SpearTalks: Tavis Coburn

Tavis Coburn is kind of a big deal. Not just because we're writing about him twice in a week, his (unknown) stance on the use of Sex Panther or his inevitably discerning taste in sneakers — but because Nike, the NFL, Time Magazine and the Discovery Channel are just a few of the companies and publications knocking down his door to commission his deliciously retro artwork. When the opportunity for us to interview him arose, we couldn't really resist asking him about his shoes, nightmare clients and having him make a playlist for us, so maybe we could channel some of his pure badassedness into our own.

JoshSpear.com: You're a little bit of a mystery as far as Google is concerned. Give us a little background on you; who you are, where you went to school, what kind of shoes you're wearing right now"¦

Tavis Coburn: My name is Tavis Coburn and I'm an illustrator and graphic designer. I'm 32 years old, live in Toronto, and I'm obsessed with anything from the 1940s – 1960s. I'm not wearing shoes right now bit I just kicked off a pair of Red Wing Originals. An ice storm just hit Toronto so my babied, limited-edition kicks are safely in my closet. As for schooling, I spent a semester at the Ontario College of Art & Design and then spent four years at the Art Center College of Design, in Pasadena, completing my Bachelor of Fine Art. (more…)

Next Stop: Necker Island

I’m headed down to Richard Branson’s Necker Island for the week, starting Sunday. A few months back after my Google Zeitgeist speech, a fellow from Virgin approached me to speak at a CEO summit on a private island. Perhaps the perfect storm (pray for no storms), I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to do two things I truly love: speak to large groups about major trends, and build sand castles.

I’ve been to a lot of places around the world, but none that I’ve been this excited to see in a very long time — seeing that I’d never throw down the money to go here on my own, this seems like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (unless they invite me back). I’ll do my best to do some in-depth posts about the island experience with pictures and the like; word on the street is Richard has the whole place WiFi-ed so I can geek out. Gotta go pack my sunscreen!

Top 5 Fine Art Gifts

Chuck Anderson Prints: Read JS Review | Buy It ($35 – $65; shown as 2)

Holy kaleidoscope! We’d paper maîche our houses in these were they a bit more weatherproof. Until that day, we’ll just enjoy their sparkly-ness from the comfort of our climate controlled living rooms.

20×200: Read JS Review | Buy It ($20; shown as 3)

Jen Bekman’s affordable art project let’s you choose from a wide variety of wonderfully curated print, photographic and mixed media limited edition offerings — and at 20 bucks a pop, there’s nothing snooty about it.

Ice Cream: Read JS Review | Buy It ($69.95; shown as 5)

We reviewed Ice Cream, an awesome (and shiny) selection of 100 of the most significant emerging artists working today…but anything from Phaidon will make the creative people in your life happier than a two-year old with a Snack Pack.

Colby Nichols Prints: Read JS Review | Buy It ($7 – $50; shown as 4)

This up-and-comer is filling my daily monster quotient with his prints, paintings, and sketches of zombies, toothed animals, and one-eyed beasts. His tees are rather awesome as well, but I guess that’s for another post.

Richard Goodall Underground Store: Read JS Review | Buy It (prices vary; shown as 1)

The only place to go for the biggest selection of everything urban artsy. Aside from the tragic exchange rate you’ll experience shopping here (if you live in the US), there is not one bummer about this art and culture superstore. Prints, originals, designer toys, skate decks — it’s a winter wonderland.

Nau: Fuzzy Feelings All Over

In case you needed another reason to shop at Nau (other than saving the world, we mean), the planet-friendly company is currently offering a cozy 30% off of all their sweaters. Guys like them because they’re sleek, perfectly cut, and available in trend-safe colors; girls like them because they’re cuddly (made from fabrics like lambswool or angora/cashmere blends), curve-loving, and versatile; we all like them because they’re earth-consciously sexy, durable, and ready for the long-haul. Not to mention that 5% of all your Nau holiday purchases will go to the Partners for Change affiliate of your choice, ensuring that your thoughtful fashion choices make an impact in places other that your closet. No other gift will offer a more realistic case of the warm fuzzies, we guarantee it.

Talk Shop Fridays: A Gift Guides Field Guide

It’s that time of the year, good ol’ Black Friday where things around here start to get very gift-oriented, as we do our darndest to help all of you score the ultimate present for yourself or loved ones. But, as we go about our work, we need your help! Other than this site, where are you getting inspiration for gifts this holiday season? Drop us a note or leave a comment here and we’ll keep this post updated with peoples responses as a one-stop master list of inspiration. We want to know, and so will all your fellow readers!

I’ll kick us off…

1. NOTCOT’s Holiday Gift Guide (Awesomely laid out and lots of fun)

2. TreeHugger’s How To Go Green Gift Guide (Eco-gifts!)

3. Core 77′s 77 Design Gifts Under $77 (Last years guide, but still awesome!)

4. Cool Hunting’s 2007 Holiday Gift Guide (Our friends at CH always have great finds)

5. Design Public’s Holiday Gift Guide (Browse and buy design gifts in one place)

6. ThisNext’s 2007 Christmas Gift Guide (Nice guide of user-contributed gifts)

7. Gizmodo’s Old Gadget Gift Guide (An oldie but a goodie)

wejetset: Came and Conquered

Last July, we were like, whoa, wejetset is coming. And since then, it came, and… it is excellent. Exactly like it promised to be, wejetset is “the store and voice of modern travel,” dedicated to “carrying the highest quality products, while its print and online publications keep travelers inspired and informed.” What this means, post-launch, is that this online travel store has exactly everything you could want when sailing off to uncharted lands. Brilliantly awesome luggage, check; the badass-est city guides, check; headphones, compact umbrellas, notebooks (guess who’s stocking Behance action pads?), and everything else you needed but never knew was in production, check. In short, wejetset is everything we hoped it would be and more – it even makes fourteen hour flights look sorta fun. Check it out before your next adventure here.

