Art Happening – Belfast School of Art by Conánn FitzPatrick

Great thing about working in Ulster University's Belfast School of art is there is aways something interesting going on.

Volcanic Eruption in Grimsvotn, Iceland by Conánn FitzPatrick

Volcanic Eruption in Grimsvotn, Iceland May 21 2011 from Jon Gustafsson on Vimeo.

Volcanic eruption in Vatnajokull. Shot for - Helicopter Service of Iceland.

Haven't really had time to watch the video. Volcano season keeps me pretty busy. I cut it on board the helicopter on the way back from the eruption. Threw some music from the fantastic composer Veigar Margeirsson ( on it and posted it here.

It took us 90 minutes to fly to Grimsvotn with a strong wind against us. The eruption looked magnificent in the sunset. We got there at 11pm. Once we landed 5 miles away from the crater the cold glacier air hit us like a truck. We tried to work outside but I only lasted for a couple of minutes. Pilot Reynir Petursson also didn’t want to stay on the ground for too long since it was very windy and the ash fall was unpredictable. The light was also disappearing and he needs visual reference which is difficult on a white glacier. Once we got off the ground again we had to stay low because there were so many lightnings all around the eruption. Getting hit by a lightning in that strong wind, extreme frost and next to a live volcano was not desirable. We made it back to Reykjavik at 2am. Now the airspace has been closed in a 20 nautical miles radius because of ash.

Last time Grimsvotn erupted was in the fall of 2004. At the time I was making the documentary Wrath of Gods and the eruption became a part of the story.

Frank Chimero: Anonymous asked: What advice would you give to a graphic design student? by Conánn FitzPatrick

If you meet a person who cares about the same obscure things you do, hold on to them for dear life. Sympathy is medicine.

Seeking advice is addicting and can become a proxy for action. Giving it can also be addicting in a potentially pretentious, soul-rotting sort of way, and can replace experimenting because you think you know how things work. Be suspicious of lists, advice, and lists of advice.

Everyone is just making it up as they go along

Great advice, great site.

Michael Bierut: 5 Secrets from 86 Notebooks by Conánn FitzPatrick

Renowned graphic designer Michael Bierut claims that he's not creative. Instead, he likens his job to that of a doctor who tends to patients – "the sicker, the better." Digging into the 86 notebooks he's kept over the course of his career, Bierut walks us through 5 projects – from original conception to final execution – extracting a handful of simple lessons (e.g. the problem contains the solution; don't avoid the obvious) at the foundation of brilliant design solutions.


Stefan Sagmeister: The power of time off by Conánn FitzPatrick

Understanding the value of time off.

The two week break is effectively useless, getting your head out of work and being happy with letting go takes the first week, followed by a couple of days of blissful relaxation before three days of anxiety about what will need to be done before getting back to work.

I have been very fortunate over the past ten years to have been able to take extended periods of time off. Two or more months off, puts your head in a different place and allows you to re-evaluate your life's priorities. The only other people I meet with these feelings are usually living with cancer. I love work, it enables me to live a life I enjoy.

Every seven years, designer Stefan Sagmeister closes his New York studio for a yearlong sabbatical to rejuvenate and refresh their creative outlook. He explains the often overlooked value of time off and shows the innovative projects inspired by his time in Bali.

Kinetic Sculpture for the BMW Museum, Munich 2008 by Conánn FitzPatrick

Kinetic Sculpture for the BMW Museum, Munich 2008 from ART+COM on Vimeo.

The "Kinetic Sculpture" metaphorically translates into space the form-finding process of vehicle design. The interplay of mechanical and electronic components creates a dynamic art piece reflecting the precise exchange between a great number of individual elements and the single, coherent picture that emerges from them. Attached by thin steel wires to individually-controlled stepper motors, 714 metal spheres move up and down, seemingly levitating.

Inspiration: 60+ Vintage Automobile Ads | Psdtuts+ by Conánn FitzPatrick

GMC Poster from 1937

A really nice compilation of 60+ Vintage Automobile Ads | Psdtuts+ I was going to right an essay on how we have become so risk averse when it comes to typography and design. How the over emphasis on tools has moved is away from the craftsmanship of good typography, illustration and design. Then I read the copy on the ad below, wow we have come along way.

Or have we? As I explore what it is to be the father to twin girls, I am overwhelmed by the cultural acceptance of the pinkification of girls and the poor role models they are exposed to on a daily basis. It was refreshing while back in California to be able to by clothes that are colors other then pink, we don't have a choice here in Northern Ireland it's pink and or sequinned bimbo princess.

If an ad like this one was published today I am sure their would be mild uproar until the next episode of Xfactor starts.

1968 Dodge advertisement Read More