Andrew Fitzimons Styles Kylie Jenner and Kourtney Kardashian for Calvin Klein
The Kardashians and Jenners are back with Calvin Klein in the latest campaign for #MYCALVINS. All the sisters are there, but it’s Kourtney Kardashian and Kylie Jenner whose hair was styled by Andrew Fitzsimons. The photographs, shot by Willy Vanderperre, are presented in black and white, and present the sisters as a family, inviting us to join in. “Join our family,” is the slogan, and who better than Andrew to create covetable hairstyles that feel as glam as they do accessible.
Andrew’s consistent work with the Kardashian and Jenner clans has raised him to prominence as a stylist, but don’t let that scare you off. His social media is full of tips and tricks so that you can achieve the very same styles in your daily life. Take a look through this new, beautiful campaign with Calvin Klein and then head over to Andrew’s Instagram and learn how you can bring the same taste into your style.
Kyle Bean Mixes It Up for Google
As business becomes ever more global, it’s imperative that professional peers be able to communicate and collaborate as effectively as possible. Google’s fix for this challenge is Hangouts Meet, an extension of their Hangout service that allows collaborators to come together in the most effortless way possible in a professional setting. Google just relaunched the service and brought collaboration into the DNA by inviting artists like Kyle Bean to create images that act as the backdrop for their user interface (UI). “They’re seeing it as a collaboration with a bunch of artists who have distinct styles,” says Kyle. “It’s really cool and they were really open. Basically, they wanted us to create some nice visuals that respond to their themes. They loved the initial sketches that I produced for them so the process was very straightforward, and it was one of those situations where I wish every job was as smooth sailing as that one.”
Kyle employed his signature papercraft and photographic collaboration with longtime creative partner Aaron Tilley to create a series of three duos of images that are inspired by Hangouts Meet functionality. Kyle’s images include a bunch of cogs fitting together to create a machine, a series of different colored balls coming together to form a multicolored group, and a trio of paint buckets pouring into one robust mix. All of the images are expressive and engaging, but the paint buckets raise a bunch of questions for us, not least of which is: How? “That was responding to an idea about this coming together of people almost like the idea of a melting pot, so I liked the idea of using paint and showing that mixing, so we actually shot paint,” Kyle explains. He set up each paint bucket individually and photographed them separately.“Essentially that image is made up of four images, but all captured in camera, there’s nothing added in post or anything,” he says. What we see in the final composition is each of those captures brought together, but nothing was edited to change how it looked on the day.
Kyle prefers to only work that way, doing his best to create a set up that’s as close as possible to what the final image requires. There are very good reasons for this: “You’re capturing what you’re seeing, it just means that you have more control. If I was going to try to pour all of them at the same time, inevitably I’d end up with a mess on set,” Kyle says. “Plus it’s a little bit of magic.” Abd we all could use a little bit of magic.
Tom Corbett Brings the Hamptons to the Next Level
Every summer New Yorkers flock to the Hamptons to spend the season in style. It’s more than just a destination on Long Island, it’s a lifestyle, and the New York Post’s fashion imprint, Alexa, went right along with the party. They invited Tom Corbett into the fun to shoot the cover story for their Hamptons Issue, a story they created with actress Sofia Boutella. She used to be a dancer, most notably in a handful of Madonna’s music videos (in addition to a blistering amount of other work), which ended up making the shoot with Tom even more successful. “She’s a very interesting actress… She was amazing,” Tom says. “Her understanding of her body and how it relates to clothes, and the scenery, and her understanding of photography was amazing. It really was. She made it effortless.” Because of her command of shape and understanding of composition, Tom was able to work with her as a collaborative equal and create holistic images that work on every level.
Sofia was the star of the story, but the setting was just as important. Tom used each environment to elevate the images. The Hamptons are known for the gigantic houses and refreshing pools, but Tom kicked it up a notch to show us more than we normally get to see. It’s not that we’re just getting a different angle of landscaping: he’s presenting it all with a new point of view. “I was trying to use the house in an interesting way rather than just sitting in the living room,” Tom says. “We were using interesting elements, graphic elements, architectural elements. Modern houses are such a pleasure to work in.” This is not the Hamptons as you’re used to seeing them, this is the next level.
