Who I am and why I’m here

I’m never bored. I keep a drawing kit and a tablet with me so that I can write and sketch wherever I go. I love to travel and to explore. I try to learn all the time, and I hope to help others learn. I like hearing stories. I like telling stories.

Words and Code

Technical communication, content design, and information architecture—People want to solve problems and accomplish goals. To capture incoming goals and address them, content strategy must understand the reader’s story. The writer’s job is to help the reader finish the journey in real life. The reader is the hero. The content designer builds journeys for the different heroes who engage with the content.

Docs as code—I like the docs-as-code approach of lightweight markup and Git. Markdown is my favorite markup language, because it’s easy and it’s everywhere. I’ve also used reStructuredText, which is great for Python projects, and AsciiDoc, which O’Reilly Media invented as an easy way to create DocBook. I like Git so much I wrote a book about it.

Programming—From time to time, I write small scripts and programs. My favorite languages are C, JavaScript, Python, and PHP. I’ve created very simple games and shareware, and once in a while I write scripts to automate repetitive tasks. I wrote a comic reader for mobile devices, a screen saver, and a color lookup table for a specialized printer. I like to create small projects such as my Color Clock.

Languages—I love languages. I speak a little bit of a few of them: English, French, Japanese, Indonesian, German. I’d like to learn Mandarin, Russian, and Italian. I spend a lot of time looking up grammar and etymology. I write a language blog called Lingua, Frankly.

Visual Communication

Graphic novels, comics, and visual journaling—I draw what I see. Most of my stories are based on real life. I create comics as objects as well as graphic novels and books. I always have several projects going at once.

Illustration—I’m an editorial and technical illustrator with a background in technical and architectural drawings, working in both analog and digital media. I love Sketchable and Sketchbook for whimsical drawings or sketches from life, but I’m also pretty good with Illustrator, Inkscape, and other vector-based tools. I’m interested in learning to create SVGs programmatically and by hand.

Photography—I like photographing on film. I like the math, the sound, and not knowing what I’m going to get. I carry a manual focus camera loaded with Tri-X when I travel. I’d like to do more street photography, and to experiment more.

The World

Pizza—Like many of my friends and family, I make pizza at home. I’ve made pizza in a frying pan, in a motel room, on a grill, and even in an air fryer. I’ve eaten pizza on four continents, and I want to hit the other three. I used to be a pizza prescriptivist, but now I understand that all pizza is pizza.

Travel—When I go somewhere, I try to pick up a little of the language first. I enjoy figuring out the public transit system, asking for directions, learning to order food. I want to go all over the world, learn new things, sketch, take photos, and get used to new places.