The Selby and Taylor Swift Ask Anna
In the latest chapter of his ongoing Ask Anna endeavor with Conde Nast, artist The Selby worked with the cover star of the September issue of Vogue, Taylor Swift, to produce the latest segment.
For this collaboration, the team captured Taylor’s asks for Anna while on set shooting the cover of the September issue of Vogue. Taylor came prepared. “During the cover shoot, we were able to film Taylor asking questions, whatever she wanted to ask and find out. It was definitely exciting if you’re a person who’s into fashion like Taylor is. Getting the opportunity to kind of just go for it and ask Anna anything you want is the dream for some people. Taylor was really into it, asking Anna about her favorite cat from the show. Her energy with Anna was great, they have a respect for each other and they made it really fun for everyone to watch.”
After they filmed the questions and answers, The Selby worked to add his signature illustrations to the piece. For this special feature of Ask Anna, Selby added more details with borders around the subjects. “I like the moments when Anna gets the most animated, so I can use the illustrations to play off of it.”
If you were wondering which the project was filmed, you would have a hard time deciding based on Anna’s outfit. “She loves a floral print or any kind of colorful print. All-year-round. It’s kinda rare when you see her in a solid which I appreciate because I’m the kind of guy who loves color myself. I’m a more is more kind of person. Some people have a misconception about Anna, something about wearing all black, which is actually totally incorrect, she loves print and color. Except for leggings. She does not like a colorful legging. Although Anna did wear pink leggings in like 1993. Honestly, I did call her out on her pink leggings, but you know it was 1993, I don’t even know what I was wearing in 1993.”
Serial Cut Celebrates 20 Years with SC99
In celebration of their 20th anniversary, creative studio Serial Cut embarked on a visual journey they’ve dubbed SC99: Purely Iconic. The year-long campaign that debuted in January of this year reached its final culmination point this Monday, September 9th, 2019 or, 9.9.19. The date pays tribute to the year in which the brand was incepted and this year, 2019. The endeavor included a film, book release, and event, complete with monthly Easter eggs to entice viewers to keep checking back.
Serial Cut worked with over 50 professionals to produce a film that set the stage for the campaign. In a 7-day production period, their giant team of creatives worked together to create a story that tied together all of the specially curated elements to celebrate their two decades of creativity. The result is literally the biggest production that the studio has worked on.
The film takes viewers on a journey throughout the studio’s philosophy, depicted throughout nine different rooms. Each room focuses on a different value and showcases different acclaimed revisitation of past projects. Before yesterday’s launch, the brand released trailers and teasers that include behind the scenes looks at their process.
“Since the beginning, I wanted to split a giant SC99 logotype in 9 rooms, where each was about some characteristic that defined the studio, so all together is the studio itself,” explained Serial Cut. “In “Renderoom” we talk about the CGI we do, in “Typeblocks” the typography have an important role, in “Digitactile” we show how digital props convert into tactile ones, and so on with the rest of the rooms. In all of them are some well-known projects (that some fans will recognize) but revised, they don’t appear as they were originally. That´s a nice part to look at, there are many details we take into account to make it special and tell the story of the studio in a very free creative and original way. I was the one that wrote the bio of each character, so I include personal details of me or the thing I like or I don’t like. It´s really awesome how the characters come to life when you put them a name and invent their lives.”
Showcasing two decades of work was no easy feat. Serial Cut created a massive compilation piece of the most iconic projects the brand has worked on in the past two decades. The book celebrates their 20 years of work in 544 pages and features the pure creativity the brand has harnessed throughout the years that combines pop culture and surrealism into one. Throughout the year-long campaign, new cover art for the book was unveiled each month that featured one of the nine characters introduced in the SC99 film. The book is available for purchase here.
“The storytelling, as also the concept in an image is the base of everything. Without this, the image can be beautiful, but you probably will forget it sooner than if it also comes with a strong concept. I think many images show a concept behind, we love to blend concepts generating some surrealism or 2 techniques, for instance, tactile and CGI.”
