28 May 2010

Concious incompetence

Just read an article on the Dunning-Kruger Effect. As the author Inchauste explains "As you grow at that skill, you begin to better evaluate your skills. Again, pretty logical reasoning here. If you know more about something, you know more about what you are doing wrong and how to improve it". Therefore if you don't know much i.e. you're unconsciously incompetent, you won't be able to assess yourself properly and are likely to overestimate how awesome you are.

So in that sense being self aware and having a bit of doubt isn't a bad thing...so long as it doesn't stop you from trying!

Typeface and Inspiration

I consider myself a greenhorn in terms of design and the web (the more I learn, the more I realise I don't know!). In an effort to see what people are doing in terms of best practice and common standards, I have been known to have a scan through an inspiration gallery to try to glean as much, from what someone has deemed to the the best of the best.

The author of the article Inspiration Kills suggests that although it's fun to see what everyone else is doing and be inspired by a clever solution uncovered by another designer, using these galleries to get unstuck from a creative block is likely to lead you to producing unoriginal work, they become "the thing that sucks up your imagination and fills the gaps with other people’s work". I have considered this before but I don't think one person has the solution to everything - it would be a waste of the internet not to be able to harness many people's views/ideas/solutions/knowledge but perhaps it's best to view them without a specific problem in mind - that way you get to use all of that good stuff but then hopefully be able to look at your project briefs with a clear mind (and a well stocked 'tool box') to find your own way of doing it best...

Continuing my fascination with fonts, I came across this lovely reference called Learn: Anatomy of a Typeface from Typedia. Clarifies all the jargon terms associated with typeface, in a neat list with diagrammatic examples!

27 May 2010

CSS3, Client questionnaires and awesome new tech!

Using CSS3 Transitions, Transforms and Animation - one to check out again when I get home on a non-IE browser...

For my new web design project, I sent out the questionnaire to the client I developed based on the one from Cotler/Goto's fabulously useful textbook. I've used it before with success as I found it helps the client solidify in their own mind what it is they want, as well as help you create a solid concept of the project's scope. The only problem is, it's a full page of questions which might seem quite daunting and a lot of work, particularly if it's a fairly basic job/assignment. I found this article by Bryan Arnold in which he lists just 10 core questions to ask in order to be able to produce killer designs. The core concepts behind most of them are very similar to those I use in my questionnaire (except for the one where you ask them for a picture/to be their friend on FB!). It's pitched more conversationally so will be a useful guide when I get a new client meeting...

As for cool new tech, Sony have unveiled a super flexible, thinner than a strand of hair OLED
- how awesome is that!? Can you imagine how cool it will be when you can make clothing that continually changes images? That woudl make up for the lack of hover boards in my near future...

26 May 2010

No, I haven't fallen off the planet...

Between job hunting, playing with Flash/Actionscript 3 and being sent to work in Brisbane last week, I've been a bit distracted!

After making the most of the free Lynda.com month I recieved when I purchased CS4, I built an AS3/Flash site to present the designs I created as part of the second stage interview for the position of 'Design Guru'.

I've also scanned and started transforming the sketches of the Byron character for the cartoon I'm creating for my nephew. I'm focusing on the face and facial expressions at the moment. There's still a fair bit of work to go (and I still have a few other characters to design/sketch up) but I'll have to start uploading my work in progress to the portfolio site. I forgot how much fun I used to have animating.

Speaking of the portfolio site, I'm bored of it already - I think it's time for a revamp. Hopefully the rest of this week will be slightly quieter and I can spend a bit of time playing with some styles and background images...

03 May 2010

Online and offline projects

So I've been refreshing myself, working my way through the Lynda essential training for CS4 (Flash complete, now revising Photoshop). As before, a lot of it is just stuff I already knew - the biggest challenge is trying to stay engaged to catch the bits that are new (or cool tricks I didn't know about!).

I've also started on character design/sketches for the Byron/Otto series. I've pulled out all of my character animation notes to remember the proportions to use for kids (5:1 body:head ratio) and am trying to nail the body/gestural shape before I start on the detail and real face of the character.

Finally getting to do the whole cap & gown thing on Wednesday - it feels an age since I finished up coursework, it will be good to finally get the piece of paper to prove it :-)