Unexpected Psychedelic Delight

 
Iris in flight

Iris in flight

On a flight to New York, I plugged my headphones into the seat-back media center and searched for a new record in the folk genre. Pretty slim pickin' so I went with Ray LaMontagne's newest album "Supernova." 

 
 
A very cozy cloth-monster is snoring beside me...do I dare wake her from her slumber to tell her to get her weird little feet off me?

A very cozy cloth-monster is snoring beside me...do I dare wake her from her slumber to tell her to get her weird little feet off me?

I'm astonished by how good this album is.  Try it yourself: play the song "Pick Up a Gun," close your eyes, and slide away from your current obsessions into a clouded daze amid the candied daffodils.

This is not the LaMontagne you've come to know, his smooth voice spending a rainy day crooning and swooning over lost loves. No, this is rich, multi-layered, organic, well-constructed psychedelic groove with more than a few hints towards some of the greatest folk and psychedelic artists from the 60's. I was able to pick up nods to Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, The Turtles, The Cars, Iron Butterfly, Rod Stewart (?!), Mark (forgot his name - who did the Alice and wonderland inspired record), Mamas and Papas, The Beatles, The Beach Boys and more!

Any fan of Folk rock and psychedelic music must have a listen! 

Next, in the World Music genre, another stellar find, an album called "Slide Guitar Ragas" by D Bhattacharya. Indelible electric sitar transcriptions tacked onto a tapestry of the river-like drone and tabla, it's easy to get lost in here. The album is comprised of five 15-20 minute tracks I don't want to ever end. Sounds like I'll need to buy some music when I get off this flight...

Update: I bought the Ragas album, and I love to listen to it with a background of rain/thunder sounds from an iPhone app called "Relax melodies." Highly recommended!

Logo sketching

Logo sketching

Highlight all the things. 

Highlight all the things. 

 

eBay 4.0: Best New Apps

Just want to give a quick shout out to my extended team here at eBay. The mobile app for iOS, released on Tuesday, September, 8th 2015 is currently featured in the App Store as one of iPhone/iPad's "Best New Apps." The redesign of the mobile apps has been an almost two year process culminating in a great product with a personalized blend of utility and inspiration. Everyone involved has done a fantastic job, putting in countless hours, a million meetings and tons of extra effort.

Congratulations!


And a little bonus - here's one user's journey from frustrated veteran to promoter - in just a few hours!

The Purpose of this Portfolio

I'd like to set the intention of this portfolio to help guide me in building the right product for my career evolution and for your perusing pleasure. 

For this to work, I'd like my website to demonstrate:

  1. Great taste & quality

    1. Design examples that clearly demonstrate a knack for aesthetics and building designs that are functional and a pleasure to use.
    2. Functional, expandable designs and frameworks for building towards the future.
  2. A diversity of projects and forms

    1. Product design and visual art
      1. UX/UI design - complex flows and simple one-screen design concepts in full resolution.
      2. Multi-platform expertise - designing to spec for Android, iOS and web.
      3. Responsive design - design solutions for every screen size.
      4. Virtual/augmented reality - unknown territory! I'd like to explore this new and exciting design space.
      5. Digital illustration/Graphic art - digital and analog sketches, posters, graphics and iconography.
      6. Logo & Branding - examples of great logos and brand solutions, real and invented.
      7. Photography - I've got a bunch, not posted yet.
    2. Music
      1. Two solo albums written, performed, and produced by yours, truly.
      2. Get pumped, there's another album on the way, entitled "Essential Naïveté."
      3. Songs and works reaching across many genres and styles.
    3. Writing & speaking
      1. Communication style and execution is professional, artistic, exploratory, creative, and/or informative when it needs to be.
      2. I will always be a fan of the Oxford comma, whether it's accepted or not.
  3. A hunger to learn & develop

    1. I'm a work in progress, always learning and always evolving.
    2. Coming up next in self-education:
      1. Adobe AfterEffects for interaction design concepts.
      2. Front-end web design and development.
  4. I'm fun, interesting, modest, approachable

    1. It's true. But I want you to leave here feeling inspired, energized, and interested in learning more.
    2. I've got an infectious enthusiasm for making - through work and writings, I'd like you to know that I'm buzzing with ideas and opinions about our industry, and many other topics.
  5. My ambition drives results, in many forms

    1. can take a seed idea and make it a reality
    2. I've got more ideas than I know what to do with, but I know how to turn them into actionable projects, in priority order.
    3. I know how to ship it. Though I am a perfectionist, I know that the goal of all business and artistic endeavors is to create products for people to use.

This blog post was inspired by this article, and reading many books about productivity, personal branding and career development. For some good book suggestions or ideas to help you kick start your own career, feel free to get in touch.

While it's still a work in progress, your thoughts and are valuable! Please comment below and help me shape my output and bring this website to life!

A voyeur to the void

Listening to: Departure Songs by Hammock. 

This evening, after a call with a colleague in Thailand, I went out into the garden, played this album, looked up at the sky and felt the freedom of limitless possibility. Whenever I have this feeling, I'm instantly connected to the other moments that inspired the same feeling.  A time traveler in a sense, the way a smell can take you back to memories you don't remember keeping. It fascinates me that time can fold upon itself when examined through the mind's lens:

What is life, but a series of conscious moments? And what am I but a singular moment, observing itself?  A denizen looks skyward, up the skirt of the heavens, a voyeur to the void. The universe and I observe one another.

The horizon expands. My mind goes silent for the first time in days. I connect to more primal purposes and timeless moments where archetypes are born, destroyed, and born again, endlessly, like stars. The stars, the wind, the archetypes, always here.

I dream I'll find the stillness to learn myself, practice the arts and lose myself to something bigger. I can't outgrow the void, or the archetypes. Is this it? Yoginanda Paramhansa had it. Alan Watts had it.

Its simplicity is dissolved by idiosyncrasies as the music conducts the cantor of the mind. My thoughts are redirected through the aqueducts of conscious and down into the dark well where ideas stir in longing to be received.

M.iris

Listening to Departure Songs by Hammock.