To celebrate the final conclusion of this year-long endeavor, Serial Cut produced an event where their fans, clients, and collaborators could come together to celebrate their years of creativity. The full film was featured on a big screen, followed by a talk about the in-depth process and some behind the scenes moments of the SC99 Book and Film. The event and entire campaign were a huge success, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for the next 20 years.
Shepard Fairey Murals the Great Bowery Water Tower
Artist Shepard Fairey has created street art over the past three decades that resist cultural norms and expectations. Perhaps his most notable works are the We The People and Obama Hope campaign posters, which were shared across the country millions of times in a variety of ways, making Shepard Fairey a household name throughout the US. It’s his belief that art is a social act that connects people not only with each other but also with ourselves. Shepard believes that art is activism, that serves as a catalyst for action. Shepard was and is still today inspired by the 1980s and 1990s street culture of the Lower East Side, what he refers to as the “unholy trinity of cultures:” graffiti, hip-hop and punk rock, and skateboarding.
In a collaboration with several iconic NYC organizations, artist Shepard Fairey created a mural on the water tower that sits on top of the famous Germania Bank Building, currently the home of Great Bowery’s New York Headquarters. This famous graffiti-covered building has seen decades the Lower East Side’s history and culture, making it the perfect canvas for Shepard Fairey’s work. The mural features local activist and actress Rosario Dawson, a Lower East Side native. The painting illuminates Dawson in an empowering light, showcasing her as the inspiring NYC advocate she is. The mural serves as a symbol of power and equality that highlights both NYC’s creative culture as well as Great Bowery’s work with The Lower East Side Girls Club and their Alphabet City Art School.
A key factor in the success of this project was the incredible fundraising and spotlight put on the LES Girls Club by depicting LES New Yorker and board member Rosario Dawson. This altruism and support of the local community is one detail that convinced the Landmark Preservation Commission to approve the project after they initially rejected the idea. Rosario Dawson was raised on the Lower East Side with her family. She lived in a family of squatters and was sitting on a stoop one day when she was approached by a local talent agent to cast her in the movie, “Kids,” kickstarting her acting career. She’s currently a board member of the Lower East Side Girls Club, serving as an important social justice figure and activist, fighting to improve the lives of the young girls of this club.
On July 17, once the mural was unveiled, Great Bowery hosted “A Conversation with Shepard Fairey,” with the artist and David Hershkovits, founder of Paper Magazine. The two engaged in a discussion about art, activism, NYC’s creative culture, and how it all came together in Shepard Fairey’s illustration of Dawson on Great Bowery’s water tower.
“Art connects people with the better side of nature and makes them hopefully see something in themselves that then they can also see in other people. So it's at least subconsciously a bit of a bridge to all of humanity and I think people are better people when they're capable of making art, being creative, taking chances, expressing themselves, sharing with others. Because why would we do it if we didn't have some impulse to create meaning with other people? Otherwise, people would just do stuff in isolation. I think it's a social act,” explained Shepard. “Rosario Dawson is a recognizable person that it would make a viewer curious. A lot of the work I've been doing focuses on an appealing archetype that maybe is just representing an idea or a subject that is actually literally in there life embodying an idea. It's really important to draw people into a conversation about the subject matter. Using Rosario for that piece was great because we’ve both been outside this building, in this neighborhood, for years. I put illegal street art on the outside of this building. We’re part of the history.”
After thirty years of creating street art, Shepard Fairey remains extremely passionate about his craft. He seeks to look at what’s going on in our society to create what isn’t being said and what needs to be done, with the hope of inspiring action and change.
Bose Collins Grows with Evolver
For their annual personal project, creative design team Bose Collins created the mesmerizing short film, Evolver, taking viewers on a journey that explores the idea of transformation through a captivating visual medium. Produced entirely in-house, the project weaves together endeavors in live-action, graphics, and sound design.
