Thursday, 8 October 2009


Inspiration - The basis of our summer brief. To analyse and critically review any material that we find inspirational. This brief was given to us at the beginning of what is probably our last ever summer holiday, which I wasn’t too pleased about – having to do work over our last summer!?

However, once I finally started blogging, I got quite into it and found it very interesting.

To begin with, I was not looking out for inspiration, but thought I would let it come to me, for inspirational material to leap out and catch my attention. This approach was not very effective and you can probably tell from the very limited blog entries from early on in the summer.

However, during my travels over the summer, I went around all these cities looking at all their architecture and museums, and at the time I didn’t even realise how inspirational it all was. It was only once I was home looking through my photos that I realised and thought it would be perfect to blog. Literally, some of the architecture was mind boggling, the stand out piece for me being the Cathedral in Barcelona – simply phenomenal. Obviously, other modern places such as the apple store and the Guggenheim in New York were brilliant as well, but in a different way.

I have noticed in my blog that there are quite a lot of music related posts. Music is a big part of my life, whether its playing or listening, I have always been influenced by it. One of my entries was about the artist Kandinsky, who’s art was influenced by the music he listened to as he painted it. I would love to be able to be influenced by music in this way – to be able to draw what I hear. Not only that, but the death of Michael Jackson, another of my posts, shook the world. Only a few weeks before he supposed to start his 50 date tour, he passed away. So many people heartbroken and sad that they would never get to see him live again. I for one was really sad, especially as I had tickets for what was supposed to be the greatest show on earth…

This brief has made me take much more notice of all the advertisements and other similar things in the world that are constantly around me. We are supposed to see something like 3000 advertisements every day in our lives that I never used to think was possible. But after this brief, now I have started to take notice of a lot more things around me, I’m starting to think that it must be pretty close to 3000!

An example of this is in one of my recent posts, after seeing Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs in 3D at the cinema, I went to the toilet and noticed an ‘FCUK’ advertising on my way out and thought it was really clever. Usually I wouldn’t have taken a second glance at it, but this brief has made me much more aware of advertisements, and I even went over and had a good look at it and a brief analysis in my head.

I feel even though the deadline for this brief is fast approaching, that I should still continue to blog things that inspire me. Viewing and commenting on fellow peer’s blogs has been very inspirational as well. I have noticed that a lot of my peer’s are inspired by a lot of similar things to me, however, they are also inspired by completely different things that I would not even consider to be very inspirational. Yet, on the other hand, I have seen a lot of things on others blogs that have inspired me.

Hopefully, soaking up all this inspiration over the summer can help inspire me with my work this year and I’ll be able to come up with some good stuff.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Street Art

I think this sort of street art is very imaginative. The perspective that it has to be drawn for it to work is ridiculous. I have included an example of this below. Not only is the actual artwork very good, but the fact that you can interact with them like the man in the picture above just ads even more to them.

Below is an example of the perspective that these images have to be drawn at in order to see them properly at one angle.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009


After seeing Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, i couldn't help but notice an advert like the one below in the toilets. Unfortunately I couldn't stick around to look at it to analyse and i didn't have a camera to take a photo, but the image below is the closest i could find to it. This sort of advertisement has been around for sometime by FCUK, but i have never taken much notice of them until today. I thought it was quite clever so i've put it on here.

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs

I have literally just gotten back from seeing this film at the cinema in 3D with some friends (one of which will probably be posting this on their blog as well). I really liked it. The animation was fantastic, but I didn't really think the third dimension added much to the film and i would have probably liked it just as much if i had seen it in 2D. Although saying that, seeing burgers fly out of no where onto the screen was quite surreal. A machine that makes water into food - the perfect solution to solve world hunger. Or so you would think. I cant help but think that there is a hidden meaning within this movie as well. A witty movie about the excess food consumption and food waste of the earth, just like the movie Wall-e. Of course in the end of the movie, everything is sorted out and there are no more food problems and thus, no more mass consumption. But they also make a big point about the food thats wasted in the movie - its just all deposited behind a dam... there has to be a hidden meaning in there somewhere. The film has a killer script with lines such as: "That spaghetti twister is just an amuse bouche compared to what's on the way".
A great film for the whole family.

