Thursday, September 25, 2008

To Whom It May Concern


Dear (fill in your name):

I’ve decided that I want people to refer to me as a maverick. As an opinion leader in your field, I’m hoping that you’ll take a leadership role in my image remake. Despite the fact that I’m living a traditional boring 8-to-5 life, I want to add zest to my reputation. I also like that being called a maverick can explain away any faults, errors in judgment and screw-ups. If there is the opportunity to talk about me to anyone — say for example the clerk where you pick up your dry cleaning, you might say: “Did I ever tell you about this guy I know, Jeff Winke? (soft chuckle) Well, he’s such a maverick!” You have to include the soft chuckle because that really seals the deal. It has to be the right kind of soft chuckle though. It has to be more of a boys-will-be-boys type of chuckle — not a sneering chuckle or a lecherous chuckle or a what-an-idiot chuckle.

Do you think you can do that for me? I appreciate your help.

Jeff “The Maverick” Winke

Monday, September 8, 2008

365 Portraits


In 2007, New York photographer Bill Wadman completed a fascinating project: 365 portraits. Shooting a portrait a day – some studio shots and the rest in either the subject’s home turf or out on the streets. The studio shots are gorgeous. The personal environ photos are voyeuristically fun. And the pics taken out on the street are gritty cool. Wadman includes the person’s name and in most cases what they do for a living. Unfortunately, in far too many cases there’s a description such as “creative individualist” or ‘libertine” or “ice cream optimist” – which is just lame. Yeah, I know what you do for a living doesn’t define who you are, but it does provide some insights as to how you spend a good chunk of time. And I would have loved to see more shots of regular people – shop owners, waitresses, city workers, stockbrokers, taxi drivers, hairdressers, and even an occasional, wild-eyed street person. Probably a bit more challenging and dangerous, but the results would have added needed texture. Still, the project is commendable, cool and creative.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Art & Crafts in the Times


Hooray! The painting of a favorite Milwaukee artist, Max Estes, is on the cover of the September 4, 2008 edition of the New York Times. His work illustrates an article about Faythe Levine a biggie in the indie craft movement and co-owner of Paper Boat Boutique & Gallery in Milwaukee and author of Handmade Nation: The Rise of D.I.Y. Art, Craft, and Design.

Clever Staircase Drawer Idea


This is a brilliant, multifunctional idea I stumbled across. It makes creative use of dead space. The staircase drawer pictured was created by Australia’s Unicraft Joinery located in Hamilton, Victoria, and was featured in the Autumn/Winter 2007 issue of Vogue Living Australia.

Other versions of the staircase drawer can be found in Michael Freeman’s book Space: Japanese Design Solutions and in a how-to-do-it article by Mark Wright in the online DIY magazine, Canadian HomeWorkshop.