Jordan 13 Defining Moments Package Concept

Jordan Brand recently revealed the new Defining Moments Package featuring the Jordan 13 and 14 with gold accents. The gold, just like on the first DMP, represents the championships that MJ won in those shoes. 

The 14 takes the "Last Shot" colorway and throws on gold accents to tie back to the championship trophy. Not bad, in my opinion. The 13s? I'm not much of a fan. I don't think that patent leather belongs on the 13s. Now make it gold patent leather? It's just too much going on for me. 

I couldn't let them do one of my favorite Jordan models like that so I made a few mock ups of what I thought the 13 should have looked like. I took some original colors and replaced some red with the gold. In my opinion, they look a little more classic than the real final product. Let me know what you guys think.

No Filter

As an aspiring graphic designer, I tend to get asked for a lot of favors from friends for design stuff. And usually I'd turn it down because working with friends can get messy and different creative visions can make things even harder. But recently I've decided to help out with snapchat filters because it's something new and refreshing to work on and it's something that can be viewed by a ton of people.

Doing custom snapchat filters allows me to get loose and just design whatever I think looks nice. I take them as opportunities to just have fun. Especially when work can get so serious and stressful. My very first snapchat filter was for RIF.LA and Niketalk.com's Sneaker Summit at the Dodger game. I wanted to keep things simple and clean to stay true to the RIF.LA design aesthetic but also stand out at the same time. 

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More recently, I designed a filter for my friends' birthday weekend in Las Vegas. They originally just wanted some text on it saying "happy birthday" but I wanted to give it a little more personalization to put it over the top. So I created personalized cartoons for them and added the decorations that would also be in the hotel party. 

After a few drafts I still felt like it could be pushed even further. So I  added in some things that tied both friends together by including what they really love to do; surfing and dancing. Everyone was a happier with this so we went all in on this draft. Overall, I was pretty happy how it turned out and was glad I could help my friends celebrate in a special way. Maybe I should say yes to more snapchat favors.

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I'm a Dope Runner

Air Max Day is upon us. Instead of showing off my favorite pair of infrared Air Max 90's like I normally do, I thought I'd dig into the archives a bit and go off the beaten path. One of my favorite shoes, that I don't really get to talk about (or wear much really) is the Nike Air Stab. I purchased a wolf grey pair of them back in 2007 from my friend who worked for Nike at the time. After beating them to death and even wearing them for beach volleyball, I decided to restore and customize them into something new. 

One of my final classes at Cal Poly Pomona was crafts class. I was tasked with doing any kinds of arts and crafts activity within the 2hr class, twice a week, as long as I had something worth presenting at the end of the quarter. I jumped around and tried a few things like sewing together a moccasin, and even thought about putting together a stained glass window for Yeezus. After some time, I finally decided to try my hand in customizing shoes.

I found my base shoe, cleaned it up, restored it, stripped it down and began the customization process. I was a huge fan of the Ronnie Fieg "Salmon Toe" Asics shoe but I definitely paying $800ish dollars for them, so I took matters into my own hands and made my own. I was also really a big fan of Childish Gambino's "Pink Toes" song, and I thought it fit the theme of these salmon toe shoes as well. So to mix it up even more, I created my own custom insoles for the shoes which featured graphics from Childish Gambino's "Because the Internet" album. Here's the final product! 

Back to Basics

Samurai Jack is back! And I suddenly found some free time. So I took a sec to go back to basics and sketch some stuff out since it's been a while. I put the whole process on Snapchat but quickly found out that my friends have no idea who Samurai Jack is. Also, that they all love Mulan. -_-

The show was really influential to me and at a young age, I fell in love with the artwork and aesthetic created by the show. It really brings a sense of nostalgia and takes me back to simpler times. I couldn't be more excited to finally get a conclusion to a show that was randomly cut short. 

I'm not quite done with the Jack artwork. I'll post more when I finish. Stay tuned.

