Just in case

Posted on March 10th, 2010 5 great comments. Room for one more!

woo restaurant, amc 24 movie theatres, yonge-dundas square, toronto transit commission, streetcar, toronto, city, life Well, it’s happened. I’m getting antsy.

I was watching Breakfast Television this morning to see if Dina Pugliese would entice me into a passionate new day (and for the weather report). She didn’t; she’s just so dry (and it’s supposed to start raining tomorrow).  The over-boiled supposed-to-be-soft-boiled egg was digesting in my stomach, as was the thick, crunchy, crusty hunk of Vienna Rye (I buy it for a reason!) I was up early again and was feeling the need to get inspired. Portfolio’s a waitin’

Dina obviously wouldn’t do it for me so I decided to kill a few birds with one stone: head outside for a walk, get some inspiration, and take a few photos of it. I firmly believe that to solve a problem it’s best to walk away from it; just the excuse I needed.

My first thought when I hit Yonge-Dundas Square was to make the portfolio like a building. Each floor would house a project I’d worked on that you could fly into via the magic of Adobe Flash. The Woo building (I’m sure it has another name — but is it as catchy?), seemed like a suitable candidate. Lots of windows and spinny, twirly, moving things. Plus, I remember the Woo website being somewhat slick – the location must’ve worked for them.

Except that it’s been done, like, a million and one times already.  Every agency and creative somethingorother showcase their loft, or their building, or some nearby space on their web pages.

Okay, how about something like a construction site then?

construction, carlton street, yonge street, toronto, city, life

I could have the shovels, umm, shoveling content. And the dump trucks … dumping … stuff. Hmmm.

That idea had two unfortunate connotations. First, the connection between trucks, dumping, and the intertubes. Not sure if that’s the image I want to give off. Second, this thing:

Ultra-cheese since it first appeared in a Netscape window. I haven’t used Netscape since I don’t even know when.

So that pretty much put an end to the construction idea.

For some reason, fire trucks were racing along Yonge Street the whole morning. I didn’t see a single emergency (no smoke or stretchers), but they did spark off an idea.

toronto fire department pumper, emergency response unit, yonge street, eaton centre, toronto, city, life

Maybe I’d been over thinking it. Maybe I could just use one complex, rotating, 3D object in the middle of a pristine white web page. The object could be something like a fire truck, the Swiss Army knife of vehicles. Or a Swiss Army knife. I imagined it would be kind fun to poke and prod this thing on screen, having each prodable doohickey act as an activator to some portfolio piece that would pop up beside it.

Of course, I’d have to model the thing in 3D. That’d be the only way of ensuring each of the pieces were able to move separately. Sadly, my 3D modelling skills are laughable. I could whip you up a cube in about five minutes, subdivide that sucker into a diamond in about half an hour. A truck? Probably not in this lifetime. A truck that moves? Well that’s a silly question.

Too concrete. I’d probably do better thinking more abstractly. Instead of trying to envision the page, I decided to try juggling a few words around. “Reliable.” “Innovative”. “Classical”. “Modern”.

manufacturers life insurance, manulife building, bloor street east, toronto, city, life

Tossing contradictory words up in the air was very unsatisfying. Classical yet modern. What kind of bullshit services was I peddling here?

Plus, I was already supposed to have been home twenty minutes ago. To start working on my portfolio! I was sure I’d have something at that point, but nada. I mean, whaddya do in a situation like that?

shrine of our lady of lourdes, sherbourne street, virgin mary statue, prayer, toronto, city, life

Neat. And there it was. It was an effect I was looking for. Forget representing anything, it just will be.

Well, I didn’t lollygag about after that, to be sure. I hustled home and started coding. Stopped some time after 10 p.m. Solid. Late post, but I managed to bring it all home in the end. I think, that’s what matters. Tomorrow development continues and I dredge up the dusty Old Projects folders, screen-grabs of various web projects I’d worked on, printed using the most expensive type of ink / paper my current employer had. Strangely, some of the projects now exist solely on paper. Ironical.

I sometimes get the funny feeling that one day my particular skills will come to absolutely naught when society crumbles and everyone’s left to fend for themselves. Right back to the Dark Ages. A zombie invasion, for example. That’s why I took the precaution of learning how to wield a garden hoe as a weapon (I would imagine the city hoe is considerably more difficult). Also how to garden. I’ll be feasting on fresh veggies while the rest ‘a them are eating ‘coons and squirrels. Hole up in a church until winter, kill frozen zombies for fun until the thaw comes; that’s a plan I can stand behind.

The portfolio is my plan B, just in case that doesn’t happen. Just in case.

shrine of our lady of lourdes, church, construction, highrise, sherbourne street, toronto, city, life

5 Comments on “ Just in case ”

  • stanya
    March 11th, 2010 3:35 pm

    Beautiful pictures the one with Madona is really special, where did you find it? About your plan, little crazy so many inspirations, catch the right one quickly.

    Read more from stanya at:
  • Kato
    March 15th, 2010 9:36 am

    Beautiful pictures, once again! It was so nice out that day, and then the rain came. Sigh.

    I a glad you got inspired on your walk. I am even glad about your end of the world epiphanies as well. I will hole up in that church with you, if that's ok with you thanks.


    Read more from Kato at: http://www.pandorahsbox.blogspot.com
  • Patrick
    March 16th, 2010 4:34 am

    Epiphanies can only take me so far, Kato … then the zombies come. We'll keep each other company when the time comes :)

  • Hamilton Builders
    August 5th, 2010 7:44 am

    Your picture are very nice. I can imagine how lovely is that day. Can I know what kind of camera did you used to take those pictures?

    Read more from Hamilton Builders at: http://iconicconstruction.co.nz/
  • Patrick
    August 6th, 2010 5:49 am

    Thanks, Hamilton Builders. I use a Canon Powershot SX10IS (there's a newer model out now, the SX20IS — same specs but higher pixel count).

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