Thursday, 28 March 2013

Moments of Happiness 03

Moments of Happiness - pics from my week
I've been trying to stay home a bit more lately instead of working at caf├ęs and stuff in order to not spend as much money, what with the petrol hike and whatnot. Because of that I've been having a LOT of kitten time (YAY kittens!) and haven't been taking pics of much else! So these pics are from a few weeks ago, but I really like them, hope you do too :)
Moments of Happiness - pics from my week - flowers
I love this cheap and nasty disco ball thingy I bought from a Chinese shop because it reflects the afternoon sunlight all over my room, which looks so pretty and also gets the kittens going crazy trying to catch the spots of light! Entertainment all round, haha. They're growing way too fast!

Happy Easter if you're celebrating, and if like me you're not, happy long weekend! :)

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Creative Surprise Invitation

Creative 3D Surprise Invitation
This is such awesome use of graphic design to create an experience and good memories! I'll let the pics explain :)
Creative 3D Surprise Invitation
Creative 3D Surprise Invitation
Creative 3D Surprise Invitation
Creative 3D Surprise Invitation
Clever, right? And so awesome.  It was done by Saint Gertrude Design & Letterpress, a small design studio and letterpress workshop in Melbourne, Australia, run by Amy Constable.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Cool Illustrated Animated Gifs

Illustrated animated gifs by Lumao
I love these animated gifs by illustrator, Lumao. So cool, and so unlike anything else. Unfortunately, that's pretty much all I know about him, there's no info on his site...
Illustrated animated gifs by Lumao
Illustrated animated gifs by Lumao
Illustrated animated gifs by Lumao
He also creates these cool handmade fugurines...
Handmade figurines by Lumao
Handmade figurines by Lumao
Check out more of his work here.

What I saw at Decorex Durban 2013

Decorex Durban 2013

Hi, peeps! I popped in at Decorex over the past weekend, so thought I'd share some of what I saw. Pics had to be snapped fast in between people walking past, but you get the general vibe. I had never been to Decorex before because I thought it was just homey stuff for people who were looking to get homey stuff done. I was right. Somehow the hype this year made me think there was more to it... there wasn't. Never fall for the hype, folks. It was cool to look at, but since I'm not in the market for any of what they were selling,  it wasn't relevant to me. It was also smaller than I expected (less that the full Durban Exhibition Centre hall and no outside stalls). But apart from all that it was pretty well done and it all looked great, particularly the food area which was laid out to look like a garden with mini vertical pallet gardens and bits of fake grass here and there, the food stalls were all uniform in wood with pretty lighting, so it had a really nice feel to it. 
Apart from the food area, the item that probably stood out the most was the beautiful cross stitch installation pictured above by stylist and interior decorator, Tracy Lee Lynch.

Decorex Durban 2013
Decorex Durban 2013
Decorex Durban 2013
Decorex Durban 2013
Decorex Durban 2013
Decorex Durban 2013
Unsurprisingly, the only stuff I left with was edible. I got a rose petal syrup from La Petite France, who specialise in cheese. It's so delicious, I just wanna keep dipping in. I drizzled some over a blob of ice-cream the other day - sooo yuummm! I also got a citrus balsamic drizzle from Froggit, which I haven't had a chance to try yet, but it tastes delicious on its own so should be yummy and help disguise salads well, hehe. 
Rose petal syrup and citrus balsamic drizzle

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Stunning opening titles of Oz, the Great and Powerful

Paper theatre vintage animation style - Stunning opening titles of Oz, the Great and Powerful
A few weeks ago I went to see Oz the Great and Powerful and being a fan of the original, I had high expectations. It follows quite a different story, which was not a bad thing coz I didn't end up spending the entire movie comparing it. My overall opinion is that it was beautifully done, all the scenery was fantastic and the Emerald City looked like a piece of vintage jewellery I'd love to own. I felt like it lost the plot a bit at the dramatic end scene, it got a bit hectic and it somehow felt a bit cheap and old. 

