It took a while but I finally got around to updating our studio Flickrfolio with a whole lotta work from the past 4-5 years. We still have a lot more to add but it’s fairly up to date with some illustrations we’ve been working on for various art shows happening this next month. You can peep our efforts here at the official Changethethought Flickr stream. We’ve been trying to up our illustration skills to some extent in hopes of procuring more illustration commissions. Hopefully there’s something in our folio that you dig and if you don’t, that’s o.k. too.
Alright, this may seem like an odd request but I am currently in the running as a contestant on a very interesting reality television show about the power of social networking. I need to beef up on my Facebook friends for the show. So if you could be so kind and click here, I would be happy to be your pal. If it makes you feel a little better about the deal, the Changethethought RSS is fed through my Facebook page which gives you one more option for consuming the information. I appreciate your support and I am going to be asking your help if I make it on the show. That’s all I can say about it now but as soon as I know more you will too.
So today is my birthday. My wife is gone in Brasil. She’s actually flying to Rio tonight to spend the next few days there. It’s kind of a lonely birthday and it’s my last before becoming a father in February. So I guess it’s a bit of a benchmark, but one I am experiencing alone so it’s hard not to be a little contemplative. So much has happened already this year that it has been hard to stay on top of everything. I left my job as an Art Director after 4 years at Cactus. I then embarked on the crazy startup phase of officially opening the Changethethought production studio for business. It took nearly 3 months to finally completely finish remodeling the studio which aside from one granite countertop and sink was done entirely by me and my initial business partner. Not long after I found out my wife was pregnant. Then only 3 short weeks ago my new and amazingly talented partner Mike Slane informed me he was moving out from San Diego to join me after working the last two years for Shilo.
So now here we are, crunching it as hard as we can go day-by-day to get the studio off the ground and support our families. It’s been tough so far and we both know it is going to take time to build our list of clients and begin introducing ourselves and our work to agencies. We are new to all of this so we are still feeling our way but we are not new to producing creative. We know what we are capable of in that arena.
So after all of these changes, it’s almost impossible to imagine where I will be and what will be happening 1 year from today. I know I will be a dad and I know I will be a husband. Aside from that, who knows. The best part of starting a new business is that each day is a new adventure and that continues to be rewarding.
Thank you all for tuning into the blog for one more year and for all of your support. What I really want for my birthday is a new project to work on but meeting the people I have met through this blog and communicating with such a richly talented and passionate audience has been the best present I could ever ask for.
Expect much more this next year. We are only just beginning what Changethethought will one day become.
We are thrilled to announce that motion designer, animator and filmmaker Mike Slane has joined the team as Creative Director at Changethethought. He will be partnering with Christopher Cox and Elysia Syriac to help round out the Changethethought creative studio with capabilities in motion, 3D and broadcast. Mike recently relocated to Denver from California after working as an Associate Creative Director for Shilo. He has worked for agencies such as Exopolis and Motion Theory in the past and has completed projects for clients like Sprint, Campbells, Reebok, HP, Gatorade and Jack Daniels to name a few.
This is going to mean a lot of new and exciting things will be coming out of the Changethethought creative studio in the very near future. We couldn’t be more pleased to have such an amazing talent with us here in Denver. Mike is one of those rare individuals who is not just an amazing talent but also a family man and incredibly nice person.
His leadership role at Changethethought is all part of our plan to negate our physical geography while amplifying our global digital creative footprint. We firmly believe we can service top shelf clients here in Denver with a focus on design, and we intend to do so in the coming months.
I am currently at a 2 day workshop hosted by Boulder Digital Works. I have to thank the New Denver Ad Club profusely for allowing me the opportunity to be here. It means a lot to me. There are some very exciting people from within the advertising and creative industry here including the top creative minds from agencies like Modernista, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Goodby Silverstein, etc. We are putting our heads together to try to figure out this new landscape and understand what exactly it means for the creative industry. Thus far and not surprisingly, there are no tried and true answers. Especially after the massive change in the last 18 months brought on by a technological windfall with gadgets like iPhones and iPads that are quite literally changing our lives minute-by-minute.
