Thursday, August 21

thank you, daniel blackball!

For Critic feature "Climaximum"
For Critic feature "Why I Hate Psychics"
For Critic feature "A House Without Books"
Whenever I went into Critic's office on a Wednesday afternoon I liked to watch Daniel Blackball at work. By the afternoon, with the surmounting pressure of that weekly deadline, Dan would be plunged deep into the creation of an illustration. I would watch him hunched over his keyboard staring at an intricate, minute detail. Often, after a minute of staring, he would press several buttons on the keyboard, click the mouse, and...something would have changed. Most times it was hard to tell what exactly - but I always knew something magical was being created. On Wednesdays I did not disturb Dan.

Five days later, when Monday came around, I would walk into campus, pick up several copies of Critic then head up to Radio One to help out with Critic's weekly show that Dan also ran. It was always a pleasure to see him but I was also excited about something else. Each time I sat down in that small studio and opened Critic for the first time that week, Dan's illustrations would take my breath away. They had depth, style and were intelligent - incredibly intelligent. And every second week, when one of those illustrations was paired with a feature I had written, it was like an artwork had been created just for me.

It's just over a week before I leave for overseas. One of the many things that I am already missing are those Monday morning encounters...and, of course, Dan himself! It's times like this, however, when I am so thankful for the Internet. Online I can find Dan's work and keep up to date with all his new projects. Now, I regularly check Dan's Tumblr and Behance...and marvel at the possibilities of what he might do next.


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