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Altrincham Arts Festival

I don’t show much of my design work – which is something I’m going to change, as it’s the lions share of my work. Last week I was offered a short brief to complete a poster for an arts festival In Altrincham. It’s a new venture and I thought this blog could both show this work off and promote the event.

Do check out the Festival here, and if you’re in the area, or nearby mid October.

The brief was to create something that reflected Arts and Crafts more than the type of graphics that we all regularly see, this is very different to my usual style which is very corporate. I’d also been given the circular illustration (by the very talented Yoko Isami) which helped a lot in defining the ‘softer’ aspects brief to me – this means that the selected illustration defines the poster very directly. It was also well chosen; If it was a conventional ‘graphic’, whether that was corporate or more trend (hipster) driven, it would have misrepresented the Festival’s collection of mixed arts. I worked with the curator, Carole Evans, to get the textures and type correct, and reflect the spirit of the festival. She’s pleased with the result, and says it’s been well received, so I’m pleased too!

AAF FINAL

Wellbeing in Clerkenwell – Clerkenwellbeing

I have been a a little quiet this past week with regards to photography as i have been creating some simple websites (yes, in WordPress) for a collection of businesses hosted in the new Clerkenwellbeing project (their own site is designed eslewhere). The Clerkenwellbeing project is essentially to create a health centre on Goswell Road for the practitioners of complimentary therapies. These includes; yoga, acupuncture, pilates, sports remedial massage and chiropractic – which is how the business began 15 years ago.

So as this work has been my focus – particularly in the last week as I begin tweaking web and print jobs for the LAUNCH DAY (17 April 2013 – they have free taster sessions!). I thought to showcase some of the structures I have made for them, which they will soon to populate with words and images. As I go to (word)press they’re not quite ready – hence the screen-grabs. (the original sites are mostly holding pages for now, but will be viewable within the next few weeks as the copywriter gets busy on it).

I recommend them, not just because they gave me work – but because I have received treatment. Its a great practice full of dedicated professionals and good people who genuinely want to help others. It’s also been an immense learning curve for me. Including trying out some of the therapies over the last three months; nutrition therapy, chiropractic and sports massage. If any of my London followers are interested they’re at 178 Goswell Road, London, ECIV 7DT, 020 7490 4042.

The websites which will shortly be available include:

www.acupunturewellness.co.uk

www.eatwiselondon.com

www.yogaclerkenwell.co.uk

Acupuncture specialists London

Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 11.58.13

What is creativity?

I was out with a friend recently, we were talking about creativity. She stated she was very creative. She is. But I had the distinct feeling we were talking about two different things.

The dictionary states creativity is “the use of the imagination or original ideas, esp. in the production of an artistic work.”

This is what she does. She creates, shapes and builds her business, she used to renovate homes – I’m sure very beautifully from what I have seen of her work. Effectively what she does is creative.

I used to work in house at various companies, making brochures, flyers, exhibition graphics – that kind of thing. I still take on regular freelance graphic work – as well as photography work. And here’s the trick; In some of the environments it was easy and enjoayble employing my creativity – and in some places, well, some tasks really weren’t creative at all – it was more like painting by numbers – just plain administration.

So this raises a question: when people talk about creativity or being creative – most of the time they refer solely to making images, music or writing. Why is this?

I think that there can be something creative in what we all do. I took photographs at a conference last Friday. It was for 1st year students who were studying a range of disciplines at doctorate level. The talk was to do with their continued success. One of the speakers said they had studied their subject and were good enough to be at doctorate level. It was now time for them to get creative in their subject- whatever that subject was.

To me, this playful attitude is where good things begin. This is the root of creativity.

Stefan Sagmeister “Things I have learned in my life so far”

Review

Buy it

“Thinking life will be better in the future is stupid, I have to live now”. So Stefan tells us, despite the fact I think he’s right I couldn’t ever tell you how to categorise this book. In fact the maxims for living Stefan Sagmeister offers all seem to make sense, if not at first the story behind each may just change your mind.

Stefan Sagmeister is an Austrian Born typographer and graphic designer, operating from New York who often works on albums including those by David Byrne, The Rolling Stones and Lou Reed. His book, despite being well designed and unconventional in its appearance, is thoroughly accessible, as it’s essence lies in tested methods to improve his life. I would defy any reader not to identify with at least a few of them. As well as “Thinking life will be better in the future is stupid, I have to live now” he offers; “Material luxuries are best enjoyed in small doses” and “Assuming is Stifling”. But to give them all away would ruin the joy of this book, as its also about the viewer finding out how these maxims are revealed that is part of “Things…” appeal.

It’s close to an artists book in its constriction. Each maxim is singly bound and illustrated with a combination of photography / typography which is applied as if their marriage was always this harmonious. The ‘stories’ have no hierarchy no order as if to say that ‘none of these are more important than any other’. Gather them up and they all fit inside a box with a filigree / die cut Sagmeister face, changing the order they’re stored changes the cover of your ‘book’. His typography is in no way limited to a traditional electronic font database. In this book alone he uses tape, frankfurters and salt amongst many other things to convey his observations. These are revealed in this combination of text and photo word-by-word, page-by-page though each booklet.

Each section has a story which highlights his thinking for these life rules, these drive his reasoning home; they are entertaining, illuminating, funny and sometimes a little difficult. Look out particularly about the lecture from Quentin Crisp and an experience in an AA meeting.

I won’t put many images up from this book, as I think it has to be experienced. If you’re desperate to understand how it works he has asked the public to submit their own illutsrations of what they have learned, some of them are excellent – and some not so much. Judge for yourself here.

As stated this is a unique beautifully put together book. I really enjoyed it, in fact I bought it over two years ago. But I’m going back to it today just to make sure I haven’t missed anything.

BOOK REVIEW : Image credited Stefan Sagmeister / Things I have Learned In My Life So far

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