It’s been an exciting few weeks with lots of mini-adventures and new design endeavours, so I wanted to take a minute and fill you in on what this summer is shaping up to look like!

I suppose the big thing is that I’m kind of relocating to Chile on Wednesday…
Bet you didn’t see that one coming!

I’m pretty excited to say that I’ll be headed to Santiago to spend at least a few months working with the folks at Only Bloody Human. They are in the process of making some pretty rad interactive adventure films, and I’ll be jumping in and helping out with the visual side of things, which is pretty exciting! I’m sure there’s a lot more that could be said about that, but in honour of keeping things simple, I’ll just say I literally couldn’t be more excited, and look forward to exciting adventures in design! (Also, did I mention that means I’m going to Chile??)

I’ll also be working with Rustic Pathways for a few weeks later this summer, doing photography, videography, and guiding for high school students in their Spain programs (including a stint on the coast and in the Pyranees!). If you know about my interest in adventure-based learning, you’ll understand why I’m pretty excited about this opportunity as well! (Creo que necesito a practicar mi español mucho! Tal vez a hablar con fluidez al fin???)

Spain will be followed closely by a 12,500ft trek up Western Europe’s tallest Mont Blanc, with a handful of friends from Belfast! Some of which also happen to be the folks at C2SummitAdventures, whom I also happen to be partnering with and selling a couple prints in their online shop (shameless plug?)! So give them some love and pop over and check out some lovely photos in their new shop (including the one below, from Mt. Blanc, by Steven Carmichael!).

And in other news, in case you missed it, I’m honoured to have been asked to contribute an article about last year’s Yukon Quest adventure to Sidetracked Magazine – have a read here if you’re interested and/or want to see some cute dogs!

So there you have it – looking forward to a summer of challenges, opportunities, adventures, and endless creativity!


Welcome to 2012, ya’ll!

In case you’ve missed out on following the progress of ‘A Lovely Tale’ on its Kickstarter page, I thought I’d post a quick update!

All the images and words have been carefully crafted and finalized, and the book is in the final stages of printing – hurrah! Check out the Kickstarter update link above if you want to read more about the process thus far. Up next: sharing it with the world!!

(If you weren’t able to back the Kickstarter campaign, but still want a copy, good news: I’ve ordered extras! Get in touch to let me know you’re interested!)

With only eight days until Christmas (woop!) I thought I’d spread share some holiday love with a bit of a freebie. While I can’t offer you 8-maids-a-milking, I thought I’d share a Christmas-y background I designed for your computer! I present to you, the Cmd + O Penguins*:

Should you wish to join in the penguin-desktop-cheer, you can grab the desktop-ready 1260×800 or 800×600 version here, if you feel so inclined!

If you’re really geeky, you may enjoy this Doctor Who themed variation in 1260×800 or 800×600.

Enjoy! :)

* Confused? Pressing ‘Cmd + O’ on a Mac opens a file… get it?

December is well upon us, which means Christmas is coming quite soon!

Since ’tis the season, I thought I’d jump on the last-minute gift bandwagon, and share a few of my favourite suggestions of gifts that will bring cheer to more than just the recipient! I love how these folks are using art and design for social change and to empower generations through creativity, so have a look and spread some arty cheer!

Raven & Lily
I recommend: Moroccan Woodcarved Journal ($18) and Wood & Silver Leather Bangles (3 for $18)
These guys are doing a lovely thing, empowering women in Ethiopia and India through design. The women are taught design skills, and the proceeds go towards funding literacy programs for the artisans and their families. All the products sold are hand-made and eco-friendly, and affordable, too! (I bought myself one of these hand-carved wooden journals last month, it’s even prettier in person!)

Eat Art

I recommend: Darth Vader – Never Beyond (12×18″ – $30)
“You get the art. The kids get to eat.” I think their slogan says it all. A lovely selection of art and photography to choose from, with each 5×7″ print feeding one child for one month (with bigger sizes feeding more children, hurrah)! (Plus: Darth Vader Art. ‘Nuff Said.)


I recommend: Shirt! ($22)
There’s a featured charity each week with a new and beautifully designed shirt to match! Proceeds go to the charity, and you get to gift a lovely shirt. (Each design is only available for a week, so grab ’em while you can!)

I thought I’d post a blog with a bit of a breakdown on how some of the images for A Lovely Tale were made – particularly the CG ones! I’ve also had a few questions about what computer-generated imagery/rendering is, so I am happily here to enlighten you!

To stick with the theme of the house I grew up in that is the backdrop of the series, considering I’m currently in Belfast, I couldn’t physically photograph it myself. The lovely thing about computer-generated imagery is that it not only allows you to recreate things photo-realistically, but also to put an imaginative spin on it. For the house itself, I started with a handful of photos, the architect’s plans, and years of memories.

All those squashed together helped create the digital model, literally recreating the house as I remember it. It’s essentially like sculpting something digitally – using clay or Legos (or whatever other childhood toy you prefer to imagine), then applying textures and adding lights. The rather meticulous process looked something like this:


Rendering itself involves the computer software compiling the information from the digital ‘sculpture’, the textures, and the lights, and outputting it as an image. Once rendered, I took the final image into Photoshop to give it the look and feel I imagined, and this resulted in the final composite, below:

There you have it, a short and sweet look at how the process works! If you haven’t already, check out the Kickstarter project, I’d love it if you became a backer – there’s just over a week left!

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