“We’ve always done personal work in between client work,” explained Nathan of Bose Collins. “We’ve used the time to try new images, new technology, avenues we haven’t explored before. Evolver is the latest in the long, passionate work that we’ve been leaving behind like bread crumbs over the year. We wanted to try prosthetics. At the same time, we met someone who is really good at organics and wanted to give her a tryout, and so we started doing these tests and that’s where Evolver was born. The opening shot of the girl in the natural form, we made the prosthetic for the opening eye and made the CG models based on the prosthetic.”
The entire endeavor took about a year to complete. Most of the Bose Collin’s personal projects have an aspect that dances on the line between spirituality and nature, in the way the work emerges and reveals itself. In this project, the sequential element of the earth and metal transformation to energy was undeniable. One of the most difficult tasks for the team was choosing the right name for the project. “We couldn’t think of a name for ages. However, once we got to watch the final cuts, we realized we had something quite special that we were really proud of it. We knew the name had to be epic, so Evolver was just the perfect fit.”
“It was a real collaborative team effort. There are certain programs for certain things, hard objects or soft objects. This project is a mixture of them all. Some of the details were even shot in-camera. The eyes and face close-ups, particularly, were much more analog and organic. We’ve been enjoying hybrid work of blurring the line between CG and live-action. We’ve tried to maintain ‘if it can be shot with a camera, it should be shot’.”
“The first stage was the most fun for us, the deconstruction moments of the first stage where the spheres are coming out. Just designing that first stage to match the prosthetic was fun for us. For that first stage, we focused on the organic, primeval form that reveals itself and then transforms into pure energy at the end. The fun part is when we can play with things, to see what sticks. Things you thought might be a good idea, are tried and they’re actually not so great. Or happy accidents. You make the thing you like, you show it, and then people come to you for it.”
If you build it, they will come.
Anna Pogossova Creates Natural Beauty For Sheridan
In a stunning campaign for The Sheridan Recycling Program, photographer Anna Pogossova created natural beauty in camera as she worked with the team to capture the key imagery for the project.
The ‘Make Tomorrow Beautiful’ campaign highlights Sheridan’s recycling program, which enforces the brand’s commitment to reducing environmental impact and focuses on taking accountability in production processes. Anna worked closely with production designer Silvanna Azzi Heras to recreate and capture natural landscapes and moments in nature created entirely of Sheridan product. The result is a moving series of images made entirely in-camera that transport viewers to a birds-eye view overlooking the 'natural beauty'.
Anna worked with The Glue Society to produce an evocative motion spot to accompany the stills that take viewers on a journey that casts a striking resemblance to the natural beauty of the landscapes that inspired the piece.
Brook Pifer Gears Up for Class with Levi's
In her latest campaign with Levi's, photographer Brook Pifer captures the excitement of Fall in a series of images that show off the best fits of the season. No matter the equipment required, Brook doesn't show up to set without her film camera. Brook created GIFs using the striking portraits and inspiring group shots she directed.
“What makes a really special GIF is when you get that added third dimension. It’s very much about thinking less a photographer and more like a cinematographer,” explained Brook. “Anytime where there’s an action moment that didn't line up against a wall, I know I can create something special. I like to look for when I can see that depth between the camera, the subject, and the background. There is a bit of a technicality to make it look the way it does, it can’t look flat and also have that dimension. It has to have the room for movement.”
“On set, it’s work but it’s a fun environment. I like to play music on and off set. Once they’re in front of me while I’m rocking and rolling, we can crank the music up and I can be vocal with direction but if I see something serendipitously happening, I let it happen. I give the subjects the time to be creative and have that moment to breathe because that's when you get those special in-between moments. On set it is work, but you’ll see people waiting to be brought to frame who were having fun off set and now they’re jumping onto set and keeping the fun flowing.”
For this project with Levi’s, Brook captured the fresh-faced cast in a suburban neighborhood in California. The team worked with locals to include the classic white Jeep parked outside into their set, which became one of the iconic backdrops in the shoot. The shoot focused on a pattern of neutral backdrops to draw into the energy of the choreography of the photography, whether it was a group shot or portrait, to make the subject pop.
