REQUIRED READING: 8.28.2013

Required Reading is a monthly roundup of things that catch my attention: news, links, videos, blogs, and cool projects by other creatives that I want to share with you – fun, inspiring, and a little addictive. 

I love hearing insights into the lives of other artists. The Reserve Channel keeps impressing me with their unique interview series like Artist Tlk with Pharell Williams and On the Table with Eric Ripert., but my favorite is Capture with Mark Seliger. Check out the episode above with Matt Mahurin and Judd Apatow

Things American: Buffalo is one of the most interesting pieces of writing that I have ever read about my hometown and the direction it is heading in.

Every opening line that the great Elmore Leonard wrote.

Stop being so afraid of change,  I love the last line of this post by Seth Godin “It’s not ruined, it’s merely different”

Chris Capozziello has already successfully funded his Kickstarter campaign for his project The Distance Between UsBut you should still check out the video and work he has produced to tell the story of him and his twin brother Nick, who has Cerebral Palsy. Though this project has reached its goal there is still time to get involved and help it gain additional funding.

This video examination of the Uncanny Valley is fascinating… and not at all (extremely) creepy.

I’ll be keeping Guys With Fancy Lady Hair in my folder reserved for rainy days when I need something to make me laugh.

When was the last time you wrote yourself fan mail? At first I thought this was pretty vain, but after thinking about it for a while I realized just how much sense it really makes.

The Great Discontent has some fantastic and in-depth interviews with all sorts of creative and passionate people. I’ve been putting a lot of time aside in the evenings to catch up with its archives lately.

Want to build your own digital camera?

REQUIRED READING 6.26.2013

Diabolical - Natalie Shau
From Diabolical by photographer and illustrator Natalie Shau

Required Reading is a monthly roundup of things that catch my attention: news, links, videos, blogs, and cool projects by other creatives that I want to share with you – fun, inspiring, and a little addictive. 

The RSRV channel has produced this really outstanding interview between Pharrell Williams and Henry Rollins – two interesting artists with a lot to say. I think Henry Rollins continues to make excellent points about saying yes to new things and throwing yourself fully into what you do.

Coverjunkie continues to be one of my favorite resources to see what is happening in the editorial world, and this cover for Fabulous featuring Debbie Harry os a perfect example why – it doesn’t hurt that I just love Debbie Harry too.

Natalie Shau’s work has popped up more and more on my social media feeds as friends of mine seem to always be talking about her. Her illustration and photography is surreal, beautiful and a little dark. I have become a big fan of her art and advertising work over the past few weeks.

Ikea in Swedish is an audio guide to properly pronounce the names of Ikea products. Is it weird that when I found this site I felt a huge sense of relief wash over me?

Zen Habits has this weird ability to predict whatever it is I happen to be stressed about at the moment, and post a blog about it at just the right time. I got a lot out of this article about the worry that some of us face over whether we are working on the right tasks.

I thought it was a bit silly at first, but the ambient coffee shop soundtrack that Coffitivity provides is actually pretty cool for helping to drown out distractions.

Ever have a day when the words just wont come? The change of pace that comes with these speed writing exercises may be just what you need to make a huge change in how you work.

The awesome VSCO is now featuring a curated stream of some of the best mobile photography featured on their new VSCO Grid publishing platform.

#60Inspirations is a project from Spotify that features sixty sings that influenced ten great creative thinkers.

Can talking about your projects and goals too much make you lose your passion for them?

Over the past few weeks I have become a little obsessed with Hannibal, and it thrilled me to find out that there is an accompanying food blog by the show’s food stylist Janice Poon called Feeding Hannibal. The blog covers both the recipes Hannibal makes on the show as well as how Poon creates and styles the “human” delicacies that the gourmand serial killer prepares in each episode.

James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem talks about failure and the difference between laziness and the fear of making mistakes. 

A roundup of the Tumblrs of this year’s PDN 30. There is a ton of amazing photographic work here.

