Getting Cooler

Autumn is almost here, and we plan to go apple picking this coming weekend, probably to Tougas Farm again. Talking of local stuff, here’s the Boston area weather forecast: it will get cooler until I remove our air conditioners for the year, and then there will be a sudden heatwave.

This illustration by Christian Lindemann (via Drawn!) captures autumn rather well.

Totoro Project Auction

Online bidding has just opened on an incredible selection of art, each piece donated to help a good cause, said cause in turn being linked with a classic movie. I refer, as Matt at Drawn already has, to the Totoro Forest Project auction.

The project blog is worth following in its own right. As the time of this typing, the blog shows “Ursalo” by Scott Morse. As a bonus link, here’s Scott’s post about the project at his own blog. I hadn’t heard of Scott before this project, and am happy to have discovered his work.

I was already familiar with some of the dozens of artists who have generously contributed work: Catia Chien, for example.

The book associated with the project will be available in about a week. I haven’t seen a price yet. I’m sure it will make a great holiday present for many people (all right, then, for me).

My Favorite Twitter Feature

Well done if you guessed from the image that my favorite Twitter feature is the Fail Whale. It’s the work of Yiying Lu. She’s not a one-hit wonder; as pointed out on Drawn!, she has an impressive portfolio. Here are some of the spades from her playing card set, Natural Symphony.

I don’t see a link to buy a set of these cards. If I did, they’d get strong consideration as presents for my card-playing parents.

Sarah Perez recently told The Story of the Fail Whale.

The Fail Whale story is one that shows the value of open content. By making the art available [for free], Yiying is now going to profit in more ways than if she had simply made the art available for purchase. She will be earning profits from merchandise at both shops and from the sale of her prints and she will certainly win some future design work from this as well. Of course, her successes come from more than just the work itself, but also from the power of the community who embraced it.

Yes, the Fail Whale is my favorite feature of Twitter. I tried to tweet to that effect, but of course, when I tried to, I saw… this time you get no congratulations for guessing what.

Two Strange and Sinster Quotes

The first quote is “CHECKERD SKULL 2PK.” I own the stuff to which it refers. The second is as follows.

In 1933 a bathysphere expedition intended to break the world record for ocean descent was lost under mysterious circumstances. The cause of the disaster was never determined and no three-toed sloth was ever put in command of a bathysphere again.

That second quote inspired the image you (I hope) see. It’s by Phineas X. Jones, and I became aware of it via Robot Walrus.

Back to that first quote, the one about checker’d skulls. It’s from a receipt we got at Old Navy on Sunday, when I bought a 2-pack of socks for $1.99 (less than fitty cent a sock)! One pair has a checker pattern, the other skulls. No prizes for guessing which pair I expect to wear more.

Twilight of the Tiki: Prints

I love the Twilight of the Tiki series of prints by Chet Phillips (via Drawn!). They are on sale for $20 each at Etsy. Browsing them is great fun, not just for the art, but for the description of each tiki. For example:

When the sun touches the horizon in the evening the Sunset Tiki’s mouth magically animates into a wide grin with a wood-splintering crack. After one minute it then returns to its original solemn expression. This ancient phenomenon began occurring immediately after two lovers separated for years reunited atop its head at sunset.

Should I order one? Hard to say, given that I don’t have a Monkey Decider.

Threadless: Prints and Inc

The Most Innovative Small Company in America? Threadless, according to Inc. magazine. The cover of the current issue highlights the $30M in sales and 30% margins. The Customer is the Company is the title of the article, which describes the way in which Threadless outsources value chain activities, including design, to its customers.

I join Jason at 37signals in congratulating the Threadless guys.

It’s a big week for them. On Monday, they added prints to their product range. Here’s Tree Town, my favorite of the first three shirt designs to be available as prints. It’s $35 for a limited edition art print.

Natalie Kocsis

Yet another artist to whom my attention has been Drawn! is Natalie Kocsis. Most of the work in her portfolio is less cute and more grotesque than Lucy here, as the example at Drawn! shows.

A nerdy aside: one of the ways in which the WordPress.com interface changed recently was in the way we can include images in posts. This thumbnail is generated by WordPress. It’s rather smaller than I like images in posts to be, but the medium size image generated is rather larger (400 rather than 128 rather than the just-right 240 of the small image size at Flickr).

Jane Jenni

Jane Jenni CupA few months ago, we bought some plates at Aunt Sadie’s in the South End. We loved the designs.

The artist, Jane Jenni, has just been featured at Drawn! That reminded me to post, and gave me a link to Jane’s site, and hence a source of images.

I don’t think that this is one of the designs we saw, and you may have noticed that it’s a cup rather than a plate, but you get the idea.