So far, I have met some really exciting people here. I feel like I am coming in at a weird angle where I have worked in the ad industry but also come from the creative-to-creative community side that a lot of people within the ad industry don’t consider. I spoke with a group this morning about tribalism and people moving into tribes within the digital landscape. I found that interesting. Currently I am about to listen to the head of UI at AKQA.
I will do a followup when the conference is done, but it should come as no surprise that this world we live and play in is changing dramatically and the agency/client model is struggling to keep up or even understand the changes. My question is and has been for a while, whether or not the agency model is even relevant anymore and if it can even find a way to sustain itself. Stay tuned.
I returned yesterday from a week-long holiday to New York. I am sure you noticed the lack of updates to the blog which I have to apologize for as I didn’t really tell anyone I was leaving. I had an absolutely fantastic time there and got to hang with some really wonderful people. I attended the opening of Hyper Island’s New York school and met some nice people there including the founder of Hyper Island. It was a fun event but boy I have to say it had to be 200 degrees inside. It was hot as hell that night and made for a sweaty affair. That same night I ended up going out with a really talented Senior Art Director from Big Spaceship for some drinks and a slice of pizza.
I also attended a Yankee’s game at the new Yankee stadium which was really enjoyable even though I am not a huge sports fan (except for World Cup). It was hotter than the mind could imagine at the game but the new stadium is really impressive. I went to a wedding in Bryant Park which is somewhere you should stop by next time you are in the city. It’s a beautiful park. I finally got to visit the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) which did not disappoint. I got to see some of my favorite Francis Bacon paintings up close and personal and that was really inspiring. I also attended the American Museum of Natural History which I really enjoyed, more so than I thought I would to be honest. I absolutely love anything and everything to do with dinosaurs and the collection there is absolutely fantastic. Rarely does the word apply but it is the only adjective that comes close to describing the collection there. I also visited the Solomon Guggenheim Museum and enjoyed their current photography exhibit entitled ‘Haunted’. Walking up through Frank Lloyd Wright’s classic architectural masterpiece is a very memorable way to experience art. If you ever visit New York, don’t skip a chance to visit the Guggenheim. I walked back and forth across Central Park 2 or 3 times since the train doesn’t really cross it. Central Park in the summer is always an interesting place to visit. I tried to hit up the New Museum since it was only two blocks from my hotel but it was closed Monday and Tuesday. I was sad I didn’t get to see it. I stayed at the Sohotel in Soho close to Little Italy and Little China. The hotel was very affordable and it was also very nice. I recommend it if you are looking for somewhere to stay in NY close to the action but don’t want to spend 3 or 400 dollars a night on a hotel. I hit up some bars in Soho near Houston and Ludlow and also ate dinner in Little Italy. All experiences included were wonderful. I went to the top of the Empire State Building. You have to stand in line forever to get up there and I was a little salty by the time I arrived but when you look out on Ellis Island and the rest of the city from above, it is totally worth the wait. I visited Times Square and took in the movie Inception as well as a cheesey but super fun 80’s rock musical called Rock of Ages on Broadway. I wanted to see the new Mamet play starting Eddie Izzard titled ‘Race‘ but it was sold out. Rock of Ages was a really great time though and I highly recommend it. I walked by the new interactive Forever 21 billboard directed by my close friend Jasper Gray at Futuristic Films. The billboard points a camera back at the crowd and a lot of people were gathered to stop and take photos. It was exciting to see something from a local Denver shop in the heart of Times Square drawing a crowd, especially something directed by one of my best friends. I also partied a night or two in Brooklyn near Bed-Stuy. I got to see a Banksy piece in the neighborhood and also hit up some really cool bars. That neighborhood is really an exciting place and just spilling over with art. I stayed with my good friend Josh Pipic who works at Agency Net and lives in an absolutely beautiful apartment in Williamsburg. He was really a great host and I can’t say enough about how talented he is and how much of just a great all-around person he is. I had drinks with the fine people of Agency Net one night as well and still keep them high on my Rolodex of people to work with. They are just good souls and have the talent to match. I was stood up by Mario Hugo for drinks since he said they landed a big account and had been pulling back to back all nighters. I accepted a rain check but was bummed I didn’t get to check in with him in his local habitat. Next time I guess.
