• 7.1.15   Rizon Parein Makes Choosing Your Paint Fun

    Time. Weather. Dirt. These elements steal from us the beauty that humans work so hard to construct in our ephemeral creations. No matter what we make, it is subject to the forces outside of our control that, given enough time, will degrade, erode, and disintegrate whatever we make. We are at the mercy of nature and time. But we can even the score.  Benjamin Moore’s newest line of paints each feature distinct blends to protect surfaces from the torture of being in the natural world. Aura is so effective at protecting against the elements that it comes with a lifetime guarantee. Regal Select is so smooth it repels dirt through a complete lack of friction. Natura is made of natural materials so that there are no toxic additives that would put any family or friends at risk by coming in contact with the product. Like most paints, each of these blends come in a full variety of colors, but it is their features that set them apart from their peers. So it was up to Rizon Parein to help them highlight those differences. In a series of three advertisements for the home design mogul, Rizon imagined each of these features in active terms using CGI compositing. A can of Aura, known for its weather protection, is surrounded by clouds, lightning, water, snow, sun. The paint is fully at home in this unforgiving atmosphere, handling these forces with no problem. Regal Select is surrounded by canons, swords, and parapets, an illustration of the protective power Regal Select offers the surfaces it covers. In this composition, the paint is a part of the defenses, not struggling to stay behind them. The Natura paint is in a rural setting surrounded by trees and birds, reflecting on the natural ingredients that make this paint safe for all uses and all customers. No matter the application, Benjamin Moore is formulating a paint that they hope will fit into the lifestyle and needs of their customers. Paint is paint, so it’s crucial for them to be able to illustrate the details of these products so that consumers know what makes them unique, and what sets them apart. Rizon’s sense of humor and play within these three advertisements prove that these details can be handled effectively and casually, making important choices, like what materials to bring into your home, are made with careful consideration and at least a half measure of joy. 
  • 6.30.15   It's Wild On Set with Mark Hunter and UE Boom

    Mark Hunter’s work is filled with a signature energy. He honed that look when he was photographing nightclubs, and has carried it into his commercial work, creating space for those energies to converge when paired up with the right brands. UE Boom, a portable speaker company, is one of those brands that he’s found synergy with. “I’ve worked with UE Boom now for a few years on different projects, and there’s something about their product that just creates an insane energy,” he says. “What’s so great about working for them is they want to show the versatility of the speaker and all the fun things you can do with it. So we always try to push it to the limit." And for their latest campaign, they did push it to the limit. Mark and his crew traveled to Topanga Canyon in Los Angeles with their talent to throw a massive party and shoot the campaign as the celebration went on. “We had a slip-n-slide, we had water balloons, squirt gun fights, we did a little barbeque,” says Mark. “When I do these kinds of lifestyle shoots, I really want to set up an environment where my models are going to actually enjoy themselves.” Basically, Mark lets his on camera talent jump into the party and then he grabs his camera and captures as many authentic moments as he can. It’s the only way to ensure that every moment will reflect honest moments and energy. With that many people running around, water flying every which way, and the music dialed up to 100, it can be challenging to coordinate everything. But for Mark, that’s a part of what makes it so great. “It’s a delicate balance when you’re directing the talent to act natural and look out for the product. It’s a very overwhelming set but it’s sort of how I thrive,” he explains. At the end of the day, it all works with Mark’s style to create the best campaign possible. “It’s not posed; the images are reacting to the elements and what’s happening. It is one of the best translations of my photography style into a commercial situation.” For a portable, waterproof speaker the energy that Mark Hunter brings to all his shoots was exactly what they needed.
  • 6.29.15   Polyester Makes Limitations an Asset for Smile Train

