Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hoodzpah Logos, The Glory of Freelancing, & Pink Floyd

[All rights reserved. © Amy Hood.]

Life after The OC Gazette has been a wild and exciting (and busy) ride! Yes, I am no longer at the little local magazine where I got my start in graphic design those four years ago. It was the perfect ending to that chapter of my life though. I learned a lot, met a lot of great people, and grew a lot as a designer. Now it's on to new and exciting ventures where I can grow even more! The next chapter? Hoodzpah, baby. Jen (my lovely sister) and I's freelance art and design company is now at priority number one and we are readily accepting all the work we can get our grimy little hands on! Freelancing is a glorious, glorious thing. You get to make your own hours, work when you need to, take breaks when you want to, and you can choose your projects and workload. For that same reason it's hard too, because it takes so much discipline to stay on top of everything and to be diligent and keep a schedule. If it weren't for my handy planner, no work would be done - I'd just be vegging out at the beach, trolling facebook and conquering my Netflix Instant Watch queue all day. 

With a new company comes the daunting and arduous task of branding. Designing a logo for yourself as a designer is one of the hardest things EVAHHH. The glory of being a designer is that you get to try all different styles because you get to work with a slew of unique clients, but when you're designing for yourself you have to pick ONE style to define you as a graphic artist - and its TERRIFYING! It's like the first day of high school when you have to figure out where you're going to sit at lunch. That spot will define you for your whole life! (Well, for the next four years, which seems like your whole life at that age.) All that being said, here are some logo ideas I came up with for Hoodzpah last night. So far I think I'm liking the B series of designs best. All input and ideas are welcome! We knew we wanted to incorporate a diamond(s) in the logo somehow to reference Pink Floyd's mind-blowing and inspiring 13 1/2 minute song "Shine On You Crazy Diamond." If we had a theme song - this would be it. 8 minute intro and all. If this doesn't stir something deep within you, then you're just not human. 

Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Now there's a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
You were caught on the crossfire of childhood and stardom, 
blown on the steel breeze.
Come on you target for faraway laughter, 
Come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!
You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Well you wore out your welcome with random precision,
rode on the steel breeze.
Come on you raver, you seer of visions, 
come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine! 

Alright, it's off to work on a poster for my friend Kc's awesome podcast We're Alive, a podcast about zombies and the end of the world. It's great, but don't take my word for it, take their 4 million listeners' word for it. Did I mention it's free? Nothing like free quality entertainment! Download it here

- Amy
Listening to: Pink Floyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" (Duh.)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Another Playlist: featuring Morrissey, Dead Man's Bones, Black Sabbath & more...

Another playlist to tickle your ears. Some good ole' rock n' roll to get through this CRAZY busy day of designing, phone calls and illustrating. Maybe one of these days I'll actually post some art again. Someday... (Cue the playlist.)


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Design Playlist for The Day, Nick 13, & Joining A Rockabilly Band

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Random, but oh-so good. Also, presale for the new Nick 13 [see Fig. 1] album starts today and I am SO excited! His solo music was so good live. You can get a free download of "Carry My Body Down" here. Trust me - you want it.

[ Nick 13 in all his countrified glory. ]

I can't help it, I love rockabilly and bluegrass. Which reminds me that my oldest and dearest friend Liz Logsdon recently pitched the idea of us starting a chick bluegrass/rockabilly band - me on fiddle, Jen on keys and Liz on guitar, all of us sharing vocals in a lovely (but badass) three part harmony. Watch out music world - we're comin' for ya. The fact that she lives in Michigan and we live in sunny Southern California might pose a slight problem - but distance can't break this dream!  Currently at the top of our list of band name ideas is "Mama Liz and The Hoodlums," which is fairly close to the name of the band we always planned on starting in highschool - "Champion Liz and The Twin Posse". Even if we just play a seedy dive every time we reunite for a visit, that would be ok by me.

- Amy

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Great & Powerful LOCALE Magazine, Some Recent Design, & Eating Brains

LOCALE Magazine flanked by the Cycle Zombies - participants in our Summer Guide. Photograph by Jonah Gilmore, our wonderful photographer for our feature. ]

I've been doing a freelance design project with my sister Jennifer for a rad local OC magazine called LOCALE. It's a really nice 200 page, thick stock, perfect bound magazine with advertisers like Blue Moon and LA Club Sport and really fun and interesting local editorial - so it's basically every editorial designers dream - or at least mine. After working at a smaller publication for the last five years where our covers were paid for, our demographic was suburban moms, and our page count never exceeded 44 (our big dream was to one day have a perfect bound magazine), I am having so much fun letting my creativity run rampant on this project! 

The feature we're working on is a guide to summer in Orange County. It's full of how-tos, lists, interviews with OC celebs on their favorite summer memories, summer fun ideas, and summer playlists from local bands. I really want to post some of the design I've been working on for said project, but I will wait till it is printed to show you the end result. I will give you a little teaser and show you this little beer cap I created for one of the segments. I even made little dew drops! No skimping on the design here, folks.

