William Temple House - Lifting Spirits 2017

I am so excited to volunteer at William Temple House in Northwest Portland. I work in the food pantry at this NGO and also had an opportunity to photograph their 2017 annual fundraiser event. I had a lot of fun and am so grateful for the opportunity to highlight the good work they do. Click here to see a recap! #Community

WTH provides incredible services to our community: it’s a one-stop organization that offers a food pantry, children's clothing, mental health counseling, spiritual services, and more. They receive zero government funding.

Board member Mike Vawter (Left) with Board President Pat Boyle (Right)

Board member Mike Vawter (Left) with Board President Pat Boyle (Right)

Trump Gave a Speech Today, Oh boy.

Thank you very much, Tony. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you very much.👏👏 (Applause.)




Thank you very much. You know, I’ve been here before. (Laughter.) You do know that. Before the big day on November 8th, I was here. I want to thank 👋Mark Meadows and all of the folks that have really made this possible. And, Tony, tremendous guy.

We have some incredible people that we love and that we’re involved with. So we all know that. And I’m being followed by Mr. Bennett — you know that, right? And I’ve been watching him say nice things about me before I knew him. Those are the ones I like 👋👈— (laughter) — where they speak well of you before you know them. Right?🤚

But I really want to thank everybody, and, Tony, for your extraordinary leadership of this organization. And I want to thank, also, Lawana, for your dedication to the faith community and to our nation. Work so hard.

It’s great to be back here with so many friends at the 2017 Values Voter Summit, and we know what that means. (Applause.) We know what that means. America is a nation of believers, and together we are strengthened and sustained by the power of prayer. True.

As we gather for this tremendous event, our hearts remain 🤚sad and 👋heavy for the victims of the horrific mass murder last week in Las Vegas. It was an act of pure evil.

👌👋But in the wake of such horror, we also witnessed ✋👋the 👌true ✋character👋 of our nation. 👌A mother ☝laid ✋on 👋top of ✋her ✋daughter ✋to shield ☝her ✋from gunfire. 👋A husband ✋died 👋to 👋protect ✋his 👋beloved wife. ✋Strangers 👋rescued strangers, police offices— ✋🤚and ✋🤚you ✋🤚saw that, ✋🤚all of those incredible police officers, how brave they were, how great they were 👋running into fire. (Applause.) 🤚And first responders, 👋they rushed right into danger. 🤚

Americans defied evil and hatred with courage and love.

The men and women who risked their lives to save their fellow citizens gave proof to the words of this scripture: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (Applause)

All of America is praying for the 🤚wounded and the grieving, and we will 👌be with them today 👌and 👌we will 👌be with ✋them 👋forever. (Applause.) ✋Just want to finish by saying that — to the 🤚— really, and we understand it was so horrific to watch and so terrible — but to 🤚those who lost the ones they love: We know that we 👌cannot ✋erase your pain, 👌but we promise 👌to never, 👌ever ✋leave 👋your side. 👌We are one 👌nation, 👋and we 👌all hurt together, ✋we hope together, 👌and we heal together. (Applause.)

We also stand with the millions of people who have suffered from the massive fires, which are right now raging in California, and the catastrophic hurricanes along the Gulf Coast, in 🤚Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands. And I will tell you, I left Texas, and I left Florida, and I left Louisiana, and I went to Puerto Rico, and I met with the president [governor] of the Virgin Islands.

These are people that are incredible people. They’ve suffered gravely, and we’ll be there. We’re going to be there. We have, really — it’s not even a question of a choice. We don’t even want a choice. We’re going to be there as Americans, and we love those people and what they’ve gone through. And they’re all healing, and their states and territories are healing, and they’re healing rapidly.

🤚In the wake of the terrible tragedies of the past several weeks, 🤚the American people have responded with goodness 🤚and generosity, and bravery. You’ve seen it. The 🤚heroism of everyday citizens reminds us that the 🤚true strength 🤚of our nation is found in the hearts and souls of our people.👌

When 👌America ✋is unified, 👌no force on 👌Earth 👌can break ✋us apart. 👋

GUY IN AUDIENCE: “That’s right!”(Applause.) 

✋👋We love our families. ✋We love our neighbors. 👋We love our country. 🤚Everyone 🤚here today 🤚is brought together by the 🤚same shared and timeless values. 👌We cherish 👌the sacred 👌dignity 👌of 👌every 🤚human life. (Applause.)

✋We believe ✋in strong ☝families 👋and safe 👋communities. 👌We honor the✋ dignity of work. 👋(Applause.) We defend our Constitution. 👌We protect 👌religious 👌liberty.✋ (Applause.) ✋We 👋treasure our freedom. 👌We are proud of our history🤚. We support🤚 the rule of law👋 and the incredible 👋men and women 👋of law enforcement. (Applause.) ✋We celebrate our heroes, 👋and we salute every American who wears the uniform. (Applause.)

