This is a title.

Work that doesn't make it into my portfolio, etc.
 News Parserwebsite
A website which pulls news stories from NPR’s RSS feed, scrapes the information, and redisplays it. At the end of the week, the week’s stories are aggregated and made available for download as a PDF. The site was created with PHP, HTML, CSS, and Python scripts. I created this project with a partner; my role included writing the code to create the newsletters and make them available for download, utilizing Beautiful Soup and ReportLab. You can view the live site here.

News Parser
website

A website which pulls news stories from NPR’s RSS feed, scrapes the information, and redisplays it. At the end of the week, the week’s stories are aggregated and made available for download as a PDF. The site was created with PHP, HTML, CSS, and Python scripts. I created this project with a partner; my role included writing the code to create the newsletters and make them available for download, utilizing Beautiful Soup and ReportLab. You can view the live site here.

These are some sketches that I did last summer in the British Museum of various sculptures. I used Pilot Hi-tec C pens, in various colors. It’s pretty hard to find these pens in the US, but one of my drawing professors turned me on to them. Luckily, they were readily available in the UK and I stocked up. I love the British Museum. It’s a great building, it has a large, varied collection, and it’s free. I like museums, but after like 2 hours I get museum fatigue and start thinking about what I’m going to have for dinner. At the British Museum, I could come back for an hour or two every night, especially since it was only a ten minute walk from where I was staying.
The interesting thing about sketching in a museum is people always want to see what you’re doing, and will kind of lurk around and try to look over your shoulder. I guess some people might find this annoying, but I’m a sucker for attention, so I find it kind of flattering. And sometimes people compliment your drawing, which is nice. And sometimes they compliment you, which can be nice, but which can also get creepy really quick. But overall I had great experiences at the British Museum. I had class during the day, so I would always go late at night, when the galleries were almost empty, and I had the place all to myself. I have a lot of really visceral memories of that month, and these are some of my favorite sketches from that summer.

These are some sketches that I did last summer in the British Museum of various sculptures. I used Pilot Hi-tec C pens, in various colors. It’s pretty hard to find these pens in the US, but one of my drawing professors turned me on to them. Luckily, they were readily available in the UK and I stocked up. I love the British Museum. It’s a great building, it has a large, varied collection, and it’s free. I like museums, but after like 2 hours I get museum fatigue and start thinking about what I’m going to have for dinner. At the British Museum, I could come back for an hour or two every night, especially since it was only a ten minute walk from where I was staying.

The interesting thing about sketching in a museum is people always want to see what you’re doing, and will kind of lurk around and try to look over your shoulder. I guess some people might find this annoying, but I’m a sucker for attention, so I find it kind of flattering. And sometimes people compliment your drawing, which is nice. And sometimes they compliment you, which can be nice, but which can also get creepy really quick. But overall I had great experiences at the British Museum. I had class during the day, so I would always go late at night, when the galleries were almost empty, and I had the place all to myself. I have a lot of really visceral memories of that month, and these are some of my favorite sketches from that summer.

I have like 15 pads of paper/sticky notes on and around my desk, because people give them to me and I tend to steal them from hotels, etc. They’re super useful, and I use them for pretty much everything, from grocery lists to my next project. I just grab whichever one is closest, and occasionally I’ll find a half-started list or rambling notes. This one says ‘governor races, next decade of american politics.” I don’t remember what is was for, but I imagine it must have been something to do with WUPR. Yesterday I found one that said ‘Huge, KDHX, Rodgers Townsend, STL Science Center, United Way of Greater STL.” Presumably this was a list of places I was going to look for internships. I think the only one I actually ended up applying to was HUGE.

I have like 15 pads of paper/sticky notes on and around my desk, because people give them to me and I tend to steal them from hotels, etc. They’re super useful, and I use them for pretty much everything, from grocery lists to my next project. I just grab whichever one is closest, and occasionally I’ll find a half-started list or rambling notes. This one says ‘governor races, next decade of american politics.” I don’t remember what is was for, but I imagine it must have been something to do with WUPR. Yesterday I found one that said ‘Huge, KDHX, Rodgers Townsend, STL Science Center, United Way of Greater STL.” Presumably this was a list of places I was going to look for internships. I think the only one I actually ended up applying to was HUGE.

