Archive for December, 2009

Artist PRO.FILES: Florian Nicolle

Posted in Artist PRO.FILES, Artwork, Graphic Design with tags , , , , , , , on December 29, 2009 by bendey14

Some of you may remember my post earlier this month about French artist/illustrator/graphic designer, Florian Nicolle, a.k.a “NEO.” Well, he’s back again and was nice enough to share some of his thoughts, creative vision, and what it’s like to be a 23-year-old graphic genius.  When I attempt to describe Neo’s work, it’s very difficult to do so with just words.  Beautifully raw?  Detailed destruction?  Spontaneous perfection?  I just can’t decide…but it’s safe to say, he’s making big things happen.

NOTE: For Neo, English is not his first language, therefore conducting an interview had it’s obstacles.  But instead of editing his responses, I’m choosing to let him speak to you how he would naturally… very similar to his artwork.  I’m not being lazy either, there’s just something beautiful I found from two creatives at different ends of the world sharing unrefined ideas.  No boundaries, spellcheck, or Americanization on this one folks.  This is Neo:

Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself.
“Hello, my name is Florian Nicolle, aka Neo, French 23 year-old illustrator. I already have a diploma in Graphic Design, and infact, at a very tender age, at about 15 years old, I wanted to be in Graphic Design, that is why I have decided to move towards the field “arts appliqués” where I began to search my own style thanks to my teacher, specialised in sketch, who has greatly helped me on this, and some of my friends from whom I got inspired.”
What led you to become an artist / illustrator ?
“I am skilled in graphic design. There was a little section devoted to the illustration that I have worked a lot. Which finally took a big place in my work, including graphic design work. And now i do more illustration than graphic design work.
Of course I practice a lot sketching, more seriously since about 8 years.”
Are there any major differences or advantages that come with living in France compared to other parts of the world ?
“Hehe, I dunno, I have never lived in an other country…”
What inspires you and your artwork ?
“I am very grateful to my first art teacher who as been my greatest source of inspiration, which really helped me to move on with my work. In this way, I have been able to attain my own working, my own style. Of course I continue to watch a lot of work of famous or anonymous illustrators, with different styles.”
What do you hope your artwork does for people ?  Any particular message you’re trying to send to your audience ?
“I search to communicate through portraits the impression to be really watched by the drawn person and imagine his thoughts and his/her feeling. That’s why I work more the look.”
What can you tell us about your unique style ? Do your choices in mediums and colors play a specific role in your work ?
“I try to create an image that retains its freshness of the first paint stroke, the expressions of the line have to be very free and spontaneous. While keeping a rigorous drawing. So I use “fast techniques” like a big, large brush, watercolor and chines ink then I add texture on Ps [Photoshop].
I use much texture of text, because it add a presence of hand. I draw a picture as if I wrote a text, with the same tool, the same freedom, with erasures, lines, scribbles etc…What is written does not matter.”
What’s your favorite piece of your own art and why ?
“I think it is “eve” because it is the first piece where I added texts and some details very worked (eyes) in a sketch / illustration.”
Can you tell us about any upcoming projects or future plans ?
“You will see hehe.”
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be ?
“Hehe, i dunno… fruits maybe.”
Thanks Neo!  If you’d like to check out more work by Florian Nicolle (Neo), you can find more at
Florian Nicolle Website
Behance Network
Deviant Art


Get Your Hands Dirty

Posted in Artwork, Graphic Design, Packaging, Print with tags , , , , , , on December 28, 2009 by bendey14

The appropriately titled, “Dirt Poster,” is a recent project by New York designer, Roland Reiner Tiangco.  While removing the poster from it’s envelope, your hands become dirty.  And what do you do with dirty hands?  Well you smear them all over anything and everything you can find, duh.  The backside reveals the message…and I couldn’t agree with it more.

Give some of his other work a look at

Clever Print Ad Round-Up

Posted in Creative Campaigns, Print with tags , , , , , , , on December 24, 2009 by bendey14

Genuinely funny or clever advertisements are hard to find these days.  Especially in print.  In comparison to it’s cousins (commercials, billboards, radio, etc); print ads are projected to be dying off.  Advertisers are lucky to get a reader to actually look at their ad, let alone read it.  With this obstacle in mind, I’ve collected a few print ads that keep the reader in mind… captivating visuals, sharp headlines/taglines, and a creative approach.  Enjoy! (I’ve included the text on some for easier reading, happy holidays VU).

