I love process, the journey and the way it’s done. Ever since I was a kid I’ve been fascinated with how things are made and what goes into it. I stumbled across this podcast that breaks down songs and gets into the nitty gritty of the details, from the meaning of single lines and phrases to break downs of beat patterns and sound structures. It’s pretty cool how deep they go with the explanations. In this episode he opens with an explanation of Good Guy and talks about the two versions of ourselves with the line ...and you text nothing like you look. Such a dope line. The podcast continues on with a breakdown of a skit in the progression of the song and it’s pretty comical to hear the narrator cuss and say N-word as he breaks down the significance. It’s all well done and in good taste. It really gives good insight into the mind of the artist. One part he breaks down the use of guitars in the song and actually dissects how they created the sound. He does this in a few places throughout the podcast with vocals and more beat patterns. If you can’t tell I’m really excited to come across this and will probably be up all night in my studio listening to this while I work. It’s great stuff! Check it out on Spotify - Dissect.
Valparaiso has some amazing parks and we are fortunate to live less than a minute bike ride to Rogers Lakewood Park. The fam and I love to explore and tonight we went deep into the parks frisbee golf course trails. It was really neat to get lost for a second and view the lake from the opposite side. There are some really cool clearings and some steep hills that were fun on our bikes. Carsyn even found a great picnic spot. Doing all of that was a great way to clear my mind and get some fresh air. I was thinking of reviewing and photographing all the valpo parks it could be a fun thing to do with the family and also force us to get out more and check out parks we haven’t seen. I need a drone. Lol
I got a text from my wife today that said:
“I’m going to take the ungratefuls to get shoes” - the ungratefuls being my children. It’s been a long summer and school starts in a week. As I think back on this past summer I can’t help but go through a mental checklist of what each has accomplished, failed at and learned. I am completely aware of my shortcomings as a father and I strive to be the best for them as mush as possible. But with work, marriage, kids and life some things get missed and my little bundles of perfect joy can turn into crackhead zombies that want to suck the life out of you. How can God make something you love so dearly make you equally insane as well. I heard T.D. Jakes say “I never try to fail at the same thing two days in a row”. It’s commonplace for my plate to be full and schedule to be nuts but I like it that way. It keeps me busy and gives me purpose. But that also comes with a constant looming cloud of “lacking”. Meaning at any given time something or someone will be lacking my attention and time. But i try to balance that with what Bishop Jakes stated.
When it comes to the kiddos here’s an update on them.
Carsyn Fiona Gonzalez a.k.a, Fiona Jackson, Cee-loni of the chicken boney, CeeCee, CarCar
Cee, is my rebel girl, strong willed, still gives me big hugs and kisses and fights me the hardest at bedtime. Sassy, creative and kind hearted she was a good helper in the garden this summer but still gets tackled by the dog.
Greyson Lucas Gonzalez a.k.a GT, G-Money, Mr. Let’s Goooooo!!!, That Asian dude
Grey grew in many ways this summer, physically his face changed a little, and his maturity level has dramatically reached the pre-teen tipping point of craziness. But my sweet boy is still willing to hold my hand in public. He makes me smile every time he grabs my hand. He loves hairline jokes and The Office. He bought a small couch for his room and loves to spend time on his iPad but is still the best one to do anything we ask of him.
Meryck Robert Gonzalez a.k.a Miracle, M-Boss, No Commons
Last but not least, our oldest and most challenging character of the crew. Meryck had a tough summer of staying up late and sleeping in. He plowed through countless books and devoured a ton of movies. Still trying to tap into his inner athlete and almost close to getting there. Meryck is a great artist with a focusing problem. Or should I say a listening but not doing problem. It’s been a RollerCoaster summer for meryck with some really great highs and some really low lows. Still trying to get him to not be the last person to get in the car when we leave the house.
i can’t wait for school to start and to step into another routine. The change of pace and season is welcomed. Thanks for reading. 🌮
Today was just one of them days. When I have to much on my plate mentally and physically I shut down. I get to overwhelmed and I just do nothing. I think I can handle way more than I actually can at times and if you know me, I really can do more than any normal person can handle. But everyone has their breaking point. I came home and cut the grass. It takes about 40 minutes and its a great time to relax, decompress and regroup. After I was done cutting the grass I headed to my studio to clean up a little. I was standing at my counter of paint and grabbed a couple cans. A couple good shakes of the can and cackling of the bearing inside flipped a switch in me.
