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Baby’s first walk cycle

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I don’t know how it happened, but I got talked into doing some animation to help out an art director on a 3M project that involved a lot of teeth with eyeballs and humans without. (I’ll get something up in my portfolio soon. I hope.) Step one was learning how to do a walk cycle to make this lovely phosphate molecule stroll around with his calcium friend. My first attempt was a total disaster, but as a second try from an untrained noob, I think it turned out pretty okay:

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Amusement Parks USA

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I’ve mentioned in the past our 3-projector setup in the elevator lobby of our office. It’s pretty nifty. Sometimes we find strangers standing in there watching the jellyfish or the bizarre Star Wars clips or the Bob Ross tribute — just people who were on their way somewhere else who got distracted by the awesomeness of our lobby.

This one I worked on with the lovely and talented Hanzel Haro when space150 Burbank threw a mixer for the Themed Entertainment Association. You can see the invite I designed in my previous post. From there, Hanzel came up with the idea for the video and, being an art director, got me to do all the hard work like sourcing a billion video clips of old amusement parks, finding a song, creating a billion badges, and making an absurd wall of typography for texture in the background. He animated it. Teamwork!

I might recommend clicking over to the video on Vimeo as it’s kind of sad here….

Amusement Parks USA from Michelle Brady on Vimeo.

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Please R.S.V.P.

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Somewhere along the way, I became the person at work who designs the internal emails – Thirsty Thursday happy hours, figure drawing workshops, going away parties for coworkers, you name it, I’ve invited people to it.

No hodadsBeach Party-themed figure drawing. Those lovely beach-goers are coworkers responsible for the party.

HomefrontHomefront-themed figure drawing. We were wrapping up Homefront website.

Ides of MarchRoman-themed figure drawing for the Ides of March. Just because.

Goodbye, ErikWhen our IT tech / production coordinator / jack-of-all-trades Erik left us, Virva and I made him this farewell tribute.

One of our developers also taught a beginning HTML class at USC. We convinced her to teach us, somehow.

Cinco de Mayo. It’s a classic.

Sometimes we get really creative with our themes. Signature cocktails at this happy hour? Fluffy Duck and Duck Farts. We’re classy.

Our office threw an epic industry event with a ‘classic amusement parks’ theme.

It even came with a map so strangers could find our restrooms.

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How I love les poissons!

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I don’t know what it is about sea creatures, but I love them. I mean, just look at fish. They float there in the water all buoyant and eyelid-less without a care in the world.

This is the face of a creature that is blissfully unaware that Donald Trump exists. We should all be so lucky.

A post shared by Michelle Brady (@fishogynist) on

Some sea beasts don’t even have brains, but look at how amazing they are! Jellyfish are so graceful and so stingy, all at the same time. When you time-lapse them, though, they become a little less graceful and a bit more puppyish.

A post shared by Michelle Brady (@fishogynist) on

And then there’s the outright weird. I feel a kinship with this little guy. Cute but in a not-really sort of way. He sits at the bottom of his tank, defying the ‘buoyant and carefree’ expectations. Just teaching himself to walk so he can one day take over the world, but not while you’re watching.

A post shared by Michelle Brady (@fishogynist) on

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Quote of the Day

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Our creative department has a blog at ONE+K. We keep important things like specs and templates there, along with employee-written tutorials to help each other out. We also have a ‘thought of the day’ that ranges from inspiring quotes to brain teasers to links to exciting things happening out there in the world. Sometimes I do little quote cards with design-related quotes as an excuse to just design something for myself. Here are some highlights.

Because everyone loves a little Saul Bass.

Debbie is my boss. She’s also in charge of QC. This is her mantra.

I have a weird compulsion to be useful. It was very difficult to explain to my fine arts teachers in college that I could not be a fine artist because fine art, almost by definition, doesn’t have a purpose.

Design is problem solving, not decoration.

Stealing is hiding the fact that you’re copying by taking someone else’s good ideas and incorporating them into your work in your own way.

Eames’ bowties are the greatest details.

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When happy hour gives you lemons….

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We have a themed happy hour at work every other Thursday (ish?) that we call Thirsty Thursday. We also have three projectors in our elevator lobby set up to play one super-wide video to baffle and delight people as they arrive on our floor. Sometimes the two collide, and some poor soul (occasionally me) gets to make a video for the lobby that goes along with the happy hour theme. Recently the theme was ‘lemonade,’ and I got to make a video. This is what happened. Well, this is a 16×9 pan across the 48×9 video. You know what I mean.