👌👌We 👌👌respect ✋🤚our ✋🤚great ✋🤚American flag. ✋🤚

(Applause.) 👍Thank you. 👈Thank you. Thank you.👈👍

✋🤚And we stand united behind the customs, beliefs and traditions that define who we are as a nation and as a people.

👌✋George ✋🤚Washington said that ✋🤚“religion and ✋🤚morality are indispensable” ✋🤚to 👌👌America’s happ-un-, none - and [unintelligible] ✋🤚really, ✋🤚prosperity ✋🤚and totally to its success. 👌It is 👌our 👌faith 👌and 👌our 👌values ✋that inspires us to 👌give with charity, 👋to 🤛act with courage, 👋and 👌to sacrifice for👋 what we know is right.

👌The American🤚 Founders 🤚invoked our Creator 🤚four times in the 🤚Declaration of Independence — 🤚four times. (Applause.) 


✋How 👋times ✋🤚have 🙏changed. ☝️☝But ✋🤚you know what✋🤚, now they’re 👈👉changing👇👇 back 👉👈again. 👆👆Just remember that. (Applause.)


Benjamin Franklin✋🤚 reminded his colleagues at the 👌Constitutional ✋Convention to begin 👌by bowing 👌their heads ✋️in prayer.

👌Religious ✋liberty is 👋enshrined 👌in the very 👌first ✋amendment 👋of the Bill of Rights. 👌And ✋we all pledge 👋allegiance 👌👌✋🤚to — very, ✋🤚very ✋🤚beautifully — “✋🤚one nation under God.✋🤚” (Applause.)

👌This ✋is✋ America’s heritage, 👋a country that never 👌forgets that 🤚we are all — 👋all, every one of us 👋— made by the same God in Heaven. (Applause.)

✋When I came to speak 👋with you last year, I made you a promise. Well, one of the promises I made you was that I’d come back. ✋🤚See? ✋(Applause.) ✋🤚And I don’t even need your vote this year, right? That’s even nicer. (Laughter.)

✋But ☝I pledged 👌that, ✋in a Trump administration, 👌our nation’s ✋religious 👋heritage 👋would be cherished, 👋protected, ✋and defended 👌like you have never 👌seen 👆before. ☝That’s what’s happening. ☝👌That’s what’s happening. ☝👌You see it every day. ☝You’re reading it.👌

✋So this morning ✋I am honored and thrilled ✋to return as the first sitting President to address 🤚this incredible gathering of friends — so many friends. (Applause.) So many friends. And I’ll ask👉 Tony and all 👉our people ✋that do such a great job 👋in putting this event together ✋— can I take next year off or not? (Laughter.) Or do I have to be back? I don’t know.


THE PRESIDENT: 👈He’s saying — they’re saying no. Lawana is saying no. That’s means no. (Laughter.)

☝So I’m here to thank 👌you for your ✋support 👋and to 👌share with you ✋how we are delivering 👋on that promise, ✋defending 👌our shared values✋, and 👌in so doing, ✋how we are ✋renewing the 👋America we love.

✋In the last 10 months, 👌we have followed through ✋on one promise 👌after ✋another. (Applause.) ✋I didn’t have a schedule, but if I did have a schedule, I would say we are substantially ahead of schedule. (Applause.)

Some of those promises are to support and defend the Constitution. I appointed and confirmed a Supreme Court Justice in the mold of the late, great Justice Antonin Scalia, the newest member of the Supreme Court, Justice Neil Gorsuch. (Applause.)


To protect the 🤚unborn, I have reinstated a policy 🤚first put in place by President Ronald Reagan, 🤚the Mexico City Policy. (Applause.) To protect religious liberty, including protecting groups like this one, 👌I signed a 👌new executive ✋action in a 👌beautiful 👌ceremony ✋at the White House 👌on our National ✋Day of Prayer 👋— (applause) — which day we made official. (Applause.)

✋Among many historic steps✋, the 👌executive order ✋followed through on 👌one of my most✋ important campaign 👋promises 👋to so many of you: 👌to prevent 👌the horrendous ✋Johnson Amendment ☝from interfering ✋with your First Amendment rights👋. (Applause.) 👉Thank you. 👌We will not allow government ✋workers to censor ✋sermons 👋or target our ✋pastors 👋or our ministers 👋or rabbis. 👋These are the people ✋we want to hear from, ✋and they’re not going to be silenced any longer☝️. (Applause.)

🤚Just last week, based on this executive action, the 🤚Department of Justice issued 👌a new guidance 👌to all federal agencies to ensure 👌that no religious 👌group is ever targeted under my 👌administration. 👌It won’t happen. (Applause.)

