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Archive for December, 2009

The Power of Time Off

With only a few days left in 2009, it seems a fitting time to take a moment and reflect on this past year – but more importantly think ahead to the coming years and what we want out of them.

In a TED talk given earlier this year, Stefan Sagmeister (renowned graphic designer for his album covers, posters, and recent books on life lessons) shares his unique view about the power of time off.

One of those most intriguing parts of his talk is the idea that we spend around the first 25 years of our life focused on learning, the next 40 years are dedicated to work (and lots of it in our industry) and around 15 years towards the end of our lives are reserved for retirement.

Sagmeister not only suggests, but has put into practice the idea to cut off 5 of those retirement years and intersperse them between the working years with creative sabbaticals. Even if you don’t agree with this exact structure of taking time off (instead of a full year like Sagmeister, it could be a couple weeks, or a month or a few months), it can’t be denied that in our demanding lines of work, planning for and making the most of time off has alot of power that comes back to reward us in often unexpected ways.

We are interested to hear from those (in this post’s comments) that have taken sabbaticals and what they learned, gained, and would do differently on their next one.

Thursday, December 24th, 2009 | 23 Comments »

Merry Holidays!

Happy Kwaanza! Feliz Navidad! Happy Hannukah, Joyous Solstice and Merry Christmas to all! Annual holiday greetings are a place for self-promotion, experimentation, and a little bit of silly fun. We rounded up some of the ones that caught our eye this holiday season. Enjoy!

Axis Animation
Blacklist (againstallodds)
Curious Pictures (Hayley Morris)
Experience Mobile Mobile by LBI
Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
Greyscale Gorilla
Mother London
Mr and Mrs. Smith
Octopus Pie
Picasso Pictures

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009 | 7 Comments »

Deshed: “Le Rigodon”


Montreal based studio, Deshed, reminds us to eat our vegetables in this wacky promo, Le Rigodon.

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009 | Comments Off

Dalmiro Buigues for Cartoon Network: “Peppertoons”


Argentinian animator, Dalmiro Buigues,¬†pieces together Peppertoons: a series of delightful ID’s for Cartoon Network.

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009 | 1 Comment »

Honda’s “Everything”: Cuts As Craft

This recent spot for Honda, directed by Outsider’s Scott Lyon (via WK London) is a prime example of technique supporting simple concept. With the goal of comparing similarities amongst Honda’s family of creations, this film is not much more than clever match-cuts from Work Post’s Richard Orrick and masking, supported by a cast of precise sound-design via Wave.

I often drone on about this industry having recently hit some visual and technical peaks. However, that does not mean we’re done innovating. As the playing field is leveled by increasingly accessible resources, it forces us to redefine our narrative abilities and existing tools by finding new ways to push them. This piece’s success derives from some creative ingenuity and clever planning while exploiting some of the same tools we’ve been using for years.

Although a successful edit is often defined by it’s invisibility; when conceptually relevant, cuts can play a powerful narrative and aesthetically visible role. Akiko Iwakawa, Paul Watts, Chris Cunningham, Art Jones, Digital Kitchen and Rob Chiu represent just a few of the talented folks to make the exploit the cut as concept.


Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009 | 12 Comments »

“A Little Love: The Art of Bill Melendez.”


Often cited as the “Peanuts” animator, A Little Love: The Art of Bill Melendez, traces the work of the artist through commentary and unforgettable images.

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009 | Comments Off