Lill Street: 8.27.11

As far as I got for the last drawing of the session at Lill Street -- there's one more class next Saturday but I'll be taking advantage of the holiday weekend to go visit my family in Ohio. This was a 2.5 hour drawing using pastels. The next session starts in a little over a month, and I'll be learning to paint!

The Wedding Cake is Not a Lie

We recently had the Zombie Engagement Session, and now we have the Portal 2 Wedding Proposal. Yay for nerds getting married!

This is a long video, so if you're just interested in the actual proposal part, it starts around the 7:00 mark. If you're a Portal fan, though, you'll probably appreciate the game play and the commentary along the way.

The game levels were created by Douglas “TopHATTwaffle” Hoogland and Rachel “Miss Stabby” van der Meer. They even got Ellen McLain to do the voice of GLaDoS. Pretty awesome stuff.

You can read more about the story at

One More iPhone App: Photovine

+Ryan Ozawa just wrote an article about a new iPhone photo app and I thought I'd add it as an addendum to my previous post. The new app is called Photovine, and it's a social photo app with a gamification layer added in. Users create "vines," which are photo streams centered around a specific subject. You can follow individual people, and watch specific vines as well. I don't like that you can't edit or add effects to the photos as with Instagram, but the social gaming aspect has addiction potential.

My photo contribution to the 'Pets' vine

Oddly enough, the app is by Google. I'm not sure why they released it on the iPhone first rather than on Android, but it should be on both platforms soon. My biggest complaint about Instagram is that it's iPhone-only. I agree with Ryan that if Photovine adds in filters and supports both mobile platforms, it could give Instagram (and other related photo apps) some serious competition.

Read more about Photovine at the original post on Also, if you're a social media early adopter and want to keep up with the lastest networks and apps, follow Ryan. He's one of my prime sources for what's new, and the first person I look for on any new social network I sign up for (he's always there), so thanks Ryan!

iPhone Photo Apps

Camera+ Photo: Tiny Town of Kotor, Montenegro by  Oleg Lutsenko

I have a little Canon point-and-shoot camera. I even have an old Nikon 990 that's a pretty decent digital camera (if only I knew how to really use it...). But usually, all I have is my iPhone. So when I came across Lisa Bettany's post, 25 Amazing Camera+ Photos, I realized just how powerful my little mobile phone could be.

Camera+ is one of my favorite photo apps. I'm not a photographer, and I'm using the lesser camera on the iPhone 3GS, so the photos I take aren't anywhere near this good. It amazes me, though, that a camera on my phone could have this much potential.

Instagram Photo: A House in Bath by MikeUs

Another one of my favorite photo apps is Instagram. Mashable posted this article last month: Meet the Top 15 Photographers on Instagram. There are some amazing photographers on this list, and the first one, MikeUS, is one of my favorites. I originally thought he must be uploading photos taken with a higher end camera, but the only thing he uses in addition to Instagram is TiltShiftGen. He lives in Bath, and is also an incredible designer.

Another favorite of mine that isn't on the Mashable list is bitsnbobs. He's also a great designer.

Combo Camera+ and Instagram Photo: Baha'i Temple by me

I use a combo of Camera+ and Instagram all the time. Again, I'm not a photographer but occasionally I get something that turns out pretty nifty. Both apps have social sharing built in but I tend to share via Instragram, probably because it was the first social photo app that I used.

Combo Instagram and Diptic Photo: "May". Assemblage Sculpture by Paul Moschell

Another effect app that I see used a lot in conjunction with Instagram is Diptic, which lets you combine multiple photos into one. At least I assume they're using Diptic, as it was the only app I found that created this effect.

There are lots and lots of other apps out there. A couple that get consistent raves are ProCamera and Hipstamatic. If you want to explore furthere, take a look at these photo app lists at and

Happy shooting!

Lill Street 8.20.11

I was at my 20 Year High School Reunion last Saturday so I missed the first half of this pose. I thought it turned out pretty well for 3.5 hours of work. I was particularly happy that the face turned out better than my faces usally do -- it was a relatively decent likeness. Best of all, the instructor suggested that I start experimenting with paint and will begin teaching me during the Fall session. Woot!

Zombie Preparedness, Chicago Style

Photo by Bleeding Heart Bakery

In the spirit of continuing the zombie theme, this is something I meant to post a while ago. Inspired by a Gawker story about the invasion of The Ledbury during the London Riots, the staff of the Chicagoist created a list of Chicago Chefs and restaurants most likely to provide protection during a Zombie Apocolypse. The list:

  • Rick Bayless/Xoco
  • Kuma's Corner
  • James Toland/The Black Sheep
  • The Fountainhead
  • The Butcher & Larder
  • The Bedford
  • Tamali Space Charros
  • The Signature Room
  • Wiener Circle

To see the reasoning behind the picks, go and check out the article. It's a fun read!

The Gawker quote, orginally from NakedSushi, that inspired the list?

"The kitchen staff at the Ledbury went beyond their call of duty by rushing up from the kitchen with rolling pins, fry baskets, and other dangerous kitchen tools and scared off the looters. Then they provided well-needed glasses of alcohol including champagne and whisky.  When word came that the looters were coming back a second time, they ushered us into the bathrooms and told us to lock the doors. A few minutes later, they led us into the wine cellar and told us to lock ourselves in there."


