Thursday, August 11, 2011

Meet & Greet: Jose Garza of Bird ave
{+ Giveaway!}

I am so very pleased introduce you all to a wonderful painter/graphic artist by the name of Jose Garza of Edmonton, Alberta Canada.  Jose crafts modernly sleek and sweetly comical original illustrations for his brand "Bird ave".  His work ranges from highly detailed city skylines, to visually pleasing presentations of classic song lyrics, to stylish and practical signage.  But my favorite his is MAC Shortcuts print, in pink none-the-less.  Keep reading to discover more about Jose @ Bird ave and learn how to score one of his prints!


Visit Bird ave's Etsy Shop to purchase any of these prints and more.

{ Enter the Giveaway!! }
Want to win one of Bird ave's super fabulous pieces?  You can own original artwork by Jose (your choice of print!), just by following these very simple steps:
  1. Like the "Dette Discovers" Facebook Page.
  2. Like the "Bird ave" Facebook Page.
  3. "Share" a link to this Blog Post about Jose on your own Facebook Page.
  4. Comment on this Blog Post here and tell us what you love about Bird ave's designs, or which is your favorite print (check out the Bird ave Etsy Shop to view all the work).
That's it folks!  Super easy.  Please enter to support original artists.  I'll be announcing the winner next week.  Good luck!


Jose's been perfecting his craft for the past 5 years and just started promoting his art on Etsy.com last year.  He graciously took time out of his day to answer some questions for me about his work and creative process...

{Why do you do the specific art you do?}  I have a love of art in general and have always been drawn towards graphic art. I paint a lot and then turn those paintings into graphic art.  I really like how technology can change a drawing and can make art really accessible.

{How did you decide to start your own business?}  My wife decided to go back to school and we moved to Edmonton.  So, I thought that it would be a good time to try something new.  I came across Etsy from following a blog of another artist I really like and thought that it was a nice, personal way to do do business. 

{What was your biggest obstacle?}  My super slow old apple computer.  It used to take me hours and hours just to do an outline of a drawing!

{How would you describe your style?}  "uniformish".  I like how some of the top designers (e.g. Tom Ford) always wear a similar version of the same thing.  It sure saves time in the morning!

{What do you love most about your work space/home?}  I love how it is at home!  It is so nice to have all of the comforts of home around you and I like how if you feel like working in your pyjamas it is completely ok!

{What makes you feel the most inspired/creative?}  I think traveling makes me feel the most inspired.  The great memories we have formed while traveling are what make me the happiest so this was the inspiration for the cities series.

{What tools can you not live without?}  My apple computer and my tablet!

{What are you obsessed with currently?}  Board games!  Living in Edmonton you get really used to spending lots of time indoors in the winter so you really need to find something else to do besides watching tv or running on the treadmill.

{What are you most grateful for in your life right now?}  Time and flexibility.

{What was the last thing you ate?}  PB&J sandwich

{Where's the furthest you've been from home?}  Japan

{Do you have any words of wisdom for other designers, artists or small business owners?}  If you feel like doing it, do it.   Also, your customers are always most important and you can learn a lot from just making the effort to see things from their point of view.


Jose's prints make for perfect gifts and he also does custom work!
Bird ave Etsy Shop
Bird ave on Facebook 

{ Enter the Giveaway!! }
Want to win one of Bird ave's super fabulous pieces?  You can own original artwork by Jose (your choice of print!), just by following these very simple steps:
  1. Like the "Dette Discovers" Facebook Page.
  2. Like the "BirdAve" Facebook Page.
  3. "Share" a link to this Blog Post about Jose on your own Facebook Page.
  4. Comment on this Blog Post here and tell us what you love about Bird ave's designs, or which is your favorite print (check out the Bird ave Etsy Shop to view all the work).
That's it folks!  Super easy.  Please enter to support original artists.  I'll be announcing the winner next week.  Good luck!



Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Swim Anyone?

My new favorite piece of interactive art... Leandro Erlich's installation "Swimming Pool" at MOMA PS1, New York City.  What looks like a pool at first glance is actually a room you can hang out in!  Quite simplistic but with an amazing visual effect.

I've included a video so that you can see the attention to detail with the rippling water and how awesome it looks with somebody "swimming".

You must view his other stunning works.  And check out my own personal "dream office" on the water.



Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wow Waves

I am consistently humbled by the power and beauty of nature.  Behold, some of the world's most beautiful waves....

While it appears that the water is moving forward, only a very small amount of water is actually moving.  Instead, it is the wave's energy that is moving and since water is a flexible medium for energy transfer, it looks like the water itself is moving.  In the open ocean, the friction moving the waves generates energy within the water.  This energy is then passed between water molecules in ripples called waves of transition. When the water molecules receive the energy, they move forward slightly and form a circular pattern.

How radical is that?!


Monday, August 8, 2011

We're all good at something...

Ever wonder what countries are best at ecstasy, Cesarean sections and landmines?

Check out the global map by "Information is Beautiful" (ideas + knowledge, visualized!) for International Number Ones.

I was particularly surprised by...
Working Women:  Mozambique
Science for Kids:  Uruguay
Male Smokers:  Mongolia
Kidney Transplants:  Cypress
Library Books:  Georgia

Who knew?  I guess these guys do.

