Friday, September 14, 2012

Throwbacks

I've been looking through my old photobucket album. Which you can find here. The art done prior to college can be found starting on page two.
I found this animation I did YEARS ago to be particularly amusing. Photobucket
It's good to see where you've come from. Not just to see the progression, but to remember the passion that started you down the road to begin with.
I remember being particularly proud of these next two.
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Surprisingly, after all these years, I'm still rather fond of them.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Of Design and History

I've been thinking about history. Imagine, if you will, the Wild Wild West. What comes to mind first? Is it leather chaps and spurs? Sidearms and saloons? The reason we think of these things first is because society has programmed us this way. Now switch perspectives, and think of the era as if you lived then. The reason it was dubbed the Wild West is because it was just that; untamed. Wilderness. That was their reality.

We romanticize the past because it's more entertaining to do so. This theme is repeated through every major era in history; the roaring twenties, groovy sixties, and of course the iconic eighties. These romantic notions are easy for me to agree with, but only in regards to the period of American history circa 1960. My conception of the period since then, is tainted with a hint of disdain.

To explain where I'm coming from, let's remember I am a designer. I live and breathe design. I see the world through design tinted lenses. Like-minded people, designer or otherwise, will agree it's simply something that can't be shut off. When I think of the twenties, I think of posh lifestyle, elaborate parties, and great disappointment. But I also think of the America that period was born on the back of.

Before the age of industrialism everything was handmade. And with the exception of otherwise mass produced menial items, most everything manufactured was of a high quality. I like to think craftsmen represented a level of excellence that by and large has been lost in the past few decades (perhaps I harbor a few of my own romantic ideas).

Now contrast that with the cult movements of the sixties. The free-love and peace societies threw off the shackles of civilized mannerisms, three piece suits, and full-time jobs. It was a bastardizing of society in my opinion, and the start of a dark age for design.

From aforementioned design perspective, several things started downhill fast in the sixties. Fashion went out the window. Automobiles were able to hold on for another two decades, before it too succumbed to dilution. And the decline of design continued on well through the eighties and mid-nineties with the appalling overuse of denim jackets and big hair. I consider what was done to the Ford Mustang in the early nineties and late eighties to be criminal.

But that was the trend of the day; mass-produced waffle makers and easy bake ovens were the things to have. Thankfully, by the end of the twentieth century America slowed it's downward spiral late in the 1990's. This was brought about, in my humble opinion, in part due to the efforts of Steve Jobs, and Jonathon Ive, along with several other influential European designers. They have successfully, and in a short amount of time, re-educated the American populace about good design.

I believe the dark ages of design have ended, at least for now. Craftsmen are on the rise and corporations are learning to be more deliberate and responsible with their products. I'm sure to them the education of the consumer was quite disturbing.

And yet, even as I see my beloved craft shining in the spotlight, the rest of the world is unfortunately going insane! Hopefully sooner, rather than later, I'll be able to write about the downfall of this Instagram and Guido nonsense. Through the ingestion of amusing, but moronic, internet memes are we yet again bastardizing our society?

That's my rant for the month.
Until next time,

Cheers.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ahh and so life goes on.

I wrote this in my last post, and I will admit it was a hasty and false statement to make: "Bottom line. Keep your friends close, and don't ask God for something you can't handle. He might just do it."
What a bunch of nonsense. I don't believe that last part and I certainly don't regret coming out to Colorado. Now enough about that, moving on.

Life as a Design Student
By Buck Beymer

Being a design student is one of the hardest things I have ever tackled in my short twenty-one years. It’s a peculiar place to be, in mind and body. On one side of the coin, a student is almost in the place no eye sees; disregarded by most employers, and looked down upon by crappy instructors. We give a great amount of time and money to an institution, and yet we are not the customers. We are never right, and are in no way treated like a normal patron. It’s an investment nobody can guarantee, perhaps not even the person making the investment.

I’ve come to make an assumption that only by pure power of will and perseverance will I succeed. But what happens when I run out of gas? Motivation seems to drive a lot of what we do, and when that’s gone, it’s time to pick up the pieces or go home.
We’re taught by life, by school, by shallow friends, that to get where we want in life, we have to shoulder the weight solely by ourselves. Logic and wisdom tells me it’s not meant to be that way.

