Woods, Bricks And Bones- Leaving Another Week Behind

Traumatized By Game Of Thrones Finale

I am one day late with this week’s post because I was traumatized by the Game Of Thrones Finale. After seeing that blood and bone parade I was shocked like everyone else. I hardly remember a horror movie where a serial killer murder that many character in such a short time. Each time I tried to focus on writing this post I would go like “Why …Oh why on Earth it ended like that? ” with some kind of whiny inner voice. Actually there was a moment where I stood in front of the mirror and said “Look Sedef stop being upset, these things are not real, stop wasting your precious time thinking about unreal characters and go back to your work” This time it was not inner voice and I was looking so silly that even my husband looked at me like I am crazy and started to laugh. However after reading through every single rumor on internet, this tweet kind of calmed me down. Let’s see with the help of Lord of Light, who’s bones will warm up next winter.

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The Norwegian Wood Festival

Which version of Norwegian Wood would you prefer? The Beatles song or the Murakami Book? Considering they both end crazy, I will stick to the festival version. This year weather was very good in Norwegian terms so it became one of those rare events with almost no rain drop.

The Norwegian Wood Festival was found at 1992 and since then opened its stage to legendary names like Roger Waters, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, The Kinks, Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Jethro Tull and many more. This years headlines were Mark Knopfler, Ben Howard, Patti Smith & Ray Davies.

About the festival, I must be honest: I haven’t been following the newcomers or hits in music lately. I used to have a wide knowledge in different genres but the last two years If I get time to listen to something it is more likely to be a design or a program tutorial. I am a great Dire Straits fan but sadly missed Mark Knopfler because of my busy schedule, but I was there for Patti Smith. She is an iconic figure for me. Apart from being godmother of punk coming from a religious back ground she was kind of free in a time other women weren’t and didn’t give a heck about what the society thought about her actions, lived as she wanted and she is kind of an activist soul still tries to spread it today. I was wondering if she would change Gloria’s lyric like she did after the stage accident in Tampa, but she kept it original “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine” instead of the spiritual version with “why not mine?”.

She rocked poetry on that stage, she was so badass I have no words to describe that. They mostly played from my favorite album, “Horses” and of course the hit song “Because the night”. I am happy they did play it, a girl behind me was about to be hospitalized by constantly yelling “play Becaauuuzeee dinayt belooooongtoloveeeers” with a super strange tone so at the end we all were happy when they did play it. It was very surprising when Patti invited Jo Nesbø -Norwegian author- to the stage. At the end he played My Generation with them and he was quite good! Later on I found out Jo Nesbø was the main vocalist and song writer for the Norwegian rock band Di Derre.

Here are some of my NoRoutine Photos from the Festival

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The second day of the festival I decided to be a volunteer. If you are new around here, volunteering in that kind of events is the best way to blend in Norwegian culture. First of all it is extremely fun, you get to make loads of awesome friends, you will learn the language faster. I can say tasks and entertainment are well balanced compared to my volunteering experiences in homeland. Tasks are clear and well explained by the instructors, you are not expected to be few places at the same time, they care about your well-being (food, drinks, pause) and the best part is they usually throw an after party.

There is something special with being a part of an organization, helping preparations, watching how things are being managed. Being an inside person is more interesting for me. I remember my first volunteering experience was in the Maker Faire Oslo and back then I did’t even take the intermediate Norwegian exam and it was quite shocking for me when my instructor started to speak new Norwegian with a super strong dialect, I was trying to pick words with the similar sound and fill in the blanks and was so afraid that she will think I am clumsy or much worse, stupid, but she was super nice and it went all smooth. When the faire ended I learned so many new words and believe it or not, next week my Norwegian slightly improved. So don’t be afraid, give it a try!

 

EverBlock Made Lego Blocks For Big Kids

As an only child with playful parents I can remember that Lego always brought loads of fun to our house, yet sometimes I would have to sit an watch my mom trying to get the exact model and at the end, left frustrated with missing pieces. Since two years me and my husband giving each other nanoblocks as present. Each time we receive them from each other, there is this “Oh no”expression accompanied by a fake smile on our faces, because we both know it’s going to be damn frustrating with those tiny pieces and there is no peace before completing them.