Fab Detergent

"Makes stains look harmless."

Maglite Flashlights

Che Men’s Magazine

"Let us keep dreaming of a better world."

Repella Insect Repellant

"Change the way insects see you."

Kraft Cheese

"With extra calcium for strong bones."

Hansaplast Ear Plugs

"You have never slept so deep."


"The Nikon S60. Detects up to 12 faces."

Lifebuoy Hand Wash

"You eat what you touch."

Ephydrol Foot Medication

"Ephyrdrol. Gets rid of deadly foot odor."

Omax Wide-Angle Lenses


"For better digestion."

Head Snowboards

"Jump higher."


A Banksy Refill

Posted in Artwork with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2009 by bendey14

Banksy is back doing what he does best;  street art that manages to always give you a swift kick in the brain.  Here are few snapshots for everyone…and hey, if you’re in the area, see them for yourself at 1 Camden High Street over in the UK.  Big shout out to Chris Burns and the underground photography of Curley and Mammal @ the World Famous Design Junkies for the overseas update.


Artist PRO.FILES: Zeph Farmby

Posted in Artist PRO.FILES, Artwork, Graphic Design, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2009 by bendey14

Ladies and gentleman, it’s with great honor that I introduce to you all,  a personal friend, mentor, and fellow artist, Zeph Farmby.  Zeph is a Chicago-based artist/illustrator/designer/entrepreneur making waves throughout the Midwest with his artwork, who was able to take some time out of his busy schedule to give us an in-depth look into his creative process.  I first met Zeph in the summer of 2006 at an Art Hop in Kalamazoo, MI.  Shortly after meeting him, I got the chance to work with him on a mural project for the City of Kalamazoo.  Upon meeting and working with Zeph, I was struck by his vision.  His creative genius finds an application for everything; there’s nothing Zeph isn’t afraid to do.  And I feel like he’s only scratched the surface.

All great art comes from a source of inspiration. What do you consider to be your biggest source of inspiration?
“My inspirations come from lots of things…my surroundings, books, magazines, and other artists to name a few.”

As a kid, when did you first realize you wanted to be an artist?
“Well as a kid I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. All I knew was I enjoyed drawing. Back then I was heavily into comic books. At 12, I was introduced to Graffiti and that sparked the new interest in my life.”

You’re the creator of I Amaze Eyez. Tell us a little bit about what that is and how it got started.
“Yes in deed! The Creator/Founder of I-Amaze-Eyez. After graduating from college I began freelancing for a few small companies. After a few years, I partnered with one of my best friends to create a T-shirt line we named “Allister & Askew“. Allister & Askew grew over the next 3 years and we built a strong name throughout Chicago and the mid-west. Soon, I decided I wanted my own identity as a brand and company so I started “I-Amaze-Eyez” Studios. I Amaze Eyez, houses everything I do artistically (painting, graphic design, murals, apparel, etc).”

What do you hope your artwork does for people? Any particular message you’re trying send to your audience?
“I want to open the eyes and minds of the mass population so people can get a better understanding of all art forms. I also want to push the envelope with Graffiti to the forefront of popularity. My message is to stop following tradition and let loose! Let’s build on tradition and create new ones!!”

Now you grew up on the Southside of Chicago doing graffiti. Have your Chicago roots and/or graffiti background had any influence on your artwork?
“Yes, my upbringing has everything to do with my art. My older siblings were into Hip-Hop music and break dancing but not really graffiti. Graffiti was something that I chose to move toward.”

Any crazy stories from your graffiti days you can share with us?
“This story is from years ago. Me and my crew were waiting to catch the city bus outside of our high school. We were standing inside the Plexi glass bus booth when I happened to take notice that there weren’t any cops around.  Immediately, I pulled out my sand paper and etched (tagged) my name in the glass. It was huge! Back then I walked around with a book bag full of paints, markers, sand paper, and shoe polish just in case I wanted to bomb something. I finished my tag quick and my crew started to imitate me thinking they could do theirs just as fast. All of a sudden, the cops pulled up told them to “drop everything in your hands.” “We saw you just writing you name on the glass!” Of the 4 of us, 2 were busted for damaging public property. The police took them to the station for hours and both of their parents had to pick them up. My other friend and I didn’t even run, we just continued waiting for the bus. The other 2 didn’t snitch on me at all. Since they didn’t have anything to tag with on them, the police just took them to the station for questioning (I guess). They both called me later explaining what had happened. I still bring that up to them from time to time.”