Smirnoff Campaigns

I have stumbled across 2 Smirnoff campaigns here using the same idea of using the Smirnoff bottle as a sort of beer goggle, but executing them differently. The 2 ads above have used a grotty looking place, but suggests that through the use of the drink, everything seems a lot prettier, which is generally what happens...
But the ads below have used the bottle in a different sense. They have taken a nice image and made the result of the alcohol almost malign.
I think its a very clever idea, but some of the ads below could give some people the wrong idea.

This ad with the babies may suggest that babies can drink the alcohol which would give out a very bad message.

I personally think they may have come up with the campaign involving the first 2 examples in this post after the others due to complaints from the public. But i could be wrong.

Absolut Vodka

Abolut are such a consistent brand with the use of their typeface and the shape of their bottle that they have been able to create such a range of advertisements that are all so different, but at the same time still very easily distinguishable.

I particularly like the use of the iconic image of Michelangelo's Hand of God giving life to Adam from the Sistine Chapel representing how pure this vodka is.


For years i never realised how good this logo actually was until the arrow was pointed out to us in a lecture in first year. Its so simple, but actually quite hard to see - its almost like a subliminal advertisement. Since i was told about it, i have asked so many of my friends back home if they can see the hidden aspect to the logo and not a single one of them has spotted it. But after its been pointed out to you, its the only thing you look at whenever you see the logo the next time.

I have also found the equivalent of the FedEx logo from Dubai, written in Arabic. The whole thing looks as though its backwards compared to the one we are used to. The orangey/red 'Ex' is at the front with the arrow pointing the opposite direction, with the purply/blue 'Fed' is on the right. But still, i like that they have still managed to incorporate the arrow into Arabic writing in order to try and keep their brand personality throughout.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Pablo Picasso

I’m a big fan of Picasso’s work, his style has always interested me. Guernica, pictured above is a navy blue, black and white painting by Picasso dipicting the bombing of Guernica by the Germans, Spanish and Italian warplanes. It shows war and suffering amidst individuals.

People have tried to decipher deeper meanings to this painting, however, Picasso stated: “I make the painting for the painting. I paint the objects for what they are” suggesting there is no deeper meaning. However, there are 2 hidden images formed in the image. The human skull that overlays the horses body and a bull that appears to be tackling the horse from underneath.

This has led people to try and interpret the painting further with such results as the broken sword at the bottom of the painting symbolizing the defeat of the people at the hand of the tormentors.

I decided to include one of the 'Weeping' series by Picasso as well, just because i like it...

Bloomsbury Chocolate

Ok, so i’ve included a lot of images for this entry, but thats only because i think its a very clever gimmick that bloomsberg have managed to achieve with the packaging of this chocolate. I always see it in supermarkets and always manages to create a smirk on my face, but this has never enticed me to buy it, i still always buy the better known brands such as Cadbury & Galaxy. However, after about a year of looking at it in shops, i decided to buy a bar the other day (of the ‘Emergency Chocolate’) and i was not very impressed. The box gave me high hopes for what would be inside, unfortunately, it was not what i hoping for. Its very sweet and creamy, but not actually very chocolaty. Its not a melt in the mouth chocolate, but overall, not a terrible chocolate. I can’t imagine people buying it for the actual chocolate, mainly for the gimmick of having it or giving it as a present.

“For immediate relief of: Chocolate Cravings, Lovesickness, Exam Pressure, Mild Anxiety, and Extreme Hunger.”

I really the packaging, and obviously a lot of thought has gone into it, but they need to improve the chocolate!