Pictogram History

I love these minimalist History posters chronicling the lives of famous figures, both real and fictional. The posters were created by Italian design firm H-57. According to, an H-57 representative said that "The pictogram history posters were born out of an art-like collaboration with the website First Floor Under, which is a creativity and photography blog, a digital publishing house."

H-57 also created some pretty nifty Star Wars Typography Posters.

Via Len Kendall.


the3six5 Chicago

Earlier this year, in the spirit of doing things I generally don't do, I agreed to contribute to the the3six5 Chicago. The project was created by Len Kendall and Daniel Honigman to chronicle a different person's experience for every day of the year and create a written snapshot of 2011.

You can check out my post here, and everybody else's posts at If you're interested in contributing, the 2012 author list is being built here.





Memories of Burning Corn

A friend posted these videos of Burning Corn on Facebook, and it brought back great memories. I was one of the fire spinners floating around in the background, and if I'm remembering correctly, this was shortly after I started spinning real fire instead of just practice poi.

I've been to Burning Man a few times, and to a number of local burns in the Midwest, and I remember them all fondly (even that freezing, mud-drenched Playa del Fuego, because that's where I met Meg). I remember Burning Corn having a little more edge to it, but I like edge.

Great times, great people, and a lot of fun. I haven't played with fire in a long time, and I miss it sometimes. But I'm sure I'll get around to it again eventually, one day.


A few weeks ago our Digital Director pointed us to a site called Pinterest, which is basically a very visual social bookmarking site. My formula for social sites is to join them -- I join just about everything that comes my way -- set up a profile and play with it for a few minutes, then see if I ever go back to it. Occasionally I'm drawn back on my own, but it's usually because I start seeing more buzz about the site and revisit. It's my way of gauging a site's potential popularity and therefore its potential usefulness for our clients. If I join when a site is new, I can kind of see how the noise increases over time, and also gauge my own level of interest.

Our Director loves Pinterest so much that I was planning to go back and explore it more anyway, but I've also been seeing some buzz. Some of my coworkers have joined and seem to like it, and I've been seeing the name pop up here and there on the various social networks.

So tonight, I went back and really spent some time exploring, and I love it. Initially it reminded me a lot of Kaboodle, which I've used for a few years, but on closer inspection the visual aspect of Pinterest makes it feel different. Kaboodle is more about collecting things that you want to buy. Pinterest seems like it's more about collecting images that inspire you. I feel like you really get a sense of someone's personality looking at their overall collection of images.

The concept is this: you have 'boards' (categories) which contain collections of 'pins' (images of art, design, clothing, sites, etc.). As you browse the internet, you can use Pinterest's bookmarking tool to add pins to your boards (you can also input the URL directly), or you can browse through other people's boards and repin from there. You can follow another person's individual board, or follow them all. Social functions include following, repinning, commenting, and liking. You can also share individual pins on Twitter, Facebook and StumbleUpon, as well as embed or email them.

Overall, it pretty cool and fairly addicting. There are so many great images to collect, and it's a great place to amass ideas for interior decorating, DIY projects, recipes, creative inspiration, wish lists -- really, anything that is conducive to a visual collection. I encourage you to check it out, particularly if you're an artist or designer. I feel like this could be a great tool for people in the visual arts to collect inspiration for research and brainstorming, and maybe even to share your own work.

Pinterest is currently invite only, but I feel like the invites are easy to come by. If you happen need one, though, feel free to message me on Twitter or Google+.


At work, we are encouraged to bring in inspiring creative to share with the company. The other day, our Creative Director passed around an infographic from the Daily Infographic: 'How Color Affects Our Purchases'. Pretty interesting, especially from a marketing/design perspective. I took a look through the site and was also drawn to 'Bloody Mess: How Bloodstain Pattern Analysis Works', because I like the bold red, white and black graphics, and because it reminds me of Dexter. Also, I really liked 'National Ice Cream Day! How Healthy is Your Ice Cream?', mostly because it's about ice cream (and it looks nice, too).

Infographics seem to be trendy right now, so I've seen a lot of good ones popping up around the internet. But the one below, the 'Many Memes of Modern Life', is the first video infographic that I've seen and I think it's pretty neat. Plus, it's about memes (although it doesn't include my favorite meme, Nyan Cat).

Clyde Caldwell Tutorial

Zeldriia's Magic by Clyde Caldwell

My Dad doesn't have a Facebook account, so he sends updates to me to post on his Fan Page. Yesterday, he sent a tutorial link for the painting above. I posted it on Facebook, but it's such a great peek into the process of a professional illustrator that I thought I'd post it here as well. I hope you find it useful!

Painting Tutorial for Zeldriia's Magic

Figurative Illustration Workshop

I attended Aaron Miller's Figurative Illustration Workshop this evening at Platform Studios. The focus was on a super-heroine, with the model wearing a female Robin costume. My drawings were meh, but the workshop was a lot of fun! I need to start making for time for practice.


Garage Sale

My condo building is having a building-wide garage sale this Saturday, 7/23, from 12pm to 4pm. Stop by, and then go and enjoy Celebrate Clark Street. The address is 7023-7027 N. Paulina St., on the corner of Paulina and Greenleaf in Rogers Park.

To view a larger PDF, click here.

Update: The Garage Sale has been cancelled due to the rainy weather. It will hopefully be rescheduled for later this summer.