Jun 24, 2007
'Beware of the "Monkey Do" Virus!'
That was the question posed by HOW Design Magazine. I gave it some thought and came up with the following prediction. HOW Design Magazine published my opinion regarding the future of design in their August edition.
"Apple will release its first neural implant for controlling GUI content on the MAC platform. Branded "iThink", it will make the keyboard, mouse and tablet/pen obsolete over night.
Microsoft will follow suit about a year later with it's own neural implant for controlling GUI content on Windows Universe Pro Edition. It'll look just like Apple's and be branded "iDea." Three days after it's release to the public, however, a temporal worm virus called "Monkey Do" will infect users' brains so they start acting like chimps, throwing poo on anyone that comes near."
That's right, I got "Chimps throwing poo!" published in a national magazine. How cool is that. LOL
Jun 23, 2007
'Fellow art buddies Rob McClurkan, Tom Cox and Scott Thigpen'
I just got back from the HOW Design Conference in Atlanta Georgia. It was a lot of fun and I had a blast doing the book signing for my texture book. But the best part about attending these types of events is getting to meet up with friends.
I got to do just that and was able to hang with fellow creatives Rob McClurkan, , Tom Cox, and Scott Thigpen.
I grew up in the Pacific NW where we say "You guys." But here in the south it's properly pronounced "Ya'll." All three of these guys live in or around Atlanta and were nice enough to show this yankee around town.
'A hole in the wall cafe called Carver's.'
One day we were all trying to figure out where to eat for lunch. Tom suggested a place called 'Carver's'. He said it was a little run down but the food was incredible. Tom use to work as a designer for Coca Cola and someone had introduced him to this cafe years ago. So we jumped into his car and took off.
When we pulled up to the place I have to admit I felt like I was about to become part of a cops episode. The location was well off the beaten path but Tom insisted it was worth it. Seeing all the cars parked on the side of the road around this place should have given me a clue as to what I'd find once inside.
'If you cook it they will come.'
We walked through the doors and the place was packed. I couldn't believe how many people were in this small dining area. Apparently the wife of the owner wakes up at 4am every morning and starts cooking. You never know what the menu will have or if they'll be open they just kind of wing it but that doesn't hurt their business because this food is good old fashioned southern cookin'. Tom was right, it was incredible food and the environment just added to the overall experience. Very cool, something you'd never find without local intel.
'Side order of texture at Carver's.'
I never know when I am going to be inspired and sometimes the source can be mundane or just unexpected. When I sat down to eat I noticed the old linoleum floor of this cafe. You could see the worn layers from many years of use and what most people would have just ignored or cringed at, I thought would make a great texture to use in design or illustration. So of course I bent down and took a few pictures of the floor.
Doing this tends to cause others to look at you like your weird but I don't think any of the other guys gave it a second though? It makes sense for an artist and you've got to admit it does look cool.
'Refining the image for it's final digital form.'
I guess I call this bent in my nature 'Creative Curiosity'. I love textures and this was a perfect example of life inspiring art. You never know where you'll find them but if you're prepared you can capture and use them in your own projects. Actually that is what my texture book is all about.
FREE Southern Texture
I've created a special set of '5' textures all derived from my travels in Georgia the past few weeks. You can download the entire set using the link below. The following is a brief description on each texture included in the download. For more technical information regarding the size and resolution of this 'Southern Texture' set just visit www.texturebook.com. They have been created using the exact same specs as those offered with the book.
1. Antebellum Thrash: Taken from painted wood siding on an old antebellum home in Savannah.
2. Carvers Floor: Taken from the floor of 'Carvers' cafe in Atlanta.
3. Paula Deen1: Taken from a support beam outside 'Lady and Sons' Restaurant in Savannah.
4. Paula Deen2: Taken from the floor inside 'Lady and Sons' Restaurant in Savannah.
5. Pirates Port: Taken from Savannah waterfront where Pirates use to tread.
Download: SOUTHERN TEXTURE SET (73.5 MB)
Jun 5, 2007
'Body Odor Card'
I was stoked a company hired me to create a set of '24' gross-out theme trading cards for kids. Such topics as Poop, Toe Jam, Ear Wax, Rotten Fish, Rotten Eggs, Body Odor etc. If that wasn't fun enough these cards would be scratch-n-sniff too! I grew up on Wacky Packs and loved the gross themes but being able to actually smell them is just icing on the cake for a kid.
'Toe Jam Card'
Over about a two week period I worked on the whole set and the scratch-n-sniff logo that would appear on the card as well. I finished off all the art and sent it off to the client to review and they loved the art. I had already thoroughly tested it on my own two daughters, their friends and a bunch of neighborhood kids as well and all of them laughed at the art and made faces saying "Yuuuuck!" but when I told them it would also be scratch-n-sniff they would smile and get excited. Like I said it was icing on the cake, a sure thing if you will right? Well, maybe not.
'Rotten Fish Card'
I had done everything an artist in my position could. Quoted the job, won the project, signed the paper work, ran sketches of my art by them for initial approval, got green lighted to produce the final artwork and invested a lot of time dialing in each card so a kid would enjoy the art and find it humorous. I delivered the final art for review, I expected to hear back regarding any art changes needed, I'd modify what was asked for and then send off the final production files ready for pre-press.
'Ear Wax Card'
Well that isn't the feedback I get. Instead I hear "Everything is being put on hold while marketing evaluates the market place."
What?! They approve a budget, green light the art and yet they say now after the fact they are not sure if there is a market place for it?
It's really simple folks, Kids like gross stuff, they think poop is funny, they like talking about farts, they find it fascinating when something smells bad or causes them to make faces because it's so disgusting, hence the market place you knobs.
Another thing pointed out was "There is some discussion being had on the poop and the dog. They are debating if the drawing really needs to show the dog in progress of pooping or not." What the? It's OK to have an XBox Video game where you can rip the head off a human opponent while fighting and see his spine dangle below spurting out blood and gore but God forbid you show a flea bitten mutt taking a dump? This however is marketing logic 101.
I remember stabbing a piece of dog poop with a stick as a kid and flinging it at a neighbor girl hitting her in the head as she ran off screaming. It was a lot of fun for about 30 minutes until she called our house and my Mom picked up the phone and I had to walk over and apologize which ironically scared the crap out of me. (OK, so that has nothing to do with scratch-n-sniff cards so I'll get back on topic.)
'Rotten Egg Card'
When I worked for an in house art department years ago we ran into this same mentality nearly every day in regards to marketing people playing kill joy with good ideas and unique products. Everything seems to get dumbed down to the lowest common denominator. Of course when something failed it was because the design wasn't up to par, if it succeeded credit would be kidnapped by marketing. They are in my opinion some of the most self-serving, unoriginal thinking, self proclaimed art directors I've ever met.
This is why I refer to them as 'Serial Design Killers'. It's proven to be a very accurate term.
Not all hope is lost however. The set still has a chance to be produced. But will it survive the clutch of marketing in it's current form or be baked down into a bland non-offensive visual glop for namby pamby kids to consume? The latest victim of the 'Serial Design Killers'? Time will tell.
Thus endeth my rant.