First of all, I realized that I talk about a variety of topics here, and how I came to that realization was when I received a piece of spam and had to read all the way to the bottom to figure that it was indeed spam.
Doesn’t that look like something someone would write to me? I immediately assumed, oh, someone is writing to me about mucus, that’s makes complete sense. I’m not sure if that’s sad or awesome. I really don’t care deeply one way or the other. Moving on.
I once saw a video that I totally cannot find now that taught me something I did not know concerning the NYC subway. If you look carefully, you will notice a zebra-striped sign near the ceiling in every subway station. They look like this:
Now, the conductor of the train sits in the center of the train, and when he sees that sign he knows to stop because he is fully in the station and when the doors open everyone will have a platform to step out onto. AND, in order to prove that he saw it, he must point to it. Every time. Lower the wee window, stick his hand out and point. Sure enough, I was standing under the sign today when the train pulled up. The conductor lowered the window, pointed to the sign, and then put his window back up. It was like spotting a celebrity for me. “Holy crap, Pointy Finger! That’s so awesome!” And, not surprisingly, the people around me could not fathom why I was so psyched, which is the story of my life. You should make a point (see what I did there??) to try to stand under the zebra sign the next time you are in a NY subway and experience the magic for yourself.
Addendum – 10/29/13: Look what I saw today! An article on the stripey boards! http://gothamist.com/2013/10/30/feel_good_video_straphangers_make_s.php
My friend JR is expecting a little boy shortly and he asked me to paint a mural in the kid’s room in the style of Charley Harper. Charley Harper was an illustrator who was well-known for his clean geometric blocks of color style. His main subject was wildlife. Very mid-century. Jonathan Adler was clearly inspired by Harper. It’s a little bit difficult for me to work with because it is so opposite from the ornate, overly flowery style I tend to favor, but I love the challenge. I have to take all the elements they requested (birch trees, fox, rabbit, woodpecker, etc.) and try to reduce them down to their basic shapes with only essential details to convey what they are. I still need to add a squirrel, but otherwise it’s almost done.
In the process of doing research for this, I came across someone else’s Charley-Harper-style work. It’s a fennec done by an illustrator named Lauren Taylor and I think it’s lovely.
Addendum: This, my friend, this is some creative Banksy-type stuff. The people who both ride and work on the London Subway System have a good sense of humor. I think we’re far too litigious here in the U.S. to get away with some of those. Another point for London.