The Open University has produced a cool series of short animated videos on the history of various design movements. Start with this one on Gothic Revival, and then move on to some of the other videos covering movements like: Arts and Crafts, Modernism, Bauhaus, and more.

REQUIRED READING 4.24.2013

Required Reading is a monthly roundup of things that catch my attention: news, links, videos, blogs, and cool projects by other creatives that I want to share with you – fun, inspiring, and a little addictive. 

Sometimes the simplest things can be the most touching and beautiful, like this underwater dance routine above by Conor Horgan.

Five really simple and effective business tips for pushovers to help you stop following imaginary rules.

A short sweet guide to giving absolutely no fucks, and why you should start now.

What happens when you turn the waveforms of songs into a 3-D sculptural visualization? you end up with something as beautiful as MICROSONIC LANDSCAPES.

ASMP and Photo Shelter jointly released a must read guide to copyright for photographers and creatives earlier this month that delves into the details on how to actually register and manage your IP (I even contributed a section on implementing copyright into your workflow)

Finally, a meme that appeals to my nerdiness, and actually results in some pretty interesting pictures. 

These cover designs for Code, a fashion magazine from the Netherlands, really impressed me when I caught them on Cover Junkie earlier this month.

An ever growing list of quotes and wisdom about working with and relating to creatives.

A brilliantly animated trip through the filmography of Stanley Kubrick by Martin Woutisseth

Stanley Kubrick – a filmography from Martin Woutisseth on Vimeo.

The Impossible Cool has long been one of my favorite Tumblr destinations, but I am especially enamored lately with this photograph of Buster Keaton that I found there.

Liking Lee Bretschneider’s project Role Play on Behance may make me a huge nerd, but I am so okay with that.

An simple comic that presents big thoughts on creative sustainability, recovering the joy of amateurism, and having a positive effect on your photographic environment.

There is an understandable eerie and still atmosphere to be found in these images of the abandoned radioactive ghost towns of Japan. 

Movie title stills from every decade of cinema – this is an absolute treasure trove for design and film nerds.

Some of the most thought provoking insights into the business of photography today are being shared by Heather Elder in her Community Table blog posts – here is a directory of all of them to date. A must read

As design and food are becoming more and more intertwined Ento explores how the aesthetics of sushi may change the perception of the worlds most sustainable source of protein – this looks beautiful and delicious.

Some damn decent tips for traveling with your photo gear on assignment from Chris Crisman 

This trailer for Who Shot Rock & Roll got me pretty excited

REQUIRED READING 3.27.2013

A selection from Dilka Bear's new exhibit Sleepwalkers Dreams
A selection from Dilka Bear’s new exhibit Sleepwalkers Dreams

Required Reading is a monthly roundup of things that catch my attention: news, links, videos, blogs, and cool projects by other creatives that I want to share with you – fun, inspiring, and a little addictive. 

I am kind of obsessed with the meat pies from this local Buffalo producer that was just named the Best British Shop in the World by the Telegraph Newspaper.

The Evolution of the MTV Animated logo from the 80’s to today — Just for the record, the 90’s ones are my favorites.

A great new Tumblr I have been reading  — Art Buyers are people too.

The work of Dilka Bear has been making its way into my inspiration file a lot recently and Behance has a treasure trove of galleries where you can see her work, including selections from her new exhibit Sleepwalker’s Dreams

Shauna from Nubbytwiglet.com on giving back, being genuine, and making real connections with other bloggers and creatives. 

Take My Picture is a short documentary from GARAGE Magazine that looks at the changes in fashion photography and journalism over the last 20 years – charing it from its beginning as a modest trend to the epochal rise of the street style blogger and the positive and negative changes it brought to the movement.

TAKE MY PICTURE from GARAGE Magazine on Vimeo.

I have wanted to add some more plants and natural elements the new studio since we moved in, this article gave me some great ideas on how to incorporate them into the space – I really like that pallet planter idea.

A list of buzzword double talk BS to never ever use again.

I am a huge fan of TeuxDeux, it is one of two tools (along with Evernote) that I find it really hard to do without. An updated version was recently launched and it adds several new features that make it a great time to check out this invaluable task manager.

