Friday, January 30, 2009


While working on my portfolio over the last two weeks, I had a feeling that it was turning out much better than previous versions. Guess I was right. I just received word that two of my designs, my recent HP project and my illuminated running apparel, will be featured on Yanko Design. For those of you who don't know, Yanko is a website dedicated to showcasing the latest and greatest in the field of industrial design. It is well known throughout the design community, and it is quite an honor to be featured on their site.

Let's celebrate in due fashion.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Portfolio is up!

Finally got it up and going. Though I'll be doing some back work on some of these projects, I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. I think it's a big improvement from the last iteration. Check it at:

Sketchin' Spaceships

There wasn't a whole lot to do today at work, so I spent an hour or two sketching little thumbnails of planes and spaceships. It was, sadly, the first time in while that I have just drawn for fun. Much like reading novels, I rarely make time to do it. Hopefully when I finish my portfolio, which should be online tonight or tomorrow, I can start my snowmobile project with the same enthusiasm I had today.

I just now realized that this is the n-th time I've written a "hopefully" post. I need to get off my ass and get this shit done.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dylan Thomas - famous last words

I've stumbled upon this twice now. I can't think of a better way to go.
"I've had eighteen straight whiskies, I think that's the record."

Monday, January 26, 2009

Five films to put a smile on your face

People are always complaining that the winter depresses them (though, due to the orgasmosity of snow, I don't really understand it.) But, if you're feeling low, these flicks are sure to brighten your day.

It's weird, French and weirdly-French, but Jean-Pierre Jeunet's gorgeous story of a dreamer will reaffirm any faith you've lost in the human race.

Stranger Than Fiction
Turns out Will Ferrell is great when he's not being Will Ferrell. Witty, cute and insightful all at the same time.

Big Fish
I've always looked at life as if it was a movie. Edward Bloom saw it as his story to tell, and his is one that's worthy of the silver screen. Also, Billy Crudup is a tool.

The Citizen Kane of talking pig movies.

You've got to give it to Pixar, they know how to tell a story. A breathtakingly beautiful film, beginning to end.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Two and counting

It's not even February and I've already had two skiing-related broken bones this season. I dislocated my thumb a few weeks ago, though I popped it back, and I'm pretty sure I cracked a rib on Sunday. Now, normally I wouldn't be happy about these injuries, but since they're the result of skiing I'm okay with them. I actually feel a small sense of accomplishment. Weird.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow, Fire and Barack Obama

Driving home last night in a snowstorm reminded me of something - SNOW IS FREAKING AWESOME. My commute may have been dangerous, but I was smiling the entire way. Falling snow is nature at its most beatiful, and it makes me happy whenever I see it.

That got me thinking, what else is like that? Natural, random, beautiful...Fire, of course. I now have a better understanding of why I'm a pyro.

Finally, Barack Obamba was inaugurated today, in case you hadn't heard. At 11:30 everyone in the office dropped what they were doing and went to watch the ceremonies on the projector in our conference room. I honestly don't know how to describe how I felt. Elated, relieved, hopeful...It was just a great moment, one I will never forget.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A quick review: Kung Fu Panda - Fun start to finish, but it's no Pixar

Kung Fu Panda

I'm really not sure how this one slipped through my radar. I'm a sucker for animated movies, but somehow I missed out on Dreamworks' Kung Fu Panda last summer. Do I ever regret it. Though it lacks some of the polish of the better Pixar films, it's an hour and a half of beautiful fun.

This movie is just plain enjoyable. It's funny, and the story is deep enough to keep an adult audience entertained (though it's not without its holes.) The final hour is nearly non-stop, beautifully animated action only heightened by wonderful cinematography. The characters and environments are superbly simplistic, and the choreography of the fight sequences rivals anything I've seen.

