Thursday, October 22, 2009

Finally. (Part 2)

Salarymen Walking
Shinjuku, May 10th, 2009.

Hi! You may have noticed that I have a few photos up. Well, there's at least 20 times that much that I still have to wade through. So, I appreciate your patience. Many thanks, y'all. Y' might wanna throw this link into your favorite feed aggregator (I'm a Google Reader user), so you won't have to hit up my photostream all the time. Peace.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


My view
Wingin' it to Vancouver.

Yes, the Japan photos are going up. After a long bout with inertia and a couple technical hiccups (fixed by Mr. Marsh – thanks again, dude), I've got the gusto to edit/post these things. Bear with me...there are many. Peace.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Eric Haze

The home page in my home!

Thanks to Mr. Dante Ross, I just found out that Eric Haze has just revamped his website. I may have already mentioned this, but Haze has been a big influence on me, and it all stems from his work on the Beasties' Check Your Head album design. It showed me the power of handwriting, and I consider his handstyle one of the dopest of all time. When my man John Smith asked me to put together his Double Bacon Genius Burger artwork, what I did was pretty much a Haze homage. The vibe was right for it, and I consider it just a little shout-out to one of the all-time greats.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hard Knocks on School

Reference material, 2004. There's more where this came from.

I felt compelled to write this due to the dismissive tone a certain thread was taking on. A relative newcomer to the site innocently kicked the hornet's nest that is the discussion of higher learning. The motley crew that is the GP membership comes from various walks of life (I hold down the black Canuck demographic – BWAHAHAHA!) and many levels of education – total novice, book-learnin', self-taught, blahblahblah. Anytime the topic of university/college comes around, there's a vocal bunch, usual lead by Frank Kozik – someone I admire, by the way – that'll tell you not to waste your time. Then other folks will chime in, defending the school route, and what it did for them. It goes back and forth like any argument, until folks are tired of typing the same thing over and over.

Me, I needed school. I've never had a stellar history of self-starting pretty much anything. Between 1998 and 2000, the series of lame-ass jobs I was working amounted to a grief lump in my throat and a shitload of whining. Having put time in two trade/business schools made it all sting that much more. I looked at how well my homie Jeope – a Red River College graphic design grad – was doing, and decided to take a stab at this "problem solving" shit.

I got in, failed twice, cried a lot, stayed up late, and met a lot of people in the process. I wouldn't do anything differently if I had to go through it all again. Almost five years after finishing the Advanced Diploma program, I've got solid employment.

In addition to my post-secondary adventures, I can easily say that the assorted yahoos and assholes (I say that with much love) that populate helped mold me into what I am today, and what I aim to be in the future. The vets that have been making posters and other cool shit for a dog's age basically helped me to take criticism and not to take design so damn seriously all the time...not everything needs a fucking rationale. Sometimes, something looks cool, just because it does.

So what am I saying, really? I guess it boils down to this: do whatever works, and don't be a fucking dick. Work all the angles, man. Whether self-taught, a bottom rung print shop employee, or someone that needs the hallowed halls of learning, glean all the knowledge you can, and get yours. I figure that's advice that works anywhere. I went to school and asked people "in the real world" via about all sorts of things. I had it pretty damn good.

Now that I have the school thing behind me, and a bunch of folks I can ask stuff, I finally have the confidence to self-start, and maybe, someday, take it to the next level...self-employment. It's not impossible. Plus, with podcasts like Big Illustration Party Time, Escape From Illustration Island, and Freelance Radio, and forums like Illustration Mundo and others, there are many resources available for a dude like me to take it there.

Whatever works, man.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Net Clutter

My iMac, surrounded by junk, as I was getting ready to move. April 29th, 2008.

