Thursday, 1 December 2011

LA adventures

The best thing about being in LA with work are the restaurants you get to go to.

I've particularly enjoyed them on this visit to Santa Monica and even made it up to Hollywood for a dinner in Soho House Hollywood. Incidentally the only celeb I saw is one of the girls from The Only Way Is Essex. If you are American and reading this it's like The Hills.
Anyway I've eaten a lot of sushi. I've enjoyed Sushi Samba (sashimi to die for), Sushi Roku (swishy) and Hama Sushi (amazing lobster miso).
I ate steak in Boa (just amazing melting meat and the sides..oh my mouth waters) and tuna steak in Shutters (simple and delicious). The pizza I had in Stella Rosa was the yummiest that's ever tickled my tastebuds.

There have been some bum notes. But really Santa Monica is a foodie heaven.

Sunset at Shutters in Santa Monica.

Lobster miso in Hama Sushi in Venice, LA

Soho House Hollywood.

So the only problem is now I am well and truly spoilt. I already have to make my own guacamole in the UK...I don't fancy trying to cook my own Lobster!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Back to Lala Land and my first ever Thanksgiving.

Hello hello

It's been a while hasn't it. It hasn't been that my brain has frozen into a green bean that fell out of a bag of green beans in the freezer and got stuck to the freezer drawer. Oh no. It's actually that I've been leading a very hectic life recently. This isn't like when you told the teacher your dog ate your homework. I am not just making up excuses.

Work has been all-consuming. I've had a huge project. It's been very exciting but stressful. In fact it is the best project I have ever worked on. I'm not going to say this to my boss (until I get drunk at the Christmas party) because I'll sound like a loser. Noone wants to be that excitable. But I'm really proud of what we have produced. It's not finished yet of course, so I'm probably jinxing the whole thing.

The project has meant that I have spent the last 2 and a half weeks in LA. I currently reside in a rather swanky hotel. It was where Shane Ward filmed a music video. Shane Ward? Come on you remember him from X factor. Louis Walsh says he's a big star!!

During this time I also enjoyed my first Thanksgiving dinner. My two colleagues and I were lucky enough to bag the company of two of the LA Creatives for a dinner in a cozy old fashioned restaurant where we had turkey, bread pudding, mash, corn, greens and even an apple crumble for desert. Afterwards we had a pyjama party (minus the pjs) watching classic movies like Beetlejuice and Sexy Beast under duvets lying on cushions on the floor. It was like being 15 again.

Lovely work friends and I.


So thank you America for having me. I liked your holiday very much.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Definition by list - who are you?

Often, when I'm walking by myself, I play games in my head. One of my favourites is called list of me. You are all going to think I'm very sad but list making is one of my most favourite activities. List of me is simple - I list what I'm wearing, where I got it and how much it cost. If it was a gift it counts as free...unless you know the price. But when you think of it a list can define your day too. How many cups of tea you drank, how many times you emailed your partner, how many posts you wrote on your blog. Here's my list of me today. I'd love to read your list of you so please send me one.

Silver and semi precious stone earrings: Christmas present from my Dad from Crundles in Swansea. (counts as free)
Silver Necklace : present from my ex bought in medina in Tunisia.(free)
Platinum and diamond engagement ring: bought by Fiance in Bond Street. (free)
Red bra: present from Fiance from Agent Provocateur in Selfridges (free)
Purple pants: Calvin Klein discount store in Bridgend (£4)
Seven for all mankind jeans: Gilt staff sale in New York. (£30)
Black vest top: hand-me-down from my colleague Krista (free)
Black cardie: from Mango on Oxford Street (£40)
Black trainers: Gola from Bridgend discount store (£12.99)
socks: M&S (a complete guess: £2)
Leather jacket: River island in Swansea (£100)
Total outfit: £188.99

Things I spilt on my jeans today: White wine at lunchtime. Berrocca.
Things I've eaten today: porridge, strawberries, blueberries, honey, squid, prawns, roast potatoes, beef, figs and parma ham, stew, bread, pizza, spinach, egg.
Estate agents emails: 6.
Number of houses I've liked that I've been sent today: 0
Times I've changed my mind about buying house: 3.
Number of houses looked at in Swansea just to see what I could buy if I actually lived there instead of London: 8

Ok ok send me your lists and I promise to read them and comment back.

