Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Caddywhompus tomorrow night at Nietzsche's

Our good pal Tom from Pavlov's Togs made this kick ass poster for his nephew's band Caddywhompus. They play tomorrow night at Nietzsche's with A Hotel Nourishing, A Relative Term and Shapes of State. Show starts at 9pm. Be there.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Copyright 101 for Designers

I got woken up early this morning, so I was lurking around at my favorite blogs and I came across this great article on Design*Sponge that I just had to share.

Copyright 101 for Designers

By Amy J. Everhart

As a designer, your designs are your lifeblood. Just as a jeweler keeps his jewels in a locked display case, you should safeguard your designs. I don’t mean the physical product embodying your designs, but the intangible right to them: the copyright. Yet maybe because a copyright isn’t something you can see or touch, creators often neglect to safeguard it. An understanding of the copyright basics goes a long way toward protecting why you’re doing this in the first place: the art.

What is a copyright? Skip ahead if I’m getting too “101” on you, but it never hurts to start at the beginning: What is a copyright in the first place, and why should you care if you have one? A copyright protects creative works, including works of visual art, and is actually a bundle of rights. In the case of a work of visual art, a copyright includes the rights to copy, display, sell, perform and make derivative works from your work.

When do I have copyright protection? The minute you create a design and it’s embodied in a tangible medium (meaning no longer just an idea in your head but sketched out on paper or something you can touch), you, as the author, own the copyright to that design. This is true even if the work is not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office and even if you don’t place a copyright symbol (©) on the work. But, as you can see below, doing both is important even if not required for copyright protection, because it will enhance and maximize your protection.

Do I need to register my design with the Copyright Office? You don’t have to register your work with the Copyright Office to acquire copyright protection. So why bother slogging through that frustrating registration process, not to mention spending the money it costs to register? Three reasons: 1) registration within five years of publication gives you a presumption of ownership; 2) registration is a prerequisite to filing a lawsuit for copyright infringement; and 3) registration makes available certain infringement remedies that might not be available to you otherwise, including the potential to recover attorneys’ fees and “statutory,” or a specific range of, damages Congress built directly into the Copyright Act. Also, don’t wait until someone has copied your work to register it. You’ll want to file that copyright-infringement lawsuit immediately and not have to wait for the Copyright Office’s stamp of approval on your registration. Also, you generally can’t seek attorneys’ fees or statutory damages unless you register the copyright before the work is copied.

How do I go about registering? The U.S. Copyright Office has gone high tech and now offers an online registration option. Go to www.copyright.gov and click on the “Electronic Copyright Office.” From there, you can find tutorials, options for paper registration (tempting, but I recommend the electronic system) and a link to enter the online registration system. If you can get past the “select a password” segment without pulling out your hair (I have a few bald spots from the picky system’s rejection of no fewer than 15 proposed passwords), the online system should navigate you through the registration process. As a designer, you’ll likely be registering a work of visual art, although your design may fall into a different category, such as multimedia, so you’ll want to read the various categories to make sure you register your work in the right one.

Do I need a copyright notice? As a designer, who wants to muddle their work with legal symbols? Once upon a time a copyright notice (©) was required for copyright protection. Nowadays it’s not, but, like registration, it has its own perks, notifying others that you claim rights to the work and precluding a defendant in a copyright-infringement lawsuit from successfully claiming innocent infringement.

Who owns the copyright? Remember, the rule is that the creator is the original owner of the design. The only way to transfer copyright ownership is to do so in a signed writing. Likewise, you should always clarify with a client in writing who owns the copyright. Clients might believe that, because they’ve paid for a work, they own the copyright to it. If you want to reserve your right to the copyright, make sure you and the client both understand that to be the case in a signed writing and that the same writing clarifies how the client may use the work.

What about designs created by employees? There is one exception to the rule that the creator originally owns the copyright: Employees who create a work within the scope of their employment do so as a “work made for hire” for the employer. In that case, the employer owns the design. Regardless of this default rule, if you’re the employer, you should still, for purposes of clarification and certainty, have your employees sign an agreement up front transferring to you the copyrights to all works created on the job. (If you’re the employee, try to carve out rights to use the work at least in your portfolio.) What about independent contractors you retain to design for you? A writing clarifying ownership is even more important in that case, because independent contractors don’t qualify as “employees” for purposes of the “work for hire” rule.

