Let's catch up! by Andy Stoltz

Hi!

I’m back, and yes I know, the past year I have been very quiet but I’m aiming to change that. I’m reinventing my portfolio now, and also making a great effort to be more social and make more content that you can enjoy, like right away even!

What have you been up to this past year?

I have been reading HEAVILY over the past year, dozens of books, academic articles, and several hundred hours of podcasts. I started a vast world building project, and I’ve gathered a group of my peers to help me to review and further develop those ideas in my biggest collaborative project ever. I’m hoping to translate these regular meetings into some shareable format soon. Needless to say, that whole project has shaped up to be immensely beneficial to all involved.

I’ll be posting some new content and appearing in live videos hosted by Twitch. Please go on ahead and subscribe to that channel, you won’t regret it www.twitch.tv/paparhombus also find me on instagram where I’ve been posting sketchbook content @paparhombus and on twitter @andystoltz

What’s in store then?

The path now is to actually get into things here and develop a new skill-set. Or rather not a new skill set so much as to pad a portfolio of projects that will demonstrate those skills. All of this will be openly developed here as to illustrate my process. I took a look back at my career history and determined that product design would be my future career. I do it already in a sense as a patent illustrator and the concept of developing and prototyping new products and applications is right up my alley. I have a sketch book full of such ideas, most for fun but also a fair amount are innovative solutions with real purpose with real purpose.

Product designer is also a very general job description that more or less describes a a person adept in the process of building something with a marketable purpose that solves a particular issue. This includes both physical and digital solutions, and includes a wide range of skills and a particular focus on creative lateral thinking (which has always been my very best skill)

I practice all these things in my day to day life, at work and home, and with my friends and family. I’m rambling yeah, but this is my passion, so it’s off to the drawing board to get these ideas made real so I can showcase!

-Andy

Computerless and ok by Andy Stoltz

Fortunately I can blog straight from my phone since my computer finally bit the dust after 6 years of loyal service. I ran weekly backups though so it's cool.

Also in other news I just accepted an illustration position and miraculously may have also figured out moving to a new place already. I picked up oil painting again and have a skeleton themed inktober running on my intagram (subtly gestures towards social links atop this page), "follow, yes?"

No life lessons this post, just one quick piece of advice that's always held true. If you have a dream, put it out unto the world and share it. I've been doing just that for a while now and I am so grateful for the people who have helped me along. Just stay positive and keep working toward what you want. Like, I've gotten down on myself once in a while but I've kept it in check and that attitude has really paid off.

A new computer is in the pipeline, I'm waiting 'til I'm transitioned to a new place first since rumors are surfacing that there could be a new gen of iMacs very soon. I'm counting on it, since I'm upgrading from laptop to desktop, fingers crossed.

Organization for The Disorganized by Andy Stoltz

Staying well ordered Has its Obvious Benefits, but what if you're typically jumbled?

Combine strong organization with minimalism and you'll never go searching for that lost whatever that you need RIGHT NOW! You can uproot and move on short notice, start new projects with ease, the list goes on and on. All in all being organized saves time, money and your peace of mind.

So today I finally found time out from my busy schedule to blog (yes, I know it's been some time) and to clear out my storage unit now that I don't need the extra space anymore. The storage unit was to hold what couldn't fit into my one bedroom and over time turned into space for supplies and books. 

Gradually I've been able to eliminate most of what I own so that all that is left is an organized set of essentials and material resources.


I used to struggle with organization personally, it was pretty ugly, I'm definitely not and an intrinsically organized person. However, about five years ago, all that changed when I was introduced to minimalism as a lifestyle. It was like the magic pill that cured my cluttered nature.

A good friend and I spent a day just tossing everything that didn't really serve any immediate purpose in my life.

I had one small box for sentimental things and collectables of considerable value, but other than that it all was either donated to put to the curb. The feeling of it all going away was liberating and the anxiety I had felt from being disorganized was replaced with total clarity. 

 


My personal issue with organization became a thing of the past! But what about when you spend time daily with other people who aren't organized in the same way?

