The Mac Lab

Archive for January, 2010

Giving Apathy the Boot (Week 19)

by on Jan.30, 2010, under Blog

christian_l_boot_wip_smThe unconscious, though one cannot force it, will not produce new ideas unless it has been painstakingly stuffed full of facts, impressions, concepts, and an endless series of conscious ruminations and attempted solutions. On this we have the testimony of many creative people.
Morton Hunt

Does that sound familiar? It should. Besides ranting about the concept in class every week or two, those words have also appeared in the blog. Do you remember 2010: Odyssey Two? (That was last month.) The other reference was in a summertime post.

What’s that? You don’t read the posts I wrote over the summer? Why that’s shocking! 😉

How many of you remember the 5 Stages of the Creative Process? Yes, it was written over the summer so why should you have read it? Well, I sincerely hope you’ve read it because I’ve directed you to it several times: here, here, here, and here (all required reading). I also linked to the 5 Stages here and here. Yes, those are summertime posts too. Would you like me to show you where I asked you to read those as well? I thought not.

The point, my dear student, is that immersing oneself in this sea of ideas is beneficial. Consider these wise words: If the nature of the work is properly appreciated and applied, it will stand in the same relation to the higher faculties as food is to the physical body.

Does that sound familiar? (Oh, what I would give to know the answer to that question!) Regardless, it’s the start of a new semester. Tomorrow is ripe with potential. How many of you are ready to tap into the opportunity? How many of you even clicked the links (above)? *sigh*

For those who are reading over the weekend, thanks. And thanks to Christian Lim for our featured illustration (a work in progress). While I’m on the subject of thanks, a big one goes out to Chris Canel and Kyle Rodenbo for their work in the Mac Lab on Friday. Besides cleaning and reorganizing the lab, they helped add a little bump to the OS and fonts, lots of fonts.

Project Idea: Think about it. No one has done a parody of that scene for typophiles. Oh, if I were a student…

For those following along at home, here’s a few font films: Font Conference, Hitler on Comic Sans (naughty words), Nick the Greek (anti-social behavior), and of course, Neutra Face. On the more serious side, Helvetica is worth watching (and worth the $10 to own). Comic Sans is optional. Do you have 20/20 font vision? (Hint: Ariel, like Comic Sans, is evil.) Oh, and don’t forget the Mac Lab Vimeo Channels. (Especially Motion Graphics and Kinetic Typography (Storytelling is good too). Enjoy!

0201: Remember how easy it is to check the new fonts.

Girl Scout Cookies: For the next month or so, the Mac Lab will serve as an official Girl Scout Cookie outlet. Boxes are $4 each. No, you may not eat the cookies in the Mac Lab. And no, we don’t get a cut of the profits or a discount! (I get asked that every year.)

0202: I’ve been doing a bit of research this morning. The results are quite disheartening. The wonderful tale I wanted to share with you will have to wait because we have some unfinished business. Any second thoughts I might have had were erased when I typed today’s date and I had a full-bore Stage 4 moment. Please allow me to explain…

Did you know? Yesterday, according to Google Analytics, we had visitors from 79 cities in 17 countries and 21 states. 165 pages were viewed a total of 1,749 times. All in just one day. Wow, right?

Well, it might seem like a WOW! except I have no baseline data. I haven’t really explored world-wide data for single days before so I have no idea if that’s high, low, or just average (seems low, if I had to guess). What I do know is that we had a talk about personal responsibility yesterday. And I could have sworn some of you actually agreed with some of what I said. You know, the important parts about you holding up your end of the deal, reading the blog, following the links, absorbing information and inspiration, etc.

There were 11 Mac Lab Blog links (to 9 pages) that I wanted you to follow. I don’t ask you to read every word on every page that I link to but I do expect you to explore and perhaps be surprised at what you might find. Yes, it was an unusually large number of internal links but we’re starting a new semester and I believe beginnings are important. The point, was to demonstrate how little attention some of you have paid to the blog. It’s true. Many of you blow it off. I wanted to give you an idea of what you’d been missing.

How do I know some (most) of you are shirking your responsibilities? We don’t have to speculate. Here are the facts:

  1. /blog/?p=7469 — 234 page views (there are two links to this page) 655
  2. /blog/?p=11177  — 116 (also two links to this page) 287
  3. /blog/?p=11465 — 84
  4. /blog/?p=6353 — 79
  5. /blog/?p=10092 — 50
  6. /blog/?p=8039 — 41
  7. /blog/?p=8971 — 39
  8. /blog/?p=7921 — 35
  9. /blog/?p=9318 — 28

True, a few students read the blog over the weekend so their numbers aren’t included. But what about the visitors from 79 cities in 17 countries and 21 states who dropped by yesterday? How many of them clicked on a few of those links? What are the real numbers for your due diligence? I try to hold up my end of the deal. What about you? Why the lack of personal responsibility?

Where, I ask, is your integrity?

