Saturday, December 26, 2009

Best of 2009 CD

The past couple of years I have made a "Best of" mix CD for my friends. Here are the spreads from the booklet I did for the CD this year.

Friday, December 18, 2009

list of great things about this year

I was thinking today as I drove back to Ohio, "Man, I have done a lot of awesome things this year!" 2009 has been a heck of a ride, and here are the highlights...(not in chronological order...)

1. hosting 2 dance parties w/tracy
2. learning how to bend plywood and making a chair
3. moving to Boston for 6 months
4. being part of a really cool design team
5. new awesome friends! (too many to list! you know who you are!)
6. cape cod trip
7. north shore trip
8. concerts: i can't even recall all of them, but this includes seedy seeds (twice!), avett brothers, bishop allen, dan deacon, etc etc.
9. halloween in NYC
10. lobstah night!! (7 lobsters for 77 bucks and a heck of a lot of fun!)
11. misfit thanksgiving at patricks house
12. skyline chili fests
13. so much good food!
14. family visits to boston
15. playing ukulele
16. starting to get healthier (even losing a couple lbs, even though i am gaining them back over the holidays...)
17. T PARTY!
18. snowboarding/giving up on snowboarding and skiing!
19. karaoke in NYC
20. christmas in NYC (the best part? ice skating in central park!)
21. western mass/eric carle museum of picture book art
22. whale watching
23. harry potter exhibit
24. super deals on museums and stuff (aquarium, zoo, MFA, etc).
25. sitting on the Charles/Boston Common/Public garden and basking in the sun
26. bar golf
27. pastries
28. katie holmes/suri spotting!
29. tracy visits to boston!
30. overall growth in skills and confidence.

Man what a year! Of course there have been low points, but I think overall this has been one of the best years of my life!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

little square sketchbook #2

More sketches from the little square sketchbook!!

Tomorrow it is day 1 of the trek back to Ohio. It has been a great sad to be leaving the team at The First Years, but I am excited to see where the last few months of school/graduation take me! Maybe back to Boston??

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

little square sketchbook #1

Tracy got a little square sketchbook from a friend, which i instantly fell in love with and purchased for myself. it has been a while since I have had a "sketch" book (i know, horrible, eh?) and it feels really great to have one again.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

User experience: CD packaging

Today at Target, I picked up the new CD from Flight of the Conchords, titled I Told You I Was Freaky. I thought I would share the packaging because this is the kind of thing I love to discover when I purchase a CD...
First, the album art is great, and the cover is cut out to reveal the art on the next layer...

Next, you open the cover to reveal a plethora of awesome! A double sided poster, really nice packaging art, and a hilarious CD sleeve with emo pictures of Brett and Jemaine on either side. Plus, the CD itself looks really nice...but that's not all!

I open the booklet to find another surprise...there are also chords printed with the song lyrics! Why has no one done this before? I think it is a really fun touch.

I bought this CD for 9.99 at Target...pretty much the same price you would pay or an electronic download. These are the kind of experiences I was thinking about when I thought of the possiblity of tackling music packaging/user experience for my thesis. This experiece was so much more enjoyable than buying the CD online. If I were a musical artist, I would want my fans to purchase my music with this kind of can people be encouraged to buy "hard copy" music instead of digital? Is it really something that should be encouraged?

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Having surpassed the halfway point of this co-op quarter, the realization that I graduate in about half a year is hitting me hard....especially the fact that I will begin work on my thesis in January. That being said, I have begun to brainstorm some possible topic areas...this year, we have an overall "theme", which right now is loosely titled Intimacy. Really, the focus is the connection that we have with products as well as the way that products can connect people. I think this is a good topic because it really focuses on emotional design, which I am really interested in.

So far I have two major concept areas: Kids (no suprises there) and Music.

Possible starting points:

-heath: toys to promote health, encourage and educate healthy living. I like this idea but I think it is kind of overdone...maybe there is a new way to approach?
-connectivity: Maybe a system for connecting children in hospitals that are bedridden? Or play therapy?
-kids+music: product/toy that allows music creation/customization, self expression and creativity. "connect" with others to make a band....character based?
-exploration/nature: toy/product to encourage this. Geocaching specific GPS? digital nature log?

-exploring how we buy the CD/album art dead? Is there a product that music can be connected to to encourage sales? I really love having something physical from my music, and I don't want to see the creativity that goes into CD packaging go away.
-How do we enjoy music? headphones, mp3 players, can these be improved, altered, changed to create a new product?
-Again, music creation. Is there a "mixer for dummies" or something that anyone can pick up and create beats and mixes?
-karaoke. 'nuff said.

These are just a few initial thoughts, posted here more for me so I remember them...but if you have any comments or think any of these thoughts stand out, leave a comment!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

felt bag

Here's a bag I made from the leftover felt from my chair...

note: 1/4 inch thick industrial felt is NOT an easy thing to sew by hand!