Love to you all xxx

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Charles Matton's exhibition - one of the best I've ever seen

If you haven't heard of Charles Matton don't worry, you're not retarded, he is little known, especially when you consider how talented he really was. A French sculptor, painter, photographer, model maker and many other things, his work has been mostly hidden away and only come to light in the few years since his death in 2008. Perhaps he was knocked back and lacked confidence, perhaps he hated self-promotion, perhaps he felt like fame would damage his art, either way I feel it is a shame that the world can only now see these masterpieces.

Charles Matton's exhibition in "All Visual Arts" in Kings Cross is free and contains over 36 of his pieces. In themselves they look like a lifetime's work. First there are the beautifully intricate miniature rooms - every detail constructed with such painstaking care that each book looks readable, each newspaper perfectly printed, each duvet creased and dirtied as if they had been lived in. Matton uses mirrors to create rooms that have depth and space outside his construction. They allow you to pear into adjoining corridors, to believe that the libraries in a single box actually sprawl on forever. The mirrors also play tricks on you. Sometimes you struggle to work out where they are. Sometimes they appear to be in one place when actually it's just wire and symmetrical object arrangements. But the best thing about his rooms is they seem to tell stories. stories of absences, stories of sad lives, stories of decay and neglect as well as collection and even, in one disturbing room - masochism. Even the light is included, lightboxes creating shadows in rooms and light falling from fake windows making patterns on carpets.

Matton's efforts to keep his art works original meant he would produce large paintings only in order to reduce them and hang them in his tiny microcosms. So to produce one piece of model making he's have already created 12 pieces of separate art. In another piece he depicts the room of a sculptor of the human form and fills his room with tiny handmade sculptures.

But that wasn't the end of the process. After all this work he would then photograph or make paintings of the scenes he had created. Each capturing scenes that seem hyper-real.

Here are some of my pictures of the exhibition but the true effect and the feeling of discovery and exploration that you get as you walk around can only be appreciated when you see the exhibition. Do not miss it.

And these are the pictures he took of the models.

For this work matton had to paint every picture in the collector's bedroom. The full sized pictures he painted for this piece are displayed alongside the model. He then reduced them down to use.

This painting was made from one of his bathroom models.

His most disturbing piece is this attic scene from the house of a masochist. He posed for all the degrading images on the wall too. In this and in the bedroom scenes in particular you get the sense of a whole story being told.

This is the most Francis Bacon piece to my mind. His sculpture explores human shapes and forms and their movement and distortion.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

NEWS FLASH: Giant baby trashes bar!!!!

I'm really not quite sure what this video is. But it's pretty funny. Baby drinks alcohol (fake I hope) and does what a baby does: cause mayhem. It's also got puppets. I like puppets. Watch and enjoy.

Unleash your fingers: Galaxy SII for France

A pretty nifty new way of representing touchscreen in an advert. Check out this lovely bit of choreography and animation.

Guy is nice to watch too methinks.

Arthur Kannas, one of the founders of Heaven Conseil, who is a specialist in communication and online marketing said: “I watched Black Swan by Darren Aronofsky and I knew right away that this viral video had to feature music. Then the universe of dubstep and urban style popped into my mind. I just had to find an original way to reflect the values promoted by Samsung (…) When I discovered Jay Funk, I knew he was the artist I needed. His dance expressed a language that reminded me of phone handling. The Samsung phone becomes the extension of hands".

Love it when there is a nice poncy arty explanation for the ad too.

Monday, 12 September 2011

I'm buying a house, but more exciting than that...

Everyone...I am finally joining the adult world and making a commitment to bricks and mortar. the lucky lucky house will be a little victorian terrace near Greenwich. I will love it and paint it and convert the loft and clean it's skirting boards. I will remove the textured wallpaper from the ceiling and paint over the brightly pine varnished built in cupboards. i will restore the fireplaces and then fill them with crap like candles. oh house I will love you.

