• 5.27.15   Jessica May Underwood Breaks New Ground for Harrods

    To celebrate spring, Harrods’ store has gone into full bloom. Inspired by the flowers of the season, they’ve filled their store, magazine, and window displays with the work of Jessica May Underwood. Her Victorian inspired line drawings of flowers represent a new chapter for the retail titan, something that isn’t lost on Jessica at all. “It’s the biggest thing they’ve undertaken that’s been solely illustrated,” she says. “It’s the first time my direct paintings have ever been made into something so large scale.” It's a huge vote of confidence for an internationally renowned retail space like Harrods to take the leap into illustration like this. They could have walked into it with some trepidation, but they didn't. They trusted Jessica's work and let it stand on its own.  "The nicest thing was that they kept it so true to the line work," she says. "And it was like watching my drawings grow literally into life size plants." From development, to drawing, to installing the final pieces; it has all come together very naturally.Like real flowers, Jessica’s installation has a finite life. It is not ironic, but perhaps fitting, that the composite pieces are as ephemeral as nature. She noticed the passage of time working on her contributions the last time she visited the installation. “It’s been about three weeks since opening night and they all gradually begin to wilt because they’re made out of paper,” she says. But rather than being disheartened by this, she recognizes the reflexive feature. “It’s really nice. Kind of the nature of the theme of it all. It sounds really predictable but I didn’t expect for it to happen. And it looks really lovely.” The effort that Jessica put into each image was to bring a sense of realism to the work, and as time passes the realistic aspect expands.This year, for the first time ever, Harrods attended the Chelsea Flower Show, the 103 year old even that celebrates spring and horticulture. Attended by 157,000 visitors each year (the number is limited), it is an international event and perhaps the most famous garden and flower show in the world. Harrods’ set up a booth this year, and used the same imagery for their display. The tradition of the Chelsea Flower Show reaches far back, drawing on inspiration from Victorian gardens, so it was fitting that Jessica’s work should be Harrods’ contribution. “For me it’s nice because it’s drawing on Victorian processes,” she explains. “It’s nice to be at the root of all of that as the artist.”Check out Jessica’s flowers at Harrods before they lose their pedals, and if you want a piece for your own, check out Harrods’ Magazine.
  • 5.28.15   The Learning Process Never Ends for Chloe Aftel

    Chloe Aftel is in the middle of a gargantuan project right now. Over the course of eight months she’s working with Canon to create one hundred cinemagraphs showing off the features and possibilities of Canon’s product line. These tiny looping movies, that can be translated into GIFs for the purposes of sharing or showing off, each tell a very small story about the Canon product, or something else that’s happening in the frame. Given how short they are, Chloe and her team are forced to condense their story telling down to a very concentrated point, but she always maintains the integrity of the central goal. “What makes cinemagraphs successful is finding a way to make them look seamless but also consistent and interesting over time,” she explains. The nature of these cinemagraphs is that they loop, so each return to the flow of the story should deepen it and should reveal something new. The looping is an inherent feature of the technique, and Chloe uses this opportunity to enrich the story. “You don’t want something where it’s just interesting once. There’s some sort of charm or thrill or unexpected piece to it.”Chloe is creating an enormous amount of work with Canon in creating all these cinemagraphs. But even though she’s delving deep, the well isn’t going to dry up, she explains. She can start from the same position and end up with something new. “There are infinite possibilities in the world. There are so many ways to do it,” she says. “Whether it’s the first one you’re doing or the 97th, the question is ‘How is it going to work on a loop, how is it going to be visually interesting, how do we tell the story?’” By constantly returning to the heart of storytelling, Chloe is able to find something new every time and bring a fresh perspective no matter how many stories she has to tell. Still, it’s not easy every time. The volume of work is a huge challenge. But it’s something that Chloe has protected herself against as being a potential pitfall. She’s solved it by surrounding herself with the best people she could find. “I was very lucky that I had a very good team,” she says. “We’re doing eight a day – and this is basically doing eight little movies a day. And that part of it is intense.”About half of the cinemagraphs have been released and we’ve included a selection of some of the most compelling.    
  • 5.26.15   Tiny Atlas Quarterly Gets Down to Earth

