Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Paradox of Our Time

The Paradox of Our Time in History The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints; we spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life; we've added years to life, not life to years.

We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor. We've conquered outer space, but not inner space; we've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul; we've split the atom, but not our prejudice.

We write more, but learn less; we plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait; we have higher incomes, but lower morals; we have more food, but less appeasement; we build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication; we've become long on quantity, but short on quality.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships. These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.

These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer to quiet to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology has brought this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to make a difference, or to just hit delete...

By Dr. Bob Moorehead

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The San Francisco Creative CONFAB- COROFLOT xCORE77


A Portfolio doesn't speak for itself, by James Best of Pensa

Guest Post: A portfolio doesn't speak for itself, by Jim Best of Pensa

Brooklyn-based Pensa Design is sort of an archetype of the ideal small product design studio. They take on a broad range of projects, from medical devices and thermometers to umbrellas and kitchen gadgets, they do much of their own prototyping and technology development, and they've got an incredibly cool office under the Manhattan Bridge. Consequently, they get inundated with portfolios from hopeful designers from across the globe.
Much of the responsibility for sorting through these documents falls to co-founder Jim Best, who has formed some pretty strong opinions about what a good one looks like since he helped start Pensa in 2005. Luckily for us, Jim agreed to summarize his thoughts on the matter, giving us a succinct and very actionable set of guidelines. Although focused mostly on Industrial Design portfolios, nearly all of the suggestions apply across a wider range of disciplines.

A portfolio doesn't speak for itself: Tips for presenting you, the designer
Competition for getting a new job is getting tougher every day. As a prospective employer, I've found that it's easy to weed out design candidates who don't show a grasp of basic skills, but frustrating and difficult to tell the difference between an incapable candidate, and one who just isn't communicating well. This is where good talent gets passed over. There's not much time in an interview situation for everyone to really get to know each other and imagine the possibilities of working together; because time is tight, you need to be organized and communicate clearly.
Our projects at Pensa span everything from designing the next cool cell phone to strategizing an innovation pipeline for a global brand. Assembling small powerhouse teams is key for a consultancy's success, so we look for candidates who are at the top of their game, ready to hit the ground running. I know that great talent is out there. For me, it's a matter of finding it; for you, a matter of communicating it.
Over the years, I've identified a few specific factors that separate a successful candidate from one who gets passed over. So below are some tips for presenting your work, yourself, and making a portfolio that will show off your skills and talent. Hopefully this will help tip the scales in your favor, and get you one step closer to the job you want and deserve.

1. Choose wisely. Your portfolio is only as good as the work you put in it. Choose your best projects, and start with something that's going to grab the viewer's attention. Potential employers flip through numerous portfolios every week and spend just seconds glancing at pages to evaluate work. So put your best foot forward.
Avoid repetition and redundancy. For example, don't present 100 sketches when 3 good ones will do. Also, not every project has to be a full blown case study; choose the best one or two, and then select the best aspects of the remaining projects to show off specific design skills.
2. Keep it relevant. Your portfolio is not only about showing your best work, but what's relevant to the position you are applying for. I still get portfolios with drawings of horses and landscapes. Why? No matter how good the drawings are, they don't tell me anything about how you think and your ability to design. Relevance resonates, and therefore makes a lasting impression.
3. Use your portfolio to tell a story. And every great story has an arc. In my view, portfolios ought to use each project as an opportunity to highlight a specific skill; for example, your design thinking, your knowledge of the design process, your ability to tackle a range of problems, your ability to sketch, develop forms, create meaningful interactions, etc. If organized in this way your portfolio becomes more than a collection of projects, it tells a story about you, your design sensibilities, technical skills, how you convey your ideas and what makes you a great candidate for the job. 

