Dec 13, 2011

Meanwhile, Back at the BlagOFarm…

So many things have been happening in the world of BlagOPets.  Here are just a few of the updates that I’ve already sent out to the fabulous people who donated through IndieGoGo.

I’ll gladly draw something similarly dorky for you, if you go here and donate $5 or more.

Nov 19, 2011

Desert Bus Shades!

YEAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

You’ve seen them in the image above! You’ve seen them on my Twitter icon! They’re completely unofficial Desert Bus For Hope 5 shades! Now YOU can wear them too!

DOWNLOAD THEM! (PDF)

 

How to Assemble

You’ll need a PRINTER, CARD STOCK, SCISSORS, and TAPE or glue, and a HOLE PUNCH.

Step 1: Download and Print

Download the PDF and print your glasses out on card stock.

Step 2: Cut Out the Parts

Step 3: Attach the Earpieces

To attach the earpieces, first fold them along the black line near the square end of the piece.

Flip your front piece printed side down.

With the blue printed side of the earpiece down, and the curved end pointed toward you, attach the folded end of the earpiece to the back of the shades, close to the outside edge of the shades.

If you have a small head, like I do, you can fold the ends of the earpieces back more… and use more tape.

Step 4: Punch Some Eye-Holes

Once you have your shades assembled, you might feel the urge to actually look through them. For this, you’ll need a hole punch.

Figure out where your eyes land on the glasses. Depending on the size of your head, this could vary. Punch holes in those spots.

Congrats! You have a completed pair of Desert Bus Shades!

Step 5: Dramatic Effect

Nov 17, 2011

And That’s the True Meaning of Desert Bus, Charlie Brown

Only 32 hours to go, folks, before Desert Bus 5 starts rolling! If you haven’t already signed up for a donor account, please do so, before the madness starts.

This is, by far, the wittiest charity event of the year. If you don’t know, then let me break it down for you.

“Desert Bus,” a minigame on Penn and Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors for the Sega CD, was designed to be the most realistic game ever. In it, you drive a bus, whose top speed is about 40 mph, from Tucson, AZ to Las Vegas in real time. The highway is completely straight with no landmarks, and the bus drifts ever so slightly to the right, requiring you to actively play the game. If you complete the task, which takes eight hours of real time, you earn one point – and then, you turn around and have to drive back. The game has no ending.

Desert Bus for Hope is a marathon, in which a team of gamers are forced to play this game for hours on end. The more money you donate, the longer they will have to play. The fruits of their efforts go to Child’s Play, which provides hospitalized children around the world with toys and video games (all of which, I am assured, are better than “Desert Bus.”)

So, to extend the players’ misery, their friends have lovingly set up a whole internet telethon, which happens in the room where Desert Bus is being played. They raise money by taking donations for performing sketches – for these are no ordinary gamers, but in fact a geektastic sketch comedy group called Loading Ready Run – by holding contests, and auctioning off prizes, some of which were handmade by Desert Bus fans.

All of this madness starts tomorrow, and you can watch the whole thing go down at DesertBus.org. While you’re there, take a look at all the sweet stuff they have for auction this year. One item in particular should interest you.

If you are AT ALL interested in making these people do ridiculous things on camera for your enjoyment, OR in bidding on any of the auctions, there is a signup thing to do first, so they can contact you properly when you win. Please consider donating, for the childrens.

Nov 12, 2011

Saturday Side Project: BlagOPets

So, I’m launching a little side project today on IndieGogo.

You see, back in the Olden Dayes of Yon Internette, before there was Webkinz, NeoPets, or DeviantART, artists traded adoptable pets between their Geocities pages. Some of these virtual adoption centers were surely scams, but others were just set up by artists who wanted to share their work.  It was an interesting social scene in the days before the web was social.

Some of these could get pretty complex with their projects- creating virtual pet kennels where every single “adopted” pet had a breeding history and a pedigree.

So in homage to that, I’m offering BlagOPets for adoption starting today.  Each one is unique and hand-drawn by me.  Here’s an example:

When you adopt you will get a graphic like this one, to share on your blog or just to enjoy.  But that won’t be all!  Your BlagOPet will also have adventures like this one:

At least two things will happen to your BlagOPet.  I’ll be sending you each one about a week apart – so if you adopt now, you’ll have two weeks of genuine virtual pet ownership ahead of you, with all the joys it brings.

WARNING: Your children may not get some BlagOPet jokes.  Please don’t explain them.

If you contribute a tad more, I’ll also send you the original art, and sign it with a <3.

