Friday, June 19, 2009

Which art student are you?

Illustrated from the observations of Chuck Dillon- teacher at the Hussian School of Art in Philadelphia. Over his 10 year teaching career he's compiled a list of about 20 different art student types. I think we can all relate to a few.

See the full list of artsy students on Chuck's blog.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

HOW conference next week!

We will be at the HOW conference next week promoting our Rough magazine, as well as the 6th Annual National Student Show & Conference! if you plan to attend in Austin next week- please look for our booth in the resource center and come by to grab a free issue of Rough, and get info about next year's show!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

10 Principles That Will Make Your Work Better

10 Principles That Might Make Your Work Better or May Make It Worse Written by: Frank Chimero

(read the Full Article)
1. Be honest.
Be honest to your audience. An open path of communication is built upon trust. This idea is relevant to every other form of communication, and I think it applies to visual communication. Honesty isn’t just about audience. Be honest to yourself as well. Do the things you’re passionate about. Avoid the things that you hate, if you can.

2. Consistent voice is more important than consistent style.
Voice is about what you say. It’s content. Style is about what you’re wearing. It’s aesthetics. The prior informs the latter, not the other way around. Clothes don’t make the man. They don’t make your work either.

3. Does it have heart?
If it does, make it. If it doesn’t, why spend the time on something that doesn’t have spirit?

4. Have modest expectations.
Spend a lot of time choosing that one thing that a piece of design or an illustration should try to do. Then, work your ass off trying to figure out the absolute best way to do that one thing.

5. Don’t be scared of your tools.
Use them, don’t fear them. For instance, while sketching, I recommend using cheap paper. If the paper’s cheap, you won’t feel bad documenting your bad ideas. Getting the first, awful ideas out of the way is crucial: very rarely does any one hit it out of the park on the first try. If I had a sketchbook filled with nice, expensive paper, I’d feel obligated to make the first idea I sketched brilliant. That pressure would paralyze me. Tools should be enablers, not disablers. If something is more intrusive or intimidating than it is useful, get rid of it. It’s not a tool, it’s a toy. Or worse, a creative boogie man that you’re inviting through your front door.

6. Embrace the subconscious.
In the studio, I have a sofa for naps with a couple pillows. The pillow is kind of comfortable, but mostly not. Just soft enough to relax you. But, just stiff enough to keep you from falling fully asleep. Right before you fall fully asleep, your brain is making all sorts of connections between all of the unrelated thoughts in your brain. There’s no filter from your conscious mind saying “This makes sense. This other idea doesn’t.” Without that filter, you can consider more possibilities. So, grab something to write with, fill your head to the brim with research and what you already know. Then, take an almost-nap and get ready to document the ideas that find you.

7. Edit.
Delete unimportant things. Even if you love them. If it isn’t spectacular, it gets cut. Kill your darlings. Be a cold-blooded killer. Ruthless. Delete. Refine. Improve.

8. Being too comfortable is dangerous.
Most creatures die in their sleep. Keep moving, or get eaten. The only things you should be absolutely comfortable with in your creative process are your tools.

9. There is nothing keeping you from doing the sort of work that you wish.
What do you want? It’s a hard, yet crucial question. We all do creative work to get happy. It’s why we let it beat us up, and it’s why we keep crawling back to it. Figure out precisely what you want, and realize that if no one will pay you to make it, you can still make it for yourself. And you still win, because you’re happy.

10. Execute.
An idea on the page is worth 100x more than an idea in the mind. You can only judge and be judged by work that’s executed. Eventually, we all realize that most of the ideas that look great in our mind look dumb once they’re real. But, at least you now know.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Creative Seed

Here's a little Monday morning creative inspiration for y'all. A beautiful animation following the adventures of a singular apple seed. The project was funded by Adobe on behalf of CS4, produced by Nexus, and directed by John Kelly.

The Seed

The Seed from Johnny Kelly on Vimeo.

Make sure to watch the Making Of video showing the creative team working on the project.

Making Of: The Seed

Making of 'The Seed' from Johnny Kelly on Vimeo.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Wisdom from Debbie Millman

If you weren't around to see Debbie Millman's keynote at the 3rd Annual Student Show & Conference you may want to make up for it by reading some of her words of wisdom on branding over at

Also keep a lookout for her new book, "Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays on the Intersection of Life and Design" set to release in October 2009.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Best Motion

Mickey Hester
Black Swan Type
Fort Hays State University

Best Logo

Eric Weidner
Planet Shoes
University of the Incarnate Word

Best Illustration

Zach Hale
Miami Frank

Best Magazine Covers/Spreads

Jeremy Krzmarzick
Mixed Messages
South Dakota State University

Best Brchure/ Catalog

Manda Maloney
Egyptian Type
Texas State University

Best Annual report

Barrett Fry
Fields of Discovery

Best Interactive

HIlary Combs
Long's Horseradish
Texas State University

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Getting Better

Reading this post by Frank Chimero on the Thinking for a Living blog will probably be the most useful 5 minutes of your day. To everyone who got to participate in The Practice Sessions breakout session at the conference, I'm jealous!

{If you go to every last one of those links, I'll be oh so happy}

Best Print Ad

Sean Lenard & David Fox
UHAUL- Move More

Pest Photography

Melissa Adams
Texas Christian University

Best Group Project

Ben Krantz & Amy Honeycutt
Portfolio Center

Best Public Service Advertising

Jason Perez

Best Posters

Megan Dowdy
Design DISSENT Posters
Truman State University