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Showing posts from April, 2008

Some more Work of mine

In my ongoing effort to bring you mor of my work as a graphic designer, here are a couple more examples of recent projects

A few pages from my Sin City Book (2007):

A flyer I made for a client last year:

The Cairo Journals

Hello all! All the posts with the header above document my travels in Egypt in March and April 2008, transcribed from my journal. They are in reverse chronological order, so if you want to start with the beginning, the last one is the first. The pictures here are but some of the many I took while in Egypt. More can be found through clicking on the title of this post, which will take you to a .mac web gallery, where you can download the pics in full resolution. Enjoy all, and feel free to comment as you wish!

Goodbye to Cairo

8) 05.04.08
This is the last entry I can make in this journal and still be truthful about it being the Egyptian journey. It has been a holiday that has taken me across two continents, two seas and one huge river. It has taken me to places I love and, briefly, allowed me to discover places I didn't remember.
As I am leaving and will not be returning for a wee while, I should thank those who made this trip a pleasant and fulfilling experience.
Andree, for shouldering the travel expenses and bearing with me for the time I spent with her. Helmi, for his tireless driving, friendship and patience. Rawan, for keeping him awake, arguing and happy on the long night trip to Sinai, and for the walk along the Alexandria Corniche. Mihaela, a South African traveller I met on the trip back for letting me taste the dead sea. Oliver is to be thanked for putting Helmi and myself up at such short notice. The kids who drew in my journal should be mentioned, for the added joy the brought to this trip. Esp…

Alexandria and the Desert Road

7) 04.04.08
As with Sinai, I entered the great and ancient city of Alexandria by night, meaning that most of its sight were lost on me. The smell of sewage lingers, though.
Helmi, tired and pissed off at Cairo traffic making me two hours later than planned, was visiting his friend Rawan ( the mysterious R.One mentioned elsewhere), who lives there. 
One lesson I will definitely take home from this is to take the bus to Alex direct and not bother with spontanous meeting-up schemes. The cab drive around Cairo that took me to Helmi cost me more than the bus ticket to Alex and back. And I got ripped off by the cabby, which is another story entirely. The first bit of the city I experienced was the huge factory of the Four Seasons hotel mall, where people are mass fed, turning cheap food into cheaper money in unbelievable masses. The place is huge, modern, crowded and filled with an incredible din of conversation, consumerism and mass mastication. 
You are also forbidden from doing anything... no…

On Egyptian friendliness and design

6) 31.03.2008
The Egyptian people are famed and praised worldwide for their friendliness towards strangers, tourists in particular, and their open manner. What westerners often forget is their total lack of understanding for the concept of privacy. 

Westerners (and I include myself amongst them on this subject) are raised to believe that some things are private and need not be shared with anyone you don't know intimately. 
For instance, imagine my surprise when Ahmed (not his real name) asked me to help him clean his room. This is a man whom I met the day before yesterday, who cottoned onto the fact that I am a graphic designer and asked me for help designing flyer. I responded with a couple of graphic design basics, the golden cut, clarity, information hierarchy. That was the help I was willing and happy to give, but the final result should be his design, not mine. 
Weirdly enough, this people that spent a few milenia writing in graphics and who, even today, use one of the more graph…

The Cats Day

The following is a very short story written while in Basata, in the tradition of the cat stories I used to write a long time ago...

The cat sat under the table, watching the people around her do.  Smells filled her nose, of people making warm foods in metal pots. She liked these people, these generous, giving human beings, who would, when asked, throw her food from the tabletop, which she would take to her children next door. 
She remembered catching a dragonfly that day, a small flying thing which had proved entertaining. When caught, it had been tasty, too. 
She watched the people, she could never tell which was which because they all smelled of salt, most of the time, or covered their scent with other scents that weren't theirs the rest of the time. 
She worried about her children, a good mother. The human cubs loved playing with them. She watched them throwing her litter around (it would make them tougher). Sometimes she worried that they would get used to all that attention and …


4) 29.03.08

A place I always return to when traveling in Egypt is the beachside resort of Basata. 
For a long time, this was the refuge people from my German School sought during holidays they would otherwise have spent looking for a spot to camp or a hotel to book. Over the years, its fame has been spread by travelers who remember this quiet place with its deep blue sea, the untouched coral reefs and total lack of tourist attractions. Basata means simplicity in Arabic, which is also the motto of this place. When I first came here, five, maybe six years old, the greatest luxury was the sweet water shower you had in the evening to wash out the salty sea water. Now, after twenty years and some evolution, they have stone huts to complement the bamboo huts which form the backbone of the place. A second wash-house has been built. Tours into the mountains are organized, you can hire a bike, a camel, should you want to explore the surrounding area. You can rent a cab if you want to go home. Or …

The Nile, Romantic.

3) 26.03.08
Today, I shall conjure up a romantic image of Cairo: A park, overlooking the nile, abounding with all the young pharoes in love, as does every green spot in this country. Walking down the shore f the nile, they all sport those brilliant egyptian smiles, handsome on male and female faces lit up by the sunset.
The colours are magnified and enhanced here, the sunset becomes a polaroid postcard. The same pollution that causes this turns the sky slightly grayer, slightly pinker than it would be otherwise. Heat and the general fug do their part, of course. 

Youth take romantic picture of each other with their cell phones, against a backdrop of fellukahs sailing on the nile and a chromophony of brightly coloured flowers. A gentle breeze blows the heat of the day away, and brings tididings of the cold of the night in this sweetest of hours, a night which will fall on us soon.
The sound of electronic tablas comes from some of the boats, ferrying lovers no doubt. From others comes the s…

The Smell Of Memory

2) 23.03.08

It is interesting that a lot of research has been done into the how many thing are associated with taste and smell. I believe that there has been quite a lot of study into how olfactory impressions are the most reliable triggers for memories and emotions.
To understand why this entry is about tastes and smell, know this:
The Berlin air is generally very clean, in winter it acquires a quality that can only be described as crisp and light. In summer, by contrast it fills up with the sweat, sticky smell of pollinating trees and the musk of a clean river covers the city in a wet, humid blanket.
Cairo air is very heavy by comparison, smelling of ancient dusts and spices. It also smells of cooking, cars, and yes, twenty million people do smell like human beings. Lots and lots of them. When young, a friend and I had a name for it. We called all those persons stacked on top of each other " Eau du Caire". The consistency will change, depending on which area of the area of the …

And on an off-topic:

The Egyptian Sketches

Well, in waiting of the actual blog entries, here are some sketches made in egypt.. more to follow soon!
prize to the first one able to tell which ones are not by yours truly!

Some cats I drew in Basata..

for a couple of days, the only thing I wanted was BANANAS! Of course reflected in art reflects life reflects...

Some of the kids I met drew in my notebook. I left one of mine in to prove their art is better than mine..

Me (left) trying hard to outdo R.One (right, naturally)

Deep in her secret desert base, she does forbidden research... and I don't know what she's saying

and another girl with a gun! Yaaaay!

Don't even think of asking!

Egypt always puts me in a mood for wierdness