When is your use of someone else’s work fair, and when do you need a license? When can you use someone else’s work in yours without a license? Unfortunately, this is a question without an easy answer. For starters, not every element of art is protectable by copyright. Raw ideas and stock themes are not protectable and are fair game to anyone. Second, you can use works that are in the public domain, meaning no one owns them. The trick is to determine whether the work really is in the public domain. Simply because you find clip-art online with the website owner’s promise that it’s free doesn’t necessarily make it so. The only way to know for sure is to get permission from the owner of the work. At least make sure you have a warranty as to ownership from the clip-art provider, and, even then, use at your own risk. Finally, not every copy is infringement. Certain uses of others’ copyrighted works may be fair and not require a license, depending on several factors: 1) whether your new work is “transformative” or alters the original work with new expression, meaning or message (such as comment, criticism or parody); 2) the nature of the work (factual works are more likely to be found fair than fiction or creative works); 3) the quantitative and qualitative amount of the original work used and how much of your work uses the original; and 4) whether your work usurps the market of the original. Whew! Got that? The rule of thumb: When in doubt, get a license.

So there you have it — now that you have the building blocks to protect your art, you can get back to creating it. Of course, your legal circumstances are as unique as your designs, so keep in mind that the information in this article is meant only as a reference tool and not as legal advice, and some of the legal concepts discussed may be subject to exceptions and qualifications.

Amy J. Everhart founded her Nashville, Tennessee, law firm (www.aeverhart.com) to counsel clients in the creative industries, entrepreneurs, inventors, business owners and others in the areas of copyright, trademark, entertainment, the arts and the Internet. She is the author of the copyright, trademark and entertainment law blog “Lightbulb Moments,” located at www.aeverhart.com/lightbulbmoments.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Paul Rand - A Tribute Site

I found this over at Grain Edit , and being that Paul Rand is one of my favorite designers of all time, I had to repost it. Check out this great tribute site to Paul Rand. The site is loaded with samples of Paul’s work including posters, logos, packaging and more.

More new stuff at Hero today!!

Legendary artist Frank Kozik blows up his original mini and much-loved Mongers, Booger, Lorenzo and Ramirez, into 6-inch form.

Each Monger's mouth accessory is interchangeable with all other Big Mongers' accessories, as well as the ones sold with Frank Kozik's 5-inch Happy Labbit.

Huck Gee's rare & original Dunny from series 1 is back in 20-inch form.

Ultra-limited and hand-signed by the artist, Skullhead Dunny is taking over...

Only 200 made!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pure Trance at Hero Now


Manga maven Junko Mizuno brings 14 demented characters from her hit graphic novel, Pure Trance, to vinyl.

Blind-boxed and 3-inches tall, each figure in this series suffers from disturbing & sweet side effects due to the life-sustaining pills they're addicted to-- especially the 2 chases...

Select figures include accessories and all come with an insert featuring a character bio & headshot.

****WARNING: This mini series contains adult content and is recommended for audiences 18 years of age and older.****

Snoozer Loser NY - Unicorn Awesomeness!

Collecting important research for a new artprint I am working on, I came across this amazing shirt and scarf that I really want from Snoozer Loser NY, both featuring fabulous unicorns.

The top - The Soraya is hand dyed with Eco-friendly pigments with printed inks and the Soraya Scarf has that same Unicorn print on the perfect lightweight summer scarf.

So now you know I am working on a unicorn artprint, but I highly doubt it will be as rad as both of these.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Alexander Girard for Urban Outfitters

So geeking out over the Alexander Girard line at Urban Outfitters:

"A legendary 20th century artist and master of modern design, Alexander Girard - colorist, pattern maker, environmental and exhibition extraordinaire - adorned approachable, useful and functional media with his iconic patterns, bold colors and stylized charm. With folk art as his inspiration, Girard's playful and expressive designs allowed him to head Herman Miller's Textile Division and embark on high-profile independent projects."

I am a HUGE fan of Alexander Girard's work and am excited to see a line of stuff at an affordable price. Included in the collection are printed bed linens, canvas printed cushions, cotton-canvas drapes, cotton shower curtains, and stretched wall art. Transforming iconic designs into items for the home so that they can be used, interacted with, and enjoyed on a daily basis. Original Girard designs featured include the Alphabet, Love, Moon, and Eden prints. I SOOOO badly want the "Alphabet Quilt". Check out all the items here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Photo Cabine an online photo booth.

Check out this online based photo booth application called Photo Cabine from LeDjam. All you need is a webcam such as your built in iSight on your iMac or MacBook and you are ready to go. Go here, click on the curtain to enter the booth and then click on the red button to start taking a series of photos, it goes fast, so be ready. All the instructions are in French, but it's all very easy to figure out. Once your photos "develop" you get the choice to print, save a file large or blog sized, or exit.

