chrismas 2012

Posted: 09/12/2012 in Uncategorized
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Its that time of the year again. With the mayans promising Armageddon, telly promising the film of the same name, my bank going into meltdown and the weather looking arctic, its a swell time to stay in doors and get cracking on college projects.

We got the choice of two packaging briefs- design an in-flight care package for BMI airliners, the other for pc worlds in house brand Goji. It was a tough choice , I would have loved to do both ! But I chose Goji. They make earphones and gadget cases , targeted at a young audience.

We have to design a pattern to apply to the line packages, new packaging , some kinda promotional gear and some other bits n bobs. It feels good to start a new project, I get this rapid feeling, my head buzzing with possibilities. I’ve got a look and feel am already leaning too but time will tell if I stick with it.

As I write this am waking up from a severe hangover, think I lost a game of cards and as a punishment got some tribal face paint put on, problem is it was some fake tan they put on me! I gotta quit drinking.

More on the project as it happens.

No boundaries

Posted: 22/12/2013 in writing

So this morning i wake up feelin a bit sick from the nite before. The whole morning i had a twich in my arm. I woke up sitting up , then i peeled open a fresh orange a4 lined notepad.

I started to write something, just a couple pages of some random narrative. The skeleton of some story. The possibilities felt endless. I could create whatever i want. Free from the confines of my regular body of writing.

I felt like a free eyeball into another world, one just on the cusp of our world. I wasn’t stressing coming up stuff that applied to the regular continuum. I let the story drip onto my brain, it was allready formed, my job was just to pit it down on paper. This event played out in my minds eye, a spectator to this slight glimpses of this world.

It was an amazing feeling. My lady woke up smiled at me when she saw i was writing then drifted back to sleep. This interaction made me loose focus with the spirit. So i wrote bat snake rat for the rest of the morning.

I feel as itlf i have started a new and interesting writing project. I trip into my subconscious or something. Its too early to tell. I have a feeling il gonna fill that new notepad with some strange and interesting new material.

Try it yourself . Give yourself no boundaries, no foundations or research. Just create and see what comes out. Its an amazing feeling.

Writers block is BS

Posted: 18/12/2013 in writing
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Im a writer god damnit!

Its been about 5 months ive been hand writing out my first novel – bat snake rat. Its a big meaty story about many things- technology, philosophy, economy, terrible humor. I really enjoy writing, or why else would i put myself through the strain.

In my time i have met many poser writers. Folk in love with being a writer more than they actually love writing. See the thing is absolutely anyone can write a novel. Authors are just normal people who give themselves permission to write. That is it. Its that simple.
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But posers are the type that talk about writing, always about the amazing story they have came up with. But they will never get round to it. Why? Honestly i think its a confidence issue. I think many writers unfortunately are scared to write incase they don't write it amazingly on the first draft.

See there's this made up thing called writers block, an imaginary safety net pulled out by those who cant be bothered just to write. If only they knew of you just focus on getting on paper what you know, rather than sitting editing a blank page, well maybe they would get some work done.

If you have writers block then your writing the wrong story, man up and just write.

Writing should be enjoyable, a chance to create a world and exercise god like powers over it. An opportunity to get it off your chest.

So what do you do if you get writers block? You just keep writing until its gone. Skip forward a paragraph. Kill of a character suddenly . Write your self into a corner and come out swinging. Its the only way.

Ken, one bit in the masterpiecefilm the shining there’s this bit where the psychopaths wife says – i guess its just a case of getting into the habit of writing every day. And the psychopath laughs dissmissivly – yeah that’s all it is. At this point im screaming – YES IT FUCKIN IS! Maybe if he had listened to his wife he woudnt have went mental. And maybe if you listen to me you will actually get something written instead of just talking about it.

Just write. Anyone can do it . Even this daftie ! Its just self motivation and nothing more.

Go for it. Don’t hold back . And above all, don’t be a poser.

Posted: 07/05/2013 in Uncategorized

As a HBO style of design practice, my style with dealing with problems is less Don Draper and more Tony Soprano. Its becoming clear to me that the most efficient way of approaching a brief is to power through , deal with the small, easy bits first and keep your mind open to new ideas.

