Art & Advertising: Portland’s Loyalty to a Chop Suey Sign

Hung Far Low

The American Advertising Museum once took up a storefront in Old Town. Its kitschy collection included Bob’s Big Boy, Buster Brown, Mr. Peanut, and the Jantzen Diving Girl in her red tank suit. I visited in 1999, five years before it was shuttered, and I became infatuated with its collection of Volkswagen magazine ads with … Continue reading

Plagiarism, Homage, Infringement and the Collective Creative Consciousness

Is creativity finite, or do good ideas naturally have multiple lives? A lesson I remember from the sixth grade focused on an essay by a writer accused of plagiarism. We read the piece, then engaged in some pertinent classroom activity, the point of which was to send us forward in our academic careers appropriately recognizant … Continue reading

All Those Palettes and Menus, and it Turns Out the History Pane is King

Infinity Ball

What began as an eight-ball tattoo design got turned on its ear, in a manner of speaking, and became an “infinity ball” logo and artistic concept. The stationary version carries a different connotation than the one floating among the clouds. Photoshop just kept providing the media: brushes, paths, adjustment layers, filters, raster effects,  gradients, light effects, … Continue reading

Grammar Details: Articles and Prepositions

The Picture of Dorian Gray Book Cover

I was recently entertained by a fellow blogger’s deconstruction of the craft of writing movie synopses (blurbs, really) for a popular online DVD rental giant. He was compelled by the description on the mailer sleeve for a Cassavetes classic, only to find out that it had been lifted from a book about the director’s contribution … Continue reading

A Summer’s Internship in the Dirt

As my lawn gets smaller, and the veggie plot expands, I’ve been thinking about a SE Portland learning garden in which I spent a fair amount of time two springs ago. My undergraduate work was capped with a class focusing on issues of sustainability through a Native American lens. Organic community gardening was but one focus. … Continue reading