Friday, 9 October 2009


When I first saw the Women's Aid advert featuring Keira Knightly at the cinema I was shocked, I then realized that pretty much most charity adverts are shocking, whether it is RSPCA or NSPCC. To actually get people to be interested in these charities it seems that the public have to be shocked to gain a response. This is possibly a focus for my project.


The advert for the Skoda Fabia is another one that sticks in everyone's mind, and for good reason. Firstly, the fact that it is actually all made out of cake, and secondly that it is so intricate makes it amazing. My absolute favourite bit is the rear light made from jelly, which wobbles as it is put in. This links with a slight obsession of mine at the moment which is a program called Ace of Cakes, give it a look.


If you ask most people if they remember the bouncy ball ad, or the play dough bunny ad the response is likely to be about how amazing it is. When I first saw Nicolai's Sony Bravia adverts I was amazed, the simple idea of letting bouncy balls loose in San Fransisco, against the thought of how on earth they managed to do it, and how much it must have cost. The play dough bunny advert is equally mind boggling to me, as after watching a 'Wallace and Grommit: the making of', and trying some animation myself, I know just how time consuming it is, let alone on such a massive scale.


As soon as I walk into the Science Museum, I turn into a child again. There are so many interactive exhibitions and things to play around with. The last time I went there, there were so many school trips that I wanted to pull the children away so I could play. As with the design museum, one of the major factors for me is the shop at the end, they sell lots of different experiments and unusual objects.


'The Book of Boosh' is brilliant. I'm a massive fan of the Mighty Boosh and this book is meant to represent the show and its character, but the most interesting bit to me are the images. The man who plays Bollo the gorilla is actually a graphic designer and does all their artwork, so when it came to the book he was pretty much let loose and the illustrations are great. He has managed to take complex, weird and wonderful characters and represent them in simple sketches and paintings. Its definitely worth a look.


This week I watched Amelie again for the first time in ages and I'd forgotten how much I liked it. The style of filming is beautiful, with emphasis on colour. Audrey Tatou gives a brilliant performance and the script is very clever. The most memorable line for me is "when a finger is pointing at the sky, only a fool looks at the finger" which I think is witty and a great observation.

Thursday, 8 October 2009


One of my favourite books is the book of general ignorance, which is based on a round on one fo my favourite programs, QI. The book is based on correcting myths or 'general ignorance', an example being that Henry the Eight had six wives, when in fact, he technically had only two. This book is interesting in that sense but also, alot of the facts that are disproved, I had never heard in the first place.

Dirty Diana.

For my birthday this year I got an amazing present, a Diana Camera. They were first around in the 60's apparently but the shot above is an example of how amazing the photographs come out. Its reaaaally difficult to load and now I am waiting for an acceptable occasion to use it so I don't waste the film. I'm still baffled by how cameras work and this is even more confusing to me, but the pictures come out ridiculously beautiful, now I just need to pluck up the courage to try and use it properly.

Design Museum.

I could spend hoooours in the design museum, and if I am honest, most of that time is in the shop. The museum constantly has new exhibitions, with a range of types of design on show. Furniture, random objects and many other weird and wonderful things are always on show. Its a pretty inspiring museum and the shop always get my thinking 'why didn't I think of this'.

Its Nice That.

 - This website is basically a mix of lots of different things from the design industry. This light switch being one example. Its good for a little bit of inspiration, or just a website to waste some time on while looking at some interesting stuff.


BBC food.

This website is brilliant as a student. I have minimal ingredients in my fridge. And very random ingredients at that, this website is my savior. It also has some weird and wonderful cakes, one which lead me and some friends to make this beauty.


Arne Jacobsen is a very famous architect and designer from Denmark, mixing modern ideas with naturalism. His chairs for example are immediately recognizable chair designs, which have been reproduced time and time again. His work holds fluid shapes with a modern approach.

Flat Pack.

Ikea. Brilliant. I could spend hours getting lost in all of Ikea's little rooms. Their simple designs mixed with practicality are faultless in my opinion. As everyday, affordable design goes I would certainly say that they are the best.

From Hell.

I am really, really interested in the tale of Jack the Ripper, and after being on the tour around east London, and reading books about it, this film just added to it. As we still don't know who Jack actually was, this film presented the idea that the Queens surgeon was the murderer hiding a secret for the royal families blood line. Johnny Depp and Robert Coltrane feature as the detectives, and Heather Graham as one of the potential victims. This film is artistically great, with the use of the colours red and black being prominent and the direction leading you to the killer being very very clever.

Wall and Piece.

It seems to have become such a cliche for young art and design students to be Banksy fans, but I cant help it. For years now I have come across Banksy pieces in London, and many more Banksy inspired pieces. This book is brilliant, I am used to seeing his work on a wall or on the side of a building, and seeing it in a more critical manor, on a page, gives you a very different view. Saying that, I much prefer seeing his work where it was meant to be seen, although this is being made harder for him as an artist.


I first had to read this book for my GCSE coursework, and so you can imagine how much I hated it at the time, it drove me mad having to read over it and over and over again. Now, I have mixed feelings about this story. Although I have deep rooted animosity, I can't help but appreciate it. It is set in a dystopian society in which handmaid's are taken on by families high up in society to produce offspring as the women in the family are baron. I think that it is such an interesting novel because it is a completely made up society, and it is unclear if I is set in the future, or is in a different world completely. The imagery in this book is amazing, with colour and senses being a major player, this sort of imagery used could translate well into an artistic representation.


One of my favourite pieces of architecture that I have seen in person, and when I am in London I see on a daily basis is Wembley stadium. I live about 5 minutes walk from the stadium and after seeing the stadium time after time I still love it. The arch is brilliant and its great that I can see it from most places in London, and it looks even prettier when it is lit up on event days. Once you are up next to the stadium you get to see all the little details, whether it is the sweeping staircases or the statues dotted around the outside. Although there is a very different atmosphere on match days (as seen in the second picture that I took on the day of the first England match held there), when it is empty you cant help but stare at the building every time you go past.


"What else is he in?" "You know...that film with him in it"

Sound familiar?

At the moment, I'd say that my most visited website is definitely

I HATE when I cant place a person, or can't figure out someones name, and this website is my hero. Its amazing in that it has the most obscure actors/directors/singers, and not only tells you every single thing that they have appeared in, either as themselves or a character, but also give you random trivia. For example, did you know that Bruce Willis is in fact called Walter Willis and used to work in a chemical factory? Or that George Clooney had a pig called max? How can you possibly live without this information.

Vicky & Al.

The V&A museum, wonderful. The main highlight of the V&A for me is there range of fashion exhibitions. A few years ago I went to a design talk there and it was really really good. But then after I went to the Versace exhibition, and that was even better. The way I envisage Versace is the modern version of print and colour, yet this exhibition went back J-Lo, then to the infamous Liz Hurley dress and then back further. Another exhibition that sticks in my mind was the Vivienne Westwood show a few years ago which was also great. At the moment the exhibition is from the fashion MA graduates of the Royal College of Art, and I cant wait to see it.


Jonnie Craig is a photographer featured in Vice alot, with a clear style of grainy, black and white nostalgic images. The website features so very weird images, as well as some simple portraits of 'nicholas' that have a dreamy feel to them. Images like these with light and tone as a main focus make me nostalgic of summers past, with this distinct style translating very well into certain magazine campaigns with this image to portray.


Ok so, so far I have been talking about things that I love, so here is one thing I definitely do not love, in fact it was pretty painful to watch. Firstly, romance films are not my kettle of fish, but even so, the script, set, and acting is awful. Hilary Swank (an Oscar winner) and Gerrard Butler (a good actor stuck in a typecast) manage to bring pretty bad performances to an awful film. The stereotype after stereotype of Ireland and Irish men, drinking Guinness or Jameson's while wearing shamrock pants and saying 'Bejeesus!' is especially annoying. Awful. Just awful.

Slevin Kelevra.

With a cast of Josh Hartnett, Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman and Sir Ben Kinsley, Lucky Number Slevin was bound to be a good movie. With a twist that kept me guessing right until it was revealed, and many amazing, memorable lines, its one of my top 10 movies. Another part of this film that draws me in is the set design, I still do not understand what year this film is meant to be set it, to me it seems they have purposely made this ambiguous. The fact that this film manages to successful to fall into both the comedy and thriller genres is very clever, with witty lines from the 4 male leads allowing this.