Valley: My Completed Chair

Valley is a chair that is fun and beautiful: the form is graceful and elegant, and lends itself to multiple seating postions. Made by hand with bent plywood and felt.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Checklist for this co-op quarter

Things I want to do/accomplish next quarter:

1. Rock it at work, leave a great impression, and possibly a job offer? ;)
2. Further develop my concept from the DesComm group project
3. Thesis ideas: approach work about possibility of a sponsored project?

1. Be healthier (gym, eating better, etc.)
2. Sketching for fun as well as development (character, resurrect sketcheration?)
3. Ukulele skills....increase!

1. Boston fun!
2. NYC fun!
3. Halloween costume/halloween in NYC!
4. Ski Trip?
5. Trip to Maine?
6. Tracy visit to Boston
7. Harry Potter exhibit at the MOS Boston
8. Golden Book Art exhibit at the Eric Carle Museum of Children's Book Art in Amherst
9. Concerts! Passion Pit? Ra Ra Riot? The Dodos?

Because I hate doing posts with at least a picture or something interesting, here's what I have been rocking out to recently:

New personal goal: dance like that guy! haha, RIIGHT.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

chair sneak peek

The chair is coming are a couple of process pix to give you a sneak peek!

Moment of truth....

Seems like it worked!

Pieces for the felt pattern

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Terrible Yellow Eyes

Terrible Yellow Eyes is a Where the Wild Things Are tribute blog with lots of amazing art inspired by the book. Go check it out!! This piece is by Brittney Lee, who is amazing!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Poser men's facial care

Yesterday, we had another crit for our Des Comm group project, where we presented three refined concepts. Here is my concept, called "Poser".

The toner pads, moisturzer, and hair pomade stack and can be twisted to kind of "build your own" hipster. My other two group members, Tracy Subisak and Michael Kandel, have great concepts and I think it will be difficult to choose what design we use for the final presentation in two weeks.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

movies that grow with you

Movies are an interesting thing. For example, I can go watch a Harry Potter movie and be happy....but I really feel like I only need to see it once or twice. The movies that I really love are the ones that you can watch time and time again, but are always different depending on where you are in your life. I thought I would make a quick list of some of my favorite movies like this....


This has to be one of my favorite all time movies...very weird and different, and a movie you pretty much have to watch a second time to fully understand. Even though the movie is based in fantasy, the themes and the relationships between the characters seem so real that you can always find a little bit of yourself in the film.


This is one of my favorite scenes from Garden State. I really believe it is the climax of the film and where it all starts to come together for Large.


My favorite Wes Anderson. I love the three personalities of the brothers...really makes me want to go on a soul searching trip to India!


I can't wait to watch this movie when I am looking for a place to settle myself. The characters, though outrageous and a little out there at times, have qualities that are totally recognizable and common...and I think that a lot of the emotions that the main characters are going through are universal even if you aren't having a baby or who doesn't love John Krasnski!

Any other movies that fit in this category?

full scale model chair design

We had our crit today for full scale chair models. Here's what mine looks like!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

more passion pit

because I love them so much and the video is sweet, here's another passion pit video.

Monday, July 20, 2009

final chair direction....and 100th post!

For my 100th post, I thought I would share my refined chair direction!

Monday, July 13, 2009

connections: life drawing and ID drawing

One of my favorite parts of life drawing is gesture drawings. Gesture drawings are very quick drawings that quickly capture the essence of a pose. The best life drawings are drawn quickly and with a lot of energy, which is usually evident in the markmaking.

As I was gesture drawing in class today, I was thinking that a good way to teach ID'ers to sketch quickly is to have them draw "gesture" drawings of products: a series of 1 minute "poses" of a product to quicky capture the idea. Sketches that are drawn quickly and with energy are much more interesting than "drawings" and better exude confidence and productivity. I think the life drawing classes I took in high school helped me tremendously in developing my ID sketching skills in college.

Check out this comparison...

Some nice gesture drawings by Ryan Savas

Carl Liu's sketches...

As you can see from the above sketches, both sets of sketches are energetic, dynamic, and still show a lot of information while remaining "sketchy." I bet Carl Liu has done some figure drawing in his time!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Figure Drawing

In addition to the chair studio and des comm, I am taking a fine arts figure drawing class where we get to draw nude models. I have always loved figure drawing, so it feels good to be doing it again (although 8 hours a week of figure drawing is really exhausting on top of my other classes). Here are a few drawings from my last class...

Chair Minis

For our chair studio, we made miniature models of our concepts to get a better feeling of form and materials. Here are my mini chairs:

Friday, July 10, 2009

Chair studio progress

I don't have any of my sketches scanned yet for my chair studio, but I believe I have a direction which I thought I would share....

The form is inspired by inchworms and how they move. The chair can be sit on three ways: one way as a stool, and two ways as a rocker. It is made of bent plywood, acrylic, and felt.

I have more refining to do on the concept, but I believe it is my chosen direction.

Designing men's beauty products

In our DesComm class this quarter, we are doing a group project centered around designing a brand and a line of product. Our group (me, Tracy Subisak, and Michael Kandel) are focusing on a line of beauty products for men including an eye cream, moisturizer/toner, and razor/facial hair trimmer.

Yesterday we presented our first phase of research and concepts. Here is the image board that I was responsible for...

