Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Do Make Say Think, Identifying Problems & Studio JFish

Weekly Update 2017-23: Using the rock genre to make experimental music that isn't rock, identifying problems to make creative design solutions, and challah enamel pins by Studio JFish.

Music: Do Make Say Think
Post-rock is a weird sub-genre. It's got all the instruments that rock music has, but uses them in a way that facilitates timbres and textures not traditionally found in rock music. Toronto's very own Do Make Say Think is a great example of this experimentational form of music, which I find extremely calming. Since their music is characteristically devoid of lyrics, Do Make Say Think is especially good to listen to when trying to focus on writing pieces (as I am doing right now).

This new album is their seventh, and they are inexplicably playing a show at the Danforth Music Hall on Saturday for a measly $15. For music this amazing, I would gladly pay much more.


I managed to organize my thoughts on the amazing Toronto Symphony Orchestra experience I had last Friday, and wrote a blog post about the wonderful listening guide that accompanied the show. Twitter picked it up (which almost never happens) and it's gotten quite a few views. If you haven't read it already, you can find it here.

I also realized that Prepros is the missing piece to my development workflow and honestly don't know how I've ever gotten along without it. It compiles and minifies my SCSS code, it refreshes the browser window with every file change (even animating the style changes as it goes), and it will even cast to any device on the same wifi network. This is truly amazing. In other words, I can change code on my computer and watch it automatically refresh and show in a browser window on my phone. This is the future of development, people. Though if you're a developer, you probably already know how to do this so don't judge me too harshly.

I'm just getting over a cold sadly, so I'll probably be keeping this week on the lighter side. Something easier to do: I'm going to organize all of my drumming videos - the videos I've recorded while learning new breaks and rhythms - on my hard drive so I can use them as a reference. Right now they're a bit all over the place and none of them are labeled, so they're basically useless. Especially since I will be quitting the Sunday lessons come summertime, one band practice a week isn't going to cut it to keep my skills sharp.

Random Thought:
This is something I have known for a while but could never really express until it came to me the other day. It's something not incredibly obvious to people outside the design profession, so it bears repeating here.

Many people (new designers included) think that design is about finding or creating solutions to problems. In a way, it is. But really, as I grow and gain more experience, I realize that design is much more centered around correctly identifying the problems. Understanding the problem is much more difficult to do than finding the solution, but if you get it right, then you've really mastered the craft. I really like this quote by Neil Gaiman (amazing storyteller):
When people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
This is to say, many people can identify that a problem exists, but so few can correctly identify this problem and/or the proper solution therein. That is where I believe the true designers hone their skill. And this is something I'd like to work on over time. All of it comes down to knowing the right questions to ask.

Inspiration: Studio JFish
I can't believe it took me this long to write about Jason Fischer, a talented comics artist I met at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival in May. That day, my main purchasing goal beyond beautiful comics was, unsurprisingly, enamel pins. And he certainly took the cake with this one.

Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you; those are CHALLAH ENAMEL PINS. I can't believe someone could have thought to make my favourite food, that is such a part of my heritage and culture, into my current favourite form of...accessory? I guess that's what enamel pins are. Anyway, of course I bought one. But I am having a hard time choosing the right occasion to wear it. Maybe the next Jewish holiday?

Of course it should go without saying that Fischer is a really talented artist and makes all kinds of awesome stuff, which you should check out on his site. A sampling:

Check out Fischer's website.

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