I hope you made it through Thanksgiving with your cholesterol levels intact. Personally I went into hibernation mode after my massive meal. I feel refreshed but the holiday season isn't over yet. In fact it's just starting in case you haven't turned on the radio or otherwise been subjected to the now inescapable Christmas music. I'll be spending this weekend at even more family gatherings to celebrate some big birthdays: my mother's aunt is turning a whopping 90 years old! Time's unrelenting passing can seem daunting. But if I've taught you anything I hope it's that restrictions foster creativity. Every obstacle is a chance to overcome. In other words age, the biggest most inescapable obstacle of them all, can be inspiring.
Nothing represents youth in Western culture more than sex. And nothing represents sex in Western culture more than that most famous of magazines: Playboy. We are a culture obsessed with the young and beautiful, having more or less abandoned traditional ideas of honoring our elders. This obsession can be found incarnate in this publication. Now being quite old it's easy to wonder where are those older models now? This is the inspiration for Robyn Twomey beautiful portraits with older Playboy models. They vary from fitting our expectations, bad plastic surgery and all, to completely undermining what we think we know about age and, more importantly, beauty. These women are still powerful, glamorous, stunning, and more...all while looking like your grandmother.
I can't look up at the night sky without thinking of age. Each pinprick of light in that vast black canvas represents thousands if not millions of years. It can be a humbling experience to realize how distant and old those twinkles really are. This Chrome experiment, 100 000 Stars, aims to give users a sense of this scale, all wrapped in a wonderful HTML5 powered presentation. I love the many different means of control this project gives you while maintaining solid performance and stunning visuals. Be sure to "Take the Tour" which leads you through the data visualization in a stunning series of transitions.
Thinking of age on such a astronomical scale almost instantly removes humanity from the equation. We're just too small in that vast expanse. Those great balls of gas take millennia to change while we change every day. Every day we look in the mirror, every year we see our family we are reminded of this. It's a beautiful process that helps make our world so dynamic and it can be visualized in many ways. For instance, let's take a simple idea like counting to one hundred and turn it into a beautiful piece of work that makes us think about childhood, aging, and seniority (all in German, just for kicks). Happy aging all. Enjoy every second of it.
The Sketching Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Mondays, containing the artistic musings of Mobile Designer/Developer Ben Chirlin from our Monday morning meeting at the NY Creative Bunker as well as his inspiring artistic finds of the week.