    The endless white expanse of White Sands is actually gypsum, a stone that is a main component of chalk. The crystals are crunchy and course, and bounce light like a soft mirror – any photographer’s dream. When Emily Nathan took a shoot out to White Sands for the latest issue of Tiny Atlas Quarterly, it was almost like checking a line off a bucket list; it was somewhere she’d been wanting to visit for a long time. “It’s an amazing, amazing place,” Emily gushes. “I’ve been to a lot of places, like so many places. And I don’t usually want to take selfies or sort of freak out about a place. But White Sands is just stunning. For photographers it’s like kryptonite.” But she did take selfies, and photographs of her real life photographer friends, Sera Lindsay and Philip Eastman, wearing Teva’s latest footwear. “I had to keep taking pictures. I took pictures from the car, every moment. It’s just spectacular. It’s so beautiful,” she says To bring this shoot into focus for Tiny Atlas, Emily conscripted a miniature team of artists for their signature flair. “There’s just all these layers like a typical Tiny Atlas story. We worked with graphic designer Lauren Crosier on the typography and Heather Day who’s a painter,” she says. She chose Heather’s work specifically for the aesthetic interpretation that it would bring to the story. Inherent in the name of the publication is that it is about travel, and spaces, and how people interact with those spaces. How the world can become an atlas, a map, as we find our way through from one place to the next. Heather’s work was pitch perfect for Emily to combine with her photography. “A lot of [Heather’s] paintings have a sort of mapping sentiment to them that are abstract. We simplified her work to fit the imagery,” says Emily When pairing with a brand like Teva for her own publication, the most important element is integrity. The pairing has to make sense, and for Emily, the relationship with Teva made sense because Teva understands what Tiny Atlas is all about. When they came to Tiny Atlas, they wanted to stay true to the vision of the publication. “We worked with Teva from the beginning, and they really looked to Tiny Atlas to do our thing which was cool. They wanted us to find locations that were inspiring for us, that worked for our content, and then they wanted real people for models,” she says. So that’s what they did. Armed with cameras, friends, and the gypsum crystals of White Sands, they stepped into this otherworldly setting and found another pin to sink into their atlas.
  • 5.21.15   Thayer Allyson Gowdy and Creative Luxury

    One of the challenges of lifestyle shoots, something that Thayer Allyson Gowdy is very familiar with, is the pure amount of energy that has to be maintained. Getting a deep variety of imagery in a plethora of settings takes a lot of time, and a lot of focus. The energy compounds on itself on set and ultimately helps to frame the final images with the same energy spilling in. As beautiful as those results are, there’s another side to lifestyle that can offer the same kind of beauty. When Thayer shot for Tommy Hilfiger, it was a bare bones crew. It was just her, the art director, a prop stylist, and her digital technician, and it was exactly how she likes it. “It was kind of a dreamy job,” she says. “We had so much freedom… It was a rare opportunity that we got to just sort of collaborate. It was refreshing and really, really lovely.” Working with a group of people that small meant both physical and creative mobility, allowing them to find the right shots in their own time. When it comes to treating her shots this way, Thayer uses an athletic example. “We had a shot list for the day we stared and we just sort of moved through it at our own pace,” Thayer says. “And we always got done really early and did extra shots. It’s sort of the same theory of a marathon: if you walk part of a marathon, you can still get a good time.” In truth, when photographers are working on broad projects with deep requirements, it is very similar to the work of an athlete. At the end of the day we judge the final product, their performance. But to get there requires focus, time, and practice. And nothing can beat perfect conditions on the day. Part of Thayer’s perfect conditions on this shoot was her relationship with Lionel Cipriano, the Art Director for the shoot. Their creative synergy on set is what allowed for the compounding good vibes. She explains that when you have a working relationship like what she has with Lionel, you can leave behind on-set drama, which is a big time save. “You get straight to getting an image done a whole lot quicker when you can collaborate that closely, we ended up getting so many more shots than we needed each day and we had a shot list as long as our arm,” she says. “It was great! And we had a good time!” When it comes down to it, those relationships are as important to a photographer’s success as their prowess with a camera, and it really shows up in the frames. “Any time that you feel really good and there’s good energy, it’s really positive and relaxed,” she explains. That feeling permeates the entire set and suffuses the images with effortless beauty and a little shot of natural luxury.
  • 5.26.15   Amy Taylor Sets a Heroic Scene

