Even a few days before it's official opening, it still wasn't finished 
Last month, I got to go inside, backstage, behind the scenes and above some of Perth's most iconic buildings as a part of Open House Perth. It was absolutely fascinating! I stood on the conductor's podium at Perth Concert Hall; I spotted designer chairs at QV1; I marvelled at the Brutalist masterpiece that is Council House and I even saw amazing window details at an Art Deco Church! My only regret was that I couldn't go to the new State Theatre Centre. There was a fantastic golden staircase I really wanted to see. But alas, I had to go to work instead.

Today we have Perth Arena designed by ARM Architects. After seeing so many artist's impressions and 3D renderings of how it was supposed to look, I must admit I was quite curious to see how it turned out and what the interior was like. There were many questions burning in my mind, one of them being. . . Was it really the tax-payer funded fugly eyesore everyone said it was? Yes and no. For once, I was pleasantly surprised. Perhaps that's what happens when you come with fairly low expectations.

The design was based on something called an Eternity Puzzle, which becomes quite prominent in the Main Auditorium. However, my favourite part of the design was the strong contrast between yellow, dark blue and black. I think it gives the place an interesting atmosphere. Adding to that the angularity (is that even a word?) of the interior, it gives the place a very strong modern character. Don't get me wrong, I still hate the squashed Red Bull can exterior and that crazy spinning pineapple sculpture-whatever-thing out the front. But what do I know, I'm just a little Graphic Designer. Perth Arena fits in quite well with the whole try-hard Avant-Garde phase Perth seems to be going through right now (think Forrest Chase's lime green alien cactus). A lot can be said about the place, but the best thing about Perth Arena is that when you're actually in it, you can't see how fugly it is on the outside!
Perth Totem, A.K.A the crazy spinning pineapple

The signage there was pretty neat too. They have bars on every level!
This was probably the first and last time I'd ever see the Backstage Bar (and the private boxes and function rooms too, I guess). Again, I think they got it right in there. The red lines that look like facial profiles are an interesting touch. Not to mention the designer chairs strewn around the place. The only thing that seems wrong about these pictures is that they should be full of hip young people dancing and looking hawt, not tubby middle-aged weirdos and children.

It was quite an event, there were even motocross jumpers doing tricks! Thousands of people came, but I found it a little too cramped for my liking. There were people all up in my personal space!

The Relativity Room on level 4
The designers from the architecture firm were about to do a presentation but I had to leave

This is the worst rat-tail I've ever seen. It's like the face-sucker on Alien! But backwards, and black...



They're almost done! Just have to make the Illustrator one... 
About a week ago, I got Adobe CS6 Design standard edition. The fully-legit paid-for version. No more dodgy business for me! So I figured it was about time to update the shortcut sheets. I'll upload them in a week or two when I've finished the Illustrator one.

Did I oversell it? Maybe just a little. =D



I'd just like to thank everyone for visiting over the last two-and-a bit years. I certainly never thought I'd reach 20,000 quite so quickly! There'd be no point having a blog if there was no one there to see it. Once again, THANK YOU SO MUCH for stopping by!!! \(^_^)/


Shagadelic weekend!

Me with Shag (A.K.A. Josh Agle)!!!
Minotaur — Shag (2008)
On Saturday I met my favourite (living) artist, Shag (short for JoSH AGle) again. It was at a book signing for a new exhibition at Outré Gallery in perth! I met him a few years ago at Outré Gallery, also a book signing. I'm always surprised that he keeps visiting Perth, seeing as how it's so out-of-the-way. But I'm extremely glad he does!

Anyway, when I met him this time, I got his newest book signed. But that's not all! I bought a print, 'Minotaur', and got that signed the back too. And because I felt like pushing my luck just a little further, I asked to take a photo with him as well! I was quite pleased with myself this time, I didn't turn into too much of a gibbering fan-girl. But I was smiling like a total jack-ass... (^_^)


If you want to see more of his TOTALLY AWESOME work, check out his website!!!


Perpetual bliss

Small Perpetual Calendar  (1998) — Gideon Dagan for MoMA store
Many months ago, this calendar was part of my online shopping list. I later found out from a (now former) co-worker that a store in Perth sold them. Originally, I wanted the orange/silver one, however Venn store never seemed to have them in stock when I was there. Then the other day, I received a call informing me they were back in stock!

When I got to there, I saw the orange/silver one next to the red/black and all-silver ones. I had a tough decision to make. I really like orange, however the combination of red and black is always striking. I stood there staring at the two calendars for several minutes. I'm not even kidding.

Getting back to the point... Sometimes, what you want isn't really what you want. Over time one's taste evolves. In the end, the reason I chose the red/black one was that it looks very Bauhaus and cool — not to mention it goes well with the other things in my cubicle.

Also, the best thing about having a perpetual calendar is that I'll need to buy a desktop calendar ever again!

————————— COMING SOON —————————

I'll be doing a series of posts about Open House Perth.

Get ready for my best pictures of Perth Arena and other notable buildings from Perth's skyline!

After that, an awesome Photoshop Tutorial.
How to photoshop one person's face onto another person's body. With all the special tips and tricks I use to make it look more realistic!


Farewells and Photoshop

Tom with the poster!
Last Friday, my work-buddy and cubicle neighbour Tom, went into retirement. Along with quite a few other people on my floor who also took voluntary redundancy. It was quite sad when we found out he was leaving, but I wasn't going to let him leave without making an AWESOME gift!

