Wednesday, May 27, 2009

BoldHeart and Poster Giveaway Winners!

A few weeks ago I held a contest sponsored by, where 2 lucky winners would be selected to win a free poster from the UPrinting Online Poster Printing service, featuring its signature easy-to-use website and the famous free file review, a complimentary proofing service which requires no upfront payment.

Each winner will receive the opportunity to print a poster for free using the UPrinting website. Shipping and handling is free for the U.S. and Canada only.

So, let's get to it, shall we? Drum roll please! After selection by a random number generator, the winners are:

Chris Huckaba and Lance Goyke!

Congratulations to both winners of the very first Bolheart Blog giveaway and thanks to all who participated! The winners will be recieving an email within the next week or two with instructions on how to redeem their free poster.

Make sure to keep checking back for more giveaways in the future because there will be plenty more to come!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Rzeszów, Poland 2009 (Week 1)

We arrived in Rzeszów, Poland this past Saturday and have been treated very nicely by the UITM college that we are teaching at. As the week winds down, I have realized just how much I miss home. It isn't until you are gone for quite some time until you actually notice your need for the ones you love.

Now, I'm not saying this ins't a trip of a lifetime, because it is. I am simply pointing out that nothing will ever be as good as home. There is no replacement!

Enough of my venting about being away from home, now for some of the good stuff! The first night we walked to the Renik, which stands for the Polish market square, to site see and get a feel for the people and culture we will be immersed in for the next few weeks. To say the least, we were pleased! We caught the last day of their National Free Mueseum holiday, so what better to do than travel 10 meters under the earth in hundred year old catacombs!

What?! A real dead body? No way! Just kidding. It's fake. This did happen to creep out quite a few of it's victims. We had a good laugh. The catacombs were very interesting, nonetheless. Maybe not quite worth the 2 hour wait, but still enjoyable.

Now, I bet you're curious as to where I am teaching and sleeping. I'm a mind reader, so don't be too surprised! The first picture below is the front of the building where we teach. My bedroom (the second picture) is just around the corner from here. Literally a stones throw. Looks cozy, doesn't it? I'm acutally sitting right at that desk as I type this post. Weird, huh?

This is the classroom we teach in and a decent amount of the students in our class. Some have been cropped out, but I will post more pictures of them and the classroom in the next blog post. I can't spoil you by giving it to you all at once now can I?

Too busy for basketball? Yes, we are. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to tear up the court and make it rain with 3's. On the other hand, frisbee, billiards, poker, and eukre seem to be our choice of liesurely activities. There were actually a couple injuries in our heated game of frisbee. Computer graphics students and professors really know how to throw down.

Talk about a small car! As you can see, my peer's arm is about a fifth the size of the entire car. We have now coined these cars as "meep meeps" because we figure they probably go "meep meep."

I will be posting one or two more blogs while in this city, so stay tuned for more sites, fun, and adventure from Rzeszów, Poland!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Warsaw, Poland 2009 (Day 1 and 2)

After a long and treacherous 11 hours in the air, I finally made it to Warsaw, Poland on May 15, 2009. The plane ride was nothing compared to my trip to Singapore. Talk about jet lag!

We arrived at night, which meant our schedules were a bit more thrown off than usual, but I seemed to manage. Our hotel beds were nice and comfortable. I would even go as far as saying they were better than the ones back in the United States. Above is a night shot of a gift from Russia: a big clock! Below is the same picture, but in the morning.

Poland obviously takes pride in their malls. Or least least Warsaw, Poland for that matter! I have never seen a more interesting and stylish roof to a mall before. We were actually able to catch the crew cleaning the windows. They didn't seem to like us when we took pictures of them, so I'll refrain from posting those.

It really seems like Poland is trying to "one up" America (if you will) with their attractive architecture. Below is a picture of the entrance to the movie theater in the mall. My first thoughts were everything but a movie theater. You just never know when you'll run into a country who has a strip club or casino in their mall!

From my pictures, you would think Poland is in the middle of spring cleaning. I noticed quite a few cranes throughout the city. I imagine they are in the process of building some more really fancy malls.

