Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Deal or no Deal

In a severe state of exhaustion from being constantly on the go and trying to pack stuff in. I already tried writing this post, but the stupid computer deleted it, so I'm going to try again. The first one was really witty and clever and a literary masterpiece though...I'm really sorry you had to miss out.

I've been trying to think of some projects to get all of this creativity out when I get home. I really would like to do a graphic simple version of the gospel where it's just honest, entertaining, and would help people get it. Being here has enforced my idea that people claim to have an understanding of faith and christianity but don't understand the relevance of Christ. I also am fairly obsessed with metaphors that help you understand biblical concepts a la CS Lewis and GK Chesterton. I really would like to do a letterpress project just for myself with that. Another project is a shirt with velcro where I can attach felt character that look like ugly dolls to the outside and clooooothes since I can't afford any here. Though I did go to the French Connection warehouse in the ghetto of East London and got a rockin dress for 10 pounds and proceeded to wash and shrink in our sketchy washers we have. In the immortal words of Carolyn "SAD DAY".

If anyone wants to buy me a present my friends and I visited the coolest book store of life today Magma . I think my amazon wishlist is going to be 80 million books long by the end of this trip.

I wanted to post some more funny things that have happened that I forgot to post:

In prague there was a rugby team staying in our hotel who dressed up as french maids and went around with feather dusters quoting "deal or no deal" all night and seranading my friend Mandi with Barry Mannnilow's classic song "Mandy".

My friends who went to Italy over the break quasi hitchhiked to Rome with a man who had no hands and drove them into the city. His name is "Tony no hands" and he owns a bar here in London.

My favorite part of our Baseline (awesome type magazine) visit was playing hide and go seek with the owners daughter who is 4. She told me to "go hide in the other room under the table and she'd come find me". I really relate to 4 year olds, they rock. The designers weren't that entertained though.

Steph said she's moving into my Utopian city, so I'm pretty excited. And I can't stop eating these chocolate covered digestive cookies. They sound gross but they're AMAZING. We're making smores with them for July 4th.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

London Macs

Spending another quality Sunday with Greg (it's our new tradition). We went to church at All Souls once again and it was an amazing talk on Hebrews 13:7-14. Right now we're in Oxford Circus at the ginormous mac store and it feels like home. I miss my powerbook like whoa. Now we're off to Camden market and more sightseeing...I just thought it'd be cool to write a blog from the British mac store.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

We Will Rock You

Today I saw my first West End production (equivalent to Broadway). We saw We Will Rock You, a musical based on the music of Queen. It was a crazy production of fantastic lights and awesome set design. It was an odd blend of science fiction, Bohemian ideals, and amazing voices. Here's the poster:

I think we're going to see Mary Poppins on Wednesday.

Last week we saw stone carvers, and did a sweet letterpress workshop where we used the printing presses to make some posters. We also went to the Barbican which is built around utopian ideals for a community and is now the center of the arts in London. We saw a crazy exhibit on modern utopian architecture and city planning, and then I went to see a movie about Lagos the Nigerian City who's population is exploding out of control. It's kind of hard to take everything in and my mind's on information overload, but after my urban communities class all of this urban planning stuff is absolutely fascinating. I wonder if I can build a city with a graphic design degree, maybe I'll team up with my architect friend Brandon and build our own metropolis. If you actually read this thing then you're totally invited to move in.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Back to the flat

Last night we did a farewell Prague boat tour and dinner on some river I can't pronounce and it was fantastic. Being there is like being on the set of some surreal movie where everything is beautiful. My favorite part of the evening was ballroom dancing and my friend Sarah asking some old man to dance. Sam who is the self proclaimed and undisputed "asshole" of the class for whatever reason thinks I'm cool and we tore it up with our mad dancing skills (aka we are the worst dancers of life) and it was absolutely hilarious. I went to a phenomenal photo exhibit, and went to lots of museums. My favorite store is one called Qubus which is this little design store filled with crazy modern design pieces from young Czech designers.

We went to this Jewish cemetery which is the only plot of land that Jewish people were allowed to be buried in for a long time, and the people are buried 12 layers deep and everyone has a headstone, so you just see this sea of jammed headstones with crazy beautiful Hebrew written on it. It's totally bizarre because it's a huge tourist destination, so people are snapping away pictures and tour guides are leading people through a burial ground.

