Robbie Manson: The Mindful Designer

Another great talk on web design, that feels like it shifts a little outside of the World Wide Web. What I learned:

  • We are more efficient when designing away from the computer.
  • One of the techniques he uses is called “6-Up Sketching”, where you set a timer for 5 minutes and try to quickly come up with 6 unique concepts. After the 5 minutes is up, you and your team try to find the strong and weak points in each concept.
  • Intent has to be balanced with Experimentation. As slick as CSS is, it’s not flexible and an accident usually results in an error, not an innovation.

My notepad…

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Don’t be thinking that this application is a toy because… well.. it is a toy, but a very powerful one.
Download MyPaint (8.5MB) now, for Windows, Linux and Mac.

Sketchbook Start


First Moleskin is almost full. I am hooked. Here is page 1 from October, 2010.

Temporary Diversion from Animation

The last few weeks have been a bit dizzying. Spent a little time waiting for potentials to open up. I made sure not to waste too much time, though my focus has certainly been diverted away from more visually creative endeavors.

That being said, I still make sure to sit down with a pen and practice some sketching. Proportions are always a little funky, thus showing my habit of focusing too much on the details.

Spending a lot of time reading business magazines and blog articles. I did this last year as well. I love seeing the abstracts of successful or failed systems. It validates or challenges a lot of my own opinions.  So far, so good.

Here’s a pretty slick quote regarding innovations, by Dick Foster, author of Creative Destruction.

I’m convinced that for an existing company to innovate, they must first make the decision to get rid of something. Unless you get rid of it, it will always be more a more compelling argument to improve the old rather than commit to the new. That small decision over time adds up to a total deflection, and you are never as motivated to innovate as the unencumbered new entrant. I think this is enormously important.

The rest of the interview can be found at Forbes.

And now, back to the sketchbook so I can finish up some storyboard for my next animation…   in progress.

Calming Lines of Ink

Water LotusOver a year ago I was on a flight to Sweden. On the flight I drew this drawing while watching “Vicky Cristina Barcelona“, a Woody Allen flicK. I later brought the drawing it into Inkscape to clean it up.
I have two side notes:
#1: This movie is worth seeing just for the playing of the spanish guitar. Rachit agreed, so much so… that it inspired him to take guitar lessons.
#2: I have to remind myself that it’s “flick” not “flic”. I guess flic reminds me of the old “FLI” format, back when I was using Autodesk animator, which was the first format that I ever animated in. Almost feels like it was the last time I really animated… till recently.

But I digress…

This drawing is significant for many reasons, but one reason specially. It’s one of the few times in the last few times where I was totally lost in the process of drawing with a pen. I spent hours drawing this silly little drawing. That’s right.. HOURS. I think I doodled this, with a blue ball point sketch over the period of 3 hours, while watching various films on the plane… to Sweden… while watching the movie mentioned above… remember? Yes, I find it calming… even now. Even after all this time, I still stumble across it in my “art” folder and it calms me. It makes me wonder when I will again spend 3+ hours working on a simple doodle. Something not created for money. Not created to give it to someone else… but created for myself (though I think I eventually gave it away).

That’s all I wanted to say. I will continue with my cg work now… but I wanted to note the significance of this image, as it has just relaxed my eyes and posture, to the point of near bliss. Take it, steel it.  Use it as your logo. Tattoo it on your inner thigh.  Just mention it’s the product of CJ.

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