I just sent my final email as a tentacle of the Squid to the community in which I've been able to start my life as an entrepreneur.
Giant Thinkwell has been one of the biggest puzzle pieces of my life and it's been an incredible ride with a handful of really fun stories created along the way. Some of my favorites are the scantily clad Seattle Met recap, being voted Seattle's Best Startup Designer over the people I look up to, the larger than life War Rooms and getting to do a commercial with Sir Mix-A-Lot… oh right, can't forget about the stairway battles!
I have felt fortunate every single day to be a part of the Founders/TechStars family in Seattle and have enjoyed learning, growing, creating and being inspired in a way that I have never experienced before. That community is truly unique and special and I hope to find other ways to be a part of it.
If I could leave behind two things from this experience, they would be that you should be proactive in creating an environment and culture in which you thrive, and also the importance and value of brand, design and storytelling. I would argue that it is equally as important as a technology that functions, sometimes more valuable if you want to test assertions or even raise money without having the fully functioning technology, traction or data points.
Had a pretty emotional moment yesterday when Andy Sack, Director of Founders Co-Op/TechStars made the announcement to the 2 dozen startups hacking away on this floor.
Fun new series? Why not!
More to come!
This weekend was my 9th Startup Weekend and it never fails to re-energize! I was invited to mentor teams in helping them get the most out of the weekend, which can only be learned from experience. (It is indeed where Giant Thinkwell was birthed!)
Shortly after coming in on Saturday, I sat down to hear a pitch and was instantly visualizing its potential. Getting kids to learn through compelling gameplay. They called their app "DeathMath", where you go head to head with another player, represented as figures of history, and you kick each others asses through quickly solving math equations. The idea was intended to reach the kids that would rather engage in fun video games and not through boring academic content.
The story and aesthetic wrapper that was told around the initial prototype was one of battle and violence. It was clear that this was an idea that would make some people uneasy, which I happen to favor myself. They had a super talented team too that understood mobile, gaming, fun and education (what more could you ask for?!) A great designer from Ubermind, working on mobile experiences for large brands, as well as a developer from the Microsoft X-Box team, another developer from Teachstreet and of course the man with the idea and business guy, also from Teachstreet. The only thing I felt they were lacking was some flavorful avatars to represent the historical figures and especially in their brutalized state. I saw an opportunity to help them out and make some noise.
Check out the weekend demo at www.DeathMath.com - we'll definitely polish it up and get it native to the iPad with more avatars, more violence, and more academic development.
Oh, did I mention it was posted to Reddit, and within a couple of hours made the front page with almost 2,000 upvotes and 200 comments? Tons of great feedback and tons of great hating! (told you there'd be uneasiness...)
Here are some screenshots: (Design is Joe Shoop / Avatars by me)
Here was our awesome team:
And lastly, this is an extra little something to say thanks to Mike Arrington for not only coming out to support and judge Startup Weekend EDU, which meant a lot to the Seattle community, but also a thank-you from team DeathMath for showing enthusiasm and support during the demo. Thanks Mike!
I recently picked up a Wacom Cintiq 21UX, which came just in time to crank out a handful of assets for Giant Thinkwell's latest game with Sir Mix-A-Lot. It consisted of about 4 dozen topical rounds where you get a chance to get to know Sir Mix-A-Lot and your friends a little bit better. The content was hilarious and needed a suitable visual to capture each round. I've used a Cintiq a bit in the past, but having this tool has easily increased my productivity by a good 300%, not to mention is faaarrr more enjoyable and awesome than even a normal Wacom Intuos tablet. If you are a digital artist or run a shop of creatives, do yourselves all a favor and invest. The productivity, quality and quality of life is worth a few extra pennies.
For a friend's stop motion film:
More Pantone lovin':
My mom is awesome. Last September she turned her passion for dogs and her house into a full blown dog rescue. I've been there with as many as 33 dogs all housed at once! It's insane and takes a special set of parents to take on such energy, but they are doing amazing things for these "Green Mile" dogs that have days, or sometimes only hours left before getting euthenized.
Since September, she has rescued, rehabilitated and housed 116 dogs!
For Christmas, I spent some time to brand her and make her some business cards and a new website. I'm terrible at coding, so I used Weeb.ly to help, which is just plain rad.
Please check out the new site, www.K9rr.org, and share via Facebook and Twitter. Sharing can save a life! :)
Kevin Leneway and I have been busting our asses on our new startup 'Giant Thinkwell' since March. It has been such an incredible journey up to this point and it's only gaining momentum. We've been blessed with the energy and support of our spouses, families, friends and the tech/investor communities in Seattle, LA and San Francisco. We truly appreciate each meeting, insight, introduction, investment, and support that each of them has given. Without it, Giant Thinkwell would not be doing close to what we're doing today. We have huge things on the horizon and are cranking away until our ideas are fully realized!
Thanks again for all of the love and support! Happy Thanksgiving.
Today a caricature of Brad Feld that I did ended up on the front page of Tech Crunch. I recently gave about an hour of my time to the amazing Techstars duo of Deal Co-Op to help with some branding and another hour to caricature the legendary Brad Feld. It's been fun watching these guys explode over the last 2 months, can't wait to see what next year looks like for them!
Life has been quite busy with Funko stuff that I've done very few illustration projects in the last couple months. I started building my audio studio and have been spending countless hours mashing around, learning how to make noise. I'll post up specifics and my attempts at said noise here soon!
Also there are 3 art shows in February that I will be contributing to and will surely post up the pieces when done.
Yes, they spelled my name wrong.. haha
The DAS is a limited edition, staggered drop of shirts boasting original designs from the local artists whose paintings grace the walls of Pioneer Square's preeminent delicatessen-themed boutique. The plan's to drop one new tee per month, but for critical mass purposes, they're kicking off with four, including ... a cartoonish hand whose TV-encrusted gold ring broadcasts a mushroom cloud (from toy designer/illustrator Kyle Kesterman, who sometimes gives his stuff away for free if you can find the hidden words doodled therein);