a picture is worth a thousand words

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The Book of Trees

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I’m honored being part of a wonderful book: The Book of Trees, Visualizing Branches of Knowledge by Manuel Lima. An incredibly beautiful book with two hundred tree diagram illustrations covering from ancient Mesopotamia to contemporary designers.

My little contribution is a tree representing Obama words in his speeches.

A must have whether like data visualization or just love illustrations.

You can buy it at amazon following this link.

Thanks Manuel for counting on me for this great book!


Ender’s Game

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One of my favourite books from my childhood has become a film to premier… Ender’s Game by Orson Scott, and can wait to see the movie!

I had the luck to be close to this movie while working for the incredible guys of Project C, by creating a IMax Twitter Mosaic with the names of the winners of Ender’s Game online competition.

Awesome experience, and really happy to be part of it. Thanks John and Matthew!!

The movie poster.

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Language as Image (by Lisa Smith)

The common adage that a picture can tell the story of a thousand words is certainly true in the case of artist Juan Osborne, as his work so ably demonstrates, but it also draws us towards the interesting relationship between written language and image. After all, words become an image that we can read or ‘view’ with our eyes. Originally, we evolved the use of language as an aural form of communication; with the way a phrase is said contributing a huge amount to how we understand it. Does language change then, when we read it? Is anything lost, and perhaps more interestingly, what is gained or altered when language becomes image?

The Written Word

One avenue of approach that is of interest is the contrast between the Western form of written language and the Eastern form of it. Western language centers on the use of letters that combine into words, which combine to form sentences, and so on. All these small parts then come together to convey a meaning to the receiver or reader. On its own, an individual letter doesn’t really hold much meaning to us – we simply understand it as a piece, a malleable cog that can be made to fit a variety of more complex machines. We can perhaps find exception to this in the letter ‘I’, as this almost instantly conveys an image of the self. Conversely, Chinese and Japanese traditional text is almost entirely different. Chinese characters for example, are in fact descended from the image of what they refer to, in order to present an instant meaning to the reader. Simply looking at this reference chart that shows the development of Chinese characters over the ages, we can instantly recognise the inspiration for the character of ‘human’ and ‘mountain’, for example, are based on a visual representation. It is perhaps no surprise then that calligraphy was, and still is, held in such high regard as a form of art that effectively blurs the boundaries between image and text.

Words as Art and Expression

The close relationship between image and word is not entirely alien to the Western world of course. Many poets for example, have explored how the text is presented on the page, and how this can impact the reader emotionally by breaking standard reading patterns. One of the most common forms of this is ‘concrete’ poetry, where the subject of the poem becomes not only the focus of the words, but reflected as an image by them. Perhaps one of the most famous examples of this is John Hollanders ‘Swan and Shadow’, that constructs the image of a swan and its reflection on the water through poetry. How important is it then that we play and experiment with new ways of interpreting and presenting the text as image? There are of course, a number of reasons that range from philosophical to conceptual, but perhaps one of the most intriguing is that of how expression can affect our state of mind. There is a growing area of research that suggests writing in general, whether poetry, prose, or simply thoughts, as well as drawing can have a very positive effect on how we feel. This is of particular interest to practitioners of art therapy, ad especially when it comes to helping to treat patients with illnesses such as bipolar and depression. Learning how to cope with bipolar, for example, can be a long and difficult road, but therapists have often found that encouraging sufferers to express themselves as creatively as possible through the use of words and pictures can go a long way toward controlling the condition in addition to the standard medical approach. However we look at it, there is something inherently valuable in the relationship between image and language, even more so when we explore it ourselves at a personal level.

Conceptual Problems

We can, perhaps, glean an insight into this relationship between words and image by briefly examining how we understand the world around us. One philosophical point of view, often championed by Frederick Nietzsche, for example, was that ultimately we can never gain any true insight into the world around us through and form of conception, because we cannot avoid generalising in language. If for example, we say ‘tree’, what really comes to mind? Do we really have anything more than a general, vague image of a tree in our mind? When we go out and examine a tree however, we will find an enormous level of intricacy that is utterly unique to that one tree alone – can this really ever be fully communicated? If we accept this account, then we might say that in fact images as art are fundamental, because they are a more honest account of the world around us, in the sense that they are the personal representation of the artist, and when it comes down to it, that is all we have – a personal representation of the world. Of course, there are many country arguments to this point of view, but ultimately we cannot deny the importance and inter-relation that image and written language holds, and by exploring the combination of the two, perhaps we are in fact pursuing a form of representational truth.

