Creative in the fuzziness

At the excellent Franz Gertsch exhibition at the Kunsthaus last weekend, I was impressed by how his paintings were so photo-realistic from a distance, but almost abstract up close. Gertsch works from large projections of photographs, and where the photos get fuzzy, he gets creative.

Especially in contrast to the high-concept, low-craft art in other exhibits, it reminded me that when you are designing, or portraying, a relatively staid or well-known idea, you can always innovate in the details. And when you do so consistently across a work, the overall experience is markedly different from someone who worked differently at the small scale.

Seeing through time

Peter Langenhahn makes cool photo composites that combine lots of separate moments from a single event.

Peter Funch has done similar works, based around themes of people passing through a place.

Before digital cameras were common, I did something like this by cutting up prints and gluing them to boards. Kinda feels like you’re seeing through time.

Design, too

Prints here.

Notes from The Pixar Story

Notes from The Pixar Story.

The bigger fear was just, can you find that lightning in a bottle again…you realize you have to actually work now at making yourself as naive as you were in the first round, without any effort. – Andrew Stanton, 48:38

We learned the important thing is not the idea; the important thing is the people. It’s how they work together, who they are, that matters more than anything else. – Ed Catmull on making Toy Story 2, 59:55

We were just too spread out, and the groups were developing their own styles. We were growing into several divisions instead of one company. And so the goal was pure and simple. We want to put everyone under one roof, and we want to encourage unplanned collaborations – Steve Jobs on building a new headquarters, 1:00:10

The building itself has helped so much. Because Pixar is its people. And we maintain the same philosophy of an office is an empty canvas. – Lasseter at 1:01

It’s striking that almost every Pixar film draws from a single very personal and emotional experience. John Lasseter’s family road trip inspired Cars; Andrew Stanton’s trip to the aquarium inspired Finding Nemo; Lasseter’s and Docter’s memories of childhood inspired Toy Story and Monster’s Inc. It reinforces for me the value of people expressing their vision and then owning the subsequent development.

The future of Pixar to me is going to be continuing to make these great films with more and more visionary directors, and then give them creative ownership of what they do so they can be proud of it for the rest of their lives. – John Lassetter 1:23:30

How to sketch

A nice introduction to sketching from the HowToons crew

Tilt-Shift Van Gogh

Some very cool “tilt-shift” Van Gogh paintings–basically selectively blurring parts of the image to give a sense of depth. Makes Van Gogh’s surreal landscapes seem almost real.