Finally got our studio in California up and running. Excited to try out some new ideas...
At 12:50 PM PST, July 8, 2018 - Lincoln Douglas MacArthur merged with the infinite after a brief struggle with cancer.
He passed away peacefully in my arms, with Elizabeth at his side. What we know of Lincoln’s past begins in 2002, when at the age of 1, I adopted him from the Town Lake Animal Shelter in Austin, Texas. He had an underbite, a broken tail, and been given the temporary name “Elvis”. I was at the animal shelter at the exact moment they moved him from the quarantine area to the general population. I had been visiting the animal shelter every week for the past few months trying to find the right dog to adopt. That day I can clearly remember them shuffling him in to a cage about 100 yards away. Something about his skinny silhouette drew me closer, and once I made eye contact with him I knew we would be best friends. And it turns out that I wasn't the only one. After the customary 3-day waiting period for his previous owners to claim him, I received the call from the shelter that I could come down and pick him up - and just in case I didn’t want him - there were 25 other people on the waiting list eagerly willing to take my spot. From that point on we were best friends. He lived with me in several different homes in Austin, moved up to Seattle for a brief stint, then down to California. He'll always be my best friend.
For everyone who was ever nice to him, thank you. And for all of you who never got a chance to be touched by his giant heart, I’m sorry.
If you have a dog, please give them an extra kiss for us tonight.
I am really happy how the photos came out for our listing. See if you can guess the one room that they needed to stage (because it was Elizabeth's painting studio a month ago).
This week was my last week at Microsoft. Elizabeth, Lincoln and I will be packing up our house and moving to the Bay Area so I can start at Google in June.
I’ve been asked what I’ll miss most about Seattle, and just like when we left Austin five years ago, my answer is exactly the same: the friends we made.
One of the best things about working at Microsoft was being surrounded by some of the smartest people in the world. I’ve learned more in the last 5 years than any period in my life since college, and for that, I will always be grateful.
Now for some thank yous:
- Thank you to the designers and integrators on my team - you are some of the most talented folks out there. I’m proud that you have a well-rounded understanding of the business, user experience, and technology for Store. It is one of your superpowers. Never lose it.
- Thank you to the engineering team for keeping me honest and pushing me to do my best. Even though design was centralized in our organization, you always made it feel like we were on the same team.
- Thank you to my manager for taking a chance on me and steering the right opportunities my way. Measuring impact in billions is something I won’t forget.
I made progress on my series 2 drafts this week. I've been exploring larger formats and compositions with and without major focal points. View the gallery
I am also in the middle of identifying the source material for the next round of paintings - an early contender is Fire and Fury + Dungeons & Dragons.
There is a pretty good chance I'll include whatever book James Comey is working on.
Let me know in the comments if you have suggestions for source material or check out the latest batch of drafts.
I’m starting my next series of diagrams and maps today. Here are a few time-lapse sketches I have been working on in preparation for the new series.
I just dropped off the last 3 pieces for the New Art, New Artists show at SAM gallery. There is still time to check it out until February 5th.
A pentimento (plural pentimenti) is an alteration in a painting, evidenced by traces of previous work, showing that the artist has changed his or her mind as to the composition during the process of painting. The word is Italian for repentance, from the verb pentirsi, meaning to repent. It also happens to be a word I was unaware of until just last week. Whether I knew it or not (I didn't), I've been exploring the concept of pentimento in my artistic work recently. I've been drawn to the mistakes and happenstance that can come from artistic struggle. Which is all very interesting since a majority of my day job happens to be devoted to designing beautiful things, and a subset of that time devoted to the identification and eradication of errors, mistakes and bugs. In case you are wondering why my work includes so many revisions, edits, and redactions - I guess I find those reference points more interesting than the thoughtless, cool virtuosity that tends to follow in the footsteps of practiced expertise.
And here you will find a cheatsheet of proofreaders marks courtesy of the Chicago Manual of Style.
Do you have examples of mistakes that you like in art, movies, or music - let me know in the comments? Hope to see you at the SAM gallery on Thursday 1/11 for the opening reception of New Art, New Artists.
I've just wrapped up "Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) Album and Theatrical Work Abstract" and it's a special piece for me because it touches on the concept of an adaptation of an original work. I have been interested in the tradition of illustration and adaptation stretching back to the earliest art makers - to take a story and translate it into a generally recognizable visual form. For this piece I have Illustrated the 1974 album "Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)" by Brian Eno (Spotify link), who stated that the album was loosely based off a series of postcards representing a Chinese revolutionary opera of the same name. It was during this period that Eno invented the Oblique Strategies cards to aid him in the creation of the album. More info here > In my piece I have illustrated both the original opera as well as the 1974 album.
I've also posted some in progress drawings to my sketches gallery. The first is a draft of a larger abstract entitled "Dante's Inferno - pleated, rotated 90 degrees"
And an early sketch of the foundation layer for the Tiger mountain piece I mentioned above.
I'll be posting more in-progress work here in 2018 - so let me know what you think down in the comments.
From Elizabeth, Lincoln, and me!