Thanks for everything Mom.
Thanks for giving me the love and support I needed yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
I’ll try my best to pass on the same values to others.
Digging into software design mechanics this past week had me thinking about the juxtaposition between the frontiers we explore now and the cowboys and cowgirls that have come before us.
Yesterday we explored with horses, compasses, and maps.
Tools change, but the spirit remains the same.
Did you ever have a best friend?
I was thinking alot about “friends” this week at work, and what that means. When I was a kid I used to measure friendship by people that made me feel good. Now I’d rather have friends be honest with me so I can improve at the things I do.
Like Mr. Birdy here. He’s an awesome pet/friend/zord-like thing.
Dr. Strange is one of my favorite comic book characters.
I kinda made my own concept with this one, and imagined Strange’s shadow manifesting itself as a character apart from himself.
What if your shadow were able to talk to you?
In the year 2052, the third world war has ended, all the parents are gone, and a new age is upon us. The age of “build-a-bears”.
Far superior to the conventional mech technology of the early 21st century, “bears” are created by various factions of craftsman to aid them in the work they do.
The past few days were filled with challenges for the family at the studio.
That means we’re on the right track. Chugging through the point of most resistance usually pays off in lessons learned and real progress.
The big payoff was interacting with a prototype that entertained me. Not as a technical guy, but as somebody interested in the stories that other people are capable of telling. I was staring at the screen and laughing at the stories my friends put together on their own time. You can’t fake that. Either you smile or you don’t when the experience of interacting with something is appealing.
The week’s obstacles made me think of software and how it’s like trying to bring a mechanical creature to life. Then I thought of a giant mech bear with a gatling gun strapped to the side of its egg-shaped head. One circuit miss-placed or one wire crossed, and the bear isn’t functioning at optimum level. You’ve got to sweat the details because it makes all the difference when the system is locked into place and the switch is thrown.
With time, good software can be built much like the bears of 2052.
I am going to start posting weekly updates on development at the studio.
It’s the same stuff we’re using for software/hardware solutions internally for the past year, as well as what’s being used to help other entrepreneurs and creatives we’re currently building with. Strangely enough, internal product development has run increasingly parallel to externally facing product solutions. Our philosophy and goal have been to narrow to an apex where both sides of the mirror merge into one solution.
We’re getting a little closer everyday, bit by bit.
It’s become self-evident in our project flow and work patterns without us trying to force a solution. The real world is an excellent litmus test when it comes to the application of theory. See how it reacts when you put it out there. Pipelines we’re multi-tasking across various industries have become more similar, less complex, and more efficient. So by that measure, we know we’re on the right path.
What you will begin seeing are selected bits from our software production journal (6 months in the past), 2am sparks of inspiration on subway stations, film projects, and other bits and bobs. I keep saying our because none of the work that I do anymore isn’t somehow interconnected with the family that I’ve been learning with.
This post is centered on core mechanics we were working through to figure out how story could be expressed in sound and 3 dimensional space. It’s a conversation between myself and Sean. His sketches and notes on day 93 about environment prompted my response at a diner 2am at Union Square on day 94 about journeying through that environment.
You establish a character. In this case, the user. Then you establish a world. Then you allow the alchemy of that character and world to interact, creating a journey.
So heeeeere we go.
day 93: story universe
day 94: musical mechanics
A project where we had flexibility to brand name into a character. Had fun working on this one. I was able play with a color palette I normally don’t use.
The concept of on-boarding to the software was laid out in comic panel form and told in sequence as a narrative. The typography is not final in these examples, as I was focused on the illustration work at this stage of the process.
Here is a project that I’ve been helping out Jerod Chirico with visual development on.
We drove to a giant castle built by a husband and wife for the past 30 years outside of New York City. Custom iron work, stained glass windows, masonry, paintings, carvings, and odd sculptures abound in every nook and cranny of the architecture. It was like stepping into the abode of a wizard amongst humans. Interacting with the castle builder, Peter, was an enriching experience. He had mountains of baffling knowledge to share.
When the project is closer to completion, I should be able to post designs for the sets and visual effects I’m working with the other talented artists on. One of the designs was hand-carved out of wood over 10 feet tall and placed in front of the castle!
Keep an eye out for this one, the finished product should be rad. Woot.
It’s odd how changes tend to find you, not the other way around.
1) How does one identify in a more authentic way with the product they create?
The journey to these answers started with interactions I had with others in different fields of study and walks of life. In a roundabout way it lead me to some of the most transparent conversations I’ve had with my Mom and Dad.
It’s interesting how the journey away always seems to bring us back home.
My Mom and Dad work as a team. One has managed an engineering company for several decades, through all the ups and downs and several hiccups in the economy. The other managed classrooms and a family of six for several decades, teaching core values and principles that would germinate later in our lives. I picked their brains about how they did it, and spent a lot of time thinking about the lessons they’ve taught the family over the years.
The best decisions were the ones that my Dad always referred to as “the hardest”. Probably because making the right choice has a lot more to do with putting others before self; something that I’ve struggled with at times in my life.
In those struggles were consequences, many of which took years of deconstruction to my own ego and pride to begin learning through. Struggle is good, though. It has a way of whittling us down to our core and exposing the simple truths about things.
Over time, though, I’m making progress..
At the very least I’m learning to let go of the stuff that doesn’t mean all that much and focus more on the stuff that does.
Let’s see where this leads next….
My favorite place to get ideas out of my head are 24 hour diners.
I was with Jerod over the weekend at a place around Union Square.
I’ve done many drawings of Jerod as a birdman/toucan/pizza-head before.
Zing. Just like that.
Too see more sketch work click here.
Just a few robot mechanic concepts for a project.
To see more sketch work click here.
This is something I’ve wanted to do a drawing of for a while.
This weekend while I was in between other projects I started into it. When it’s done and colored I’ll post that image up next.
Every time I hear the opening song from Joe Cocker, the nostalgia of childhood and simpler times rushes back into my mind.
Too see more sketch work click here.
Time well spent is as much about the task at hand as how your attitude affects the people around you. Work is one of many vehicles to authentic relationships with those you share a portion of your time with.
My day and nights are now focused on helping to build a tech/gaming company based in New York. The fantastic group of business, engineering, and creative people involved cover broad skillsets and industries. It’s been an intense learning and cooperative experience. It’s like being schooled in an MBA, design, art, and computer science degree… all at once. Hahaha.
A shout-out to the core members in this venture: Mateen, Jeff, Zaw, Rich, Sean, Moises, Chris, Mike, Scotty, and everyone else being added into the fray. I love all you guys. We are raising the bar and staying hungry for the better solution always.
I’m making my best effort to better know everyone on the team as we are becoming an extended family of sorts to one another.
Plyfe is good.
To see more work click here.
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