JANUARY 31, 2011 | Conn Creatives
If you’ve been to more than one event for creatives in the state, you’ve more than likely run into kHyal and Karl Heine. When they are not throwing their own events, salons and workshops under the PUSH umbrella, they are supporting the creative community by attending a mind-blowing number of events.
kHyal’s comments: “Doing Good” Opening — Natacha Poggio does an incredible job with her students, and it shows in their innovative work and intellectual thought processes. I had already seen some of the projects at A Better World by Design in Providence in October of 2009.
Randy Hunt Talk — Randy was an entertaining speaker and clear communicator. I enjoyed hearing about his path from entrepreneur as partner at Supercorp, creators of Supermarket, to his current position in interactive design at Etsy. Karl and I spoke with Randy at length after his talk and continue to be in touch with him.
Karl’s comments: The vibe with these two — Hartford Art School students under Natacha Poggio driving this important movement, and Randy Hunt taking on a most interesting journey from his start to securing a dream spot at Etsy — was an evening of bright inventive conversation.
kHyal’s comments: Mike Perry’s work verges on mainstream hip, yet straddles that thin line which tips on the side of original and authentic. Combined with his instincts on collaboration and his obvious ambition and passion, he has built a creative studio that I respect, admire and continue to favor the output of.
Karl’s comments: Mike Perry’s talk was not an “all about me” talk. It cataloged a history of experiences of what happened along the way, including a few fortunate events that landed him at Anthroplogie at the beginning of his career, where he began a hand-lettering trend. Mike kept it simple and funny, while giving valuable tips for up-and-coming designers. He concluded his talk with a clever auction, giving away print items he created. Literally everyone received something.
kHyal’s comments: Gail Anderson was the first in a series of design world heavy-hitters presented by A to A in Stamford this year. I commend the Wahlers for generously organizing and presenting this series of speakers at no cost to attendees. These events were most consistently my state-favorites all year. Each was held in the intimate setting of A to A’s signature space, with plenty of time before the talk to converse with the speaker personally.
Gail’s work is richly obsessive and during this talk she focused on her “collections.” Her presentation featured a slideshow of actual objects that she collects and is influenced by, including highly graphic vintage bottle caps, along with examples of her own work from her teenage years to current day.
Karl’s comments: I concur with kHyal on the unselfish contribution the Wahler’s of A to A Studio Solutions, who provided an outstanding series, a unique venue and engaging well-respected design industry speakers at the top of their game. I look forward to attending every event at The Cove.
Gail’s work — outstanding in the Broadway Theatre world: posters/branding. Gail is also a teacher at SVA. Her talk skipped this chapter and jumped right into her passion for collecting and her design-obsessive style from obscure bottle caps to other collections in her menagerie. Completely down-to-earth, Gail exuded passion and warmth.
kHyal’s comments: Matteo and Roberto are a charming, stylish duo with monster talent. They are both on the board of the TDC in New York and most designers are very familiar with the success of their work. I enjoyed chatting and laughing with them both before their talk began, as their collective sense of humor and humility is a rarity, and full of surprises. The presentation included a slideshow of many of their gorgeous projects, more than enough to thrill any creative mind.
Karl’s comments: Matteo and Roberto are a comedy team with typography and on stage. Individually they spoke about what drives their work, from unique assignments to a high volume of book jackets. It’s rare to see a presentation of mind-blowing work while you are laughing about how outrageous they have been with clients and staff — all in the name of doing what comes natural: communicating through the illustrated text.
kHyal’s comments: We always enjoy seeing Alex, as a friend and someone whose work we adore. I had already read most of Warren’s book before this event and really enjoyed his talk, and the interaction he had with Alex, which presented and extra layer of depth and interest to the audience.
Karl’s comments: An enriching afternoon with Alex Isley and Warren Berger discussing the highlights of Berger’s new book. I found truth and purpose around the theory in Glimmer.
kHyal’s comments: We arrived early to this event and got to chat with Ina one-on-one for half an hour. What was really funny was that another designer friend of mine had sent me Ina’s photo months before — asking if she was my sister. And when I posted a photo I took of her that night on my Facebook page, someone commented that it was a nice photo of me. Ina and I do look similar, and we wear similar types of vintage glasses, but she is about a foot shorter. Her books: “Body Type,” and “Body Type 2,” explore the typographic tattoo from a designer’s eye, and her talk was full of intriguing examples of tattoos and stories of the people who owned them. Ina loved my Weather sKwirl™ necklace, so I made her a custom blinged out one, another way we are connected in our alternate universes!
