Support SaysBrad
  • (Most Compact 20000mAh Portable Charger) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology
    (Most Compact 20000mAh Portable Charger) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology
    Anker

    This thing, you need. Run your smartphone for days.

  • Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
    Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
    Klear Screen

    I use this cleaner for my iPhone, iPad 3, iPad mini and MacBook Pro. It’s great all-around and won’t mess up the oleophobic coating on iOS device screens.

  • Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams
    Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams
    Artic Silver

    If you’re having problems with your Adonit Jot capacitive touch stylus or Hex3 Jaja, you can improve its performance and reliability with careful application of thermal paste! For more on this, check out my capacitive touch stylus how-to fix-it guide. Months later (Sep 2013), my styli are still performing great!

  • Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint pressure sensitive stylus for iPad - Black
    Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint pressure sensitive stylus for iPad - Black
    Adonit

    Adonit Jot with Pixelpoint, works with a lot of new drawing apps on iPad.

  • Klear Screen's iKlear 8 oz. Pump Spray Bottle 7351-IKHP, Others, Electronics & Computers
    Klear Screen's iKlear 8 oz. Pump Spray Bottle 7351-IKHP, Others, Electronics & Computers
    Klear Screen

    The stuff I use to keep my iPad screen nice and clean!

  • Cosmonaut: Wide-Grip Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
    Cosmonaut: Wide-Grip Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
    Studio Neat

    Awesome capacitive touch stylus created by Studio Neat. Great guys, great product. I use mine every day! Bradtastic Approved.

  • Adonit Jot Pro Stylus for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Other Touch Screens (ADJPG)
    Adonit Jot Pro Stylus for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Other Touch Screens (ADJPG)
    Adonit

    Adonit Jot Pro is an awesome capacitive touch stylus for iPad & other tablets.

  • Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Walnut
    Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Walnut
    FiftyThree

    Even if you consider yourself a casual doodler or note-taker, you’ll love this well designed stylus. Built for Paper by FiftyThree, the iPad app — however, many other apps support Pencil.

  • Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards (Pack of 2)
    Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards (Pack of 2)
    Sportsman Supply Inc.

    Playing Cards for your password creation or poker game!

My Amazon.com Wish List
If you’re looking for an app, need personal or corporate branding, marketing material, an illustration, logo, sketch or design — there’s a Brad for that!

Entries in madewithpaper (14)

Tuesday
Dec162014

iCloud Drive Sucks: Apple is Screwing Up

Presently, iCloud Drive is unreliable crap.

If it’s working for you, I’m happy for you and hope that it continues to work well. For me and probably tens of thousands of other people, files appear, disappear, appear but won’t open, take days or weeks to sync…

It’s a mess.

I’ve been working on more substantial, long-form content for this site and other things, but since iOS 8 and Yosemite, I haven’t been able to reliably work on documents on my various devices.

I prefer to work in Ulysses III/Daedalus Touch, iA Writer Pro and Day One, and all three worked great before the switch to iCloud Drive. Now I’m having issues with all three.

  • Ulysses/Daedalus — None of my documents from Ulysses III show up in Daedalus on iPhone/iPad. Waiting for a sync to spontaneously occur yields nothing. Tried the reset troubleshooting instructions; nothing.

  • iA Writer Pro — Numerous documents aren’t listed on iOS. They are viewable when using the iCloud Drive folder feature, but are gray and won’t open. New documents take over 20 hours to sync — some have failed to sync entirely.

  • Day One — After waiting weeks and trying the troubleshooting methods repeatedly, the majority of the entries have synced across the various devices. However, 14 entries from my iPhone 5S wouldn’t upload for another few weeks, and finally synced today. During this time, entries would appear synced and then disappear a day later.

To be fair, a lot of the first-party iCloud Drive features are working okay. Photos enter the stream much quicker, and that’s nice.

Additionally, iOS 8 is problematic in general.

