Tag Archives: Gradient

Press Play: Playlist

Break out the blue jeans and favorite sweaters, because Fall is upon us and bringing with it the cool chill of change. It’s a time for pumpkin spice flavored, well, everything. A time to flood your senses with new sights, smells, and the exciting calm before the holiday season storm.

Like the leaves, your music changes to one more suited to the moody atmosphere.

So brew some coffee, carve a pumpkin, and enjoy our fall playlist favorites.

  1. Minds Without Fear – Imogen Heap (feat. Vishal Shekhar)
  2. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift
  3. Sweet Disposition – The Temper Trap
  4. Spitting Image – Freelance Whales
  5. The Girl – City and Colour 
  6. Black – Kari Kimmel
  7. We Will Walk Through Walls – Electric President
  8. Madness – Muse
  9. Blood For Poppies – Garbage
  10. I Will Wait – Mumford & Sons
  11. I Am The Walrus – The Beatles
  12. Fly – Nick Drake

Inspirations (Part 2)

As times change, so do the sources of our inspiration. But some things are timeless…

“The Making of Fantastic Mr. Fox”

You reference back to them for wisdom, for guidance, for new ways of thinking.

Like an overflowing bookshelf, your mind pulls tidbits of information from your favorite sources.

Remembering childhood friends,

“The Art of Tim Burton”

and mentors who’ve become masters.

Whether on hand or not, they’ve become part of you; a cherished tool on your utility belt of creativity. What are your inspirations?

Chalk It Up

“No masterpiece was ever created by a lazy artist.” -Salvador Dali


The word perfectly describes the process applied by designers Josh Luna & Alisha Noles in re-designing and re-making the menu board for the Silk Espresso cafe.

Let me take you through their work…

First they took detailed measurements of the wall they’d soon be painting with chalkboard paint. They then created an elevation in the wall using Autocad, which included all the measured elements.

Having made careful revisions, the final design was printed on a large format printer in black & white. They set this aside for later, and, along with a few helpful friends, painted the wall with three coats of chalkboard paint. The paint dried for 48 hours before any graphics were transferred.

They applied graphite (2B works best!) to the back side of the to-scale print, taking care to get good, thick layers for a clean transfer onto the wall. Once finished, the prints were taped to the wall exactly where the graphics were to go.

Using very hard (4H) pencils, they meticulously traced every letter and line of the whole design. This took a good while, but once finished and the prints were removed, it was exciting to preview their work finished.

Everything was re-traced over in chalkboard marker (Chalk-Ink brand is the best and has a wide array of colors) and left to dry for two hours. Once dry, traditional white chalk was rubbed over the entire wall to add a textural finish.

It’s probably best to simply visit the location for yourself, enjoy a cup of their new Stumptown roast, and witness the work of art for yourself. Because it is, truly, a work of art.

Photo Shoot!


Big things, Small Packages

It’s quite a simple guideline, one little requirement with the possibility of a big return: Like Gradient Productions on Facebook.

Will you be the one to Win Big?

For those already enjoying our adventures, your entry is automatic and you need only cross your fingers.

The contest runs through the end of January, so increase the odds by “Sharing” with your friends, who will hopefully share with you if they win!

Free Time

“There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.”
~Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes

Here’s a fun fact: In 1887, Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day a holiday.

As you take the time to read this on what hopefully ends up being a relaxing day off, remember that we, and especially I, appreciate your support by reading this blog. It never ceases to brighten my day when someone comments on a previous entry or mentions it in person. So again, thank you.

I’m not here to talk about Labor Day, rather more on the concept of free time. You see, we don’t get a lot of it. Really there are periods of time which being busier than others, such as July, we have extremely limited free time. More often, our days off simply mean working on something alone.

But we’re still human, and often the best medicine to stress is doing what we find relaxing.

For Ethan, his inner peace comes from being active; be it going to the gym, hiking, camping, playing tennis or bike riding. Simply hanging with friends helps too, which ironically are often the friends who he works with.

Because it is relaxing and stimulating at the same time, reading is what helps Alisha. She also loves travel, not necessarily to some extravagant place, but with good company and the willingness to go with the flow. Free time is also the means to work on projects that have been in the back of her mind; anything from painting a room, doing yard work, or organizing that neglected junk drawer.

I’m not sure Rebecca knows how to relax. Whenever I ask her what she likes to do in her free time, the answer is the same: “What free time?”
But I know that she equally enjoys reading about film theory as business law. Sometimes I really don’t understand her. In a bookstore, I go straight to travel/mythology/history and she goes to business? Seriously that has to be the most boring section! But somehow she enjoys it, which in the end is very much a good thing.

I am somewhat random in what I do with my free time. It’s all depending on my mood, what the day looks like, and a whole list of nit-picky environment factors. It goes so far as to what I choose to wear. I love reading, but I also love video games. I love to just go into town and travel around, but there are a few restaurants and coffee shops that I am perfectly happy going to time and again. I start paintings, then only finish them months later. I tend to just go with the flow each day.

Nathanael somehow manages to watch upwards of 3 movies a day, and still manages to get work done on time. On his days off, I swear he pushes 5 movies. But he’s also an avid music composer, and I always enjoy hearing new music he’s just composed.

Josh likes to watch movies and hang out with friends. Simple. Effective. Timeless.

He Who is Carl

“Inanimate objects can be classified scientifically into three major categories; those that don’t work, those that break down, and those that get lost.”
~Russell Baker

You may have noticed another among us.

He sneaks into our meetings, gets the inside story, hears things not intended to be heard. While we wouldn’t say that there is a 7th member of Gradient (at this point in time), we do have something of a mascot in Carl Jenkins.

Turns out, he’s more than a drawing dummy. I decided that I should probably sit down with Carl and hear his story, before some elaborate work of fiction were to reach the 188 friends he has on Facebook.

David (D): What motto do you try to live by, Carl?

Carl (C): “Love your neighbor as yourself”…Oh and, “Beware of Dog”. I learned that firsthand.

(D): What’s the story between you and Gradient?

(C): I was referred by the brother of Gradient’s big boss lady, Rebecca Noles. Basically I would get to travel and get paid to do what I do best: Pose.

(D): And so far it’s worked out better than your last job?

(C): I was employed by Borders as a bookend. I’d say it’s going better for me now.

(D): Where would you most like to travel?

(C): If I got to ride in a car or plane without being stuffed inside a backpack I would be tickled pink! The ideal destination would be Copenhagen, Denmark where Soren Kierkegaard spent a good portion of his life.

(D): Do you have a guilty pleasure Food?/Movie?

(C): I love muffins. For movies, it’s a tie between The Nutcracker and The Toy That Saved Christmas. I get all kinds of emotional every time I watch that one.

(D): You seem to be in great shape, what’s your secret?

(C): I train in several combat disciplines including Muay Thai, Jujitsu, and Jazzercise! In fact, I once fought off a huge Nemean lion that was attacking Gradient!

(D): Is that real, or is that a legend?

(C): Oh it’s a real legend! I’m surprised you didn’t hear about it.

(D): Okay, moving on. What are some of your goals?

(C): I want to become the first inanimate object to win the Nobel Peace Prize for my work with Pandas. But most of all, I want to find the wrong way to eat a Reese’s.

(D): Well thanks for your time Carl, this has been truly an insightful interview. And, readers, I hope you feel a little closer to our friend Carl Jenkins, and if you’d like, add him as a friend here

Be sure to follow Gradient Productions on Facebook for more adventures from our favorite wooden friend!

Happy Monday.