• 8.21.19 New Muralist Chris Wyrick Hits Home with Lenny Kravitz

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    In a mural collaboration with Lenny Kravitz that was featured in Architectural Digest, the latest addition to the B&A roster, muralist Chris Wyrick, headed to Lenny Kravitz's home to create a space that truly honors the artist. From a young age, Chris Wyrick was immersed in a world of creativity. Having his father working as a museum director, Chris was brought up in a world that was filled with paintings, sculptures, and art. “I’m really interested in transforming space. I spend a lot of time outdoors, my love of surfing and things that take place in the outside world come into my work, and I’m really excited about using natural forms, exploring them in scale to change the perspective of them and people’s experience with them. Ultimately I’m like a little kid in a lot of my beliefs, I believe in heroes. I’m really obsessed with mystery and magic so I’m trying to bring more of that into the world.” For their first collaboration, Chris arrived at Lenny’s home in Brazil and didn’t leave for the next 30 days. “It all started when the head of his design firm, Kirsten Mattila, was doing some work in LA, saw my murals, and asked me to come down to Lenny’s ranch in Brazil to paint the guest house. I worked with her to develop a palm themed pattern that had a camouflage feel to it. We went back and forth for quite a long time working on the palette and scale of the mural. When we got to a good place, they flew me down to Brazil and I got there just enough ahead of Lenny to do some tests on the wall to show him the scale of what we were thinking. It’s funny, I was supposed to go down there for ten days and even though the guest house was to be finished in that time, it was gonna be a stretch because it’s a really large interior. But when I landed they said, “you know Lenny saw some other things that you’ve done and he’s interested in you looking at his master bedroom suite and the media room in the house, and the project just grew from there.” “I really first got started on the project one night. Lenny is a total night owl and he’s obsessive about spaces and interiors. He just gets into this sort of amazing manic place. It was about 11:00 at night and I was working in the guest house and he came over to borrow a paintbrush. He had this vision in the main house which at the time was all just white walls and he envisioned these big triangles there. He wanted to reach a clean, simple, African-inspired aesthetic. We painted until 3 AM and had created a series of different triangles snaking their way through the main hallway all through the house. It was an amazing experience.” “There were so many influences and inspirations that he wanted to reference. In the bedroom, he wanted to stick with the natural theme but at the same time wanted a sequence and some of that grit, Andy Warhol-esque. He was very clear, he wanted a very masculine but delicate piece and it was my job to balance all these different things he was throwing at me. He had this incredibly beautiful vintage bed with a ray of warm pink to yellow to orange to brown colors that felt very 70s. The first iteration we tried the palms using the palette of his bed. I painted for about two days and he came in and he kept looking at it on and off and finally, he posed the question ‘Is this working?’,” explained Chris. “The next morning, there were some local painters that he had working on the house and they came in so quickly and painted over everything. It kind of took me back a little bit how fast it was removed. As soon as he realized it wasn’t working, it was just gone. And we immediately started again the following day. Collaborating is at the core of my work, but it’s usually on the front-end, talking about design, so to have this moment where we really connected in that place, over that space, was incredible.” Alongside these unexpected magic moments, creating with Lenny Kravitz meant one thing for sure: they were listening to music throughout the process. “We listened to a lot of things, but mostly jazz. Lenny had a connection to Miles Davis when he was young, he got to meet Miles and see him perform. It was a really powerful influence on him. I think jazz is a way, way bigger influence on his music than a lot of people would realize. We both share a huge love of early fusion jazz from the 60s and 70s, the stuff that Miles was doing. If we weren’t listening to jazz, we were listening to Led Zeppelin, the Stones, a lot of heavy early rock.” Where other projects have also had Chris on site for a month or longer, not all experiences have been as artistically immersive with other creatives, as this one. As if Chris’s experience at the Kravitz home wasn’t already a whirlwind experience, Lenny opened his home to his entire band to prepare for their soon-departing world tour. “I think one of the reasons that this project worked the way it did was because Lenny is such a real person, he’s completely authentic, it’s not a big show. He loves being around people and working with people. He creates a family situation, so in Brazil, we all ate lunch and dinner together, every day, around a big table. He had one of the heads of Kravitz Design there with me, and there was a rotating group of creatives. He invited friends of his like Rodney Burns of Church Boutique, LA and an artist named Noah Becker, there was a painter that lives in Berlin and he and his girlfriend came and painted on-site as well, and his biographer David Ritz came from LA. He had a couple of friends come to help with the Architectural Digest shoot, so it was a very interesting group of people. It really was this bonding moment where we all got to know each other in the creative process, and actually create.” This was one of four collaborations for Chris with Lenny Kravitz, and he hopes it won’t be the last.
  • 8.5.19 Joey L. Goes Afar in Ethiopia with ZAAF

