Early work on my father’s birthday

My father was born February 15, 1923.  He’ll be 90 next year.  So, I’ve been working on a graphic to use for the invitation.  One of his favorite memories was going to the Paramount Theater in Toledo, Ohio and opened in 1929.  It was a fabulous picture palace in every sense of the word.  He speaks fondly of the “moving clouds” and the beauty that was the Paramount.  Unfortunately, it was torn down in 1965 (I was 6).  So, I decided to merge a few pieces of his life into one thing.  You won’t see it this time, but what you will see is a re-creation of the marquee (the early work, I’ll add the lights later and change it in celebration of him).  Also, I’ve included a photo of the actual marquee in it’s heyday. and what I worked from.

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New Project Continued

As you can see not much obvious in the way of changes. I created a ladder system to get to the catwalks (with guard lights so you don’t get lost in an emergency in the dark). The catwalks (my attention to detail) have pyramid prisms in the walkway to allow light through and cast iron handrails with copper posts. And, of course, how can a grand space like I envision be without a grand chandelier. Crystal, of course.
We’re now up to 84,995,181 polygons. If I do say so myself, I think it’s a pretty nice start. What do you think?

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New Project

A clock tower interior. I saw an episode of Selling New York on HGTV and was inspired to create my own apartment. This is the early work. It’s Penn Station meets Art Nouveau with a dash of Art Deco.  As you can see I still have a habit of putting in ALL the detail.  45,276,536 polygons.  All the rivets are there.  The lightbulbs have glassblower points.  I still need to put the catwalks in.  And of course the walls and clocks.

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Art Deco

Art Deco. Not it’s original name. At the time it was called Art Moderne, from the French. It embodied the ultimate expression of industrial design. Cars, homes, paintings, posters, toasters all aquired it. It was and is, in my opinion, the best of modern design. All styles that follow owe themselves to it. Mid-century modern, sixties mod and even the seventies drew upon it. Obviously, as time went on it became more and more “cartoonish”. The seventies were the biggest abuser of the style, but they tried, so maybe they can be forgiven (a little bit). The style was really all about speed, manufacturability, and materials. The best was always used in materials when possible as well as the most new and up-to-date technologies (sound familiar, eh?). But today the materials seem to be less important. Elegance and sophistication were the thing. It’s still here, sometimes, and should be used and appreciated more but without cartooning it or what I would rather say “Disney-fying” it. It’s based on classisim and now seems to be released from that and made overblown and out of proportion. It should be fun and elegantly welcoming. I’ve posted here a lounge I designed. Tell me your comments….

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Merry Christmas!

It’s been a tradition here that we make John’s famous brandywine.  It’s a wonderful addition to every gathering we’ve ever had.  Usually it takes a month to make, but seriously, you could make it now and it’ll be quite wonderful for Christmas Eve.  Then, as time goes on, it’ll be great for New Years and every occasion thereafter.  Give it a try.  Merry Christmas!

Here’s the recipe. Yes, I did the art.

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Customer Service. Here’s a thought…

With it being the Christmas season (not my favorite, but I can decorate it til you wet your pants), I was reminded by something.  Not something most of you think about.  But if you’ve been on the bad end of it, you’ve thought about it.  But what I want to say is, do you (and your employees) pay REAL attention to how you treat your customers and said employees?  Sure they pay you for your services and products, but how do you treat them?  Do you make them sit on the phone, waiting for 20-30 minutes and figure that’s what they should expect because of “high call volume”?  Come on, if that’s really the case, then you need to have more folks who actually answer the phone.  Now on that obverse, those of you who waited to talk to such person, need to mind your manners also.  Don’t rip into them!  What ever the problem, they are NOT the ones who caused it and ARE the ones who are employed to help you solve that problem.  Help them help you.  If you get that one that’s not there but for the money, if they won’t try to help and stick just “to the script”, stop them and politely demand their supervisor.  Most likely they’ll get out of their iPod and try to help after all just to avoid the problem of having to have the supervisor come and fix what they didn’t bother with.  Next, in-store sales people.  I know they’re seasonal and you think they are the slime of the sales chain, but they are people none-the-less.  Both employers and customers need to remember to treat them with respect.  And they should treat everyone with respect also.  Granted, you’ve been having soccer moms with screaming children (come on, grow up and be a parent) and grumpy, rushed and generally obnoxious patrons, but as hard as it can be, you really should do your best to try to be at least a tiny bit pleasant.  Customers!  You’re not off the hook!  You are NOT the only one in the world.  Don’t harrass the cashier.  I have to admit (and this is really bad), but in years past I would get myself all dressed up in Dicken’s-ish clothing to do my Christmas shopping complete with holly in my top hat (Yup, I went through a weird period).  I always started out with the best feelings and intentions.  But after an hour or two of being shoved by other shoppers and being distained by store clerks, my mood heads south, I end up trying for justice.  Unfortunately, I turned into “Bad Shopper”.  I stopped buying and my goal became that I must give back what I got.  My big joy was to see how many store clerks I could make cry.  Actually and unfortuanately, I was pretty good at it.  Not good for anyone.  But in my own defense, I really was pushed to it.  Shoppers!  Listen up!  We’re all out there on our various missions for holiday happiness.  What effort or harm can it be to smile to one another and maybe (God forbid) open a door or reach for something for someone or tell them it’s over there since you were just there and they may or may not like it afterall.  Or let them go first at the register.  If they have the courtesy, they won’t be long and what did it hurt to give a couple minutes?  Have some manners.  They’re not there as an inconvenience.  They’re a part of getting along with your other human being.  If the kid isn’t needing the stroller, leave it in the car.  Also, you are not the only person in the world.  The rest of us are not here as an inconvenience to you or as servants.  You are not entitled as much as you think you are.  OK, enough commentary about shoppers and sales clerks.  Employers and Company Owners.  Not just at Christmas, how much do you thank your clients and employees for their business and what they do?  Parties and Special Sales don’t count!  Have you walked by or emailed or called someone to find out how their life is?  Given them a break for a minor lateness.  Said “Thank You” or “Hope all is going well”?  You live with and around these people.  Life cannot just be always on your terms.  If you can allow the minor adjustment to your work environment from time to time and give out the occasional “Hey, that’s nice” or “Great job” you can find yourself getting way more back than you thought you gave.  Nice doesn’t hurt (or it least shouldn’t).  The more you give in courtesy and niceness, the massively more you get back in everything.

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Sometimes I wonder why

I’m up a bit late for me.  But a song came into my head (“What’ll I Do?”  Irving Berlin  1924), and it made me wonder.  What would people do if we lost the places we remember and didn’t try to keep.  I know preservation has been a pretty big thing since the 70’s, but does anybody really try to do something?  Sure they will if it’s connected to someone famous.  But what about the commonplace places?  The places we take for granted, you don’t notice until they’re gone.  They had a place and purpose.  Folks walked through, ate, greeted, said good-by, created new lives and lost others.  But to others they’re just crap.  Should be torn down, discarded, tossed off like an old tissue.  Have you ever thought about those who have been there?  Celebrated a birthday, asked her to marry you, was told he was killed in the war or sent him off to the war to fight?  Brought him home when he came back?  And those that go off in search of the future.  It’s all high hopes and it usually is.  But in that place we were there to welcome them back when they needed it.  And always pie as a prize or consolation.  Here, I offer a few of those places.  With all the dirt and grime, wear and tear that they’ve lived through.  I got the best compliment about the diner.  “I like it! It smells bad.”  That’s because it’s had a life.  Imagined, yes, but a life.  Images should say that.  You don’t have to have action, you just have to look closely.

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There’s always a first time

I was asked to design custom wallpaper.  Now, I’ve designed patterns for fabric many times before and found this to be just the same.  It’s just an all-over, seamlessly repeating pattern.  This time the subject was the New York City subway system.  The map was suggested, but if you’ve ever looked at with an eye to make it repeat endlessly it would be maddening and not something one could stand looking at for long, much less live or work with.  Being a major fan of the system, I was beyond thrilled to take this on.  I decided to use the signage and train routing information.  This gives you lots of color and something managable to work with.  I designed it in two colorways.  Any of you New Yorkers can check me on the listings.  With the exception of dropping a few stops due to redundency, the listings are correct.  And the route names are correct.  In design, you have to do your research.  If you don’t you’ll just make yourself and your client look bad.

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Wanted to see if I could…

I bought an old Remington Standard # 12 typewriter many years ago at a garage sale for $5.00.  I used it for all my papers in college and typed my original resume on it.  After that it became a cast iron brick that my dog, Louis, used to type his novel.  Actually he just stepped on the keys and tried to catch the hammers, but I liked pretending he was writing a doggy tell-all.    A bit back I decided I really admired it’s lines and sturdy, straight forward looks.  So, I decided to create it in digital 3D.  I also created appropriate letter head to finish it off.  I know, this serves no real purpose, and to folks who really know typewriters the graphics aren’t right, but I plead “artistic license” (I couldn’t help myself) but does everything have to?  It’s shiney.  Oooooooo……….

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