Happy 26th Birthday Aaron Ramsey  ❤️

Hiring Test

Several years ago I was involved in an animation company’s hiring process. The job category was animator. The process consisted of identifying, recruiting, and training individuals. The company wanted to develop talent by selecting ten or so hires from several hundred applicants. We were prepared to not hire anyone if we found that no one fit our criteria The selection process was similar to other corporate hiring procedures. The candidates passed through the process by submitting several drawings, then they drew pictures on designated themes, wrote essays, and were interviewed. […]

Not one applicant had any obvious creative ability or brilliant talent. The hiring process therefore turned into a complete muddle. We became desperate, as if we were digging for gold flecks in the sand, to discover at least one person who might not yet be a good artist but had the potential to improve. […]

Since then, I have changed jobs and made several films. On each project I have met young people whom I rejected during that selection process. Several of them are even core members of my current production staff. These newcomers, although rejected at the time, have grown and are working side by side with the others.

I wonder what was the meaning of that selection process after all.

I’ve been reading Miyazaki’s book Starting Point this week, and thought some of you might dig this story from a 1987 interview

Dane Grayson was a man that kept in the shadows. He was loyal to a select few and he had an unusual talent those select few knew about. His only true friend Serena Drake and with her off, he had an interest in a certain man named Raspard. An ambitious bloke that was set on becoming a wealthy man with many connections. It might serve a purpose to travel some of Raspard’s circles…perhaps…

“This question is strictly asking about during your time at blizzard. On a scale from 0-10, 0 being useless and 10 being perfect, how useful are player-made tools like simcraft. For myself, I use them because even though I feel like there could be glaring mistakes/oversights, we have no other way to determine the difference between gear sets. Do you think tools like simcraft are good or bad for the game? I ask you because you have mentioned before that you had the actual data instead of sim.”

I’ll answer using WoW as a reference point, but this is relevant to other games as well.

Sims were originally a tool players used to try to solve problems like itemization choices, optimal rotations, or even talent selections. For answering those problems, the simulations can be really powerful tools. They are very sensitive to having good input though. If the theorycrafter misunderstands how a particular mechanic works, or just introduces a bug somewhere, the sim may come up with bad results. Because they are generally a bear to work with, it’s often hard to get peer-reviewed results, so sometimes a player would do a ton of hard work, and it would be taken as gospel. Other times there was a strong enough community of theorycrafters to challenge assumptions and offer improvements. It just depended on the spec/class at that point in time.

Sims struggle a lot more when they’re trying to represent reality. They are good for answering relative questions (”Should I choose a dagger with haste or crit?”). They are weak at answering absolute questions (”What will my damage be on boss #2?”). The reasons for this are probably obvious, but sims generally assume low lag and player perfection. Furthermore, they struggle to capture things like high movement, lots of adds, target switching and so on. They also tend to provide an answer (usually “What is my DPS?”) when DPS isn’t actually the real question on some fights, say one where it’s easy to pad meters, or killing / controlling the adds is the trick to the fight instead of the boss, or when DPS during Phase 1-3 isn’t important, but it’s critical in the brief Phase 4.

Where sims are terrible and cause developers a bunch of pain are when they are used to compare the (already inaccurate) absolute numbers from spec to spec or class to class. When a player would email me a stacked rank table of simulated DPS and ask me when they were getting buffs, I admit that my eyes would sometimes roll. The accuracy of the sim (which I’ve already argued is not accurate) is really dependent on the quality of simulator. If one player is simming Fury Warriors and another simulator is simming Shadow Priests, there is no way to tell if they are handling data the same way or even making the same assumptions.

Developers have enough on their plates just building the actual game, so when presented with data that seemed odd to us, it was easier for us just to say “Something seems off” than to try to debug a third party tool or process.

Logs (i.e. what actually happened in a fight) are generally much more useful than sims in answering questions like “How important is my class for this particular fight?” There are a lot of things you have to consider with logs too (”Did the group overgear the encounter? Is this encounter even a blocker for progression?”) but they are better than sims, unless you’re just asking a question about stat weights.



