I will always and forever love Britney Spears. Leah and I saw the top image on Pinterest and I can't imagine who wouldn't get inspired by the lyrics to "Stronger". That said, it started our mini Brit-Brit Marathon... I'm not ashamed.

I hope everyone had a fun halloween! It was snowing in NYC (triple grrr), so I didn't get dressed up... next year.


...annnnnnnnnnnnnnddddddddd I'm Back!

I've never really left... I've just been la-di-dah-ing around in NYC. It's getting colder now and I'm about to start hibernating in my apartment because the chill air came way too soon this year. Grrr, I'm not ready to add stockings to my short dresses and rompers just yet.

Here are my (wishful) looks of the day on a beautiful Sunday morning! (It looks sunny and toasty outside, but you know its pretty brisk outside. Double grrr)

Bridget Bardot. L--V-E !


Little Drifters II

I've noticed that Fall has officially arrived when I left my place to grab my Chick-fil-A chicken biscuit and coffee. I'm so sad to see my favorite season go, but I do love pumpkin-flavored everything, seasonal beers, and most of all: College Football.

Little Drifters is still one of the coolest projects I've ever come across. Although there haven't been any new submissions (that I've seen), its still an ongoing project. A final salute to sundresses, bikinis, and summer.

Bone and Ben / Coburg, Bavaria, Germany
Brian Deputy / Harrison Bay
Jen Sheeley / Kamloops (notice a little bee is following)
Ateret / Okanagan Lake, BC

All images and captions found on BOOOOOOOM!

Lisa and I are involved with the American Cancer Society's Making Stride's Against Breast Cancer Walk on October 16th. We're walking 5 miles in honor of our mom and all those affected by breast cancer. If you're able to make a small donation, we would appreciate it so much! Thanks in advance!!
To make a donation on Lisa's behalf: Lisa Tran : Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
To make a donation of my behalf: Leah Tran : Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

And go VOLS!!! We have some hope with the Gators not having as great as a team as they usually do. This will be a fun afternoon! 

And UGA should have their first win of the season against Coastal Carolina... After an unfortunate loss to Boise St at the GA Dome and a close game to the Gamecocks last weekend, it'll be a small welcome victory. So, go dawgs!! Sic 'em.

✩ First post on Little Drifters


Hengki Koentjoro

These are beautiful. Reminiscent of the post on Wayne Levin.

Toads (Lunch)
Jurassic (Jurassic Park)
Vulnerable (JAWS)
Boy From Banda (FreePlay)
Hut (Plantation, West Java)
Dragon Dance
Liquid Planet (Moondance)
Trigger Fish (Bunaken National Marine Park, Indonesia)
Waterfall (Tropical storm, Banda Neira)

Hengki Koentjoro was born in Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia, in 1963. He is a graduate of the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California where he majored in film. He now lives in Jakarta where he specializes in fine art photography both underwater and on land. ― www.featureshoot.com

✩ Tom Petty Live Anthology album ― awesome; Band of Horses & Kings of Leon ― SO awesome and fun! Now, all I really need to check off my list is to see the Black Keys in September and my concerts this year will be complete. My birthday was perfect!!



My birthday is coming up soon and I rarely ever ask for presents... but... I kind of really want the Indie Rock Poster book! Or to see some of my favorite bands play in concert this year. 

I love the indie rock genre and am constantly listening to it when I'm working on anything. I also love the posters. Most of them give off a hand-drawn/mixed media quality that I really like to see/miss in art these days. The Yellow Bird Project is a collaboration between indie rock musicians and artists that creates shirts to raise money for the musician's choice in charities. Really awesome concept. Read their mission here.

The Band: Bon Iver
The Song: Skinny Love
The Artist: Jeremyville
He says: "Bon Iver founder Justin Vernon spent a winter in his father's cabin in Wisconsin, in the State's northwoods, recovering from an illness. Here he wrote and recorded most of this first album in a very lo fi way, and it was this ethic of independence, and his singular, evocative vision that first attracted me to his music. It is a way of working that resonates with me, as it's close to the way I like to work, alone with my sketchbook late at night, listening to music. If I could find a winter cabin to escape to, I think I would."
I wanted to draw a moment from those Wisconsin woods, and to try and evoke the feeling of that desolate winter alone in the cabin, trying to somehow find a way through.
The Band: Iron & Wine
The Song: The Trapeze Swinger
The Artist: Toby Triumph
He says: "I wanted this poster to represent different phases in a person's life, looking at how the people and places that surround us can change like chapters in a book, becoming a distant memory while a person can stay the same. I wanted the image to capture some of the still contemplation and reflection that speaks to me in this beautiful song."

Actually, either: the book, to see Band of Horses and Kings of Leon play in concert together, The Black Keys at Music Midtown, or the Tom Petty Live Anthology album.

...my favorite Learning to Fly version ever... with Stevie Nicks.


surfing + skeletons

I am obsessed with the idea of learning how to surf. Last summer, a dear friend and I went paddle boarding on Lake Michigan's North Ave Beach, where he taught me how to do pop ups on a long board.