“We were drawn to backdrops with light or even some texture to tie in that story so it looked consistent and very high end. We wanted it to feel back to school. That’s what you would do with your friends. You would grab an ice cream after school hanging out. We’re listening to music and now we’re dancing and hugging and creating a human pile up! That’s how I see the stories we create. I think it creates a more honest narrative,” explained Brook. “Something that was really great about the casting for this project was the focus on an approachable, aspirational, relatable aesthetic. It was incredible, the team was so great to work with. They loved what I’ve worked on in the past and trusted my vision, knowing that we can adjust if we needed to. They're kind of a dream client, to be honest. It’s a huge blessing to get that as an artist.”
New Muralist Chris Wyrick Hits Home with Lenny Kravitz
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.
Joe Pugliese's First Collaboration With HBO
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.”
Creative Director Albie Alexander Steps Into His Latest Role with B&A
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."
Joey L. Goes Afar in Ethiopia with ZAAF
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.
Sarah Coleman's Life in Literature
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.”
Jesse Lizzote Sheds a Purple Light on Billie Eilish
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.
Found Studio’s Summer of Motion
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.
Nathan Fox Illustrates Cory Booker for Politico
In his latest collaboration with Politico Magazine, illustrator Nathan Fox took United States Senator Cory Booker and raised him to super-human status for a non-fiction comic strip.
Finding his passion for cartoons and graphic novels at an early age, Nathan is no stranger to creating comic strips. “Cory Booker is a real-life figure who is just as flawed and fantastic as fictional heroes. People have a very interesting and exciting and rich and very dramatic past, so the story was there. I wanted to find a balance between a real figure as well as somebody who kind of has that charisma and aspiration of something fictional, beyond human. A lot of elements in his opening image are directly relevant to the story: the Newark skyline, dog leash, and shovel,” explained Nathan.
Politico first reached out to Nathan before Christmas, with the hopes of creating a comic strip to be debuted in print in the New Year, before Cory announced his candidacy for the 2020 Presidency. When Politico decided to go digital, that meant that Nathan would not only be switching mediums, and figuring out the in’s and out’s of a digital comic, but that the original 6-page comic strip could be extended to an infinite scroll. “That's when we started pushing the format, trying to use the right space and infinite scroll aspect of a mobile device. We were able to expand the story, so it was much more in-depth. It definitely went from what would have been a text-heavy, dense comic to a bit more of a fluid and organic showing of the legend of Cory booker, digitally,” explained the illustrator.
While the illustrator enjoyed comics in his own childhood, he didn’t always feel a connection to the classic narrative of larger than life superheroes. “It was hard to believe in superheroes in my childhood because they weren’t real. I never really latched onto them. I was initially interested in the visual storytelling in a bit more of an Indiana Jones or Robin Hood direction. There’s something that’s more tangible with real people doing extraordinary things.”
Inspired by the character and heroism of real people, Nathan brings a feeling of tangible authenticity to his illustrations. “One of the challenges was adding in real quotes and not fictional ones. We didn’t want to go too far into dramatizing his story. We tried to stick with reality. It was a real challenge not to go too far into fiction and over dramatization of his life, ‘cause it's much easier to do that. This account is as close to what really happened as what we could possibly get.”
Alexandra Gavillet Covers Comedy for The Hollywood Reporter
In her latest cover stories with The Hollywood Reporter, photographer Alexandra Gavillet did not stop laughing on set with Trevor Noah and the Queens of Comedy as she captured their essence in larger than life scenes with extravagant backdrops.
Working with a mostly female team, the feminine energy was flowing on the set of the Queens of Comedy cover shoot. “I could have watched them interact with each other for hours because they were truly having so much fun with each other. It was so cool to witness everyone genuinely enjoying each other’s company, and taking inspiration from one another. It was such a special project," said Alexandra.
