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special thanks...

We have quite a few folks to thank for making Mankind Mag’s third issue, well, pretty much the best issue we’ve had to date. Here is just a brief list of contributors, lovers and fans of Mankind that make our world go round:

http://numbereight.etsy.com

Additional thanks to the following creative individuals [in order of appearance]: Amy Borrell [ c a k e w i t h g i a n t s . c o m ] , A n d r e w J a m e s [ fl i c k r. c o m / a n d r e w s e a j a m e s ] , S a r a h B r o w n [sarahbrowndowntown.com], Erin Jane Nelson [erinjanenelson.com], Mariell Amelie [ponygraph.com], Francisco Martins [franciscomartins.com], Mike Perry [midwestisbest.com], Racheal Verdicchio-Morris [rachealanilyse.com], Alex Fowkes [xynthetic.co.uk], Wei Huang [nofreakingwei.blogspot.com], Lucy Player [ l u c y p l a y e r. e t s y. c o m ] , N i k i t a P r o k h o r o v [ n p g r a p h i c d e s i g n . c o m ] , S a m a n t h a K r a m e r [homegrownandthebug.com], Chris Piascik [chrispiascik.com], Okat [iamokat.com], Adam Garcia [thepressure.org], Sarah Gardner [sarah-gardner.co.uk], Rebecca Horwood [rebeccahorwood.co.uk], Gemma Correll [gemmacorrell.com], Catalina Bartolome [flickr.com/catrin], Peter Lundgren [t-post.se], Julia Roth man [juliarothman.com], Melissa Webb [dotmelissa.blogspot.com], Jess Gonacha [jessgonacha.com], Will Bryant [will-bryant.com] -


living the [dream]

the real skinny on life as a photographer as written by: sarah brown The thing about being a photographer is ... it's awesome. It really is, ESPECIALLY if you love it. It's one of those arts that I can find special significance in because I love my memories so much, and recording those for other people seems really important. The other thing about being a photographer is that people have no idea how much BS I deal with on any given day. I am not kidding. I assume that everyone is like me, and gets into this business thinking, I like taking pictures. I'm good at taking pictures. I'm going to take pictures all the time! WRONG. Wrong wrong wrong. Taking pictures is maybe 10% of what I actually do. (And please, don't ask me to break down the rest of the percentages. I am not a mathematician, and we would probably end up somewhere around 200%, which, actually, sounds about right.)

photo credit: sarah brown

I am constantly in the uphill battle known as marketing. You can't get paid unless people can find you, right? Meanwhile, this is not really a well-kept secret, as there are like a zillion other photographers also doing this strange "marketing" ritual. Seriously. I advertise on The Knot. I try to find seniors to model for me and tell their friends. I hand out my business card to strangers on trains because they too are somehow related to the wedding industry and this would be that "networking" thing I've heard so much about. I hand piles of cards to my parents, who proudly force them on everyone at their jobs. No one is safe. Anyone who may need a portrait session or a wedding photographer is fair game. It is a mother effing jungle out there.

