bert monroy

Bert Monroy, pushing the limits of software design.

A few years back, at a National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) Photoshop World, I attended a seminar held by Bert Monroy. His digital "paintings" blew me away back then, but his latest effort is truly incredible. He has really pushed the limits of software and hardware with his latest creation, "Times Square." In addition to being an incredible work of art, it is also an homage to Photoshop developers and professional photographers, featuring quite a few of those characters within the work. The finished painting will be on display at Photoshop World, March 30 to April 1 in Orlando, FL.

The image size is 60 x 300 inches and took four years to create. The overall image contains over 500,000 layers (total of all the files) and is comprised of almost 3,000 individual Photoshop and Illustrator files. Check out "Times Square" and see it for yourself.


just for fun

film strip

Video—just for the fun of it.

There are many good reasons to consider posting videos on your website. This may not be one of them, but as I was fiddling around with uploading and embedding videos, I thought it would be nice to create a page just for fun and share a couple that can be found on Vimeo.

happy cinco de mayo

To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, I thought it would be fun to take a look at fonts designed by typeface designers in Mexico. The 2010 Type Directors Club award winners includes Cristobal Henestrosa of Mexico City. Cristobal's revival typeface, Espinosa Nova, is based on types used by Antonio de Espinosa, a Mexican printer of the 16th century. The typeface is number six on the TDC list. (Another winner, Deliscript, was recently showcased by For a list of Mexican (or Mexican inspired) typeface designers and a few typeface samples, you can visit the Mexico Font Scene.

If you’d like to see some modern Mexican graphic design, check out this sampling on Blog of Francesco Mugnai. The blog features Mexican design that they deem the "world's best."

speaking in a foreign tongue


Kicking around in the iTunes store about 11 weeks ago, I came upon My Daily Phrase Italian (one of many language programs by Radio Lingua). And so “step by step, day by day, phrase by phrase,” I have been learning and relearning a few words. I have been learning to speak Italian from Mark, who speaks English with a Scottish accent. Interestingly enough, I now find myself speaking English with a Scottish accent on occasion. When I was a child I spent much of my time with my grandfather, and so back then I spoke English with an Italian accent. For example, I would ask the waitress to cut my toast “corn to corn” because I wouldn’t eat bread unless it was cut at an angle, from corner to corner.

At any rate, I now know how to say “Sto imparando l’italiano. Non parlo molto. Parli inglese?” a group of phrases which make my mother laugh every time I say them. (I’m learning Italian. I don’t speak much. Do you speak English?) After 11 weeks, I know quite a few other phrases and words too (but none of the phrases and words I heard my grandfather say under his breath). I have got to work it a little more, but I find myself beginning to think in Italian every so often, and also at times when I fumble for an Italian word, I find I come up with the French equivalent. It’s been awhile since I’ve studied French so it is quite fun to relearn bits of that as I go along too.

Learning Italian has also brought me a new awareness of the musicality of a language, which in turn benefits my creative writing. I find that opening myself up to new things has always benefited my endeavors in some way. Designing for a dance company and viewing modern dance performances added a fluidity to my design work which had not been apparent before. It also challenged me to create collages of photos, work that I have not done for some time, but have been thinking of experimenting with again.

But now I must get back to the business of writing copy for a business. In between, I’ll keep learning Italian “step by step, day by day, phrase by phrase,” and continue to experiment with new techniques in writing, design, and photography.

Tutto per oggi! Ciao!

chasing the crow

This morning I saw a small bird soaring right behind a large black crow. It seemed like the small bird was chasing the crow who was about five times the size of the small bird.

As I watched them, I thought about art and creativity, and how all the creative things that artists do are sort of like the small bird chasing the crow. You have a goal in mind that you’re in pursuit of, a vision of something greater than yourself, and you’re trying to catch it.

Later, as I tooled along downtown, I heard an old song by Donovan with a line that ran something like this, “First there is the mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.” The song also mentions a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. Sixties songs and Donovan’s influences aside, I thought of those words in relationship to the bird and the crow and to the process of art as well. A vision of something larger than yourself. Either a feeling of missing the mountain or scaling it step by step and losing sight of the mountain. And then, there it is back again, and hopefully you’re not still at the foot of it.

While I’ve been busy writing and doing design work, I have also been busy trying to get a new online photo service for my work, go through some of my photos and pop them into my gallery, and this has re-ignited my desire to pursue pinhole photographs again.

In addition to experimenting with color pinhole and using my digital differently to get similar effects, I also worked on scanning some of my original black and white pinholes. Although that presented a few obstacles, I had fun doing it. The pinholes are so different than everything else I have shot, but as Marian Roth, my pinhole teacher, told me: these are a part of who I am too. “You think it’s the camera,” she said, “but it’s not. It’s you.”

Since I’ve been thinking about blogging, and haven’t done so for a month, I thought I’d share a few pinholes today. They are a lot darker than my other photography, and the color ones have presented some pretty eerie effects, but I love them just as much, if not more than getting crystal clear, light- and color-filled shots.

Fountain of Ghosts
The fountain in the yard at Snug Cottage in Provincetown. Taken with what I referred to as my “fish-cam.”

wharf 1
Lancy’s Wharf, Provincetown
Also taken with the “fish-cam.”

The “fish cam” was a can decorated with colorful fish. I used the fish to orient the paper inside either vertically or horizontally. The paper was curved inside which provides the warped look.

wharf 2
Lancy’s Wharf II, Provincetown
Taken with the “eye-cam.”

The “eye cam” was a smaller Body Shop can. I drilled the hole for the pinhole through the eye on the cover of the can. I didn’t shave the hole clean, and this added a little something to the process.

This broken up pier just keeps disintegrating with each passing year. I’ll be sorry to see it go.