Shame on you, Apple. I’m really glad that I never moved beyond iOS 6 on my old iPad 2, because iOS7 ran and iOS8 runs so poorly on the iPad mini (first gen). My iPad 3 has issues with iOS8 as well; random lag and crashes. For the most part, the iPhone 5S handles iOS 8, but there are still random crashes and occasional device restarts.

In an attempt to beautify the OS, you’ve made it slower and glitchier. Turning off the fancy visual effects makes for a minor stability improvement, but overall, iOS devices haven’t seemed faster than iOS 6. When I first received the iPad 2, I was impressed by the lack of slowdown and minimal (if any) wait times. Now, idling has become the standard. In many ways, it feels like devices have taken a step back. I really miss Steve Jobs.

It’s as if these new iOS iterations are designed this way to force people to upgrade to the newest devices every year — and yet most of their phone deals with the major carriers are based on two-year contracts and upgrade cycles.

While it’s a nice idea to have synchronicity across devices with iOS 8, I’d prefer speed and reliability. Ideally both is best, but right now, that’s not reality. Also, Apple removed the Camera Roll in favor of a new organization system; while some may prefer it, it’s not optional. This seemingly small change has serious consequences for many apps and is far less usable for me.

Apple, please don’t be like Microsoft. Put your customers first and you’ll continue to stay on top.

If you try to put short term gains in profit and market penetration ahead of the user experience, put the desires of shareholders ahead of the needs of the consumer, your supporters will begin looking elsewhere. As I’m sure many already have.

Wednesday
Feb192014

Several Exciting Things in Blogging

iPad Paper sketch, MadeWithPaper FiftyThree

Turns out, trying to rebuild a website in Squarespace v6 with almost no spare time and not enough sleep is pretty hard. 

But I’m working on it. I’m just working on so many other things, too. I’m almost done with several reviews for some really cool products, and I’m really looking forward to updating SaysBrad with new visuals and features. 

If you’re thinking about creating or updating a website, I think Squarespace is a great option. And no, they aren’t paying me to say that — though I wish they were!

However, if you just want a simple blog, I’d recommend Posthaven. I’ve been experimenting with their service for about one month and it’s excellent, especially for mobile users (iOS, anyway — I’m not able to test Android). Priced at $5/month, the guys behind Posthaven promise to keep your content online forever after one year of paid service. I believe that they mean it, but only time will tell whether or not this promise holds up. Posthaven isn’t a huge company with massive, private resources. 

If you like trying new things and experimenting with code, maybe try Ghost. 

My experimental site, Bradtastica, is a Ghost blog hosted by the awesome guys at Ghostify. As is, Ghost is somewhat lacking and I think that there are too many bugs and uncertainties for business use, but the platform is new and full of potential. Within one or two years, Ghost will be a top contender and solid choice for blogging. Right now, it’s more… just kinda cool.

One more thing! 

Over the past several months (during my illness, mainly), I’ve tried several new capacitive touch styluses and have received offers to try a few more. I’m looking forward to posting some comprehensive reviews with sketches and photos. I’d wanted to get Says Brad moved to SS6 first, but with everything going on right now (disability, illness, moving, etc…), I’m not sure when that would be. (I’m also having major problems with the building that I’m in. Will probably have to write/share some scathing comments about PBT sometime.) I really want to separate the technology, political and personal content — just really lacking time and energy. So I’m formatting my reviews for this blog! I’m particularly looking forward to sharing my thoughts on Pencil, the stylus for Paper by FiftyThree. Have had a lot of fun with that. 

As usual, if you have questions or comments, you can reach me via my SaysBrad contact form (email), or through Twitter or Facebook. It’s nice to hear from everyone!

I hope you have a great week!

Sunday
Dec082013

Black Friday Thoughts

Note: began this entry last week. Been exhausted. :-(

Thanksgiving was the day after dinner with my parents, so I was pretty tired. We started to say what we were all thankful for but the conversation sidetracked, and never refocused. With the FLOTUS' suggestion in mind, we spoke about ObamaCare and politics... but I won't get into that here and now. I'm truly thankful for two wonderfully supportive parents and the relationship I have with my family now. Also, although we give each other a hard time, Stephanie does a good job taking care of me and reminding me to eat. I forget about that sometimes when I get involved in a project or, well, sleep.

