Category: Community

World Humanitarian Day: Ashok Sinha & The Cartwheel Initiative

In honor of World Humanitarian Day, Behance is supporting the United Nation’s campaign by profiling users who have created projects with a particularly humanitarian focus. This year’s World Humanitarian Day theme asks the question “The World Needs More _________”; brands, organizations, and individuals can then sponsor the words to raise money and awareness.

We spoke with Ashok Sinha, a New York based photographer and founder of The Cartwheel Initiative, a nonprofit organization that uses creative media to empower children in the aftermath of crisis. Sinha began The Cartwheel Initiative after a 2010 visit to Sri Lanka, noticing the stark difference between the pristine tourist beaches and the obvious trauma visible in northern Jaffna. The organization aims to provide workshops to help youth affected by the war harness art therapeutically, while also sharing their experiences with the world. The program conducted four workshops in Northern Sri Lanka in 2011. The Cartwheel Initiative held another round of workshops this year; films produced by participants will be screened at the Children’s Museum of the Arts in New York. We spoke about his project Children of Post-War Sri Lanka.


The theme for World Humanitarian Day is: The World Needs More _______. In three words or less, what do you think the world needs more of?
Cross-Cultural Understanding

Why is it important that The Cartwheel Initiative reaches out to kids using art?
Art is a non-political tool that can be used to spark conversations and help young people build bridges within their communities and across ethnic and social divisions.



“Art is a non-political tool that can be used to spark conversations and help young people build bridges within their communities and across ethnic and social divisions.”


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Calling all “Makers!”

Robot makers, 3D Printers, lighting designers, toy and gadget makers – if you’re a “maker” of any sort – we invite you to take part in a new initiative on Stackexchange – a Q&A site for the maker community. It seeks to address two major concerns in the world of Makers: knowledge sharing and attribution. This is just the beginning of the creation of a unified and empowered space for Makers.

Join the Beta:

  1.  Go to the StackExchange maker community proposal.
  2.  If you have an account on Stack Overflow, or any other Stack Exchange site, you should be logged in automatically, but if you aren’t, be sure to click “log in” at the top of the page, so you don’t create a second account.
  3. If you don’t have an existing Stack Exchange account, (or do, and have logged in), click the “Commit” button to the left of the description
  4. Fill out the fields in the commit box that pops up.  Be sure to use an email you can access; you’ll need to be able to open a confirmation email.
  5. Once you commit, you’ll be given a link you can use to invite other experts – feel free to share with anyone you think can contribute to the community.
  6. Important: Go to your email and click the confirmation link.

A Closer Look with Akos Major

We had the pleasure of interviewing Akos Major, a freelance graphic designer and photographer whose peaceful photographs and simplistic techniques have caught our eye. 


How long have you been a photographer?
I bought my first camera in 2008, which was a Nikon D40x. I still have some of my first images in my portfolio – the Island series, and a few ones from the waterscapes series. I’m getting into photography more and more each day. It’s a discovery period, i’m trying new mediums and finding new subjects.

Describe your process when creating your ProSite
It was really easy thanks to the developers and the user friendly interface. I’m not good at coding, so it was a huge help. Sure, I want to improve the appearance of the whole site, just have to make a room for it besides the daily tasks – especially in the ‘about’ section. Overall, all I knew is that I wanted a clear looking site and i’m glad with the results.

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Behind the Project: Explosive Emotions

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that were especially admired in our community. Coming Soon is a Belgian based design and branding studio. Their other projects include chalk-drawing branding for  Jameson Whiskey as well as an exploration of what goes into producing a 3-D Comic. We spoke with them about her recent project, Emotion Series, a collection of expressive portraits for a cultural center. 

What was your inspiration for this project?
One of our clients is a cultural center in Belgium and we did a full rebranding for them, from logo to magazine and website. For over 3 years we have been doing the campaign images—the concept is culture with impact . Every year we make a new series of 5 images. This year we wanted to work with pure emotions: emotions people feel when they go to the cultural center during a concert or performance.