A Window into Andrew Zuckerman's Creative Mind
Andrew Zuckerman recently sat down with Graphis for an incredibly in-depth interview about his inspiration, process, and the creative future (he doesn’t worry about the future). If you want a window to the inner workings of the artistic mind, this interview has it all.
Best known for his incredibly vivid and detailed imagery of animals, Andrew describes how he’s able to make images like this happen: “I think your work is an extension of your own spirit, and if you naturally connect with the world around you and are curious and have a desire to meet others on an emotional common ground, that’s going to come through,” Andrew tells Graphis. He doesn’t draw a distinction between photographing animal subjects and human subjects, everyone is unpredictable, so he approaches each project with creative openness, shirking expectations. Instead of planning for a series of potential outcomes, he stays in the moment, remaining agile for whatever appears on the day.
Andrew’s process is about being an observer of the world and keeping his eyes on what’s in front of him. If you stay aware, art will find you. “Inspiration is absolutely everywhere,” he says. “I don’t seek it. I think if you’re living in the world and you’re curious, you’ll find inspiration in unexpected places.” He finds incredible details in everything that he photographs, and then isolates them so that we are drawn in to see exactly what he sees. As Bjarke Ingels explains in his forward to the Graphis interview, Andrew’s work can inspire us all to look closer.
“Andrew Zuckerman is a present-day Renaissance person,” Ingels says. “I had truly never seen an elephant until I saw it on Andrew’s wall (and now mine). Just as his work happens at the intersection between art and technology, his home and studio are like curated encounters with birds’ nests, space gloves, from different ages all fusing together in an obvious yet unpredictable coherence… I always leave excited about the world and what’s in it.”
Ultimately every artist is creating a career that will span far into the future. It’s an important consideration whenever an artist is making work, but Andrew doesn’t want to be weighed down by the future. He can’t let that be a magnet that pulls him off balance. “I find that thinking about the future makes me really unproductive, so I try to stay in the moment,” Andrew explains. After all, photography is a medium that is about capturing moments as they happen, and the only way to capture them is to experience them in real time.
Kyle Bean's Delicious TV Spot for Land O'Lakes
Do you ever wonder what it takes for food to get to your table? Even something as seemingly humdrum as butter has an entire industry behind it before its a part of your dinner. Land O’Lakes invited Kyle Bean, through Hornet, to help them bring that process to life, so Kyle created an animated TV spot that explores the relationship between the farm and pat of butter on your plate using his unique aesthetic and brand of animation. “My approach to animation, as in a lot of my work, is there’s always a physicality to it and I like to keep things as tactile and in camera and as real as possible,” says Kyle. “That’s my slightly stubborn approach to things. Where possible: keep it real and make it physically, that’s my mantra. And luckily for me, it was an approach which the client was really into.”
Even though Kyle and his team started with a slightly different path in mind, they were provided enough time from Land O’Lakes that he was able to develop and optimize the concept and create a beautiful stop-frame animation made entirely in camera. “We were able to really meticulously plan it and get a really great team,” Kyle explains. “It evolved naturally through conversation with the agency and with the client to become something a little bit more immersive, more detailed, and more textural. Initially, we were thinking it would just be a simple paper craft kind of scene and then it ended up evolving to something where this entire real table top in a set that becomes a very textural miniature farmland.” That’s right: everything you see in the spot was created in real life, the trickery is everything that happened in the moments between the frames.
Stop-frame animation can get complicated. There are hundreds of elements to prepare and balance, but the challenges are never quite what you’d expect. “In some ways, the animation shots that seem quite complex were the easiest ones,” Kyle explains. “Obviously, I look at it differently from everyone else because I can see the shots that were really tricky to get right versus the shots that weren’t. And generally speaking, if I were looking at it purely as an outsider, I can tell that the shots that work best are the ones that were the easiest ones.” When all is said and done, everything flows flawlessly and Kyle’s magic is that it all looks easy because it’s all seamless.
If you're interested in understanding the process better, don't miss the Making Of video at the bottom of this post!