Our psychological foundations fight the very idea of being alone. Moving out to Denver at the age of 20, knowing nobody, was perceived by many people a brave thing to do. I expected it to be hard, but the reality was a slam to my face.

To be clear, I in no way support the idea of entitlement, free handouts, and believe that hard work and going through the fire make a person stronger. Everyone needs a respite some days though.

There is, of course, no other option for me but to pick up the pieces and soldier on. I do however have to identify the areas that have triggered this massive burnout, and seek to separate them from my daily life. In the case of academics, this can be a challenge. It’s not an easy task to go to an instructor and tell him that his assignments are leaching the joy out of my soul and stifling my creativity like an office cubicle in an accounting office.

The things we are trained to do are often elementally repetitive, boring, dry, extremely technical, and overall life-sucking. And yet those are the things I can’t avoid. My goal right now is to find an outlet, something to re-motivate me, and keep the wheels turning and homework burning until I can depart from this perpetual state of economic transience. That was a mouthful.

Being a student is a profession I think we need to rediscover the joy in. When I read the stories of brilliant designers who have gone before us, the picture painted is often one of joyous discovery. Hard work certainly went on in the background, but what the reader sees, is a person finding their life’s calling and succeeding at it. It’s that hard work and occasional misery we never see, that perhaps is what really shaped the artist. If only we had a perfect world, I think, but that would perhaps be a world devoid of art.
-Buckingham

This is perhaps a preamble to an article I want to write for a design magazine, tell me your thoughts!
(I apologize for the lack of art updates, I'll try to get something up before the apocalypse)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I was just pacing my apartment

A minute ago, rather furiously too I might add. I didn't even realize I had been pacing for a full minute or so, as I was brainstorming equally furiously.

I re-read some old journal entries and one page chronicled how bored I was in that particular point in my life. This was in the fall of 2010, when I was a sophomore at Oral Roberts University, studying graphic design. My actual words went something along the lines of: "I feel like I have nothing to be excited about in my life."

Of course I had some cool things going on, mainly my upcoming mission to Brazil (which was amazing of course), but I can only live one week at a time after all. I'm no stranger to being bored, of course, I always tell people I'm easily bored. Not to mention, Tulsa is an immensely, well, boring town. This was before I had decided that I was going to transfer to AiC and pursue what I really wanted to.

I look back and chuckle, because I feel that statements and thoughts like that over a period of time was almost like I was daring God to actually do something about it. And here I am, good job Buck.

Anyways, to get to the point of this post before I lose you, the reason I am awake at 4:50am when I have a 7:30am class is because I am excited. I longboard and recently my friend coerced me into learning to power-slide. I've wanted to learn how to for quite a while now of course, in my pursuit of pushing the sport, but to be honest I was mildly terrified of the prospect. Power-sliding is such an intense adaptation of the sport, it's almost as if you're defying the very construction and purpose of the longboard while doing it. And it's dangerous. I assumed I would get to it sometime next year-ish.

But what really has plagued me with insomnia yet again, is an idea I have whizzing around in my head for a pair of sliding gloves. It's a common piece of equipment for advanced riders who enjoy sliding. The construction is basically a work glove, with a polymer (usually) 'puck' velcroed onto the palm, and sometimes on the fingers. They allow the rider to get nice and intimate with the pavement and yet keep it all business. Anyways, gloves professionally manufactured cost anywhere from $35 to $80, and I'm a poor college student. I used a pair of work gloves I've had laying around in my closet for our sliding session the other night. They ripped on the third slide.

I've heard of people DIYing their own pair of gloves using anything from chunks of granite to slabs of cutting board. Being the industrial design major (not to mention a man) I of course set out to research how to make my own pair. My mistake was doing that tonight.

Instructables.com is quite the addicting website if you let it pull you in. So of course I spent the next hour and half (this was at midnight) looking at longboard related Instructables. What I found inflamed my brainstorming center so intensely that now I'm not just planning on making the gloves, but I eventually want to make my own longboard deck, press and all (the press gives it a concave profile). Anyways, I'm actually considering pursuing this glove project to the degree of making it my capstone project. I may recant that later.

