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

Maker Faire Austin 2007

If you missed this year, they've already made plans for Maker Faire Austin 2008. We arrived Saturday morning a little after 10 AM. The sky was clear, the air was warm, it was a perfect day for Maker Faire.

After handing our tickets over we proceeded into the fair grounds where everything was set up. Mostly everything was set up under a tent. Then there was the main "Make Magazine" building where they held "how-to" demos and had books and stuff for sale. But the best stuff was under the main tent outside.

My favorite booths were the ETSY booth, the booth for local artist Patricia Zapata (Please check out her website for examples of her wonderful artwork), and the swap-o-rama-rama section was awesome. I actually learned how to alter a XXL t-shirt to fit me. They also had a booth set up for free screen printing.

On Sunday we headed back to Maker Faire to visit some of our favorite booths again.

The first tent we headed to was the Toyota HEYA tent. I learned how to make my own buttons. That was really cool. Next, we headed back under the main tent to visit some of our favorites from the day before. However, we got side-tracked at the booth where we made our own greeting cards. The girl there, Chelsea Martinez, was really cool. She's a local artist who does a lot of collage work. I left her the card I made though. I thought maybe someone else could use it. Then before I knew it, I was sucked in to the "Junk Booth". Basically they had tons of old junk that you could bend, brake, destroy to use to make anything you wanted.

I spent at least an hour at the junk booth working, but it was well worth it. By the time I was done though we were good to go. We hadn't planned to spend all day anyways, we were going to stop by IKEA on the way out of town. There was a whole section I didn't even see, the technology section, but I was more interested in the arts and crafts section anyways.

Overall, the whole experience was great. I feel inspired to get started on making more of my box art. And I feel grateful for getting to meet some really great artist. I'm sad I had to leave Maker Faire though. I thrive around creative people.

So look for me next year at Maker Faire Austin 2008. My friends and I are already planning on getting a booth of our own and being "Makers". So mark your calendars and clear your schedules. This is one event you don't want to miss.

-stay creative-