It's great to see that motorcycles help dominate the road here. They don't hesitate to give it a little gas! It makes me miss the states that much more.

And what would a vacation be without stopping by a bookstore? I saw a few famous series in the store such as Twilight and Harry Potter, so I had to take a picture. I also made sure to read all of the Polish Harry Potter books just to make sure it was an exact translation. Turns out they are.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Poland, Here I Come!

A while back, I wrote a post about my acceptance into the study abroad program for my school. The trip is to Poland, where we will be visiting two cities and teaching at the universities. Teaching, you ask? Yes, us students will be taking the reigns and educating the Polish students with the plethora of knowledge we have concerning computer graphics technology.

Don't get me wrong, I believe I am completely capable to teach all of the material I have learned. In fact, this blog has even helped reinforce a lot of the design techniques, tips and tricks I've learned along the way.

So, where's Poland? I asked the same thing when I was accepted. I'll admit it.

There's Poland! For all of those who aren't too bright out there, it's in the green circle. Quite a distance, eh? I'm looking forward to the plane ride because not only do I get to catch up on sleep, but I also get to read a couple books I've been putting off for quite some time! There better not be a baby behind me or else someone's going down! Not really, but still.

Here's me in the future, in Poland and enjoying the wonderful scenery.

Stay tuned to the blog because I will be posting pictures of my travels and will even be writing about the adventure along the way. For those of you wondering how long I will be gone, I'll be away for one month, so expect quite a few similar posts. Don't worry though! You will get your weekly dose of great design articles, inspiration, tips, and tricks.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

BoldHeart and Poster Giveaway

You heard it first! The BoldHeart Design blog, with the help of, is giving away free 16x20 inch posters for two lucky readers! Any design, picture, or drawing you want printed! Could one of them be you?

For over 25 years, UPrinting has been a trusted leader in Online Poster Printing, featuring its signature easy-to-use website and the famous free file review, a complimentary proofing service which requires no upfront payment. UPrinting offers convenient marketing support services such as design, lists, and direct mailing to help grow small and medium-size businesses nationwide.

There are two opportunities to enter, and you can enter once using each method in a way to help your odds of winning:

1. Leave a comment in this post telling me what you will do with your poster printing prize.

2. Write a post about this contest on your blog. Your post must include a link back to this post, as well as one to the sponsor -

Sounds like a good deal, huh? I wish I could enter, but it's my contest, so that just wouldn't be fair. All entries must be received by the end of this week on Sunday, May 17, 2009. The winners will be announced here within the next couple weeks. Two (2) winners will be selected at random from all entries. (Note: the limit for the number of wins per person, which means that even if you put in two entries, is one print.)

Each winner will receive the opportunity to print a poster for free using the UPrinting website. Shipping and handling is free for the U.S. and Canada only. Winners from other countries will still receive a free print, but will be responsible for the shipping charges to their location.

So, what are you waiting for? Comment on this post, write your own post about this contest, or do both and win a free 16x20 inch poster! How will you used your free poster?

Michio Kaku: Time Travel, Parallel Universes, and Reality

Now, this may not be related to graphic design, but I'll tell you that if you aren't interested in this, you will be. Ricky Potts, a fellow blogger, has just recently talked about NASA and the Hubble telescope, which sparked this post. Also, I will admit that just tonight I went and saw the new Star Trek movie. Great movie! And like they say, it wasn't my dad's Star Trek!

Anywho, Michio Kaku has explained something so complex very easily. You will soon learn how smart this guy is! It involves time travel and parallel universes. According to him, it is theoretically possible to travel back in time and “meet your mother before you were born.” How? Well, first we need an incredible amount of energy, in the case of time travel, the energy of a star!

With this being said, if your mother falls in love with you how were you ever born? Good question! Michio says that there is a simple solution to this. That is, you would be forced into a parallel universe, where your life would then branch off into another path or "stream." I have many questions I would love to ask this guy, but for now, his theories and explanations for everything make me believe it is all possible. One day, technology will easily allow us to do things we can only dream of right now and this scientist is a constant reminder of that!