Lisa Smith.


Great Idea , Petite Typeface

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“Great Idea , Petite Typeface” is the name of the book in which some of my illustrations share place alongside other great artists works. It’s a wonderful book with more than 300 full coloured pages, and I love to be part of it.

You can take a look and buy the book here: www.designerbooks.com.cn/Product/7510.html

No commission here! ;-)

 


Caltech Magazine Cover

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I’m really proud of this one. Few months ago I had the opportunity to work for California Institute of Technology, one of the best universities in the world, by creating summer issue cover for their E&S magazine. What can I said… more than a pleasure it was an honour, be related to Caltech is a dream come true.

Finally I did three illustrations you will find along the magazine. The seed for the cover is Thinker of Rodin and the words are current questions around science. You can navigate it on-line through this link.

I love science and technology, and I truly believe science people makes the world go around. I think we have to learn a lot from science world, how they share and how they criticize and grow. Forget politics, bankers or whoever… science people, like these studying at Caltech, will make your life better.

They send me some hard copies that, nicely, arrived yesterday, so it was a great name day gift! BTW I jumped across a bonfire as I used to do when I was young (another crazy spanish tradition!).

Thanks Jenny for thinking of me for this!


Pie Derecho

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Una de mis ilustraciones sobre la obra de Federico García Lorca ha sido portada de la prestigiosa revista latina de Nueva York Pie Derecho http://www.piederecho.com/, en cuya edición se habla sobre el evento ‘Back Tomorrow: Federico García Lorca/Poet in New York’ un homenaje al poeta andaluz y en particular a su obra “Poeta en Nueva York”.

En el post en el que publicaba esta imagen podéis encontrar los detalles sobre la misma. Esta compuesta por las palabras más utilizadas en sus poemas, sin duda una preciosa lista que empieza por: niños (215), muerte (210), amor (199), agua (194), corazón (193), noche (180), cielo (156), canto (146), blanco (136), estrellas (130), oh (130), rosa (128), ojos (126), ay (118), luz (118), quiero (117), sangre (117), viento (116), mar (111)…

Ha sido todo un honor formar parte de esto, gracias Norberto!.


Victor Mannuele

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He tenido la suerte de participar en un concepto creativo para la celebración de los 20 años de carrera profesional del cantante Victor Manuelle. Utilizando los nombres de los álbumes de su extensísima discografía compuse un retrato que se ha utilizado como imagen principal para la campaña.

Si os dais un paseo por su web http://www.victormanuelleonline.com/ podréis como se ha utilizado, de manera muy creativa, esta imagen en vídeos y otros medios.

Gracias Lina y Jaime por la oportunidad.


Pulpea

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Este es uno de esos mosáicos que ponen mis técnicas al límite, inicialmente pensado para servir de fondo en la estupenda tienda de ropa que pulpea.es tiene en Vielha, muy cerca de Baqueira.

Partiendo del logo generé una figura en 3D de manera que al renderizarla diera cierta sensanción de volumen. Con el renderizado en BW propague unas 2.000 fotografías con las que el equipo de Pulpea quería rendir homenaje a sus seguidores y amigos.

El resultado lo podeis apreciar con detalle a través de la página de Zoom.it en este enlace.

 



StateStreet

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I’m very proud of one of my recent works and I want to show it to you. People at StateStreet hired me to work for their last recruitment campaign, and I shared with their design team great moments of fun and hard work. I created only rough illustrations and animations, and the awesome people at StateStreet convert it to something really great.

You can check the final result in the StateStreet recruitment site: http://www.statestreet.com/reachhigher/ There are a dozen text illustrations with landscapes of different cities around the world serving as background of the site. Just hit reload to see a new one.

