Is Black the New Black?


If you have ever had even a passing interest in fashion then you will have come across the idiom “the new black.” The term is used to denote something that has had a sudden surge of popularity and can be used on various occasions, using the idea of black as a popular colour. You can also customize the term to suggest popularity in general; for example, if playing hopscotch was the new workout trend you might say “playing hopscotch is the new black in the world of exercise.” You can even use the phrase as a pun, as seen in the case of Netflix’s hit show Orange is the New Black which is a play on words as in this case the “orange” refers to the colour of prison jumpsuits.

However the phrase is used though, the underlying understanding is that black is a popular colour. Black is the colour that needs to be usurped. Black is trendy, cool and tough to beat. But what makes the colour black so special?

Why Simple Colours Are So Popular

SOURCE:PEXELS

What makes the colour black such a hit with trendsetters and designers alike is that it is so simple. The colour black goes with everything. By wearing black, you can make a neon-coloured accessory stand out or you can match a larger part of apparel (a dress or a jacket) for an extra bit of contrast. That’s the reason why many recommend that women own a little black dress or an LBD - these timeless black looks are perfect for any occasion. Whether it’s a night on the town, a business meeting, or a cocktail party where you need to get contacts, an LBD is a good companion for just about anything.

It also speaks to people’s love of simple colours in general. Simple colours and primary colours (red, yellow and blue) are especially popular because they are easy on the eye, familiar and, like the colour black, they’re easy to match with other colours. When looking at the most popular design palettes, you’ll notice that many of them include red, yellow or blue, even if they do feature some secondary shades as well. The same goes for logos, such as the red, white and black Delicious logo which pairs a more softer colour with an eye-catching dark colour to really make the name of the company pop. Like the little black dress, people are also encouraged to incorporate yellow in their wardrobe, all because of the wearability of these simple, primary colours.

What Are the Best Examples of Simple Colour Design?

SOURCE: PEXELS

But these palettes and dresses aren’t the only examples of simple colour design as this is a basic design principle embraced by creatives from a wide range of sectors and industries.

Take the refreshment company Coca-Cola as an example. Their red and white logo is renowned for its simplicity and the way that its white name stands out on the attractive red background. The contrast draws people in. Entertainment streaming platform Netflix uses a similar design. Its blockish logo stands out on a white background in external branding, while in the app it has a black background. This offers a design with minimal distractions. Speaking of apps, the design of the Betway mobile app uses blue and white throughout so that the category descriptions of the different table games and slots are easy to read. However, the logo of the brand itself and the category headers aren’t distracting. This is important as it draws the users eyes towards the logos of the different games available, helping players navigate to designs that interest them. And what of the companies that allow us to access these apps, such as Apple? Apple’s famous bitten apple logo is typically black or grey. This means that on the occasions that Apple does add a pop of colour to its logo, it makes it all the more special. Likewise, the multi-coloured Google logo that represents one of Apple’s competitors incorporates all three primary colours, although there is also one stick of green. With soft edges and gentle colours, the logo has become iconic.

Incorporating simple colours starts from the very beginning. Choose the right colours for your logo and then use them throughout your branding. Don't underestimate how much simplicity can help to make your message stand out.

 

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Ready to get Colorized?


What is fresh and crispy on the market and saves the day for every web designer ever? We are happy to present a brand new version of Colorizer - a tool developed by Paletton, a trending designers company with a set goal to make your work even more enjoyable.

 

What is Colorizer?

 

Colorizer is a widget for your webpage, ready to fancy up your site, making it super easy to combine colors and create the perfect palette for your online presentation. By knowing basics of HTML, CSS and Javascript, you can simply add the Paletton Live Colorizer code to your website, and let it generate shades of the color you choose, or custom create your palette for your web design.

 

This awesome widget is led by the idea that your website users can colorize their own table, template, flyer or graphic design, developing an interactive platform for your site visitors. The developers are encouraging you to get the version you like, and play with many features and possibilities this code is offering.

 

What Colorizer actually does for you is letting you implement the Paletton application (Color Scheme Designer) and share it with your target group. This means that everyone will be able to, very easily, create his/her own palette with the help of Paletton, and enjoy your website through exploring this feature. The users can simply preview the results and apply or cancel their design if they choose.

