DESIGN, ART, GADGETS, FASHION, AND SAFEWAY

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Moving Day

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Moving is always a strange environmental metamorphosis that inadvertently translates to a transformation of self. It changes the way you live, the way you think, the way you perceive the world around you.

It's also probably one of the most annoying things I must do almost every year living as a college student.


Quadron - Slippin' (Natural Self Remix) (MP3)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Salutations

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Last one in the series. Of course I gotta make it legit, right? I guess that explains why I just spent the last 6 hours painting wheat and shirt patterns. PS CS5.
And for the extremely curious, here's the original photo (courtesy of Patrycja) used as reference.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hunting for the Greenest, Healthiest Water Bottle

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I'm so over plastic Nalgene. It's time to look for the most rugged, greenest, and healthiest water bottle out there. That means no aluminum casing, cheap plastic tops, or carbon positive manufacturing. So far, only the Guyot Standard stainless steel bottle ($25) fits the bill. Any thoughts?

Snack On This

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Second to last. This one has a little more attitude than the rest. Enjoy, but careful not to get bitten. PS CS5.

Kick-Ass Review

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Must be on a good movie streak these past few days. Just caught Kick-Ass on BluRay last night. The verdict? Why yes, it certainly kicks some major ass. Perhaps maybe too much ass. But don't get it twisted; this is no cheap Spy Kids ripoff. This is its own little monster - no pun intended. Not only is the acting surprisingly excellent, but the movie has the rhythm required to combine comedy, action, and drama in such an energetic way that it'll leave you feeling like you've been injected with a mental shot of adrenaline. It's that good. 8.9/10.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Into the Sun

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Painting plaid is really annoying it turns out. Big surprise. Two more pieces until the series is complete. PS CS5.

100 Things Designers Carry

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Remember when I asked 30 designers about the types of things they carry in their bags every day? Well, I drew them all. Okay, almost all of them. These are going to go into the cover of a blank sketch book sold at Learning Treasures for $3.50. Get yours, son!

I Miss My Spike Jonze

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I really miss my edgy, witty, and stylized Spike Jonze commercials. Luckily, there seems to be a few folks out there striving to recreate that visual magic. This one's Coca-Cola's "Burn Ignite" promo for their new Burn energy drink. Weeee!

Design X Friction

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There is this idea of "simplicity" in design and then there is "frictionless" design - a novel concept inspired by Peter of Adaptive Path. For a design to be considered "genius" does not come easy; plenty of work must be taken into account while avoiding what many companies out there today often do instead; overloading touchpoints with biased remarkability and shareability in the hope that something catches on and creates a brand evangelist. This is both confusing and annoying. 

A great design is to create a frictionless experience, with context-aware friction points embedded every so often to create that, "Aha!" moment that everyone knows and love. This also suggests that a frictionless design may be very complex in nature - and that's fine. Take the dSLR camera: it's complex with hundreds of features, but should be easy enough to pull out and snap a photo in a matter of seconds.

All that said, I believe the key to perfected "frictionless" design may inevitably be composed of a brilliantly orchestrated implementation of information architecture, showcase aesthetic design, and be highly complex in nature without the user ever knowing it.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Serbia

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I think her shirt said, "I love (love) yu." Anyway, another 4 hours of technical flexing. Adobe PS CS5. Enjoy!

High Fashion Interaction

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Here's a line I don't think is tread over enough in the field of HCI; high fashion. It's a niche market, but I think there's something undeniable existential about viewing the world through a purely aesthetic eye. Culturally abundant and highly relevant in all media forms; print, clothing, art, and digital expression - one can surely learn a thing or two about designing for context in a field so creative that it's literally bursting at the seams.

Photos from Fashion Bits and Bobs

Inception Review

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While I humbly must disagree at the IMDB placement of the movie Inception as #3, above Godfather, City of God and American History X, there is no doubt in my mind that it is Nolan's best work yet. Everything in the movie strives to take your breath away - from the deliciously layered storyline that works like a velvet cake to the gripping cast that delivers on all fronts. Meanwhile, Zimmer floors us with yet another unmistakable ensemble that carries the weighty material forward like an unstoppable train. I'll argue with anyone on this one; it's by far the best movie of Summer 2010, hands down. 9.1/10.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hello Chi-Town!

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Chicago is nice. If I had a nod system of approval (in the form of bell curve that goes from interested to very interested to overly sarcastic), then Chi-Town would officially fall somewhere near the beginning of the curve. Tried Giodarno's (as per recommendation of Nina), checked out the Art Institute of Chicago, and almost went the wrong way on a one-way street. All in all, a fine day.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Goofus and Gallant Teach Tech Etiquette

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Part of an ongoing series by me. Original concept and art by the Myers family for Highlights magazine.

Super Portable Cameras

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If I had the choice between the Lumix LX5 or the Canon S90, I'd have a very hard time deciding. Both are super sexy, but I think the Lumix pulls up in front slightly due to pure style. Plus, from my experience, the Leica lens is something to fear. Especially when it touts its beastly HD recording ability, it's hard to not gush at the sight of it.

Leaka

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Leaka is no doubt amazing. 5 hours. PS CS5. Download here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Long House in Melbourne

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If I had the money, patch of skinny land, and a pimp designerly job... well, I'd hope to achieve what Buro Architects have achieved with this magnificent masterpiece in Melbourne.

Coaster Brakes Rap

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After test riding out my first true fixed gear for today (a $1200, no less), I realized I needed something more than just a trend in order to make me risk my life on the dangerous streets of Bloomington.