Autobiographical comic, original size 18 x 12 inches, created in InDesign and Photoshop.
So, I’m shifting my portfolio to a new site, and I decided to be a bit more selective, which means that my new portfolio will have only what I consider to be the best of my work, and the rest of my stuff will show up here, since I love it too much NOT to put it on the internet. Wow, that was a long sentence. Which I am not going to fix. I was going to put this in my portfolio, until I took a closer look at it and realize wow, it’s a mess. I opened the file and it was like ‘how to do everything in the most inefficient manner possible in InDesign’. I spent way too much time on this project, and was consequently always lagging behind. It was barely finished in time for the critique, and then I was too sick of looking at it to go back and really finish it. Plus, I made a few questionable choices in the beginning that ended up affecting(is this the right affect/effect? I don’t know) my project adversely and to go back and fix them would be to redo the whole project. I did my line drawings in mechanical pencil, instead of in something sensible like Sharpie or ink. What was I thinking?
Also, the colors totally aren’t as saturated and weird as they look in the little picture. Click on it to see the real colors in the larger version.

Autobiographical comic, original size 18 x 12 inches, created in InDesign and Photoshop.

So, I’m shifting my portfolio to a new site, and I decided to be a bit more selective, which means that my new portfolio will have only what I consider to be the best of my work, and the rest of my stuff will show up here, since I love it too much NOT to put it on the internet. Wow, that was a long sentence. Which I am not going to fix. I was going to put this in my portfolio, until I took a closer look at it and realize wow, it’s a mess. I opened the file and it was like ‘how to do everything in the most inefficient manner possible in InDesign’. I spent way too much time on this project, and was consequently always lagging behind. It was barely finished in time for the critique, and then I was too sick of looking at it to go back and really finish it. Plus, I made a few questionable choices in the beginning that ended up affecting(is this the right affect/effect? I don’t know) my project adversely and to go back and fix them would be to redo the whole project. I did my line drawings in mechanical pencil, instead of in something sensible like Sharpie or ink. What was I thinking?

Also, the colors totally aren’t as saturated and weird as they look in the little picture. Click on it to see the real colors in the larger version.

Things I like about St. Louis

1) The ice cream truck finally comes down my street again. When I was in second grade, my family moved from Bridgewater to Raritan, from a little Cape Cod to a more spacious colonial in a better neighborhood. I was, of course, incredibly upset and staged various protests, to no avail. One day when the bus dropped me off after school, there was a giant Mayflower truck waiting to be filled with all our worldly possessions. We moved, and I survived, although I did lose contact with some friends in that neighborhood. More importantly, instead of the ice cream truck, we got the Italian ice truck, which was pretty much the lamest thing ever. It’s one thing if I choose to eat Italian ice, but when it’s forced upon me all I can think about is what a poor substitute it is for creamy dairy goodness. Later, we joined a community pool on the ice cream route, and I have a lot fo fond memories of lining up in towels and bare feet, clutching a handful of quarters for an already melting treat. There’s still something magical about the ice cream truck to me, and I love hearing that stupid song in St. Louis.

2) The radio stations. St. Louis doesn’t get that many radio stations, which seems weird to me, but I don’t actually know anything about the radio, so whatever. My hometown is about midway between NYC and Philly, and the radio stations from both almost, but not quite reach us. Stations will drop in and out of range as you drive across town. The only ones consistently in range were talk radio, soft rock, and that weird college station from South Jersey that played orchestra in the morning. If you were lucky, you could find some classic rock. And that was it. In St. Louis, I can usually find at least 3 country stations, plus the oldies station, and classic rock and current music and some other stuff. Amazing!

3) Other stuff. I created this post to talk about ice cream trucks and radio stations, but it seems silly to have a list with only two things on it.

So, I was talking to my family the other day, and my sister mentioned a childhood film she remembered being rather creepy, but she couldn’t remember what it was. She mentioned a kitten rolled up in pudding, and I knew exactly what she was talking about. It was a tape of Beatrix Potter stories that we watched frequently as children. What’s interesting to me is how indelibly these images are branded on my mind, even though it’s probably been more than ten years since I saw that film. I think this is probably due to the fact that we watched things many, many times as kids, until we internalized them. If I read or watch something now that I don’t understand right away, chances are I’ll get frustrated or distracted, and go do something else. As a kid, I would just go with the flow and watch ‘til the end, and then watch it again, and again until I understood. Take Rock-a-Doodle-Doo, another childhood favorite that recently popped up on Netflix Instant. It’s from the studio of Don Bluth, and it’s a pretty trippy story. I remember being seriously confused the first few times I saw it, but by the 15th viewing, I knew exactly what was going on.

Why am I so much more discretionary with my reading and film watching now? I think this is due to the sense that there is so much art out there that we feel we need to consume, and the fear of wasting our time with mediocre art. I tend to think of my life as a video game, and every time I read a new book, or watch a new movie, a little icon pops up with a chime, saying something like, “‘A Tale of Two Cities’ unlocked!” (Note: I have not actually read A Tale of Two Cities) And then it’s added to my personal inventory, there for me to access forever. Of course, this is often not the case, and I forget it a week after I finish it. I only want to fill my inventory with ‘good’ stuff(the idea of certain kinds of literature being more worthy than other is a whole different debate). There’s an NPR article that talks about the whole idea of completism more eloquently than I could, so I’m just going to link to it(click on the photo). This is definitely an idea that I’ve only become aware of as I’ve gotten older. When I was in middle school, I would pretty much read whatever was in front of me, which gave me a really wide range of knowledge about really random stuff. I had free range of the public library, and my parents never censored what I read, so I learned a lot of interesting things from books at a youngish age.

