Man, it’s been awhile since my last post! Thought I would change it up a bit from my boring illustrations ( ) to something a bit more visually engaging.
I’m sure all these random video projects are a bit confusing, but this one–which is completely separate from the New Media Medicine videos I previously posted–is something I worked on last fall for the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics (CTL). The project was commissioned by CTL Executive Director Chris Caplice, and consists of four short videos that demonstrate different socioeconomic scenarios for our global economy. The fun part about it?–All the videos take place thirty years in the future!
Working with a great production team (Luis Blackaller, Max Wagenblass, Audubon Dougherty, Amy Strong, Brian Misiewicz, and many other wonderful people) and creative scripts conceptualized by the brilliant minds at MIT, I’m really happy with the finished product and wanted to share them. Hope you enjoy!
Global Marketplace Newscast on 2 November 2037
Technology Savior Newscast on 2 November 2037
Naftastique! Newscast on 2 November 2037
One World Order Newscast on 2 November 2037
I’ll admit, this doctor is a bit scary. I mean, look at those ear hairs… very welcoming. Overall, not really helped by his oddly disproportionate hands…
Something weird/interesting that I’ve found since switching to a smaller paper pad is that the paper texture is different… which is very odd since I got the same exact paper as I did last time (smooth bristol) except in a smaller size. I found that even though it’s supposed to be the same weight, type, and grain, it’s actually much smoother than my pervious pad. Has anyone else experienced this? I can’t quite figure out why the difference; it’s even the same brand! The smooth surface is really great for the pen work and I was especially pleased with the new paper until I started working with the color (there’s not much color in this particular illustration, thankfully, so ended up being a good ‘test run’ for me). With the paper being so smooth, the color smudged easily and it became 10x more important to pay attention to stroke direction and pressure. I found that even the white colored pencil was noticeable on this paper, and overall I had to be much more careful about when and how I was adding color.
Process aside, this illustration could really benefit from a proper photographing. Also, it wouldn’t have hurt to experiment a bit more with the doctor’s features… I’m not entirely happy with the way he turned out, but I think the point gets across all the same.
Aaaaalso, unexpected life occurrences prevented me from getting my third illustration done (on average, I should be completing 3 illustrations per week to make my deadline), so I’m now behind. But, what’s new?
I haven’t been blogging much lately mainly due to an increasingly busy schedule (seems that warmer weather somehow equals more errands, chores, etc.), but I’ve been working pretty comfortably throughout the week and just finished up my second illustration in the Cup Challenge–the smaller paper is the best decision I’ve made with so far. (Also, for those who actually pay attention to these details, I’m ditching the ‘day # of #’ because it seems more confusing that useful–announcing how many illustrations I have to go until my May 7 deadline seems much easier to follow.)
But anyway, here is a ‘rough mockup’* of the first illustration (…it must be every mother’s dream for their little boy’s room to be so tidy, colorful, and toyless… minus the gigantic paper cup her little boy had grown strangely fond of…):
*A’rough mockup’ to me means a couple things worth noting. For one, the picture is taken in terrible lighting (which I can’t do much about after the sun sets) and with a cheap digital camera. Then I take about 10 minutes in Photoshop to make whatever major adjustments seem absolutely necessary (not having taken a good photo to begin with, it seems sorta pointless to spend any significant amount of time in Photoshop)–in this particular illustration, I added the banana/cream wall color. I use the mockups as placeholders in my InDesign layout, later to be replaced with high quality photos taken with proper lights and given some real love in Photoshop. Until then, we’re stuck with this.
And since I mentioned the second drawing, here is the pen version:
…Slightly scary. Actually, quite scary.
I’ll post the colored version tomorrow along with the next sketch, so, stay tuned–more children terrified of horrifying doctors and scary needles to come!
I think it’s safe to say that this children’s book project is sheer madness! In the time since I completed my last illustration in the Duck Challenge (the Mama Duck), I’ve begun to lay this book out in InDesign and play with page size and fonts. The exercise was intended to inspire me more than it was to scare me, but as I went through page by page, word by word, I realized my story would (or should) require a lot more illustrations than I originally thought… which led me to realize that this was NOT going to happen in my LIFETIME if I was to continue with this 19×34 crap… which led me to realize that perhaps I could feasible finish this by the end of the summer, as planned, if I gave up this idea that all my original illustrations needed to be identically sized… which led me to pull out the box cutter and trim down my remaining 5 sheets of 19×34 to 12×14 chunks… which then led me to sketch and pen this:
So, I suppose whether I’m prepared or not, I’ve officially embarked on “The Cup Challenge.” Right now I’m missing 21 illustrations between between the beginning and where the ducks come in, and I’m giving myself 8 weeks to work it out. That gives me until May 7 to finish the first half of the book. With the smaller canvas and a work pattern down, I’m feeling good about it. Wish me luck… it’s madness from here!
So, I feel obligated to post this demo video on my blog, simply because it features my incredible, highly-sought after acting skills. (Note: that sentence was not at all laced with sarcasm.)
But all joking aside, this video was a blast to make. In the interest of time, resources, and general preservation of sanity, Max and I had asked each group to either find an actor for their demo filming or, even easier, act in it themselves. Most groups did this, but as is expected with hectic student schedules and short prep times, it wasn’t the case for all.