Check out Derby and I in the booth:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Things we are into right now... NYC + Renegade Edition


Since the Renegade Craft Fair was at McCarren Park in Brooklyn we decided to stay right in Williamsburg and really enjoy Brooklyn to the fullest. Whenever we go to the city we stay somewhere in Manhattan and this was surprisingly far more enjoyable. We were a VERY quick subway ride (less than 15 mins) away from the East Village and SoHo, it was significantly cheaper getting a hotel room, there are tons of great restaurants and shopping and it is just so much more relaxed. We didn't get to enjoy and explore Brooklyn as much as we would have liked since we were working all day Saturday and Sunday but the overall vibe of the people and the neighborhoods were so chill and we can't wait to go back. The Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn was a great time, super well organized and a lot of amazing talented artists from all over. We can't wait for next year - until then check out all the other Renegade Craft Fairs held all over the country.

Talking Squid
A fellow vendor at Renegade Brooklyn, that has been stylishly recycling t-shirts since 2006. Their products are beautifully well made and all are made from 100% recycled t-shirts. Super modern, trendy, clean and simple and do not look "recycled". I purchased one of the fringe necklaces in a green palette (as pictured above) and I love it. Can't wait to buy more of the necklaces and I really want one of the clutches. Check out all the other great handmade goodies from Talking Squid, including headbands, rugs, totes, handbags and more here.

In a city with no shortage of bakeries and cupcake shops, this one shines above all the rest. BabyCakes offers all-natural, organic and delicious alternatives free from the common allergens: wheat, gluten, dairy, casein and eggs. They also use agave nectar to sweeten their products instead of refined white sugar or toxic chemical sweeteners. Whether or not you are vegan, gluten intolerant, dairy intolerant, etc., these are the best cupcakes you will ever eat. We stopped by at the end of the night one night while in the city after eating in Little Italy, and I grabbed a couple cupcakes to-go since I was so full from dinner. Once I finally sat down and ate one, it was like a party in my mouth, since I have all but given up on really enjoying baked goods anymore. Check out BabyCakes new cookbook that just released last month, featuring a variety of vegan, gluten free and (mostly) sugar-free recipes from the bakery. Coming soon BabyCakes LA.

Holly Hue
This is a special review since Holly Hue is actually a Buffalo-based business that was a fellow vendor at Renegade this weekend as well. I have purchased 3 or 4 of Holly Hue's items in the past, but ran into her work again at the craft fair this weekend. I popped in her booth and fell in love with this new dress, but was far too tired to think about sizes and colors, so I am looking forward to contacting her, trying some on and hopefully getting one. Holly Hue's creations are made from 90% recycled materials and each item is a one-of-a-kind. She searches the aisles of thrift stores, gets items from friends and repurposes them, creating non-conventional hoodies, dresses, and other accessories. Each item is a truly unique piece that no one else will have.

Kidrobot HQ
We had a meeting with our pals over at the Kidrobot main offices while in the city, and I wish I could have taken tons of photos of the offices and all the super rad toys throughout their space for you to see. But alas, I have some level of class and wouldn't be "that person", but boy did I want to. After meeting and chatting about all kinds of good shit and seeing some of the new stuff that will be coming out in the upcoming months, etc, we got a gift from our pal Shannon and it is so fabulous. We were given the cyan flocked Smokin' Joe Dzhugashvili Stalin Bust by Frank Kozik, only 50 were ever made and wow is that gonna look great in our collection. We didn't have time to hit the Kidrobot store in SoHo this trip, but after being in their head offices, I'm not sure it could compare.

Yeh, so what, I am a fatty and 1/3 of this post is food related, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that part of the fun of NYC is all the great food, it really is a foodie's heaven. Risotteria is a super yummy Italian restaurant located in the West Village on Bleeker Street, and they are also one of the best known gluten free restaurants in America. The last time I was in the city I went there and it was one of the best meals I have ever had. They serve gluten free Italian food including pizza, breadsticks, panini, risotto and even a variety of gluten free beers and baked goods.

Have no fear about dragging a friend (or in my case my husband) to an "allergen free restaurant", they offer quite a few non-gluten free items as well and all gluten-free items are clearly listed with a "g" next to them, and to be perfectly honest their gluten free items are so good most people wouldn't know they were if they didn't look at the menu. Mark got a gluten free pizza (what a great husband) and I got a gluten free panini so we could split and try both, both were super delicious and Mark even commented that you couldn't tell they were gluten free and he enjoyed both very much (not to mention he ate a TON of the GF breadsticks).

This restaurant by far has the most gluten free choices out of any restaurant I have EVER been to and you can even buy frozen items to take home or dry mixes for the bakes goods, I grabbed a bag of the gluten free pizza crust / breadstick dry mix to make at home.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

First Fridays in Allentown - PREVIEW SALE at Hero!

This Friday, June 5, in participation with First Fridays Gallery Walk in Allentown, we will be having a special Allentown Art Festival Preview Sale at Hero.

