Fashion Illustration for 2011

Can you smell that? Yup! The scent of summer – or spring depending on which part of the world you are in – is in the air. You know what that means, right? It’s time to welcome a new wave of fashion trends. We’re not transforming into some fashion guru or runway expert if that’s what you’re thinking. We just think it’s time to update our imaginary wardrobes with a little magazine browsing and web surfing to give our illustrations a trendier and fresher look. So, what’s hot for 2011? Summer-inspired dresses for one. Last year saw the reign of the comfy professional look. You know the one sported by ladies on the go wearing smart blazers paired with skimpy shorts, giving off a smart, but casual look. This year seems to want to retain that comfortable feel, although with a more classic and feminine vibe. Enter long flowing dresses with soft fabrics and attention-grabbing colors. With their thin material, they don’t only allow your skin a chance to breathe in the summer heat, its natural contour also offers ease of movement – a good fit for people who are not fond of moving around during the unbearably hot months. Fabrics that have striped prints are also making a comeback. Of course, the classic black and white stripes still tops the list, but bolder color combinations are catching up real fast. Skirts seem to be getting more favored over shorts this year too, and the distressed denim style is moving aside to give way to soft, layered designs. Braided bags, studded shoes, oversized jewelries, belts, scarves, and other accessories are holding on to their rightful places in high end boutiques and retail stores as well. All in all, the first quarter of 2011 seems to be all about contrast. Contrast between volume and natural contour and contrast between femininity and boldness – just like the contrasting feel of the burning summer heat and the cooling effect of seawater on your...

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Learning Japanese

Konnichiwa minna-san! Nope. You did not visit the wrong site, and yes, that was a different language (which means “Hello, everyone!” by the way). Say konnichiwa to Nihongo*, because for this week, we’ll be having a Japanese class – or at least something close to it. Oh, in case you were wondering what has gotten into our minds to make us want to study Japanese all of a sudden, the answer is no,    we have not been taking anything we should not be taking. J We have just been anime fans for some time now and we thought it would probably be fun to learn a bit of the language to help us get a clearer picture of what the characters are saying when the English subtitles can’t be bothered to show up, not to mention help us understand what the theme songs that we have been singing along to mean all along. Now that we’ve got that part clear, let’s start with the lesson and discuss: Japanese Greetings There are three basic Japanese greetings. First is “Ohayou gozaimasu” which means “good morning,” “Konnichiwa” which can either translate to “Hello” or “Good afternoon” and “Konbanwa” which means “Good evening.” You can also say “Oyasumi” which means “good night,” if you are about to wrap up your day. Introducing Yourself Meeting people for the first time almost always require you to introduce yourself, so if you find yourself in a similar situation, these sentences may come handy for you: “Konnichiwa, watashi no namae wa (insert your name here) desu” (Hello, my name is (insert name here) or “Konnichiwa, watashi wa (insert name here) desu. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu.**” (Hello, I am <insert name here>. Nice to meet you) ________________________________________________________________ *Nihongo came from “Nihon” which is the native name ofJapanand “go” which means language. It means language of the people ofJapan ** Yoroshiku onegaishimasu can have a number of meanings. Sometimes it’s translated to “Nice to meet you,” sometimes to “Please treat me well” and sometimes to “I’m looking forward to having a good (working) relationship with you. All three are something you might say when meeting new people for the first time, especially people you will eventually be working with. _____________________________________________________________ Honorifics Japanese people have a strong social hierarchy system, and this reflects on the way they speak and address the people they interact with. Deviating from the standards you are expected to follow will be considered rude and offensive, so you’ll have to familiarize yourself with them if you don’t want to leave the wrong impression. A way to start this is by learning Japanese honorifics*. There are plenty of Japanese honorifics for just about every setting; however, a good number of them are rarely used, if not totally obsolete by now, so we’ll be discussing the more common ones here. First we have “san.” San is like the Japanese counterpart of the English Mr. Ms. or Mrs. It is usually attached to the last name of the person you are addressing if your relationship is strictly limited to business matters. For example, you have a co-worker named John Smith. Since your interaction with John doesn’t extend beyond the office, you are expected to address him as Smith-sanor Smith John-san (Japanese say their names last name first followed by the given name) Similarly, Jane Doe would be called “Doe-san” or “Doe Jane-san.” Calling either of the two by their first names would be considered too presumptuous, unless John or Jane themselves insist on being called by their first names. Second is “chan.” Chan is often attached to the first name of a female you are on friendly terms with. This may either apply to a female who is younger than you...

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Goodbye 2010, Hello 2011!

We’re back! After a refreshing two-week vacation, BNP Design Studio is excited to welcome the New Year with new features to our site and blog. Check out our now up and running Gallery of stock and custom illustrations, photographs, print and web designs, and our newly uploaded Valentine-themed cliparts. With everything 3D all the rage these days, we’ll be including more and more of them in our latest releases so make sure you watch out for them. So here’s to our best year yet! Cheers!...

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