To return to my beginning thesis, I would like to again expound upon something I'm really quite good at making. Mistakes. When I wrote that journal entry I had no idea what I was sacrificing in exchange for more 'excitement'. I've learned this past year (gosh, I can't believe it's been that long) that having true friends around you is worth it's weight in gold. My friends are like family to me.

I've been told by a couple people from ORU, when I was leaving, that just because I'm moving doesn't mean I will have a change in support structure. Well, yes, but I'm afraid it doesn't quite work that way. A phone call doesn't quite equate to a hearty sit-down.

Bottom line. Keep your friends close, and don't ask God for something you can't handle. He might just do it.

-Buck the Undead Dragon

Thursday, May 26, 2011

More Visual Pandering

I happen to be halfway creative from time to time. Lately I've been doing a fair amount of sketching, Digital and otherwise, and I have to be honest with you; I am having a blast with it! It's one of the few things I get to do in school that isn't tedious. Here is some of what I'm talking about.
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I love this one, it's actually not even finished. I'm planning to market it as a climbing gear backpack. The assignment was to create a soft good, and thats something I never expected to enjoy, but I rather like it.
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The drawing in the lower right corner was the original drawing, and it's shamelessly goofy. But thankfully I realized it was a piss-poor drawing and drew another.
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Ok this isn't an exceptional drawing by any means (sci-fi assignment) but I would like to draw your attention to the tracks. Those are some good looking tracks right? I think so.
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And this was my first digital sketch; it's what got me hooked.
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Perhaps this next drawing is my favorite to date.
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Sketching is addicting.
Hey while you're at it, check out my photobucket. Most of my old photoshop work is on there so it's like a time machine into my creative life!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Tonight I was thinking about

A girl I had a crush on for a rather long time. It was a slow smoldering interest, and I never pursued it for reasons both in and beyond my control (although I still nurtured some hope). I know her heart, as we spent some time together in close proximity, so I know her potential. However her actions and lifestyle today don't reflect a life on fire for God (but then the same could probably said about me) that I saw in her.

I have always wondered why she chooses this lifestyle. There's a myriad of social perks to be sure. Perhaps the idea of changing the way she takes on the world is too daunting a task, on account of the friends she may lose. Others still may say she is even running away from God.

But I think it's a little more simple than that. Be aware this is purely speculation. I think she is simply living the way she wants to. The fact is God's plans for her just aren't at the forefront of her plan. I know this because I catch myself walking down this path time and time again.

My generation has been implanted with a desire to follow in our parents footsteps (an impossibility due to the immense social and economic changes wrought from generation to generation), and settle down, find love, make a career for ourselves, and live the easy life. The baby boomers by-and-large lived that out. Our country saw a relative period of economic leisure during the 90's, in which time I grew up. I believe that decade is a large reason why the aforementioned influence is prevalent in my mindset.

This post isn't about that girl that I knew who eluded me for so long. I certainly will never criticize anyone in writing without due cause. It's about worldviews, and deep seeded desires. We all have them. And in the end we will be asked to surrender them completely.

God asks us to give up our lives and follow him. The extremity of that request is still shocking to me, but my heart longs to do just that. At an Ignite conference I helped organize at ORU, Matthew Barnett said "We must die to our dreams of success."

Those words struck true with me and still do. God's plans are so much bigger than anything we can cook up on our own, let alone achieve. Certainly I'm not advocating that we crush anyone's dreams, some of them may surely be planted by God. What I'm getting to, is that God is in complete control, and His plans will come to pass. Do you understand what I'm saying? The almighty sovereign God will make sure our lives carry out to His will. That excites me, as I hope it does you, because I've received some hints that His plans for me are Huge-well beyond my wildest dreams.

To close please take anything I write with a grain of salt, I'm no theologian and I haven't researched any of my statements in great length. This is for the most part just off the top of my head. I hope you enjoyed it nonetheless.

-Buck Beymer, Happy New Year!