4.Keep it simple. Don't detract from the quality of your work with gratuitous graphics. A simple, elegant, and consistent layout will showcase your work the best. Let your work speak for itself.
5. Show me you can think. Recent grads have trouble talking about their work, their process and how they think. I'm interested in how you solve design problems and how you demonstrate your thinking. I want to see how you connect the dots and how this leads you to a solution. When discussing your design projects, be sure to illustrate your ability to:
a. Define the problem: for every project clearly state the objective and how you set up the design problem

b. Learn and be insightful: Show me how you gather, analyze and synthesize information; how you identify opportunities and insights that inspire your work. Did you research users, their behaviors, perceptions, motivations, interactions, the social cultural context, competitive context, emerging technologies, inspiring and relevant objects? How did you develop your point of view?

c. Create a great design solution: We want to see your ability to create forms, iterate, test, learn and refine until you've found an answer that is compelling and resolved.

d. Utilize the right design tools: Sketching, model making, CAD

e. Communicate your results: Don't just tell me its good, show me why. Show me how you solved the problem, and how your design connects back to your insights. Your ability to demonstrate this is the cost of entry, don't mess this up.

6. Show me the basics. Entry and mid level designers need to demonstrate their mastery of the fundamentals of form. Telling me you have an intuitive sense of how to resolve form is not good enough -- it tells me your technique is hit or miss at best. It is important to be able to articulate how you know when something looks good, well resolved and/or how you made a form decision. Throughout the design process designs are always in flux, and in need of new directions, development, refinement, etc. Designers need to be able to articulate why and how something needs to be changed. To understand what I mean here, start by picking up a book like Elements of Design, a discussion of Rowena Reed Kostellow's methods for breaking down visual relationships.

7. Get inspired and get feedback. Look to your colleagues and peers, thumb through portfolios online, talk about your work and listen to others talk about theirs. These interactions and feedback will improve your portfolio and your presentation.
8. Meet the criteria. Understand the requirements for the position advertised, research the company that you are applying to, know yourself, and your abilities. Too often I see resumes that don't meet bottom line criteria. Depending on the position involved, here is what I expect from applicants:
a. Entry level: Well-rounded skills, show strong grasp of fundamentals, can sketch, make models, know Adobe Suite and has knowledge of 3D CAD

b. Mid Level: Know the above and can help develop vision for a project

c. Senior Level: All the above, lead vision and can manage teams and clients

9. Get to the point. In my experience a long cover letter can hinder you; make it a non-issue and keep it short. Introduce yourself, why you're writing, and a sentence or two about what makes you an interesting candidate. Anything over a short paragraph or a few sentences is a waste, and it may even stop me from continuing on to your portfolio and resume.

10. Send a summary of your work. Just about every inquiry for job comes through email these days. Always attach a summary of your portfolio or send a link to your work with your cover letter and resume. Do not say that your work can be viewed by request only, or the email will likely be dragged into the trash. Hint: we ALWAYS look at your work first, then, if it's good, we'll look at your CV or resume.
11. Understand the medium. Are you presenting the work, or is it traveling by itself? Is it on screen, animated web page, or printed on gloss paper? You will need to consider your layout depending on how the work is being shown. For example, we won't read lengthy paragraphs on printed portfolios -- those stories are often better told in an interview. An animated graphic on a web page doesn't present well on a static page. Think about the reader, the format, and the best way to make an impression.
12. Be confident and positive. I sometimes get candidates who are too cocky. If you show me a poor attitude, no matter how good your work is, you're not worth the trouble. Others bash the last place they worked. This is a bad idea. Even if you didn't like your last employer, emphasize the positive things you did while you were working there. I'm looking for curious self-starters who love to learn, and can work both on their own and within a dynamic team. I want candidates who know how to have a spirited debate, foster insightful thinking and charge an office culture with creativity.

It is exciting to interview a candidate that I know will be a great hire. Because I was able to get a clear sense of what they can do during the interview, I can immediately begin to imagine the best place to plug them in and get them started. I'm eager to see the solutions they will contribute and how their talent will inspire the creative dynamic across our team. It would be great to meet more of these candidates. I know they're out there.
Good luck!

Friday, November 19, 2010

This is from a DVD that accompanies the book Fashion Illustration for Designers by Kathryn Hagen. Ms. Hagen is a fashion illustration instructor at Otis College.

