Category Archives: Uncategorized

Greetings From Fandom Land

It’s been an embarrassingly long time in between since my last post. Ya see, what had happened was…:P…there was this television show that I began to watch. It’s called Orphan Black. It’s really quite good. One thing led to another and I found myself on Tumblr, geeking out with the best of them and, for the first time in quite awhile since Lost, making fan art.

Orphan Black fanart | By Yours Obsessed

I don’t like that I rather abandoned my primary blog and so, today, I return to a more regular babbling blogging schedule to ramble on about fannish tendencies and how they correlate with being a professional creative. In retrospect, I think that the divide I created between my fandom design life and freelance design life was for the most part unnecessary…except of course for sparing this blog of my more fannish goofiness, which will stay and can be found aplenty at my Tumblr. However, as designers, artists, photographers, filmmakers and what have you, nothing can be more inspiring than being a self-proclaimed fanboy or fangirl. When people who are artistically inclined devote themselves to a certain show or shows, they express that devotion creatively, and oftentimes, extremely cool things can come from that. Great portfolio pieces can emerge from it. Industry exposure can come from it because suddenly, as a fan, you are speaking to a broad audience of fellow fans and artists, as well as potential industry professionals who are looking for certain types of styles or creatives who are into the geekier side of things.

Tons of designers and filmmakers have found success being out-and-out fans. Wayside Creations produces a high-quality fan series based on the hit game Fallout. Illustration rockstar James White got his big break while making illustrations and posters based on his favorite movies. Mondo and DKNG are a high-end illustration studio, responsible for designing some of this generations gnarliest film and music gig posters. The only difference between the original artwork these people churn out, and the original artwork the talented individuals of the Orphan Black fandom — or any fandom really — is that the former studios and illustrators are high profile, well marketed, seasoned and generating serious income from their craft. There is obviously a divide where a person is just being a fan and being goofy cutting out pictures and applying effects to them, but on the other side of that divide is a person who genuinely loves producing beautiful and clever original artwork or photomanipulation, and has in such-and-such a show, musician or film, found their muse and inspiration. If they are particularly saavy, dedicated and/or lucky, awesome things can come from what they love do for fun.

Now I’m just going to spam some OB fanart faves. X-D

Sarah Manning | by SpinTheWorlds

Headshot | by Joan-Adler

Clone Club Riddle | by iboughtafuckingateau

My philosophy…I suppose the generally accepted philosophy, is that as creatives, we must do what we enjoy. In doing what we love, we hone our skillsets and are able to impart them onto things we might have a little less fun doing, but which will produce actual money-type green stuff. At the end of the day, we all come home to our muse, whatever that may be.

…and for me right now that’s Orphan Black, Luther and Hannibal, go watch all of those shows. And Once Upon A Time, it’s a glorious cheesefest.

Anyway. Good to be back! For my own part, here is a crude preview of a soon to come thingie. Just for fun. Something about Charlie and some Angels…

IMG_3598 copy

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One Ay-Em, Thursday

The third week of a kind of cracked commute to and from my new school. The bottom line here is I really just need a TARDIS, that’s about it.

Bus to Detroit Airport at 7:45am. Bus from North Terminal to Boondocks, Detroit thereafter. Two more to the College for Creative Studies. And then two buses back to North Terminal to catch the Air Ride home. 5-6 hours of a day spent on buses. 3 in actual class.

This trip, thrice a week, is not cheap, ladies and gentlemen. And don’t bitch about gas prices to me, at least you’re being screwed financially in a personal vehicle that gets you where you’re going in less than an hour.

Yeah, I’m busting out the Live Journal ‘tude now. Inching through the rest of January and my birth month like a slug avoiding salt. Give me luck, give me prayers, give me chocolate.

Resume your disorder.

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Blocking the Block

So for the past few months I’ve been trying to avert my tendency towards creative blocks by designing things or writing things — ANY things — every day if not at least every week. So far I think I’ve been good about doing something at least every week. Sometimes it’s a digital design, sometimes a sketch, sometimes a story or an idea for a story. Sometimes it takes me hours to think up something, the past two design projects took me a few days, so I think I’m coming back to a place of thoughtful, inspired design as opposed to “shit, I need to design something.” I find that design and writing share many common aspects together — the main  and most logical thread being that you can’t really call yourself a designer or artist or writer if you aren’t constantly doing it or thinking about it or thinking about doing it. So in that vein, I try to press myself to express…SOMEthing. Anything. So I can keep that title!

The last project was an impromptu Machete poster. The next is something based more in my own personal world of fiction writings. Sci fi and cyberpunk is my thing — I love it and I love writing it, or attempting to write it. So the next piece will be something along that line, with a bit of visual trickery. Hopefully it’ll be fun.

I’m thinking of doing something I’ve planned since I started considering myself a designer and preparing a timeline of my personal development as a designer, starting from way back when on Live Journal’s iconing community up to the present. Since there aren’t many remnants of my life left in the world, I think a trip down what’s left of memory lane is in due order. Perhaps in posts upcoming!