However EverBlock made over-sized lego blocks for the grownups and it is really hard to lose the bricks this time. The real kids finally can take a deep breath as their parents will be busy with these for a while. I am looking forward to see exciting DIY projects made with these babies. There are 12 different color options mostly similar to the Classic Lego colors. Each piece is between $3.95- $7.25 depends on the size. Package prices variates between $39.60 and $155.90, but you can go to their 3D simulator and see how many blocks you exactly need to design your own material and directly send it to EverBlock. I don’t know the estimated size or weight of an average package and I would love to know more about that. For international orders you have to contact with the company for more information.

Here a quick baby size bus stop by me. That would be fun to see real size versions around the city! (Perhaps with the improved quality and a better design).

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These are some of the ideas I admired and would like to try at home.

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Considering it is made of plastic I wonder if it gives the same feeling real Lego gives when you step on bricks. Hopefully not!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adobe finally puts 3D characters on the stage!

Adobe CC announced some exciting features that will make 3D composing and printing much easier for designers. Apparently they have been negotiating with Mixamo, a company from San Francisco that works on customizing 3D characters and animations. They are planning to integrate Mixamo’s technology into Photoshop CC and make it available in 2D workflow. Sounds good right?

Mixamo makes it possible to reuse and customize 3D models, offers flexible lighting, environment, perspective and material adjustments, also helps to achieve more photo realistic scenes. For now, with Photoshop it only seems to exist for the animated characters. Adobe Team tried character customization in Photoshop workflow. The video below reminds me a bit of Machinima movies, but for now that is all we have and it’s still too early for a conclusion.

As a multi-disciplinary designer and CC user, I greet these news with enthusiasm. I am good with 2D illustration, but to be honest 3D design has been always my weakest spot. The reason is most of the neat 3D softwares such as Zbrush don’’t have an affordable subscription model. As a designer and photographer I am bound to a long list of equipment needs and softwares, so it makes it hard for me to purchase those one time “expensive” licenses. I use Sculpturis for 3D which is the best free option, but then it i’s very time consuming and sometimes frustrating because of the bugs. So any kind of improvement on that field is welcome. I am sure going to spend too much time on Photoshop.

Good news For Adobe CC users it seems like they will be able to reach it without an extra payment. Bad news for Mixamo users, they won’’t ben able to renew their subscription with Mixamo, but they can use the product until their subscription runs out.

Here I spent some time on Mixamo page with the customized characters, it was fun and guess what! They even have a dance animation for Gangnam Style.

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Adobe promises an incredible platform for more 3D innovation in the future. Is Adobe Planning to Build its own gaming engine? Will this go any further? I guess we can only wait and see!

Highlights of the week- Art, Music & Much More

Planet Earth Finally Has A Flag! 

It’s about time!  Just before the landing attempts on Mars we earthlings took another step for globalization. A Swedish student, Oskar Pernefeldt designed an international flag for those who commit space missions. All though it’’s not official in legal sense yet, it’’s highly logical initiative as the astronauts in space mission are not only representing their own country, but the entire human race.

When we look at the flag features we see blue background represents the water as it’s the most important life source in our planet. In the center of the flag we see seven white interlocked circles which represent the unity of the seven continents and these continents form a flower together which represents the life on earth. When I looked at it, the first thing I saw was Flower of Life ornament which is associated with some ancient historical and spiritual claims. I still like it but apperantly I was not alone annnd some people pointed resemblance of it to 10 Rings from Iron Man 3.

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planet earth2aWe wait and see if this great idea will be official. There is a risk since the countries who invest on space exploration see it as a space parade for their nation and less likely to share the fame. Still it would be fun to see the future Hollywood scenarios where we mark our territory with this flag against hostile alien species. Obviously we still carry this territorial instinct.

 

About Marina Abramovic and “Completely Using Someone”

Earlier this week there has been a rumor about Marina Abramović being mad to Jay Z for breaking his promise to donate to Marina Abramović Institute.

Marina Abramović has been involved with famous rapper’s Picasso Baby video which has been inspired by The Artist is Present performance in 2010. During an interview with the Spike Magazine, Queen of the Performance Art slammed Jay Z by saying he didn’t keep his promise to donate to the Marina Abramović Institute and it was a “one way transaction”, he completely used her.

Knowing that Jay Z anonymously donated a big amount of money to help bail out protestors in Baltimore and he has a way positive fame better than Lannisters who always pay their debts, to me Abramović’s reaction looked like a setup or rather a staged performance ( maybe in control of both sides).

