Design Drama

documenting the delicate dance of design

The debate contingency plan at Ole Miss September 25, 2008

I adore political cartoons. I can sit and scroll through Daryl Cagle’s cartoon index for hours.

And my favorite of all when it comes to cartoonists is Marshall Ramsey, from the Jackson Mississippi Clarion Ledger.

My sister in law is a huge fan — much moreso than I — and she sent this to me after the whole “McCain leaving the debate” debacle. Marshall Ramsey always seems to hit exactly the right note. He continually amazes me.

People of Belmont University, you have 2 weeks — take notes 😉

H/T Marshall Ramsey


Coincidence or The sincerest form of flattery… September 24, 2008

Filed under: HA!,jobs,photography — Beth D @ 5:31 pm
Tags: , ,

I was reading over at GingerSnaps’ place how Darius Rucker, formerly of Hootie and the Blowfish, has made American recording history by being only the third African American to have a #1 Country song (the first since 1985) along with Ray Charles and Charlie Pride.

Upon further inspection, I noticed something. Something familiar. Below, the cover of Rucker’s CD.

Last summer, I designed the packaging of Brad Cotter’s CD “Continuity.” I participated in everything from pulling in the photographer for the shoot, helping the art direction of the photography, location scouting for the photographs and the look of the packaging. We had a lot of fun. Below is the end result.

I’m sure this is pure coincidence. Regardless, I’m amused.

Congrats to Darius Rucker. Well done.


Running on Empty September 20, 2008

I normally stay on topic around here and keep my conversations on the subject of art and design.

Today will be one of those days where I veer off course.

As I’m sure most of you know, we’re having a bit of an adventure when it comes to getting gasoline in Nashville. Yesterday was the tipping point — estimates are that between 60 – 85% of gas stations are dry currently.

Yesterday afternoon, I see where the story is linked from The Drudge Report. Great. Now we totally look like idiots on the national level.

This morning, I see this story on CNN.

“Everybody has just gone nuts,” said Mike Williams, executive director of the Tennessee Petroleum Council.

He said he has no idea about the origin of a rumor that there was going to be no gas in Nashville. One reporter called him, saying she had heard that Nashville would be without gas within the hour, he said.

Hearing the rumor, drivers rushed to fill their cars and trucks.

“no idea about the origin of a rumor”?????


Because, apparently Mr Williams has had his head under a rock all week as the Tennessean, the NBC, ABC and CBS affiliates here have been adding fuel to the fire (sorry, pardon the pun) all week!

Yesterday, the Tennessean, our local newspaper, even went as far as to put a VIDEO LINK showing the mass hysteria at the Tiger Market on 12th and Broadway!!!!!!!!!  That’s right, inject more fear into the situation.

As I work at home and might put a 1/2 tank of gas into my car every month, I won’t point fingers at the people who need gas to take their kids to school or get to work. That is legitimate need. But to hoard gas to fill up a lawnmower or boat? That’s irresponsible, pure and simple.

On another note:

Yesterday was one of the rare occasions I had to leave the house and meet with a client. The meeting was held about 16 miles from me, in an outlying suburb of Nashville, known for the high income residents that populate the subdivisions around a large mall. As I was leaving the meeting, I pulled up behind a gigantic SUV* — this one came close to the size of a Hummer. The bumper-sticker adhered to the back said “Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less” — now, I got called an environmental snob via Twitter over my comment (hi Matt!) that the owner of this automobile is an idiot. But I maintain that anyone who is driving something that gets less than 10 MPG is an idiot to have the audacity to put that on the back of their car.

I think we should drill here, for the record. But should we drill here so Mr/Mrs Gigantic SUV can suck more fuel through his/her gas guzzler? Absolutely not.


*For the record, I drive an SUV as well. But the difference is, mine gets 27 mpg.


The Lost Art of 9/11 September 11, 2008

Seven years ago today. Hard to believe it’s been seven years.

I know we all remember too well where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news. And watching the coverage today, the feelings and emotions come flooding back. Strange, it just doesn’t seem like seven years.

Through my artistic interests, I’ve run across ties into world events. Strangely enough, the first time I had heard of the Taliban, I was reading a copy of “Art News” at the job I held at the time. It was a short article about a small sect of religious zealots that had blown up these amazing Buddha statues. I remember at the time, thinking how twisted people must be to destroy such amazing and ancient works. Little did I know they were capable of so much more evil.

Among the almost 3,000 lives that were extinguished seven year ago, $100 million in art was lost as well.

Right, I know that art is meaningless when compared to a human life, and that’s not my point here. Art goes on as does our lives as survivors. Another painting can be painted, another sculpture sculpted; not so with the human lives that were snuffed out on that day.

Still, it’s rather astounding how much great art was contained in those two buildings in lower Manhattan. Among the 9/11 art losses:

– “The World Trade Center Tapestry” by Spanish Artist Joan Miro – one of two the artist ever created.

"World Trade Center Tapestry" by Joan Miro'

-“The Entablature Series” Roy Lichtenstein

– Paintings by Pablo Picasso and David Hockney were also destroyed

– B Gerald Cantor, the namesake of Cantor Fitzgerald, was the largest private collector of Rodin sculptures. A portion of this collection, some 300 sculptures as well as drawings, was lost in the attack.

– “Recollection Pond” – a tapestry by Romare Bearden

– approximately 40,000 negatives of photography by Jacques Lowe documenting the Presidency of John F. Kennedy

“Bent Propeller” by Alexander Calder, a 25 foot sculpture that was exhibited in the courtyard, survived, although it was crushed by falling debris. Though most of the bent remains is co-mingled with portions of the debris of the WTC, Calder’s grandson has vowed to restore it if enough pieces are found. It is thought that the rest of the sculpture is at the Fresh Kills site on Staten Island, the location where theWTC debris was relocated and sorted. There is conjecture about the restoration of the sculpture — some think it should be restored, some think it shouldn’t – while others think the current condition of the piece is now an unintentional work, created by tragedy. I guess I find myself siding on the final of the three views. The event marked the piece with a brushstroke of history, if you will.

Calder sculpture before 9/11

Calder sculpture before 9/11

Calder sculpture after 9/11

Calder sculpture after 9/11

Perhaps the best known piece of art from the WTC is “The Sphere” by German artist Fritz Koenig — it survived although it is badly mangled and is now on display, dents and all, with an eternal flame at the 9/11 memorial in Battery Park.

The Sphere after 9/11

The Sphere after 9/11

From the artistic standpoint, I always seem to view things a little differently.

Call it looking for something hopeful and beautiful out of something so horrible — perhaps that’s a poor choice of words — but the way I see it, out of great tragedy, comes some of the great art of the world — that’s the thought that crossed my mind as I immersed myself in news coverage.

I came across this link today, buried in the stories on the internet — it’s a slideshow of many of the memorials made from the steel from the World Trade Center — and it’s worth a look.

And, of course, as you view all this art, and all the aftermath, take time to remember the people who lost their lives in the tragedy.


I heart Jeff Koons

There is something about Jeff Koon’s “Michael Jackson and Bubbles” life size in porcelain sitting in the palace of Versailles that makes me smile.