Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Our Blog Has Moved

When we designed our new website, we always planned to integrate a blog into it. So after many years on the Blogger platform we have now moved our blog into our own website as of September 3, 2010.

We divided up the content based on different personalities coming to our site.

Wallpaper: For those who come just for the cool images
http://www.mazzarello.com/Connect/Weekly_Wallpaper/

Studio News: For those who want to catch up on our company news
http://www.mazzarello.com/Connect/Studio_News/

Things We Like: For those who like our posts on music, film, etc.
http://www.mazzarello.com/Connect/Things_We_Like/

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Simplicity

Here is a great quote I came across:


Simplicity does not mean want or poverty. It does not mean the absence of any decor, or absolute nudity. It only means that the decor should belong intimately to the design proper, and that anything foreign to it should be taken away.
Paul Jacques Grillo

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Delicias Salvadoreñas


Mazzarello Media and Arts has teamed up with San Francisco's La Cocina to create a website for a fantastic SF bakery, Delicias Salvadoreñas. Part of the fun is that our website will be competing against other websites designed for La Cocina.

The new website will be live by midnight on Sunday August 15th so the public can vote on their favorites via Facebook, the San Francisco Street Food Festival website and the La Cocina website until Friday August 20th.

On August 21st, 2010 at the San Francisco Street Food Festival, a winner will be pronounced and be awarded. So be sure and vote!!

http://www.lacocinasf.org/delicias-salvadorenas-2/







Delicias Salvadoreñas:
Patricia Rodriguez, owner of Delicias Salvadoreñas grew up in San Salvador, El Sal vador, the daughter and granddaughter of bakers. As a child, she was always covered in flour and com ing to the US, she knew she wanted to share the love and history of these traditional breads with a new audience.

Delicias Salvadoreñas is committed to using the highest quality ingredients, to hand-making the products of her home coun try and to allow people to come to know and love the rich tradition of El Salvadoran breads and pastries.

Learn more about La Cocina:


La Cocina is a ground-breaking business incubator designed to reduce the obstacles that often prevent low-income food entrepreneurs from creating successful and sustainable small businesses.

By providing affordable, shared, commercial kitchen space, an array of industry-specific technical assistance and services, and access to market opportunities, La Cocina works with entrepreneurs as they launch, grow, and formalize successful food businesses.

We focus primarily on women from culturally diverse communities and immigrant communities. Our vision is that our program participants will become economically self-sufficient and contribute to a vibrant and diverse economy doing what they love to do.

For more information:
http://www.lacocinasf.org/

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wallpaper - Twisted Math


I really enjoyed patterns in math, the lines and shapes created by numbers and the challenge of problem solving. Once called the "Queen of Math" by a teacher, I had considered becoming a math teacher myself. While I didn't end up going down that path, the beauty of art is that all different kinds of minds can create, what I loved in math can now become my creations.

Monday, July 12, 2010

From Kehoe to Cavallo

"Toy Handle": Arrangements of beach plastic collected from Kehoe Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore.

Stephanie and I had the privilege of staying at the beautiful Cavallo Point Lodge in Sausalito in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge. At the lodge they have a great little gallery that is currently showing From Kehoe to Cavallo - the mystery in the mess Prints by Judith Selby Lang and Richard Lang July 8 – October 22, 2010.

These creative images are photographs of found plastic debris on the pristine Northern California coastline. The artist couple has been collecting for over 10 years and has amassed a large collection. They use the debris to make artworks including large sculptures, installations, photo tableaus and jewelry.

Here is what they do in their own words:

We are a collaborative team. Our love of nature is combined with our interest in science to produce an on-going series of art works about the oceans and the environment. While the content of our work has a message about the spoiling of the natural world by the industrial world, our final intent is aesthetic and celebratory.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

How to Schedule an Event or Meeting

Maybe your like us and wonder how you can coordinate multiple people schedules without the use of a full time office administrator. We recently discovered (thanks Jessica) that an amazing and FREE tool is available, called Doodle. This fantastic idea comes from the brilliant minds of Swiss programmers (I can imagine they are very organized in Zurich).

TechCrunch says, "Doodle is a free web app which helps you find suitable dates for group events, like an appointment, a conference call etc. It’s been around for a while as a hacker project, but after growing has now turned into a real startup.