When I arrived on set as producer, I really wasn’t expecting to end up in front of the camera. But as it turned out, one of the two masterminds behind this technology was terribly camera shy. At first, I really resisted jumping in—having scheduled 6 demos to be filmed in one loooooong Sunday, I was especially paranoid about running behind the clock (also, since it was just Max and me on set, I wanted to be available to help him with the miscellaneous, unplanned things that always pop up). Well, it just so happened to be that that same paranoia is what made me jump on set—in scrambling to find an actor, we fell 5-10-15 minutes behind schedule, and, frankly, I just wasn’t going to have it.
In the end, I had a lot of fun acting and actually learned a lot more about how this phone application worked then I would have had I just watched. Acting in the video gave me the opportunity to play with the application and gain better insight as to how it could be useful in a real-life setting—and I have to say, it’s really cool! Since I’m not a technology expert, I’ll avoid the explanation the device and let the demo speak for itself. …Enjoy!
It’s official! The video project I’ve been working on for MIT is complete, and one by one the videos are making their debut on the MIT Media Lab New Media Medicine blog–many thanks to John Moore, M.D., for spearheading the project.
The first video to debut was the Health and Wellness Innovation introduction video, which, as the name suggests, introduces the 2011 Health and Wellness Innovation challenge that occurred at MIT in January. Eleven teams–consisting of students from MIT and other Boston-area institutions, as well as sponsor companies like Cisco, Motorola, and GSK–worked tirelessly for two weeks on creating innovative technologies for consumer health care, and amazingly, were able to construct working prototypes of these technologies.
The video production team was charged with the task of creating a short video for each of those groups that explained the innovation and its potential to consumers. As a co-producer of this project with director Max Wagenblass, I oversaw all phases of production (and even did some acting!), and I’m really proud of our work.
Definitely feel free to comment, like, or pass the word onto friends. These groups came up with super cool technologies that I hope you’ll find as awesome and exciting as we did!
I recently learned that there was such a thing as Kale chips (chips made from green Kale), and that they are extremely delicious, and extremely easy to make. So for those of you who like the idea of the eating healthy but find it hard to put in the time, effort and money to do so, this is really a perfect snack.
The greatest thing about Kale chips, besides the delicious taste and delicate crunchy texture, is the price. For $2 or $3 you can get a large bunch of Kale that will be good for two or three trays of chips, which equals about three small cereal bowls or one large mixing bowl. And the other ingredients you’ll need are things that you’ll most likely already have in your house.
- 1 bunch green Kale, leaves only (toss stems)
- About 2 tbsp olive oil, for drizzling
- Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling
- Sugar, for sprinkling
- Salt, to taste
- Optional: garlic powder, to taste
- Optional: black pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 or 375.
Note: A number of recipes call for oven temperatures ranging from 250 to 375 degrees F. Given that, I don’t think it really matters what the oven temperature is, but I’ve tested the 350 and 375 range and find it works pretty well.
2. Cut the leaves off the kale and discard the stems; rip large pieces of leaf into bite-size portions.
3. Next, wash the kale pieces under cold running water. If you have a salad spinner (those things that you dry lettuce with), then definitely use this–it makes the leaf drying process 10x faster. If not, then you’ll need to use a strainer and thoroughly towel-dry the leafs so there is as close to no water droplets as possible.
4. Spread the Kale evenly on a large cookie sheet or large pizza pan (the ones without the holes). Drizzle about 2 tbsp of olive oil over the kale leaves. Then sprinkle on salt, sugar, and Parmesan cheese to your liking (along with the black pepper and garlic, if desired). With a spoon or your hands, gently ‘fold’ the kale around to mix the ingredients a bit.
Note: You can also toss all the ingredients together in a bowl first before laying it out on the pan; though I’m lazy and have avoided doing this only because it’d mean I’d have to wash an extra dish, I suspect this would be the best way to make sure the leaves are evenly coated.
5. Bake in the preheat oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges of the leaves begin to brown (some brown is okay, but be careful not to burn!). Let chips cools for 5 minutes or so and enjoy!
Yes, it’s really that simple… cut, wash, sprinkle, bake (despite the fact it just took me 289 words to explain it).
I had a strange feeling when I had mentioned I was on track to meet my March 1 deadline that I somehow wouldn’t reach my March 1 deadline. Amazingly, even with my rough Duck Challenge start, I was able to get myself in a comfortable enough position to finish the Mama Duck with plenty of time to spare. Then, of course, I procrastinated. And then I got sick, and thus lazy. Though technically it’s 2:30 a.m. on March 2, my lack of sleep inclines me to pretend that it’s really still March 1 and therefore I’ll proceed as though I actually made my deadline–hence my painfully witty title.
So, here she is, a blushing Mama Duck:
If I feel up to it—or just remember to remember—I’ll take a better picture in the sunlight (it’s amazing how with all the lamps in my room I can’t seem to get the right light on these gigantic waxy illustrations).
I’m not quite sure how I feel about the Mama Duck’s ornate coat yet, but it’s growing me. I didn’t really have anything in particular in mind regarding the pattern, but if I had taken a moment to visualize it, I don’t think this is where my thoughts would have landed.
All of these illustrations are going to need some minor touchups and [hopefully] minor tweaks, but for all intents and purposes, it feels good to call this challenge a wrap.