Category Archives: Feature

Revolutions on Air Documentary: The History of New York’s Golden Age in Underground Music


The Red Bull Music Academy releases a mini-documentary on the history of New York’s underground music scene entitled: Revolutions On Air: The Golden Era of New York Radio 1980 – 1988; a seventeen-minute overview of New York City’s urban music explosion, its architects, and the reverberations still being felt today.

New York City break dancers, circa 1980

First person accounts by underground music luminaries (such as DJ Marley Marl, Kool DJ Red Alert, Tony Humphries, and Stretch Armstrong) interspersed with vintage audio, photos, and video drops you in the moment when the underground broke above ground via New York radio and germinated throughout the world by cassette tape (I fondly have college recollections of students collecting,trading, and dubbing tapes from New York to Baltimore to Philly to Detroit to Chicago to Oakland to LA).

B-Boys on the block with prerequisite boombox, circa 1980

For those who choose to delve deeper into the subject, read Vivian Host’s feature on the New York radio scene.

OMG: The Expressively Ubiquitious Work of Oliver Munday

Oliver Munday Illustration
Oliver Munday’s SciFi’s unimaginative food [illustration for]: The Washington Post.
Great graphic design should stop you in your tracks and demand your attention.

This is what the preceding image did for me early Sunday morning as I fetched my paper off the front porch (yes, I still read actual newspapers). Large as life and in glorious color: a green, one-eyed alien in a metallic spacesuit holding a decorative ceramic dish of what appears to be pork and beans!

I saved the section and made a mental note to read the artist credit— this was my formal (but not the first) introduction to the work of designer Oliver Munday. After visiting Mr. Munday’s archive site and current work on Tumblr, I began to quickly recognize book covers, posters, infographics, and the 826DC design work for the Museum of Unnatural History: the breadth, diversity, and high quality of work is overwhelming and impressive.

Great graphic design should also create envy, jealousy, and above all inspiration.

Mission accomplished.

What Can An Elite Martial Artist Teach You About Your Design Business?

I had the privilege of participating in a martial arts seminar and instructor training with Kyoshi Dave Kovar (an elite martial artist with black belts in 10 Martial Arts styles) and many of the lessons learned in the dojo can be applied to the office.

In Mr. Kovar’s blog “In Martial Arts, You Are the Product”, he lists four elements essential to individual, team, and business success:

  • Your attitude – are you teaching every class as if it’s the best class ever? Are you approaching each project as your best project ever?
  • Your appearance – are you tidy and professional? A tidy and professional appearance instills confidence in yourself, your team, and (most importantly) your client.
  • Your presentation – have you spent time preparing for class, and do you have a plan? Strategic planning, organization, and goals for your team and your business are absolutely essential.
  • The attitude, appearance, and presentation of your staff – have you provided the guidelines and guidance for your team to succeed in the three areas above? Lead by example, but also clearly communicate attitude, appearance, and presentation expectations to your team.

My seven years of martial arts training and study have been a great resource for maintaining my physical and mental health and I would encourage everyone to engage in a physical activity or sport as a tool to maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Explore the Interactive Multiverse of Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s “Multi-Love”

Unknown Mortal Orchestra has shared their new video for the title track of their new album “Multi-Love” online and invites you to create your own version via an interactive application.

As interviewed by Pitchfork, Video Designer and Director Lionel Williams was quoted with the following:

“[The video] is meant to represent the vacuum of space by impressing upon inter-dimensional unfolding, immaterial objects, and time-driven reverberation of events.”

The video is available for Mac, PC, or the Source Code for remixing and experimentation.

4 Words or Less?

Best Advice

From time to time I receive these kinds of inquiries on LinkedIn and choose not to comment, but this one merited a response:

Hand Drawn Text Scanned in Adobe Shape CC and Edited in Illustrator



A well-reasoned, sincere, and articulate mission statement is personal branding at its best. Four active words can serve as a motto to quickly define your being, a mantra to motivate you through self doubt, and an ethical center to guide your actions:

  • PRAY—make time for learning, meditation, and reflection,
  • WORK—nothing meaningful is accomplished without genuine physical and mental effort
  • PLAY—constructive recreational activity and relaxation strengthens and rejuvenates the body and mind
  • GIVE—contribute your time, knowledge, and experience to benefit yourself and others

P.S: It may be impossible to truly achieve a perfect work-life balance, but having a core set of principles and practices can provide an important framework for addressing future challenges.

Adobe Mobile Apps Part 3: Adobe Draw CC

As discussed in part 2, Adobe Shape CC is an incredibly useful tool for scanning sketches into vector files, but I find the Adobe Draw CC’s ability to DRAW directly into the application to be faster and more functional.

Adobe Draw CC rendering and layers
Adobe Draw CC rendering and layers

I am creating a poster design inspired by the film Whiplash and Adobe Draw CC is ideal for importing my photo layer from my Creative Cloud library and tracing the image layer with a Bamboo Stylus Pen.

At this point, I can use Draw CC’s layers, brushes, color palette, and opacity functions to modify the image, or export the file to Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop.

Detail of Illustration
Detail of Illustration

Adobe Draw CC is also a useful tool for creating custom fonts, so I am experimenting with the brush tool to render different hand-drawn text treatments for the poster’s titling.

Illustration and Text Treatment
Illustration and Text Treatment

Adobe Mobile Apps Part 2: Adobe Shape CC

Once upon a time (not so long ago), I laboriously scanned my hand drawn sketches into as a useable file format and meticulously traced as vector art. Now thanks Adobe Shape CC it is possible to transform sketches into vector art from your phone or tablet in a matter of seconds and export into Adobe Illustrator for editing.

Check out the video to witness this miraculous process:

Powerful Adobe Creative Cloud Mobile Apps Enable Design Anywhere

As an Adobe Creative Cloud subscriber I have recently added a suite of their mobile applications to my iPad to test their functionality and possibly integrate into my workflow and I have been impressed by these powerful, yet easy to use tools.

Create layouts, illustrations, edit photos and video, export them to Adobe CC applications.


Caroline Blanchet's Adobe Ideas - Illustrations series, Vol. 3
Caroline Blanchet’s Adobe Ideas – Illustrations series, Vol. 3

Share completed and work-in-progress projects via the Community Drawings portal, powered by Behance.

Shared work via the Behance Network
Shared work on the Community Drawings portal