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Having moved away from the Triangle two and a half years ago, we weren’t able to make it back for SPARKcon the past couple of years. It was quite nice to be able to get out of dodge this weekend, visit with best friends, and hang out at SPARKcon again.

Sarah and I decided to participate in the artSPARK street painting activities again and do a “Birthday Totoro” to celebrate her birthday. You can check out the progression of our chalk square below.

Below are some additional images from the festival featuring more of the street painting squares, live music, circusSPARK, and more!


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SPARKcon 2011

Spark Banner

Despite the suboptimal weather, my wife and I had an awesome time at SPARKcon once again!

Street Painting

This year for our street painting square my wife and I decided to draw a googly-eyed hermit crab! Check him out below…
Hermit Crab 1
Hermit Crab 2

Also, Raleigh, NC is home to many incredibly talented graffiti artists, and to be able to watch their process live on the street was a real treat. We saw Sean Kernick, Victor Knight, and many others creating graffiti artwork on the sides of trucks for graffitiSPARK.

For geekSPARK, we entered Fragment Labs to check out all things GEEK! Mainly this was of interest to me, and not my wife, however I was able to try out some locally developed video games and had a lot of fun. One in particular stood out to me and I ended up getting it for my iPhone. That game was Sushi Boy, and you can find it here for free.

Friday night we saw part of the comedySPARK events at Slim’s. There were various talented stand-up artists performing, including one of our friends. The night was full of hilariousness and good times.

All in all, my wife and I had an excellent time at SPARKcon even though our parade was rained on a little bit. If you are interested, please take a look at last year’s SPARKcon blog entry too!

*Our hermit crab looked kind of like a Metroid before we filled him in with detail…
Hermit Metroid

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Recently I had the pleasure of attending House Party Classics Vol 3 at The Union in Downtown Raleigh, NC. Basically, House Party Classics is a really fun after party for downtown Raleigh First Friday attendees. After the big gallery hop, The Union is the place to be for a fantastic time with DJ Sami Automatic, breakdancers, and live graffiti art with Sean Kernick, Victor Knight, and others. I helped produce a video for the event using footage from my Canon t2i and a couple of GoPros working with Joe Bruno of Critical Cutz and Sean Kernick of 24Flinching.com. Below you can view the video we created.

The next First Friday and House Party Classics event will take place on August 5, mark your calendars and look forward to a great time 🙂

Also, check out the logo design I created for Critical Cutz below…
Critical Cutz Logo

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Greetings Blog Readers,

It’s that time of the year again! Art of the Carolinas is only a few short days away, and we are getting pumped for this awesome annual celebration of the arts. AOC starts this Thursday November 11, and goes through Sunday November 14 at the Hilton North Raleigh on Wake Forest Rd. Admission & Parking are free. Read below for a nice description of what AOC is all about.

“This is the big weekend here in Raleigh… It’s the 10th Annual Art of the Carolinas! Did you know that Art of the Carolinas is the nation’s largest consumer artist material trade show? Four days of workshops are available, taught by some of the world’s most famous art instructors. For three of those days, Art of the Carolinas features the largest artist material & picture framing sale in the country, offering large discounts on thousands of items. Art of the Carolinas is not to be missed!”

My company, Burning Oak Studios is proud to have been covering the event for the past few years with video production & photography work. You can check out some past work we have done with Art of the Carolinas on our YouTube page, and a direct link to the AOC promotional video here.

Also, I’ll be performing near the World of Art booth all weekend (well when I’m not being the audio guy/photographer). I’ll be promoting the three Studio Music For Artists albums I created with Burning Oak Studios.

Somewhere South of Houston
Organic Melodies
The Road to Groove Town

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Recently I had the pleasure of attending a local AIGA Raleigh event with a presentation from Abe Crystal of More Better Labs. The presentation was titled “Focus & Empathy.”

AIGA Lunch & Learn

Abe started the lecture off by talking about the user experience, which is what determines if an experience, whether it be with a product, service, event, presentation, etc., is successful or not. In turn explaining that good design = a clear and understandable message and great user experience. Abe then proceeded to show examples of good and bad user experiences by juxtaposing certain websites. The bad ones showed cluttered messes of information that were hard to navigate through, and the good ones showcased slick designs with easy navigation that communicated everything they needed to.

Another interesting thing Abe brought up were the statistics for companies with similar products & services. When he showed us the good vs. bad user experiences, he would also include financial information about the company, and the companies that had the clear & understandable “good” user experiences always seemed to be more successful financially.


Abe went on to discuss FOCUS in relation to strategy and defining the mantra & key experience principles of an organization. Showing examples of companies with a variety of missions within their mission statement, when instead, things could be simplified into a “mantra,” or small phrase that encompasses things in an easy to understand way.


The next topic was relating EMPATHY to research. It seems, in some companies, when products or services seem to be doing well, the user is then forgotten. A mediocre product or service could be selling well, but a great one that the users fully enjoy will perform much better. A very important point was brought up here. You need to be able to define your user group(s), and also be able to know how to communicate with them effectively. Reach out to your users/consumers/customers, find out what works and what doesn’t. This way you will know what can make your products/services better and everyone will be happier.

We found this to be a helpful and informative lecture and want to thank Abe Crystal of More Better Labs, as well as AIGA Raleigh for making it happen.

*Also, on a side note, I finally attended The Designer’s Eye, another AIGA Raleigh event. This event is held the third Thursday of every month (now at Morning Times), and it was a fun small gathering to basically talk about creativity. I went with a co-worker, and we met the host Jason Rizzo, who was a pleasure to talk to. I would suggest to anyone in a creative field to go sometime just to check it out, and talk about things that are inspiring to one another. AIGA Raleigh Events