Archive for the ‘Advertising’ Category

Mantis mantis mantis. (Mantis.)

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

Mantis! First, my work companion. My coworker Tongue is obsessed with plants. He has a gazillion plants in his home, and seeds, and things that look like they’re dead twigs but are not, all the plants. In order to prevent bugs from eating his beloved plants Tongue bought baby mantises (I like to pronounce that “manteeses” even though it’s wrong). He brought a few of the mantises in plastic containers to work where I proceeded to get no work done because I had to cuddle the sweet wee demon-bugs! So cute! So sway-y!

I love how he has a little hat on his head between his sweet little curly antennae. It reminded me of the Pharoah’s crown, the one that looks like a bowling pin nestled in a wonton soup spoon.

I also love how the mantis had a neck that he can turn. And the swaying was great. And occasionally he would flick out his praying arms. As I said, not much work was accomplished during his tenure. Eventually Tongue took the mantises home which made me forlorn but was probably for the best. Sigh.

More mantis! A friend of a friend recommended me for some design work. A woman named Yoda was starting her own production company called Pink Orchid International and asked me for a logo. She said she was not opposed to anything related to pink or orchid. I got to make a variety of interpretations and you bet your sweet patoot I did an orchid mantis version, yes I did.

Yeah. Not surprisingly, Yoda did not use my super-amazing mantis logos. She chose the one in the upper left because she is professional and I want to incorporate insects and skulls and rainbows into everything I do. But I was appreciative of the opportunity. Maybe someday I will get the chance to make bug-related business identities. Who knows what the future holds (insect-logo-wise).

Why graphic design is so, so very important.

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

I was watching the Rose Bowl the other day (not because I wanted to but because my employee is from Georgia and I was trying to be supportive) and I noticed something interesting. Did anyone look at the playoff semifinal logo? Anyone?

Because to me it looked like something else, something commonly expressed using parentheses in that way.

The best part is in researching “parentheses vaginas” I found this link. I am not alone in this thinking.

http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/college-football-playoff-logo-chosen

Please, if you’re designing an important logo or chart or website or presentation of any kind, I beg of you, consult your nearest designer to avoid catastrophes like this:

I think I might get into heaven now.

Saturday, December 30th, 2017

How was everyone’s Christmas? Hopefully good. Mine was good. I went to two Christmas parties. At the first one on Christmas Eve I received a present from my new niecephew: a black t-shirt.

And on Christmas Day I went to a friend’s house for Christmas where I received… a black t-shirt.

I consider that a win. I’ve set up a range of things I like (black t-shirts, snarky comments on said t-shirts) and people are paying attention. This is excellent.

Now, concerning the title of this post. I made nice things for others really hard this year. I had said I was going to make stockings for the mantle for my niecephew and BOOM! they were born and I hadn’t started on a single sock. I sewed like the wind. I bought plain burlap stockings and using felt, beads and sequins I thoroughly pimped them out. I tried not to make them too feminine or masculine because I don’t want to reinforce gender colors but they still had to be holiday-themed.  I feel like I accomplished my goals.

While at work in early December I heard a young girl in the design group talking about how her cousin wants a rhinestone-covered S’well bottle. The only problem is that they cost $1,500. For a water bottle. I should have just walked on by but I cannot hear about a craft project and not offer to help. I should tattoo “SUCKA” across my forehead to make everything faster. Anyway, due to time constraints I ended up encrusting the top and not the whole bottle. I did it ombre because why the hell would I not. Pale pink to cream to crystal clear. I’ve never done anything like that and I’m actually glad I took this project on because I learned much about the rhinestoning of things. (And in keeping with the sucker motif, I only charged the $25, the cost of the raw materials. I gave her my time for free. My patronus is a vacuum. Sigh.)

 

Addendum: Totally forgot that over the holiday break I helped a co-worker with a master’s thesis in Keynote, repaired and rebuilt another cow-worker’s broken necklace AND made my sister an overdue birthday present. HEAVEN. I’M GETTIN’ IN.

I made some stuff. Let’s look at it.