I then spent the next 30 minutes releasing some energy and going to town. The results were a pretty cool piece and the ongoing journey of learning to do graffiti. I recorded it all and if you want to hear me walk through the process and what I was thinking while doing the piece you can watch it here:
Here are a few photos that could make for a cool screen saver on your phone or texture for your next project. Steal them and do something creative today.
Insight 2018 is in full swing. Kevin Bruinsma and I are super excited about taking over Insight full-time. With more than a decade of great events, this one is no exception. We are switching up the format yet again. Only 6 high quality speakers will be taking the stage for 10 minutes each, more on that in a few. Another awesome thing about Insight is that it will take place in my second home, +WeCreate Media in Valparaiso. This will be the first time Insight will be held in an agency (we hope more agencies will open their doors to us in the future). We are more than thrilled to also be offering beer this year. This will be the first time ever we will have beer during the event. Make sure you bring your I.D. because we will check them at the door. I can't stress hard enough that registering early will guarantee your spot. Our office isn't that big and we will have to cut off registration and not take people at the door if need be.
There are two main reasons to attend, the first is networking. The room will be filled with creatives of all disciplines from NWI. All skill levels, from owners to beginners that's part of the charm of Insight. We are very inclusive and we will make sure you connect with someone. No wall flowers here. We encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and push yourself to meet someone new.
The second reason to attend is to meet and learn from our speakers:
OWNER / MANAGING DIRECTOR +WECREATE MEDIA
EDITOR & PUBLISHER + HERE MAGAZINE
GRAFFITI ARTIST + CISA Crew
WRITER + SAWDUST
BRAND STRATEGIST + CULTIVATE
Kevin and I were very selective this year in picking our line up. The quality level this year will not disappoint. Check out our speakers from this year and years past:
We need your help to spread the word. Share a post on facebook or a story or post on Instagram. We'd appreciate it if you followed us @insightnwi. If you have any questions please reach out and let us know. We look forward to another successful event and can't wait to see you there.
I’ve been thinking of new ways to evolve my monsters lately. I’ve drawn them on post-it notes, card board, wood, paper and canvas, what’s next? Last week I worked on getting some logos printed in 3D for my 9-5. It was really cool holding a object that only exist on my computer in the digital realm. It was like my own Kelly LeBrock (only some of you woulill get that reference).
Once I saw how cool this technology was it made me rethink some old scketchs and ideas. I wondered what it would be like to make a raised or releif of my monsters. The picture above came to mind. I was laying on the couch and wondered what it would be like with depth and knockouts. I think I could be really cool.
Then the real light bulb moment hit me. Duhhh, I could do it with 3D printing, I could make my own figure! Mind blown.... instead of just raising them I could actually make a 3D figure. So now I will be in a hole for the next 24 hours trying to figure out how to make it.
Check back and see what comes of it.
Tonight I finished the last of my canvases, I can’t wait to create and make these suckers come to life. These will become my pieces for a showing I have at the Libeznick Art Center’s Brincka/Cross Gallery in Michigan City this September. The theme of these piece will be more substantial then my pieces of the past. I’ve had a lot of motivating factors that will shape the look, feel and content of these pieces. I’m really excited to get going. If you’re interested in purchasing a painting please let me know.
I hand craft and custom make my canvases. They are thick and bold. Check back and follow my progress as I post updates and pictures of the work in progress.
