5 questions for terry border (bent objects)

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Couldn’t we all use a good laugh everyday? For quite some time I’ve been relying on Indianapolis artist Terry Border’s quirky images that he creates for his website, Bent Objects, to get the job done (you might recall that I’m a big fan). Fortunately for all of us his talents were spotted by the right people, and just recently he released Bent Objects: The Secret Life of Everyday Things, a terrific book filled with his original, laugh-out-loud funny photographs. Terry’s appealing images showcase loads of visceral humor to make you howl, but are tempered with just enough thought and emotion to make you look twice. Think about it and look at that photo above (which also happens to be the cover of the book) – how many of us have ever felt like that potato chip walking in on his mate? Yup. Now raise your hand if you want to know more about the brains behind this wonderfully creative operation…

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Gigi: When I look at your collection of photographs, I’m immediately struck (and quite impressed) by your tremendously agile imagination. Do you find that your ideas flow easily, or do you have a more methodical approach when putting a new image together?

Terry: Basically, the idea just comes from out of the blue, or I think really hard about an object, then later when I don’t expect it, my subconscious makes a connection. Then I go “hey, that works!”

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G: Speaking of your subconscious, what’s the most outlandish idea you’ve had for an image but never photographed?

T: I honestly can’t think of one. If it’s a good idea, it gets made.  I started a more adult blog just so I didn’t ever have to censor myself.

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G: I know I howl out loud whenever your new images get published, and there is true freedom in the internet space, but I’m wondering now if you’ve ever shown your work in person and seen the impact it has up front and personal?

T: When I’ve given presentations to a group, it’s pretty cool to hear the laughs and get that kind of feedback. I enjoy that.  A lot of times though, I’m uncomfortable when an individual pages through my book for the first time with me there, and feels the pressure of “getting it” right away. Some of my images take a second or two to come together in your head, and having me around while that happens ruins the enjoyment for the person, and makes me feel strange too.

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G: I get that. I’ve had that feeling personally delivering my photographs to buyers and then wondering if they’ll like them in person.

I’m curious to know if you have a favorite part of your process, e.g., the handcrafting of the doodads or the actual taking of the photographs?

T: I would have two favorite parts of the process, I suppose. After I get a real vision for what the image is going to be about, and towards the end, when I’m really happy with the feel of it. In between those two points is a bunch of figuring things out.

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G: I’ll take the liberty of speaking for your fans here when I say you aren’t the only one who is happy when the image comes together at the end! You bring a lot of joy to people with the unique elements of humor and surprise in your work. Do you think you reveal any other aspects of your personality in your collection?

T: Oh, sure. I think whenever we create anything, we reveal stuff about ourselves. There are some images in the book that show some problems I have and deal with. The only one I’ll mention is the “At the Party” image, which is pretty autobiographical.

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G: Hmmm. I think we’ve all been there. Actually some of us might want to approach the one cheeto, er, person, that doesn’t seem to be like everyone else. Good things can happen.

I am cuckoo for cocoa puffs about your book and am secretly (now openly) hoping volume 2 is in the works. Thanks so much for treating all of us to a lighthearted, whimsical way of looking at the world, and sharing with us how you do it. You’ve got serious skills!

T: My pleasure, Gigi. Thanks for talking about Bent Objects.

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Pop over and say hi to Terry on his website, or stop by his Etsy shop. Purchase the book online at Borders, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Amazon UK. It’s US $17.95, and published by Running Press.

Need I mention that it would make a most excellent gift for someone with a great sense of humor?

Yes. Yes, I think I should.

Thank you Terry!

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the clever 2010 calendar by noa bembibre

The stylish, Helsinki-based Noa Bembibre is back with her whimsical words in her calendar for 2010, cats let nothing darken their roar. Here are some highlights:

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With all this crummy weather we’ve been having over here, octagon, be nicer is especially appropriate.

