Friday, February 27, 2015

Hear the Room. Hit the Box

So my Brain post is a bit odd this week. I am posting the online Unity project (although you may have to allow/ download the unity plugin), although  I will also have two different application versions of the project on Monday as well (as downloading applications from the web tend to lead to security risks).

Also, I should probably add that you hold down the left button (one finger) to look around as well WADS keys to walk around the scene.

The link to the web player is:

Monday, February 23, 2015

Recommended films for seeing another experience & point of view

James A. White Sr.:
The little problem I had renting a house

Recommended films about unique approaches to the brain

Recommended films:

What is it to live on only one side of your brain - the right side of the brain.

Jill Bolte Taylor's Stroke of Insight

Fighting "fixed mind set" - seeing without eyes:

Becoming Batman

Katie K. Recommended "Alive Inside"

The minds of Dogs from Nova Science Now  (*Not my favorite, but "Dogs Decoded" is a much longer video)
Iain McGilchrist

The Roll of Microexpressions

Orange Pictures

4x4 drawing studios ambience noise


Familiar to Strange:

Strange: Sculptures shown in class

Strange to Familiar:


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Strange to Familer - The Unity Monster

Because I am having problems with importing assets into Unity, I have started to nickname the Asset Importer the "Unity Monster". SO to illustrate my frustrations with Unity I made a quick animation within Photoshop to show how a monster can live within the confines of the Unity logo shape (literally all shapes were made from sections of the logo). Enjoy.

Unfamiliar to Familiar - Now it's familiar to you

So as I was spending time thinking about what is something that is not familiar and how to make it familiar, I just couldn't think of what. I remember Abby saying to involve my family in more projects and how it makes for interesting and creative projects. I consulted my teen daughter and she had some pretty good ideas, then 3 hours later I talked to my wife and said I was in a creative block and explained the assignment. Her respsonse was actually trying to be a smart ass but I took it as a fantastic idea.

So I present to you our band, unfamiliar to all of you especially since this was recorded in 2012, well before I started school. The song is called "Number Nine" because for lack of creativity a spin on the Beatles and because it was our 9th song.

The lyrical content is 2-fold. It was inspired by one of the stories in Twilight where the one girl who was to be married ended up being beaten and raped by her soon to be husband and his friends. Carlisle changed her into a vampire and became the attacker seeking revenge and making her attackers the victims. The second fold is that this album is a concept album telling a story about a person who becomes a vampire and then questions their humanity, definition of a soul, definition of god, and thier morals (vampires, philosophy, and a bit of personal experience mixed in). So it fit within the story itself.

I know present my Unfamiliar Band "The Others" with me on Bass Guitar and my wife Jan on Vocals, Nate Sandys on Guitar, LaMont Sandifer on Percussion, Playing the song "Number Nine" from our album "Mind, Self, or Soul"

Essence of Orange

Monday, February 16, 2015

Familiar to Strange, Alvin Lucier; I am sitting in a room.

Alvin Lucier records his voice and then plays it back into the room while recording the playback which degrades the recording until it becomes the natural acoustics of the room.

I am sitting Instagram < This is another take on the same thing but instead of sound it is with pictures. This artist took screen shots of instagram posts. and watching it degrade.

Here is a sound piece I made with Lucier's style but unlike the "I am sitting in a room" piece.

Project 4x4

For this project I decided to expand on the first and pace myself throughout the semester to develop my store. I originally was going to upload whatever I had, but I ended up noticing small edits or mistakes I wanted to fix or make on the prints before I thought about publishing them. I figured this would be better as a long-term project, so I could be making fixes or edits that would enhance the print rather than making hasty decisions and then regretting it later.

Here's the listing: Shipwreck

4x4 Project

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Scott Werner - Agent Orange-

I took a different approach by using my process book to sketch out ideas first and see where the rabbit hole would go. I started with the texture of the orange peel and it reminded me of the texture of some footballs. Then the smell reminded me of cleaning materials. More specifically an orange zep we use at work. Next I thought of how the juice from the peel when squeezed through an open flame flares up or ignites. This led me to think of whether it's a citrus juice or maybe an oil that's flammable. Going further down the hole I thought of capturing that flammable liquid and converting it to gas or fuel for our vehicles. Orange truck is the next thought running on orange fuel. Then I thought more environment and replacing wood with compacted orange peels. I felt that I needed to go a different direction from here so I thought of the health benefits with vitamin C and anti oxidants. I looked back up at my sketches, in particular the slice and what was inside. I thought of the pods of juice and my first thought was invasion of the body snatchers. When trying to find pod people I found the body snatcher images. This led me to the last thought of Agent Orange and how we could re-purpose the name by harnessing the citrus smell and making landfills smell better or more Orange.

This was quite the trip through an orange and as I type this at the Mall of America it's only more ironic that I do this while drinking orange juice!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

“Interpret the Orange” : Michael’s Orange Cookies and Tea

This weekend I experimented with baking by making Oatmeal and Orange cookies with Orange Tea.

How to make the cookies:

¼ cup of softened butter
¼ cup of brown sugar
¼ cup of honey
1 egg
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of orange juice or orange extract
¼ teaspoon of salt
½ cup of flour
¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
1 cup of dry oats
and ½ cup of orange (preferred small fresh chunks or naturally dried)

Combine the wet ingredients in a bowl and stir together well but do not over beat. 

