Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Artist Interview: Liesa Cole and Tony Rodio

Why don't we start by telling us who you are and what you do
Liesa Cole: Photographer
Tony Rodio: co-owner of Omni Studio, Studio Manager/retoucher by day, digital artist, assembler of our multiple image composites [panoramas].

Where are each of you from?
Liesa: Baton Rouge, LA

Tony: Born in Hollywood, Florida. Lived in Birmingham since I was a child except for a stint in New York City in 2005

Do you feel like where you are from has affected how you reflect back in your art, and how so?
Liesa: Definitely. As the daughter of a British Immigrant and a Southern Dairy Farmer, raised in cajun country, juxtaposition reveals everything to me.

Tony: Not so much where I'm from as much as who I've encountered.

What inspired you to be a photographer / artist?
Liesa: I have always had a penchant for magic. As a theatre major at L.S.U.
I took photography as an elective. The first time I saw an image magically appear on a blank piece of paper floating in the developer bath, I was hooked. I like also that I can explore a theme, really invest myself in it, create something. And then, have this tangible image to present in a permanent way. My work in the theatre seemed so vaporous by comparison.
Tony: The desire to create something that I could be proud of and that someone else could appreciate.

I love how your work is a collaboration, can you tell me a little about your process?
Liesa: Tony says I am the "distributor". He is the organizer, detail person. I move on flights of fancy and impulsive inspiration. Tony is a planner. Together I think we represent a single well-rounded, high functioning person!

I love your panorama work, how labor intensive are these?
Liesa: I usually concept the work and do the photography, with Tony assisting. We usually float down a scene, photographing many times at each interval. After the shoot, Tony prints out contact sheets for me. I then pore over the multitude of images looking for a little story of sorts. Then, I literally cut and paste images, and bits of images, together in a jigsaw fashion. Sometimes this represents as many as parts of 30 or more images. Now, Tony has the hard part! I pass off the collage to him. He meticulously fetches the selected image bits, and seamlessly melds them together, as if it really happened that way. He is so patient and precise. When he is satisfied, I cannot even tell where his seams are.

They are all amazing, what things do you look for when searching out the perfect spot for a panorama?
Liesa: I am interested in the common threads of human experience. I love places where people from all walks of life co-mingle. Irony and humor always emerge in these places. Again, it is all about juxtaposition.

Your latest work is called "The Mythic Backyard" can you tell me a little bit about this work in progress?
Liesa: This work is all about the brief magical phase in childhood that usually happens between the ages of 3 and 5. Remember when you dressed up like a fairy or a super hero and got lost in your own imagination? You thought about jumping off the dog house roof with your towel as cape, or costume wings securely in place, and taking flight. You were glorious and powerful. Your imagination raged undeterred, until you were called in for dinner. I am concerned that today's kids are denied this self-generated magic by so much structure and batteries. There are so many lessons and sports, which are all about following the rules. There are electronic games that produce the imagery and activity for you. I document the "mythic Back-yard" where I find it for 2 reasons. 1) I want to remember and re-connect with this creative and empowering phase in my own life. and 2) I want to remind others to keep sacred the Mythic Backyard for their own children. Give them space and time to just "go forth and play!"

What is the best place for someone to view your work?
Come to the OMNI! This is our home studio/gallery in downtown Birmingham,

What are some of your favorite hobbies other than your art?
Liesa: I Love to invent ethnic fusion food. Like, Asian gumbo, or Paella Bombay. Tony is the best "Sous" ever! Also, thrifting, travelling, foreign films, board games, biographies and riding our vintage tandem. I only spin fire on special occasions now.
Tony: Music has always been a huge passion for me. I played in bands for years, dj'd some and am constantly searching out music that moves me.

Now three quick silly questions -

What is in your fridge right now?

Liesa: An enormous quantity of fresh brussels sprouts! We are in charge of a "vegetable" for the family Thanksgiving.
Tony: Grade "b" maple syrup. We just discovered it. You will never eat regular syrup again!

What is your favorite movie of all time?
Liesa: Amelie!
Tony: Hmm, that's a tough one.
If you asked me that 5 years ago I would have said "Blade Runner". It was my all time favorite for a long time. I think Amelie is a beautiful movie.

What is spinning on the turntable or on the ipod right now?
Liesa: OMG, that is so funny that you would ask that! We just dusted off a box of vintage vinyl! "Connie Francis sings German Favorites" and "Honolulu Honky-Tonk" by Frankie Carle. Why does this retro kitchy stuff make me so happy?
Tony: The latest addition to my ipod is The Brazilian Girls newest album, "New York City".

Liesa and Tony's work can be viewed at omnistudio

Architecture: Yellow Treehouse

The Yellow Treehouse Restaurant by New Zealand based Pacific Environments Architects Ltd. is mounted to a 40 m redwood, made from plantation poplar slats, and the redwood balustrading is milled onsite. It is a beautiful structure that looks like a glowing seed split in half that has attached itself to this tree. I would love to eat here!

