That's a Wrap

Over the past 3 months I've spent time getting to know the new HP Spectre. I've traveled from sea to shining sea, from LA to NYC, getting to meet people and discover more behind the brand and what makes it so great. And through it all I've been quite impressed by how simple and sleek this little laptop is. For me, there is nothing greater than simplicity. And that is no easy task to accomplish. Much respect to HP for making something that stands out from the competition without all the annoying bells and whistles that other companies frivolously add just for a competitive edge.

It's less about what you add to it, and more what you take away that people will remember.

Whether I'm working in the studio at home or out and about I always like to travel light. Doing more with less has become a big statement in my work. It isn't what kind of tools you're using, but rather how you're able to use the tools you've been given to make a difference. We have to learn how to maximize our limitations and be the best versions of ourselves we can be. But what the hell does any of this have to do with a laptop you may be asking yourself — I'm glad you asked. I look at it like this, technology in all it's glory still has it's own set of limitations and it's up to us, up to me, to find where we will allow technology to begin and end in the creative process.

Listen, in the end it's all about how you make them feel. Forget the ten thousand hours, forget all the fancy equipment, forget even the notoriety and accolades — if you don't remain true to your word and humble in your approach then you aren't going to make it very far. People remember more about the way you make them feel than anything else. That's what these past 3 months have taught me. I feel I'm walking away with a greater appreciation for not just HP but for the real people I've gotten to meet and work alongside of on this project. It's all about people, in everything we do. Even when it comes to computers.

This post is sponsored by HP, but all my thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for helping to support the sponsors that make this blog possible.

Inspired by Luxory

I have never been to New York in the summer before. People spilling over in the streets. Tourists. The muggy subway gasping for breath underground. Long walks down the Lower East Side to grab coffee. Getting to experience the city in all its heated glory was everything I hoped for. There is a certain kind of expectation in the summer air. Some sort of hopeful attitude about the future and how refreshing it is to be outside under the open sky.

Part of my experience with the #ReinventObsession campaign was to show how the HP Spectre fits into my creative process. And I was stoked to hear that the fine folks from HP wanted to send me to New York for the Panorama festival. We talked through some initial concepts and decided that it would be a cool idea if I painted the front of a DJ booth inside one of the HP tents. So I set off on my journey. My process always involves absorbing as much information I can about the product/brand and seeing how I can interpret their vibe in my own way.

For me it came down to one word // Luxory.

I was inspired by the simple color scheme (black + gold) of the Spectre. I wanted to create a feeling of moving while standing still. Being in the city I couldn't help but feel this energy and movement from everything around me. I wanted to introduce that feeling of movement into my work. But combining the two, luxory and movement, together was my biggest challenge. Once I began to play around and have fun I came up with a great interpretation. By separating each letter and twisting/turning them to form more of a pattern I was able to create a sense of movement and energy that wasn't there before.

I believe anything worth making is worth making well. Doesn’t matter how big/small it is. There is no job too small. Meaning, we don’t always have to be the face on the cover or the most popular to make an impact. In fact I’m often more inspired by the unassuming and inconspicuous people/places/things. I feel like there was a common theme being played out on my trip to New York. I wasn't on the main stage. I wasn't front and center. But once you stepped inside you were able to discover something you didn't expect. And for me that's exactly what I was hoping for.

This post is sponsored by HP, but all my thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for helping to support the sponsors that make this blog possible.

Spectre Reflectre

Getting the call that HP wanted me to be in a commercial was crazy — I think I actually laughed out loud. Normally I get paid to make/create something. And I've been on camera before, sure, that's no problem. But to be me, just standing there, on camera felt a little surreal.

I've only been to LA only once before. Less than 24 hours mind you, but still it counts right? So coming back to the city was exciting and a helluva lot cooler than Texas in the summer. It was nice to get a break from the heat for sure, but it was great getting to explore new parts of the city I've never seen before.

