The Midnight Brew

Good conversations at the best virtual diner on the Internet.

The Midnight Brew is a podcast hosted by Cailean Babcock out of Osaka, Japan, at the best virtual diner on the internet. Episodes feature interviews with inspiring individuals from around the world, as well as discussions about creativity, art, movies, current events and culture. Released every other Friday at midnight Japan Standard Time.

Apple's New-and-improved Emoji

The new, politically-correct emojis in the latest iOS update highlight a problem that never occurred to me: apparently a lot of people were offended that they were forced - forced, I tell you! - to post their thumbs-up in a color that did not match their own particular shade or hue.

And yet smileys are still left in their original, obviously-racist dandelion yellow. The humanity.

Font Found

I'll admit it myself: graphic designers are a weird bunch. Artists who have tasked their ability to produce beauty on demand, they typically sacrifice all the potential of getting their message seen and the world changed in exchange for getting paid to deliver a beautiful message. All in all, it's a conservative art form; a structure for channeling beauty in the name of a paycheck.

However, sometimes it gets to find the happy junction where the message is all about showcasing all the good things that art should convey, including art itself. I have been asked to create some opening animations for some films a dear friend of mine, Ron Dubois, shot a coon's age ago. (For those wondering, a coon's age is a unit of time spanning an epoch roughly the length of somewhere between a decade and a half-dozen blue moons).

Ron is a three-time Fulbright Scholar, which means he is a passionate teacher who managed to convince a panel of esteemed academics that he was deserving of their trust not just once but three times over. All in the pursuit of documenting the spectacular human heritage that is the uniquely beautiful pottery of three disparate cultures.

It was the last wish of my mentor, boss, and friend, Roger Bolton, that I help Ron to finish his trifecta of documentaries covering the cultural treasures that he has recorded for the benefit of our cultural history.

It is by the blood and sweat of several days in OS X's Font Book, tabbing constantly downward through over 1,000 fonts, that I discovered that the font style I originally selected for the title used in the project over 15 years ago (New York) was based on an affectionate, tongue-and-cheek reference to a Typography I project I did back in my college days at OSU in 1996. That year was transformative for me; it was my first time attending SIGGRAPH, my first visit to New Orleans, and the first time I felt that I had been truly accepted, however junior, into the ranks of designers and animators whom I both respected and loved.

More fun than rediscovering yourself?  Realizing that your sense of humor is far-reaching enough that, when you venture far enough forward, you can find that both of its barrels are pointed squarely back at you.

Sure, it's geeky designer humor, but it's still funny.

 

Safety in Tropes

Naturally, I clicked on the link for this when I saw Aubrey Plaza's profile in the promo still.

Ugh. Festival selections be damned; I pray that I will never produce anything this chock-full of tropes. Bad acting, bad editing, and music that sounds like it was produced on a Yamaha DX7.


Confidence

Voluntarily quitting a job seems to involve running the same predictable gauntlet of emotions as a 19-year-old the first time he drinks alcohol. (And, yes, I know the legal drinking age in the US is 21, and we all remember how we felt when we first tried our hands at serious drinking at 19-ish - your mileage may vary.)

Those emotions involve guilt, introspection, anxiety, regret, hope, and a guilty sense of freedom that leads to the feeling that perhaps we should really stick with that initial, gut reaction of just feeing guilty all around.

It helps in these cases to have an exceptional spouse, family, and other emotional safety nets.

it also helps, as my own exceptional spouse has pointed out, that none of this has any meaning if I fail to believe in myself. I was a competent, experienced individual before I quit my job. Nothing has changed since then. It is entirely between me and my own inner demons to put aside our differences and acknowledge that I am just as capable as I was two weeks ago, let alone twelve years.