Ms. Hagen is a master at mixing media to achieve life-like and beautiful results. Her tools include: Copic markers, Prismacolor pencils and markers, Tombo brush pens, gouache, liner pens and Milky Gel pens.

Even if you don't study fashion illustraion per se, this books is an excellent resource for improving your skills with drawing and rendering materials. You can find it here

LINK to Book

LINK to Ms. Hagen videos on You Tube.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday, June 7, 2010

Seven Action Steps to Turn Your Dreams Into Reality by Matthew Jordan Smith

1) Believe fully in your dreams. At this moment pull out a pen and paper and write your dreams down. Stop where you are and do it now. This must be pen to paper as it needs to be in a tangible form. Keep this where you can look at it every day, because if you don't have your dreams in front of you then will disappear.

2) Surround yourself with positive people. Years ago when I created my first book, Sepia Dreams, I interviewed and photographed 50 celebrities and spoke with them regarding how they made their dreams a reality. I asked each one this question: Do you think it's important to surround yourself with people who are doing what you aspire to do? From Halle Berry to Tyra Banks, Samuel Jackson to Boris Kodjoe and Vanessa Williams, they each gave their own unique answer but the overwhelming response was that it was not necessary to be around people did the same thing, however it is vital to surround yourself with positive people. Even when negative things are thrown your way you must seek out the most positive way to handle the situation as this is simply the universe testing you and making you stronger. This is also necessary as you must be tested! Remember, it's not supposed to be easy. Stay positive as this is one of the keys to success and has worked for everyone from Richard Branson to Warren Buffett.

3) Find your team! You can't do this alone and this team should be supportive of your dreams. Years ago when I dreamed of being a photographer everyone around me said photography was only a hobby and not to be pursued as a career. When I wanted to do my first book everyone told me it takes years to get a book deal and most fail. I got my book deal in three days for a six figure advance. Now, what is your team? Team stands for Together Each Achieves More. These are the words Dominique Dawes spoke to me as I interviewed her for Sepia Dreams. Your team may be your best friend, teacher, mentor of simple somewhat else who is planning on success in their life. Become an success team together to empower each other when life throws a curve your way. Right now write down your team members for success. Do this now.

4) Devote Time. Give yourself the daily time you deserve for success. We all have busy lives and many of us say we have no time to do this or that, but Einstein, Kennedy, Martin and all the great people throughout history were all given the same amount of hours in a day to achieve their success. You must devote at least 15 min. a day to your dreams. If you work or attend school and give your entire day away then devote the last 15 minutes each night before bed for you. This is your time and you must take action for your dream to grow.

5) Roll the ball. The next 48 hours must be spent getting the ball rolling toward your dream. Don't put it off until next week or the weekend, or when you get your next check, etc. The universe is calling you to action now. You've been lead to this blog for a reason and it's the universe calling you to action. Today really is the first day of your new life and you can make your dreams come true. Get going!

6) Visualize. Spend five minuets a day in quiet with your eyes closed and visualize you at the point in your life when you are living your dreams. If you want to write a book then visualize yourself on the Oprah Show. See yourself in the outfit you will wear, feel the light from the stage on you and visualize the audience as they look at you and applaud all your hard work. If you don't have time to do this then do it when you are in the bathroom taking a shower or bath. This is a necessary step. You must see it in your mind first!

7) Get Out! Life doesn't happen behind a computer or on an ipad or ipod or iphone. Get out and do something you've never done and enjoy life. How does this help you achieve your dream? When you enjoy life your mind is fresh and able to create new and exciting things. You must be inspired to be great and our life experience is what connects us to the universe and all the secrets that it holds. Yesterday I photographed a hot air ballon launch for the first time and it made me feel alive.

This is your time to dream big, this is your time to make the most of your life no matter what you are doing now and where you are in your life. I dream years ago of being a photographer and shooting images for magazines and more. The funny thing is that when you have a dream the universe always makes it bigger than you ever thought. I am the only photographer in the world sponsored by Microsoft and Sony. I could not have planned that or even thought of that. I'd never heard of a photographer being sponsored before when it happened. Dream Big!