I only wish it could have lasted longer. The plot progresses fast enough to make the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs, and, as a result, a few things fall by the wayside. The dynamic between Po (Jack Black) and his master, Shifu (Dustin Hoffman), is played out well, but the other characters could use more screen time. The Furious Five, Shifu's other students, barely fit into the plot. They're there, they leave, and they come back for the end. Not to mention that if not for a couple of karate kicks two of the five wouldn't even be in the movie.

There are finer points, too, that could have used some finesseing. Black, though okay, is a miscast. His voice just doesn't fit Po's look and mannerisms. I never really believed that Po was speaking. Rather, Black was speaking through him. The sound design could have also used work as some sounds get repetitive to the point of annoyance. These issues, though minor, are not problems found in works from Pixar and Disney (old Disney, that is) and sadly relegate Kung Fu Panda to the crowded group of good but not great.

Want ninety minutes of fun? Whatch Kung Fu Panda. Even thought it's not the best I've seen, I smiled the whole way through. I bet you will, too.

3.5 of 5 stars

New portfolio coming soon

Been cranking out an update to my portfolio. No major changes, just adding and subtracting projects and tweaking the look. Graphics and cover pages will change, but here's a taste:

Friday, January 16, 2009

So I've decided two things

1. I randomly decided yesterday that I wan't to work on my digital sketching this quarter. Below is my first real attempt at pure digital sketching, just a couple of car sketches. Despite their lack of refinement, I would be happy with them as a first attempt, but they were done on a Cintiq. I need to be faster and cleaner, all while using a my tablet (unless anyone out there wants to give me two grand for a Cintiq.) We'll see...

B. The catalyst for said desision is the fact that I have also made the preliminary choice of a snowmobile for my senior thesis. I know, I know - we need to use design to help the world. More humanitarian ideas have crossed my mind, but one thing I know for sure (mostly through co-op) is that I become incredibly bored and frustrated when I'm designing things in which I have little personal interest. Don't get me wrong, though. I would love to be the one to revolutionize water distribution for refugees; it's just not a fun project. Besides, maybe this will turn into an avalanche rescue sled. Who knows? I can be sure, though, that doing something related to both snow and sports will hold my interest.

Anyway, the plan this quarter is to start doing research while I pump out a quick sketch and render portfolio piece. Research and redesigns will continue until I graduate. Chances are it won't happen this way (after all it did take me two co-op quarters just to do a ski boot), but we'll see...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Geeking out

Yes, I am the type that can recite the Star Wars Trilogy beginning to end without shame. On that note, this is great.

Note: I'm not being condescending in a "look how stupid this person is" kind of way. I just think her version is fun:

Star Wars: Retold (by someone who hasn't seen it) from Joe Nicolosi on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Christmas, Miami and a Thirteen-Foot-Tall Christmas Tree

You know how everyone sends those annoying Christmas letters detailing their family's entire year? Well this post was intended to be like a shorter version of that covering my holidays. I wrote half of it, decided that even I was getting bored and scrapped it. Here are some bullet points:

- Great improvement with skis in the area of sliding rails, can't wait to jib myself to death at Mountian Creek

- Cut down what ended up being a thirteen-foot-tall Christmas tree (I'll try to find a picture)-Awesome

- Wall-E and The Dark Knight were presents, and watching them again was pure joy

- As per tradition, I got drunk on Christmas Eve

- Not as per tradition, we went to midnight mass. Avoid getting hammered before sitting through a bad priest's sermon at all costs.

- Saw some old friends, always fun to rehash the days of yesteryore (that's right - fuck our language - I make my own words)

- Went to Miami for New Year's Eve and the Orange Bowl - Tony Pike choked donkey dick, but South Beach was fun

- Living in NJ (for co-op) with my sister and her three kids. Hmm, how corrupted can three children become in ten weeks?

I would promise that the posts to come will be more interesting, but I have a hard time believing anyone besides my brother actually reads this...and he does it out of a strange mix of curiosity and pity.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I haven't posted for a while, so coming some time this week will be a full recap of my holidays. Until then, try not to fall off the edge of your seat.