As many of you know, every year during the Allentown Art Festival we always host a KILLER mark down sale at Hero. Take advantage and avoid the big crowds, the screaming sticky children, greasy turkey legs and those ugly lawn ornaments that threaten to take your eye out, and come to Hero this Friday between 6 - 9pm to get a special preview sale of whats to come next weekend during the Art Festival and get the goods before everyone else!!

Hero at The Renegade Art Festival in Brooklyn this weekend

Hero will be participating in 5th Annual Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn THIS WEEKEND!! This year’s event is taking place Saturday and Sunday June 6 + 7 from 11am - 7pm, at McCarren Park.

Over 300 indie crafters are participating in the fair, so there’s sure to be something for everyone! But most importantly be sure to stop by our booth near the corner of Driggs Ave + Union St.

The Renegade Craft Fair is FREE to attend, and open to the public. Take public transportation to the Fair by hopping on either the G or L trains to Brooklyn. Hop off at Bedford Ave. and walk north to McCarren park if you’re riding the L Train or, if you’re riding the G Train, get off at Nassau and walk two blocks south!

So if you are in the area be sure to check it all out and most importantly come by the Hero booth, say "hi" and buy some goodies!! Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Tragically Hip at Artpark posters available now!

The Tragically Hip Artpark posters are available for purchase NOW
in store and online at Hero!!

Check out the SPECIAL PRICE for the first week only!
These are limited edition, so get yours before they are gone!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Things we are into right now...


Pandora Radio

OK OK, so I know I am VERY late to this party, but I set my account up in 2006 and messed with it for a day or two, got bored and never touched it again. So, recently I revisited Pandora, set up a few new "stations" and have been loving it ever since. Even better, Pandora is available on the iPhone over the network or a WiFi connection and it's a great way to listen to music when you are sick of the limited amount on your iPhone. Probably my favorite is my "Iron Maiden" station, there are so many gems in there!! Another good one is my "Grandmaster Flash" station inspired by my favorite lady, the talented, Strawberryluna.

Gluten Free Girl: How I Found the Food that Loves Me Back...And You Can Too.

This wonderful book by blogger, Shauna James Ahern is one of the best things I have read in a long time. I have celiac disease which means I have an intolerance to gluten. Gluten is most commonly found in wheat, barley, oats and rye, but it's hiding in so many common foods, the only cure for celiac disease is to avoid gluten entirely. I have known for over 4 years now and there are times that I feel like there is absolutely NOTHING that is truly safe for me to eat. I love to cook and do it often, which makes it most easy to manage and control, but hearing about someone else's struggle with their love for food and having to deal with a gluten free life was inspiring. This memoir is Shauna's story and about how she learned to love food again after her diagnosis. She even touches on the need for more fresh, natural and organic foods, in our diets and more importantly less processed and "boxed" foods.

Whether you have avoid certain foods or not, this book will teach you more about the foods we consume, experimenting with lesser known ingredients, tips on dining out, recipes for cooking at home, and living with the need to avoid certain foods.

Phoenix - Wolfgang Amdeus Phoenix

I have been a fan of Phoenix for sometime now and was very much anticipating the release of Wolfgang Amdeus Phoenix, so much so that I had to download the iTunes only EP they released just last month after their SNL performance. Simply said, this poppy gem is probably my favorite album right now and since I could go on and on about this album - just go out and buy it, you will LOVE it, trust me!

Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest

Full of many layers, absolutely beautiful harmonies and an undeniable folk feel, Veckatimest does not disappoint. As crazy as this may sound, at points there is almost a Beach Boy feel on some of the tracks. The album takes it's name from an island off Massachusetts where they recorded half the work, the other half was recorded at a church in Brooklyn. This quite possibly will be one of THE best albums of the year and some of the best shit you have heard in a while, you can quote me on that.


Passion Pit - Manners

This band started out as a birthday present for the lead singer's girlfriend, a couple of friends heard the songs joined the band and made an EP. Now they are selling out shows all over the country. I am not hard into Electro (unless I am getting my white boy groove on). But these guys are pretty rad. Their video for "Sleepyhead" is pretty creative too. GET YO JUICES FLOWING!!


I had my Motorola Razr for two years and in that time I was basically a dead beat dad to my phone. So, when it was time to finally get a new phone, I picked up the iPhone and now... only maybe a week later I am slave to it. Good reception, good size storage capacity, and Apps ranging from twitter to a level!? That's right a level. I will be in my glory when they find an application where it could grow legs and arms and be my personal butler.

On the Road - Jack Kerouac

I haven't read this yet, I am trying to look for it used at local book stores and thrift stores so if any one wants to let me borrow it, you know where Hero is!! But I have always found Jack Kerouac's life pretty interesting and I have read passages from his other books, but I don't want to go through out life not reading this book.