Android Blank D.I.Y. Design Template
I just received a quartet of blank android figurines from DeadZebra and upon sitting down to figure out what I wanted to do with them design-wise I realized that a template would come in pretty handy. Instead of redrawing the same little guy over and over in sketch form I decided to ease the process by making an easily printable 8.5″x11″ pdf. Download, print, design away.
PAX Prime Buttons are GO!
Earlier this week I found time to slap together a button for PAX Prime 2010. Playing on my JonnyBrokenBones gamer ID, it features a lettermark, bloody splatters, and imperceptibly small background patterning of the Blue Bomber himself. Weighing in at 1.25″ and in a limited edition run of 100, this will be THE pin to get at this year’s PAX West.
See you in Seattle.
Child’s Play Auction
I wanted to post a link to this on my site since it was something that I participated in and very minorly helped make possible:
Jerry explains it better than I can. My only part in this was to have partcipated in the Card Sharks event at PAXEast, meeting up with people, trading some cards with people at the show, and adding my card to the binder that was eventually presented to the PA guys.
Dave (@DaveSchrader on Twitter), the man who spearheaded the entire trading card idea, deserves the bulk of the credit since he spent the time and made the effort to present our cards during one of the PAX panels, and when gifted with a really expensive piece of hardware acknowledged that the Card Sharks was a community effort, and unselfishly gave it back to PA to be auctioned off for the Child’s Play charity.
And now I present for your viewing pleasure, JonnyBrokenBones:
A man and his fruit cup
This image makes the most sense to those who are familiar with the lesser known brother of H.P. Lovecraft…
So I’ve slapped on my blogging training wheels and am trying to a bit more update focused. Since I’ve been away from the drawing tablet for quite some time and am attempting to get my sketching skills back up to snuff, I’m going to make an earnest effort to post my successes and failures here.
Today’s offering: Funny looking babyish t-rexafunkasaurus.
By the Power of….
Please Replace Your Rivets
If only puns were as funny to other people as they are to the person who puns them.
I was handed an illustration gig on wednesday by my undergrad design professor, which is certainly both the best paying and highest profile job I’ve had to date. I’m happy about those things. The job was for a Kansas City architecture firm, and it involved doing some concept art for trophies that will incorporate old rivets from the Golden Gate bridge. The firm had done some retrofitting on the bridge a few years back, and they ended up keeping the rivets they removed as…souvenirs? I guess its best not to waste old steel, especially if it has some historical significance to it.
I was given one of the rivets as reference material while I worked on the project, and have been treating it with the utmost of reverence. Sure, it’s just a chunk of steel, but it has an artifact quality to it since it’s both part of one of our most well-known bridges, and because the people who gave it to me really seemed anxious about getting it back in good condition.
A simple update to display the logo for coffee czar, a pulp heroes related design project. I don’t know how much actual use this guy will see in or out of comic, but I do know that it’s only 2 colors (3 if you count white) and doesn’t look half bad. Although I am considering making the hand look more like a spiked gauntlet. Coffee Czar, ruling over caffeinated beverages with an iron fist.
I’ve also noticed that my lightbox plugin is no longer working. After downloading the newest version, and making edits to the script as noted in the wordpress codex, it’s still not working. I love that I’m away from my blog for so long each time that I need to spend an extra hour trying to troubleshoot the things that have broken while I’ve been away. I’m not sure if that’s incentive to blog more, or to just not bother.
This is a thought that has been building from my frustration of working with logos, and my professor’s opinion that our graduating class, in general, is not very good at logo design. Thanks to doing some reading on David Airey’s Blog last night I think I’ve started to piece together my particular problem. And when it comes down to it, it doesn’t seem to be a problem at all so much as a result of academic misdirection that I can at this point consider resolved.
My professor would strongly encourage us to not lock ourselves into a single idea, which is what a lot of people in my class would do almost instantly when developing logos. This is a good thing. I liked to do lots of thumbnails, and a lot of times I’d have many that would look the same as I was trying to work out an idea visually through multiple sketches with small variations between each. I had noticed no fewer than one occasion where my professor had told me to stop that because I was just doing the same thing over and over. I think over time I had complied with this idea and as a result began to sell myself short conceptually.
My professor also tended to pick the logos he thought we should work on from our sketches, not knowing if they were ideas that we liked or thought about. Sometimes things end up on paper, and then I stop thinking about them because it was just an experiment and I didn’t care how it turned out and had dedicated no thought to it. And then that idea would end up being my final product, and I wouldn’t know why other than “the professor said so.”