So if you’re interested in playing this little game with me, go check out the IndieGoGo Page and make a contribution.  You can get yours for a cheep cheep price of $5 USD.

You’re Doing Me a Favor

You will get your first BlagOPet email as soon as I can draw it – I’m not waiting around to see if we hit the IndieGogo target of $500 – but there is something I need.

I’ve been doing a lot of projects from my first generation Acer netbook.  It’s been a pretty decent little laptop, but when I was in San Francisco for StoryWorld this year, I discovered that its wireless card has gone flaky – almost causing me to have to abandon a project.  I want to replace it with something new.  Not necessarily something flashy, just something that works reliably.

Nov 9, 2011

As seen on north Texas public media

The people at KERA’s Art and Seek were nice enough to come out and shoot a video of me demoing some things at the Dallas Makerspace open house last weekend.

The real agenda is to promote Art Conspiracy, a fundraising event where I’ll be making some art LIVE! to benefit a local organization that teaches piano to hospitalized children.

Oddly enough, one of the hospitals it benefits is also a Child’s Play member hospital, so between this event and Desert Bus, those kids should be swimming in video games and music lessons!

Nov 7, 2011

My Storyworld 2011 Showcase Pitch: Research & Development(s)

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This five-minute presentation was given at the 2011 Storyworld Conference, during its InProduction Showcase. Since I prefer to work with slides that are light on text, most of the relevant info will be in these transcript notes. You can read each slide's notes by opening the caption box.
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My name is Haley Moore. I'm a playwright, a transmedia propmaker, and a mixed media artist. I make objects that tell stories.
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Also, for the last three years, I've been doing editing and reporting work for a small newspaper in an affluent suburb of Dallas, and in this particular affluent suburb, well, first off self-promotion is huge there, and second, we seem to have more than our fair share of questionable companies. So I've had to handle stories that involve shady business schemes, personal fakery, junk science, and urban mythology, sometimes all of those at once. Over the years, my bullshit detector has become really good, it's like military grade at this point. I found myself becoming fascinated by these stories, and I responded to what I was reading by making parodies. It was a really great writing tool - I'd write slogans and sales copy for ridiculous products, and some of those things I went ahead and made.
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So for example, after dealing with some self-help authors, I decided to put out my own book, called How to Win at Anything. It is one page of one chapter that is one word long, and that word is...
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...cheat.
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I also made a parody Etsy account that pokes fun at stores that resell commercial jewelry, by telling buyers they've cast magic spells on them. I thought I could do them one better in the realm of magicking up useless junk. That's a piece of copy paper tied with floral stems and incense from Dollar Tree, and as you can see, it's listed for $50. Nobody's bought one yet, but I did own up to the fact that its a parody. If I hadn't, I might be rich by now. Who knows?
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So parodies of quackery became a theme in my art, and around this time last year, I decided to turn the best ones into a transmedia experience, which I call Research and Developments. The centerpiece of the project is a hand-written book full of sketches and diagrams, and other artifacts, which tells the fictional story of the person who invented all of these things I've been coming up with.
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She is the R&D person at a very scammy company, and this is her R&D notebook, which evolves into a diary as the story goes on. What you can see here are pages from a first draft. This is approximately what you'll see when you go to read the book online. But because this is about what I do, which is propmaking and tangible storytelling, what you see online is not going to be a digital composite or a lovely interface that looks like a book.
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It is a high quality scan of a one of a kind physical piece of art, which you'll be able to read in the flesh because it will be exhibited with an art show known as the Sketchbook Project. Every summer, they do a touring exhibit of hand-drawn books from around the world, it's a really great exercise in crowdsourcing and collaboration. After the tour, the books go into a permanent public exhibit in Brooklyn, which is also really cool; so you'll be able to actually go and visit my original, it won't be just lying in a desk drawer or something lame like that, it will actually be part of the public experience. There will also be benefits to going and visiting the original in person. It contains physical items, and maybe even special rewards if I can find a local partner to work with.
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The book is just the center of a larger story. Each of these colored paths are continuation stories, which are made up of a website, and an experience. All of these branches lead back into the book and our player community, so new players can pick up any of the continuation stories, and enter the world through that avenue. So this is where the quackery comes in. If you look between the website and the experience, there's actually a product that unlocks each experience for you. All of the products are story objects featured in the book, and you, too, can own one.
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I'm developing everything from stickers that let your phone talk to ghosts, to aura therapy wands, pocket degrees from a telepathic university, and giant tea strainers full of healing crystals to dunk in your bathtub, which promise to erase your butt wrinkles.
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Some of you may have your bottles of Experia memory water. The proposition is that when you drink it, you go into a sort of hypnotic state, where you will see, hear, and feel someone else's memory that's been trapped inside the water. This is a parody of a lot of different magic water that's out there, and also a parody of energy drinks, because this comes in a bunch of different flavors.
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We've got Spacewalk, Shark Dive, Tropic Tryst, Eruption, Success ... and then there is Snowboard, which is the variety you'll be sampling this weekend.
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So if you open the bottle, you'll see that you can't really test the concept because there's no water inside. Instead, there's a message that says you've won the rare opportunity to be treated to a special experience and have the memories of that experience harvested from your brain to make a new flavor. There's also this sinister-looking thing...which is labeled, "MEMORY DRILL." At this point, you're probably hoping this is quackery. From there, you go into an interactive short story that I've created just for you guys as a prelude to what you'll see when you have the whole extended book experience.
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This whole thing has been a labor of love. What you've seen so far is an indie art project that I'm doing on a shoestring budget, by cobbling together my writing and web and package design skills, but as I move into the next phase, I'm looking for investors, partners and collaborators. So, if you're interested in helping me bring this world of Quackery to life, please find me, and let's talk. Thank you.

