Studio Notes

Lost Waves – Sirin's Song

For 20 months, I've selected songs to add to monthly collaborative playlists on Spotify with a group of friends. This month's theme is "arpeggios" and I decided to record a quick track to add as my final selection for the month.

"Sirin's Song" is a Lost Waves ode to arpeggios and this Moog "analog messenger of joy." The single was recorded Friday eve, May 24, and mixed the following day. All synth sounds are from the Moog Sirin analog synthesizer.

Available Fri May 31.


Lost Waves – Sirin's Song design by Under After Lost Waves – Sirin's Song design by Under After

The cover I created for the single was inspired by this frame of a video at a neighborhood playground.


Lost Waves – Sirin's Song design by Under After

Rubicon – Behind the Logo

Rubicon – Behind the Logo design by Under After

Elizabeth Montoya, Vice President of Investor Relations at Rubicon, wrote about the story behind the logo I created for the company. Atlanta-based Rubicon Global is the "leading provider of sustainable waste and re­cycling solutions” valued at $1B :

This summer, Rubicon® will celebrate 10 years of being incorporated. As we look toward the future, we’re also taking the time to reflect on the past—and the development of our unique logo is an important part of that.

Solomon’s knot. That was the inspiration for Rubicon Global’s current logo, a rotation of green (“strong opal,” to be precise) lowercase R’s. That’s what designer and brand strategist Mark Forscher explained to me when I sat down to speak with him recently about the logo design that he came up with for our company.

Read More...

TechCrunch Interview

TechCrunch Interview design by Under After

TechCrunch interviewed me about my design studio and practice as part of their Extra Crunch "Verified Expert Brand Designer" series.

“The reason why I haven’t scaled up my design business, why I’m not trying to be like a ten-person shop, or even a five-person shop, is because I want to be a collaborator, not a vendor that somebody outsources work to. I think it sets the expectation right upfront that we’re both in this together to figure this out. I’m just a person deeply committed to working with the founder.”

Link to the full interview. View the work I did for TechCrunch in 2018, creating the Extra Crunch visual identity.

Introducing Cave World

Introducing Cave World design by Under After

Adam Nelson and I wrote and recorded these songs over the past year. I'm very excited to share the first Cave World release! Hope you dig. Listen now.

More than a collection of hypnotic songs, Cave World’s “Ready for Anything” is an escape into the warmth of the deep network of caverns buried within our imaginations. Recordings uncovered from this timeless subterranean ecosystem, bubbling with life and hypnotic textures, invoke familiar and unexpected reflections. Filled with glowing creatures and overlapping cultures, “Ready for Anything” journeys through mystic songs about destiny, life, and our search to discover what lies beyond these walls.

Studio Playlist October

Studio Playlist October design by Under After

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

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. 🙃

Lost Waves—​From Out There EP

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

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

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

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

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.