ayana airakan-mance | design : speak

Updated Post: Film On Charles and Ray Eames and the Eames Office

Posted in Art, Business, Design, Design History, Design Matters, LinkedIn by ayanaairakan on 2011/11/29

Charles and Ray Eames are clearly two of the most influential designers of the previous century. This film looks not only at their pivotal work, but also looks at their personal relationship and how they collaborated on some the most important designs of the 20th Century.

It can be seen in theaters and on PBS.

[via Fast Company: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1665403/the-eames-studios-inspiring-history-and-unknown-dark-side]

Artist Theo Jansen and His Kinetic Sculptures: Enjoy (via @bonsf) #sculpture

Posted in Art by ayanaairakan on 2011/01/31

Thanks to friend Bonnie Tomek, I was introduced to the this incredible and interesting artist. Enjoy.

An Incredible Designer, Artist, and Spirit: Chakaras Johnson (via @BDNN_News)

Posted in Art, Black Designers, Design, Design Matters, News, Social Good by ayanaairakan on 2010/08/11

As I was catching up on my reading yesterday I ran across Atim Annette Oton’s tribute to Chakaras Johnson on her Black Design News Network blog. Chakaras Johnson passed away untimely around 18 July 2010.

After reading her tribute, I researched him and found that he was an incredible graphic designer, artist, and spirit. I’m sorry I didn’t know him, but am grateful to Atim for “introducing” him to me. I too, am compelled to pay tribute to him. You may see his stunning art at chakaras.com, and incredible design work at helen-marie.com, the graphic design company he founded with his brother Chacon Johnson. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

Photo courtesy of Dream Variations

Images courtesy of chakaras.com

Cruisin’ in La Mission

Posted in Art, LinkedIn, Musings by ayanaairakan on 2010/06/14

Last week, I had the pleasure to “cruise” The Mission (La Mission) with my dear friend Nancy O. I so enjoyed re-experiencing the cultural richness of this once (and still in many instances) mainly Latino and culturally diverse community.

First, I began capturing the fading theater marquees on Mission Street. These will appear again with others in a later post.

Second, I just had to capture the uniqueness and richness of the clothing styles found in several storefronts. There are a lot of stores on Mission Street that focus on wedding attire. I was able to capture shots of the “mannequin couple” and my “fantasy wedding dress,” along with potential shoes and “reception” dresses.

I also was able to capture sidewalk stencils of prominent revolutionaries – Malcom X, Emiliano Zapata, Emma Goldman on the west side sidewalk of the Revolutionary Cafe.. I also shot the current state of the cafe’s controversial west side mural where someone sprayed “Stop The Culture Vulture” over the work of Simon Norris who painted over a long-standing mural by local artist SPIE. To read about the controversy go here: http://missionlocal.org/2010/06/mission-community-market-mural-vandalized.

Finally, I spied some beautiful Haitian figures at Casa Bonampak, a fair trade community store that carries traditional pieces from Mexico, specializing in the work of indigenous artists from the Central Mexico and the state of Chiapas. Great store!

That’s it for now. Looking forward to sharing more of my “trip” through this great neighborhood.

La Mission

Posted in Art, Design, LinkedIn, New Media | Multimedia, Video by ayanaairakan on 2009/11/10

I had the great pleasure of seeing Peter and Benjamin Bratt’s latest movie and collaboration, La Mission this past Saturday, 7 November 2009 at the American Indian Film Festival (See link at the end of this post). I highly recommend that you see this film wherever it is playing. The film actually premiered at this year’s San Francisco International Film Festival in April, and continues to run the film festival circuit. It really needs to get shown in the mainstream theaters; so let’s see if we can make this happen.

I found myself wondering if I connected with the film so much because I lived many aspects covered in the film-La Mission, la cultura, and if that’s the case, how would those who didn’t be able to relate.

My answer: it’s a universal story in many respects. Everyone, if they connect with their human/humane side can find something in this film with which to connect. Peter Bratt is brilliant at drawing his characters in such a sympathetic yet truly human manner. Nobody’s perfect, yet even the flaws in his characters are drawn beautifully.

See the film. Buy the DVD when it comes out, buy the soundtrack when it comes out, buy the t-shirt now, and call Oprah and insist she have the Bratt brothers on her show to discuss the film. Call Ellen Degeneres,  George Lopez, and Jay Leno, and insist the same.

Because my blog is primarily about design, I have elected to briefly discuss the poster shown below and comment on the artwork done on the “lowriders/cruisers” featured in the film as well:

The poster, designed by Florencia Garcia, has a graphically strong visual hierarchy, bringing the viewer in from top center by an up close shot of the lead charachter, Che Rivera, played by Benjamin Bratt decorated in his “life medals.” We then are guided down the poster by Che’s downward position of his head and eyes to the film title, rendered beautifully and appropriately (to the subject matter), and a beautiful photo illustration of one of the “lowriders/cruisers.” The artwork on the “cruisers” is riveting. Both the poster and car artwork represent so realistically “The Mission” District here in San Francisco while paying homage to the multitude of incredible artists that came from this neighborhood. The murals are also well represented in the film. Here’s the poster and a short video from this year’s 52nd SF International Film Festival with the film’s renowned cinematographer, Hiro Narita talking briefly about the film. Also, artists Mike McArdle and Jesse Campillo, who did the artwork on many of the “lowriders” seen in the film share their part in creating these incredible masterpieces.


La Mission: http://bit.ly/2Xrl5l
American Indian Film Festival: http://www.aifisf.com/ 6-14 November 2009, San Francisco, CA

Noted: Eggs and Sausage by Jackie Lay

Posted in Art, Design, Experimental, Noted, Typography, Video by ayanaairakan on 2009/09/26

Sharing a great find from the mehallo blog. Big thanks to Steve Mehallo

Eggs and Sausage by Jackie Lay