One of the keys to being a good freelancer is to be a great negotiator, yet this is one aspect of business that a lot of creatives seem to have trouble with – it seems to clash with the don’t rock the boat / go with the flow mentality a lot of freelancers have when they are first starting out and trying to get work. The 99% has  posted some tips for changing your negotiating mindset that  I really like and were a bit of an epiphany to me as well.

Drift is a hypnotically beautiful video created from footage taken in flight, it goes way beyond your typical Instagrams of plane wings and scenery.

DRIFT from Tim Sessler on Vimeo.

Does your uncertainty about yourself lead others to feel uncertain about you? An interesting question posed by Ash Ambirge on the Middle Finger Project

Google Reader is going away and I am pretty bummed out about it, but alternatives are starting to pop up in the wake of the news of the service shutting down. 

Paddy is a fascinating new analog solution for working with Lightroom, I don’t know why someone didn’t think of this sooner.

Frank Turner, one of my favorite musicians (and pretty much in constant rotation on the playlists at the studio) has a new album coming out next month and the first single sounds pretty great.

REQUIRED READING 2.27.2013

Revolved Forms
A study of repetitive forms and color from Crtomir Just’s Project Revolved Forms

Required Reading is a monthly roundup of things that catch my attention: news, links, videos, blogs, and cool projects by other creatives that I want to share with you – fun, inspiring, and a little addictive. 

Urbio is one of the coolest organizational systems I have ever seen – completely modular and usable in so many ways. I adore the idea of being able to mix plants in with a desk or kitchen system in such a cool way.

Sivu spent three hours in an MRI machine to make this surreal video for Better Man Than He

Ten excellent e-mail tips from Leo Babauta of Zen Habits, I truly need to adopt numbers one and seven.

With so much rampant abuse out there I am so grateful for this refined guide to social media etiquette.

Just so you know – how to coil your cables. 

This gorgeous black & white video for Woodkid’s I Love You rivals his earlier video for Iron, which I raved about in a previous edition of required reading.

An interview with artist and olympian Casey Legler, on her work as a male model.

Keeping your sense of authenticity can be hard as you start working for bigger clients with stricter brand guidelines, here is how photographer Alexa Miller keeps it a little bit more real. 

In 1961 Playboy Magazine put America’s greatet designers together in one room. 

The strange differences between how actors wore makeup in silent films and talkies.

A interesting writing exercise with the goal of helping you sell anything.

Crtomir Just explores themes of repetitive shape and color in his project Revolved Forms.

A new episode of the Reserve Channel photography series Capture. Host Mark Seliger talks about photography with Ben Lowey & Baryshnikov – I love this show.

Have you seen the trailer for the commercial fishing documentary Leviathan yet? Just based on the visuals and sound in the trailer I cannot wait to see it.

Hessian is a brand in search of a product, and it is up for grabs. Wired recently featured a post on this strange but interesting brand for sale.

Silencio is a David Lynch/Angelo Badalamenti homage band that is strangely addictive to listen to.

I have two old 50 mm lenses sitting on my desk right now, and I think I just found something fun to do with them – time to break out my tools and have some fun freelensing. 

A short documentary on the home of photographer Jay Maisel 

Koken is an interesting new online portfolio solutions for photographers that just launched.

Weirdly effective advertising from Herbaria directed by Andreas Roth – Selling a calming tea by tapping into primal nightmares (If you don’t like clowns, be warned)

REQUIRED READING 1.30.2013

Ink Mixing with Water - a due Colori - Alberto Seveso
Ink mixing with water – From the project a due Colori by Alberto Seveso

Required Reading is a monthly roundup of things that catch my attention: news, links, videos, blogs, and cool projects by other creatives that I want to share with you – fun, inspiring, and a little addictive. 

Sometimes there is no secret trick or easy route, sometimes you just need to work harder than everyone else. 

My newest Tumblr obsession is this surreal and hypnotic stream of Kim Jong-Un looking at things. 

