Nice Wood!

30Sep10

I’m not starting a watch posting trend here, it’s just been a coincidence.

Formerly Italian, now Los Angeles based WeWood create beautiful watches made from reclaimed wood in the shape of scrap flooring. They have a multitude of wood types and two different styles available. Which with the different types of wood gives you a large variety of choices to suit your style. All watches are hypoallergenic and toxin free. The best thing is that for ever watch they sell they plant a tree through nonprofit American Forests.

via GOOD

-AM


Minimalism is a theme that encompasses most of my existence. From the way I try accomplish, the music I listen to and write, and the style in which I design it is noticeable that I am a very big fan of minimalism. Which leads me to O’Clock watches. Yes, they are now being sold in the US and I for one am extremely excited. For all you hipsters, stylish people, and the color-obsessed, it seems that the O’Clock comes in 15 different colors and three different sizes. The fact that they’re only $36 definitely makes you want to grab a couple for all occasions. Maybe you can have a different color for each mood that you are feeling, like a mood ring that tells you the time. Check em out here.

-AM

via Design You Trust


I bought this book after reading a post/interview about it on Grain Edit. This book is basically what the cover suggests, a book to help you get started in the freelancing business. Whether it’s design, photography, film, etc. This book is very general to be able to guide a freelancer in pretty much any creative field. The book is a very fast and easy read, definitely gives some great advice and I learned a lot of things that I would have otherwise not known before reading this. Also one thing I found extremely interesting were multiple Q&A’s with creative professionals about how they began their freelance career and what inspired them to do so, etc.I definitely recommend purchasing a copy if not at least taking some time out to skim through it!

-AM


Below is a great article posted on 99% by Jocelyn K. Glei titled “Is Consumerism Killing Our Creativity?”

Have you ever fallen into a black hole of comparison shopping? You’re looking for a new digital camera, for instance. You head over to Cnet.com and read some reviews of various cameras, watch the video demos, identify the model you want. Then perhaps you employ Google’s shopping search to price out the options and find the best deal. All of the sudden, it’s four hours later. You’ve found the perfect camera, but your purchasing triumph is tainted by a creeping feeling of, well, disgust. Couldn’t that time have been used better?

I was thinking recently about what my biggest distractions were – the things keeping me from pushing my creative projects forward. As I scanned through my daily activities, I found that the most insidious distraction was, in fact, things. More specifically, the wanting, hunting, and getting of things –  whether they be tangible (a new computer) or intangible (information).

As Annie Leonard says in The Story of Stuff, “Our primary identity has become that of being consumers – not mothers, teachers, or farmers, but of consumers. We shop and shop and shop.” We love our stuff. Yet more than the stuff itself, we love the act of finding it – the search, the anticipation.

But why is consumerism – and particularly, an online hunt for the ideal purchase – so addictive?

It turns out that our consumerist impulse stimulates the same part of the brain that fires when we’re on the trail of a great idea. As we go through the trial and error of executing an idea – What if I tried this? Ah! Now what about this? – we’re using those same wanting, hunting, getting instincts but in a nobler pursuit.

Neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp calls this highly addictive emotional state “seeking.” In a Slate article on seeking, writer Emily Yoffe sums up his research:

“For humans, this desire to search is not just about fulfilling our physical needs. Panksepp says that humans can get just as excited about abstract rewards as tangible ones. He says that when we get thrilled about the world of ideas, about making intellectual connections, about divining meaning, it is the seeking circuits that are firing.

The juice that fuels the seeking system is the neurotransmitter dopamine. The dopamine circuits ‘promote states of eagerness and directed purpose,’ Panksepp writes. It’s a state humans love to be in. So good does it feel that we seek out activities, or substances, that keep this system aroused.”

The consumerist search capitalizes on the same “seeking” part of the brain that fuels the creative rush. Of course, while consumerism can serve as an addictive substitute for the stimulation of creative activity, it offers nowhere near the same reward in the long term.

As creatives, we can often rationalize spending time on shopping by telling ourselves that we’re investing our time, energy, and money in a new tool – an item that’s going to catapult our creativity to the next level. Maybe it’s a new computer, maybe it’s a musical instrument, maybe it’s a studio of one’s own. Once you get that new thing, you think, you’ll have a superior means to complete your work.

It’s a false promise, of course. A means of procrastination baked into our consumerist culture. No external thing can prompt creativity, and there’s no substitute for just getting down to doing the work. In fact, it’s been proven that hardship – being deprived of things – stimulates creativity more than being well-off. A recent Newsweek article on America’s declining creativity reported:

“Highly creative adults frequently grew up with hardship. Hardship by itself doesn’t lead to creativity, but it does force kids to become more flexible—and flexibility helps with creativity.”

When we have less to work with, we have to be more creative. Think about that the next time the consumerist impulse is threatening to encroach on your creativity.

-AM

via 99%


I have some things to sort out in my life and get it stable again.

Lot’s of content and events coming soon! 🙂

-AM


Fundraiser!

13Aug10

Hello everyone, it’s been a while. I have been very busy getting ready for the school semester. My friend is graciously hosting a fundraiser to help me pay my way through school on Wednesday night, the 18th of August at Inca’s Cafe in Carrollton.

I will be selling and displaying original artwork and Kashioboy and Aaron from Florene will be helping me out with some tunes throughout the night.

The bar will be open and the atmosphere will be great so if you have a free Wednesday night come and hang out!

RSVP to afmondragonb@gmail.com or on facebook!

-AM


TEUXDEUX

02Aug10

TeuxDeux is a nifty little tool that has become a part of both my every day life and my workflow. The concept is simple; instead of jotting down notes and reminders on a piece of paper, one just jots it down on their TeuxDeux account and it is saved. If you don’t get something done on the day that you wanted to do it, it will roll over to the next day. When you finish an item in your list, just click it and it is scratched out.

This is a great application for of course giving yourself small reminders and notes. An App for the iPhone/iTouch/iPad is was submitted to apple last week I believe so let’s hope to see it soon!

Check it out for yourself.

-AM