– I have nothing very interesting to say today
– Caffeine intake: %0
– Sugar intake: %20
– Current TV show: Last thing was a doc called “Veiled Voices”
– Song of the Day: For some terrible reason I can’t get Shout by Tears for Fears out of my head
– Website of the Day: Raygun52

Fiction: China Doll

Not to turn this into a writing blog, it is something that I’m familiar with, having grown up with and cultivated it as my first form of artistic expression.

Ergo, a story. Enjoy.

Style: Flash Fiction
Title: China Doll
Synopsis: Based on a writing prompt from io9, ‘China Doll’ is a vignette from the life of the last human girl on Earth.

She stood, arrested with fear, as he emerged from the shadows, his head tilting from the neck socket, broken, oozing with organic synthicate fluids. His dark blue trench coat rustled heavily as he took long, slow steps towards her in his dull, vomit colored rubber boots.

Annabel smelled oil and acid. And another sundry, watery smell. From the corner of her eye, a faint flicker of lightning. And the chilly brush on her skin of the wind. A winter lightning storm was coming.

She dropped the axe.

“Sweetie…help…me…” the android teetered heavily, swaying, tree-like. His twitching left hand was pathetically held to the oozing gash in his neck, trying to keep the two parts from snapping off. Veins erupted from his forehead and arms. Annabel stepped backward further, her heart beating audibly.

“Sweetie…what have you done…help your papa…”

There was a white electric flash. And then the eerie calm that comes before the violent crack of thunder. The rain poured, instantly freezing to ice on the hard black concrete.

Exposed to the elements, the droid was done for. His body contorted unnaturally as the water drenched and froze his electrics. His left eyeball popped out of the socket, propelled by the building pressure inside his head. It was appalling to witness the man come undone from the inside out, all liquidy and grey-white.

The white of his remaining eye melted away, pooling the once-lovely hazel of his iris into a muddy hue. The tiny optic mechanisms dropped out of the puddling socket, quickly shorting out and freezing on the ground. His mouth froze into a gaped oval of croaking despair. Socketless, the droid stood erect in a mechanical rigor mortis, stiffly quivering a little.

She staggered back as the android husk heavily teetered over. And stood there. Numb. Staring for awhile.

Annabel was wet and cold.

With timid, quick steps, Annabel made her way through the slippery, empty plaza. She felt very small in the swirling blue darkness, and occasionally glanced furtively behind herself, aware of imaginary footsteps in the darkness…sudden darting shadows. She hoped that Calvin had his lights on. It was inconvenient to feel about in the cold and the dark for the key he kept hidden under the usual pot of Azaleas. With distaste, she imagined numbly turning the key in the door.

When she arrived. There was no key. She stood shaking and half-frozen in her short yellow dress under the roof of the entry-way canopy. She watched her warm breath dissipate into the freezing air. It reminded her of his body, before it had collapsed. The heat escaping from within the neat slice between his neck and head. The oozing grey-white goo…

“You’re late.” She whirled, and with a creeping shiver of horror immediately registered the softly glowing green of Calvin’s eyes. They were pulsing slightly, scanning her. With a flicker, his eyes reverted.

“Sorry. I know that creeps you out.”

She resented him for sneaking up on her. But she was too cold to complain about it.

“Can we go in?”

Inside the warmth of Calvin’s mother’s apartment, Annabel wrapped herself in a knitted shawl and pulled her knees into her chest on the large black couch. She saw the lightning flickering outside and softly asked Calvin to close the blinds.

He sat next to her.

“How’d it go. What happened?”

She was intently focused on the china dolls that Calvin’s mother collected on the top rack of the mahogany bookcase. Their cherubic, lavender hued faces gazed towards her in a frozen look of quizzical curiosity.

“I ran away tonight. But I wasn’t quiet, Cal. I wasn’t quiet. …papa followed me. …I hit papa with your axe.”

Calvin regarded her. She was warm now, but still shaking. He ran his palm across her back in a gentle circular motion. Annabel’s eyes were moist.

“It wasn’t quick. You said it’d be quick.”

A crash of thunder. The china dolls rattled.

“I’m sorry. With us it sometimes takes time, you know. We’re made different.”

He smiled a little, tapping his chest with an unsettling hollow thump. “Nothing in this region, you know. It’s all electric.”

She was nodding slowly. “Electric…” she murmured distantly. “The storm…how come it’s raining, Cal? It’s winter.”

The circular motion he was rubbing into her back was becoming unpleasant. It bored into bone now. Not soothing. The way daddy used to. She flexed her shoulder muscles, hinting at the discomfort. He didn’t notice.

“Ah you know…global warming and stuff.”

One of the china dolls rattled off the bookshelf. It shattered as it hit the floor.

“Oh damn!” Annabel exclaimed. She didn’t know why. She despised the freakish little things. They seemed to exist to mock her existence. To replicate her lone humanity with lavender frosted porcelain cheeks and a saccharine smile.