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    In his latest collaboration with ZAAF, photographer Joey L. took his talents to Ethiopia to capture the raw nature and beauty of Africa, where each luxury item in the collection was crafted. Joey and the crew ventured to some of the most remote and dangerous landscapes of Ethiopia, climbing an active volcano, and camping for days with no electricity. The photographs not only capture the luxury of the collection, but they encapsulate the unbelievable, natural beauty of Ethiopia’s landscapes while maintaining the integrity of the mission behind the brand. Joey and creator of the African-made luxury brand, Abai Schulze, developed the idea for the campaign together, deciding to travel and shoot in one of the hottest places on earth. “Let’s shoot a luxury brand campaign for ZAAF in some of Ethiopia’s famous landscapes using all African models and crew. Let’s show the world the unique qualities that her country and culture has to offer, but in a high end way without the cliches of the way ‘developing nations’ are usually presented.”  Joey felt strongly that it was his responsibility as the photographer to translate Abai’s mission in her work into a visual medium. “As the only non-African person on the crew, I felt a tremendous honor but also burden to do a good job.” Joey's work does not have him frequenting fashion campaigns, so he approached this project the way he approaches all of his work. Not wanting to imitate a style he is not familiar with, he instead envisioned the work as part reportage, part environmental portrait. “Our subjects were beautiful Ethiopian models, so there was no point in hiding their natural beauty with excessive makeup or accessories. This allowed us to focus on Abai’s bags and the greater vision, but also for me to preserve the photographic motifs present in all my other personal work, and keep it cohesive.” Joey and the team traveled to various locations to photograph, shooting at sunrise and sunset when the lighting was perfect and the heat wasn’t totally unbearable. The locations included the rim of an active volcano, a giant sulfur pit (one wrong move and their skin could be burnt off!), natural salt baths that are saltier than the Dead Sea, and salt mines where they encountered camels and the men who heard them, who are featured in some of the photos.   Like most of his projects, Joey did not let one minute of this incredible photoshoot go to waste. You can see his raw take on his time in Ethiopia in a documentary that captures the camaraderie and some unexpected behind the scenes moments. The photo series and documentary made their debut at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC. Joey maintains that while this project was grueling, given the high temperatures, risky locations, and lack of electricity, it was extremely gratifying to work on a campaign for this incredible brand with a team that had a sense of camaraderie which kept positive spirits high throughout the journey. The project now sits on his list of top 5 favorite photoshoots of all time. \
  • 8.18.19 Joe Pugliese's First Collaboration With HBO

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    In his first collaboration with HBO, photographer Joe Pugliese captured the key art for the hit television drama, Succession.  “HBO wanted the tension that would exist in a family. It’s something that we can all relate to: family tension, awkwardness, being at a table you don’t want to be at. Everything was made to feel intense. We had multiple concepts to shoot, and only one that made the cut. We had another entire dining room concept. A lot of what we do on shoots like this is to shoot a lot of concepts on set that day and then choose the final. We had one whole day to prelight, and then a whole day to shoot.” The family portrait captured by Joe shows the cast of the television show at the dinner table, during an intense moment of pause. Not only were all 7 actors on set for the shoot, but they also came in character, ready to act. “We built the set from scratch and shot it on the Highline stages. I worked with a set designer, an LA-based partner of mine. HBO was supportive of me having my team there. We had stand-ins, so we were able to experiment with compositions and positioning of all the other characters so that we had a real plan of attack with the actors. It was very set specific, so I didn’t want to skimp on that department, and I didn’t want it to feel like it was lit for a photograph,” explained the photographer.  As a television show progresses, season after season, the concepts surrounding the promotional campaigns can become more subtle. Regular viewers have an idea of what’s going on in the plot, and potential viewers are more savvy and curious about what the show is about. For this Season 2 shoot, the audience had already been acquainted with the cast in the first season. “We wanted to get into the character’s minds, and since HBO felt that the characters were now introduced to the audience, we didn’t have to reintroduce them the way they did for season 1. So it made me want to light it extremely cinematically, in the way that in film and cinematography you never really know what the lighting source is. You are hopefully believing that that’s the way the dining room looks. Using a globe like or a chandelier, using a big soft light that surrounds them which is what the walls would do. Having the light coming off the marble table. These little lighting cues that made it pretty sharp and believable as a lighting idea.” In a shoot with multiple concepts, it’s unlikely that the result is a perfect match to the “All the key art was the most in-camera campaign I’ve ever done. The RAW file looks almost exactly like the poster which is very, very rare. What we were shooting on the day was exactly how you see it, all the way down to everything on the dining table and the lights on the wall, the fireplace, where everyone is sitting. It was pretty technically challenging but we really had time to finesse it and I think it shows in the final that it’s photographic. There were no surprises,” said Joe. “I was really happy with how it all turned out. For me, it’s always fun when you see the cast interact in ways that are out of what you’re familiar with. In this show, they absolutely hate each other but on set, they’re palling around and joking and being the best of friends. They’re their own separate family.”  
  • 7.31.19 Sarah Coleman's Life in Literature