Anyway, the reason I'm blogging about it is not to tell you about the movie, but the opening title sequence, which was exquisite and blew me away. It was done in a vintage paper-theatre style, deeply layered to create the scenes with seemingly hand-painted artwork sliding in and out of the frame to create the animation, and was created by Garson Yu. Unfortunately they didn't actually create the real thing, which would have been cool, but made it all up digitally and did it fantastically well. It was truly a work of art, and although the movie was good, it was nowhere near the standard of the opening titles. Here's some of the inspiration they used...
Paper theatre vintage animation style - Stunning opening titles of Oz, the Great and Powerful
Paper theatre vintage animation style - Stunning opening titles of Oz, the Great and Powerful
Check out the video of it below. 

It doesn't really do it justice, it looked so much better on the big screen with the 3D effects.
This is the movie trailer...

And a clip from the 1939 movie starring Judy Garland...

And the silent movie created in 1910!

The original story by L. Frank Baum was published in 1900.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Watercolour and Pen Illustration

Happiness is... freelance illustration, graphic design & stationery - watercolour and pen illustration
I'm busy trying to tie up a lot of little projects at the moment, so haven't had too much time for posts, but here's a little doodle from the other day in the meantime. It's watercolour and pen. What do you think? Would like to use it for something soon. 

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Design Indaba 2013

So here's my "brief" round up of the Design Indaba! Better late than never, right? I must say, I personally enjoyed last year's conference a lot more - every single speaker seemed super inspirational. Nevertheless, it was definitely a good experience and was great to get some insight into the process of some of the top names in the creative industry. First up are the speakers that stood out the most for me...

Christoph Niemann - illustrator, graphic designer and author
Awesome illustration and a great sense of humour. I love how his concepts are so simple, yet so well done and clever. Coolest projects: he illustrated the New York City Marathon while running it. Painting and everything! Too awesome, check it out here. He also created an incredibly cool interractive picture book app called Petting Zoo, watch the video for it below. Available here. Check out this cool article where he explains how it came about.

Words of inspiration from Christoph (in my own words, not direct quotes):
• Use the things that you obsess about for creative material, there's a good chance there are other people that obsess about it, too. 
• On working on a project and creating stuff: It's like trying to catch a chicken with your bare hands - If you half ass it you don't get half a chicken, you get nothing. 
• There's often entertainment in the things that you think are everyday and mundane. 
• You don't discover new territory unless you get your hands dirty. 

Lousie Fili is a graphic designer that has created thousands of book covers and is a global leader in food packaging design. She is strongly influenced by Italian design and her work features a lot of exquisite typography. I'm a huge fan of her work and can't wait to get my hands on a copy of her latest book, Elegantissima. Be sure to have a browse through her work here. Oh, and she just also happens to be married to Steven Heller, another icon of graphic design.

Sir John Hegarty was another wonderful and entertaining speaker, the last of the conference. He's worked in advertising for some very big brands, and these two ads that he showed us were particularly fantastic and highly impactful.



And here are some of the others that were particularly interesting...

Paula Scher - Graphic designer specialising in environmental graphics
I loved how Paula didn't just show off her best work, but also showed projects that failed or didn't end up going through. She spoke about making the best of a bad brief, because we all at some point, or many points, get briefs that either don't provide enough information or are maybe just something you aren't interested in or don't want to work on, but she showed how she forced herself to think in very different directions to overcome the obstacles of the bad brief and make something of it in which she could be interested. 
Words of inspiration:
• “Sometimes you just wake up and you don’t have a brain in your head. If you can’t do it, fake it!”
• “Creativity is a small defiant act of misbehaving”

Ben Terrett - Head of Design at the UK government’s Cabinet Office
This was very interesting from a graphic design point of view specifically, and especially if you've worked with web design or anything else that has to be very functional. He took us through the process of redesigning the UK government's website, which was originally broken up into separate sites for each department, which all had a very different visual appearance and no common identity. They created a new logo and consolidated all those sites into one, gov.uk, and had the mammoth task of having to sift through all the information that was currently on there, making sure it was all relevant and easy to understand, and reworking the design to make it as easy as possible for anyone to get any information they need from this one site. 

Alex Chen - works for Google Creative Lab 
Created a number of digital projects that allow you to create music and sounds from visual elements and motion. Most interesting was his idea of "What does a scribble sound like?"


Oscar Diaz - Product Designer
I love how Oscar looks at everyday items and finds ways to make them better and more functional. His piece that is most recognisable is the beautiful ink calendar below. Check out his other cool projects here.

