Designer and Web Developer living outside Nashville, Tennessee

Very Animated

Long time, no post, no excuse. Now that I’ve cleared that up:

As any graphic designer and/or illustrator can probably tell you, it gets a little old constantly working with static images. So, like a lot of graphic artists, I’ve been experimenting with compositing my Illustrator, and Photoshop illustrations into After Effects for the past several months now and am addicted to animation. As much as I love web design and development, the process of creating animations has taken over (for the time being). I’ve had Adobe After Effects on my Mac for a long time now and just….shamefully…..ignored it.

It’s not just any animation that I’ve become fascinated with, it’s that 2D illustrative style animation created with the movement of layers upon layers. I’m sure there’s a name of genre for it but, if there is, I don’t know it.

Not so long ago when I heard the word “animation” I couldn’t help but think of those played out, shiny, plastic looking, 3D animated characters that are showing up in every car dealership or mattress store commercial bouncing all over screen while screaming the latest sales at you (or telling the salesman how CRAZY he is to be making such an absurd offer to his or her customers.

I don’t want this to be taken the wrong way. I think production studios like Pixar produce fantastic work but I think more attention should be given to people like Christian Schlaeffer and Eamonn O’Neil just to name a couple.

THE RETURN OF JOHN FRUM from christian schlaeffer

ON THE QUIET from Eamonn O’neill

As a footnote, I’m currently making an attempt of developing my own little animated short that I plan to post in a couple of months or perhaps years. Free time is golden.

200 Boagworlds

Paul Boag (foreground) and Marcus Lillington

Paul Boag just had the 200th episode of his podcast, Boagworld, which is the longest running podcast of its kind. It was this past Friday, February 12th and it truly was, as people have said, a one day web design conference. It lasted 12 hours and was broadcast live from boagworld.com with a live message board and a multi-camera feed. Although I only caught the tail-end of it, it was truly fantastic.

It was stacked with some of my favorite people in the web design industry. Some were interviewed via video chat while most others sat across from each other at a huge conference table, each staring into the screens of their MBPs.

There was, however, some trouble in paradise. Apparently, there were a couple of morons on the message board that were making personal attacks on some the guest designers. These idiots received way more attention than they deserved. This triggered an arsenal of  very interesting, retaliating blog posts from many of the designers. Still, way more attention than they deserved.

Anyway, the whole point to this post was to give praise to Paul Boag on the effort and energy he put forth in creating the special 200th episode of Boagworld. Every time I listen to his shows, he never fails to inspire me and give me new perspectives to look at in web design and design in general. He and Marcus Lillington (co-host of Boagworld) are almost always in a cheerful mood, that’s contagious. I would also like to thank all of the designers that took the time to take part in the podcast, especially the ones that made the journey to “the Barn” which is the Headscape office in rural Dorset. I hope they are able to put the majority of the live show in a podcast format so that I listen to all twelve hours of it (in bits and pieces, of course).

Keep up the great work, Paul and Marcus. You guys do a wonderful job.

Cold Blooded Creativity

Lizard Brain

I subscribed to a podcast by Merlin Mann a couple of years ago called 43 Folders (and You Look Nice Today). It has become one of my favorite podcasts, though the episodes are few and far between. The last one was was an interview by Mann with Linchpin author Seth Godin. I’ve listened to it twice now, and still can’t bring myself to delete it.

Their discussion was about the lizard brain and how it stands in the way of your creativity. They explain how the lizard brain is there on the brain stem, beneath the brain that we know, and that we see pictures of. Godin’s theory is that we no longer really need it because we don’t run into the threats of saber tooth tigers and the like. I can’t really go into it much further without just plagiarizing the interview word for word. I can say, however, that after listening to the podcast, I discovered my lizard brain annoys the hell out of me, and I feel has held me back from doing things that I would like to have done time and time again. If you were to learn how to control that thought process the way they explain in the podcast (and I presume Godin’s book, Linchpin), it would free you to do a lot more in your life without having that voice telling you that you shouldn’t or can’t.

You should definitely give it a listen because it really got me thinking. Also, I just love the talk of psychological theories from people who fool me into believing they know something about it.