You can find some of the best pulp and fantasy illustration around in this gallery of Heavy Metal Magazine covers from 1977-2013.

For guys and girls who are a little nerdy about their neckwear – how to tie an Eldredge knot

Federico Garcia presents a fun animated listing of important architects and their famous buildings.

Proving that getting used to hearing “no” can get you closer to hearing a “yes” – Jia Jiang tries to desensitize himself to rejection in 100 Days of Rejection Therapy

Mike Joyce of Swissted.com has a new book coming out that features 200 of his redesigned vintage gig posters, you can pre-order it here.

Shooting with vintage and expired film seems to go in and out of vogue every few years, but what about making images with ruined film that has never been exposed. The results are somewhat… cosmic.

A look at The Beat Generation through the annotated photographs of poet Allen Ginsberg. 

Four things to stop doing at your desk this week.

Design Jargon Bullshit is a repository to collect all the horrible buzzword/adspeak/marketing double talk that needs to go away.

The one hundred most appreciated Behance projects of 2012. My favorite of the collection is a project called a due Colori by Alberto Saveso.

A really clever look at the editing process of Kwaku Alston, specifically a shoot with Drew Barrymore.

Done | Not Done is a clever concept for a to do list to remind you of the things that you want to do rather than what you need to do. Seems great for media junkies like me who easily lose track of their expansive movie and book queues.

A frighteningly large (90+ pages) library of skateboard ads from vintage to modern at Skately. A lot to explore, but there are some real gems here.

Strangely Compelling is one long stream of amazing black and white fashion and portrait imagery curated by Simon Engström, very few feeds ever live up to their names like this one does.

Seven tips to survive an unexpected photo assignment with the always entertaining Benjamin Von Wong.

The Amazings is an incredible concept that taps into one of the greatest sources of knowledge out there – experience. I really hope this spreads into a larger movement.

Zack Arias is back from his social media hiatus with a sort of sequel to his incredible Transform (which had a huge effect on me when I forst saw it) called Signal & Noise. We all need a reminder like this sometimes.

9 ONLINE PHOTOGRAPHY MAGAZINES THAT WILL BLOW YOU AWAYY

Covers of Blink Magazine and positive negative magazine

Magazines made me fall in love with photography in the first place – I remember hanging out in my school library to read through racks of magazines both old and new and spending nights every month sitting among piles of magazines flipping through them. As I got older the habit stayed, but in new forms, I might spend a night rifling through some of my favorite photo books, or checking out new magazines on a trip to the book store. These days I get a lot of my fix online, a lot of print magazines have moved into electronic publishing, services like Issuu and Magcloud have made it more practical for niche and independent magazines to distribute their publications, and some have even moved directly into a browser based magazine/digest format – My iPad has become my favorite way to browse new work. Here are nine of my favorite magazines full of inspiring images that are available digitally.

Blink Magazine

Blink is a visually stunning non-profit Korean publication created by Kim Aram, the former art director for PHOTO+. Every issue features an eclectic collection of personal work by photographers all over the world; edited, curated, designed, and promoted solely by Kim, who used a large chunk of personal savings to start the project. Blink is simply one of the most interesting and best designed photography magazines on the market today, and a constant  source of first-rate visual stimulation.

You can get their most recent iPad edition here or follow their great Tumblr feed.

+/-

+/- is an annual student publication produced by the senior photography and design majors at the Rochester Institute of Technology (my Alma Mater). Constantly metamorphosing with each years student staff, this small publication has an insight and visual focus that evolves from issue to issue based around the changing collective aesthetics of the student artists behind it.

You can help fund this student production now by visiting +/- on Kickstarter, which will net you the newest electronic edition or more.

VII and the 37th Frame

VII

This in-house magazine of the VII Photo Agency, renowned for the conflict and news images produced by its member photographers – features illuminating, starkly human and sometimes uncomfortably confrontational imagery covering myriad topics from both its full members and those in its mentorship program. An ever-changing stream of the some of the finest documentary photography in the world.