    Every year more than 170-thousand children are born with cleft lips or cleft palates. These conditions make it difficult or impossible for them to eat, breathe, or speak properly. And, as non-profit Smile Train points out, it also hinders their smiles. Smile Train uses their donations to provide surgeries for as many of these children as possible enabling them to lead rich and productive lives without being encumbered by the disability they were born with.  Just recently, Smile Train teamed up with Polyester Studio to help get their message out there. That message? That Smile Train makes more smiles possible. As they tell it, every child smiles as much as 400 times a day so they should look and feel their best. Every dollar that Smile Train receives helps them reach out to as many kids as possible. The themes of Smile Train’s work is neither easy nor cheerful, but when the non-profit is successful it can be a celebration. That’s where they started with Polyester: to bring a piece that highlighted the joy and hope of their work. It is a short and condensed piece, but full of bright imagery. A delightful deluge of smiling children one after another flash over the screen in a very limited color palate. It is a celebration of joy and laughter in a short amount of time, and a reminder of the benefits of Smile Train’s work. Limits, like the narrow color palette of the spot, are rarely considered a blessing when we think about placing boundaries on art. But Jeremy Dimmock from Polyester says that they can actually help an artist reach potential. “The more restrictions you put on creative people, the more it allows them to push further in other areas,” he explains. Polyester was limited in the amount of time they had for the final piece, but also by the color palate. They were only allowed white, and two blues. But because of these limitations it makes the piece communicate better. By excising the excess, it clarifies the message. “It doesn’t seem totally chaotic because it’s such a wonderfully limited palette and it is so nicely graphic,” says Jeremy. “The limitations kind of give direction, letting us know what we have to do and go for it.” This spot is just one of a collection of pieces they're completing for the non-profit. We've included another one of the fruits of this ongoing collaboration.
  • 6.26.15   The Individuals of San Francisco by Jason Madara

    Any city, any community, is a collection of people. Its make up and status as a destination is reliant upon the people who populate it. Few cities are better known for their people than San Francisco, full of radicals and businessmen, hippies and the old guard. Jason Madara counts himself among the artists of San Francisco, operating his studio out of the City by the Bay. But it was George McCalman, Art Director of McCalmanCo, who proposed they take a look at their community and document the individuals that make San Francisco so unique. Jason and George have been friends for years, even sharing a studio together. The initial conversation for this project, that they call “Individuals,” took place in 2009. It wasn’t until earlier this year, six years later, that they were finally able to get the shoot together. They brought together a diverse group of artists and entrepreneurs from all over the city, people who had supported Jason, McCalman, and their communities, to be the best representation of what San Francisco is. Photographers, Writer, Chefs, Architects, Designers, Florists. These are the people that stand behind storefronts and prepare the morning coffee. They design the buildings and paint the walls inside them. They are how a city works. “For me and George this is to show the creativity of San Francisco,” explains Jason. “It’s such an amazing, creative place where a lot of people just stay in the shadows. They don’t really come out and be seen. Especially artists.” Because of this project these previously anonymous artists will be seen. The array of crucial positions that keep the city moving is juxtaposed against the stark and simple backgrounds that Jason and McCalmanCo chose to set the tone. They’re textured sheets and broad white boards, making the faces of these characters pop out so that we see who they are rather than what they represent. In a city of nearly one million inhabitants, it’s easy to forget that every life is unique. But thanks to “Individuals” we’ll never make that mistake. “Individuals” is an ongoing collaboration between Jason Madara and George McCalman and the shots included here represent the fruits of their first shoot. Jason and George intend to continue documenting the creative people around them with the culminating goal of completing a book. Stay tuned!  
  • 6.25.15   Rod Hunt and Ikea Make a Home for Every Family