The entire point of the thumbnail process is to explore all your options, and if that means trying to fully work out a problem roughly BEFORE going to the computer, I’m all for it. Once I jump into Illustrator I tend to be restricted by the ideas that I’ve put to paper. Working from a half-developed idea would land me with a half-developed finished logo.
I don’t think I fully realized what was happening until I ran across ideas that paralleled my own in David Airey’s process. First, I absolutely agree that you shouldn’t show sketches to a client, as they might end up falling in love with something that you hate. In a classroom setting, while an assignment might be for a specific company, the professor is still the client in the end. Showing the sketches to him would often derail ideas that I favored for those that he thought looked better. While he encouraged us not to become locked into ideas, he would basically lock us into them. He would also derail my thought processes by telling me to stop sketching things that looked similar, which is the lateral thinking part of the process.
So most of the time I would move forward with an idea that I didn’t really like, that I didn’t do any further thinking about. Now I can’t blame him for my failure to keep thinking about these things independently, but I also was taking his advice more as rule, thinking that he was being guided by a higher design wisdom that I would be rewarded for following, and that I would gain understanding in the end. Instead what we all got was the judgement of being bad logo designers.
And that is why now, after I’ve turned in my final project and am waiting to graduate in a few days, I am working on a new personal logo so that I can competently market myself. Lesson learned.
Those people who might make the argument that I’m an unattentive friend would probably do well to notice that I don’t even do a good job at taking care of my own things…like say blogs.
That being said, I just wanted to pimp my homegirl Brandi’s Etsy site, See Monkey Bead. She makes the jewelry, I made the banner.
Head hurts, mouth yawns, design awaits.
Since I’ve found myself with only one project to get finished this weekend, I decided to make up a few more to try to get done. I suppose I’ve already finished two of them, the first of which was finishing my taxes, the second being finishing the upgrade of this fine blog to wordpress 2.71. I’m working up an actual logo for this site that isn’t just a font, or a rip off of fight club, so I’ll likely get that implemented (hopefully) before the weekend is out. I’m also really trying to whip up some sort of professional looking web gallery/portfolio which will be taking the place of the much neglected drawing board. And before the end of the weekend I need to finish my personal identity branding package (early stage can be found here) and/or apply for a Hallmark internship.
That’s the shortlist update. I’ll aim for something a bit more robust when I’m not rushing to leave for work.
2009 Kansas City Student Addy Winner
So I got this email earlier today:
Good afternoon and congratulations! Your work has won in the Advertising Club of Kansas City’s Student ADDY competition. The following will be on display in the hanging gallery at the February 28 awards show:
Bucket O’ Bugs in Student Category 02C, Collateral Material Poster. SILVER award.
Bronze, Silver and Gold level winners will receive official certificates and Gold winners will receive ADDY award cubes. If you are a Gold winner and plan to attend the ADDY show, you will be called to the stage to receive your award among the Student and Professional ADDY competition winners.
You may wish to invite your family, friends or professors to join you at the awards show. Here are the important details about the event:
WHEN: Saturday, February 28. 6 pm cocktail reception and gallery viewing. 8 pm awards show. After-party immediately following.
WHERE: Bartle Grand Ballroom, 16th & Wyandotte Streets in Downtown Kansas City. Valet parking available for $10.
ADMISSION: $45 for ad2 members. $55 for Ad Club and Art+Copy Club members. $80 for non-members. $30 for full-time students and Student ADDY entrants.
The ADDY awards show is the only club event where each member may bring one guest at the $55 member rate. No refunds for cancellations after February 26. All day of event admissions (guests without paid reservations by 12 noon on February 27) will be at the $80 non-member rate. $150 additional charge to reserve a premium table of 10; limited availability, reserved on a first come, first served basis.
RESERVATIONS: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 816.822.0300.
You should soon receive an invitation in the mail. I hope to see you there!
So that’s fairly self explanatory. Of course the image I linked to up above is the winning piece, entitled Bucket O’ Bugs. Enough back patting. See you at the show, if I manage to scrape together the $30 to get in.
One in the Hand
HI-YA! This is the final version of the program for the Mercury Association Brunch. The cracked out scary bird was toned down a little, guts were dropped into the inside, and a few extra birds were thrown into the mix. Subtle? Maybe not. Finished? Yes. Client happy? Elated, even. Now I’ve got some AIDS awareness posters, a magazine, a personal ID package and a logo for the Missouri-Kansas VW Club to get moving on.
