Technical Drawing

Continue Reading

Published: “Meet Ron Paul”

Re: Meet Ron Paul by Matt Blankenship, Published 2013. Illustrations by Ron Branch

The style of the illustrations for Meet Ron Paul was mostly straightforward pencil drawing with some intentional use of line-work to bend it subtly toward a somewhat cartoonish look. Also there was some exploration of affecting a blurred depth of field in some of them. Although it is obviously not a quick looking style, ironically it was the fastest way for me to go about getting the job done.

Initially, in wanting to come up with a speedy more minimalistic approach due to the situation that the end of the campaign season was fast approaching, several weeks were basically wasted, by failing to come up with a look that I liked. Micky suggested I quit worrying about minimalism and just draw them as I would anything else. At that point the whole project went into steady motion.

Another huge thing I learned came directly from the circumstantial experience of working with the author Matt Blankenship. It was just by chance I believe that I got to see the exact best situation for me personally to be in for creativity to flow freely. There were distinct factors in this. First of all he was almost saintly in his demeanor while the project moved along more slowly than we wanted. All the while he tactfully applied a steady pressure, but never once sounded frustrated in any way. I was highly impressed and very appreciative of that. Secondly, it was the full freedom I had in the project. Lastly, and most importantly, I was given a list of the illustrations he needed, 27 of them, all of which were named and briefly described in very brief and general terms. Probably unknowingly, Matt had put me in the exact best situation for allowing the perfect flow of creative energy for getting the job done, and it helped me to identify this as a universally best approach in all areas of art that I work in. The key to it all was the list, that the illustrations were “titled”. Like a mechanism, I can apply this to everything from general writing, to music production. For example, if I am going to write a song, and I happen to have the title for the song first, it’s like I have the whole song also. It just comes with it somehow. So looking at the title “Ron Paul as a paper boy” – that is not a problem. Whereas, if the task had been to “make an illustration for these pages that talk about Ron Paul’s work experience as a kid”… well, that could open up so many more possibilities. The title approach leads to much more specific and immediate imagery.

Continue Reading

Home Studio

The smallest functioning home studio set-up I ever had was really not much bigger than a typical “laundry room” – maybe about 8ft. by 12ft. I remember liking it just fine though. We make do with what we have. What I have now is 30ft by 30ft, which to more than qualifies as fulfillment for the dream of having a studio at home.

When we bought this house it’s detached pole-barn-style over-sized 2 car garage was just an unfinished open space. In a short amount of time it became filled with those things that once assembled would become a workshop. (more soon)

Continue Reading


Observation ~ The app as a weaning program has at its core the idea that it’s main purpose and function should be in raising the users awareness of smoking. This emphasis has been considered at every stage of design – the idea that higher awareness of the habit is necessary and key to quitting.

Like anything else though, awareness can and should be kept in balance. Having raised awareness regarding smoking doesn’t mean you’ll need to be walking around in a state of constant vigilant monitoring. No need to get obsessive, in fact – don’t. The amount of awareness that it takes to remember to use the app properly, should be roughly the right amount to bring you up to a more balanced level – no longer oblivious, and on auto-pilot when lighting up.

Continue Reading

Nicotine is anti-inflammatory…

DAY 25 ~ I’ve done some more reading. The more I read, the more disturbed I’m getting. Here is the most direct expression of the issue I’ve found on the matter:

“Tobacco smoke is toxic but also anti-inflammatory. Paradoxically tobacco smoke contains hundreds of toxic and carcinogenic chemicals that produce inflammatory reactions and numerous degenerative diseases, but it also contains nicotine that is anti-inflammatory. Smokers assault their bodies, but moderate and obscure the inflammatory degeneration and disease, until they stop the nicotine exposure” ~ (From a post in a forum at

I started describing the nicotine fit even back in high school as that it’s like having “itchy veins”. That was thirty years ago. I can’t help but wonder what are the implications of misidentifying chronic inflammation for this long? Where might I be at in whatever this process leads to?

If cigarettes are ironically treating the condition they are also contributing to… what might the medical consequences be when I finally remove them from the mix – especially now that it is so much “later in the game”?

I’m worried, but much more than that… I’m angry. Everything could have been so very different – if I had known it was such a treatable condition all along.


Continue Reading