• 4.17.15   Joey L Employs Creative Solutions for Jose Cuervo

    Almost all liquor is the resulting product of distilling natural sugars. Most rums are the distilled version of sugar cane juice, most vodka comes from distilled potatoes, and to make real tequila you must distill Blue Agave. The plant only grows in certain regions of Mexico, and like Champagne, if it’s not from that region or that plant, it cannot be called Tequila. In the middle of a multiple month whirlwind tour around the world shooting for the US Army, National Geographic Channel, and a stop for a friend's wedding, photographer Joey L spent a few weeks in Mexico for Jose Cuervo’s latest campaign. And he got to know these Blue Agave plants well. Maybe a little too well. Fully grown, Blue Agave is gigantic: almost as tall as a man, and twice as wide. Most of the plant is made up of succulent spears in a three-dimensional fan like a pincushion, or a Koosh ball, and each one of them is sharper than the next. “They’re the most peaceful looking plants until you get near them and they start making you bleed,” says Joey’s assistant Jesse with a laugh. They were in the fields because Joey wanted to get shots of the jimadors, the specialized agave farmers who are experts at identifying the ripe agave, which can happen anywhere between eight and 12 years in the plant’s life cycle. The plants were so big that they were impeding the shots that Joey wanted to get, so he needed a better vantage point: Jesse’s shoulders. “I needed to get a little higher, so I turned to my trusty friend and assistant Jesse and climbed up on his shoulders and was suspended above the death trap agave needles,” says Joey. After they walked down those rows of plants as a single unit, there were able to get the shot. “It was way better,” says Joey. Towards the end of the day, Joey wanted to capture a quiet moment between the jimadors, so they decided to set up a fire that the farmers could chat around and trade stories. They were going to set up the shot in a different location, but the sun was setting so Joey hurried on ahead to get as much time as possible. But his camera was still with his crew. “There’s a very small window of time after the sun sets when it still light out and you get this beautiful bluey twilight feel that will balance perfectly with that orange glow from a fire. But that window only lasts like 20-25 minutes max,” says Joey. “And here I was with this amazing scenery in front of me and these amazing characters to photograph and I didn’t even have my camera.” Eventually there was just enough hustle and Joey got his camera with enough time to get the shot. As soon as he got the image, the clouds opened up and it started to pour rain. Despite the natural challenges, Joey and his crews ability to employ creative solutions meant he got every shot he needed wrapping up the shoot with aplomb.
  • 4.21.15   The 90's Are Alive for Guillaume Lechat at GQ France

    This month, after twelve years of silence, Britpop band Blur is releasing their first studio album since 2003. "The Magic Whip" represents a true reformation of a musical group whose legacy is behind them, but has the opportunity to grab a new future. For many of us, Britpop calls images of the late 1980s and early 1990s, when Blur broke out into the scene. In our age of redemption and redefinition, Blur has picked the perfect time to return to us, just as the style from their heyday reappears. GQ France has recognized this confluence of style and trend, releasing an editorial shot by photographer Guillaume Lechat. “Parklife,” as the editorial is called, borrows its name from Blur’s 1994 studio album of the same name, drawing inspiration from fashion in the mid 90’s that has reemerged. Using four young men, each around the age of Blur’s band members 19 years go, it is a contemporary reimagining of a day in the life of this band. Lounging on velveteen mod furniture, drinking tea on weathered leather couches en plein air, backgrounded by smoky, printed, patterned wallpaper. Guillaume, who got to skip around London for this shoot says it was a “Super cool shoot in London paying homage to the Britpop era in the 90's.” Traversing rooftops, passing through alleys, and habitating flats, the shoot took them into a London we remember through photographs and musical reminiscence. London isn’t historically known for its bright sun, but Guillaume takes his natural light very seriously, chasing the sun to achieve the light he needs. That look is an integral element of his process and aesthetic. “To me, a lot of natural light is really important, a lot of movement, and a lot of honesty,” says Guillaume. That light gives an effortless quality to his images, lending a realism that is almost candid in nature. In this editorial for GQ France we’re not seeing Blur as they were in 1994, but we might as well be looking into that past – a past that is increasingly becoming our present. 
  • 4.20.15   American Apparel and Todd Selby Save the Sloths

