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American Realities

American Realities film series posters: Roger & Me | Hoop Dreams | Troublesome Creek; digital plot outputs; 24 x 36in. (each) / 2002

We Americans are conditioned to think that ours is the best country in the world—that this is the land of opportunity, and we can achieve anything here if we try hard enough. And, by all available evidence, there seem to be plenty of other countries in which people are a hell of a lot worse off than us. But life in the U.S. ain’t all sweet apple pie, and opportunities are easier to come by for some than others. Of course, you’d never know this by watching most film or television. With so much false “reality” pervading contemporary media, it is shockingly refreshing to see the true struggle of real life shown so eloquently in some powerful recent documentary films.

As one of three projects assigned in our Visualizations course in the Visual Communication Design program at the UW, we were to develop a theme around three movies of our choosing for a film festival of sorts, then design a corresponding promotional poster series. With American Realities, I thematically linked Roger & Me, Hoop Dreams and Troublesome Creek, as poignant revelations of Americans forced to work extraordinarily hard just to make ends meet, often against opposing forces of others’ opportunities.

By visually expressing the emotional tension of these stories, I aimed to generate awareness not only of these filmic case studies, but also of the true elusiveness of the American dream… Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under Advertising / Campaigns, Copy / Writing, Drawing / Illustration, Print / Editorial


What Do You Call Someone Who…

Rumpelstiltskin would approve. recycling awareness campaign postcard, showing PET bottles going into winter gloves; 7 x 5 in. / 2002

“Designer” is an ethereal thing to call oneself, fraught with misconception and expectation. When I describe myself as such, people I meet invariably respond with the exact same, ever-more-annoying, eight-word phrase: “Oh—that’s, like, with computers and stuff, right?” (I can only imagine that there was some 20/20 John Stossel exposé about the suspicious rise of the machines in the late ’80s—replete with footage of designers large in glasses and shoulder-padding huddled around a tiny Macintosh, working to draw pastel and black magic from it—that permanently ingrained this concept in society at large.) Moreover, most people assume I use my computers and stuff for advertising, where I spin everyday goods into objects of mythical lust… Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under Advertising / Campaigns, Copy / Writing, Photography / Film, Print / Editorial, Signage / Display