👌We have ✋also taken action to protect the conscience ✋🤚rights of groups like the ✋🤚Little Sisters of the Poor. You know what they went through. (Applause.) What they went through — they were going through hell. And then all of the sudden✋🤚 they won. They said, how did that happen? (Laughter.)

We want to really🤚 point out that the Little Sisters of the Poor and other people of faith, they live by ✋👌a beautiful👌 calling, and we will not let 🖐bureaucrats take 🖐away that calling ✋or take away their rights. ✋️(Applause.)

👌We are stopping ✋cold 👌the attacks ✋on 👋Judeo-Christian values. (Applause.) 👉👉Thank you. 👉Thank you very much. ✋And something I’ve said so much during the last two years, but I’ll say it again as we approach the end of the year. You know, we’re getting near 👌that beautiful ✋Christmas season 👋that people 🖐don’t talk about anymore. (Laughter.) 🖐They don’t use the word🖐 “Christmas” because 🖐it’s not politically correct. 👋You go to department stores, 👐and they’ll say, ✋🤚“Happy New Year” 👐and they’ll say other things. ✋🤚And it will be red, 👋 they’ll have it painted, 👋but they don’t say it. Well, guess what? We’re saying “Merry Christmas” again. (Applause.)👍👏

🎤And as a Christmas gift to all of our hardworking families, we hope Congress will pass 👌massive 👌tax cuts 👌for the 👌American people.👌 (Applause.) That includes 🤚increasing the child tax credit and expanding it to eliminate the marriage penalty. (Applause.) 👌Because we know that the ✋American family is the true 👌bedrock of ✋️American life. So true. (Applause.) This is such an exciting event because we are really working very hard, and hopefully Congress will come through.

You saw what we did yesterday with respect to healthcare. ✋It’s step✋ by step by step. ✋(Applause.) And that was a very big step yesterday. Another big step was taken the day before yesterday. And one by one it’s going to come down, and we’re going to have great 👌healthcare in our country. ☝We’re going to ☝have great healthcare☝ in our country. (Applause.) 👋We’re taking a little different ✋👋✋route than we had hoped, because getting Congress — they forgot what their pledges were. (Laughter.) So we’re going a little different route. But you know what? In the end, it’s going to be just as effective, and maybe it will even be better. (Applause.)

For too long, ✋politicians have tried to ✋centralize the authority among the hands ✋of a small few ✋in our nation’s capital. 🤚🤚Bureaucrats think they 🤚can run your lives, 🤚overrule your values, meddle in your faith, and tell you how to live, 🤚what to say, and 🤚how to pray. ✋But 👌✋we know✊️✋ that parents, ✊️✋not bureaucrats, 👌know best ✋how to raise 👋their children👌 and create a thriving👋 society. (Applause.)

☝✋We know ✋that faith and prayer, not federal 🤚regulation — 🤚and, by the way, 🤚we are 👌cutting regulations 👌at a clip that nobody 👌has ever seen before. 🤚Nobody. 🤚(Applause.) 🤚In nine 🤚months, 👌we have cut more 👌regulation than 🤚any President 🤚has cut during 🤚their term in office. 🤚So we are doing the job. 🤚(Applause.) And that is one of the major reasons✋, in addition to the enthusiasm for manufacturing ✋and business and jobs ✋— and the jobs 👋are coming back.

✋That’s one of the major reasons ✋— ✊️✋regulation, what we’ve done ✋— that the stock market ✋has just hit an all-time✋ historic high✋. (Applause.) 👌That just on the public ✋markets we’ve made, ✋since Election Day, $5.2 ✋trillion in value. ✋Think of that: $5.2 trillion. (Applause.) And as you’ve seen, the level of enthusiasm is the highest it’s ever been, and we have a 17-year low in unemployment. So we’re doing, really, some work. (Applause.)

✋We know that👌 ✋it’s the family ✋and the church, ✋👌not government officials✋, that 👌know best ✋how to create ✋strong ✋and loving ✋communities. (Applause.) 👌And ✋above all else, ✋we know this: 👌In America, we don’t worship👌 government ✋— 👌we worship ✋God. (Applause.) 👋👋👇👉👇👌Inspired by that ✋conviction, 👌we are 👌returning ✋moral clarity ✋to our ✋view of the ✋world 👌and the 👌many grave 👌challenges✋ we face.👋

This afternoon, in a little while, I’ll be giving a speech on Iran, a terrorist nation like few others. And I think you’re going to find it very interesting. (Applause.)


Yesterday, things happened with Pakistan, and I have openly said Pakistan took tremendous advantage of our country for many years, but we’re starting to have a real relationship with Pakistan and they’re starting to respect us as a nation again, and so are other nations. They’re starting to respect the United States of America again, 👇and I appreciate that. (Applause.) And I want to thank the leaders of Pakistan for what they’ve been doing.