Thayer Allyson Gowdy Soaks Up Summer with Vera Bradley
Your bag says a lot about you. It’s how you bring your life with you, carrying all the accoutrements to live effectively. Vera Bradley makes some of the most expressive accessories in the industry, directed towards a specific consumer, requiring the market to speak to their unique clientele. The brand recently decided to take a different tack in their campaigns and recently asked Thayer Allyson Gowdy to help speak directly to their customer base. “In their previous campaigns they were doing very conceptual work, beautiful fashion conceptual work, and then they brought me on to do slice of life and really capture the spirit of Vera Bradley,” explains Thayer. “For them it was really like capturing the essence of Vera Bradley in the summer.”
Thayer travelled to Indiana for the shoot, the home base of the brand, and soaked up what it means to celebrate the summer in that lifestyle. She and her team, including all the models, set up some great experiences and then let everything unravel naturally to capture the most authentic imagery possible. “It was very personal to the brand,” Thayer says. “In Indiana it’s all about lakes, all about lakes and we went to the little town, some little downtown area, the movie theater, the little local ice cream parlor, and we really tried to get a day in the life of a group of friends going to the lake. And it was a blast.” They spent all day just having a wonderful time, using the Vera Bradley products in the most genuine ways possible.
This newer direction for Very Bradley was the perfect convergence of style for Thayer who loves to work in this way. Whenever she’s in control of a project, this is exactly the way she approaches it. “It’s really nice as a photographer when you get asked to do campaigns that are what you love to do and you’re good at,” says Thayer. “That doesn’t always happen, but this was literally everything I love to do… So it was definitely like a dreamy job to get to do.” By setting Thayer free to create the best imagery possible, the collaboration came to completion and they were able to create a campaign that elicited incredibly positive feedback.
Steven Lippman Jumps In with Showtime's 'The Affair'
Sometimes the greatest damage we do to each other is damage of the heart. Showtime’s explosive series, ‘The Affair,’ explores the myriad ways we destroy each other in the confusing space between love and infatuation. Since the very first season of the show, Steven Lippman was brought on with the team to create their key art and this fourth season is no exception.
Steven has photographed surf culture since he was a professional surfer himself, bringing the camera into the waves along with his board. Not distracted by the gravity of the water, Steven is able to capture the dynamism, drama, and stories that unfold in the crashing of every wave and on the stillness of every nautical mile. From the beginning of ‘The Affair’s’ tenure on television, Steven has used his expertise with water photography to create unique images that not only reflect the west coast setting of the show, but also the chaotic nature of the ocean and how the characters are often tossed in the currents of their personal lives to great effect. Sometimes he creates images that make it seem the characters are drowning – they often are drowning emotionally – sometimes they’re covered in anonymity provided by the opacity of the sea.
Steven has followed the stories of these couples and their overturned lives, creating imagery that matches them, year after year. As they change and develop, while their relationships tumble and build, each moment is distilled and represented in what Steven does, giving us the slightest peek at what the audience should expect to experience with each new season. He manipulates the stories differently each season and it’s always an apt metaphor.
There’s only one way to get the whole story but in his contribution, Steven gives us an intoxicating taste.
We Are The Rhoads Divulge the Secret of Celebrity
As a culture, Americans share a reverence for celebrity. We see these cultural leaders as separate from ourselves, but photographer duo, We Are The Rhoads, don’t have the luxury of keeping that distance. The job of the photographer requires that Chris and Sarah Rhoads come in constant contact with these figures, and demands they always find ways to connect with them. Sarah and Chris have learned a lot about how we treat celebrity and how to break through the wall that separates “us” from “them.” “A lot of times people have a tendency of treating celebrities not as humans,” says Chris. “What we find is just how normal and sweet most of them are.”
Just in the past few months, The Rhoads have photographed figures like Pierce Brosnan, Mila Kunis, Jake Johnson, and Hannah John Kamen for editorial shoots and ad campaigns, but even as each project has different parameters and needs, the center of the work is always the same: find an honest moment with the subject.
Photographing the range of celebrities they do, The Rhoads created a simple strategy for this work. It has nothing to do with ego. It has nothing to do with performance. Instead, it’s about being human. Most celebrities have incredibly demanding schedules which means they may not have a lot of time to offer to Chris and Sarah, but even if they only have a few minutes The Rhoads spend as much of it as possible getting to know the person they’re photographing to close the distance between subject and shooter. That time is crucial. “The time that we’re developing a rapport with them outside of the time that they’re in front of the camera is actually more valuable to us than I think the time when they’re in front of the camera,” Sarah explains. “If we have done our job - whether it’s two minutes or two hours that we get to talk with somebody on the human level - then we’ll get amazing results in front of the camera even if we only have a few minutes. It’s all about being humans together.” Every moment they spend connecting with their subject blooms into greater results.
