Sunday, March 31, 2013

pretty mug shots

I was born in a province known for its coffee, and like many other kids from my hometown, I started taking it when I was only 7 years old – yes, I got addicted to caffeine early in my childhood! I grew up even pouring it over rice topped with crispy fried meat or fish, as it was common practice. To this day, I have not heard of any place in the world where that was done, but I swear I loved the taste of it! :-P

During the many times my siblings and I stayed at my grandfather's farm on weekends, we would wake up to the strong smell of morning dew and freshly brewed coffee. My grandfather was a very simple man who owned no fine china, so we simply drank coffee from plain white tin cups with blue lids which looked like this. I tell you, those cups were a far cry from today's stylish coffee mugs – especially the ones designed by American potter/designer Jonathan Adler (below).

Adler's philosophy of maximalism is completely opposite my grandfather's very basic style. In fact, in his company manifesto, there are three points that I believe summarize the Adler aesthetic:

"WE BELIEVE that minimalism is a bummer.

WE BELIEVE that colors can't clash.

WE BELIEVE in irreverent luxury."

Well, I believe that when it comes to coffee drinking, a pretty little mug can't hurt. Especially if you get them on sale at

(Top pic) This colorful, patterned Bearbrick was created by Jonathan Adler (in cooperation with Barneys Creative Guru Simon Doonan) for the 2011 opening of Barneys New York in Fukuoka, Japan.

Adler (left), whose design philosophy reflects a vibrant/retropop/eclectic vibe, launched his first ceramic collection at Barneys New York in 1994. Five years later, he opened his own home furnishings store in Manhattan. Today, he owns over twenty boutiques around the world and a very successful online store.

Bearbrick pic and digital imaging by Yours Truly. Copyright Bearbricklove March 2013. Photos of Carnaby Collection Mugs and manifesto excerpts from / Info from / Adler pic from

Sunday, March 24, 2013

a klaus encounter with imagination

"Honesty and truthfulness are overrated. I mean that in the sense of factual truth and precision. They don’t bring that much new to the world. If I think of the best storytellers, it was not honesty that made their work great. It was imagination. I think imagination is underrated!"

– Klaus Haapaniemi, Finnish Designer

In creating his "secret" Series 25 Bearbrick (above), it's obvious that Klaus' imagination was in full force, judging from the exuberant shower of color, detail, and patterns.

The original 15cm ceramic owl from which the design was based (below) is available for sale on his online store for about $225.

The owl is a widely popular motif in design. Because of its striking silhouette and distinct features, it has been interpreted in many inventive ways in illustrations/graphics, jewellery, decor, fashion, toys, etc. But Haapaniemi's owl design, with its intricate and ornamental patterns characteristic of Scandinavian folk art, stands out and overwhelms.

That is why I think Klaus' bearbrick is the best of Series 25. Find more of his beautiful work here.

Like Haapaniemi (left), I see that more and more, imagination is taking a backseat to truth. Today, people have become obsessed with reality entertainment.  On the Internet, the abundance and accessibility of shared personal experiences in social media and blogs have overshadowed creative fiction, written or filmed. In YouTube, home videos rank higher in viewership than short art films. And celebrities' mundane tweets have earned more following than everything else online.

So what do you think? Is the age of imagination about to end? Or is it that truth has become more interesting than fiction?

Bearbrick pic and digital imaging by Yours Truly / Copyright March 2013 Bearbrick Love / Haapaniemi Ceramic Owl pic and flower details from / Klaus Haapaniemi interview excerpt from Blanca Juti / Haapaniemi pic from

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

designed by nike's ceo

You've seen this little Be@rbrick in one of my earliest posts. But I'm devoting an entire entry just for it for two reasons:

1. It's my favorite Bearbrick. The edginess, the color palette, the rich and varied textures. Awesome!

2. It's designed by Mark Parker, the Chief Executive Officer of Nike Worldwide. Cool!

After earning a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science at Penn State University in 1977, Parker (left) joined Nike in 1979 as a footwear designer. After 27 years, his visionary leadership (he was the driving force behind Nike Air) has put the company at the forefront of the multibillion dollar sportswear and sports equipment business.

Wow, sounds like one of those guys who kids wanna be when they grow up... a billionaire Be@rbrick designer!

Bearbrick pic by Yours Truly / Copyright March 2013 Bearbrick Love / Mark Parker pic from Wikipedia

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Cheers to 24!

While I was doing my research for Series 24, I was struck by the beauty of the Flag bearbrick. I had no idea which country it represented and had to Google it using the key words "flag" and "dragon".

It turned out to be the flag of Bhutan, a landlocked kingdom at the eastern end of the Himalayas. I also found out that according to a BusinessWeek survey, Bhutan is considered the happiest country in Asia and the eighth happiest in the world. After doing another Google image search and seeing how it looked, I understood why. Check it out here.

Well, next to Bhutan, I suppose the happiest place can only be... Bearbrickland! Presenting the complete Series 24!

Upper row, left to right:

Basic (Metallic Green)
JellyBean (Cola Soda)
Pattern (Gossip Girl)
Flag (Bhutan)
Horror (Madoka MagicaCharlotte, the Dessert Witch)
Cute (PeanutsSnoopy)

Bottom row, left to right:

Animal (Felix the Cat)
Hero (The Dark Knight RisesBatman)
Artist (Kyary Pamyu Pamyu)
Artist (TaroutBrickun)
Artist (Neighborhood Technical Apparel)

Upper row, left to right:

Secret Hero (The Dark Knight RisesSelina Kyle)
Secret Horror (Gekidan Inu Curry)
Secret Cute (MonstockFueki Kun)
Secret Artist (TaroutBrickie)

Bottom row, left to right:

Secret (Zarigani Works)
Secret (AA=Takeshi Ueda Pic )
Secret (Phantaci)
Secret (Yukikuroda)

So which bear of the bunch makes you smile?

Pics by Yours Truly / Copyright March 2013 Bearbrick Love

Sunday, March 3, 2013

the be@rbricklover be@rbrick

When I celebrated my birthday last year, the guys at the office surprised me by designing a bearbrick in my likeness. It had my signature black eyeglasses, shaved head, and wore an exact replica of my then favorite Armani Exchange dotted black shirt. And if you looked closer, you would also notice that it had speckled shoes on, a representation of my Giacomorelli loafers with metal studs! 
But that's not all. They also created bearbrick lookalikes of everyone in the office and made a banner (below), cake and face masks out of them! 

My hand-painted custom bearbrick came in a special edition box, with the logo of its creators, Ray X Dan, two of the youngest and most talented art directors in our office.
I tell you, the best thing about being part of an advertising agency is the amount of creativity that surrounds me. Everyday is refreshing, inspiring.

And every birthday can be truly extraordinary! :-D

Pics by Yours Truly / Copyright March 2013 Bearbrick Love