Came across this new Nike Sportswear Mister Cartoon video yesterday.
Almost a year ago, I was in a meeting along with Cartoon and the guys from SA Studios and ID Agency at their place in downtown LA. We were discussing an unrelated branding project but I got to see some of the early comps from this Nike True Colors stuff that Cartoon was working on at the time. Anyway, it was cool to watch this video and see how it all turned out.
If you didn't already know, Cartoon is the guy who has tattooed everybody and their moms - Dre, Kanye, Justin, Eminem, Beyonce, etc etc. And, if that's not enough, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard signed a deal to adapt his life into a movie. So, when that blows up 8 Mile style, you can come back and re-read this entry and finally have some type of an idea of exactly who I'm talking about.
P.S. Still trying to convince Matt to get matching 0484 tatts but I think he's scared of needles :(
POSTED BY gabe AT 9:06 PM
WHAT WE'RE UP TO
Got a case of chap stick in the mail today.
This is for a site we're building for a Hawaiian cosmetics company.
Besides the stuff for the denim company, we're also working on a video game site for kids, some type of financial management firm site, stuff for a couple law firms, a site for a promotional printer in Phoenix, and a couple branding projects.
And then of course we're "in talks with" a Brazilian jiu-jitsu studio, some kind of metal fabricator, an energy drink aimed at 40+ year old women and we just wrote a proposal to manage the social media strategy of a nationwide restaurant chain.
Some agencies like to specialize in work for one or two vertical markets but Matt and I like to keep things interesting.
POSTED BY gabe AT 11:12 PM
The new David Choe exhibit opens tomorrow over in Beverly Hills.
Choe is a Korean American art school dropout known for a very aggressive, sort of crude artistic style.
To be completely honest with you - I don't even like a lot of the guy's work. Choe is friends with James Jean, whose stuff I tend to prefer, and personally I like Evan Hecox more than both of them combined.
But the one thing that you cannot take away from Choe is that he undeniably has more charisma - much more of a distinct persona than any of his contemporaries.
All 3 of these photos are stolen from Choe's blog
For example, you see the blacked out Benz in this photo - the story goes that Choe was gambling in Vegas a few months ago and won big. So, he gets on Craigslist and finds this flat black painted Mercedes CLS. Then he brings a trash bag full of cash to the seller's home, dumps the money on the table and proceeds to drive the car back to LA.
And that's just the beginning. Choe's blog documents all of the random neurotic chaos that is his life - all of which seems to simply add to his enigmatic reputation for excess and mayhem.
Early on, the art establishment was slow to accept him and he says that he basically used the frustration from those initial rejections to fuel his now burgeoning career. He's now unbelievably successful and world famous - one of his portraits of Obama is currently hanging in the White House. And yet publicly he still maintains the subversive demeanor of a young, broke, angry and obscure struggling artist.
Anyway, it sort of just makes you think about how important people's backstories and public personas can be to their overall success. And this is his first solo show in LA in six years, so I'm looking forward to checking it out.
P.S. If you have more time than usual to waste today, check out this old blog entry of his entitled Gambling Man, in which he discusses, in detail, his blackjack philosophy and superstitions.
POSTED BY gabe AT 12:11 AM
The goal last week was to learn how to take professional photographs.
Iron Horse Jeans asked us to come out to Vegas where they were sponsoring an event and photograph some lifestyle shots for them. To make things more interesting, the models we were originally scheduled to shoot canceled a couple days before we flew out, so it fell upon us to cast their replacements.
In all honesty, we were decent, sort of hobby-level photographers before we started doing some research last week. As a small creative studio - we're not experts at everything, but when given a task, we try to dig in and prepare as much as possible.
These first 2 shots were from a bunch of random outdoor lighting tests we did Tuesday in San Diego
There are always some people that know more than we do - but we don't really let anyone outwork us. (I say that knowing full well that this blog, at times, depicts our lives as some type of semi-permanent vacation) Anyway, I think that ethos of perfectionism and preparedness has really helped to get us to where we're at today.
Wednesday we flew to Vegas. Read photography books on the plane (and listened to the new Usher album on my iPod).
Drove straight to JR Lighting to rent some equipment. By far the nicest staff at any place I've ever rented gear from.
Dinner with the Iron Horse crew at Sergio's Italian Garden Wednesday night.
The day before we flew out to Vegas, Matt and I dissected a few women's fashion magazines and brought our favorite ads with us to reference. If you saw Matt scouring issues of Elle and British Vogue, you'd understand how seriously we prepare for things.
And then Wednesday night we ran indoor lighting tests until about 2AM.
And the call time Thursday morning was 6AM.
We shot all day Thursday and Friday morning. Between Matt, Ryan and I, we photographed, styled, and art directed everything all sort of at the same time.
Candid outtake from one of the Thursday shoots
Had time for 2 meals Thursday - the buffet at South Point and dinner at P.F. Chang's
And here's a sample of how it all turned out. Can't really post most of the shots at the moment - as Iron Horse will be using them for advertising and marketing over the next few months, but here are a couple for now and I'll get more up later.
Click to enlarge - these are uncropped and unretouched
Overall, it went really well. We learned a lot and most importantly we were able to deliver the images that Iron Horse wanted. If we'd only won money at Craps it could've been the perfect Vegas trip.
Oh well, maybe next time.
