Pinterest Craze – How To Stand Out

Pinterest brought novelty to searching and sharing. People don’t read anymore and are focusing their Internet activity on content curating then creation. We are seeking ways to not only filter and organize what we find, but also easily consume more content. As sharing started to become synonymous with search, and individuals were finding it easier than ever to make online discoveries with the power of shared content, Pinterest fueled this need. Allowing us all to be thought leaders on home décor, fashion, food and travel without needing to do any research ourselves.

Individuals are now turning to Pinterest for image searching rather then Google. Here are a few tips on how to make your pins stand out:

Be sure to upload your own images once in awhile
Make sure the file names are targeted key phrases
Pin from a variety of different sources
After uploading an image, you should edit your pin to add a link
Add a description to your pin

Balloons of Bhutan

What makes you happy? What is your happiest memory? What is your favorite joke? What is your level of happiness between 1 and 10? If you could make one wish, what would it be?

It’s been reviewed, analyzed and debated: why are Bhutan’s residents at such peace? In 2007, Jonathan Harris conducted an experiment called “Gross National Happiness” to measure Bhutan’s socio-economic prosperity, studying the nation’s focus around the basic tenets of Buddhism.

Jonathan interviewed 117 people of all ages and backgrounds giving each one balloons to inflate, making their wishes and ideas tangible. On the last night, over one hundred “wish balloons” floated in the wind representing a nation’s happiness. Please check out his beautiful experiment, Balloons of Bhutan, the brilliant stories he has uncovered and the art of living.

Travelers Guide to Iceland

A visit to Viking territory, Reykjavik Iceland, has got me hooked on blond hair and blue eyes, hot dogs, salmon, small towns, public art, off-beat fashion and partying. This metropolitan city and its residents will steal your heart. If you ever find yourself in Reykjavik on a layover, take an extended stay. You won’t regret it!

Here are some hot spots:

Kex Hostile – Stylish hostile to stay in or grab a beer.
Fríða Frænka – Epic antique shop crowded with modern Danish teak furniture.
Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur – The best hot dog in town.
Kolaportið – Flea market downtown, since 1989.
Kron -  A candy-store for your feet.
Bókabúð Máls & Menningar – Get your Icelandic literature, a little limited in the English language

You can find more pictures on my Flickr account.

Amon Tobin ‘ISAM’ Live Audio/Visual Experience

Brazilian-born Amon Tobin has been creating music and pushing limits since 1994. His current tour (August – November 2011) is something not to be missed. He has manufactured a multi-dimensional experience that hasn’t been delivered on this scale before. The ‘ISAM’ tour features a stunning 25’ x 14’ x 8’ multi-dimensional/shape shifting 3-D art installation surrounding Tobin and enveloping him and the audience in a beyond 3-D experience. His use of physical and digital art engineered with sound is truly impressive. You may not appreciate the music but the innovation and use of all design elements really creates a unique experience.

Watch. Listen. Experience.

Retail Research Study with The Intelligence Group

As a child my mother taught me how to create my own clothes and style. For my first career I was the HR Manager for Victoria’s Secret in the Mall of America. I have a degree in Fashion Marketing, the point I’m trying to make is I have a strong knowledge and passion for fashion and the consumer shopping experience. This month I participated in a retail market research study with the Intelligence Group.

The Intelligence Group, publisher of trendcentral, is a trend research and youth-focused consumer insights company dedicated to identifying emerging movements in popular culture and then translating that data and observations into relevant knowledge for companies, brands, and institutions.

For two weeks, The Intelligence Group had a forum of twenty-five young adults discussing fashion, creating style diaries, developing photo albums of interests, answering questions, sharing opinions, and doing fashion assignments. I was able to collaborate with people from California to Europe on a forum called Cassandra Speaks.

It’s here where we had an open forum to say and create anything we wanted that related to our interest in shopping, clothing and culture. By creating such a niche forum of hand-selected applicants with no limit to location, Trend Central is able to stay connected to the consumer. This allows them to stay ahead of emerging attitudes and cultural movements from all over the world.

I loved participating in this forum; I was actually disappointed when it was over, so were my given fashion assignments.

H1N1 – Halloween Costumes 2009

Michel Jackson Thriller
, Zombies, Max and Carol from Where The Wild Things Are, Flo the Progressive Auto Insurance girl, Bob Ross, and H1N1 virus.
Halloween is one night in which you can turn back the hands of time, disregard all boundaries, and be someone timeless. Halloween has transformed into a night that honors innovators, cultural moments, celebrities, and hauntings from the years past.
I had chosen to be the scariest outbreak from 2009, H1N1 virus disguised as the common cold. The media has exploited health and wellness. The H1N1 virus has spread from Fox News to displays distributing hand sanitizer in public places.
When thinking of how to accurately portray this pandemic I had thought about peoples associations and fears. Asking questions like: how are people exposed to H1N1, what are the most fearful aspects, and what images exaggerate the theory. As a solution I gathered an old hazmat suit, vials, beakers, stickers, and makeup.

