05.02.13 by Jeff

Guest Contributor: Darren Firth

Today I’m headed to Hawaii for Pow Wow. I’ll still be updating Booooooom from over there, but I asked my friend Darren if he would guest post a bit while I’m away. I’ve only had two other guest contributors in the history of Booooooom!

The work he selects for We Occupy is a constant source of inspiration for me so I know you will dig his posts. I’ve asked him a few questions below so you can get to know him a bit. Please give him a warm welcome!

Guest Contributor: Darren Firth

Jeff Hamada: First of all, maybe you can introduce yourself! Who are you, where do you live, and what do you spend most of your time doing?

Darren Firth: I’m a Graphic Designer, Design Director and Curator based in the UK. I’m the founder of Sane (Design Studio), the founder of We Occupy (Arts Platform) and Co-Founder of Six (Design Studio).

When I’m not working, I’m thinking about work. When I’m not thinking about work, I’m blogging about art. When I’m not blogging about art, I’m working on personal projects. In the small morsels of time in-between, I survive on a diet of food, alcohol, art, traveling and cycling.

JH: How do you find a balance between constantly looking at other people’s work and making your own work?

DF: In the past I used to religiously check all the design/art blogs twice a day! As the amount of blogs and tumblrs multiplied, this became increasingly difficult and just became a distraction. More often than not, I now rely on social media for the majority of my inspiration and reference material. It finds me these days.

JH: Can you share an epiphany you’ve had recently (big or small)?

DF: I guess I’ve had the same epiphany that most creatives go through at some point in their career. “Life is too short to spend it sat in front of a computer screen”….but then here I am, writing this! It’s a curse.

JH: What’s one movie you could watch over and over and not get tired of it?

DF: Too easy! Predator (1987)

JH: What advice would you give to a younger version of yourself, a version that is perhaps just starting out as a graphic designer?

DF: As much as it would be really tempting, I’d try and refrain from giving ‘myself’ any advice; I’m not sure what I’d actually change about my past and I wouldn’t be as bold as to try and influence anyone else’s either. That’s definitely not to say my life is perfect or that I’ve had an easy ride, but I believe in fate and that things happen for a reason, whether it be good or bad.

I’m a born pessimist, I usually imagine the worst scenario in any given situation. I feel this is, and has been the key influencer in the way I’ve approached (and progressed through) my career. Out of fear and uncertainty comes preparation and a sense of determination, characteristics that I’m sure would become diluted if someone was to tell me that everything would be fine, if I followed a particular path.

Advice is good in small doses. From an individual it’s a personal point of view, from multiple people it can conflict and become confusing. I think Mary Schmich said it best in ‘Wear Sunscreen’ – “Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it.” At the end of the day it’s your life, your career, and the only person that has to live with the consequences of your decisions is you. Listen to those you respect, filter what you think is useful and proceed in a way that feels right.


Stay tuned for Darren’s post sprinkled through February and be sure to check out other things he finds at We Occupy.

Jeff Hamada is the Founder and Editor of Booooooom. He lives and works in Vancouver.

25.11.15 by Jeff

Free Learning of the Day: Skillshare Classes

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This is for all you aspiring photographers, illustrators, and type designers out there! We’ve teamed up with Skillshare to offer you 1 month of unlimited access to all their creative classes, for $0. Free. You can sign up here for a premium account: Booooooom + Skillshare 30-day extended trial.

I’ve been personally trying out some of their classes and I just blazed through this great class on designing a single letter: “One Drop Cap Letterform at a Time” by the amazing Jessica Hische (I’ll always refer to her as the one who did that fantastic Moonrise Kingdom type). She has so many useful tips in this, especially when she talks about properly using handlebars and plotting points in Illustrator.

From what I’ve seen so far these classes are a great way to brush up on something you may have learned a long time ago or a chance to learn something completely new. Full disclosure: Skillshare did not pay us to make this post, however if you sign up through this link it will support our site! Absolutely no pressure to do so – I still recommend their site as a worthwhile resource even if you don’t use our link!

25.11.15 by Jeff

Illustrator Spotlight: Jon McNaught


Love this series of puddles by illustrator Jon McNaught. More images below.

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25.11.15 by Jeff

Artist Spotlight: Casey Gray


Paintings by artist Casey Gray, who lives and works in San Francisco. More images below.

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25.11.15 by Jeff

Artist Spotlight: Cleon Peterson


The violent, mesmerizing, and brutally honest work of artist Cleon Peterson. In some paintings demon-like characters are attacking people, in other paintings similar actions are being carried out by uniformed figures. What is perhaps most disturbing is the realisation that we are drawn to such darkness; titillating news headlines, and bloody movies. The violence is inside of us all. More images below.

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24.11.15 by Staff

Artist Spotlight: Michael Dandley


Striking and thoughtful series of gouache and ink works by Newmarket, New Hampshire-based artist Michael Dandley. “Side Effects” is concerned with the disturbing and ultimately incompatible ways lands and oceans are changed to accommodate our modern conveniences. More images below!

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