Thursday, May 11, 2017

Bird World, Productivity & Sushi Shoes

Weekly Update 2017-19: Music for a video game that doesn't exist, how to make myself more productive, and tiny Nike shoes made of sushi. It's been a long week, so please excuse my tardiness in publishing this post.

Music: Bird World by Leon
I love video game soundtracks. Often overlooked during gameplay, the music does so much to set the mood of the game. Similar to movie soundtracks, video game soundtracks often become a genre in and of themselves by following similar patterns. When I think of the music in video games, I tend to think about chip-tunes and 8-bit music. While somewhat limiting, I think the beauty of the genre is found in the amazing things composers can do within the limits. And so, a composer from New York by the mononym of "Leon" has decided to create an album based on a video game that doesn't exist. Yep, each song would work wonderfully for a different level of what appears to be a bird-based RPG, but the game simply does not exist. And why should it? We already have the best part. Listen:

I've been working hard this week on designing and typesetting an application for my company to submit to this year's Canada's Top 100 Employers contest, and I am happy to say it is finally complete. From getting back into the groove of using InDesign to pasting the text extremely out-of-order from a poorly designed PDF application form, to sourcing images and organizing an extreme amount of content, I am happy to be on the other side of this project. Check out my cover:
I also went to St. Catharines last weekend, hence not much other work done. But I will say that catching my Megabus on time was an accomplishment in and of itself because the Greyhound worker directed me to the wrong place with only a minute to departure.

This week, I am continuing to practice chanting torah, which is actually really fun. I mean, who doesn't like singing? This class is really cool and has taught me a lot about why people sing when they read the torah. Since the Hebrew language consists of only about 800 words (each of which has many meanings), we use singing to help in proper pronunciation and to provide the correct meaning to the words. So utilitarian!

I'd also like to use some time to work on FriendCanoe, especially different ways to visualize the health of your friendship. There probably isn't any problem that a data visualization can't solve.

Random Thought:
I've been doing some thinking about how to better understand what motivates me to do work. I've been struggling with the balance of working a full-time job and personal design work, and what will actually get me to sit down in a chair and do some meaningful work beyond my job.

I've realized that I am more of a starter than a finisher; I have a lot of motivation at the start of a project and find it challenging to get back into the project after time has passed. So I wonder if the best way for me to follow through on something is to do as much of the task preparation as possible when I think of the project. If I can provide myself the most momentum to do as much as possible now, and have less to have to do later, I'll feel more motivated to pick it back up. Or, in a better scenario, since my momentum will keep me going longer, perhaps I can finish the whole thing in one fell swoop.

One example of this is to start blog posts as I think of an idea, rather than dump them into a google keep note. In this way I am reducing the barrier to completion by getting as much done upfront as possible. And yes, Blogger's mobile app is good enough to do this, though it certainly leaves much to be desired. Along this vein, I wonder what other ways my phone can aid in this venture. Since I'm trying to complete work on-the-go, what apps can help me to be productive away from my computer?

Inspiration: Sushi Shoes
You may know my love of miniature items. Well this one takes the cake: tiny classic Nike shoe designs, made of sushi!

Sushi chef and illustrator Yujia Hu is the creator of these tiny delights, using carefully cut pieces of seaweed and fish to model the rice base of the shoes.

Yeezys don't even need the nori for you to know them by their iconic shape.

I think what I love most about this project is that it's obviously done for the pure fun of it. There's no reason or function for these works, except that they're lovely to look at, and to imagine eating. Red, white and black is such a classic colour palette, and lends itself so well to all sorts of things. I wonder what else could be made miniature from sushi?

See more on Yujia's instagram.

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