Inspiration

Japanese rice paddy crop art

Recent days I stumbled upon this article titled Pimp my rice paddy. The article and the pictures caught my eye. According to Pink Tentacle, each year, farmers in the town of Inakadate in Aomori prefecture create works of crop art by growing a little purple and yellow-leafed kodaimai rice along with their local green-leafed tsugaru-roman variety.

And this year’s creation — a pair of grassy reproductions of famous woodblock prints from Hokusai’s 36 Views of Mount Fuji — has begun to appear like the picture shown above. It will be visible until the rice is harvested in September. The picture shown below is the planning and work in progress of planting the seeds into the field, photoed back in May 27th. To be honest, I don’t know how they planning out the plan and how they precisely planted them into the right position because the crop art is pretty complicated and huge!

Inakadate’s farmers already practice this activities since years ago (can be traced since 1993), and they already created some magnificent work of art like pictures shown below. And it actually influence other towns’ farmers to do the same too. I think is pretty good because can grow food and doing something creative at the same time. Two benefit in an activity, brilliant!

Japanese crop art vs crop circle

Maybe you will start to think that this Japanese crop art is similar to Western crop circle (i mean those man-made one). Well, there is something different is the Japanese crop art that is planned carefully and the art only came be seen when the crop is fully grown, while the crop circle is appeared in middle of nowhere which causes surprises. Besides that, the Japanese is “growing” the art, while crop circles is produced by stepping down the crops, thus create the shape.

For more research and reading, visit:
1. www.vill.inakadate.aomori.jp,
2. www.am.askanet.ne.jp and
3. 田んぼアート(たんぼアート, Tanbo art)Japan Wikipedia.

本當超面白! Lets talk Nihongo influences

Probably when you read the title you will think what is that?? Yes, today I want to talk a little about the Japanese language influence in Chinese contemporary language. 本當超面白 or in Jap “Honto cho-omoshiroi” means “very interesting”. I found this word while reading MILK magazine. The article is about Japanese stuff so the author integrate some Japanese word into it, and I found it quite interesting.

The Nihongo influence particularly strong in Asia countries that speaks Chinese especially Taiwan and China. Thanks to Astro, I got to watch many Taiwan entertainment shows. They use Japanese words like “人気” (Ninki – means popular), “卡哇衣” (Kawaii – means cute) and “哦衣西” (Oishii – means delicious). There is another which I think is worth mentioning is in the game show, when the guest is failed to advance, instead of putting “可惜”, they use “残念 (Zannen)”! Hahaha.

In my humble opinion, I think there is some reason of using Japanese language instead of original Chinese, first it makes the language more interesting. Second, it feels more trendy and young that will attract younger audiences. As you know, the Chinese 汉字 (Kanji) was been integrated in Japanese language, and Japan now is popular and this is common that those Kanji is being integrated into other languages.

Actually it is quite interesting on how the Japanese interpret Kanji, for example “人気” mentioned above. If direct translate to Chinese it means “people gas”. Because the thing is popular, so many people wants to buy it so the “gas” becomes a lot make the item “hot”. Another one is “無料 (Muryou)” which means FREE. So because is free so no need material (money). What about need money? Maybe you will think is “有料”. Yup, you’re right!

Some other interesting examples like “大丈夫” (Daijoubu – no problem. Chinese – gentlemen). Because even got problem you will also said no problem, so you are very gentlemen and “面倒臭” (Mendokusai – troublesome. Chinese – face down stinks). Because you feel troublesome, so you will turn down your face and it looks stinks”, hahahaha.

Surf in another dimension?

Screen are flat, normally what we see on the net is just a flat piece of info. But there is designers that breaks that boundary. They want the viewer to experience that actually you are in the virtual 3D web space which create the illusion to viewer. These websites are outstanding and inspiring just like M. C. Escher‘s drawing partially shown above.

The websites listed here are powered by Flash, and they are range from 3D menu system to the whole 3D web environment. Please enjoy! Continue reading

More free fonts & web gallery

What is so great about having a habit of surfing Del.icio.us’s Popular and Recent bookmarks is, you get to know the nice & inspiring websites that discovered by other people which is so convenient and useful! Thanks to this social networking site, I found another 2 sites that provide quality free fonts & web design gallery.

Die Gestalten free fonts

Die Gestalten offers free fonts featuring experimental display fonts in addition to single weights of the popular text fonts for trial. The free fonts is being added and updated regularly so be sure to visit this site frequently to get all the free fonts they have on offer! Sadly some fonts is available for MAC only.

Style Boost

Styleboost is a gallery for showcasing beautiful web sites. It has been around since January 2001 and is created, designed and maintained by Johan Bakken. The gallery is clean and simple. Every sites that is listed here not only will be categorized by its characteristics, it also categorized by the colors of the site. Plus, a short description to further understanding the listed websites and it also allow users to comment too.