I feel like I don’t finish as many books as I used to, or absorb them as well as I used to, and that eats at me more than it used to. I miss that need to wholly consume a film, to watch it so many times it’s imprinted on your brain and you know it backwards and forwards and inside out. But then I remember that I still do that, just to a lesser extent. I listen to favorite albums on repeat for months, I have a small selection of books that I frequently reread, and certain films I do watch again and again. It’s just less than it used to be. Part of the reason those childhood films stand out so strongly in my mind is because of the nostalgia; they’re more special because they were a very specific experience I shared with my brother and sister in our basement. Although, as with all shared experiences, turns out we all remember it a little differently. I mostly remember being entranced with the stories and the images, and in my mind I associate those films with the golden period of childhood, while my sister was apparently terrified by many of them, including but not limited to Fern Gully and Beatrix Potter. I loved Fern Gully - that’s pretty much how I learned how paper is made.

I think what I’m really trying to say is, I wish I still had nothing better to with my time than sit around watching awesomely weird videos about Elvis-like roosters and rats baking poor kittens named Tom into pies. 

So, I was talking to my family the other day, and my sister mentioned a childhood film she remembered being rather creepy, but she couldn’t remember what it was. She mentioned a kitten rolled up in pudding, and I knew exactly what she was talking about. It was a tape of Beatrix Potter stories that we watched frequently as children. What’s interesting to me is how indelibly these images are branded on my mind, even though it’s probably been more than ten years since I saw that film. I think this is probably due to the fact that we watched things many, many times as kids, until we internalized them. If I read or watch something now that I don’t understand right away, chances are I’ll get frustrated or distracted, and go do something else. As a kid, I would just go with the flow and watch ‘til the end, and then watch it again, and again until I understood. Take Rock-a-Doodle-Doo, another childhood favorite that recently popped up on Netflix Instant. It’s from the studio of Don Bluth, and it’s a pretty trippy story. I remember being seriously confused the first few times I saw it, but by the 15th viewing, I knew exactly what was going on.

Why am I so much more discretionary with my reading and film watching now? I think this is due to the sense that there is so much art out there that we feel we need to consume, and the fear of wasting our time with mediocre art. I tend to think of my life as a video game, and every time I read a new book, or watch a new movie, a little icon pops up with a chime, saying something like, “‘A Tale of Two Cities’ unlocked!” (Note: I have not actually read A Tale of Two Cities) And then it’s added to my personal inventory, there for me to access forever. Of course, this is often not the case, and I forget it a week after I finish it. I only want to fill my inventory with ‘good’ stuff(the idea of certain kinds of literature being more worthy than other is a whole different debate). There’s an NPR article that talks about the whole idea of completism more eloquently than I could, so I’m just going to link to it(click on the photo). This is definitely an idea that I’ve only become aware of as I’ve gotten older. When I was in middle school, I would pretty much read whatever was in front of me, which gave me a really wide range of knowledge about really random stuff. I had free range of the public library, and my parents never censored what I read, so I learned a lot of interesting things from books at a youngish age.

I feel like I don’t finish as many books as I used to, or absorb them as well as I used to, and that eats at me more than it used to. I miss that need to wholly consume a film, to watch it so many times it’s imprinted on your brain and you know it backwards and forwards and inside out. But then I remember that I still do that, just to a lesser extent. I listen to favorite albums on repeat for months, I have a small selection of books that I frequently reread, and certain films I do watch again and again. It’s just less than it used to be. Part of the reason those childhood films stand out so strongly in my mind is because of the nostalgia; they’re more special because they were a very specific experience I shared with my brother and sister in our basement. Although, as with all shared experiences, turns out we all remember it a little differently. I mostly remember being entranced with the stories and the images, and in my mind I associate those films with the golden period of childhood, while my sister was apparently terrified by many of them, including but not limited to Fern Gully and Beatrix Potter. I loved Fern Gully - that’s pretty much how I learned how paper is made.

I think what I’m really trying to say is, I wish I still had nothing better to with my time than sit around watching awesomely weird videos about Elvis-like roosters and rats baking poor kittens named Tom into pies. 

