Make It and Take It

make-and-take-at-AVAM

I’ll be at AVAM this Friday with a TON of cigar boxes, ready to help bring new Dioramas into the world!

Details above!

UPDATE!

Results, below.

take-care-of-it

octo

art

blue-beauty

hostile-planet

horseman

final-frontier

lamby

more

cigar-box

bowling

Sushi

I’ll be doing another workshop (or several) in 2017! Stay tuned, and come make some art!

Diorama-rama Deux

duex

And I quote: “Wonder Commons presents Diorama-Rama Deux, a celebration of creative storytelling inside the box. Join us in our second year as we compete for awards and celebrate what can be seen through the miniature. Introductory Diorama demonstration by artist Jim Doran.”

rules

So, I set some of my work out and talked with folks about Diorama-ing.

talk

I quickly put together a zine about some of my work.

zines

This event is put on by Wonder Commons – Robert Marbury and his wife Alix Fenhagen.

Rob

The theme was “March Madness,” which has something to do with baseball or something. I made two dioramas that are NOT paper cut-outs.

I get a mild form of madness called SPRING FEVER. Perhaps you’ve heard of it – it doesn’t help that, after days of glorious weather, it snowed yesterday.

 

spring-fever-scale

And here’s part two, which has EVERYTHING to do with baseball:

mm-bottom-view

(More on both of these dioramas can be read in their own post).

I won “Best in Show!”

bis

Please notice that the trophy has two baseball bats AND two cups on top.

bis-2

This is a smart, fun (and amusing) event. I saw a lot of the same faces from last year’s event, and a few new ones. NEXT YEAR, we are going to have a “make your own diorama session” before the judging kicks off, and I have offered to help people realize their own diorama-rama-ness.

All of the entries were great – here are a few more:

FUN

This-is-not-a-peep

cesar

tulip

run

more

spring

Keep an eye out for next year’s Diorama-rama, and come!

Fitbloggin Ignite: Derby Little Secrets

I gave an Ignite talk Friday night at Fitbloggin called Derby Little Secrets [slides]. I was surprised at how emotional it was. I think some new derby boys and girls were born that night – I hope so, anyway.

I talked about my girls discovered roller derby. We reached out to several local leagues seeking junior league information. My big girl got sick and Chesapeake Roller Derby visited us. Leezle and I attended a few games and I wondered, secretly, if I could learn to play roller derby. I bought some gear, figured out who my alter ego is and jumped in. I learned the rules, some basic workouts and key derby skills. It’s the most fun I’ve had in years – even for a guy with a trick knee. I’ve learned that moms, dads, PhDs, teachers, retail clerks, dental hygienists, florists, gay people, straight people, transgender people, black people, white people, atheists,  believers – everyone can do this. It’s open to all who want to be involved.

 

FitBloggin’ 11

I haven’t posted anything in weeks because I’ve been reworking this site and writing a talk for the FitBloggin’ 2011 conference in Baltimore.

I still have a pretty good list of things to clean up here, especially on the WordPress side of the site.  I experimented with Custom Post Types and multisite functionality, and finally decided it was overkill. I decided to let ‘er rip, because I need to get back to posting stuff. So, please pardon the site hiccups as they happen. I’m still working on it.

FitBloggin’ 2011

FitBloggin’ was amazing, yet again. Seeing friends from last year, and finally meeting guys I’ve been talking with on Twitter was fantastic. As before, I’m honored to have been a part of this. Roni Noone has created something truly special that changes people’s lives. That’s amazing. This is my favorite conference, even more than the WordCamps.

Jennette Fulda gave a comprehensive talk on design. Monica Olivas answered questions about privacy and getting started to newer bloggers. Katy was everywhere I looked. The hookers from Shrinking Jeans are always fun! It was great to catch up with Scott Stawarz and wife, Paolo, Matt Dustin, Jen “in real life,” Jack Sh*t (even more charming in real life) and especially Ryan “No More Bacon” Sullivan and his wife, Mrs. Bacon. And everyone else I met, too. It’s all overwhelming. Check the #fitbloggin hash tag on twitter and you can see what I mean.

Regarding my presence there, someone asked me “are you a vendor of sorts?” I am not. Nor am I a fitness blogger, although I did just join a gym for the first time ever and I like it, obsessively so. To date, I haven’t tried to “monetize” my site(s). I haven’t run adwords campaigns, as easy as that would be to do. I am not a “social media guru” with “the answers for driving the conversation in the community to maximize value in the douche-bag space.” I have a lot of knowledge to share, though – WordPress, Blogger, analytics, SEO, code, design, writing, being part of something positive. It’s fun to help and I answered as many WordPress and blogging questions as I could.

This time, my talk focused on photography for blogs. I decided to address “the art of seeing” and how to get better shots. It was a fun talk to research. I recommended doing a 365 – a photoblog where you post a picture a day – as a way to change the way we see the world around us. It trains our eye and forces us to find interesting ways to tell stories in a new way. I thought I’d try it, too – I’ve created a new section on this site for daily snaps. Hence to mad rush to rework my dusty old theme.

My slides are here. Thanks to everyone who listened and asked questions!

Springbrook Web Conference

Today, I spoke at Springbrook High School on “Building Your Brand” with some awesome free Web tools. I usually avoid talking about subjects like branding and social media in favor of technical/functional things, but this was for a good cause. My pal Zac Gordon is doing outstanding things in Web education, which I DO care about.

Two of my favorite people teach at the same school. None of us were aware of the connection until Chas saw a picture of Zac and I on flickr. Funny old world.

As a bonus, I got to see Chas and sit in on a little bit of life drawing. Springbrook is lucky to have both these guys. One of them alone can make a big difference in kids’ lives – two of them, well, whoah.

The conference had 500 seats available, and there were people at the door still trying to get in, which makes me guess it was sold out. It’s so cool that 500+  kids are interested in learning about Web design and development.

My talk covered what a “brand” is and isn’t, citing Marty Neumeier’s The Brand Gap. I then discussed free tools for publishing stuff on the Web. I talked about the goals I’ve been able to accomplish with my WordPress site, and explored the merits of Vimeo, YouTube, Flickr, Blogger, Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter. I thought it was interesting that the room exploded when I showed the Tumblr slide – but not really all that surprising.  I talked about managing one’s online presence, getting a domain and being good Web citizens.

Pretty Awesome.

Also, I didn’t fall off the stage into the orchestra pit. Win.

4 photos by Chester Lam

The Brand Gap, Marty Neumeier