Illustrations by Jaime G. Wong

Showing entries with tag: hacker monthly


Illustration for Hacker Monthly #46

Illustration for Hacker Monthly #46
"On Hacking" by Richard Stallman was the cover story for Hacker Monthly magazine #46. Cheng Soon sent me a picture of Stallman and I proceeded to do a portrait with a pencil/graphite brush.

Here's a 100% size crop:

In case you're interested on the brush, here are the settings. This is Paint Tool SAI.


Illustration for Hacker Monthly #45

Illustration for Hacker Monthly #45
The main article of the 45th issue of Hacker Monthly magazine was Bitcoin, and Cheng Soon asked me to do an illustration for the cover. It was refreshing to work again for Hacker Monthly... literally! With my wife and daughter we went out for ice cream and sodas while I drew four ideas for the cover. Cheng Soon gave the thumbs up to the first sketch.

The coin was drawn using Paint Tool SAI's vector layers, since Photoshop Elements 2.0 — the reduced version of Photoshop that I own — lacks vectors. All background layers were done with PSE20.

The source code that appears on the upper left is Bitcoin's, src/coins.cpp to be precise.

Oliver asked me if the ones and zeroes at the bottom right had some secret message, but no, they were typed in at random.


Illustration for Hacker Monthly #27

Illustration for Hacker Monthly #27
In "The Salesman and the Developer," Daniel Tenner tells a story of a these two men who go out to hunt bears. Cheng Soon Lim wanted an straight illustration of this analogy, so I made a pair of sketches.

This one was the chosen concept:

I find this one very funny:


Illustration for Hacker Monthly #25

Illustration for Hacker Monthly #25
For the "Dizzying but Invisible Depth" article by Jean-Baptiste Queru, Lim Cheng Soon had already the idea of a deep crack in the earth, like after an earthquake, with a person looking down.

Oliver gave me a hand with a Blender mesh for the big crack. I wanted to contrast something realist and detailed with a simple lineal drawing, and drawing the crack by hand would take me too much time.

Illustration for Hacker Monthly #19

Illustration for Hacker Monthly #19
My illustration made the cover of Hacker Monthly #19, woo! The illustrated article is "An iOS Developer takes on Android" by Nick Farina. As always, I sent drafts to Cheng Soon Lim and he immediately chose the developer examining the huge android.

My brother helped me as the model. He suggested the looking-back-pose and I told him, "No, you're supposed to be back against the iPhone, ignoring it." Later, while looking at the shots, I realized it was a very good idea. It's like the developer felt some guilt and looked back to the iPhone. Also, this interaction integrates the iPhone in the illustration.

Cheng Soon Lim loved it and put it on the cover. Nick Farina (the article's author) put it as his twitter avatar. Now that's pretty cool!


Illustration for Hacker Monthly #7

Illustration for Hacker Monthly #7
A new month, a new issue of Hacker Monthly magazine. This month's article was "How Universities Work" by Jake Seliger. It's, as its subtitle says, "A Guide to American University Life for the Uninitiated." The editor suggested a freshman in front of a university, so I drew a draft and he loved it.

I made a quick model in Google Sketchup as a guide for the wide perspective. I love Sketchup, it's easy to build these things and get to work on what matters.

I decided to use again the painterly style for drama. Here's a detail of the final painting:


Illustration for Hacker Monthly #6

Illustration for Hacker Monthly #6
November's issue of Hacker Monthly magazine had Zed Shaw's "Products for People who make Products for People" as a featured article.

The core idea for the illustration was, quoting from the article: To the Product Person I am a dinosaur. I'm a Long Beard. I'm a guy who makes web servers for fun and gives them away. [...] Second, to them a web server isn't "product", it's infrastructure. It's not even a toilet, it's the rusty pipe that feeds water to the toilet.

So, here's the Long Beard guy and his peers. Since this is about "products," I chose to represent them as furniture sellers -- furniture being the "products for people." Just like a web server is not supposed to be an end product, but infrastructure, the Long Beard sells planks of wood: raw material for furniture.

Following the article, the peers watch him in disdain:

To a Product Person the things I make are laughable. They aren't products because people don't use them, only programmers. To make a good web server you just have to code. There's no design, no usability, no human elements at all. The all superior Product(TM) has design, usability, and is used by humans. "Your web server is just used by geeks and it's just code."


Illustration for Hacker Monthly #5

Illustration for Hacker Monthly #5
For the October issue of Hacker Monthly, I was asked to illustrate "How to Read Mathematics" by Shai Simonson and Fernando Gouvêa, a very interesting article.

Playing with the idea of Mathematics being a foreign language, I thought of an archeologist/explorer reading math symbols carved on ruins (#1). Other idea was a Math symbol teaching a school student how to read the Math language (#3). I had some other ideas with aliens, but unfortunately I didn't have much time to draw many characters, just keep the ideas simple. While skething those and reading the article again, I came up with idea #2.

The idea came from this quote from the article: "Mathematics has a reading protocol all its own, and just as we learn to read literature, we should learn to read mathematics. Students need to learn how to read mathematics, in the same way they learn how to read a novel or a poem, listen to music, or view a painting.".

Here's a closer look:

One thing I've been learning about composition and color theory is you use a higher contrast on your areas of interest. In this case, our subject of interest is the painting rather than the girl.

This is the same image, greyscaled, so you can see the values more clearly contrasted:

If you look at the original image again, the colors on the girl lose saturation as we go to the bottom. Her sandals have almost no hue. In contrast, her bag and her hair are saturated; their purpose is to guide you again to the painting.

Illustration for Hacker Monthly #4

Illustration for Hacker Monthly #4
Hacker Monthly issue 4 is out. Cheng Soon Lim, the editor, suggested to illustrate an article by Tom Moertel called "A Coder's Guide to Coffee." He gave me images of latte coffee art and the idea to have something that represents "coder" drawn on it.

For those of you who aren't hackers and don't get it, the figure I chose was the Hacker's Emblem:

(Yes, it's not exactly coder, but every coder is a hacker by nature)

I had a hard time thinking on how to illustrate it. Since it's latte art, doing a comic-style, inked illustration wouldn't cut it, so I went for a realistic, painterly style. I didn't have coffee at hand (I don't drink coffee), just tea, so I made a cup, took my Acer Aspire One netbook and shot several compositions.

I left the latte art for later, so it dawned on me too late I should have used milk! (Latte coffee? Hellooo?) My reference was a dark transparent tea, while the latte is opaque milk with coffee. I couldn't take another picture since light has already changed. Finding the right hues for it was a challenge, since color is always relative. I examined many pictures of latte art to see how it mixed and blurred when drawn. I wanted to emulate its behavior the best I could.

Finally, Cheng Soon loved it so much, he put it on the cover of the magazine. That's absolutely awesome.

Hacker Monthly #4 cover


Illustration for Hacker Monthly #3

Illustration for Hacker Monthly #3
Here's my illustration for the third issue of Hacker Monthly magazine. The article was "How to Become a Millionaire in Three Years" written by Jason L. Baptiste.

After Cheng Soon (the editor) tells me which article to illustrate I read it to understand the core idea, the author's intention and the article's essence. I then send him some drafts with comments to get his feedback. We both liked the line graph idea, and I made a second draft with a 3D one for more visual dynamism.

While working on the final art I found out the 3D line graph wasn't really working, it was too empty for a full page. Using Google Sketchup I made a bar graph as steps and that worked better. The little guy was made bigger. I removed the years labels as the author didn't mean a fixed three-year span. I also removed the money labels, but Cheng Soon asked to have them in.
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