As always, I love riding the subway in New York. With all of it’s decay and sweltering summer heat it has to be one of the strangest places on Earth. I saw magicians, choirs, crazy people and musicians on the train and riding it is a cultural experience that is unique to NY. I was asked a lot of questions by tourists so I must have looked local which made me feel good.
All in all, it couldn’t have been a more eventful trip for only 1 week’s time. Go to NYC when you get the chance, it’s one of the most amazing cities on this planet. You can live harder, denser and faster there than anywhere else in the world.
You may or may not have noticed that we updated our portfolio with a new website. You can view our work by clicking the ‘work’ button above our blog or go directly to Cttcreative.com. We officially launched our studio 6-8 weeks back and have been working very hard on several new projects. We have assembled a very talented team of people here in Denver who are hungry for new project work. Changethethought studio now has capabilities in graphic design, illustration, motion graphics, editing, web design and development. I guess you could call us full service. We’ve recently worked on projects for Nike, Airwalk, IBM and Sony.
Currently we are working locally on some projects here in Denver, Colorado but are hoping to expand with some international project work. If you have a project you feel we would be right for or would just like to talk ideas with us, you can reach us at hire(at)changethethought.com. We would love the opportunity to create for your agency or brand.
Well next week will somewhat unofficially mark our first week as a fully functioning design studio. I am being joined by some very amazing people whom I did not expect to be embarking on this journey with so early on. We will be capable in graphic design, motion graphics, illustration, branding, art direction, package design and web design. We are all really excited for what the future may bring.
We finally finished painting this week and had some really great lighting installed. The cabinets, countertops and baseboard molding are being installed next week. After that we are officially finished with the studio renovations. I will upload some pictures when all is complete.
I snapped a quick little iPhone pic of my desk for now. And yes, that is my original Castle Grayskull from childhood sitting next to my teen bodybuilding trophy. If you are interested in hiring us for a project, I’d be happy to open up Castle Greyskull so we can get in a nice He Man playtime session while I tell you all about my brief foray into bodybuilding. That should be enough to make you interested in commissioning us right off.
If you pick up the current May issue of Computer Arts (a thumbnail of the May 2010 cover can be seen in the upper right corner of the above image) you will find an article I wrote about how to launch a ‘Blogfolio’. The article details how I went about designing the current (now admittedly outdated) version of Changethethought. Although I am working on updating the site before the summer is out, the essentials of how to launch and stylize your own blog and portfolio website are pretty much the same as how I did it 2 years ago. You can read and download a PDF of the article here at the Computer Arts website.
You can expect to see and hear much more from us this summer as we are now beginning the process of assembling our portfolio, addressing the redesign and relaunch of our new site and searching for new project work. Regardless of all the new plans in the works, it is still nice to get some press for what has been done so far and we thank Computer Arts for the coverage.
I am presently speaking with LRG and they are doing the right thing so far. They have extended a hand and we are working on something that spins this in a positive light for both parties involved. I can’t and won’t get into any details at this point, but when I am ready to share the entire story I will make sure you hear about it first. The great thing is that LRG has expressed real concern over this and want to collaborate to show that an unfortunate situation like this can be turned into something positive. In order to be true to the message and story of Changethethought, I would much rather there be a positive story that comes from this to serve as an example that we are a new generation capable of shaping a new creative landscape where we can work together and spread positive messages rather than fight and spread hate. That is really the true power of what the internet can help bring to our profession.
It has been an interesting week receiving emails from some very intelligent and wonderful people who read this blog. It has meant a lot to me and has strengthened my resolve to grow this site and push it to become something bigger than myself. Thank you for spreading the word this week and for the support. It’s given me new motivation and I can’t express how much I appreciate it.
I will let you know when this lands, how and where things end up.
