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designblinks update

9 Jul

You may or may not have noticed that I haven’t made any new posts in over a month, so I’d like to explain why.

I went to Weapons of Mass Creation Fest in Cleveland, OH. My goodness that was an amazing experience. Not only did I get to hear so many inspirational designers and illustrators, I was able to meet other like-minded designers who were just as hungry, if not hungrier, to gather as many tips and to soak up as much inspiration as humanly possible in one weekend. I will expand on my time at WMC Fest in a upcoming post.

I also accepted a new job (same university, different department), so in the past few weeks, I have been finishing some larger and on-going projects for my previous department, as well as trying to get up to speed with my new department, which included finishing the interview process, accepting the position, and picking out new hardware and software. All in all, it was a long process, but well worth the move. I was with my former department for over four years and within that time, the department restructured several times. There were many road blocks and red tape, as you may have in any academic setting, but this was a great opportunity for me to join an newly-formed, fast-growing department, pretty much at the ground level. So I will be able to help them set guidelines, organize, and write policies that they will use in the future.

Because I’ve been busy with job-related things, I have been absent from my daily social sites where I draw my usual blog content from. That’s the main reason I haven’t posted anything in the past month+. Over this “extended blog vacation,” I’ve had a rebirth of sorts; working on changing the way I do things personally and professionally. That being said, I plan on making more frequent posts, hopefully two per week.

Thanks for sticking around.

Father’s Day gift

23 Jun

I started reading An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers while on vacation last week and got to thinking. My 2-year-old son, Benji, has shown a pretty strong interest in drawing. So much so, he started wanting to draw in my sketchbook. Like any other father who wants his kid to be creative and have a supportive upbringing, I let him draw in my sketchbook, carefully guiding him to draw on the blank pages. I may be partial since Benji is my first-born child, but I was pretty impressed with what he was drawing. Sure some of it looked like your typical 2-year old kid scribbles all over the page, but his happy faces, spiders, and bananas/hot dogs are pretty convincing. I’m fairly certain that his face-drawing skills are strongly influenced by the Mii Channel on the Wii, which he calls “Guys.”

So, a few days before Father’s Day, I decided I wanted to buy Benji a sketchbook of his own. This would be a gift from me to him, which in turn, would be a gift to me. I love watching him learn, grow, and try new things. Why not give him something to help him draw, create, and dream? Plus, I thought it would be great for me and my wife to look back at his drawings and see how much he has changed through his sketches. I hope that he continues to draw and sketch so we can have a little library of his sketchbooks starting at 2 years old. I also wanted to draw with him so it was force me to sketch more often. Now, I have to say, I’m not pushing any of this on him. If that ever changes, I will not force Benji to draw in it, but will always encourage him to keep doing something to challenge himself and keep his mind sharp.

The sketchbook is a standard 8.5″ x 11″ black, hard-bound blank-paged book. I put a label on it with his name so it wouldn’t get mixed up with my completed sketchbooks and told him that this is his special book that he can do whatever he want’s with it. Above are some of his sketches; the top was done before he got the book, and the second one was done today. After I ask him if he’s done with the page, I asked him what he drew so I can note it on the side of the page along with the date.

I plan on keeping a digital record of his sketchbook, to share his progress. I’ll set up a set in flickr and be sure to update this posting with the link.

I wonder if anyone else has done this, and documented it. If you or anyone else has done this, please share!