7 Delicious Web Design Galleries

Web design gallery is the great inspiration place for many designers and enthusiasts. It showcases the best sites that combines both usability and aesthetics of design. Getting listed in one of those could be a great honor to the firm and the designers. Here, I present some of the sites that showcases the great web designs and each gallery is unique on its own, read on!

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Jayhan’s 10 favorite blogs

Today marks the 10th birthday of blogging history & Mashable is asking to list out our 10 favorite blogs. And here is my list:

1. Techcrunch
The premium source of web technologies and news

2. Mashable
Very useful and resourceful Web2.0 website

3. Smashing Magazine
Inspiration, web design, reading, resources is all here. A must bookmark for web designers and developers.

4. Bittbox
Inspiring freebies, useful tricks and tutorial for both beginners and experienced!

5. Veerle’s Blog
Probably the most beautiful blog u ever seen.

6. Design Walker
Great resources and inspiration website.

7. PingMag
Another great design blog, including many fields like illustration, furniture, architecture etc.

8. Subtraction
Another nice blog which utilised grid layout. Very neat and easy to read.

9. Ikimasshoi+
Latest news about J-pop can be found here

10. Tokyograph
Another great site about Japanese entertainment. Music, gossips, dramas everything Japan!

So what is your list?

Logo inspiration sites you should’t miss

Everything needs identity. For human, we have name as our basic identity. In medieval era, heraldry was used as identity, which now is still visible in modern world. For companies, brands, society etc, they need a logo as identification. Logo is important because it represents the company to the world. So logo has to be eye catchy, unique yet easy to remember.

Designing logo can be fun, but actually it can be a painful process too. I can struggled easily during the logo design development. You need to do some research, or look into other logos to get design inspiration. So here I compiled some sites that will help you to get inspiration.

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Crop Circles goes 3D?

Recently I read the newspapers about a new crop circles appeared at Wiltshire, UK. Report said that this circles was unique because it has 3D elements in it. Because the pics at newspapers does not clearly shown how 3D it was, so I go to Internet to check and “wow”! It was really 3D! It depicts a corridor-like graphic, and the vanishing point is at the center of the circle. More angles here.

I had been fascinated about crop circles since small. It was something like mystery mix with inspiration, mind-boggling creation. The mysteries of crop circles was still remained unsolved, although I watch several documentary about crop circles are actually made by human. But, from the old circles, now actually some of them is very huge and mathematically precised superb beauty circles! I wonder human actually can do that? Some more is have to do it overnight (prevent being catched)? Who knows.

Below are some collections of crop circles. If you ask me which I like the most? Yes. It’s the first one below: the great Milk Hill crop circle.

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Trash the Wedding Gown!

Let me ask you, what normally a brides do with her wedding gown after wedding ceremony? Keep it nicely in a box or as treasure that pass from generation to generation? Well let me tell you the latest trend: TRASH IT. This trend was started by a Las Vegas photographer John Michael Cooper, and then it started to get more and more popular.

He was freaking bored with the cliche wedding photography, so he started to convince his clients to get wild and extraordinary. According to him, the fashion photography often put “pretty people into ugly scene”, so he wants to apply that into wedding photography too.

There is even a website dedicated to it: TrashtheDress.com, created by Mark Eric to highlight his dress trashing experience & became a place for other photographers to share their trashing too. Here is the manifesto of the site:

Go ahead, you know you want to. Trash it. Get it dirty. Get it wet. Roll around in the mud. Drench it in the ocean. Totally trash it.

Why? … Why not? You’ve made a commitment to your husband. He’s your one and only true love, right? Then you’ll never need the dress again. And no, your daughter won’t wear it in 20-30 years. So you have two choices:

1) Suffocate it in plastic and throw it in a closet
2) Show your husband how committed you are by trashing the dress, and get some great fun pictures while you do it!

According to Associated Content, Trash the Dress phenomenon has been touted as a way for women to celebrate their wedding without becoming obsessed by it. For some, the images are a cathartic release of wedding-related stress. Maybe they want to keep their memory through photography only, the wedding gown symbolizes their past and has no meaning to them anymore.

Although it gets a lot of criticism, but it actually attracted the alternative crowd that is seeking for individuality expression. For me, I think the trash the dress phenomenon is creative and make sense. Why make sense? Wedding gown is a dress that you wore once in lifetime, so what for keeping it and it actually lose its functionality after the wedding ceremony.

So, instead of keeping, why not seeking out a way to “get rid” of it by doing something creative, like what the manifesto mentioned above? I just run through those photography showcase, and it actually not bad and more meaningful, like “Oh yeah, by this photography, I’m become mind-free and cherish the rest of my life with my love one”.

I absolutely support this. But not sure in Malaysia will have this trend or not. More pictures below, credits to NYTimes and trashthedress.com.