It looks like I was right feeling that way, the next day Marina Abramović institute has apologized to Jay-Z, saying Abramović was “not informed” of his donation. We love Marina Abramović but apparently Marina Abramović Institute is so busy with spiritual and mental development, that they forget to mention money. This time they reacted fast to fix their mistake, but I wish they showed the same sensitivity for their unpaid internship and volunteer announcements where they seek ““professionals with work experience”” that can commit at least two days a week. Part time work? No. Sounds more like a one way transaction.

 

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 00.22.22-That feeling when you learn Jay Z keeps his receipts-

Meet The Guy Who Will Print Your  Instagram Photos and Sell Them For $100K

Yes, his name is Richard “”Opportunist”” Prince and will use copyright holes to perform his art (of stealing). He is known with taking other artists’ work, “appropriating” them as his own, and selling for big amounts of money without telling the owners anything. What’s weirder is, galleries like Gagosian support that unethical behavior and the worst part is there are actually people who pay for that.

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According to Petapixel.com Prince himself has said that copyright is something that “has never interested” him. “”For most of my life I owned half a stereo so there was no point in suing me, but that’s changed now and it’’s interesting.”

He was also kicked off Instagram in 2014 for posting a naked picture of Brooke Shields as a child. I took a look at his page and got upset when I saw how he ruined real artist’s’ efforts in a very tasteless, poor way. He seems like a weird lazy dude who lives his life by copying and collecting things. Ecosystem must have similar creatures but I don’’t think they make thousands of dollars with their lack of originality and self-obsession. While he is admitting on his page that he has no skills, they let him win every court case. If it’s not the irony at it’s worst, then what is?

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-An appropriation of Richard Prince’s photo-

 


That “Ommmm” Moment Every Mad Advertiser Know

Mad Men final just ended like another great episode. It has been probably watched and analyzed by many people in advertising industry. I personally watched it only for the office scenes, soap part didn’’t really interest me. While I was familiar with the many behavior, I was not surprised when I see Don’’s spiritual enlightenment lead him to capitalism at it’’s best. After all advertising and capitalism are in perfect harmony.

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-Don Draper’s “ommmm” moment-

Congratulations Sweden

Sweden is one of the most successful countries when it comes to Eurovision and their 6th victory came with Måns Zelmerlöw’s “Heroes””. It was catchy indeed. This year my three favorites were Belgium, Latvia and of course Norway. I especially liked Debrah Scarlet’’s costume (and omg her hair).  I don’’t know if anyone else noticed but she extremely resembles Princess Merida from the Disney movie Brave.

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-Hair, more hair, so much more lovely hair-

So You Want to Become a Better Designer

It’’s awesome to become a successful creative. You work with what you love and get paid for it. That’’s what made design job popular among many people in the last years, but let’’s admit that, we are plenty of fish swimming in the sea and unlike doctors or engineers we are least needed.

Before the Art Faculty, I used to study economy. Since my childhood I was very fond of illustrations and advertisement, I had a big collection of magazine ads and I would try to copy what I saw. The more I became good at drawing and selling my art pieces the more I got in trouble at school. I was a very respectful student except my primary school teachers would complain to my parents about me making the school a trading center where everybody takes their second hand stuff to sell or they would complain about me drawing comics entire day. I was also good at selling my art pieces to neighbors for some chocolate and candy. This followed up until the last year of faculty  where I got kicked out nicely from the macro economy class for drawing comics (surprise). That moment I gave my decision: I was going to be an artist, a designer! Hell, I was not going to spend my life with calculating money that I don’t own for sure. So my adventure as a designer started. When I graduated with the high honors from the art faculty, I was thinking that I was going to be the best designer in the world. I was going to pick the agencies I wish to work with, instead I got something like this:

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At that moment you start learning customer relationships. Being patient, explaining things from different aspects become a part of your job. Either you are freelance or employed at an agency, remember that part very well, it’s the most important one!

There are other things you need to do in order to become a big fish:

Learn to manage your business

This one is especially important if you work as a freelancer. There are plenty of online lessons about business management, business relationships and negotiations. They might look boring first, but if you are going to run it for yourself, you will need a mind of an entrepreneur, besides you will need to be a bit more extrovert! It’s not so easy for some creatives, but it becomes easier after a while and I guarantee that you will learn plenty of useful things as a freelance designer.

