Playing catch-up

18 Apr

A lot has happened since I last posted!

I’ll make this a quick post, since I have a lot of new work to show.

Let’s begin with the work I did for Blue Plate this past summer. The local restaurant The Blue Plate opened a new bar, Local 191. While I was working at Widgets & Stone, I was able to create some collateral for this new bar.

I was also able to design a cycling jersey for Bell Lumber & Pole Co.

I have learned a great deal since I last posted. I worked at True North Custom Media, a great custom publishing company here in Chattanooga. I was the sole designer for HIT Exchange, a magazine about healthcare technology. I was responsible for designing the print, digital and tablet editions of each bimonthly issue. My favorite part of this job was developing the articles for the iPad. I loved animating the artwork and making the graphics interactive. I learned a great deal about developing for the tablet format. We used Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, which is the same system that large magazines like Martha Stewart Living uses. Here is a selection of my print work from the magazine:

If you’d like to see the work I did for the iPad, download the free HIT Exchange app from the iTunes Store.

Netflix infographic

2 Jun

So I noticed in my Facebook feed a lot of comments on a post that Netflix had made. Out of sheer curiosity, I began reading them, and out of sheer entertainment, felt compelled to make an infographic about them. So I did. Here it is. Click the image for a larger version.

More geometry deliciousness

6 Apr

I’ve been working on a few major projects right now with long turn-around times, and don’t want to post on them until they are finished. This is why lately my posts have been inspiration-based. Soon my projects will be done and I will post on them. But until then… Okay, enough explaining myself.

Here are some simply gorgeous aerial shots of landscapes formed by agriculture into geometric beauty, photographed by satellites orbiting the planet and even astronauts at the International Space Station. The colors, the textures, the topography, the geometry, it’s all just so beautiful.

Finney County, southwest Kansas

the Gezira irrigation fields in Al Jazirah, Sudan, one of the largest irrigation systems in the world

the green of fields surrounding the Nile as it passes Luxor

salt ponds in Nueva Victoria, Chile, at the heart of the Atacama Desert

where rainforest used to abound near Sao Paolo

Kansas, US

Games invading your life

8 Mar

Okay, I know I just posted yesterday, and I generally try to space these out, but I just saw this video and had to share. It’s Jesse Schell, a professor at Carnegie Melon talking about how gaming has begun to creep into reality in some really incredible and psychological ways. As a game designer, he wraps the presentation in the question, “imagine how great this will be when it’s designed!” Watch it through until the end, the second half is the best part.

Embeding SWF in WordPress is a pain, so I’m sorry, but I’m going to need to just link it instead.

He begins with some small, clever possibilities, and increasingly explores more and more incredible implications of how game-thinking can change social, educational and economical behavior. It’s really incredible to think about, albeit a little spooky.

Matthew Lyons is awesome (and I’m jealous)

7 Mar

So recently I stumbled upon (literally) the work of Matthew Lyons, a 22 year old illustrator from Britain. His work is simply gorgeous. He has a geometric, early 20th century Modernist style that is just wonderful when paired with his use of texture and typography. His series “Locations” particularly resonated with me:


He’s wildly talented and the fact that he’s so young makes me want to vomit with jealousy. I’ve been looking at his work a lot lately for inspiration. Not even particularly with any project, just inspiration for life, his stuff is that good. Those muted colors and grainy textures and simple typography and geometric forms….yum.

Fractalicious

25 Feb

So I’m really bad at math. I know a lot of people say that, but really, it would anger you how bad I am. I once tried to add 3 to 19, and somehow came out with 12. Really. Bad.

That having been said, there are some things in the mathematical world that I find simply fascinating. Like sacred geometry. YUM. I mean, I can understand visually how the golden spiral relates to the Fibonacci sequence,

but when I look at it expressed like this…

HA! What does that even mean?

But I love the visuals that math creates. I love seeing something beautiful come from a strict set of patterns and rules. And I’m mildly obsessed with fractals.

