Category: culture

Pantone Color of the Year for 2017: Greenery

pantone-2017The Pantone Color of the Year for 2017 is Greenery, specifically 15-0343. Pantone says of this year’s pick, “A counterpoint to the dark malaise caused by the murky political climate around the world. Greenery burst forth in 2017 to provide us with the hope we collectively yearn for amid a complex social and political landscape.”

Good grief, that’s a helluva lot of expectation to put on one color that is basically Kermit eating at Shake Shack. In fact, I think I’d rather focus on that spunky frog enjoying a delicious burger and fries at my favorite addictive eatery than think of what else this particular color can symbolize. I mean, if Pantone is referencing the current politics in America, I think there might be a better color than one associated with money and swamps.

Pantone was founded in New York and is now headquartered in New Jersey but we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt about their global inspiration since their colors truly are the standard for color matching around the world. And actually, Greenery is a nice sort of bright neutral and much better than 2016’s Colors of the Year: baby pink and blue (excuse me, Rose Quartz and Serenity) for example. That particularly twee combination made every designer I know just shake their damn heads.

rose-quartz-and-serenityNot to mention the previous year’s color “Marsala” which reminded me forcefully of Friar Tuck’s bandage needing to be changed. Talk about a dark malaise.

marsala

But like a train that shows no sign of slowing however many rational arguments and marches are made against it, here we are with this Greenery. It may be already overused but I have to admit it looks fabulous in people’s yards if they have the money to pay for water, and is a staple in packaging, fashion, and home decor. Pantone also says it’s “trans-seasonal” and anything with the word trans in it is fine in my book so let’s pour a tall glass of green river and toast Greenery, Color of the Year 2017. And to help a bit with that murky political climate, let’s add a little absinthe in there as well. Also green.

For more from Pantone about this year's pick go here

-Barbara Combs

You aren’t as busy as you think:
Guidance on remaining creative and getting sh*t done

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If you are like me—or rather, my former self—you’re probably quite familiar with the phrase, “I’m just so busy”. It’s become the ultimate crutch, the perfect excuse to get out of inconvenient dinner plans and a reason to neglect your fitness routine. It’s even become your default answer to questions like, “How has your summer been?”—an otherwise perfect opportunity for you to share something interesting. But most profoundly, adopting the "I'm so busy" mantra is the one thing holding you back from finishing (or even starting) your personal creative projects.

Chase Jarvis, Artist and CEO of CreativeLive wrote in a blog post, “Busy isn’t success, it’s a lack of priority”. His post, and that line specifically, got me thinking about my own seemingly busy schedule and that perhaps, I in fact had the time I thought I hadn’t for creative projects as long as I made them a top-ranking priority. After some re-jiggering of my schedule, and quite a bit of trial and error, I found the following set of steps to be the most successful process in bringing creative projects to the forefront of my day-to-day.

1) Record your time and don’t leave anything out
I started by documenting, hour by hour, the way I spend my time in a typical week. Sure, I work 40 hours and get an average of 8 hours of sleep a night which, together, takes up 96 of the 168 hours in a week. But what was happening in those other 72 hours? To my shame, I found that I was surrendering that time to Netflix, shopping online, checking and BROWSING Instagram (who does that?), perusing Pinterest, yadda yadda. Don’t get me wrong, I was spending quality time with my husband, taking my dog on walks, cleaning, and making healthy meals (also known as “adulting”), but the rest of my time was being swallowed up by the nonsense.

2) Define and list your priorities
Next, I wrote down a list of my top priorities and bucketed them into the following three categories:

Self Relationships Career

This helped me organize my thoughts and highlighted the areas that needed some balance.

My creative goals, for example finishing my illustrated greeting card series and photographing my designed wedding invitations, fell under the Self category—along with yoga twice a week, journaling once a day, etc. Updating my portfolio site was a task I listed under the Career column, and more frequent girls’ nights was mandatory under Relationships. Turns out that constantly scrolling Instagram, pinning DIYs for my hypothetical garden on Pinterest, and watching hours of Stranger Things on Netflix weren’t  even close to making the priority cut (Although, ST is dope and may be budgeted back into my schedule).