It hasn't always been easy or fun, but I don't think I could get by without them and their support. Disability really sucks like that. Thank you. And a shoutout and thanks to all of the wonderful internet people — hopefully you know who you are. Your generosity, kindness and encouragement, thoughts and prayers are cherished and appreciated. I hope you have a great, merry Christmas! (...and a happy New Year!)

Now to Mainstream Sheeple Consumer (yes, very bleak—err, black) Friday thoughts.

I really miss Steve Jobs.

Mostly in an abstract way; it's not like I knew him personally, but insofar as a man (or woman) can be known by their great works and contributions, it pains me greatly that his direction and insight is no longer a constant.

Although Apple might honor and carry his legacy through their refinements and further developments of his breakthrough products, they've lost their prodigal navigator and are thusly adrift. It's impossible for me to know whether or not Steve would've allowed the iPad mini to exist, but I cannot fathom his acceptance of iOS7 on it.

Some people claim to run iOS7 just fine on first-gen minis. Many others, myself clearly included, believe that the tablet is just too slow for it. It's clunky. Glitchy. It crashes and lags.

It's ruined the mini experience for me. The mini was my favorite tablet, one of my favorite things, even with the iPad2-like specs and unimpressive screen. It gave me the iPad experience that I love on a device that I could use all day — the iPad 3 is just too heavy to hold up for hours. With iOS6, the mini was quick and stable.

It allowed me to create.

iOS7 was deliberately designed to be sleek and minimal — two qualities I don't have an issue with — however, it feels like style over substance. Over-engineered, unavoidable. Apple won't let dissatisfied users go back to 6, and even pushed the update install to devices. It seems like a marketing tactic to throw out at keynote speeches. Almost all of our users are on the latest version of iOS, while Android devices are split between...

Compounding my tablet frustrations are blogging woes.

Squarespace 5 has started getting hit with referral-link spam. At first it was maybe a few a week, then a few a day, now maybe a dozen per day. This nuisance isn't easy to take care of on an iPad, and has obscured legitimate comments, emails, questions... I've got to do something about it.

Sorry for the trouble here but I'll be happy to assist you. We will continue to maintain Squarespace 5 for customers. However, updates and apps that are released in the future will be geared toward the Squarespace 6 platform. – Squarespace Customer Care response

So it looks like I'm blogging on an obsolete platform. Simply move to their Squarespace 6? And perhaps in a few years, they'll grow tired of that, release version 7, and cut support/updates for 6.

I get that things progress and change is necessary for business, but because the systems are incompatible and there's no automatic 5 to 6 conversion tool, it's extra stress that I don't want.

So I've been looking into alternatives. I found two articles particularly informative.

I'd like to focus more on long form content and less on blog design; unfortunately, so many "blogging platforms" (CMS) are setup for full-site management and treat the blog as a secondary item and focus.

Perhaps more importantly (at minimum, of equal importance) is sustainability — Internet immortality. Permanent links. Link rot sucks. Importing and exporting content sucks — there's always loss and errors. That makes something like Posthaven — at least at face-value — very attractive. Their promise, for $5/month is a service that will last forever. I blogged at Vox, played with Pownce, tweeted at Jaiku, shared with Posterous — all gone.

I think my only real reservation with Posthaven at the moment is that I don't like the look, and it seems like there's no choice with that. No templates or themes, or CSS or whatever. Just pure, simple blog — take it or leave it. I don't think it's attractive or very usable. On their site, they indicate that custom design is something that they're working on implementing, so I'll have to keep an eye on it. If you use Posthaven, I'd love to know what you think of it, and how it compares to similar blog only services (like Medium, Ghost, Postagon, Roon, etc).

And then there's this: Web Design is 95% Typography – Information Architects — thoughts from the genius Oliver Reichenstein. I've read his thoughts on typography (I love typography and handwriting), and agree with most of it. It's particularly true for this blog, since I tend to post fewer, write longer (instead of many/short). This theme just looks bad with big type. If only I could work on it from my iPad.

