Friday, 9 October 2009


It will sound ridiculous, but for the first month or so after being set this brief, I found it really difficult to find inspiring things. Perhaps I was looking too hard and missing everything, I’m not sure, but eventually I began to see more clearly and I started to build up my blog.

I had already subscribed to Arts Projects magazine, which I love and look forward to reading as soon as it comes through my door. I soon realised that this magazine was full of interesting artists, designs, facts, articles and even tutorials. There were so many things that I could write about, things that caught my eye, and things that I somehow missed before. I think this has been the best thing about this brief, that I’ve come to notice everything more. Before I would have seen a beautiful building, perhaps taken a picture and thought that it looked pretty, but did I ever stop to think who designed it, how long did it take, what was the inspiration? The truth is probably not, but now I think about all of this and more. It really has just opened my eyes to the world, which is something I needed.

If there’s one thing I don’t like though it’s having to actively look for inspiration, it just doesn’t seem to come to me that way, I have to cross it when in my everyday life. So obviously trying to find 5 posts for each category (specifically museums) has been difficult. I probably should have started much earlier, but summer, holidays, friends, work all seemed to get in the way. By the time I realised what I had to do, it was August and I had 2 months to find 35 inspiring things.

But I soon realised that I love films, which is one of the categories so why not start there. I go to the cinema at least once a week so naturally the taking of Pelham 123 was my first post. I like to start each post by giving a brief overview of what the subject is; in this case, I gave a short insight into the plot of the film. This then introduces the reader so they can have an understanding to what you’re talking about. Then I give my opinion, what impressed me and why I think it’s worth seeing. I had the impression that this is what Blogs are all about, expressing your views, so hopefully I’ve achieved this well.

One of the main categories I struggled with was websites. I’m not really sure why, as I find that I can sit and admire a well thought out and produced website for a long time. This is probably because I did a module in Web Design last year and I know just how complex it is, how much harder it is than it seems. So as you can imagine, when I see a good website, I feel in awe of the person who created it. A website like ‘Eco Zoo’ for example. I actually found it through the arts projects magazine that I mentioned previously. Someone had mentioned it in an interview saying how inventive and dynamic it was. Obviously I had to see it for myself, and I was not disappointed. The way you could interact and manoeuvre you’re way around the website was just so innovative. I particularly loved the 360 degrees perspective. Being able to see all the way around the tree and the pop up book was so clever and visually interesting. Then eventually I stopped searching and tried to remember websites that I had been on that impressed me and I soon realised they didn’t have to be innovative, just different or perhaps clever in some way. Love creative is a prime example of this, using simple techniques to create something different.

Additionally I’ve tried to keep up to date with all design news by subscribing to the Design Week mailing list. I’ve found that it’s been really useful and interesting, occasionally pointing me in the right direction for something that I could post on my Blog.

I’ve found it hard to speak professionally when either explaining a post or commenting on someone else’s, this is something I will have to improve on obviously. Once I become excited about something, I tend to let my words run away from me, so if there is some colloquial language in there, this will be why. But I have tried to rein myself in and concentrate more.

Furthermore, I’ve enjoyed reading and commenting on others posts. But as I said before found it difficult to not just say, I love this, it’s amazing, but to actually think about why. It’s interesting to see how people have responded differently to the brief or in some instances the same. It’s natural that we would come across something that more than one person would find interesting. If I saw that someone had already written a post about something, I would still post mine anyway, as I think it’s only fair that you should have your say on a matter. Or alternatively, I would just comment on their post with my personal opinion.

One thing I have noticed, is that this blog has really has introduced me to the world of architecture. I’ve started noticing buildings more, especially when in New York surrounded by wonderfully crafted skyscrapers. It was hard to not be inspired there; you become absolutely saturated with creative designs.

One thing that did shock me is that I struggled to find books to post on my Blog. I love reading so didn’t understand why. Perhaps it’s because I’ve let myself be taken away with the Harry Potter and Twilight Books to stop and appreciate anything else. I have tried to read a few, but none matched up to the style that J.K Rowling and Stephanie Myers possess.

I understand that I only have four museums posted, I tried to think of a fifth, one that I could visit in Leeds, but I completely ran out of time. Time management has always been an issue of mine, I tend to underestimate how long something will take and find myself staying up all night to finish to deadline. Hopefully this can be improved. This year will be tough enough as it is, poor time management will only drag me down.

Overall I have enjoyed this summer brief. At first it seemed daunting, but now I realise that’s only because I was thinking about it too much. As soon as I started to relax, things started coming to me much easier. I will definitely carry this on as I’ve found it has kept me up to date with the design world, better than design week ever could. Most importantly, I’ve actually enjoyed writing about everything that inspires me; it almost feels like a weight has been lifted.