Neighborhoods on Chicago ’s Southside have been getting a lot of media attention from the recent increase in youth violence. Is this something new to you? Has your artwork/success been affected by any of it?
“Chicago has always been a violent city but the media always makes more out of nothing. Even thought this isn’t new to me, the crime rate has risen in the last few years tremendously. This hasn’t affected my work or success but it does affect my family and friends causing them to not have as much freedom as I did growing up.”

You are known for your detailed paintings of hip hop artists and urban culture in general. You also regularly do graphic designs for clothing companies. Is there any other medium of artwork you’d someday like to explore?
“Most definitely! I’d like to explore more with sculptures. I tried it a couple times before and enjoyed it.. That’s one area I’d like to become more familiar with along with photography and tons of other things.”

I recently had the chance to check out your new website. Visitors can now regularly read your blog and twitter updates to stay updated with your current work and future projects. For an artist that likes to keep his plans “secret”, why the sudden change?
“Thanks for checking out the new and improved site!  Yes, visitors can get up to the minute details of my current work and projects. I’m still the artist who keeps his personal art plans a secret. I never liked sharing my ideas before I execute them b/c I think that will jinx my ideas. I wanted to change things up a bit and give my audience more of my personality and get to know me via my web site. I also wanted to share more of my freelance experiences with my audience.”

Can you tell us about any upcoming projects or future plans?
“I can, but the real question is, “Will I?” Ah- ha! I’m only joking. My future plans will be filled with more art shows, a new and improved studio space and location, and more branding for I Amaze Eyez at minimum! I have a few upcoming art shows in Chicago and Milwaukee museums starting January 2010. I’ll have new limited edition prints available through my website as well.”

If you could go anywhere in the world and do anything, where would you go and what would you do?
“If I could travel anywhere in the world and do anything, I’d go to Copenhagen to connect with some of the Graff Artists there and be a part of the (huge) movement. I’d also travel to Paris to launch my career in fashion and establish myself as an artist there.”

Thanks Zeph!  Check out more of his work at I-Amaze-Eyez or follow him on twitter @ZephFarmby.


UAC Update: The “AIR” Series

Posted in Artwork, UAC Updates with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2009 by bendey14

Whew, it’s been a while, I know.  Over the past few months I’ve been hitting the job market pretty hard and haven’t had much time to paint, but all that has changed in the past week.  With my business cards (more later) and new website picking up some slack, I’ve found a window for some painting over the holidays.  I don’t want to give away too much information just yet, so you’ll have to handle a teaser post for now.

My recent inspiration stems from a deep psychological standpoint, yet holds a certain visual aesthetic that hopefully won’t pass over heads.  The series, titled “Air,” carries a wide array of colors and shades, but ultimately showcases a few objects throughout each piece.  The series will consist of roughly 5 paintings–the first 2 dropping before the new year, and 3 debuting before Valentines Day–all including the word, “air.”  I haven’t limited myself with techniques yet, but all should include a quick dosage of spray paint and a handful of drips (I can’t resist the opportunity for the paint to paint itself!)

Here are a few teasers…


Schick Razors: Baby

Posted in Creative Campaigns, Graphic Design, Print, Products with tags , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2009 by bendey14

This recent print campaign for Schick’s Quattro Razors was created by JWT Venezuela.  Heavy emphasis on the baby-smooth skin you get after that morning shave.

Urban Abstract

Posted in Artwork, Film + Video, Graphic Design with tags , , , , on December 11, 2009 by bendey14

This nice little digital piece titled “Urban Abstract” comes from Musuta Ltd. design studio in Helsinki and Tokyo.  Careful, it’s easy to get lost in this beautifully executed pixel flurry.  Enjoy.