I ended up doing a little more research and learned a bit about coaster brakes. That is, it brakes as you coast. No handbrakes. Like in the bikes you rode as a kid. But you can still pull off the look of a fixie, and it won't kill you when you're riding 40 mph down a hill like a fixed gear would.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Masi, I'm Looking at You

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Should I throw down on a Bianchi Pista ($500), Trek Soho S ($500) or a used Masi Speciale fixie ($350)?

Candy

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A few hours too many. Photoshop CS5 crashed on me for the very first time. Had to redo nearly from scratch. The setback resulted in a total of 5 hours for this one. Not happy with the time it took, but the colors are fun at least.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Best Design

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"Best design, in my opinion, levels the playing field. It increases accessibility. It provides an easily attainable bar for universal happiness. But just not in that socialist kind of way." 
-Anthony in the restroom

Nina Nina

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Nina makes for the gold. The original photo composition was so well done that I just couldn't bear to touch it. Instead, I tried to embed a heavy stylized flow of brush strokes to create an airy piece that's just as refreshing as the original - all while listening to M.I.A.'s newest drop, MAYA. 3 1/2 hours PS CS5.

Wise Man Once Said

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"'Good' [design] means so many things to so many people. When something is plain, simple, and useful it becomes intelligent design." 
- Sir Terence Conran of the Conran Shop

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Diffuser

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Last one for today. Tried what Rob suggested (having the subject hold the canvas... sorta). I think it turned out nice. 4 hours (with cookie breaks). PS CS5.

Celestial

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It was about time for a night time Summer piece. 2 1/2 hours. PS CS5.

How To Import Jing SWF Files into iMovie '09

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More things to learn this weekend. Woop, woop! If you've been trying to get your Jing recordings into iMovie '09 for editing, you'll quickly realize there's a problemo to be had. Because SWF format and vector based, the only way to get iMovie to read it would be to convert the file to an accepted imovie format.

My suggestion: Try http://media-convert.com and do it online free. There's plenty of options to choose from, but all you need to do is make sure you select the proper dropdown menus and export it into .mp4 format. You also have the option of linking multiple recordings if you were to attempt a timelapse video of sorts. Makes it a whole lot easier to manage just one file.

Update: Nevermind, this does not work.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Aleksandra

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1 1/2 hour quickie of Aleksandra. Also recorded a timelapse video using Jing (Thanks, Jay!) that'll be used to do a thorough "How To" on how to achieve the look of these painted pieces I've been doing all summer.

Rainbow Girl

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3 hours. Fun stuff. Full view is available. A must-see.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Northeast

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Nightly quickie. 1 1/2 hours. PS CS5. Now time for sleep.

Electro

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Last one for today. 4 hours is a bit much, even for me. This one is of a 20-year old juggler from Poland named Liz. It was a bit of an experiment using vertical and horizontal lines to draw attention to the subject. Not really sure if it worked or not.

Homer Simpson

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A bit more technical muscle flexin' than my usual works, but still fashionable enough to be worthy of my gallery. 3 1/2 hours for this sucker. Adobe PS CS5.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

When My Hair Turns Gray

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I wanna end up as cool as this guy. Or even cooler, if possible.

Civil Fields

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5 paint murals in less than 24 hours. Personal record. 3 hours PS CS5. This one is my personal favorite so far. I'm in love with the energy and movement.

French Cobra

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She sizzles on pavement. 3 hours PS CS5. My hand hurts, but I just can't stop!

Beach Diamond

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Emma from Finland takes center stage in this monochromatic piece about lost loves, origami, and obscure tendencies. 1 1/2 hours in PS CS5.

Gypsies and Thieves

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I now have carpel tunnel. Should've taken a break after doing Spheres. 3 hours PS CS5. Say hello to Olivia from L.A.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Spheres

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Cha-cha-cha. I'm on a roll. 2 1/2 hours PS CS5. This one was probably the most annoying painting yet. Double layering, 3 light sources, and pillows.. who would've thought it'd be so difficult? Reference photo of Victoria can be found here.
PS: Apparently there's someone who's used this overlaying technique (as pointed out by a colleague) named Jasper Johns and he's quite famous for this American flag piece seen above. I did not know this man and his style existed, but I will acknowledge his contributions to the art community.

However, this piece was not meant to resemble or copy his style of work; rather, it was composed the way it was because the source image was low on detail and I wanted to challenge myself with a small detail area to see how much stuff I could push without making the girl look all smudged up. It's also kind of a contemporary, retro-modern look that I've seen a lot of recently in magazines such as Esquire and Urban Outfitters catalogs.

Bats for Dubstep

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A buddy of mine asked for some extra dubsteppy goodness today. I recommended he check out Mount Eden's remix of Bats for Lashes' Daniel. It is quite the thrillwave.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pansonic X1 Series, Calibrated

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Man, I'm such a bum. Didn't properly calibrate my HDTV for a year and have been putting up with shoddy picture quality for way too long. If you're an owner of the Panasonic LCD HDTV X1 Series (TC-L26X1, TC-L32X1, TC-L37X1), here's a guide to help on your calibration:
Picture menu
Picture mode: Cinema
Backlight: +52
Contrast: +90 
Brightness: +55
Color: +39
Tint: 0 
Sharpness: 0
Color temp: Warm
Color mgmnt.: Off 
A.I. picture.: Off 
Video NR: Off
Zoom adjustments: [grayed out] 
PC adjustments: [grayed out]  

Advanced picture submenu 
Color matrix: HD [grayed out] 
MPEG NR: Off
Black level: Light 
H size: Size 1 [grayed out]

Abby G in Heaven

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Abby G. in Chicago. 2 hours PS CS5. I suck at backgrounds, as you can tell.

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