Who wants waffles?

As some of you may recall,  a few months ago, I made this cool waffle-looking background... I wanted to use it as a background for something, and I finally found a use for it. My google search screen. 


Black soup!

"B" is for Blog
Yes, this post is about a scribble on a post-it note... Sorta.

Yesterday, I started a new blog, BLACK SOUP! Devoted to my new-found love of vinyl. There, you'll find the coolest LP covers I've come across so far, as well as tracks from my very own collection that I uploaded myself (it wasn't easy to figure out either).

So what does a letter on a post-it note have to do with any of this? I've started designing the logo, heading and background art. This "B" is a little sneak-peek of the soon-to-be logo. I've already done a few posts, so check it out in the next week or so, when it's all pretty-looking! Or maybe even now, if you have a chance... If you missed the two previous links, here it is again! black-soup.blogspot.com

I can guarantee there'll be music you've never heard before!!!



Me grinning like a JACKASS... Again. This time with the Prime Minister!
PM Julia Gillard and Brett McCarthy (Editor of The West Australian)
I was working away, and all of a sudden JULIA GILLARD comes strolling down the corridor chatting with the Editor, and her security entourage in tow. So, I asked if I could take a picture!!! Then she asked me what my name was and if I wanted to take a picture WITH her... So there I am again, grining like a starstruck JACKASS. Then again, I did just meet the Prime Minster of Australia!!!
So she was just here for a bit to meet the Editor and have a look around, but her Press Secritary was running late, so she asked to have a bit of a tour and came up to the Editorial Department! 
I really want to point out that I don't always look that ghastly, that's my "I just met a famous person!" face. On a side note, the Editor of The West Australian took the photo for me!


Tales from Inner Perth

Quite recently, you may have heard of an Australian Illustrator/Author/Film Maker named Shaun Tan, who won an Oscar for "Best Animated Short Film", beating seasoned veterans Pixar. 

Last night, I had the amazing privilege of attending a talk by Shaun Tan on his career and creative process. I've been an admirer of his work since I read "The Rabbits" in Primary School, so to listen to him speak about how he grew up, how his career began and then see his childhood drawings and early sketches from his books and what inspired them was an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience! I'M NOT KIDDING!!! 

He did a book signing afterwards and I bought "Eric" and "The Bird King and Other Sketches". It only took ten minutes of waiting in line for me to be reduced to a gibbering fan-girl who couldn't string two sentences together... I started yammering about how I great I thought "The Rabbits" was and that it was really amazing to hear about how another creative person works and that I found his book really inspirational as kid. He then asked me what field I was in, and I told him I'm a graphic designer... It went downhill from there... 

I asked if I could take a photo with him. This was my equivalent of meeting a sporting hero/famous actor. I know it was a little too crazy-fan-girl, but he'll probably forget anyway... That's the face I made when I thought to myself "OMG, WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING", but it was too late to be normal again and bail out! So what if I got a little carried away and made a huge ass of myself in front of one of my idols, big deal. I GOT A WICKED PHOTO OUT OF IT!!! 
I wish I was more photogenic... Or maybe I should stop grinning like a JACKASS?
Now to the INTERESTING part of this post... This is what Shaun Tan talked about. I'll have to finish it off in another post. There's too much for just one!!! 
The last time I wrote this much was for essays in highschool, so please bear with me, I'll try my best to be coherent!

*** EARLY LIFE ***
Shaun Tan was born in WA and grew up in a really suburban part of Hillarys and drew a lot of inspiration from the scenery there. It's quite prevalent in works like "The Lost Thing" and "Tales From Outer Suburbia". He started off by showing slides of his childhood drawings and admitted that he wasn't one of those prodigies that didn't need to study in Uni. Also, when he was younger he didn't really want to be an Illustrator when he grew up either. As the pictures progressed, it showed his steady improvement and how he revisited themes he drew as a child in later drawings without even realising. When he was young, his friends in school really encouraged him to draw more and said he was really good and it was always cool to be good at drawing in Primary School. His dad, who was an architect, always gave him scrap drafting paper to draw on as well. Plus he got praise and encouragement from his parents and teachers too. 

He then went on to describe how he works from day-to-day with a cute little series of illustration. As much as he'd like to sit around drawing and painting all day, he also has to deal with the business side too. Which equates to spending a lot of time writing countless emails.

What he strives to do is find the "beauty in the banal" and would go on walks around the neighbourhood painting the most ordinary looking streets and houses. He then realised that ordinary things become extraordinary if you look at them long enough. To him, art is about seeing and re-seeing the world around you. 

E. Phillips Fox — The Landing of James Cook in Botany Bay
Shaun Tan — They came by water

***The Rabbits***
The part I found most fascinating was when he showed the sketches and described the process behind my favourite illustrated book ever "The Rabbits"! The picture above is from the cover.

