Travelling Boots, Edinburgh

travelling boots
It's with great sadness that I am retiring my travelling boots. They got me through snow, rain, mud, cobblestones, sand, forests, ice, slush, stairs and hills in 14 different countries. As they were too big to pack they were inevitably the shoes I would wear whenever I was in transit, meaning they were often under the weight of at least 20 extra kilos of luggage. There are holes in the soles, the lining's toast, the arches are failing and they just aren't too pretty anymore so sadly they will be staying in Scotland when I leave next week for South Africa. On that note, I have no idea what to pack for this next leg of my trip and am down to less than a quarter of the clothes I started with five months ago. I dread shopping but it has to be done. Any suggestions for what to wear during winter in South Africa?


Workshop Coffee Co, London

The Workshop Coffee Co., London

I spent my last morning in London at the beautiful newly rebranded Workshop Coffee Co drinking way too much coffee, eating delicious breakfast (you MUST try the corn fritters with poached eggs) and pouring over SEO material. I've been super interested in Search Engine Optimization lately and am trying my best to learn way more about it. Thanks to a Twitter friend I was lead to The Beginners Guide to SEO, a great resource for best practices. I'm about halfway through and have already learnt so much, can't wait to put it to use on some of my upcoming projects.

I was also fortunate to see a friendly face from home behind the counter at Workshop. The lovely photographer Elyse Bouvier packed up her life in Calgary and moved to London right around the time I was starting out on my own overseas adventure. Meeting new friends is great but there's something wonderful about catching up with someone from home. Elyse makes good coffee and take beautiful photos so be sure to stop by and see her at the cafe and to check out her work. I've also heard she's looking for freelance photo and design work in London, hire this girl!

The Workshop Coffee Co., London       SEO notes, The Workshop Coffee Co., London

SEO for Beginners, The Workshop Coffee Co., London       Elyse Bouvier, The Workshop Coffee Co., London

The Workshop Coffee Co., London


Brains at the Wellcome Collection, London

graphic design for Brains at the Wellcome Collection, London

You really can't ignore the marketing for the Wellcome Collection's current exhibit, Brains: the mind as matter. The gorgeous imagery caught my eye all over town and made an otherwise unknown museum at the top of my list of things to do in London (yay graphic design!). This is the type of thing that really excites me! The Wellcome Collection bills itself as "a free destinations for the incurably curious" and it absolutely delivers. It effortlessly combines the the concepts of a museum, gallery and science centre to create a beautiful multimedia creative learning space for all ages. As usual with these types of things, no photos allowed but trust me that the interior of the museum is stunning and the design of the Brains exhibition brilliantly matches the accompanying printed material. Take a look at these beautiful pieces I was able to snag and please stop by this fantastic out of the way museum and see it yourself the next time you're in London. Also, watch the video at the bottom, it's perfect.

graphic design for Brains at the Wellcome Collection, London

graphic design for Brains at the Wellcome Collection, London

graphic design for Brains at the Wellcome Collection, London
graphic design for Brains at the Wellcome Collection, London

graphic design for Brains at the Wellcome Collection, London
graphic design for Brains at the Wellcome Collection, London
graphic design for Brains at the Wellcome Collection, London

graphic design for Brains at the Wellcome Collection, London

Chrissy Wallace, London

London illustrator Chrissy Wallace
Chrissy Wallace is a talented and ambitious illustrator and sculptor originally from Glasgow making her way in London as a freelancer. Her almost hallucinatory pieces are composed of strong imagery and fine detail, clashing traditional techniques with vivid graphics. I especially love her Día de los Muertos work. I felt as if I've known Chrissy for ages after hearing all about her when I explored Berlin with her boyfriend Che. I was fortunate to spend a really lovely afternoon with them both wandering through Little Venice, eating fish & chips and seeing a ton of alternative galleries and shops in East London. Chrissy's right in the middle of organizing The Picture Show, an exhibition of young illustrators including herself and Che, which was great to hear about firsthand despite the fact that I'll sadly be back in Calgary by then. So, if you're going to be in London in July definitely check it out.

London illustrator Chrissy Wallace
London illustrator Chrissy Wallace
London illustrator Chrissy Wallace       London illustrator Chrissy Wallace

London illustrator Chrissy Wallace

London illustrator Chrissy Wallace
portfolio: www.chrissywallace.co.uk
photo blog: theillusiveeye.tumblr.com
twitter: @chrissy_wallace


Designs of the Year 2012, London

Earlier in the week at the London Design Museum I was able to catch the fifth annual Designs of the Year exhibition. Seriously inspiring stuff. The awards celebrate achievement in architecture, fashion, furniture, graphics, products and transportation from all over the world. The exhibition allowed visitors to view and interact with the impressive and varied designs. There were strictly no photos allowed as the winners hadn't been announced yet but here are a few of my favourites.

Hövding Invisible Cycle Helmet - Hövding (Sweden)
Hövding Invisible Cycle Helmet
An invisible bicycling helmet that inflates into a hooded airbag. The stylish collar contains the folded up airbag that is triggered by sensors which pick up abnormal movements of a bicyclist in an accident.