Upgrade You: Adidas Energy Boost

As a designer and shoe enthusiast, I know what I like when it comes to shoe designs and colorways. As a freelance designer on a budget, I know what a good deal when I see one. So when I was browsing around a Ross store and saw a pair of Adidas Energy Boost shoes priced at $25, I knew I couldn't pass up on them. Specially when they usually retail for $160. The only problem was that they're a bright orange colorway that I wasn't much of a fan of. I mean, I love orange. Look at my logo! Orange. It's my ninja turtle color. So I bought the shoes with the intention of tweaking the design a bit to make them look a little more appealing. 

I took these Adidas shoes and decided to mix the design a bit with some Ronnie Fieg Pumas to tone the overall colors down a bit while still leaving some of that original pop! I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. Now I'm just not sure if I should black out the boost sole and and speckles to it the same way. The general response to these has been positive so far. At least around the office when I wore them on casual Friday. Hopefully they weren't just being nice... 

 

 

Holla Holla

I've had an interesting month. So interesting that I haven't been able to put my thoughts into proper words to write out these blogs. I recently posted a blog about Ja Rule and how much his music influenced me as a kid. Shortly after, I found out that Ja and Ashanti had put together a string of shows on the west coast. I HAD to get tickets. There was no if, and or but on if I were to go or now. A few of my friends swooped up the tickets quick and sure enough, we were all on our way to the show.

In all seriousness, I was very excited to see Ja and Ashanti, but I was expecting things to be very weird and not as great as I wanted it to be. Sure enough, the show started off very rocky. The show was supposed to start at 8pm, with doors opening at 7. An hour passed by and people were getting antsy. It didn't help that the venue wasn't even playing rap or rnb songs to get the crowd into it. Ashanti didn't hit the stage until 9:30 and from there, things really got going. Ashanti was great and she was looking GOOD. Ja came out after Ashanti and performed hit after hit. My friends and I were ridiculously excited. I never really thought I'd ever have the chance to see Ja Rule in concert, yet alone Ja and Ashanti together. There were a few strange spots through out the show. 1. Whenever Ja and Ashanti would perform newer songs that no one knew, they would just lose the crowd. It was kinda tough to watch. 2. There was a strange moment in the middle of Ja's set where he tells the crowd to stick their middle fingers in the air towards him and to yell "Fuck Ja Rule!" in unison. Then he immediately talks about Fast and the Furious with a dedication to Paul Walker (Ja played Edwin in the 1st FnF movie). I do not see the immediate connection or why he'd go from "F Ja Rule" to talking about Walker. Then it hit me... The music playing in the end credits of that movie? A Ja Rule song where he talks about telling people "Fuck you." It kinda makes sense but I thought it was just kind of random. 

Other than those two random moments, the show was fun. As much as I love Ja and Murder Inc. (WHAT UP CADILLAC TAH?!) I had forgot just how many hits they had. It's pretty hard to match that nostalgic feeling. I'm sure it was that way for a ton of people, seeing as how they sold out like 5 shows that week alone. Even when we left the venue, the line was wrapped around the block with people waiting to get in to see the 11 o'clock showing. They obviously still have a strong fan base. Random note: I also wish that there was merch for purchase. But oh well, you can't win em all. If you ever get the chance to see Ja and Ashanti live, I suggest you do it. Just hope that they're not ironically running late. How does that happen when you have a song called "Always on Time?" 

I Feel Like Pablo

For those living under a rock, Kanye recently held a twitter contest where he hinted that his album was going to be named T.L.O.P. and whoever could guess the title off of the initials would receive free yeezys. Me being me, I went and tried my luck to see what I could come up with. After a bunch of random guesses ranging from "The Leader of the People" to "The Leader of Positivity," I decided to tone it down a bit. I listened to "No More Parties in LA" and heard Kanye talk about Pablo, I figured maybe that's what the P stood for. So I guessed "The Legend of Pablo." When they revealed that it was Life of Pablo, I was SICK. Anyone who knows me knows that I've spent years trying to own a pair of Yeezys. For reasons unknown, they have constantly eluded me and I'm just not willing to pay $1k+ for a pair of shoes. This miss was probably the most painful. One word away. I guess it just wasn't meant to be that day. But one of these days... ONE DAY... these Yeezy's will be mine... (I prefer the Tan Nike Yeezy 1s anyways lol)

