So I’m a little late to the game when it comes to the Computer Arts Collection, which is an annual series of six in-depth guides (a new edition is released every two months) full of inspiration from each of the following disciplines: graphic design, typography, illustration, branding, photography and advertising. But nevertheless, I am so glad I found this awesome set of ultra thick magazines that are so jam-packed full of content that they’re more in line with softcover books.
I was in Barnes and Noble last month and spotted the retro-futuristic cover for the Illustration Issue (number 3 in the series) and had to know more. This isn’t just your run-of-the-mill creative magazine. Each issue features industry leaders who share their processes and insights. And even better, there’s a talent directory in the back of each issue listing contact info for the best of the best!
Beyond that, at 200+ pages, I was blown away at just how well the content is designed. Multiple weights of paper, many saturated with colorful patterns and tons of unique graphic lockups make this a must-have if you’re in most creative fields. I could have easily scanned another 50+ pages because the content is THAT good…and I’m not even an illustrator. I’m now backtracking since I discovered these so late, trying to pick up the first two issues I missed (graphic design and typography).
Enough of my over-the-top excitement. All I can say is that this series is amazing and will send your creative juices into overdrive. All issues are available here.
When ScotchBlue Tape invited me to take part in their D.I.Y. creative challenge, I was both honored and flattered but I’ll be honest here: my mind when blank when it came to dreaming up a project. I’m used to spending my days designing behind the computer but feel like a fish out of water when it comes to handcrafting most things — luckily, this is Joey’s strong suit! He started his own line of skateboards last year and we’d often talked about collaborating on a design but it was one of those projects we never seemed to get around to. We quickly realized that this was our chance to finally make it a reality!
To get started, I built out some inspiration boards to give Joey and idea of the direction I wanted my design to take. Pinterest is great but I thought it would be WAY more fun to curate my ideas on cork boards. I knew I wanted the design to be geometric, have at least one pop of color and include my old standbys, type and stripes.
These are the supplies that are needed:
• Blank Skate Deck. Joey carved mine himself (see above) out of reclaimed wood from a furniture shop that was 9 ply but you can pick up a blank deck at most skate shops.
• Print-outs of Design. We printed out my design in three 11×17 inch sheets (black and white is fine on normal paper) that were then taped together as a stencil.
• ScotchBlue Tape. The thinner width was especially awesome for knocking out our stripes.
• Spray Adhesive: You’ll need this to affix the paper stencil to the tape. We used a 3M version.
• Spraypaint. We used Krylon brand with a gloss finish in black, white and yellow (see above) and finished with a clear coat to seal it.
• X-acto Knife. You’ll need to cut out the pattern so you can spray paint the design.
• Prep: Joey cut this deck out with a jigsaw himself, measured and drilled the holes for trucks and sanded it to a smooth finish. If you purchase one from a skate shop, the holes will already be drilled.
1. Start with a base coat of spraypaint (we used white) and let it dry for a full day to make sure it isn’t tacky.
2. Cover the entire bottom surface of the skate deck in ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape.
3. This is the surface that the stencil will be cut out of.
4. Cover the entire taped surface of the skate deck in spray adhesive.
5. Next, affix the stencil to the tacky surface and cut off the excess.
6. Cut out the black portions of the stencil using an X-acto knife. Remember to cut through both the stencil AND the painter’s tape. The stencil and tape are affixed together so peel both off to reveal the painted surface.
7. All black portions of the stencil should be removed EXCEPT for the A.
8. The first coat of black spraypaint is applied. The A was masked over with ScotchBlue Tape because we were going to apply a different color to it later in the process.
9. Remove the rest of the stencil.
10. This is the result.
11. Peel off the A section of the stencil and SAVE IT!
12. Create a fresh, inverted circle stencil.
13. Use paper and ScotchBlue Tape to mask the entire skate deck with exception of the circle and a single stripe (these are the areas we want to make yellow).
14. Spraypaint the yellow sections. Let this dry for a few hours to ensure nice, crisp edges.
15. Remove all paper and tape to reveal the yellow. Then, replace with the A that was set aside earlier. Mask off everything that should NOT be black. Apply one final coat of black paint and let this dry for a few hours.
