Creativity, Design and Fun

High Standards

Date : September 16, 2021

Sometimes I wish I could write incredible content, make amazing videos and finish the renders that are still waiting in my “Work in Progress” folder. Well I am not particularly good at writing, making great videos is too time consuming and maybe making renders is not a priority. Drawing relaxes me but making a finished piece can take several hours because I like to add detail and I look for a certain quality.

Setting the bar too high can lead to inaction

Setting high standards is not a bad thing, of course I want quality work in everything that I do but there is a balance that needs to be found between quality and quantity. Setting the bar too high can lead to inaction and paralyzing fear of failure.

So how do I find this balance?

Creativity requires the mind to be relaxed, when presented with a design problem the mind needs to have its sense of adventure to go places where normally it wouldn’t go. From chaos and disorder the mind can find harmony and balance.

In the creative process, setting high expectations can lead to disappointment, judging ideas too soon before they flourish can bring your brainstorm to a halt. The mind must flow freely with room to explore and produce viable ideas.

Another roadblock is the high standards of others. We live in a world where everything gets reviews, criticism by strangers can be a bit frightening, the solution is simply to ignore the noise and focus on the signal. Constructive criticism still exists but it is hard to find, focus on that.

So I’ll just grab my tools, enjoy the creative process and spit out ideas.


Website Update

Date : September 5, 2021

I finally fixed my website. I was having technical issues behind the scenes.

– The WORKS section has been fixed and will correctly display the images and galleries.
– Image captions can be easily read and colors have been fixed.
– Lightbox has been added to the galleries.
– Donation payment system has been enabled once again.
– An error that prevented pages from displaying properly on smartphones has been corrected.
– For clients I added private pages with password protection to access your project’s progress.

– Add recent artwork

Thanks for visiting.


Fortunate events

Date : June 16, 2021

This is a short update, it’s been almost a month since my last post Unfortunate Events, things got really interesting and I am not going to go into extreme detail but remember when I said my AC unit died and the repair guy quoted me a ridiculous amount? Well I found a new company and got a new top of the line AC unit for the total amount of zero dollars and zero cents. Turns out I saw a truck on the street with a phone number, I called to set up a meeting and later found out they needed some design work, so we traded. Now I have I brand new AC unit and they have the design work they were looking for, everybody wins.

The other fortunate events are even weirder, I started getting a lot of work, project after project, I honestly was not prepared for that much, I got contacted locally and from out of state. So I have been busy finishing projects, taking care of my clients and focusing on my family and staying healthy.

Just because we tend to perceive some events as bad, doesn’t mean they are all bad, we can’t see the whole picture all the time, sometimes we just have to be patient and wait to see what the outcome is going to be.

“For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”

J.R.R. Tolkien

This inexplicable roller coaster of events is still strange to me, my life has had its up and downs but I’ve never had a series of events happen one after the other like this before. First a series of “bad” events that led to a series of “good” events.

If you haven’t read the story of the farmer and his son I suggest you give it a shot, it’s a good short story and provides a lot of perspective in situations like these.


Unfortunate Events

Date : May 21, 2021

It’s been a strange week, I’ve had a chain of events that just came out of nowhere, my wife was involved in an car accident (she’s okay), car may be declared a total loss, my son needs surgery, and to top it all off my home air conditioning system is dead, so I am writing this covered in sweat at a crispy 90°F (32°C) with a fan at full blast.

Bad things happen

Life happens and bad things happen, it’s just the way it is, but having them all happen one after the other is a bit strange. It is even more strange to me how in all this I have been able to keep calm and follow the first rule of a crisis: “Don’t Panic”

The single most logical phrase in the entire galaxy

The day of the car accident, I woke up thinking it would be a regular day, except we had no electricity because a freak thunderstorm had knocked out the power to most of my neighborhood the night before, it was still raining in the morning and the sky was covered in dark clouds. A few minutes after my wife left home to run some errands I received a phone call and was notified that she had been involved in a car accident but that she was okay. I felt like someone punched me right in the solar plexus, I drove to the scene of the accident and indeed she was a bit shocked but physically okay. The car was a mess and I had to cover the windows as fast as I could so the rain wouldn’t get in. It took about two hours to get a tow truck to come pick up the vehicle while I waited in the rain making a few dozen phone calls.

I am a problem solver, I like the challenge of fixing broken things and finding solutions, well the universe is a fun place to live, it offers an infinite amount of problems and zero solutions. The next day water started leaking from the ceiling in my house and by the end of that day my AC unit was declared dead. The AC repair guy quoted me a ridiculous amount to fix it and an even more ridiculous amount to install a brand new one. It’s really hot right now, I think I should move to a hotel for a few days.

I think I should move to a hotel for a few days.

The part of my son needing surgery I will keep to myself but I will say that it is serious but he needs it and there’s no way around it. I am sure he’ll be okay.

Dissect the problem, find the solution

In all this I have been able to dissect every problem into smaller parts, find solutions and keep going. Panicking does nothing to solve a problem and getting frustrated only leads to mistakes. Every time I analyze a problem I usually find a viable solution and every time I find a solution I get closer to restoring normality. How do you like that Douglas Adams!? Ha!

“Solutions nearly always come from the direction you least expect, which means there’s no point trying to look in that direction because it won’t be coming from there.”

Douglas Adams

I am currently waiting for my house to catch on fire or a T-Rex to appear out of nowhere and stomp my car, I will keep you updated. To be continued…


Taking on projects

Date : May 17, 2021

When I was a teenager, a friend of my father asked me to make him a logo for his car repair business, he had no idea what he wanted but he knew he needed something to represent his company. I accepted the challenge and spent two weeks working diligently on a variety of concepts for him, I made multiple logos and chose the best one.

He was amazed at the results, he told me he would print business cards, make t-shirts and paint the logo on the side of his building. He asked me “How much do I owe you?” and considering he was a family friend I replied “Whatever you want to pay for it”, his immediate response was “Well, how about nothing, I want it to be free!”.

Remember, I was young and inexperienced so I didn’t understand how I put myself in that situation, after all I was happy to help but at the same time I expected some payment for my work. I never got paid for that project. Over the years I learned valuable lessons from my experience as a creative professional, so I’ll share some of them with you:

1. Don’t work for free

Your time is valuable. As a creative professional you want to be taken seriously, right? This means no spec work. Do not give away your talents for free. It has taken you a long time to get where you are so if you are good at something, never do it for free.

He’s right, you know.

2. Set your prices

The value of your creative work can be hard to quantify but don’t be afraid to set a price for your services, over time your clients will decide if your work is worth the price tag.

3. Get paid before work begins

Very important. You can set a minimum amount paid in advance and the balance when the work is complete, this shows commitment on the client’s part and covers the initial costs of the project.

4. Put it in writing

Find a lawyer to write you a contract that protects you and the client, make sure it includes:

  • A description of the project
  • Project start date and deadline
  • Your terms of service
  • An exit clause
  • Penalties in case either party fails to deliver
Don’t forget the signatures.

5. Get to work!

Negotiations are complete, it’s time to focus on the project. Communicate with your client and stay within the scope of the project. Remember your client’s needs and when it is time to deliver the finished product, do it on time. Remember, under promise and over deliver.