Greetings from Florida

Greetings from Florida

The postcard says it all. I’m currently on vacation in sunny Orlando enjoying some sunshine and theme parks I’ve only seen on television. Visited Universal Studios and Disneyworld thus far, both of hich were awesome, too many great rides and attractions to mention at this point (although the Hulk coaster at Universal rocks it). Might post some photos upon my return, I sure have some funny ones.

Things will be back in full swing on Signalnoise.com next week. Hope everyone is well.

PS. Holy smoke, us Canadians sure aren’t used to this crazy hot weather :)

Signalnoise Twitter: 5-minute contest!

Signalnoise Twitter contest

This contest will remain live for 5 minutes as announced on my Twitter. Just drop me a comment on this post to be entered into a draw to win a poster of your choice from the Signalnoise Store. In-stock posters only.

Tick tock, no time to lose!

Update: Comments closed. Thanks to all who entered.

Inspiration: Polarized Light scans

Polarized light

Polarized light

Polarized light

I came across these scans via Ffffound a few days ago, and traced them back to Steve Roden’s Flickr, specifically this set simply entitled Science. I couldn’t find larger images so please pardon the poor quality.

I have no idea what these images were originally used for, perhaps a university science textbook from the 1960s?

Between Creative and Technical: Part II

Between Creative and Technical: James White

A couple of weeks ago I posted an article entitled Between Creative and Technical, which was in response to a few emails I have received about the general struggle designers and artists encounter as they try to find their way through the field. The article was very well received by the creative community and spawned a number of wonderful comments from readers. Thanks to everyone who contributed, and I’m sure your stories helped like-minded designers out there.

So because I am a firm supporter of creative dialogue, I would like post a follow-up to the previous article and bring some attention to a few of the stories, points and ideas that came to light through the comments :) We are all in the same boat, so here we go.

“For those (including myself) who battle with this issue I’ve discovered that you can’t “find” your style. Your style will evolve over time with the more work that you produce. Like a piece of wood that starts out rough, you widdle it down with each project you create by building your strengths and discovering your weaknesses.”Eddie Wilson

“People believe it is so important to have a unique, ground-breaking style when the REAL value is in your fundamental skill a visual thinker, regardless of the style that you dress it up with. Tools like Photoshop make it easy to throw everything possible into an image, many times giving the illusion of skill or quality, when the underlying fundamental design principles in place are very poor.

So my advice is to focus on the fundamentals and learn proper design. That alone can take decade to master, and a personal style is something that only really shines once that has been achieved. Modern designers put too much pressure on themselves to be unique and not enough on their foundations.”Eric

“It’s a bit like people trying so hard to be unique or individual and end up being one of the crowd that seeks the same…you don’t become unique by seeking that as a goal but rather it happens accidentally as you become gripped by a vision of something you have to pursue at any cost. Then people start to recognize something unique about the flavor that life starts to take on.”Rod Sawatsky

“Design (no matter how old you are) is art and art is a journey – a continual self exploration and demonstration of what makes each creative tick. Once I began to change my perception, my designs began changing and I actually started to enjoy designing again. I found myself like a child in mud – exploring, laughing out loud and generally getting down and dirty.”Threadlusst

Some wonderful points and experiences in there, it’s nice to hear about the paths taken by others.

Network poster giveaway winner!

Network poster giveaway winner

I would like to pass on a huge thanks to everyone who entered the Network poster giveaway. There were 169 entries total, which resulted in a huge list of creative links to follow-up on. I really appreciate everyone who took the time to post a comment!

So, the random number generator spit out the number 3 which correspondes with the comment left by my man Kyle Steed.

Big congrats to you, Kyle! I will be firing your shiny new poster in the mail over the next few days.

Magic Pony in Toronto

Magic Pony

Magic Pony

Magic Pony

I have been checking out Magic Pony online for a few years now and finally got the chance to drop into their shop when I was in Toronto last week. Being from Halifax I have very limited access to hip designer toys and books, so it was quite a thrill to see what Magic Pony had in stock. All kinds of Kid Robot, Gama-Go, Tokidoki, etc. I was stoked to see some Droplets by Gav Strange on-hand as well.

