The painstaking work of Yuken Teruya

On January 6, 2014, in Great design, by John Ellis

Look closely. This is no ordinary happy meal.

Yuken Teruya cuts and tears the strips of paper from the bag to make the art inside. I came across his work at the Saatchi Gallery in 2013. This kind of work is inspiring because it tells a great story, intrigues us to consider the motive of the artist and obviously requires great technical skill.

You can check out more of his work here.

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Lovely way to display art

On December 29, 2013, in Great design, Uncategorized, by John Ellis

Changing perspective

Originally from Canadian Art. This intrigues me because the artist has taken control of where you stand to view the art and therefore your perception.

The exhibition Laurent Grasso: Uraniborg, co-produced by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and the Jeu de Paume in Paris, offers a unique foray into space and time. Videos, paintings from the Studies into the Past series, drawings, neons, objects and sculptures cohabit in a presentation conceived by the artist as a work in itself.  Here, Grasso continues his exploration of space and temporality as he seeks to create what he calls a “false historical memory.” In this in-between place where true and false intermingle, the all-pervading observation of the sky underlies a broader examination of seeing, watching and surveillance, at the same time as it opens up a path to possible worlds.

Amazing tech at the Cleveland Museum of Art

On December 26, 2013, in Great design, by John Ellis

So long bicep cramps

If you’ve suffered from the bicep cramp that sets in after you’ve wandered through a gallery or museum while holding an old-fashioned audio guide, you’ll love what the cats at the Cleveland Museum of Art – Gallery One – are doing with fantastic interactive technology. Having just toured the new Toronto aquarium with kids in tow in Toronto, I’m convinced that interaction is the key to getting kids turned on to art.

Watchable versus readable. A good content graphic.

On September 19, 2012, in Good reads, by John Ellis

I took this infographic from a guy, who got it from a guy who found it on So, I can’t accurately give credit to my source.

The question being raised is ‘do we write content to be read or viewed?’. The infographic makes a good case for creating highly watchable (versus readable) content. As a writer, I’m happy to see this debate because it opens doors for more types of content creators. Film makers and documentarians may be hired to create what used to be the domain of the ‘mass’ writers. Every step in our evolution as story-tellers seems to invite more people into the creative process and this must be a good thing for clients.

For a more in-depth look at language and content in the digital age, I recommend “Always On” by Naomi S. Baron. She raises fascinating questions about how we communicate, such as whether text messages qualify as speech or written words. It’s a must-read for word geeks.


Everything is a canvas

On May 29, 2012, in Great experiential marketing, by John Ellis

This incredible light projection and it’s description come from The Guardian. What a lovely way to kill four minutes. Enjoy.

An installation light projection on the Australian landmark makes it look as if its roof crumbles to the ground. The display forms part of the Vivid light and music festival in the New South Wales capital, and is created by the German design company Urbanscreen. The festival runs until 11 June, with 50 light installations across the city.

Anti-gravity tech with endless possibilities

On May 22, 2012, in Great design, by John Ellis

Watch this four-minute video and be inspired.

Because I live in a city addicted to bland high-rises, I particularly love the idea of using anti-gravity balls to show the effect of light and shade for urban planning.

Good read: The 4-hour Work Week

On February 10, 2012, in Good reads, by John Ellis

I avoided this book when it first came out because I thought I would feel like a sucker if I dished out money for another lifestyle self-help hardcover. As they say, “If self-help books worked, there would be less of them every year.” I don’t know who said that, but it’s bang on.

I read The 4-Hour Workweek in just under 8 hours. That’s 2 weeks in the author’s world.

Surprisingly, there are some great ideas in this book. If nothing else, it poses interesting questions about our relationships with labour, money and success. I plan to read it again. Next time, I’ll go slower and maybe try some of the worksheets.

I plan to introduce some of Ferriss’s ideas into my daily routine. But I don’t plan to work 4 hours a week. That’s just not wise for a freelance writer. I would prefer a 50-hour week, so please hire me.

Look for the revised (post 2008) version. It will be making the rounds in the used book stores by now. Or, buy it new and reward the author. If you’re read the book, leave a comment. Other readers would love to hear your opinion.

Gotta love Suzuki

On December 13, 2011, in Great sites, by John Ellis

David Suzuki is a guy who just seems to fit into any media vehicle.

The Test Tube is a simple little site with an odd musical background and profound message. Take a look. Enter what you would do with an extra minute and see what others had to say.

Nice Friday viewing

On September 30, 2011, in Great design, Great sites, by John Ellis

Made by Hand video.

This looks like a promising series of videos on craftsmanship. I wish these guys well. View episode 1 here.

Made by Hand was created out of the belief that the things we collect, consume, use, and share are part of who we are as individuals. For example, the food that we eat says something about each of us, as do the tools we use and the chairs we rest on. Objects that surround the space we dwell in tell stories, and not just about us. Where did they come from? Who made them? How were they made?

Each film aims to promote that which is made locally, sustainably, and with a love for craft. Based in Brooklyn, the project takes its influence from the handmade movement here and elsewhere. We hope you find the spirit of it inspiring. (from

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Must-see font

On September 6, 2011, in Artists, Great design, Great sites, by John Ellis

Liquid font from Ruslan Khasanov.

Russian illustrator and designer Ruslan Khasanov has created a melting font that he is currently featuring on his behance portfolio site. The work is lovely and I’m not sure how long it will be on the site, so here are a few links that will help you get acquainted with the very talented dude.

Ruslan Khasanov home page.

Ruslan’s behance site. For now, this is the fastest way into the work.