 



No Concept

Fashion was always something that intrigued me.  Even as a younger kid, I can remember trying to put together the best outfit with the clothes that my parents bought me to match these white/denim Nike AF1 mids. (Ultimately going with an orange Dragon Ball Z shirt that matched these dark blue windbreaker pants with orange piping from Old Navy. It was ridiculously fly for 1999) I've seen plenty of fashion blogs and how to videos for developing better style and I figured I'd give it a try.

Everyone has their own personal style. And with time, my own style changed from Dragonball Z shirts as a kid, to nothing but Jordan Brand apparel in high school, to developing a much more simple and classic look now. But even in high school, I thought that I was pretty solid at foreseeing tends, whether I tried to pull them off or not. 

A lot of today's trends are about longline clothing. T shirts and jackets with lengthy bodies, lots of layering type stuff. This, plus biker and distressed denim, and you've got yourself a very trendy individual. If that's your style, then go ahead and rock with that, but for me? At age 25? That's definitely not a wave for me to ride. My main problem with the longline trend is that... well... it's a trend. It's something that probably won't last. I try to keep my wardrobe down to some simple classic styles. 

The first step I took to keep things simple? Get rid of the logos. That's kind of strange to hear coming from a graphic designer, but it's what I believe in in terms of fashion. These companies aren't paying you to sport their logo across your chest. In fact, you're actually paying them to sport their brand. And with time, who knows if that brand thats plastered all across the front of that shirt is still going to be cool in 2 years? Think about it. Is it still dope to wear some Sean Jean logo shirts today like it was in the early 2000's? Is that LRG full zip hoody still fresh? Probably not. Blank shirts with nice clean cuts will always be in style and will always be something to dress up or dress down. I've slowly but surely been going with this idea of getting rid of all my logo tee's. Another benefit from this would be saving money. Buy less and buy better. You won't be wasting money on shirts that won't be cool in a few months.

The only exception would be clothing I use for working out or playing basketball. Those are things that I don't care to really maintain. 

I'm going to keep updating my blog with fashion ramblings and tips more often. Stay tuned!

Alright

This Wednesday, October 21, 2015 was the day Marty McFly traveled to in Back to the Future 2. Nike also created major waves in the sneaker world by revealing that they developed the power lacing Nike MAGs that were featured in the movie. To commemorate the day, I thought I'd share a small MAG related story.

Back in 2011, I attended a printmaking class at Cal Poly Pomona. It was probably the hardest and most time consuming class in the design program. Making a plate was painstaking and took hours, even days. For the first assignment, my instructor told us to go home, use an etching tool and draw a simple design onto a zinc plate. She made it seem so simple, almost like a first test run practice so I didn't really draw much onto it. Nike had just started their charity Air Mag auction and I was in love with that shoe, so I drew a very bare, simple side profile drawing of the Mags. Threw in a few wave lines in the background to simulate time travel, and called it a wrap. (dumb idea. i know.) I had no idea that everyone else really went in with their drawings and drew detailed things. I was so embarrassed when I printed my stuff out. They just weren't very good. Might have been the worst in the class. I took the criticism in stride and took the L.

After working with different printmaking and etching techniques, it was time for our final project. I tend to take criticism very well. If it's bad, I know it's bad. But I don't like losing. I don't like feeling like I failed. So when the final rolled around, I was up for the challenge of redoing that Mag print. I wanted to redeem myself. So I went to work. I spent a ton of late nights in the lab etching, drawing and printing. And in the end, I finally came out with a print I was happy with. With the print being such a success, I was able to make it into the class showcase as one of the best final projects. I couldn't have been happier.


The Good, the Bad, the UGLY.