International Number Ones

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Go climb a tree

Oh, what I wouldn't have given to play in one of these phenomenal tree houses when I was growing up. Or to have one to live in right now!

Remember Julia Butterfly Hill, a famous tree sitter, who occupied a Californian Redwood for 738 days, saving the tree and others in the immediate area? Her accommodation consisted of two 3m (29 sq ft) platforms 60m (200 ft) above the ground.


Enchanted Forest Treehouse
The treehouse in Canada’s Enchanted Forest theme park looks like a children’s picture book come to life. British Columbia’s tallest treehouse is supported by several tree trunks and boasts a long spiral staircase that connects the structure’s multiple levels.


O2 Sustainability Tree House
Dustin Feider had a different vision for treehouses than the conventional shack-like wooden structures often seen in suburban backyards. He wanted to design an eco-friendly structure that could sit among the trees without harming them, and that’s how he created the first O2 Sustainability Tree House. These unique treetop domes are constructed entirely of recycled materials, and they hang from cables instead of being bolted to trees so their impact is minimal.

Alnwick Garden Treehouse
This massive structure is located in the UK’s Alnwick Garden and was completed in 2005. Due to the house’s size, a network of wooden braces must support it, so it’s not a treehouse in the traditional sense of the word. However, it stretches high into the treetops and several trees grow right through the floor and up past the roof. The building is home to a restaurant that serves gourmet local food.

Finca Bellavista Community 
Finca Bellavista is unlike any other place on Earth. The 350-acre site on Costa Rica’s southern coast is the first modern sustainable treehouse community. Construction began about three years ago, and today the location is home to five houses and 24 buildings, including a community center — all suspended in the trees. Finca Bellavista is situated among mountains, beaches and rivers so one can imagine the breathtaking views available from a Costa Rican treetop home.



Check out more awesome tree houses here.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Photo by Bokeh

I am completely in love with bokeh. There seem to be endless ways to craft powerful images using this technique and direct focus. The term bokeh is derived from a Japanese word which means “blur.” This technique is usually done in order to make the main subject stand out in the photo.

Definition: "In photography, bokeh, is the blur, or the aesthetic quality of the blur, in out-of-focus areas of an image, or "the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light." Differences in lens aberrations and aperature shape cause some lens designs to blur the image in a way that is pleasing to the eye, while others produce blurring that is unpleasant or distracting—"good" and "bad" bokeh, respectively. Bokeh occurs for parts of the scene that lie outside the depth of field."
What makes for good bokeh? I think its really up to the viewer.  I prefer either extremely simple expressions or highly whimsical.  Like what you see?  Then view 72 stunning examples of bokeh photos.



Friday, August 5, 2011

Where We Live

An absolutely stunning portrait of our Milky Way, as seen from Spain's highest mountain, El Teide, through the eyes of photographer Terje Sorgjerd. Prepare for one of the most breath taking things I've ever seen at 0:45... clouds mimicking the ocean. 

Filmed between April 4 and April 11, 2011, the individual frames were shot using a Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon 17mm TSE, Canon 16-35mm II, Canon 24/1.4II, and Sigma 12-24mm.

Music by Ludovico Einaudi, "Nuvole bianche".


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Do Nothing.

I spend close to 10 hours a day on my computer (that's more hours than I sleep, eat, play, talk or reflect each day!). Scary, yes. Anything I can do about it? Not really. But, at least Do Nothing for 2 Minutes offers a simple retreat from the barrage of information on the World Wide Web.

Enter the URL into your browser and you'll be greeted with a beautiful image of the ocean, accompanied by the calming rhythm of waves. The countdown clocks begins and here's the trick... DO NOTHING!  Don't touch your mouse, or else the clock will reset! Just sit quietly and look at the imagery and listen to the sound (a forced meditation of sorts). It's actually much harder than it looks - I failed the first two attempts! Give it a shot...

Do Nothing for 2 Minutes

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Don't cry over split milk

The highlight of my day is stumbling upon truly unique, original and whimsical designs. I give you the "Pouring Light" by Yeongwoo Kim. Using energy efficient LED lights, this South Korean designer elegantly combines form, movement, and humor to create a very intentional mood through sculpture with functionality. If I had this in my home, I would grin each time I turned it on!

He also has experimented with "re-interpreting" urinals, speakers, glasses, furniture and tea cups...

"Yeongwoo Kim's design philosophy is very simple and plain. As we usually feel wonder and joy when we found a hidden functionality and beauty in everyday life, he gets inspiration from everyday ordinary things and design."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

You had me at hello.

With Summer in full swing (I prefer to say it this way, rather than, summer is almost over), I've been thoroughly enjoying trips to my local library in search of some great reads. I actually hadn't been to the library in probably close to 10 years, and I'm loving how the hours just slip by when I'm there. I always select books by opening to a random page, and just reading, in anticipation of my attention being taken hostage. With that thought, here's a helpful list of the 100 Best Opening Lines from Books. Check out the slide show... its fun to read the openers along with viewing the book cover art.


100 Best Opening Lines from Books

"This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it." 
The Princess Bride, William Goldman

"If I am out of my mind, it's all right with me thought Moses Herzog."
Herzog, Saul Bellow

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
The Bible

"All this happened, more or less."
Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut

When you're done here, be sure to visit the 100 Best Closing Lines from Books.

{ Do you have a favorite Summer read? }

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