So, for those of you who may not know, "The Rabbits" is a children's book that deals with the issues of the colonisation of Australia. It was written by John Marsden, the copy was then given to Shaun Tan to illustrate with almost no creative input from John at all. This was Shaun's first major project, he was 22 at the time and had around a year to work on it. Having such an open brief was daunting and exciting at the same time. At first, he thought it would be quite difficult to do a story about rabbits, then he realised that he didn't have to be so literal and that they could be creatures that vaguely resembled rabbits...

He then went on to explain how "They came by water" — one of my favourite illustrations — came to be. 
He used a painting of Captain Cooks landing by E. Phillps Fox as a reference for the composition. He once heard a story about how a man who saw one of those ships for the first time could not comprehend how a single ship could carry all of those people, their animals and all of their things as well! In the final illustration he emphasised the boat and made it the focal point. 

He tried to present the story as a children's book for adults. And I think in the end, it's nïeve and simply told and really powerful at the same time. It left such a lasting impression on me and I was only 11 when I read it! Also, it's not every day that one of your idols talks about one of your favourite works! I feel so lucky to have heard it!!! 

I'll do another post with more from the Shaun Tan talk. That is, of course, if anyone actually read this EXTRA-LONG post to the end! Also, I should point out, nothing here is word-for-word accurate! I just felt the need to mention that. 


Eagle with Salmon

Eagle with Salmon — Freda Diesing
Thunderbird and Whale  — Doug Zilke

So today, I discovered Native Canadian Art, also know as Haida. The first time I noticed it was in Chief Webber's office, from Grey's Anatomy. It's always there when the door's closed.

Native Canadians made totem poles and beautiful carved masks as well. I'm not normally into native art, but I really really like the bold colour pallet, changing stroke weight and the symmetry. Maybe it's my perfectionism talking, but there's just something about Haida that is...  amazing! Except when losers get giant tribal tattoos.

There were two main clans in Native Canadian society, the Ravens and Eagles. Then, there were 23 family groups within each clan. They were also a Matriarchal society. Haida usually depicts raven's and eagle's, as well as orca whales, owls, frogs, wolves and creatures from their creation myths like the Thunderbird. Apparently the Raven was a land spirit that created the world and liberated mankind from a clamshell!

The print above is "Eagle with Salmon" by Freda Diesing. If I suddenly had $660 CAD lying around, I'd totally get this print. She was a major artist/carver in the 70s-80s. For more on Haida, visit Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery. I know I will! Check out the prints, in particular.


Football Pool-party!

Ever wondered how a Sports liftout cover comes together? Well, wonder no more!

Usually, Sport have something in mind. At times, they're quite specific — with sketches. Like today, for example...

They wanted Pool balls with team logos on them with a big "8" in the middle. Anyway, I had to magic it all up with a bunch of stock photos and my magical Photoshop powers! It was a pretty big job that ended up taking a lot longer than I expected. The background pic had to be extended up, I cloned big sections of it and it worked out okay. All the numbers had to be removed from the balls as well.
And then... I had to put a shadow on each ball because the pictures were taken on a white background, except for the 8-ball. I stole the 8-balls' shadow and used it for all the others, sneaky sneaky!
And then... I had to put the logos on each ball and warp/fade them a bit so they didn't just look flatly placed on. I admit, I could have done that a little better, but I only had a few hours to do the whole thing and I ran out of time! It's a newspaper after all!
I think it turned out rather well... considering.


Christmas, kittens and space-age pop!

So what do Christmas, kittens and space-age pop have in common? Absolutely nothing! Aside from the fact that they featured in my slightly lacklustre week... Making it suck a little less.

Christmas: I went shopping on William St for records again... This time I also went to the Op-shop and found the Christmas LP's by The Peppermint Candy Kids. We used to have "Santa Claus is Coming To Town" on tape when I was a kid, I think I still have it somewhere... If you can't tell from the illustrations, it kinda sounds like 50's kitsch versions of the classics and it's not awful, as far as Christmas music goes. Not to mention they only cost $1 each!

Kitten: My sister and her boyfriend just got a kitten the other day. That therefore makes me his aunty. So I had to post a picture of him! He's a Rag-doll and he's SOOOOO CUUUUTE! They haven't decided on a name just yet. I LOOOOVE KITTENS!!! ^_^

Space-age Pop: A term used to describe exotic/percussive jazzy lounge music from the late 50's—early 60's, of which I am a major fan. Imagine you were hosting a fancy cocktail party in swanky bachelor pad in the 50's, this is what you'd play. I wish I could find more! The "I Dream of Jeannie" theme song is a good example. It was composed by Hugo Montenegro.
Anyway, on the left we have the Benny Goodman Trio, which isn't Space-age Pop at all. I just put it in there because it had a nice cover. But it is jazz. On the right we have Jackie Davis with "Hi-Fi Hammond". The hammond is a type of electric organ, so imagine if you will, 50's jazz with a hockey game organ! It may seem hard to believe that it could sound so good, but it really does!

