Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Any day now, all my problems have turned around...

I always seem to forget how great graffiti is but then I am reminded of how powerful a tool of self expression and protest it has the potential for. Stencil graffiti was recently popularized by GB's Banksy, and many artists are taking the cue and doing similar artwork all around the world. Now although Banksy wasn't the first artist to do stencil based graffiti, he certainly won't be the last well known one. Many artists are already building off the groundwork Banksy and artists before him have laid. Banksy is a clever bastard though, and seemed to have a great way of screwing with people, my favorite being his faked "This has been approved for graffiti by the Police" seal he put on a random wall where this was obviously not legal. Suffice it to say, graffiti on said wall ensued and was later removed. The Stencil Revolution however, is a new spot where artists post their stencil work, whether it be legal or not.

A college student posted his sped up presentation on Video Gaming and Sex recently on YouTube, and made a lot of the points which make sense. The basis for his argument being that given that now where video gaming can reach new potential in storytelling given the technological achievements being made.

However, until video games have sex as part of the story in the same way that a book or film would, it will be picked on and scape goated for whatever since video games are for some odd reason still perceived as being a children's toy. As an artform video gaming is still in its infancy, so time will tell how things turn out and how serious game makers decide to take it. I think Mass Effect was the first step in the right direction even though it was lambasted in the news for portraying, "the most realistic sex scene" ever and there was potential that a (gasp!) lesbian relationship could occur in the game. People be crazy sometimes.

Friday, May 23, 2008


This is the rough sketch for part of the new design for the blog. I'll have to retouch it but I like how it came out for the most part.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

There's no harm being...

So I'm under the impression that when a comic book is able to hit issue #50 and maintain it's commericial and critical success, it's a pretty big deal. Robert Kirkman, the writer behind Battle Pope and The Astounding Wolfman, has hit it big with "The Walking Dead". Anyone who reads comics books has at least heard of it, and most of those people assuredly read it too. This comic is one of the few that has been able to bridge the gap between comic fans and people who don't read them at all. Whether it be the somewhat grounded reality, the prevalent Lord of the Flies-ish theme, or just the zombies, people really like this series. Kirkman was so kind as to do an interview with Newsarama the comic book resource where he makes ambiguous remarks about the future about all the characters and story. It's nice to see he's a fairly normal guy though, despite his story line featuring baby-cide.

The moment that used to drive me crazy when I was a Supervisor at Gamestop is finally about to hit, that is when the big console systems drop in price value after E3, before the holiday shopping season starts in September. Mostly because I already had all three and seeing the price drop dramatically in a seemingly small amount of time used to upset me. Some big-time financial analyst is predicting that unless the console prices continue to drop at least $50 a year, then the financial growth in console video gaming will be DEAD by 2011 unless a new console is introduced. We'll start with the initial $50 drop though, it might make me want to pick up a PS3.

Not like it needed any kind of press, but the Penny Arcade Game is getting released today. Stuff like this seems like it could unravel the universe though, when video gamings two biggest critics make something of their own. Other reviewers are either going to hate the game because their jealous of the duo behind Penny Arcade, or because it is actually a bad game. I'm hoping to check it out, however, and just from the trailer it looks like it's worth having just for the satirical and comical writing the two are more than capable of producing. It is available for download, here!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

There's never time at all...

So as part of my design projects, I plan on redesigning the blog to be a little bit more my own. Blogspot makes it pretty easy to customize for your own unique-ness and I drew up a sketch of what I plan on changing. Nothing major, mainly my own graphics and color scheme. It probably won't happen overnight as I'm going to test everything out, but then again it's not like anyone actually reads this anyway.

Searching through the blogs of others, particularly the ones brave enough to post where they get their information from shows an interesting web of information. I can't help but wonder where it all starts, however, particularly the blogs about everything under the sun. To post as much as those authors do shows a large devotion of time by them which I simply cannot keep up with, but I still enjoy having this creative outlet.

One such link I found through kitsune noir was this great design blog called the dieline showcasing sweet package design. Package design was always something a Professor I had at University emphasized as being one of the most unique forms of Graphic Design since it entails a number of other art forms in one piece. The size, shape, color choice, everything you see on packages was (hopefully) a deliberate decision made by a designer such as the package below for Gulf Pacific Rice.

It's a very interesting field of Graphic Design, albeit probably the most ambitious, but just looking at this package for instance is pretty inspiring. The whole attitude of, "I see what you did there," keeps knocking around inside my head, I'm just hoping something takes hold and gets me off my ass to do some design work. I mean making packaging for rice, soap, vodka, etc. may not sound interesting, but the designer's problem that they have to solve is to make people want to look at something that could be deemed boring.

The new Coldplay song is pretty damn catchy eh?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Do you know how long it takes...?

My recent subscriptions to various magazines have been interesting. One of the more interesting points that was made somewhere among them by a rather reputable designer was to indiscriminately rip off a designer you like, at least in their style. Doing so will apparently help you develop your own style, that someday other young designers will rip off. I'm not trying to say that I'll ever be that good, but it's worth trying as I have been having a hell of a time trying to figure out how to solve my design projects.

It's an interesting approach to take into design, being a problem solver. Let's say that each problem is effectively a design project, and you have to solve it somehow by developing a design. I don't know if my head is currently capable of further developing this point, but I'm going to go ahead and assume most people get the general idea.

I picked up an older album by a band I was told I would love if I was a fan of bands like Coldplay and Snow Patrol called Slow Motion Reign. I have not listened to the entire album as much as I have been listening to the track "Shining Days", which has some fantastic vocal melodies, primarily something I look for in bands that have singing. Things are going to start getting real lonely around my apartment as I am the only tenant staying until the end of this month. Having an entire house to myself for a few weeks will be a bit on the creepy side.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The doctor said they'd never get her all sewn up...

So I haven't started shaking yet, or breaking into the first floor of homes to steal a VCR to obtain a fix of World of Warcraft. I decided two years without an actual break of a month or more of doing any activity like that is a bit much. Make no mistakes, that game totally owned my life, if not my life then pretty much every Tuesday and Wednesday night, as well as all day Saturday and Sunday.

I'm wondering what it's going to be like going the entire day tomorrow without playing. World of Warcraft being up a short flight of stairs after all. I just hope I don't end up like Leonardo Dicaprio in the Basketball Diaries.

I blame the recent decision to stop playing WoW entirely on coming across an article in one of two recent magazine purchases. STEP: Inside Design and PRINT are primarily at fault. The article in question spoke about the best of the youngest designers out there, and how one was only 25 years old and is doing stuff that is not just lightyears ahead of me, but make me look like I never even graduated with a degree in the field of graphic design.

I have a few design projects of my own in the pipelines for now and will begin posting them when they are done. My goal is to have them in some way available to the general public.

I've been rocking two new albums on rotation lately, but as always with me, they're not necessarily "new" in the truest sense of the word. One being Ulrich Schnauss' "Goodbye", a melodic mix of electronic and Bloc Party's "Silent Alarm" which I'm sure everyone recognizes the name on some level. "Goodbye" has been treating my ears well though, the title track especially coming in at nearly seven minutes is my favorite track on the whole album. It's definitely something different for me, as is this whole rash of music I've been listening to. I also managed to acquire tickets to see Silver Mt. Zion at the Middle East in a few weeks which I'm psyched about. The last instrumental band I saw was Red Sparrowes when they opened for Breather Resist more than likely over two years ago. The vibe is very zombified when said instrumental band is tight, and who doesn't like turning into a zombie sometimes?