Thats about as close as I'll get for now.

Panda Bear ― Surfer's Hymn. Via Street Anatomy.
One of the most awesome finds lately!

This music video by m ss ng p eces for the band Panda Bear is amazing. I LOVE the old black and white film feel, nice and grainy. The hand painted skeleton costumes have great texture and whatever they did, black light or just extreme color correction, to get the bones to glow looks awesome. As stated on the Vimeo page, this video is a tribute to surfers who have been taken by the sea, which only makes the video that much more nostalgic feeling and beautiful. Major props! Be sure to watch it all the way through, I assure you it’s worth it. Via The Fox Is Black ― Heather Tompkins from Street Anatomy.  

Happy 4th of July!

✩ The post regarding my paddle boarding venture.


leah tran { medical + scientific design }

... is up! For all those interested, there is no special fondness for birds; I just love what they stand for: freedom, independence, no restraints. 
images from the Free People blog

I tend to do an extensive amount of type exploration as I start any design project... I think it may be my favorite part just because it sets the mood of what you're trying to represent. So as I was lining up parentheses from different fonts, I realized when grouped together, they looked like birds in flight. From there, designing the rest of the page just kind of fell into place. I knew I wanted to keep my site light and airy, but graphic with illustrative/organic elements (where my logo fits in) at the same time...

I have so many more groups of these in my concepts document. Fill, no fill, stroke, no stroke, bold, italic, regular... Ok, wow.

Each page has "birds" in different placements because I wanted them to appear as if they were moving in flight. 

I feel this new design truly represents me as an artist and my personality overall. Thank you Donna Hughes and Lisa Tran for helping me with conceptualization and design layout! 

Click here to see my new portfolio site.


Blood Drive

Great package design by Robert Williams from the Art Institute of California San Diego.
Problem: The act of giving blood is an uncomfortable process. Because of this it generally has low turnouts, especially among college students who are low on time and energy. ― Packaging of the World

Solution: Offering a free 2GB USB Thumbdrive to any student willing to donate blood is a cheap but more attractive alternative then the usual cookie or apple. Also, the USB's would serve as an educational tool and come equipped with a promotional video entitled, "Blood Circulation: The Story of Where Your Blood Goes From Here," detailing the story of how your blood donation will help others in need. After the video, the student will be able to share their donation and experience on Facebook and become part of a special group. ― Packaging of the World

I started donating blood at the University of TN during my freshman year. We had a fun annual rivalry with the University of KY to see which school would donate the most. It was a cool competition with a great cause, and the fact that I'd receive free blood, if ever needed, was one of my main factors in donating.

Fast forward, one of the last times I visited ATL, Lis and I went to a friend's home, whose mother is currently fighting liver cancer (which has, and is still affecting our own family). We caught up for an hour; and within that conversation, her mom told us that her blood type was rare to find (B+... which I have), and that she was waiting for a liver transplant that would fit her petite body (which mine would... except I need it). I couldn't help her directly, but from then on, I decided I would donate in her honor the next time I was eligible to give blood.

Today is the second time since the visit that I've donated blood with my friend's mom in mind. I didn't get a USB drive, but I did get juice and cookies, and the feeling that I helped a couple people out. With every donation you make, you could save up to 3 people's lives, receive free blood if ever needed, and get a free HIV/Hep/West Nile screening.

Just sayin... It's worth the time. Click here to see if you're eligible and make an appointment if you meet the requirements.


Brendan Wenzel

Beautiful illustrations by Brendan Wenzel.

Black Faced Spoon Bill
Siamese Crocodile

Wildlife of Vietnam
About the print:
This piece grew from a series of images I created featuring Vietnam's threatened wildlife. Until recently I lived in Ho Chi Minh City and although I like to think my biophilia knows no bounds, having called the country home for over two years, I have become particularly attached to its creatures.
This image also ran as a cover of the monthly magazine AsiaLife. The issue focused on threats facing Vietnam's species - in particular the illegal wildlife trade, which sadly is growing to meet the demand for bush meat and animal products for use in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Many species, including a number that are unique to Vietnam, may soon face extinction. I am insanely frustrated by the growth of this industry and I hope the piece conveys that.
This is a digital print on acid free, Neenah uncoated matte 100lb cover paper that is 80% recycled. Each print was signed and numbered by the artist.
I chose to pair my print with The Jane Goodall Institute. The Institute acknowledges that the concerns of communities are linked to the well being of the environments that surround them, and that the degradation of those environments will inevitably have a direct effect on their human inhabitants.
I'm also a big fan of the Institute's Roots and Shoots program, which gets young people involved with the issues facing their communities, environmental and otherwise, and to then design projects that provide solutions to those problems. Even if you would prefer to keep this print as far away from the walls of your home as possible, please consider giving to this organization anyway. It's just awesome.

Read the interview here: The Working Proof


Leah's Redesign

Keep a look out for my new web page! Its currently being updated... and I'm pretty excited to show everyone. During the development, I received a lot of direction from Donna Hughes and got some pretty thoughtful input from Lis. The image is a hint of what you can expect.