100 Days

Although a week late, I've decided to start participating in the 100 Day Project. The theme: movies. Each day, starting on April 26, 2016 and ending on August 4, 2016, I will spend 30 minutes doing a quick design inspired by a favorite film. S'gonna be great! Keep up with my designs on my Instagram (@skyerickson), or select the project from the front page of this site.

I'll Have a Butterscotch Sundae, I Guess.

Lately I've been honing in on my Wes Anderson obsession in order to design an album cover for a friend. I'm completely obsessed (from a design standpoint) with Wes Anderson films. They are beautiful. Although in art school we considered Futura to be a "Type I" typeface, I still use it when it fits and I don't feel bad about it. It's all thanks to Wes and his brilliance.

This particular album is very personal and nostalgic. My immediate thought when sitting down to sketch went to the movie The Royal Tenenbaums. Everything about this movie, from the colors, to the typography, to the costumes, to the plot line, even to the music, is nostalgic. (Not to mention it is one of my all-time favorite movies.) This is one of the many reasons I am so inspired by the style of Wes Anderson. If you hadn't figured it out by now, I'll let you in on a little secret: I like old things. Nostalgia is a word that describes my views and interests in the art world pretty well. Not only does it reminds me of my own childhood, (my parents like old things, too), but it reminds me of memories from all over. The stories that come with an old Ramones vinyl, or a postcard from 1948, or even a colorful game piece from an old version of The Game of Life; these are what make it so interesting and so personal. Wes Anderson manages to capture this essence to a point where I can relate to the design of his films, not just the plot line.

And isn't storytelling what being a designer is all about?

My album design will be on the website soon!

Happy Places


Recently, I've been thinking a lot about my happy places. After a particuluarly emotionally rough semester, thinking of these places and situations always puts a smile on my face, no matter where I am.

A "happy place" doesn't necessarily have to be a location. All my happy places involve much more than existing somewhere. For example, right now, I'm laying in bed in my Mission Hill apartment, Christmas lights on, incense burning, Beatles YouTube playlist running in another tab. And I'm happy. All of me is here, and none of me is aching to be anywhere else.

I've come to realize that some of these places are tangible, and others no longer are. One of my favorite places to be is at the Todd Farm Flea Market with my mom, as I mentioned in an earlier post. It doesn't matter if I find anything cool (although it rules whenever I do), as long as I'm there on an early Sunday morning with my mom and an iced coffee from Dunks. Another is my living room at home in winter, with a fire burning, my dad in his chair watching American Pickers or The Andy Griffith Show or a Harry Nilsson documentary. Another is in the kitchen when I was little, while my parents cleaned the house top to bottom with They Might Be Giants or The Beatles blasting on the stereo. Or taking a hike on Old Towne Hill with my mom, dad and little brother in the fall. Or making dinner with my mom and watching a Woody Allen movie until we fall asleep. Or playing "war" with my little brother and our old friends when I was 8 years old by throwing stuffed animals at each other from my top bunk. Or sneaking onto the Newburyport High School bleachers with my best friend Erin every summer to stargaze and talk about life and how nuts it is that we exist.

It's comforting to know that I'll always have these places to look back on when I need to.

What did the cow do over the weekend?

He went to the mooooovies!

That was dumb, I know. But if there's one thing you have to know about me, it's that I love puns. I love them. And I don't care.

So, movies. Old things. Two of my favorite concepts. Put them together, and I go nuts. What's that? You want a list of my top ten favorite old movies? I'm so glad you asked! Wow!

One: Rear Window (1954)
Two: Psycho (1960)
Three: Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Four: The Graduate (1967)
Five: Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948)
Six: A Hard Day's Night (1964)
Seven: Vertigo (1958)
Eight: Play It Again, Sam (1972)
Nine: What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966)
Ten: It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

Oh uh. Um. Ahem.

Eleven: Dial "M" For Murder (1954)

You definitely only care about this list if you like old movies, which is totally cool with me. If you are interested, and you haven't seen any of the movies on this sick list, I recommend looking them up and popping some popcorn.

What... What is that?

Hello + a big ol' welcome to my first official blog post, ever. As a lover of talking when no one wants to hear me, I think this will be great fun. For someone who only does about three things in total, I sure have a lot to say about them.

Let's start out with something gross and hilarious. This is a real photograph from a real page in a real cookbook that aspiring chefs from all over America would really turn into a real plate of food. Although kind of actually a little bit pretty, this "Shrimp Sandwich Roll" definitely doesn't taste like strawberry shortcake, even though it looks like it should. This is one my favorite things about the 1960s aesthetic. People would eat this. They would eat it. And they would enjoy it, and ask for seconds, and compliment the chef on their fine display of the delectable meal. And here I am, 48 years later, throwing up and laughing simutaneously.

If you asked me what I'd rather be doing right now, I would always say the same thing: "Flea-marketing and yard-saling the morning away with my mom." And it's reasons like this that I love it so. Picking up an old cook book like this one, (Pillsbury's "Bake Off Cook Book: From the 18th Annual Bake Off, 100 Prize Winning Recipes" from 1967), flipping through the pages, and finding a photo such as this. Or maybe it's a "frozen cheese salad," "tuna and jell-o pie," or a "liver sausage pineapple," which are also real things. Either way, I call my mom over and we giggle for five minutes straight while picturing someone placing their shrimp flavored strawberry shortcake in front of us at the dinner table while we chortle.

At least take the olive out of the center and let us think it's strawberry shortcake.