“Urban Abstract is a journey across urban space that unfolds in forty, 5 second parts. The journey, in one, two and three dimensions, is a bit like abstract surfing in which the original destination is only reached after a number of seemingly random yet linked detours occur. Points , lines, planes and other abstract elements create a journey through an Urban Abstract.
The space between things is as important as intended space, perhaps creating a fourth dimension. Meaningful shapes and purposes occur in this dimension’s reality as well. The concept of negative space has meaning here.
Nature plays a part as well. To be able to understand and differentiate what is urban one has understand what is nature.
The style of the shorts is fluid and, though seemingly random, stream into a cohesive whole. Perhaps watching them in a different order would be more like seeing the same journey from another point of view. The sound world is also very important — movement in space is sensed even if watching the shorts with eyes closed. Sounds overlap, fade, come and go.
Architectural, abstract, someway minimalist and abstract with a touch of humanity.
This feeling is reached through mixing techniques such as vectors , hand drawn lines and painting.
Urban Abstract was realized in Tokyo by a team of artists, designers and animators from Finland and Japan. Urban Abstract was created by Jopsu Ramu from Musuta Ltd, a concept, art & design -studio based in Tokyo and Helsinki.”


Soundtrack Breakdown for Under Armour

Posted in Commercials + Virals, Creative Campaigns, Products with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2009 by bendey14

A lot goes into TV spots.  Perhaps more than I’m even aware of.  How do developers approach all those small details?  Here’s an interesting video breaking down the soundtrack development for Under Armour’s Cold Gear product line.  Talk about resourceful!

The official broadcast spot is impressive as well, featuring World Cup skier, Lindsey Vonn.

And what’s even more impressive is the :60 director’s cut which you can watch here at ECHOLAB.


Bendey’s 25 Worst Family Xmas Tree Ornaments:

Posted in FAIL, Products, Random BS with tags , , , , , , , on December 6, 2009 by bendey14

Here at the Bender household, we have a handful of holiday traditions. Some have come and gone, some were retired after age 12, and some were just forgotten. But one tradition that has stuck around for all my years on this earth is making our family Christmas tree ugly as hell. It’s pretty easy to achieve, especially when half our ornaments were made in the 50’s and the other half were hand-crafted by my brothers and I through grade school. In the past, my parents have tried to make it a tree to be proud of, but at the end of the day, I’m going to find a spot to hang that sequined cotton ball nightmare. During my younger years, I felt every ornament deserved it’s fair share of the holiday spirit and would stop at nothing to find a spot for it among the tree, no matter how ugly it was. Now that I’m older, that principle that has worn off, but the tradition still remains: the Bender family Christmas tree is going to be ugly as sin, because it wouldn’t be Christmas without it.

Here are a few examples of the Bender tree ornaments that have the ability to make babies cry.

Rudolph Pine Cone

The hot glue really gives this one character.

Psychedelic Kite

My Mom definitely got this one sometime back in college.


This one would be considerably less creepy if he had hands and wasn’t obviously lying about something.

Skiing Snowman

Are those Rossi twin-tips?!

Ms. American Mouse

I’m guessing this ornament was made back in ’59 when Alaska and Hawaii became our 49th and 50th states.

Asian Horse Thingy

Nothing pays homage to the birth of Jesus more than an ancient Japanese-style war stallion.


Ah, I get it, “pear tree”… good one.

Energizer Bunny

Some strange lady in Target gave this to me when I was 5.  I thought the 7-Up dots might have chiseled it for me.

Boy & Girl

I can see why some people might consider this cute, but what they don’t know, is that it smells like old socks.

Pink Victorian Boots

I don’t care how old you are.  This is not okay to have on a tree.

Santa Tie w/ googly eyes

Having trouble selling something?  Put googly eyes on it and watch the money start rolling in.

Bendey’s Kindergarten Christmas Masterpiece

This is when my design skills really took off.

Sleepy Elf w/ cape and lady bug

Not sure why, but to me, this one screams LSD.

Nesting Birds

The eyeballs on these two will make you want to vomit.

Puppy in Present

This one might be okay if the puppy didn’t look like it had just been hit by a bus.

Xmas Tree

They don’t get much lamer than this, my friends.

Santa Dog

I don’t have much to say about his one, except that I’m really really sorry.

Taxidermy Cardinal

Nothing like something dead and stuffed wired to your tree.

A Couple Christmas Bears

Is that a corn dog he’s holding?

Satanic Rocking Horse

Look at those eyes just literally oozing evil.

Singing Angel

The guy who did the lame Christmas tree from above was also responsible for this one.

Glittery Spider

Yeah, this one should have been thrown out back in the 90’s, but my Mom absolutely hates it.  Therefore, I keep him around.


Creativity Fail Of The Year:  1989

Mentally challenged mouse/dog type thing in a cloud

Looks like Picasso did this… when he was 4.

Well that’s the list. Our tree has never looked more hideous.

Happy Holidays!