Even if you’re not a photographer, there’s a lesson to take from what Sarah and Chris have learned: we’re all humans having a human experience. “At the end of the day, we’re all just people trying to do our best and dig as deep as we can to try to produce something that we can be proud of. Meeting people on the human level always elicits the best outcome in every aspect of life, not just taking photographs,” Sarah says.
Michael Muller Goes Big for Marvel's Ant-Man and the Wasp
Marvel’s Cinematic Universe was upended at the end of 'Avengers: Infinity War,' and as the world awaits the next Avengers sequel the MCU has dropped a little piece of narrative candy to help us get to the next chapter: 'Ant-Man and the Wasp.' The first Ant-Man movie was a comparative light-hearted romp compared to the recent developments in Marvel’s universe, and the latest installment is in the exact same vein. Scott Lang, the alter ego of Ant-Man, is the perfect modern underdog, almost an anti-hero, but when Michael Muller came on to shoot the key art for the blockbuster he kept it classic.
Not only did Michael create an epic poster featuring all the actors in costume in an update of the traditional Drew Struzan style, he also photographed character posters for each of the main characters. It is a blistering cast of the highest talent. Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas, Laurence Fishburne and Hannah John-Kamen in the images that are at once energetic and engrossing. Part of what makes the posters so exciting is that they reveal pieces of the story without giving it all away: Pfeiffer is dressed up in her own superhero costume, Douglas and Fishburne’s wardrobe imply an unknown history, John-Kamen (who plays the billed villain) is the only one looking away from the audience, focused on another outside threat. Michael has used the opportunity present in each composition to give us more than just an aesthetic treat: he’s giving us clues to draw us into the story.
'Ant-Man and the Wasp' is expected to dominate the box office for most of the summer, but one thing is for sure: Michael has given us a taste and we cannot wait for more.
Joe Pugliese and David Letterman Get Real
When Joe Pugliese headed to David Letterman’s new show on Netflix, 'My Next Guest,' the goal was to photograph images for key art – those are the pictures you see on posters and billboards to advertise for a show. Scheduling didn’t permit Joe to plan a shoot outside of the schedule of the show, so Joe had to fit his photographs into moments when Letterman had time during the filming of his first episode. Normally in these situations, the subject would meet Joe for a day separate from their shooting schedule, but that wasn’t possible. Joe leaned into his agility to get it done. That slight inconvenience ended up creating a situation that Netflix wanted to keep going. Joe did more than just get portraits: he followed Letterman around the set, on field pieces, and with guests like Barack Obama, Malala Yousafzai, and George Clooney. He photographed a documentary of what it’s like to make this new show, and what it’s like to watch Letterman work.
“Once Netflix saw what the work looked like, the producers and publicity department of the show thought this would be a nice thing to continue to document,” Joe explains. “This is a big return of an iconic television figure people are going to be interested in what it looks like behind the scenes.”
The Late Show with David Letterman was a TV staple for more than two decades, but being a part of a major television Network, Letterman had to perform to a set of standards that was guaranteed to sell time to advertisers. His show on Netflix doesn’t have the same constraints. “This is more introspective, it is talking about peoples’ legacies, meaningful things in their lives,” Joe explains. “This combination of portraiture and reportage underscored that’s something very meaningful to me. Something that I thought was a really nice to cover, to round out what is normally just a portrait session.”
When Joe started off as a photographer he worked in reportage and then moved over to portraiture. With My Next Guest, Joe has been able to use all of his skills in both arenas to create work that’s revealing and intimate and gives us deeper insight by delivering moments with Letterman and his guests. “It’s been an eye-opening journey into a new approach and it’s exciting,” Joe says. “I have the foundation for it and now I just want to flex that muscle more.”
Tristan Eaton's Bowery Wall Mural Offers an Intermission
Made famous by Keith Haring’s legendary “Crack is Whack” mural from the 1970s, the Bowery Wall on Houston Street is the most well-known canvas for street art in New York City. Managed by Goldman Properties, the wall is more than a rite of passage for street artists, it is practically the peak of the form. Until a couple weeks ago, the wall hosted an original piece by Banksy, but he requested it come down early so Tristan Eaton grabbed his cans and got to work. He wanted to give us an indulgence that we often won't even give ourselves.