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    Illustrator Sarah Coleman is known for her unique style of hand-lettering typography and hand-drawn illustrations. With clients spanning from top of the line authors and publishers, to a variety of advertising clients, Sarah’s inky work has been described as “unmistakable, while never staying still.” Sarah works in both traditional ink and digitally. “I use pencils to sketch out ideas, and pen and ink to draw, whether that’s nibs and dip pens, felt tips, gel pens, biros or any of the 750+ pens in my collection! I use a LOT of ink - creating washes, textures, backgrounds, often multi-layered. Sometimes I work with iPad and Apple Pencil only; the look is different, but still me!” In her most recent endeavor, Sarah illustrated a book that is now fresh on the shelves. Collaborating with Oscar-winning writer-director, Guillermo del Toro, and New York Times bestselling author, Cornelia Funke, the team of creatives transformed del Toro’s classic film "Pan’s Labyrinth" into a dark fantasy novel. Written for all ages, "Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun," is a novelization of the film that comes to life with Coleman’s eerie illustrations. “I created the wraparound cover artwork, page illustrations, chapter headers, and spot art, with full-page plates by Allen Williams, with ink on paper and many layers of texture, wash, and detail.”  Sarah’s illustrations for the project include different characters: child-eating monsters, courageous rebels, and a long-lost princess. “The characters are so well known, it’s quite the responsibility - and the challenge - to recreate them in your own creative voice without taking them too far from their original form,” explains Sarah. “This story, adapted to novel form by one of the world’s best-loved fantasy writers together with the director himself, has an enormous atmosphere, and the job of work was really to capture that, while not giving away too much if you’ve never, somehow, watched the film before! It was a real honor - and responsibility - to be asked to work on this iconic, bold book, alongside legendary fantasy artist Allen Williams. And yes, all my work was closely monitored by Guillermo himself...I have an archive of emails to remind me!” A seasoned illustrator, Sarah is no stranger to creating award-winning work. "Out to Get You" by Josh Allen is a collection of thirteen thrilling stories, with cover art and inside illustrations by Sarah. The collaboration between author and illustrator was seamless. “It’s been a fabulous learning curve. He’s so into my illustrations, and I am VERY into these stories - they’re exactly what I would have read as an 11-year-old.” Out to Get You was selected for the Junior Library Guild book award and will be in libraries across the country in early September, while also receiving an excellent Kirkus review - two honors that are no easy feat.  Alongside her publishing projects, Sarah has been busy working on an exciting advertising campaign. Special K has launched a new campaign with a fresh recipe that emphasizes health and nutrition. The brand called on Sarah and her inky pens to create a bicep for the US-wide print, TV, and social media campaign. Sarah’s iconic typography is comprised of empowering messages aimed at leading a healthy life, designed in the shape of a bicep. Sarah’s life long love of lettering and type have driven her career. “Words have ALWAYS permeated my work, whether it’s my words or someone else’s. I respond to them like a rich source of material to mine; there are the shape and form of them, and there’s the meaning, but there’s also the interpretation.”
  • 8.9.19 Creative Director Albie Alexander Steps Into His Latest Role with B&A

