Jun 30, 2009

Inspiration: Muppets and their Social Impact

Sesame Street

Posted by Sherrie Thai of Shaire Productions.

Do you remember watching Sesame Street as a kid? Or are still enjoying it with the little ones in your life? How did it impact you?

"The World According to Sesame Street" is a PBS documentary focusing on how Sesame Street puppetry has filtered through countries ravished by poverty and violence, giving hope, a sense of mutual respect, literacy, and education to children who need it most.

As a commercial brand, the show has been able to extend from a US-based show (1968) to a global phenomenon, hitting 120 countries, but giving the respective countries the freedom to develop their own characters, stories, and a context to address the needs of their community.

On a social level, the children are given the education to topics where they need it the most. In South Africa, the reality of most children's lives are touched by AIDS/HIV. They made a character with HIV, who taught the audience about death and misconceptions about the disease--all through entertainment, song, and puppets. Bangladesh's Sesame Street curriculum dealt more with education--addressing poor children, who had to work and were denied an education. One interviewer mentioned 'there is not enough time to talk, but must take action.' Changing the world through their art--inspirational.

Jun 29, 2009

Photo: Cigar


Posted by Sherrie Thai of Shaire Productions.

This image was part of a series exploring "mystery" through lighting and props. The studio-like effect was done in an old room with a single light source, Pentax K1000 (with black&white film), and plenty of patience from my model/friend.

Photo: Lonely Tree

Lonely Tree

Posted by Sherrie Thai of Shaire Productions.

Photo: Architectural Patterns

Architectural Patterns

Posted by Sherrie Thai of Shaire Productions.

This is a closeup of a skyscraper in downtown San Francisco.

Jun 24, 2009

Artwork: Distortion of Humanity

Posted by Sherrie Thai of Shaire Productions

Distortion of Humanity

Distortion of Humanity is a mixed media piece (pen and digital) with a simple blackletter inscription: "The distortion of humanity is representative of our insecurities and discontent." The skeleton is deformed, symbolizing the dark, corrupt nature of our humanity and how perceptions evolve--in positive and negative ways.

Photos & Inspiration: Pete Brandt, BMX Flatland

Pete Brandt 01

Pete Brandt 02

Pete Brandt 03

Posted by Sherrie Thai of Shaire Productions.

While taking a photowalk in San Francisco, I stumbled upon the very talented BMX flatland legend, Pete Brandt. He graciously allowed me to shadow a few of his practice sessions. Even if you're not privy to the BMX flatland scene, you could appreciate Pete's strive for innovation, work ethic, intensity, and humbleness--all the elements of a great artist. He has over twenty years of experience, practices a minimum of eight hours a day, does competitions/shows/tours worldwide, promotes his DVD ("Persevere" video clip) and spins amazing Drum and Bass. He's a whirlwind of energy. . . check out the rest of the photos here.

Jun 23, 2009

Inspiration: Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" 2010 Film

Alice in Wonderland Red Queen

Alice in Wonderland Film Still

Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter

Alice in Wonderland White Queen

Posted by Sherrie Thai of Shaire Productions.

A master of visual style, Tim Burton takes on "Alice in Wonderland" with the immensely talented Johnny Depp (Mad Hatter) and Helena Bonham Carter (Red Queen). Through a combination of stop-motion, digital animation and live-action, this film is sure to be a visual treat.

Jun 19, 2009

Artwork: Tribal Peony Flower

Tribal Peony

Tribal Peony Shirt

Posted by Sherrie Thai of Shaire Productions.

As summer is here, I thought it would be fitting to create a nature-inspired piece. This peony was created freehand with a brush pen, while the paint splatters were added later via Illustrator and Photoshop. The muted colors and art style are reminiscent of the old Chinese and Japanese woodblock prints.

Photo: Muertos Dancer

Muertos Dancer

Posted by Sherrie Thai of Shaire Productions.

Artwork: Flying Globe

Flying Globe

Posted by Sherrie Thai of Shaire Productions.

The concept for this image is rooted in environmental issues. It's a more pessimistic view of the world--like a hot-air balloon, the world is floating away and the days are numbered as it's become damaged. I was inspired by the thought-provoking poster designs of Milton Glaser.

Jun 16, 2009

Photos: Shadows and Patterns

Overhead Walkway

Overhead Walkway 2

Posted by Sherrie Thai of Shaire Productions.