16. Once surface is dry, remove all masking to reveal your final design!
Joey wasn’t quite finished yet, though. Before I took my deck out for a spin, he applied grip tape to the surface and sliced out my trademark cross symbol. The perfect finishing touch! Get creative here — you can cut out anything in the grip tape you can dream up!
I loved my finished design so much I put it on display in my office. Nothing beats a piece of functional art! If you have any questions at all about the process, please let me know in the comments and we’ll do our best to respond! And if you make your own skate deck design, let us know — we’d love to see it!
This post is a collaboration with ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape. Visit Scotch Blue Tape on Facebook to learn how to win rad stuff and check out the other participants’ projects in the gallery. All concepts and designs within this post were created in partnership with Joey Maas.
Wowza, what a week! Thanks so much for all your thoughtful and congratulatory comments on my five year anniversary post! I wasn’t exactly sure how things would go down with the relaunch because during this whole redesign process, I didn’t tell a single soul except for two people: my close friend (and developer) Star and Joey.
I’d been wanting to redesign my blog for two full years but I just never seemed to have a chunk of time to put my vision into Photoshop and sit with it to see how it felt outside of my head. Over that time, I did make notes of what I liked, gathered research and screen shots and when it was time, I did the full layout in a few hours during one sitting. I just really wanted it done. It was time to stop making excuses to myself and get it out there.
I had two reasons for not announcing the revamp before it went live: I didn’t want to let anyone down if it took forever (which it did). And also, I didn’t want to be swayed by outside feedback. It can be hard to keep a big personal project to yourself but I’ve learned that first and foremost, you have to be happy with the design and not get too wrapped up in what other people think.
Someone recently asked me what my favorite part of the design process is. I really enjoy the beginning of a new project when the possibilities still seem endless and feeling the wave of inspiration that comes with gathering visual research. Over the weekend I pulled away from the internet to flip through one of my favorite design books, Letterhead and Logo Design 11 (which I’ve mentioned a lot on here before because it’s full of super good branding examples, many of which I’ve never spotted online).
There are many days when I revert to the simplicity of black jeans and a t-shirt but to dress things up, I throw on a colorful scarf. I found this version by Cooperative on the sale rack at Urban Outfitters for less than $10.00 but I can’t seem to find it on their site. It’s a super lightweight weave, perfect for the summer.
We took Rocky on a long walk through the rose gardens and neighborhoods near the zoo over the weekend and I loved the way this regal statue was displayed in the window. It’s like he’s saying, “Hello, world!”
New notebooks are the best. These ones from Urban Outfitters are pretty roomy and ruled and there are a bunch of great colors. I’m nearly a third of the way through the first one already! List making and note taking is good for the soul. And with that, I’m off. My mom is in town visiting and I’m very much looking forward to some family time. Have a rad weekend!
• Why is everyone on the internet so angry? These days, online comments “are extraordinarily aggressive, without resolving anything…at the end of it you can’t possibly feel like anybody heard you. Having a strong emotional experience that doesn’t resolve itself in any healthy way can’t be a good thing.”
• I’m so sad to hear that legendary fashion icon Anna Piaggi has died. Her colorful style will be missed.
• I love a good set of Photoshop brushes and Breanna Rose has gathered up a great selection of faux watercolor ones. Score!
• The New York Times weighs in on our preoccupation with Pinterest, Tumblr and the trouble with curation.
• I’ve enjoyed reading how Makeshift Society is coming together. It’s a private clubhouse in San Francisco where creative folks can mingle, take classes and get work done. I wish there was a branch in Portland!
When I started my first blog in 2001 and mashed two of my nicknames together in the title box and hit submit, I had no idea how much it would impact my life and career. At that time, I was a 20 year old getting my general credits out of the way at a community college down the road from my dad’s house and blogging seemed like a fun way to pass my free time. I worked in an office helping out the accounting department during summer break and read a lot of fashion magazines; I didn’t have an inkling that design was the path I would take at that time.