Leanie Van der Vyver was a definite stand out in the Pecha Kucha section with her Scary Beautiful shoes. I thought it was an excellent comment on the state of fashion and beauty.
"After working in fashion for seven years, she became very well aware of the manipulation of images in fashion that “suffer for a perfect result,” and how we unfortunately compare ourselves to these images. Her frustrations with this and her own feelings of inadequacy against these fake images brought about the Scary Beautiful project."

(Image and quote via Design Milk)

Masashi Kawamura spoke about the design process and how crucial the process is to the end result. He works mostly with video and created this pretty cool music video on a tiny budget using skype and fans of the band.


Steven Heller was really great to listen to because he spoke on a pretty casual level more about himself and his life than his work. I could really relate to his extensive collections - he has an entire room (maybe it was more than a room) absolutely filled with bits and pieces he's collected over the years. I don't have the space for that, but if I did I imagine I'd probably have a similarly massive collection. Check out his work here.

One of the speakers that I was looking forward to the most was Jessica Hische, a graphic designer who specialises in hand lettering, since I'm a big fan of her work. She spoke with Marian Bantjes in a conversational format which was something new for this conference. I enjoyed their presentation and it was great to kind of listen in on their conversation, as the format was. I felt it showed us their personality. However, I did wish they'd shared more of their work and thought process. Here's some of Jessica's work...
Design Indaba - Jessica Hische
Design Indaba - Jessica Hische
Design Indaba - Jessica Hische

For the full list of speakers and more information on the talks you can check out the Design Indaba website

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Covered in Cat Bums - an Illustrated Cat Bum Pattern

Happiness is... freelance illustration, graphic design & stationery - Cat Bum illustrated gift wrap

What do you think of this cat bum pattern? I thought it'd be funny, and it'll soon be for sale as gift wrap. Imagine getting a gift covered in cat bums! Hah! Strange, but fun.

Happiness is... freelance illustration, graphic design & stationery - Cat Bum illustrated gift wrap
I know I said I'd post about Design Indaba, but life got in the way and stuff's been going off one after the other since then so I haven't had a chance to put anything together at all! Will get round to a quick catch up of what I enjoyed most at some point.

I'd love to know what you think of the pattern! :)

Hand Lettering by Georgia Hill

Reserved plates created by Georgia Hill, freelance typographer, illustrator and graphic designer.
Georgia Hill is an Australian freelance typographer, illustrator and graphic designer working from Berlin, Germany.

"As of July 2012 I jumped ship and now live in the loftiest of lofts in Berlin, where I work with the very great Michelberger Hotel and either party on boats (naturally) or draw my time away. My work covers a broad range of applications, from the smallest logo to the largest wall."

I absolutely love the mix of contemporary hand lettering and vintage plates in these pieces she did for reserved seats at the Michelberger Hotel.
Reserved plates created by Georgia Hill, freelance typographer, illustrator and graphic designer.
Reserved plates created by Georgia Hill, freelance typographer, illustrator and graphic designer.
Reserved plates created by Georgia Hill, freelance typographer, illustrator and graphic designer.
Reserved plates created by Georgia Hill, freelance typographer, illustrator and graphic designer.
Georgia Hill, freelance typographer, illustrator and graphic designer.

Check out more of her work here.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Fear and Loathing in the Litter Box! A Cat-Hater's Handbook

Fear and Loathing in the Litter Box! A Cat-Hater's Handbook
I came across this old book the other day and thought it was fantastic! It was created in 1963 but only published in 1982. I know there are cat-haters out there (strange but true) but I've never come across something specially dedicated to them. I love the illustrations created by children's book illustrator, Tomi Ungerer, and the poems are really worth a read. Their absurd take on what is pretty much the truth is highly amusing. 

Fear and Loathing in the Litter Box! A Cat-Hater's Handbook
Fear and Loathing in the Litter Box! A Cat-Hater's Handbook
Fear and Loathing in the Litter Box! A Cat-Hater's Handbook
Fear and Loathing in the Litter Box! A Cat-Hater's Handbook
Fear and Loathing in the Litter Box! A Cat-Hater's Handbook
Fear and Loathing in the Litter Box! A Cat-Hater's Handbook
Fear and Loathing in the Litter Box! A Cat-Hater's Handbook
Fear and Loathing in the Litter Box! A Cat-Hater's Handbook
Fear and Loathing in the Litter Box! A Cat-Hater's Handbook
You can read more about it here
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