Nuts about local nuts

A case for local food

Remembering David Lebovitz’ pine nut syndrome, I started to take a closer look at packages of food we buy at the local supermarket. It’s so easy to get completely focused on buying local vegetables but forgetting to look at the label when throwing something like pine nuts into the shopping cart. The worst thing is, most supermarkets don’t care and don’t offer an alternative. However, let’s not panic just yet: this is slowly changing (but reached a plateau). Read More »

Healing creative scars

My ultimate secret weapon for self improvement

Want to skip to the practical part? Are you aware of your problems? Once upon a time in a land not very far away (in fact, it’s the very same we live in), a small boy and his Gameboy grew up. He didn’t have many hobbies: gaming. He didn’t have many friends. Playing outside is okay as long as the 4 AA batteries are fully charged and the sun isn’t shining too bright and the playing is confined to one square meter. Read More »

A samurai learning mindset

Bushido and the ever learning spirit, techniques for 1600 and 2017?

After reading the famed books The Book of five rings By Miyamoto Musashi and the Life-giving sword By Yagyu Munenori, I started making connections between the teachings of the art of war and the teachings of any other craft. Yagyu clearly mentions the state of mind required to survive in battle can be used in any other profession to your advantage as well. The back of the book states that “every manager, seeker of life wisdom and practician of martial arts should use this”. Read More »

Development principles in cooking

A lot of people seem to think I’m the kind of chef who uses loads and loads of ingredients, combining and layering without thinking twice. We were having a discussion about what to cook for dinner this evening. It’s ‘donderdag veggiedag’, an initiative from the Belgian EVA VZW to eat a vegetarian meal each thursday, and since I’m a vegetarian, it’s generally accepted that I should know a lot of good recipes. Read More »

Are you handing over enough when inspiring someone?

What info to convey, when to stop?

The other day, I was having a discussion with a friend and colleague about reaching out to others. He had an idea on combining patterns learned from the enterprise software development world (clean code, TDD, domain driven design, you name it) with patterns learned from the gaming development world (rapid prototyping, getting stuff done, intensive usage of frameworks like Unity). An excellent idea if you ask me. But he was hesitant - others might not be that interested in taking time to write unit tests in their game. Read More »

How to teach kids to program

Usable tips also applyable to grownups?

Jessica Ellis gave a lot of great tips on how to teach kids to program at Techorama 2017 in Antwerp. She has ben an active teacher in the society and introduced something clever called “barbecoding”. In an attempt to create an appealing programming camp for boys and girls, she successfully combined food and science. She shared her story in an hour and I did my best to extract the most important principles as I thought it might be a great idea to apply that to our team in my daily work as a software developer. Read More »

Drawing week 04 - Using the brain

Drawing at the right side of the brain

Also read Teaching yourself to draw. As I’m slowly getting a tiny bit better at drawing things I see, I still don’t have a fundamental basis to rely on. Until I’ve read “Drawing at the right side of the brian” from Betty Edwards. Everything I’ve read in there came as a complete revelation to me. She explains how you should “look” at things, what is important to look out for when realisticly drawing and how values/tones work. Read More »

Drawing week 03 - Fineliners and texture

The fine discovery of Skillshare

Also read Teaching yourself to draw. I wanted to continue my quest of finding my own style within ink and watercolor boundaries. After the amazing discovery of, I switched to using Artline fineliners. I also have some Steadlers but hardly notice any difference between different felt tip pens if they have the same thickness. I found a short course by Shirish Deshpande on drawing with ink and creating some contrast and texture. Read More »

Drawing week 02 - Art before breakfast

So ballpoint pens are useful after all

Also read Teaching yourself to draw. After the illustration course, I’m not ashamed to admit I completely dropped the pencil out of the game. It creates lines easy to remove and that means I’m working on a drawing forever. I need something to commit myself to. That something is called ink. It also seems that I already have stuff to get ink on a paper: pens. Ballpoint pens. Black, blue, whatever. Read More »

Drawing week 01 - pencil illustrations

Gotta start somewhere...

Also read Teaching yourself to draw. As you might already have read, I started the drawing adventure with a 10-week ‘illustrative techniques’ course. It sounds complicated but it wasn’t really: it’s more of a gentle introduction in different mediums (pencil, ink, acrylic paint, …) than a crash course in drawing techniques. I didn’t know then that to draw illustrations, you still have to be able to draw. (I’m reading “drawing at the right side of the brain” and I know better now). Read More »