08 19 14

The workload is increasing. I’ve been listening to dubstep. It just sounds like power music and it’s helpful to listen to when producing work. Music plays an important part in my headspace, which is my most valuable asset. I need the music to keep my mind in the right state of mind. I rely on it for inspiration and as a tool.

On the Max Line today, I looked out the window at all of the people on the sidewalk downtown. The morning light was beaming through the buildings and on the street. It has a golden haze to it and everyone looked so beautiful. In the lense of morning light, everyone was equal. Suits, blue collar, no collar, all types of people—-all on the same human level. We are all just beings starting a new day and preparing ourselves for what is to come. Morning means that all is forgiven and it is new again. 

What, me worry? 

What, me worry? 

08 18 14

Fingers crossed.

Probably will find out this week? 

I purchased a larger-than-average sketchbook a month ago and now it is what I prefer. The space is more for your hand/mind to roam and get lost in ideas. On a tiny sketch pad, there are more limitations which can be good for a lot of people. It’s just fun to let my hand roam free and draw whatever it wants to. Sketches can sometimes be more interesting than a well produced illustration. They both sort of inform each other though. 

Going back and forth between mediums and styles is a good way for me to work because I like to explore. I think that is just part of my personality and it can come through in my work. I get obsessed with an idea and I will see how long I can ride that style. I like beginnings more than middles or ends. Beginnings are exciting because they happen all the time. Every day is a beginning and I work the best in the morning. I like the freshness of a beginning. It’s inspiring. 

08 14 14

There is something weird in the mood of life. 

So much turmoil and confusion right now. 

I didn’t really feel well physically, today. I received an email that gave me hope about what I want. I think design is a mentality. 

Wayne White keeps coming to mind. Something about his mentality is very admirable. He just fucking does what he wants to and it looks like so much fun and freedom.

Saying power mantras are a new thing for me. I know that Michael Jordan envisioned winning before each game. I’m giving that a try. Maybe it is called meditating? I know I can only get to this mental space when I’m in the shower and it has to be in the morning. The warm water is soothing and the white shower curtain makes my eyeballs feel clean. Then I close my eyes and start whispering to myself what I want to happen, over and over again. I try to imagine it in my mind. I keep doing this until like I feel I believe what I am seeing and hearing. It is just a new experiment for me. Also, being more vulnerable is a new thing for me. Smiling does feel pretty great!  

08 13 14

Today has gone better than yesterday. I’ve been in my head more than usual lately. I think Robin William’s death really messed with me a little bit, in a real way. I think it is what he represented to me and now I’m wondering what it means to live in a world where someone like him would do something like that. Whatever that sadness is, that is what I want to help people cope with better… or inspire them… but I’m afraid that those are emotions I have a difficult time really understanding. 

I’ve picked up my workload more and I like it! I like feeling the pressure of tight deadlines. 

I was thinking about what it would be like if Vanessa and I had a kid. I will think about baby names often. In my mind, a boy would be named Wilson James DeSpain and a girl would be named Clarissa Jane DeSpain. 

My poor confused neighbors

My poor confused neighbors

08 11 14

I woke up at 7:19 AM. Did the daily morning routine. It was 99 degrees today. At 5 PM, on the drive home, the temperature drastically dropped to 92 degrees and it began to rain but there were no gray clouds that I could see. There were people in southbound traffic who were looking up at the sky, trying to find a rain cloud. 

My driver’s license expired and Vanessa has been driving more. It has given me a chance for more people watching, graffiti hunting, and overall some time not to think too much about the road. 

I’ve been creating more vector icons and illustrations for my Instagram feed. At the same time, I’ve been developing another style that is private and I haven’t decided if I will share it or not but I most likely will once a body of work is together that makes some sense. 

Tomorrow is looking like another muggy day. I’ve got to co-teach a workshop to a group of middle-schoolers as part of my class. I’m not looking forward to that mile walk in the heat with a 15 pound backpack on my back. Taking public transit has it’s good points but I fear the body odor that awaits me on that metal box on wheels tomorrow. 

Check out the rad posters for Design Week Portland this year! 

Editorial Illustration by me for The Portland Mercury this week #portlandmercury #illustration #cougar #alexdespain

Editorial Illustration by me for The Portland Mercury this week #portlandmercury #illustration #cougar #alexdespain

08 05 2014

What a day! Today started yesterday with all of the planning and preparing. Fingers are still crossed! 

At work, Herm and I talked about some pretty wild shit. The conversations there are great because after a while, everyone just gets real honest while still upholding a great amount of respect. Having a sense of humor is a great way to brighten the day. YERP! 

In class I was told by my small group how I am the one they know the least amount about. It sunk in for a minute. It’s true but not true. I listen better than I speak and action speaks louder than words anyway. 

I had a discussion with fellow classmate Omar about the repercussions of digesting too much mayo. I’ve never heard a person say “dude” more than that dude but I really enjoyed the conversation. Then we had a conversation about how much texting has changed conversation. It was about how there is less risk in a text than in a phone call because there is no hitting backspace on reality. 

WHOA. dude. 

My side of the family came to visit last week. My little sister is so damn cool. Both of them are. I want them all to move to Portland, or at least to the PNW. 

It feels good to write

I used to write a more active blog when I was a teen but sometime in my early twenties I quit. Not sure why but it is nice to pick it up right as I turned 30. It seems like this decade is going to be amazing and all of the best changes are about to happen. It feels like being on the edge. 

What is the equivalent of doodles in words? Farts. Farts is the answer.

If I think too much about what to write, I will never write. It just won’t happen so I just have to force myself. These past two sentences are excellent examples of that.

ideas are formed in groups

I’m realizing that sometimes in this Designer world, we tend to get told we are coming too close to another person’s style or get accused of ripping so and so off. To that I think, so what? My written language isn’t of my own creation and neither are my tools or the culture I live in. I think there must be something important about an aesthetic or subject matter if several people are including it in their work. It’s a sign of the zeitgeist. 

There are no secrets anymore. Privacy is dead as a doornail, whatever that means. So might as well pass it along I suppose. 

I had the pleasure of meeting Gemma Correll  at PSU a couple of years ago and asked her why she created the illustration style she does. I know, what a loaded question dude. I just wanted to gain insight and that is the first thing I thought of and went with it. 

She said, “You might as well do what you love the most because you’re going to be doing it for a long time.” It made a lot of sense to me. I knew I had to really start to settle in on some aesthetic limits and rules in order to establish a recognizable style(s). Although I bounce back and forth between styles, I try to stay within the limits I’ve set up for that style.

I’m currently cross-pollinating some styles to see what comes of it.

Houses still remain the main fixation currently.