I love basketball. I also love design. So when it comes to team logo and jersey designs, I get very judgmental and it's very hard to impress me. But I also get very excited to see what happens when teams decide to rebrand. That being said, there have been PLENTY of ugly ones. This summer, most of the rebrands had teams taking a turn for the worse in my opinion. Here's a quick breakdown of some of those new looks.

The Good:

Milwaukee Bucks

To start off on a good note, I love the new Bucks jerseys and logos. They're a huge improvement over their last ones, which I didn't think were all that bad in the first place. I remember reading a write up that described the direction they were taking with the knew designs and I was terrified. White, blue and green jerseys made no sense to me when I read it. Why take away the classic read? But when I finally saw the final product, I was in love right away. These are actually the first new uniforms and logos that I actually like. While I do love the overall look, my one complaint would be with the secondary logo. The whole curcular logo with the basketball in the middle is very hip, but it's pretty much over done at this point. The Nets used it when they moved to Brooklyn and the Raptors now have a similar look too. But other than that, I love everything about the new look Bucks. 

OLD (left) vs NEW (right)

OLD (left) vs NEW (right)

The jerseys are amazing too. Simple done right.

The jerseys are amazing too. Simple done right.

Toronto Raptors:

The Raptors dropped the dinosaur logo once again and actually followed the Bucks formula and had something very simple. The problem is that it looks almost exactly like the Nets primary logo and it's kind of uninspired. The ball itself doesn't even really scream "Raptors."  It's supposed to be the raptor claw tearing up the basketball I guess. It's a very clean aesthetic but I do really wish it would be more visual with the Raptor aspect of it. The uniforms are very simplistic and I'm not mad at that. It's hilarious to me tho that they have a special October's Very Own uniform for Drake night. 

The Bad & the Ugly:

Los Angeles Clippers

I want to say that the Clippers went for a total rebrand to separate themselves from the Lakers and their logo since both of their logos were fairly similar for the longest time. But this is just bad. Not one single person (Clipper fan or not) that I know, liked the new design. This has no ties to the Clipper ships that the team was named after and it doesn't look good aesthetically. Nothing about it screams" sports team" to me. I saw plenty of fan made designs that were far better than the final one that the Clippers went with. I'm not even really sure how this got through for final approval.

Not only is the logo sub-par but the jerseys are boring too. I don't even have much more to say about it, man. It's almost as if Ballmer had a nephew who wanted to be a designer and he let him do whatever he wanted. 

Atlanta Hawks

Now, the logo for the Hawks is fine. The primary is actually the exact same thing as the Raptors, Nets and Bucks circular logo. I don't love it, I don't hate it, but I wish it were different. Too many similar logos. It's almost an epidemic like when every team started changing their team colors to red, white and blue. But like I said, I don't hate it. They took their classic hawk logo, and updated it to look more like a hawk instead of pacman.  That's a good look.

Where they really went wrong was changing their colors (again.) For the longest time, the Hawks had their colors as red, yellow and white. They recently went to navy, red, and white. I hated that move. The red and yellow is what I grew up with and it was a color combo that instantly reminded me of them. The navy and red combo was something that was being done by way too many teams. They looked like team USA out there. The hawks decided this year to go back to the red and yellow but with a new twist. They changed the yellow, into a neon yellow. I guess it's something thats supposed to be futuristic and new. But it just hurts to look at. It's too bright. And the pattern is a distraction. There is too much going on there.

The Sixers new uniforms weren't too different from their old ones so I'm not going to do a write up on theirs. They're nice though. I'll definitely have to do my own rebranding for these logos when I get the chance. OH! And for the Rockets because lord knows they need new uniforms. They've been rocking the same broad shoulder jerseys and logos since the Yao Ming era. They might as well bring in a new look for James Harden's new team. 

 

Brand New

So I haven't updated the blog in a long time. Almost a year actually. So I decided to scrap the old one and start fresh with a brand new blog. It's been tough keeping up with the blog. I haven't posted at all this year and we're already 9 months in. Between Finish Line taking up a ton of my time and then finally getting a graphic design job, my 2015 has been hectic. I can't even believe it's already almost October. Hopefully I do a better job of keeping up with this one.