Gerren Design

Hey, welcome to

Gerren Design

. This is the personal website of yours truly,

Gerren Rabideau

. Im an

Illustrator

,

Coder

, and all around

uber-geek

. This is my little corner of the internet; I use it to showcase my

illustration artwork

and my

web design

portfolio. By day I work full time as a

web designer

making the internet look better one page at a time, but by night I like to

paint

.

What do I paint you ask?
Mostly,

watercolor fantasy and sci-fi illustrations

, but I also dabble in editorial and digital work as well. Plus, I also keep a blog of whatever else I decide to write about;

comic books, traveling, color theory, how much IE sucks

, etc...

April 2008 Archives

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Today Only!!

As part of their many April fool's day jokes, Google has Rick rolled anyone that goes to YouTube and clicks on one of the featured videos. If you don't know what Rick Rolling is all about, click here.

You can also check out some of Google's funny new features;

Gmail Custom Time
Google Scratch and Sniff Books

It is 4:00am and I am wide awake. I really, really shouldn't be awake still, but there it is. I'm not really sure what happened. I went to bed at 10:30 because I had a long day at work and by 2:00am I was downloading music off iTunes just to pass the time.

Incidentally, the soundtrack to "the darjeeling limited" is a mix of really good songs and strange acoustics.

Yep, only another 2 hours and 36 minutes before my alarm goes off. If I didn't have a lot to do at work tomorrow (today?) I would just give up and go do something...

I know this is completely random, but I learned something funny today; the history of the word "silhouette". I was looking up how to spell the word when I learned that it is actually named after someone. A silhouette is a solid, usually black outline of an image (think iPod commercials). It became really popular during the 18th century when newspapers realized they could reduce printing costs by using them. Anyway, the word it self is actually the last name of Étienne de Silhouette, a man SO cheap and stingy that the French wanted him forever associated with cheap imagery. Kind of a rough deal if you ask me. I guess being the finance minister to Louis XV is a pretty thankless job.

Ok, so I've decided to just give up on a good night of rest and embrace the sweet joy of zombie-like wakefulness. Around 5:30 I got up and went to the white hen to pick up some bread and a couple of those 5-hour energy drinks.

If you believe what this guy has to say about it, it may just keep me alert enough to get through the rest of my day.

I am wondering how safe these things are. Most of those really crappy energy drinks are just super doses of caffeine and sugar. According to the bottle this thing doesn't have any sugar, and only as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. It does have almost twice as much B6, B12, and Niacin as a can of Red Bull. So, basically all this thing does is shock your metabolic rate into high gear. Ok... I'm going to down it.

[ cracks open bottle and drinks contents ]

Well I'm not dead yet, but I definitely just had a mad scientist / Doctor Jekyl moment there. I half expected the liquid to be giving off vapors. I need to go get ready for work now, but if I don't write again assume this stuff killed me..

I been reading a lot of really good web comics lately and I thought I would write about it for a little while.

For starters, Tim Buckley, over at CTRL-ALT-DEL is running a choose your own adventure style web comic called "Ethan Macmanus: Space Archaeologist". Every week he posts a new comic with options for the main character at the bottom. The viewers get to vote on what happens next. It's a great concept. It ensures that the viewers get what the want, and it allows them to feel like they are a part of the site's community and not just a reader. Readers as writers if you will.


Good Ship Chronicles - enlarge image

Good Ship Chronicles by Tauhid Bondia just went through a complete redesign. The whole website looks a lot better. Its cleaner, easier to use, and it now has a ton of goodies for the viewers. Including a detailed map of all of "known space" in the good ship chronicles universe. Personally, I want to visit planet Fillabray in the Balthos Alliance. The website wasn't the only thing to change though, The art work has also gone under a huge overhaul. Each episode is now in a very detailed grey tone instead of just black and white like it was previously. I haven't decided if I like the grey tone better yet. I really liked the black and white artwork, it had that perfect balance of light and dark that is hard to come by. It reminded me of Calvin and Hobbes. The grey tone reminds me of Sean Wang's Runners, except with less emphasis on texture. Although it seems like Runners is going to be in full color from now on...Anyway, I can't recommend Good Ship Chronicles enough. It shows that even in an idealistic universe like Star Trek there will inevitably be a ship filled with losers and misfits.