Calvin laughed. But it was strange. It wasn’t his voice. He was grinning at her. His eyes softly glowing green.

“Don’t worry about it sweetie. Papa’s here.”

Breaking the doldrums with Weapons of Mass Creation Fest 2012

Inside the WMC Fest auditorium, waiting for the lectures to begin.

My laptop is happily covered with stickers now.

I had the pleasure of attending Weapons of Mass Creation Fest with my college’s Graphic Design Club. Thanks to hard work raising money on the club’s part, and some much welcomed help from our Student Activities department, 9 of us, including our excellent and supportive instructor Kristy DeCastro and another cool faculty member whose name is failing me, piled into a college provided van and braved a 5 hour drive from Ann Arbor to Cleveland. Nothing brings you closer to a group of people than being trapped in a car with them for almost 10 hours. As always, a pretty good time.

Pal of mine tried chilling in the trunk of the van. As there were no seatbelts, that didn’t really fly…

2 and a half hours in (or something) to our final destination. Sure were lots of farms.

The crew from Washtenaw Community College’s Graphic Design Club meanders towards the Festival doors.

Despite only being able to spend a day at the Fest, I feel like I got a lot out of the experience. It was my first time being in an environment completely catering to creatives within the print design industry, and absolutely awesome to hear the viewpoints of established designers such as James White and Friends Of Type. Ultimately, everyone we heard speak repeated the same theme: do what you love, do it with integrity, fuck the haters.

I was personally especially stoked to meet a designer whose work I knew very well but never actually knew as the human being behind it. James White of Signal Noise was a blast to hear speak and seemed very personable. Being that I come from a, early design background consisting primarily of a lot of fangirl-ish fare, it was particularly cool to hear him discuss how much of his recognition as a designer was borne from the work he did non-profit, merely for his own enjoyment. I feel that creating work based on your creative whims and personal likes is a sort of creative catharsis. You should love what you do, and designing or writing or filming things that you love is such a huge part of developing a successful portfolio. Things like random posters for movies, illustrations of characters you like, random typographic experiments or short films about toy army men are a showcase of character, which is part of the package a potential client is buying into. Design…creativity is about expressing yourself. What’s the use of being a designer if you don’t do that?

Back to J. White, I felt some fangirl coming on, but hopefully I held it back well when my group intercepted him on his — and our — way out of the festival for pictures and handshakes. Good practice for if I ever manage to find myself in the vicinity of DKNG.

I’ve been feeling a bit out of the road trip loop for the majority of the start of this summer. Luckily Skyrim has filled the void. WMC Fest was a nice way to break up the doldrums and get moving again. I’ve always loved the excitement and purpose of travel, though recently I’ve decided I’d like to have a place to come back to, as opposed to constantly moving, as the majority of my life has been spent. As I learn to drive this summer, I can’t imagine why people who are licensed and can drive don’t constantly go on mini-road trips whenever they get the chance. …besides ridiculous gas prices of course. If I had full time employment and a car, this would likely be a Weekenders Travelblog, no shit. Being to Cleveland — (technically for the second time in my life, last time I was a teenager and we just stopped over in the airport, and I remember not being able to get the theme song from The Drew Carey Show out of my head) — felt like one small step in the general direction of connecting with something tangible in this field that I’ve chosen. I hope to embark on many more road trips with people I like, or even just solo. I want to take the elements of the world in and reinterpret them in my own image. That’s what designers do, after all. Isn’t it?

– Road trips are amazing
– But always bring food
– And a pillow
– Caffeine intake: %.10
– Sugar intake: %35
– Current TV show: Last thing I remember watching was ‘Outlanders’…
and I remember it being cool and boring at the same time.
– Song of the Day: I Told You So by Karmin
– Website of the Day: The Dumpster Project

and so…here we are.

The 25th has come and gone. And honey, let me tell you what a week it was. When I look back on it, it was a bit of a blur…the best I can describe it is as if one was hanging desperately onto the top of a semi-truck speeding down a dusty highway. Although that may be a bit dramatic of a description.

The fact remains, me and my fellows in design, made it through. The gala went off without a hitch, and I exited the Graphic Design program with a set of hard earned A’s for the Winter semester. Very happy it went well and ESPECIALLY glad that it’s over. …at least this initial college part of it. 😛

I’m aware I still have a lot of growth to do as a designer and as an adult. I often look at people who hold positions as creative directors and senior designers, who happen to be in my same age range, and feel depressingly inadequate. I’m imagining it’s a state of mind that I need to arrive at in order to ‘mature’ to the level of someone whose aesthetic and business opinion can be respected by peers who have more experienced in this field.

We’ll work on that this summer. 😉

Meanwhile, I’m going to crack open Civilization V and command and conquer some climatically inappropriate nation, like a good little dork.

We were so wrong
– Caffeine intake: %10
– Sugar intake: %5
– Current TV show: Fringe Season 1
– Song of the Day: Temporary – White Rabbits
– Website of the Day: Pinterest is like crack…