The Under After studio playlist for October. The design of the playlist cover continues the "frame within a frame" theme I've been playing with this year and is based on another of my hand-drawn sketches. Artists on this playlist: Anthony Naples, Bullion, Ross From Friends (this is one of the most polarizing artist names I can think of, but the music is clever, hypnotic and addictive), Tirzah, Against All Logic, Four Tet, Michael Mayer & Joe Goddard, Oneohtrix Point Never, DJ Koze & Mano Le Tough, JEFF The Brotherhood, Hailu Mergia & Dahlak Band, Romare, and Julien Dyne. Listen!

 
 
Embracing the Small Release design by Under After
 

It’s hard to launch personal projects. How do you know you’re done? Instead of overthinking it, I’m embracing the small release and the process of iteration. This weekend I migrated my personal site, forscher.com, to github-pages and built a simple 1-pager with Jekyll. The CSS color fades are subtle and draw more attention to the UI than it deserves. 🙃

 
 
 
 
The Smudge • Vol 2, Issue
 

Just got my April copy of The Smudge. Love the cover art by Lan Truong. 👀

The Smudge is a monthly newspaper offering articles, interviews, comics and advice from a range of unique thinkers and creators “in the spirit of the underground and alternative presses of the 60's and 70's.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I write, record and produce music to find balance and sustain engagement in demanding client work. With no deadlines, self-initiated projects can be tough to complete. For this release, I created a brief for myself to define some constraints:

Lost Waves—​From Out There EP design by Under After
The Brief

  • —Three tracks
  • —Less than thirty minutes long
  • —Take out the boring parts

The result, "From Out There" is a 21:52 journey through familiar and abstract soundscapes. It's a subtle record, perfect for headphone listening or to help focus an anxious mind.

 

A post shared by Lost Waves (@_lostwaves) on

Get the EP on Bandcamp, iTunes, Soundcloud or Spotify.

 
 
Lee Sargent – Alma design by Under After
 

A cover design for Lee Sargent's Alma. I wanted to focus on the overall feeling of his enveloping and meditative album. The name Alma means kind, loving and more literally, the soul. The washes of color are understated but full of potential. Looking closer, there's life in all that digital grain and noise.

Lee Sargent – Alma design by Under After Lee Sargent – Alma design by Under After Lee Sargent – Alma design by Under After Lee Sargent – Alma design by Under After
 
 
Experiments in 3D — design by Under After
 

While learning how to inflate an object in Cinema 4D and experimenting with soft body dynamics, I thought of a few other things that can be inflated: balloons, the prices of goods or services and our egos. I called the one above "Egos Be Like." I think we've all met someone with an ego so big, you can see it from space.

Experiments in 3D — design by Under After

One of my earliest seamless loops, also an experiment in connecting simple geometric forms.

Experiments in 3D — design by Under After

"TFW You Have Insomnia Because of the News" is a little looping animation, offset in time. Seven smiley faces power through seven days of the week, looping through the endless news cycle. To put on a good face, to get the simple smilely to look right as the surface of the sphere, I had to stretch the source file a bit.

 
 
Three Things to Consider When Choosing Projects design by Under After
 

This article was originally printed in Net Mag’s “The Freelancer Issue — The Ultimate Guide to Going it Alone” (Issue 270).

How do you know which freelance projects to take?

Let’s say you’ve worked hard to build up a solid portfolio and you have a reliable network of other freelancers and former clients who recommend you for new work. You may face the challenge of choosing which new business opportunities to pursue. If you accept all incoming work yourself you’ll likely overcommit, compromising on quality or your sanity. This can damage your reputation and ultimately your business. But if you limit the number of projects you take, you may miss out on exciting opportunities when they arise.

Know What Motivates You

There’s no easy answer. Be honest with yourself about what motivates you to do your best. It may be the specifics of certain types of creative challenges or the craft of the work. You may love working for a certain type of client. You may be motivated by peer recognition or awards. Or it may all be about the money.

Optimize for what you can control: new business leads are varied and unpredictable, so you have to trust that you’re choosing what to work on based on the best available information you have at that time.

Three Criteria

I look at new opportunities based on three criteria:

  • 1. Do I like the people I’d be working with?
  • 2. Will I be challenged and learn something new?
  • 3. Can I add as much value as possible for the time I spend on the project?

If the answer to all these questions is “yes” then the project will likely be a good fit for me.