medium /// film

i’m jealous of vivian maier & john maloof

Do you know this story? It’s a good one!

I wrote about Vivian and John way back in 2009. Their story is about an undiscovered, photographic gold mine. They never knew each other, but now they’ll forever be connected… A few years ago, John Maloof went to an auction house across the street from his home. For $380, he bought thousands and thousands of undeveloped negatives that had been abandoned in a storage locker by an American woman named Vivian Maier. John started developing the negatives, and EUREKA!!!… he truly did find a gold mine. This is just a minute fraction of what he found:

Vivian’s photographs are stunning, beautifully composed, intimate glimpses into American life in the 1950s and 60s. What’s not intimate though is the knowledge about who Vivian actually was. She died only days before John tried reaching out to her. He had so many questions – who was she? Why did this unbelievably talented woman never show her work to anyone? But now, thanks to a beautiful documentary that is currently in production, a few of those questions have been answered… and they’re a bit strange. A sneak peek at  Finding Vivian Maier

We wish we knew you, Vivian {her self-portraits could be a post all on their own}:


i’m jealous of faythe levine & sam macon

First, the multi-talented Faythe Levine {of Handmade Nation fame… among countless other things!} got together with photographer/film maker Sam Macon, and wrote this book. Can you guess what it’s about?

You guessed it! Sign Painters, and the lost art that is sign painting {um, with a foreword by Ed Ruscha!}. The book profiles, and celebrates, classic sign painters – the artists who actually use a brush, and paint, and old-school techniques to create some of the most beautiful typographic art in the world. But Faythe and Sam didn’t stop with a book … nope … they just made a documentary too!

So good! Here’s the overview:

There was a time, as recently as the 1980s, when storefronts, murals, banners, barn signs, billboards, and even street signs were all hand-lettered with brush and paint. But, like many skilled trades, the sign industry has been overrun by the techno-fueled promise of quicker and cheaper. The resulting proliferation of computer-designed, die-cut vinyl lettering and inkjet printers has ushered a creeping sameness into our landscape. Fortunately, there is a growing trend to seek out traditional sign painters and a renaissance in the trade.

In 2010 filmmakers Faythe Levine and Sam Macon began documenting these dedicated practitioners, their time-honored methods, and their appreciation for quality and craftsmanship. Sign Painters, the first anecdotal history of the craft, features the stories of more than two dozen sign painters working in cities throughout the United States. The documentary and book profiles sign painters young and old, from the new vanguard working solo to collaborative shops such as San Francisco’s New Bohemia Signs and New York’s Colossal Media’s Sky High Murals.

Ooooh, it looks amazing! The first screening was just a couple of weeks ago in Washington DC. It’s starting it’s tour of indie theatres right now, so if you want to see if your city is on the list, click here. And for a preview of the film, you can watch the trailer right here.

i’m jealous of ange-line tetrault

Oh, the work of Toronto based designer/artist Ange-line Tetrault. First things first, this is what she makes at her day job:

Ange-line is a product designer at Imm Living, and creates all of the lovely things above. I originally found those teacups {which I totally need, by the way} on UncommonGoods, but when I made my way back to her site, I was so excited to discover this very cool personal art project:

Yep. A tiny white house, with a hot pink window that you can peek into, where a looping video shows Ange-line trying to decide what to wear. While she does that, you get to dress her up in all sorts of little outfits of your choosing! The project is titled Ritual of Identity, and here’s the gist:

“... the object is my clothes and the subject is myself. Everyday I get dressed and everyday it’s a long process of me trying on many outfits before I finally get the right look. Some days a certain outfit feels like me and other days the same outfit feels like someone else. What’s the rational behind this? Is it all about the persona I feel like projecting that day? Can people tell the persona I’m projecting based on what I’m wearing, or I look the same no matter what I wear? “

i’m jealous of stefan sagmeister

I’m just back from Alt Summit, but instead of doing a recap post, I have to write about this! Stefan Sagmeister probably needs no introduction, but just in case… he’s an Austrian born, New York based designer. As a designer myself, I’ve admired him for years, and at Alt I got to hear him speak. He talked about the in’s and out’s of happiness – it was fascinating, and to be completely candid, life-changing for me. He, and his “filming accomplice”, David Hillman Curtis {shown with Stefan, above} worked together to make a beautiful film, called The Happy Film. We only got to see 12 minutes of it {it will be shown in film festivals later this year}, but what we saw was amazing! The idea is that “in the course of a year, Sagmeister will experiment with various practices that are widely touted as increasing one’s happiness: meditation, cognitive therapy, and pharmaceuticals.” It was so interesting, touching, inspiring, and don’t even get me started on the typography!

