Sunday, November 30, 2014

Behind the Scenes: Making of the NBC and Telemundo Holiday Package

Behind the Scenes: Making of the NBC and Telemundo Holiday Package airing across the country on all NBCUniversal owned and operated news stations. 

Designer Hollis and I wanted to a bring handcrafted feel to the package, so we went beyond the computer and back to the basics. The process included research, brainstorming holiday ideas and sketches. Once a design was chosen we went to work in illustrator experimenting with color palettes. We then printed and cut out each circle attaching it to pins. By creating a 3D model, this allowed us to use photography and play with shadows and angles to get the desired effect. We also captured the motion of the ribbon for authentic movement. Then the graphic was imported back in Adobe Photoshop and AfterEffects. We created broadcast graphics for animations, lower-thirds and fullscreens. 
WCAU Philadelphia

All work done by Laura Sliva and Hollis Wakefield.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

NBC Emergency Map



A move to a new building required new emergency maps and I was up for the task. The original maps posted all over the building were inadequate and confusing, so I took the initiative to find a better solution. My main goal was to simplify the map, getting all the basic information one would need in case of an emergency.

By volunteering to update these maps, I won the Safety Employee of the Quarter for DFW NBC/Telemundo station.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Platinum MarCom Award

I received the MarCom Platinum Award for my work on the Arlington National Cemetery 150th Anniversary special package hosted by WRC, NBC Washington D.C. This included concept, logo development and applications for lower thirds, animations, full screens and show teases.

MarCom Awards is a creative competition for any individual or company involved in the concept, writing and design of print, visual, audio and web materials and programs. Entries come from corporate marketing and communication departments, advertising agencies, PR firms, design shops, production companies and freelancers.

You can view segments on WRC news website

I want to thank my colleagues Albert Jolguera and Bart Harlan for the great teamwork on this project and also senior producer Jason Gittlen of WRC.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Deep Ellum, Texas

Rasy and I took a casual photography stroll down Deep Ellum in Dallas, Texas. Our first stop was to try Monkey King Noodle Co., a food establishment inspired by the street markets of China and Taiwan. I chose the Spicy Garlic Peanut Noodles, which was tasty.


Photo by Rasy Ran

Monday, September 29, 2014

Gift Guide for Creatives

Some great unisex gift ideas for that creative in your life and just in time for the holidays.


Spotify - $9.99 per month
For many, music influences the creative process. With Spotify subscription, it’s easy to find the right music for every moment – on your phone, your computer, your tablet and more.

Adobe Creative Cloud - $9.99-$49.99 per month
Keep your friends up-to-date with the latest that Adobe has to offer. The 2014 release of Creative Cloud includes all-new versions of desktop apps — including Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere Pro — with hundreds of new features and performance improvements. 

Loot Crate - $13.37 per month + s/h
Geeky, fun, gamer-themed toys, comic books, desk toys, and accessories. They get a box every month with some cool items in it that matches a theme, whether it's zombies, comic books, whatever, and it's just an all around fun experience.

Magazine - $29.00 per year
- Wired
- How Design
- CMYK Magazine
- Print
- Fast Company


Lenovo Yoga Tablet  - $249.00
The hottest brand in technology right now just released a new tablet.

Headphones - $ varies 
Check out the best headphones for 2014.


Threadless - $ varies
Community submitted clothing designs, Threadless offers unique creations you can't find in stores.

Art Supplies - $ varies
An artist can never have too many art supplies. From the quality pens,  Sakura Pigma Micron, and pencils like Staedtler.

Jewelry - $ varies
Get your designer unique jewelry. From ampersand necklaces, to geometric jewelry,  they are fun pieces that will enhance any outfit.