I'm not good with code. I know a bit — enough to understand it when I see it, but I can't use code like I use a pencil (or stylus). I can't wield CSS as a design weapon, and that limits what I can customize on my own. If only I had more time, more years of life.

Squarespace (like many other visually fancy UIs) is difficult to modify on a tablet. There are a lot of JavaScript effects and overlays, menus and some drag-and-drop. Stuff mobile Safari doesn't do well (at least as Squarespace has coded it — I've seen some neat interactive HTML5 stuff on iPad, like FiftyThree's site). I really think that they could do away with all that or offer an in-app option, but alas, the limitations of small company. And they're based out of New York — not my first pick for a business.

My goal, of I can ever manage it, is to write about the tech, games and design that I love, disability and pain management, and politics (local, national, international). I believe that it's important to our first amendment and culture to express controversial and perhaps unpopular opinions, always remaining truthful and forthright. I don't like political correctness and white lies, and I don't want to live in a world where government tells me what I can buy, where I can go, whether or not I can own a gun, airplane or anything else. I don't want to live in a world where creativity and ingenuity is stifled and suffocated under the burdens of taxes, regulations, penalties, local, state and federal ordinances requiring prior authorization and approval, etc...

...but I really, really don't like all the public insults, flame wars, death threats, obscenities and personal attacks hurled at strangers online and elsewhere in our society today. There's an awful tension and hostility and a lot of hate — so I plan on contributing to debates without attacking others or responding to personal insults. I won't instigate persecution and I will report threats (and hate speech, where applicable), because it isn't right or productive. We do not have the right to never be offended, but we do have protection against battery, libel and slander. I encourage debates where people vigorously defend their positions and say "you're wrong," but I condemn the "you're an idiot and you should die" that seems to occur online with alarming frequency. Liberal or conservative, it doesn't matter who's saying it — this type of attack is wrong, and if I see or hear it in the mainstream media or popular blogs, I'll flag it — because I think character is important and people need to be aware of it.

In my experience, the racism, discrimination and flaming comes from:

  • people with an intellectually, factually indefensible position — perhaps thusly, they believe that their only option is to end discussion entirely or redirect it from information and ideology to personal attacks,

people so arrogant and/or narrow-minded that they believe that there's no possible way that they can be wrong; thus they are unwilling to even hear or entertain the opposing argument or view — and often in anger, shut down civilized discourse with disdain, using statements ranging from cynicism and snide remarks to outright vile hostility and threats of violence.

Sometimes it's difficult to contain anger, I understand that. But even if someone is wrong — stubbornly so — it would be far better to simply withdraw from dialogue than resort to conversational (or actual) thuggery.

So in the spirit of American Christmas, those are my stresses, wishes and cold-weather! winter worries. And now that I've shared them,

I can get back to blogging about fun stuff like iPad styluses and the joys of iPhone 5S. PLUS: why I won't ever switch from iOS to Android, and why I simultaneously want Android to always be awesome!

Happy December!

Saturday
Jul062013

Post-Independence Day Post!

Hey, everyone! Did you have a good holiday? The Fourth of July is a pretty exciting day. Not just for the fireworks — the United States of America is an amazing place, despite all of the crap that goes on.

I've been busy preparing a bunch of posts for Says Brad, controversial pieces, and spent the past few days confirming Squarespace Terms of Service with their wonderful support team to make sure that my content wasn't in violation of their ToS . It isn't, so soon I'll share thoughts on violence and video games, racism, race baiting and the parallels between the Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin.

And of course, that's not all! More about the NSA and their spy capabilities, controversial laws and ways to protect your freedoms, and as always, app and game reviews, art and, well, whatever else I feel like sharing.

