Toy Tech: Running On Empty (Part 1)



Digital marker sketch, Photoshop

I love to run. I don’t run fast or even well in terms of
technique but I get out there and put rubber to the pavement. Hot days or
freezing cold I have all of the seasons worked out and put my shoes on to face
anything but rain—I don’t like running in the rain.

The main reason I started running was simply to stay alive.
I developed breathing problems due to asthma so a lifestyle change was in order
and I lost around fifty pounds. After building up the cardio endurance I just
fell in love with running—especially on empty.

On empty you say? What in the world are you talking
about—empty? Well, sometimes we find ourselves living life on empty, which
really isn’t living life at all. In
regards to toy design, there have been days when my ideation hit a stone cold
wall and no ideas were flowing at all.

That's when drops of sweat start pouring down my face as I desperately
try to think harder and harder but nothing comes. Then thoughts of the good ol’ days when
toy ideas gushed out of my brain pummel my confidence and my knees nervously
knock together. Perhaps it’s over—the end of my toy rainbow has been reached
and the pot of gold is nothing more than empty polypropylene.


Digital sketch progression—Photoshop CS6

Maybe the ideas come but the everyday drama of working with
frail human beings has you so buried you have to climb up a flight of stairs and three ladders just to see daylight. Then, on top of that you have the daily
drive of highway traffic filled with nuts and kooks willing to crash their car
just to get home three minutes early to watch commercials.

Yes, life sure isn’t easy and I didn’t even mention sharing
a house with teenagers—that my friend is just too much to discuss here. So, we must
clear our minds and blow off a little steam—but how? How do we escape the
burdens of life that drain our batteries leaving us on empty like a toy premium
left on all night never to light-up again?

To make matters even worse, once you get home the tempting allure of the
most dangerous snare of all promises to steel the rest of your day and
turn you into a bug-eyed zombie deaf to spouse and child who demand the
remaining morsels of your brain power.

Yes, like a mysteriously beautiful mermaid calling out to
the passing ships by singing the mesmerizing tones that hypnotize sailors to jump over board, the bewitching temptress that is the soft sofa couch seductively calls your name and
entices you to recline. You try to resisit but the magnetic grip of her melodic whispers keep you spellbound to her alluring charms.

Aaaahhhhhhhhh yes, the temptation of reclining is kryptonite
to Superman’s super-human power. It is the energy zapper to Ironman’s suit and
the empty quiver to Hawkeye’s bow. The tantalizing 
call of the couch is so captivating that the soothing promises of liberation from all of your burdens and stress is too tempting for mere mortals to spurn.

So, like a
baby falling into the protective care of his mother’s loving arms you chose to close
your eyes and fall backward into the cushioned embrace of this cherished sofa knowing
it will surly catch your fall within the buoyant safety of it’s therapeutic personalized
comfort fit.

Did I mention the TV? Yes, the TV is the final death ray as you see the lips of your
children move but their audible cries overpowered by cable utterances of pure nonsense
and mind-numbing plot points. You have succumbed. You have melted into the
daily ritual that produces a bloated belly and hunched back. I bid you to defy! Yes, you must defy this evil spell and fight to regain your place among the
living—but let’s do that after watching Breaking Bad. 



Continued In Part 2 . . .

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