Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘art’

03 NOVEMBER, 2011

Stefanie Posavec on Her Obsessive Analog Data Visualization

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Inside the brain of one of today’s most creative information patternists.

There are no words to describe how much I heart the work of information designer Stefanie Posavec, whose Writing Without Words project remains one of the most poetic pieces of visual meta-storytelling you’ll ever see and who last year generously visualized the best of Brain Pickings. In the age of computational data visualization, part of what makes Posavec’s work so remarkable is that so much of it is code-free, done entirely by hand, with pencil and paper, extracting fascinating data patterns from ordinary subjects.

This wonderful feature by Protein offers a rare glimpse of Posavec’s creative process and a priceless tour of the wonderland that is her mind:

I spend lots of time reading and rereading text and counting words or counting numbers or just going through a subject matter repeatedly until I have all the data in a notebook, and then I use that data to create my graphics. By reading and rereading these texts, I’m able to understand more about a specific text or a specific subject matter than I would otherwise, than I would if I wrote a computer program to analyze that text for me.” ~ Stefanie Posavec

via feltron

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02 NOVEMBER, 2011

The Art of Pixar: Behind the Scenes of 25 Years of Beloved Animation

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A peek inside the creative process of modern animation’s greatest gems, from sketchbook to screen.

For the past 25 years, Pixar artists have delighted the world with their whimsical short films and charming side projects. More than two years ago, animation historian Amid Amidi brought us The Art of Pixar Short Film — a wonderful journey into the charisma and visual eloquence of Pixar’s storytelling.

Today, to celebrate Pixar’s 25th anniversary this year, Amidi is back with The Art of Pixar: The Complete Color Scripts and Select Art from 25 Years of Animation — a priceless behind-the-scenes tour of Pixar’s 12 beloved feature films, old and new, including Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Up, Cars 2, and more. The art comes from the Pixar Living Archive, created during the development of A Bug’s Life. From the complete color scripts for each film published in full color for the first time to the stunning visual development art that took these stories from sketchbook to screen, the tome is an absolute treasure for animation aficionados and visual storytellers alike.

Color script: The Incredibles

Color script: Up

A foreword by the legendary John Lasseter adds the ultimate cherry on top.

With 320 magnificent pages of animation magic, The Art of Pixar offers an unprecedented peek inside the creative process of some of Pixar’s greatest gems, a fine addition to our favorite sketchbooks of great creators.

HT @openculture; images via The Awesomer

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Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter. It comes out on Sundays and offers the week’s best articles. Here’s what to expect. Like? Sign up.

02 NOVEMBER, 2011

Balloons for Bhutan: Jonathan Harris Documents Happiness

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A portrait of happiness in the last Himalayan kingdom.

Since 1972, Bhutan has been attracting international attention as the only country in the world that quantifies its nation’s well-being not by Gross National Product, the narrow and soulless measure of our economic monoculture, but by Gross National Happiness. In 2007, artist Jonathan Harris ( ) traveled to Bhutan to explore the Gross National Happiness paradigm. Balloons for Bhutan documents his effort to capture “a portrait of happiness in the last Himalayan kingdom” in his signature style of multimedia storytelling.

Harris asked 117 people of various ages, occupations, education levels, and social status five questions related to happiness: What makes them happy; what is their happiest memory; what is their favorite joke; what is their happiness level on a scale of 1 to 10; if they could make one wish, what would that be. He then gave each person the number of balloons corresponding to their stated happiness, and wrote each person’s wish on the balloon of their favorite color. On the final night of his journey, he strung up the inflated balloons at Duchala, a sacred mountain pass at 10,000 feet, bobbing amidst Buddhist prayer flags.

Here’s an excerpt from Harris’s 2007 EG / TED talk, where he talks about the project:

Explore the project in its full audiovisual glory for the complete effect. Then, grab some of these 7 essential books on the art and science of happiness to better understand this complex, universal aspiration.

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