Create Something Every Day (#daily365)– Jan 29

Today’s CSED is inspired by three things:

  • My love of Star Wars
  • A fortune cookie saying that I found particularly interesting, and that I have taped to my monitor, so I can have it as a constant reminder.
  • A conversation I had last night with a friend on Facebook regarding Star Wars and its prequels.

As I thought about what I wanted to do for today’s piece, these three things bubbled up to the surface, so I decided on a wallpaper approach. Hope you enjoy.

truly limitless, like the imagination ©2010 rafael armstrong

Create Something Every Day (#daily365)– Jan 28

I know, I know. It’s the 29th.  But by the end of yesterday it was (a) already past midnight when I would have started something (thereby making it today, not yesterday) and frankly I just didn’t have the energy to put anything together. So I decided to double up and put together Thursday’s and Friday’s out today– ideally in the morning. So far I’m doing ok.

I was originally going to do a yin/yang inspired 2-fer, but I realized that today was Friday. And it’s trash pickup day. And I’ve been having some issues the last couple of weeks with a pesky crow that lives around here. He (or she– I’m no ornithologist) has decided that I must have some tasty trash because, for the last two weeks my trash bags have been “hacked” into, forcing me to both have to re-bag some of the contents (yay me!– not) and keep the lid on the bins when I place it curbside.

My avian run-ins inspired me to create this icon.

No Crows Allowed ©2010 rafael armstrong

Maybe I’ll print it on a label and stick it on my trash cans– how do you like me now, crow?!

Your comments and opinions on this, and every other piece, are always welcome.

links for 2010-01-29

Gibbs’ Rules For Freelancers– rule #9

If, like me, you are a fan of NCIS, then no doubt you are aware that there is a set of rules (50, to be precise, although as of January 2010, we have only been given less than half, and not in any particular order) that Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs lives by. Periodically they’re mentioned or referenced, and, thanks to the wonders of the internet, folks far more obsessive and anal-retentive about these things than I have collected them. Well, it occurred to me one night that some of these “rules” can be adapted and applied to the lives and work of designers, and freelancers in particular. In the spirit of the show, I will also discuss these from time to time in a random manner.

Without further ado, the first installment of what I’d like to call “Gibbs’ Rules For Freelancers.”

Gibbs' rules for design

Rule #9. Never go anywhere without a knife (from episode 1.13, “One Shot, One Kill”)

A knife, in this case, may not be necessary (although a lot of folks, myself included, occasionally carry a Swiss Army knife or Leatherman-type tool). However, designers– and freelancers in particular– would do well to carry a USB flash drive.
It’s simple, really. There may be times when you’re working on-site and have to take files with you. Maybe you go to an initial meeting with a potential new client and end up picking up some business before leaving their office. They want you to take their logo, maybe some documents you’ll need as part of the brief. Having a flash drive with you would certainly make things easier. There wouldn’t be the need to have anything emailed (which, considering the recent rash of issues some designers and bloggers have experienced, could be a hazard). There would be less of a need to commit another password to memory because files need to be FTP’d. The client wouldn’t have to burn a disk for you to take.

You could also look at it as “being green”. You wouldn’t necessarily need to burn disks to take files to a local printer or copy center. Just dupe them to your thumb drive and have them copy it off to their machines.

My flash drives

Personally, I have 3 that I’ve picked up over the last 5 years– a 256MB that I rarely use, and my two workhorses: A 1GB and a 2GB drive– and I rarely leave the house to go anywhere without at least one of these. On them I carry PDFs of my resumé and a one-sheet of work samples.

These days flash drives have become so inexpensive that it’s almost silly for designers or other creative professionals to not have one. If you have one and haven’t really put them to use, maybe it’s time to reconsider. If you don’t have one, you’d do well to invest in one.

Create Something Every Day (#daily365)– Jan 27

Today’s #daily365 is a bit late, but that’s just because I started it really late (I’ve always felt it’s my civic duty to listen to the State of the Union). I set out with a vague idea of what I wanted to do, but while watching an old NCIS episode on cable (which is, BTW, one of my favorite shows) I was inspired by “the rules” (if you’re a fan of the show, then you know their importance) and decided to run with that. Oh, and in the same way Gibbs’ “rules” have been presented, I also chose to lay them out out of order.


We all need rules to live by... ©2010 rafael armstrong

Design Something Every Day (#daily365)– Jan 26

I have a friend. He’s a home brewer. He’s also from Michigan, and now lives in Jersey. I decided I’d try my hand at a beer label (never really done a beverage label before). Here’s the first go-around:

©2010 rafael armstrong

I have a rough idea for another, different, look for the label. I might give that a go later on. As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome.

Design Something Every Day (#daily365)– Jan 25

Another day where, no matter how much I racked my brain, nothing wanted to crystallize itself. Sure, I could have lied about it and used one of the random pieces I have done that are floating in my HD and be done with it. But, in the end I’d be cheating myself of the long-term benefits of the challenge.

So, when I resolved not to warm up and serve leftovers and instead cook something every night, even if it was bologna on hand*, this came together.

©2010 rafael armstrong

I think it sums up where my mind is at the moment…

*For the record, “bologna on hand” was an expression I heard Scott Ian (from Anthrax) use to describe how broke the band members were when they started out. The visual has stuck with me for years.