Tesco Home Plus Virtual Store - Tesco (South Korea)
Virtual shelves featuring products with QR codes installed in subway stations and bus stops in South Korea. The digital store allows commuters to do their shopping by scanning items with their smart phone. Their choices are then delivered to their home by the end of the day.

AA Files - John Morgan Studio (UK)
AA Files
The Architectural Association School of Architecture's journal, sent out to members and sent to a global network of bookstores twice yearly. Through beautifully clean and consistant design the AA Files promote original and engaging writing on architecture.

Oratory Jacket - Brompton Bicycle Ltd (UK)
Oratory Jacket
Bicycling apparel that combines bespoke tailoring with highly visible and durable materials that can be worn during the commute and then minimally altered to be worn throughout the day.

One Thousand Cranes for Japan - Anomaly and Unit 9 (UK)
One Thousand Cranes for Japan
This project has artists donating patterns which users can print out with instructions to make origami cranes in exchange for a donation to disaster relief in Japan. The project draws on Japanese legend that a person who folds 1000 origami cranes will be granted a wish. New patterns are released daily. www.onethousandcranesforjapan.com

Mine Kafon -  Massoud Hassani (Netherlands)
Mine Kafon
This wind powered land mine destroyer is made from bamboo and biodegradable plastic. If it rolls over a land mine it will destroy itself and the land mine in the same time. It's integrated GPS chip allows you to see were it went, the safest paths to walk on and how many land mines are destroyed in an area. massoudhassani.blogspot.co.uk


Hejorama Disposable Stories

Disposable Stories, Edinburgh
I'm so happy to have had the chance to participate in Hejorama's Disposable Stories project, a sort of photographic social experiment with a chain of five people around the world taking five photos each with the same disposable camera. I was third in the chain of camera 5, which I picked up in Berlin and took with me during my first trip to Edinburgh. I was also in Berlin with Che while he took his series and with Brittney in Switzerland while she took hers so this project is a wonderful time capsule of the first couple months of my trip. Check out the wonderfully random photos!

Hejorama Disposable Stories Camera 5

Happiness and Other Survival Techniques, London

Happiness and Other Survival Techniques, Design Museum, London

I've always appreciated the design and social focus of COLORS magazine so I was thrilled to see an exhibition at the London Design Museum inspired by their recent Survival Guide magazine trilogy. Happiness and Other Survival Techniques explores various differing cultural attitudes and strategies regarding transport, happiness and shit. The installation makes an impact through the use of primary colours, engraved wood panels, step by step instruction sheets, layered large scale photographs, latrines and a giant robot. The displays are interactive and tactile and the entire exhibition has a very DIY feel. To further the take action concept, blank COLORS Survival Guide notebooks were given out to visitors to fill in and send back to contribute to a future exhibition. I picked one up, hoping to put a bit of effort into it here and there, will definitely keep you posted when and if I do. Unfortunately today was the last day of the exhibit but you should check out the awesome online component here and order backorders of the gorgeous print survival guides here. So glad I caught it in time.

Happiness and Other Survival Techniques, Design Museum, London

Happiness and Other Survival Techniques, Design Museum, London
Happiness and Other Survival Techniques, Design Museum, London
Happiness and Other Survival Techniques, Design Museum, London
Happiness and Other Survival Techniques, Design Museum, London

Photos courtesy COLORS


There & Here

There & Here weekend photos

The blog's been relatively quiet the last few weeks as I've taken some much needed downtime to relax in my home away from home in Edinburgh. However, Charlotte and I are still posting regularly on There & Here including weekly photos and designs comparing our respective countries. Check it out to see what I've been up to and where I've been.

It's been nice as the past couple weeks have allowed me time to start working with a few fantastic new clients and to hang out at some of my favourite local places without feeling guilty about not trying something new. I also had the chance to take a road trip to Glasgow and a camping trip to the highlands, during which I allowed myself time to unplug and unwind. A vacation from my vacation as they say. I've been seeing some really inspiring stuff in London this week so now that the week of relaxing in Scotland is over and the craziness from the robbery has died down I will be posting again soon.

Travel theft, London

travel note regarding travel theft
So, it happened, I was robbed while travelling. I was having dinner at a pub in Richmond with my mom who has met up with me in London for a week. I went to pay at the end of the meal and my purse was gone from the back of my chair. We didn't even see it happen. I will say I am generally really smart about my belongings but I guess I've started to let my guard down after being gone for so long. I also don't usually carry so much cash on me but it was a gift from my grandma that my mom had brought with her from home and I had just put it in my wallet. Thankfully my iPhone and camera weren't in my bag and my passport and MacBook were back in our room. Also there was no physical altercation and both myself and my mom are unharmed. As I mentioned, it could have been worse. And if this is the worst of my luck during seven months of travel (knock on wood) it really isn't that bad. But, it's a tough lesson to learn to stay alert and I will definitely be paying closer attention to my belongings from now on. It's also a shame it happened a few days into my mom's much anticipated first trip overseas as an adult, really hoping it doesn't deter her from future travel.

I spent the day at the Design Museum this afternoon after a long night and morning on the phone with the banks back home. I'll be posting on that soon but for now read my friend Alex's account on Hejorama about securing your stuff while travelling after of his recent brush with travel theft in Thailand.