During the briefing process for the shoot, Alexandra connected with the set designer to chat about the concept. "We ended up on this Marie Antoinette idea, and we thought it would be really fun to give it a twist. This cover can kind of represent the struggle that most women face every day. Women in comedy, in general, was at first a rarity and that’s partially why all these women are so ground-breaking and inspiring. They’ve broken through and become figures in comedy and comedy has been a space so dominated by male actors. The small space reserved for female comedians and actresses have been typically pinholed in Hollywood,” explained Alexandra. “All these women are now taking up more space, representing and going against the grain of what the typical Hollywood actresses could do. So we decided to take a very prestigious feminine set and put little surprises in there, little Easter eggs, like hamburgers, and funny props that go against the typical, expected, Marie Antoinette aesthetic.”
Alexandra was inspired by the energy on set, and the comedians kept the good vibes flowing. Jane Fonda turned herself into a living portrait inside a frame while Tiffany Haddish balancing an apple on her head. “That was Tiffany’s idea, she literally took it and she just put it on her head, and posed. That was totally her idea. And she even balanced it for like a few minutes. She’s amazing.”
Following her Queens of Comedy endeavor with The Hollywood Reporter, Alexandra had the opportunity to collaborate with Trevor Noah in another cover story of epic proportions. “We used blow-up globes in the photoshoot that were sourced by the set designer. We had some hanging up with fish wire. We wanted to showcase the theme of this being very much about how Trevor has such a global point of view. People love him because he brings such a worldly view which isn’t always very common in America. It’s his global perspective that attracts so much of us.”
“Trevor had a lot of input. You can tell that in all of his work, he obviously has such a strong voice and I think that’s why people love him so much. People gravitate toward him because of his opinions and he carries that through in his everyday life too. I was really just blown away and inspired by how much he genuinely cared and how much input he had creatively, on everything we were working on.”
Music is an important part of Alexandra’s creative process, and luckily her subjects felt the same. Trevor Noah specifically requested Lizzo, one of the photographers favorite. “Jane Fonda liked Ella Fitzgerald and Maya Rudolph, who I love, was like ‘Let’s put on the Homecoming soundtrack!’ She knew every word of the entire sequence. That was really cool as well,” explained Alexandra. “Everyone was so kind. I’ve actually worked with Natasha Lyonne before at a different time in my career, closer to the beginning, so it was funny when she and I saw each other again and were able to share this moment about how far we’ve come in our careers, to be working together again on a project like this!”
We Are The Rhoads Bring the Sunshine to Tod’sIn their latest campaign with Tod’s, photographers We Are The Rhoads wanted to capture the latest designs of the season on a bright sunny day. The only problem was that when the day came, it wasn’t sunny at all.
The photo shoot was scheduled to take place outside on a sunny December Los Angeles day, and slated to debut for the Spring season. The objective of the campaign was to not only show the collection, focusing on an aesthetic similar to a hot summer day in Italy but also to capture an authentic and honest narrative that The Rhoads are known for. Although it’s shown in the final result, the sun didn’t actually shine on the shooting day. Instead, it rained the entire week.Despite several locations ready to go for the campaign, a last-minute weather change forced the shoot to move inside of a studio. Agile and dedicated to the aesthetic, The Rhoads were able to construct a new a set, replicating the natural beauty of a sunny day, all in the 24 hours before the models arrived. “It was pretty intense to change an entire shoot from being outdoors to indoors and creating light, sunlight and all that, inside a dark room. It was a big warehouse. The biggest warehouse in LA,” said Sarah of The Rhoads. Without design, without artistry, and without equipment, a studio is just a dark empty room. The Rhoads and their team were able to take that clean slate and turn it into a look that was everything they needed to be.The result is a series of images that live in the light. As creative masters of their craft, The Rhoads created sunlight in a studio setting where there wasn’t any, resulting in natural shading, with true shadows of artificial trees throughout the imagery. Despite the weather and last-minute changes, the photography pair were able to capture the effortless chic spirit of the Tod’s collection in their signature authentic style, despite the most challenging of circumstances.