After this past week I say forget London I'm moving to Prague.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Prague 2

Getting ready to head out for an adventure in the Jewish Quarter of Prague. Yesterday was so cool watching the Czech vs. Ghana World cup game from Prague Square with all the crazy Czech people.

We watched it on a huge screen here and it was packed with people.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Welcome to Prague

Nine friends and I arrived safely in Prague yesterday, and it is a GORGEOUS city. Kind of circus like and a whole new world. I get kind of embarrassed every time someone says something and smiles at me and all I can do is blush and say "I speak English". So weird.

We went exploring today and visited the Prague castle which sits on a hill overlooking the red terracota roofs of the city. The old gothic architecture is amazing. They're also famous for their puppet making, so my friend matt got one which we named Kafka since this is his hometown. We're watching lots of world cup and enjoying Prague's infamous hot dogs and Pilsner.

It's pretty liberating to just book your own flight and hotel (and get a sweet deal) and head off to a foreign country with your friends. Though highly entertaining trying to get around when no one has a clue what you're saying. I'm a big fan of these adventures and the Czech Republic.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


We saw an exhibit at the V&A yesterday on Modernism, and it really struck me how almost spiritual it is. They believed that society would change not with revolution, but with the change of your environment. That things should be clean, healthy, light, and full of fresh air. Everything should be stripped on non essential elements and that everything should be designed for functionality.

I definitely don't think that all of the worlds problems can be solved by redesigning simpler lives, but I do really think they were on to something. On leadership weekend one of the older leaders TK was talking about how we clutter our lives and how distracting it is. I love a lot of their aesthetics of big windows and clean lines, how everything has it's place. I love how experimental, controversial, and inventive they were. I love that they were naive enough to think they could change the world.

modernism at the V&A

We also poked around Alan Fletcher's studio. He's 76 and still designing and started the company Pentagram which I mentioned in a different blog. He was the craziest packrat, but everything was ridiculously organized. A nice contrast to the other exhibit. He's totally a grandfather and really witty and insists that he's never worked that he only plays. His artwork is ridiculously simply smart and playful. So awesome.

I've had the most amazing time bonding with my flatmates and a couple other kids. We just stayed in and hung out last night laughing hysterically over the most random stuff ever.

Today we listened to this guy who writes books about designers and learned about why we need to know design history and putting it in a cultural context. Seeing how things have changed. We also had a talk from Peter Saville who's really super famous here for New Order and Joy Division album covers, and he told us about how graphic design these days scares him. How you do have a lot of power, and how a lot of people do really crappy work. It just makes you want to soak it all in and do your own thing. So much to take in, and I'm totally drained writing this. There's sooo much more, but just ask if you care.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

all souls

This week's been pretty interesting with constant motion and getting acclimated, but today I had the best day yet with some serious confirmation that this is exactly where I'm supposed to be. Greg and I went to all souls today for church after Curry's recommendation. It was great. It's in Oxford Circus and in this really sweet building. It was pretty traditional with the hymns and whatnot, and the guest pastor was awesome. He spoke on being a Christian in the work place (or in my case at school) and how important it is to pray for our coworkers and love them. He also slipped in that he had worked for an ad agency in New York for a few years at which point Greg and I turned and stared at each other (since we're on a ad and graphic design trip). We asked him afterwards where he worked and he replied Ogilvy at which point our jaws dropped because that is "the" advertising firm, and then we discussed the fonts in his presentation and the spiritual life of London. It was awesome.

Then we explored Herod's; London's premiere mall where all we could afford was a starbucks coffee. Everything was so overwhelming, everything from the most expensive designer bags and contemporary furniture to a floor of gourmet food from all over the world. AMAZING. Then we went to the Natural history museum on a search for Archie the giant squid which we couldn't find.

Then we went to this Thai restaurant/British pub and had some green curry and fried bananas when the American couple next to us asked where we were from. We replied Delaware and immediately the couple at another table spun around and asked, "DID YOU SAY DELAWARE?!?!" and we said yes, and they replied that they were from Laurel. This world is way too small.

Later we went back to a place called "Bar haha" which is strikingly similar to Brew Haha where I hang at home for another all soul's function which used proverbs to relate to how we act in the workplace. It's the only church function I've ever been to where they serve free beer and orange juice. Super interesting. I talked to a young woman architect from Greece who was so flipping awesome. Today has been such a good day especially after feeling like kind of an outsider for the past week. Sometimes I find it really hard to relate to some people who are so different from me and hold such diferent values. It can be such a struggle, but today was awesome to have the undeniable sense that I am not alone.

