Monday, July 31, 2006

Looking Elsewhere

[music: Venus in Furs by The Velvet Underground]
[mood: bleh]

I've been reading different design books for roughly two years now. I've been taking notes and been trying to 'study' what's being said about the craft, method and principles of design. Another thing I try to get a sense of is the author's philosophy.

There is a steady number of elements that seem to be in common in most of these books. That is, they look 'elsewhere' for inspiration.

I recently did a poster for a musician who's doing a performance where I work. Since there was no photo to use at the time, I thought a typographic solution would be best. I left several of the layouts on my drawing table. A freelancer who came into my office to ask me something spotted the layouts and said, "Hey, these are niiice... you going David Carson on me?"

She seemed to genuinely like it, and I know she was making a comparison to what I normally produce, but it got me thinking that I've been affraid of what other designers think of my work for so long that I forget that I'm not designing for them. I was by no means offended by what she said. At the same time, I can't help but wonder if I've been going about things the wrong way.

This, of course, swirls up loads of questions that I need to ponder over. Do I really need therapy? What am I really affraid of? Am I kidding myself? Well, so far I've taken a big step and decided to be more open about these types of matters, so I guess that's saying something.

In the mean time, let me be inspired...

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Day of Pop-Art

[music: Come Together by The Beatles]
[mood: okay]

I saw the Andy Warhol exhibit today. I've always liked Warhol's work, but I've always enjoyed his photography a bit more. One thing I'm facsinated with is his rise from commercial artist to becoming one of the founders of pop art. How does one go about creating a 'scene' that influences a generation of artists and musicians?

My wife liked this one at the exhibit. She stated that she didn't know much about Warhol, so I broke it down for her in a short-short bio. Her response was, "He was a graphic designer, then an artist? Well, there's hope for you after all."

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Watching the Watchers

[music: Send Me an Angel by The Dreaming]
[mood: amused]

I went to the Eagle's Training Camp in Bethlehem today. I go ever year, and it was the first Saturday that the WHOLE team is there, so I usually go early, so I can get a good spot to watch the practice close up.

There are three practice fields all close together. Around the entire area of those fields is a plastic make-shift fence, which is the border between us rabid fans, and the fragile football players.

I understand the need for security in this day and age. I can appreciate such efforts being made because, all joking aside... there are stupid people out there who wouldn't be able to contain themselves while the players are practicing. So, to add to the safety of the plastic fence, there are security personel posted on the other side of the fence. They're armed with walkie-talkies. Seems like their main job is to stop people from leaning on the fence (at one point, I saw a security manager tell his people to make SURE those people do not have their hands on the fence.) Fair enough... the fence is rather flimsey, and you can't have 100 people leaning on it at the same time.

There were two guards posted in the area I chose to watch the practice. One of them was fairly large and slightly imposing, and kindly asked certain people not to lean on the fence.

The other was a young, skinny kid who took the job pretty seriously. He wasn't exactly imposing while telling GROWN MEN to 'get off the fence' in a dismissive tone. At one point he even caught someone smoking. "There's no smoking here." He said in his underdeveloped voice.

I just found the whole thing amusing. This kid was given a little responsibility and he took it to the next level.

If you'd like to read about my thoughts on Eagle's Training Camp, check out my Eagle's Fan blog.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Fania All-Stars

[music: Vente con migo by Fania All-Stars]
[mood: satisfied]

When we were leaving Bethlehem in October of 1986 for San Diego, I didn't realize how life-alterning this change would be. I was 8 years old, and my father packed me, my mom and all the stuff he didn't sell into a late 70s Datsun B-210 and hit the road.

My father was all about Puerto Rico, and salsa music. A few tapes in particular were the Fania All-Stars. I didn't know who they were, but my father loved the music, and would ALWAYS play the tapes. We had other salsa tapes, but for some reason, the Fania All-Stars stuck out with me.

Seventeen years ago today my father passed. I was 11 and while he wasn't able to show me everything, I'm thankful for a few things. He gave me California, he told me to always treat women good, and he gave me the Fania All-Stars.

I went to the Fania All-Stars website. I'm glad to see it was active, but a photo struck me in particular. It was the cover of 'Our Latin Thing' which is a salsa compilation. For some reason, I can imagine my father being in this photo, complete with conga, moustache and cigarette. This photo conveys an atmosphere of grassroots-ness that I can imagine my father being a part of. He loved nature and salsa. I'm very glad I found this photo today.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Sounds of Silence

[music: wings for marie by Tool]
[mood: frustrated]

I was 11 years old, (no sooner after my father passed,) I was in bed, in the dark. I couldn't sleep. I was kept awake by the sounds of silence. I could hear every buzz, every creeking noise and every sound I made, no matter how careful I was.

The next morning I complained to my mom about not being able to sleep, so she suggested I turn on my radio. The next night I tried it, and I slept with no problem.

Ever since that night, I've had to have something on weather it's a TV, stereo or my iPod.

Lately it hasn't been working, as I've been having massive sleep problems. I usually run on 3-4 hours of sleep a day, and on a couple of occasions, I didn't even sleep. It was so bad that my doctor had me take a Sleep Study.

Sure enough, during my sleep study last night, I couldn't fall asleep. I was finally able to get to sleep, but I'm hoping it was enough for them to go by.

Why can't I sleep like her: