Monday, January 19, 2015

Weekly Update - Mikenesses

Music: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!
Flying Lotus is AMAZING. Lately, I have been trying to find intelligent music with a good beat and oh man, did I find it. Steven Ellison is his real name, and beautifully complex and thematic music is his game. He has five albums under the moniker of Flying Lotus or FlyLo as his fans like to call him, as well as some rap stuff that is equally good under the pseudonym Captain Murphy. I also found out that he does a lot of the bumper music for Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block! That's so cool.

Well, anyway, the album is about death and the cycle of life. Kind of morbid, but it's actually very beautiful and interesting. The songs range in emotion from happiness to sorrow to acceptance and more with help from Kendrick Lamar, Angel Deradoorian, and Snoop Dogg. There's some really cool jazz fusion mixed in with hip-hop and electronic elements. I really enjoy the mixture of analog and synthesized sounds. I heard that he also synthesizes all of drum beats, but offsets them by fractions of a second to make them sound human-made.

The album cover.

Check out the first single featuring Kendrick Lamar. Did I mention that the video is gut-wrenchingly wonderful?

Accomplishment: I finished the D3.JS book!
Yep, I finally finished the entirety of Interactive Data Visualization for the Web by Scott Murray. I am in no way an expert in D3 now, but I feel more confident in my abilities to actually make some web-based data visualizations now.

I'm going to start in on the code for my Favourite Things website this week, which will put me on the way to creating a finished piece for my thesis project. I've already created the wireframes and visual comps ahead of schedule (which is an accomplishment in itself), and it's time to get crackin'. I must admit that it's really nice to create a brand or aesthetic to a project before you dip into a website version. Having the assets in place before you code is a wonderful thing. You can probably connote that I don't normally work this way.

Random Thought: Music in movies
I've been watching some period movies lately and I've been noticing some interesting things about soundtracks. I can always appreciate a good selection of music that matches the age of the piece itself, but there's something really special about period pieces with modern music. Take Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette. That movie visually screams 14th century France, but audially it's another story entirely. Siouxsie and The Banshees, Gang of Four, the list goes on. I found that the modern spin really helped the movie with its stark contrast. It framed the events of those times in a new light. Now, whether or not that movie was 100% accurate is another story entirely, but I suppose that's not the point of movies. Further, I remember when Mad Men was in its infancy and there was a big kerfuffle over an episode where a song was used that had been written four or five years after the episode took place. Guys, cool your jets. It's fine.

Inspiration: Mikenesses
Mike Holmes, a Toronto-based illustrator, has created over a hundred drawings of himself and his cat through the styles of some beloved illustrators. It's crazy, if you are familiar with the work of the artist he is channelling, you can see it right away. This really makes for a versatile skillset, to be able to draw in so many different styles. It also shows follow-through. Imagine taking an hour out of ech day to draw something for no reason other than personal satisfaction. For over 50 days. Some of my favourites are below.

Steven Universe!

Hope Larson.

NES! I love gifs.

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