Friday, June 09, 2006

really early

"Come, Thou fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise."

Today we left out flats at 2:30am to catch the sunrise at Stonehenge. We were standing inside the ancient ruin watching the sun come up over these amazing rolling hills and pastures filled with sheep. Since it's like a giant ancient clock/calendar it made me think about our need to place ourselves in the cosmos, and see where we stand in time.

After that we headed to Salisbury cathedral, which was absolutely beautiful. But you can't help but sit and think what their intention was in building this giant building with the bodies of all kinds of people buried there. It's just so huge and grandiose and unnecessary. I don't know if I like it.

We've also been touring these amazing design studios such as Pentagram, and Michael Johnson . Just hearing about what it takes to be good in the industry. I like Michael Johnson because he describes his business as a Robin Hood company. He takes on Huge clients to pay the bills and ultimately do free design for the museums and things that he really cares about. He's also an amazing guitar player.We went to the V&A museum yesterday and saw a photo exhibit on the iconic image of Che Guavera. I'd already seen the exhibit at ICP in New York, but somehow everything just looks cooler here. The way it was set up the exhibit was so much better organized. We also saw an exhibit on 60's clothes in london and psychadelic 60's posters which was fun.

We went to the design school here in london to get a taste of how they do things "across the pond" and I was blown away by their photo department. I'm seriously considering switching from graphic design to photography as a concentration. I need to have a long talk with Bill about it.

Another beautiful experience was on Wednesday my friend Melissa was having a really bad day, and I was exhausted and feeling a little lonely, so we decided to go on an adventure. We ended up at the Tower Bridge and it was lit up and pretty much breathtaking. We walked across to this outdoor ampitheatre right on the Thames and watched this old black and white film outside. It was fantastic.

I won't bore you guys anymore, but things are going well. Still getting used to stuff, and figuring things out. I wish some of you were here! I miss you a ton.

Monday, June 05, 2006

coloring is an art

Today we went to the British Museum to see some artwork. I got really excited when the children's brochure stated that they loan crayons to entertain your kids. I got a funny look from the woman when I asked for coloring supplies, so I added "for the kids" and we were off. Luke, Matt, Lauren, Nikki and I sat drawing one of the "Heech" statues. We attracted the attention of a number of visitors including the curator of the exhibit who told us that heech=nothing in Persian.

We also talked briefly to David Bailey after spotting him in his flat. We've also just been figuring out how to get around on the tubes and buses and where to find everything. It's basically like New York with British accents minus a couple things like:
Dryers don't actually dry your clothes
it doesn't get hot
still have to think too much before crossing the street
hot dogs are not hot dogs and you will waste $4 buying one
everything is twice as expensive

We're living in the Arab part of town so that's wierd too because there isn't a lot of english being spoken. Also English people are really nice and witty.


Sunday, June 04, 2006


"I watch the patchwork farms
slow fade into the oceans arms
Calm down, release your cares
the stale taste of recycled air"
-Postal Service

I love the view from airplanes.

I'm here chillin in London with my rockin flatmates. I'm so happy because the flight was sweet, and we have really huge windows.

We're going to the Royal College of Art tonight for a rockin Art Show. That's about it, it's pretty chill here. Our missions for the day are to find a post office to exchange some money and get some bangers and mash or something.


Friday, June 02, 2006

Life is crazy

So today...the day before we leave for London my crazy ad professor Ray (the guy who wears all black) retired from the program and will not be accompanying us to London. We'll still be going, but Bill my photo professor is taking charge. Pretty much hilarious.

So fired up to take off tomorrow with 31 of my favorite people that I have 3 years invested in. They are awesome! I'm living with 2 girls, one looks like a crazy little punk rocker and she works at a piercing and tattoo place (she's got crazy piercings) but she's really down to earth and listens to sweet music. The other is Nooey and she's super cool and pretty normal compared to most art students but she's not without her quirks. I'm a huge fan of both of them.

Also last night I hung out with my crew from home, Meghan and her bf Jacob and Abby's bf Luke, and Brandon and it kind of made me sad to leave. It's so great to chill on the beach and act totally goofy with them. I've also decided that I am completely blessed that my friends have such amazing boyfriends (Matty and Pete included). They are absolutely amazing people that I'm totally lucky to be around.