The 37th Frame

An ad free and reader supported online digest featuring an every growing and beautifully curated showcase of emerging photojournalistic talents. The 37th Frame points readers to the some of the best photojournalism from across the web.

The unexposed and See Saw

The Unexposed

Created by Natasha Dominguez to showcase the talents of other emerging photographers like herself, The Unexposed is a series of thematically distinct editions that are distributed online through Issuu. If you are into the subdued and sometimes melancholy style of imagery that the publication leans towards you can be sure to find The Unexposed becoming a fast favorite like I did.

See Saw

Often accompanied by in-depth text pieces and interviews that shed light on the processes and motivations of the artists featured – See Saw Magazine’s articles expose photographers with unique and real experiences to a world of new viewers. The mix of artists presented encompasses both known and newer talents.

Positive magazine and aperture magazine

Posi+tive

Focusing not just on photography, Posi+tive is a publication that combines art, culture, fashion, photography, reportage, and architecture into a bird’s eye look at what is happening in the worlds from an artistic, political, and cultural point of view. While its focus may not strictly be on the photographic, the imagery presented in the each issue is incredible.

They have a really useful archive of their back issues available for those that want to catch up.

Aperture

One of the big names in photography publications, Aperture has been around and well-regarded for a long time, You might even already be reading it, but I wanted to mention them because of their awesome iPad edition available through Zinio. Having aperture with you wherever you go is a real treat, and worth the subscription fee.

You can also follow Aperture’s blog

Deep Sleep

A thematic publication from the U.K. that strives to expose incredible photography within each issue’s given theme, without concern for market trends or commercial influence. Produced quarterly, the 7 issues released so far have grown in scope and the editorial sense becomes sharper and sharper with each edition.

Deep sleep cover

Do you have any of your own favorites to share?

REQUIRED READING 9.7.2012

Required Reading is a weekly listing of all the bits of visual inspiration, cool videos, news, hip links, and miscellaneous information that rattles my head during the week. The stuff that’s worth bookmarking and gets my brain-juices flowing.

Marqueed is a service that lets you markup and annotate images with collaborators online, a great service for discussing retouching with clients.

• A very DIY take on truly analog photographic filters from A Beautiful Mess

• These well choreographed dancing army men made me smile all week.

• Chase Jarvis explores the low angle shots of Quentin Tarantino

• I must have missed this when it first came out, but I really dig Zack Arias’ Creative Mornings talk on not trying so hard to inflate others perception of you.

Required Reading 8.3.2012

Required Reading is a weekly listing of all the bits of visual inspiration, cool videos, news, hip links, and miscellaneous information that rattles my head during the week. The stuff that’s worth bookmarking and gets my brain-juices flowing.


• A montage of 135 shots meant to restore your faith in the beauty of cinema, there are some wonderfully concentrated bits of inspiration in here.

Cocoagraph is taking your beautiful photographs and finally making them delicious too – eat art!

• Mark Seliger has a new online interview series called Capture – In the first episode Mark interviews Platon and Dylan McDermott about their photography.

• My favorite incarnation of the dynamic duo – Nico and Andy Warhol as Batman and Robin in 1967

• A really strange and wonderful pairing – Weegee on the set of Dr. Strangelove 

• Boy George’s cover of Lana Del Ray’s Video Games for the win, I just love this version of the song.

• A collection of surreal Japanese sci-fi art

Mike Monteiro fields questions from Twitter on how to manage client expectations. I think his take on selling the process and not the solution is one of the best answers in this roundup.

• Beyond Neon – An insightful and inspiring look at the revitalization of Downtown Las Vegas

Make It For Yourself

If you had unlimited resources and unlimited opportunity, what would you do with it creatively? What kind of project would you dream up if it were a fact that nothing was standing in your way? What story would you tell with the restraints of practicality, insecurity, fear, and realism completely lifted?

If you had an unyielding drive to share something, would you fight to make it happen, even if you had no resources other than the ability to genuinely express your desire to give this idea form to others? Would you put in the work to make it real? Could you improvise your way around any obstacles?