For the 5th year anniversary of making her calendar, Noa is offering a limited edition of 500 and 2 sizes to choose from, price range $39-60 usd. Get your name on the list and purchase the calendar beginning the 19th of October right here.


brainy swim cap by atypyk

Let’s give a tip of the hat (or cap) to those clever French folks at Atypyk, who have designed the perfect swim cap for me to wear while taking those water aerobics classes this winter:

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More of the clever right here.


the 4×2 photo project – and giveaway!

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can i just tell you, beloved readers, how much i love the internet? certain websites exist that are so empowering, and through the tools of one of them i am pleased to announce to all of you the 4×2 project. it’s a culmination of a year-long personal photography project that i embarked upon in 2008 with my dear friend sandra soss. for the project, sandra and i challenged ourselves to take one photo a day for one month from each season of the year, a photo that represented that particular time of the year, and how we experienced it in our daily lives. the collaboration challenged us creatively and the results were frequently charming and complimentary. when we finished the project, we decided to take the best 40 shots (10 images from each season, from each of our collections) to create a 92 page, full-color soft cover book. you can find my shots on the left hand pages, and sandra’s on the right.

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now, a year after the production and post-production work is complete, we are very satisfied with this creative endeavor that we nurtured for so many months. we plan to distribute the book, which is available for $34.95, through blurb, my etsy shop, sandra’s etsy shop and perhaps even some local bookshops. we also plan to release select prints from the book as well as postcard sets in the upcoming months.

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for one lucky reader though, the price is waived, because we are giving one copy away! just leave a comment below to enter. leaving a comment here and on sandra’s blog will double your chances of winning; however, the contest is limited to 2 entries per person. make your comment by midnight central time on saturday, april 25th. the lucky winner will be announced on monday the 27th.

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please enter the contest, and when you can, pop over and have a look at the preview! i hope you’ll like it. if you do, you might be glad to know that we are currently brainstorming for our second book together, which we plan to shoot this summer.


threadless 101 for students

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this one is for all the educators out there. we all know how much fun threadless tee shirts are (in fact that last one i bought, pictured below, still cracks me up whenever i look at it). now, through a fun project called threadless 101, young people have a unique opportunity to be a part of all the fun. students (from middle school to college) are given an assignment to create an original design for a tee shirt. any and all specifications are up to the teacher. once the assignment is completed, designs are critiqued and voted for by the class, and the student with the highest score will be featured in the threadless newsletter and will also receive a gift certificate. additionally, once the winning design has been selected for the class, students can easily upload their design to the threadless site to be included in their regular design challenge to get their tee actually printed. if their design is selected, they will receive a $3,000 tax-free scholarship and $500 each time their tee-shirt is re-printed. there’s also a chance to win design of the year, where winners can collect an additional 20k. that’s a lot of benjamins (or hamiltons, depending on how you roll) to buy new tshirts and itunes, er, school supplies, with…

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see more details at the threadless site about this innovative program and to download the class materials to participate. while you’re over there, check out their shop and pick up a few new things to wear this season. why not?


inspired prints from l’affiche moderne

i am truly enjoying the wonderful contemporary print, illustration and photo works offered at the french online shop l’affiche moderne. their pieces are strictly limited to editions of 300, and feature an eclectic inventory filled with the bright talents of folks including anthony peters, mathilde aubier, véronique joffre, cyril auvity, limoon, franck juery and nod young (pictured in order, below).

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lucky for us they ship overseas too. 🙂

they are adding inventory regularly, so pop over and see what is for sale on their website.


the art of emily wick

i like maps, and what fun style we have here from artist emily wick. this linocut series of state mottoes she’s created would definitely make for some fun gift giving. to myself.

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this reminds me a little of those awesome neighborhood map posters from jenny beorkrem. except these are much, much different.

see more of emily’s work here, where you will find a lot of other wonderful lino prints and some paintings too.

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dave stolte illustrations

lots and lots of fun characters in this layered digital illustration work from talented california artist dave stolte.

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LOVE the hoopbacca!

see more at dave’s website. find select prints at his etsy shop.


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