...But not as much as I will love the two kittens I will buy as soon as we have a spare £700. After a life of having to convince my parents to buy a pet (they finally got a gorgeous Ragdoll kitten called Maisie who now lives with my Dad) I can get my own at will. And just to celebrate, I'll get two. Because I can. They will keep each other company when I'm out, and keep me company when I'm in. They will snuggle up on my lap to watch X Factor and purrr loudly when I'm trying to sleep. They will annoy me by scratching my new sofa and throw up on my work. And I will love them.

The question is which breed shall I get?

A Ragdoll like Maisie?
A Maine Coon (apparently they aren't lap cats but they are beautiful)
A birman (is it just a not-as -good ragdoll?)
A british blue (my favourite option but now I'm thinking not fluffy enough)
A Norwegian Forest cat - apparently very clever and lively
Or something else?

Friday, 9 September 2011

Font fun

Ever doodled words in bubble writing in class? Ever written your name with a sparkler? Well you were probably creating some lovely typography. One of my art director buddies sent me this font website after the words "handwritten" came up a bunch of times (art directors usually look a bit concerned when this idea rears its head).

There are some seriously inventive ways of writing here - including ones using smoke, flowers, fruit and even poo (that one grossed me out).

And what's better than inventive type? Animated type! Loving this!

Sparkler from Handmadefont on Vimeo.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Back to the start - Chipotle and Coldplay by Willie Nelson

This made me feel a little teary. Nostalgia is so strong. For a time when things were simpler and more beautiful. Love this advert.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Dale farm gypsies - losing their homes even though they are on their land

I promised to publicise articles in support of gypsy communities when I see them being mistreated. Here is a good example. The community of Irish gypsies in Essex on Dale Farm are set to have their homes bulldozed soon because they did not gain planning permission for their homes. The council argue that this is because they are on green belt land. Now I am all for protecting the countryside. But the land that they turned into a traveller site was actually a scrap yard before - hardly the rural ideal that the word "green belt" calls to mind. Plus the gypsies aren't squatters. They own the land. Thirdly doesn't this strike you as unfair considering news reports this week that there aren't enough new homes being built to match demand and that the process of gaining planning permission is too difficult and lengthly. In the article below Vanessa Redgrave has gone to meet the community and draw attention to their plight. The Guardian has written about it in a positive light - taking the side of the gypsies. I doubt very much if they will get the same notice or sympathy from the conservative press.

Oh fact I've found an article written from (predictably) the other side in The Daily Mail

What's your opinion?

Friday, 5 August 2011

Honk if you're human!

It's nice after years of human bashing "oh aren't we awful we're causing global warming", "god we're horrid all this war and greed and killing, "no one's faithful...Ashley cheated on Cheryl again" stuff, to hear someone celebrating humans for the marvellously clever things that we all are. We can make cars and toilets and the internet! Yay us! That's why I like this advert for BBC knowledge. Its also really cute. Aren't the animators great! Yay us again!

Look here's another cute one. Apparently they're by Three Drunk Monkeys.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Aardman produce the world's largest stop motion film

Its lovely for us ad people when we get to work with brilliant studios and directors to produce something really artistic and beautiful. This is what has happened to the creatives who work on Nokia over at Weiden and Kennedy.'Gulp' is a short film created by Sumo Science at Aardman, depicting a fisherman going about his daily catch. It was shot on location at Pendine Beach in South Wales and every frame of this stop-motion animation was shot using a Nokia N8. The film has broken a world record for the 'largest stop-motion animation set', with the largest scene stretching over 11,000 square feet.

It must be nice for the team. A little birdy told me that Nokia are cutting their budgets because their handset sales are dropping. Weidens have certainly been laying people off of late. Anyways enough chit chat, watch and enjoy.

Gulp. The world's largest stop-motion animation shot on a Nokia N8. from Nokia HD on Vimeo.

And here's the making of, which as Emilien pointed out, is pretty good too.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Beat-boxing Subway battle - with some awesome dance moves.