It’s appropriate that this is Groundhog Day. (That was the full-bore Stage 4 moment I had after typing 0202.) Like Bill Murray’s character, Phil Connors, you get to relive yesterday over again. And like Phil, if you don’t get it right today, we’ll do it again tomorrow. And tomorrow. And tomorrow…

Your Assignment: Read and explore what you missed yesterday. Pay special attention to the 5 Stages. Read every word on that page! And read every word on this one too: Click.

0203: That was a little better. As much as I’d like this fairy tale to come true (check the story in the student’s artwork), I’ll settle for the uptick in diligence you showed yesterday. I’ll be spot quizzing randomly about the 5 Stages from now on so if you haven’t learned them yet, you will. You should know by now that resistance is futile.

Someone once said: Find something you love to do and learn to do it so well that someone will pay you to do it. Wise words, eh?

Work hard so you can begin to live your dream. Two former Mac Lab students are doing just that. Steven Moyer made this film (Vimeo is blocked at school) to accompany his application to the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Here’s the behind the scenes story if you’re interested. Adam Lee, one of Steven’s partners in Solitude and an LMU film student, tells a deeply moving story without a single word. Both of them understand the quote at the top of this page and both of them will undoubtedly find success in their chosen careers.

Because You’ll Ask: Visitors came from a few more cities and countries yesterday. The big jump from Monday? 224 pages were viewed a total of 2,688 times (up from 165 and 1,749). Two primary pages tell the story…

  1. /blog/?p=7469 —  655 page views (from 234 on Monday)
  2. /blog/?p=11177  — 287 (from 116)

Mac Lab Milestones: We had our 300,000th page view yesterday. Our 3,000 comment happened a few weeks ago. I completely missed that. We’re now at 3,218 and counting.

0204: You may work on projects. No spot quizzing today. But you better still remember the 5 Stages next week.

0205: Jeff Micklos, Mac Lab veteran, Art Institute grad (Best Grad Award/gave the commencement speech), and Web Developer at Bailey Gardiner returns today to share his wit, wisdom, and insights. He’s planned a flex-presentation so those of you in multiple classes won’t suffer from rerun fatigue. Sit back, enjoy, and learn from one who’s living the dream.

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Halfway Home (Week 18)

by on Jan.24, 2010, under Blog

chris_c_kyle_r_01_smIf the nature of the work
is properly appreciated and applied,
it will stand in the same relation to the higher faculties
as food is to the physical body.
J.C. Kumarappa

Week 5: The Fifth Element. Do you remember? That was the week you learned about the Rule of Thirds. I’m rather certain most of you remember that lesson, but your memories of JC… (the quote up above) I’m guessing he fell through your mental cracks the first time around. (Second year students read him here as well.) Chris and Kyle, whether they remember JC or not, are living those words. Check out CR Design Lab (or CRDESIGNLAB, as they seem to prefer) to see for yourself.

Attitude and perception are intrinsically interconnected. Happiness and fulfillment, therefore, are ripe for the picking.

Thanks to the 61 Mac Lab students who made our last MLSS™ of the semester far less painful than I feared. Atheer and Kevin showed up at 5:30. By 7:15 there were 44 students in the room. Here’s a peek at the digital artists at work about an hour later.

Now, let the finals begin!

0126: My goodness but yesterday was delightful AND painful. Read the second paragraph.

Visitor Update: Antigua and Barbuda is the 137th country to visit our virtual classroom.

0127: Delight and pain continued yesterday. The second paragraph is still required reading for Period 2 and 5 students.

0128: Last day of finals… Finally!

Note: The second paragraph is still required reading for Period 3 and 6 students.

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Gallery 029 — 0910 3D Geo

by on Jan.24, 2010, under Galleries

wayne_v_03_smFor years I’ve been trying to get students to embrace this artform. Finally I connect and now I’m behind on updating the galleries. Pound my drop box with your creations and remind me they’re there.

After finals it’ll be too late. The work you’re doing will inspire students for years to come!

0910 3D Geo Gallery |

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Gallery 028 — 0910 Light Painting

by on Jan.24, 2010, under Galleries

chris_c_kyle_r_02_smRight now we’re trying to raise the bar for our light painting entries in this global collaborative project. Here are the best of our initial light painting efforts. The creative potential is as obvious as it is breathtaking!

Truly a gallery that set the bar high for next year (and beyond). Well done! There are still scores of worthy images yet to be submitted. Get them to me now so they’re not lost amidst the end of year shuffle!

0910 Light Painting

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Gallery 027 — 0910 Photography

by on Jan.24, 2010, under Galleries

diana_i_01_smYikes! Probably the most neglected gallery this year. Mea Culpa. My only excuse is that we’ve never had so many great photographers.

Many early submissions were straight out of the camera. No. You know better! Crop and enhance your images, then submit. Name them so I know whose they are (first_last_01, 02, etc.) and only submit your best work. Dumping all of your photos is a sure way to escape my notice. (I just toss those folders.)

0910 Photography

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