January 22, 2010 |
Almost every day, my in box fattens with e-mails from America's freelance writers -- adding their voices to those I quoted a couple of weeks ago about the devastating downturn in the writing market. In bemoaning the need for speed, the flight from quality and the persistent decrease in pay, it turns out writers have a lot in common with photographers. And graphic artists. And architects. And musicians. And, well, with just about anyone who sees his creative endeavors being commodified or who is exposed to low-cost foreign competition via the Internet.
April 4, 2009 |
Mister Cartoon eyeballed a blank spot on the giant graffiti mural and rattled his can of spray paint. An aerosol hiss filled the air. With a few fluid swipes of his beefy arm, an image began to take shape: a cluster of storm clouds massing above a Windex blue hot rod. "If I knew the cops were coming to bust me, I could probably finish this whole thing in an hour," the street artist joked.
March 23, 2009 |
Shepard Fairey is a talented Los Angeles graphic designer who has twice hit the big time with the public. Provocative connections between the two episodes emerge from a survey of Fairey's work at the Institute of Contemporary Art. So do the rather stark limitations of his work. Fairey's first impact was commercial -- "Obey Giant," a 1989 street-art project that grew into a thriving youth-market business in stickers, posters, apparel, notebooks and other retail products. His second was political -- a 2008 poster, made independently to support Barack Obama's presidential aspirations, that was quickly embraced by the candidate and an ever-widening cadre of supporters.
March 23, 2008 |
Sitting on Geoff McFetridge's work table in an Atwater Village studio, there's a man holding a trombone that's turning into a chair. A dog's face bursts from the hoodie of a phantom figure. An umbrella shelters a man holding an ice cream cone, a half-circle and triangle forming a spare ink-black silhouette. The caption awaits. In the imaginary landscape where the 36-year-old graphic designer spends much of his time, shapes and words bump against one another on their way toward a solid idea.
July 1, 2007 |
DESIGNERS are a dreamy bunch. Where we see chain-link fences, they imagine vistas; where we see letters as utilitarian symbols, they see vectors and human impulses; where we see books, they see experiences. Of course, some designers see their work as practical, physical -- necessary, in the most fundamental sense of the word. Inefficiency is ugly; lack of clarity is debilitating; language, in all its many forms -- aural, visual and print -- is only one way to tell a story.
May 27, 2007 |
THEY'RE not Luddites. They stare at computer screens and text their friends and Web surf like most of their peers. But when it comes to crafting quirky graphic design, some L.A.-area college students with a passion for visual experimentation find that nothing beats old-fashioned hard copy.