Foo Fighters - Everlong

Foo Fighters - Everlong (Official Music Video) - More amazing video clips are a click away

I think this is a fantastic music video. It is expressionistic and ironic as it is partially a parody of the cult horror film Evil Dead. The video is based around 2 characters, a man and a wife having bad dreams. In the males dream, he is at a party where there are 2 men harrassing his wife. The anger he shows for these 2 men causes his hand to swell up to a giant size (the ‘Handor’) and uses it against the harassers. Dave Grohl has admitted this idea was part of a nightmare he used to have a child where his hand grew to enormous proportions. Which i feel is a really clever idea, as this song is about pain, love and excitement which he must feels has a link to his childhood and how he felt when having these dreams. I think having strong powerful dreams can influence who you are and your behavior, and that is why i like this video so much.

District 9

I saw this film the other day at the cinema and i was quite impressed. It got a bit ridiculous towards the end and it seemed a bit like ‘Transformers meets Alien’ or something. However, i think this film portrays quite a strong message. The fact that it is set in Johannesburg and not New York or London or somewhere is a big statement. The film is basically based around discrimination towards the aliens who are all living in slums with terrible conditions. However, i think Neill Blomkamp is trying to get a message across to the people of South Africa to try and stop discrimination between the different races of people. A strong statement in my eyes, whether its supposed to be that, i don’t know?

Derren Brown

Derren Brown, I’ve been watching a few of his programs recently and as far as i can tell, its all complete rubbish. The way in which he says he ‘predicted’ the lottery was ridiculous - free writing? No Derren. Made me think that his explanation at the end of the show telling us how he could have rigged it seems more believable.

The next show, getting people to stick to their seats wasn’t believable either. I was watching intently throughout the show, however, not only was i not stuck in the slightest, but i dont know anyone else that got stuck either??? I’m not very impressed so far Derren.

Before his next show (trying to project an image into all of our heads) i went to see ‘HypnoDog’ at the union. I didn’t go to this with a very open mind after watching all these Derren Brown things and not really believing it was possible to make them do what you want without them realising. However, by the end of this quite impressive show, i was a lot more open minded. Not only would these people not have done most of the stuff he told them to do without the influence of hypnotism, but it was also a lot more impressive than everything i had seen by Derren Brown so far.

Anyway, it was the day after HypnoDog that the next Derren Brown show was on, so i decided to be a lot more open minded about it and see if this helped. It was actually quite a disappointing show where the projection of the image into our minds only lasted about 2 minutes. Even so, i tried to keep an open mind and started drawing when we were told to. However, by the end of the show it turned out that what i had drawn wasnt really anything like what was supposed to be projected. I drew the pyramids, where the image was supposed to be concentric circles/stone henge.

Another failure by Derren Brown in my eyes, i’ll have to see how next week compares.

Wassily Kandinsky at the Tate Modern

I was just watching tv and something about the Tate Modern came on (I think it may have been part of This Morning). It showed a load of pieces of art from inside the gallery. The one that most stood out to me was ‘Cassacks’ by Kandinsky. The program said how Kandinsky’s art was influenced by the music he listened to when painting which, i feel could be a fantastic influence over people. Mainly because i always listen to music when i work, and often try to get ideas by listening carefully to the music/lyrics.

Kandinsky believed abstract paintings could convey spiritual and emotional values through the arrangement of colours/lines. However, the program also mentioned how this isn't a true abstract painting as there are actual distinguishable things painted in it, such as the rainbow in the centre of the picture and the castle on top hill on the right. It is essentially just a painting of a landscape with russian cossacks fighting each other and guarding the castle. The program went on to mention how these were representational elements which could be considered as points at which the images could be registered rather than the true content of the painting.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

New Nano

I was wondering when Apple would finally give the iPod a camera capability. The iPhone could do it, so it was only a matter of time. I havent personally used one yet, but its a fantastic idea. The Nano is small enough to take anywhere, and now its possible to capture those precious memories when you've forgotten your camera.