Home Decor - $ varies
- Pottery Barn
- Urban Outfitters
- Anthropologie
- Etsy
- Pier 1
- Target
- World Market
- Uncommon Goods
- Pantone

Books - $ varies
- Grid System, from a professional for professionals, here is the definitive word on using grid systems in graphic design. - $67.00
- Thinking With Type,  guide to using typography in visual communication, from the printed page to the computer screen. $13.00
- Logo, The logo bible, this book provides graphic designers with an indispensable reference source for contemporary logo design. $30.00
- Drawing Type: An Introduction to Illustrating Letterforms, Part inspiration and part workbook, these hand-drawn type of images will inspire and excite any designer to draw and explore type. $25.30
- How To Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul, Designers are quick to tell us about their sources of inspiration, but they are much less willing to reveal such critical matters as how to find work, how much they charge, and what to do when a client rejects three weeks of work and refuses to pay the bill. $10.00
- Just My Type: A Book About Fonts, Fonts surround us every day, on street signs and buildings, on movie posters and books, and on just about every product that we buy.$14.00

Gift Cards

Amazon - $ varies
Let your artist choose what they want. Plenty of options under $50, from technology to fun desk decorations

Craft Store - $ varies
- Micheals
- Hobby Lobby
- Jo-Anne
- Garden Ridge
- Paper Source
- Dick Blick

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Big (D)esign Conference Dallas,TX

Thanks to ArtWorks, I had the opportunity to attend the Big (D)esign Conference hosted in Addison, Texas. The event featured designers, content strategists, social media experts and developers that shared their tips.

Friday, September 5 Speakers included:

Jeff Gothelf - Building a Culture of Innovation
"An innovative culture is a learning culture."
"Transform culture of delivery, to a culture of learning."

The core of innovation is the team:
- Keep teams small
- Collocated, sitting together.
- Keep individuals dedicated to the project, and limit multiple projects.
- Self-sufficient, make sure the team has all the resources and know-how to accomplish the project.
- Task teams to a business outcome
- Give the team a problem to solve not a solution to implement.

Rob Garner - Real Time Content Marketing in a Connected World of Search and Social 
What is your audience looking for? When they come to your site, do you solve their problem.
Click to view slideshow

Bernadette Coleman - 101 Different Amazing Engaging Content Ideas
Ways to engage your audience with quality content.
- Interviews
- Share your story
- Contest & giveaways
- FAQ's
- Reviews
- Recommendations
- Scoops or exclusives announcements
- live blogging and live tweeting
- Things to do
- Commentary and editorials

Chelsea Maxwell - Busting Brain Myths for Better Design
 People want to identify with who they are, hence the popularity of Myers-Briggs personality. Use quantifiable attributes to design, not based on brain myths.
- Age
- Occupation
- Tasks
- Technology experience
Click to view slidesshow

A.J. Wood - Adobe Creative Cloud Tips and Tricks
CC Photoshop :
Allows you to create image assets in real time as you work.
Smart Objects 
The ability for smart objects to be stored externally, and linked to a document.
Camera Raw
Now a filter inside Photoshop CC, which allows you the image-editing flexibility.
Edit videos in CC Photoshop
Perspective Warp
This new tool allows you to select an object in a 2-dimensional photo, and then customize in a 3-dimensional workspace. 

CC InDesign :
Grid with photos
Create grid quickly when placing images.
App Building
Create engaging interactive apps using InDesign

DPS Tips App : Learn how to create interactive layouts in InDesign and publish them to iPad.

Adam Polansky - Keynote
Letter to a Junior Designer
Take your ego out of it. The less married to the idea the easier to defend it.
Click to view slideshows

Jeremy Johnson - Bringing the User Back to the User Experience
Click to view slideshow

Pamela Pavliscak - Left to Their Own Devices:What People Really Do on Mobile and How to Design For It
10 Mobile behaviors and designing for them

John J Nosal - The Search Equation:The Intersection between SEO, SMM, and PPC
Click to view slideshow

Helpful Links
- Big (D) Conference Website

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Creative Series : Mike Kraus

Creative Moxie: Tell us a little about yourself. 
Mike Kraus: My name is Mike Kraus and I’m an artist based out of Rochester, New York. I have a beautiful wife and a goofy dog. Originally, I’m from the small industrial town of Muskegon, Michigan. Growing up in a working class city has influenced my designs whether it’s the topic, the use of humor, or style. In between Rochester and Muskegon, I went to school and had various jobs in Chicago. I met a lot of amazing people there, including my wife, and have had great experiences. It’s a world-class city with an abundance of creativity in everything from food to architecture and bars and festivals.