Although I have not tried it, but heard good things about it, you can check out Berkeley-based TimeBridge for a more robust scheduling tool.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wallpaper - Urban Rural


This drawing is from a several years ago, around the time that we were watching documentaries and reading about food production in the 20th and 21st centuries. It was a drawing that organically developed from my mind processing ideas that I had previously not really considered.

Growing up in Southern California, I never experiencing farming or factories first hand, so I will not pretend to be an expert. I know that with advancing technology there are both pros and cons financially, ecologically and sociologically.

This is the same story in the design world. Designers used to create everything with their hands, but with the development of computers the role of the designer has changed quite a bit, for both the good and the bad.

Often we rely too heavily on the computer, I personally believe that it is important for our work to still feel touched by a human hand. A large portion of my work combines something I have personally drawn, painted or photographed with the technology available on photoshop and illustrator. I find myself drawn to the merging of organic and clean, hand-drawn and computer generated...that by beginning a design with our imperfect hands we create something uniquely us.

New Temp Front Page Is Up

After 4 years our trusty website will soon be replaced.

We have been working covertly in our secret design lair on our new website to be released this summer.

Now you can get a taste of where we are going. The new site will be all standards based code and will be updated with WebEngine Studios' CMS that we roll out with our clients' sites.

Don't worry, for those that love the current site we will have it always available, just like we still have our original 2004 website still up.

Get ready for color. Get ready for fun!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Getting Organized

Often people will ask how we stay organized with all of our projects. Running your own business can look a lot like a circus, but it does not have to be. One of the most draining aspects of running a small business is that not only are you doing all the actual work, but you are managing the business and the financials as well. There are 2 tools that have really helped us stay organized and are easy to use.

  1. Basecamp
    Basecamp has been a huge help. It helps us with file management with our clients, creating to-do lists, nailing down milestones, it even does time tracking for those of you who have billable hours, and best of all it streamlines your email flow so you have more time for the actual projects that you really need to work on.


  2. Quickbooks
    This has been a wonderful tool. It really is helpful, even to designers. It allows us to track all of our expenses, our income and it helps us run reports so we can see where we are at at the end of each month, quarter or fiscal year and even find out which clients are sending us the most business. So even Baz Kitty is impressed when we have our "board meetings".
Running a business can get easier, you just need the right tools. One of the best tools in gaining business is complete branding, from logo and cards to a website. Let us know how Mazzarello Media and Arts can help you.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Write the Future

This is an amazing commercial that captures the impact of global football (soccer) on popular culture. Well done Nike! One more classic commercial to add to your archives. We are huge Fabio Cannavaro fans so this was exciting for us on several levels.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wallpaper - Neue Helvetica Tribute


This week's wallpaper is a tribute to the Neue Helvetica typeface family. The phrase "I would love to be a part of this beautiful family" is 11 words long, representing the 11 fonts that we used from the family (there are 51 total). See if you can find all the words.

It was great to be able to celebrate type forms as artwork and not necessarily function. The plan is that every now and then we will release a typeface tribute wallpaper for typefaces that are important to our work.


History of the the Neue Helvetica Font Family
Except below from the Linotype website

Designer: Linotype Design Studio, 1983
The Neue Helvetica® Font Family is part of the Linotype Originals.

In 1983, D. Stempel AG redesigned the famous Helvetica typeface for the digital age, creating Neue Helvetica for Linotype: a self-contained font family. Today, this family consists of 51 different font weights.

Neue Helvetica sets new standards in terms of its form and number of variants. It is the quintessential sans serif font, timeless and neutral, and can be used for all types of communication. Neue Helvetica is one of three Helvetica typeface families from Linotype.

Friday, May 14, 2010

New Business Cards For a New Era


Today we got our new business cards back from our favorite printer, Greener Printer in Berkeley, CA!

You will notice that we actually printed 4 cards. 2 per person. Stephanie and I decided that we wanted to have a "collect all four" appeal. We each display our design style with the cards. Stephanie's has the more illustrated look (she hand-drew hers) and Bryan's has more or a grid layout.