I love color. I'd go crazy if I ever went blind but even more crazier if I ever went color blind. I love the feeling you get when you see a vibrant color or the emotions you feel when you see a pale or soft color.
I’m a firm believer that inspiration comes from anywhere. I never discriminate when it comes to sources of inspiration, even to a fault. I came across this game called Stack. It’s a super simple game where thin blocks slide back and forth and you must tap your screen to stack the moving blocks to create a tower. The higher the tower the more points you get. As you stack the blocks the colors change and that’s where the magic happens.
The color combos and vibrant hues had me drooling. A smiled from ear to ear as the colors stacked, the gradients that are created were beautiful and surprising.
So what comes naturally for me is, how do I use these color combos in a design? What can I do with these?
Here are some of my favorites:
I fired up my adobe app and made color plaletts out of some of them and the monkey squirrels magically save this and I’m able to instantly use it in illustrator, photoshop or indesign.
Bottom line is I love this and it makes me happy. you should try it too color is everywhere, capture it, use it and share it.
I recently worked on a really cool project for a teen music festival/party/amazingness. The logo for this event had to fun and energetic yet not too childlike. I set out with the main goal of creating a really cool word mark. I'm going to be vulnerable here and show you my process, the good, the bad and the really really ugly. I'll walk you through what I was thinking and what happened along the way.
Here we go.
It all starts off here for me. I find that when I go straight to the computer with an idea and try to work something up it takes twice as long. The good ol pencil and paper is always a good starting point for me. Here I'm trying to just get down what I have in my head. I'm trying to figure out what works and what is possible. As I worked through these I saw a couple things that I liked and some that I hated. Sometimes this stage can take the longest. I grabbed a couple ideas and moved to the computer.
This was the first option I worked up. I really like the energy and the way the letters interacted with each other. I could see this as an animation and liked the chunky playful type.
After looking at the first one I thought it was too complicated and busy I wanted a version that was toned down, simple yet bold. I played with a typeface and worked this version up.
Lastly was this option. Its super rough so don't laugh to hard. But it was only to show the concept of doing a wordmark that read more as a graphic. The plan was to do it by hand but I didn't want to do all that work and then the client not like it and go with another option. This was explained and these three options rounded out the first round.
The client came back with positive feedback and ultimately landed on the visual direction of the last one. Which was cool, just meant a lot more work to do. I headed back to the drawing board and wanted to do something with an existing typeface like the third option.
I worked up this fourth option which had really cool shapes and details. It read as a graphic and I could totally see this as a logo. But throughout the process of creating this I lost sight of what the logo was actually for. I was focused on making a cool mark, this mark turned out a little to biker-is and a little to tough for the current event. I lost that playful energy and I didn't to it by hand like I pitched the idea I would. This had me heading back the drawing board. Literally.
This is where I landed, after an hour of sketching and coming up with different letterforms. I felt like this was a good direction, it wasn't perfect but it was enough to get me started. I liked the energy, in my head I could see it playing out. I got it approved by the client then I moved on to the computer.
The first step for me is to get each letter form outlined. I'm not going for perfection at this point the goal is to just get something down on the art board. I knew I could tweak this thing til the cows come home but I pressed on.
Next I worked on each letterform and made it perfect. I used the curve of a couple ovals to make sure the curve was accurate. This part takes the most time because everything else is based off of these letterforms.
Once I fill it in I can start to see what needs to be tweaked and what works and doesn't. Building out the rest of the K was one of the things that I had to do to balance it.
This chisel effect is kind of my go to. It adds another level of dimension that I love. The hard part is making sure the effect works with the letters and shapes.
After a couple color options we landed on this red color. The K would be used by itself on materials so it had to be strong and stand alone. I'm happy with the way it turned out and it was a a fun process.
