The security of emergency medical coverage



Excerpt from a 2008 pitch animation. Jono always liked this bit, I think it’s the oddly realistic slumping.

How to make a decent drawing tablet

This is a nice idea: drawing straight onto a portable computer display, with the intuitiveness of pencil on paper, but with helpful computer features like Undo and Save-as and Transform.*
Seems like the ipad isn’t too far away, so let’s have a look at what they need to add:


The Pretty Good model

  • fine-tipped pressure sensitive stylus
  • pixel-level stylus position recognition
  • high ppi screen
  • thinnest possible gap between tablet surface and actual pixels (esp. if there is no on-screen cursor, so with thick glass you end up drawing in a slightly different position than you meant to)

The Best model

  • no distance between tablet surface and pixels (like Kindle e-ink screen)
  • really really high ppi screen
  • can somehow reproduce the feel of lots of different drawing surfaces and implements. The hardness of the implement, the tip shape and the resistance of the surface all influence visual style. (E.g. drawing on a glass Cintiq with a hard plastic stylus feels too smooth and thus imprecise.)**
  • tablet is large and light (and cheap!)
Alright Steve Jobs, let’s get on with it. I’m wasting precious years of my artistic life using sub-optimal equipment.

*The Wacom Cintiq is the closest device currently, but it is expensive, unwieldy, too lo-res, and the glass is thick. However I will be surprised if Wacom updates it. It will probably puddle along, secure as market leader, until a tablet-computer-with-proper-stylus comes along and makes it obsolete.

**Kim told me that someone told her that writing on a banana skin with ballpoint pen feels great. They were right. That should definitely be a setting on the Best model.


Update: Hmm, this Windows slate is getting closer. Doesn’t have the specs for making artwork yet but perhaps in a version or two?



Let fly and channel

Here is a poster for Ruby’s music/dance collective, Red Aveline.
Will you be in Naples on the 11th of October? Ok great!, go along.

Small man is running down the stairs

It's flash sorry. I was going to make it an animated gif but it was 5MB.


(Flash) Oh bother, no emoticons for you.

Here are some of Skype’s new-and-improved chat emoticons. Designed by Jon Hicks and animated by me.

They’re an update of the original set, with a few new ones, a range of sizes for different screens, and more realistic puke.

If that sounds like your thing you can see the rest in the latest desktop Skype client (PC/Mac).


Additional credits: Skype Design Director Steve Pearce; original emoticons by Priidu Zilmer; Lord of the (dance) Mark Lacroce.

Stop that man

he has no pants

Pre-release hype

Sam and I are making an iphone game. Hopefully it will be fun. Sam is doing the hard bits, I am drawing the spaceships.
Here is a spaceship:
Sorry, the spaceship is in flash.


I enjoy being surprised by stories. Taking a ride and not knowing where I’m going or when I’ll arrive. So I was disappointed to see a (non-removable) progress bar on the Kindle Vera got for Christmas.

Part of the enjoyable ‘not knowing’ in movies is their varying lengths. If I don’t know a film’s duration it can end at any time. My experience of a moment isn’t precontextualised by the knowledge that there is still 40 minutes to play and therefore this is cannot be the climax. Or conversely, that the climax must surely arrive soon as there are only 4 minutes remaining.*

Thus I find myself more absorbed in the story and thinking less about the story.

Paper books are physical progress bars so you can’t not know how far through you are.** I was looking forward to the new experience of reading an e-book and experiencing it without the meta-knowledge of its length. But Kindle, you deny me this.***


*Other sometimes-irritating signifiers include famous actors (“she must be a significant character” and/or “he won’t die this early”) and censor ratings (“contains a sex scene”).

**Though I have been fooled by long afterwords.

***While we’re on the subject of unnecessary ‘information’ added by dimwitted IAs doing their best to smother the heart-opening mystery of art by teaching people to demand foreknowledge of every emotional experience they’re about to have, and to think they have understood it afterward if they’ve categorised and quantified it with the laziest of measures – I’d prefer if you could turn off the ‘track length/time remaining’ display in iTunes. I do not care if a song’s duration is easily calculated, or even critical to the software. Being reminded of it constantly is as necessary as having your pulse taken by the person you’re kissing.


Sorry art, you lose