Just got my now healthy-iMac – see last post – back from Powerland Computers (shout-out to Brian Marsh), and I couldn't be happier. Isn't that sad?
During the five or so days that Brian was repairing it, I went to bed earlier, read more, and began re-evaluating my eating habits. Life without a computer was good for me, and now it's back. I have to admit that I've been having far more fun on the web than in real life, and the problems my iMac was having kinda fucked all of that up.
It seems I really have to kick the "balance" thing into gear, finally. A little bit of web life, and a lot more living, because it don't last long.
With that said, time to clear my 1000+ entries in Google Reader, my RSS reader of choice (I use the Helvetireader theme, because I'm a nerd):
  • Adult Stuff: While inessential, the links are often entertaining and quick to read. Currently at 0 items.
  • Art Sites and Blogs: In total, 195 items. GigPosters New Arrivals, Juxtapoz and OMGPosters are the must-reads. Let's see...there's 11 posts of John K. presumably angry about something. DELETE.
  • Comic Blogs and Comic Creators: 165 items. Well, anything from Brandon Graham is worthy of reading (and in the case of this post, re-reading). Also essential: Hark! A Vagrant, Jess Fink, and Comics 212 (partially because of the daily FUN! strips by Evan Dorkin)
  • Comics: Yup. Just web-based comics. 15 items, quick read.
  • Design: 204 items. This will take some time to read through/eradicate. Kitsune Noir is a quick and good read, and often gives me desktops and mixes for my trouble.
  • Friends' Blogs: 285 items...255 of them from one person. Luckily, they're tumblr-based, therefore a fast read.
  • Illustration and Illustrator Blogs: 143 items. Jim Mahfood is a dude I admire, so yeah, he's gonna get read. Charlie Allen and Thom Glick are also on tap. Plus, I have some stuff at Drawn! that needs to be watched and/or read, plus I just noticed that Coop has some new posts on his blog, which I thought he abandoned.
  • Japan: 44 items. Easy peasy. Jean Snow, Tokyomango, and Japan Pulse.
  • Miscellaneous: 184 items, and pretty much inessential, although I will breeze through the Erostika posts.
  • Music: 441 items. This one's Exclaim's news, delete everything else. Idolator, while fun and occasionally informative is endlessly catty, so I can often take or leave their coverage. Rap Radar often boils down to talking about boring new rappers/new rappers that aren't boring, who dissed whom, who's fucking whom and the occasional dope joint among the detritus. Fun, right? Hells yeah, but at 200 items, I can pass that fun up for a week.
  • Tech Stuff: Out of the 23 items on board, I'll probably just wade through Blogger Buzz, Gmail Blog and Twitter Blog.
  • Winnipeg Blogs: 103 items. I think I'll update my social calendar via SubCal, see what the man behind The Rise and Sprawl is pissed off about, and check out what Mr. Scott has captured on his blog Winnipeg: Love and Hate.
  • Wrestling: 16 items. Just two sites are here: J.R.'s Blog and Strong Style Spirit. While these posts would be quick to digest, I think I think I'll just hit Figure Four Weekly/Wrestling Observer for my news hit.
Well, my work is cut out for me.
I think I'll clean the bathroom instead.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Random Thoughts: October 5th, 2009 – Wedding Anniversary Edition

atrium shot
Taken in the RRC Downtown Campus Atrium, October 4th, 2008.
Photo by the superawesometerrific

  • October 4th, 2008: I married the love of my life on this day, and I'm still the happiest man on earth. I seriously couldn't have found a better lady to spend my life with. I'd like to give a shout-out to all of our family and friends that shared that our wonderful day (and kick-ass weather). Our slightly-delayed thank you cards are comin'!
  • TV-less existence: Over three years ago, I canceled the television portion of my cable service. Truthfully, I'm surprised I didn't write anything substantial about that at the time – believe me, I searched – as it was a hard decision to make, as I was the dude that put TV above everything growing up.
    I was obsessed. I made myself a new Saturday morning viewing schedule every Fall. Remember when the major networks aired specials to announce the new cartoon series? I'd be right there, glued to the screen. And as a wrestling fan, there was a glut of programming available for me, and I watched it all; UWF, WWF, AWA, Stampede, etc. Hell, I even watched Memphis and WCW stuff via scrambled signal, as there was no way Mom was gonna shell the bucks out for more channels.
    Fast forward to September of 2006. TV was boring me, and I was broke. So, I gave it some thought...and gave Shaw a call. The day after, I listened to the first day of the Ring Cycle on CBC and never looked back. Actually, that's a lie...if I'm watching TV, it's at Sarah's parents, or if we're away (like Japan, eh?). I do kind of miss it, really. However, I get a lot more done now, even though the internet has taken up the distraction slack. Curse you, Google Reader. And Twitter. And other web-based distractions.
  • Overhaul. Some changes need to come to this here blog. Mainly cosmetic. I've been experimenting, so we'll see what happens.
  • Technological Update: Yes, I haven't posted any Japan photos, but I soon as I get my iMac repaired (audible sigh). Things have been acting up, so I'm taking it to my man Brian at Powerland for a look-see. On the flipside, I recently purchased a 2 TB Western Digital MyBook for essential back-ups. Peace of mind means me putting up pictures soon. We'll see what develops. In the meantime, here's something I did manage to upload: the logo for UWSA's Freestyle III.

I loved doing this. The kids involved in the program were terrific. Shout-out to Ted Turner and Pip Skid for getting me involved. Here's the non-dated color and grayscale versions.