I’ve spent a few days trying to find a good format for posting these to the web. I rely on my voice to convey the bulk of the info when I speak in person, and I don’t care for clutter, so I don’t put much text on my slides. Click the “Caption” button on each to read a slide by slide transcript.

Nov 4, 2011

Haley Moore: The Prequel

Ah!  Well, I am back from StoryWorld and DIY Days.  When I got home, there was an amazing piece of mail from some of my grandparents’ old friends in San Angelo.

Apparently, they were at the baby shower my grandparents held for me in the spring of 1981 – and now, thirty years later, they had sent along all the momentoes from that party – including the invitation, a thank-you note and even a party napkin!

This is incredible.  My parents didn’t even save these things, so this is the first time I’ve seen any of them!

“He or she” is very excited right now!  These are going somewhere very special.

Oct 26, 2011

Assembly Step 3: ??? Step 4: Profit, for Charity

Ladies and Gentlemen, my Majora’s Mask laptop bag….is complete.

And damn if it isn’t beautiful.  Let’s talk features.

The front is a hand-assembled fabric mosaic, made from around 200 pieces of laser cut felt and fleece, hand edged and stitched together.  I cut all the pieces on the laser at the Dallas Makerspace.  Then I assembled them into smaller mosaics, which fit together like puzzle.

The bag itself is made from cotton, felt, fleece, and heavyweight interfacing, and features the following awesome pockets:

  • 1 14″ zippered laptop compartment
  • 1 tablet pocket
  • 1 smartphone pocket
  • 1 pen pocket

The front flap snaps down with a pair of magnetic clasps.

So, do you want this bag?  Damn skippy you do.

The Desert Bus for Hope live stream starts on November 18, and as part of that live stream, this bag will be auctioned live! Check out Desertbus.org and follow @DesertBus on Twitter for up to the minute updates.

I know they also have a bunch of other colossally beautiful items for auction, including some amazeballs Cooking Mama aprons by my good friend Julisana, and they’ll be taking requests and giving out prizes, entertaining celebrity guests, and doing more Disney singalongs than any of them will care to admit come December.

In addition, your donations will condemn a team of poor gamers to an ever-lengthening hell marathon of the worst video game ever made. And all the proceeds go to buy toys and games for very sick kids. It’s sadism for a good cause!

Photos by the lovely and talented Nicole Greeley.  The dude is our hackerspace president Andrew.  The peeping girl, is me.

Oct 6, 2011

Assembly Step 2: Detail Sewing

image

Now, I’m taking each mini mosaic and finishing the edges by hand. I’ve added a little stuffing under the eyeball, and you can see the whole eye piece has a nice arc now. The eyes are going to really pop out of the final design.

Oct 3, 2011

Assembly Step 1: Mini Mosaics

The first step in putting the felt mosaic together is to glue the smaller pieces to a series of larger base parts.  I’ll be able to do the stitching on each part by hand this way, much more easily.

The eyeballs, eye enclosures, and spikes are sub-mosaics, because I’ll be adding stuffing to raise them a little from the plane of the design.  Once I’m done, I’ll employ the same glue and stitch technique to arrange the base parts on the bag.

Did I mention this is going to be a bag?

It will be a messenger bag, padded with fleece, with an interior pocket for a 14″ laptop, a second pocket for a tablet/netbook/wacom, and pockets for mice, pens, etc.  I’ve designed it in Inkscape, using the original Majora vector I created as a guide.