Friday, June 26, 2009

Movies that I found entertaining the last year

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
The Sting
Enter the Dragon
Legend of the Drunken Master
Kung Fu Panda
Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist
The Terminator 1
Son of Rambow
Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Unforgiveable Blackness
The Elephant Man
Genghis Blues
Stella season 1
Hot Rod
Carnivale season 1
Déjà vu
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Inspiration from the past year

Yesterday was my birthday and I thought it would be fun to compile a list of things that inspired me over the last year. This will stretch out over a few days of posts. First, I listen to a lot of music and it is one of the biggest inspirations to me. Creativity begets creativity – that's in the Bible somewhere isn't it? Maybe not, but it's true nonetheless. Not all of these musical artists are new or of the same genre. I just might have discovered them this year or found myself listening to ALOT of their music. The above illustration of Norwegian musician Sondre Lerche for Paste Magazine is by an artist named Yuko Shimizu. Yuko's talent for line, pattern and storytelling has shown me possibilities for my own work. But I'll save artists for another posting. OK here we go:

Anything Sufjan Stevens sings or produces
Regina Spektor – Russian-born pianist/singer with many influences from her Jewish heritage to the Bible to New York street talk
Brett Dennen – singer/songwriter who sings about social injustice
Sondre Lerche – jazzy rocker pictured above; scored music to "Dan in Real Life"
The Fray
Chris Thile – Mandolin player/genius from Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers
Switchfoot/Jon Foreman – always surprises me. Looking forward to owning JF's collaboration with Nickel Creek guitarist Sean Watkins on "Fiction Family"
Crooked Still – cool bluegrass band made up of a cello, standup bass, and banjo with Alison Krauss-sounding singer
Wynton Marsalis – best trumpet player and jazz educator ever. Loved him since jr. high.
Radiohead – I can't stop listening to their album "In Rainbows"
William Elliott Whitmore – white folky blues singer from Iowa who plays banjo. Doesn't sound white
Robert Plant Alison Krauss – album Raising Sand is a collaboration of genius
U2 – new album was OK, but they are great over all. Non-music work is inspiring as well
Bart Millard – from Mercy Me with two jazzy solo albums called "Hymned" and "Hymned again"
Panic! At the Disco – "Pretty Odd" reminds me of experimental Beatles song structures
Miles Davis – Man, this guy recorded a lot of stuff
Arturo Sandoval
Band of Horses
– not real horses
Andrew Bird – not a real bird, but he whistles
Dr. Dog – Beatles-esque modern rock. Not a dog.
Modest Mouse – Probably not a rodent.
Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele – nice ukulele work. Dare I say magnificent?
Jeremy Larson – Amazing musician who lives just up the street from my office
Mute math – invades my mind constantly
Mates of State – Husband/Wife duo. She gets a lot of sound out of the keyboard and he pounds the drums
The Real Tuesday Weld – good music from the Nick & Norah's soundtrack
Flight Of The Conchords – hilarious jokesters, have a show on HBO about trying to make it in NYC as musicians from New Zealand
Bela Fleck – Saw this banjo player in concert at Christmas with some real Tuvan throat singers
Ray LaMontagne
The Classic Crime
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – band from Springfield making a splash nationally
Gummerman – local guy who works in Big Mama's Coffee shop. Doesn't have a full album, but he's good
Punch Brothers
Unforgiveable Blackness Soundtrack – Wynton Marsalis scored this masterpiece about the struggles of the first black heavyweight boxer
Louis Armstrong’s Hot 5’s and 7’s – this is some of the first jazz Satchmo recorded

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How to reduce your PSD files size using Photoshop

Ever needed to send a layered Photoshop file over email? The file is often way too big so I usually end up burning a CD or flattening and sending a jpg for proofing. If the need is great, I might use an online Web mail software like Here is a very helpful blog on how to shrink a normal PSD file for regular emailing. Thanks Chris for letting me know about this simple trick.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Saw this video on the Little Chimp Society's site. This is truly what graphic designers and commercial artists go through. It wouldn't work in other professions. "The above video is from Scofield Edi­to­r­ial and is bril­liant and so true to the envi­ron­ment we cur­rently work in!"