Seth Brody’s Sculpture Studio for Christian Siriano
Visual artist and production designer Seth Brody created a studio of sculptures for the recent showcase of Christian Siriano’s latest Resort line. The overall aesthetic for the shoot, as well as the collection, was inspired by the sculptures of the Atelier Brancusi from the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, France. “Christian was initially inspired by the sculptor Constantin Brancusi and shared some photos of his studio. He showed me the colors and textures of the clothing he was designing and gave me full creative control from there,” explained Seth.
“I knew we would be shooting in his new showroom, which was once owned by Faberge, so loading large props in and out of the room had to be done carefully. We had to be mindful of weight and potential damage to the building. I decided to use styrofoam for a lot of the white sculpture’s legs, reinforced with wood in the center and then epoxy coated for durability. I sourced only salvaged styrofoam from Big Reuse, a shop on the Gowanus Canal that saves materials from the landfill and resells them. Other lightweight materials were used as well like salvaged cedar, wood, and pine.”
Seth worked on one set of sculptures per week and spent a total of about four weeks on just the initial inspiration - without even the drawings or renderings. “I got so into the project that we had to edit out about 20% of the sculptures because we were limited with space.”
While this is the latest collaboration between Seth and Christiano Siriano, it isn’t the first. Seth worked with Christian to design the striking violet sets for his recent Pre-Fall collection with backdrops with hues of lavender and lilac that leave you dreaming of Provence in bloom. “I have been working in this industry for almost 20 years and I must say, working with Christian was a truly unique experience. He is so talented and hands-on when it comes to styling, dressing, moving props. He is very inspiring to work with and a really unique talent. The project was fun, challenging and allowed me to be my best using all types of materials all types of tools and 100% creativity.”
Jenue Paints the Town Pride
B&A illustrator, Jenue, recently collaborated with Time Out Magazine to create cover art that celebrates LGBTQ pride for the month of June. The artist created three unique covers; one for New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Each cover has their respective cityscape in the background with Jenue’s rainbow typography that reads “Paint the Town Pride” on each cover. The typography on each of the three covers are all slightly different in layout and coloring, but maintain the same three dimensional, textured feeling, as if the words were actually painted over the black and white backdrop.
Known for using a great deal of color in his work, Time Out asked Jenue to create a colorful, rainbow painted typography for the covers, inspired by one of his recent personal projects. For that personal project as well as this project for Time Out, Jenue utilized a new technique that he discovered by mixing different software, which allows him to create the realistic acrylic paintings seen on these magazine covers. Jenue explains that he has “always been inspired by primary colors and graffiti, and acrylic painting, so I always want to find ways to create things that look real and craft, but in CGI.” These inspirations are seen across Jenue’s work, as well as on the Time Out covers.
The main concept of this project was to “Paint the Town.” Jenue explains that this project was a collaborative effort between the Time Out team and himself. “Time Out gave me the photography in black and white, and they wanted me to create paint on top in rainbow colors.” The illustrator took this concept and ran with it by creating rainbow ribbons that tie together the city buildings and typography in a very authentic way, where the colors seem to literally pop off the page.
Of the three different covers, Jenue says the New York design is his favorite. All three covers can be seen in their respective cities this summer in celebration of the city’s LGBTQ communities.
Michael Schnabel Travels to Athens With Range Rover
In his latest project with Range Rover, photographer Michael Schnabel traveled to Greece to capture the contemporary, sleek feeling of the Evoque. In a compelling series of images, Michael captures the car as it travels through the streets of Athens where the beauty of the historical city compliments the luxury of the vehicle.
“Usually, my productions are very structured, where someone scouts locations beforehand. This shoot was really instinctive, although we did do some research. We flew to Athens, and cruised around the city for a day and found some nice places. The car was located in Athens, and the city itself was super accommodating, even though we didn’t use local production. I was amazed. Everyone was super easy going and we felt so welcomed there. It felt right to shoot there. The Evoque is a classic car, so it’s essence is a city with a lot of history. It’s much more of a city SUV than an off-road SUV.”