Meanwhile, as I do this, I edit my pictures in Photoshop. This is faster than the darkroom, but does that stop me from complaining about how long it takes? It does not! The thing is, Photoshop is a nearly endless program, and I think I could spend the rest of my life trying to learn all the ins and outs and never fully explore the potential of this beast, AND they update it ALL. THE. TIME. So I spend crazy time reading blogs, checking photography message boards, and generally trying to constantly educate myself and stay up on trends. And granted, it's fun and I WANT to do it, but I do also sometimes feel like roadkill on the information superhighway. Just saying. And you know what else? I'm constantly playing defense. I mean, at least hockey goalies get face masks and pads, right? Not me. Price is one of the constant battles in my life. And I could go on and on (and on) about this, but what it comes down to is this: people have no idea why photography costs what it does, and that problem is compounded by the fact that many "photographers" also don't know. But seriously--I spend crazy amounts of money on my computer (which has to be huge and fast to keep up with my enormous files), on Photoshop, which is basically THE word in editing, on marketing, in gas, on insurance, and on equipment. At any given time, the amount of equipment hanging from my body is worth more than my car. MY CAR, people! (Which, okay, is kind of a piece of crap, but still.) And I am, by no means, going as crazy as I could on equipment. Not to even mention that these expenses don't even include the enormous amounts of liquor that I have to consume to keep it all going. (Kidding. I don't drink that often but when I do, I'm a total lightweight, so we can't even consider that an expenditure.) But mostly, there is my time, my passion, my energy, my eye ... these things are important, and it is really difficult to get people to understand that, and to see you as anything more than a commodity. As someone pointed out to me, people are willing to skimp on pictures that they'll have for the rest of their life and show to their grandchildren while they spend a fortune on catering, that, if you really think about it, is just going to turn into poop in eight hours. And that gets really frustrating. All the photographers I know, and especially me, go through constant cycles of self-doubt, of wondering if they're going to be able to make it or if they're really even good enough to be doing this. I am getting constant pep talks from friends, and repeating trite little self-help mantras to myself just to make it through another day. When you get beyond the "I bought my first camera and I take pretty pictures" phase, there is a huge leap of faith that has to happen, and you find yourself pouring all of yourself, all of your confidence, all of your money, and all of your time into this venture that, if you are really going to make it, you have to tell yourself CANNOT fail. And it's really hard in the kind of world that we live in, where everyone who has a blog is a "writer", and everyone who has a digital camera is a "photographer". You wonder how you're ever going to stand out, how you're ever going to claw your way to the top of the pile. Most days, I have no idea how that happens. On good, well-adjusted days, I tell myself that eventually, the people who suck will lose interest and quit, and that people who work hard, are talented, and stick with it will eventually be recognized. And I guess in the meantime, I'll just keep trying to figure out how to paste boys' heads on girls' bikini bodies in Photoshop. Like I said, the possibilities of PS are endless!


erin jane nelson:

on life, love and the pursuit of photography

“What inspires me to photograph is a question I don't think I've ever answered but probably should have by now. Someone once asked me in a very intimate setting "Are you the smartest one in your family?" and the only response I could think of was, "Perhaps I'm the smartest--I don't know--but I'm undoubtedly the most sensitive." I always have very extreme responses (internal and intellectual, not outward emotional responses) to things in my life. I think a lot of my photographs are reactionary diagrams to things I read, see, feel, understand, etc. I like to approach images, which means that when I take an image, I need to be very resolute and clear about it; the idea of a diagram gives me the desire to control everything. Every texture, color, and object has to relate to the intensity of whatever gesture or sentiment I'm exploring. I hate images with extra information; it only dampens everything. I like things to be very calculated, even if calculated sentiment is something that is a bit bizarre. I often worry that people see my images as contrived or insincere because of how much I try to stage and control, but I think it's all just my attempt at making a precise diagram of a memory. I want to be as true to the feeling or idea as possible--some kind of forced purity. In terms of subjects from an "object" standpoint, it's all based on sensuality and memory. The objects are either something that completely arouse my senses (like the chinese finger traps) or something so precious to my own memory that it is drenched in importance. Several people have spoken about gravity in my work and I think that a gravitation towards my subjects might be responsible for this. I'm very attracted to weight and matter and the touch of things. Also, I try to always think of an image in terms of how it would sounds as a poem or in language. I want the images to be able to be beautiful without the photograph. For instance, I want someone to be able to think: "two hands with fingers joined by finger traps, tugging just a little" and still enjoy the image without necessarily having to see mine.�


for the love of [font].

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design by: francisco martins

Lately, we’ve been hearing lots of buzz about hand-lettering and the growing typography trend. Of course, we at Mankind Mag wanted to hop on the type train and commission a few of our favorite artists to profess their love for us [I mean, really, can you blame them for being smitten with the mag?]. What follows is a stunning collection of handmade artistry that can only be described as sheer perfection. Complete with an interview with Mike Perry, author of Hand Job [which we think is a MUST-read for typography-lovers everywhere], we hope you’ll love our round-up as much as we do!