Monday, 5 October 2009

August Rush

When visiting New York, I went on a Movie Tour and the guide kept mentioning this film and how good it was, which made me want to see it even more than I did already.

The film is based around a young boy called Evan , who after being in an orphanage for 12 years is determined to find his parents. Other boys in his dorm tease him as he believes that he can hear his parents playing to him. I found this quite strange at the beginning, but as the film progresses you come to understand the way Evan's mind works. The child of a famous cellist and guitar player, you would expect that he would be musically talented, and that he most definitely is. It turns out that he's a musical prodigy, with an extraordinary talent, giving himself the stage name 'August Rush.

This film is full of ups and downs, you feel for this little boy as he makes his way through New York trying to fulfill his dream to reconnect with his parents. I can't believe how good Freddie Highmore (Evan) was in this film. He probably would have been about 12 when making August Rush, but with his acting ability, you would have thought he was at least 15. It's inspiring that someone so young can have such a raw talent, I wish that I could have been that driven at his age.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

I've been meaning to watch this film for a while, but never seemed to get round to it. It's set during the Second World War and is seen through the eyes of eight year of Bruno. He is the son of a commandant at a concentration camp but doesn't understand what is happening in the world. After moving to a new house near a concentration camp and thinking himself an explorer, Bruno becomes determined to discover what this camp is and why it's there. He soon meets a boy named Shmuel (i.e. the boy in striped pyjamas). He lives across the fence in the camp and begins to help Bruno understand what's really happening, but not even he knows the whole truth.

One thing that really surprised me was when Bruno's mother (i.e. the commandant's wife) didn't know about the gas chambers. Presumably this means that not many did. They showed a video full of propaganda about how the concentration camps were a fun place, where the Jews could play games and socialise. I suppose many believed this as they had no reason not to. But the smoke and smell from the chambers could not be covered up and Bruno's mother found out the truth.

I felt naive when watching this film and stupid for not knowing what was really happening during ww2. I knew about the gas chambers, but I never understood why everyone just let it happen...obviously because they didn't know. Bruno's innocent mind and willingness to make friends has serious consequences, with the film ending in a shocking, unexpected and ironic way. It was a thought provoking film and I found it really interesting, but also quite sad as you know that it's real, (not this story specifically) but the way people were treated.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Fantastic Mr Fox

Originally a book by Roald Dahl, 'Fantastic Mr. Fox' is being made into a film for the big screen. I can't remember it very well but I definitely read this book when I was younger, so you can imagine my surprise when I see a trailer for a film by the same name. It definitely looks like it's going to be an interesting film, with the different animation style. But not only that, with a cast such as George Clooney, Bill Murray, Meryl Streep, Owen Wilson and many more, it's set to be a big and successful film. I hope that it is, because I remember loving the book when I was younger, and there's nothing I like more than a great adaptation.


I found this website when researching different design companies around the North West. LOVE is one of the most famous design agencies in the UK, with clients such as Playstation, Nike, Nandos, Microsoft and Yorkshire Tea. You would expect a company such as this to have a well developed website, which they do, but it's not what I expected. The first thing you will see is a note sayin that it's a website created in power point, which you notice throughout with the sounds and transitions. It's funny because when designing a presentation people tell you to avoid such things, but it seems to really work here.

The home page is very simple as you can see from the top picture, with only a few words and it's also an easy site to navigate through, but that's definitely a good thing. There's nothing I hate more than not understanding a website and having to really search for something.

Generally I just love the fresh simple feeling this website portrays. It's different and fun which I think, by the look of their work, reflects the company well.

China's 60th

These are some of the pictures showing China at it's best. Here they are celebrating their 60th anniversary. The moment I saw this it didn't surprise me how amazing their spectacle was. After seeing the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing, I wouldn't expect anything less. But still, you can't not be impressed by this. As you can see, the design of the parade was flawless, not even a foot out of line. I know that we like to celebrate in style, but this really is something else.

Izumi Omori

Izumi Omori is an artist exploring her Japanese and Cornish influences. I found a few of her cards in a Cornish shop and was immediately impressed. After researching a bit more I found these three paintings, which are just a few of my favourites. The main thing I notice, apart from the obvious ability to combine colours, she knows how to create a different but always positive atmosphere. The middle example demonstrates this well, as it's quite eerie but the subtle hint of yellow makes it more serene and peaceful. Her paintings make me feel like I'm in a dream, they have that hint of surrealism.