Benoit Mandelbrot, the French-American mathematician hailed as the father of fractal geometry defines fractals as “a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole, a property called self-similarity.” Basically, a strict mathematical pattern that repeats itself into infinity by exponentially getting smaller. You’re probably more familiar with fractals than you think. Ever played Legend of Zelda? The triforce is just the beginnings of the Sierpinski Triangle.

Boom. Fractal.

No doubt the most famous fractal is the Mandelbrot set, named after the aforementioned father of fractal geometry, the late Benoit Mandelbrot.

The Mandelbrot Set is generated from the formula, z=z^2+c. I have no idea why.

Here’s a short video on the Mandelbrot Set that explains quite succinctly what appeals to me about fractals:

A form in which the boundaries of that form contain miniature copies of the entire set, and within that endless unique shapes. Strikingly similar yet mathematically unique shapes from the same formula repeating into infinity. There’s something just so elegant and somewhat tragic about that thought. I’ve decided that fractals are a beautiful way to wrap my senior thesis in the proper language. I’ll be posting more on my thesis as it develops, but for now, enjoy this TED talk from mathematician Ron Eglash on fractals that occur in African villages. If you don’t have time to watch the whole thing (which is fascinating), at least watch the first three minutes or so as they really delve into the beauty of fractals and how they occur over and over and over in the natural world.

Weightlessness

16 Feb

Today I installed my most recent work in the Apothecary (a student-run gallery at UTC). The theme of the show is Weightlessness. If you know me, you know I’m a bit of a nerd for sci-fi. Lately, I’ve been all up in some BSG. I’m finishing up my GenEd with an Astronomy class this semester, which is proving to be equal parts challenging and interesting. Given all of this, it just made sense that my work would be deep space oriented.

For my work, I began researching communications logs for NASA Gemini and Apollo missions. They are available for free download at the NASA website. They’re gorgeous on their own merit; they’re scans of typewriter-written transcripts of ground-to-air communications.

I read through one of the transcripts from the Apollo 13 mission, and found myself mesmerized by it. I expected to find a log riddled with jargon I didn’t know, but instead what I read was incredibly human. It gave me chills at times to read their conversations. This particular transcript did not contain the infamous Apollo 13 disaster, but instead was a log of their initial take-off and first day in orbit. The whole log was full of wonderful snippets, but found a particularly interesting bit of dialogue between Commander (CDR) James A. (Jim) Lovell, Jr., Command Module Pilot (CMP) John L. (Jack) Swigert, Jr., and Lunar Module Pilot (LMP) Fred W. Haise, Jr.

This really struck something within me; it read almost like poetry. The best I can figure from the log is that ORDEAL had something to do with the camera they were trying to mount. As you can imagine, trying to Google search “Apollo 13 ORDEAL” only returns a lot of Tom Hanks.

Anyway, I knew that the line “your blood rushes to your head because your heart doesn’t have anything to pump against” was something I definitely wanted to work with.

I came across the work of Antoine de Villiers, a very talented figure painter. He recently created a short series of beautiful paintings called “Weightless.” I chose one of his paintings and abstracted the form, removing certain parts, adding others and vectorizing it in Illustrator. I then found some license-free deep space images on Wikimedia Commons of the Crab Nebula and the Omega Nebula. I chose to use Archer as my typeface because its hairline weight is one of my favorite things. Ever. The type is so thin and, well, weightless, that from a distance you only get a hint that something is there, and are quietly asked to move in closer to engage with the piece and read its message. The final printed piece is 19×15 inches, so the type is legible upon close inspection, which is exactly what I wanted to achieve.

The whole composition came together quite nicely, I must say. The show opens tomorrow, February 17th at 5:30 pm at the Apothecary, 744 McCallie Avenue, Suite 113 The Doctor’s Building Chattanooga, TN 37403. Feel free to come by and check out not only my work, but the excellent work of my classmates, designers, photographers and painters alike.

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