Monday, December 18th, 2017

I made two things, veeerrrrrrrrry diametrically opposite. First, the deer skull. Cricket’s dad found a deer skull with antlers behind their house twenty years ago and Cricket recently gave the skull to me. It was a fine-looking skull and I wanted to display it but it looked sort of nakey. So I decided to decorate the skull using every bead technique I could think of. I even tried new techniques I had only seen online. One of my big inspirations was Betsy Youngquist. I’ve mentioned her before. She does some drool-worthy work. I don’t know what you’d call what she does – bead and found item mosaic? Object decoupage? Three-dimensional collage? Whatever it’s called, it’s awesome and I’m a big ole fan. Here are some of her newer pieces.

You know those sewing samplers from days of yore? Where a young girl would make every stitch she knew how to do on a piece of fabric? That’s what this skull turned into for me. Since I was using a million different techniques I limited my color palette to white, pearl and silver. I was pretty psyched with how it turned out. My photos are meh because for some reason my camera was flabbergasted by all the white but maybe someday in the future I will have a professional take pictures of it for my portfolio.

The second project I worked on was different in every way something could be different. It was for work, for starters. We were pitching a birth control drug. Most of the deck was perfectly normal. “Our research shows that women this that and a third thing and here’s a quote and here’s a chart,” etc. I blurred out a lot of stuff that may or may not be proprietary.

However the strategists wanted to show that modern women are bombarded by unwanted dick pics all day every day. I was told to find pictures of men showing off their charms, put them in the deck and cover the jingly-jangly parts with emojis. I get paid actually usable currency to do this. So late on the night before the pitch I typed in things that would get you fired anywhere else into Google and there they were. A veritable field of men displaying their appendages. Here’s a screengrab I took that I heavily doctored to make it SFW.

I was sitting there, sifting through the pics because I needed their head at one angle and their implements at another angle (to get the emoji cover-up to work). I also typed in several specific ethnicities to get a diverse spread (ha ha ha). I was so involved in finding the right images for the job that I neglected to notice the cleaning lady behind me who could totally see what I was doing. I only realized it afterwards and I REALLY wanted her to report me for being gross and pervy on the job so I could explain that it was for work. Alas, she did not. She does, however, greet me with a big smile every time she sees me now, like, “I know what you’re into, yeeeeeaaaaaaah.” I kinda want to tell her that that’s not my jam but then we’d have to talk about it and I don’t feel like doing that so this is how it’s going to stay. Me and the cleaning lady have a dick-pic bond. It’s a dream come true.

I’m back, everyone! Back from the dead! Like one of those pirates in the Johnny Depp pirate movies!

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

I learned only two days ago that Johnny Depp wears an earpiece with someone reading him all his lines so he doesn’t have to learn his lines. Is… is that allowed? Like for a healthy functioning human? I know Marlon Brando apparently used that technique in his later films but he was basically Jabba the Hut at that point and all manner of problems. This will make watching Johnny Depp films harder for me now, knowing what I know.

Yes, I was gone for a spell. Work consumed me and I had to deal with that. Specifically, a co-worker said he was quitting and so HOLY CRAP no one had transferred the old server contents to the new server location and I had to do it before he left because I had been employed there the longest and was most familiar with the files. I looked into the abyss, the abyss looked back, and then I organized it into neat little subsections. Proof:

You see that number? You see it? That’s ~31,000 separate documents. I looked through A LOT of them. I made up a whole new taxonomy because the old one had broken down into personal horse poop like “Folder Of That One Citi Meeting Where The CEO Was There But The CMO Was Not 2015.” That kind of thing is helping precisely no one except the person who made that folder and they probably don’t work with us anymore. So I made a new system and send out, and I’m kind of proud of this, the most boring email in the history of emails explaining how it works. The tedium drips from the words like wine.

Oh wait, it gets better. I then went around to all the people I sent the email to and point-blanke asked them if they had read it and they all got guilty looks on their faces and I tsk-tsked them so now I will give them all hard times and quiz them until they know the server structure. I am the worst and this is so much fun.