Karl’s comments: Ina Saltz gave new meaning to the art of typography meets illustrated tattoos. A rich history of letterform and the personal connection. Each case study included the how and why on deciding which typeface and message to rest permanently on the subject’s skin. Ina immersed herself during her presentation, engaging with the audience; it’s clear she truly loves what she does. We had a wonderful time chatting before the event and had an instant connection.
kHyal’s comments: Helen Kauder was back at the helm of Artspace this year and she amped up CWOS to make it an event exploding with art all over the city. Karl and I collaborated with our DesignerGrill pop-up store, which was installed at Project Storefronts during the kick-off weekend. We also created a piece for the Artspace gallery show, which was a prototype Weather sKwirl™ time machine. What we loved most was being part of such a large event and the opportunity it afforded us to meet so many new creatives and spend time with some we’ve known for decades. The energy it inspired was invigorating. I also had many connections at Project Storefronts, a project of New Haven’s Dept. of Cultural Affairs spearheaded by Margaret Bodell. I was hired to create their identity, had my work in Upcycle Arts and Elm City Handmade, and had another artist client, Vito Bonano, in the space that I developed an identity system, t-shirt designs, blog and social media initiatives for.
kHyal’s comments: Add to Cart was a local design community treat. It began with three unique stories by designers who make things, and ended with a room full of designers sharing their own work, and sometimes selling them to one another.
Karl’s comments: Great community design/bazaar concept bringing speakers and designers who make cool products outside of their design day jobs. Speakers Greg Chinn of Jargon Boy, Chris Piascik Illustration, and Troy Monroe for Design is Love highlighted the concept and production of their endeavors. The bazaar vendors included the DesignerGrill team of kHyal + Karl, Nick Healy, Kelly Clark/Trove, Fish-on!, and Little Rawr. The entire evening was filled with trading and sharing stories — from how did you make it to admiration for getting goods to market.
kHyal’s comments: Another great event at A to A. I don’t know any designer that doesn’t know Carin’s name and reputation from the past, and it was an honor to meet her. A Cooper Hewitt grad and staff designer at CBS Television, CBS Records and Atlantic Records in the 70s before starting her own firm in 1982, Carin’s talk was chock-full of beautifully executed design from past and present. It was an interesting juxtaposition between the two Paula Scher talks we attended in New York and Boston in 2009 and 2010, because both contained many examples of record cover art.
Karl’s comments: Carin Goldberg filled a 90-minute presentation with a history lesson of over thirty years of stellar work which she was honored for at the AIGA Gala last year. I found the talk educational and real. Carin sees her work as part of the big picture and considers herself a translator and problem solver not a design star. She spoke her mind with humor, layered with some harsh truths about the design industry and her personal experience.
kHyal’s comments: This was a terrific event featuring our good friend, Lee Moody. Most folks know Lee as one of Mohawk Fine Paper’s top sales reps. We know Lee on many levels and certainly as a woman with a strong creative mind. It was telling to hear her whole story, which included her years living in New York City, her art school days and the history of the furniture design company she founded before joining the Mohawk team.
Karl’s comments: To know Lee is to love Lee. This Breakfast Epiphany at Yale’s boutique hotel — The Study — was a warm, intimate view of a life filled with passion. Hearing Lee’s history — as a former furniture designer then migrating to present day as a “Super Fine” specialist with Mohawk Fine Paper — made the morning a true pleasure.
kHyal’s comments: These two events were exciting for Bridgeport, as they represented a strong commitment to the city’s burgeoning art scene. I had work in both shows and was happy to show my support. Beyond that, it was an evening of fresh work and hours of creative conversation with other artists, designers, performers, entrepreneurs, scientists and more. The show at Gallery 305K spawned my decision to take studio space at 305 Knowlton Street, the new Weather sKwirl™ Factory HQ!
Karl’s comments: When you hear words like sociological, scientific and anthropological, the first thing that pops into your head is — how do these relate to branding? After hearing Debbie Millman speak on several occasions, I wanted to see how she could bring all this analytical jargon to branding story and keep it entertaining and relevant. Debbie delivered a highly spirited chock full presentation that appealed to the audience — seasoned professionals and a large body of students.
kHyal’s comments: Karl and I were thrilled to assemble such a talented group of designers to represent their work at our GIF/t JAM Holiday Sale. Among them were: Lee Moody with her hand-crafted pickles, Lys Guillorn, Leslie Giuliani, Alexander Isley, E. Fitz Smith and Kelley Kapp. Most of the designers spent the day with us, which was the most rewarding part, as we learned more about their work and lives and got to enjoy hours of artful conversation, while sharing our work with the local holiday gift-buying public.
Karl’s comments: Bringing together a stellar group of design professionals who live their craft, and spending the day together to collaboratively build a new concept event was worthwhile and highly fulfilling.
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December 11, 2010 | 12-11-10 Countdown at SoHo20 Gallery
A Weather sKwirl™ painting was included in the 12-11-10 Countdown Exhibition and Silent Auction benefiting the Ellen Hoffman Fellowship Fund at Soho20 Gallery to support one of the longest running organizations that promote the work of women artists!