First Scribble Journal (Unfinished Sample)

The Value of Dicking Around

What do you do when your drawing skills are so rusty you can barely draw a straight line and get hand cramps in less than half-an-hour? Discomfort with my drawing tools (including learning all new illustration software) has been a big hurdle to getting back into design. So I’ve been doing something about it: going back to basics. My first step is drawing exercises that are equivalent to practicing scales.

After spending a week repeatedly scribbling on my tablet and clearing the page, I started noticing interesting textures coming out of it. I opened a large page in Pixelmator and scribbled until I’d almost filled the page with black. Then I hit save, and the scribble journal was born.

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Word Aren’t Precious When They’re Pretentious

Ever come across a word and think, “Why would anyone use that?” Ok, most people probably don’t care, but I sometimes find a word so ungainly, so inappropriate to its meaning, or so ill-used that it makes me wonder if the people who came up with it ever hear themselves talk. I’m talking about the musical quality words have, something every poet pays attention to and almost everyone else ignores.

Yet it’s something even the oblivious respond to. Some words, some phrases, are better remembered than others. This is why poetry was the most effective way to pass on knowledge before the written word. Besides rhythm, poetry has flow – created by putting words in the best order for ease of speaking or emphasis. It’s why one of the most useful editing techniques is to read your work out loud.

But this article isn’t about sentence flow, it’s about the visceral chewiness of words. Some words jive with what they mean and others kind of suck. Take the word coruscate for example:

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Do Our Dreams Help Reveal Who We Are?

Dreams, and the mind in general, still baffle science. I’ve read quite a few theories about why we create surreal simulations of the world in our sleep. The current theory is we dream to process memories, but on top of that we dream to process emotions – in particular, to numb emotional pain and prepare us for it by creating safe scenarios of our worst fears. So I wonder, is this how our brain tests our mettle?

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