A piece by Cai Guo-Qiang, my favorite Chinese artist. Read the last paragraph of this entry for additional information.

Back in middle school I relished the rainy days where I sat by the window and devoured a book before night fall. There was comfort in knowing that everyone else was doing something similar, playing console games or just on the computer and that you weren't missing much.

Nowadays I can't sit still for more than five minutes before wondering what others are up to, if there was a new reply in a forum discussion I was engaged in or if there was a new post on one of the many blogs I peruse.

Design Commentary: So with that in mind, I'm glad something like A Brief Message is around. I find that I actually slow down and pay more attention whenever I read this site because I know that it will not only be short, but that the author has taken care in fleshing out the topic so every single one of the 200 words contributes to the topic at hand. A Brief Message, start your day with it. Accompanying sketch included! If you are in the mood for lengthier and sometimes more dense reading, check out Design Observer.

Haiku: Does your ADD / ADHD prevent you from sitting through 200 words? How about 17 syllables then? Most of you know I enjoy haikus, even whipped up three verses for Mike's wedding this past weekend (though I didn't save them). They are simple to create and make you sound like a genius (sometimes). My all time favorites are the first few concocted when I hit a stumbling block making websites cross-browser compatible. Like A Brief Message, the haikus at Haiku for You each come with a visual partner.

Presentations: Think Steve Jobs' presentations are great? There may be better PowerPoint or Keynote presentations out there. Pecha Kucha is the art of delivering your message within the confines of 20 slides at 20 seconds each. First read about it in Wired two issues ago. Looking back at my time at Carnegie Mellon I approached it all wrong when it came time for the final studio. Sure the idea is important, but how you communicate it may matter more. I was so focused on building the perfect model or drafting the perfect drawing but I didn't think about what those pieces were communicating. I'm not saying a PowerPoint presentation would have helped, but it would have me think about the presentation more, rather than it being an after thought.

Illustration: I've always argued that comic strips can sometimes (or a lot of times) take more insight to produce than a detailed painting. In what other media can you communicate so much with so few lines / panels? The drawings in this Jcb music video may seem rudimentary, but it's really produced well and worth a view. Same goes for this Human Flip Book. And since I brought flip books up, reminds me of the Conan String Dance one, since it appears to be down, you can entertain yourself with this other Conan clip (Conan as a comic book vs. Hulk).

This may be the only time where more is more. I had this Roy Doty Holiday piece pinned up on my cubicle wall for a while. Turns out it was his birthday in September, so a happy belated birthday goes out to one of the most patient illustrators out there. I would go insane drawing a crowd.

Another illustrator worth a mention and someone you probably never heard of before, Vania Zouravliov. With pencils like his who needs color? I especially like this Autumn Rot piece. Discovered him via another illustrator Audrey Kawasaki who also produces some amazing work.

Don't remember how I came across Gaping Void. Hugh MacLeod has successfully done what I've been meaning to do (oh you've heard that before haven't you). His claim to fame are the illustrations he whips up on the back of his business cards. I guess I could do that with my old business cards... just cross out the outdated information and slap on my current info. Or I could order a bunch of new business cards but then I'd have to pay for them and I would be killing trees. Reduce, reuse, recycle right? They would have to be personal cards to since I absolute HATE the business card designs of my current employer. Two posts to read up on, How to be Creative, and his personal favorites.

Went to my old boss' house on a Sunday before my trip down south to borrow his backpack and saw a painting by Fabio Napoleoni sitting on the ground. Loved it, so I went home and found more pieces being sold on eBay by him. I'm glad I didn't jump the gun, though I like his work, I don't think I can leave one of his pieces hanging for long...

T-Shirts: My black adidas hoodie isn't exactly a t-shirt but earlier in the year I was carrying some groceries from the car to the condo. Naturally I tried to do everything in one shot which resulted in me dropping a bottle of liquid bleach. The cap busted but I wasn't paying attention so I just placed it under my armpit. By the time I got upstairs parts of my hoodie turned orange. It looked great and people think it's part of the design. I actually thought about grabbing a brush and applying some more bleach spots to make it more interesting. Leave it to Stencil Revolution to show you how it's really done when it comes to bleach on fabric! Never thought about using a sharpie to color in the black back in!

Tomo hooked me up with the following links to two Transformers t-shirts. Not too fond of Prime, but Soundwave I'm digging (why isn't there an insignia on the sleeve?)! I have too many t-shirts though... must resist!

Architecture: While searching for this Calatrava film in the torrentverse I came across a 23 (or 24) episode series on architecture titled Baukunst. If anyone is interested all the torrents are listed here along with a discussion (registration required). If you don't want to register, here's the first episode torrent off of a public tracker and just for kicks, the 9th episode covering Calatrava. You can find the rest of the episodes by conducting a search or registering at the MVGroup forum.

Periodicals: There are a few magazines produced to match my attention span and interests that I subscribe to. Wired, Fast Company, Business 2.0 and some sports magazines. Terry also got me a subscription to Metropolis which I love, I usually avoid subscribing to design magazines because 1) expensive as hell, 2) I'm tempted to rip them apart to build idea boards. Unfortunately Business 2.0 is being shuttered and though many of the writers are jumping over to Fortune I'm not sure how much content will come through unfiltered by the editors there. Good going Time Inc. RIP. As a consolation they are issuing subscriptions to Money magazine. What?

China: This is a great article on China's Creative Class from an old issue of Fast Company. Though it mentions a sour topic, the environmental disaster that is the Three Gorges Dam, there's plenty to look forward to coming from the Mother Land. Makes me almost want to live there (if my social circle included everyone mentioned in the article). If you made it all the way down here, I know you are tired, but the article is worth a read, file it away to read later if you must! Cai Guo-Qiang is mentioned, didn't know he was on Beijing's Olympic Committee! Some more information on his work and process can be found here.

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