Archive for October, 2009

Happy Candy Corn Day

Posted in Artwork with tags , , , , , , on October 30, 2009 by bendey14


With Halloween right around the corner, I thought I’d throw up a holiday-inspired post featuring some pretty cool artwork.  Candy corn street art–simple, funny, and pretty damn cool.  Artist, “Diabetik“, installed a ton of these painted traffic cones around D.C. the other day and has been getting a lot of attention.  Here’s a few pics of said installments, but be sure to check out his whole gallery.




Your First Kill!

Posted in Creative Campaigns, Print, Products on October 26, 2009 by bendey14


My good buddy Sam passed this link along to me a little while ago, but I haven’t gotten around to posting it until now.

This is the latest ad campaign for Assassin’s Creed II video game coming out for XBOX 360 and PS3.  The following print advertisement is featured in the latest issue of Game Pro magazine.  The two page ad starts off with a blank white page emblazoned with the words, “the first one is always the hardest.”  This page is actually glued to the following page and is meant to be torn…ultimately giving you your very first kill–congratulations!  Simple, interactive, and a hint of twisted darkness!  A very creative piece of print advertising that’s definitely generating some hype.  Great example of thinking outside the box page.



Oblivious We Are

Posted in Creative Campaigns, Random BS with tags , , , , on October 24, 2009 by bendey14


This is a much different entry than a lot of my readers are used to.  I just felt like it was important enough to let a a few people know what’s happening out there that we don’t see everyday.  It’s not too often that I start taking a political stance on things.  I don’t really feel the need to try and persuade anyone away from his or her beliefs, but sometimes there are problems in this world today that are just plain obvious, no matter where you come from or what you believe.  And most of the time, we’re oblivious to the obvious.  I was passed along a link earlier today about the rapid depleting albatross population, which is, of course, our fault.  I know the environment isn’t at the top of most people’s list of “things to un-fuck up” but in all honesty, it’s something that we’ve taken for granted for far too long.  This post is a collection of albatross carcasses captured on the Midway Atoll, which is a small stretch of sand in the middle of the North Pacific.

Here’s an excerpt from the site:

“These photographs of albatross chicks were made just a few weeks ago on Midway Atoll, a tiny stretch of sand and coral near the middle of the North Pacific. The nesting babies are fed bellies-full of plastic by their parents, who soar out over the vast polluted ocean collecting what looks to them like food to bring back to their young. On this diet of human trash, every year tens of thousands of albatross chicks die on Midway from starvation, toxicity, and choking.

To document this phenomenon as faithfully as possible, not a single piece of plastic in any of these photographs was moved, placed, manipulated, arranged, or altered in any way. These images depict the actual stomach contents of baby birds in one of the world’s most remote marine sanctuaries, more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent.”






Here’s the link to the rest of the photographs. And a short video detailing the source of the problem.

Kinda makes you think…

Neurosonics Audiomedical Lab

Posted in Film + Video, Music with tags , , , , on October 22, 2009 by bendey14


Awesome stuff from Chris Cairns over at Neurosonics Audiomedical Lab.  I’m not really sure what this is for, but it’s definitely worth a look.  Click the link to check out their site for the credits and some additional production stills.

Artist PRO.FILES: Ali Manion

Posted in Artist PRO.FILES, Artwork with tags , , , , , on October 21, 2009 by bendey14

Welcome to my first installment of my “Artist Profiles” segment featuring a good friend and fellow Spartan, Ali Manion.


I’ve known Ali for roughly a year, but I wasn’t aware of her artistic talents until a few month ago.  It wasn’t until I finally got the chance to check out her artwork that I finally figured out what all the buzz around her was about.  To put it simply; I could spend days flipping through her sketchbooks!  And her paintings are nothing to be ignored either.  She was nice enough to sit down for an in-depth interview and give some deep insight about her artwork.  She’s definitely making a name for herself in the realm of fine art.  I’d definitely be on the look out for her.  Here’s the interview:

Great art comes from a great source of inspiration.  Where do you get most of your inspiration for the pieces you paint?
I’m one of those people who tends to get inspired almost constantly; the world amazes me, and I find that my inspirations are endlessly evolving as I progress as an artist. I’m strongly influenced by nature and am fascinated with the shapes, textures and colors that appear in the natural world. The creature world inspires me as well, and the diversity and vivacity of all forms of life. Another one of my main inspirations is music–for me, the marriage between visual art and music is so close, as music motivates me in an abstract way and conjures up shapes and imagery that are impossible to put into words. I am also inspired by the sky and the notion of deep space, both of which strike me with their unpredictability in color and form. Above all, I guess I would say that existing on this incredible planet is my main inspiration.