Without further ado we present our new look. Website to follow later this summer.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wallpaper - Ring Ring


This week's wallpaper is a fun illustrative pattern of an old school rotary telephone. As we are working on our new website (coming summer 2010) we are working out new patterns and illustrations of common objects in our life. Although we don't have a rotary telephone, communication via phone is an important aspect to our daily lives. Can you remember back when we were all tied down to a phone jack on the wall? So much for privacy in those days. But there was something cool about the crazy, curly phone cords.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Pixar Visit

Luxo Jr. the Lamp and ball from the original 1986 Pixar film is brought to real life with sculpture on the Pixar campus in Emeryville, Calif. The light bulb lights up at night.

Who does not love Pixar? Ever since they released Toy Story the folks over at Pixar have been blowing our minds with creative stories and beautiful art.

Last Friday Stephanie and I had the chance to visit the Pixar campus in Emeryville, CA, a mere 3 miles from our office. Thanks to our new friend Jirat, we had an awesome tour from a super friendly animator, Austin, who walked us through the creative spaces of the animation department.

It was more of a wild college residence hall, rather than an office space. Instead of cubicles, each personal had a mini-house, complete with a roof and even front porch! We even saw one office space that was two stories! It was amazing. Down each "street" of offices there was a large lobby in the middle with arcade games and retro couches and of course a few Macs and flat screens so that the staff could review the progress of the project.

Turns out each animator cranks out a few seconds week! Luckily with their endless supply of cereal and coffee in the Pixar cafeteria and an on campus pool, they can do just about anything.

We had an awesomely inspiring time and are grateful to our neighbors for giving us a tour!

If you love Pixar you should watch the great DVD (Netflix link) of all their shorts!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wallpaper - New Amsterdam


This week's wallpaper is a collage of our photos from a New York trip. The view of Manhattan is from Brooklyn and the trees are from Central Park. We named this week's wallpaper from one of our favorite band's Travis' song New Amsterdam.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wallpaper - Icon Pattern


So we are done with taxes and some major projects. Unfortunately during the busy time we did not have time to develop any new wallpapers until this week.

This new wallpaper represents the new direction we are going with some of our personal work. Fun, bright colors and utilizing our logo's open space. The photo in the background is graffiti from a skate park in London along the waterfront.

Recently Stephanie and I have been reworking our business cards, planning our new website and developing our primary statement. We hope to share it with you this summer.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wallpaper - Spring Pop



You know it is spring when you have a hop in your step and the sun is shining on you. Suddenly the world is full of possibilities and colors are popping up all around you.

In this week's desktop wallpaper we wanted to create a visual representation of our emotions at this time of year. We hope you have a good week! Get out and smell some flowers!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wallpaper - Saint-Ouen



We love exploring. We especially love exploring cities. One can never tell what is around the corner unless one looks. We love that. One of our favorite things to do in a new city is to stroll and just take it all in.

When we visited Paris this past summer we had the chance to stay with our dear friends Aurélie and Giuseppe. Aurélie is a costume designer in the French film industry and they have great taste. They live in a very cool neighborhood call Saint-Ouen just outside the center of Paris. Saint-Ouen is home to the famous Paris's flea market (marché aux puces). This neighborhood has tons of texture and variety and is no surprise that our wallpaper comes from this street.

We found lots of old walls that for decades have been plastered with signs and advertisements for different market stalls. We just love the way the wall carried history and wore it well. We hope you can enjoy it as well.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Eco-friendly green printing

When we print, we always choose to print "green". What is green printing you ask?

When we choose a printer we want to know they are using paper from FSC-certified sources and vegetable-based inks.

Read the Grist.com article where Bryan Mazzarello was interviewed about his green printing choices.

Check out our favorite printer:
Greenerprinter.com


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wallpaper - Lights in the Night



Most of the time driving is no fun, especially when you are in traffic, but every now and then a good song comes on and you are just in the moment. Lights are flying by in the night and nothing can stop you.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Great Social Media Idea - Tweet your blog!

Are you like me and sometimes forget to tweet, or you are good at tweeting but forget you have a blog? Why not have your blog post get picked up my your twitter account and save yourself some time?

I recently set this up with twitterfeed.com. Feed your blog to twitter - twitterfeed lets you post any RSS or Atom feed to twitter automatically.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Public Profit Branding



We had the privilege of working with a fantastic client from Oakland. Public Profit works to improve the effectiveness of public service organizations like nonprofits, education, and government and helps them manage what matters.