Street art is one of the fastest forms of art and created outside of the pressures of capitalist structures. The results tend to be reactive and truthful, responding to the culture and politics with agility and boldness. Americans are currently engaged in intense political turmoil, the ramifications of which will likely to reverberate for decades. It's not just an American experience, but New Yorkers feel the issues acutely as the center of American culture. It’s a lot to take in on a daily basis, almost oppressively so, and Tristan wanted to give us a break. An intermission from the terror.
“This piece is meant to be a break from the daily horror of global events, a momentary pause to let your mind wander and escape the collective anxiety felt in the United States today,” Tristan explained on his Instagram. “I was compelled to paint something intentionally apolitical. A literal INTERMISSION from the noise and madness - nothing more.”
It’s notable that Tristan took over from Banksy whose piece was sharply political, an indictment of the Turkish government over their persecution of Zehra Dogan for painting an image of a destroyed Kurdish town draped in Turkish flags. In the endless battle to bend the curve of history towards justice, emotional and visual fatigue is real and a well-sharpened tool of the oppressor. Every soldier needs their rest, their respite. Tristan’s latest piece offers an intermission to find that rest, inspiration, and some colorful joy.
San Francisco Tells Jason Madara and George McCalman "I AM BAYVIEW"
San Francisco has experienced an incredible transition over the last decade. As soon as it was identified as ground zero for tech development, the socioeconomics of the city changed drastically. In that time the social makeup, property value, and identity of the city shifted and the reaction has been rightfully mixed, to put it lightly. As the city grapples with its different identity, it has shifted and expanded in ways that the larger community isn’t happy with, and that is understandable. No one wants their home to change. As a way to celebrate the diversity of San Francisco neighborhoods, the city teamed up with Jason Madara, George McCalman and Bayview Underground on a series of posters that feature more than two dozen Bayview residents for a projected dubbed I AM BAYVIEW. “It was a joy for Jason and me to take part in this community initiative, from conception to execution to installation,” said George McCalman. “We wanted to celebrate the Bayview community — the people who have a desire to be seen and who have a say in how their homes and community are being portrayed.”
“The idea was born from several conversations about gentrification in San Francisco,” McCalman posted on his Instagram, @mccalmanco. “It’s an ongoing (and frustrating) subject amongst those of us who live here. In the course of talking, we came up with the idea of photographing the people representative of the values of a neighborhood that is suddenly desirable. One of the issues, oftentimes, is the people who live there are ignored in favor of expansion and ‘growth.’ We felt differently. We wanted to celebrate the current community; the people who have a desire to be seen, and have a say in how their homes and community are being portrayed. It was our mission to say, visually, that if you’re going to move to a neighborhood, you should get to know the people who live there.” McCalman and Madara leaned hard into representative diversity. They approached subjects from all walks of life, backgrounds, and racial representation, each of whom hold a special place in their communities. Social leaders, business owners, commentators, all vocal residents of the city who are fully engaged. Gentrification is often a destructive force, but confronting the issue head on with the community’s leaders is the only way to counter some of its subtler effects.
Madara and McCalman have worked together extensively in the past, including their ‘Individuals’ series from 2015 that photographed artists and entrepreneurs from all over San Francisco to create intimate portraits. I AM BAYVIEW is an extension of that very same story, delving deeper into the figures that are beloved in this neighborhood. “My intent for this project was to make a beautiful portrait series of a diverse community and show the range of people that in this vibrant area of the city,” Madara says. So that’s what they did.
Since being released to the public, the project has catalyzed a fiery conversation about the impact of gentrification in San Francisco and the responsibility of representation. Some of the dialogue has been constructive and that’s what Madara and McCalman are pouring their energy into, passionate to continue the conversation and engage the community even deeper. The conversation itself is important. The conversation was the intended result. Everything that’s happened since the release of the project was what was supposed to happen, in a way.
“What constitutes a neighborhood in San Francisco? Especially a historically black one? Who decides who is Bayview?,” McCalman mused on his Instagram, questions that were present while they conceived the project, and questions that are still present today. These questions may not have answers, but as the community engages with each other and does the work of finding those answers, they’ll get closer to understanding and finding a common truth that includes all residents of Bayview, and represents the neighborhood they love.