 

paletton

 

What Paletton also made sure of is that you are given step - by -step instructions on how to "install" this widget, or how to attach the code in your website. The knowledge of coding you need is very basic, and here you can find the guide for starting your colorized adventure, or links to try the demo versions.

 

Colorizer is currently developing its beta version, available for you to test it and play with the possibilities online. They have so far developed three versions of Live Colorizer and you can choose the one which suits your preferences, although we can say with certainty that this company won't stop surprising us with innovations and awesome ideas to develop their apps further.

 

Are you ready to begin your own Paletton road trip? Enjoy playing and exploring many options Colorizer is offering for you, and spread the joy with your readers and customers!

 

About the author:

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

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7 Reasons Why Arts in Education Is so Important for Kids


7 Reasons Why Arts in Education Is so Important for Kids

The importance of art in the education of the child

Unlike past years, modern children learn a lot through visual effects. From an early age, children are exposed to computers, tablets, and smartphones, and they acquire knowledge using the touch screen faster than they begin to speak. That is why art is a very significant factor in the development of a child. It teaches children how to interpret, criticize and use the visual information they perceive, and to form their own opinions and feelings in relation to certain phenomena in life. I hope this article can help with research summary to those people who choose this topic for their diploma.

Art can be a great occasion and a great tool for parents to communicate with their children. Parents do everything that is good for the family, whether it encourages their children to engage in certain arts and crafts at home, and simply join them, or approach the art, showing masterpieces of famous or lesser-known artists.

Whether you understand it or not, you are surrounded by various forms of art. It can be a sculpture, painting, photography, or something that you completely depend on, but don’t consider art. In addition, beautifully decorated towels, beautifully embroidered pillowcases or bedspreads, even interesting lamps in the corners of rooms represent art as well.

It is recommended and even necessary to introduce children to art from birth. At preschool age, they are most susceptible to various types of art. It is that stage of development where it is important to begin to shape the child’s love of classical art.

During primary school, students often encounter great works of art, creative tasks, theaters, museums, and exhibitions during the lesson process. However, with the transition of children to the middle classes, the importance of creative and spiritual development goes into the background. This is where the need for additional education arises. One of the types of institutions of additional education is an art school.

 

Art plays a huge role in the development of a kid and society. Being an artistic reflection of reality, it has a strong influence on the development of a person, forms feelings, thoughts, morality and life principles. The introduction of a child to art is simply necessary; it is especially important in our time. Today more and more students enjoy art in education and write PhD dissertation about effect of art on educational process.

Art exists from the moment when the human race began, and therefore there is no need to point out its importance in various aspects. And, as Leo Tolstoy once remarked: “Art is human activity, consisting in the fact that one person transmits to others the feelings he experiences, and other people become infected with these feelings and experience them.” Art teaches us how to empathize.

As a result, here are 7 Reasons why arts in education is so important for kids:

  1. Being able to appreciate art, a person gets the opportunity to develop: to pursue creativity, to put up with diversity, to achieve emotional balance. Kids find it easier to learn and acquire knowledge by studying art.
  2. Art enhances the learning process. Systems in art, which include our integrated sensory, cognitive, emotional and motor abilities, are, in fact, the driving force of all other training.

3.Children who are engaged in art, no matter whether they are trying to create something or simply appreciate art from afar, tend to work better in other academic subjects.

  1. Art reduces the exclusion of students, increases attendance, develops the best players of the team, fosters a love of learning and many others.
  2. Art in education can improve kids’ school performance.
  3. Art will increase the self-esteem of children, as they will learn what it means to be an individual (for example, artists, musicians, or painters), as well as what it means to belong to a particular community.
  4. It makes your child feel happy and free because you have chosen to decorate your living space exactly as you did for a reason. In addition, art makes kids calm and relaxed, and also fills them with enthusiasm and inspires them to complete various tasks at home or at school.

 

How to teach children art?

The museum can help students come into contact with some of the greatest works of one of the greatest painters and sculptors of all time. This will help them to expand their experience and understanding of art. In addition, it will give them the opportunity to connect the past, present, and future, to compare and learn a lesson.

Fortunately, even if you do not have the opportunity to visit a gallery or do not want to invest in an artistic activity or art, there is an alternative that can be very useful - download any of the art applications and learn how to evaluate art while listening to good music. This will help your kids to improve the studying process.