Watch this video and think about Michio's theories. Do you think they're possible? What are your thoughts on time travel and parallel universes? I'm curious!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Amazing Desktop Backgrounds (1)

We all love desktop wallpapers. And we love the beautiful ones most! You wouldn't set it as your background if you didn't, right?

Through this series, I will be posting my favorite selections of wallpapers for your computer. There are countless backgrounds out in cyberspace that are just ripe for the picking, so I'm going to make them even easier to pick. I know, I'm so nice.

If you have created a wallpaper of your own, comment with a link to it! If you have found some awesome ones that aren't listed here, guess what you should do? Yes! Leave a comment with the links here! I'll consider including them in the next post of the series. Enjoy!

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Best of the Worst Album Covers (Part 1)

I came up with this idea just today and thought I could have a lot of fun doing a series of these. Have you ever seen an album cover that almost makes you want to throw up? I'm sure you have! One of the following album covers has done that to me for the past year and it's about time I share it with the world. How could a famous musical artist settle for such horrific artwork and photography? It boggles my mind! If I was in the spotlight, I would want my entire visual identity to be amazing just like my light show! Wouldn't you?

So, what goes into album artwork? Quite a bit. Right now, I am in the process of finishing up some for The Post Script's new album and have had a blast illustrating it! But, as much fun as it is, designing something so precise is hard work. The imagery of the album should be spot on to what the band sounds like and how that album speaks to the listener. Looking at bad examples of design is always nice because it helps give you a clear sense of what not to do.

Granted, some of these bands you may love and cherish, their artwork frankly sucks! I am a big fan of one, David Gray, but the artwork for his album, White Ladder, is extremely poor and looks like a 6 month old created it. There's a possibility that deep down, in someone's mind, this really means something and has strong concept, but I don't see it. And I doubt the rest of the world sees it either. Although these bands may or may not produce great music, their album artwork is hideous!

If you know of any terrible album designs, leave a comment with links to them and I will make sure to include them on the next post!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Beautiful 2D Animation "Onwards" by James Jarvis

After posting my first short animation, I have a new view on animation itself. I really have a feel for the long hours and hard work that goes in to the best of the best and respect the creators just that much more than I did before. This is one of those animations.

Created by James Jarvis and beautifully directed by Richard Kensworthy, Onwards has incredibly unique animations and drawings! This animation piece was sponsored by Nike, which is really awesome because it allowed this artist to really showcase his work without being pushed one direction or the other. I'd also like to point out that this is a good example of how important stretching is.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Taylor's Temptation Final Animation

For those of you who have been following this blog for a while, this will be of no surprise to you. I have been working very diligently on my first ever 3D short animation for an Introduction to Animation class I am taking. The film is called Taylor's Temptation, based on my short story I wrote shortly before the class began. It was a fun story to write, but after working with it for so long, I can't wait to get writing some funnier ones!

Being my first adventure into 3D animation, I have to say that it was a blast! At the same time, it was extremely frustrating at times and very challenging to overcome obstacles when you are so unfamiliar with a program. But, once I got through the initial learning curve, I was in much better shape. I've taken this as a learning experience and nothing too serious because I plan to create much better films in the near future!

I won't stall any longer. Enjoy my first short film, Taylor's Temptation!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Introducing the MacBook Wheel

For my latest assignment, I was to make a 3-page magazine spread of any gadget of my choosing (fake or real). Naturally, I went with something fake! The follow text is taken from the article. It almost makes me want to buy one!

"The all new MacBook Wheel has hit the market and is creating more hype than the iPhone! The internet is buzzing over Apple’s latest invention, the MacBook Wheel. This is a revolutionary laptop that does away with the keyboard for good. You will have to say goodbye to the keyboard and say hello to the future of laptop computers.

Apple has replaced the keyboard with a sleek, touch sensitive click wheel and has said that the MacBook Wheel will make typing a thing of the past. This is such a compelling story from the guys over at Onion News Network, they even show us one of these so called new laptops and how the new system works.