Also you can take a look at one of my first 3d text animations, you will find it in the beginning of the Welcome video.

Patrick, thank you for thinking on me for this!


Eva Bravo

Eva Bravo es una estupenda artista, además de una buena amiga, con la que tengo pendiente un proyecto conjunto que permita combinar nuestras habilidades creando algo realmente diferente.

Su estilo, tremendamente personal, mezcla la línea clara con un hiperrealismo que te cautiva por la fuerza de la imagen. Sus retratos son obras únicas hechas a mano. Para un artista digital, como yo, parecen trabajos titánicos inasumibles para los que erramos permanentemente.

Podéis ver sus trabajos en su web http://www.evabf.com/ donde además tiene disponible una tienda online desde la que podéis hacer pedidos http://www.evabf.com/es/tienda/producto/13-my-monday-s-shirt-1.html

Algún día espero que veáis por aquí el resultado de mezclar nuestras dispares técnicas.

Mucha suerte Eva!



Donaciones

Ha pasado casi un año desde que decidí que todas las donaciones recibidas las destinaría a aquellos que están ayudando a los niños. Y ha llegado la hora de contaros a quien he decidido mandar vuestro dinero.

Las donaciones no han sido muchas, por eso quiero agradecer enormemente a aquellos que con su generosidad contribuido a esta pequeña causa. Así que Borja, Brian, Kathleen, Geoffrey, Victor, Jamela y Henrik… GRACIAS! :-)

Por mi parte no se me ocurre nada que me satisfaga más que sumarme a vosotros para que el total de la donación llegue a los 300$.

Para mí era importante que esta donación no se convirtiese en algo impersonal, no quería que fuese una mera transferencia a una cuenta bancaria sino algo entre personas. Vosotros me disteis vuestro dinero y yo quiero contaros a quien se lo estamos dando y saber algo más de él.

Así que esto es lo que ocurrió…

Pablo me paró en la calle cuando volvía  a casa de trabajar, con una gran sonrisa y una enorme amabilidad me hablo de la ONG a la que pertenecía y de lo mucho que ayudaría a los niños una pequeña cantidad de dinero anual.

Me convenció, pero a cambio le pedí que nos contase algo sobre él. Y estas son sus palabras.

¿Puedes contarnos algo sobre ti?, ¿Quién eres?

Soy Pablo Martín, soy un chico de 24 años que está estudiando ingeniería informática de sistemas, y que trabaja a media jornada en las campañas de calle de Plan España. También he trabajado de voluntario sobre todo con ancianos y vendiendo productos de comercio justo, que invito a que compréis.

Actualmente estoy apadrinando a dos niños, y colaborando con una ONG de comercio justo.

¿Qué te llevó a ayudar a otros?

Supongo que desde pequeño me han enseñado a valorar mucho las cosas que tengo, así que cuando me di cuenta de que había mucha gente que no tenía ni siquiera para comer, me pregunte ¿qué puedo hacer yo? Las respuesta fue “haciendo trabajo de voluntario y colaborando con varias ONG’s “

Desde que tenía 12 años he estado apadrinando un niño, en bachillerato unos cuantos compañeros y yo nos animamos a hacer un periódico, para con los beneficios, apadrinar un niño.

¿Cómo te sientes?, ¿Que añade eso a tu vida?

Apadrinar me hace sentir que estoy devolviendo una parte de lo que se me ha regalado a la gente más necesitada, también me hace crecer como persona. Cada vez más pienso que nos preocupamos demasiado por el tener y demasiado poco por el ser, y dejamos de lado a las personas.

Un amigo que es cooperante me contaba, que cuando estuvo en Perú, le hizo un avión de papel a un niño. El niño jugaba todos los días con ese avión y lo cuidaba mucho, y siempre le ponía una sonrisa en la cara, sin embargo nosotros (yo el primero) muchas veces no valoramos lo que tenemos y siempre queremos más. El apoyar a esta gente me hace darme cuenta de lo que realmente es importante, las personas.

¿Qué le dirías a tu mejor amigo para que ayudase?