Joey L Gets Intimate with Harmless Harvest in Thailand
For most of us, picking up a snack at the corner store is little more than just that. We don’t put too much thought into how we’re choosing products from the shelves, but the information is out there to make better and informed decisions. Coconut water brand Harmless Harvest is one of the responsible choices, preferring to work directly with coconut farmers in free trade agreements who use analog techniques to create a drink that is free of additives and harmful processes. It means the bottles are more expensive, that’s true, but the brand knows you’ll pay for the superior product. Harmless Harvest isn’t engaged in a race to the bottom of your budget but to the top of your ethics and they invited Joey L to help them spread the message. Joey headed to Thailand’s Ratchaburi province to meet the farmers and get their stories.
“The people we chose to celebrate in the images are hardworking and proud stewards of nature,” Joey says on his blog. “Within the vast irrigation canals of the coconut fields is an ecosystem of mixed agriculture: rare herbs on top to prevent soil erosion, medicinal grasses grown on the sides, and schools of fish within the water itself. Instead of using pesticides, a variety of beneficial insects are released into the fields to battle pests.”
A great many of the farmers in the area have updated their crops to better flow with more industrial techniques, but the farmers Joey photographed in Thailand, and that work with Harmless Harvest, continue the time-tested techniques of the past. These techniques are just as effective today as they’ve ever been and that’s why Joey shot the images in black and white.
“The goal of the black and white treatment was not to appear ‘vintage,’ but rather to emanate a classic, timeless look which reflects the natural ingredients in the product, and the honest and traditional agricultural techniques used by farmers,” Joey says.
Joey was able to engender intimacy with his subjects as they invited him into their lives, their business, and their livelihoods. You can see it in the smiles on their faces, the pride in their work.
“As someone who spends his time shooting 50% commissioned advertising projects and the other 50% traveling and shooting personal work, I always enjoy when a project bridges the gap and involves the merits of both disciplines of photography,” Joey says. “I fell in love with the place, the people, and I shot enough to make an entire series.”
Carles Carabi Photographs Messi the GOAT
Who is the GOAT?
We’re not talking farm animals or the inhabitants of craggy mountains, but instead the “Greatest of All Time,” typically given to an athlete who proves themselves to be the top of their sport. Often used to describe Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, and Serena Williams, Paper Magazine recently dubbed Lionel Messi as the GOAT in football (known as “soccer” to Americans). They did so on the cover of their latest issue with photography by Carles Carabi who went literal with the shoot: he photographed the football player with more than a couple hairy friends.
The goats (not including Messi) that Carles photographed number by the dozen and were all active on set. Carles worked with veterinarians and animal handlers through La Granja Natura, a farm in Barcelona, to ensure that all the goat buddies would remain healthy and suffer no harm. The fact that Carles was able to wrangle that many goats at once is no minor accomplishment: the photographs show a measure of solemnity and grace – with a hint of pleasure as Messi himself was able to have some fun with the animals. The rule in entertainment is: never work with children or animals, because they'll always steal the show. But with Carles' expert composition, he draws the eye exactly where it should be at all times.
Thanks to Carles, whether Messi is dressed for the game or not he fits right into the herd of GOATS which is exactly where he belongs.
Michael Muller Knocks 'Em Dead with 'Deadpool 2'
You’ve already seen the images that Michael Muller shot of Ryan Reynolds dressed up as the fan favorite Marvel superhero Deadpool. With the release of Deadpool 2, the sequel to the massively successful initial offering, the posters are not only in every city on practically every surface, but the marketing extended far beyond traditional advertising. Michael photographed the cast of the film for what has turned into one of the broadest media blitzes in recent memory. Everything from classic blockbuster movie posters, to parody work that plays off classic imagery, all the way to co-branded material with Trolli, all of it has Michael’s touch on it. You cannot escape America’s favorite antihero superhero and with images like this, why would you want to?
The original Deadpool film ended up as the highest grossing rated-R movie in history, with materials shot by Michael as well, so it was a no-brainer that the studio would come back for round two and invite Michael to be a part of it again. One week in and the sequel is on track to take over the popularity and the numbers as the original.