    Since rising to incredible popularity over the last decade, Ikea has become synonymous with accessible interior design. Their massive collection and affordable prices mean that there is an Ikea piece that will fit into almost anyone’s life. But not everyone was aware of that. In fact, Ikea found a handful of families who felt left out of Ikea’s identity. So Ikea wanted to show them how much they already belonged. Teaming up with BBDO, Ikea tapped Rod Hunt and famed Russian author Grigory Oster to bring some of Ikea’s stranger potential customers into the fray. Over the course of months, Ikea conducted interviews and accepted submissions from unique personalities. Oster took those conversations and turned them into short stories that were finally compiled into a book called Kvartirovedenie, which can be translated to “Apartmentology.” Then the families worked with Ikea to the find the selection of pieces that were right for them and help them express their identities in their living spaces. Finally, Rod Hunt got familiar with ten of these groups and their new Ikea furniture, incorporating every element into a massive illustration that showed each family compartmentalized as if on one floor of Ikea. This illustration is completely navigable and interactive on their site as a game where you can explore the entire complex. In Rod’s illustration these mini homes fit together like puzzle pieces, showing the irony of how these people who didn’t see themselves fitting in at all now flawlessly share their walls with families who are so different from them. At the end of the day it is proof that there is a space for every family, no matter what they look like, as long as we’re willing to help find them their space. Check out Rod's full illustration, and the video where you get to meet these characters, below.
  • 6.24.15   Jeff Soto Is Repopulating the World's Mysterious Corners

    The problem with the world today, as painter Jeff Soto sees it, is that we’ve become so accustomed to documentation that we’ve expunged mystery. The corners of our world are so photographed and catalogued as we chase the shadows with flashlights that it is impossible for anything to hide. We lift every stone and plunge every cave, threatening the habitats of our imagination with extinction. And it’s a real shame. “I grew up with the idea that Big Foot is probably real, we just haven’t found him,” explains Jeff. “And the Loch Ness Monster is out there. There are all these mysteries. It’s a better world when there’s some mystery out there.” Jeff cannot stand by and let these things happen. So he’s populating this world with as much mystery as he can. In Nightgardens, Jeff’s first ever solo show in his hometown of Los Angeles, he began by exploring traditional painting genres and techniques. Almost every painting started as a landscape, but quickly each found a life of its own. “It’s funny, when I look at the paintings I’ve done for this show it doesn’t really look like landscape painting,” he says. “They all started with a landscape or a loose idea of a landscape. There’s kind of an exploration of the dark and mysterious. There’s a lot that I’ve been thinking about.” As Jeff plumbs these questions, characters and beings show up in his scenes. Their appearance is like a reaction to the extinction of mystery in our world. Almost as if they arrive to be counted at a call for attendance. They show up to prove they’re still there and we should still wonder. We can relax that there is still more to find, still more to understand. Jeff set up Nightgardens as a personal challenge to himself. He’s using it as an opportunity to explore creatively, and scratch his artistic and intellectual itches. “Every painting is a challenge and there’s an uncertainty,” says Jeff, wading into the lands he’s exploring in Nightgardens. “It makes me sad that maybe we’ve found everything or we know everything. There’s no way we know everything, but I just like to think we don’t know anything. There’s a lot more to explore, I would hope.” Nightgardens opens on June 27 at KP Projects / MKG, and will be on view through July 25.
  • 7.2.15   Emily Nathan Finds Casual Grace for Ritz Carlton

