the house of steed

the steed household I'm really enjoying getting back in to illustrating and creating more iconographic images. This exercise of creating my house in a digital environment was both fun and challenging. Definitely fun because I got to pick my own subject without any restrictions or boundaries. The challenge was making it look realistic enough but still with that simplistic, minimal approach. Overall, I am really pleased with how it turned out and look forward to doing more work like this in the future.

The first time I saw the icon for CoHabitat (props to Jacob Morse) I was inspired. It is so fresh, so clean and full of hotness. The thing I like best about the icon is it's not an exact replication of the house it was created to symbolize, but rather a short synopsis. Kind of like comparing twitter to blogging or micro-machines to real cars.

CoHabitat Dallas

So I thought to myself; "self, why don't you try turning your house in to an elegant icon?" And so that's what I did.

My first step was to get a rough sketch of my house from the perspective I wanted. Bing, Bang, Boom! Done. Then came the time consuming task of re-creating my drawing in illustrator. Maybe to some of you it comes easy, but I'm more of a Photoshop guy, so I'm still learning my way around the Illustrator playground. However, I knew I wanted this to be vector and working with the paths in Photoshop is just a pain in my ass. So I decided to stretch myself here and work outside my comfort zone.

I knew right off the bat I wanted to differentiate myself from the CoHabitat icon. I never like copying another persons work, but I do like being inspired by great artist. So I went with a more literal approach in my design. As you can see below, the illustration is almost an exact copy of my house. However, I didn't find it necessary to go overboard in detail as I like to keep things simple and clean.

To give it some depth I added shadows to the windows, bushes, garage door, overhang and my dogs. You may be wondering (or sickened) as to why there is only 1 and a half shown in the image, but I assure you it's all in good fun. My black lab, Samson, shown standing by the bushes is our super chill dog. He likes to just take it easy. And then we have Ben, who is shown cut in half by jumping outside of the image, probably chasing a cat, a squirrel or a bird. Ben is full of energy from the time he wakes up until the time he goes to bed. That's what I tried to illustrate here, that if he were able to live inside this image he would find something on my desktop or down in the dock (probably the twitter bird) to go chasing after.

The House of Steed

I also went ahead and created some custom wallpapers for your viewing pleasure. Please download them, share them and most of all I hope you love them.

iPhone ::: 1024x768 ::: 1280x800 ::: 1920x1200

man's best friend

The dog and God are mans best friend Faithfulness, loyalty, companionship, unconditional love ... I think it's interesting that all of these traits are used to describe both God and dogs.

Over the past year we have raised our black lab Samson, the handsome one, from puppy to adult and added our second dog Ben, the crazy one, to the mix. I never thought I would learn so much about confidence, patience and anger all from a couple of dogs. But prior to this I had never really owned a dog of my own. I had grown up with pets, but I was never the one responsible for taking care of them. So when it came time to train, exercise and clean up after them it felt a bit overwhelming.

When I walk them I sometimes get so frustrated when they pull me, or rather constantly pull the whole time, that I have this sort of power struggle with them and yank them harder than I should. (You should know that when I walk them it's on a short leash with the purpose of keeping them next to or behind me.) I know yanking them is not best practice by any means, but I'm working on. So anyways, I find myself praying a lot on walks to help me be patient and focus on being my dogs pack leader.

So the other night as we were ending our walk the dogs started acting up again, and again I tried to put them in their place. Immediately afterwards I thought how God is so patient with us that it amazed me how He deals with us even when we are rebellious and strongly pull in our own direction. But then it hit me that God doesn't hold us on a leash. He's given us free will and the choice to accept His love or not. But the worst part was the realization that I do more of the leash holding in my relationship with God. I try and bring Him under control to my liking and obey my every command, just like my dogs. This was shocking to me, because I had never thought about my relationship with the one who created me like this before.

But even more amazing is how God is love and no matter how much we hurt Him His love is unconditional. Just like a dog, whose minds are quick to forget and live in the moment, God is able to forgive us through the blood of Jesus and love us "in the moment" of every day of our lives. And it's not just in walking my dog that I find myself wanting to take control over God. I am constantly having to die to myself in my marriage, at work and a lot of the time behind the wheel.

Update: The last few days on my walks with the dogs I've been focusing more on enjoying the walk and less on controlling them, and that's helped tremendously. I know that practice and patience and daily exercise are the key ingredients to keeping me and my dogs happy.