Also I'll continue with the Online Shopping series soon... I've got a few more goodies I'm waiting for. They'll arrive within a week or two. Trust me, it'll be awesome!!!


Look... Here it is again!

I've finished! Drawing, that is... Now I get to recreate it all in Illustrator. Which isn't so bad, because I can copy and paste each bit I used before and flip/rotate it too. The time-consuming part was the drawing. But it's better to figure everything out on paper first, so when I get to the computer, it doesn't take as long because any issues would have already been resolved. If that makes any sense?



This is yet another update on the new typeface I'm working on. So, I finished the numbers and special characters and thought to myself "Why stop there?" I then started making Cyrillic characters for both Serbian and Russian! This is my first attempt at Russian Cyrillic, but there are only a few extra characters that make the Russian Alphabet different from Serbian and they look pretty similar anyway.
I stayed up half the night working on it, I find it quite exciting —  another sign that I need to get a life. My favourite letter is "ж".

I also went shopping yesterday and came back with some really great records and a rather nifty flask (or water bottle, depending on your perspective). I found it in Dangerfeild, upstairs in the enex100 building on Hay St Mall.

In case you were wondering, "на здоровье" is the Russian equivelent of "cheers", and it's "живели" in Serbian!


How well do you know your anatomy?

So I was surfing the net today, for design purposes of course, to help finish off my font. While I was researching, I came across a really great site called Typography Deconstructed. It identifies and names all the fiddly parts of letters and it's a real help to little up-and-coming typeface designers/try-hards such as myself. Who knew the dot on a lowercase "i" and "j" is also known as a tittle!

In other news, I'm going to try learning how to drive soon. I went to the supermarket yesterday and found these magnetic L-plates and thought they'd be great guilt decorations. One for my cubicle and one for my room, as a little reminder of how sad I am. Well, I've been kinda busy, I studied a lot! But I'm totally going to have a license before I turn 25!

P.S. I got those iPhone app magnets from Urban Depot, Oxford St Leederville. 


Look at the happy couple

What big teeth you have...
I went to the vending machine to make the most important decision of my day... Doritos or Cherry Ripe? And if anyone cares, Cherry Ripe won.
As I took my change, I got a little fright. The commemorative Royal Wedding 20¢ piece! I know that people never turn out well on coins, but this really takes the cake. If you come across one of these, I'm sure you'll agree it looks more like Zombie-Charles and some hideous looking Banshee, than Will and Kate. Then again, Charles did marry a hideous looking Banshee (zing).
I know the photo's a bit dodgy, but you try taking a close-up photo of a coin with a regular camera and see how that goes. This weirded me out a little today, just putting it out there.


Still spinning...

Just a couple of new records I got online, I really like this style of illustration. Apparently, the artwork was done by "The Liars", who I can't seem to find at all.

Anyway, on the left we have "Turk Jerk" by Tandy Love. And on the right is, "Anagram Jam" by Tandy Love & Mad Smooth. They're pretty great and really hard to describe, very ethnic 70's psychedelic-ish. Here's what Fat City Records said, if that helps:

"All tracks are de-pipped with minimal pith and added juicy bits. Maximized, marmalised, shredded and preserved using the finest ingredients from the fruitful pastures of our pear shaped planet. The album truly is an international affair combining elements from England, Korea, Turkey, Russia, France, Israel, India, America & Spain." 


The coolest kid in the office

*** Online shopping series. Part 2: Office ***
Alright alright, my cubicle is cool, at the very least. However, there aren't that many people on my floor under 25, so who knows?
Anyway, here are the most awesome office goods I've been able to find so far. Again, they're mostly  from ThinkGeek. The "World of DorkCraft" mousepad was a gift to my sister. Her boyfriend got her into playing WOW, and she gave me crap for being a nerd so I thought this was perfect!

Mini Shopping Cart Desk Organiser, available from ThinkGeek
Sharpener Desk Tidy designed by Suck UK, available from Kleen Design over East. You can find it in Urban Depot in Oxford St, Leederville from time to time.
"Customer Disservice" mousepad designed by Glennz, available from Despair Inc.
USB Owl, available from ThinkGeek
Here it is again, and no, that is not my Viking helmet
Mini Business Card File Cabinet, available from ThinkGeek
Like/Dislike Stamp Set, available from ThinkGeek
"World of DorkCraft" mousepad, available from Despair Inc.
Golden Robot USB, available from ThinkGeek
And again, these photos were all taken by me, Dijana Jovanovic