For more frequent updates, cool links/videos and artwork, check out my Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook page. (Also: 360/PSN/vita gamers, I'm currently playing Borderlands 2, Soul Sacrifice, and a few others — if you want to play, message rainfault and let me know who you are and how you found me! I'm also on Guild Wars 2, but less frequently this month: Bradtastic.1623)

 

Monday
Sep242012

The bad and badass of iOS 6

Another sunset looking across Lake Merritt

Updating my iPad has been a big change — I'm still figuring it out, finding new things, getting frustrated and used to iOS6.

The first thing that I did was test out Siri. She's not quite the virtual assistant I was hoping for, but she's still cool; a very welcome (free) addition to my iPad, complimenting the dictation function elegantly. We're still getting acquainted — I don't know what kind of pair we'll make, at least until her sports knowledge extends to cover Tennis.

I like being able to set reminders and alarms on the fly. I'm excited about doing this on the iPhone 5 while I'm out; I'm still using the iPhone 4 (Siri isn't available on it), but I hope to upgrade soon. Telling Siri to remind me to stop by the supermarket at 2pm or to set an alarm for 8:30pm feels futuristic… because it works, perfectly.

A big what the suck

Apple, having declared thermonuclear war on Google, has replaced Maps with Apple Maps and has removed the YouTube video app. I'm glad that the new map app has turn-by-turn directions (aka real GPS navigation), but the new map app is fraught with issues. Some of the more hilarious mistakes will likely become Facebook memes. I haven't encountered an error yet (I think) but the lack of street view sucks. Yelp integration is good and bad because Yelp itself is flawed.

The YouTube app was actually pretty nice. Google released its own YouTube app for iPhone, but the iPad currently has only third-party alternatives. I've been using Safari — luckily, I don't watch much YouTube to begin with, so I'm not as affected by the change.

The badass

Safari is fantastic now. My favorite change? I can now attach/upload images to websites! Prior to iOS 6, file transfer could only be accomplished through apps. It's not perfect, but I've been able to add photos to:

  • My new design gallery here at Says Brad – I'm having issues uploading to this gallery, however. Hopefully it's a temporary, fixable issue. Squarespace support probably won't be helpful, however. (I'm very seriously considering switching to WordPress; I just don't know much about editing themes, and I'd like my site to look decent, so I'm trying to figure that out)
  • My Dribbble account – dribbble shots need to be resized to 400x300; I like using PhotoForge2 by GhostBird Software (universal, currently $3.99 USD), but there are others.

I really like Notification Center now, as well as Do Not Disturb. One simple change that saves a lot of time is the ability to tweet and post to Facebook from Notification Center. Also, I like the reorganized Settings.

I meant to keep this post short and sweet, but iOS 6 has so many awesome features, it's tough for me to be concise. I'll continue to add observations as I become more familiar with it, and when I get an iPhone 5, naturally.

Says who? Says Brad iPad art, Paper by FiftyThree
madewithpaper
Friday
Sep072012

Design is a Serious Lifestyle

BC Logo Concept 2
"BC" logo conceptual designs, #madewithpaper

 

Bradtastic Brad Chin BC logo concept designs made with paper by fifty three
Putting letters and symbols inside of shapes and playing with balance and positive versus negative space. Reminds me of "cake cutting" from NUMB3RS. Says Brad

 

As an artist, designing for yourself is often one of the hardest things to do.

When I started designing professionally eight years ago, I would meet all kinds of professional artists who didn't have their own business cards and websites. Sometimes, I'd get the qualifying statements excuses, "oh, this card is temporary," (or old), "my site is under construction." Fast-forward: things are about the same, except I'm not out much due to disability and chronic pain.

Sometimes I talk to artists online — at least now it's easy to setup an online gallery, free blog, flickr account, etc. — but the situation is still similar. As a solo freelance designer, you can't hire someone else to design your own stuff, and if you want to pay the bills each month, you have to keep working.

Disability and chronic pain changed everything for me, every aspect of my existence. I'm doing things and dealing with things that I never imagined in my pre-teen years. However, I still like a lot of the same things.

I've tried to create a little something for myself over the years, eventually settling on something that I liked, only to create something better the next day, week, or month. As an artist and as with all things, learning and improving — progress — should be constant. Consistent. So it's only natural that I'd continue to get better.