The SF Museum of Modern Art is a gorgeous building with patterned skylights, producing incredible shadows and shapes. These images are of an overhead walkway with people walking across.

Video: The Street Magician

Posted by Sherrie Thai of Shaire Productions.

This short Flash-animated film by Andrew Ferguson will make you smile as it's nostalgic and witty.

Jun 11, 2009

Artwork: Inevitable Futures- Gasmask on the Octopus

Posted by Sherrie Thai of Shaire Productions.

Inevitable Futures: Gasmask on the Octopus

My bio-mechanical octopus is the main character of "Inevitable Futures", a submission for the fifth edition of PROPAGANDA LA REVISTA, an online Latin magazine. The theme of the piece focuses on global warming and environmental concerns.

I chose to create a mutant octopus with a stylized gasmask to symbolize the multi-pronged horrors of environmental and climate change. The creature rides on the earth, rather than in its native oceanic habitat. The background has a dark post-nuclear feel, but the sci-fi aspect makes the work more accessible.

Artwork: Mysterious Creatures and Exhibition in Munich

Mysterious Creatures

Posted by Sherrie Thai of Shaire Productions.

Mysterious Creatures is another mixed media piece created in the tradition of old Chinese papercuts and Japanese woodcut designs. The style is a deeper exploration of combining detailed linework with constrained patterns. This was created with various pens and Photoshop coloring.

A signed fine art print has been sent off to Munich, where it will find a temporary home in a local gallery. I'll update this when more details arrive--so much mystery...

Photo: In Costume

Colorful Man

Posted by Sherrie Thai of Shaire Productions.

Part of the reason why I love attending social and cultural events is the diversity I find there. This is one of my favorites from San Francisco's Carnavale.

Photo: Traditional Korean Wedding Customs

Korean Wedding

Korean Wedding: Throwing Plums

Smiling Bride

Posted by Sherrie Thai of Shaire Productions.

I was privileged to witness a beautiful Korean wedding custom known as "p’yebaek". After the church ceremony, the bride dons a Hanbok, a traditional dress with simple lines, ornate illustrations, and bold colors. Both the bride and groom honor their relatives with bows and wine and/or tea in exchange for advice and small gifts.

Beside the happy couple is a low table of various edible commodities, including wine, chestnuts, dates, and jujubes. The groom's mother throws a handful of dates and chestnuts into the bride's sash to signify potential children. After this joyful gesture, the groom gives his mother and bride a piggyback ride around the table symbolizing his responsibilities as a caregiver.

Inspiration: Flatbed Printing and its Possibilities


Posted by Sherrie Thai of Shaire Productions.

Large format printing has moved beyond papers towards everything from "ceiling tiles, doors, laptop covers, furniture, leather, and wallpaper" (Digital Output, June 2009: Versatile Flatbeds ). Wall murals and glass partitions for exhibits, restaurants, and other environmental displays are a few of the possibilities for the new EFI VUTEk printers due to its flexible ink technology. The world is fast becoming a printable surface.

Jun 10, 2009

Inspiration: The Simpsons Stamps

The Simpsons Stamps

Posted by Sherrie Thai of Shaire Productions.

The Simpsons has extended its franchise and has taken hold of the US postage system. They're so cool, I wonder if they'll actually be used for their intended purposes. I'll decorate my sketchbook with them. Hurrah for dysfunctional cartoon families!

Jun 9, 2009

Photo: Dragon Boat

Colorful Man

Posted by Sherrie Thai of Shaire Productions.

The June 6th Paddle for Life event at Oakland's Jack London Square involved Chinese Dragon Boat Races benefiting local cancer charities. This has become a multicultural event, promoting team-building and fitness.

Jun 7, 2009

Photo: Colorful Smoker

Colorful Man

Posted by Sherrie Thai of Shaire Productions.

Another colorful character from the San Francisco Carnavale event.

Jun 4, 2009

Jun 3, 2009

Photo: High Contrast

High Contrast

Posted by Sherrie Thai of Shaire Productions.

This photo was a happy accident, where I was playing with the controls of my new camera. I think the high contrast works well with the subject--street photo in San Francisco.

Inspiration: Jason Munn Music Posters

Jason Munn

Posted by Sherrie Thai of Shaire Productions.

Jason Munn's music posters are beautifully crafted, minimalist, and highly conceptual. He has work in the permanent collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.