Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cristiana Couceiro, Sete Dias

Cristiana Couceiro's illustration style is one of my favorite things I've come across all year. Absolutely beautiful. A perfect balance of lines, shapes, and diagrams, interesting grid use, and the icing on the cake, vintage photography. The design is very clean, but there's definitely a sense of playfulness. I'm sure her work will speak for itself.

Cristiana works form Lisboa, Portugal. To see more of her inspiring work, visit her blog, Sete Dias.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Breaking the Norm

Alright, so you know how I warn you in my sidenote to the right to come prepared for anything? I'm going to make good use of that today.

I've been doing a lot of the same, lately. Too many routines. And when things start feeling like this, it can be kind of nice to do something differently. Something small, something normally routine. Something you usually do without thinking.

I don't know why I followed this urge today, but I did. It was my walk. I have a way that I normally walk. Without thinking, that's how I transport myself from one point to another. I couldn't even describe it to you if I wanted to. It's just natural. You're probably the same way.

But if you take your time to change something in your walk, the entire experience is different. Me, I took longer strides. Not that anybody else would notice, but I did. It was entirely new. I covered more ground with each step, my hair bounced more, I could feel the wind in my face, and I got the feeling that I was somehow more important. For about ten seconds, everything was new and I wasn't doing something routine.

This is crazy talk. I'm not sure why I'm posting this necessarily. I guess it just helps to remind yourself that you always have control over the little things. Hell, you even have control over the big things, if you let yourself. Maybe this type of experiment is a good thing to try every now and then.

I actually wrote this post a month or two ago, and ended up saving it as a draft because I thought it might be crazy talk. But as I read over it tonight, it made me smile and I realized it is relevant.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Better Days

"Progress's natural companion is nostalgia for the way things used to be." - from episode 6 of This American Life, the TV show

I don't know about the rest of the world, but for me the sentence above is a perfect summation of our existence, as of late. I remember growing up and hearing adults complain about how fast everything was changing, that one day we wouldn't be able to buy the newest version before another was released. Well, I get it now. Are we there yet?

The above quote is from an episode called Pandora's Box, from a sequence on pig farming. The story explores man vs. nature, scientists trying to create the perfect piece of meat, and in the process losing the essential pig altogether. Different things happened in the course of pig-perfecting, and basically scientists and farmers ended up simply trading quality for quality. At one point you start to think, Have they really moved forward at all, or are they just running in place?

Since I've moved here, I've been reminded time and again of how young I am, and how much has changed in my life. The biggest realization of this happened when I was introduced to one of the computers I work on at CSA. It reminds me of the computer I used in the days of middle school and the Oregon Trail, when AIM first came out and chat rooms were the bee's knees. (That is a great phrase, don't knock it.) But there are people I work with that remember when they bought that computer and it was absolutely state-of-the-art. When was this? Not much more than 10 years ago. In that time, we've progressed so much that I don't even know how to work this computer anymore. I'm like the out-of-date teacher that can never find the power button.

As I've gotten older, I've noticed that I get more cases of nostalgia, and I wonder if this is because I have more years to reminisce, or because things are changing so quickly that I have too much to think back about. More of my conversations begin with, "Remember when..." I find myself longing for the days of renting a VHS, of listening to CD's in a boombox, even of the old Facebook that was only college students. I miss actual photographs and snail mail. I miss running to get the phone in time, not knowing who it would be but hoping it was that certain boy. I miss Pac Man, Super Mario, and Boy Meets World. Hell, I miss scrunchies.

Every time they change something and claim that it's new and improved, all I can think is, Again?? I just don't buy it. I know of people who still own their appliances from the 40's and 50's, who haven't had as many problems and repairs as appliances bought last year. It's all just one big quality trade-off. I don't think we'll ever get all of the kinks out, but if we did I'd probably miss them.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Whole New Paper Art

I've noticed a rise in the trend of paper cutting. It's amazing when done right, but it's beginning to feel like my favorite song that's been played on the radio too much. I was browsing ffffound today when I stumbled across the work of a Mr. Simon Schubert, a German artist who specializes in his own kind of paper art. This is something I've never seen done before. I would really love to see these in person.

Can you just imagine if these were life-size? Or bigger??