Monday, April 27, 2009

The Process

Glenn Griffin and Deb Morrison, professors at SMU and the University of Oregon, asked me to participate in a joint research project on the creative process. They sent me a Sharpie and a poster-sized piece of paper and asked me to illustrate my creative process.

Not too long ago, I presented a version of this to a guy I am working with in Seattle, a scientist who runs a biotech company, to help him understand how I work. "That's our process too," he told me. Interesting.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Guest blogger/Earth day

These comments - and images - from a regular reader:

you did really give up on the blog, huh? only twitter? i read that article as well as others about it. there was another relating to kids, that i can't find.

i loved that nyt article...about the bog and poverty.

i have come the conclusion that twitter can be...bad. like, really totally not a good thing. albeit, i know there are some tweets that r's is pretty funny...but that's because he lived in 4 of course the food factor change up is fun.

and then i was like, what's the big deal? isn't twitter a compressed version of "comments" from myspace or, older, friendster? minus the personal info and the hoops?

it's really weird. no matter how hard i try to wrap my head around it or convince myself to start one, i just cannot. esp now. i'd rather hear an egg fry or get out a pen and write something down.

anyway...hope you are well...i'll keep checking per usual...

in conclusion...tweets freak me out. :)

Thanks for the comment, reader. I hear you. As long as you're freaking out, and in honor of Earth Day, here's this!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Interesting PDX

Went to that event last night where 20 people each do a 3-minute presentation on something they're passionate about. It was, yeah, interesting. It was neat. I like the new energy around social activities like these.

The event was held at Norse Hall, a 1928 dance hall and event space built for people of Norwegian heritage living in Portland. Beautiful and funky place. I like the table and chair in the men's bathroom.

The presentations covered the gamut. Gary Hirsch did the most efficient 3 minute presentation of improvisation - complete with audience participation - that I've ever seen. Fun.

The ones that stuck were the ones full of passion and sincerity, the woman who visited Afghanistan, the woman paying tribute to her grandfather, the guy with the website dedicated to people with gaps in their teeth, the guy who loves fruit.

I have mixed feelings about the format - which is super popular right now with this and Pecha Kucha and IGNITE Portland and whatnot. It's fun, but reminds me of sitting in front of the TV changing channels. Nothing penetrates too deeply. But it's sweet that a couple hundred people would go out on a Thursday night to do something like this. Encouraging.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

6 awesomes on my way to lunch

1. Parking lot trees blooming.

2. Testing the new MAX green line train.

3. This poster for Pinbrawl at Ground Kontrol. Daltrey punching Elton John! Awesome.

4. This two-toned El Camino in front of Embers.

5. Embers' gay bench.

6. Running into these guys during their recess.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The state of the studio

I am pleased to report that the state of the studio is strong. Can you pick out which door is Studio Jelly? The heart is from Yelapa. I have always loved the image of the burning heart.

First spring here, so I'm greeted with morning light I haven't had since I moved in on October 1. Nice.

Monday morning pleasure

Friday, April 3, 2009

Just layin down and singing

Thanks Maclean Jackson for sharing this.


Received a nice package of stuff from the good peoples at I Hate My Day Job!

If you send me cool free stuff, I am happy to consider sharing it with the readers of This is Jelly's Blog (sic). And if you live in Portland, I am happy to share some of this schwag with you.

Have a good weekend everyone.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

A handful of real people near the center of everything

Listening to another great Jesse Thorn SOYA podcast - So relevant and perfect.

The Sound of Young America

Then while listening I found this perfect piece from Merlin Mann, who I didn't really know about until now. Wow. Clear.

"...And, to be honest, I don’t have a specific agenda for what I want to do all that differently, apart from what I’m already trying to do every day:

  • identify and destroy small-return bullshit;
  • shut off anything that’s noisier than it is useful;
  • make brutally fast decisions about what I don’t need to be doing;
  • avoid anything that feels like fake sincerity (esp. where it may touch money);
  • demand personal focus on making good things;
  • put a handful of real people near the center of everything.

