Category Archives: design

Brush in hand

I’ve been wanting to paint lately, but I feel a twang of guilt each time I get close to the canvas.

The fact that I have downtime is new to me. I’m not used to having this time for creative exploration, and since I don’t know how long it will last, I want to use it wisely. Or it may go on forever.

So, should I be spending this time learning new skills or refining current ones? By these, I mean sitting in front of a screen. This fall, I got a really nasty note from a big client regarding my programming skills for a Flash project. I never promised to have any, but alas I was called “uncommitted” among other things. I was urged to learn Action Script until my mind exploded. That, with my creativity, would get me writing tickets anywhere (stated as a compliment). I never set out to be a coding master, but no one wants just a creative – at least when it comes to bottom level Interactive (i.e., recent grads trying to get the most basic of jobs).

When I was in the Interactive program at PC, we were constantly told to focus on the concept, design, functionality, usability, etc…find the limitations and benefits of technology, but someone else will handle what goes on behind the curtain. Well, right now people want both, and it’s a big game of catch up.  So, when it comes to sitting in front of a canvas or a screen, I hear that angry voice yelling “YOU ARE UNCOMMITTED!” and it’s back to sleepy AS3 tutorials….with my creative energy scratching at the back of my brain, ever so distracting.

For me, a painting is a big commitment. I can spend weeks, months on one. I’ve already spent hours sketching and digitally composing. I want to take a projector and sketch my work on the canvas, for the sake of time, but I feel guilty doing that as well. Am I not missing out on beautiful mistakes that could take me in a new direction? Both art and design are about exploration, and my end is not concrete (the beauty of personal work). Yet technology fuels faster production. which can lead to more time spent on other things – like mastering dreaded AS3.

The ideal is a balance between the two, where upon I just might find myself stressed about both and tinkering with After Effects projects instead.


Last painting, completed fall ’06 before I started Portfolio Center. Oil on Canvas, 30×40 (no black bars)

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Filed under animation, atlanta, design, flash, interactive, Portfolio Center, portfoliocenter


No, I couldn’t let you be, dear blog. I tried writing an anonymous blog, but what fun was that? I’ll be back for business. No, probably not very frequently, but I’m here, I’m open. It’s been a very rough 11 months without you, but I don’t blame you.

What else is new? A pile of crazy and bizarre things have happened, with little specks of goodness in between.

  • I have graduated from Portfolio Center
  • I made it into CMYK’s Aspiring Artist’s edition
  • I was awarded a scholarship from one of the most amazing firms, Leo Burnett
  • I have worked on a variety of different projects with different clients, some wonderful, some causing health problems
  • I’ve gotten to talk to some very big people and firms and received positive, constructive and very negative feedback

It is rough out there, I fall a lot, but I carry a spatula and keep getting back up.



Filed under design, Portfolio Center, portfoliocenter


The sun will be coming up soon.  Seems like that was happening just a few hours ago when I left for work.  But I’ve long since returned, and have been spending my hours making a chicken fall from the sky.  Seriously.  Maybe someday I’ll show you.


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Filed under animation, design, Portfolio Center

The Future of Design Jobs

Well, it’s grad quarter which will eventually dissolve into job huntin’ quarter.  I surf the seas a little bit now to see what’s out there, so I can either freak out more or see how I need to prepare (kinda the same thing).  I came across this jewell on good ol’ Craigslist, and found solace that no matter how bad the job market is, there’s always something worse out there than unemployment….I didn’t even know Publisher still existed!

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And now for something completely different…

I’m far away and just unwinding from another crazy critique week…

As for other things…I never had to take Hank’s chair class, so I never had to worry about designing a big quirky piece of furniture (ok, there was that really weird recycling bin)…but if I ever had to, I would look to Dust Furniture for inspiration.  If I had to design a shelf or some other random piece that expressed myself (and not some horrific personal story), I think I would try to incorporate these elements….

And this little shelf thingy looks so happy!

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SketchUp timewarp

Sketchup – my latest love, hate, and time waster…it has such akward, unprecise controls, yet I love the simplicity of it, the fact that I can build a 3-d model within hours and simulate just what something will look like, down to 3-d squirrel placement!

This has been a fun tool for my retail environment class, where I’m building The Nut House, a cafe set in a park that is part tree house part asylum.  Yes, it serves nut enhanced drinks and beverages.  I love this project, and feel like I’ve really been able to put myself fully into it.

Anyway, before any foam board was cut for a mock up, Sketch Up really help me visualize what was going on here, and I spent way too much time playing with it than I should have…my main complaint is the lack of xyz coordinates where you can plug in values to place your stuff…like in any Adobe program (at least x and y; After Effects has xyz) and all those crazy advanced programs…but it is a simple thing to add with out loosing simplicity.  I do like the user database of components tho, and enjoyed seeing all the 3d crap people made that can be easily imported.  Yes, someone made 3-d snot.  I stuck to 3-d squirrels.


Filed under design, Portfolio Center, Squirrels

Interning thoughts and ramblings

I doubt more and more these days that I’ll step out the door after graduation and have a job waiting for me.  Far from the hopes I had from my first day of orientation when we were given speaches about grads getting 40 offers at once…but after nearly two years you see those are special cases or those people just had different skills sets, be it in design or shmoozing.

As I haven’t shmoozed with the right people, won any awards or had an internship, I’m aiming instead for the latter after I get out of here.  Maybe it’s better I intern at a time when I can devote every waking hour to an internship…which will be easier than devoting every waking and unwaking hour, as I do for school now.

The only downfall of this strategy is that I’m pretty much limited to places in Atlanta, and hence I’m doing this to get a job, might lead to something permanent here.  Alas, the married, property-owning squirrel here can not just pick up and go anywhere for an internship….tho I guess short term I could. An internship doesn’t justify putting the flat on the market and having my husband look for another job…which we would do with a job in another city, just cuz the hub doesn’t like Atlanta so much, I hate hot weather, and I’ve lived quite a while here – maybe it’s time to see another part of the country.  But, I feel if I get a foot in the door at an Atlanta company, it will pretty much be kept here in Atlanta.  Which can be alright too if we just reframe our thinking.  Right now, tho, we don’t know what to think…

I still look at places elsewhere, including companies in the “less glamourous” cities (in the eyes of design snobs).  Afterall, I can maintain the same standard of living there most likely too (I would never ever have a 3 bedroom flat in NY or SF).  I mean, even this quirky festival in Minneapolis gives me hope – I would live someplace with this kind of stuff going on 🙂  So, there are plenty of other places with fun quirky vibes outside the big superstar cities, I just have to find a job there and get this strategy thing worked out…

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I’ve seen a lot of egos and attitudes grow and prosper during my seven quarters at PC.  I was just reading at article about Creative Circus and how nice everyone is there.  Though I wonder if that’s really true or just good PR,  I really can’t say I percieve the same thing at PC.  Yes, competition is healthy, but good sportsmanship is also needed.

And yes, I do know some really great people there with admirable minds and personalities…but you know there are always some thorns that give an unpleasant vibe.  Just a thought that’s been building in my mind lately…

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