For example, using the Leonardo da Vinci Virtual Museum application, both children and parents can enjoy his famous works of art, carefully checking every picture to the smallest detail, as it is available in high resolution. In addition, they can learn some things about Da Vinci, as the application includes his biography. In addition, each picture contains a title and explains what has inspired the author to draw it. It must be admitted that this can be very educational, as it teaches children about the time in the past, when life was different, and when people were striving for different things. This can teach them to appreciate the history, as well as the “customs and way of life” of other people.

Summing up, art helps a person to become better, as it teaches children analytical thinking, teamwork, and creativity. These are lifetime characteristics that can be applied in all areas of study or work.

 

Annabel Kuper graduated Harvard Business School and studied many executive education programs. She is a business strategic expert by day and thesis writing fanatic by night, writing all sorts of great content and expert writer for popular magazines

 

 

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Inktober 2018 - Let's get the party started!


The first week of October has officially come to an end, and here we are trying to see who's going to do the Inktober challenge with us?

Do you know what Inktober is?

It's an awesome challenge that lasts the whole month of October, 31 days straight and has a couple of flexible rules to follow.

  • it's global
  • be consistent
  • use ink
  • let the Inktober list inspire you
  • share your art with the world
  • draw whatever you want

It's important to be consistent. If you don't get to do it every day, choose a frequency to follow and do it ex. every other day, twice a week or even once a week.

Once you finish your sketch, post it on social media with hashtags #inktober #inktober2018 and #colourlovers tagging @colourlovers, so that we can check out your work and get it featured.

 

Author: Art Lasovsky

 

The most important benefit of Inktober is forming positive drawing habits. The more you commit to it, the more you'll achieve. If you commit to doing it on a daily basis, you won't only improve your technique but you will also reinforce the habit of drawing everyday and be prepared to continue drawing consistently even in November.

The best thing about Inktober is: you can draw whatever you want! There is a list of words for every day of the month, usually adjectives, that can serve you as an inspiration, but in the end you are free to choose your topic. You can choose your technique. You can start in traditional media and then finish your art piece off in Illustrator or Photoshop. You can also use watercolor, tempera or any other technique you want to combine with the ink.

 

Резултат слика за inktober 2018 list

Author: Jake Parker https://bit.ly/2zVLG4H

 

You can choose to do a handwriting piece or a logo sketch instead of a drawing.

And the last but not the least - the most important rule is: have fun!

The initiator, cartoonist and illustrator Jake Parker will explain the challenge, its rules and benefits:

 

If you are still not sure what you'll draw, check out this other video that Jake made about his Inktober history. Hopefully, looking at his numerous, wonderful past sketches you'll get the idea for your own topic.

 

If you've already grabbed your pencil and paper, great! We're proud of you! If you haven't, we won't let you make excuses. If you don't have any experience with inking, here are some videos to get you started.

Start simple. Start with simple shapes and forms. Use ink to give it dimension.

If you decide to draw trees, this will help:

This will teach you to create depth in your drawing:

 

Remember ColourLovers, there's no better time to start than now.

Start today. 

And show us what you came up with.

 

About the author:

Ana Maksimovic is the community manager and editor at Colorlovers. She is a part-time traveler and part-time web and graphic designer working with sustainable brands. She is passionate about photography and nature -  a never-ending source of inspiration.

 

P.S. We thank all the artists for wonderful tutorials they made, and Unsplash for their never-ending, inspiration pool of photos.

 

 

 

 

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How to price your work as a freelancer


We all start being freelancers thinking it's going to make our lives easier - we would put an end to underpaid work, we can manage our own time and best of all - do only the projects we love. If you are reading this, then you know that it's not all that perfect.

Sure, we get to choose the clients and learn something with every new project, but there is still a certain uncertainty when pricing our work, how do we do it right? There is a lot to consider, for sure. Of course that you wouldn't want to charge as much for the projects you really enjoyed and supported, for those you are doing for a friend and delivering work for a non-profit or charity.

Things to consider when pricing your work are the details of the project - what is required from you to do? Also, you would want to adapt the price to the scale of the company that is hiring you, as well as the number of revisions you will do.

First thing you need to do right is your project proposal. When writing your project proposal you want to make sure you are scheduling the deadline you can meet, offer all the details of what content you will provide and do not undercharge your work! For the amount of working hours, you need to charge adequately; otherwise you are risking a failure of the project you cannot dedicate to.

