Sunday, December 14, 2008

After a long period of who knows what

It's been two days since the semester ended for me. The Nike studio is over and we'll get the result much later. In January I think. Just refresh, there will be a winning group and "if there's room" the shoes will be prototyped. You know, real shoes! Not that they will be put into production, but the level will be just as if it was ready to be produced.

The last two weeks have been the hardest I've ever had for school. I spent most of my time in 010 of the Walter B. Ford building on campus. I even found the good chair with a divot in the seat that can anchor you when you sleep sitting upright. There were many sleepless nights working on final design and many more working on presentation deliverables. Our 2D and verbal presentation were pretty good I think but all of our physical models were...less than desirable?

Either way, this was one of the most [hard, fun, intense, extensive, lengthy, time consuming] classes I've had. I'm thinking about pursuing an internship at a shoe company so I can see how it goes for real. Time now for me to enjoy my own time and prepare for Florence! Waiting for two more parts to get my student visa so far.

Here's my final design with the uniform that I mostly designed. I say mostly because I had some input from my group. Chris mostly designed the warm-ups and "engineered-sock" to go with the rest of our shoe line. Our design theme was hard armored shell on the outside, soft family-like core on the inside (the sock).

Monday, December 1, 2008

November doesn't matter

The entire month of November has passed and not an entry to be found. Basically, Nike has a bit of significance. I'll tell you in two weeks time how it all went.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


To keep up with my Time-based Media, check out my Vimeo account. Nike is taking up a lot of time and I really should be working on that now... goodbye!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Adding more pictures

I've noticed that my blog lacks images. Being visual, I like pictures. I like to look at things, not read the rantings of some poor sap. So here is a picture of my work space.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I finally got all my stuff together and got accepted to Lorenzo de Medici! It will be a semester in Florence taking history, graphic design and italian. Sprinkled in there a few trips around Italy and seeing some family and I'm waaay excited. I need to start kicking my ass and using Rosetta Stone more often. It helps but I tend to forget to set 30 min or so aside to practice. I think it's my biggest life goal, to learn Italian. Or being hired as a creative. Hopefully both. 

First things first though, I have to get stuff together for another video conference with Nike. They came last week with some good feedback. They like where my group is going and just keep on keeping on for us. Saturday morning, one of the designers, Jeff, stayed after a little and just got to talk a bit. I left thinking that I'd really like to intern and/or work there. It's not a big weight room over there. You don't have to be a super athlete. I think it's something that I personally couldn't do for a long time. I like to have some creative problem solving. It's the cultural side of Nike shoe designing that gets me. End of the day it's a shoe. Someone will either buy it or not. But the thought and research and learning that the designer does is fascinating in the most fascinating of ways. I can only imagine how much further a shoe designer could go into an individual, culture, team, group, whatevs.

Monday, October 20, 2008


The stress was lifted for a day this weekend. My friend Anna Liisa came to visit. However Sunday arrived and I was reminded of how much I have to do in such little amount of time. I went to check out scheduling for LdM. Turns out a few classes I want either aren't scheduled for this coming semester or conflicts with the accelerated Italian class I want. My international advisor is out for a week but luckily my academic advisor is available. I also need to check back with perspective employers about summer internship positions. I need to gather sound for my Time-based class and prepare for Nike's visit on Friday. I'm progressing steadily on that but still not quick enough. 

Another busy week.

Friday, October 17, 2008

...because I drank coffee too late in the evening

We had our annual Portfolio Review day here at CCS. It's a great opportunity to get critiques, network, and hopefully a job or internship. I met with Evolve, Fredrick's, Kaleidoscope, Whirlpool, Converse, Dow Corning and Kohler. Some went better than others and I had my best interviews with my top choices. I was really hoping to meet with Crispin Porter & Bogusky but unfortunately they didn't show up. No matter, I'm still going to try to reach them another way.