    Wonder Woman. Black Widow. Jean Grey. Storm. Maria Hill. To many, those first four names represent the most powerful women in any superhero universe, but the list is hollow if it leaves off the fifth. Maria Hill is the right hand woman to Nick Fury, the director of S.H.E.I.L.D., an international (and interdimensional) organization that operates the Avengers. The heroes of this, and many other worlds, go where she tells them to go, and if it weren't for her actions in this summer's biggest blockbuster, Avengers: Age of Ultron, the entire planet earth would have been wiped of organic life. In the movie, Maria is played by Cobie Smulders, an actress who found her way into the living rooms of America over her nine season, astronomically successful SitCom, How I Met Your Mother. But while that show made her a household name, it is the Avengers that gives her the platform to make her mark. When it comes to superhero canon, the landscape is regrettably short on female superheroes. Those we do have are powerful, complex, dynamic, intelligent: a fair representation of any woman. And until that canon catches up with our contemporary understanding, we will be left with a drought of superheroines in mass media. Luckily, on the cover of Glamour México, we see what makes Colbie a woman, what makes her feminine. The set designed by Amy Taylor is graphic: three dimensional blocks and two dimensional squares are all painted in pastel. This soft rainbow echoes the dresses that Cobie wears, and in turn show off her softness, her femininity. But inside that grace is an ease, she sits with it unapologetically and honestly. Lounging across Amy's built steps of color, Cobie owns her femininity with a power that edges on alarming - not that she should be watched, but we should probably watch ourselves. In many ways, Amy's set is Cobie and is Maria Hill. The blocks and squares are supportive, strong, and bold but their colors paint their grace. They are both powerful and elegant; a combination that should surprise no one. It is a dichotomy that should be expected, understood, and known. This is not new, this is reality. And the more Maria Hills, and Black Widows, and Wonder Women we get to see on the big screen the less it should surprise anyone.
  • 5.22.15   Effervescent Excitement with Ars Thanea

    If you've never had Orangina, the carbonated orange drink that is mainly found in Europe, here's a tip: Shake it before you drink it. The natural pulp settles, and to really get the full experience, you have to shake it up to get a good mix. But be careful, the effervescence of the juice is compounded by the agitation, so open with care. When you shake it, you can imagine the vortexes your shakes are creating, swishing the juice around and catalyzing a potential explosion. The glass becomes something like Schrödinger’s lightning in a bottle, the anticipation of opening it as exciting as the drink itself. This was the feeling that Ars Thanea plumbed in their latest work with Orangina. When the drink company came to Ars Thanea, they knew they wanted the bottles to be shown beautifully, and to use the inherent energy of the drink in the composition, but they let the team at Ars Thanea figure out the details of how everything would come together. Conceptually, the images are inspired by traditional packshots, the photographs we’re used to seeing in milquetoast ads, but Ars Thanea wanted to bring it to another level. In a subtle subversion of convention they used the liquid dynamic of the drink to imply the shape of the bottle as it flew through the air. To achieve this effect they photographed silicone in a variety of different arcs and trajectories and stitched them together in postproduction. To bring an extra layer of excitement, Ars Thanea brought in some orange segments to fly around the composition. They worked through a few ideas and finally settled on the high velocity movement of flying pieces. “We wanted to underline the dynamic there,” says Marcin Kowalski of Ars Thanea, explaining how this added piece highlights the flavor and effervescence of the drink. Each element of the images give us an exciting look and feel to the Orangia experience.
  • 5.20.15   Vault49 Gets Microscopic with Uniqlo