When pricing your work for a client, bear in mind that you are not offering just your time, but also all the experience and skills - a lifetime of learning and dedication to your clients needs. If a client suggests that you are too expensive, you need to be confident about the uniqueness of your offer - know what it is that will make the client happy, that you can offer and no one else on the market can? Why are you the obvious choice if someone wants to invest in their brand and the future of the company? Feel free to use all the work you ever did to prove your worth - content clients, good reviews, portfolio of chosen projects you are proud of and a clear vision of how will the work you do help this clients business for years to come.

Often, when you look for advice of how to price your work, you come across many equations of how other freelancers figured it out for themselves. In simple terms, though, this comes down on how to break even by doing what you do. This mind frame can help you choose projects according to your realistic needs, be paid well enough to live the lifestyle you want and invest in your future.

 

 

Make a clear calculation of your monthly expenses (rent, food, bills, etc), have a number of how much do you have to make per month in order to survive. Many freelancers rush into underpaid projects which take them too much time, without thinking of how they will cover their life expenses at the end of the month.

Second important number to this equation is the amount of hours you can/want to work per day. Decide for yourself what is the perfect amount of work every day - whether you will work four hours before and four after lunch; whether you will or will not work on weekends - make a clear schedule for your perfect daily balance.

I met designers who work best at night. Their whole wage was centered on how many nights a project will take them, and thus their lives adapted to their working mode. Everyone has their own rhythm, which is why 9 to 5 working hours are not your first choice. Best part of being a freelancer is being able to adapt your work style to your biorhythm.

 

 

When you have the numbers stating how much you spend per month and how many hours you will work per month, you can make a calculation of how much money you need to make per hour. Use this number as a referral, as a minimum of all minimums you should charge per hour. With this in mind, you need to take care of your monthly savings, think of things such as health insurance, retirement savings and other grown-up to-do's.

In addition to this number, you should be realistic oh how much you are worth and what is the optimum of how much you want to be paid in ideal circumstances. This will help you work for more expensive projects and save money for a holiday, renovating the apartment, joining the gym and other activities and joys which differentiate your life from surviving.

A friendly advice for your yearly budget is to consider how much you want to invest in improving your skills and better equipment for your work. Remember - the best job is the one where you get to learn every day and grow both on personal and professional level.

 

About the author:

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

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Choose THIS Color of Website Button for Maximum Sales


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Can the colors that you use on your website actually help to make or break its success? It seems far-fetched, but there is research to support the claim.

 

Color and Perception

 

In fact, psychologists have spent years studying how color affects human perception. They theorize that certain colors may make you feel hungry, excited, sad, curious or happy. Now, experienced website builders are taking note of these findings and using them to their advantage.

 

Color Sets the Mood

 

The reality is that colors affect how people feel. The eyes perceive a color, and this is communicated to the hypothalamus in the brain. This communication results in a variety of signals being sent to the pituitary gland, through the endocrine system and straight to the glands in the thyroid. The thyroid, of course, is responsible for releasing hormones into the human body. Those hormones can be powerful, influencing mood and behavior.

 

Color Influences Buying Decisions

 

People who study color psychology estimate that when people assess a product, color is the number-one, overriding factor in their consideration. Many consumers make a split-second, albeit perhaps subconscious, decision regarding whether or not they are going to buy something based almost solely on the color.

 

Color Use Drives Website Conversion

 

Whether webmasters realize it or not, color psychology also is at work on their websites. The colors that they choose for the main elements on the pages and the buttons that visitors use to make purchases really do make a difference. Choose the right color, and your conversions may skyrocket. Go with the wrong color, and you may find yourself dealing with a dismal conversion rate.

 

Color and Distinctive Branding Go Together

 

Big organizations put a great deal of time, money and effort into branding. This includes the company name and a distinctive logo, but these aren't the only considerations. Of primary importance is the color in which the logo and brand name are presented.

 

 

Accordingly, it makes sense to put some serious thought into the colors that you use on your website. The backgrounds, borders, hero graphics, popups and buttons all need to present a coordinated color strategy. Even more important than coordination is choosing colors that will have website visitors clicking on the "buy" button.

 

Colors Need to Match the Business

 

When it comes to using colors on websites, it feels a bit like the stars have to be in alignment. The colors have to be right for your brand and be appealing to your target audience.