Design is a mission

Design should evolve and progress with society and culture. Being a designer is a commitment — the process itself is its own art form. Design is a way of thinking and a way of being. Design must grow, and sometimes through growth, change, but the commitment remains in the roots. Great design requires a commitment to perpetual excellence.

But logos? Logos should be constant… at least for longer. Like a name, a logo is an essential symbol of identity, but it should be more. It should convey values and ideals, traditions and origins. It should impress upon and instill its audience with a thought or feeling. Good logos deliver messages. So how does a designer design a logo? Design is always changing, designers are always improving, but a logo should stay the same. A paradox? No. Difficult, though.

The big blessing, The New iPad

Using Paper, I created a few "BC" logo concepts — something I could use, like a monogram maybe. Throughout the day, I tweaked and refines these sketches; some were erased, others duplicated. Some of them work, others not so much. During this process, I thought about how I was doing what I was doing… and how special it is for me.

Several years ago, Apple released the iPad and surprisingly, changed my life. Earlier this year, I was fortunate enough to get The New iPad; just a minor update/refresh of the iPad 2 for some, this device changed my life again, and continues to with new apps and app updates.

Equally surprising is the app Paper by FiftyThree, my thoughts paralleling the first-generation iPad. (I loved The Next Generation from the beginning) When I first saw (both of) these, I thought more style than substance, and I probably won't use this. In both cases, I'm very happy to be so-entirely incorrect.

I couldn't envision the benefits. Both seemed too similar to stuff I already had, stuff I was satisfied with. Both have blown me away, both I've mentioned before.

I mention it now because both the iPad (especially the new one with the Retina Display) and Paper (with my super styluses, oStylus DOT and Cosmonaut) are my main creative tools. Despite my condition, I can quickly draw and write, even laying down. With Dictation on the New iPad, I capture thoughts without holding the device!

The stuff I've drawn here probably wouldn't exist without these things. Hopefully, both will continue to improve, as design should! (Paper could really use more color options, zoom, and Jot Touch/Jaja support!)

The bigger, better

The relationships that I've developed because of the iPad are perhaps even more extraordinary. I'm friends with people I'd never have met otherwise; people across the country, some from other continents, others out of our solar system on outpost space stations and starships.

Some of the app developers have inspired me to keep trying, keep improving. iOS developers and accessory makers (those I've interacted with) are all really nice people, easy to communicate with and quick to respond. They appreciate and often encourage feedback, constantly improving, as designers should!

In particular, I want to mention Lance Barton. His company makes blogging happen on the iPad. Blogsy is fantastic as-is, and is always improving… (there's a pattern to things I appreciate and admire)

Lance has been really courteous and generous with his time. We email, and although he isn't a big writer, he always responds. Hopefully we'll video chat; FaceTime or something. He's from California but llives in South Korea; I think that's pretty cool. Aside from being my friend, I think it's great that he cares a lot about Blogsy user experience and answers everyone's questions. I had an relatively minor issue publishing here using Blogsy; he invested a lot of time troubleshooting, and had his team figure out how to fix it.

I also want to mention Andrew Goss. He's a manufacturing jeweler in Canada and is fantastically generous and kind. He designed and made the amazing oStylus, and then improved it with the DOT, and then improved the DOT! He's also a grandfather. He designed the oStylus because he wanted a great stylus to use with his iPad. That's pretty cool.

Sometimes, the process is more remarkable than the outcome.

Design lead me the iPad and these people just as graphic design is the basis of the images above. Sometimes, the journey is more important than the destination. Perhaps design isn't just a way of life or result. Perhaps it's in the core, the components, the elements, the trials, the errors, the paths — both what is done and how it's done. Maybe sometimes God is in the details.

 

A final thought on portfolios for professional artists out there.