With my portfolio showing a general success, I'm gradually feel the stress slowly lift off my shoulders. Unfortunately, my shoulders have a cramp in one side that reaches up to my neck and head. Finding a comfortable position to sleep in is quite the task tonight.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Portfolio, AfterEffects, portfolio, Nike, resume, portfolio, Nike, portfolio, portfolio, portfolio, AfterEffects, portfolio...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bored with shoes

I was very bored last night and was done with shoes for the day. I also had a chance to use the new baby Cintiq. With my trusty SketchBook Pro, I had a couple digital sketches of planes. Real quick but real fun.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


We're having a conference call with our Nike man: Ron White. This is mostly to just give a very brief update on what themes we're focusing on. It's pretty straight forward so far: basketball shoes, MSU as a school, Nike, culture of MSU or sneakers or basketball, basketball the game, and player/team. We've broken those up for each member to focus on and then share. The week follow that, we'll have a video conference with a presentation of our research. And then start designing!

ALSO! Nike gave us templates of their "swoosh" in 15 sizes so we don't mess it up. Corporate identity man, big stuff.

Another big thing, this one coming up sooner, is my first major graphic design project. "Temporal poetry" is the name. We took a poem we enjoy and then analyzed it. Taking our analysis, we took field recordings of sounds that share the same feelings as our analysis. THEN we took any number of words in any order to make a storyboard for the actual motion part. Pretty much the finished piece should be a reflection of the emotions of the poem rather than the literal poem. In around 10 seconds. In fact, I should go do that now as it's due in... 72 hours.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I realize that one post said that I wasn't sure about the confidentiality of my NIKE studio. And one before it said exactly what it was. Anyway, it's doesn't matter because it's public information. I've been doing some shoe renderings to get used to drawing shoes before the design part comes in to play. I'm getting better but I don't have as much time as I'd like to play around with it. I used Alias SketchbookPro 2009 for booth. I really like that program. It's so quick to pick up and go. Not quite as refined as Photoshop but I think similar result could be attend with work.

The green one is one of the first ones I did with MSU in mind. Oh, I'm designing a shoe for MSU basketball... The red one I did today as inspired by a recent CCS grad, Ian Galvin. Mostly it was the position and the red. Obviously his is better than mine but, well. I'm getting there.

Friday, September 19, 2008


I have a delicious account now and I'm sure there's a way to have Blogger and Delicious work together some how. Delicious gives me a way to add the script but Blogger doesn't make it clear to me as to how to add it. Ideas? Please comment!

Get to my personal account.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wild Detroit

It was required for my time-based media class to go out and capture sound in the field. I decided to go to Belle Isle, it was raining and I figured few people would be out there. I was right in that. It was rather pleasant considering the last time I went, well second to last time. The last being for the Grand Prix, RRRWWWWAAAAOOOOO. Anyway, the last time I went to be a visitor of the park, there were way too many people and it just was no fun. This time I felt less rushed and could see the great things to be seen. Lot of water, trees, nice architecture. The closest I've ever been to a heron was in Detroit, go figure. There was a neat little foot path that got increasingly narrower as it went. My feet got pretty went, I have a few mosquito bites, my sound bites weren't that great but I had a good time. I want to go back, with my camera, more times before the snow comes. When that happens, I hear it's fun to go drifting. Wee!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


It's been a while since my last. Fortunately it's because I've been busy. My fall 2008 studio is sponsored by NIKE. That's cool and good to have in my portfolio. I'm not sure how much I'm allowed to divulge. So, I guess should only say that it's related to sports... It's getting better now though, not as scary as I had imagined.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Logo 90% complete and new info on my studio

I've finished with these two. Many people like the wheel better and I agree with them as it has more to do with active sporting thing than the cog. The typefaces need some more investigating and the tagline may be removed. I'm thinking I want to work on the wings to match wheel spokes better. I originally wanted something like the airforce logo. I kind of like them now. I'll sleep on it a little bit more. 

I also found out more information on my studio this fall. I knew that it would be sponsored by Nike. Last year, the projects seemed really good. They were to design a shoe for a specific country and sport. There was a lot of research with cultures and such and I think that was really interesting. I'm also in the graphic department and get emails from them. I find in my inbox that the Graphic Dept is looking for students to work with us ID kids on the Nike studio. In the email is the design brief:

"CCS Students work in design teams (3-4 person) to create performance shoe products for any Division 1 college basketball team.  Performance needs will be based on specific style of play and/or player position (speed vs. power, etc.)  Aesthetic soul and visual code will be inspired by the team dynamics, rituals, geographic location, local culture, team/player history, team goals, etc.  The best projects will be rapid prototyped at Nike global headquarters in Beaverton and displayed at Ford Field in Detroit during Final 4 playoffs in Detroit, March 2008."

