Saturday, February 27, 2010


Drew a can of WD-40. Finished product looks like freshman drawing class still life assignment. I am pleased enough with it. Cloud drawing coming next, you can see part of it poking out from behind the moleskine. Feels good to know that I can still render objects from life with some facility.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Could I be worse at updating this?

Yes. Of course I could. But seriously, once a month is terrible, even if I'm the only one looking at this. Got some drawings and other things coming soon. I am currently listening to the Very Best of The Jam and drawing a can of WD-40 and also some clouds. Alternating between two drawings and then stopping to make a crappy entry on my blog is an apt metaphor the scattered and disjointed state of my brain these days. I'm not sure if it is a side effect of being a freelancer for nearly 9 months now, or my more recent reëntry* into academia, but boy do I lack the ability to concentrate for extended periods of time. The mental fortitude, the brain muscles that I use to work on a drawing for four hours straight without stopping are woefully flabby. Let's hope a combination of muscle memory and concentration calisthenics will help get this part of myself back into shape.

One thing I have definitely noticed as I get further into my first semester as a full-time faculty member is how completely disjointed the life is. There is the lesson planning, the actual classes - remembering all the names and different sitations, the grading, the material, the committees, the tenure paperwork that you have to begin immediately, the human resources stuff, the union stuff, and on and on. I like to think of myself as a decently organized person and I am definitely challenged by the splintered nature of all of this material. Office jobs come with their share of work and problems, but hey, you go to the office, you sit at a desk, you heat up your lunch, you go home. NOT COMPLAINING. I love it. Just feeling challenged to raise the bar on my organization and cataloging skills.

And in an effort to remain all over the place, I'm going to go back to drawing now.

*I am borrowing the New Yorker's type style of putting an umlaut over any situation where a double-e results in two syllables. I.e. feed would not get one but reëmergence would. I think I've also noticed they give the letter "i" an umlaut if it has a double syllable, as in naïve. Quirky, and I like it.
**Images courtesy of google searching, "many arrows"

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Swiss Miss + Michael Bierut = Creative Morning

2010/01 Michael Bierut from CreativeMornings on Vimeo.

This talk happened several weeks ago, yet unlike many things these days it will remain relevant for weeks, months and years to come. This creative personality has the particular advantage of being positioned at a powerful company with a host of excellent clients, but even still his comments on the client/designer process seem prescient and basic to every professional relationship you may have.

He broke his lecture (his lesson) down into simple, bullet-pointed aphorisms that you can take with you and use to help curate and influence your own professional creative lives, and he expressed them with clean well-kerned Keynote slides, easy banter, and a humble yet authoritative voice. He has the authority of his stature backing up his simple advice, and it rang true for myself, and perhaps others in the wrought iron lilypad room at Galapagos. The simplicity of his message is also it's power, I think. It is not so groundbreaking, like telling someone to break up with an abusive boyfriend or girlfriend, but as in those cases, there are always excuses to stay with the abuser, as there are always excuses to stay with a bad client; the money is good, the project is almost done, there may be more work down the road, etc.

Since this lecture I have begun my adventure as a full-time educator, teaching in the Advertising Design and Graphic Arts Department at City Tech (CUNY's New York City College of Technology) and I will do my best to translate Bierut's advice to my students during my time as a professor, and as a colleague. Experience and accomplishment lend themselves towards being more selective, but throwing that out and making excuses for taking on bad jobs and bad clients only justifies more of the same.