If you are like me and love illustration, and have an undying interest in becoming a professional illustrator... you may want to head over to Bearskinrug.com. Kevin Cornell just posted an amazing entry about advice for people trying to break into the lucrative(?) world of freelance illustration. I'm not strictly a freelancer, but I've done enough of it to know that he is giving out some good advice. Especially the part about always make sure that you put aside some time to work for yourself. Which I haven't been doing enough myself. I really need to start sketching more just for the fun of it. Good advice Kevin. Eh. There is Mojo the sock monkey too.

If you like DnD, or are a big fan of fantasy novels you should start reading Looking For Group. This comic is just great. It centers on a do-gooding elf, but really the best character is Richard, the outrageous, kill happy warlock. Even if it weren't funny, I'd still read this one just for the artwork. The use of line weight and color makes everything pop. Plus, the compositions are amazing. I'm constant being impressed in just how much is fit in to each frame.

Well, I'm tired of writing for now, so this will have to do. Enjoy the comics!

Rome from above

After a long and boring flight we arrived in Budapest. Unfortunately, my luggage didn't make the trip the whole way. So, after talking to some people in baggage claim, Derek and I took a cab over to the hotel. He wanted to take a nap, so we split up for a few hours. I wasn't very tired; I had been awake for way too long, but it still felt like the middle of the day. So instead I took a bath. Soaked away some of aches from being stuck on a plane for so long.

After that we met up again took a walk down the man street here. We tried to go to the art museum, but it was closed already. It was right outside of Hero's Square though, so we took a bunch of pictures and walked around instead. Below are a couple of those photos, I'll post the rest of them later.

The art museum

part of a set of cool statues

We also went to the mall, where I bought some new clothing to wear. It took me a little while to get used to the currency difference. The easist way to remember it it that $10 is equal to 15,000 hungarian

My hotel is absolutely beautiful by the way. The rooms are huge too. My hotel room, is actually 2 bedrooms, two bathrooms, 1 living room, 1 kitchen, and a balcony. There is more room here than in my apartment.

bedroom #1

bathroom #1

living room

more of the living room

bathroom #2

bedroom #2

kitchen

So, that it for now, hopefully my suitcase will catch up with me at some point and I'll have a good day at work tomorrow.

Army of the twelve monkeys?

So what do you do in Budapest on a Monday night? Well, if there is a thunder storm going on like there is tonight, you stay in your hotel room and drink instant coffee while watching NCIS and Numbers in Hungarian. For the record, the voice actors in Numbers are much better than the ones doing NCIS. Hip-hip-hurray for TV2

Good news; my suitcase caught up with me. I guess I jumped the gun a bit buying new clothing yesterday. Although I'm still glad I did, otherwise I never would have bought my new kick ass Euro-punk jacket. It was a steal too at 12,300 Forints (less than ten bucks). I was really glad I got my stuff back though, I blame my troubles all solely on Italy.

I woke up his morning around 6am (midnight back in the states) which was waaaay too early. It seems that even with jet lag and sleep deprivation my bouts of insomnia continue. It turned out to be useful for once though, I got up and went out into the city early. Nothing was open. apparently nothing opens here until around 10ish. It was disappointing; so I went back to the hotel and took a few more photos.



I met up with Derek after that and we went out and got breakfast from this great Italian cafe down the street. The coffee here is amazing. We went to work for the next 8 hours or so... pretty much just like it is in the states except I was working on my lap top. The office looks interesting, very cool. Don't let that fool you - there isn't any air conditioning inside and it gets pretty hot in Budapest.



When work was over Derek, Gerzson, and I went out for drinks. Gerzson took us to the "Negro". A bar right next to St. Stephen's Basilica. Gerzson says that it was named after a famous Hungarian candy that was black and looked like pieces of coal.