We were very excited when we sat down to our first meeting with Public Profit because we could tell from the beginning this would be a good partnership! That is important when helping a brand start from scratch on all their design materials.

Public Profit made it very clear who they were and who their clients were. Once we got the full picture, Stephanie and I went to work, creating a color palate, choosing a typeface, and creating ultimately a new face for their organization.

Our contact Corey, was very responsive and helpful in responding during the process and very quickly we were able to build a catalog of materials:
  • logo
  • business card
  • letterhead and envelope
  • postcard/handout

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wallpaper - Green Cabin in the Woods



In the past two weeks Stephanie I have been able to enjoy a weekend in Boulder and a weekend in Tahoe. We were so inspired by the beauty we saw in the snowy mountains and trees! This week's image comes from the inspiration of a green cabin that struck me like lightening when I walked by. All around was white and then all of a sudden this weathered, green, cabin sat peacefully in the fluffy snow.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wallpaper - Sicilian Flowers




About this time of year we are daydreaming of another trip to Sicily. Last autumn we had an amazingly inspirational trip to Europe and we were sure to include a week in Sicily with my family. We hope this wallpaper will warm your computer up a bit on a cold winter's day and make you daydream of warm Tyrrhenian, autumn, breezes coming off the norther coast of Sicily. The photo was taken at the top of the hill over looking the my family's city of Capo d' Orlando.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wallpaper - Winter Rain




Happy New Year from Mazzarello Media and Arts. The winter season is here (except our Southern California friends and family). For us that means rain, although today it is quite pleasant.

Nevertheless, we decided that a desktop wallpaper of beautiful rain drops on our car windshield would be a nice image this week. Do you remember being a kid and watching the rain drops slide slowly down the glass, while your family was on a road trip? I always liked to think of it as a topographic map of some alien landscape.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wallpaper - Snowflakes




We realize that we live in Oakland, CA and that snow is not very common in the month of December, but we did get a bit of snow here in the East Bay on Mt. Diablo. While we rarely get to enjoy snow here in the Bay Area the natural beauty and and intricacy of a snowflake is universal.


Click for the full size image.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wallpaper - Autumn's Final Cry




As the season of Autumn gets set aside with preparation for Christmas (even though Winter does not start until December 21), we wanted to give you one last parting image of Autumn. We just love the look of the trees at this time of year and the lovely patterns their leaves make on the ground.


Click for the full size image.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Standards of Professional Practice

A professional designer adheres to principles of integrity that demonstrate respect for the profession, for colleagues, for clients, for audiences or consumers, and for society as a whole.

These standards define the expectations of a professional designer and represent the distinction of an AIGA member in the practice of design.
-AIGA


Read the whole Standards of Professional Practice
http://www.aiga.org/content.cfm/standards-professional-practice

Friday, December 4, 2009

Photos - New York



Around this time a few years ago we took a trip to New York City. New York is full of strong imagery and it was an inspiring trip. From the museums and galleries to the subway, ethnic cuisine and towering structures our eyes were busy taking it all in.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wallpaper - Foggy New York Night




New York truly is a wonderful place. This week's wallpaper comes from a shot in Manhattan on a foggy November night not long after Thanksgiving in 2007. I love the way cities look at night in the fog. Probably since I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and we know about fog. Still, there is something mysterious and haunting about it, but you can't pull your eyes away from the light reflecting in the water droplets of the night sky. I just love how the city skyline is transformed.


Click for the full size image.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wallpaper - Squash in November


Squash are wonderful for food, decoration and photography. Their vivid colors and unique shapes are so interesting, I only wish I could enjoy them all year long.

We picked up these beauties from our local farmers market. Apparently you can eat the outside if you roast it right.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wallpaper - Love Paris




Paris is a city to fall in love with. So many people from all over the world come to this city and are struck by its beauty. When the time comes to leave, a part of their heart forever remains strolling along the Seine, receiving inspiration from the Louvre and sitting and sipping at a cafe. A piece of my heart is in Paris with dear friends and the rest of my heart longs to return.

