Art Inspires Art…

Art Inspires Art…

I heard a story on NPR All Things Considered yesterday and found it really interesting.

Listen Here:

Dave Brubeck, one of the most respected Jazz musicians of all time, along with his son, are taking the photos of the late great photographer Ansel Adams, and composing the music that they exude. Art inspiring art.

You know Ansel Adams, he’s the godfather of the black and white landscape photo. He wasn’t the first to shoot in the style, but he did it really well. He probably took that photo in that black and white poster you always see, and say, “I could have shot that, I’m not paying $250 for this.” I know I do.

The truth is you probably can’t, and I know I can’t. Ansel had an amazing way of taking his vision, what he saw both physically and creatively, and using his camera to achieve exactly that. Plus, no photoshop, no digital “I don’t like that one… DELETE,” just tedious and intentional exposures and development. He was a pioneer in bringing photography away from its existence as a way to document history and taking it to the realm of a legitimate art form.

According to the story, Ansel had the chops to be a concert pianist before he was sidetrack by his photographic endeavors.

“And many of my friends would beg me not to think about photography as a career, because I apparently was a fairly good pianist. And they would say photography is not an art; the camera cannot express the human soul.”
-Ansel Adams

And aside from the tremendous appreciation for the art, this is why the 88 year old Brubeck is interested in Adams and his photographs.

As I say, creative and artistic people have a tendency to derive inspiration from other art forms that they appreciate. As a graphic designer, I find that Paintings that I really like tend to have elements or roots of the graphic space in them. Movement. Direction. Simplicity. Layering. And a gridlike sensibility are all characteristics I look for, and that carry over even into my preferences of Music and Literature.

Similarly, I think that Dave Brubeck sees the same thing in Ansel Adams’ Photography. Brubeck sees the pianist in Adams pouring out. I think I agree, though I’m no expert. The inspiration that Adams shoots from comes from the perspective of a pianist partial to the works of Bach and Chopin. Subtle, yet expansive. Polarizing. Suspended movement.

Do you see it:

Anyway the Brubeck composition is entitled Ansel Adams: America and it premiered last night in Stockton, California. Not far from where Adams grew up. It sounds amazing, and if you can go by Brubecks track record it definately will be.

Here is some Dave Brubeck music to carry you through your day:


And here are some of the most popular and my favorites of Ansel Adams:

Radio Lab – "Choice"

Radio Lab – "Choice"

I have made no excuses or aversions to the fact that I am an NPR addict.

Over the last year I have become an avid follower of the show Radio Lab. They have an interesting explanatory/journalistic style, and incorporates sound in really effective and often abrasive ways.

Season Two just started up in the last few weeks.

While I think all the Radio Lab shows can apply to all of our lives, the show called “Choice” that aired last month applies especially to advertising (my chosen means of frustration for pay) and my company NGAGE in particular. It deals with why people choose, how they choose and and the utter randomness of the whole thing.

Here’s the discription form them:

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and… and… how the heck did you decide which one take? This hour, we explore Choice. Why do some people seem better at making decisions than others? Should you listen to your head or your heart? We turn up the volume on the voices in our heads and try to make sense of the babble. Forget free will, some important decisions could come down to a steaming cup of coffee.”

Do check it out. Listen while working or driving home or whenever. You can find it at their website or download the Podcast on iTunes, they’re both FREE of course.

Malcolm Gladwell, the buddah of consumer behavior is interviewed a lot. He’s kind of awesome. Very interesting.

It’s a great way to soothe your ears for an hour, enjoy!

Fun work

Martin Luther King Tribute

I wanted to attempt this style  in February, and being Black History Month I chose the Rev. as my muse.

His face is made up of the words of his epic Lincoln Memorial “I have a dream…” speech.

Take a look. I am having it framed as I type.

Smoking Goat Branding

I like beer.

Beer high in flavor, alcohol and price. I brew at home, but wouldn’t consider myself very good at this point. I’m working on it.

We have friends in Louisiana who I would consider really good. I designed some branding for their forthcoming brewery down there.

The Smoking Goat will hopefully be amazing, especially if I get some good beer out of the deal.

Have a look. Then drink a beer and have a look again. Continue this process until the logo looks awesome.

New Poster

This is a poster I made for my buddy Dustin.

A classic quote from him as we drove by Effingham, IL’s infamous and huge cross.

I thought it would look good in his new apartment.

Sheltered Perceptions

I recently got the chance to work on a project for the Humane Society. Given the fact that every time I walk into an animal shelter I have to be talked down from taking home every animal in the place, I was happy to help in anyway I could.

With the majority of pet buying in the United States coming from breeders, mall pet shops and unfortunately mills, animal shelters (specifically the Humane Society) are left overflowing with pets that need loving homes. They are running into a perception problem however, and many misconceptions about shelter pets are accepted as fact, and often repeated as such.

To get past this, we decided to take the problem head on, and address the most common misconceptions individually.

Here is where we landed:

Humane Society - Misconceptions"Mutt"

Humane Society - Misconceptions - "Bark"

Lauren and Dan sit’n in a tree…

My good friend Lauren is getting married in July, and though I am extremely jealous of her fiance Dan (don’t tell my wife), I made their save the date cards.

I use VistaPrint to print these types of things. Though the quality suffers, and the rumor is that they are destroying local community printers nationwide, for the price they can’t be beat. Check them out next time you want to customize your own holiday card or invitation.

Here’s how Lauren’s STDs turned out: