It's not that I'm trying to prove that I knew he was cool before anyone else. It's more that I'm trying to prove to myself that I have good taste, and that it was worth it to remember his name.
You see, that original venue was the ill-fated 1000 Markets. You've probably heard of Etsy; 1000 Markets was the same idea, except, well, beautiful. Selling one's wares involved a few hurdles (the site was curated; your product photos had to look good, or you wouldn't be accepted), which ensured that any page on the site looked clean and professional. I loved the way my products looked on 1KM. I loved the way everyone's products looked on 1KM. It became the shop I sent people to, because that's how I wanted them to see my products for the first time.
Unfortunately, it was not to be, and 1KM URLs now bounce to Bonanza. Double-unfortunately, Bonanza is ugly (I actually just poked around after typing that, to see if their site design had improved at all. I thought for a few moments that I was wrong, and they had improved—it didn't look so bad! But then I found the mother of all reasons never to sell my wares there: all-caps extra-large comic sans. In three different colors. Granted, it was an individual seller's shop policies, but it shouldn't even be an option. I didn't go hunting for it; it was the first item I clicked on).
But, back to my impeccable taste. So, Frank Chimera had a shop on 1KM, and I found his art and loved it, and blogged about it in 2009. What I didn't know (until I don't know, today maybe?) was that Frank was also responsible for the beautiful site design of 1000 Markets. Chimero said, "Artisanal selling is the only model of selling things where there's delight on both sides: delight in making, and then delight in consuming. It's a transfer of delight."
It turns out, delight is a bit of a specialty for Frank Chimero. You may have noticed that everything in this post that can be a link is a link, except for Frank's name. That's because I'm making you wait for the delight. His newly launched website, and this other thing of his I found, are absolutely delightful. You need to see them. I promise they're worth the wait.
As far as I can tell, this personal / professional landing page doesn't even exist anymore—at least not in this form. Then, posted a week later, but it's possible I saw them the same day, was this mention of Frank's newly redone website on Swiss Miss.
So take a few minutes for the delight. Scroll down. Slowly. Maybe a few times. Then come back here, because I'm not done showing you the awesome yet. http://FrankChimero.com
Are you back? Are you impressed by that delightful scrolley business? OK, now go here: Frank Chimero's Lost World's Fair: Atlantis. Scrolling all the way to the bottom of a ridiculously long web page has never been so delightful!
There are many interviews with this design master out there, and all of them leave you wanting to be a designer if you're not one already, or to be a better designer if you are. He just wrote a book: The Shape of Design, if you want to delve deeper. This talk he did at the Build Conference is pretty good, too, though I think his audience is a bit of a dud: they don't laugh at his jokes!
One more thing I found impressive, though not at all surprising: almost all of the websites I could find that feature an interview with Frank, or his art, design, or ideas, itself is an example of great design. It's reassuring to see that the people who praise Frank Chimero the most actually know what they're talking about. They recognize great design because they strive to create it themselves.
Below are some of my favorite well-designed sites talking about Frank Chimero:
Oh, also The Mavenist is pretty awesome. Frank explains what it is here, using my all-time favorite exchange from The West Wing as an analogy. Can this fool get any better? Oh, wait, he's a Portland boy, so—yes, yes he can.
I just started re-watching 21 Jump Street. You know how when you remember the 80s, it seems like the whole decade is a caricature of itself? Turns out, the 80s really were that ridiculous, and the early 90s weren't much better. "Graffiti art is all the rage now, sir."
The thing that's been getting me most about the unfortunate fashion choices are the wildly mismatched earrings—one reasonably small earring one one ear, and one large dangling-past-the-shoulders earring on the other ear. It seems like it would be hard to keep your head upright.
Luckily, a few episodes into the series, the show stopped taking itself nearly so seriously, and it's a little less painful to watch, plot-wise anyway. The clothes would still feel quite at home in the above photograph, number 32 in my 36 Views of South Waterfront series. Click on any photo for a slide show of the series so far. "Very smooth routine, Gilmore. Very smooth."
Johnny Depp is currently hitting on a woman who just said, "Welcome to the 80s." Oh, snap. Now he has to pretend to be a student in her class. "Van Halen, dude! The man knows his music!"
There's a 21 Jump Street movie coming out soon. I'm a little worried about it. The original series might be in that precarious state of being—perfect for its time, but not good enough to withstand a re-make, especially in movie format. "I didn't figure you for a Twisted Sister fan."
This photograph was taken by Desto of Ser Verdadero. Both the photograph and the mural's message deserve to be shared as often as possible.
Muralist Salvador Jimenez created the work with a group of young artists, ages 16-21, as part of the National Museum of Mexican Art's exhibit: A Declaration of Immigration in Chicago, IL. The exhibit featured over 70 artists, all immigrants to the U.S., and was curated by Cesáreo Moreno.
Though the exhibit and the mural both serve to depict some of the experiences and political struggles of communities of immigrants within the U.S., there is an essential larger message here:
No human being is illegal.
I don't know if you heard me. Let me say that again:
NO HUMAN BEING IS ILLEGAL
_No human being is illegal. Please apply that to everything. Always. Any scrap of dignity you feel entitled to for yourself should be given to every human being on the planet. No exceptions. I can think of zero circumstances in which dignity should be denied to another citizen of the planet. Or any other planet, for that matter. No human being is illegal. No human being is illegal. No human being is illegal. Keep saying it until you believe it. Now say it to everyone else.
...twice as big as it needs to be.
I spent a bit of time this week sitting in on a few middle school classes with which I soon will be working. As I listened to them discuss complex topics of monumental importance, impressed all the while by their eloquence and compassion, I was reminded of a moment in that very classroom two years ago that blew me away (names have been changed).
Each morning that year, the students spent a period of time writing. Students took turns bringing in a topic or a bit of inspiration (frequently a song or poem that they found particularly meaningful), and the class would set to work writing silently in the mood-lit classroom. After a time (there was no signal, just a feeling that enough time had lapsed), the student who had brought the inspiration for the day would begin reading their piece of writing aloud.
Others subsequently took turns, in no particular order and without raising their hands or waiting to be recognized in any way, reading their piece of writing whenever they were ready. Not every student shared their writing every day. Some wrote a lot, some very little, some only shared a sentence or two of their larger whole. Some students, too shy to share their piece, would pass their notebook to a neighbor to read aloud in their stead. Frequently, students were moved to tears by their own writing, or by listening to the words of their classmates.
On one particular day the inspiration piece included a reference to a glass half-full, or half-empty, I can't remember which. Many of the students' compositions followed that theme of optimism versus pessimism. One particular student, Carissa, began to share her piece.
Carissa was confident in her writing, and unafraid to share. Her thoughts were organized well enough for a twelve-year-old, but right in the middle of her soliloquy came this:
"The glass is not half-empty or half-full;
it is exactly enough water for one life,
and I'm going to drink it slowly."
_Her teacher and I exchanged glances across the room. He mouthed "Oh my god!" We both knew immediately that such a powerful statement—such a powerful idea—was one not easily understood by very many adults, let alone humans as young as Carissa.
Her teacher informed me later that part of Carissa's academic history included an IEP, or "Individualized Education Program," specifically for writing. Such programs are tailored to meet the academic needs of a student who struggles in a particular area for a variety of reasons.
It's hard to say when Carissa went from struggling with writing to eloquently expressing such powerful ideas, but a safe, respectful environment in which to share her writing aloud was probably a large part of it. If you ask Carissa, she'd say she wants to be a writer when she grows up.
Never underestimate the capacity of a child to think and express in profound ways. Never underestimate the power of a respectful and encouraging community to let individuals shine.
...makes me want to sit down with a nice cool glass of water. Or maybe half a glass...
So there I was, minding my own business (as usual) when I came across an eHow instructional article. The article itself was rather strange and specific: How to Draw Zodiac Constellations.
_This writer passed somebody's screening process. Demand Studios (content distributor for eHow and other channels) also hires copy editors, who presumably passed somebody's screening process and then checked the work of the writer. And yet...
The instructions were a bit odd. Basically: look at someone else's representation of the constellation. Draw the big stars first, then the smaller stars. Connect the dots. I have a hard time reconciling how these instructions are useful, or how they are appreciably different than instructions for drawing any constellation.
_The drill-down for this article is Home >> Toys & Games >> Magic, Mystery & Fortune Telling >> Aries >> How to Draw Zodiac Constellations. There has to be a better classification for this! If I were starting from the Home location, there's no way I would follow this path to figure out how to draw Zodiac Constellations. Here are a few that I would try first:
Home >> Arts & Entertainment >> Art Drawing >> Drawing
Home >> Arts & Entertainment >> Art Drawing >> Pencil Drawing
Home >> Arts & Entertainment >> Art Drawing >> Step by Step Drawing
Home >> Arts & Entertainment >> Art Drawing >> Draw to Scale
Home >> Arts & Entertainment >> Art Drawing >> Draw Anything
Home >> Arts & Entertainment >> Art Drawing >> Draw Illustrations
Home >> Arts & Entertainment >> Art Drawing >> Drawing Directions
Home >> Arts & Entertainment >> Draw Shapes & Objects >> Draw Stars
Home >> Arts & Entertainment >> Draw Shapes & Objects >> Draw Stuff
Home >> Hobbies & Science >> Earth & Space Science >> Constellations
Home >> Hobbies & Science >> Earth & Space Science >> Find Stars
Home >> Hobbies & Science >> Earth & Space Science >> Night Sky
Home >> Hobbies & Science >> Earth & Space Science >> About Astronomy
That means the Toys & Games route would be at minimum my 14th try, but I'm guessing I'd never actually get there. I hope they have a better search function than categorization function. While looking through those categories, I found all manner of mis-categorized articles. All of those drawing subcategories should probably have been in "Arts & Crafts" rather than in "Arts & Entertainment," but that aside, when you finally get down to the articles in that first listing, >> Art Drawing >> Drawing, you'll find (almost at the top of the page):
Identify Income Sources You Can Draw From in Retirement
Can I Draw Both SSD & SSI?
What Is a Sales Draw?
How to Increase Your Band's Draw
How to Fix the Draw in a Fireplace
None of which are even obliquely related to Art Drawing. So, I'm thinking I might apply to work for Demand Studios, since I'm already cited as an expert, and clearly I have some skills they need.
Tracey included in her post one of her favorite quotations by Agent Dale Cooper, and it's one of my favorites, too: "Harry, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don't plan it. Don't wait for it. Just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men's store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot black coffee."
So, grab yourself some coffee, a slice of pie, or some donuts, and look through these wonderful collections of little presents you can give yourself (or someone else). Enjoy!
Collection: Etsy Metal Finds by Etsy Metal Blog
Collection: Beware the Ides of March by Colette Creation
Collection: All Things Star Wars by The Paper Nest
Collection: Sewing by Flowers & Tea
Collection: Keyword / Gold by Oh Hello Friend
Collection: Shiny Spotlight Thursday by Simply Shiny Life
Collection: The Moon by Feather & Webb
Collection: MLK by Lova Revolution
_This week's Edit Me challenge photo comes from Rosie of Leavesnbloom Studio. I took advantage of this sleepy-sheepy castle scene to try out a new technique: imitating the effect of a tilt-shift lens.
_I adjusted the blurry and non-blurry portions with a low-opacity black brush and a low-opacity eraser. The rest was just tweaking colors. I'll probably get better at making it look more realistic with practice (and by more realistic, I mean of course more fake-miniature).
_I wrote an e-book:
Stargazing for Beginners
How to Find Your Way Around the Night Sky
I'm participating in the first week of Photo Feedback on Mom Tried It. The purpose of this particular blog hop is to give and receive feedback about photography. This chicken photograph is my entry. This is a friend's chicken. I had a hard time getting one of them to stay still long enough (there were three of them), and it wasn't just a fast shutter speed issue; they were in and out of the frame before I could compose the shot most of the time. So, this was my best attempt.
Please critique my photograph! Tell me what you think I did well, and what you think I could have done better with this shot. Even if you don't know anything technical about photography, you can still give me some feedback. I look forward to reading it!
How do you get your blog fix?
My reader-of-choice is bloglovin'. The interface is clean and easy to use. You can follow anything with a feed, and it arranges all unread posts at the top, with a large picture (if there is one in the post) and the first paragraph or so of text. You can easily mark a post as "read" to skip it, or "like" a post to come back to later. You can sort blogs into your own categories and read whole categories at a time (or skip whole categories by marking them all as read).
Bloglovin' is one of the permanent tabs open in my browser and I have yet to see any other blog reader that comes close for my taste. But that's the thing. My taste is mine, and your preferences for reading blogs may be very different.
Some blog platforms, like WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr make it easy to follow other blogs on that same platform, with convenient follower tracking methods. This is great if your blog is on one of those platforms. Mine is not. You can still follow me the hard way, though (click below on the appropriate icon to see how). I'll figure out how to calculate my followers later...
I hope you'll find a way to follow not just my blog, but all the blogs that catch your interest. Please don't limit what you read on a regular basis just because it's not easy to follow with your current system. Find a blog reader that works for all the blogs you want to read and use it!
All of this buttony business was inspired by a post on Will Work 4 Followers. If you want to add a simpler version of these follow buttons, head over to that site and follow the instructions.
By the way, the title of this post is in reference to the fact that this is my 200th post! When I arrived at my 100th post a while back, I realized that I had counted incorrectly, and it was actually my 101st post. I almost did it again this time.