Minimalism can be a tough sell to some people. We basically live in a world where material gain is a measure of success and achievement. It's about being able to have more in the way of experiences and quality of life.

Think about who would be more interesting to have a conversation with: A guy who collects cars or a guy who spent a year traveling the world?

  Like really imagine your sitting in a waiting room with those two fellas, and for the sake of your own sanity you decide to talk to for the next hour. I just start with that type of basic concept and build out, and eventually whoever and myself get to place where they're thinking that perhaps they could part with their amassed collection of backpacks and bags.

 

Anyways most of everything I own is sitting on an aluminum shelf now and I am one truckload away from where I am now and where I want to be.

 

Art Outside the Box by Andy Stoltz

Lately I've been doing loads of photography to pay the bills, it's forced me to think of how we might push outside the box of what consumers have come to expect in terms of creative services. There are so many different possibilities and either they are too exclusive or no one is doing them in a way that is making an impact! 

How can we shift the paradigm away from the idea of art as a decorative, maybe collective, piece of wallcandy; get art back to "conversation piece" status, or more?

This is the question I ask myself before sketching. Now my challenges are how and what will i make that is more tactile and interactive. That or how can we take all thats possible with a certain media and start presenting it as an option to consumers. Like there's a wedding photographer now that photoshops disasters into their clients wedding photos (in good humor of course). I also saw an installation piece recently where the art was just simple geometric ripples in the wall itself. I thought, "What stops this artist from making this something a person could buy and integrate into their homes? I'd buy that!"

We now have the tech to bring augmented reality into our daily routine like HoloLens. People will want a customized experienced, or in the very least, the option to choose a theme for their program. With any luck the demand for content options will open up a market for independent artists to design graphics packages for people to purchase and sub in as an alternative.

Back to reality though. Most of us don't have 3k to drop on a HoloLens developers package, but we can still fill a few sketchbook pages of various applications, personal and business related. It's a good exercise in the very least. In any case though I, and every other artist, can take a trip to our local hardware store and brainstorm how we might use what is available to create a simple art experience for anyone. Just look at EL sheets (or wires), those are now super affordable and makes back lit art something anyone could own. Who out there is tapping that potential market aside from a few very cheesy t-shirt places I've seen open up and fail within a year?

Anyways, thats my mission now. I have like, zero money, so I'll mostly be experimenting with mockups to make something feasible. Also looking at IP laws so I'm not scared of sharing the stuff I conjure up (and I really wish that just wasn't a real issue).

 

Going from pointless doodles to great ideas ready to develop by Andy Stoltz

What to draw? It's a big deal when your stuck, and it's super frustrating, but relax ideas are everywhere

First off, check yourself! There are no art blocks, just distractions. If you're conscious and can move you can draw, no excuses. Bummed out, not feeling it? Those are both great reasons to draw, just get your mark maker and your place to make marks and start markin'! You'll start feeling better in no time, just scribble out your frustration or whatever; personally I draw trees to pick myself up from a bad mood. 

weird doodles are good even if they never amount to anything

Commit to this idea, "If I want to draw I will." There are tools to draw everywhere and most of them are free. Just don't be picky, you don't need a $20 mechanical pencil to draw anything. Heck, you can scrape rocks on things or watercolor with coffee. My point is; there are no excuses and you should be prepared to draw or take notes at all times.

Commit to this idea, "If I want to draw I will." 

Start with a little idea, like, just draw a lamp or a water bottle, whatever is there. Whatever you draw just own it and have fun. Think about what you want (we're all really good at this whether we can admit it or not) it doesn't have to be what you want most, just the things you like or want. Try drawing that.

Maybe by now little ideas are growing, write them down or doodle them being sure to emphasize the particular elements that make up each idea and note the thoughts that accompany the ideas. Now it's a good time to take a break, get some coffee, go outside, call a friend, just get out of your own head for a moment. 

Now you can look over your ideas and clarify them, sort the bad from the good, figure out what sort of design will enhance the concepts related to each idea. This is when I take time to make my thumbnail sketches and think about how to execute.

some of my personal notes written in my personal way