App Review: Pocket

How It Works 

pocket logoPretty simple: let’s say you’re plugging away on your work computer and stumble across a fascinating, but completely un-work-related article. You know you shouldn’t stop and read it right now… but what if … what if it’s important? What if you forget about it later? What if it contains the latest secret tip that all the movers and shakers already know and you are on the precipice of falling irretrievably behind? Maybe that’s just me.

Pre-pocket, I used to just leave articles as an open browser window for days, if not weeks, on end. Half the time, I would shut down my computer and lose the article forever. Now, I just click the Pocket button, conveniently located in my browser, and it automatically sends the article to the Pocket App on my phone.

Later when I’m free, I pull up the the app and read through all my saved content. The interface is clean and the articles are easy to read. Quite often, I find it amusing to see that what was “so important” while I was working isn’t even worth reading in my free time.

Thanks Ross from over at Hooray Armadillo for telling me about it.

My Daily Sketches

isle of palms sketch
Isle of Palms on a cloudy day

This year I attended a graphic design conference and one topic really stuck out. Danny Gregory spoke about the importance of keeping a daily sketchbook. As a creative professional, it’s easy to forget that one of the fundamental reasons I entered into this field was the simple joy of making stuff. Many of us forget that making art can be just for fun. And it’s okay to have fun everyday, right?

sketches of people
Random people from papers/mags on my desk

Danny encouraged us to focus on the process of drawing and not to think too much about the subject matter and/or end result. Everyday people and things are perfect to sketch. I’ve taken his advice and found it to be a joyful experience and a wonderful way to start the day. I’m not as practiced as Danny, but one day I hope to be. A few of my sketches can be seen on this post. Check out Danny’s youtube channel to see some of his work. It’s fantastic.

waterfront park charleston sketch
Waterfront Park looking back into Charleston


i heart maps

Maps are fun. I love the process and the finished product. But like most worthwhile projects, in the middle they can be challenging.

A map must precisely reflect reality so there’s not a lot of wiggle room regarding structure. That said, after establishing the framework, it’s amazing how much character can be added with design and illustration. To see what I mean, check out two of my recent map projects.

Summer Camp

cool camp map

Camp Greystone is a magical camp located up in the mountains of western North Carolina. Click the map to enlarge.

SEWE /  Downtown Charleston

SEWE map

SEWE updated their map for the 2013 show. Jonathan Miller, author of the Sammy Dog Books series, provided some awesome illustrations. Click the map to enlarge.