✋In this administration, 👌we will ✋call evil ✋by its name✋. (Applause.) 👌✋We stand with our friends and 👌allies, ✋we forge new partnerships ✋in pursuit of peace, 👌and we take ✋decisive action ✋against those who would threaten 👌 our people 👌with harm. 👌(Applause.) And we will be decisive — 👌because we know that 👌the first 👌duty of 👌government👌 is to 🤚serve its citizens. 👌We are defending 👌our borders, 👌protecting our workers, 👌and enforcing our laws. 👌✋You see it every ✋single day like you haven’t✋ seen it in many, many years — ✋  if you’ve seen it at all. (Applause.)

👌In protecting America’s interests abroad, 👌we will always support ✋our cherished ✋friend and partner, ✋the State of Israel✋. (Applause.) 👇👌✋We will confront the ✋dangers that imperil our nation👌, our allies, ✋and the world, ✋including the threat of 👌radical ✋Islamic terrorism. ✋️(Applause.)

🤚We have made great strides 🤚against ISIS — tremendous 🤚strides. 🤚I don’t know if you’ve seen 🤚what’s going on, but tremendous🤚 strides against ISIS. They never got hit like this before. (Laughter.)

AUDIENCE: (Inaudible.)

👉Stand up. Stand up. Let me see — 👉he’s a rough guy. I can see it.

👐But they’ve been just ruthless and they’ve 🤚ruthlessly slaughtered innocent Christians, along with the vicious killing of innocent Muslims and other religious minorities. And we’ve made their lives very, very difficult — believe me. (Applause.)

👌We’ve done more against ISIS in nine 👌months than the previous 👌administration has done during its 👋whole administration — by far, by far. (Applause.) And ISIS is now being dealt one defeat after another. 👌We are confronting ✋rogue regimes from Iran to North Korea, and we are 👌challenging the communist dictatorship 👌of Cuba ✋and the socialist oppression of Venezuela. ✋And we will not lift the sanctions on these repressive regimes until they restore political✋ and religious freedom ✋️for their people. (Applause.)

🤚👌🤚All of these bad actors🤚 share a common enemy, 🤚👌the one force they cannot stop, 👌the force deep within our 👌👌souls, 🤚👌and that 👌is the power of 👌hope. 🤚That is why, 👌in addition 🤚to our great military might, 👌our enemies truly fear 👌🤚the United States. 👌Because our 👌people 👌✋👋never lose faith, 👌never give in, 👌✋and always hope✋ for a better ✋tomorrow.👌

👌✋Last week, Melania and I were reminded of this in a powerful way when we traveled to Las Vegas. 👌👋We visited a hospital where some of the survivors were recovering from absolutely horrific wounds. We met a 👌young man named 🖐Brady Cook. He’s 22 ✋and a brand-new👌✋ police officer. 👌That night 🤚was Brady’s second day 🤚in field training — 🤚his second day as a policeman🤚, can you believe that? 🤚But when the shooting began, 🤚he did not hesitate. 🤚He acted with 🤚incredible courage, rushing into the hail of bullets, 🤚and he was badly shot in the shoulder.

This is what Brady said: “👌I didn’t expect it, but it’s 👌what I signed up for✋. When stuff 👌goes down, ✋I want to 👌be there 👌✋to face evil 👌and to protect the good, 👌innocent👌✋ people that need it.” ✋And here’s a young guy✋, great guy — and second day. I said, ✋Brady, don’t worry about it, it’s going to be easier ✋from here. (Laughter and applause.) Brady is a hero, 🤚and he can’t wait to get back on the job.

Several weeks before, 🤚when Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, 🤚a local furniture storeowner, who’s known in 🤚Texas as “Mattress Mack,” 🤚decided he had to help. 🤚When the rain began to flood 🤚the streets of the city, 🤚he sent out his furniture trucks 🤚to rescue the stranded. 👌He brought them back to his stores, ✋and gave them food ✋and a clean, dry place to stay, even if it 👌meant ruining countless dollars’ worth of furniture.

👌👋🖐As “Mattress Mack” put it, “👌My faith defines me, ✋it’s who I am.” “👌We can afford the cost👌…what✋ we can’t afford” — we can’t — 👐and he said this very strongly, ✋🤚“what ✋👌we can’t ✋afford is to 👌cause people to ✋lose hope.”

👌In Brady ✋and Mack, 👌we see the strength ✋of the American spirit. ✋This spirit 🤚of courage and 🤚compassion is all 🤚around us, every day. It is the 👌heartbeat 👌of our 👌great nation. 👌And despite 👋✋🤚👋certain coverage, 👐that ✋🤚beat is stronger👐✋🤚 than it’s ever 👐✋🤚been before. 👐✋🤚You see right through it. ✋🤚(Applause.) That👐✋🤚 beat is stronger than it’s ever been.