Kylux Art Academy AU

“Your pieces are so…ordinary. They´re nothing special on them. They are so perfect, symmetrical done. Art is not supposed to be perfect, art is supposed to make you feel something” The man said, as he shook his long raven head. “Are you even capable to do this? The pride you carry in your being is so much that you´d become like your father? A soulless perfectionist artist”

“You dont talk about me about perfection, Ren” he gritted his teeth “How you even got in the Academy? Was it with the help of your precious mother , Senator Organa? Youre not talented enough to get in here on your own . You know that you´ll never become an artist good enough as your famous grandfather.”

The First Order is the most prestigious Art Academy, only a selected piece of young talented artists can be accepted to it. B. Hux ll is a descendant of notorious artists on his family line, recognizable for their perfection in every piece. Kylo Ren intends to follow the path of his grandfather, abandoning his political life and name to become an artist.

A Talent a Day 

Jennifer Niederhauser Schlup (1981, SW) was selected from the Foam Talent Call in 2014. “Every image we see resonates in comparison to what we have in our memory.” On Sunday 20 March the call closes. Make sure to submit your work on time at

Image from the series Blank © Jennifer Niederhauser Schlup, courtesy of the artist

Kate Middleton Kicks Off 2017 by Picking Up an Honor for Her Photography Skills

Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty

Kate Middleton can now add accomplished artist to her list of growing honors.

The Duchess of Cambridge has been given an honorary lifetime membership to the Royal Photographic Society, a seal of approval typically reserved for those who have won one of the society’s prestigious awards. Princess Kate was selected for her “talent and enthusiasm,” and is reportedly quite excited about the recognition.

VIDEO: The Many Adorable Faces of Prince George of Cambridge


Considering we have Middleton to thank for a multitude of adorable portraits of her two children, Prince George, 3, and Princess Charlotte, 1, we’d say the membership is quite fitting. The Duchess, who majored in art history while attending the University of St Andrews, was responsible for taking the first official photographs of Charlotte with her older brother back in 2015 as well as the images that were released of George from his first day of nursery school last year.

RELATED: 15 Ways to Integrate Kate Middleton’s Style and Grace Into Your Everyday Life

Take a look back at the Duchess’s darling images of her little ones to celebrate.

Watch on

I think my brother @brittwright_ is on to something with his #CurationDC event. I’m not missing the next one. Make sure you join him and the rest of his handpicked selection of artists & talent for the next one on Friday, October 2nd from 5:00pm-10:00pm for a “special edition” of #CurationDC. Also follow their Instagram account @CurationDC, for photography, video footage and details on the upcoming show.
Powered by Britt Wright (@brittwright_) and The NetworkDC (@thenetworkdc)

Video Credit: @bofields #KnowBo
#goodvibes #goodvibesonly #DCartist #DCnightlife #DMVArtist #art #TomTomCosign

Made with Instagram

A Talent a Day

Daniel Everett (1980, US) is an artist working across a broad range of media, exploring the possibilities and limits of personal meaning in public spaces, both real an imagined. He was selected from the Foam Talent Call in 2014. What kind of direction do you work in? Submit until Sunday at

Image from the series New Existence © Daniel Everett

[esquire - november ‘15 issue] interview with jonghyun
translation by: thatcoolcatmeow
(the translator asks that you please do not translate to other languages.)

esquire: all of the the staff (that) you worked with today for the photoshoot were all new faces to you because i arranged the casting. i was really surprised. i thought you would only work with staff that were in charge.
jonghyun: i think the main agent is not me; it’s just that the subject of the photoshoot happens to be me.

esquire: you are not the main agent?
jonghyun: no, it’s not my album.

esquire: ah …
jonghyun: i’m kidding. photoshoots are a visual thing and it’s not my professional area. i tend to trust the staff and go along with them. i’m sure reporter-nim selected talented people.