In case you were thinking, Hey Jessica, didn’t you go to Guatemala a million months ago and shouldn’t you have posted pictures by now? Yeah, yeah, I’m getting to it. It’s been busy. We’ll get there (eventually).

In the meantime, might I interest you in a link with a cool-as-hell gif?

Creating The Never-Ending Bloom: The Amazing Mathematical Wonders of John Edmark

Cricket helped me and now he can’t run for office.

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

Publicis is having their holiday party and the executives wanted me to create a save-the-date (or, sadly, an STD as it is sometimes called). I made a very clean version that we could send out and would offend no one.

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The lead exec who is from England and does not understand our Puritanical ways said, “This is boring! I want a man’s balls in hot pants! Shiny! Bulging! Make it happen!” I was like, “Yeahhhh, we’re not gonna do that. I will find an alternative design for you.” I sat and I thought and it occurred to me, the place the party is gonna be at is called Flash Factory, why not a jaunty flasher? I needed someone with a smooth, relatively hairless chest and a willingness to help me, so I called Cricket and said, “Do you have a trench coat and are you available tonight?” He said no and yes. I called my dad and he had a trench coat. Here we go. When I got home I borrowed my dad’s coat and took Cricket downstairs. I had him take his shirt and pants off and pull his nethergarments as low down as he could before elements were revealed. Then I said, “Look down, open the coat and convey joy and delight at sharing your components with the world.” It several pictures before I got what I wanted. In most of them Cricket looked like he was a demented Joker in 18th-century long johns. Not what I was going for.

When I had something I could work with I cropped it so you didn’t see the underwears or most of his face and put the text over it.

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And the execs loved it. They wanted it far far simpler so I took out anything that wasn’t critical information and converted all the text to Helvetica and there you have it.

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Now Cricket’s treasure trail is going to be sent to 1,200 employees. And I have the best, most amenable boyfriend ever.

UPDATE: Hoo boy. This was a real agency-splitter. Lots of people thought it was fun. They asked if Cricket could come to the party in a trench coat and a flesh-colored Speedo and pose for pictures. The other half of the agency were less loving. At least 32 people wrote “How could you and I’m offended and I want to speak to the manager” emails to the top execs. Whatever, I don’t care. I did what I was told and all of Publicis America had to look at my man’s treasure trail and that delights me.

I am alive! ALIIIIIIVE!! And I pimped a painting.

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

But very busy so I haven’t done anything bloggery in forever. However, I have returned! And I made a thing! Let’s look at it.

Okay, let’s not look at it yet. Let’s have some backstory. About two years ago, my co-worker Mad had this big thrift store painting in her office. I’m sure it was worth something when it was made, but by the time she inherited it the painting was completely faded and had a giant scratch on it and someone had smashed a centipede onto it and there was dried centipede juice in the middle. Not a stellar wall hanging by anyone’s standards. Mad wanted it gone and I said, “Maybe I can do something with it, lemme take a stab,” so I brought it home where it sat quietly for two years. In mid-September it was brought to my attention that the MTA Subway in New York was taking submissions to mosaic four subway stations. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but it is one of my lifelong dreams to mosaic a subway station in New York. I had to have a portfolio ready to go for this and the upcycle of the painting would be perfect for two reasons. One, it’s big, about two-and-a-half feet long, and that shows I can work on something other than the little drawings I normally do. Two, I’m taking something that already exists and is mediocre and making it special and beautiful using basic non-fancy items which is pretty much what I’d have to do if I got a subway station. So off to work I went. I came up with a concept and gosh darnit, I made the deadline. Mad LOVED it and got it approved by our agency’s Chief Creative Officer and it now hangs in what we call the Womb Room for everyone to see. Booyah. It’s nice when a plan comes together.

First, what the print is supposed to look like:

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What it actually looked like:

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And what I did to it.

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I painted big splortches on the lower right corner and upper left corner in dark purple acrylic, sprayed some large swipes of glitter gold spray paint and then drew lots of cool critters on light blue-gray cardstock with red and black pen, highlighted with touches of white acrylic. Everyone is really happy with the final product. I love how the print is satin, the acrylic is glossy, the glittery is glittery and the drawn parts are matte. I love the marriage of textures.