How do I dream big now? Even though I am living my dream it's not always easy, but again it's not supposed to be. We all have the ability to take control of our lives and change our future. I love photography. I may be photographing Polar Bears one day and Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy the next, or Oprah one day and Cynthia Nixon the next for press on Sex and the City. Ray Allen from the Boston Celtics or kids in India and Nepal the next but it all started for me with a dream. Sometimes the universe takes over as in the case when Oprah decided to use my photograph of her to turn into an avatar on her show as she interviewed the director for Avatar, James Cameron.

The recession has slowed work for a lot of artist, photographers, models, etc, but it was slow after the bust and slow after 9/11 but those years where when I really excelled with my personal projects. Now during this recession I am again working on my personal projects. They range from my next book to the Hero's in the Struggle project, to a new project for charity in Switzerland in which I'm photographing young hollywood. Alyson Stoner, Robbie Amell will all hopefully be a part of this project but more on that later. The most important thing I can say is dream big each day and believe in yourself.

Even when everyone around you tells you that your dream is not possible, believe in yourself and dream big!

Monday, February 2, 2009

1000 words for design students by Allan Chochinov

There are a million things to learn in design school, but what about the things you need to know "about" design school? In an effort to be clear and concise—something your teachers are always bugging you to do—here are exactly 1000 words of advice for design students (clichés included):

Keep your ear to the ground.The best gossip is any gossip. Start there and then do your homework. If a course or a teacher is reputed to be great, odds are that there's something there. Same for the inverse, but don't be dissuaded by advance reviews of a difficult or challenging teacher or course—sometimes the best fit is a tight one.

Do your homework.There is no question that in design school, what you put in is what you get out. It's not exciting and it's not revelatory, but it really does turn out that the students who work the hardest and commit themselves the fullest end up with the best stuff. Inspiration and perspiration. You need 'em both.

School is expensive. Come on time. Stay late.College in many countries is prohibitively expensive, so make sure you're getting your money's worth. Arrive on time and insist that your teachers do too. Stay after class and ask questions; find out about more than just what the class covered. Don't be a pest, but don't be a pushover either. Why? Here's why:

We work for you, not the other way around.Teachers have an annoying habit of setting up the power dynamic to make you feel like they're in charge. I hate to roll out the "you are consumers of an educational product" argument, but the reality is that teachers, administrators, librarians and deans are all there in the first place because you decided to attend. And they really do work for you. So be clear about what you want and need, and team up with other students to make sure that those desires are communicated to the people in power. Use the library; ask for help. Make us work for you. You've already paid, right?

Hone your presentation skills.Walking the walk and talking the talk are different skills. And no matter how good a designer you are, without a certain level of presentation skills, nobody will ever know. Practice public speaking, present your head off in class, and write, write, write. There is no underestimating the harm to your future that bad presentation skills can unleash. Really. You could stop reading this now and you'd have the best stuff.

Photograph everything.If you do one thing in preparation for the new school year, buy a camera. We miss the old 35mm SLRs, but we're realists and recognize the irresistible benefits, instant gratification and economies of digital. Buy as many megapixels as you can, and if you can swing one of those sweet prosumer SLR digitals, do it. Make sure you bring your camera to class (not the expensive one though—your roommate's) and have fellow students photograph you presenting your work, conducting interviews, that kinda thing. Finally, have others take pictures of you making your models up in the shop. When you've looked at enough portfolios (car, toothbrush, chair, toy, form study, car, toothbrush, toy…), those "process" photos are positively the most exiting thing in your book to a jaded interviewer. "Did you make this model?" Well, yes. I did.

Do more; consider auditing a class."The people who do more are people who get more done." Duh. It's no secret that busy people often get a lot accomplished, and this is the same for students. Take an extra-curricular, non-design class (especially if grades aren't important/necessary for you), or, at the very least, consider auditing one course per semester. (Auditing a class means attending and doing the reading, but not taking up the teacher's time with homework, or taking up the class's time by asking questions. Get the word on the street, sit in during the first couple weeks of the semester, charm the pants off the teacher, and bask in the rays of someone telling you something you didn't already know. Most students aren't familiar with auditing, but it's offered in most schools.)