🤚We see this spirit in the men and women who self-la-la-lesifily🤚 enlist in our armed forces and, really, who go out and risk their lives for God and for country. And we see it in the mothers and the fathers who get up at the 👋crack of dawn; they work two jobs and sometimes ✋three jobs. 👌They sacrifice every 👌✋day for the ✋furniture and — future of their children. 👌They have to go out. 👌They go out. 👌They work. 👌The future of their children👋 is everything to them. 👋They put it before everything. ✋And they make ✋sure that the future ✋of their children✋ has God involved in it. ✋So important to them.✋(Applause.)

👌We ✋see it in the church communities ✋that come together ✋to care for one another, to pray for each other🤚, and to stand 👌strong with each 👋other in times of need.👌

👌✋The people who grace 🤚our lives, and fill our homes, and build our 🤚communities are the true strength 👌🤚of our nation, and ✋👌the greatest hope for 👌a better tomorrow.✋

👌As long as we have 👌pride in our country, ✋👌confidence 👋in our future, 👌and faith ✋in our God, 👌then America 👌will ✋️prevail.

👌We will defeat ✋every evil, 👌overcome every threat, ✋👌and meet 👌every ✋single challenge. ✋We will 👌defend our ✋👌faith and protect ✋our traditions. 👌We will find the best in each other👋 and in ourselves. 👌We will pass on 👌✋the blessings of liberty, ✋and the glories ✋of God, to our children. 👌Our values ✋will endure, 👌our nation will thrive, 👌✋our citizens will✋️ flourish, and our freedom will triumph.

Thank you 🤚to the Value Voter Summit🤚. Such an incredible group 🤚of people you are. Thank you to all of the faithful here today. 👌And thank you to the people ✋of faith all across 👋our nation and all over the 👋world.

👌✋May God bless you. 👌May God bless the ✋United States of America. Thank you 👉very much, everybody. 👏(Applause.) Thank you👉👏.



Major update

I've been working on revamping the quality of images on this site all summer. I'm pleased to announce today that I've completed those updates. Take a look!



Reference can be found here.

“1) Use the selection tools + refine edge to isolate objects from the Culture Catalogue image, then copy and paste them into a New Document, so that each is on a new layer.  Rename the layers, save as: lastname-isolated-objects.psd”

Click here to download a copy.

“2) Use Retouch and Repair tools to modify radically alter the castle while maintaining a ‘realist’ aesthetic.  Save as lastname-weird-castle.psd


Click here to download a copy.

“3) Recombine objects from the Culture Catalogue within the Castle image, using refine-edge to integrate the objects more seamlessly.  Save as lastname-weird-castle-2.psd”



Week 3 – Day 2

Photoshop tutorial 

First, make sure you change three defaults:

Auto-select/Layers/Show Transform Controls 




Modify Selections by holding down SHIFT to add to a selection or Option to subtract from a selection.

Note: By default, when copy/pasting, it is added to a new layer

Checkerboard pattern indicates a transparent background

When selecting an object on a white background, you may get a white edge.

Use Refine Edge:

Option under selection tool.

Brush based retouch and repair tools

            Healing Brush

            Patch Tool


I started with this image:

Source: Flickr User – “tickr”

Source: Flickr User – “tickr”

I then decided it was time to “patch” this castle to its former glory…

I expanded the vertical dimensions by more than 400%, and then proceeded to “build” more layers of bricks, up into the sky. I used the lens distortion tools to create an illusion of perspective. Finally, I decided to add a “window” by cloning and inverting one of the smaller doors. Overall, I am pleased with how convincing this image is, but there are a few “bugs” in the picture (redundant, duplicate patterns) that detract from the overall realism. Still, I think I’ve done a better job than North Korea, and their use of Photoshop.

We miss you, Jon.

We miss you, Jon.

Source: The Guardian

Source: The Guardian




I’ve taken the criticisms into careful consideration, and here are the latest image updates:

I spent a lot of time figuring out how to use perspective to give the blood spatter a solid “floor,” but the letters felt too flat against that perspective surface. Carl had some input on this, and the end solution was to include a 3D Extrude stylization filter to give depth and dimension to the letter “A”. There is a nice contrast with the flat letters in the background, and a slightly more gray value is applied to the background letters to emphasize this.The blood was given more detail by using the Wrinkle Tool. Overall, this is a pleasing change and I’m much happier with the results than earlier versions.

hat kind of magician would I be without a rabbit? The peer critique included an earlier, rougher version of this critter, but I’ve refined it to a point where it is a welcome distraction and not just a proof of concept. The sparse grayscale image really Pops thanks to the included red bowtie. This was created as a series of shape (Rectangle Tool) and a thicker brush setting for the outline. A heavy use of Gradient was applied to multiple Layers of the top-hat to give it a more three-dimensional appearance. Abracadabra!