Is there anything you’re trying to communicate with your audience?  Anything you hope they get out of viewing your artwork?
I leave most of my work up to individual interpretations–I love hearing people’s reactions to things that I’ve created, and I feel that a lot of my work allows for freedom in communication. I definitely hope that my audience gets a sense of optimism as well as wonder while viewing my artwork; I like to think it has a definite sense of positivity, and an element that provokes curiosity. I also hope they get a sense of who I am as a person and my approach to life, and maybe I can share a bit of that with them…being upbeat, easy-going, seeking out positive experiences…


When did you first realize your talent in art?
I’m definitely a lifelong doodler, and art is something that I’ve always felt I could express myself through and really loved. It wasn’t really until a few years ago that I started to hone in on having a personal style and approach to art that is all my own, which I did mostly by narrowing down mediums to discover the best ways to create what I wanted to express. But for as long as I can remember, I have had an itch to put pen to paper and create my own visual world.

A lot of your sketches and paintings have a “psychedelic” flavor to them, is this influenced by anything or anyone?
I think a lot of that stems from my love of music, and may be connected to a lot of the shapes and ideas that music can conjure up in my mind. The psychedelic flavors could also be attributed to my obsession with color and my bold use of it in my work. It wasn’t really a style that I took on intentionally, just sort of an innate preferenced aesthetic that began to emerge as my art progressed. A lot of the shapes and symbols I use are things I have been doodling since elementary school, so I guess in that sense I had a leaning towards psychedelic patterns and imagery before I even recognized that style.


I’ve also noticed a lot of pieces that remind me of being deep underwater or up in space.  Is there anything you can tell us about these styles?
For some reason, I’ve always had this thought about water and space somehow being interconnected… I grew up as a swimmer and spent a lot of time in the water, and I think that sensation of weightlessness and physical freedom that you experience while underwater must be similar to the experience of floating in space. I always tend to use a lot of patterns and intricate designs, which remind me of the miniscule underwater life forms, but also of the stars and other matter suspended in space. Both deep water and deep space do seem to appear in my work, and I can only describe it as my attempt to capture a feeling of floating in freedom.

You’ve also been to Africa.  Is there any African influence in your artwork?
Definitely. I went to Kenya for two months, and it was the most visually stunning and overwhelming place I have ever experienced. I really got a sense of life at its most raw, most wild, and I loved it. The riot of colors in nature, as well as culture, were stunning. African influence has definitely appeared in my work since; I adapted some of the freedom of color that the Kenyan’s favored, and the wildlife has continually shown up in my work as well. Africa is the most visually inspiring place I have visited yet, and I imagine that the things I saw and experienced there have influenced my artwork in ways that I probably have yet to even realize myself.


Your “Beatles” trunk is something that always gets a lot of attention.  What can you tell us about it?
I bought the trunk at a garage sale, mostly because I loved the leather detailing and the vintage look. It was painted white at the time, and I instantly knew I wanted to turn it into a canvas. The Beatles were basically the soundtrack of my childhood and something I grew up on, and many of their songs have taken on new meanings for me as I’ve progressed as a person, and as an artist. The idea to make each portion of the trunk based upon the lyrics of a different song stemmed from a simple doodle I sketched while listening to “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”… I love the imagery in this song, especially “tangerine trees, marmalade skies”….”kaleidoscope eyes”… This doodle inspired me to create the landscapes that many of my favorite Beatles songs take me to, and I then transferred these thoughts to the trunk in full color. It gave me the freedom to technically make each side of the trunk an individual piece of art, while connecting them through a central theme of music and the power that lyrics can have in our lives.

Painting is something you do very well, but are there any other artistic mediums you’d like to pursue in the future?
I’ve spent some time playing around with ceramics, which I find to be a very organically expressive medium, but have not evolved in this medium to the extend that I’d like. That’s definitely something I’d like to return to in the future, especially since I’ve cultivated a style and mode of expression in a two-dimensional medium. I’d also love to do some experimentation with more graphic and technical methods, and I hope that one day my learning curve for design software can keep up with my imagination. Glass blowing also intrigues me, and I’d be thrilled to have the opportunity to pursue that in the future. I’ve definitely narrowed in on painting as my main method right now, but I am always open to try something new and to learn as an artist; I think this can allow for a whole new range of expression.

