A collection of work by individuals who inspire us.
Boasting 200 million active users monthly, Instagram is arguably the biggest social networking site for image sharing on the world wide web. But with so much visual stimuli spilling forth onto your feed, it can be hard to filter through the ubiquitous food shots and gratuitous selfies, to get to the truly breathtaking photography or simple ‘ah-ha’ moments. As avid users of this online photo album we thought it time to curate our top picks of the pics. Most of what we have chosen are not indeed professionally shot and are in fact executed on the humble iPhone.
Brock Davis is a man of many talents – artist, art director, illustrator, graphic designer and photographer. When he isn’t out winning awards for his work with high profile clients, he’s busy creating little scenes for Instagram. And much like his project ‘Make Something Cool Every Day’ where he made one piece of creative work, consecutively for 365 days within a single year, he applies the same dedication to each fine thought.
This intriguing series, stars our protagonist posing in a single-armed handstand throughout the world in front of iconic landmarks and landscapes. Originating from Paris, this breakdancer uses his camera, an eye for symmetry and frames himself balanced within expansive wide shots. We never see his face, lending each photograph an air of mystery and a stillness to counter the frenetic ‘look at me’ crowds of Instagram.
His modus operandi is My Ideas Meets My Camera and when our eyes meet his images we are taken by their simplicity. There is an overarching focus on the big idea and these images are all free from anything that may distract the viewer from the immediacy of this idea. With no extraneous textures, patterns or objects. Often he will pair only two items to create a single frame narrative. In each composition though, a beautiful execution is not forgone for the sake of the story.
Not content with just one title, Elise the painter, the illustrator, the costume designer, the stylist and the singer-songwriter is also a prolific fine art photographer. Dreamy colours, food, flowers, and fashion feature heavily – all filtered through her own casually cool eighties aesthetic.
With all the Jeffrey-Smart-esque clean lines and painterly colours its little wonder that LA-based singer-songwriter is a fellow Australian. Like Smart, George is concerned with the simplicity of an urban landscape, often populated with a solitary figure. Although he is not a native to Los Angeles his work can be characterised as distinctly American, as he captures the everyday spaces in between the cliched icons such as the Hollywood sign.
The work of Russian photographer Murad Osmann, with his girlfriend as the primary subject, is one of the most engaging series to grace Instagram. He has documented their journey, holding her hand whilst standing just out of frame, as they roam around the world. Through exotic locations and modern cityscapes, sometimes dressed in traditional clothing, she leads him. Each photograph prefixed with the hashtag #followmeto.
Justin J Wee is one of those unique individuals who turns his everyday life into a vibrant melange of art and design, accompanied by the written word. He pens (or shall we say types) a small essay for each bright square portrait, sharing intimate details of his loves, his fears and his future hopes. His story often touches on the life and times of a creative and the frustration we all face, seeking value in our work and feeling a constant need to usher it out into the world.
JR uses the built environment as his canvas much like fellow European artist Christo, which he wraps, not in fabric but large scale photographic portraits of everyday people. He plasters them with glue and rollers, assisted by a legion of helpers. The process is not dissimilar to flyposted street advertisements but at a much larger scale and with the cooperation of the owners whose surfaces they cover. These temporary site-specific pieces transform a familiar landscape with an unfamiliar face or group of faces to create discussions on anything from identity, class, or culture to gender, race or religion. Engaging the community to influence the way they see the world and the way the world sees them. JR’s body of work tells us that art can instigate change.
Ohad Benit describes himself (aptly) as an ‘undesigner’. And we couldn’t agree more, for he takes minimalism, and then strips it back. Often giving his work a dreamlike quality and inviting the viewer to interpret for themselves what his photographs are trying to say, because rarely are the textures, patterns or poses so deliberate that they can be judged purely on aesthetics alone. Ohad hails from the studio Mishmaacool who specialize in product and space design. But for us as Graphic Designers, the underlying message, as it relates to our work is – what can we take away from the compositions we create in order to add to their impact. So yes, more or less, less is more, no?