This week I put up one of my drawings of the Eiffel Tower (on 2 wallpapers to please both Mazzarellos), that plays like a film strip in my mind. Whenever I desire to relax in a garden or walk through the city, I play this film in my head...and quickly check out plane flight prices. Oh Paris, I will come back soon, I promise.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Impact of Designers

This video of Steven Heller, Author of "Iron Fists", is from the Gel Conference in October 2009 in New York. Heller addresses the impact of design, looking at totalitarian states and how they use their graphic design as a mode of influence and direction.

Steven Heller at Gel 2009 from Gel Conference on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Power of Art Film Series: Rothko

Well this Monday (11/9/09) night will be the final night of our 8 part series on the Power of Art.

We will be taking a look into the powerful paintings of Russian-American, abstract expressionist, Marcus Rothkowitz, better known as Mark Rothko. He is best known for his large abstract 'colour-field' paintings.

Here is a great site on Rothko at National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

And of course you can learn more of what Simon Schama thinks on the BBC site.

Doors open at 8:00pm, film starts at 8:30pm.
Email us if you would like to come!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wallpaper - London Edifice



This week's wallpaper comes from an inspiring building in the finance district on London, not far from St. Paul's Cathedral. I just loved the edifice. It seemed so futuristic. I could not wrap my mind around the texture of the building. On closer inspection of the image I am even more intrigued. There are grids and grids inside of grids. Even the windows have grids within.

You never know when inspiration will strike, so it is good to keep a camera with you and always be looking.

Click for the full size image.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sneaky Ad

Got a letter in the mail today from AT&T. It looks like Stephanie's mom wrote notes all over it. You know your mom does the same thing and then mails an article to you.

Well on closer inspection looks like AT&T's ad people are pretty clever. It even looks like it has been photo copied.

It is amazing the effort designers go to to grab your attention. This one is well executed.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Oakland Athletics Brochure

We have some very exciting news. Maybe you can guess if you have been following us on Facebook or Twitter.

We got a phone call one week ago today from the ticketing office at the Oakland Athletics. They explained that they needed a rush job on a brochure that needed to be done right away. The brochure is for season ticket holders, inviting them back for another year.

They had a great concept already and needed a design studio to execute it for them right away. They knew they wanted to stay local with an Oakland design studio, being that they are the Oakland A's. Luckily for us they found us online and gave us a ring. By Tuesday a contract had been signed and designing began and we are happy to announce the project is already completed!

The basic concept is to personalize the direct mail piece with the season ticket holder's name on the cover and then to give the feel of the stadium and ballgame experience. A big emphasis on our time was spent on photorealism of the inside spread as they wanted to take the outfield wall and replace the standard advertising with plugs for the benefits of being a season ticket holder in 2010.


Check out the brochure here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wallpaper - Jazz City


I love illustrating with pen and ink, intersecting lines at different angles, looking at the spaces in between and vibrant color...and this week I loved combining them all together. When I look at this I think of music flying through streets and between buildings...welcome to Jazz City.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Photos - Vancouver



This week's image comes from Vancouver, British Columbia. We were so inspired by our trip to Canada. We absolutely loved all the glass buildings. It is as if Vancouver built all of their skyscrapers and high-rises only out of glass. The skyline is so magnificent.

We could not get enough. Luckily we were packing our camera and grabbed a few cool shots to share with you.

View the image full size.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wallpaper - SFMOMA



This week's wallpaper comes from a spiral staircase at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. A couple weeks ago we bought a pass to SFMOMA. Not only is the art great but I really enjoy the physical space and architecture as well.

I loved the delicate light and shade on the walls as I walked down the steps. Luckily I was packing our Nikon D300. Later in Photoshop I added a cool filter for a more soothing desktop wallpaper.

You never know when inspiration will strike, so it is good to keep a camera with you and always be looking.

Click for the full size image.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Photos - Baz Kitty



This week's image is of our cat, Baz Kitty. Like most pets, Baz is part of the family, but he also is our coworker. Baz is our Interim HR Director. He makes sure we don't work to late, by biting our computer cables once 6:30pm comes around. He prefers his title to include "Interim" since he does not like to hold too much responsibility. He is more comfortable with the less permanent sounding title. Since he works for cheap, we figure we can go along with it. His second title at the office is, Muse. Just look at him in these photos and you can see why.

View the image full size.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Site Launch - MB Realty Inc.