Read the paper.This is the single best way to be and stay connected with the outside world. A killer-talented designer with nothing so say isn't much use to anyone (though the marketplace would expose the idealism of that argument!), and there's nothing more dangerous than an ignorant mass producer. If you live in a city that has a good newspaper, subscribe. If you don't, find a good one at your library, or read countless ones on the web for free. What's a good newspaper? The New York Times. There. That's a good one.

Get off campus.School is great, and, after all, that's what you're doing there in the first place. But school design programs are kind of like the "official" program—the real stuff is happening by people who finished school (or often ignored it altogether), and your best investment is to connect with the communities of creative people who are doing design for a living and a life. Training in school is only part of the equation. Being submerged in the culture of design practice is where the real action is.

Don't work alone.I know you know that design is a collaborative effort, so there's no reason why you shouldn't practice getting along with others while you're still in school. But that's not the real benefit of doing design homework with others: It's more fun. If you don't already know this, then you haven't done design work with others.

Take almost any job. There is absolutely no replacement for the real thing, and practical experience in any design related field is more than you already have. So don't spend six months after you graduate looking for the perfect job. And, certainly, don't wait until you graduate to look for your first design job. You should be doing everything in your power to get some practical training onto your résumé and into your brain and hands before you graduate. That means helping out somewhere once a week, or bagging that summer internship. Do anything design-related. You'll be respected more by future employers, and have some chops by the time you get out.

Monday, December 22, 2008



Analog Sketching 1 by Mikael Lugnegard

The techniques of Mikael Lugnegård from Mikael Lugnegård on Vimeo.
LINK to Mike Lugnegard WEBSITE

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Use best materials & your work will rise to the challenge.
Bienfang Designer series Graphics 360 100% Rag Translucent Marker Paper. Prisma markers are a good start, AD Markers my choice.

Ink on front of tracing paper. Add color pencil on back of tracing paper. Marker on front.

Sample of my work as a student like you. Airbrush, Marker, Pen, Prisma Pencil, Liquid Paper (yellow), tooth brush splatter...whatever it takes.

My Sketch-Up model based on AutoCAD drawings for real world client. Used Photoshop to complete overall presentation.

Books for Reference. I do have a massive library of text for reference. If I had to choose just a few, the following would be my TOP FIVE for Arch/Design students.

Color Drawing 3rd Edition by Michael E. Doyle ISBN 0471741906
Architectural Drawing- A Visual Compendium of Types and Methods by Rendow Yee ISBN 9780471793663
Drawing Shortcuts-Drawing Quick Drawing Skills Using Today's Technology by Jim Leggitt, AIA
Architectural Rendering techniques/ A Color Reference by Mike W. Lin, ASLA
Drawing and Designing with Confidence/ A Step-By-Step Guide by Mike W. Lin, ASLA

The following videos are best for students learning SketchUp with use of AutoCAD & Photoshop. Basic at top more Advanced as you go down.

SketchUp/ Revit Architecture/ Photoshop

Ricardo Uribe Jr. MA
American Society of Architectural Illustrators U-be on ASAI
California Drafting Technology Consortium-Member 2010
MA Industrial & Technical Studies- Cal State LA
BA Art- Design Option- Cal State LA
AA Architectural Technology- Cerritos College
My name is Ricardo Uribe Jr. I'm a 35-year-old designer from Lynwood, California. In second grade I attended a field trip to Watts Towers, which changed my life forever. I've studied architecture, art and design ever since. I now live in Upland, CA and teach design at local colleges.

Academic Achievements:
National Deans List 1997
California State University Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

Best Illustration 1996- Undergraduate Art Exhibition
California State University Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

1st Place College Scholarship Art Competition- 1990
South Gate Art Association, South Gate, California

Steven's Hope for Children was looking for a concept for a new project. The layout for the apartments are based on senior housing. The bright colors are based on Lego color blocks, to provide a fun and safe place for kids while they are in recovery.
Steven's Hope for Children

Sketches by Candice Olson

Student model from Revit Architecture 2010 to 3D printer.

Samples from my students.

Student Samples.