The lion’s share of time went into this third image. Carl had an interesting suggestion to give the background a crumpled paper appearance. I scoured the web for a few options on how to do this. One suggested using a gradient tool in Photoshop and importing that image into Illustrator like so:

This wasn’t a bad approach, but it didn’t really “look right” in Illustrator. The better solution I found came from a multistep approach involving actual crumpled paper (Read here). I started by crumpling a folded piece of paper, and then scanning a highDPI image of it and saving the PNG for use in Illustrator. I then used the Image Trace tool to assign shapes their corresponding values (4 shades of gray). The end effect was more convincing because it was derived from the genuine object. Next, I created improved letter “clippings” for the ransom note stylization by choosing a variety of fonts and color combinations, grouped with rectangles that were altered using Transform to give them a more natural appearance.

The final steps involved creating a severed finger – because just one pool of blood in a project is never enough. I started with the Rectangle tool and created two segments, for the third segment (the fingertip), I used a pair of Ellipse tool shapes (fingertip and fingernail), which I altered with the Pen Tool. I then used a gradient fill to give the nail some depth, but struggled to find a gradient to give the finger segments an illusion of depth. I decided to hold off on that detail and used a regular color fill from the Skin Tone Library (color swatch). I then rotated the segments to give the finger a more curled appearance, and the Pen Tool to create the creases in the skin.

Solution for creating depth: I layered four stacks of cloned finger (object groups) on top of one another and then used the Eraser to create a gradation of shadows (Stylization and Drop Shadow)to create a rounder appearance. The end effect is consistently cartoonish with the rest of the image.

Finally, I created a “blood soaked paper” effect by changing the fill color of the surrounding Image Trace generated shapes and the Wrinkle Tool to give it a more distressed appearance. The one effect I want but haven’t been able to figure out is how to “crinkle” the ransom note letters themselves. They feel a bit too flat, and out of place, but after a few failed attempts with the Knife Tool to create segments I’ve decided to error on the side of caution. If I come up with a solution by Monday, I’ll be sure to update the results here.




Minimal Realism:

” When I look at a wildlife or nature subject, I don’t see the feathers in the wings, I just count the wings. I see exciting shapes, color combinations, patterns, textures…”

Illustrator Demo

Type Text “CARL”

Object -> Make Outline

DON’T FORGET TO: Ungroup Text

Knife Tool -> Cut “waves” through the text.

Color the top half “Fill” Brown

Color the bottom half “Fill” Blue

Brush Pallet (icon looks like books on a shelf (i.e., library))

            Using the brush tool change the outline of the letters to give a more “watery” look. Change stroke size to amplify effect.

Texture Pallet

            Just like the brush library, you can fill an object with a variety of textures.

Command: Paste in place

This creates a copy of an object directly on top of the original; useful because you do not need to align the new object.

How to make triangles:

Use the Polygon tool, and then rightclick for a menu to select “sides”, change to: 3


Create object from center:

Hold down the option key

How to create “Distressing” shapes

Use the “Warp Tools”. The Icon looks somewhat like a tulip.


PNG Export: (For blog)

            Use Artboard

            300 DPI (High)

Background color: White

Critique Notes:

As of Wednesday evening this was the status of my three images:

My peers had some excellent suggestions.

Image one (accident-prone), is too flat. Consider moving the other letters of the text “back” into the image to create more depth

Image two (magician), needs more color. Black and white images are less interesting in this context, and more stylization of the letters would really help. Just as adding a gradient to the “wand tips” gave greater depth, consider adding more depth to this image as well.

Image three (hostage). This is an early start, and needs more work. Particularly, the texture on the letter “A” isn’t working well. The concept is interesting, but more details will make this a successful piece.


The first day of the week and we’ve hit the ground running on this first project. It’s almost the end of class and I’m just now getting to the 2nd (of three) portraits. I asked for help on my first iteration, because it seemed like something was missing. I had followed the basic draft pretty closely, but it felt bare and uninteresting.

After talking with the professor, it was clear that I needed to express a greater range of tools. This was my second iteration:

Better, but not great. I added an organic shape and used the gradient tool to create a shadow effect. Still, the image felt a little too flat. One more tweak:

This simple vertical offset creates a bit more motion and surprise. I’m not sure what more I could add or subtract at this point. On to my second portrait…

In order to create a three-dimensional “floor” I used the perspective grid tool:

It isn’t really easy to see what I’m experimenting with just by looking at the image, but I have several elements that are grouped into logical objects. The “wand tips”are made using the rectangle Shape Tool, arranged above the Text and then individually grouped with their respective “T”s. Same for the “shirt buttons” on the “M”, as well as the top-hat. I’m not sure if this one would benefit from color or not. Perhaps I can use the gradient tool to give the “wand” more of a cylindrical appearance?