    As humans we share our world with all manner of animals. The great, the fast, the strong. Elephants, whales, cheetahs, each as majestic as the last. But there are ever more living alongside us, and many need our help. Through deforestation, or natural events, there are sloths in danger and require human intervention. This year, to celebrate Earth Day, American Apparel has teamed up with artist Todd Selby to help save the sloths. Slow moving, grinning sloths may seem like an untraditional choice, but sloth preservation is something that Todd has been thinking about for a while. His brother, Scott Selby, was the one who inspired the idea. “My brother Scott has got a very deep love for sloths; protecting and loving sloths. So we were talking about it for a long time,” says Todd. “We have a friend who works at American Apparel. So it just kind of happened through natural conversation.” That conversation lead to the idea that they would make a shirt that would feature an original painting by Todd and could raise money to benefit these gentle creatures. Sloths are slow moving, and not aggressive, so their main source of protection is their own camouflage. In the natural world this is great for them, but it provides a challenge for anyone who wants to paint or draw them. “A lot of times they’re actually hidden,” explains Todd. “They’re hard to see, they’re always balled up or hanging from a tree in a funny way. So it was kind of a challenge. I’d never painted a sloth before so it was a fun new thing for me.” The painting found its way onto the shirt made available in both Men’s and Unisex silhouettes available through American Apparel right now. Proceeds benefit the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica where sloths are rescued, rehabilitated, and sometimes released. They also use funds to study the animals, which are the least studied mammal on our planet. So much of these animals’ lives remain a mystery to us, and there is vital information we need if we’re going to help them thrive along side us.
  • 4.16.15   Toni Morrison's Latest Novel Inspires Olaf Hajek

    Toni Morrison’s latest novel, “Gold Help the Child,” explores levels of child abuse, using familial racism as a backdrop to discuss human mistreatment in ravaging, emotional ways. Kara Walker’s review in The New York Times is paired with an original painting by Olaf Hajek, distilling some of the emotional themes in his signature grace. The novel’s most striking early image is that of the main character, Bride, whose skin is so black she’s nearly blue. “I thought this was a really nice element to take over into this image,” says Olaf. The heart of his painting is a representation of this character whose skin turned even her mother and father away from her, igniting an emotional brutality that would frame the rest of the narrative. Springing forth from Bride is a blue pathway that shifts and changes in its flow, a representation of a theme from the book. “Kara explained this idea of this river, which is floating and coming out this person’s mind and suddenly goes into different directions and finding its own way,” says Olaf. “it goes from this person, it’s a kind of river, which is coming from the dark into the light.” Using a symbol like this allows for Olaf to say more in his paintings than he could do with classic representation. It adds a depth to the image, communicating beyond simple depiction. Even the most cursory look at Olaf’s paintings give a deep impression of rich color and deep texture, utilized with aplomb in the painting for Morrison’s novel. Olaf has been using texture like this since he started his career decades ago, but it came out of necessity. “When I started my career I was working on found materials like cardboard, but after a while I didn’t have to work on found materials anymore,” says Olaf. “I was working on cardboard and now I’m working on wooden plates. For me the texture and the material are very important. It’s not only the painting and the drawing itself, it’s also the material.” The drawing out of these textures means there is a timeless quality to each image compounded by his choice of subject matter. When it comes to composition, Olaf draws from the natural world, as he did with the painting for The New York Times. “I always like to get some kind of symbolism into my work,” he says. “That’s why I work with natural floral botanical elements because they have this natural symbolism, which I can use for a lot of different emotions.” Plant life, rock formations, insects each carry with them inherent connections for every viewer that will reach deeply into each viewing experience, color their view. Regarding a painting is a remarkably solo endeavor, like reading a novel: everyone experiences it on their own.
  • 4.14.15   Justin Hollar Gets the Team Back Together

