casual design – design is casual

interactive design for web, video games, and apps.

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authentically being real

There is a challenge today to perceive the difference between when it is appropriate to have something appear real or fake. I think this style guide will help a little when approaching the concept of real vs fake.

Overall – When someone invests themselves in something, and spends a long time working with real resources, that is real.

How can you tell?

If you can tell an object, or product, or event took a while to design well, and seems there is no way to be further designed to make life better for both those creating it and experiencing it, including the big picture, then it is real. If someone uses real materials, they most likely understand the importance of balance and harmony related to those resources. Experience design incorporates all of these factors.

On the contrary, If it appears temporary, or like someone did not want to care enough about their customers. If the idea was to quickly get attention, or bring something to market without thinking through how to communicate, and maintain a good reputation, and earn return customers, then this is fake. I once heard someone say, “Nobody cares”, well this is an attitude and leads toward a very artificial world indeed.

Now, I would like to present a complexity:

Someone may spend a considerable amount of time working, by hand, so to speak, laboriously rationalizing a trend, to form the concept that a culture sometimes appreciates a rather artificial aesthetic over a genuine one, or more accurately, will overlook a misperceived faker solution, in favor of a misperceived real one. When someone recognizes the previously less dominant solution to be equally powerful, then there is potential to differentiate, simply by innovating by way of developing the newly recognized potential. There are times, for example, in much of contemporary thought, that have brought us to the conclusion it is not natural to hold two terms, in this case, fake and real, as signifiers of perceived value.

Where I am going with all this, is that we need to recognize a trick. I find it rather repulsive these days, to forget pondering the questions of is it real, is it fake, am I confortable with the intentions of a production? It is very discouraging to my heart if someone skips ahead to, “It doesn’t matter, no one can tell the difference.” Another reckless approach, “Let’s just do like what they did, it seems like a good model to follow.”

Your Coffee’s Correct

First – shade grown, single source, fair trade, organic, triple certified, local or what have you – free of other chemicals and harsh conditions, while supporting people who care about the plants and us. Lightly, medium, or a nice flavor dark roasted.

Pour cold water, about one press full, into a pot and bring to a boil.

Next, get a grinder and get good at grinding the grounds to the fineness of beach sand (not too fine, like dust, and not too coarse, like gravel) – pour into press container, it’s nice to get a little peak in the center once you go pro. This is where it is nice to smell the fresh grounds. mmmm that’s a refresher, and something you can’t always experience in the coffee shop as a customer.

Water should be boiling nicely for a few minutes, get past the nervous boil. Let water set for a little rest for 30 seconds. Pour water in a thin stream over grounds and wisk with a wooden spoon for a bit, then put on the press filter for three minutes. While you’re waiting, prepare your sweetenings and pull your creams out of the refridgerator. Finally, press down and ideally you will get some resistance of about 20 lbs of pressure. If not, your grounds were too coarse or too fine – too easy is too coarse, too hard to press = too fine of grounds.

Now that the coffee is ready to pour, this is where you doctor it up your own way. I like real raw honey on a spoon in the cup, pouring a nice steady slow stream, lifting the press a little further up from the cup, letting the steam flow. Then I stir in some organic heavy whipping cream.

This is fairly strong coffee, and if you love coffee, a great way to taste the full flavor of the coffee and the roast.

Enjoy the heightened experience while the coffee lasts. It is worth it to have fresh coffee while working on a creative project, catching up on news online, or updating your status. Pastries go well if you have prepared them in advance, or, amazingly, have a cup while making pastries, what a great strategy to have your coffee enhanced even more the next time around!

Let me know what you do to make your favorite coffee, and how do you enjoy it?

people person

Hey, how many people out there think they are pretty good at communicating with multiple departments?

Hey, how many people specialize in marketing, financing, designing, developing, sales, customer support, and administration? How many people believe we all need to work together?