Hugo Suíssas, founder of the hashtag ‘symmetriclisbon’, restores a sense of harmony to Instagram through carefully balanced reflections of buildings and monuments from Lisbon. Created exclusively on mobile applications, he showcases his home city, isolating its beauty upon blue cloud-filled skies. Interspersed with these Escher-esque images are regular photos, equal in beauty and rich in detail from the Portuguese capital. Resonating each image with the same signature simplicity. It’s little wonder tourism agencies the world over employ everyday photographers to go forth and spread the word with pictures worth a thousand.
Bird eye view perspective, mist shrouded vistas and innovative play with light. These are the things you can expect to discover on the account of this Portuguese architect currently residing in Macau, who poetically describes his work as ‘the memories of the future’. Often though, Nunoassis appears to be making the future a present day reality through the selection of modern structures, captured at off-kilter angles, leaving the viewer to wonder exactly when and where it was shot. We believe the magic in the work is due to the fresh eyes that he sees things with, not being a native resident of a strange far off land.
“We are important, our lives are important, and our details are worthy of being recorded. Life on Earth is really kind of amazing.” These are words to live by and a mantra to which we can photograph to. The man behind reallykindofamazing, Garrett Cornelison, takes us along on each of his adventures and never ceases to arrest the eye with his image and beckon our hearts to hit the road, camera in hand.
Kalen taps into our childlike loves of illustration and collage – she cuts, she pastes, she scribbles – with fervour and haste for an adoring adult audience. Juxtaposition is where she excels, sometimes grafting real life on the streets with a torn page from a magazine, to humour or challenge us with her broken stereotypes. Turning the world into a stage for each new piece. “I am always concerned with what lies beneath the surface,” says Hollomon. “I hope to create conversation that is rooted in questions related to learned social rules, identity, the subtext of everyday situations and perception. Above all, I try to capture a sense of romance in images that are spontaneous and slightly unnerving.”
Frenchman, fruit lover and geometry enthusiast. Julien populates our feeds with these subjects and more. There is a clever artifice to each of his photos as he shows us his life in blacks and bright banana pops of yellow. His sense of play is something that we, as designers, try to embrace daily. He allows us to peer inside his innovative mind when he dons a patterned singlet and shorts and continues its triangulation across his skin with texter. To end at the beginning, the opening words for his account ‘être et paraître’ translate as ‘appearance and reality’, which we feel can be a comment on Instagram as a whole, as people present to us their lives as they want us to see them and perhaps not as they really are.
Theron Humphrey started out photographing his pet dog, a Coonhound, catapulting her (and him) to Instagram stardom and spawning the book Maddie on Things. Across 50 states he has posed his best friend, artfully within the scene, her sweet expression beaming, almost as if she is a knowing accomplice to the beauty and/or humour that surrounds her. Although, we suspect she is simply enjoying all the love and attention she receives throughout the whole process.
Storytelling, first. We are told in the opening line of his succinct bio. But no, not the ‘once upon a time’ suspended reality type fantasies, instead we are treated to a very real photograph of people and their environments that just might make you exclaim ‘unreal’! Spanning six continents, this commercial photographer brings his unique style to each of his single frame stories. Balloons lift its subject gently skyward, a solitary figure stands fixed within a strange new landscape, or a man, having ascended a mountain waves a pirate flag. Unfettered by the usual corporate gloss that accompanies paid work, Brahmino tells a different tale, one that the viewer would seek to be a part of.
Armed with a clean lense and a full battery, what these people have proven is that anyone is capable of great things from a machine purpose built for verbal communication. In between the phone calls to Mum, they have practiced until perfect and offered up unto the either moments of true inspiration. For the record, we are not averse to the odd culinary delight or self portrait, as long as it’s done sparingly and with panache.
You can see our studio work here instagram.com/anothercolour