I suppose I never updated my car situation so I’ll do that now. Truck was totaled. I am now the proud owner of a Subaru Forester.
Birds on the Brain
I may never know why I do this kind of thing, but here again we have 3 versions of one project I’m working on. I think mostly that two suck, one is viable, and none are really ready to roll, but I think I like gathering any opinions people might have on the stuff I do. I might not take those opinions into consideration, but I like outside perspective all the same. Basically this is the outside cover of a program for a brunch event held by the Mercury Association at UMKC. The theme is “The Early Bird Gets the Intern”, which explains why they all have birds. Leave your thoughts in the comments.
I was trying to keep up my blog post blitz, but Friday sort of slowed me down when I wrecked my truck into a guard rail, possibly totaling it. I escaped entirely unscathed, but my truck was walking funny afterward. I left it in a body shop in Missouri, and am now playing the waiting game to find out if I have to buy a new car. Car wrecks always make things interesting, especially when you need the car you wrecked to keep a steady income flow.
The Corner of 34th and…
While working today I finally had the opportunity to stop and take a snapshot of this very geeky street sign that I had encountered twice before, lacking photo capturing capabilities to properly document it. It really made me start to question exactly what process cities go through when naming streets. Who holds sway in such matters? My wikipedia readings on the subject were quite enlightening. Mostly it sounds like there’s little rhyme or reason to the process. Themes are big, numbered grid systems are big, and so is naming a street whatever the hell. Just about anyone can go to city hall and request that a street name be changed. Since this sign was in a new development, I’m thinking some kind of shambling horror of a comic nerd lives in one of those newly built houses and is responsible for this epic pun.
Time to get off Lois Lane. I don’t need Superman’s sloppy seconds bringing me down.
Sans Snap and Crackle
So that picture? Yeah, that one up there? That’s about how my spine has felt the last few days, minus the big dumb grin. Maybe it’s from all that sleeping I’ve been doing on the least comfortable, least supportive bed that has ever existed. Or maybe it’s from general stress. Heck, maybe it’s because I’ve been spending long hours cooped up inside a tiny, cramped Ford Ranger. Who can say for sure.
All I know is that it made for a perfect excuse to put a picture of popoids on my blog. That’s right. Popoids. The superior childhood construction toy. As the box shows, you could make a hideously distorted caricature of a human being, or if you extended the limbs you’d have a hideously distorted caricature of a human being that was a little more reminiscent of Mr. Fantastic. Or you could make something that kind of looked like a giraffe, or something that looked like a giraffe with short legs, or something that looked like a giraffe fellating itself. And the best part of this toy was the popping sound the pieces made when collapsing and expanding them. It sounded like the creepy ghost kids in The Grudge, an association that would have led me to melt each and every piece to a foul smelling plastic puddle as a child, but as an “adult” just made the movie more hilarious.
Aside from that, the plastic bodies made deadly projectiles. Popoids and back pain, I salute you!
The thing with blogs is that once you lose momentum in updating them, you can go on pretty much indefinitely without updates. School had contributed to the end of my website vigilance, but even winter break failed to inspire much in the way of creativity. Twitter took a bite out of the minutiae that a lot of my posts were built on, and I’ve been waiting to overhaul my gallery before posting any of my more recent art projects. Lack of finances put a hold on the t-shirt side of things, so the Santa Destroy shirts never came into being. I had wanted to do some WordPress upgrades but GoDaddy’s server has been flaking out on me recently, so while I can delete all my old files, there’s a chance that I wouldn’t be able to upload the new ones, leading me to wonder what exactly I’ve been paying them for.
Other than that I’ve got pretty much the same sob story that everyone else is telling in these “harsh economic times”. Job cut my pay, failed to find more work over the holidays, couldn’t make any trips to see family, and fell asleep before midnite on new year’s eve. Hoo-rah.
So most of the last month has been consumed with hours upon hours of marching through the nuclear wastes of Fallout 3. Luckily blowing off muties’ heads with Lincoln’s Repeater is beginning to lose its appeal, so I should have some time to work on other projects.
I did manage to make this a day ago. It should help me with that difficult process of decision making from now on.
I’m open to suggestions of gimmicks to use in order to keep updating this page. Something to do on a daily basis that is interesting enough to make a post about, and yet costs little to nothing. Maybe thought of the day, but I don’t know if I have that many thoughts in a day. Photo of the day? I’ve tried sketch of the day or sketch of the week, but never could stay on top of it.