For the Deadpool 2 shoot, Michael met up with the actors Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, and Zazie Beetz in what started as a traditional image capture session but turned into a creative and collaborative session, playing off of Reynolds’ creative riffs. Michael guesses they shot “45-50 completely different shots/concepts in a day.” Reynolds and the Deadpool team were able to take those shots and turn them into a series of inventive images that lampoon other concepts like World War Z, moments from Flashdance, and even the Sistine Chapel. As Deadpool 2 continues to dominate the box office, let us not forget its the franchise's signature humor that keeps fans coming back and Michael created the perfect facsimile of that humor to extend into the promotional work.
Chris Buzelli Gets Real with Fake News
Information warfare has never been as acute as it is today, with every faction creating narratives to best support their goals, spreading stories that are less about fact and more about affect. The efforts are commonly known as “Fake News,” forcing every consumer in this age of information to determine for themselves what is real and what is not. Not only is it a challenging time, it’s an interesting time while we all recalibrate how we take in this information. Simmons College Magazine and Seven Elm asked Chris Buzelli to help them illustrate this topic into a single image and Chris reached back to some of our earliest and most omnipresent moments od fake news to bring it to life.
Chris’ painting for the magazine called “The Fake News Age” features Bigfoot on a Central Park bench reading The World News that features an of Bigfoot, with the headline “Bigfoot Seen in Central Park.” Also in the paper: the Loch Ness Monster, UFOs, and others. Bigfoot sits, half way through reading the paper, with a mouth agape at what he’s reading. And who would blame him? When it doesn’t matter what’s real and what’s not, the stories we read can go beyond the believable into the ridiculous. Never mind the common wisdom that the existence of Bigfoot is not worth entertaining because it’s far too insane, never mind the implication that the park behind him may be a painted set piece, never mind that the rest of the newspaper is filled with ever mounting unbelievable stories: Bigfoot himself finds contemporary news cycles to be unbelievable. It’s not even a comment on the veracity of these stories, but that it’s an uphill battle to distinguish between the real and fake when the goal is no longer truth.
Shelly Vella's 'The Stylish Stuff' Takes on Summer
Do you ever wish you could get a personal session with one of our stylists, to help find the best picks of the season? Seems like a dream come true, doesn’t it? With Shelly Vella’s ‘The Stylish Stuff’ you get the next best thing. Unlike most personal blogs, ‘The Stylish Stuff’ is more than Shelly dressing herself. Instead she uses her expertise and platform to show her readers everything that’s on the market to help them find the best looks for themselves. With summer right around the corner, she teamed up with photographer John Rowley and model Monique Dunn to show off the best of the season.
Shelly doesn’t just give us all the best and show you how to wear them, she also explains in detail on her blog how to make all of the pieces fit together either into your fantastic vacation or your fantastic life – it’s all about context, after all. With images that flatter and styling that just makes sense, Shelly has truly shown us that we can expect at least a little sunshine on any rainy day.
Vault49 Strikes Rich for The Sunday Times
Monetary riches are pretty easy to count – especially if it all fits neatly on a tax return. But not all measures of wealth can be defined by ounces of gold or stacks of cash, instead many have goals that are of a different nature. You may not own an inflated bank account but you can still count yourself among the rich. Every year, The Sunday Times publishes their list of “The Alternative Rich,” a list that aims to challenge the way we value life, one story at a time. The Times and Skoda teamed up to make the list and invited Vault49 to create the visuals that went along with it. It’s about more than just putting together a few heartwarming tales, but instead offers a new lens from which to consider success and achievement.
This year they broke the list up in to groups: “Creative & Fearless,” that includes artists and entrepreneurs; “Free-spirited & Adventurous,” that features and astronaut and an Antarctic expedition leader; “Fulfilled & Content,” that features humanitarians and volunteers; “Altruistic & Compassionate,” with doctors and an MP; and “Enduring & Preserving,” that includes a refugee, a teacher, and General Sir Nick Carter. Once all the names had been compiled and their stories written down it was up to Value49 to illustrate he potential power of the list. They played off the familiar image of a pile of golden coins, even going so far as to place them in a translucent coin purse, but instead of dollars these coins represent emotions. Vault49 used popular positive Emojis, circular in nature, as the basis for their glistening coins, proving that enriching your life through uplifting experiences and service is its own kind of wealth.