We are happy to announce the launching of a new website for local, family, Bay Area real estate company, MB Realty, Inc. This brother power duo is not new business. Being the fourth generation in Bay Area real estate, Matt and Mike of MB Realty understand the complexities of the local real estate market.

They originally came to Mazzarello Media and Arts to help them develop the look and feel of the company, but as business grew so did their needs. This website offers quite a different feel to most cluttered real estate sites. Let's be honest the real estate world is not known for ground breaking design, so we knew the door was wide open to bring a fresh look to the industry. Reflecting the open and honest hands on service of the Bay Area brothers, we wanted to keep the site clean and open.

Don't be fooled though. This site is powerful. With a custom backend the brothers have entire control over the content of their site from the front page intro text to the contact page photo this Content Management System does it all. Not only that but we integrated a custom listing tool that allows MB Realty to add, delete and sort property listings and add property photos as well. Special thanks goes to Aaron Barker of Tap Consulting for his fantastic CMS.

Take a look at the site: www.mb-rg.com

Wallpaper - Oakland Port



This week's wallpaper is an homage to the hardworking longshoremen of the West Coast ports. Seems like whatever city we end up moving to we always end up not far from shipyards whether in Long Beach, Seattle or Oakland.

Just think about all the materials and merchandise that flow through the ports, from Apple iMacs to exotic spices. It must be incredibly organized in order to get all those ships unloaded without a major hitch each and every hour. Just think of the scale of the container ships.

I have always been enthralled with the large cranes at the Port of Oakland. I remember my dad telling me that the AT-AT from Empire Strikes Back was inspired by the port cranes. Maybe George Lucas got as excited as me when he drove past the large white cranes working tirelessly at the port.

Click for the full size image.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Movie - Paris

I love Paris. I love the people, the architecture, the parks, the food and the feel. It is a city that feels like nowhere else on earth. So when I saw the advertisement for the movie entitled Paris (and starring Juliette Binoche), I knew I had to see it.

The film was lovely and interesting, like taking a stroll through the city for 2 hours. And while it is a love letter of sorts to the city, it is a love letter that is full of true moments with real characters feeling a spectrum of emotions.

It showed me the Paris that I love, but often do not see in film. The Paris full of diverse landscapes and ethnnicities, temperamental weather, fragrant markets and shops, and beautifully quirky people that you feel like you must have known somewhere/sometime before. A city that is not perfectly pristine for tourists, but a city that is lived in and real.

If you love the city of Paris for its beauty and flaws and everything in between, this is a film to watch.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Photos - American Photography: A Century of Images

Typically our photo posts are used to display our own photography, but since I just viewed American Photography: A Century of Images, it seemed fitting to write about the documentary that explores 100 years of photography in this country. The documentary covers the development of cameras, photography as an art form, photos for personal documentation, the spectacular moments captured on film and much more.

After watching it I wanted to go out with my own camera or look through my own photos, and think about how much life and history has been captured through the lens. I also wanted to set up a darkroom and smell chemicals and feel photopaper and start using film again. I even considered throwing my camera in a bag and driving across country and seeing what really lies inside of these 50 states.

The interviews, the history and the photos are brought together so well, it was interesting, educational and extremely enjoyable. And for any current photographer, a great look into the history of the art form that has grown and will continue to expand and change.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Things to Do - Richard Avedon at SFMOMA

I have mixed feelings about art museums, sort of a love/hate relationship. I love looking at the art, thinking about the art, reading about the artists, and I hate how exhausted I feel afterward. This happens to me often. I bombard my senses for one half hour too long, and I am done for the day.

One way I have found to avoid this, is to purchase a year pass to a favorite museum. I feel less pressure to see everything in one day, and allow myself the time and space to be inspired by the work. So as a new member to SFMOMA I was very excited to take the time to enjoy the Richard Avedon exhibition, and it did not disappoint.

Not only was the photography spectacular, the curating was excellent. The show takes you through his work photographing fashion, celebrities, politicians, artists and the working man. The way it is presented feels very organic, enabling us to see how he grew/changed as an artist.

At the end of the exhibition I overheard an interesting question posed by a guide, "Would you have wanted Avedon to photograph you?" While he was known to capture a beautiful photograph, not every person was pleased with their portrayal. You are looking at yourself in the mirror as someone else sees you. A potentially scary prospect...

