Happy New Year! It's time to get a new calendar dear readers and celebrate the coming year. Each seems to pass with ever greater speed, each with its own sweets and sours. My first full year in NYC now complete, I'm begining to feel my transformation from student to worker is near complete. It's time to reform my website and shed my untested youthful works. New Year's Eve is a time for all of us to ponder such metamorphoses. This holiday gives us an excuse to do something we should do every morning when we wake up: examine our lives and decide what to keep and discard, what learn learn and do. Such rebirths make that ball drop quite the inspiration don't you agree?
Rebirth occurs all around us. Modern culture, fostered by the internet, has created a free market of ideas that are constantly being remolded and reposted. One of the most well known critical artists of this modern world is the anonymous British graffiti artist Banksy. His work exposes the strange contradictions, funny or sad, that our society is built upon, dealing in art and politics especially (if you'd like to know more I highly recommend watching his documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop). French street artist, Dran, is by all outward appearances a French brother of Banksy. However saying so is selling him quite short. His work is much more detailed, largely favoring more traditional mediums versus Banksy's use of stencil and other more modern adaptations. Moreover his works tends towards some of the more understated issues of everyday life. Enjoy.
While pop culture is now in a consistent state of death and rebirth, there are many aspects of our world that are long overdue for such an overhaul. Most notably print and news. While this industry has slowly been coming around to a more modern perspective on distribution and publishing, many digital offerings are still lacking in modern design. Even my favorite news outlets use sites that still favor conventional newspaper layouts in spite of the new possibilities afforded them by the internet's versatility. This is most likely due to the broad older demographic targeted by these content creators. So what will future generations demand? I think I may have found the answer in Quartz. A digitally-based financial publication, this site has an inventive design for news articles, all in a wonderfully minimalist layout that adapts to mobile devices with ease. A stunningly good piece of web work.
For all my talk of rebirth, I've failed to acknowledge one of the most important traits of this magnificent force: it's difficulty. As this week's comic illustrates we are creatures of habit. Truly redefining ourselves, even if only a little, can be extremely difficult. There are many little things we can do help ourselves in this regard like practice, rituals, or even therapy. But sometimes a catalyst must come from outside ourselves. This fascinatingly dark stop motion short is a good parable of this lesson. Stanley's life runs like clockwork and he likes it that way. It's only after he sees a beautiful stranger outside his house that he dares venture outside of his routine, causing him to question the life around him. Not only is this piece moving and immaculately well designed, but I particularly love how the plot gives you just enough to draw you in while not falling for the clichés one might expect of such a story.
The Sketching Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Mondays, containing the artistic musings of Mobile Designer/Developer Ben Chirlin during our Monday morning meeting at the NY Creative Bunker as well as his inspiring artistic finds of the week.