Gerzson, the last one in the office

St. Stephen's Basilica

It started to rain after a while and Gerzson had to leave in a hurry. He rides a bike to work everyday and wanted to get home before it started to pour. Derek and I waited for the check and then started to head back to the hotel. On the way we ran into Andrew Burton, another one of our coworkers from the US that had just arrived. As we walked to the hotel we passed a street corner that has a "gentleman's strip club" and a "Szex shop". Now, I'm not certain, because I don't speak more than two words in Hungarian, but I'm pretty sure a girl on that corner asked me if "We wanted to have a good time tonight". I gave her one glance, realized what she was, and sped up walking a little. I have to say; in all of my travels... that is the first time that has happened. It was very surreal.

Derek, Andrew, and I split up and went to our own rooms after talking for a bit. I got back, took off my wet clothing and put on the TV. Now, I'm going to watch Law and Order and then go to bed. I'll write more tomorrow.

Andrassy Street

Today I had a very long day at work, and afterwards Derek and I went out to take photos. We didn't get a chance to leave until 9pm out time, and we didn't get back until after midnight. As I'm writing this it is almost 2am now, so I'm really tired. We walked all the way from our hotel in Pest, over the river to Budapest Castle in Buda. On the way back we stopped at the Burger King that we think one of our coworkers (Jamie Wright) got assaulted in a few years ago.





















I took over 150 photos today...but I won't post them all until I get back home.

*sigh*

I'm very tired. I don't have a lot of time to post, but I'll say this for now and write more as soon as I can. Last night Derek and I met up with Sean Jordon, Jamie Wright, and Jeff to get drinks in the executive lounge in the hotel. Then afterwards Sean, Derek and I went out on the town. We went to this really cool bar that loosely translates as "beer garden". Then we went to this club that looks like was built into the back of an old condemned building. It reminds me of the opening scene of Blade were they walk through a meat packing plant to get to the club.

Ok, thats it for now. I'll be back tomorrow!

Today was just awesome. I had a really great day at work. All of the designers got together and went over a lot of the design issues we have with the LogMeIn website. I realized today what a frustrating situation the designers in the Budapest office are in. Most of their previous design work was compromised by product managers. I'm not saying that is wrong for product managers to have input into the designs of the products they manage, but it explains most of the strange inconsistencies we've encountered. Most of the things we want to do with the site either got approved or got a "if you can get it approved, do it". So, I'm very happy. I think the website will be taking a huge leap in reaching its full potential.

As if that wasn't good enough, after work (and some packing) Derek and I met up with one of our Budapest coworkers, Mike Zwecker. Mike is an honest to god former rock star. I'm not even exaggerating. He was the drummer for one of the biggest bands here in Hungary. He took us to A38 to see a concert. A38 is an old Russian freight ship that was permanently docked and converted into a swanky restaurant on top, and a grungy concert hall on the bottom.

A38 from the street

A38 was originally Artemovszk 38 when it was used by the Russians





Derek and I had to buy tickets to get in, but Mike just walked in like he owned the place. His old band had played here a bunch of times, and he knew everyone. He even got us backstage where we got drinks from the private bar just below the performer's changing rooms. The big band that was playing was Amber Smith, part of what Mike called the "Anglo Rock Scene". The band came down to the bar before they went on stage and we hung out with their drummer for a while. Mike and him are friends so he introduced us to everyone.

The backstage bar, built into the old engine room of the ship



turn on Javascript already!!!!






Derek and I both thought they rocked. We liked the song "Welcome to the CIA"...

Alright, it's almost 4am here, I need to go to bed. :0)

Once again it is that time of the year. On May 3rd you can walk into just about any comic book shop and pick out a absolutely FREE comic book. Usually, its restricted to a series of 15 page comics and old valueless back issues, but its still fun to get something for free. Plus, if you happen to have a kid brother, or small child in your life, it makes a nice gift. I know when I was a kid I used to love it when people gave me comics, I end up looking at the illustrations in it for hours.

Who knows, while you are there you may even find a book for yourself. If you need to find a comic book shop near you, try clicking here.