If you could be any animal in the world for one day, what would you be and why?
Hmmm… although my favorite animal is an elephant, I would want to be an owl because I would definitely want to be able to fly, and I think owls are just plain badass, nocturnal birds with the most incredible feathers.


If you’d like to find out more about Ali and her artwork, you can email her at

Fifty People, One Question

Posted in Commercials + Virals, Creative Campaigns on October 13, 2009 by bendey14


Take to the streets of a major city, find 50 people walking along the sidewalks, and ask them a simple question.

That’s what Benjamin Reece has been doing in cities like London, New York, and New Orleans.  The question, which is usually something as simple as, “where would you like to wake up?” is obviously not as simple as it seems.  His collection of videos creatively shows the beautiful thought process within the human mind and will leave you pondering your own answers.  One thing I noticed in all of these videos is that everyone seems to be very humble and happy.  I think it’s a testament to the power of saying “hello” to a complete stranger on the street.  You can really change someone’s day.  Some people give some background information while trying to explain their answer which pulls you in even closer.  Some stories are funny, serious, sad, happy, etc.  But they’re all very raw and intimate.  Reece does a great job of exposing the warm feeling we often try to cover up.

Here are a few of the videos for you to enjoy. (I was only going to post one, but I couldn’t decide, I loved them all).  Find more at or get at Benjamin Reece on the Twitternets.


Kid Cudi Ain’t Down With The Vivid Underground

Posted in Artwork, Graphic Design, Music, Print, Typography, UAC Updates with tags , , , , , , , on October 10, 2009 by bendey14
dont be fooled, he's not offering you a hit off his j.

dont be fooled, he's not offering you a hit off his j.

I received some very disappointing news last night.  One of my favorite hip-hop artists — no, I’m sorry, one of my favorite musicians off all time, is not a fan.  And yes, he was in my playlists back in 2007 when only a handful of people knew who he was.

For the past 4 months I’ve received an overwhelming amount of interest in some artwork I did last winter of Kid Cudi and his song, “The Prayer”.


After linking up with some guys in Kid Cudi’s hometown of Cleveland, we started making plans to receive a license to print t-shirts and posters for all the fans out there, who love Cudi as much as we do.  With me supplying the artwork and my contacts in Cleveland working on legal documents and product development, a line of communication was opened up between us and Kid Cudi’s agency.  After a month of unanswered phone calls from Cudi, his agency finally got him to sit down long enough for him to say, “nah man, I don’t want that.  I’mma pass”, before walking out.


I’m cool with him not being down with my stuff, I know it’s impossible to please everyone… but really?  Who turns down royalty money?  Who turns down hometown support like that?  Who wipes their feet on artwork like that?  Especially from a couple of your biggest fans just trying to show you some love?  Oh well.  A big thanks to Alex F. for all the hard work you put in.  I really do appreciate all of it.

I did this 2nd installment (probably the last) of Kid Cudi and his song, “Heart of a Lion”, a couple weeks ago.  I was waiting on Kid Cudi’s decision before making it public, but now that I see he’d rather pass, it’s for all you fans out there.

MBender_KidCudi-Heart of a Lion

I hope some people out there enjoy it.



Always Almost There

Posted in Artwork on October 7, 2009 by bendey14

scott-campbell-always-almost-there-exhibition-3Scott Campbell is a Brooklyn-based artist/tattoo artist with quite an amazing talent.  It’s laser etched money.  Like a lot of money.  And then put together like he has a well trained army of ants helping him.  Without a doubt, this has got to be one of the coolest things I’ve seen.  His current gallery exhibition is going on now at the Lazarides in downtown London.  I was going to stop by there this weekend, but then I realized that when they said it was in London, they actually meant London.  The show is going on through October 30th so if you’re in England, swing on by.  If not, you can just play it like me and check out some pics online.  Here’s a handful.  Oh, and check out Scott’s website, it’s full of a lot more (and keep your eye open for the idea behind the name of his show, Always Almost There… hilarious).