I'm not a fan of basketball, much less college basketball. I would have much rather done a project about an uncommon sport like curling or fencing or something that doesn't have quite as much coverage. I'm not a fan of any of those high profile sports. I guess I'll have to make the most of it. I suppose once in the profession, I won't be able to get everything that interests me. We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I've embarked on creating a logo for a group some friends of mine started. It's called Joyride Syndicate. The Syndicate started as a mountain biking group but has since expanded to anything... dare I say it? "X-treme" Let's say a group that encourages an active lifestyle. Actually that's worse. You get the idea. A bunch of dudes that get their jollies from doing fun/stupid things. I spent a little time on it and posted a work-in-progress screenshot. I can't seem to kind my mouse which I prefer to use while designing.

This is a good illustration of my work flow. I work on many ideas on the same document with inspiration onboard as well. I allows me to compare things on the fly. Sometimes I get too caught up in everything rather than hunker down and just design one thing. It was pointed out to me that my subconscious designed from the Top Gear logo. It works well for this project. A spinning gear and a chunky italic typeface. I had the idea of "gear flight" in mind while doing it as well. I need to illustrate better, but I'm picturing a cog in perspective with wings. I'll start with a manual drawing first and then go digital.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Home and refreshing

I've returned home for the final three weeks of summer. The more I make the drive from Detroit to the Keweenaw Peninsula, it gets more annoying. The first time was actually fun because I was seeing a lot of Michigan but now I realize that it's mostly freeway driving through some fields. BUT I am home now and it's worth it. Detroit is inspiring in many ways as a designer. But it get wearisome. It's not a bombed out, murder capital but it's no scenic lake shore boulevard cruise either.

I love seeing our canal (I say our because the locals have a ton of pride) as I drive up our many many hills. And it's nice to know we still have a plethora of trees left. At a lookout point, you know there are houses in a particular place but there are so many trees, they hide all the buildings. I have yet to take a leap in to Lake Superior but I will before my time is up here.

I have more on my "what to do while home" list. Let's hope I do it all.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Olympic Torches

The NY Times put together this neat visual database of all the Olympic torches. Notice the Albertville 1992, it was the first departure in mostly similar design and since then have less of a "crafty-handmade" feel and definitely look like product design.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Original intent

I'm thinking I should try to keep this a bit more professional. The CCS JobBook has a spot for website and I was thinking about this place. How professional looking is a personal blog? I guess it depends on how I take care of it. More images. More design. I think I can do that and lay off the 12 year old girl rants.

Ready go!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Easier better faster just as strong

I did my 2nd and 1/2 AutoCross yesterday in Ohio. It was pretty good. A friend, Geof, was with me who gave good feedback. Also a fellow Superior Region SCCA member was around and said he'd give me his old STi exhaust for free! Now I won't have to reset me inner ear every time I drive the highways.

I wasn't doing as well as I wanted to, I got a bit squirrely on a corner but I had a cone-free day. Luckily I remembered to mark myself as a novice and I was also included in that class too. Here is what is known as "bench racing." It's where you try and talk yourself up as a better driver and it involves a lot of "seconds" "tenths" tossed around. Biggest thing to remember, I HAD CRAPPY ALL-SEASON TIRES ON. For those who don't know, tires are the most important part of driving, in any way. Whether it's puttering around town or screaming around a chicane.

My I was 3/4 in my novice class, 7/10 in my novice class, 9/11 in my overall class, and 79/85 in the entire race. So not that impressive looking. But this was my 3rd time around any type of course with crappy tires. And I'm sticking to that. It didn't help my ego when the announcer said "I don't want to sell him short but that's a 200hp, turbo charged with AWD." I have the RS not the WRX. I'm not that bad.

Hopefully pictures are to come.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Harder better faster stronger

Remember the 16th? He we go again. This time I'm only using Daft Punk to keep me going rather than The Daft and caffeine. You can tell because this has some logical order and is only a single paragraph. It's working well so I thought I'd let my digital audience in on it.

