October 3, 2013

collage triad
Triad II
Originally uploaded by lexly87 aka Duc N. Ly.

Triad II

I started a series of collages on found paper and drawings of geometric shapes.  The work of Euclid fascinates me so I wanted to repeat some of his simple definitions of lines, circles and triangles called triad.  The set of various collages I’ve done over the years was featured on Glossom. 

Three Journals

November 20, 2009

Three Journals

Originally uploaded by Duc N. Ly.

And a Corona Four typewriter in the background.

Naked Binder Arrival

September 9, 2009

Just in time for back to school.  Ken sent me a few samples of their binders.

post nakedbinder.comDSCF1003

I love how simple the design is.  There not one drop of ink.  The board is branded like leather with an impression.  There’s not much glue either which means it’s less toxic.  One thing that happens with plastic cover binder is that they melt in the hot sun and release a plastic smell.  Also the plastic tend to get wrinkled. 

I like the architect version for long landscape orientation drawings.  When I was working at an architectural office we had 11 x 17 size drawings which we had to fold to fit the 8 x 11 three ring binders.  Not any more.  There is a line geared towards the architect or any one in need of this size and proportion.  The name comes from binders that are not wrapped in plastic or cloth or leather.  It is made of recycled material which I really like.  The covers look like the chip boards architects and designers use to make building models from.  It is also raw surface for kids to draw on and personalize.  I also like the design of wrapping to caress the three metal rings.  It can still received the labels and seems to be nicer on backpacks (without the sharp corners).

Simple Diary

July 10, 2009

Above is Philipp Keel’s manifesto ‘A Call to Simplify’.


Another designer dairy:  typotheque-diary/

I came to know the work of Ryan Loghry through his comment about the Hand book Journal. Tonight, I’m interviewing him through a series of emails. The following is our exchange:

Duc: Hi Ryan, Thanks for your comment on my blog. I checked out your work.  I though we could talk about the Handbook Journal and feature some of your work. I thought your blog post about self publishing on Lulu helpful and your possible book making with Blurb. I’ve been wanting to put a book together of my photographs too.

R: I would recommend Blurb very highly. The software was quick to download, and easy to use. I received my book in a timely manner, and it was very high quality. I would rate Blurb over Lulu, by far. I would like to make sure and include a digital photo of the plastic pouch inside the journal. I keep a few of my postcards in there, with my contact information, just in case I lose it, or in case I meet someone. One of the few negative comments I saw regarding these journals referred to the plastic pouch/envelope falling out as soon as the person opened it. I have found them to be quite sturdy.Ryan\'s Journal Pouch


D: I keep my business card in the plastic envelope too for that same purpose. Do you use watercolor on the page? I wonder how it response to it? What is your medium for your drawings. What is the concept behind your work?
The thing about Lulu is that it requires high quality scans. Some of my photographs are not that large and I intend to make a small book of small photographs. I will try Blurb. I notice that Blurb is available through Flickr.

R: My process is to do pencil drawings in my sketchbook, then do a hi-res scan, and if needed clean up in Photoshop. I add a layer or two in PS to paint the color on. I usually do skin tones on one layer, and the rest of a character on another layer. I turn the opacity down on the color layer, so that the pencil shading shows through. Sometimes this gives a color pencil look to the piece, and other times a watercolor look.

D: What sort of inspirations do you use for your creative process?

R: I find I don’t really need to be inspired. I seem to have ideas bombarding me all the time. I have several children’s books which are at various stages of completion. If I’m ever really stuck for something to draw, I pick an illustration or character to develop for one of these stories. I listen to a lot of classical music, and jazz while I work, I suppose that’s inspirational. This is the link to the local classical station which streams online:

My favorite medium is pencil on paper. I use mechanical pencils mostly, a 5mm, and a 7mm. I use the Global handbook we’ve been discussing, and for larger drawings I use the Canson blank book: CANSON-Blank-Cloth-Sketch-Books. Both of these sketch books have a heavy, high quality paper. I also like to dabble in pen and ink, and oil paints on canvas. I have not used water colors on the Global handbook, but that’s an interesting idea. I still have some water color pencils lying around here somewhere, I could test that out.

D: Oh my gosh. That’s very interesting. I listen to allclassical at work too because it’s nice background music. It’s a local station in Oregon you know?!? That’s an eerie connection. I find that sometimes I get lost in the music. There was one incident where I read about an architect who started to draw on the back of these classical concert programs as he was listening to the live concert performances…I recall seeing one drawing what was rather interesting and it reflected his mood I suppose. I’ve acquired more knowledge of classical music in the process. What I find fascinating is the relation of classical music in the Bugs Bunny cartoons. There you have music mixed with drawings. I believe allclassical has made a special tribute program featuring these early exposure to classical music in our childhoods.

R: Are you in Portland? I didn’t realize that. haha…Small world. I’m just north of Portland. In a small logging town, Yacolt, Washington. I attribute that habit (art/music together) to my exposure to those cartoons, and one art teacher I had in high school who constantly had classical music going while we worked. I can’t listen to classical music without some sort of storyline appearing in my mind. If the idea is strong enough, I draw up storyboards for it. Unfortunately I rarely have time to animate these days.

D: Yep…I’m in Portland. I’ve not heard of Yacolt.

That concludes our conversation.

Some related posts:

Interview with Bluebird Studio

Postalco Photo shoot

June 6, 2008


Postalco 64

Originally uploaded by Duc N. Ly.

Previously: postalco-arrival

Here are some more pictures of the Postalco notebook. I didn’t do this notebook any justice with indoor lighting. So here are some of the day light shots in my bar table. The cover folds back nicely. The spine is protected with the cloth cover which reduces the tendency to bend the metal spiral.

Postalco 65 fig. 1

postalco 66 fig. 2

Postalco in Martha Stewart Magazine

While I was in Europe, I happen upon cable.  Luxe does these wonderfully stylish features of the world’s luxurious places, fashion, and tech.  The cable channel does re-run a lot of the features which is very annoying.  There is the website to follow when I got back home.  I kept wondering if they would have videos on their website.  Sure enough, is on several video sharing sites such as Youtube.  I thought this one on Mrs. John L. Strong stationary was appropriate for the blog.

related article: New York Times

UPDATE:  The story has been closed.