I conspired with Alan — Foreign News Editor and his boss — for the idea. Tom used to live in Zimbabwe and South Africa, so Alan thought a safari picture would be cool. I then trawled the Interwebz and eventually found a nice black and white picture of Theodore Roosevelt with a massive dead elephant! Perfect! And I photoshopped Tom's face in.

The resolution was good enough for it to be enlarged to A1 size. Then I asked the production guys downstairs for a little favour and they printed it out on their large-scale printer, as well as an A3 card for everyone to sign. My boss came up with the caption on the card. Tom really dislikes Robert Mugabe.

The hardest part was organising this whole thing without the person sitting next to you finding out! I'm quite crappy at keeping things like this super-top-secret. But he didn't have a clue. When they did the farewell speeches and presentations and we gave him the gifts, he totally loved them. He's getting the poster framed.

Anyway, this whole project was really, really fun… Since I end up doing this sort of thing a lot, the next post will be a tutorial on how to photoshop one person's face onto another person's body. It's not really that hard, but I have a few tips and tricks that make it look more realistic and I feel like sharing. It's going to take a little while to put it together, but it'll be pretty good… So stay tuned!

The card
GROUP SHOT! Top row: Me, Neale, Ronan, Eddie, Alan. Bottom row: Singam, Tom


Coming to a printer near you!

Super-sneaky sneak peek!
Here's a sneak peek of something useful I'm working on. Can anyone guess what it is? No don't, it'll ruin the awesome surprise. It should be done by next week, after rigorous testing!


Shin-Hanga: The softer side of Japan

Cherry and Castle — Yoshida Hiroshi (1939)
Through pinterest, I went on a little tangent and discovered something rather amazing! Someone pinned this cool Japanese print and I went foraging after it. So here goes:

After the decline of the Edo/Meiji period of Ukiyo-e woodblock prints, there came the inevitable revival in the early 20th century. This became the known as the Shin-Hanga (new print) period which flourished from 1915-1942, resuming briefly after WWII. They were designed to appeal to Western tastes giving a nostalgic, romanticised view of japan. And so, they were primarily exported overseas, never finding much fame at home. However, Shin-Hanga became immensely popular in America, so much so that there were two major exhibitions in the 30s. 

What I like most about them is the warmer colour palates and how they're just less stuffy than Edo period prints. Not to say that Hokusai and Hiroshige prints aren't absolutely beautiful or that I don't love classic Japanese prints, but there's just something about Shin-Hanga that's just softer and hard to describe ― as lame as that sounds.

For more on Shin-Hanga visit: Wikipedia, Jacquesc, and artelino.

Misty Evening At Shinobazu Pond, Tokyo — Kasamatsu Shiro (1932)
Sunset At Tomonotsu, Inland Sea — Tsuchiya Koitsu (1940)
Ueno Shinobazu Pond — Tsuchiya Koitsu (1939)
Heirinji Temple Bell — Yoshida Toshi (1951)
 Tengu Rock At Shiobara —Kawase Hasui (1950)
Red Temple — Asano Takeji (1931)
Evening Moon On Yodo River — Asano Takeji (1934)
Heirinji Temple — Kasamatsu Shiro (1962)
Summer Moon At Miyajima — Tsuchiya Koitsu (1936)

Moonlit Night At Miyajima — Kawase Hasui (1947)


Campbell's launches Andy Warhol soup cans!

Cans with label art from Andy Warhols "32 Campbell's Soup Cans"
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Andy Warhol's "32 Campbell's Soup Cans", Campbell's Soup Company have released a limited-edition run of tomato soup cans with Warhol's original label art! They went on sale for 75¢ each. I just want to know why didn't they do this sooner and why can't it be a permanent change.

The only thing I'm not so pleased about is — after a bit of digging around — it looks as though they aren't available in Australia! But they're already on eBay...

Via The Cool Hunter, Grocery Headquarters, and Gizmodo.


Bernini at 25

Pluto and Proserpina — Bernini (1622)
Today, I made a rather unsettling discovery...

Italian master-sculptor, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, created Pluto and Proserpina at the age of 25! I can't even imagine how anyone in their 20s could have turned a giant lump of marble into something that brilliant. Apparently, when it was unveiled, they had to take precautions to protect it because people wouldn't stop touching the figure's skin. There are veins in Pluto's hands and indentations in Proserpina's thigh. The second image looks like a black and white photo. In fact, every sculpture that Bernini ever made is amazing!* 

So why is this unsettling? I'm turning 25 next month! Puts things into perspective, doesn't it.

*In my opinion.


Getting to Nashville via Photoshop

The Musical Fountain at Versailles, from my trip to Paris!!!
Yesterday I did a post on Abdozeedo and their amazing Photoshop tutorials... Today I felt like doing a little before-and-after! This tutorial shows you how to recreate the Nashville filter (from Instagram) in Photoshop. And for all the super smarty-pants people out there, you can even turn that process into an action. So you can do it all with just one click!!!

Instagram your images using Photoshop


Photoshopping like a Boss!

Abduzeedo Photoshop tutorials
Get your Illustrator stuff lookin' grungy here!
Yesterday, I discovered this amazing Photoshop tutorials website. I was looking for a better way to make things I did in illustrator look grungy. I already knew how, but I wanted to see if there was another way. So I did a google search and stumbled upon this!!! Abduzeedo have over 200 free Photoshop tutorials and some of them are actually quite awesome...

They even have Illustrator, Fireworks and Pixelmator tuts as well!