Tell me what you think, leave me a comment. Check out the event and the rest of the brand at www.karousel2018.com
Its been great seeing the yard come to life. Everyday another plant grows and the look and feel of the yard slightly changes. The one thing that isn't turning green is our Christmas tree. Yup, that's right our tree has been on our deck post-Christmas. I wanted to keep it and cut it up and burn it in our fire pit. Turns out our dead tree is a great home for a cardinal momma and her babies. But one bad storm later the tree was knocked over and the eggs spilled out. I managed to not touch the eggs and got them back in the nest now we'll cross our fingers and see.
These are the cardinal eggs in our old Christmas Tree.
In our yard is a shed and we have a robin nest in the rafters. It was hard to get the camera up there to see how many eggs are in there but I can make out two from this photo. The momma freaks me out every time I go get wood.
These four beauties are in a mistletoe bush by our front porch. These are tucked away in a sea of thorny leaves and are in perfect condition. The eggs are so blue, this Robin did a great job with her nest as well.
Lastly are our favorites. These yellow finch eggs are inside of the wreath on our front door. What's cool is that the nest is built behind it and with our door being all glass, we have a front row see to these eggs. It makes it bad for the momma though because she is constantly getting scared away by us walking by or turning a light on. Its a great safe spot but also a high traffic area.
We can't wait to see these all hatch. I'l make another post with the chicks and catalog their progress as well.
Its never to late to get senior photos taken. Senior portraits don't have to be stale or lame. They can be really cool and a ton of fun. As the weather gets nicer its time to think about your session. I try to stay out of fields and rely on golden hour to make my photos great. Ask any of my previous clients I go to great lengths to find cool locations and bend minor laws to get you a cool shot. From roof tops to locked locations each session is an adventure. I'll keep you safe lol but we will have a great time. If you're interested in a senior session and your in the Northwest Indiana area schedule a shoot with my wife Lisa at email@example.com or 219-805-1326. Sessions are $350 for 25 edits, 2 hours with multiple outfit changes and locations.
We had a great time shooting in my yard the other day. The weather is so nice now and the yard is starting to come to life. Its been exciting to see what plants come up and what flowers bloom. Caryson wanted to take some pictures so we took a few shots in her new dress. She was also named student of the Month this same night. My Fiona is getting so big.
My monsters have taken over Red Cup in Chesterton. All pieces are for sale and need a home so head on down grab a cup of coffee a pastry and a monster. They range from $20 to $50. I'm super thankful for Laura Verheaghe for allowing me to hang my work in her shop again.
While you're there bring in a donation for Free the Girls - Red Cup is a drop off location for donations. Free the Girls is mission is to help women rescued from sex trafficking reintegrate into their communities. With the vision to see a world in which previously enslaved women are leading vibrant, successful, integrated lives. I was please to find out that this world wide organization is located right here in Chesterton.
Learn more and get involved with this great organization.
I've been itching to get back into my studio. I've been so busy with work and design that I haven't had a chance to spend some time working with my hands and creating. I recently remembered that I had some material to make some canvases. I have a two man show coming up in September (more details to come) and I really need to get a jump on it before I'm up against the gun again. I can't wait to get back on some canvas. Stay tuned for process pics as I document those pieces for the show.
I had the pleasure of participating in Hunt & Gather this year, it was great meeting new people and putting a face with a name to fellow artist. The event was packed and full of great energy. I'm glad I entered, it forced me to get some new pieces done and it scratched my itch of wanting to know what it was all about. All of it couldn't be possible without a lot of help from family and friends. I have to give a special thanks to:
My wife Lisa, for putting up with my long nights in the studio and keeping the wheels on the bus while I was distracted, love you babe!
Brian Conferio for dropping off wood at my house and for lugging that stuff from work multiple times.
Jose Burgos for providing me with wood as well ( I made a table out of an extra piece)! That is huge.
Dave Adent, for letting me borrow saws and equipment that allowed me to build my booth.
Ernesto Martines for letting me borrow a jigsaw in the zero hour when mine died mid cut.
Coty & Jill Mansfield for letting me borrow your sander and also working my booth Friday night, thank you so much!