Do you remember those wonderfully energetic days of exploration when you first discovered your love of photography or writing or painting, days when you would take on a subject simply because of your interest in it, and you experimented with reckless abandon – having tons of fun doing it? Even if you look back at those creative acts now and scoff because your technique was rudimentary, you were filled with adolescent angst, and your interests have radically changed since then, there was something primal, cathartic, and amazingly fun about frantically scribbling lyrics alone in your room at three in the morning or long days spent in a studio with only your headphones to keep you company. There was no start or stop time and there was no concern for work/life balance because what you were doing wasn’t work, for those hours or days you threw yourself into your project. It was your life and you were exactly where you wanted to be.

I was surprised when I started to realize how many working creatives I knew that were not regularly working on personal projects. For many of them it seemed that the challenges of putting their creativity to task for others on a daily basis had robbed them of that initial spark that brought them joy through the act of creating. Some were burned out and bitter, others still loved what they did but found themselves running in place creatively – always moving but never advancing towards their goals. Many of them had lofty ideas for projects that they never seemed to start, while others drowned their simple and easily executable ideas beneath an ocean of doubt and fear.

There have been countless articles written from the viewpoint of every creative discipline about why you should dedicate time to personal projects. Some focus on the need to alleviate burnout, others propose it as part of a marketing strategy to engage potential clients on a more personal level, and the more introspective ones see it as a way to define your creative goals through self-exploration. These viewpoints all have their benefits and advantages, but few of them focus on the core of why many of you started creating in the first place…

…because you cared about something.

I have talked to photographers and artists at all stages in their careers, and I have heard a few common excuses as to why they aren’t exploring their own ideas:

“No one will like my ideas”

Don’t make it because you think others will like it on Facebook, or because you think it might get you work, or noticed by the art world, or turn a profit. These are byproducts, not goals. Make it because you give a damn about it and want to tell everyone else that you give a damn about it. You might even convince some of them to give a damn about it too.

“I have an idea but it is too difficult to execute”

If you need help, ASK!!

There are people out there who respond to genuine no BS passion – real passion is infectious. Some people fear the word “no” so much that they give up before they even get started. Don’t be one of those people who berates others into helping you either. Instead be so genuinely driven in what you are doing that they can’t help but want to be part of it. You will be surprised when you realize exactly how far unbridled enthusiasm can take you.

I guarantee that there are people out there who want to help you already – people who are going to be excited about what you are doing and want to get involved. They could care about your subject matter or cause, they might be fans of your work, or they may be friends who don’t even get your idea but wholeheartedly believe in you.

“I don’t have any ideas”

Yes, you do – you have an unbelievable variety of ideas that are swimming just below the surface. You have ideas every day and forget them in the rush of your daily life. You weigh them against the perceived expectations of others and discount them as invalid or stupid before they even get off the ground. If it means something to you, it is worth exploring. Think big, but don’t be afraid to think small either – you don’t have to change the world with every project. They can be silly or funny or painfully sad, they can be all about your nerdy passions, or they can start a worldwide movement. There are no rules. There is no minimum or maximum. You can travel around the world or stay in your bedroom. You can create it in an afternoon or spend your whole life pursuing it. What is important is that you give that idea in your head a tangible existence – make it as real to the rest of the world as it is for you.

The important part is starting.

Start recording your ideas – it doesn’t matter how. Keep a notebook, start a file on your computer, etch it into stone tablets, or go all Twin Peaks and record it into a dictaphone for Diane. Just as important is to start to pursue and act on these ideas – don’t just seal them away in some vault where they are out of mind. Revisit your notes and your ideas. It might feel like the most daunting thing in the world, but if you can take small actions towards starting you will build momentum in no time. Projects like these are an outlet that allows you to build something around your own passions and interests – something that you feel strongly about. People respond to these ideas because you are sharing something that you are 100% behind, that you are willing to take a risk for. The act of putting something out there despite your fears of how others will receive it is courageous and amazing.

A blank page, an unexposed roll of film, and an empty stage are full of all sorts of potential – they want to be filled.

