Game of Phones

Recently I worked on a Presentation Project visualizing a teaser campaign to be rolled out during a live event. The concept was a fantasy character whose greatest weapon isn't a sword- it's a smartphone. I drew the characters & text elements in Illustrator, colorized/inked the textures & background in Photoshop and laid out the storyboard using InDesign.

A comic book illustration style to brings the viewer directly into the adventure while the photo-real texture & color elements ground the reality of the fantasy world concept. The dusk color scheme of pinks, purples, golds and blues also add to the mysterious/intriguing ambiance as the tension builds as well as create a natural timeline progression to the board. Finally the transition from a light to dark color scheme also has the added effect of the making the last text card the boldest contrasting frame which helps the messaging stand out in a striking way. Overall the stylized look and feel of this presentation approach unifies the frames into a complete story. 

click to enlarge

To kick the storyboard up a notch I also animated two of the cell frames. I used the animation tools in Photoshop (very similar to After Effects) to create .mov files. I timed the animations to be able to be exported as seamlessly loop-able formats. This creates playfully elevated elements that can be embed into a presentation in a slick and unobtrusive way. The self-contained joke of the loops also lend the frames to be already pre-made re-blog, tweet, tumbl-able elements, but mainly function as quick way to capture a client/audience's attention and let them truly visualize the capabilities of the campaign's scope, be it as a full advertising spot or social media campaign. 

This was such a fun project to work on both creatively and technically. It gave me a lot of inspiration for the next one! 

World Cup Techvolution

Watching the World Cup is always FUN, but this year is especially EASY as well. Coincidentally this four year cycle has matched up with sizable events in my life which in turn, have lead me to develop an enhanced nostalgia every time the World Cup comes around. Since I'm not usually a big live sports watcher, the quadrennial World Cups have become a compelling barometer of the changes in my life and the parallel tech advancements. 

World Cup France 1998 - Visiting Tijuana before starting High School

  • My main memory is that the official song was "La Copa de la Vida" by Ricky Martin. To further date it this was before the "Latin Explosion" in pop & a good decade before he came out of the closet.
  • Casual use of the internet was just starting to become part of my daily life and that usage was primarily browsing X-Files fan sites and AIM chat. I definitely did not have any internet access at my Grandma's house in Mexico.
  • Only saw a few games that I caught live on broadcast TV. Any other info had to come from TV news or newspapers. Ricky was on MTV Latino around the clock, though.

World Cup Korea/Japan 2002 - France, Portugal & Spain trip before starting College

  • At this point the internet was actively part of my life, but still mainly for teen entertainment purposes i.e. Napster downloading with dial-up on my Dell PC.
  • I had a Yahoo email address, but any communication with my family was through long distance phone calls. Americans were not into texting yet & absolutely no social networking was happening. 
  • I did have my first cell phone and point & shoot digital camera by then, but I didn't bring them. I could not afford the extra SD cards or long distance roaming charges.
  • All games were watched live on TV at bars & cafes (usually over brunch because of the time difference).

World Cup Germany 2006 - Graduating College in Chicago 

  • Internet revolution is complete. YouTube, Facebook, Google & Amazon all now official huge & completely commonplace. 
  • Even with broadband, live video streaming is still not up to snuff. Game viewing was still only on the TV.
  • Although you could get up to the moment updates of the matches online, you still needed to by a computer and also near a wifi hotspot.
  • Audio podcast were around by now. I would download those daily in the morning to my iPod to get the reviews and upcoming predictions of all of the games.
  • My cell phone was still used only for phone calls and occasionally texting. I would purchase my first smartphone Palm later that year.

World Cup South Africa 2010 - Living in NYC 

  • Pretty close the experience we now, but everything is the slightly worse version.
  • Streaming is just coming into it's own, but can't quite be fully trusted. You need a ESPN cable log-in or take you chances with a choppy feed somewhere else. I still trust the TV more than my sporadic broadband connection.
  • I had an iPhone by now which I use to get real time scores, updates and other information online, but I still need to sync my phone to update apps, songs, photos & podcasts, no cloud yet.
  • Texting & email are now the main form of communication and planning to watch with friends or comment on the games if apart. Twitter & Facebook posts commenting on the match are typical.

This year I can watch all the games live in HD through public broadcast TV or stream on Univision as they happen (I can also Chromecast that feed to my TV if I want). Afterward the highlights are all up on ESPN within seconds after the matches are over and the videos/graphics all load instantly over wifi or 4G. I'm loving seeing the amazing Instagram & Vine updates as they happen. Now I can't wait for that Tupac/Pele hologram showdown in 2018!

 

I'll Do Me

I just spruced up the résumé section of the site! It now reflects the latest & greatest from the past yearPLUS worth of work updates. Now onto the major design ninja task of tastefully yet effectively editing down all of that into a corresponding 1 page PDF. You know you've reached real professional status when you are able to remove your internships & assistant jobs from the ol' res'. 