     - Ushering in the next evolution of 29Rooms, Expand Your Reality was an invitation into a realm of abundant thinking, built for creating what’s possible.
Phone-free Experiences that called for introspection or self-expression, hands-on art making, live performances, and social experiments challenged guests to open and engage with themselves and strangers while challenging public perceptions of what 29Rooms could be.
Key Collaborators & Partners: Lena Waithe, Yara Shahidi, Kesha, ACLU, Rupi Kaur, Carlota Guerrero, Uzumaki Cepeda, Hoodwitch, Reebok, Aldo, Amazon, Moxy Hotels
    In a world where so much of our time is spent online or looking at a screen, brick and mortar stores have become few and far between. In an effort to cut through the noise, brands have expanded to translating their digital presence to create in-person experiences. A trailblazer of creating memorable branded moments, B&A is proud to announce the addition of Creative Director Albie Alexander to our experiential roster. “It is my mission in life to create artful experiences that serve as a catalyst for connection - with ourselves, each other and the world now on a profoundly deeper level," explains Albie. “We live in such an overstimulated world with a 24/7 news cycle and a complicated relationship with our screens that is pretty unhealthy. I believe that now more than ever, brands have the world's stage to create meaningful positive change that shifts culture and builds a more mindful and inclusive world for the future." Having studied many different avenues since starting his education, Albie will tell you that he studied at the school of life. It’s his personal belief that there is no linear path in education, and that culture was his greatest influence. “I’ve been lucky enough to live in very diverse cities such as London, New York, and LA, and been exposed to so much beauty, that I would say culture has been my greatest teacher”. He’s made his career creating experiences, with roles at Paper Magazine and most recently, Refinery29. During his time with the digital media company, Albie co-founded the experiential sensation, 29Rooms, to celebrate the ten-year success of the brand. The endeavor came from the idea to create an experience that would immerse attendees in their content and where culture and creativity would be unlocked and celebrated every year. The event became a viral hit, both online and off. Albie led the creative direction, building experiences with countless brands, artists and partners for nearly half a decade. “I’m not in the business of creating backdrops for a cute photo-op, I’m in the business of creating disarming experiences that invite people to be moved by beautiful things, to feel in new ways, be educated on issues that impact other communities than their own, and maybe even connect with a stranger for a few minutes. I want to crack open people’s imaginations and show them their limitless possibilities, that they can dream big and that they are worthy. It’s an exciting time to be a creator and I think we all have the opportunity and responsibility to challenge the status quo with the work we are putting out into the world. And so, if I can keep creating more experiences that help lift people up to realize their full potential - then that is all that matters to me." 
  • 7.27.19 Jesse Lizzote Sheds a Purple Light on Billie Eilish

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    In his latest collaboration with Vogue Australia, photographer Jesse Lizotte shot the cover story featuring young celebrity musician, Billie Eilish.  Many of the images throughout the series of photographs include a hue of purple. Various shades of purple come together to make up the sets and costuming, highlighting Billie in an intriguing light. “Billie has an ethereal quality about her and to me, that translates to the color purple,” explained Jesse. The collaboration among Jesse, Billie, and the rest of the creative team was harmonious. Jesse captured the seventeen-year-old singer in a fashion that illuminates who she is as a musician. She maintains her typical style of oversized clothing and like in her music, exudes an overall ethereal vibe on set. “On the day before we started shooting I discussed my vision for the shoot with Billie and her team and we went through the proposed looks. Billie was very easy to work with and open to my ideas. She was opinionated when it came to the styling aspect of the shoot as that is such a big part of her identity and individuality, so that was definitely a collaborative process.” Perhaps the most compelling image featured in the cover story is a composite of three images of Billie in a uniquely oversized coat, edited into one photograph. The final result of the composite gives the notion that Billie is walking away from the camera, with her back partially to the camera in two of the shots. “We couldn’t decide out of the three and I thought it was cool to see Billie in motion! That jacket is so sculptural too, I really love the illustrations painted all over. It was done by a young local artist so that was important to showcase,” explained Jesse. Surprisingly on set, Billie’s album was not the music of choice. Rather, the team listened to Lil Keed in the studio, who Jesse says he is now a fan of. The four-hour shoot, in the very tight studio space, revealed a series of images that accurately capture Billie’s aesthetic and vibe as a musician. 
  • 7.23.19 Found Studio’s Summer of Motion

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    Found Studio did not stop the motion this summer. In their latest collaborations, creative studio Found focused on creating conceptual motion pieces that transport the viewer to another time and place. In a project with Facebook’s Advertising Agency, Abacus, Found Studio created a conceptual film that follows the journey of a pixel as it navigates through varying media platforms. Chosen as a Vimeo Staff Pick upon release, Found designed and animated the spot using C4D, Substance Painter, Octane and Unfold3d. The collaboration was natural and allowed the creative studio the freedom to explore throughout the different layers of the project, including play with the concept, design and overall finish. The final motion piece is a dynamic evolution that travels through the abstract world and leaves viewers wanting more. Found headed to the Marina Bay Sands resort in Singapore where they created a short film of the timely and curated process of gathering ingredients and turning them into the perfect meal. The piece featured the full creation of the food and beverage offerings at the hotel, presented as a single shot. The viewer is taken on the journey from their seat as a guest at the restaurant that flips the view upside down to show the culinary process that goes on behind the scenes. The result is a showcase of the elements used to create the perfect dining experience. In their most recent motion endeavor, the studio explored the corners of Scotch brand Ballantine's beverage inspirations in a motion piece that takes us to the heart of their distillery in the fictitious “House of Ballantine's". The campaign included imagery created in house, entirely in 3d. What started as a two-minute hero film expanded into a complete campaign including digital, print, OOH and POS assets. The motion spot titled “Too Good To Hide” takes us behind the scenes with a narrative that visually depicts the brand’s signature Single malts that until now went unsaid. Each unique world revealed in the campaign represents the distinctive origin and flavor of the corresponding malt. The piece includes mysterious scenes of hidden passageways and corridors with locked doors and safes, creating a sense of curiosity and intrigue.
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