esquire: your new collection album, story. op 1, has been released.
jonghyun: i have put the songs that i’ve released on a radio show that i host, blue night. perhaps because i participated in (the) composing and the writing of the tracks…, i think it strongly shows off my personal taste. i planned tehe direction of the rearrangements, chose the order of the songs after deciding the tracklist, and observed the process when (all of the) musicians were recording. there was no part (of the process) that has not received my personal touch.

esquire: your album promotion is unusual. you held guerilla concerts rather than going on music shows.
jonghyun: i made new attempts in terms of music with this album so i wanted the promotion to be original, too. busking allows singers to communicate closely with the audience and it was the kind of performance i’ve been wanting to do for a long time. since i had to consider the safety of the fans (though), i can’t say it was entirely busking (though) and i had to carry (it) out more as a form of guerilla concerts.

esquire: your have been meeting with your fans through your solo concert, the story by jonghyun, during october. i heard you also participated in the planning and the direction of the stage. did you have a particular course of direction you wanted to lead (in)?
jonghyun: interaction. that’s why the concert is named “story” too. the story by jonghyun is incomplete when it’s on it’s own. it needed to be completed with the audience. there are actually parts that can only be finished with the participation of the audience.

esquire: it’s a stage where you exchange with the audience, then?
jonghyun: people who have watched the concert (have) told me: “thank you for letting me listen to your story.” i don’t think it was a story of my own (though); it was a story of us.

esquire: after releasing the album you also debuted as an author, publishing the novel, skeleton flower: things that have been set free. how was writing (a novel)? is it a different work from writing lyrics?
jonghyun: it seemed very different? rather than thinking that “i’m going to write a novel”, i started as wanting to suggest a different way of enjoying music. my ambition was grandoise.

esquire: enjoying music through a book?
jonghyun: in the novel the lyrics of the twelve songs i made are put here and there. if the lyrics come out while reading the book, have a listen to that song. it might sound new even if you already knew the song.

esquire: so, you can listen to music while reading a story. how did you come up with this idea?
jonghyun: music has a wonderful power. it allows one to explode with imagination. it makes on to imagine: “what was the situation that made the singer sing this song?, what happens afterwards?” i know this can be a little mean, but i wanted to own that imagination. as a person who created that song i wanted to tell people what happened before and after that song directly through the novel.

esquire: what is it about?
jonghyun: it’s about a break up. they say your first work becomes very autobiographical, and i think it really is looking back after it has been completed. the main male character, who’s an author, has a lot of emotional ups and downs. the female character, who’s a reporter, is tired of the same every day routine but is trying to be hardwording resembles me. the dj portrays the social role that i have which is obsertved from the perspective of someone from the outside. lastly, the female junior collegue character portrays someone who comforts people without saying words which is the kind of person i wish to be. i tried to depict every day lives of ordinary people rather than ones who seem extraordinary.

esquire: i think it’s not ordinary, starting off with the role of the author.
jonghyun: i think the standard is very vague. there’s definitely a side of me who meets someone ordinarily, falls in love, breaks up, experiences a hard time, and is trying to overcome that hard time. there may be variations in the intensity of the ups and downs, but i think that the feelings we experience are all the same.

esquire: then you must find inspirations in your every day life while writing music, too.
jonghyun: i tend to take a lot of notes when making discoveries in daily life. i will tell you a memo that i took yesterday. [on jonghyun’s mobile phone it was written: “nights are (more) dangerous than alcohol. you are (more) dangerous than the night.”] just like this, i write something short. i thought of this suddenly one night. you tend to get emotional when you’re drinking. it goes up and down like this, but i become more emotional in meeting the night than during drinking. when i discover something like this i express it metaphorically or poetically and unravel that into music. it’s really nothing.

esquire: that’s how you complete your song. shall we talk about your radio now? anyone who has listened to your radio at least once will know that you have a strong attachment to your radio show.
jonghyun: it’s fun.

esquire: perhaps you might earn more moeny if you invest that time on something else?
jonghyun: (laughs) i earn enough from other things. i’m not doing it for profit reasons.