Where are the people who have made it and are out fulfilling their greater purpose? It feels like I could be one of these fortunate people. This is my work, I am here. My purpose is to take responsibility in art, and create art and live life to the fullest.












waking up in the morning

This is an experience I try to create every day. Depending on what all has taken place before, I may or may not be rested. I might be in warm flannel sheets during the winter. I might be getting a little sunrise hitting my face. There may be a feeling to go to the bathroom.

luxury enhancements contributing to an enjoyable morning – healthy organic materials in bed and sheets, laying comfortably for an extra amount of time, a strong immune system (no discomfort), bedroom feng shui, organic coffee complete with grinder and french press waiting in the kitchen, pjs and slippers near bedside.

A few potential discomforts – construction outside, non pleasant alarm clock, forced to get to work/go to class feeling.

Some varying effects – pets licking face, children needing attention, birds singing/crowing, presence of other people/privacy. Some people love to wake up for these reasons, some dont mind every now and then, and some dread, depending on the day.

Some factors that go into creating a waking experience – emotions, relationships, dreams, ritual, healing, rest, anticipation, shelter, space, responsibilities, discipline, temperature, materials.

essence sleeping – shelter, floor, mat, dream.
essence waking – cast away the mat, rise.

If things all work out, what is the best way of awakening into the day?


He’s indie, with some side burn, messy hair, cool sunglasses, attitude, interacting with others at another level, as others, not looking for lightweight acceptance.

Her with layers, exposing some skin, determined but soft eyes, flowing hair, wearing a little jewelry, not shut up, but quietly contemplating, singing, casually conversing.

Perhaps an occasional cigarette, coffee, and gilato. Not surrounding a poem.

designer jeans, or wearing a dress, all fit, and nice shoes. Understanding, creating a poem.

maybe a frilly here and there. That’s it.







new web january

Just am thinking about the Flash Platform Game Technology Center. I hope it takes off and doesn’t linger around. I had fun playing bunnibunni. It is simple and has a lot of nice little touches that you get used to and makes the game worth playing for a little while, a nice casual game with easy saving and resuming.

The world of web is as exciting as ever. Looks like adobe and apple are close to the fairly easy creation of an app on any platform and viewable on any device. An example would be creating with the flash platform for the flash player or air, iphone app, android app. This will be a fairly significant achievement, and will speed up the digital world a bit as these apps are easier to build and more and more people will be using them as india and china gets on the internet through their devices.

If anyone would like to experiment with this, let me know.

In the process of finishing work on a video game review website that incorporates a fair amount of community features. Lots of skinning and customizing themes and plugins.

new art january

The drawing is in progress. The ideas was to bounce ideas back and forth between hand and measurement, while working toward a surface that comes from repetition. Should be finished this month and I will get a better image of it courtesy of Tara.

Update: It is finished, here is an overall image and a few details. Thank you for checking it out! Please leave comments, I am a harsh critic myself so any criticism positive or negative is welcome. This is just the beginning.

Just a preview of one of two big canvases. My old cell phone doesn’t take the best photos, but I liked the way the shadows fell while I was preparing this canvas.


Creating digital and traditional art. For the past five years I have mainly been focused on digital projects – web design and interactive concepts with media teams, ad/design agencies, and universities. This is the core of design is casual.

Now, after a five year break from creating traditional art, I am making some new works in painting, printmaking, and drawing. These new works may be heavily influenced by digital concepts, but not like you would think. In adding traditional back into the repertoire, I am looking forward to not only having my digital pieces benefit, but also further my traditional skills and knowledge. Making things even more interesting, I will be producing drawings and illustrations on a tablet as well.  I am hoping some exciting prints come out of that. My influences for these types of drawings come from concept illustration and manga/comics, two of what I consider to be the most technical types of illustration and blur the lines between art and design, as well as having substantial by-hand histories. We will see if there is anything I can add to this discussion.

For the traditional pieces, I am hoping to achieve a nice aesthetic on stretched canvases and papers. I may be radical with this traditional format – rectangular flat objects. In case you are wondering, I am not nostalgic, just working with traditional media.

These pieces will be the first attempts at validating my work in the art market(s) here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

My intention is to keep working as an artist, while incorporating some of what I was feeling was getting a little neglected.

Look for updates, I am keeping a daily log of progress on my projects through twitter as casualbrooks, and updating this website monthly. That is the plan anyway, see how it goes.