CM: How did you get into art? 
MK: I’ve always been into art. My parents always kept me well stocked with crayons, paper, and tons of other supplies. It’s just a part of me. In elementary school, my friend Brian and I would draw our own strange worlds instead of paying attention to the teachers. That continued into junior high when I started selling a few pieces here and there and getting commissions to deface textbooks. When I transferred to a new high school, a few of us published a monthly ‘zine that eventually got me into The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Trying to be “realistic,” I attended grad school and studied nonprofit management. Once I finally finished my education, I gave tours of Chicago skyscrapers, managed finances at a children’s hospital, and fundraised for an animal shelter. While I liked the work I did, I realized it wasn’t what I was meant to do. So, I re-focused my career and now I am a full-time artist.

CM: What is your creative process? 
MK: Sketch, sketch, sketch. I’ll draw something in my notebook and think about it. It may take me years to get beyond this step. Then I think about it some more. You know, trying to figure out what I’m trying to say, how do I want it to feel, size, color, shape, etc. Once I have a vision of the piece I turn on some music or something and just work. I try to focus on one project at a time. I’ll answer some emails or get something to eat to rest my eyes. When I’m finished, I have my wife, Megan, look it over. She’s got a great eye for design. I’ll make adjustments and set it down somewhere I’ll have to look at it a lot, like next to the TV or a prominent wall space. Force myself to look at it to make sure it feels “right.” When it feels “right,” I put it up for sale and move on to the next project.

CM: What is your favorite material to work with?
MK: In art school, I had a lot of inspiring professors. One of them was Richard Deutsch who taught a materials course. He had us using all sorts of traditional and exotic inks, charcoals, gouaches, paints, metals, and so on. We used modern techniques and those dating back to the Renaissance and beyond. It really changed the way I approached my work.
      So, when I have an idea about a piece, I start with the idea of what I’m trying to express. Then I ask “what is important to communicate that expression: color, texture, shape, etc.” Once I figure that out, then I determine what material would work the best.

CM: What are your biggest challenges to selling art and how do you overcome it? 
MK: Well, I’m still very new to art as a career. But, I think the biggest challenge I’ve faced is having the confidence to create something and put a price on it. To tell the world that something I’ve made has value. Then, waiting for a response to see if others agree with me about the value of my beloved work.
     It’s a real leap of faith to sell your work. But, at some point, I just said “dammit, I’m gonna do it.” There’s been some set backs and tons of doubt. But, there’s also some success. And I try to build on that success with the hope of finding my niche.

CM: How do you promote your work? 
MK: Lots of “word of mouth.” Lots of social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, on, and on. I have a blog that I put up info about my work and life. Most importantly, I keep in touch with those who have my work. I’m really grateful that they hang my art in their homes and offices and I want them to know that. With any luck, someone will ask them “where did you get that wonderful painting,” and they’ll say, “Oh, it’s by this great guy. You should talk with him about making something for your house.”

CM: What advice do you have for new artists? 
MK: Experiment and have fun. You have to experiment because you never know what works. You’ll fail a hundred times and look like an idiot sometimes. But, that one success can make you appear to be a genius. And, it has to be fun to get you through the hard times between successes.

CM: What can we expect from you in the future? 
MK: If you asked me five years ago what I’d be doing today, I wouldn’t have been close to correct. So, I try to focus on what I’m doing now. It’s really difficult sometimes, but I try to let the future take care of itself.
     Today, I have to put on some finishing touches on a painting and marketing a finished piece. And, I’ll take some of my own advice and “experiment and have fun.” I’ll make a few pieces with topics and materials I’ve never used before. Maybe I’ll test out a few sales methods or license out a couple designs. It’s all about the journey; not the destination, right?

CM: Anything you’d like to add? 
MK: Yes. I think everyone needs a creative outlet. That can be painting, music, quilting, or whatever. There’s something about the evolution of the human brain that makes the imagination important. The act of making encourages patience, quality, and flexibility. And, that teaches us a lot about life in general. About what’s really important.

Also, I’d love meeting new people. So, please contact me:
- Etsy 
- Email
- Blog
- Facebook
- Google+
- Pinterest
- Twitter