Things are looking a little different around here. Let me explain.
This is the all-new 26th edition of this website. It features a fully rethought aesthetic, a sharp new monogram logo, and an even easier to use navigation system. It's also fully responsive.
The new site and look are designed not only as a fun and necessary refresh, but as a refocus. My typefaces – the element of my portfolio I am most passionate about – are now front and center, with simplified installation and purchasing options. The other three content tabs – photos, paint, and graphics – now only display a sampling of work, instead of entire series or styles. However, you'll still be able to access a series with a direct link, like this.
So let's talk about the new logo. A highly stylized, adventurous, and offbeat monogram, it replaces the Blakeman Tree which was introduced in 2014 (along with the 25th iteration of the site). The Tree was a great logo, and served me well over the last few years. However, recently it was feeling a little stale and I wanted to make a change. This monogram logo balances traditional with new, and is much more personal. Expect a gradual replacement of the Tree with the monogram as I continually update materials.
Hope you like the changes!
I'm pleased to present my thirteenth font, Ventures. I took a new approach to designing this one, creating each character individually with a singular aesthetic goal but without creating an overarching set of guidelines first. I'd like to give a special shoutout to the "S." As always, you can download Ventures for free and personal use, or grab the commercial version at Harried Type.
As per annual tradition, here's my list of the top films of the previous year. I normally do a top ten, but this year I've decided to honor only five films. On the whole, I found 2016 to be a weaker year for the movies. Still, these five were excellent and important, bringing oft-overlooked stories to our attention and by offering relief and escapism in a troubled time.
Here's something different: I made a short film. I've experimented with video in the past, mostly editing other people's projects for work. After reading a recent biography of George Lucas, I became inspired to make a short in the style of the "tone poems" that Lucas made in film school.
Saturday in January chronicles a single day in Vancouver, WA and attempts to capture the feeling of an upcoming snowstorm. I'm more or less pleased with this first attempt, although I've got a lot of room for improvement. Still, I've got to start somewhere!
The Portland area got one of its biggest snowfalls in about a decade over the last few days. As a community, we're unaccustomed to this kind of weather and it was fun to see families out having fun and people helping their neighbors. It was a special treat to have everything go quiet. I shot quite a few photos, and posted a handful to my photography blog, Written in 35 mm.
I haven't worked with colored pencils since elementary school, but I recently started experimenting with them again for a work project. After that, I was jazzed about the idea of doing another colored pencil project and I made this self portrait at the end of 2016. While I'm sure its extremely rudimentary for people who know what they're doing with pencil and paper, I was pleased enough with the result that I wanted to share.
This time every year I compile a list of my favorite albums of that year. The purpose of the list is to take a snapshot of this moment. In that sense, I'm not actually trying to find the best album of the year, but rather to identify the best album of my year as we head into the next one. For 2016, the list's rules have been amended to include mixtapes, new material compilations, and EPs (it's now a top records list, no longer bound by the studio). As per tradition, I make a little graphic to go along with it.