4101732374_44e5c86370_bOn the back: I sewed in the symbol of the Red Cross as well as common cold text. This was my disguise, the scariest part of the virus, the wonder or mystery behind most cases of the pandemic. Is this viral or bacterial?


4101732836_53f2f32145_bOn the front: I had sewed a line of vials to display the toxicity of the illness as well as on the under shirt sewn in H1N1 text.

4101731106_c5ec6f768f_bAccessories: I drank out of a beaker to display the scientific nature of the illness. To demonstrate the spread of the illness I printed 300 sticker labeled INFECTED. Throughout the evening I secretly distributed the stickers on partygoers. At the beginning of the evening I told people what the sticker meant (they were infected with the H1N1) so they could answer questions regarding the sticker. After a few hours I secretly infected others to cause curiosity. The result of the evening was exciting others were passing the virus around and so it spread.

Thanks Ben for the photos.

Fiat 500 Re-Invention




I love it when a brand “does it right” the first time. Fiat is re-inventing my dream car, website, and marketing campaign!

New Fiat 500 on Youtube

Firstly, the car was cultural significant car and put Italy on wheels in the 1950’s. By learning from their past – using it’s classic frame – and – responding to the future – using Bosch Start & Stop Technology Fiat is appealing to a new audience.  Originally the Fiat was a popular city car due to its size (2.2 inches narrower and 3.2 inches higher than the Mini Cooper ).  Today – the Start & Stop technology reinforces its present city style by the reduce urban fuel consumption: 41 mpg (U.S.) and it’s retro design. Fiat credits the exterior design to Roberto Giolito, an Italian working at its Centro Stile studio, but word on the inside has it that former Fiat design boss Frank Stephenson was the driving force behind the car’s retro lines.

The Fiat 500 website is everything cultural to factual. You can customize your own car (mine is shown above) and watch it drive around a track, watch video’s from other Fiat drivers, create a sound track, and order a car.

Fiat knew in our cultural climate we are looking for efficiency, style, customization, experience, and environmentally friendly solutions. “You buy it because of what it says about you.”says Fiat’s Luca de Meo

That’s totally true – especially in the automobile industry!

Commercial Interruption

People like to know what they’re buying and employers like to know who they are hiring.

It should be no surprise that online advertising for personal promotion is as important as the off-line world. Off-line world already contains a mass of advertising standards: resume, cover letter, design sample, billboards; 30 sheet posters; bus and taxi displays; the list goes on.

While thinking about how I was going to make myself stand out from numerous advertising channels at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design Portfolio Day; television came to mind. Consumers love to get their information from a 30 second time slot; so should employers.

I created a 30 second commercial to convey four of my core values to employers efficiently and creatively. Firstly, I edited a two hour film on 1950’s technology boom to it’s core inventions, this representing an era of innovation and productivity, similar to the boom within my own skills.

Next, distinguishing my skills core values.
KNOWLEDGE OF WORK: establishing my understanding of the design language on many different medium types: video, audio, and print.

SKILLS IN INSTRUCTING: tutoring for the Bachelor of Science: Visualization Program and speaking to Senior Graphic Design students about professional practice.

SKILLS IN LEARNING: displaying technique in multiple platforms.

SKILLS IN IMPROVING METHODS: taking an analytical mind for: research, prototyping, clarity, and emotion to design.

So for the same reason that you listen to advertising supported radio, watch TV with ‘limited commercial interruptions’ – it enables us to obtain something of value for ‘free’.
Please enjoy these values for free.

Visualizing Sound


Monome understands the way humans interact with products, environments, interfaces, and systems helping create the most dynamic step sequencer I have every played with. They payed particular attention to size ratios, user movements, and other physical relationships between sound and the visual language. By doing this, they were able to design for ease of use, comfort, portability, and the end-user satisfaction. They took a complex concept and made it so a beginner can understand without using vocabulary.

Creating Context

On a recent trip to Wisconsin, I stopped at M. Schettl Sales Inc. to experience the affects of pop culture in an alternate context.  Two completely separate worlds: nature and pop culture brought together to form an alternative vision of secondhand materials.










Thank you to Progressive Media for introducing me to this wonderland.