“For over 3 years we have been doing the campaign images—the concept is culture with impact . Every year we make a new series of 5 images. This year we wanted to work with pure emotions: emotions people feel when they go to the cultural center during a concert or performance”


Can you describe your process in creating this project?
Since we were working with emotions we had to find nice characters. We did a casting, where we selected 30 people from a group of 200. We shot the photographs over three days. We even picked up people from the street in the end, like they do on street castings.
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Behind the Project: Dreamy Swim-scapes in time for Summer

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that were especially admired in our community. Yuku Shimizu is a New York based illustrator. She has won numerous awards for her work (and was named one of Newsweek Japan’s 100 Japanese People the World Respects). Her other projects include illustrations for the New York Times Book Review as well as a collection of commissioned illustrations repurposed to create “slightly demented children’s stories.” We spoke with her about her recent project, Into the Water, a collection of images focusing on swimming and the water.

What was your inspiration for this project?
This is actually a collection of illustrations I have made over the years for various clients.  Since I got an account on Behance, I’ve been thinking about how to present my work in a different context than on a personal website. What I have started doing lately is to put together different projects under a theme. The weather had gotten warmer in New York, and summer was about to start, so I decided to put together a theme of swimming and underwater.
I make a lot of images that fit this theme; I think it’s because I have severe hydrophobia. I never learned how to swim properly, and going into water deeper than my chest scares the hell out of me. But in my drawings, I can go anywhere. These are sort of my fantasy illustrations. Whenever I can use a water theme, I sneak it in!


 

I never learned how to swim properly, and going into water deeper than my chest scares the hell out of me. But in my drawings, I can go anywhere. These are sort of my fantasy illustrations.

 

 


Can you describe your process in creating this project?
Each project is completely different. They are all published work, so some of the themes were very open ended and let me do whatever I wanted, while others were more art directed. Usually the process of illustrating begins with receiving the story to illustrate. Then, I come up with some concepts and create an ink drawing based on an approved idea, and I finally finish the image with coloring on Photoshop.



Some images and projects do come easier than others, but some come harder than they should be, which can be a struggle. Easy or hard, finishing an image or a project gives me a sense of accomplishment like no other. I guess that’s why we’re artists!


Did you expect it to be as popular as it’s been on The Behance Network?
I am always very excited when a project I’ve posted gets featured; I’ve also received so many encouraging comments to continue producing work. This is a very supportive community, and I really appreciate that.

Did you go through many versions and iterations before coming up with these final pieces?
I do a neurotic number of thumbnails. For me, composition is just as important as the images or the concepts themselves. So, I do plan every little bubble in the picture. Sometimes move them around in the coloring stage till it feels right. Some images and projects do come easier than others, but some come harder than they should be, which can be a struggle. Easy or hard, finishing an image or a project gives me a sense of accomplishment like no other. I guess that’s why we’re artists!

Did anything interesting happen as a result of the success of this project?  (fans contacting you, job opportunities, blogs picking it up, etc).
This got picked up by multiple blogs and sharing sites within a day or two of being posted. I did get more phone calls for jobs since I posted, and some are new clients, but I didn’t ask them where they found me.  I am thankful for that there is an audience for my phobia turned into images. It is very humbling. Thank you.

App Update: Creative Portfolio App now in 9 additional Languages!

The Creative Portfolio App is now fully integrated and functional in 9 additional languages: Spanish, French, Russian, German, Polish, Simplified Chinese, Italian, Portugueses, and Japanese.

We’re very excited to finally be able to recognize the global nature of our community with this update. Even more good news: the app automatically detects the language preferences of your iOS, making it even easier to sync your portfolio, access it offline, as well as customize your portfolio’s display.

Behind the Project: A More Playful Packaging

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that were especially admired in our community. Steve Simpson is a Dublin, Ireland based illustrator. His projects have ranged from an award –winning projects based on sign language to a children’s book. We spoke with him about his recent project, Illustrated Barcodes, a playful take on a portion of product design most take for granted. 

