Category Archives: Learning

Notes on how React and Angular work

August 29, 2017

I got this question from a Praxis participant last night: “Hey Chuck quick general question: do frameworks like angular and react compile to JS? How exactly do they work?”</p>

Building a Wide Base of Knowledge

August 2, 2017

Someone I’m advising asked me this morning how to build a wide base of knowledge across many subjects and disciplines. Here was my answer:

Learning to Draw, Day 21: Coffee Cup

June 21, 2017

Instead of another try at my portrait, I decided to try another drawing with a focus on light and shadow, so I set up a swinging arm lamp to light up a coffee cup on a pedestal. 

Learning to Draw, Day 17: Filling in the Details

June 17, 2017

Today I filled in the details of yesterday’s drawing and fixed some of the scale issues. It isn’t perfect, but I’m going to call it complete today and move on to another drawing tomorrow.

Learning to Draw, Day 16: In Progress

June 16, 2017

Today’s drawing is still in progress. I had a busy day today and spent the entire evening down in the city, so I only got about 30 minutes to start a drawing of a leaf on the cover of this book I’m reading. I’m going to work on filling in the details tomorrow.

Learning to Draw, Day 12: Profile Portrait Warm-Up

June 12, 2017

Burning the midnight oil. Today I read about expanding the sighting and spacing I’ve been working on the last few days to faces. Then I spent about an hour applying what I learned to a line drawing of a portrait by Sargent. 

Learning to Draw, Day 11: Perspective

June 11, 2017

Today I did exercises to learn how to draw perspectives. The first was about finding scales and angles, then the second was a drawing of a complex scene to put those to use. I chose our entryway, complete with a crooked doormat and a pile of our shoes. 

Learning to Draw, Day 10: Negative Space

June 10, 2017

Today I had to draw a chair, but not in the usual way. Instead of drawing the lines and shapes that make up the chair, I had to draw the negative space instead. I didn’t take a photo or use the plastic pane very much, but drew from looking at the chair and occasionally using the frame to check proportions. This exercise is supposed to help with noticing negative space, framing, picking a guide for scaling, and comparing angles. After I was finished, I erased out the tone from the area between the shapes I drew. In this case, that ended up being the chair. 

Learning to Draw, Day 9: Hand with Object

June 9, 2017

I repeated yesterday’s exercise, but this time with a fountain pen in my hand, cap on. It took me about an hour. I still don’t quite get the shading, but it is becoming easier to zoom in on details and lines. 

Learning to Draw, Day 7: Tracing a Foreshortened Hand on a Plane

June 7, 2017

Today I did an exercise to help see like an artist sees: Using a plastic viewfinder to create a flat plane, resting it on my hand, and then using a non-permanent marker to trace all of the edges. (Reminder: In drawing, an edge is where any two areas meet, not just an outline.)

Documenting the Process of Data Visualizations

May 18, 2017

The DataSketch.es project has awesome process documentation for how Nadieh and Shirley go about making their incredible visualizations each month. This is a treasure trove of valuable insights for how they approach projects, how the projects evolve, and how they overcome issues they run in to.

Learning and Perception 

May 16, 2017

Deconstructing and seeing things in different ways is often the first step toward understanding something new. 

What to Do When You Mess Up

May 13, 2017

  • Own up to it and take responsibility for it.
  • Fix it immediately.
  • Put a system in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Could be a checklist, could be checks by multiple coworkers before something goes out, etc. Whatever works best for you and your team.
  • Remember that feeling bad about it helps keep it from happening again, but don’t dwell on the mistake for multiple days. Make the necessary changes and keep working.
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    May 10, 2017

    The struggle of reading non-fiction is cutting through the filler quickly and determining what is unique and useful out of hundreds of pages. So many books are much longer than they need to be.