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Mad liked it so much she had an unveiling like it was in a fancy gallery. People came and drank wine and ate snacks and asked me questions, it was lovely.

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Arkansas. Home of The Flatness.

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

I know it’s been a month since I last blogged (forgive me Father, for I have sinned, it’s been a month since my last blogging) but work was being… extra work-y. The benefit of this long delay is I was unable to talk about the work trip I got to go on due to confidentiality agreement stuff but then the executives at my company announced that we won in the press so I can tell you all about my trip. I went to Bentonville, Arkansas! To pitch Walmart! It was a place! That I have been! It’s tough to come from the zestiness of New York to a place with a streetlight and a museum and a hotel and some restaurants and… not a whole lot else. I was sent out there to help design the pitch deck on site and then set up the meeting at the Walmart headquarters. The pitch itself was relatively uneventful but the hotel we stayed in was verrrrrry interesting. We arrived at the 21c Museum Hotel. Aside from the nice glass and metal bee it looked pretty much like a typical high-end hotel until you got inside. Then it got real artsy.

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The theme for their exhibition was “Celebrities in Art.” Off to the side was a chandelier. Well, several chandeliers. And some lamps. And some wigs. It looked like something that would wash up on a beach after a massive house party went askew. I didn’t hate it though. I thought the icicles really made it work.

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There was a coat filled with costume jewelry made by one of my favorite artists, Nick Cave, who I have mentioned before.

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There was a cool wall installation that told some story or another but I liked it because it was very sparkly and covered with resin. Big fan.

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There was a portrait of someone (I forgot to write down who it was) made by shooting bullets at Formica-covered particle board. Really cool idea.

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Across from that was probably my favorite piece, a portrait of Obama. It was clearly one of those Wall Street Journal drawings blown up and rendered in parafin wax. I won’t lie – it doesn’t matter that it was Obama. It could have been anyone. I love those WSJ portraits and I love the way it was done with this gloppy wax technique. Five stars.

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Off in the back was a small gallery room that had littler pieces. Like this photo composite made up of rolled paper in capsule containers.

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And a 3D photo with the glasses sitting next to it. I tried them out. Totally worked.

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Using what I assume to be acrylic or oil paint someone did pointillism of various objects surrounded by plastic roses. I dug these. I would totally have it in my home.

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There was a mouth with blinky teeth.

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And outside there was a mutated basketball hoop tree with lots of arms and a car covered with money. I finally remembered to take a picture of the informative plaque so we all can know why the car has money stuck to it.

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The only piece I was really not on board with was the one directly behind the check-in desk. The idea is great – take old records, user a laser cutter to make silhouettes of people and insects and then make a collage on the wall. Great.

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Yeah, except the artist decided to make the silhouettes either weird religious statements or pictures of porn stars, occasionally peppered with, I don’t know, a dragon. I wanted to say, “I love that you’re making some kind of statement and good for you but no. Just no.”

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After perusing the whole exhibition I checked into my room and organized all my supplies. I decided to go to the hotel restaurant and have a nice dinner. I met the maître d’ and we had this exact conversation:

“Hello ma’am, will you be dining alone tonight?”

“Yes, thank you.”

“Is this an acceptable table?”

“Why yes, thank you.”

“And would you like a penguin joining you tonight?”

“…”

I thought about it for a second and then decided there was no downside to anything I could conjure up in my head so I said hell yeah I want be joined by a penguin. A waiter dragged a large, vibrantly green plastic penguin over to my table to sit next to me and look judgmentally at my food choices. I was thrilled.

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I especially liked looking at the other people eating with their respective penguins. The penguins all looked like extremely green sommeliers.

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I found out the hotel gift shop sold not only the penguins but a variety of other giant beasties. They were $2,000 otherwise I would most likely have one in my possession right now.