What was your inspiration for this project?
A few years ago, I was given the chance to design and illustrate a packaging project for an Irish hot sauce company, Mic’s Chilli. I’ve done some graphic design, but I’d primarily been working as an illustrator; to me the 2 disciplines were quite different. So, I decided to treat the design as one big illustration.
By looking at the project from a slightly different angle, I was able to question things I’d previously taken for granted—namely the humble bar code. Did it need to be so ugly? What could I do to make it blend more with the rest of the packaging? I searched the web for answers and rules and was surprised to find very little information on what you could do and what you couldn’t. For the most part it’s been about experimenting and it’s surprising just how far away from the white box, black sticks and digital type face I’ve come.


 

By looking at the project from a slightly different angle, I was able to question things I’d previously taken for granted—namely the humble bar code. Did it need to be so ugly?

 


Can you describe your process in creating this project?
I had collated all the illustrated barcodes from a variety of projects to show as examples to a new client. I hadn’t initially planned on putting them up on Behance but the thought occurred to me that it would be handy to have them all in one place.

Did you expect it to be as popular as it’s been on The Behance Network?
No, not at all. I was quite shocked to see how quickly the appreciations racked up. Shocked, but delighted.

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A Closer Look with Bex Glover

We had the pleasure of interviewing Bex Glover, a graphic designer, artist & illustrator living and working in Bristol, UK. 

How long have you been in design/illustration?
10 years

Do your personal projects differ from your professional work? If yes, how so?
Yes to some degree, my personal work is often more hand rendered / painting based -using markers and spray paint, and it tends to have a more abstract aesthetic. I like to emulate the hand rendered feel in my digital illustrative work too, but the style and subject matter will be dictated by the requirements of the brief. Some can be cleaner cut, simple, and digital in style, others more urban and freestyle. It’s great when you get projects where the client wants to do something based on your personal work –that’s often the more fun, creative stuff.

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Behind the Project: A Transit App For Seasoned Commuters

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that were especially admired in our community. Martin Oberhäuser is a Hamburg, Germany based information and interface designer. After working with various large agencies and freelancing, Oberhäuser founded the oberhaeuser.info design studio in 2011.  Oberhäuser’s passion for data visualization is apparent in projects that range from encyclopedia infographics to an app that monitors and tracks online mentions.  We spoke with him about his recent project, nextr, an iPhone app that helps users navigate German public transit by providing intuitive, essential information and directions.

What was your inspiration for this project?
My inspiration was initially personally motivated. I use public transportation services in Germany pretty frequently and I was never satisfied with the available transportation guidance apps. I felt like there was a lot of room for improvement, especially for heavy transit users like myself. Most people I know that use these apps are familiar with the public transportation systems in their cities. They only need quick access to some important use cases, for example “when does the next train depart from the station closest to my home?” So I focused on this user group and provided this easy access combined with the ability to drill deeper for more information if necessary.

Can you describe your process in creating this project?
I decided to play around with some initial ideas and concepts for a more intuitive app. After a while I came up with a structure based around the current user position on a map and easy access to nearby stations.

I approached my iOS developer Marcus Wermuth with this concept and some initial layouts and asked if he’d be interested in and capable of developing the app. Fortunately, he was excited to work with me on making this concept a reality. Of course, we had other running client projects and had to earn some money, so it took us a while to reach a working prototype, and then a fully functional app.
This project continues to be pretty challenging because we are working with real time data and geolocation. The real challenge, however, was to initially achieve the right amount of simplification—asking “what information is really relevant for the user and what is our main target audience?”

Did anything interesting happen as a result of the success of this project?  (fans contacting you, job opportunities, blogs picking it up, etc).

We used Behance as the main tool to advertise the launch of our app and the reactions have been phenomenal. A few hours after we published the project many blogs were writing about it and it soon became the second best selling app on the German App Store. We are also getting many interview requests from blogs and tech magazines. I can’t say exactly how big the impact of Behance was, but it definitely played a big role.

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