— iainclaridge.net

One of the most feel-good music videos I have seen in a long while – featuring kids skating around Santa Monica on invisible skateboards.

tokyoplastic_operadude.gif

Got my eye on this little fellah – the Tokyoplastic Opera Dude, available here.

And if you don’t know who Tokyoplastic are, check out the Tokyoplastic website – a wonderful place to waste a few minutes!

Quoted from Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers by Leonard Koren:

Wabi-sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete.

It is a beauty of things modest and humble.

It is a beauty of things unconventional.

Wabi-sabi is a nature-based aesthetic paradigm that restores a measure of sanity and proportion to the art of living.

Wabi-sabi — deep, multi-dimensional, elusive — is the perfect antidote to the pervasively slick, saccharine, corporate style of beauty.

Get rid of all that is unnecessary. Wabi-sabi means treading lightly on the planet and knowing how to appreciate whatever is encountered, no matter how trifling, whenever it is encountered. “Material poverty, spiritual richness” are wabi-sabi bywords. In other words, wabi-sabi tells us to stop our preoccupation with success — wealth, status, power and luxury — and enjoy the unencumbered life.

Obviously, leading the simple wabi-sabi life requires some effort and will and also some tough decisions. Wabi-sabi acknowledges that just as it is important to know when to make choices, it is also important to know when not to make choices: to let things be. Even at the most austere level of material existence, we still live in a world of things. Wabi-sabi is exactly about the delicate balance between the pleasure we get from things and the pleasure we get from freedom from things.

Mud, paper and bamboo have more intrinsic wabi-sabi qualities than do gold, silver and diamonds.

Sen no Rikyu desired to learn The Way of Tea. He visited the Tea Master, Takeno Joo. Joo ordered Rikyu to tend the garden. Eagerly Rikyu set to work. He raked the garden until the ground was in perfect order. When he had finished he surveyed his work. He then shook the cherry tree, causing a few flowers to fall at random onto the ground. The Tea Master Joo admitted Rikyu to his school.
Rikyu in due course became a great Tea Master. It was he who introduced the concept of wabi-sabi, or elegant simplicity.

“Greatness” exists in the inconspicuous and overlooked details. Wabi-sabi represents the exact opposite of the Western ideal of great beauty as something monumental, spectacular and enduring. Wabi-sabi is about the minor and the hidden, the tentative and the ephemeral: things so subtle and evanescent they are invisible to vulgar eyes.

Like homoeopathic medicine, the essence of wabi-sabi is apportioned in small doses. As the dose decreases, the effect becomes more potent, more profound. The closer things get to nonexistence, the more exquisite and evocative they become. Consequently, to experience wabi-sabi means you have to slow down, be patient and look very closely.

Things wabi-sabi are unpretentious, unstudied and inevitable looking. They do not blare out “I am important” or demand to be the centre of attention. They are understated and unassuming, yet not without presence or quiet authority. Things wabi-sabi easily coexist with the rest of their environment.

Things wabi-sabi are appreciated only during direct contact and use; they are never locked away in a museum. Things wabi-sabi have no need for the reassurance of status or the validation of market culture. They have no need for documentation of provenance.

Things wabi-sabi can appear coarse and unrefined. They are usually made from materials not far removed from their original condition within, or upon, the Earth and are rich in raw texture and rough tactile sensation. Their craftsmanship may be impossible to discern.

Simplicity is at the core of things wabi-sabi. The essence of wabi-sabi, as expressed in tea, is simplicity itself: fetch water, gather firewood, boil the water, prepare tea, and serve it to others.

The simplicity of wabi-sabi is best described as the state of grace arrived at by a sober, modest, heartfelt intelligence. The main strategy of this intelligence is economy of means. Pare down to the essence, but don’t remove the poetry. Keep things clean and unencumbered, but don’t sterilize. (Things wabi-sabi are emotionally warm, never cold.) Usually this implies a limited palette of materials. It also means keeping conspicuous features to a minimum. But it doesn’t mean removing the invisible connective tissue that somehow binds the elements into a meaningful whole. It also doesn’t mean in any way diminishing something’s “interestingness”, the quality that compels us to look at that something over, and over, and over again.

A great selection of links to articles discussing the use of white space (or negative space) and the benefits of keeping things simple, can be found here.

Thanks again to Smashing Magazine

… you just can’t live without.

courtesy of Smashing Magazine

A useful checklist of over 100 SEO factors that Google uses to rank pages can be found here.

Not only does it detail the things you should be doing to boost your search engine rankings but it also highlights the misdemeanours that could be deemed as spam and penalise your score.

Thanks to Sublog for the heads up.

Peter Lindbergh - 116

Fashion photographer Peter Lindberg pays homage to 116 style, music and fashion icons in his latest book available here

Peter Beard Collage

I have always been a huge fan of the work of Peter Beard and was pleased to hear that next year, Taschen will publish the Peter Beard, Collector’s Edition, No. 1–125 with a signed, gelatin-silver print of 965 Elephants, and Peter Beard, Collector’s Edition No. 126–250 with a signed, gelatin-silver print of Fayel Tall – a snip at $6,500..! Peter Beard, Art Edition, No. 251–2500, signed by Beard will be released in December for a mere $2,500..!

For a sneak preview of exclusive images from this enormous, definitive collection of the writer and photographer’s artwork click the link below – courtesy of Mens Vogue.

+ Peter Beard’s Dream
+ www.peterbeard.com

Future Plus website

The results of one my latest design projects, a website for Future Publishing, has gone live – www.futureplus.co.uk

Future Plus is the customer publishing agency of Future one of Britains largest magazine publishers and the worlds leading publisher of leisure, computing and gaming magazines.

I worked alongside Yucca Media on this project who handled all the technical development and project management.

Whilst this is my first design gig for Future, they are one of my biggest photography clients having shot numerous covers and features for magazine titles such as T3 and Redline.

+ www.futureplus.co.uk

UPDATE: My version of the site has been replaced with a new design since this post was first published.

“White space is nothing. White space is the absence of content. White space does not hold content in the way that a photograph or text holds meaning and yet it gives meaning, through context, to both image and text. In fact, white space can make or break the effective transmission of image and text.”

On white space in graphic design

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