I am Eric Carl, currently employed at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Los Angeles as a web designer and instructor.

On this blog I will reveal all that I know and love about art, design and the creative process.

From Twitter:


I now have a new portfolio site at computerpictur.es, replacing a considerable amount of old work at sans-concept.com. I’ll be leaving the blog here without future updates while I focus on some new projects. Speaking of which, there are a few new pieces up at computerpictur.es including some music related iPad work and some poster prints (pictured above).

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Large versions available on my Flickr page.


Shannon Keller

Shannon Keller is a fine artist and illustrator that I have the pleasure of working with over at Gnomon. I just recently finished helping her out with her website and in return she drew this excellent portrait of me. I think it treads a strange line between tongue-in-cheek and grotesque. I like it.


Shh! The Blog is Sleeping

You’ve probably seen them — small, well-tended blogs with a bit of sweat and blood put into them, hosting bits of interesting content that the author was passionate enough about to share with the rest of the world. Maybe they even got into a bit of a rhythm for awhile and began to amass a small amount of loyal visitors engaged in a bit of light discussion sprinkled across various posts.

Over the years I’ve found a lot of enjoyment in collecting various items of interest, be it art, music or ideas, and sharing them here. Unfortunately I abruptly put a stop to that activity and that’s the kind of thing I just hate to see – a personal project abandoned and neglected without warning or explanation. Like an old house that was once a warm, loving home to a close family, now abandoned, falling apart from decades of neglect.

This is certainly not by choice or preference — nearly a year ago I managed to injure my neck/head/upper back which I’m told was a direct result of the many hours I spend at a computer. My doctor told me what it was, and while I’m not 100% certain of the exact words he used, I think he may have said it was Occipital Neuralgia. As a result I’ve had to keep my computing time to a minimum, which can be very disappointing and frustrating for someone who’s interests and hobbies all involve a computer. There isn’t much that’s more depressing for me than a complete lack of creative output.

So that is largely why the blog activity has ceased. I don’t like it, but at this point I don’t have much of a choice. My only real option is to keep trying to take care of my neck business until I get to a point where I can get back into spending more time at my computer. On my list of things to do: get a new computer chair that isn’t terrible (why did I not invest in a good chair years ago?), get more physical activity, and find creative outputs that don’t involve a glowing a rectangle.

I did actually visit my doctor again the other day and received what’s called an occipital nerve block. Basically I had some steroids injected deep into my neck, which was an interesting experience (and nowhere near as painful as I expected). It’s been a few days and I can tell a difference, so I’m hoping it keeps working out for me.

In the meantime I’m still pretty active on the Twitter. I really want to revisit the blog at some point and keep posting interesting stuff, but for now it will have to wait. I will let it continue to sleep for a bit.


Frank Chimero on Visual Consumption and the Designer’s Ego

I generally try to avoid regurgitating content from other blogs around here, but I thought this little morsel of insight was too nice not to try and share with a few other people. Frank Chimero has this to say from a recent interview he did:

Showing design for design’s sake only tells you that a thing exists and describes how it looks, not why it exists. To consume that way is to live on a very cursory level, and I think that leaves us wanting.

Frank is in a way referring to sites like Ffffound or other curated art and design blogs that frequently post nice work devoid of context. He’s spot on here. I actually rarely visit Ffffound because I find that not only does it present work in a vaccum, but it keeps me a little too aware of what’s in right now. I’d much rather be a little naive and produce work that appeals to me personally that get too concerned with what the current hot topic is.

He also has this to say:

“Oh, design is about everything but design, so all this other stuff. Design exists for food and culture and linguistics and dog walkers and the city and agile programming methods and the federal deficit and the Hubble telescope.” Life is much happier once you see design as a cultural vessel, and realize it’s more productive and more nourishing to focus on the culture than the vessel. It’s a great lesson in humility. Forget that designer’s ego stuff: we’re servants.

What more can you say? Thanks Frank. I’m guilty of the designers’ ego as much as anyone else and stuff like this is a refreshing dose of reality.

Make sure you follow Frank’s blog for more of his thoughts and check out his great illustrations while you’re at it.


Roger Dean at Sci-Fi-O-Rama

Kie over at the lovely Sci-Fi-O-Rama blog has been starting the year off right with some new site updates. In addition to some tweaks to the blog, he just put up a new post, “Roger Dean – As chosen by those he has inspired“, which has a few different illustrators and designers, myself included, weighing in our their favorite Roger Dean pieces.

Above is the piece I selected, the cover for Billy Cox’s LP “Nitro Function”. Check out the post for more details and more Roger Dean!


Fantastic Planet

I’ve uploaded a set of still frames to my Flickr account from the 1973 French animated film Fantastic Planet. The film is directed by René Laloux, who also later directed 1982’s Time Masters, which I posted about previously.

The film is a roughly animated and richly illustrated surreal journey that I found to be a real treat. Not to mention it has a great, eerily melancholy soundtrack that is best described by this reviewer on Amazon:

“Made in the 1973, it is heavily orchestrated, extended abstract funk. Electric harpsichords and wha wha guitars rule the landscape. There are tempo changes and dynamic shifts galore: the music can be creepy one minute, funky the next, then lilting. This album is a study in how to make an album packed with sounds, but with a consistent thread, created by the texture of the instruments.”

Check out the trailer on YouTube for a brief glimpse at the film and a sampling of the music.


Epic Collection of Vintage Fumetti and Paperback Scans on Flickr

Curt Purcell of the excellent Groovy Age of Horror blog has put together a Flickr account to share scans from his epic collection of sleazy, vintage Italian comics and horror books. I am eternally grateful to Curt for introducing me to the existence of these delightfully kitschy and inappropriate comics and paperbacks!

I am only posting 4 select images above because I really want to you to visit his Flickr account to see the rest. Here’s to hoping he has even more to post in the future!

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Only the Brave

I had the opportunity of contributing to Diesel’s “Only the Brave” Artist Performances by the people at Hellohikimori. “Only the Brave” is an online art exhibit featuring the work of select artists and designers to promote their new men’s fragrance.

Each artist is given a 3D room to design with the theme “Only the Brave” and you can see mine here. I was free to interpret it pretty loosely, so I put together something relating to the inner turmoil associated with appealing to one’s better nature.

There’s a ton of cool work from other artists on the site, so definitely check out the other performances!

View the 2D image on Flickr or view the 3D room at Diesel.

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Cognosco Art Show at Gnomon Gallery This Saturday

I really should have mentioned this earlier but I just wanted to plug what is going to be a totally cool art opening tomorrow night! Cognosco will be a collection of personal work by artists from a certain major video game developer. We aren’t really allowed to share the name but I’ll bet you can figure it out for yourself. See you there!

Gnomon Gallery
Saturday, August 8th 2009
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm

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