Here are a few of my preliminary sketches...

I will update with more progress as the quarter continues.....

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


While browsing The Dieline today for some packaging inspiration, I came across this whiskey bottle concept that I thought was pretty clever....

The brand, titled Mr. Burgular, features a thermosensitive graphic that reveals fingerprints when the consumer touches the bottle. The experience surrounding the bottle is very compelling, and would make me want to buy the product even though I don't really like whiskey.

I think packaging is a good area to produce some clever results, especially involving materials.

Friday, July 3, 2009

happy friday, and pre-fourth of july!

I love the colors and contrast in this piece. Hope everyone has a good holiday!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Video Teaser

Here ya go, ya'll.

In other news, I bought a ukulele online. Yay for distractions!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Goals for Summer Quarter

There are a few specific things related to my design skills and abilities I would like to work on this summer...

Communicating about design...but in a verbal sense. Being able to discuss design and relate to someone why a design is successful or unsuccessful is almost as important as being able do visually communicate a design, especially in the professional world. I had the opportunity to practice this a little bit on my last co-op, but I think our group project in DesComm and also our Studio project will help with this.

Creating form with meaning beyond funtion. Much of my form decisions thus far have been functionally based. I would like to learn more about form from a sculptural, emotional standpoint.

Representing my thought visually. How do I present what occurs in my mind on paper? There is so much that goes into each project that it is hard to know what is important for others to see...and much of it is so abstract and metaphysical that it is difficult to represent.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

sounds of summer-passion pit

when I think of last summer, I think of MGMT and M.I.A. I have a feeling when I think of this summer, I will think of Passion Pit.

even better, they are from boston! I love boston :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

goals for this quarter

As the beginning of summer quarter nears, I have a couple of things I would like to work on.....

1. I need to push my project and design further than I have before. I think the chair will be a good project to learn about aesthetics, emotional design, and function and is a project I can really get into. I always work hard at all of my projects, but I really want to step it up this quarter in terms of my work and the quality of the product I produce.

2. I need to get healthier and lose some weight. There is no excuse!! Every quarter I start out going to the gym at least a couple of times a week, but then end up getting consumed by school later in the quarter. Hopefully I can keep something up this quarter, if nothing else, maybe I can at least eat a little better.

Friday, June 19, 2009

bird on branch

bird on branch
Originally uploaded by art.crazed
Well, I am back in Cincy after spending a nice weekend in Boston with is a lot hotter here than in Boston! (90 degrees today!) Yeesh. Anyways, I am actually pretty excited to start this quarter at school, the chair project should be pretty long as we can do pretty much what we want! It will be nice to have a project that is more open to interpretation. I already have some ideas buzzing around in my head...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Rainy Day

Rainy Day
Originally uploaded by black*jj
Today is my last day at the First Years for this quarter...sad! I am coming back in the fall though, so it is all good.

My Boston journey is coming to an end, only a few more days! Mom comes in late tonight, and then we have a few days to have some fun before its time for a long drive back to Cincy.

Its been a wild ride, I am so happy that I got to come to Boston and have some great experiences! I have made a lot of new friends and have grown as an individual, I think.

Here's hoping that this summer is a good one!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Storming the Cape

What a wonderful weekend I had! Steve, Megan, Aaron, and I took an epic journey to Cape Cod, where much fun and adventure was to be had. Here is a brief chronicle of our adventures:

Day 1: In which I get sand in my Fig Newton and bike about 20 miles

The Cape Cod Adventure began with lunch on the was a little cold and overcast, but I think that worked to our benefit because the Cape wasn't super crowded as I had expected.
"Either my fig newton is crunchy, or it has sand in it."

After lunch, we rented some bikes in P-town and headed to the bike trail, where we ended up biking about 20 miles in a few hours...way more than I have ever biked before, I can tell you that...but it felt great! The scenery was beautiful and very diverse: beaches, sand dunes, and forest.

That night we went back to the beach, where we had a campfire, cooked hot dogs and smores, drank beer, and played truth or dare. I managed to ruin a hot dog and a brat in the sand with my terrible campfire cooking skills.

We stayed in a little place called the "Outermost Hostel," and due to it being towards the beginning of the season we got a little cabin all to ourselves. Not bad for 25 bucks!

Day 2: In which we bum at the beach and get sunburned

Our second day began with the beach. We had a good time enjoying the sun and playing frisbee, even though the water was a little cold to get in. We all were silly and got a little sunburned, though.

Air-ron goes for the catch

After the beach, we ate lunch in P-town and browsed the strip, which was quite interesting to say the least. Provincetown is famous for its diversity and colorful inhabitants and shops.

Which brought us to the end of our mini vacation, and almost to the end of the quarter!! How quickly it has flown by! I feel so fortunate to have had the experiences I have had here in Boston, and I am so happy that I had a great group of people to hang out with. Thanks, guys!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Lampadaires de Paris

Lampadaires de Paris
Originally uploaded by Ωméga 1
so simple, so cute.

happy friday everyone! headed to the cape tomorrow, should be fun! hopefully the weather turns around, it is rather dreary today....