Happy New Zzzzz…

IMG_5506 (2)Coco and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy National Sleep Day and also a Happy, Peaceful and Satisfying New Year!

Visiting is 100% free!

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Typography: I shoot it wherever I find it! I recently joined Instacanv.as to make my ever-growing selection of my photographs available to everyone. I’ve been slowly but surely building up my gallery and it’s finally starting to look like something worth writing home about. This is one of several collections I’ve been putting together these last few days… Check it out here: http://instacanv.as/smiler_69/collections/typography. If you like what you see, don’t hesitate to share with your friends and help support an insecure but apparently talented artist!

A Rainy Day: An Instagram Short Story

Well, my biggest project this month was intended to be my latest effort at writing a novel draft for NaNoWriMo, but then Instagram happened, and for the past couple of weeks since I’ve joined the fee iPhone and Android application which allows you take photos, edit them and post them to share with millions of other users around the world, I’ve been doing nothing but taking photos, editing them, and posting them. So while my writing has been suffering, my instinct to tell stories still remains. Today I put together a little story in photos. It was rainy and grey, but that didn’t stop me from snapping away.

It’s nice to stay under the blankets on a rainy day…

This is the kind of day that greeted us when Coco and I stepped outside.

Everyone and everything was grey and rain-spattered.

Here and there, droplets of colour, but you really had to look for them.

Suddenly, a burst of colour. I grew very excited.

A friendly face came into the next frame. It said: “you’ve taken enough photos mummy, I’m cold, how about that warm blanket now?”

A New Toy

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November roses
A few pics I took today via Instagram

When I woke up today, I actually stayed in bed for several hours (something I NEVER do unless I’m sleeping) and whiled away the time on Instagram. I guess that counts towards my “creative activities” time. Does anyone here know about Instagram? It’s a free app you can get for iPhone or Android, which allows you to take pictures and use a bunch of artistic filters, which you post on their site and others like Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Flickr, to name just those (you can also mail them to friends and such). Then people can “like” the photos and/or comment on them, and “follow” you, just like you can with a blog. I’ve started following some pretty creative photographers, which I found by doing searches for tags like “travel” or “cityscape” and so on. It’s all pretty new to me so I’m still figuring out what you can do with this, and want to find a way to post my photos here on From Smiler, with Love. Though wondering… should they go on createthreesixty5 instead? I’ve taken some 125 photos with the app so far, but you can also post photos taken from you camera—though I haven’t figured out exactly how to do that yet. I also don’t know how to send anyone to my photo stream yet…

WAIT! I just found the web link! http://instagram.com/smiler_69/
Most of my pics can also be viewed on Facebook and on my Tumblr page, The Stolen Child.

In the Beginning Was the Word

Unlike so many churches around the world that have ignominiously fallen to the wrecking ball, a group of booksellers in Maastricht, The Netherlands, chose a beautiful 13th century church as the site of a bookstore called Selexyz Dominicanen. This magnificent Gothic church, consecrated in 1294, had been in the hands of the Dominicans, who were later driven out by Napoleon in 1794. After a brief stint as a parish church, it was sadly turned into a warehouse and was used as nothing more than an interior bike pound until the end of 2007. The bookshop installations were created by Dutch architects Merkx + Girod, who among other projects, have remodelled several historic buildings in the Netherlands, including Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum. The dominant new element in the church is the high-rise bookshelf structure which reaches up to the stone vaults. Popular books are accessible on lower shelves, while academic, esoteric and theological works are kept closer to the heavens. There is a café offering cappuccino and red wine, the central element of which is a long table in the shape of a crucifix, which might have been seen as blasphemous in days of old, but nowadays only seems fitting enough. Here is one book chain concept that I would be all too happy to see grow on a global scale.

Photographed by Roos Aldershoff. This post inspired by an article on Pure Green Magazine. My text largely lifted from this article from The Guardian, UK.

Brodovitch did it first.

Alexey Brodovitch by Kerry William Purcell ★★★★

Born in Russia in 1898 to an aristocratic and wealthy family, Alexey Brodovitch fled to Paris in 1920 as an exile, where he found himself in a community of russian artists. He was hired as a painter of stage sets for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, which in turn inspired him to work as a commercial artist. In 1930, Brodovitch moved to Philadelphia to take on a teaching position in advertising design at the Philadelphia college of Art. There he started the Design Laboratory, an experimental workshop for some of his more advanced students. Among the photographers who attended his classes were Diane Arbus, Eve Arnold, Richard Avedon, Lisette Model, and Garry Winogrand. Photographer Ralph Steiner who worked for Harper’s Bazaar (which was owned by William Randolph Hearst) introduced him to Carmel Snow, editor-in-chief of the magazine. Snow is credited with saying: “I saw a fresh, new conception of layout technique that struck me like a revelation: pages that “bled” beautifully cropped photographs, typography and design that were bold and arresting. Within ten minutes I had asked Brodovitch to have cocktails with me, and that evening I signed him to a provisional contract as art director.” During his 24-year reign from 1934 to 1958, Brodovitch created a unique look for Bazaar using avant-garde photography, typography and illustration. He was helped by old friends like Man Ray, Jean Cocteau, Raoul Dufy, Marc Chagall and A.M. Cassandre. One of his regular contributors was former student Richard Avedon, who became an iconic photographer in his own right (his obituary in The New York Times following his death in 2004 stated that, “his fashion and portrait photographs helped define America’s image of style, beauty and culture for the last half-century.”) Continue reading