design Tag

I thought a bit of classic alliteration would be an appropriate way to announce the fact that I’ve just launched my Kickstarter project for ‘A Lovely Tale’! Woo!

I’m pretty excited about this project and I really want to share it with you. So I’m inviting you to join in: watch as the story comes together, grab some original art, and help me print the project in a beautifully tangible book form. (Plus, as it’s the final project for my Masters Degree, you’ll be helping me graduate with something super awesome to take to future collaborators and employers!)

I’ve also completed the first render for the computer generated component of the story; I’ll be writing about the story and process behind it (along with other images) in the next few weeks! Check out the initial render:

And for those of you who aren’t familiar with the wonderful Kickstarter and how it works, it’s essentially a platform (and community) to help fund creative endeavors by connecting people with awesome ideas to people who want to help make those ideas happen. In return for helping a project reach its predetermined monetary goal, backers (that’s you!) get varying levels of sweet original art in return as a reward. As a twist, your pledge is only taken if the overall fund raising goal is met (teamwork, ya’ll!). Check out more about how Kickstarter works here.

So there you have it – care to help me reach my goal in the next 29 days? Let’s do this!

Coffee shops are cool.

In Italy they hang out on cafe patios for hours throwing down beautiful shots of espresso and talking speedily about presumably exciting things. In Seattle there’s so much coffee shop in the air you’re practically caffeinated before you step foot inside one. And in Belfast, they offer an excellently warm escape from rain and a productive hideout for student and freelance types. And so the list goes on, where in many of those places, they share commonalities within their unique coffee shop cultures. It’s about some sort of community or exchange of ideas.

I love it, which is probably why a good chunk of my creative work is done at coffee shops. Energy, inspiration, change of scenery – they have it all.

I read an article recently (Coffeehouse Commons) that was talking about how coffee shops used to be the physical center of activity – creativity, politics, idea generation, collaboration, you name it – and how in light of laptops this isn’t as much the case. We tend to go and when we work, we do so within the confines of our technology. It’s kind of like the whole internet has become a less personal coffee shop – a vastly unending exchange of ideas and stories.

But what if we took that global conversation and we brought it back to the community coffee shop? The article itself is essentially suggesting an app that would track the creation of online content within a specific space. Further than ‘checking in’, it would also invite people to join in.

Using the “Coffeehouse Commons”™ web or mobile interface, journalists and bloggers can check in to submit links to their content, while readers and commenters also log in to provide URLs for their in-house activity. The app’s home page provides a constantly updated timeline of activity across all coffee shops, but by checking into a particular coffee shop, users can explore the range of information and ideas that were produced, discussed, and consumed within that space. (from ‘Coffeehouse Commons’)

If things are inevitably going towards the technological, why not use that to recreate the feeling of old-school coffee shop culture. Think about it; how cool would it be to write a blog or pose a question or spark an idea at a specific coffee shop while incubating that global conversation within that particular local scale.

Not to mention the perk of fresh coffee at your fingertips…

I like this idea. A lot.

Beachy views, delicious pintxos, and warm weather coupled with creative folk and inspiring presentations: what more could you ask for?

Not a whole lot, I’d say.

Lucky for me, having attended the Image Conference in San Sebastian this past week, that’s pretty much a picture of the last few days! Not to mention, it was held in the beautiful Kursaal Congress Palace right on the beach. A match made in heaven, really.


The conference itself was set to contemplate notions of what the image is in modern day, and how its role is ever evolving across such a broad range of disciplines. With presentations on everything from technical aspects of image-making to those on theories of image representation, there was an abundance of interesting information and, better yet, discussions. If not a bit of an information overload, it was easy to pull something from each presentation – kind of exciting how so many different disciplines can have so many threads in common!

Having submitted and presented my first conference paper as well- ‘The Digital Design of Photography – Digital Photographic Manipulation & Its Representation of Reality‘ – I got some really amazing feedback, and heard some really great discussions afterward! Also, I am super grateful to have been selected as a recipient of the conference’s Graduate Scholar Award, and absolutely couldn’t be happier with the experience overall.

As a bonus, flying out of Bilbao, I got to swing by this lovely place:

Why yes, it is the Guggeneheim Museum! Stunning, right?

All in all, it was definitely an excellent way to spend a few days and boost the creative thinking and inspiration back into gear overdrive for this semester! I’m excited to see what other exciting creative endeavors await… stay tuned for info on my upcoming major photo + cgi project!

If you introduced yourself to your brand, how would it respond?

Would it wish you a polite “Good Day”? Maybe opt for an enthusiastic high-five? Would it ignore you completely? Or perhaps it would respond with a heartily yelled “Yo, ‘sup!”

It may sound silly, but it’s no secret that in these days branding can be a crucial part of your business’ success, and it’s therefore more important than ever to understand that your brand is a persona: It’s a living, breathing, interacting, evolving reflection of who your company is and what they represent. If you think about it, the image of your brand is directly portrayed based on how you choose to represent it in each facet of the marketing and promotion plan; what language you use when speaking, the font you select to tell the story of your business, the type of imagery associated with your work, and the means you choose to communicate are all examples of how a brand’s personality should be carefully considered, especially in the context of design.

I’ve put together a couple of thoughts that highlight some things to consider to help strengthen your brand and its message.

Continue reading “Say Hello to Your Brand” »

Last week, I was lucky enough to interview photographer Matt Sartain about his work, process, and inspiration for a blog I’ve been contributing to called Feature Shoot. Below is a snippet of the full interview in which he discusses the influence of digital methods on his work!

Your work very much utilizes digital manipulation and composites. Do you think this method of creation adds to the narrative strength of your work? If so, how?

‘Besides the color and toning in Photoshop I would be happy to do all of these things in camera. Truth is it’s often not practical and sometimes not even possible to do what I want in camera. Often times the use of compositing and manipulation is a more accessible way to get something that would otherwise be out of my budget. I hope to do more practical in-camera imagery as the budget for my work grows. The less compositing the better as far as I’m concerned, so when I use that technique it’s because the decision has been made from a production standpoint. Before any shot goes into production I consider what I have (time/money/location/crew) and then decide what I can do in camera and what I do in post. Often times images that would require an enormous crew, rigging, permits, etc. are just me and one other person – compositing allows for a lot of freedoms.

‘The role of compositing has had a remarkable effect on my photography. I remember when I first began to construct images – I started small and went bigger and bigger and bigger. I was excited when I discovered that my work was only limited to my imagination. There’s something really empowering about feeling like there is nothing I can’t create – I don’t mean that in a cocky way, I mean only to say that I’ve discovered my strengths and weaknesses and I know that if I can concept an image I can create it’.

Check out the rest of the interview here!

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