POSTED BY gabe AT 11:35 PM
NBA SUPER BRACKET III
The new bracket is up and running.
Fill one out today.
Let your whole office know. Notify all your Facebook friends. Retweet the link to death.
Where else are you going to get $84 worth of free Chipotle burritos?
POSTED BY gabe AT 2:55 AM
LAS SAN DIEGO VEGAS
Spent the weekend in Vegas.
Met up with my roommates from college for a couple days.
Came home Sunday night and had a ton of things to do. Work's getting crazy hectic recently - which is always good.
This place is down the street from our old office in Long Beach. I was in the neighborhood today so I grabbed some satay chicken for old time's sake.
Drove to San Diego this afternoon.
Ran some camera and lighting tests out at the beach this evening.
And then tomorrow we fly back to Vegas to do a photoshoot out there at dawn on Thursday.
P.S. The new NBA bracket is on its way, so stay tuned.
POSTED BY gabe AT 11:59 PM
Matt and I needed to discuss a few projects the other day.
So we met up - in Big Bear.
Brought Ryan along as well.
It was hot and sort of slushy. We got sunburned and fairly carsick just driving up and down the mountain. Got a little bruised up, but no one broke anything.
Whatever, nobody ever said living the dream was going to be easy. And regardless, we really did squeeze in a few good work related discussions (in 5 minute increments throughout the day on the chairlift).
POSTED BY gabe AT 11:54 AM
I have a folder on my computer where I collect random images I come across online.
They're all sort of just pieces of ideas. Some of them I grab because I know that they'll help with a project we're working on at the moment, but most of them I save with no definite application in mind. A lot of them simply represent a certain style - of art, photography, vandalism, whatever...
I think this practice of archiving random inspiration is fairly common amongst artists and designers. I've heard that in ancient times people used to tear pages out of magazines or something along those lines.
Anyway, when we need ideas, this is the first place I look to steal them from.
POSTED BY gabe AT 2:01 AM
Matt and I killed some time this weekend working on our taxes.
We didn't actually do our taxes - we just crunched a bunch of numbers, did a little math and spent a couple hours discussing what's wrong with the tax code and things that seem like they should be deductible.
Taxes seem very different for us than for normal people. First of all, believe it or not, Matt and I usually have no real idea of how much money we make. Strange, but true. So, once a year, usually some random weekend startlingly close to the tax deadline, we add everything up and get to see, on paper, how things went the previous 12 months. It's sort of fun, in some ways, but can also be confusing because it makes you wonder 'Where in the hell did all that money go?'
Anyway, it's really too bad that the tax code makes no sense and that you have to be a rocket scientist in order to correctly itemize your deductions. Although, I think Barack told me he's going to reform and simplify the whole process - can't wait til that happens. I know he's busy at the moment handling a few other things, so I guess it can wait until his second term.
Besides all that, it was a pretty decent weekend. Roddick won down in Key Biscayne Sunday morning and then of course I got to eat Easter dinner with the fam. You can't really ask for much more than that, right? At least that's what I'm going to tell myself when I write this enormous check to the IRS next week.
POSTED BY gabe AT 1:39 AM
NEW ORLEANS II
And finally, the last of the trip pictures.
Stopped by a cemetery. Ryan and I took a few photos. Matt waited in the car
Lunch the last day, possibly the best meal of the trip. For sure the one containing least fried items. Unfortunately I forgot the name of this place.
Ended up catching the Hornets/Cavs game our last night in New Orleans. Well, technically we planned the trip around both the Hornets' schedule and Chris Paul's recovery timetable, so I guess going to the game wasn't exactly a spur of the moment decision.
Food on the Club Level at the arena was pretty legit - filet mignon sandwiches...
...and made-to-order pasta. But then again there were no Wetzel's Pretzels like they have at Staples Center.
And of course Lebron had 38 points and a million rebounds and two million assists, like usual. Cavs won fairly easily.
When the league found out that we were, in fact, the authors of nobizplan.com, aka (arguably) the world's most popular blog, they gave us passes to hang out after the game.
Diesel. Shaqtus. Kazaam.
We ran into Sebastian Telfair and spoke to him for a minute. I was basically the only person who recognized him. This kid has an incredible level of talent that he's never really been able to showcase as a pro, up to this point. He was doing alright this year for the Clippers before the trade to Cleveland. Now, behind Mo and Delonte, there's really no room for him so I hope he gets the chance to go somewhere in the offseason and perhaps finally finds his niche.
Then Lebron walked by. He kind of ignored everyone and headed straight for the team bus. Which is sad for him because I don't think he realized that he was passing up what could end up being his one shot at getting himself featured on our blog.
Think about it - Lebron sees the reporters from the national media and major daily newspapers everyday, but how often does he run into the preeminent sports and graphic design bloggers of their time? How common is it that Ryan is with us and was able to sneak in all his fancy pro camera equipment past arena security? Exactly - it appears Lebron may have missed his one shot at stardom by disregarding us.
Whatever, I'm sure it was probably a misunderstanding. He probably didn't recognize Matt and I - since he was wearing sunglasses, indoors, at night.
On the other hand, these guys hung around and asked if they could take some photos with us.
Point guard Mo Williams.
And power forward Antawn Jamison.
Just chillin with a couple of NBA All Stars. No big deal.
And last but not least, there's always room for a few more beignets.
POSTED BY gabe AT 12:59 AM