Monday, December 28, 2009

I have trouble drawing feet

Most people who draw people will tell you there is a certain trouble area that they can never get quite right. For me that area is feet. Whether it is the angle in relation to the lower leg, the apparent weight or sometimes just the overall size, I always have to draw and redraw the feet. Here is the latest example of my failure:

Location:Sackett St,Brooklyn,United States

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Recent phone pics

Here are a few things I've found interesting lately, so I snapped a phonepic of them.

The delivery bikes outside of sal's pizzerria on court st in Carroll gardens. They wait with eager anticipation of the steaming pies and brown bags full of garlic knots they will distribute to the neighborhood.

My in-laws back in the olden days. They are still as cool as they look here, all these years later.

Jenni on the union st drawbridge overthe gowanus canal, during the recent blizzard. She's getting her gene Kelly on!

Next morning, the backyard at char no. 4.

Cruise ship anchored off the red hook waterfront, a study in expectations.

What? There's a store down the block that sells troubles for a buck fiddy. Mo money mo problems.

Location:Sackett St,Brooklyn,United States

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Finer Line

Why is this referred to as "trick photography" and not retouching? 20/20 has spent a good amount of time putting together a report on what is essentially false advertising - an altered (photoshopped, retouched, whatever) picture standing in for a lesser reality. The are calling it trick photography, which implies that we as viewers are being tricked? Why is this language so different than the language they use when reporting on the retouching of female models? Is it somehow offensive to our cultural sensibilities to think that we could be tricked by a fashion photo, but acceptable and understandable that we would be tricked by an architectural one? Does it say something about what we think we want? What are the cultural politics of desire that are at work here that we would differentiate so completely between two acts that are the same: altering a photograph.

The net result is also the same - the alteration is used to enhance and entice, to put forth an ideal version of what really exists, whether that is a fashion model or a Bahamian resort. The closest they come to conflating the argument with the fashion retouching brouhaha is the weight loss advertisements, but with those they focus more on the fact that the images were stolen.

The caption for the video segment reads, "From hotel to weight-loss ads, photos altered for perfect results." 20/20's thesis for this type of photo alteration is "buyer beware", rather than responsible advertising or labeling of altered photos.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Temporary splash page on my site

I am feeling ambitious and want to redesign my website before the new year. I want it to be as uncluttered and uncomplicated as possible, with direct links to galleries of work and possible a feed from this blog as well. (Not with the terribly ugly dotblogspot template.) Above is the placeholder I threw together today, using the logo I designed for myself earlier this year.

I lifted the negative space "E" from this logo for Ed's Electric logo designed by Siah Design, which is actually a guy named Josiah Jost, and he lives in Alberta. I think I saw this on designboom or some other site like that. I would worry about this theft, but this is just a recent incarnation, as can be seen on this flickr link. Let's call it "inspiration" not theft, the foundation of graphic design!

ID magazine has fallen

According to reports ID magazine is the next to fold. The oldest design magazine in the United States will be no more after they ship the February issue (I think). Having worked in print for the last 9 (nearly 10) years, it is a bizarre thing to see all of these seemingly staunch icons falling one by one to the economic tide.

On the flip side of that, there seem to be some new things in print, like the San Fransisco Panorama, from McSweeny's. Printed in 4-colors in broadsheet tabloid format, it looks like a pretty impressive specimen. Even the advertisements seem to be custom-made for this particular publication. Who knows if this is a viable effort in the long-term, but it is nice to see people putting new and interesting things out there in the physical world.

(image via notcot)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Organizational frenzy

I have a ton of file folders, some that I've had with me for a few months, some for ten years or more. I put everything in these folders: cards from galleries, doodles on napkins, pictures I've torn out of newspapers that I want to use as source material for a drawing, etc. Today I sifted through these and came up with a new filing system. Time will tell if I actually stick to this, but for now I like it.

"draw from this"
"scan this"
"write about this"
"design inspiration" should be "steal from this"
"drawings" I really need flat files
"old ideas"
"city tech" hopefully this one will grow
"Montauk shores" designing a logo and tee shirt print for this

Location:Sackett St,Brooklyn,United States

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Trying hard not to be pithy

In an effort to post more frequently I am going to experiment with more extemporaneous writing. If I can figure out how to tweet 10 or so times a day then I would hope that I can come up with something salient and if not meaningful, maybe in some way poignant.

I saw these roots down the block from my apartment, where I walk daily, yet I had not noticed them before. These are the kind of gnarly bits of wood that just ask you to pick out faces. So stare a little.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


"As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a giant insect."

The opening line to Kafka's iconic story, "the Metamorphasis" is staring down at me from a 'sub-talk' advertisent on the A train this evening. The simplicity of this opening still awes me a bit.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Austin Monthly

Got to do this awesome bit of photoshoppy type-play goodness thanks to the new art director at Austin Monthly, Liz MacFarlane. She is my former desk-mate at Spin Magazine, and a super talented designer, I can't wait to see what she's going to do now that she's got the rudder of a ship.
Here's the source image I used. I got all my type direction from Liz, using available letters to make new ones. I tried my best to keep some of the small details like the pipe connectors between the neon letters. The photographer provided the sky shot that I used in the background as well. (I'll post that credit when I can get it from Liz.)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wrinkled skin

Wrinkled skin blown up to show individual pixels. It all comes together and looks like the Gobi Desert from an aerial view. Click to see it larger, with the pixel divisions.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Old Invites

Fun with photoshop and pictures of me and Jenni! I love making these ridiculous things.

Open GL in CS4

This is what Photoshop CS4 does when openGL is turned on in CS4. When you zoom in it shows the actual pixels, which is nice. Really allows the user to understand how color correction affects the image at the pixel-level.

This is a screengrab of skin on the chest of a middle-aged white woman I'm currently retouching.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fun with self-portraits

New invite for our holiday party. Nice to just have fun with being the client and the creative at the same time.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Photos of food on my phone

Pastries from the Montauk Bake Shop

Shake Shack burger at Citi Field

Pizza toppings at home

Baklava at Neptune Bakery in Hell's Kitchen

Bacon egg n cheese at home

Grilling steaks & asparagus at home

Finished steaks

Giant meat plate at Redbones in Boston

Black & tan at the clubhouse at Montauk Shores

Grilled shrimp, etc. In Montauk

Beach-caught striped bass spicy tartare in Montauk

Baked clams in Montauk

$8 burger at Peter Luger's

Schlaag & chocolate coin at Peter Luger's

The beginnings of chili

Empanada Mama in Hell's Kitchen on Rum & Blackbird tasting tour

Scallops on my birthday!

Coffee Crisp in Saskatoon, SK

Deepdish pizza from peqot's in Chicago

Chicago style hot dog & beef sammy

Amazing sandwich at Xoco in Chicago

Best apple pie ever, made NY jenni

Pizzas at home

Coffee machine in Atlantic City, NJ

Bahn Mi in Chinatown

Jaques Torres chipotle hot chocolate

Empanadas on Randalls Island

Curried chicken salad at home

Fish en papillote, with squash

Prime Meats egg sandwich in Brooklyn

Beet salad, Brussels sprouts, fried egg & bacon at home