Category Archives: Design

A promo video of sorts for the Idea Spark iOS app.

I’ve been thinking of doing a promo video showcasing the Idea Spark iOS app for a while, but I just couldn’t decide how I wanted to do it.  The current trend amongst startups is to release glossy marketing videos with upbeat music, but in all honesty I am personally very tired of this sort of communication between creators and their customers.  Seeing something generic like that has very little impact on my own saturated senses, and I figure I’m not the only one.

So I thought to myself: what is it that I consider the most important thing when I am looking at buying an app?  Well, usability is what immediately jumped to my mind; I want to know how an app works so that I can envision how it will fit in my life.  Grand promises on a marketing statement don’t mean much to me amidst the plethora of other grand promises that are made constantly, and too often these promises are oversold and lead to disappointment.  I would rather be shown that something works and embodies those promises, without the superficial layer of varnish.

With that in mind, I put together a promo video that simply shows the workflow of the Idea Spark iOS app.  Simply put, the app is a tool to help artists get out of creative ruts by suggesting new ideas, but beyond that I’ll let the app speak for itself.  I composed the music myself and edited it up to my standards as a visual storyteller, and have released it to the world in hopes that it is clear and communicative about my vision for the app in the pockets of fellow creatives.  It’s simple, effective, and beautiful just like I designed the app to be.

Check out the Idea Spark Workflow Demonstration on Youtube:

Wabi-sabi Aesthetic

Illustrated Icons

Aesthetic taste is subjective.  Two people may stand in an art gallery looking at the exact same exhibit and have completely opposite experiences; and yet neither of them are incorrect in that which they feel.  There are no universal rights or wrongs when it comes subjective perception, just different experiences.

With that in mind, I would like to speak a bit to what I appreciate.  As an artist, my personal preferences don’t always align with the dominant ones.  Currently, a popular trend is absolute perfection.  In life, perfection is an unattainable ideal; fixation upon which leads to inevitable disappointment.  However in the world where we can utilize computers to create perfect vectors and graphics, it is now possible to attain it on a small scale.  But, is this beautiful?

Again we hit a point where our answer to this question is subjective.  Often it is one we only subconsciously answer in the form of a positive or negative reaction.  As creators however, I believe it is important to consider these things more consciously.   Only then can you develop your own unique vision and style.  Only then can you move beyond being a trend follower to doing something truly unique.

Back to the idea of perfection.  Personally, I find perfection to be incredibly boring.  To me, a zen circle smeared in paint has so much more character than a perfect circle created by a mathematical formula.  I see beauty in imperfection.  Imperfection is the detail that sets something apart.  Imperfection hints at an underlying story of its very existence.  Imperfection is something to appreciate rather than loathe.

Wabi-sabi is the Japanese concept of appreciation and acceptance of imperfection and impermanence.  It is seeing the beauty of a handmade ceramic cup.  It is the melancholic ache evoked in the seclusion, imperfection, and frugality of Japanese gardens.

I subscribe to this concept, and with it in mind I am designing my next mobile application to include many human imperfections.  Graphics will be images scanned from an illustrator’s pen and paper, to be put together to form an interface more reminiscent of working on a pad of paper than a phone.  It is nearing completion (expect more information and an October 2014 release) and I can honestly say that even just the app icon really stands out on the iTunes’ store.  I can’t say how someone else might react to it, but to me it is beautiful and refreshing.  I eagerly look forward to sharing it with all of you.

Pictured above: A glimpse of some rough scanned illustrations for an upcoming app named Idea Spark