This is a piece from a typography class I took sophomore year. It was a very hands-on class, and I learned a lot about letterpress and printing techniques. Letterpressing involved a lot more measuring and exactitude than I expected; my initial prints were based more around a guess-and-check approach, but by the end my projects were a lot more organized and I actually understood what a pica was.
This is a pronto plate print, of a modular alphabet I designed based on photocopies of Xacto blades. Some of the letters are straight photocopies, but some of them were more difficult to get the arrangment of blades to stay put while I photocopied them, so I scanned the photocopies of the basic parts into photoshop and formed the completed letter there. I had a lot of fun experimenting with different letters and layouts, and fussing around with the photocopier. One of the emphases of this class was starting out with physical materials, and experimenting with different media and techniques, rather than diving straight into the computer, which is an idea that I think I tend to forget. It can be less linear than working on the computer, and less regimented, and lead to some interesting developments.
Also, this is once again evidence of my less than stellar photography skills. I’m not sure why I don’t have a better photograph of this floating around somewhere, but I did find a ton of prints that didn’t make the final cut when I was looking through my old papers the other day. So I guess if you’d like a beat-up, slightly inferior print of this, let me know.

This is a piece from a typography class I took sophomore year. It was a very hands-on class, and I learned a lot about letterpress and printing techniques. Letterpressing involved a lot more measuring and exactitude than I expected; my initial prints were based more around a guess-and-check approach, but by the end my projects were a lot more organized and I actually understood what a pica was.

This is a pronto plate print, of a modular alphabet I designed based on photocopies of Xacto blades. Some of the letters are straight photocopies, but some of them were more difficult to get the arrangment of blades to stay put while I photocopied them, so I scanned the photocopies of the basic parts into photoshop and formed the completed letter there. I had a lot of fun experimenting with different letters and layouts, and fussing around with the photocopier. One of the emphases of this class was starting out with physical materials, and experimenting with different media and techniques, rather than diving straight into the computer, which is an idea that I think I tend to forget. It can be less linear than working on the computer, and less regimented, and lead to some interesting developments.

Also, this is once again evidence of my less than stellar photography skills. I’m not sure why I don’t have a better photograph of this floating around somewhere, but I did find a ton of prints that didn’t make the final cut when I was looking through my old papers the other day. So I guess if you’d like a beat-up, slightly inferior print of this, let me know.

I can’t see me loving nobody but you.

So, I don’t really buy music nowadays, what with Pandora and Grooveshark and all. But I was recently reminded that I do not in fact always have access to the internet, and sometimes it’s nice to be able to listen to music I love away from the computer. When, Amazon’s $5 album deal rolled around, I decided it was the perfect time to stock up on some new music. I ended up downloading ‘Save the Turtles’, an album of the Turtles’ best stuff. I, like many other people(or so I assume), knew the Turtles mainly from that one song that seems to be in a lot of movie soundtracks and stuff, and this other song I heard on the local radio station one time, but their stuff seemed catchy and poppy, but also smart, which is pretty much straight up my ally. Fast forward to Friday, when I cook dinner for the weekend and obsessively clean the kitchen, which apparently is what I do with my free time now. No kitchen activity is complete without a soundtrack, so I threw the Turtles on, and man. First thought: why haven’t I been listening to this all along? I know the Turtles are kind of old(I think? I don’t know, I didn’t do any actual research to back this up), but they didn’t sound dated at all. Holding true to my first impression, the music was catchy and poppy and mostly upbeat, with some pretty intelligent lyrics. In this aspect, they actually remind me of the Kinks - pointed lyrics with an offbeat sense of humor and a keen sense of the state of the world, plus an occasional side of melancholy. (Sidenote: I only listen to the Kinks when I’m feeling depressed, because they make me kind of sad, or at least the particular cross section of their songs on my iPod does. But ‘Better Things’ is one of my most favorite songs ever.) That being said, I’ve only listened to the entire album once. But I think it’s going to be in heavy rotation for the next month or so.

What you should take away from this: go listen to the Turtles. Seriously, they’re awesome. And who doesn’t love turtles?

So, this was my final for my motion class. It’s a title sequence for a fictional movie. At first I wasn’t too into it, but it turned out to be a lot of fun to make, and I enjoyed learning how to use aftereffects. The video quality is kind of bad because I shot it on my camera, without a tripod, and I’m not a very good videographer. Still, I’ve gotten good reactions to it. Also, I pay a lot more attention to title sequences now.

More phone interviews. I did this with this lovely blue stick pen I recently rediscovered. I love pens, but I’m also kind of cheap, so I have a ton of cheap colored pens that I don’t really use that often because they don’t really work that well. I also just have a lot of pens, cheap, colored, or otherwise.

More phone interviews. I did this with this lovely blue stick pen I recently rediscovered. I love pens, but I’m also kind of cheap, so I have a ton of cheap colored pens that I don’t really use that often because they don’t really work that well. I also just have a lot of pens, cheap, colored, or otherwise.