 

We can see a great example of this use of colors with most VPN services. The organization is fairly conservative, and so is its clientele. Splashy oranges, yellows and greens are probably not the way to go. Instead, tones of white, black, silver and navy blue are preferable. These colors are classic and pleasing to the eye. Moreover, they may be suggestive of trustworthiness and reliability, characteristics that most people would value when it comes to protecting their personal data from cyber criminals.

 

Alternatively, consider the case of a party planning business. Fun and vibrant events are their specialties. They do everything from birthday gatherings for six-year-olds to retirement parties for business executives. This may call for some brighter, more energizing colors. Red, yellow and orange wouldn't be out of place. Plus, you might see some pinks and purples, depending upon the event. Whatever specific colors are chosen, they should evoke feelings of fun and excitement.

 

Gender Matters

 

It also may be profitable to consider the gender of your typical customer. Research suggests that women gravitate toward blue, purple and green while they are repelled by orange, brown and gray. Men are different. Like women, they prefer blue and green, but black is a favorite too. Most of them dislike brown, orange and purple. The upshot is that if your business is primarily geared toward either women or men, then you should take these gender-based likes and dislikes into consideration when creating a color scheme for your website.

 

Colors for Call to Action Buttons

 

Many website gurus swear by using green on call to action buttons. Typically associated with all things natural and environmentally friendly, it seems that green also is an effective hue when it is used on website elements like "buy," "add to cart" and "submit" buttons. It is especially effective when it is the only green element on the page. Researchers say that this is because of something called the "isolation effect." When the conversion step on your website is the only green element, users can't help but be drawn to it.

 

Other colors also perform well when it comes to increasing conversions. Orange is a particular favorite of web designers as you can tell by this typical product recommendation layout. Note the recommended purchase choices are accompanied in each instance by a big orange button. Red and yellow convert well in this environment also.

 

Darker colors tend to exhibit low conversion rates. Either people don't see them or the dark colors are actually de-motivational. Overall, orange is not a favorite color of either men or women. Red can be the color of danger, and yellow is often used as a warning. If these colors are generally distasteful, why do they perform so well from a website conversion standpoint?

 

 

The answer may be that these oft-reviled colors can’t help but draw attention. Someone perusing a website can't keep their eyes from migrating toward those call to action buttons in colors like red, orange and yellow. This is why you may want to choose an overall color scheme for your website, but then use call to action buttons in contrasting colors like green, red, yellow or orange.

 

Final Thought

 

Of course, white space also can be a wonderful thing on a website. Don't neglect or banish this restful shade from your pages. It's what lets your visitors feel like they can relax and breathe while browsing. Plus, it will make the other colors that you choose pop off the page.

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When design comes to life


Over the past few years, one of the highest trends in design has most definitely been the revolution of 3D graphics. Artists from various fields have been trying out 3D still life projects and playing with infinite possibilities which this form is bringing to the playground.

The beauty of experimenting with this form is a never-ending joy of discovering and learning something new, exploring different senses and optical illusions, and constructing real three dimensional designs. About how much fun this is we can see in the artist statements of the leading established artists in this field. They operate as creative studios, almost as laboratories where new things can happen - an explosion of colors or a surprising bold shape.

3D design is also the leading design tool for corporate brands. Artists who are established in 3D modeling are often taking orders in making extraordinary unforgettable logos and brands. According to Peter Tarka, one of the top 3D artists, collaboration with corporations is giving him space to work on both personal projects while creating visual identities for the world's largest companies. List of his clients contains names such as Apple, McDonalds, Nike, Google, BMW, and many more.

Besides Peter Tarka, trending in the 3D world on Behance is a company called MVSM - ManvsMachine, a collective of creative authors shifting reality into 3D visual art. Their studios are set in London and LA, and they are also known for being hired by the world's most powerful brands - Apple, Nike, Microsoft etc.

 

ManvsMachine for Nike.

 

Their website presents the amazing multimedia work they were hired for, but also their Lab - a playroom where they share their artistic experiments in which they show their skills in a variety of illustration tools. If we are talking about revolution and innovation in design, Man VS Machine is surely taking a lead in 3D animation development.

 

Buck Design - Tinder.

 

Finally, let's analyze the brands of the companies which are creating brands. When scrolling Behance, Twitter or Instagram for your favorite designers, one thing comes significantly common for most of them. Their brands are the simplest brands possible, most of them even just black and white, like Buck Design, Future Deluxe, Motion Graphic Collective, and even Peter Tarka himself.