ಠ_ಠ / ◕ ◡ ◕

Summer has officially hit NYC. The humidity rolled in and brought designer sunglasses, patterned rompers, organic popsicles & overcrowded outdoor concerts with it. This time inspires the maximum hype-osity, but make sure to take to take your chill pills to keep your balance!

¡Viva México Cabrones!

Finally got around to backing up six months of photos off of my phone. So I've finally updated the photography gallery with Instagram images from two separate trips to Mexico. Although my entire family is from Mexico they mainly live in the Tijuana/San Diego area, so I hadn't gotten much of a chance to travel much outside of the Baja area. Getting a chance to explore more states and areas in and around Mexico City has been incredibly inspirational and surprising. These trips have given me a greater sense of Mexican pride and curiosity to keep exploring more. Hopefully another trip isn't too far off.

woman of the world

 

Welp. It's been quite a handful of weeks. If you had asked me what my plans were about 2 months ago I would have said something about maaaaaybe planning a trip to Mexico. Weeeeelp.... then I got laid off. 

Suddenly I had no plans AND every plan. The sky was this limit, but did I feel comfortable reaching for it? I had savings, but living in NYC, how quickly was I going to burn through that? Should I move? Should focus my energy on securing a new job? But any job? Or should I wait? Should I travel, volunteer or concentrate on making some art? I had a thousand questions with no "right" answers. 

I had a crash course in finding myself. Eat, pray, loving from the comfort of the boroughs. The first few days I was of course bummed, angry, stressed and scared, but as time passed so did those feelings. As much as I wanted to take the time to relax, it is just not in my nature to do so unless I know I've done the work to earn it. So I started up the hustle, reaching out to anyone and everyone by email, linkedin, facebook, calls, job boards, etc. After that things started to fall into place quickly.

Interviews started to be lined up, my budget seemed relatively on track and suddenly for the first time ever I actually had the time to enjoy the beautiful NYC spring. I walked along the waterfronts and across bridges. I went to interviews from Uptown to Downtown and planned lunches, movies and museum trips in between. Spring time in bars, rooftops, tattoo parlors, dance parties, backyards and front stoops.

Answering the stock interview question "so what are you looking to do?" over and over actually made me think about it. The first few times parroting back the typical semi-generic goals, but then I found myself actually internalizing and contemplating the question. I was finally coming to realization that I am no longer a student, an assistant or an apprentice. I am a woman with skills, talent and a career. So what do I see myself doing? 

Then I landed a freelance gig with a magazine called Man of the World. They have a really talented, but small team that just needed someone with production experience to step in and help them out. This projected ended up being a completely awesome reinvigorating work experience for me. I got to tap my skills, creativity, experience and conjure something really fun out of it. Issue No. 4 on stands soon! And yet again it really helped clarify the question about what I actually want to do.

I recently accepted a position with Urban Studio as a production manager. I am super excited about working with another group of talented people and finding out how I can fit in and help create some more great stuff. Since I was laid off I went to DC, Alabama, Vermont and I'm about to go to Mexico for a few weeks before I start the new job. I am happy to say when someone asks me "what do you see yourself doing" I can confidently answer, "This!" 

scottrick

My wonderful buddy Scott Niichel invited me to check out the Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern Art exhibition before their corresponding auction last week. The rooms were packed with sketches, paintings and sculptures typically reserved for elite museums and public institutions, but in this setting the placards with artist, name & date also came with estimates. While it boggled my mind to consider that these pieces by Picasso, Miro, Gauguin, Matisse, Renoir... are likely to end up in private collections, the exhibition also reminded me of the patronage behind the art as well.

Like it or not the stories of the commerce of art are as intrinsically linked to it's development and documentation as the historical and aesthetic movements behind the work. What inspired the art, the process of creation and then who in turn chose to buy or preserve lead to me view it at an auction 80 years later. The question of public/social vs private/capitalistic aside it was a pleasure to be inspired both artistically and ethically. Thanks Scott! Here is a portrait I drew of him!

documentation

Netflix is completely worth the monthly fee solely for it's amazing documentary selection. Lately I've seen so many jaw dropping, inspiring, informative and compelling films that I would have completely missed otherwise. My friend Peter pointed out that sadly, instead of seeing this plethora of streaming choice as a positive for the documentary world, this just goes to show you how undervalued documentaries are. Apparently Can't Hardly Wait is too valuable to stream, but Oscar winner Man on Wire is fair game?

Some absolute classics of the genre including Thin Blue Line, Paris is Burning, Grizzly Man, The Up Series & Hoop Dreams are currently available on Instant, but Netflix's newer selection is even more varied. They have "hot" titles like The Queen of Versailles, Jiro Dreams of Sushi & The September Issue, but if you are going to start somewhere I would recommend any of these three films:

The Imposter, Dreams of a Life & How to Survive a Plague

These documentaries go beyond the informative talking-head structure of storytelling. They employ new techniques that completely capture and change the emotional involvement of the audience. Seemingly inspired by Errol Morris' creative-artists-meets-journalist trail these films tell intriguing stories in fresh and personally unique ways. These amazing films exceed any limitations you might have previously held about the documentary genre.