Miranda Kerr and The Selby Get Creative with Vogue
Miranda Kerr suddenly has a whole lot more to do – and that’s saying a lot. She just gave birth to her second child, a son named Hart, and that's on top of being a business owner, an international model, and a familiar face on TV. She hasn’t slowed down a step. Right before giving birth to her newborn son, she teamed up with Todd Selby on a fashion film for Vogue that explores Kerr’s pregnant life in ways that might even seem silly. “We had a lot of fun with it and made it her made it a bit of a character,” says Todd. “She is secretly eating hamburgers out of a drawer and has a miniature wooly mammoth that she had genetically engineered to be her pet. And she has insane sailboat races in her pool. So, it’s kind of like trying to make it fun and do something fun with it.”
The film was created alongside still assets, and Todd even turned some of the moments into moving GIFs. Much of Kerr’s life is spent in front of the camera, so she was an engaged collaborator. But she’s also an image maker. So Todd, Vogue, Kerr, and the whole team planned out as much as they could to make sure everything looked perfect. And once all the pieces were in place: they cut loose. “Normally I’m more of like a real-life kind of guy, but this one was a more constructed thing,” Todd says. “But then also see some of it is also impromptu because she’s really fun. She started dropping rhymes on the mic with her Plexiglas piano and doing all the dance moves with her yoga and so, it’s some freestyle.” Since they all knew they’d get exactly what they needed out of the day, they were able to have a lot of fun with the game of it.
Throughout the shoot, you’ll find a backyard grill covered in fruit and the moments that Todd teased like hidden hamburgers and yoga-inspired dance moves - many featuring cameos by Todd's watercolor illustrations. It’s all cheeky and chill. But don’t let it fool you: even as she approached her due date, Kerr is as busy as ever. “She’s running her own company, busting a move, having conference calls, she’s got her own products and she’s still appearing in all these magazines and doing all these editorials,” Todd explains. “We had fun with it, made it the opposite of really what’s kind of going on… It’s really cool that she was down for all this stuff. I’ve got to give her credit, she was down for all my whacky ideas.” On the eve of motherhood, Kerr took the time to create with Todd and Vogue, always making the world just a little more beautiful. Please help us in congratulating Miranda and her family for their new addition.
Rod Hunt Goes Viral
This is a sensitive topic so we’ll try to be ginger about it.
Have you ever caught something? Maybe from someone you met on a night out and left that interaction with more than just a new friend? Have you ever had to go to the doctor after an evening someone new? You’re not alone. It happens every day, and we all come in contact with more than we know. The French AIDS non-profit AIDES and TBWA\Paris launched a viral activation last month about sharing the love but protecting yourself. They commissioned a massive, and risqué, illustration by Rod Hunt that was then shared in pieces on Twitter. As the images were shared, larger pieces of the illustration were released through an account named “Henry Ian Vernon,” but it wasn’t until the whole illustration was made public that it was obvious Vernon’s alias was for the initialism HIV. The activation proved that sometimes we share things without total knowledge and it can be personally damaging.
It’s a powerful message with a fun piece of work by Rod. And Rod had a lot of fun drawing it. “The brief was showing sex without showing sex,” he explains. “It was everything had to be hidden so no junk, no boobs, no nipples, it had to be sent out and shared on Twitter.” Rod’s illustration is a massive playground of sex with hundreds of couple (and more) engaged in #NSFW behavior. But Rod made sure every element was inexplicit while remaining illustrative.
A lot is going on in the illustration, not just in terms of sexual activity, but also all the environments Rod created for his denizens. Everything from a nightclub to a theme park to a rocket launch to a private island. They’re all covered by bodies having a good time. And staying as safe as possible. Except for maybe the couple on the ride-on mower: that may not be totally safe. “The main center of it was this nightclub in the center of it was a real starting point and focal point of the whole thing,” Rod explains. “But then there’s also the little things in there like little jokes like the couple doing it on a ride-on mower mowing the grass, or while jet skiing. There’s a little hip-hop video shoot on the island. A lot of little jokes to look out for.”
The illustration itself gets pretty racy the closer you look, but seems pretty tame from far out. And that’s part of the message too: if we want to stay safe we have to look closer and take the details a little more seriously. Once that’s all wrapped up: have fun with it.