The Rich Snippet

My name is Richard Martinez, and I love design and development. I have an Associate's Degree in Graphic Communications, and a Bachelor's Degree in Digital Media Design. I believe that design is an evolving field, and have continued my education through self- teaching methods.

Why I'm Motivated

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Why I'm Motivated

I strive to learn the most I can from every opportunity that is presented to me. I appreciate many aspects of design, and my enthusiasm for these aspects fuels my desire to continue learning and improving my abilities.

My Inspiration

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My Inspiration

I've always been inspired by the melding of creative ideas and functionality. I find it very exciting to see new and creative ways to deliver information to a particular target audience.

How About A Fun Blog

A Picture Of Me

Hello there visitor. It seems you have found my blog. I plan to showcase my most prominent interests in the posts below. I hope you find them interesting as well. Have a look around, and feel free to tell me what you think via the email above.

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Phantom Beard Syndrome

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Oh My...!

Above Image: The New Beard

If it's not obvious by now, I recently trimmed my beard to approximately half of an inch (to understand the significance of this event, check this out). Don't be sad; this isn't the end, it is simply a new beginning. Since the time of the ceremonial unveiling of the chin, I've experienced what I like to call, phantom beard syndrome. After having a long beard for such a notable amount of time, you become accustomed to certain mannerisms, environmental factors, etc. I find myself reaching for my now nonexistent mane, to pull it out of the way when I'm zipping up a coat. Sometimes I walk into a breeze, and for a moment, I wonder why my face feels so sensitive and somehow colder than normal. I've even noticed that sometimes I automatically reach for my mustache hairs, to push them out of the way of the food I'm about to eat.

What I Most Miss About Having A Beard

I miss having positive recognition. By that I mean, being part of the moment when someone (who has probably just met me) realizes that a long beard can be associated with a person of integrity. For that reason alone, I might have kept my beard. It was also quite nice to have the ability to express my creativity through styling my beard. It's simply in my nature to create. I enjoy making things that are useful, or in this case, things that are aesthetically pleasing.

Above Image: My creative expression through beard manipulation. (Sweet bowtie!)

Lastly, I miss having the super powers that my beard provided me with (heh, if only). Perhaps in a parallel universe I would have the power to make the world a better place, using mostly my beard. Also worthy of note: Sporting something that helped define me as a man, did prove to be useful in some scenarios. Being able to, in a sense " wear my masculinity" will be something that I'll miss.

The Sundry I Can Do Without

Despite what you may think, a beard like the one I had can take a surprising amount of maintenance. I never really adjusted to: washing and conditioning about once every other day, brushing and combing multiple times a day, blow drying and hand drying, and other related activities. Having to constantly maintain it is not something I will miss, but that was never quite as bad my inability to eat without problems. Imagine having to choose between cutting all the food you eat into tiny unsatisfactory pieces, or constantly cleaning your face while eating. That was my life. After a few months of eating with a large sized beard, I did get pretty good at avoiding foodbeard (by that I mean, accidentally getting food in my beard) , but at the very least a small mess would occur almost without fail. There are plenty of minuscule problems related to beard life that I won't miss. Giving my girlfriend a hug, and getting my beard caught in her glasses, for instance. However, the thing I am happiest to live without is negative attention. It's not fun to get looks of disgust or disapproval simply because my appearance doesn't fit the societal norms that many people have grown comfortable with.

Chopped But Not Forgotten

This experience has taught me many things. In some ways, it helped shape me into a slightly different, and better person. To those men that are unsure about having a beard: Assuming you have the option to grow a big healthy beard, to you I say, doing so can become an exciting and positive aspect of your life. A beard can be a powerful thing, and at the very least, it is an experience worth having. Beards for life!


Avatar Baby

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The Before And After Avatar Baby
Above Image: My Baby Picture Before/After

Have you ever wondered what an avatar baby would look like? Well now you know... kind of.

I had a lot of fun with this one. It is always fun to put a humorous spin on a photo through digital manipulation. Even more so, when it's a picture of you as a baby. I'd be lying if I said I didn't chuckle the entire time I designed this.


Font Creation

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A Picture Of The Geometric Font I Created
Above Image: An Attempt At A Geometric Font

A few months ago I had the desire to create a font from scratch. My goal was to design the letters to be geometrically symmetrical to every other letter, and to try and make all the letters exactly the same total width and height. I accomplished this by starting with a circle of a defined size. I decided it would be best to use any number of quarters of the circle to create each letter. Straight lines were used to extend fractional circles to the desired height and width. In some cases, the lines were used to define the letter, as with the "T". To my surprise, the lowercase letters were much less accommodating to my design. The main body of each lowercase letter is proportionally half the size of the uppercase letters.


The Story Behind The Beard

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For all of those who are curious about my beard...

Let me start by saying: Many historical and respected figures had beards. That should be proof enough that a beard doesn't make a man (or perhaps a woman in some cases, eh?) any less capable of achieving great things. There is no reason why people should be thought less of, just because they have hair on their face. In my beard growing experience, I've done my best to remove any stigmas commonly associated with bearded men. I can't speak for everyone with facial hair, but I try to present myself as a person that someone could easily value. I have found that I'm able to bring some small amount of joy to people this way. I have encountered many smiling strangers, who ask me "How long is your beard?" or "How long have you been growing your beard?" Sometimes people will just come up to me and tell me I have an awesome beard. I'll thank them, and we both walk away smiling.

Ever since I was able to grow facial hair, I've been exercising my ability to do so. While my ability to grow facial hair may have started half a lifetime ago, my desire to grow a beard only started many moons ago... in 2011. My brother, girlfriend, and I went to the Motor City Beard and Mustache Competition in Hamtramck, Michigan. I was thoroughly impressed by all the glorious facial locks I encountered that night. What's more, my eyes were opened to creative expression through beard styling/growing. You can probably understand why that sounded intriguing to someone like me. On top of being visually impressed, the fact that this beard competition was a charitable event, sat well with me. Every beard competition I've been to since then has further shown me that it is quite possible to have fun with beards while simultaneously being charitable.

My current beard started its journey on May 25th, 2011. Depending on where you measure it, it's about 12 to 13 inches in length. My girlfriend and I have had loads of fun styling it and then showing it off at various competitions.

In this video, which takes place at a beard event in Lansing, I'm sporting a styled beard reminiscent of an octopus.

Overall, having a beard has been a very enjoyable experience.

Here are a couple other interesting moments in the life of my beard:

Above Image: The Glourious Smirking Beard

Above Image: One Year Beardiversary Party