worked with a handful of artists to illustrate where inspiration comes from in our contemporary world. Each artist was paired with a quote for the posters, along with the central word “Think,” using those ideas as fertile ground out of which to grow their ideas. Two B&A artists, Kai & Sunny and Adam Hayes, joined in on the project.
For Kai & Sunny, the quote came from Douglas Rushkoff, a Media Theorist and Author:
“I believe we are migrating toward a networked environment in which thinking is no longer an individual activity, nor bound by time and space.”
Kai & Sunny are a collaborative, creative pair, so it was fitting they would work off a quote about moving together, as a group. Few artists work as closely together as they do, and they have a unique take on how multiple people can work off one another for fantastic gain. “From this [Douglas Rushkoff quote] we created our flock of birds migrating,” explains Kai on behalf of Kai & Sunny. “The birds represent freedom and progression. The idea of working together to achieve more. The campaign word 'THINK' has been created by the coming together of the birds but only for that moment.” Kai & Sunny are working with expectation and viewability. They’ve created a pattern that both makes and hides the message, “Think,” illustrating that what is most powerful can be creative by the collective.
For Adam Hayes, the quote wasn’t so much of a quote as it was a question, and came from Mike Rhodin, the Senior Vice President of IBM Watson Group:
“How do we redesign how we think?”
Adam’s style has always used a combination of technology and puzzles, employing typography to explore space and utility. "My poster mixes mechanical and organic inventions representing a future where man and machine think side-by-side; typeset on a layout of playful letterforms,” says Adam. Bringing the actual quote’s question to life in his poster illustrates the direct question his poster is asking. Combining form and function, we see how the technology works independently of the human mind while being entirely directed by it. In this future we work along side our machines, collaborating and growing together.
To see Adam Hayes’ and Kai & Sunny’s work in context, check out IBM’s “IBMblr,” where all of the posters are featured.
Adam Hayes Breaks Down Nanotechnology for IBMblr
Adam Hayes continued his work for IBMblr (that's IBM on Tumblr), this time creating an infographic to teach kids about nanotechnology. "The team at Ogilvy supplied me with a script that I then interpreted in images, making it funny, clever, and easy to understand," said the artist. "It's a very complex subject (and potentially extremely geeky), so simplicity was key. We used the Sphinx as a metaphor for how the nano chisel functions, illustrating that IBM could carve the Sphinx into a grain of salt."
Hayes started by sketching the different scenarios outlined in the script, adding "small, quirky details," and settled on handwritten lettering – "kind of like what you'd find in a kid's school notebook" – to keep the piece informal. He produced the final art over the course of several days, drawing directly in Photoshop and letting the original sketches guide him. "I stuck to a controlled color palette with plenty of white space that helped de-clutter the information," he explained. "I managed to portray a lot of the technical details with easy graphics that made for a lighthearted approach."
He noted that he thoroughly enjoyed this latest assignment: "I found it a fascinating subject and a real test of my imagination. Plus, it's always fun to adjust your brain to think like a kid thinks." Hayes isn't sure what's next for him and IBMblr, "but I know it's always going to be amazing," he remarked.
Adam Hayes Illustrates IBM Watson's Tumblr, IBMblr
IBM Watson turned to Adam Hayes to spruce up its Tumblr as part of the super-computer's move to Manhattan. Hayes created the lead-space illustration that spans the top of IBMblr ("IBM Innovation Culture + Tumblr") and four "Watson at Work" designs to be posted on the page.
"For the lead space, I was asked to make small drawings to represent either shopping, customer service, finance, or health care, arranged in a thought bubble coming from the Watson logo – to depict what the IBM software was thinking about," the artist explained. He submitted a first round of pencil sketches and set to work directly in Photoshop on his Wacom tablet, instead of scanning ink-drawn pieces into the program (his usual process). "This made it simpler to split each of the tiny objects into separate layers for animating." Hayes conceived a hand-rendered typeface to keep with the style of the banner.
The portrayals of Watson as a personal shopper and med-school student were informed by Hayes's previous images of brain-like apparatuses. "They were great fun to develop because I love to draw imaginary machines," he remarked. "Here, the main challenge was to ensure the designs didn't appear sinister and symbolized software, not hardware ... so I used a bright color palette and hand-drawn lines, and conveyed the idea of software by letting each element float – rather than be housed inside a box or shell."
Adam Hayes and Andrew Bannecker for Nike VCXC
Adam Hayes and Andrew Bannecker collaborate with Nike on their new VCXC space in The Bronx, New York. Located across from the Van Cortlandt Park Cross Country Track, the space is devoted to runners and features custom tees, interactive displays, and running gear. VCXC honors the park's cross-country heritage and promises to be a community gathering space for local runners. Nike opened similar sports-specific stores in Chicago and California.
Hayes designed branding and map illustrations that decorate the interior and exterior walls of the space. He sketched several potential logo designs before Nike settled on his hand-drawn crest design. Hayes says of the crest, "The playful typography with the silhouetted and iconic tortoise and hare mascots retain the youthfulness and high energy of this sports event." He adds that he's extremely happy with how his logo has been used.
Bannecker also created a branded logo for the space as well as playful illustrations that reflect his own style. He combined the head and shell of the tortoise and the hare for one logo and in another, simply had the hare jumping over the VCXC logo. Bannecker's illustrations are interspersed with Hayes inside and outside the space.
The Nike VCXC space will remain open until the end of cross-country season in December.
See more of Adam Hayes' illustration work here.
See more of Andrew Bannecker's illustration work here.
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B & A's London and Milan Affiliate Hosting "POCKOSHKO" for London Design FestivalPocko, in collaboration with Magma, has initiated an exciting new project involving 20 international, award-winning B&A/Pocko artists.
Artists including McFaul Studio, Nomoco, Jorge Alderete, Fernanda Cohen, Staffan Larsson, and Adam Hayes have each customized a series of wooden Matryoshka dolls, using a variety of techniques, from oil painting, ink and watercolor to collage and soldering. Pocko photographer Judith Erwes and animation studio Captive have both produced bodies of work inspired by Pocko Matryoshkas which will be exhibited alongside the dolls.
POCKOSHKO will have the chance to be appreciated by many, starting with an exhibition in the 3 Magma stores as part of the London Design Festival which began Saturday 19th September, and will continue their journey, passing by NYC, Madrid and Milan, to a special final auction, 2 RUSSIA WITH LOVE, in aid of a Russian children's charity.