...But come on, of course I would have signed up for that portrait - he's Richard Avedon.

Online vCard Converter

VCard to CSV LogoAre you looking for a tool that can convert vCards to CSV files? Maybe you are getting ready to do an email blast but you are not sure how to upload your Apple Mail contact list into a commercial email tool like Vertical Response.

You could go through the agony of copying and pasting each name into the tool or use the Online vCard Converter.

  1. Simply drag your contacts onto your desktop. The addresses will be changed into a .vcf file.
  2. Point your browser to Online vCard Converter.
  3. Click "Choose File" button and navigate to your .vcf file on your desktop.
  4. Choose CSV format.
  5. Click "Convert" button
  6. Locate your downloaded file.
  7. Upload your CSV file to your email tool.

Online vCard Converter

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wallpaper - Power Lines



I am often captivated by power lines in our skyline. Some may view them as urban blight or as ugly man made obstruction of our skyline. Sometimes when I look up I am inspired. Our photo archives are full of shots from our travels of power lines. I like how they can frame a scene, buildings, trees or sky.

Of course I am attracted to Piet Modrian's paintings and I probably transfer a bit of his work in mind mind when I view the sky grids. I am also inspired by LA artist, Ed Ruscha. I love his concept of word play and image.

This photo mash up comes from power lines we pass every time we drive the I-5 from the Bay Area to LA or vice versa. Our life has been suspended in this transition many times whether we were living in the greater LA area or Bay Area. Now there is a comfort almost in the scenery like it or not as I have been driving this route since entering college 13 years ago.

This week's wallpaper is an homage to Modrian and Ruscha.

Click for the full size image.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wallpaper - Watercolor Clouds



This week's desktop wallpaper brings together the worlds of watercolor and clouds, the clouds being combined from a variety of photos we have taken abroad. The hope is that this imagery will cause one to feel inspired while suspended in the airy saturated space.

Click for the full size image.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tunes - Over the Rhine

When the days start getting darker earlier, there are three things that I want: a warm drink, a crackling fire and to listen to Over the Rhine. Their music makes me relaxed and invigorated, melancholy and hopeful, chilled and warm...it is perfect for the time of inbetweens.

I also must mention that they are even better live than on their cds. Karin Bergquist has a voice that is absolutely spectacular in person, Linford Detweiler is a beautiful storyteller, and together they thrive when interacting with an audience. See if they have a show near you sometime soon.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Movie - Little Dorrit

I never thought I would be writing/typing/saying this, but I really love Masterpiece (Theater). I grew up thinking that Masterpiece Theater was full of strange accents, boring stories and a great thing to nap to. And now I keep finding myself addicted to Masterpiece movies over and over again.

The most recent favorite is Little Dorrit, winner of seven Emmy Awards. It is a great story, full of beautiful cinematography, acting, sets and costumes. It looks at debt, greed, pride, classism in a different time and place, but the story is something that says much to us in our current world.

I watched Little Dorrit online, but the website says that Tuesday (tomorrow) is the last day it will be available in its entirety. However, it is definitely worth putting in your Netflix queue. For more quality online videos, be sure to check out the great PBS' video website.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Photos - Discovery Park



This week's image comes from a series of photos we took at Discovery Park in Seattle, WA June of 2007. It is a gorgeous 530 acre park right in Seattle. It was a great source of refuge for us when we lived there for 2 years. Once you step into the park you are in another world, surrounded by great beauty. If we timed it with a sunny day then it was really great.

We too hope you find sources of inspiration in your own backyard. It might just be the trick to getting out of a creative slump.

View the image full size.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Things to Do - Farmers' Markets

If I am feeling down, if I need visual inspiration, and if I desire lots of delicious fruits/vegetables/cheese/bread...all I need is a trip to the farmers' market.

I love becoming a regular at the market. It is so fun to know which guys sell the best stone fruit, who has delicious heirlooms, and where I can buy that amazing bag of lettuce that never seems to end and always stays fresh. I enjoy getting a great deal or extra sample of delicious paratha. And I really love seeing the same smiling faces week after week.

I am super lucky to have a fantastic market in walking distance on Saturday mornings, but if I happen to miss my market, I know another market is nearby and waiting for a visit. For a great resource to find a market near you, check out LocalHarvest.org.