Basically- grab the brief by the neck, rough it up a bit. Tween it until its manageable then whack it. Full pelt work process. You want to get something done? Stop procrastinating and get it done.

I’ve used this technique when doing this brief. And so far its been working. I have an idea, I focus it , execute it, polish it. Job done. Too many creatives have this bad habit that I struggled with for years. To belive that this piece of work is the best off, end off, final jinal project. You get busy chasing and dreaming about your perfect outcome, so much you don’t dare ever make the bloody thing becuase fear of failure paralysed you. You gotta break that curse. The project will necer leave your dreams.

It may be your baby, but you need to get it done, do the microedting later! Give yourself something to work with- a blank sketchbook your not scared of messing up, and use this as a ‘launchpad’ for all thoser ideas you never really get off the ground.

Its nothing personal to your dream project, its just business. If your a creative in the creative indstries and the term ‘business’ offends you, then you might as well pack up your watercolours and get a job in tesco. Its all about business. Fuck! Business is life ; and if you don’t have the skills to survive, your gonna die. One of the most important skills I belive is being able to say- fuck it, let’s get this done and stop just moving text about in adobe indesign.

My projects looking good. I’m gonna need to make a hitlist to see what needs done. Its almost finished, just need to polish it up to professional level. I’ve got 2 weeks till the deadline, but only 1 week really because tomorrow morning am flying over to NYC with my gal. Been saving up all year now its time to spend a week in total commercialism excess bliss nirvana in the birthplace of graffiti + hip hop. (Two major influences on me)

Well its time to go back m suitcase, hide my weed stash and inject 12 oranges full of vodka for my travel

Bon voyage yo!

bacardi brief

Posted: 30/04/2013 in Uncategorized

This never published for some dodgy bad connection reason. So I’m posting it now. Nuff said

Only one week left for our latest brief. We had to somehow make bacardi a more male friendly brand. Target audience was young male aged 20-25. I’m part of that demographic funnily enough so I thought- Yo, this is gonna be easy. I was wrong.

Not that its been blinding solid, its been the good type of tough. I’ve lost count of the extra hours I’ve put in behind college macs. Its been a very very interesting and educational brief. I learned about efficient scrap booking, importance of planning and research, built on my shaky illustrator skills and learned quite a bit of history.

So let’s go back a bit. The dare brief. Not my strongest project I’ll easily admit. See in college when they grade you there is a scale going – fail , bad, fair, good , great. Every project I’ve done at this college has bracketed on the good \ great bracket. For dare my rating was average. Its a pass but it means your nothing special. It means your not as good as the majority of the class. It got me down, gave me those old cut and run feeling in the pit of my belly.

But that would be weak. I’ve been round some weak people in my short life- men who abandoned there families, junkies who take escapism to new heights , teachers who can’t motivate there pupils. They all gave up on something, and I’d be buggered if that was gonna happen to me! Folk musta knew my face was tripping because I received a very encouraging text from one of my brothers in class

As usual I’ve picked a lot of deliverables. But I’m feeling ballsy so let’s get it done!

Blink (graded unit)

Posted: 30/04/2013 in Uncategorized

Another month another brief. That’s me on the Graded unit. Its the most important briefing of the school year, decided who stays and who signs on. You have to apply all your skills for this badboy if ye ever wanna make a dent.

We got to pick our briefs. There was a good chunk of choices- from branding to packaging design. Me doing what I do best- chose a tough as nails brief where the odds are stacked against es. No problem tho, love a challenge.

Title sequences. Make a title sequence for the student film of your choice. I choose” Blink of an eye” by paul Hughes. A film that contains savage beatings, gunplay and general grittyness. I was attracted to this brief since day 0 when the students pitched ideas to my class. Since then I’ve been working closely with Paul, we had a meeting to get some ideas out in the open and see what Paul thinks. He was happy just to have me on board, communication is the life blood of efficient creative calibration. I’ve been texting him updates and questions, and emailing him slices of work. He’s been happy so far. Legend!

I’m going on holiday at the end of this week, so I’ve been working daft. Daft as a brush mate. I’ve done all the trimmings but not the actual title sequence. The peas are boiled, the carrots sliced, but the roast is still in the freezer. Actually the roast is still in a field, I need to go kill it, cook it before anyone eats it.