In 2007, as I noticed many of my friends jumping from our tight-knit community on Live Journal to their own domains, I made the switch as well. I’d registered Nubbytwiglet.com a few years earlier but it was little more than a splash page (remember those?!) The shift happened when I was on a whirlwind 24 hour trip to LA — my friend Star (also a lover of red, stripes and crosses) was getting into web development and told me that blogs were the wave of the future. I was in school for design by that point and wasn’t so sure that I wanted to be so public; all the designers I admired were a bit mysterious. We had a heart-to-heart talk at a Coffee Bean in Hollywood: I wondered, if I shared who I was and more of my life, would my work be taken as seriously? Star convinced me that the new wave of creatives were different and that it was okay to step out from the shadows and share. So I gritted my teeth and in August 2007, I hit publish on my first post here.
I wasn’t exactly sure what I should post about so I just shared what came naturally; travel shots, my art, school design assignments and vintage graphic design books. I was lucky because although my following was small at first, it was loyal — I still count many of the people I met through Live Journal over ten years ago as close friends today.
Blogging is far from easy but it’s helped me find my voice, share my work with the world and make friends I never would have otherwise made. To say that blogging has changed my life is an understatement. Thanks most of all to Star for sticking with me and helping me get this third revamp of my site live — it’s been an amazing ride.
This design has come full circle, employing my love of Swiss design, minimalism, red and the symbolism of the cross. I’d been wanting to update the look of this blog for the last two years but having the time proved to be elusive — I’d planned it all out in my head for so long that it came together in two quick drafts when I finally sat down. I hope you like it! Star and I are still working out some bugs (including the slow loading times — sorry!) but we’re almost there.
Thanks so much for your continued support, encouragement, feedback and enthusiasm. It means the world to me.
The third and final scene in our Santa Monica adventure with Made U Look took place at the iconic Santa Monica Pier. Between the beach, arcade, food stands, rides and playground, there’s a lot going on and it was unsurprisingly packed. The sun getting close to setting for the day so instead of changing, Gala and I made a quick beeline from the canary yellow library to the beach (about a five minute walk).
We had just been on the pier that morning eating yogurt and riding bikes (how Californian of us!) but by this time, the level of excitement was much higher as we weaved our way through the crowds towards the rides.
How was your week? Mine was good — we wallpapered one of our living room walls, squeezed in some nice long walks, got started on a few other home repairs and worked on a D.I.Y. project that I can’t wait to share with you.
Our living room has always been pretty lifeless — with plain white walls and all black furniture, floors and even an all black globe, it just never felt welcoming. I’d searched high and low for the perfect wallpaper but after coming up empty-handed one too many times, we decided to stick with the tried-and-true Cole & Son Woods (our dining room is done in the same pattern and we already had some left over to get started). Next up: colored throw pillows and well, some more color in general so people actually want to hang out in there! Additional room details: we stained the floors black ourselves, the two black chairs are Ebay knock-offs, the curtains are from Urban Outfitters and the blanket is the Cross by Pia Wallén.
One of my style resolutions at the starting of the year was to try new things — patterns, colors and silhouettes. This dress, though not my typical style, was love at first sight. Full debut coming soon!
We got on a roll and decided it was time to revamp the workbench in the basement. Our basement is dark, ancient and a little bit scary so we picked out the brightest paint possible to paint the workbench with. Have you ever seen such a great paint name?!
One of my favorite things to do on the weekends is to head to the park and get a good walk in with Rocky. Of course he attempts to torment dogs 10 times his size which is always good for a laugh!
I don’t have the chance to participate in nearly enough D.I.Y. projects. Joey had an idea I never would have considered on my own and after finishing up my design, he turned it into something really special. I can’t wait to show you!
I feel like the summer is passing by so quickly. In year’s past, one of my favorite haunts was the fire pit at the Doug Fir so my friend and I caught up for a few hours last night. Brings back so many good memories. Have a great weekend — any projects or plans you can’t wait to get started on?
• Kat has some tough love and advice for struggling bloggers. It hits home when she says, “Firstly, what works for one blogger may not necessarily work for another and secondly, anyone you perceive to have been an ‘overnight sensation’ has probably worked their butt off, for a long time, before you even heard of them. I was blogging for over 3 years before I made a penny.”
• Millenials don’t seem interested in buying stuff. Instead, they want to buy into new ideas.
• I’ve never ever considered doing a juice cleanse but Anna’s experience may just convince me to take the plunge.
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