    Uniqlo is in the business of textiles. They make materials from which to shape garments, and it’s more than a question of just color or texture. Instead it’s about strategic weaves that maximize potential, like breathability and UV protection. The designers at Uniqlo get deep into the fibers of their materials, literally, by figuring out how to lay fibers in such a way that they can do what other textiles cannot do. For their latest publication, “The Life Wear Book,” Uniqlo wanted to offer readers a better understanding of how deep the design of Uniqlo goes. In order to bring a visual language to these technical textiles, they tapped Vault49 to work their CGI magic. Close up, these textiles are otherworldly. Each fiber takes on the look and imagined feel of steel. They become vast woven structures that are equal parts impressive and humbling. We start to see these objects from a completely different point of view. The vision that Vault49 gives us is through the eyes of the technicians and artists who take it upon themselves to understand our world in a much finer way. Every object, every composite piece of our world, is crafted by nature or man. And rather than just leaving it to chance, when we create these smaller elements, we have the opportunity to do it right, to understand how we fit into a larger context and take advantage of it in a way that benefits ourselves and ideally our world. Vault49 shows us how the designers have to see each tiny element in creating these powerful fabrics. It shows us how light, air, and these complex weave interact with one another at a nearly microscopic level. And that level is exactly where Vault49 started their production. Luke Choice, Lead Designer at Vault49, explains that they were given a close look at the fabrics, much closer than just the human eye could reveal. “For a couple of them there were microscopic images,” says Luke. “We had to study the actual fabrics to see the individual weaves of certain products.” Using hands on interaction they were able to learn about the materials in such a way that they could communicate their details visually. But the real trick was avoiding the typical, cliché graphic diagrams and turn the images into something compelling. “The challenge went into crafting the visual stories,” explains Luke. “It had to be quite classy.” The results are look at these materials we could never see all on our own.
B&A Instafeed. Images From Our Artists & Community
  • Ps next week is Negroni week #Negroni #nyc #wmbrownstyle
    likes 32 // comments 4
  • @strandedrecords day
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    likes 138 // comments 4
  • SNO birthday celebration for Kat and co featured this beast of an ice cream cake and many blue tongues afterwards! #studionumberone #happybirthday
    likes 7 // comments
  • Coming at ya Montauk. Got some fun things on deck for @surfcollectivenyc over the next few days.
    likes 12 // comments 1
  • I
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  • #angelface #sadiejames
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  • Sometimes u just can
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  • Throwback Thursday‼️ LOVE THIS AMAZING FLICK, BRAVO‼️ @obeygiant @thesweettoof @darkcloudsnyc #iRepost @kc_retro with @irepostapp: "#streetart #urbanart #graffiti #Graff #graffititags #calligraffiti #calligraphy #littleitalynyc #thelisaprojectnyc #sprayart #spraydaily #spraypaint #muralsdaily #muralart #murals #wallart #NYC #nycstreetart #wanderlust #travel #citylife #colorful #landscape #cityscape #throwbackthursday #tbt" #Repost #RT
    likes 129 // comments 2
  • #GUMBALL3000 madness at #BUTTONWILLOW racetrack!!! Watch out LA - we comin to you RIGHT NOW... @estevanoriol @trillog @louisvnyc @tysoncbeckford @guess @gumball3000 @mrgumball3000 @moannn @danielleknudson1 @nataliepack #gumball3000 #guessvipers #stockholmtovegas @daiyoshihara @patdevereuxla
    likes 354 // comments 5
  • Essentials. #thefacinator #loveinstbarths
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  • #BuranoItaly by @kylegoldie // #gsinstatakeover #kylegoldietakesover
    likes 21 // comments 1
  • Dope shot of @danielleknudson1 with the #GUESSVIPERS at #BUTTONWILLOW race track!!! @guess @gumball3000 @mrgumball3000 @moannn @nataliepack #gumball3000 #guessvipers #stockholmtovegas @daiyoshihara @patdevereuxla
    likes 436 // comments 7
  • Thank you for all my birthday wishes, sadly not with my loved ones celebrating but having the LA beach on my doorstep is a small compromise. X
    likes 50 // comments 8
  • You think you are #Metal come by #boothW194 #licensing2015 and see if you can #ridethelightning #DeathMetal
    likes 44 // comments
  • #thefacinator #loveinstbarths
    likes 228 // comments 7
  • Friday, we are coming for you! SF from the real deal @kenziekirk #mytinyatlas
    likes 1184 // comments 22
  • We love the texture and soul from the fabric of a @ddent NorCal day. #mytinyatlas
    likes 754 // comments 5
  • Take two.
    likes 10 // comments
  • Hayden rocking the new #ropeswing
    likes 14 // comments 1
  • Initial character exploration for a new spot we just finished work on. #Styleframes #animation #characters
    likes 3 // comments 1
  • At @mrcope2_artist
    likes 749 // comments 1
  • And without further ado ... our #Prom King and Queen are Clyde Thurman and @nmaurizi! Congratulations! (All proceeds from voting will be donated to @americancancersociety.)
    likes 42 // comments 1
  • Treated myself to my new favorite, breakfast burrito at COFAX on Fairfax. Want a bite? #Cofax #breakfast #burrito #dodgerblue #blue #garybaseman #baseman #Toby #TobylovesYou @cofaxcoffee #cofaxcoffee #fairfax #hood #home #avocado
    likes 712 // comments 15
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