Last night I went to meet the band supplying the music. The remnants. Friends of mine. Am gonna go pick up there cd tonight after work so I can editing it soon as.

Pauls going to have footage for me to use by friday, but I fear this may be too late. I’ll need to text him after this.

Thts my 2 stresses right now. Audio and video. The information and text is long completed. Thank F!

Deliverables-

1 x fully animated title sequence
3 x promotional posters
1 x application (digital promotion)
1 x logo
1 x dvd case and disk designs
3 x dvd menu screens
2 x merchandise designs (tshirts)
2 X guerilla/ viral pieces.
1 X flyer

Also they want some documents
An action plan and time chart
A production diary
An evaluation

Get in! All I need to do is make the ACTUAL titles. Our tutor chris said its better to get all the wee bits done before ye tackle the boss giant. I’ve done just that. Dunno how accurate he was tho, its good to just get it belted out.

Next time I write this hopefully I’ll be chilled, passed the unit, on a plane to NYC with my good looking gal, oranges injected with whiskey and working on a new project Of my own choice.

Next up am making stuff for tht band- the remnants. This isn’t a college project, its just me flexing and them getting free stuff. Get your designs out there in the real world!

Go hard or go home

Brand new brief- talk about quick fire! We gotta get more people visiting the Edinburgh Zoo. Insanely simple brief, we’ve got a week to finish it. And were in groups. We’ve been working on some nice concepts. More on that later.

I’ve also been working on the sigg X tony hawk project. For 3 reasons – I’ve loved skateboarding since …. Maybe aged 10 years old. 2- its good experience working with skate graphics as its my dream to one day work in the skate industry, coudnt care if am running a brand, designing boards or even selling boards, its something I really want to get into. 3- the prize is fantastic.

My dream this week is to found a skate company. Not sure what the name is gonna be, but were gonna be the 1st skate company in scotland. There’s a dude I’m friends with who’s 1 a good illustrator, 2 better skater than me. This guys who I wanna bring In on this venture. Maybe once I get on my feet we can make some cool gear together. Ben ya lucky bastard ye better get your illustrator skills wired !

Later.

Since I was a little boy I’ve been playing games. Over the years I’ve plugged a thousand million zombies, nazis and gangsters. Spent a good chunk of my life driving, shooting and racing. I’ve lived a pretty diverse virtual life – I’ve won a skate contest in tokyo, lead an army of celt warriors, burnt down a cannabis field using a flame thrower and delivered newspapers to the grim reaper. All that without leaving my room.

As you know, I’m VERY into games. Its amongst my life goals to design graphics for a videogame company. Hopefully one as prestigious and respected as Rockstar games.

It was the christmas of 2002. At the tender age of 11 I had my first encounter of freedom within a computer game. Before Vice city, games shoehorned you to the conclusion providing you jumped and shot when they told you. Vice city changed this- after the first mission the game let you out on recess- telling you top go do what you want for a while. Given the choice to go explore the map I soon found myself trying to unsuccessfully hold up a hardware store, before being chased down miami strip in a stolen sports car, then to car blowing up into a black charred out chassis, running from the cops with one magazine left in my handgun, they sent a helicopter which was my last sight as a spooked sunday morning driver ran m£e over as I tried to hijack a 50s custom. It was game over but my mind was blown.

Rockstar games give you a beautiful narrative in a richly detailed environment. But for me the real fun has been found in the controlled anarchy between the cutscenes and missions. I have fond memories of doing drivebys through digital 90s gangland Los Angeles, chasing down outlaws on a black horse to gatecrashing a drug deal between russian mafya and yardies , stealing the drugs and leaving nothing but dead bodies and empty bullet casings in my wake. Its these themes and freedoms that make them the worlds premier game developer.

Whilst they pay homage to pop culture from film noir to historial decades. They also make there own iconic scenes. Who can forget james earl cash stalking an abandoned zoo hiding in the shadows from a gang of ex army mercs? Or max payne shooting his way through rios favelas with a sawn off in each hand? Or hunting bears in the north east american forests. I will never forget these amazing moments. I hope they continue to influence me and change the way I see things.

Roll on spring 2013, and the realise of GTA5- I tell ye I’m going to crash a fighter jet straight through that damn blimp.