Over the weekend I had a chance to sit down and read over the first two chapters of Adobe Illustrator guide. I think I may have just confused myself. One of the key challenges is the fact that I have very little experience with Adobe’s Creative Suite. It’s like a whole new language. Furthermore, I do not have this software at home, and thus cannot easily relate to these new sets of terms. It is hard to apply knowledge when everything about it is purely theoretical. Last but not least: this was just a ton of new information.

At least there were pictures.

Clear as mud, but at least you can see it. Page 33 (Artboard printing)

Clear as mud, but at least you can see it. Page 33 (Artboard printing)

llustrator is a massive heap of skeuomorphisms, and this only makes sense for those who began their careers in print making prior to the advent of computers in Graphics Design. This can be a huge challenge for newcomers, but this challenge is hardly unique to Illustrator. True story: a seventeen-year-old in one of my freshmen courses once described the save button in MS Word as a “purple truck”.

Beep! Beep! I’m a truck!

Beep! Beep! I’m a truck!

See, the thing was, she’d never even seen a floppy disk before. This graphic held no contextual meaning for her. She never experienced the joy of inserting a 3.5-inch piece of plastic into a clunky (yet essential) device to save her document. By the time she was old enough for K-12, the iMac was standard, and those computers (controversially) never shipped with a floppy drive.

“No floppy, no problem! You’ve got the World-Wide Web, son!” source: betanews.com

“No floppy, no problem! You’ve got the World-Wide Web, son!” source:betanews.com

she accepted the function (saving her document was important, after all), but couldn’t make the connection between function and form. I’m not telling this story because it is funny (I still laugh when I think about her), but because I can now relate to her better after reading about Adobe Illustrator’s Tool Bar and Control Panel. Some of the symbols are easy to recognize, despite the fact that I’ve never actually used them in real life:

Page 3 – The tearoff toolbar

Page 3 – The tearoff toolbar

I’ve never used a fountain pen. I’ve had a classmate spatter ink on me accidentally with one, but that’s really about it. Generally speaking, I “get” pens. I’m fond of needlepoint over ballpoint, but that’s not the graphic here. What if I’d never seen a fountain pen before? How’d I ever hope to recognize the function?

I’m sure I’ll catch up, and with enough practice become proficient with this tool set. I just wonder how many “purple truck” moments I’ll have along the way.






Our first project in Digital Media / Time Design is a “Typographic Portrait.” What is a typographic portrait? It’s a combination of visual communication through stylization, combining graphical and textual elements. Here is the professor’s example:

Image by Carl Diehl, art119.  wordpress.com

Image by Carl Diehl, art119.wordpress.com

As you can see from the above example, the name represents visual elements implying both “land” and “water”. The earth-tone brown is combined with wavy aquamarine/teal. Since amphibians are able to live both underwater and on dry land, this graphical representation is appropriate.

Our first step is to select from six options and perform a similar stylization on our own name:

Hello my name is Matt … I’m a magician

I’m accident-prone

I’m losing my temper

I’m visiting Portland

I’m afraid of the dark

Hello my name is _________ (fill in the blank)

Each image has some advantage. I tend to think that it is better to make work that is provocative than safe. The “ransom note” lettering is fun, but includes a dark humor component, the “magician” is playful but a bit on the nose, the “marksman” is very literal, but exists within the context of America’s gun violence epidemic (a controversial subject, to say the least), and the “Portland” is a bit more esoteric, and depends on a person’s familiarity with the sketch comedy of Portlandia‘s “Put a bird on it”. We’ll see what the professor has to say during today’s lab.


Week 1 – Day 2

Introduction to Adobe Illustrator and Vector Graphics

Illustrator is part of Adobe’s Creative software suite (now “Creative Cloud”). The primary focus of Illustrator is the use of and creation of vector graphics. Most graphics are rasterized (a grid of pixels with assigned values); vectors are “drawn” by software (or hardware, if supported) and are not limited by resolution. At our university’s Mac lab, we have preloaded versions of Illustrator, here’s a quick run-through:

There are lots of ways to launch the program. My preferred method is to use Spotlight search.


This will open a search box (this is like Google for your computer), just start typing “illustrator” and you’ll get an auto-complete before you finish typing it. Just hit Enter when it fills in the remaining characters. BAM! You’re in.

Next, we need to create a new project:

File -> New ->

Name: Lastname-Intro [Geiger-Intro ART119]

Profile: Web

Size: 960 x 560

Units: Pixels

Orientation: Landscape

After creating this new document, save it.

File -> Save ->

Save as: Lastname-Intro.ai [Geiger-Intro-ART119.ai]

Default settings -> OK



Working area


Shape Tool

Used to create a vector object


Vector object

            Vector Objects are defined with Paths and Points



            Defines the thickness of lines (vectors)



            Defines the “filling” of an object (like Twinkies)



            Illustrator “stacks” objects in the order they were created. To change this order, go to the top menu:

Object -> Arrange -> Send to…(back/front) Bring to (back/front)


            Like with a text editor, aligns an object to different orientations (objects, Artboard, etc.)