I think that this film is going to be a huge hit, and I truly hope that:

……………………………………… but wait, there’s more ………………………………………..

i’m jealous of stefan sagmeister … part II

So, it’s not quite enough that he’s made this beautiful film, but he has also transformed his happiness research into an interactive art/design exhibition, quite appropriately called The Happy Show. It just left Philadelphia, and is now in Toronto at The Design Exchange {until March 3, 2013}… and I believe LA and Paris are up next. Charts that show happiness when it comes to marital status, free candies {Stefan’s favorites}, gum balls that let you rate your own happiness, and a lovely white stationery bike that reveals an illuminated message as you exercise… all perfectly designed, of course. Have a look:

Brilliant! You know what else is brilliant? This:

Yep! Not even the overly harsh lighting can take away the happiness I felt meeting, talking, and getting a smooch from Stefan Sagmeister!

{The Happy Show credits: CREATIVE DIRECTION: Stefan Sagmeister // ART DIRECTION & DESIGN: Jessica Walsh // DESIGN: Verena Michelitsch, Jordan Amer, Simon Egli, Martin Gnadt}

i’m jealous of wayne white’s film

Oh, Wayne… just when I thought I couldn’t love you more, you make this.

Beauty is Embarrassing “is a funny, irreverent, and inspiring documentary chronicling the life and work of one of America’s most important artists, Wayne White.” Yep, as far as I’m concerned {and as my 5+ posts about him would indicate} I think he’s a creative genius! I admire his work, his passion for creativity, and his ability to bring humor into fine art… and this film documents that.

Beauty is Embarrassing has been shown at festivals all over the place {including SXSW, Hot Docs in Toronto, the LA Film Festival, and the list goes on}, and now the plan now is to get it into theaters for the masses to see {YAY!} How you ask? Well, that’s where you come in! There’s a Kickstarter project in place to make that happen. Wayne is trying to raise $50,000 to self-distribute the movie, and with 8 days left {it ends on Sunday July 8th} he’s already at $34,293. So close! If you can help, please do – I smell an Oscar, baby!

{See the trailer here}

i’m still insanely jealous of wes anderson

Sigh. Oh Wes, you’re a creative genius with insane attention to detail… and that is why I love you.

In Wes Anderson’s latest film, Moonrise Kingdom, one of the main characters {Suzy}, loves books… and stole a half a dozen of them from the library. Of course, what Wes Anderson film would be complete without every single little thing being designed/thought about… so yes, here are the covers of Suzy’s books that he commissioned six illustrators to design {Oh, and if the cover designs weren’t enough, he also created a short film and animations to go along with each of them. Swoon!}

That last screengrab is my favorite one in the bunch! ♥

{There is a really good article, here, that gives a bunch of background on this part of Moonrise Kingdom.}

i’m jealous of wes anderson

“Directed by Wes Anderson” … translation … a true work of art that will, in fact, make me insanely jealous and should be framed… if it weren’t a movie. Sigh. I love Wes Anderson films. Each one is an amazing story filled with hilariously strange characters, but for me, it’s the artistic attention to detail that pushes me over the edge! I love that every single one of his movies has a very specific color palette, and a perfectly chosen typeface that is present throughout the film. Don’t even get me started on The Royal Tenenbaums {I loved it so much I dressed as Margot Tenenbaum for Hallowe’en in 2002. True story.} Anderson’s latest project, titled Moonrise Kingdom, is going to be in a theatre near you this spring. Here, in an IMDb nutshell, is what it’s about:

“Set on an island off the coast of New England in the 1960s, as a young boy and girl fall in love they are moved to run away together. Various factions of the town mobilize to search for them and the town is turned upside down — which might not be such a bad thing.”