(via inhabitat)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Finish: Solar Blinds

The two-dimensional lamps are brilliant in their simplicity. During the day, miniature solar pads soak up the sun’s energy. At night, artfully placed lighting pixels (similar to those used on billboards) illuminate. Simply close the blinds to ‘turn on’ your lights. These smart lights come in table lamp, floor lamp, and chandelier forms that add dramatic ambiance to any room in the house. (via inhabitat/yanko design)

Interior: 70's Rock

this is one of my favorite interior posts ever! 70's rock musicians in their parents or grandparents homes. apartment therapy posted these awesome photos from the archives of LIFE magazine and knew i needed to share. all photos by John Olson/LIFE] (above) Frank Zappa.
Eric Clapton with his grandmother Rose in the house he bought her in Surrey.
David Crosby standing with father Floyd in father's house in Ojai.
Elton John with his mother Shelia and stepfather Fred Fairebrother in their London apartment.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Lighting: LBL chandeliers

i have always loved LBL's chandeliers. i've used their pendants and sconces on multiple projects, but have yet to use a chandelier. they are so delicate and pretty.

Furniture: Matthew Hilton

matthew hilton's furniture is beautiful.

(via core77)

Friday, November 21, 2008

DIY: Thanksgiving

for those of you needing a little help with planning a thanksgiving meal check out the ever so helpful ehow site on how to do just about everything for thanksgiving. from the turkey and recipes to decorations and can find it here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Etsy Lunch Hour: Hand Woven

Hand Woven Thread Earrings - Daisies by shadowboxgifts

Artist Interview: Veronique Vanblaere

(2 wheels)
Veronique Vanblaere (Vero) began creating artwork in the early 1990's in Belgium, her native country. she settled in Birmingham, AL in 1996, where, two years later, she opened Naked Art. her artwork varies from constructed lamps with various everyday objects to small hand-painted items like light switch plates, which have found a home all over the US. if you are in the Birmingham area check out Naked Art's Kitschmas opening this friday and running through december 24th.
(naked art)
Where are you from?
Braine-l'Alleud, Belgium

Hobbies other than your art?
Running and learning Spanish at the same time (no joke!)
Riding my old bike.

How did you start with art/and or why?
I've loved creating things for as long as I can remember. I feel fortunate in being able to make a living doing what I love.

Influences, favorite things to design?
Surrealist movies and paintings. However, more times then not, I find myself inspired by things I encounter in everyday life. I've even created something that was inspired by a song that I heard. Though I'm primarily a painter, I also like to create objects out of recycled materials. I find the 3-D aspect and the fact that I'm, in my own way, recycling, to be more fulfilling.
(louisa's russian side)
Dogs or cats?
I'm a cat person!

Did you vote in this election?
Because I'm not a citizen I can't vote. However, I do think I contributed in my own special way by vowing to become a citizen if Obama won.

Favorite form of transportation and why?
My 1958 Schwinn bicycle that a dear friend's mom gave to me. She's the original owner! It doesn't polute, it's good exercise and a fun way to get to work.

Favorite color?
Orange and red. (Sorry, can't decide on just one!)
Which Star Wars character would you like to be?
Not very familiar, so I guess I can't answer this one.

What is in your fridge right now?
I'm a health freak, and it'd take me hours to type all of it. Mostly veggies, yogurt, cranberry juice and soy milk.

Last book your read?
I've just started "Ensemble, C'est Tout" by Anna Gavalda. I love the Avondale Library!

Favorite movie of all time?
I can't decide between "Harold and Maude" and "Fanfan".

If Hollywood made a movie about you who would you like to play you?
Toni Collette

If you were a salad what type of dressing would you have?
The house dressing is always the best choice.

(tunnel vision) (drawing 1)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Accessory: Plant Frame

check out this awesome plant frame by Chiaki Murata. the resin frame is designed to cultivate (the included) grass seeds to create something you can mount as a piece of art or just place on your sideboard instead of a plant pot. (via switchedonset)

Architecture: Leaf Chapel

if i lived in japan and was planning a would be here! the leaf chapel is a beautiful design by klein dytham. it is made from 2 leaves, one of glass and one of steel. i adore how the steel perforated leaf pivots up to form an outdoor chapel.

(via busyboo)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Finish: Concrete curtains

how cool is this concrete curtain by memux?! it is created by small concrete squares mounted on a mesh back. i like how it look billowy and soft. (via core77)

Etsy Lunch Hour: Diamonds!

these are my favorite diamonds of the season! i'll take one of each.

Big Rock by UntamedMenagerie

Interior: Hula Seventy's Home

love this interior of andrea from hula seventy's house. it feels warm, inviting, comfortable and is so fun and interesting. i love the colors...that blue is one of my favorites (looks like sherwin williams silvermist?) and the patina/distressed paint on furniture, frames, and walls really works in this space. the bowl full of polaroids, hall of family portraits and the strips of photos from photo booths bring the house to life and makes me want to go visit.

(via cafemom)

Monday, November 17, 2008