Smooth Lemonade from Michelle Brady on Vimeo.

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Asexuality FAQ

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I don’t know if it’s the current political climate (oh my god, is this country for serious right now?!) or the fact that I just talk a lot, but the topic of my sexuality – or lack thereof – has been coming up in conversation a fair bit lately. Some people have questions, some people jump to strange conclusions, some awesome people ask if I’m happy, and when I say yes, they move on. I’m happy to answer questions, but to save time, here’s a primer.

Q. What do you mean by asexual, exactly?
A. If you visit the #asexual portion of tumblr for too long, you’ll find that there are a million names and labels and flavors of asexuality. If I were addressing tumblr, I’d identify as something along the lines of a demisexual, a grey-aromantic, and sometimes an autochorissexual, but that means little to almost everybody on the planet. Basically it means I’m not sexually attracted to anybody unless I know them reasonably well, I don’t really understand why people want to date most of the time, but sometimes a girl just wants to lay on the couch and watch all six parts of the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice in one go and feel her heart flutter a little bit.

Q. What kind of person are you attracted to, then?
A. Really, I’m just not sexually attracted to people. That’s sort the definition of asexuality. I have crushes on a pretty wide variety of people, almost exclusively celebrities or other artificial people (Hello, Richard Ayoade), but imagine the crush an 8-year-old girl has on her friend’s older brother. Let’s have lunch, you can be witty and charming and smart and snarky at me, and I’ll buy dessert. But if you come back to my place for drinks, it’s actually going to be hot chocolate, and we can watch 1966 Batman on DVD, and if you get tired you can sleep on the couch.

Q. So you’re going to live alone with your cats forever?
A. I’m definitely a person who doesn’t believe in absolutes. Everything falls on a spectrum. For example, I identify as an atheist, but not a ‘sue the city into letting us put up a Festivus pole’ atheist. More of a ‘I’m sure it’s lovely, but no thank you, I would not like to visit your church’ atheist. As such, I’m more of a ‘I’m sure he’s a lovely guy, but no thank you, I don’t need to see his penis’ sort of asexual. But you know what? My aunt and uncle go to an amazing church that’s very liberal and not at all literal, I attend their Christmas Eve service every year, and if I lived in town, I would probably go to that church from time to time. To push this analogy to its extreme, Richard Ayoade (or more likely his reasonable Angeleno facsimile) could be that church – if we hung out enough for him to prove that he’s a cool dude. I’m not saying I’ll never date or never marry. That being said, I do really like cats more than people and I’d be okay with being a crazy cat lady.

Q. Do you think finding the right man (or woman?) would snap you out of your asexuality and make you, for lack of a better word, normal?
A. No. Let’s say the unmarried Richard Ayoade clone and I started dating, got married, and for some reason had a bevy of remarkably awkward children. I’d probably still be demi-sexual, because I probably wouldn’t be sexually attracted to people I don’t know. I think that’s a pretty hard-wired trait. I’d still be pretty aromantic, and I’d have to work at being a good girlfriend. Or I’d automatically be a good girlfriend, depending on the dude. (Let’s not ever do Valentine’s Day. Or pet names. If you play Peter Gabriel for me, I’ll throw rocks at you. You’re getting a knitted hat for our anniversary. Every year. Interested parties, apply within.) I don’t know if I’d suddenly start caring more about sex than I do about yarn and cat gifs, but yarn and cat gifs are awesome, so it’s gonna be a hard sell. So no, I’m not wishing I had the guts to write an online dating profile. Dating seems like a lot of work for not a lot of payoff. If it happens, swell! If not, that’s swell too.

Q. So you’re not interested in sex? At all?
A. Sex is not at the forefront of my mind. I don’t have a lot of fantasies. I can’t come up with a list of sexy physical traits for a man to have. (Does using turn signals count? Using turn signals is dead sexy.) But I’m not against it. It’s sort of like Brussels sprouts. I don’t think about them much, I don’t have strong opinions on them, but if they’re cooked just right, sure, I’ll take a bite. I think I’m more against the idea of people than I am against the idea of sex. Why entangle yourself – literally or figuratively – with someone you don’t like? And I don’t like basically everybody.

