Feature Friday – Adult Wednesday Addams

If you’ve been living under a rock like I apparently was, then you probably missed this ingenious new YouTube series, Adult Wednesday Addams. Last month, actress and mastermind, Melissa Hunter created a mini web show that follows the new life of Wednesday and her experiences doing mundane young-adult activities (like searching for an apartment, interviewing for a receptionist job, and walking dogs in the hills of LA).

She does all of this in perfect Addams Family fashion – creepy, kooky, mysterious, and spooky. And it is an absolute scream.

Currently there are only 6 episodes, but Melissa assures us she’ll be back for a second season. Cancel your plans and start watching these now!

Feature Friday – Madame Scodioli

I have become undeniably infatuated with the alluring scents of Madame Scodioli. In a search for Dave’s Valentine’s Day gift, I stumbled upon my greatest Etsy find yet. Since then, I’ve made a number of purchases from the bearded lady and I’ve been thrilled with each and every one.

Madame Scodioli is an artisan of soaps and perfumes, concocting enchanting fragrances reminiscent of the spicy charm of an earlier time where gypsies traveled in incense-infused caravans and circuses elicited a magical excitement in the sweet summer air.

As a graphic designer, I was immediately sold on the clever branding and charming packaging of the Madame’s creations before even smelling them. And I was pleased to find that the fragrances were just as amazing as the imaginative characters described.

First, here’s Dave’s review on his goodies:

Sentinel (Leather) – I purchased a three pack sampler of solid scents and this one knocked my socks off. A rich leather fragrance that taps into memories from my childhood (my dad had a leather bomber jacket he wore all the time). Sentinel is on regular rotation for my daily scents.

Aged Bourbon (Whiskey Of Course) – Sweet and spicy. Whiskey is my spirit of choice, and this take on single barrel bourbon instantly made it a winner in my book. A mix of this and Sentinel make for a complex olfactory experience perfect for a date, or a pick-me-up after a long day of work.

Laudanum (Black Tea & Tobacco) – This scent isn’t as musky as I’d hoped for; I thought the tobacco smell would be a bit more robust. It’s a tad feminine for my taste, but I actually ended up using the open tin as an air freshener in my room and THAT works perfectly.

Fiji Mermaid (The Briny Deep) – I love the scenes the Madame sets for each fragrance. Fiji Mermaid smells exactly as described. A salty breeze of seaweed muddled with musky oak moss and hits of jasmine. My wonderful/foxy girlfriend purchased this scent for me as a shaving soap, and I later bought the accompanying aftershave which soothes and cleanses after a good shave. The fragrance reminds me of our travels along the coast and our dates atop the bluffs overlooking the sea. Definitely another favorite.

Neptunus Rex (Bay Rum) – I really dig the coalescence of rum and the ocean. The shaving soaps that the Madame has imagined into existence are perfect: easy on the skin, easy to lather up (even with a cheap $4 brush I found on eBay), and they leave behind an amazing scent.

When the package of Dave’s soaps came in the mail, I seriously sat on my couch sniffing his bar of Fiji Mermaid for hours. For a moment, I wished I could grow a beard like the Madame’s so I would have a reason to steal this entrancing shaving soap from him. Thankfully there was no need for such desperate thinking once I discovered the solid fragrance pots. I immediately ordered myself a sample set of three:

Gypsy Caravan (Pomegranate & Valencia) – One of my favorites. A rich, sweet scent of oranges and dark pomegranate wine. Captures the essence of the gypsy caravan wandering through the summer night past groves of citrus trees enveloped by the subtle strumming of a mandolin.

Euphorium (Almond, Milk & Honey) – A sugary treat topped with almonds, drizzled honey, and dipped in sweet milk. I imagine being curled up on the vintage couch of my favorite coffee & tea shop, sipping a milky chai latte while the scent of fresh baked goods fills the warm afternoon air.

Elyria (Earl Grey & Lavender) – My absolute favorite of the three. A clean yet hauntingly dark aroma saturated with the deep musk of fresh lavender sprigs and cut with a cool spritz of bergamot, all tangled up in the swirling smoke from a hot cup of earl grey tea. It’s mysteriously feminine without being “girly”. I do believe this fragrance was made for me.

As you can tell, I am under the inescapable spell of Madame Scodioli. I just purchased one of the special reserve bath soaps so we’ll see how that goes. I just want to try every scent, and I may be tempted enough to sample each mesmerizing concoction. Do yourself a favor and peruse the Madame’s Etsy shop for a few tins of these enchanting fragrances and be prepared to get swept away into another world.