New York

When i was in New York, i didn't get to see the outside of the Guggenheim as it was being being renovated. This was quite disappointing as i had seen pictures and was looking forward to seeing it. However, just seeing pictures of Frank Lloyd Wright’s invention is enough! I was very impressed with the spiraling gallery inside, this really does achieve what he set out to do in creating more than just an area to hang paintings.

I have also included an image of the Apple store in New York. Another amazing piece of architecture in New York. I didnt even notice it when i first walked past and when it was pointed out to me, i was quite confused as to where the shop actually was?! A glass box that descends into the floor where the actual shop is. Another stroke of genius from Apple.

American Psycho

American Pyscho is one of those films that makes you laugh uncomfortably throughout, but when its finished, you just walk away feeling disgusted. Its definitely an underrated masterpiece. Funny-one-minute, horrifying the next. Mary Harron and Christian Bale create an almost magical balance between the tragic and comic elements of this story. It connects strongly in the moment, and has proven memorable over time, for the vivid impressions it makes in tone as well as look, its potent blends of sound and image.

This film isn't for everyone. If you are offended by purposeless terrible deeds and unrepentant evil, skip it. But those who can stomach it will find it a chilling glimpse into a serious psychological disorder.

One of the most misunderstood movies in years, but actually turns out to be a savage satire that is so smart, so daring and so damned funny it will make your head spin.

Muse - The Resistance

On first listen, i wasn't too impressed by this album. The highlight being that the first song is basically just the Doctor Who theme tune... However, this album is definately worth listening all the way through. The last 3 tracks (a mini symphony named Exogenesis) are superb. It comfortably finds its place here, closing out the album with a sprawling, piano-driven trio of songs that find front man Matt Bellamy completely indulges his inner-Rachmaninoff and doing away with the conventional song structure found at the start of the album in favor of a return to the “glory days” of Richard Strauss. Its self-indulgent and excessive, sure, but it’s also a wildly inventive change in direction for a band tired of giving fans what they’ve come to expect.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Mac Adverts

Great adverts from apple as always... Love it.

Sotterranea Napoli

The Napoli Sotterania is situated in the centre of Naples 30 metres below the surface. It is a series of underground tunnels dug out from soft tufo stone and covers most of the city. The moister levels are as high as 70% and it is possible to grow plants down there without having to water them (aslong as there is a light). The tunnels were used as air raid shelters during the wars and drawings of bombs and planes and echted into the walls depicting the suffering of that period. During some of the tour you have to use candlelight which was quite exciting. Very impressive.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Van Gogh

I was looking through some of Van Gogh’s work online, however unlike a lot of artists work that i look at, it wasn’t the usual ‘are-we-done-yet’ marathon. Van Gogh seems to discover new colours, especially with his paintings of the night. Being unable to see clearly at night, he just paints what he see’s, pitting his colours against one another. He exaggerated these colours with thick daubs of paint, bringing out the backgrounds and giving each in of canvas its own sense of life. His paintings provide a tenderness, urgency and brilliance to the audience.

American Gangster

Another film i had not seen before this summer. Two and a half hours without a wasted frame. An expertly crafted film telling two concurrent stories. Ridley Scott offers both a belated history-lesson and demented hero-worship, and seems to be intended as a kind of gift to black America.

Sistine Chapel

I had heard so much about the sistine chapel before. However when i finally reached it in Vatican City, i didnt even realise i was in it! Although the paintwork on the ceiling is infact astounding, the rest of chapel is not quite so impressive. I was expecting a lot more, but i suppose thats what hype does to your imagination.

Da Vinci Code

I was one of the few that had seen the film before reading this book and i always wondered how everyone could have thought the film was so much worse than the book as i didnt think the film was all that bad. But after reading this, i can sort of see why people thought it. The director managed to transform what should be a fun treasure trail romp into something inert and borderline dreary in the film. Whereas in the book the whole story seems credible, but comes across ludicrous on the big screen.

I had heard about one of these websites before, but had completely forgot about the idea until a few days ago. Selling pixels to companies to advertise...what a genius idea to make money.