OMG how much do I LOVE this video to advertise Subway's new American Sandwich?? And I'm proud to say (and a little bit jealous too) that my friends Melissa and James, Creatives at McCann-Erickson London, made it. Great casting, great dancing, great song. Well done guys.

The man without a Facebook

My Fiance is a socialmediaphobe. Ironically he IS on Facebook but never checks it. He IS on Twitter but moans about the juvenility of tweets and Twitterers and he doesn't have a blog. He would be quite happy to live like the man in this fake movie.

This video was sent to me by my colleague Rey. He looked at my Facebook page and came over to my desk to comment on a status update I'd made. I was confused. "Why didn't you just put a comment on it?", I asked. So he sent me this video.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Pretty poster project

1200 Posters is a project by a collection of illustrators working around the themes of community, collaboration and conversation. On the 12th of every month for a year, they are releasing a limited-edition print (100) by a different artist.

Check out the site here:

I would imagine they will sell out pretty fast because one of the posters was featured on Emerald Street - the email that Stylist magazine puts out every week. But here's a few of my favourites so far:

"Ask what's possible, not what's wrong. Keep asking." Poster by Catherine Chi. Inspired by: Technicolor, gilded objects, paper ephemera, red lacquer, music halls, torch songs, society portraits, and thrift stores.

"Talk to people you know. Talk to people you don't know. Talk to people you never talk to."Poster by Ole Tillmann. Inspired by: Spongebob Squarepants, Helge Schneider, Palimpsest, what's underneath/inside things, the ocean.

"Treasure curiosity more than certainty." Poster by Lia Marcoux. Not sure what inspires her...

Monday, 18 July 2011

Theo Altenberg - colourful fluid oil paintings

I'm not entirely sure how Theo Altenberg manages to achieve the affect that he does on cardboard but it's certainly beautiful. Looking at his paintings is like looking at clouds - you see forms that might represent mountains, fire, human bodies, caves in the sea dripping reflected light and emotional states appearing but whether they are seen by the artist himself as he paints is a mystery. See what you can see in these expressive paintings.

Friday, 15 July 2011

What happens when you die.

I've just written a post on "what happens when you die" on my book blog. If you'd like to read my version of the afterlife then please head over to The Copywriter's Bookshelf:

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Apples: only this kitten knows they are evil!

You might have assumed that the green apple was fairly harmless. Only this kitten knows the truth: that they are evil aliens from outer space who must be attacked! People! watch this cat in it's courageous attempt to defend human kind from the deadly green apple.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Helicopter Dick and other genius moments

Working in the office on the day that should have been the summer party did have its perks. The best being our head of Traffic showing me the amazingly funny and celebrity splattered music videos from The Lonely Island. Most of you Americans will be very familiar with these videos since, I am told, they play on Saturday Night Live (correct me if I'm wrong). So this post if for those unlucky enough not to have already seen them...or lucky enough to be viewing them for the first time. Watch out for guest appearances by Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga and more.

Here's their official website:

And here's a taster of the gems you will find there:

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Sharks...making adverts better

Thomas my advertising buddy and part time collaborator on this blog (I steal everything he sends me) sent me this brilliantly funny Snickers Commercial. This ad takes quite a boring premise, the focus group saying that Snickers taste good, and gives it a funny twist by making it about sharks eating people that have eaten snickers...ooohhh they taste good! Made me laugh.

Oh and here's some more sharky advertising- less dark, quite sweet really.

awww dolphin

agghhhh shark!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Big nose?...yes that's me. Thanks for making me feel shitter about it

BGH in Argentina is promoting its new line of silent Air conditioners with the campaign "Big nose". People with a big nose, who need air filtered more due to their capacity to take in more at one time, get a discount of 25% on their air conditioners. All you have to do is to measure your noses in the Nose-o-meter which flashes and sets off an alarm if you touch a sensor with your over-sized honker.
I would rather die frankly. I have been blessed with a rather big nose and if a store assistant or anyone pointed it out, let alone an alarm going off to tell the whole shop, I would burst into tears. Yes I'm vain, yes I'm sensitive, yes I have no sense of humour about my physical appearance. But seriously. Only a boy creative team would come up with an idea like this (a boy team at Saatchi and Saatchi). And I assume only men will venture into the shops to pick up their discounts. This is a perfect example of the creative idea which makes you male creative boss laugh and every stupid dumb arse male in your agency really excited, only to go out and be totally inappropriate. Sorry for my rant...its just that I'm rather sensitive about this issue. In fact I feel a little upset. Excuse me. I've got to go and...sniff...blow my 25% discount giving asset.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Blame Canada for having such beautiful olympic branding.