All photos are from the Madame Scodioli “Caravan Conjurings” Spring 2013 lookbook

Feature Friday – The Brain Scoop

For today’s Feature Friday, I present to you the genius that is The Brain Scoop — an educational YouTube channel by Emily Graslie, an intern at the University of Montana’s Zoological Museum. As part of my goal to support fellow creatives once a month, I was going to hold off on featuring The Brain Scoop until I could get my hands on a t-shirt, but I just couldn’t wait. This show is just too good and you need to watch it immediately.

I won’t keep you long since you’ve got videos to start watching! But in a nutshell, The Brain Scoop follows the adventures of Emily’s volunteer work with the natural history museum, covering anything from interesting facts about animals to hands-on involvement in the study and preparation of specimens. All in the name of education! The videos are hilarious, sometimes downright gross, but all around incredibly fascinating. So sit back, get comfortable (probably not while eating), and prepare to be mind-blown with zoological knowledge. (Go to The Brain Scoop YouTube channel)

Top image credit Jon Risinger; all others screenshot from The Brain Scoop

Feature Friday – Teagan White

I didn’t have time to whip up a Feature Friday yesterday, so today’s “Feature Friday” is brought to you on a Saturday!

I’ve made it a resolution of mine this year to support a fellow artist with a purchase at least once a month. I know how frustrating it can be to have fans say, “I love your work! I’d totally buy something!” then when shop opens up, they never show up. Verbal support is nice, but there’s something so encouraging about having someone willing to go the extra mile to show their admiration. I figured if I expect other people to buy my work, I need to start doing the same for other artists as well.

I have a few artists lined up that I wanted to support, but first on my list was Teagan White. I was unknowingly in awe of her work for so long, until one day I finally made the connection that all of these incredible pieces I had been drooling over were by the same artist. Teagan has such an amazingly intricate style that seamlessly blends the darker side of nature with the whimsical. Her work varies from details of decomposition to adorable children’s illustrations of woodland creatures. Of course, I’m more captivated by the illustrations of decay, so that’s why I picked Teagan’s “Doe-eyed” as my first artist support purchase. I absolutely love this piece and I’m so excited to have it on my desk as a source of daily inspiration!

To view more of Teagan’s work, check out her website or her Behance page, and to buy some of her work, go to Society6!

Feature Friday – Kate Bingaman Burt

Photo by Nicolle Clemetson

When I heard my school would be hosting an AIGA artist lecture by Kate Bingaman Burt, I was ecstatic and immediately adjusted everything in my schedule to revolve around this event. Kate Bingaman Burt is the creator of Obsessive Consumption where she draws all of her daily purchases, including receipts and credit card statements. She is a wizard of daily drawings and “elevating the mundane”. I’ve been a fan of Kate’s illustrations and creative projects for quite some time. Her spontaneous drawing style has even inspired a bit of my own work, so I was eager to sit in on this lecture and possibly glean a little bit of her creative genius.

Kate defines herself as a “maker of things” so it seemed entirely appropriate that the key theme of her presentation would be about MAKING. In this day and age when things like Tumblr and Pinterest are our greatest pastimes, it’s easy to get caught up in collecting images mindlessly rather than stopping to think and make. Kate’s message encouraged us as creatives to thoughtfully look at these visuals, make connections, make meaning, and then make something new. I loved this Frank Chimero poster she shared that says, “Looking at design is not making design.”

The bulk of her presentation was about picking your 5 things that inspire you or that you simply find visually appealing. From there, you must make meaning out of those things. Why are they inspiring? What do they represent to you? How does your work reflect these things? Over the next couple weeks I’ll be reflecting on what my 5 things are and share them with you here!

My favorite part about Kate’s work is how fluid and carefree her lines and subjects are. I asked her how she keeps from taking her work too seriously. My biggest creative block is constantly worrying about always having to create a masterpiece. Kate told me, “Just keep making things.” Those that worry about always creating perfect artwork never end up creating anything. It’s better to make a huge pile, even if the majority of it is crap, than to sit around and do nothing. You feel better when you’re making things. So stop worrying about making a masterpiece, and just keep creating.

Thanks Kate for sharing some of your inspiration with us at SDSU! To see more of Kate’s work, visit her website at www.katebingamanburt.com