Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Another Aesthetic Preference

The quiz design moves forward slowly. Here's another aesthetic style: Mid Century Modern/Retro chic

From “The Jetsons” and the atomic printed future envisioned by interior designers of the 1950's through to Danish modern that is still represented by Ikea.

That kind of fun retro print, with a nostalgic idealized vision of domestic bliss and efficiency, is very popular in scrapbooking. The bright tints and contrasting discords, repetitive geometry, and science (or is it sci-fi) graphic motifs can be found in kits and stacks and often include charming line drawings reminiscent of magazine ads of the era.
Representative designers of the time include Charles and Ray Eames, Arne Jacobsen, George Nelson and Eero Aarnio in furniture and interiors; in fashion Balenciaga, Balmain, Givenchy (Audrey Hepburn was his muse), Jaques Fath, Dior and the near perennial Chanel. Later these designers were joined by Yves Saint Laurent, Courreges (famous for space age designs) and Mary Quant. Modern architects of the day included Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Eero Saarinen, Philip Johnson, and Edward Durrell Stone.

Much of the style can be summarized by clean lines and simple geometry. Where there are curves, they create exaggerated organic forms. The color palette avoids primary hues unless muted, with few colors in each design scheme. Deep reds are popular. The woods are generally lighter, and there is plenty of white. A contrasting discord means dark shades of usually light colors (such as deep mustard yellow) combined with neutrals or tints of hues that would normally read as low on the tonal scale (such as pale mauve or muted mushroom pinks).

I'm only noting color movies to watch (which is not a reflection on the quality of the numerous fantastic black and white films of the era, just on the idea of looking at visual design) : "How to Marry a Millionaire" (1953), "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (1953) - both have some beautiful interior design and fashions - "Funny Face" (1957) - fashions and interiors - "North by Northwest" (1959), "Peyton Place" (1957), "Imitation of Life" (1959), "Pillow Talk" (1959), and for good measure "Corrina, Corrina" (1994) which really has the look. (The list was just getting way too long!) Oh alright, alright, "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (1961) which also has fashions and interiors.

For scrapbooking in this style I'd grab the colors and use papers designed with retro graphics. I wouldn't do too much inking or distressing in these layouts. I'd focus on color blocking and clean line work. I might include metal embellishments in geometric shapes. I would use fewer floral motifs and more layered geometry and abstracted nature images. I notice little birds, which have recently become a very popular visual trend, were popular in the mid-century period also.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Scraperfect products contest

I am on the ScraPerfect Design Team - which is great fun. I love the products.

Courtesy ScraPerfect and the beautiful Scrapbooking and Beyond Magazine: 

HOW TO WIN? Go to Facebook.com/ScraPerfect and post a response on the thread that says: 
WANT TO WIN A PRIZE??? Just tell us where you heard about this contest for ScraPerfect Products.  We'd also like to hear questions or comments about our Magically Perfect Craft Products...Where's you first heard about them? What do you love about them? How you use them most?....

THE PRIZE: The Best Glue Ever, Embellie Gellie, Perfect Crafting Pouch and 2 Perfect Cleaning Cloths. 

Contest Details: Contest ends November 15, 2011. Winner will be drawn at random from the Facebook posts. Paid shipping to the US, as well as Israel & Brazil where we have DT members. (If winner is from another country, they may choose to pay shipping or forfeit the package.)

More info and ideas at the ScraPerfect blog.

The Best Glue Ever can be used for more than just scrapbooking and paper crafting applications. It works for fabrics and woods too, some metal uses, and for home decor. It's a general purpose glue that stays super tacky and holds like crazy.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What has Jayn been doing?

As I start collating all the random thoughts and laser focused ideas for my upcoming Good Vibrations presentation, and as her birthday approaches (she'll be 12), I have noticed a change in Jayn's creativity and her interests.

When I first proposed the idea of a presentation about unschooling and creativity, I was thinking of expanding my article about it. Jayn was still doing a lot of drawing, very visible manifestations of her artistic pursuits. In the nine (?) or so months since then, she has really shifted her attention to computer gaming and storytelling. Although she still picks up her pencil and paper to sketch out ideas, she is more making notes to herself about characters, rather than making a running commentary about her emotional life.

She has started writing stories, usually with the intent to film them via The Sims, and she is very keen to acquire some decent editing software. She has also started revisiting older stories, ones that she dictated outlines for me to write down, rethinking them in terms of movie scripts.

Just as I predicted, as she has become a fluent reader, she has begun chatting by text with some of her friends, especially those she joins on Free Realms, and rarely needs my help with decoding.

Jayn has always been an illustrator, with only rare forays into sculpture or building, the latter usually being doll related paraphenalia. Now she is clearly far more excited by the prospects available to her digitally, especially character creation. She still loves designing clothes for her Sims, and by the way, has an awesome incisive understanding of exactly what fashions in clothing and shoes, especially shoes, suit her. I've never told her what to wear, and I have no plans to start doing so now.

Her professional goals have changed - or more accurately the path she envisions to her goals. Instead of focusing on doll design, she is more interested in game design and animation. She is very interested to go to Comic Con next year too. She still speaks of her doll museum, and looks over the new releases in the stores, but she hasn't actually played with a doll for about a year. I always said she looked at them as a Collector.

So lots to think about for my presentation.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

So just how are my screenplays coming along?

Time for an update on my screenwriting projects.

I've been working pretty steadily on Mermaid Lake, my family oriented fantasy film about a young mermaid secretly trapped in a mountain lake who befriends a teen and has to escape the clutches of a villainous industrialist. It originates from a story that Jayn devised. Think Disney - live action with FX. The themes are family, friendship and redemption.

I'm at about my third draft. I've got the story pretty well along, but my villain needs to be a bit more serious, and menacing, and a little more difficult to escape. I'm giving the dad a more interesting history, more to lose, and I'm going to show some different family situations, and the explore the idea of people changing and growing.

As for the other ones - Spinning Wheels is still in the story outline stage, while my producer friend Ron is shopping Clean Up my martial arts action/romance which needs another pass to make the whole thing a bit more spectacular, beef up the middle part and put some more bang in the finale.

So there you have it. Working, moving forward. Slowly.