esquire: then what do you earn instead?
jonghyun: interaction. it’s a medium of intimacy. it feels like we’re talking right next to each other, and i can meet people that i don’t know (personally). ah, i’m not talking about the guys. i’m talking about the listeners. since i have a whole two hours to myself i can share from trivial to complicated stories.

esquire: how many stories do you receive?
jonghyun: i receive four hundred at mimimum and two thousand at maximum each day.

esquire: you wouldn’t be able to read them all, then. do you only read the ones that are selected by the radio script writer?
jonghyun: no, i read them. all of them. i check them in realtime through the monitor installed in the radio booth, and also read stories when the advertisements are being aired. i receive an amount that i can read (through) all of them.

esquire: what are the stories mainly about?
jonghyun: since the time of radio is at night i usually receive stories like: “i’m tired”, “it’s hard” or “my day has been like this”, and such.

esquire: don’t you feel worn out when reading stories about how tired they are (though)?
jonghyun: i’m a person who can keep a good pace, so i don’t feel like that.

esquire: you comforted people saying it’s okay not to be okay. i think you’re an expert in comforting people. where did you learn this?
jonghyun: there’s no place to learn something like this. (laughs) i think i’m a warm hearted person then…, um…, i think if you have the will to really listen to someone’s story, worry about them and want to comfort them…, i think your heart will be delivered.

esquire: is there a virtue a good dj should possess?
jonghyun: this is something i talked about during my radio last night. i think trying to sound happy when you’re actually not is not a good attitude to have as a dj. i think you should be able to say that you’re sad when you’re sad and say that you’re having a hard time when you’re having a hard time. it might not be a good attitude for a star to have but a dj is someone who shares stories with the listeners so i think, as the listeners are showing their true feelings (to me), i shouldn’t be hiding mine. this way i won’t act cowardly.

esquire: what do you do when you take a rest?
jonghyun: i haven’t been able to take a rest. i don’t want to take a rest either. i like to work…, no, i’m person with a compulsive need to work. i feel like i’m worthless if i don’t do anything.

esquire: i see that there really is a (type of) person who cannot take rests.
jonghyun: sometimes i think: “why can’t i take rest?” maybe it’s different from person to person. i don’t know what the right thing to do (is).

esquire: that’s contradictory from someone who sings: “you can take a rest putting everything aside for a day.
jonghyun: it’s something i tell to other people. it’s something like: “you can be that way although i cannot (be)”? i have wrote a lot of songs that comfort other people. they weren’t (written) for me though.

esquire: what is a question (that) you ask most frequently to yourself?
jonghyun: it’s not really a question. i frequently tell myself to be hoenst, because i’m not that honest (with myself) yet. but i want to be…, i don’t want to embellish myself. though it’s a lot for me to be that way right now…, but i’m sure someday i will be?

esquire: you might end up getting hurt or hurting someone else trying to be honest (though).
jonghyun: i will need to put an effort in dealing with getting hurt or hurting someone, but i think that’s also a sign of growing up. another erson on why ii want to be honest is that i want to become a young man / youth that i dream of.

esquire: what kind of young man?
jonghyun: a young man making contibution to society.

esquire: you’re a bright young man.
jonghyun: i’m a pessimist. a dreamer, but we need a lot of dreamers, to be honest.

esquire: i agree that you’re a dreamer, but a pessimist…, why? i think you are a person in possession of many things. you receive a lot of love and are financially affluent.
jonghyun: pessimism, according to the definition of a dictionary, (is where a person) perceives the world or life as misery and becomes disillusioned to the point of living in hopelessness. i’m not like that to that extent, but i think we need to be aware of the negative sides of the world as well as the beautiful and happy ones. i want to be a person who can bring a positive change from that. it’s not something entirely negative.

esquire: why do you want to change the world that much?
jonghyun: i feel like i have been rejected when justice gets denied. although the world isn’t going to change with me alone i think it’s necessary to have a (sense of) direction and strive forward in the right way.

esquire: what is the world that jonghyun dreams of?
jonghyun: a society where everyone is equal so that it’s a peaceful world.