[ © Amy Hood ]

Yep, just a foreshadow to the greatness to come in this feature. Which brings me to my next point: this feature can only be as great as we envision it with your help. We're compiling a list of "summer musts" and we want to pick your brain and steal some of your genius. That made me sound like a zombie. I promise I won't eat your brain - that's not what I meant. So what do I mean? I mean we want to know what your favorite things to do for summer in Orange County are so we can include it in our list. You know - those things/pastimes you have to indulge in every summer, without which, it's just not summer: going to the beach, riding your beach cruiser on the boardwalk, slip n' slides with your friends, getting a balboa bar at the Balboa Fun Zone... and the list goes on. If you feel inclined to lend your thoughts, leave a comment with your favorite things to do. 

You guys are diamonds.

- Amy
Listening to: Wilco's "Outtasite"

Wilco - Outtasite by WBRNewMedia

Friday, May 6, 2011

Pop Culture Lesson Of The Day: Graham Hill

"I am an artist. The track is my canvas, and the car is my brush."
- Graham Hill

Graham Hill by the Numbers:
2 World Championships
14 Grand Prix Wins

A Quick Look At The Mustachioed Man of Speed

  • This Brit was one of the first Formula One media stars. His quick wit and love for the spotlight made him a fan favorite.
  • Was not as talented as other drivers, but through determination, acute attention to detail and hard work, he rallied with the best.
  • Born Feb. 15, 1929, Hill grew up in London during WWII and the Blitz. 
  • When he was a teenager he got in a motorcycle accident one night that broke his thigh making one of his legs permanently shorter than the other.
  • Was forced to do his national duty and join the Royal Navy. Not too fond of this, he grew a neat thin mustache against naval regulations as a little sign of rebellion. It would become his trademark.
  • Began racing after randomly trying a few laps in a F3 car. He had been "bitten by the racing bug" as he put it, and there was no cure. After overcoming his two main setbacks - one, that he barely knew how to drive a road car let alone a racecar (he didn't get his road license till he was 24), and two, that he had no money to fund his newfound love - he began to etch his name into the history books.
  • To raise money and learn about cars he got a job as a mechanic at a racing school where he soon became an instructor. Talk about starting from the bottom up.
  • Started racing with Team Lotus in 1958.
  • He was a mustachioed man of mischief pulling such shenanigans as dancing on tables, giving impromptu strip tease acts, streaking, flirting shamelessly with the ladies despite his married state.
  • Had a serious dark side with a fierce temper and sharp tongue.
  • Hill was the only driver to this day to win the Triple Crown of Motorsports: The Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of La Mans, and Monaco Grand Prix.
  • He died, not in a car, but while trying to land his plane in thick fog in 1975.

Check out this cool little video about Hill below. That slicked back hair, that thin little mustache, those piercing eyes... he was quite a handsome devil if you ask me. 

- Amy
Listening to: Dead Man's Bones' "In The Room Where You Sleep"

[ C. 1963: Graham driving a replica of Henry Ford's first vehicle the Quadricycle. ]

[ Graham and his son Damon, who also became a driver. They are the only father/son pair to both win the Formula One World Championship. ]

[ Graham Hill: Ladies Man. ]

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Octopusses, Anchors & Josh Kerr

[ DJ Limbs logo by Edit 17: Intelligent Design]

[ Octopus digital illustration from a sketch. © Van Ong ]

[Little Anchor Posters © Alexa Cabellon ]

INSPIRATION OF THE DAY: Octopuses and Anchors

I was trolling the internet yesterday looking for tattoo inspiration with the soon-to-be-owner of some new ink. He wanted an octopus with an anchor - so classic. And not in the "really, you got that? How original" way, but in the "man that's so eternally classic and timeless" way. Big difference. Anyways I found some rad images of octopusses (octopi? Sara Wilkins, where are you when I need you for things like this?) and anchors that I threw in my inspiration folder for future use, and am posting here for your enjoyment. 

I've been insanely busy, so this will be a short post. I'll give you the nitty gritty on why I've been so busy and all the other crazy changes that are going on in my life a little later when I get time to stop and take a breath. Right now it's full speed ahead - and what a bright, bright future it is that lays ahead!

[ Josh Kerr. Photo © Carey ]

What else is inspiring me these beautiful sunny days? This surf video about Josh Kerr, The Kerrazy Kronicles. You can watch the first two parts of it here. This guy does such rad arials and flips. So does the other kid in it Asher Pacey. They just look like they're having so much fun out there. It makes me jealous that I have no balance and will never be able to do that. But I can watch this and dream. There's also a cool song in the film called "Chase Money" by Trouble Andrew. 

- Amy
Listening to: Tegan & Sara's "I Know I Know I Know"
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