The team agreed on a general look and feel, and the collaboration with Michael felt natural. Michael took risks with some of his signature touches including layering, double exposure and shooting through the glass. “I sometimes use a lot of layers in my work. I do that a lot because to me it resembles how dense our life is, how many layers our lives have. There’s just so much going on in the world. The layering relates to the many layers of our lives,” explains Michael. “This whole shoot was pretty spontaneous. We had different priorities for what we liked and what we wanted to catch in variety. The art director knew what he wanted and gave me a lot of room to create. Sometimes I would shoot through the glass of the car it would give me extra layering. Sometimes I use these big tools and it’s totally controlled, but this shoot was very different and I think it worked out really well.”
Michael's passion for both automobile photography and travel brought the project to life, giving him the ability to tell the story in an innate way that conveys a sense of belonging for the Evoque on the streets of Athens. “I’ve never been to Greece, I was very excited to go to a place which I have never seen. Shooting in December in the southern part of Europe is just rewarding. I haven’t shot with such a small team in a while, so it was really nice. Wherever you see the car in motion in this body of work, it was actually in motion. We did a lot of car to car shooting from one Evoque to another Evoque. It honestly felt a little bit like a personal project which made it special too. I got to drive the car, it was a great ride.”
Buff Monster's Wall of Pride
Throughout the month of June, cities across the U.S. celebrate the LGBTQ community in various ways. In an exciting new campaign, NYC Pride’s WorldPride Mural Project Initiative, collaborated with production and curation partner, The LISA Project NYC, founding partner, HSBC Bank, and major supporter, Macy’s to participate in the 2019 World Pride celebration. The LISA Project is a non-profit organization, with a mission to unite and support a diverse group of artists in NYC to curate the start of mural art districts throughout the city. 50 local and international artists were selected to create murals across the five boroughs of New York that reflect and honor the beauty, struggle, and strides of the LGBTQIA+ community throughout May and June. B&A Mural Artist, Buff Monster, was among the artists selected to participate in the creation of these murals.
“I’m excited to contribute this giant mural to the neighborhood and I’m happy to bring awareness to the struggles and triumphs of the LGBTQ community.” Buff Monster’s giant pride mural was completed near his Manhattan studio on the Lower East Side. Measuring 94 feet wide and 31 feet high, the mural stretches across the entire face of a building on Chrystie Street. Buff Monster is not unfamiliar with working in this space. In 2014, he worked on a different mural with the LISA Project on the same wall that his new mural is painted on. “I’ve always loved this building; there is a park across the street, you can see the mural for blocks away and there is a lot of traffic turning at the mural for the Holland tunnel (outside of which another huge mural of mine is located).”
Buff Monster’s mural is the largest of the 50 curated for this initiative across NYC, featuring a “diverse group of characters with various expressions unified by a rainbow; capturing various stages of the struggle and triumph of the LGBTQ community,” explains Buff Monster. The figures of the mural are on brand with Buff Monster’s work, one-eyed, animated, characters. However, rather than each character being their own individual color, which is seen in most of his work, each character is filled in with a rainbow gradient of color. While each of their personal expressions makes them unique, the rainbow gradient unites the characters with the symbol of the World Pride celebration. When walking past the mural alongside the building, it’s easy to just see the characters one by one. But, when looking at the whole wall with a little more distance, one can see how the expressions of the various characters tell the story Buff Monster intended - both the struggles and triumphs of the LGBTQ community.
This mural was a seven-day undertaking and is just a bit smaller than the largest mural Buff Monster has ever worked on. The LISA Project team prepared and prime the wall, Buff Monster then sketched his design and filled it all in with the help of his assistants Amanda and Sam. “I’m very happy to be a part of this historic celebration, especially at a time that we’re divided more than ever. Big thanks to the LISA Project and NYC Pride for all their support, my assistants Amanda and Sam, and of course, Dana Dynamite.”