Well, I have been candid in the past about how my work sometimes is overly-influenced by other designers (the irony of the image I chose for that post and this incident was not lost on me). In an ever-increasingly globally digital creative environment it is something that I think happens to a lot of us. Sometimes you have to push away from the machine and pick up the pencil.
However, I was a little personally outraged when I saw this particular LRG shirt for sale at Karmaloop. I personally don’t really know very much about LRG, although I did buy a t-shirt of theirs a few years back at a boutique. Apparently their logo is a circular arrow pointing down, almost the inverse of my logo except that mine is a 3 quarter circle turned upward and the arrow is split down the middle. It’s not exactly a new or highly original logo treatment, but when I designed mine (over 5 years ago now), it was meant to symbolize the constancy of change. Again, ironically there is just so happens to be an article in the upcoming issue of Computer Arts describing what my logo stands for.
Regardless, I am not so sure that really gives LRG the right to just flat out lift a poster design I did to promote myself close to two years ago now. Here is the original post to Changethethought when I released my first poster series for sale. Being influenced by someone or bearing a similarity in styles to another designer or artist is one thing, straight taking an existing design, barely altering it and then calling it your own is another thing entirely. And I am positive after comparing my now 2-year-old, copyrighted and globally distributed poster design with this LRG t-shirt that is exactly what LRG did to me. Even the way I pulled all of the colors used in my original poster and placed them in circles at the bottom was handled the same on the LRG t-shirt. I was just kind of shocked when I stumbled upon it while shopping at Karmaloop. I really would like an explanation from LRG. I would also like to know if there is anything I can do legally to resolve the matter. I am guessing not, since I am the little guy but at least I have this blog where I can tell you about it. If I were you, I’d think twice about buying anything from LRG for a while, if not forever.
I design apparel graphics for all kinds of big brands and have been working almost exclusively on apparel graphics the last two months. I would have been happy to discuss designing some graphics for LRG and even consider altering some of my graphics if the price were right and it made sense for both my brand and theirs. Instead of contacting me, I guess LRG felt like it was fine to just go ahead and take without asking. Do me a favor if you feel so inclined, and send LRG an email telling them what you think. And if any of you know how to get in touch with their creative department, please email me and let me know how to get in touch with them. I’d very much like to speak to them myself.
Just out of curiosity, I decided to recreate the LRG design using the design taken from my poster. You can see this depicted in the last image at the top of this post. The top left corner shows the original treatment from my poster. To the right you can see LRG’s design. In the bottom left my poster graphic has been flipped horizontally and then slightly warped by ‘squeezing’ the image and pulling in the edges. In the bottom right the warped image of my poster has been multiplied over LRG’s t-shirt graphic. Can you even tell which is which?
We are currently ready for the next phase of Changethethought and are seeking to partner with a developer for relaunch of our website. We have a reasonable budget for the project but want to put a new and different kind of blog on the web as well as extending the look and reach of our creative portfolio. We will be contacting potential developers to work with privately as well. However, we feel there is a unique opportunity here to ask our audience, who are comprised of some of the brightest minds in the creative industry if they would like to work with us on the new site. We can guarantee a high level of exposure as well as the promise of producing something that will be noticed for years to come. We intend to continue running the website on the WordPress platform but are seeking to work with someone who can integrate key commands and jQuery into our new design. We will help drive the design but see this relationship as a creative partnership. You will have insight into the creative process and design as well as developing the final site. This is a chance to try something new that you haven’t had the chance to do for your corporate clients. Our website is the single most important aspect of our growth and is of the utmost importance to us. If you or someone you know might be right for this project please email us through our contact section. Please note, we are not asking for free work here. This is a paying project.
I have been working on an ongoing project featuring some of my favorite type faces using random platitudes to give the type a message to communicate thereby helping bring out the personality that is unique to each face. The series is titled ‘Random Platitude 2010 Type Specimen Posters’. I haven’t printed them as of yet and borrowed the technique of over laying the designs onto a template folded-poster background in order to create the illusion of physicality. It’s something I borrowed from Stefan Lucut and a technique I employ on all my designs since I rarely have any time to photograph them nor do I have access as of yet to decent photography equipment. I will most likely be making more of these and am planning to print some in the near future. I have recently completed some big projects for some big brands and I will be posting those soon as well. Big plans in the works for Changethethought in 2010.