    Justin Hollar and lingerie company b’temp.d by Wacoal have been collaborating for years. Over the course of several campaigns they’ve honed every element of each shoot arriving at an aesthetic that satisfies both the artistic standards of Justin, and the visual needs of b’tempt.d. The shared satisfaction is an achievement that continues to pay off, most recently for b’temp.d’s current season. “We've been fine tuning everything from the environments, hair, makeup, model, lighting, and overall photography, and now the brand direction is working for everyone,” says Justin. A lesson in creative realization, Justin and b’temp.d have assembled a team and a process that continues to pay dividends over each season. As a result of this working relationship and refined product, each shoot has become something of a well-oiled machine. It has engendered efficiency that benefits each shoot ever more than the last. “Everyone knows their roles and what they need to do,” says Justin. “Which in turn allows us to get more shots done than previous shoots. Which the client loves also.” The creative expanse means that Justin and the creatives at b’temp.d are able to explore more and more within the parameters of their collective taste, and create a larger world within the campaign. Each successive campaign is an opportunity to bring the squad back together. The whole group has created a sense on set that they’re all working towards the same goal, made clear by their collective goals. “Everyone’s great to work with and there's no egos on my sets when I'm able to bring my team in,” Says Justin. “The only thing I challenge myself with is to push the photography a little bit each time but not stray from the identity we've created for the brand.” Finding the expanse within the brand identity makes room for spontaneity and authentic moments that are still true to the brand in ever sense. The surprises created in this atmosphere always fit.
  • 4.14.15   Tiffany Patton Rocks Out

    Who said the 90s are dead? With Scream and XFiles about to return to the screen, Madonna taking the stage for MTV, and some familiar names on upcoming Presidential tickets, it looks like we’re taking the best of the 90s and repurposing them for our new age. Refinery29 has noticed the same trends in jewelry and teamed up with Makeup Artist Tiffany Patton to help show off these traditional wares. From Clueless inspired snap bracelets, to luxe mood rings, and even a barrette or two, these neo-retro accessories offer bold colors rooted in punk influence. Tiffany’s make up artistry reflects those same roots. Playing off colorful hairstyles, screamingly bright eyeshades, rich lips, and fair base colors complete the story of a decade that set the tone for the new millennium. This is the punk you remember with the fresh face of a contemporary era. Tiffany's creations bring a unqiue look at recognizable styling that is uniquely crisp and original. This is 2015, but still oh so 90s, and we missed it.
  • 4.15.15   Bigshot Toyworks Opens the World of Sports