Not only is the place a wonderful shop, but the entire back portion is an area to hold art shows.

Above is a shot of the few toy purchases I made, as I had to make great effort not to buy everything they had :) Shown are JamFactory’s Droplet, one of Pete Fowler’s Monsterism figures, a Gama-Go Yeti Qee and a blank Munny (oh, the possibilities there).

If you have the means I highly recommend dropping into Magic Pony, 694 Queen St. West in Toronto. And the staff are a super-friendly bunch.

Inspiration: M.C. Escher’s patterns

M.C. Escher

M.C. Escher

M.C. Escher

M.C. Escher

M.C. Escher is probably most known for his impossible architecture and landscape drawings, showcasing his play on perspective and point of view to create structures which ultimately cannot exist.

As beautifully crafted as these images are, I have always been more captivated by Escher’s pattern works. His ability to create a fluid and seamless plane of repeated images fitting perfectly togather is both unrivaled and mind-boggling. I bought a thick book years ago which breaks down and analyzes the mathematical formulas behind his patterns, which I proceeded to start reading countless times. To this day, his work still makes little sense to me :)

Check out the official M.C. Escher website for more of his work.

FITC Toronto wrap-up

James White at FITC

So I’m now back in Halifax after attending FITC Toronto. I attended FlashForward way back in 2000 but have not had the opportunity to check out another conference since. I am extremely happy to have made it to Toronto for such a wicked time. I saw some exhilarating presentations by design industry leaders, met a tonne of great people and had a wonderful time at the multiple after parties.

It was announced that all of the FITC presentations were filmed and will soon be available on Vimeo, so I will be posting those once available. But for now, here is a little wrap-up of some of the hilights of the trip.

James White and Josh Davis

Top of the creative heap was seeing the mighty Joshua Davis do his presentation entitled ‘Space’. The talk was an excellent representation of his personality, work ethics, inspirations and exhibitions. On top of how inspirational his material was, he is a damn hilarious guy onstage.

Following his talk he had a wicked artshow entitled ‘Outside the Lines’ at a wonderful gallery/art shop called Function 13 where me and Chris hustled over to immediately. After following Josh’s work for 12 years, I finally got to meet the dude and jam with him for a few minutes at the show. Super solid guy, and I even bought one of his exhibition prints which Josh informed me was “the first print he created for the show.”

James White and Josh Davis

Here I am with the print I purchased.

James White and Josh Davis

Also at the show I had the pleasure of meeting Nick Alexander, otherwise known as Good Morning Stranger! Wicked guy, been a fan of Nick’s work for a while now so it kicked ass to meet him for real.

James White and Nick Alexander

Chris and I were about to enter the final after party when he spotted Shaun Hamontree of MK12 chilling outside. We had seen his presentation where he talked about his killer work on the Quantum of Solace opening credits, as well as an inspirational panel he sat on earlier that day. Chris earned his nickname of ‘Ice Breaker’ once again and sparked up a conversation with him, which led to him and I nerding out about Tron, Star Trek, etc.

I sat in on some fantastic presentations, they spared no expense in getting some of the best and brightest from the design/tech industries and I feel very fortunate to see these people present their material. The hilights were certainly Joshua Hirsch from Big Spaceship, Golan Levin and Zach Lieberman talking about their ground-breaking technology, Alex Cove discussing his beautiful algorithms, Brett Rampata from Adobe showcasing the hilarious new MTV Jackass application, and Ron Gervais from BTRY talking about his killer motion work.

And last but not least, we got to meet up with the awesome Allison McCarthy from Odopod with whom we hung out with for the duration of the trip. You rock, Allison!

James White and Alison McCarthy

So this is a super condensed wrap-up of the trip to FITC Toronto as it seemed to go by in one giant blur. Had a wonderful time and can’t wait to attend the conference again next year. Thanks for everything, Toronto!

*Also big thanks to my pal Chris Toms who took all of the photos used in this post.