You can view the rest of the posters in the PRINT section of the site.
I have officially resigned my position as Art Director at Cactus Communications in Denver. My Creative Director and I decided it was time for me to do what has needed to be done and amicably part ways to allow me to begin focusing all of my attention on Changethethought. The nearly 4 years I spent at Cactus has been one of the best times I have ever had in the creative industry. I leave behind some very close friends and people I respect very highly. I will miss them every day as I start out on this new venture. They have been amazingly supportive of my efforts to launch Changethethought as a design studio and I will continue to seek their advice as I start out on my own.
I will begin working on remodeling my studio next week where I will now be running Changethethought. I have a few small creative client projects planned already for 2010. We will also be launching a new website this spring. The new website will be much more robust than the current version offering much more in terms of content and usability. We will also now be able to focus much more quality time on delivering better content. Soon we will be seeking more authors for the blog.
We have full capabilities as a design studio and are currently seeking project work. If you are interested in hiring us for your next project please send an email to hire(at)changethethought.com. We will be focusing our efforts on 3 branches, creative inspiration, creative merchandising and creative services. We will also be focused on enriching the creative community in Denver and are already involved in working toward planning and hosting events in 2010.
We are also currently seeking sponsorship for the next version of the site. Please contact us if you would like to see our current analytics and are interested in supporting us. Cheers to 2010.
I just wanted to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all of my friends and readers in the U.S. and across the globe. Thank you so very much for your support this year. It has meant so much. I hope to give you all much much more this next year and it has been a real pleasure and blessing receiving all of the emails from so many amazing and creative people from all over the world. Enjoy some time with your family and give your mind a break so you are ready to make new and wonderful things after the holiday season. You deserve it.
My letterpressed holographic foil stamped on black Plike card stock business cards are now up for viewing in the print section. I apologize, I am not a photographer but you have to trust me when I say they look much better in person. So far everyone I have handed one too has been excited to receive it. They were printed by local Denver vintage letterpress studio Foils and Dies. Thank you to Rob for helping me achieve the colors from the Changethethought website in physical reality. The holographic foil has a long wavelength so when held up to a light source you can really see an amazing array of color.
2010 is going to bring some serious changes to Changethethought. I am currently concepting new ideas and strategies for the next phase of the website. Currently I have decided there will be 3 major sections of the website. The sections will be the blog, the studio and the store. Each section will be a site within a site. The store will most likely be very simple and mirror the current Merchline website. There will be sponsored advertising on the new site as well but I am going to filter the advertising to keep it relevant for the audience. I want to avoid having anything on the site that isn’t something useful for the readers. I have tried to avoid advertising in the past but the site has grown too much and I need extra support to keep developing Changethethought further and offering more to the readers.
The studio site will include the collective portfolio of both myself and other Changethethought creative members. You will also be able to view minimized portfolios of Changethethought authors and contributors.
The store (in time) will also offer up goods from Changethethought authors and contributors, so hopefully everyone involved can benefit if they so choose.
It is really not terribly difficult arranging boxes and selecting fonts when designing a website, but what really counts is content. The reason the content counts is because that is the value offered back to the readers.
With that in mind I would very much like to ask all of you what you would like to see on the next version of Changethethought. Some of the current ideas involve the main curated blog feed, an image only feed, a user generated feed, a section for interviews with other artists and designers, a non art/design side blog news feed, a link list, a featured artist/designer banner section, a recommended product/fashion section and potentially a forum. Larger images will remain but there will most likely be an expanded option that allows for longer posts and more in depth reads. The links will remain on the main page though, so you won’t have to expand the post to inject the inspiration vein quickly and directly.
Please leave a comment and tell me what you would like to see on the new version of the site. I want this to be something different that helps everyone. I want to make this a community. I want it to be a first of it’s kind where inspiration, a creative service cloud network and products are all provided in one spot. I am looking for ideas from people who matter most. You. And I thank you so much for the support that has brought Changethethought this far.