Posts Tagged ‘blog: things you should check out’.

Check out: Tabletop Deathmatch

The folks at Cards Against Humanity have just finished their new webseries, Tabletop Deathmatch! Here’s the first episode:

The whole series is 17 episodes long and if, like me, you’re interested in tabletop game design and would like to listen to knowledgeable people discuss it, I recommend giving the show a try!

I am saying so not ONLY because I am one of the playtesters in episode four :O


Check out: ‘Bored and Brilliant’ – The Case for Boredom

illustration credit: John Hersey

I’ve recently started listening to the WNYC public radio show New Tech City. It’s an interesting and well-done show! (The episodes are also not that long, so it’s a quick listen.)

Recently they’ve been doing a series called ‘Bored and Brilliant’. From the episode called ‘The Case for Boredom’:

Paying attention to our smartphones through so many of our waking moments means our minds don’t spend as much time idling. […]

Mann’s research finds that idle minds lead to reflective, often creative thoughts (we discuss her projects in depth in this week’s show). Minds need to wander to reach their full potential.

During bouts of boredom our brains can’t help but jump around in time, analyzing and re-analyzing the pieces of our lives, says Jonny Smallwood, professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University of York in the UK. He says inspiration strikes in the shower because it’s a moment when we’re not really looking at or focusing on anything else. […]

“That’s where daydreaming and boredom intersect,” Smallwood says. “What smartphones allow us to do is get rid of boredom in a very direct way because we can play games, phone people, we can check the Internet. It takes away the boredom, but it also denies us the chance to see and learn about where we truly are in terms of our goals.”

In addition to being some good, interesting radio to listen to, the Bored and Brilliant series is also presenting a challenge. They’re asking people to sign up for an experiment in which they make certain experimental changes to the way they relate to their phones.

To start with, they’re asking for people to record baseline behavior…And then, starting in February, they’ll actually start giving daily instructions to experiment participants.

I’m down for it — I’m fascinated by what we can learn about ourselves, what kinds of unconscious things come out, when we pay close attention to our habits, and try to examine or tinker with them.

Whether you want to sign up for the experiment, or just want to check out the show, visit Bored and Brilliant at New Tech City!

Check out: Design inspiration from Aaron Draplin

I really like this. Aaron Draplin, founder of Draplin Design Company in Portland and designer behind the Field Notes brand of notebooks, designs a logo from scratch in about ten minutes.

The resulting video is an explanation of the process a thoughtful designer goes through, and a demonstration of the power that experience and deep understanding brings to any sort of craftsmanship.

I find this sort of thing super inspiring! And Draplin has an easygoing, chummy enthusiasm that’s fun to listen to, too.

Here he is again, describing the workflow for creating a laurel element in Illustrator — but far more than just a design tutorial, it’s a metaphor for a deeper and more broadly applicable lesson about craft in general.

This third video is a brief bit of portfolio advice (that, ironically, uses ugly title cards I’m sure Draplin himself would make fun of).

Recommended for inspiration!

AdWeek has collected a few more videos of Draplin’s lengthier public talks and presentations, as well.

Bonus Holiday Comic from the Funny Pages Zine


Those of you who subscribed to Cards Against Humanity’s special Ten Days Or Whatever Of Kwanzaa promotion this year will be receiving a special Funny Pages Zine — a newspaper comics section with a bunch of holiday-themed comic strips in it!

This year I was honored to be asked to participate as well. Here’s a preview of the comic I made:


You can read the whole thing here!

All of this year’s (and last year’s) comics are on the Funny Pages Zine tumblr.

Check out: An Indian Wondermark?


Indian artist Aarthi Parthasarathy has a new comic called “Royal Existentials”. It’s made of images from vintage Indian Mughal miniature paintings, an art form that dates back to at least the sixteenth century.

I heard about it from this article, where she mentions where she got the idea:

A web-comic fan herself, Parthasarathy was inspired by Wondermark, a comic strip series created by California artist David Malki that has Victorian-era drawings with funny dialogues added in. So, she set out to create something similarly humorous but utterly Indian.

For the series, Parthasarathy picks existing images of Indian miniature paintings and writes contemporary dialogues to them focusing on the joke and the punchline. The social commentary is incidental. “It started out as a way to just have fun with images,” she said. “After the first three, I suddenly realised that this is becoming very social, very feminist.”

I think that’s super turbo cool. Keep at it, Aarthi!! My one note is that I wish the comics were bigger on the site so they’re easier to read!

BONUS RELATED LINK: I’ve mentioned this before — and it’s as old as Wondermark, if not older — but I still love it: the Bayeaux Tapestry Generator, with which you can make something akin to comics, or memes, or just 100% accurate representations of history.