 Next, combine the dry ingredients in a larger bowl and gently stir in the wet ingredients until well blended.

 Finally, lightly mix in the oranges just until they are evenly spread into the mix. Try not to break the oranges too much when mixing.

Preheat your oven to 375° F and scoop the batter with a tablespoon onto a baking sheet. For mini cookies, use just one decent-sized scoop per cookie. For larger cookies, use 2-3.

 Place the cookies in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until nicely golden brown. Cool for 5 or so minutes.

Note: Cookies will be very soft due to honey. For best firmness, wait an hour for cookies to harden or place in refrigerator.

How to make the tea:

Take the peels of your oranges and place them into a tea steeper, with squirts of orange juice and a teaspoon of honey. Combine with boiled water and steep for 5-10 minutes, or while waiting for cookies to bake. Colouring will be a light yellow or yellow-green, depending on freshness of orange peels. 

Enjoy cookies and tea with a fresh orange for best results!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Never Done Before

Something that I've never done before was going out to eat by myself. It always seemed like it would be a really weird, silent, and awkward experience. I went to a restaurant that I've gone to once or twice with some friends, called Camdi. It's a Vietnamese family owned restaurant in Dinky Town, that serves excellent and authentic Vietnamese cuisine. Going there once or twice with my friends I was never able to ask the server curious questions, but when I went by myself I was able to get to know the server more. Turns out they are originally from Vietnam and it's mainly the wife and husband who run the day to day tasks. I also found out that all of the art that is posted on their walls is all done by the wife.

I discovered that doing things, like getting dinner by yourself, can be a really interesting experience where you get to know people that you never would have otherwise. Although I was a bit anxious about it I can safely say that I would definitely do that again. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Never done before. Bike Adventure Race.

Every year on the day before the super bowl there is a bicycle race called the Stupor bowl. It brings in about 300 racers each year. The course is the streets of minneapolis. Each racer is given a sheet of addresses to go to and the racer has to figure out which is the best and fastest order to complete them. My goal was to was to do this race. Having been biking in minneapolis for four years and competing in other types of bike races for 2 years I felt that I had a chance in this race. I decided to enter the race and with $10 and my bike I was ready. I got the piece of paper and I knew where every stop was except for one in St. paul. I found the address on my phone and figured out what streets I needed to get there and how it would work with of the rest of the stops I had to go to. There were 13 places I needed to stop which totaled to be around 40 miles. I was probably the most tired I have ever been after racing but I ended up getting in 3rd place! I won some cool things too!

What I learned:
I learned that I Know the city better than I previously thought, I am faster on my bike than previously thought. Determination to finish kept me going. This type of race is really fun. Extensive planning makes perfect. 

Contacting a girl I once hit it off with but did nothing about it.

I met this girl named Karli Royko at Lifetime Fitness over 2 years ago. She worked there and I was actually working on a promotional video. We talked for over 2 hours that day. I left that day with her number. We texted and talked on the phone for a couple of days then I got the guts to ask her out on a date. I took her up north of Colorado Springs on one of my favorite trails in my Jeep, we had lunch, I showed her how to shoot a gun as we shot targets. Plus she fell in love with my dogs. We clicked so well and definitely cared for each other especially with just meeting.

She then dropped a bombshell on me. She was moving back to Houston, Texas a week later and really wanted to be with me though. We talked, Skyped and texted on and off since. When we talked it would be like we never missed a beat. She came to Minneapolis for 4 days this last summer and really wanted to see me. I was in a very rough relationship and working construction at the time. I was taking down a two-story deck by myself and it actually collapsed on me, knocking me out, I came to in an ambulance and was out of commission for the whole time she was in Minneapolis.

I just recently broke up with my girlfriend and she moved out of the house because we were living together. Thinking of this assignment I decided to text and ask her if she’d be my Valentine. She responded with how are you going to do that. I said I would fly down there. Her response was, “It is about time, Reno. Yes come see me.” So I bought a ticket spontaneously down there and we have been talking since. I’m excited to see where this goes.

Making a T-Shirt Design

The Big Mac

I had never eaten or bought a Big Mac before and decided this project would be a good time to do so since everyone I know is infatuated with this burger. 

To be honest, it was not that amazing. Yes it tasted good, but not as good as what I was expecting when I was inhaling thousands of calories. The sauce was good and is apparently what makes this burger, but I thought this also tasted almost the exact same as a mcdouble. It looked good also, but it looked better than it tasted. I guess it's hard to compare a McDonald's burger that's as thick as paper to a fat juicy burger at signature meat restaurants. My Big Mac fell apart easily and was slightly cold. Though I did not enjoy it as much as I had hoped, I am glad I can no longer be chastised for never trying a Big Mac.  

Never Done Before - Society6 Shop

A common practice among digital illustrators is to have a shop online where their followers can purchase digital prints of work (mass-produced). Personally I've known about this ever since I became a digital artist, but I guess lack of confidence prevented me from ever pursuing this same practice and making my work "commercial." I feel much more secure in the quality of my work now that I have successfully sold pieces on numerous occasions, and I figured there shouldn't be much holding me back anyway if there's only something to gain - so I made a Society6, which is much like Etsy and Storenv in a way that people can make/produce their own products and sell it online. I'm still kind of figuring it out, but within the next week I hope to put up 5-10 pieces up for sale for the very first time!

Never Done Before