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Then other stuff happened like I ended up in a meeting room for a bunch of hours working on the Walmart meeting deck and when I went to the Walmart headquarters I accidentally met the CEO and totally choked because I am a consummate professional. But I wanted to share the arty-art I got to experience.

Addendum: Outside the elevator on my floor, unrelated to the exhibition downstairs, was some cool young girl’s dresses with neat metal insect-like structures around them.

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And in the gym, suspended from the ceiling, was a fat Batman. No idea why.

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Chaaaaaaannnnnnge and an artist I like.

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

Hey, how’s everybody doing? Great? That’s nice. Oh, me? I’m in a teeny tiny hell of my own creation. See, I hate change. I hate it. Good or bad, it stresses me out.

I like to spread the pain of change over a period of time so I don’t get slapped by too much at once but alas, that is not how it’s going for me right now. FIRST, my parents sold their house and moved into my apartment building. Yep, that was my idea. I need to be able to keep an eye on their octogenarian selves. They went from a 3,500sq foot house with a garage and everything to a 1,300sq foot apartment. Ooof. So I had to deal with that drama. SECOND, my office is putting all of us in one office building. That meant I had to pack up all my belongings because of course the executives decided to go open-floor-plan and we each get a wee locker for our possessions and that’s it.

Did I mention this all happened the same week?

*breathes into paper bag*

So while I have not actively freaked out I am living on the cusp of freakage and I think it would be beneficial for me (and possibly for you if you’re going through something similar) to look at some soothing animated gifs. Let’s start with this one.

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This cat is very popular. Many people rely on him for the soothing.

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Other people have modified the cat so he can be soothing in a variety of colors.

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Next, the swallow. You keep flying, swallow.

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Then some geometric ones.

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YtgZgni

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And finally the work of Carl Burton. He is so talented. He understands atmosphere and mood so durn well.

LTDTXQN

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Here’s Carl Burton’s website if you want to check out his other work. http://carlburton.io/

Bits and pieces.

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

Guess who has two thumbs and was sent home from work last week with a stomach flu? Me, and don’t touch my thumbs. Go wash your hands right now. It was so sad. The whole situation was like a physical manifestation of that Sarah McLachlan song they use in ASPCA commercials.

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It started the night before. I thought it was general bodily malaise but I couldn’t sleep all night because my entrails felt sunburned and ouchy. Eventually I said what the hell and went to work and that’s when the muscle aches and skin pain kicked in. Børkke found me at my desk weeping softly and sent me home where I writhed in bed because when your stomach is upset you’re not supposed to take Tylenol or Advil but my muscles and skin were so sore and there was naught I could do. You know how they say “Necessity is the mother of invention?” I thought back to all the episodes of Intervention I had seen and all the ways I could get painkillers into my system bypassing my GI tract. Cricket had to deal with texts like this all day:

“Do you have any injectable Dilaudid and a syringe?” (No.)

“How about Fentanyl patches?” (No.)

“Okay, do you have any Oxycontin that I could put on a piece of tin foil and light from underneath, inhaling the fumes?” (Stop.)

“How about an anal suppository sprinkled with opium–” (I’m coming over.)

Eventually after moaning to Cricket for three hours (he’s a very patient boyfriend) I fell asleep and woke up the next day much improved but I’m still wondering, why don’t they sell non-oral pain suppressants? I’ve been told it’s because it’s difficult to regulate the dosage but how is it harder than a pill? Someone get on this. Me wants some stickers that make the owwies go away.

In a vaguely related note I worked a obscene amount in January. Like, all of January. To repay a designer who gives up sleeping and bathing for a month an account team will buy them a thank-you present. It’s usually a bottle of good liquor or a gift card to someplace nice. Those are crap gifts. I got the most magnificent present ever from the team I worked with – a zebra-print felt hoodie with AN INFLATABLE NECK PILLOW BUILT IN. You feel that? That feeling is jealousy.

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It’s glorious. I am not a fan of animal prints in the slightest but I was delighted by this zebra print because what the account team not know was that several years ago Neenernator bought me a zebra print Slanket. Therefore I got to spend Valentine’s Day wearing this exquisite ensemble. Brace yourselves.

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