Keyboard Shortcuts:

Option+LeftClick(on object)+drag

            Drag to new area to create a duplicate

LeftClick+drag(over objects)

            Bounding box selects multiple items


            Save current progress

In-class exercise: practice drawing your name. I wrote mine in cyrillic:

The letter “а” is tricky, and I didn’t quite get it right on the first try (“Матвей Гайгер” The first “a” looks like an “o”). This was all done with the pen tool, but switching back and forth between the curve and straight pen.

Project 1: Typographic Portraits


Mar 30: Project Intro, sketch ideas for next class (blog)

Apr 05: Work time in class following demonstrations

Apr 07: Work Time in class, following demonstrations

Apr 11: Review Typographic Portraits


Example: “Eruption” “Tilt-A-Whirl” “Balloon Darts” “Roller Bowler” “Cock Clock” “Exit” “Copernicus”.


Choose 3 of 6 provided character prompts. Use your name, first and/or last or nickname. Along with typographic and design…


“Hello my name is______ and I’m…”


Due Monday:

Sketches and ideas for project

Reflection on Open House (Blog)

Reflection on reading (Adobe Illustrator (Blog))



Time Design relies on a few key elements: recurrence, subjectivity, intensity, and scope.

Scope: The range of actions or viewpoints within a given moment, and, conceptually, the range of ideas one’s mind can grasp.

his single-panel sketch compacts an efficient narrative: We see a toaster oven, still plugged in, and a grave site next to the counter where toast never materialized.

Subjectivity: Depicting a subject experiencing the passage of time through emotion, action, or movement.

In this three-panel sketch, we see Subjectivity at work, with intensification. The subject is seen waiting in the first pane, and then a stylization of toast as a clock signifies a passage of time (to reinforce/intensify the wristwatch from the first pane), and then in the final panel, we see a skull with attached cobwebs. This peak intensity, coupled with a toaster that still hasn’t produced toast, exaggerates the feeling of waiting – literally forever.

Intensity: Sequential exaggeration of particular attributes within a series of images.

n this final sequence, a four-panel sketch, we see a similar use of intensification. The subject ages, and dies. The toast materializes only after the subject has passed.

Why I am going carless

I sold my car today. I am going carless. Why am I doing this?

I live in Portland, and this city has some of the best public transit that I have ever seen -- inside the United States.

Most of the places I visit, I reach on foot.

I walk.

A lot.

Driving downtown is stressful. I am constantly on the lookout for bicyclists, inexperienced drivers, aggressive (assertive?) taxicabs, distracted animals, headphone-wearing zombies, etc. Even when I do reach my destination, it can be very difficult to find parking.

Insurance premiums stay the same from one month to the next, even if your car stays parked most of the time. That money could be spent on a taxi, train, or bus. Back when I was doing shift-work (12hrs.) it made a little more sense to have a commuter vehicle, but it's been almost a year since that was the case.

It was also about a year ago when something occurred to me: even if you use a car, that still counts as public transportation. Why? Because those roads are paved, and centrally planned. Unless you live in a state with lots of toll roads (Florida, comes to mind, and I'm sure there are others), chances are very good that your tax dollars went to paving and maintaining the roads that you are driving on. Throw in a few bridges and tunnels, and you are looking at a pretty large public investment in transportation.

Cars might make you feel like you are a rugged individual, blazing your own trail on that big, open road, but the simple fact of the matter is, comrade, that the roads you are driving on are more than likely owned by the public. So why have a private vehicle? Americans (myself included) love their cars. We love that "new car smell", and we love our cars as extensions of ourselves. They can be symbols of power, wealth, sexual prowess, environmental consciousness, nostalgia, ambition, or even a lack of one or all of those things. Cars don't just help us get from A to B, they help us express ourselves.

My car was more trouble than it was worth, but a small part of me will miss that artificially inflated sense of individuality, freedom, and independence. It was, after all, MY car, and I was free to do whatever I wanted with it, so long as I paid the price.

The last expense I had to pay was a $90 parking ticket. But that story deserves it's own entire post.

Some ideas are viral. If you're curious, you're infected.

I've been at this for a while. I've made my humble mark on Geocities, Anglefire, MySpace, LiveJournal, Friendster, Facebook, and Reddit, so why not a blog?

Here, you will find variety. This is not a place for a single subject.

I hope that some of my ideas will resonate with you. And maybe even grow into a community. For now, it is just me here with my ideas to share. Some ideas go viral, others remain dormant and buried. My hope is that if you are here, and reading these words, then you are already carrying a little bit of my voice with you. If you're curious, you're infected.