I've found that sometimes, a comprehensive portfolio can work against you and your client or prospect. This happens when a potential client sees work done for someone else, and is then set on something similar. Instead of presenting previous projects and too many options, if I thought someone might offer repeat business, I'd create a few free design concepts. The advantage is that it's customized specifically for that potential client, the disadvantage is that it could mean doing work for no money — and the risk that that s/he/they might take that idea and give it to someone else. (There are a few ways to mitigate this risk, however.)

Wednesday
Aug222012

Says Brad logo ideas

I've been thinking about adding a favicon and other branding here, so I've been sketching ideas in Paper by FiftyThree for this blog. Mostly it's just practice—for fun… design and art is sort of like writing, use it or lose it.

Monday
Jul092012

Designing with Paper

I used to like real, analog paper.

Clairefontaine, Rodeo, Whitelines, and the occasional Moleskine. However, instead of lugging around thick, heavy notebooks, I now use the new iPad…

For just about everything.

 

Now, instead of the stationery store, I have the App Store. My Paper is supplied by FiftyThree and my notebooks are supplied by Evernote, Noteshelf and ThinkBook. I create mind maps and mood boards in Infinite SketchPad and Adobe Collage.

With my disability, I have to do just about everything from home. The Apple iPad allows me to find inspiration and create in an organic, fluid fashion. Apps open quickly, the battery lasts all day — I design more efficiently on the new iPad than I ever did on a desktop computer or in a sketchbook.

The new iPad Retina display is stunning — it's so clear that the iPad 2 feels unusable by comparison. As an artist, photographer or designer, four times the pixels is a fantastic upgrade. Further, text is so crisp that I prefer the iPad over Kindle for reading.

Sketching in Paper helps me unwind and brainstorm new ideas. I use it when I don't want to focus on precision and finite control. Brainstorming is about broad strokes, which Paper handles phenomenally. Some of these drawings inspire new designs and illustrations — some just look cool. And I enjoy sharing them.

So blogging, photography, design — art — all aided by iOS; an iPhone and an iPad. I also like to use an oStylus DOT and a KlearScreen microfiber cleaning cloth.

I like designing new things…

If you know someone looking for a design, new business card, marketing materials, an advertising campaign, billboard, postcard or help with writing or branding, please tell him or her about me — with a brief consultation, I can answer questions and outline the project. Thank you!

Wednesday
Jul042012

Don't die today

Happy 236th Birthday, America!

Three cheers! Fourth of July! Independence Day. Declaration of Independence. Fireworks, BBQ, drunk people. The United States of America. Three sheets.

I love America. Today is a great day to celebrate — but let's not forget what it's about. Looking across my backyard, Oakland (east, west and south of Lake Merritt), I've seen fireworks sputter and explode and in the sky since June 29. The pace is frenzied, the explosions progressively larger.

Believe me, it's beautiful. Unfortunately, it's dangerous.

These displays aren't set off by professionals in safe, controlled environments; hobbyists are firing off large fireworks from rooftops, alleyways, parking lots and street corners. Last night I saw the flashes of M-80s and M-1000s, along with a procession of gunfire.

People lose flesh, fingers, and lives from firecrackers and DIY explosives… I've seen some screwed up stuff on YouTube. It sucks that Oakland is too broke to afford an official firework show, but there are many across the bay area. There is, however, a family-friendly event at Jack London Square starting at 11am.

Oakland spent over $1M on Occupy clean-up; that could've been one heck of a firework show!

Second, don't let anyone drive drunk. Drunk drivers cause a majority of automobile fatalities. Take a cab, crash on a couch, safe a life. Thanks.

Sorry for being a buzz kill. I just want those I care for to be okay tomorrow, and don't like to hear about people's holidays ending in the county jail, ER, ICU or morgue. I'll watch the news tonight and tomorrow, and sure enough… but hopefully, I won't see you, or someone you know.

America is a wonderful place. Enjoy it. Let everyone else enjoy it.

See your friends and family. Laugh. Dance. Sing. Put a silly outfit on the dog/cat/baby/grandparent. Take pictures. Post the funny ones on Facebook.

And go to bed, safe and intact. Because tomorrow, people will be as serious and grouchy as ever.