And here’s where the post trails off.
Ok, I found some time to work on my Santa Destroy shirt this weekend in lieu of doing homework and playing X-Men Legends 3 Marvel Ultimate Alliance. I like the way it’s turning out so far. I’ve tried to keep the luchadore mask in the spirit of the traditional Mexican mask designs, while also incorporating a type of skull theme, invoking the Aztec god of death Mictlantehcutli. From what I’ve read, early luchadore mask designs were based on Aztec gods, and the god of death is an appropriate choice for a wrestling team connected to a game in which you are an assassin. See, it all ties nicely together. Sometimes I think about these things a little before I do them.
The biggest thing I need to work on right now is the little “wrestling move” design I’ve added to accent the text. It could use some cleaning up, and I’d prefer to have something a little more exclusively Lucha Libre, like some guys flying through the air. I’m having a hard time finding good reference material to work from though. I was beginning to think if I could find some good old fashioned pixel art wrestling moves (pro-wrestling from back in the NES days?) it would even more strongly connect itself to No More Heroes’ art style.
If I can find some good material to work from I might be able to get this baby cinched up in a week or so. Then we can all have back to school shirts to wear!
Also, if you take a trip over to Tiny Gods you can catch some good PAX stories, and a video of a Jonathan Coulton/Felicia Day duet of Still Alive that Pasty managed to capture. Good stuff.
The moment that school shootings were associated with my first No More Heroes inspired design, I knew that I was very close to something awesome. Rather than find out what that something awesome was and face the horrible consequences that would have followed in its wake, I decided to dig a bit deeper and move in another direction. So Travis Touchdown assassinated, yes. But what else did he do? What else did he love? And what love of his could translate into something a little more within the realm of reality that high school students could also do? How about some high flying, death defying Lucha Libre? I’ve slapped this design together with a fair amount of quickness. The lines on the bottom are the beginnings of a kind of wrestling ring design, the mask is going to become a bit more unique, the stars might change a little. But overall I think it’s a lot stronger than the previous design/concept. Anyone have a use for a nicely drawn tiger?
As always, feedback welcome.
Beginning Final Countdown
Before I get too side-tracked with ranting, I’d like to direct your attention (specifically mandrake’s) to the image above. It’s the early stage of a Santa Destroy High School shirt design that I’ve been sporadically working on for the last week. For those of you not in the know, Santa Destroy is the (fictional?) town that is used as the backdrop for Suda 51′s No More Heroes. For as many assassins as there were who called that town home, I figured that there had to be some kind of breeding ground for that behavior. As I remember, high school was pretty vicious. I wish my HS had a junior assassins league. By the by, should assassins be possessive? I’m sure someone can answer that for me.
Why make this shirt? Because I really liked No More Heroes from what I played. I also like things that make obscure references that can act as a vetting device for people before I even talk to them. Like, say, a Paddy’s Pub Shirt. I think I need one of those too. But back to my shirt…react to it. Thoughts, suggestions, whatever. I’ll be cleaning it up as time permits, but lemme know what you think.
A two-semester gap might be a bit far off to start anticipating graduation, but I think I’m going to savor each and every day that ticks off of my shiny new countdown timer displayed in the sidebar. I have no idea what sorts of obstacles I’ll face between now and then but I’ve formed the resolve to fight like a madman until the end. I know one of my first hurdles will be working out my living arrangements until next summer as my roommate is looking for greener pastures. The rest of my obstacles will no doubt involve me and my crazy obsessiveness, but I think I’m prepared for that as well.
I guess that means I won’t be spending hours upon hours on Kongregate.com like I have been for the past month or so, bolstering my geek cred and whittling the summer hours away until classes start again. My big summer cash cow bought the farm earlier than I had expected so of all the riches I had dreamed of attaining these past few months, my macbook pro is the sole sign of my personal financial boom. I had some wacky adventures this summer, but not nearly as many as I would have hoped.
I enjoyed working on the Tiny Gods Tiny Godcast, and that’s a good thing since it’s the practically the only proof that I even existed between the months of May and August. My goal is to have more proof of my existence between the months of August and May of this coming year. Possibly intern somewhere, get my degree, get some experience, and then head back to the place where the madness all started. When you’re searching for things you’ve misplaced, it always helps to retrace your steps. The beginning seems as good a place as any to start searching.