On a continued high note, I did a few pages in my sketchbook that I'm happy with. Huzzah.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


My God do I love Moka cafè…

…and caffeine.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Uh oh

Here we go again (see July 14)... I need to sketch and get better. That is all.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Eb and flow

One of my many themes of life is the classic yin/yang, black/white, ebb/flow, pos/neg...etc. As the last post may have illustrated, it wasn't a great day. In contrast, tonight I'm feeling good. I took one of those mind boggling naps where you fall asleep during the day and wake up in the dark and "you don't know what goddamn day it is"  (see Carlin at the 5:16 mark) I tried to sleep in my real bed but to no avail. I remembered I had a quarter of a paragraph written for a film essay due Thursday so I decided to pick that up. But it's a technical writing and doesn't hold my attention very well. So I found the last half of Scrubs season 7 that I missed completely.

OH! You should keep in mind that I have a cup and a half (with the other half still here next to me) of Italian style coffee. OH! And my nonna's biscotti. Mmm. Excellent with coffee of any brewery.

So my mind is a bit razzed. My roommate went to bed so I'm sitting in the mostly-dark room. I like these times. It feels like I'm closer to my own mind, like it's easier to think with fewer distractions around. Also like when there's a black-out and all the lights are out and you can hear better because your brain doesn't have to use the sense of sight.

I should be writing that paper but I'm doing well so I thought I'd take an unrequited break to tell you fine, interweb audience how good I'm feeling. So I think I'll put Daft Punk's Alive back on and jam away at this essay.

PS, I'm thinking a brighter color scheme to reflect my mood, eh?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Quietly freaking out

In an uncharacteristic mood swing given my class load(2), work schedule(none), season(summer), I'm having visions of not succeeding in life. Mostly involving school, drawing, ID. So what better thing to do about it than blog at 2:40 in the a.m. I've mentioned before that I'm not sketching as much as I should. It's a typical bad cycle. I don't think I'm that good at it and I don't want to look at them, so I don't do it. And by not sketching, I get worse. I'm signed up for a Nike studio: shoes. Shoes I feel are like cars. You can ruin the proportions easily and mess up the whole thing. I've squeezed out a little shoe here and there and promptly threw them in the trash.

This then makes me think about how this is parallel with the rest of my life. If it's too hard, do I just ignore it? Don't get me wrong, I like a challenge but it helps when I think I can win. The drawing part half of my concentration here at school. Obviously I don't suck at it since I'm beginning my third year here, but it gets quite discouraging when after every corner you see someone who is phenomenally better than you.

So I know what my strength is, the thought-process/idea. But drawing conveys those "grand ideas" I may have. My sterling personality and wit? Same thing, I need to show those attributes to a potential employer without being able to be there to explain.

None of these are new thoughts. I'd rather be in Lake Superior enjoying the giant waves that come this time of year with the high, warm winds. That it's kind of lonely here... But enough, time to end this depressio bloggio. I smell a camp fire but seeing as how I'm in Metro Detroit, it's actually a house burning down. Thanks D. I think I'll change the coloring of this for a while and then get back to working on my Type3 assignment.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The designer in me

I'm often unsatisfied with the color scheme of this page. I know I want it to look interesting and easy. So I've been using this color app site as a way to find good color combos. After w few minutes of this, I'm off to finish gluing my book together for a graphic design class.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Obvious Disregard

It's been a little over two months since the second post. I could use this place to my advantage and let people know what's going on. And if I kept up with this more often, people are more likely to check up on it.

So where do we stand as of today? I should be drawing more. I have little to no income with little to much spending. I stress out too much over my two classes. I love driving my car. I want to add so much more to my car (see above). I should be drawing more. The summer is half done. I'd rather be in the U.P. I should be drawing more. I still keep up with the design world via the glorious interweb. The weather isn't as bad as I had expected in Detroit for the summer. I should be drawing more. An
d I should be drawing more.

I'm still trying to learn Italian on my own volition. I pick up Rosetta Stone not as much as I should. I still want to visit. But maybe not just visit. Study, work, live? My few visits have been great and I wish I could go and not be a tourist. In fact, I think I do a lesson or tw
o after this is published.

In the meantime, here's a photo of my car.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Here's a go at trying out posting some images. This is a more recent page from my sketch book. The theme is ink. You might have read the word "INK" on the page but I felt writing here is appropriate as well.

Let's hope for some rad posts in the future, eh?

A wondrous step into digitization

I didn't realize creating a blog was so easy, especial with my Google account. I intend for this to be a quick portfolio site for my time at CCS.
My photo
Detroit, MI, United States
I don't blog that much.