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Matthew Woodson – Ghostco Illustrator July 27, 2007

Posted by Ivan Pols in art, blog, comic, drawing, figurative art, ghostco, hot girls, illustration, images, matthew goodson, matthew woodson, painting, portfolio, women.
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Ghostco 01

Matthew Woodson was born and raised in rural southern Indiana. At a young age he developed a fascination for natural history and the elegant simplicity of silent moments and small deaths. He then moved to Chicago to attend The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, where natural history was non-existent and silent moments / small deaths were few and far between. After graduating in early 2006 Matthew still lives in Chicago, in an apartment full of original hardwood floors, taxidermy, and a cat.

Ghostco 02

I like Ghostco. His illustration is obviously awesome but he also has something interesting to say.  He’s an interesting guy who draws. So make sure you read his blog and look at his portfolio.


The Viral Palette July 9, 2007

Posted by Ivan Pols in advertising, articles, blog, comment, culture, design, film, free, funny, games, geek, ivan pols, media, news, portfolio, presentation, statistics, technology, trash, viral, writing, youtube.

One of the problems that Marketers are concerned with is how do they maintain Brand Values while trying to maximise reach with Viral Media. They’re uncomfortable with the stunty craziness associated with YouTube but realise they can’t miss out on the opportunity. What do they do?

I’m going to bust the misconception that you need to be off strategy and whacky in order to get millions of people interested in your content. In fact, the most viewed, most memorable corporate content is all about brand strategy and brand values. You have to have something to say, why not say what you believe in?

Instead of talking about the sociological theories of viral media or showing a powerpoint slide with the “marketing approach” shopping list (which only provides the illusion of brand control) I’ll show some examples and do a quick precis of what I believe they do. This is by no means an exhaustive list of options but I’ll try to cover the main bases.

How do you get people to pass along your message? Here’s what worked for a few brands.

Take a Stand

A couple of guys jump an airport fence under cover of darkness and tag “Still Free” onto the fuselage of Airforce One. It’s a political statement. Well, it’s a corporate political statement. Marc Ecko and Droga 5 decided to make a film that embodies the spirit of the Ecko clothing label: The Art of Street Graffiti, Freedom of Speech (Ecko had sued New York City over the right to a graffiti competition) and champion of the youth. The sheer audacity of the prank meant it spread like wildfire. Ecko quickly (nearly the next day) explained why they did it in a statement from the owner himself where he mentions all of his Ecko properties. He did it for the kids of America, because he believes it’s the right thing to do, because it creates an altruistic brand character for people who sell t-shirts to kids from the hood and the burbs. They claim nearly 80 Million views.

Buy the Still Free t-shirt
Read about the Still Free Game
The Marc Ecko Brand
Still Free Official Site

Cannes Cyber Grand Prix 2006


Behind Rikki Kasso July 7, 2007

Posted by Ivan Pols in art, blog, culture, drawing, emo, erotic, erotica, fantasy art, female, figurative art, funny, hot girls, illustration, images, Japan, manga, objectification, painting, photography, portfolio, Rikki Kasso.
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Rikki Kasso

This is probably one of the most prolific creators on the net. Rikki Kasso is from Shibuya, Japan and runs 7 blogs, probably has a real job as well, draws, photographs and exhibits and also , I repeat, finds time to blog about it all. I’ve mentioned Tokyo Undressed before, and here is another of his projects, Behind The Lines. Impressive if only for the sheer volume of illustrations. If you’re a fan of ink and paper and Japanese bondage/furries you’ll get a kick out of this site. NSFW.

Behind The Lines

ps. Cool Girl 365 has a feature by Rikki Kasso. You’ll have to dig for it but the digging is fun. Again: NSFW.

Where, Why, What, When, How That Phone? June 27, 2007

Posted by Ivan Pols in blog, culture, design, documentary, free, presentation, research, statistics.
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“A lot of rich qualitative user research loses its soul by the time it’s been squeezed into conference and journal submission formats and in addition, work involving concept generation tends to remain confidential. So what you see here scratches the surface, nothing more.”

And that quote is about right, but do not think that it’s not very interesting. There are a lot of  odd tidbits that are worth knowing. They traveled to 11 cities, interviewed over a thousand people and have the pictures to prove it. If you have any interest in how hand held devices, any hand held device, may change in the future, these presentations may give you a little head start.

I enjoyed the blog format of their travels coupled with the PDF files that explain what they found. I guess the questionnaires must have been an exercise in information design by themselves, how do you ask a guy from Kampala about the interface design issues he’s been having? The writer posts some interesting thoughts from the cities, like this one, ‘ “What happens when everything is transformed into ‘experience’ shopping? And the experience shops are clustered in close proximity? Is it possible to experience, well, ‘experience fatigue’?” Some of them sound like he’s a bit jet lagged, some are relevant musings from a good scholar. It’s a blog, dammit.