Fill them with something that you think it is totally cool, or something you believe in, or because you want to make a change, or have to tell a story. Everyone will find their own method. I just want to light a fire under your ass – you need to find a process that works for you. Whatever it may be, throw yourself into it all the way and start something new.

Where is your creativity going to take you next?

Required Reading 6.1.2012

Above: Erin’s bike parked by the water last weekend when we spent the day riding along the Lake Erie Shore.


Required Reading is a weekly listing of all the bits of visual inspiration, cool videos, news, hip links, and miscellaneous information that rattles my head during the week. The stuff that’s worth bookmarking and gets my brain-juices flowing.


• Make your own luck.

• My new favorite way of getting my much needed Tom Gauld fix.

Competing solely on price is no way to compete at all, price is just one factor to consider when self evaluating your value to customers.

• Clay Shirky on how the six rules of creativity are really just the one rule of creativity. 

BLINK has a killer new iPad app out to compliment the already impressive print version of their photography publication.

David Hockney’s iPad

• An impressively detailed panoramic diagram of the Kowloon waled city – A subject I have been fascinated by since I first saw Greg Girard’s photos of it. 

• A terrifying child makes an effective debt collector in this funny spot for Barclays Pingit. 

• For fellow lovers of old film – MGM’s stable of stars circa 1943

• Aside from the fact that the put on the best concert I have been to this year, M83 makes the most impressive and interesting videos. I like how this new video for Reunion carries on the narrative from Midnight City so seamlessly. More music video projects need to demonstrate this kind of ambition.

Required Reading 3.9.2012

Required Reading is a weekly listing of all the bits of visual inspiration, cool videos, news, hip links, and miscellaneous information that rattles my head during the week. The stuff that’s worth bookmarking and gets my brain-juices flowing.


This one is for Aaron Ingrao, the biggest pop tart addict I know. | Pantone Tarts by Emilie de Griottes

A look at how we better ourselves, and how trying to make only good work may ultimately hamper our growth. |  Getting Better vs Being Good

I wish these mistakes were not so common that it warranted writing a blog post about it | How to be a freelance failure in seven easy steps.

Richard Wade’s ghostly exploration of people lost in thought in the self contained universe of their cars. | Human Chasis

I am so happy to have found this, Alfred Hitchcock interviewed by Francis Truffaut for 12 hours, this is the stuff that film geek dreams are made of | 12 Hours of Truffaut Interviewing Hitchcock

Creativity is subtraction

This song has been stuck in my head for days | Where SSION’s Love Grows

There is something contextually fascinating about looking at the stationary of the famous and villainous figures and brands | Famous Letterheads 1900-1997

Happiness is not a destination.

Do we confuse window dressing and ornamentation with substance? | More is Usually Just More.  

Required Reading 2.3.2012

Required Reading is a weekly listing of all the bits of visual inspiration, cool videos, news, hip links, and miscellaneous information that rattles my head during the week. The stuff that’s worth bookmarking and gets my brain-juices flowing.

I have also added a subscription feature to the blog – now you can stay updated about new posts and what is going on with my creative life via e-mail. To receive updates just add your email address to the box under Subscribe on the sidebar and voilà! you will be getting regular updates from me in no time. 


Nubby Twiglet was interviewed by photography consultant Amanda Sosa Stone about her design process and helping to build brands for photographers (including me) | I Love Designers on the Scoop with Sosa Stone

• A hand drawn quote from one of my favorite books, The Little Prince. | Brain Pickings

• The most important article I read all week. A lot of you know how I feel about the awful negativity that is pervasive in the photography industry, I am glad to see blogs like that that are taking a stand against it and showing what they love about photography instead. | I love Photography. 

• While I don’t think the the first equine themed costume would fly today (except for some very specific and scary clientele) this look back at exotic dancers of the 1890’s is a fascinating exploration of changing aesthetic ideals and preferences. | How to Be a Retronaut

• Documenting the creation of an outdoor street art museum in the Wynwood district of Miami, FL. Check out this trailer for the docuseries Here Comes The Neighborhood below.