Our own reporter, Chuck Norris, was fortunate enough to talk with someone who is an engineer, designer, and creative director for Apple. He shows the reporter how the MacBook Wheel works, and we can see just how simple the system is to type with after quite a bit of practice. The employee from Apple says that everything is a few hundred clicks away and he doesn’t lie when he says this. It only took him 45 minutes to type a simple email!"

That's all fun and games, but as many of you know, there is no such thing as a MacBook Wheel...yet. I wanted to choose a product nobody else would and thought this would be fun and funny to create. This MacBook illustration was done in Illustrator and the whole magazine spread was created in InDesign (my first ever journey in the program).

I also love how Wired Magazine presents their information and lays out their content and graphics. That served as inspiration for my project and I think helped make it seem like a real magazine spread/cover you would see in there. I believe my choice of composition worked well to achieve a visually pleasing article. Now, let's just see is Wired Magazine notices this and scouts me!

As for the many of you who are in the dark about the origin of the MacBook Wheel, there is a video that will explain everything. The Onion News Network is a fake news source that comments on current events, both real and imagined. It's almost scary just how professional the videos and article are. The reporters must be extremely talented actors or real news reporters who flunked out of college. Either way, it's hilarious! Enjoy!

Monday, May 4, 2009

5 Helpful Tips for Design Students

Myself being a graphic design student and freelancer, I am constantly being pushed to my limits, balancing school work and client work that actually puts money in my pocket. It's a tough challenge, but something that many of us tackle each and every day. But, what if you are a student and don't seem to be gaining that many clients for freelance projects, leaving your portfolio full of projects that 50 other students have in theirs?

(Illustration by Frank Chimero)

Here are 5 extremely simple, yet helpful tips to get you going in the right direction to further your career as a student.

1. Don't be afraid of the web.

As a student, there are many projects that you create digitally for print, 3D, or even traditional style art, but where's the love for web? The reality is that the web is taking over a lot of graphic design houses and only the students who are skilled in either coding, web design, or both appeal to these companies. Make an effort to make a personal project for yourself solely based around web design. Buy a book or two or three to learn about it and see where that takes you.

You never know, this could lead to something great that you never knew was possible! Get your personal portfolio up and running, create a blog, or make a website for you aunt's doll clothes business. Do something that gets you familiar with the web because the students who get hired are the ones that know their way around it!

2. Experiment.

Design within the design principles and then break them! As students, we have the most freedom when it comes to projects because we are our own clients. It's not every day a designer in the professional world can say that he or she purposely broke their design grid because they though it looked cool!

So go nuts, if you aren't already nuts. Experiment with different styles. The majority of students and even professionals early in their career still have not found their style of design and until you do find it, you've got to try on different pants (figuratively speaking). This can help us all grow as designers and allows us to avoid suffering the consequences of an angry and frustrated client who isn't getting their way.

3. Make yourself some business cards!

I've lived by this rule as long as I knew just how cheap it was to make custom business cards for myself. I'm already on my second batch and design of business cards, which was a major step up from my old ones. There are so many online printing stores out there where you can literally get 100-250 business cards for as little as $20. In this case, money really is no option.

Just by simply handing out one business card to the right person could land you a $1,000 job! You never really know and that is why you have to be prepared. So, after you have them printed, make sure to carry some in your wallet just in case. Also, once you have made your own business cards, others may even hire you to make theirs; granted they like your design. This happened to me and they turned out great! True story.

4. Take your class projects one step further.

Were you assigned to create a logo for your class? If so, take it a step further by creating some print ads for it. Or, if you're really daring, make a website (or how the website would look) based around the visual identity of your logo. This could be somewhat time consuming, but in the end will pay off more than you could imagine. It could also help you with tip #1 above. Who said killing two birds with one stone was hard?!

5. Be able to talk about your work.

You need to make a habit about talking about the beautiful work that you create! It may seem amazing to you and other designers, but the HR department at a non-graphic design based company may not understand. In that case, you need to explain the reason you chose red and not blue for a "danger" poster. The easiest way to do this is to participate in your critiques during class or attend portfolio reviews that your local SIGGRAPH chapter hosts (hint hint).

Thanks to Niki's DesignO'Blog for the inspiration!