Dime una sola cosa mejor en la que puedas invertir el dinero, que tanto te cuesta ganar, que en darle un futuro y una vida digna a una persona.

Muchas gracias por tu tiempo y tu amabilidad Pablo.

El dinero lo he transferido hoy a la ONG Plan, para saber más sobre ellos puedes visitar su website español o internacional.

Mil gracias a todos.


What People Do…

I recently receive an email from one of my readers, Okan Akildane who run a advertising company called Ceres in Istambul.

He sent me some photos and one video showing how they are using some of my illustrations. And I think it’s a good opportunity to show you what people do with my stuff.

The nice thing of my vector files is they are fully scalable. No matter the big you print it you will always have smooth curves.

And with big sizes there is a beautiful effect from closer views because the whole image almost disappear, and people will probably have a surprise when they get distance and discover the image behind the words.

Thanks Okan!


Words Words Words

Today goes on sale Bo Burnham’s latest work, “Words, Words, Words”. As you can see I have been involved in the CD/DVD cover with one of my illustrations.

I wish the best to this hilarious comedian/singer (hard to define!). If you don’t know Bo take a look at his website or watch one of his youtube videos. You will not regret.

You can also find Words, Words, Words in iTunes.

Thanks Bo!.


Featured at Siggraph

My Leonardo Da Vinci  image was featured at Siggraph Digital Arts Community. Thank you very much!.


20 of the Best

My Kurt Cobain portrait has been selected as part of the “20 of the Best Typographical Portraits Found on the Web”, along with a lot of amazing works,  by the website DesignJuices.

You can take a look at the article here.

Thank you so much!


Generative Composition

Here we go Again. Now with a composition application programmed in processing.

The program takes a bunch of images and generate a composition using a (random) growing pattern algoritm. If you dont like the composition you just have to click and the program will generate a new random composition… till the one you like.

The nice thing is that you can have a mask layer. The black parts of the mask image will be areas forbidden for the algoritm.

As an example I used more than 200 photos from one of my last architectural project, a retail centre in Lorca (Spain). Click to enlarge view or download PDF version.

Dowload PDF ParqueAlmenara.pdf (7.5MB)


SundayYoungDesigner

I’m very glad to announce that I have been included in the SundayYoungDesigner competition from one of my favourite websites: http://www.1designperday.com/.

I’m really happy because 1designperday.com is a must visit for designers with a lot of fun and inspiring works. It’s an honor just to be there.

Thank you guys!… I appreciate it so much.


iDim, ultrafast autocad dimensioning

Add dimension in autocad is one of the most boring task… To avoid it, and because I’m lazy, I made an autolisp application that add dimension to lines. I called it “idim” and I want to share it with you because it is very usefull.

Some considerations: The dimension will be in the current layer with the current dimension style. It will add dimensions only to line entities. It will try to detect ‘holes’ and add  a dimension to it.

Instructions: appload idim.vlx, type idim… select lines… go!

It’s on beta stage. In future versions it will let you choose offset and other variables.

Free for personal and commercial use (if you use it commercialy consider donation).

Download idim.zip (3kB).


Free RPC People

RPC objects are great for 3D rendering. They render fast and it is easy to setup.

But sometimes you just don’t need photorealistic trees or people. For example in an architectural competition,  in order to show the building scale, people inserts only human transparent silhouettes.

Here you have my little own colection. Based in ex colleagues photos. (hi BM!)

Download JO-PersonasOpacas-BM (230kb)

Files in the ZIP:

JO-PersonasOpacasBM-Alicia.rpc
JO-PersonasOpacasBM-Carolina.rpc
JO-PersonasOpacasBM-Filip.rpc
JO-PersonasOpacasBM-Francisco.rpc
JO-PersonasOpacasBM-Jacopo.rpc
JO-PersonasOpacasBM-JuanFrancisco.rpc
JO-PersonasOpacasBM-Maca.rpc
JO-PersonasOpacasBM-Monica01.rpc
JO-PersonasOpacasBM-Monica02.rpc
JO-PersonasOpacasBM-Patrick.rpc

Free for personal and commercial use.