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1. Racheal VerdicchioMorris

2. Alex Fowkes

3. Wei Huang

4. Lucy Player

5. Nikita Prokhorov

6. Samantha Kramer

7. Chris Piascik

8. Okat

9. Adam Garcia

10. Sarah Gardner

11. Rebecca Horwood

12. Gemma Correll


rinse and repeat.

the future of pattern design... Although patterns signify a multitude of things, the psychological ramifications of a pattern always come to my mind first. You know, as in sleeping patterns. The daily routines, rituals, schedules that we so often want to break [or make]. And just as old habits die hard, so does the beauty of the pattern. “Patterns today are either getting too complex or falling apart, and we see no way to influence this process,” note wallpaper designers Persijn Broersen and Margit Lukacs. In fact, the pair’s recent installation entitled ‘Black Light’ features a wallpaper that doesn’t repeat. It seems, instead, to “pay homage to the inevitability and raw beauty of entropy.” Broersen and Lukacs, both Dutch artists, hand-drew the installation from 3,000 photographs of flora they discovered on a recent trip to Spain. Yet is a pattern still a pattern if it doesn’t repeat? And can we really give up completely on the future of the process--- the repetition? I hope not. Julia Rothman works from her studio in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2002 and has been heavily involved in pattern design ever since. I like to call Rothman a ‘repeater’: a textile designer that represents the very essence of the pattern: the repetition and “tiling” of the piece.

photo credits [top to bottom]: ‘car lot’ pattern created by julia rothman. sold to garnet hill. [middle right]: ‘mens shoes’ pattern created by julia rothman. [below]: pebblecone wallpaper created by julia rothman. available at wall collection.

I handdraw all the elements of my designs, scan them into the computer and color and make repeats there.” She’s even offered a tutorial on her process [see facing page], which includes an emphasis on the cutting and pasting “craft” of creating a pattern.

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And although both Broersen and Lukacs may see no further influence in the process of repetition, I have a feeling Ms. Rothman does. In fact, when Mankind Mag asked her just where she thought textile patterns were headed, she replied: “I don’t really know much about the history of pattern design. [But] as for the future, I just hope that with all the new technologies, we’ll be able to put patterns on more and more things.” We’re happy to repeat that we do, too, dear Julia. We do, too.


julia rothman shows us how it’s done... a tutorial from one of today’s most treasured illustrator/designers*

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On a clean piece of paper, draw a design in the middle of your paper without letting any of the drawing touch the edges--- this is very important.

Next you are going to cut your drawing in half again the other way (yikes!) and flip those pieces and tape them back together. Now your design should be on all edges only and you have a big middle white space. Now fill this space with the rest of your design. Remember again-- do not draw to any of the edges of the paper.

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Once you finish the middle space as much as you want, you are going to cut your drawing in half-- scary, I know--- but that’s why computers are helpful. Once you have two pieces, flip them and tape your drawings back together. Put the tape on the back of the paper so it doesn’t obstruct your drawings at all later. Also, tape your drawing back together as perfectly lined up as possible.

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Once you finish filling in the parts you want to fill in, you now have your repeatable tile. You could color this tile and then xerox it many times and line up your design--plaster it on your walls and make wallpaper!

want more? a few of our favorite pattern reads... [from left to right, clockwise]: Patterns in Design Art and Architecture by: Petra Schmidt The Complete Pattern Library by: Keith Hagan Patterns: New Surface Design by: Cole Drusilla Wallpaper by: Lachlan Blackley Twentieth-Century Pattern Design by: Lesley Jackson Pattern by: Tricia Guild *originally appeared on designspongeonline.com


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mankind’s daily planner artist: jess gonacha TO DO THIS SEPT:

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cont erin act @de s i gnfo to s rman tock kind man .com kind mag toda y! will bryant loves mankind mag: don’t you?

MANKIND MAG: only $8.95 per issue


Mankind Mag: Issue 03