Have you seen the rebranding work for the Canadaian Olympic team? It's very pretty. In complete contrast to the UK's effort which kicked up a storm of discussion and derision in the media. And also in contrast to the boring effort of the USA who, unsurprisingly, have been pretty conservative.In fact their team branding looks like it hasn't been changed since the 1950's.

Here's the Uk's attempt...90% of people in the UK hate it.

Here's the USA's version...I would imagine that 90% of people don't have any opinion on it

Here's Canada's...pretty don't ya think?

Here's a video which explains how the design was thought about.

The Canadian Olympic Team Brand from Canadian Olympic Team on Vimeo.

Being a design that doesn't contain itself is strange...I wonder how this is going to translate into olympic athletes' outfits. Maybe they will use just the mapel leaf with the design internalised.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Vision Express...the worst service ever?

Vision Express Oxford Street have as usual sent my contact lenses to the wrong address. Since this about the 10th mistake they've made - including:
Not recording my appointment so they had no register of it when I turned up.
Giving me three months supply for only one eye twice, sending to the wrong address three times,
Telling me they couldn't fix my glasses then, when I'd bought new ones telling me they had the spare part needed, and then telling me that I couldn't complain to anyone about it,

...I will now be leaving them never to return. Utter idiots.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Falling in love in Bali.

I've done a lot of falling in love recently and its really taken the puff out of me. But what can you do when you've been to the beautiful island of Bali and some of your heart has stayed there. Parts of my heart have been dropped in the blue waters just off the Gili islands and been eaten by sea turtles. Some has been stolen by naughty monkeys in the monkey forest at Ubud. Some of my heart got left in the hotel shuttle bus with the long eye-lashed giggling Balinese guy who hummed out-of-tune to the radio every day. Some of my heart got swept away with the plates in Naughty Nuri's rib shack, to be licked clean by hungry travellers. Some drifted away bumping into rocks while white water rafting, and now floats between the steep palm tree covered slopes of the valley, driven under by tumbling waterfalls. I gave some of my heart away in return for the birthday cake from hotel Tepi Sawer and the polo shirt given as a gift to my Fiance. I gave some in payment for the bronze statue of Ganesh and the detailed story of his life written by the shop assistants. And I left bits of my heart all over Bali as my offerings to the gods, trod underfoot on pavements, by fat god statues, ones with big sharp teeth, ones with big hanging breasts, on walls, in temples, in restaurants in shops. So you'll see there isn't much of my heart left for London.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Tiny living in a room that transforms into a whole house.

A guy in Tokyo has designed a tiny apartment which uses the same space over and over to create different rooms via a series of pull out walls and fold down beds. This is an amazing use of space and, surprisingly simple technology too. Clever clever stuff.
Thanks to Timethief for this vidoe who I found on Blog Catalogy - the new blogging site I've joined.
Here's her link

It also reminds me of this advert for Stella Artois by Mother.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Silhouette Bears made of tape and other arty offerings from Lenneke Van der Goot

Artist Lenneke Van der Goot combines a few great things in his work:
1. Bears. everyone loves bears - esp Yogi and Paddington.
2. useful! and
3. Windows - preferable in any building...apart from a secret bunker where you might hide Terrorist fugitives with dyed beards perhaps.

Here are some pieces of Lenneke's work. Unfortunately his bio is in German but I'm pretty sure he was raised by bears and spacemen and developed a scientific method for floating around forests. Oh and he went to Stoke university.

Apart from the bears I really like his paintings - moody, lost in the forest pieces that speak of loneliness.

Let me know what you think.