Thursday, 20 January 2011

Missing Garden

Dominik Smialowski's photography merges with Monika Prus' drawings to create the project 'Missing Garden' that utilises childlike chalkboard drawings to show allegories of childhood.

Smialowski says: "This work is a reflection of nostalgia for childhood, sentiment for light-hearted, idyllic kids life,  sorrow for something that maybe gone irretrievably.  It's also a modest rebellion against adults life and small glorification of being child."

They effectively remind me of aspects from my own childhood, particularly those below, whilst the contrast of the naive, carefree illustrations with the serious adults photographs reminds me that I will never again experience these things in the same way that a child can - with no worry or responsibility.

The Amplifetes - Somebody New

I may be massively slow on the up take as this song was released way back in May 2010 but I just cannot stop singing it around the house ever since it was on 90210 a few weeks ago.  Don't judge my taste in television taste...90210 is accompanied by One Tree Hill, The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl and many other American "crap" TV but their soundtracks are awesome if nothing else.  My housemate once caught me singing with a big smile on his face and said "I heard you singing, you have a beautiful voice." He may be French but he has English sarcasm down to an art. I'm hoping this will get The Amplifetes 'Somebody New' out of my head and prevent future embarrassment...

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Chew Fu: Whip My Hair

I almost can't believe I'm posting this, I never got on board with Willow's Whip My Hair, but then Chew Fu did a remix and I think it's awesome.  Have a listen.  He has a whole host of remixes up on YouTube, check out his YouTube channel for a wide variety of videos or just search Chew Fu.

BLANQ: Identity

BLANQ's (Jeffrey Wang's) Identity, a series of manipulated photographs, chronicles the progression of a woman "who morphs from innocence to struggles, and back to innocence."  The alterations give the impression of a woman shattering, unable to control her own destiny.  This is enhanced further by the mannequin style characters that also feature.  They seem to represent the struggles people go through to establish who they are, whilst continuously influenced by the world around them, their peers, their family, the media etc.  The development of the images is amazing so take a lot at the whole series.

This is not the first time I've featured BLANQ on this blog, I discovered Blanqworld's 36 Stratagems on their website nearly a year ago.  Having been called BLANQ, Blanqworld and simply Jeffrey Wang it's no wonder it took me a while to find the article link again for you to have a second look.  There are some great new projects, including Evolve, so have a browse if you like what you see here.  I'm pretty sure that as we all blur our digital and real lives, with our cameras instantly airbrushing and us adapted our digital persona to create a new variant of ourselves, this kind of photography will become commonplace in editorials.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Blog Reading List

Ok so this is maybe a bit of a cop out post, after all I'm directing you to other blogs which is probably not what I should even be doing, but over the last 6 months I have discovered some gems. Some have hundreds of fans some but a few and I think we should share the give them a go if they're your thing and if you like it make sure to leave a comment to give them a nice little boost. Everyone likes to know their writing is less interesting than the newspaper your fish and chips are wrapped in. (Please note if your chippy still puts your fish in newspaper now might be the time to find a new one.) Let me know what you think and feel free to suggest some blogs that you love.

The Blog Experiment:
Caleb Shreves writes some hilariously random stories as well as imaginary fun stuff are sure to keep you going on a regular basis.

Obnoxious Owl:
Warning: Owl is crude, blunt and often illustrates her posts with pornography. If this isn't your thing (or you are under age) please don't look. However, if a bit of crudeness is right up your street check her out. Her advice posts, particularly to men, are what almost every other women thinks but doesn't say.

Hyperbole and a Half:
This is a much loved blog and I'm sure you'll see why. Brilliantly funny anecdotes are paired with fantastically naive illustrations.

Ms. Fitz:
I discovered Ms. Fitz through a very tedious link. Her mother is my step father's step sister (I think that's right...). Needless to say this isn't what kept me interested (she doesn't even know the tedious link) what did is that she is fantastic. Check out some of the shoots she has styled and the accessories she has created. Brilliantly innovative. Oh, and if you like Obnoxious Owl this is the lady you need to thank as she introduced me to that blog. Thanks Ms. Fitz.

Plenty More Fish Out of Water:
Fishy is taking a break at the moment to write a book, which will be fantastically amusing if his blog is anything to go by, but read through his archives. His dating stories are fantastic. If you want something updated a bit more regularly try Tales From the Morning After, which is also great.

The Art of Being Perfect:
I cannot bake to save my life but this blog makes me wish I could. The pictures have me drooling and all I want to do is try the recipes. Sadly I don't even own flour. Maybe one of you can make the most of this blog. Particularly if you live in Brighton as the blogger runs her own cupcake company called Buttercream Bakery.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

University Arts Funding

A massive issue at my university currently is funding for the arts.  The governments limitations on funding for arts and humanities funding will effect many universities, thousands of students and the industries as a whole.  I am currently studying MA Fashion and Lifestyle Promotion at UCLAN, extending my knowledge from my BA (Hons) Fashion and Brand Promotion with Journalism, for which I gained a first.  There has always been an issue with funding but according to my tutor the only reason the creative departments are managing is because we are part of a larger university that also teaches subjects the government will fund such as sciences.

What is strange about this is that fashion is an extremely profitable industry.  It is worth £21 billion in the UK alone and is our 15th largest industry according to Fashion United, similar in size to the food/beverage services and telecommunications industries and bigger than the wholesale and retail of automotives, sports activities, chemical manufacture and advertising/video sectors".  Why aren't we investing in fashion and other creative industries when they are great for our country not just in economical terms but because of the culture they add.

Fashion is innovative and the UK has some of the best fashion colleges and universities, whose graduates are driving its future.  So how can this continue with a lack of arts funding?  It has been acknowledged by many newspapers, such as The Guardian, that this will hit those from lower income families especially as solely arts based universities will need to rethink fees and supplementary costs.  So how will universities continue to be fair to all students?  And how will graduates get noticed when they leave?

Graduate Fashion Week was a great opportunity for me, I won the Lyle and Scott Strategic Marketing Award and got lots of opportunities to meet mentors as well as a fantastic win to put on my CV.  Whilst Graduate Fashion Week and portfolio websites claim to be fantastic there is still an issue with costs.  Universities are wondering if they can afford a stand/a catwalk at Graduate Fashion Week and graduates simply can't afford to join portfolio websites when there is such a slim chance anyone will see them.

Lyle and Scott Strategic Marketing Award 2009, Image from GFW Website

I have been considering creating a magazine as part of my MA to highlight the brilliant and conceptual work that can come from unknown creatives in the worlds of music, art, fashion, architecture and graphics.  Trends and industry articles would be supplemented by imagery created by new talent and additional elements would profile successful people within the industry and offer exhibitions etc that could further inspire.  I think it would be great for students and people within industry alike, giving them a chance to see what was already out there, inspiring them to make the most of themselves and their businesses. What do you think?

Monday, 10 January 2011

Scott Schuman: Visual Life with Intel

Scott Schuman, the photographer whose blog The Sartorialist is iconic, has worked with Intel (a clever technological link, with Intel allowing The Sartorialist's work to continue effectively) to produce this insightful film on visual life.  Is is especially relevant when you take into consideration the highly digital age we live in and how that has effected him.  He is in his own way a trend forecaster.  He spies these people and their style is seen and emulated by people across the world.  It is great that he recognises this sharing, commenting and adaptation.  The fact that digitial opens the world to us.