 

Peter Tarka for Samsung.  Original artwork can be found on Peter Tarka's Behance profile.

 

Peter Tarka for Airbnb. Original artwork can be found on Peter Tarka's Behance profile.

 

What are these brands telling us is that their signature is strong, defined and professional, effective and yet not throwing into shadow the work they're presenting. Less is more in design, this is the lesson we are learning from our favorite designers. And why is the logo for ManvsMachine yellow, well... they are just more playful than any other crew out there ?

If you are in the industry of design and illustration, looking for new inspiration and a new playground, then 3D is just the market for you. It is still new and experimental, meaning your fresh ideas are just waiting to be well received!

 

About the author

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

 

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Colorful architecture in Japan


Japanese contemporary culture is offering us very rich and diverse design solutions. Their combination of tradition and urbanization are resulting with tiny flats in buildings which are popping up like blooming flowers all over the island. Their creativity in colors and shapes is never-ending.

 

 

Because of the weird mix of their long traditional ways and the rapid progress Japan is leading in many fields, especially technology, Japan may seem like an urban jungle - a beautiful clash of sights where you can find everything you are looking for.

Spectacular examples of how Japanese culture is leading innovation in creative ideas in architecture are Reversible Destiny Lofts in Mitaka. This glorious colorful structure was built by Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins, in memory of Helen Keller, and it is a property of Reversible Destiny Foundation.

 

 

This complex, which appears as many apartments piled up together, is colored in 14 different colors, and it looks like a child's construction of spheres, cubes, and tubes stocked altogether. To make this complex more practical, lofts are connected with external staircases, while the interiors are relying on pillars, poles, and hooks hanging from the ceiling, to support the furniture and storage space.

The idea of this architectural wonder is to challenge perceptions of its guests. It inspires playfulness and imperatives adaptation to the non-standard space and environment. Not only that the architectural solution for the building is creative, but also its purpose is to inspire creativity and awake the inner child in every visitor.

Background of this project, completed in 2005, lies in the philosophy of procedural architecture, developed by Arakawa and Gins. When the tours of the buildings are organized, visitors are blindfolded, walking through space holding on to the walls, poles and stimulating all their senses as they are not able to rely on their orientation in space.

 

 

Helen Keller was an inspiration for Reversible Destiny foundation and project, as she was the one to practice "reversible destiny" in her lifetime. This structure was meant to give the experience of how every person can adapt to different circumstances in different ways - how a child and an elderly person have different levels of overcoming obstacles.

This stack of lofts is built in Mitaka, a suburban part of Tokyo, where today it presents a landmark and a huge tourist attraction for people from all over the world. Honoring the life of Helen Keller, the lofts are used not only as residences but also as educational and cultural facilities.

 

The featured images have been borrowed from unsplash.com (first) and reversibledestiny.org/architecture/reversible-destiny-lofts-mitaka (second, third).

 

About the author

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

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Transcending colors through cultures


Joshua Strydom is a Zimbabwean artist, photographer and print maker, whose work is engaging differences between cultures through visual vocabulary. While traveling, he is exploring cultures, variety of folklore and traditions, and trying to connect the opposites by mediating through art.

 

His work is strongly inspired by African cultures, while there is a narrative in his art pieces which speaks about history, mythology and cultural values. Patterns and colors in his prints are often dedicated to the geographic specifics of the culture he is inspired by.

 

His series of prints, "Dzizi", "Nzou", and "Duiker", is inspired by old Zimbabwean sayings, traditional words of wisdom passed on from generation to generation. The original idea for these prints was to use black, as he wanted to give power to these statements he was presenting, but because he did not want black to be connected to Africa as "the black continent", black was excluded from the color choice. The final choice of color ended up being a mix of purple, red and a little bit of black, which is a color associated with the color of the African soil.

 

 

"Dzizi" is telling us behind the scenes story about rebellion and speaking for oneself, while it also explains how it was once thought that owls have horns and they were traditionally considered to bring death. On the top of the picture there is a tree and a climber - this rapresentation is coming from a saying that the fruit on the ground belongs to everyone, but the fruit on the tree is for the one who can climb.