Top 5 Gifts for the Home

blik Wall Decals: Read JS Review | Buy It (prices vary; shown as 2)

There isn’t much to not love about blik; it’s a product which allows instant transformation to any wall, any space, without the application of paint or the permanence of wallpaper — perfect for both commitment-phobes and renters alike.

Legna Linens and Bath: Read JS Review | Buy It ($41-$387; shown as 4)

These towels and sheets are like the holy grail of linens; made of wood cellulose fiber, they are soft, luxurious and prone to theft from envious friends and houseguests which, if you ask me, is always the best compliment.

HUH Housewares: Read JS Review | Buy It (prices vary; shown as 5)

So much fun stuff here, you could make a serious dent in your gift list on this site alone. I mean, come on: who wouldn’t love an ink-blot mirror? Seriously.

Grandpa Clock: Read JS Review | Buy It ($79, shown as 3)

It’s like that old, noisy thing in your grandparent’s house…without taking up all that real estate and the noise that goes along with it.

Dwell Home: Read JS Review | Buy It (prices vary; shown as 1)

Giving the gift of Dwell — whether it be their bed linens, tabletop collection or baby line — is the stuff that brownie points are made of. Classic, sophisticated and sustainable, you’ll look about three hundred percent more thoughtful than you already are. We promise.

Are you ready for the JS08 Gift Guide? If you are, that's a shame; we're actually not doing one this year "” we're going to do even better. Over the next month you're going to see itemized lists, broken down into separate categories for your easy perusal, and all you'll need to do to get to those posts is hit the "gifts" tag at the bottom of any of them. If you have any suggestions for a list, feel free to hit us up at feedback at josh spear dot com. If you're staying in today (instead of braving the malls and stores), we salute your intelligence. If not, try not to get arrested. Happy holidays!

Josh Spear's Top 8 T-Shirt Gifts

Top8Shirts-1

Shelta’s Ntrl Tiny Bubble Tee
: Read JS Review | Buy It ($84, Shown as 1)

Swedish designers always do it better, right? Ultra comfy, designed by Swedish brand Ntrl Tlnt (Natural Talent). You can thank the weakness of the dollar for the price conversion on this puppy!

Chuck Anderson’s No Pattern T-Shirt: Read JS Review | Buy It ($24, Shown as 2)

Who doesn’t love Chucky? What happens when the No-Pattern legend does a t-shirt, well, duh, it’s good. Kinda-funky design printed on AAA fabric, worldwide shipping is $10 from an international designer of mystery.

You Are So Last Year: Read JS Review | Buy It ($25, Shown as 3 and 4)

Pretty much every t-shirt YASLY drops is worth owning, from the Monster Eyballz T-shirt to washed out Aztec Patterns. Always limited edition, always soft, always classic.

Beautiful Decay Winter 2007: Read JS Review | Buy It ($27, Not Shown)

One of the softest-wear-for-your-money t-shirts on the market, the Winter 2007 Beautiful Decay Line is incredible to look at (they’re like works of art), incredible to wear, and damned near impossible to get when the line sells out. Get yours quick, they will be gone fast.

Hecklewood’s Teenage Wasteland: Read JS Review | Buy It ($32, Shown as 5 and 8)

Hecklewood is our favorite up-and-coming line– we call them the Portland bad-asses, the little t-shirt line that could. We’ve been long time lovers as they’re always on top of the best fabrics and most ingenious printing methods. This new winter ‘Teenage Wasteland‘ line is too much, we had to choose two pictures to share!

Monsieur T Winter 2007: Read JS Review | Buy It ($28, Shown as 6)

An oldie, a goodie, who doesn’t love funny French-guy living in Oregon t-shirt humor? Designs are always creative and quirky, I’m a big fan.

Star Electric Eighty Eight: Read JS Review | Buy It ($28, Shown as 7)

Arguably one of the most impressive new lines I’ve seen in a very long time, point blank, SEEE.us is going places. Go, indulge, the selection is incredible. The Jane Fonda t-shirt is just too much!

Momimomi’s TEaA Party Subscription: Read JS Review | Buy It ($120-$360, Not Shown)

A JS mainstay, a family affair, an always-in-the-ring for top 5 anything t-shirt related, Momimomi reigns supreme. Best gift of the season? Give yourself or a loved one a subscription to the Momimomi TEeA party, a limited edition supremely soft t-shirt every month. Just awesome.

Are you ready for the JS08 Gift Guide? If you are, that’s a shame; we’re actually not doing one this year — we’re going to do even better. Over the next month you’re going to see itemized lists, broken down into separate categories for your easy perusal, and all you’ll need to do to get to those posts is hit the “gifts” tag at the bottom of any of them. If you have any suggestions for a list, feel free to hit us up at feedback at josh spear dot com. If you’re staying in today (instead of braving the malls and stores), we salute your intelligence. If not, try not to get arrested. Happy holidays!

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