TL;DR: I’m not as weird as you people think I am. I might get married one day. To a snarky man who uses turn signals, and who is patient enough to get that I don’t understand flirting or basic human interactions. Or I’ll have a lot of cats. Depends on the men in my life. Maybe both, if Snarky Turn Signal Man™ doesn’t mind.

Or maybe I’ll just name my next cat Richard Ayoade.

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Leap Day Explained

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We had a 48-hour film festival at work, where were were given, surprisingly enough, 48 hours to create a 15-second Instagram-friendly video about leap year. My team consisted of myself and my two least-favorite (also secretly favorite) dudes in the office. Hanzel the art director ‘supervised,’ meaning he put his name on it and told me to do all the work, and Sarkis the producer begrudgingly fixed my script and recorded the VO for me. I did all the actual work. Felt like high school all over again. But hey, I amused myself, and that’s what’s important.

Leap Day Explained from Michelle Brady on Vimeo.

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Monster Mash

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Sometimes at ONE+K we do silly things just to make our clients laugh. For several months, our content department has been sending movie stills from various Universal monster movies back to our Universal client — after they’ve been, shall we say, enhanced. The process usually begins with our Executive Producer and VP of Creative Content, Cory, and a selection of wigs. A photo shoot will happen with said VP and said wig in some corner of the office with producer Sarkis acting as photographer while I act as art director while holding a printout of the movie still up next to Sarkis’ face, and random coworkers walk by and point and laugh. Honestly, it’s a great way to spend a Friday afternoon.

Then begins the slightly less-enviable task of masking Cory (and his fashionable yet difficult to isolate scruff) and dropping him into the photo. Occasionally in a bathing suit. Don’t worry, I’ve spared all of us by not posting any of the swimwear poses….

The client so enjoyed the first few that they started making requests. Here are the highlights.

Cory meets FrankieCory meets Frankenstein’s Monster.

Cory meets DracCory meets Dracula, and is much more pleased than he should be.

Cory meets WolfieCory meets the Wolfman. Wolfie is getting fresh!

Cory and Cory meet the MummyCory and Cory meet The Mummy. He manages to fill the shoes of both Abbott and Costello.

House of Dra-corySo. Many. Corys. At least I got my name on the poster this time!

Cory as Dr JekyllHighlights of the photo shoot for Dr. Jekyll.

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Spinster in training, continued

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Aude, my housemate, took herself for Chicago for her birthday. Which means that while she was off having the time of her life, I had the house to myself to do whatever I wanted. Which meant chasing the cats and spinning more yarn.

IMG_0281Wish there were a way to use all of these at once for some ridiculous thing. There probably is, but I’m too lazy to figure it out.

First I finished a second batch of the Pigeonroof fiber mentioned in my previous post, but this time I managed a solid fingering weight — chain plied, even! — which was so very exciting to me. It’s so great to just sort of squeeze the hank, I’m almost afraid to knit it into anything for fear of ruining it somehow.

I tried to make the color repeats as sort as possible to prevent striping or pooling, but they’re still pretty long.This is the same bit of fiber about half an hour later with just one more layer on the spindle. Love the warm to cool colors.

The other yarns in the top photo were all done on my new electric wheel, two-plied, and somewhere between worsted and bulky. From the top: the “Don’t Look So Smug” colorway in Shetland wool from Nerd Girl Yarns, a tiny bit of what I think is silver Corriedale, and a bit of white superwash merino with some sari silk dropped in. One day I’ll get myself some carders and get the silk properly combed in and integrated, but it was a fun exercise. Some of the colors, especially the reds, bled into the white during the soak, which is pretty cool if you ask me.

I’m also working on “Shuttlecocks” in superwash BFL wool from Nerd Girl Yarns on my wheel. I think I’m starting to get the hang of things, as this single is quite a bit thinner than the Smug stuff, but still fairly uneven. We’ll see how it goes once it’s been plied.

IMG_0284Stripes! Gonna try chain plying on the wheel!

And then, of course, I started the kraken that my boss commissioned. Somehow the 10 tentacles were easier than the 8 of the octopus pattern in the same book by the same designer, the exceedingly talented Hansi Singh. I’ve made a couple octopuses and the tentacle assembly always made me want to cry, but the squid was surprisingly easy. Maybe it had something to do with all of Montag’s help.

IMG_0280If there’s one thing the internet’s taught me, it’s that cats love to help with yarn.

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