Memos from October 2008

Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far by Stefan Sagmeister

I was inter­est­ed enough to check this out from a TED newslet­ter. Pret­ty inter­est­ing TED Talk by Ste­fan Sag­meis­ter.

Ste­fan Sag­meis­ter is no mere com­mer­cial gun for hire. Sure, he’s cre­at­ed eye-catch­ing graph­ics for clients includ­ing the Rolling Stones and Lou Reed, but he pours his heart and soul into every piece of work. His design work is at once time­less and of the moment, and his painstak­ing atten­tion to the small­est details cre­ates work that offers some­thing new every time you look at it.

While a sense of humor invari­ably sur­faces in his designs, Sag­meis­ter is nonethe­less very seri­ous about his work; his inti­mate approach and sin­cere thought­ful­ness ele­vate his design. A gen­uine mav­er­ick, Sag­meis­ter achieved noto­ri­ety in the 1990s as the design­er who self-harmed in the name of craft: He cre­at­ed a poster adver­tis­ing a speak­ing engage­ment by carv­ing the salient details onto his tor­so.

Some of the points he high­light­ed in his TED talk were:

  • Help­ing oth­er peo­ple helps me.
  • Hav­ing guts always works out for me.
  • Think­ing life will be bet­ter in the future is stu­pid. I have to live now.
  • Start­ing a char­i­ty is sur­pris­ing­ly easy.
  • Being not truth­ful works against me.
  • Every­thing I do always comes back to me.
  • Assum­ing is sti­fling.
  • Drugs feel great in the begin­ning and become a drag lat­er on.
  • Over time I get used to every­thing and start tak­ing for grant­ed.
  • Mon­ey does not make me hap­py.
  • Trav­el­ing alone is help­ful for a new per­spec­tive on life.
  • Keep­ing a diary sup­ports per­son­al devel­op­ment.
  • Try­ing to look good lim­its my life.
  • Mate­r­i­al lux­u­ries are best enjoyed in small dos­es.
  • Wor­ry­ing solves noth­ing.
  • Com­plain­ing is sil­ly. either act or for­get.
  • Actu­al­ly doing the things I set out to do increas­es my over­all lev­el of sat­is­fac­tion.
  • Every­body thinks they are right.
  • Low expec­ta­tions are a good strat­e­gy.
  • What­ev­er I want to explore pro­fes­sion­al­ly, its best to try it out for myself first.
  • Every­body who is hon­est is inter­est­ing.

There’s also a com­mu­ni­ty site ded­i­cat­ed to Things I Have Learned In My Life in which you may con­tribute, share, and hear oth­er peo­ple’s life lessons.

PS. Thanks to Mar­co de Jong for sum­ma­riz­ing them on the TED Talk page.

Pencil Sculptures by Jennifer Maestre

These are just out of this world. Jen­nifer Maestre’s pen­cil sculp­tures are just crazy cool. It is just hard to believe how much time and plan­ning it took to get all these pen­cils togeth­er to make some­thing this cre­ative and mem­o­rable.

My sculp­tures were orig­i­nal­ly inspired by the form and func­tion of the sea urchin. The spines of the urchin, so dan­ger­ous yet beau­ti­ful, serve as an explic­it warn­ing against con­tact. The allur­ing tex­ture of the spines draws the touch in spite of the pos­si­ble con­se­quences. The ten­sion unveiled, we feel push and pull, desire and repul­sion. The sec­tions of pen­cils present aspects of sharp and smooth for two very dif­fer­ent tex­tur­al and aes­thet­ic expe­ri­ences. Para­dox and sur­prise are inte­gral in my choice of mate­ri­als. Quan­ti­ties of indus­tri­al­ly man­u­fac­tured objects are used to cre­ate flex­i­ble forms rem­i­nis­cent of the organ­ic shapes of ani­mals and nature. Pen­cils are com­mon objects, here, these anony­mous objects become the struc­ture. There is true a fragili­ty to the some­times bru­tal aspect of the sculp­tures, vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty that is belied by the fear­some tex­ture…

For more infor­ma­tion about Jen­nifer Maestre and to see more unbe­liev­able pen­cil sculp­tures, check out

Mr. Hyphen 2008

Mr. Hyphen 2008, orig­i­nal­ly uploaded by stechico.

I had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to shoot last night’s Mr. Hyphen 2008, a sig­na­ture event by Hyphen Mag­a­zine.

Back by pop­u­lar demand, Hyphen and the Oak­land Asian Cul­tur­al Cen­ter (OACC) present the 3rd annu­al Mr. Hyphen com­pe­ti­tion on Octo­ber 4, 2008, cel­e­brat­ing the men of the Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ty. Each year, Hyphen and OACC cel­e­brate Asian Amer­i­can men who devote them­selves to wor­thy com­mu­ni­ty caus­es. While struc­tured like a pageant with rounds of tal­ent, fash­ion and Q&A, Mr. Hyphen turns stereo­types on their heads in front of a sold-out crowd. Strik­ing a blow for equal-oppor­tu­ni­ty all-in-good-fun ogling, Mr. Hyphen is an ener­gy-filled evening of fun and char­i­ty. Rounds will be decid­ed alter­nate­ly by an audi­ence vote and by an illus­tri­ous pan­el of judges. The man who is crowned Mr. Hyphen wins a $1000 cash dona­tion to his non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tion.

Host­ed by writer/performer: Saman­tha Chanse

Con­grat­u­la­tions to all of the par­tic­i­pants, espe­cial­ly to Run­ner-up Mau­rice Seaty and Mr. Hyphen 2008 him­self, Aris­to­tle Gar­cia (pic­tured above respec­tive­ly). Spe­cial thanks go to Flickrite/Vaindeer/Hyphen Mag­a­zine’s Lan­lian for giv­ing me the oppor­tu­ni­ty to check it out and pho­to­graph. It was both enter­tain­ing and edu­ca­tion­al. Good times.

Hyphen Mag­a­zine’s Mr. Hyphen 2008
@ Oak­land Asian Cul­tur­al Cen­ter
388 9th Street, Suite 290
Oak­land, CA 94607
(510) 637‑0455

AIGA Get Out the Vote 2008 Posters

I’m dig­ging these posters from AIGA’s Get Out the Vote 2008.

A juried set of 24 posters were pro­fes­sion­al­ly print­ed and dis­trib­uted nation­al­ly in ear­ly Sep­tem­ber. The posters have been hung in the win­dows of store­fronts, restau­rants, dor­mi­to­ries, laun­dro­mats and else­where around the coun­try. You too can par­tic­i­pate in get­ting out the vote by view­ing the online gallery, and then down­load­ing, print­ing and post­ing your favorite designs around your com­mu­ni­ty.

Los Angeles Dodgers iPhone Wallpaper

In cel­e­bra­tion of the Dodgers win­ning 2 con­sec­u­tive games against the NL’s #1 team, the 97–64 Cubs… at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, here’s a lit­tle some­thing to show some Dodger Blue pride in you. I’m not bag­ging on or taunt­ing any Cub­by Fans out there, but you have to admit, the Cub­bies are well favored going into this series. That, and they had home-field advan­tage.

Any­ways, I’ve had this wall­pa­per a while back on my reg­u­lar desk­top from Man­dolux (Man­do Gomez—great pho­tog­ra­ph­er by the way)1. I have cropped it a cou­ple of weeks back when I got my iPhone. I thought I’d share it with my fel­low Dodgers every­where:

Let’s go Dodgers! Go Blue!

  1. In case you want it for your desk­top as well, Man­dolux’ orig­i­nal Dodgers/2K7 wall­pa­per. []