 

 

"Nzou" is showing as an image of an elephant. Elephant is a totem animal for some members of the tribe, which means that their ancestor's souls are in elephants, and so these members of the tribe are not allowed to eat elephants. Although the head of the tribe is allowed to enjoy the meat of the elephant, everyone else is not. In the second plan you can see the image of a leopard, illustrating what we can learn from nature in differences between hyenas and leopards - that the numbers can overpower the strength.

 

 

"Duiker" is the third print in this collection, also based on old African sayings, all inspired by nature and natural circumstances, especially animal life. Even though the chosen color truly agrees with the stories and meanings behind these art peaces, it is interesting how in reaching this shade, the primary choice had to be excluded from the options, to give space for creativity to bring the adequate solution.

 

Following series of art pieces is "Anansi ne rwaivhi", which is a story folded in a specific way, inspired by the chameleon and the sayings about the chameleon in Africa. Artist's vision for this piece was to not make it monochromatic, but to show the main characteristic of a chameleon, which is the ability to change colors.

 

The colors are changing and melting into one another, and variety of saturation and vibration of different colors is present. The images used for this print are images of nature, inspired by the grass, the soil, the chameleons transformations. There is a progression from the last page of the book to the beginning, where while colors interflow throughout the pages, the very first page of the book is merging all the colors and shades at once, presenting this astonishing ability of chameleons.

 

Joshua is a paper maker and a print maker, he makes paper out of elephant's feces and all of his work requires a lot of time and dedication. His work is mostly inspired by nature and cultures he crosses paths with. The process of eco printing for him starts by taking pictures of interesting occurrences in nature, and then keeping the original shapes from the picture, transferring these impressions and experience to the paper.

 

Other techniques he is working with are using etching press, silk printing, screen printing, lithography, and others. His recent work is a screen print inspired by a poem about personality of the wind. It is a collaboration with Milena Brkić, during an art residency in Serbia, organized by inspiring change.

 

From an interesting conversation with Joshua, we discovered how, in art world, some colors are present because some had to be excluded from the palette, while sometimes it is a case of having to include specific colors and trying to find a way for all of them to co-exist in an art piece, like in the "Anansi ne rwaivhi" book.

 

 

You can find more about Joshua's work on his webpage http://joshuastrydom.com and Instagram profile  @strydzo_dzos

All the photos are taken from Joshua's site.

 

About the author

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

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Colors and flags


When talking about colors and their meanings in different cultures, we should acknowledge the colorful representation of countries, which can tell us a lot about the history and the people. While having in mind everything we know about color psychology, let's take a look at a few interesting examples of what colors represent in flags.

 

 

Everyone is familiar with the look of the US flag - the thirteen stripes represent the thirteen founding states, and fifty stars current fifty states. The colors for this flag were taken from the British flag, and later on, the meaning was assigned to them such as courage, purity, and justice. It is interesting how in the Philippines flag blue is for peace, truth, and justice, while red is for patriotism; but originally these colors are meant to acknowledge the help of the US during the revolution.

For some countries, colors stand for a political system or revolution. At the flag of China, the color red represents the communist revolution, while the stars stand for communist party and the people. Just the same as China, the flag of Vietnam is red for communism, and the star represents the power of the people in Vietnam.

Something similar is happening in the flag of Bangladesh - the circle is for the sun, while it's color is red for the blood of the people who fought for independence. The green, on the other hand, stands out the beauty of nature in Bangladesh. Color green also appears in the Nigerian flag, to represent natural resources, while the white color stands for peace.

 

 

Some flags are storytelling. Egyptian flag begins their story with British occupation (red), followed up with bloodless revolution (white), and ending with Egypt being independent (black). The color blue in the flag of Congo is telling us about peace while there is this red strap over the flag to respect the rebellion which led them to peace.

In some multicultural countries, colors symbolize a variety of religions which citizens respect. In Pakistan for example, green is for the Islamic population and white represents the minorities. Also in India, green is for the Muslims, and Safran color represents Hindu population.

There are also some examples of philosophy expressed through colors in the flag, like in Indonesia. The color red in the Indonesian flag stands for courage, but also the human body, and the white for purity and the human soul, which then means that combined they make a whole person.

 

 

It is amazing how we use colors to express respect for great events in national history, as well as to express ideology. This colorful marks for national identity are a part of human behavior since the tribes, and it is another great visual implication for everything we have in common, as well as how beautifully diverse we all are.

 

What do you think about the colors of the flag? Do you know any other flag color meanings?  Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

 

About the author

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

Read the full post