Maarten June 27, 2007

Posted by Ivan Pols in art, blog, comic, comic strip, drawing, figurative art, hot girls, illustration, images, painting, Pinups, women.
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In my experience this style of illustration can turn out really badly. Except if Maarten is the executor. Beautiful pieces with a lot of fun and sexiness thrown in. Well worth a meander.
This is his official site and this is his  agent’s page for him. And here is his blog, Champagne Cat Fight. Chicks dig it.

ps. His agent is is a Netherlands company called Comic House. Have a peruse through their portfolios. Very cool collection of European talent.

Cali Rezo – A Mannered Digital Painter June 14, 2007

Posted by Ivan Pols in art, art crush, blog, drawing, female, figurative art, hot girls, illustration, images, music, photoshop, portfolio, video, virb, women.
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 Cali Rezo

Cali Rezo makes painting look really easy. Not because of the fancy software she uses, the over large Wacom or clever cheats. It’s because she’s a damned talented Graphist. And she sings.
I especially like her distorted portraits but there is a huge portfolio on her site to choose from. She plays around quite a bit with subject but always with a technical prowess that makes me want to try harder. Cali’s images turn out so remarkably tight that she’s put together a “How Do I Work” video that shows that while she uses photographs as part of her process she does not work over them. The video is humbling to watch. In order for her to keep her art her own she has a day job, so all this work is after hours. I suspect she paints very fast. Her work is available to buy and she does commissions. I reckon she’d make a really good character designer for film and games.

Cali’s Home (includes all her portfolios and stuff).
Cali on Virb (you can hear her sing here as well).

The Sopranos Design Lesson June 11, 2007

Posted by Ivan Pols in articles, blog, culture, design, design observer, funny.
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Michael Beirut has written a bona fide Soprano’s missive that gives all creatives some timely and astute advice. From Client Relationships to Aesthetics, Beirut finds the lesson in The Sopranos.

On commitment:
“I came home one day, shot her four times. Twice in the head. Killed her aunt, too. I didn’t know she was there. And the mailman. At that point, I had to fully commit.”

I heard this back in design school, and I still forget it every now and then: if you’re going to make something big, make it really big. If you’re going to make it simple, make it really simple. Or really small, or really fancy. If you’re going after a project, if you’re trying to win a competition, if you’re serious about getting the job done, don’t bother unless you’re willing to fully commit.

Well written, brilliantly spotted and impeccably researched. Read Don Beirut at Design Observer.

Creative Review / Blog May 17, 2007

Posted by Ivan Pols in advertising, art, articles, blog, comment, design, drawing, fashion, film, illustration, images, media, news, photography, posters, technology, video, writing.
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CR Blog


Design Observer – Writings on the Wall and Other Places May 4, 2007

Posted by Ivan Pols in advertising, art, articles, blog, design, design observer, politics, posters, radio, writing.
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If you work in the design industries, you may sometimes be tempted to think about your partcular niche of this calling. Perhaps, you have profound thoughts immediately and reward yourself with a sickly latte. Or perhaps you scratch your head like the majority of upright monkeys and reward yourself with a sickly latte. If this is your fate then you need some help from the people at the Design Observer. They are most likely far more astute and well-spoken than you could ever hope to be and therefore can be quoted and name-dropped with gay abandon. They are Michael Bierut (Pentagram), William Drenttel and Jessica Helfad (Winterhouse) and Rick Poynor (scholar). They have a couple of contributing writers and the site is an Artkrush fave. This blog has all the intellectual fodder your caffiene addled brain can handle.

Excellent writing, great thinking and non-“design” design.


David Byrne Radio – Vox Humana April 25, 2007

Posted by Ivan Pols in art, blog, david byrne, documentary, music, radio, technology.
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David Byrne

This month’s David Byrne Radio play list is nearly at an end. But not ended yet and it’s damn interesting. He writes a little essay on the theme for the month as well:

Vox Humana

This is the Latin phrase for the human voice, for a stop on pipe organs and is [I believe] the title of a play by Cocteau that features a distraught woman talking to her lover on a telephone. I’ve recently stumbled on a bunch of wonderful recent recordings that feature spoken word or the human voice manipulated in various ways — it almost makes me think this might be a time when this vague genre might be flourishing. Really exciting and sometimes funny stuff. Not quite singing, most of the time, but definitely musical.

Your ears will thank you and your friends will be impressed by your knowledge of this odd musical genre. My problem is where to get most of the stuff on this play list . Who stocks Casino Lost by Philip Bimstein? (eMusic seem to have some of it.)

Go here, hit play, copy the playlist.

ps. David Byrne is definitely worth checking out. As a musician and as a thinker.