    The Ritz Carlton name is synonymous with luxury and grace. Emily Nathan is synonymous with exploration and intimate moments. When they came together for a shoot highlighting the environment around Ritz Carlton’s Dove Mountain Resort, they wanted to find what both of these style share. They started with the styling. Sarah Cobb found dresses that were paired with minimal accessories, minimal hair and makeup, and finished barefoot, to keep everything gorgeous but casual. “We were just trying to let the desert take the lead,” Emily explains. “It was a pretty beautiful park in the desert there. A beautiful area, populated by those huge saguaro cacti, like from a cartoon.” Emily’s style involves a lot of planning, but once everyone is on set, she likes to let things unfold naturally. By doing that, and encouraging a relaxed and exploratory rhythm, real moments are able to unfold and present themselves. When the model saw the vintage car, one of those moments unfolded. “The owner of the car, who had like 30 vintage cars outside of Phoenix, was driving on the dirt road,” Emily explains. “But the model really wanted to drive, even though she had only driven once or something. But if a stunning model asks a guy if she can drive his car he says yes. So he let her drive.” The car and the model survived, but it’s times like these that make a shoot rich with authentic experiences and emotions. For those who don’t know, Emily Nathan is also the mind behind Tiny Atlas Quarterly. Tiny Atlas is something of a traveling lifestyle online magazine. A collection of stories and submissions from allover the world illustrate lives in every corner of the globe. Tiny Atlas has brought Emily to American Deserts and snowy mountains and everywhere in between. Usually, it’s just her and her camera, her models, and maybe a few others along for the ride. This myriad of experiences has helped Emily become a master of run and gun situations. She tells us how Tiny Atlas has helped her in shooting situations like venturing into the desert for Ritz Carlton. “I’ve learned to just be comfortable and flexible in al scenarios, and be comfortable leading a team down a dirt road where I’m not sure what the picture is. How important it is to be confident that you can take great pictures and to have a great team, and just know it’s going to be okay. You don’t have to know exactly what’s going to happen.” That sense of exploration creates fertile ground on which beautiful images can arrive in the camera and not be forced into existence.
B&A Instafeed
  • 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 #julyfourth #4thofjuly
(Illustration by @davehomerdraws)
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  • It
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  • Zeitguised really rocked it out in this CGI animation for @mtv.
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  • Today the Supreme Court passed down a ruling that will echo through history. Democracy is not tidy, requires work, and demands civic engagement. Justice Sotomayor - seen here in a photograph by @platon - is one of the nine people who put in this ruling. It is a solemn duty and we thank her and her colleagues for their indispensable service.
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  • Rest in Peace to Michael Jackson, the King of Pop. Illustration by @stan_chow.
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  • Keeping it very regal this #Wednesday, like this super classed up pic with HMU by Kirsten Jaeger for @unchartedplay.
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  • If our last post was how we felt on Friday, this Dan Craig piece is how we feel on Monday. #caseofthemondays
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  • Okay guys. It
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  • Are you ready for the weekend but it still feels a little too far? Here
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  • This past March, @joeyldotcom traveled solo to Kurdistan so he could better understand the complexity of the conflicts in that region. What he found may surprise you, and will certainly deepen your understanding of these events that are so crucial to the world.
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  • If you find us at @lebookconnect you can pick up one of our new pins!
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  • Who are you rooting for tonight in #Game6 of the @nba between the #Cavs and #Warriors? @ilovedust brought @kingjames to life in this illustration for @Nike.
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  • Congratulations to the cast and crew of @gameofthrones on another viciously successful season. Check out this shot of @emilia_clarke by @marchomstudio for @entertainmentweekly. #got #gameofthrones
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  • @kaiandsunny
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  • Are you excited for @oitnb on @netflix like we are? Check out @uzoaduba in the latest issue of @asifmagazine as styled by @staceyjjones. #orangeisthenewblack #oitnb
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  • On this #ThrowbackThursday consider this goodie by @jeremyville, "Nothing of true greatness comes easily." #inspiration
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  • Did you see that our #WomanCrushWednesday @nickiminaj is on the cover of @cosmopolitan? Environmental styling by @jessenemeth.
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  • @arsthanea makes beauty brutal in this #TransformationTuesday CGI Illustration.
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  • Our #MancrushMonday is the ever expressive Nelly (aka @derrtymo) as shot by @jonathanmannion.
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  • Rolling up on the #weekend be like... (Composite image by @serialcut with @vasavastudio for @offfest.)
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  • #ThrowbackThursday to when @marchomstudio shot Benedict Cumberbatch for @elleuk. #benedictcumberbatch @benedictcum
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  • @serialcut
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  • @elisaflowersmakeup got edgy in her latest shoot with @glwoodphoto. Talk about a #TransformationTuesday !
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  • After a weekend like this, it
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  • 7.18.15
    Marcus Bleasdale Exhibit, 625 The Price of Precious: Conflict Minerals in Congo

    The ART WORKS Studio, 625 N. Kingsbury St., Chicago, May 23 - July 18  

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