I would happily put any of these stills in fancy frames and hang them on my wall. Each one of them truly is a piece of art:

I. Can’t. Wait.

ps. As I said, one of my favorite things about any Wes Anderson film is the typography – and this time is no different. The script for Moonrise Kingdom is perfect. Thanks to a tweet from Tina Roth Eisenberg of @swissmiss, I found out that it was designed by Brooklyn based letterer/illustrator Jessica Hische. Lovely ♥

i’m jealous of liberia ’77

I absolutely love this project! Ok, let’s start with the jealous part. Canadian artists {and brothers} Jeff and Andrew Topham did what most of us would love to do – they got to relive their childhoods… kinda. In the late 1970’s they lived in beautiful, war-free Liberia. They played on the beach, ran around the jungle, and even had a pet chimp named Evelyn. Their dad, John, documented all of it through his own amazing photographs {also part of the series}, labeling his negatives, and ultimately giving this project it’s title… Liberia ’77.

So this is where it gets inspiring/scary. Thirty years later Jeff, a film maker, and Andrew, a photographer, decided to go back to the location of their idyllic childhood and document the changes. As you can imagine, they were drastic {note the two “gas stations” above… yes, those are jars of siphoned gas in 2010}. Jeff and Andrew have created a series of photographs, and are currently working on a documentary. So far I’ve only seen the photos, and the stories behind them made me tear up almost instantly. I imagine I’ll need a full box of tissues for the film.

august 14th ~ 15th

Talk about jealous! I could not be more jealous of Victoria Smith. Why you ask? Well, it all started when I found her photography series, Sunday in the City, featured on Poppytalk. I just figured she was an amazing photographer, until of course I followed the images back to her blog. Ahh, her blog. sfgirlbybay quickly became one of my daily reads. With a background in interior design, she writes inspirational posts on design, style, art, food… everything you need for a fabulous life really. Victoria, and her lovely home, {which I’m also jealous of by the way} have been featured in several design magazines. But wait, there’s more! She is a huge part of the blogging community… speaking at conferences, creating projects like blog it forward, and hosting various guest bloggers every week {including me, which I could not be more thrilled about!}. Anyway, it turns out I’m not the only one who’s jealous… Victoria is jealous of someone too:


I’m jealous of Maira Kalman

I can never get enough of Ms. Kalman, an American illustrator, author, artist, and designer, originally born in Tel Aviv and transplanted to New York at the age of four. I get a sense that Ms. Kalman embraces her New York home whole-heartily…she walks the city streets and documents her travels consistently. She’s been known to say, “the best way to see the country, unless you are pressed for time, is to travel on foot.”  It is that which I greedily envy. Her prolific illustrations poke mild fun at the absurd people she meets along her journeys, never mean-spirited, just with a keen eye and wry observation that I thoroughly enjoy.

She’s illustrated numerous New Yorker covers, and is the author of like over a dozen children’s books, including Stay Up Late (from the song by David Byrne – another person I’m very jealous of, but we’ll save that for another day), and Swami on Rye (see, just there, you can tell she has a silly sense of humor). She’s also written and illustrated two of my very, very favorite ‘grown-up’s’ books, The Elements of Style (and her little film of the same name), and her very charming and moving book, The Principles of Uncertainty, in which she asks the deep, existential questions such as ‘What is Happiness?”. But mostly, I’m just really jealous of her pictures. ; )

Maira Kalman is currently showing her work at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, should you be out for a stroll this way.


I’m putting on my shoes right now! Thanks for spending the weekend Victoria! Come back any time : )

july 10th ~ 11th

Ooh, I couldn’t be more excited to be kicking off my weekend guest series with the fabulous, and always inspiring, Erin Loechner. The list of reasons why I’m jealous of her is pretty long, so I’ll just give you the highlights…

1) She is the creator and author of one of my favourite daily reads, Design For Mankind 2) Not only does she write all of the content for her own blog, but she is also a guest blogger on several sites, including, where she is documenting her home renovation project {also something to be jealous of, by the way!} 3) Her taste in art, design, jewelery, etc. is consistently fantastic  4)  And on top of all that, she’s really nice and pretty damn funny!

So there you go. That’s why I’m jealous of Erin. Want to find out who Erin is jealous of? Read on…


I’m jealous of… Miranda July

Face it; anyone who was once a Pop-a-Lock employee and is now an established filmmaker/author/performance artist wins a big, lovely trophy in my book. And when that someone encourages you to follow your dreams? Even more so.

Miranda has taught me to re-read my favorite fifth grade book, take time to braid someone’s hair and shown me the beauty of a quality landing page. She makes me laugh, cry and inspires like no one can.

Miranda, I salute you.


… and I salute you, Erin. Thanks for stopping by ; )