Monday, October 24, 2011

Amazing (and Slightly Creepy) Photo Project

We found this project via Slate and had to share. Dutch Photographer Ari Versluis and his creative partner Ellie Uyttenbroek have been categorizing different styles of dress for the past 15 years in a photo project they have dubbed Exactitudes (a combination of "exact" and attitudes"). They identify generally unintentional but nonetheless rigid subcultures/identity systems amongst different populations and then photograph the members of said subcultures. The results are both startling and intriguing. Check out the Exactitudes site to see the full breadth of their work. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Working with a Prodigy Illustrator

One great thing about living in Music City is all the fabulous creative talent you find everywhere you look. Ben Shive, a local producer, singer/song writer and personal pal asked us if we would help him create the packaging for his upcoming independent CD. But he had a special request: Ben had been impressed by the crazy illustrative work of an amateur 14-year-old artist whose work Ben spotted on Facebook. Turns out the child prodigy was none other than Benji Anderson, the son of Joel Anderson (founder of Anderson Design Group!) Ben asked Benji to listen to his music and then draw whatever came to mind. Anderson Design Group was to use Benji’s art to create the CD package and then layout an 80-page hard-bound book of lyrics and prose.

Joel Anderson served as the creative director (and fatherly task master) to make sure that Benji’s art would be easily adapted to the project’s dimensions and printing limitations. Benji’s art work was deep, quirky, creative, and brilliant beyond his years. It virtually allowed the CD package and book design themselves.

original pen and ink drawing
finished CD cover art

Below are several samples of the art. The CD and book, both titled “The cymbal Crashing Clouds” will soon be available at concerts where Ben Shive is performing and at the Rabbit Room web site. The projected publication date for the book is mid-November, but the CD is available now!

It’s always a delicate dance to allow an illustrator the freedom to be expressive, while guiding him to produce art that meets creative and marketing objectives. It’s even trickier when the artist is a family member. And it is almost unheard of for a teen age kid to perform in the professional realm under the pressure of deadlines and the expectations of clients who have contracted with a well-respected design firm to produce a winning piece on time and within the set budget. Fortunately, Joel and Benji figured out a way to pull it off. (And they are still on speaking terms!)

People are already asking where they can buy prints of Benji Anderson’s artwork. Since he is still only 15 years old, we are being rather protective of his privacy. But we plan to create a few of his prints and sell them on our Nashville Artisan Gallery site some time in the near future. If you are interested in hiring Benji Anderson for custom illustration work, you can contact Joel Anderson at 615-327-9894.