Ok, so I've decided that Kevin Spacey is pretty much the best actor in the world. Ive been re-watching alot of my old DVDs at the moment, and from watching Se7en, American Beauty and The ususal suspects it made me remember just how good he is. His character Verbal Kint in The Usual Suspects is very well written and brilliantly portrayed by Spacey. Equally well acted is John Doe in Se7en, so well that in the end of the movie, he actually makes my skin crawl. I am very excited to see his next film 'The Men Who Stare at Goats' featuring Ewan McGreggor and George Clooney, directed by Grant Heslov.


Pete Goldlust is an artist who mainly focuses on sculpture and print. His most interesting work in my opinion are his carved crayons. They look incredibly intricate and are very original, and I'm pretty sure if I tried to replicate them it would take alot of work. Changing an everyday object into a piece of art is inspiring, as I feel that its achievable in a way. The different coloured crayons together on a black background works especially well.


At the moment the National Portrait Gallery has two collections that I really want to see, the Twiggy, and Bob Dylan portrait collections. From the few images I have seen on the internet they both look really interesting, and both are character that interest me. The national portrait competition exhibition that they show in the gallery is also great to see each year as seeing 'amateurs' portraits that are in my opinion better than some of the older art in the gallery is great.


I am ridiculously excited for the new Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland, even though its not released until 2010. With the usual formula of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, and a few favourites of mine including Alan Rickman as the Caterpillar and Stephen Fry as the Cheshire Cat. The fact that Alice is played by and obscure actress is also a clever move on Burton's behalf as there are so many high profile actors/actresses in the cast. Another exciting part of this movie is that Burton has said that there is a mix of CGI, 3-D and standard filming in this film, as seen in the shot of Helena Bonham Carter. Im a massive fan of Tim Burton and think his cast choice is brilliant, I cannot wait to see it.

Light House Cinema.

The Light House Cinema, in Smithfield in Dublin. It was designed by DTA Architects who have won many awards in Ireland. This design is not that influential when it comes to function, but when it comes to creating interest in a building this has worked very well. With the play on light and colour being the main focus. This cinemas culture and design focus also lead to a wider range of films being shown and events being held here.


This building again, is a residential structure. This building is created from thin strips of wood, only 6x8cm in cross section. The wood was also especially chosen bearing in mine the fact that weather and time will warp the pieces slightly. This specific part is an extension, made cleverly as it does not near to bear any wind load as the wind will blow between the strips of wood. Again, this is a minimal building, which is made even more beautiful by the juxtaposition of the surroundings.

Paraty House.

This house in Brazil is a design of Marcio Kogan, he makes award winning and well publicized residential buildings. Not that by looking at these images you would think 'residential'. His approach is minimalist, yet in the beautiful surroundings, the hard edges are softened to create a calm and beautiful building. The use of light, day and night is very clever also, creating two different looks.


One of my favourite sites in London is definitely the Gherkin. Firstly is pretty beautiful, and secondly it holds the best cafe/cake shop in London. It also helps that the surrounding builings are quite low, which helps to make the building look especially grand. Its also one of the few building in London that isn't effected badly by pollution, it always looks spotless and, in a good way, out of place.


My new obsession at the moment is the Twilight series of books. I saw the film first reluctantly after being pressured into it, but it turned out to be brilliant. I'm not an avid reader but I am kinda stuck now having to know the ending. The books are odd in a way, as they are clearly aimed at 15-25 year old women, and so you would assume the style of writing would be very simple, but its not. Meyer seems to be able to grab the attention of most readers as far as I have seen.


I went to see The Invention of Lying, and think the basis of the film is brilliant. Although as always, Gervais seems to play himself/David Brent. The basis of the film brings brilliant comedy, but as most Hollywood films it gets dragged into a story with a moral, and a soppy message. Over all its a good film, with Gervais giving his usual high standard of comedy, but it does get dragged into the Hollywood preset a bit.


Perou is an English photographer that has made it pretty big over in America, he is a judge on Make Me a Supermodel US, and his main focus is the idea of celebrity, working with advertising, promotion and standard photography. I love his shots because he shows the celebrities as they are not normally seen.