    The world of sports is diverse and wide, with a game for every player. Passion drives competition everywhere and each different contest inspires fans from all walks of life. Whether it’s the coasts’ obsession with golf, the south’s love of NASCAR, or basketball arresting the focus of the whole nation, sport engenders a shared zeal, something that both AT&T and Bigshot Toyworks understand. To build excitement around AT&T U-verse, a service that allows viewers access to all sorts of games, Bigshot Toyworks teamed up with AT&T to create a microsite that allows fans to interact with their own passions. The U-verse Bobblehead Shop lets users create and share their own virtual bobbleheads, centered on their favorite sports. “They wanted to have a customizable way for people to pick a sport and customize a player to their liking,” says Klim Kozinevich of Bigshot Toyworks. “We wanted it to be something that was fun, that had some personality, and a unique flavor to it.” By going through the process you can customize gender, sport, skin, hair, and uniform colors, as well as picking one of a handful of inspirational lines for the setting. Then, once all is chosen, the final design can be used across social media; you are your own bobbehead online. Klim and Bigshot Toyworks have made bobbleheads before, sometimes even creating tactile versions of them. But when it comes to designing an illustrated version, Klim approaches it exactly the same way as he does for a physical object. “There really isn’t much of a difference between doing a real toy and doing a digital,” he explains. The challenge came in the customizability of the toys. Each shift of the toy, from skin color to uniform options, is a whole new variable that has to be dealt with. “It’s a simple action for the user but it’s a pretty complicated process on both our end and the programming end where they have to make every single possible combination, isolated and rendered,” says Klim about the customizability. Bigshot has become known for using characters to tell these immersive stories, translating emotional stories using figures (both tactile and CGI). But from one project to the next, Bigshot disappears into the work. Klim is very careful to bring attention to that fact. There is no Bigshot Toyworks “house style,” instead they create what the project needs. “Our whole thing is we don’t do a specific thing that people come to us for,” explains Klim. “We solve creative problems within a character-based project. We let the project define the style.” Check out AT&T U-verse's Bobblehead Shop and make your own!
B&A Instafeed. Images From Our Artists & Community
  • Came home to this gorgeous book! Thank you @heather_hardison ! ❤️❤️❤️
    likes 24 // comments
  • #kodak #doubleexposure #incamera #naturalbeauty
    likes 56 // comments 2
  • It
    likes 94 // comments 8
  • Out with the old - in with new! Buffing my BK wall for my upcoming collab with @cyrcle !!! @montanacans #welcometonewyork
    likes 252 // comments 17
  • A great day with @matthew_b_wright #levis #onlocation #losangeles #kodak
    likes 82 // comments 1
  • a beauty to behold
    likes 38 // comments 11
  • #MikeMignola #Monkeywithagun production progress #comingsoon
    likes 28 // comments
  • "Design is thinking made visual" - Saul Bass // I sometimes make these little quotes for the @typedirectorsclub social media feed, kinda pleased with this one. Uses some of Mr Bass
    likes 29 // comments
  • So much ChouChou Love, I
    likes 646 // comments 7
  • A snippet..
    likes 58 // comments 1
  • The new view. Nice but different. // #sunset #nyc #Brooklyn #williamsburg #spring
    likes 27 // comments 1
  • Puppy Iove . Day 5 of candy kennedy
    likes 17 // comments
  • Day 5 of photographer candy kennedy
    likes 18 // comments
  • That
    likes 22 // comments
  • I
    likes 262 // comments 3
  • what a TURRIBLE day
    likes 39 // comments 1
  • Desert blooms. #Miraval #desertflowers #spring
    likes 22 // comments 1
  • Dorothy and the Vampires. 5 piece girl band from Singapore, 1964. Via @wholesalemoney #vampires #dorothy #vinyl #rare #band #girlband #1964 #1960s #style #culture #music #history #photography
    likes 23 // comments 2
  • 1964. The Debutantes, Detroit. Via @wholesalemoney #debutantes #band #girlband #1964 #1960s #boufant #style #culture #music #history #photography
    likes 18 // comments
  • "The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps - we must step up the stairs!” Collab and #punwin !

Photo by: @esspeshal
Edit by: @aziz_may87

Photo selected by @genyvb for @ink361 ambassador program. Don’t forget to tag #INK361_collabs to get featured.
    likes 2071 // comments 9
  • Getting there...
    likes 416 // comments 4
  • Ok, last post from the @shortyawards. Had to give you a little taste of @therealdratch
    likes 31 // comments 1
  • This was taken in the Tuberculosis Ward of an Infectious Disease Hospital on Ellis Island that has been abandoned for well over 50 years. While studying the dead leaves on the floor I brought my head up slowly and at about 5 ft off the ground, I saw the Statue of Liberty reflected in the mirror. I suddenly imagined a petite Eastern European woman rising out of her bed every morning. Seeing that reflection would be the closest she would ever come to freedom.
#EllisIsland #StatueofLiberty #freedom #decay
    likes 696 // comments 25
  • likes 219 // comments 3
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