Do one thing very good and have an idea about others

I had many great ideas for my personal projects, but I did not have the technical ability to make them come true, nor I could afford to hire operators with technical ability. I tried to learn and do everything myself, at the end I became a multi-disciplinary designer without noticing that. You don’’t need to be crazy focused. You just need to know some key points to make your coworkers’’ life easier. After I got programming classes, I didn’’t become a developer, but I gained an insight to programming which helped me to communicate better with my team and It saved so much time.

Your surroundings are important

Do you think you are what you eat? I can’t say much about that, but if you are a designer you become what you see! While I was at the university, we had a lecturer who kept saying “”live aesthetically””. I was not sure what she meant by that. “Shall we buy tickets to opera and ballet more often?”, “Come to school with a formal dress code?”, “Take courses to be elegant and classy?”. I found out the answer later.

Your life style, friends, things that often stimulate your eyes and feelings, your surroundings can effect your skills in a positive or negative way. When I first started to work at an agency, I was usually frustrated by the fact that I couldn’t paint the picture in my head as I wanted, but I had a wonderful mentor. He told me to be patient, he found me very creative and said I already had that sense in me and someday it would all come up suddenly and I would have that outcome I wanted. I’’ve always thought he says that to be nice. However it happened exactly as he said. I worked for months without noticing my improvement, I would always share my works with him and ask about his opinion, see his alternatives. Someday he said ““Wow you really became something, soon you will be better than me!”” and I was like ““It’’s impossible! I can never be better than you.”” But I could hear my inner voice saying ““hell, my work looks very pleasing this time!””

When he heard I was moving to Norway he became very happy and said “ “Now you have a chance to absorb everything around you! Use it to your advantage. I am looking forward to see your change”” Last time I met him and showed some of my works he said “you got a different mindset now, I can see this is going through industrial design. This is the result of living in Scandinavia.”” Again, I haven’’t noticed that until he says and this takes us to another important thing: asking opinion.

Ask people’s’ opinion and appreciate criticism

To be a good designer sometimes you need to be harsh to yourself. First you might find yourself in very defensive positions: sure you have education, you have experience, but if you stop listening you won’t be able to develop yourself any more. Show your portfolio to other designers, ask their opinion.

There was a case where I managed to get attention of my dream company and arrange a meeting with the lead designer. He was giving me tips about my portfolio. My mistake was treating all my works like my children and including all of them in my portfolio starting from the early years of faculty. He showed me one of my designs, said 1-2 positive things about that and asked my thoughts about the design. Suddenly I found myself saying ““No, this is definitely not a work of the league I want to play! I can’t say I am 100% satisfied with that one.”” That moment my design looked like a garbage heap in a sacred design temple and I felt a big shame. He replied ““then remove it from your portfolio, instead try to show three great works that 100% tells you”.” His wisdom filled me with inspiration and I left his room with fresh ideas. If he didn’’t open my eyes, I couldn’’t make any progress.

You should embrace customer criticism also, sometimes I see some sarcastic posts of designers about the customer requirements during the revisions. If their requirements sound funny, it’’s our job to take their requirements to a pleasant form. Instead of reminding them about your experience and mocking the situation, try to understand their perception. We all know art is relative. They might also bring a new perspective to your work. Too bad I can’t find the owner of that handshaking logo now, I would approach it in a different way.

Have a checklist

This is my screet that got me all the way up and I am so going to share with you.

When you finished your design, ask yourself these questions and have a checklist.

  • Is my layout okay?
  • Is my visuals okay?
  • Did I use typography effective or could there be better options?
  • Did I use mood lines effective, am I giving the correct feelings with that design?
  • Is there any element in my design that takes place without a reason?
  • Is there a single group that would be offended by my content? (If you are the one setting the content)

Be honest with the answers, when you do things you need to do, you will have a design that 100% shows your skills.

Trust yourself

If you can’’t get it done at the first time, no matter. Listen to Samuel Beckett: Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. The truth is, I am not the most positive person in the world, but when things don’’t go smooth, I just keep on walking further with the new lessons I learned.

Keep walking, the road will train you! If you sit hopeless and wait you might not survive it. Remember there is plenty of big fish in the sea!