Archive for January, 2006
The lack of bloggy stuff last week just goes to show what happens when I have some work to do. Especially work that I’m enjoying doing. You’ll be seeing the fruits of my hard labour in a week or two.
But for now, an update of the FFF Pictorial Atlas. Today there’s stuff about Sweden, Åland, British Virgin Islands, Christmas Island, Falkland Islands and Nauru. That’s a lot of islands, I know.
For the last three days it has been very cold. Gott in Himmel! Es it kälter als der Tit von ein Hexe! Today, wind chill factor included, it’s -24ºC. That’s -11ºF. I’ve even got long johns on. I look like Chris Bonington after I’ve taken Billy out to do his ablutions: breath freezing on the moustachey bit of my beard. Even the wet nasal mucus is freezing inside my nostrils, which is quite an odd sensation.
Anyway, after Tori’s suggestion of adding Minipops to the Monaco section of The Flip Flop Flyin’ Pictorial Atlas of the World, I couldn’t help myself. I love drawing royalty. So much fancy detail to get into. One day I wanna do the whole English/British royal family. One day…
As I mentioned last week, the Mexipops I did stared off an idea, which got together in my head with a couple of older ideas to make a big, shiny new idea. That has been titled The Flip Flop Flyin’ Pictorial Atlas of the World, and I worked on it over the weekend. The first eight countries covered are online now. It’s gonna be a long-running project, what with there being over 240 countries out there. Today there’s stuff about Australia, Chile, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Monaco, US Virgin Islands, United Kingdom and Western Sahara. I hope you enjoy it.
Have you ever watched how people behave in IKEA? Specifically at the post-Hell hot dog place. Thinking back, visits to IKEA in London were similar to those in Berlin. So I’m guessing it’s a worldwide thing: there’s just some things which you will always see.
1. One half of a couple stood looking bored next to an empty table, waiting for their partner to come back with two hot dogs and empty cups to put Fanta in. In fact, I’d guess at any one time over 50% of the available tables aren’t actually being used, just occupied by a person and their jumbo trolley.
2. When adding sauce and toppings to hot dogs people go a bit mental. Seeing as though it’s kind of free, people put on way too much ketchup and mustard and crispy onions and gherkins. And if there’s a couple of people ahead of them using the onions and the gherkins, people tend to look like alcoholics waiting for the pub to open: hands shaking, eyes darting around, I’m next! I’m next!
3. Upon returning to their table, folks always – always – look up when they are eating their hot dogs. Man brings hot dog up towards mouth. Man lowers and tilts head slightly, meeting the hot dog part-way. Man opens mouth wider than ever before. Hot dog enters mouth. Man’s eyes instinctively focus on something on the ceiling about ten metres away. Mouth closes. Chewing begins.
Anyway, in case you’re interested: towels, some new cutlery, a mat for the bathroom, and another one to go next to the front door.
One of those multi-topic posts today, ie. snippets of things that I can’t be arsed to form into seperate coherent posts.
1. The snow is here. Apparently Berlin had snow over Christmas, but of course, I was busy being the whitest and pastiest man wearing shorts in Mexico. So anyway, I was outdoors last night trying to take photos of my cold breath, and lots of snow got into the photos too, which is always pretty.
And it also forms a nice link to the website of Jimmy Owenns which has got some lovely photos of flashed-up snowflakes. The site’s just been re-designed, and very nice it is too.
2. Before the snow came, there was just the remnants of the previous snow: pavement icebergs and grit everywhere. Normally, the grit, when walked on, sounds like, erm, I dunno, walking on muesli or something. But there was this woman with shoes that made such a horrible grating noise, I’m surprised she didn’t just lie down and curl up into a ball shouting “I can’t take it anymore!” Her shoes on the grit made the sound of someone wearing spiked running shoes dragging their feet along a pane of glass. It was horrible. This is her:
3. Is this Honda Civic the missing sixth member of The Strokes?
4. You may well have seen these wonderful t-shirts designed by the lovely Dutch folk, Experimental Jetset. They seem quite popular, and rightly so.
So popular in fact, that an interesting thing has happened: There have been imitators. Like this Wu Tang one. And this Abba one. And these of the Wailers, Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Guns ‘N Roses. And this rather nice one for a Swiss campaign for gay rights.
There’s a lot more of these fakes and some interesting stuff to read about the original shirt and the rip-offs on the EJ website, which, if you’ve not seen it before is a great way to spend a couple of hours in typography heaven.
And to join in, here’s one I’d like to see. Can you guess the band? (Using Google is cheating.)
Strange, sometimes, how ideas find their time. For four years I’ve had this drawing sat on my hard drive. It’s the beginnings of an idea I dropped, but never really lost the love for. I’ve occasionally looked at, wondered how I could improve it, fill it out, but then I’d put it back in its folder and go back to doing something else.
There’s an even older (and crapper) world map drawing on my hard drive, from February 2000, sitting alone in a folder called Mini People of the World. That was gonna be people from every country in their national dress.
Now, after Mexipops and your response to the idea of doing Minipops from various nations (thanks for the suggestions), it seems that, adding in my Wikipedia and CIA World Factbook obsessions, the time is right to do something that ties all these things together. The ideas I have for each of these things do kinda mesh together nicely, it’s just a matter of planning and execution now.
I say this here and now because I want to force myself to work on it. And if I write about it here it’ll create some sort of internal pressure to begin work on it.
Fast forward to December 2006: “Where’s that world-y stuff, Craig?” “Err, sorry, I forgot…”
New year, so I’m kinda thinking of doing Minipops in a new way. I’m a little bit sick of doing pop stars, and frankly, having done Ms. Hilton a few months ago, I don’t really have much of an interest in doing folks like that any more.
So to keep things interesting, and to make things less UK- and US-centric, I think I’m gonna go around the world with Minipops, focus on one country and do a bunch of Minipops from that country each time I do an update. It seemed to me that there was one place to begin this process: the place I’ve just been to.
So here’s some, ho ho, Mexipops: Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, President Vicente Fox, footballer Hugo Sánchez, wrestlers Santo and Blue Demon, TV show character El Chavo del 8, Moctezuma II, Emiliano Zapata, and Subcomandante Marcos.
Any suggestions for which country should be the next focus of some Minipops?
Being a boy with a copy of Photoshop on my computer virtually guarantees that I’ve got a bit of a thing for typefaces.
Here’s some of the stuff that got me hot and sweaty with frothing font delight in Chiapas.
Here’s two photos of me that should tell you where I went on my holidays.
That’s right, I went to México. The south of México to be a bit more precise. To be even preciser, I went to the state of Chiapas. And very wonderful it was too.
A bit late, I know, but Happy New Year. Today I’m feeling all jetlaggy. Back in Berlin after a lovely holiday. Back to the ice-encrusted, spent-firework-scarred, grit-coated streets. Back to the wind cutting through me. Back to wearing a coat after nearly three weeks of wearing a t-shirt from morning ’til midnight. Aaaah, post-holiday blues… doncha just love ’em?
Here’s some photographs. Can you guess where I went?