3) Rewrite your week and adhere to it
I did this by creating a one-week schedule. First, I filled in the spaces that are absolutely mandatory and don’t vary from week to week like working and sleeping. then I started to allocate the more fluid priorities to the available time slots. Illustrating was now to be done on Wednesday and Thursday from  7-8 pm and photographing my projects would happen on Monday from 6-7 pm, when the lighting was still fantastic.

Looking at a map of my revitalized week helped me realize the amount of time I actually had to do the things I was neglecting for so long.  It became obvious that putting off my creative projects because of time (or lack thereof) was no longer a viable excuse. I HAVE the time, I just need to use it correctly.

Sticking to a precise schedule may be nearly impossible. After all, we’re human and curve balls get thrown at us regularly, but getting a sense of what you really care about, and scheduling those things into your week is a sure way to live a life of intent and to get sh*t done.

For a pdf of the schedule template I used, click here.

-Julia Perry

Hoist to the Chief

Gravity Celebrates the Presidents of These United States

We love our George Washingtons and Abraham Lincolns as much as the next person. But when it comes to Presidents Day at Gravity, we proudly take the entire day off to celebrate the lesser known Presidents—the Millard Fillmores, the Calvin Coolidges, even the Howard Tafts.

And in the great tradition of Gravity, as anyone who knows us will tell you, the way we celebrate these stellar men and their fellow POTUS’ (POTAI?), both sung and unsung, is to create signature cocktails in their honor.

So let’s all raise a glass to the men who led our country in victory and defeat, style and scandal, tight waistcoats, elaborate sidewhiskers, and funny hats. To each and every President of these great United States, we drink to you.

Here is just a small sampling of our suggested Hail to the Chieftails.

  • Martini Van Buren
  • Long Island Ike Tea
  • Hot Toddy Roosevelt
  • Beerack Obama
  • Millard Fillmorjito
  • Jimmy Sidecarter
  • Calvino Coolidge
  • Beers on Taft
  • Gin F. Kennedy and Tonic
  • Harry Trumanhattan
  • Dwight David Budweisenhower
  • George Herbert Walker Margarita Bush

Don’t think. Just draw.

This past year, I started realizing how little personal art I’ve done. It wasn’t due to a lack of effort, but more a lack of patience and commitment (okay, and some lack of effort too).

I tend to take on these huge projects that I carefully plan out inch by inch. The pieces I want to do usually require over a month of work and they almost never get finished. I get burnt out and ready for something new about halfway through.

I somehow managed to make my greatest passion stressful—I was trying too hard. I forgot the joy I always had just mindlessly doodling, not worrying about every line having to be precise and every element laid out perfectly on the page.

The four illustrations below are what I have done since this realization. They can hardly be called mindless doodles, but I attacked them with the same approach. As soon as I came up with the concept, I went to work, letting my hand move freely and didn’t stop until the piece was finished. Each illustration took me anywhere between an hour and an hour and a half. Much better.

Grandmas Boy

Mitch Hedberg - pastel

Jordan in Motion - graphite

R2D2 screenprint

There’s no end goal in mind with these illustrations, they’re just kind of laying around somewhere in my room. Although, one of them is contributing to a good cause. I’m donating the “Jordan in Motion” sketch to a silent art auction being put on by Philanthro — an organization I’m a member of — in partnership with Art with Heart. You can learn more about the event here and if you have an art piece you would also like to donate, email mary.wu@philanthroproductions.org by March 24.

Doing this reminded me what I was capable of creating when I allow myself to let go of some control. I relied more on my artistic instincts rather than having everything planned out. It has also helped breathe new life in other aspects of my design work. Sometimes, it’s better to not think and just draw.

-Huy Cao

Mud, Sweat, and Beers. Team Gravity does the Warrior Dash.

Dateline July 16, 2011. North Bend, Washington: 3.5 miles of mud, beer, fire, mud, tires, walls of rope, walls of... well... walls, sweat, tutus, mud, capes, bananas, barbed wire, boas, kilts, beards, mud, dogs, music, turkey legs, determination... and did I say mud? The graviteers took it all on with style and grit and mud. Check out the video. And don't forget to turn up the sound.

Video stars Team Gravity: Kirk, Brijean, Lindsay, Huy, Carla, Sean, Sarah, Mateo, Jessie, Merrie and Pedro.

Warrior Dash Team

Warrior Dash

Warrior Dash

-Barbara Combs