When I first arrived at the studio everything felt really laid back. Total Cali vibes. I had some time to myself to just relax, have a snack, and get to wardrobe. Everything about this project was so mysterious to me. Why me? What am I gonna say? What if I stumble over my words? But after a quick conversation with the director, Tatia Pilieva, and she told me she was looking for a totally unscripted experience. Raw. Honest. I felt more relaxed. All I knew walking on set was that somewhere along the way they wanted to unveil the new HP Spectre laptop. That was it.

I have to be honest I am one of the majority, I use a mac, wait is that even allowed to say? Oh well, it's the truth and I think the truth always makes for the best story. Anyways, like I was saying, I am a "majority mac user" who uses an apple laptop. So I didn't know what to expect when I first laid my eyes on the new Spectre from HP. But it really surprised me. Totally not what I was expecting... in a good way. The thing feels solid. Well crafted. Plenty of beautiful little details that make it stand out from the rest. I am enjoying getting to play around with this new machine and can't wait to see what all it has in store over the next couple months as I engage in the HP #ReinventObsession campaign. See more of the HP Spectre here

This post is sponsored by HP, but all my thoughts and options are my own. Thank you for helping to support the sponsors that make this blog possible.

Working with Phhhoto

Over the last year I've really embraced a new app called Phhhoto. Maybe you've heard of it, maybe you haven't. Taking images on my phone is nothing new to me, but learning to refine my skill in pictures that loop and repeat has been a fun challenge. There are a dozen different apps out there that do the same thing, even Instagram has gotten on the bandwagon, but Phhhoto is my favorite by far. I wanted to walk through a few examples of how I'm using Phhhoto and why I feel it adds more depth to my work.

Example 1: Hands and Feet

You don't have to search very far for them. Literally, they're attached to your body. But sometimes even the simplest things can make a big impression. The examples below were inspired by the moments I found myself, whether in the middle of working or just sitting down relaxing. Bright colors and harsh light were really helpful in the making of these as well. But what I focus on most in all my phhhotos is keeping a steady hand while shooting.

Example 2: What I'm Working on

One of my favorite uses of Phhhoto is sharing what I'm working on. Whether I'm sitting down to draw or paint I like to take a few minutes and capture the small movements of my brush or pencil. The key here is only capturing the movement in one direction, slowly, so when it loops and repeats itself the movement looks more fluid and natural.

Example 3: Capturing Light

Being an early riser I love capturing the morning light. The greatest thing about using Phhhoto is it adds another dimension to a single moment in time. So instead of having one frame of a beautiful sunrise, you get 5 frames stitched together and repeated. I have had to train my eye on how to take a Phhhoto differently from a normal photo. My process is slower and usually takes a good 5 to 10 shots before I'm happy with the outcome.

Example 4: Portraits

Capturing people in Phhhoto is a lot more trial and error than anything else. Again, as with any good image, light plays a huge part of making a good portrait. The difference between a still image and a moving image is you need your subject to remain rather still for 3-5 seconds. Which doesn't sound like a lot, but trust me it can make all the difference.

Example 5: Fuzzy Vision

Have you ever squinted your eyes so hard just to get a sense of the basic shapes and colors of a scene instead of the hard lines that define it? One of the ways I like to use Phhhoto is to lock down my focus on something close (like my hand) and then capturing a "fuzzy" image. It adds almost a certain kind of cinematic quality. I like it because it's just a little different.

Example 6: Just For Fun

Don't take life too serious.  I am constantly reminded of this day in and day out with my daughter. She is so full of life and whimsy. She makes me laugh and act like a kid again. And that is something I need to be reminded more of, especially in my work. So don't get caught up in the numbers game or you'll miss what Phhhoto is all about... fun.

So there you have it. Six simple examples of how I've learned to use Phhhoto and what it has taught me about capturing images in motion. Hopefully you'll give it a try. Let me know if you decide to try it and what you think. One last thing worth noting, there is a lot of noise out there and the only way I've found to break through it all is by creating honest work.