Creative Redemption

There are times when a design con­cept of mine fails to boil over in awe­some­ness and at that point I throw a sheet over it, shove it in a cor­ner next to the mutated Chihuahua-Goat™ and ask myself why I even attempted it.

It hap­pens so often, in fact, that I begin to doubt my instincts as a designer. It bog­gles the mind that a Design­ers Anony­mous group doesn’t exist for this very rea­son, but I digress.

This way of think­ing is ludi­crous because every­thing we cre­ate is vital to the design process, no mat­ter the context.

For exam­ple: That movie poster that you spent sev­eral hours on, the one that was even­tu­ally canned because the hero’s (or heroin’s) face ended up being badly con­torted at a spe­cific view­ing angle would prob­a­bly seem like a failed cre­ation. You might even be tempted to trash it from your hard drive, never to speak of it again.

But guess what? Hor­ri­bly man­gled facial crufties aside, you might end up recy­cling the type­face or that speck­led tex­ture for a future poster or project.

Make it a habit, if you haven’t already, to file away your delight­ful cre­ations for future use and avoid curs­ing your design work with voodoo.

It just never works, I mean what am I sup­posed to do with this Chihuahua-Goat™?

Just remem­ber the three R’s: Redeem, Reuse and Rejoice.

Turning the Tide

After 4 years of writ­ing, off and on, about a vari­ety of things such as odd thoughts, close calls, suc­cess (and fail­ure) and other things now rel­e­gated to the archives, it’s time to switch direc­tions and start anew.

From the get go I’ve always envi­sioned this site as an out­let for exper­i­men­tal cre­ativ­ity and to share the results of such with whomever was interested.

This site’s focus was never meant to be excluded to just a blog, but due to my inter­ests in cre­ative writ­ing it just remained. Like Anton, I’ve been ready for quite some time to move away from just being a blog and realign (not that kind of realign­ment) my inter­ests and the inten­tions of this site.

For his­tor­i­cal preser­va­tion, I’ve decided to select the best arti­cles from the archives and com­pile them into a book because I’d hate to see those dis­ap­pear. Besides, I’d like to do some self-publishing and Lulu has me more than intrigued.

A Fresh Restart

What this means is that I’ll be tran­si­tion­ing the blog, or what you’re read­ing now, into a small, but impor­tant por­tion of the site. If you can think of it as the con­ver­sa­tion that takes place after you’ve con­sumed a three-course meal, then you’ll under­stand what its pur­pose will be.

The main course of the meal will be the illus­tra­tion and design, wrapped together in a fresh and fun lay­out that’ll hope­fully immerse you in what I’ll have to offer. (Speak­ing of which, have you seen the new Squidfin­gers design?)

As corny as this might sound, I do appre­ci­ate each and every one of you who con­tin­ues to sub­scribe to, read and inter­act with kar­tooner. There are plenty of you who should be proud of your design prowess and mea­sure of intel­lect. With­out you, I’d just be a guy with one of them-there blog thin­gies here in New York. In other words, chan­nel­ing the mantra of Chris J. Davis, “You rawk!”.

Catch­ing up with Goals

Part of the rea­son I’m so adamant about chang­ing some things is because I need to finally meet my goal of fin­ish­ing my comic. Yes, that comic, the one I’ve been talk­ing about for a lit­tle over 2 years! After mix­ing it up with my friends at SXSW this year and absorb­ing the enthu­si­asm, I’ve come to the con­clu­sion that I need to not just pur­sue, but chase after and tackle my goals.

I could just keep mak­ing excuses or con­tinue play­ing trash bas­ket­ball to bide the time, but that wasn’t why I chose this career in the first place. This is a jour­ney of explo­ration and fas­ci­na­tion that we’re all on, and I’m mov­ing up a cou­ple seats to see the full view.

Process and Innovation

On my panel at SXSWi this year I men­tioned doing con­cep­tual sketches for Sidev­ille, using the movie Pirates of the Car­ribean as one of my source mate­ri­als. I fore­see using the blog to post my work in progress, kind of like Car­son System’s Bare Naked App but with­out the app and the bare naked­ness. It seems like peo­ple are inter­ested in the process and craft of devel­op­ing a project and appre­ci­ate that mis­takes are made along the way.

As per­fect as the end result might be, suc­cess needs to be con­stantly fine-tuned and rec­og­niz­ing trail and error is part of that process. Every bril­liant and suc­cess­ful busi­ness or idea has to be built from the ground up and the vision­ary at the fore­front of things needs to keep inno­vat­ing and mov­ing forward.

Sure, a lot of what suc­cess can be might seem serendip­i­tous, but it’s the cru­cial ele­ment of keep­ing one’s eye on their goals that makes it both chal­leng­ing and rewarding.

To sum it all up, I’ve got an idea and it’s time to take that from con­cept to real­ity. Join me

The Influence of Art in Design

Over the past cou­ple of weeks I’ve eluded to the fact that I will be par­tic­i­pat­ing on a panel at this year’s SXSWi called The Influ­ence of Art in Design.

Here’s a descrip­tion of the panel (straight from the horse’s mouth):

Fine arts have long held a sub­tle, yet influ­en­tial grip on both infor­ma­tion and design. From car­toons, illus­tra­tions, dig­i­tal art, pho­tog­ra­phy and more, you’ll hear first­hand from some of the best in their fields, have a chance to explore the past, present, and future of the tech­niques that you see around the web, and how it can improve your own work and get both sides of the brain work­ing bet­ter together.

Turn­ing Thoughts into Reality

To backpedal a bit, before I made the com­mit­ment to go to last year’s SXSW Inter­ac­tive con­fer­ence — my first visit — I made a promise to myself that come the next con­fer­ence I would be on a panel. Cer­tainly it’s fun to actively par­tic­i­pate as an observer, but to present your thoughts to peo­ple, to engage them, to make them think and all said and done, if they can get some­thing out of what you’re say­ing, well, that’s say­ing something.

I kept that thought in the back of my mind, that I would some­how, using some force of nature have the oppor­tu­nity to be up there amongst a group of my peers and share some­thing, even if at the time I hadn’t any idea of what that might be.

Months later dur­ing a late night IM con­ver­sa­tion with Anton Peck he men­tioned the con­cept of the panel to me and it didn’t take much con­vinc­ing on his part, I was hooked..

The Dream Team

Next week I will be shar­ing meat­space with the fol­low­ing creative-minded people:

Come join us on Sat­ur­day, March 10th (11:3012:30pm) and be sure to mark it on your SXSW cal­en­dar.

It’s a win-win; you’ll have a blast, learn a thing or two and I can gen­uinely promise your cre­ativ­ity will kick into overdrive.