• John Keatley’s series of portraits of master bartender Murray Stenson are some of the best images I have seen online in weeks. Seeing stuff like this is like visual caffeine, it wakes you up and pulls you out of the online static. | Keatley Blog. 

• Think of how much more interesting everyday life would be if other cultures treated such mundane objects as works of art | The Art of The japanese Manhole Cover

• Eiko Ishioka recently passed away, she was a monumentally talented and Academy Award winning costume designer who is responsible for unforgettable outfits in the films of Tarsem Singh, Bjork videos, Cirque du Soleil performances. I love the work she created for Singh’s The Fall (one of the most visually intriguing films I have ever seen) | R.I.P. Eiko Ishioka

• David Ogilvy – in his own words – on his writing process and why he feels he is a lousy copywriter. Editing is a key skill for all creatives, you need to be able to cull your own bad ideas from the good | Letters of Note

• For all those photographers who are just starting to move into video, Chase Jarvis has posted a quick guide to audio and mics just for you| Buying Mics and Hacking Audio for Your DSLR Video Setup

• For my fellow camera nerds – a hidden camera look inside the B&H conveyor system by Lense. 

• The Affectmedia 2012 Calendar has me in stitches, I wish more companies did fun pieces like this. Oenophile Pinhead was my favorite of the bunch | Photography Served

• Stop aiming for the middle | Prepared to Fail by Seth Godin

• A mega-mix of all the overhead shots in Wes Anderson films cut together.

• Want to get going in the morning? Skip coffee and start listening to film scores while you get ready, by the time you are dressed you will feel like a badass western gunslinger or a spacefaring rogue – after that the rest of the day is easy! I suggest starting off with this one | Elmer Bernstein – Main Titles of the Magnificent Seven. 

• An extensive collection of film stills where the subject is breaking the fourth wall | Look at the Camera

• Rooftopping in Toronto – an incredible vantage point from above a city I love. | Thestar.com

• I am in love with this video of a five year old discussing her impressions on the logos and brand marks of different companies by Ladd Design

Required Reading

• Showing what can be done with a single camera, and great visual storytelling, The Julien Henry directed video for Vitalic’s Second Lives will truly impress if you can stop laughing long enough to pay attention. A second, but definitely NSFW edit of the video is available here.

• Stop motion photography videos have started to become a little dry and repetitive as of late. Thats why I am glad to see something that pushes the boundaries of creativity of that genre a little bit more. Olympus’ sequel to the their original PEN story really does push those ideas into something really cool and impressive.

• SLC photographer Jake Garn demonstrates some of the powerful abilities of using light room and photoshop together with his post production demos that make you think outside the box.

• Though he is responsible for most of my internet time wasting, I still think Michael Swaim from Those Aren’t Muskets is a true genius of web comedy and geek humor.

• For those working in the editorial field, Rob Haggart of at Aphotoeditor.com has a great breakdown on real world estimates and contracts for the editorial market.

Required Reading

• Nostalgia, timeless illustration, and the slick promise of the American Dream abound in this extensive collection of classic American car brochures. So extensive you can follow the evolution of the industry’s design aesthetic within a single manufacturer’s line, often from the 1920’s right through today.

• Via Permission to Suck – The Vernacular Photograph as Accidental Masterpiece – time, nostalgia, and chance create a beautiful link to our visual past.

• A group of unique creative professionals chime in on the future of flash as a medium for photographers to present their work. Presented by Photo Shelter and including Rob Haggart of aphotoeditor.com

• If you are at all interested in or related to the advertising industry, than I strongly recommend that you watch Art & Copy. An engrossing documentary about the history, philosophy, evolution, and rebellion of some of the great figures in contemporary advertising that will change your misconceptions about a field which is often accused of pandering to the lowest common denominator. I think George Lois is my new hero.

• I found this link to Smashing Magazine’s article on the Principles of Minimalist Web Design via Nubbytwiglet.com. So many photographers and creative professionals can benefit from the web design ideas and principals espoused here.