All I know right now is that I want to do all of it better. Everything better. Better, better.

To underscore, I have no plan to stop making dick jokes or to swear off ragging people who clearly have it coming to them. It’s just that it’s important to me to make world-class dick jokes and to rag the worthy in a way that no one is expecting. I want to become an evangelist for hard work and editing, and I want to get to a place where it shows in everything that I do, make, and share. Yes, even if it makes me sound like a fancy guy who just doesn’t get it. Fuck it.

So, yes. I am cutting way back on trips to the steam table of half-finished, half-useful, half-ideas that I both make and consume. And, with respect, I encourage you to consider doing the same; especially if that all-you-can-eat buffet of snark and streaming produces (or encourages) anything short of your “A” game.

If I’m not laughing at your joke, complimenting your insight, or leading the Standing O for something you spent 10 seconds pecking up on your phone, it may not be because I don’t get it; it may be because I think we’re both capable of better and just need to find the courage to say so. In as many characters as it takes."

I love the Internet!*

When I get an email telling me someone is following me on Twitter, I go to that person's Twitter page, and read a page or so of their updates, and if it's interesting to me, I'll follow them too.

Two or three things on Superdelightful's page made me laugh out loud, and then I saw a link to a website he found called Burger Chef Memories. As a designer from Louisville interested in American pop culture and sadness, this could not be any further up my alley.

This forgotten burger chain was based in my hometown and it valiantly and daringly tried to keep up with Burger King and McDonald's in the burger wars. Look at that guy in the middle.

The site is written by a guy whose father became an executive in the company after starting behind the counter as a 24-year-old Air Force vet. The story is charming and sincere.

This is why I love the Internet, right? Stumbling upon these wonderful things?

The Knowledge Box! It has everything! I've been discovering so many interesting things lately, so many new and old ideas.

Last night I listened to an awesome conversation between Jesse Thorn and Steven Johnson, the author of The Invention of Air. While I listened to the podcast, I used wikipedia to look up things - phlogiston? - to help me appreciate the conversation even more. Fantastic!

I love the Internet!*


*But what do I do with it all this wonderful stuff? That's the question for me.

Ran into Julia Oh, creative thinker troublemaker who was in 12's first class. "I saw you on Twitter, man," she said. "I'm still suspicious."

No kidding. What's it about? What's it for?

The Paula Scher talk I watched this morning - discovered through another Twitter follower! - it's great! Filled with wonderful ideas. But I have to do something with it, right? Otherwise it's just collecting information or media solitaire or nostalgia and it feels bleh after a while.

What about community? Connection? Communication? That's the answer I'm supposed to have. How it makes us all connected. But connected to what? Connected for what purpose? To report how everyone is feeling about everything at every moment of the day?

"I don't really know what community means," says Chris Hughes, Obama's 25-year-old internet wiz. "If it's real people and real communities, it's valuable. Otherwise it's just playing around online."

We have to do something with this incredible thing.

It doesn't have to be profound or "important." To quote Russell Baker via Paula Scher, it doesn't have to be solemn, but it does have to be serious.

Julia Blackburn, fashion designer/12.3 grad, is having an opening of her new work tonight at Radish Underground. Her theme is the Dust Bowl, and all her the work, including the window displays at the show, were made from materials of the time. Lovely, thoughtful, inspiring.

I love the Internet. I love the connectedness, the discoveries. What do I/we make of it all?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What is good design now?

Came back to an interesting issue of Metropolis magazine, which I always enjoy.

"What is good design?" Peter Hall asks in his introduction. "The 20th-century definition of 'good design' was driven primarily by form. Today the stakes are too high, and the world too complex, for a superficial response."

The magazine breaks down good to 10 components, and each topic is explored by a different author.










Thoughtful issue. I think the dialogue about what is good advertising/communication design could be this rich. It's going that direction.