I guess it’s come to this. Our attention spans are so small now that everything has to be digested to the most intense of brevity.
Or. You could so it another way. Short form storytelling can be just as beautiful and perhaps a bit more urgent. Which is why I dig these One Minute Wonders by the talented peeps at Present Plus. Each one is about a creator. Their work. All compressed into one minute of often gorgeous video.
Sorry for the inconsistent posts, guys. Apparently, I really liked being on vacation. And that 13 course meal. So in addition to getting back to it, doing all the burpees (see: 13 course meal) and shooting all the things like brand spanking new babies. Which (so weird), is what I haven’t really been doing for the past month. The break was nice. I missed my cammy cam. So I’m back at it and looking for all the inspiration.
Thank goodness for the guys at The Creator Class. I’m so visiting when I’m back in Toronto. I’m in search of doing some new things. Hopefully they’ll show up on le blog soon. In the meantime, at least I can be aspirational. Zahra Saleki is amazing. She’s an Iranian-Canadian photographer who actually makes real all those visions she has in your mind. Something actually I need to start doing. I hope this gives us all some hope and drive to create.
Okay. We’ll start blogging more regularly again. I promise. I also promise to post a little bit more on that intersection of design, activism, and beauty. But right now, I think we all just need to breathe. And it appears that this little act is a luxury. We’re getting hit from all directions these days. From mother nature too. It’s been tougher to write about the beautiful produced things this summer. But at the end of the day, how would we get on in this world if we didn’t support creatives? That’s why I wanted to share these little videos today. About tackling these breathing problems that we’re having lately. In two different ways. I hope you get what I mean. And I hope you simultaneously find the community we need and that room to breathe.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how design and social activism intersect. It was a way for those early designers who smelled like patchouli to push forward peace, love and the anti-war movement during the 60s and 70s. German and Swiss designers in post-War Europe embraced minimalism because they thought it was a way to transmit messages without the ideological crazy of their forebears. Okay. History lesson over. Basically – I care about this topic again because a lot of money is being made from it right now, and in all the different ways. And everyone wants a Future is Female T-shirt. Some of it goes back to the right places. Others, not so much (I see you Forever 21). So here comes a cool lady whose company I’ve been watching for over the past year. Pamela Bell is a self-taught screen printer who’s Prinkshop is killing it, especially in these dark days. This biz is rooted in combining the perfect typeface with social activism. So naturally, I was smitten. And it all goes back to the causes we all support.
I live in a country that’s just re-discovering the power of voice. And design is the most subversive voice of all. So Ii I had all the time and money, there’d be screen printing stuffs coming this way. Except I don’t really. But at least I can scroll through and tell you all about it.
Confession. I have been a font (sorry…typeface) nerd since I was tiny. Yes. High school publications were involved. I won’t say which one because that will take the geek levels through the roof. So when this little doco showed up on my daily blog roll, I may or may not have ecstatically clicked. I also may have gotten equally excited about this font around 1995 too. So if you’re the type of person who also get excited about fonts, this tiny video is adorable. And if you feel like a deeper diver, this one (of course) and absolutely this one (the envy of all design careers!).
*yes I know it’s Tuesday. But Cait’s still in Monday. So ha.
You know those moments when you can’t get this one thing out of your head? It’s not even for anyone’s birthday. I just cannot get Funfetti cake out of my head. I have never even had Funfetti cake before. We don’t even have Funfetti in Canada. It’s SPRINKLES.
I’m not a person who craves sweet things, but it’s one of those mornings (hello 150 burpees) and I’ve turned into a toddler. Beyond the burpees, work is getting busy, so you’ll also notice I’m writing this on the wrong day, and I’ve turned into a slightly manic cake monster.
I started going to Pride in Toronto when I was in highschool. My best friend had just come out of the closet and we were just so lucky to be from a place that celebrated diversity in all of its ways and means. It’s actually one of the biggest Pride parades in the world. That was 1999. Flash forward 18 years and Pride has gotten COMPLEX (check out this podcast for a great episode on the topic). And I’m so happy that it is. Because it’s not just one thing. There’s a reason why there’s a Q in there.
Another great thing that’s evolved over the past two decades is the spread of Pride all over the freaking world. We just had our own party about it back in May. Pride and LGBTQ culture means something different depending on where you are. And I just love that there’s a little doco series all about that. Gaycation! Within your own borders or across the ocean, actress Ellen Page and her bestie travel the world, to learn from and discover all the different ways LGBTQ is seen and to expand their own horizons. It’s both her own story and the story of the world. It’s really well done. And it’s online, which means you can even celebrate Pride in the dead of winter, on your couch. You can watch it all online here. Happy binging.
I am constantly urging myself to take risks and try something new. I usually defy my level headed, even-minded Libran self for the daring Sagittarius. What winds up happening is that I’ll choose to take a nap instead. But I’m feeling itchy again. Not the kind of itchy that involves high tailing it outta the Penh and into radically different climes (last year it was Turkey and Russia in the middle of a political hoopla). This time it’s artistic risk. And to me, that feels like even more is on the line.
What I’m getting to is that I really want to get into video. Like super badly want to figure it out and produce something. But the issue is what?
Which means I’m looking for inspo and of course the first place I’m heading to is Alice Gao. I’m a huge fangirl and even though she’s known as a photog, she’s dabbled in the moving image as well. These sumptuous little videos of the city are swoon worthy. I wonder if I could paint this little corner of Southeast Asia in the same light.
And of course, these little guys involve coffee and wine. Happy Monday, folks.
Line ups are bummers. Mostly when they’re at the bathroom. But even more so when you think your creative minded group of road trippers thinks they’ve stumbled upon something amazing and only they will be at on a weekday afternoon. But then it turns out that a hundred other people also wanted to see it at the same time as you.
This year, Desert X sprouted up in the Coachella Valley as part of a certain music festival that I’ve told myself I’m too cool for. And our trip back to LA from Joshua Tree meant we had to make a stop. With 17 artists and their installations spread across a very large and dry piece of land, we had to prioritize. Cue our design maven: Jane Heng! One of our final stops was supposed to be Doug Aitken’s Mirage. Looking over Palm Springs, this little ranch style bungalow was supposed to play with light and your minds. Except a bunch of other people had the same idea as us. So after some deliberation, we didn’t exactly get to see it (but check out that killer view!). And then I stumbled upon this little video. Same thing as seeing it for myself right?
In a 24 hour period this weekend, I both finished up the Big Little Lies miniseries on HBO and watched the new addition to the DC comics-to-film series, Wonder Woman (with a wonderful group of women). Also, the current American president pulled out of the Paris Agreement Climate Change. I thought about what was going on in the world. And I thought about what women and our shared experiences. The professional world, our homes and our dailies. Conclusion: women (Angela Merkel and friends, I’m looking at you) will be the ones to save the world.
This tiny little film by fashion blogger Down Under wunderkind Margaret Zhang fits exactly into what I’ve been thinking. Happy Monday.
PS – Some other great stories about women: The Babysitter’s Club, How to Make an American Quilt, Thelma and Louise, Hidden Figures, Angry Indian Goddesses, The Joy Luck Club…just to name a few.