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The Noise Outside

Nearly every time I listen to Spotify, I am assaulted with the same internal ad. I’m not a premium subscriber, so Spotify is constantly trying to get me to upgrade- for a low monthly fee, of course. But I’ve found it interesting how they set the bait. Many of the ads deal with someone in various situations trying to find the “perfect song.” Whether at work, working out, on the road, at a party;...

Learning Theology With Carmina Gadelica: Christian Hope

Part One: The Trinity Part Two: Christ In the previous installment, it was seen that Christ in the theology of the Carmina Gadelica was viewed not merely as a historical figure engaged in historical acts, but rather those acts were understood in an also-happening-now sense. Theology was something that permeated life as it was lived in all its myriad facets, and no more so than in death. Hope has...

Dealing With Yourself as a Designer: Creative Blocks

My biggest frustration as a designer has always been the dreaded creative block. I’m all set to work on a project, and as I sit down (or stand up, with my new standing desk- woohoo!) to start working on ideas, and suddenly: Nothing. I’ll spend the next hours (or sometimes even days) banging my head against this creative wall, hoping that something jars loose and I can actually get started. And of...

Against Enthusiasm

In his Gospel, St. John reveals on several occasions just how fickle the adulation of the crowd could be for Jesus. A prominent example exists following the feeding of the five thousand, in which Jesus steals away to the other side of the lake, only to find that the crowd has enthusiastically followed him, enough to bother with the hassle of getting in their own boats and searching for him. They...

Before the Busy-ness

I’ve noticed a somewhat disturbing trend in my own life. In the far too infrequent times when I’m able to get together with family or friends, there’s always the obligatory question of “how have you been?” or “what have you been up to? And while obligatory pleasantries perhaps merit only obligatory responses, too often I find myself resorting to saying “I’ve just been really busy.” I’ve said it...

The Water and The Kiln

This edition of my church father paraphrases comes from Didymus the Blind, born in the early fourth century and the eventual head of the celebrated catechetical school in Alexandria. Although he became blind at age four and never learned to read, he was nevertheless one of the most learned men of his time, having committed vast amounts of scripture, history, philosophy and the like to memory. It...

Dealing With Yourself as a Designer: Distraction

As a designer, one of the most difficult things you have to deal with is constantly getting distracted. It’s easy to blow 15 minutes here, 30 minutes there on things that do not further your work or your goals. This is especially true if you work for yourself and from home; with no one around to keep you accountable, it’s effortless to blow off work to do any number of other things around your...

Experience and the Tourist-i-fication of Worship

If you drive across I-90 in South Dakota from East to West, you will notice a curious phenomenon. All along your route you will be bombarded with signs pointing you to something called Wall Drug. Now Wall Drug is a tourist trap of sorts, although not an incredibly interesting one. There are some decent run-of-the-mill donuts to be purchased, a few dinosaur sculptures, and… well, that’s about it...

Portfolio Mistakes to Avoid Like the Plague!

As a designer, your portfolio is one of the most important things you can develop since it gives potential clients and employers a glimpse of what you can do and how (and if) you can help bring value to their organization. However, there are some pretty common mistakes that you can make with your portfolio that can lessen its impact. Avoid these like the plague! 1. Burying Your Work Under A Bunch...

Dealing With Yourself as a Designer: Comparison

I don’t know if this ever happens to you, but sometimes I tend to get stuck in these little negative feedback loops wherein everything everyone else does is awesome and everything I do is awful. It usually happens innocently enough; I’m browsing Vimeo or Dribbble looking for inspiration, or I see some sort of featured piece in an email, and I am overcome by this revelation of awesomeness that...

Dealing With Yourself as a Designer: Self-Doubt

There are a lot of designers that I look up to, and every time I see their most recent work I often feel a tinge of jealousy. The pieces they create are so amazing, and not only do I wish I could design like that, but I also wish that I had the self-confidence that I presume they do. It’s easy to contrast that with the struggles I often feel trying to be creative, or the lack of confidence I feel...

Line Starburst Animation

For a recent project I was wanting to create a line-based starburst animation with varying segments within the line “bursts.” The animation is pretty straightforward, but I didn’t really want to spend much time on the artwork itself. Fortunately, using the Transform and Path Erase tools make this process pretty quick and effortless. Check out the video for the whole process that...

Things I’ve Learned As An Independent Designer

Not far into my career as a designer, I realized that I had aspirations to work for myself as an independent designer. In the nebulous stages of thought it seemed like a dream full of non-stop fun and creativity, and what designer wouldn’t want that? Of course, when you are dreaming anything is possible, and the not so fun aspects of reality never seem to cloud that fantasy. But once you...

Worship is a Duty

One of my favorite Advent songs is also one of the most ancient: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence. Its composition and use dates from at least AD 275, although the most commonly used melodic setting is the well-known Picardy. Be sure to listen to one of the following renditions: As I was pondering the lyrics, I noticed that they seemed to form a conjunction with other thoughts I had been having...

Design Trends for 2017

As an opening caveat I will note that I have no Magic 8-Ball into the future of design trends, although if I did it would probably always say “Don’t Count on It.” Nor am I by any means a trendsetter, as my inimitable fashion sense would no doubt make clear to any one. To be fair, through, I don’t wear socks with sandals. I mean, my sandals are way too tight for that…...

Jason Watson

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