How I Spent My Summer Vacations

Here’s some more very old art from the vaults, probably from elementary school. Click on the either of the small images here to see a bunch of my crazy kid drawings.

When I was about 8 years old, my friend Karl Zimmerman showed me how he made cool spaceship designs using an old chemistry template (looked a bit like this) and similar tools. I starting doing the same, gradually settling on the mighty eraser shield as my tool of choice.

Later on, I started making 3D drawings on graph paper (probably also Karl’s idea) that could be viewed by crossing your eyes until the two middle images merge. Here are some examples of some simple 3D doodles. It’s the same basic process used in these recent experiments.

Pretty much all my friends’ parents were scientists of one sort or another, so it was a kind of nerd utopia. The West Boston suburbs of the ’60s and ’70s were a lot like Silicon Valley is now.

I often wonder what the kids of Silicon Valley who’ve grown up in the ’90s and ’00s have been dreaming up lately. Are any of you out there? What was your childhood like?

Discussion (8)¬

  1. Link W Herrman says:

    Love that you did them on graph paper.

    • Scott says:

      It made the 3D stuff a lot easier! To this day, I love the fine grid stuff better than the typical wide grid graph paper.

  2. Tony says:

    Silicon Valley kid here (I was there at your Stanford talk last year!), born in the ’90s. Both my parents are computer engineers, but I’ve never done any cool chemistry-related or 3D drawings. Damn, not awesome enough.

  3. Foodveyor says:

    Wow, fantastic graph-paper kid-stereography! Absolutely cool. And I have exactly that chemistry template, too!

    I often wonder why there isn’t more stereo comic work. Photoshop makes cross-eye cut-and-shift work very easy, and then making anaglyph images when you are done is a snap, too.

  4. Drew Unshod says:

    I grew up in Davis, CA in the 90s– as close as you can get to the Silicon Valley without actually being there. Being a college town, we had more PhDs per capita than just about anywhere else.

    Nerd Utopia is definitely a good way to describe it: instead of playing soccer and watching TV like most children do, during the pokemon craze I filled up an entire sketchbook or two with monsters that I’d come up with, each sporting an ever-more-powerful array of guns, claws, poisonous barbs, and wings (when I found out about nerves, I went back and added ridiculous numbers of brains in blue ballpoint pen). With time, that gave way to other nerdy hobbies, like designing pen-and-paper RTS games, coming up with imaginary phonetic scripts, and folding complex origami, among others. When I went away to college I found out how weird I was.

  5. Jonathan says:

    I grew up in Santa Cruz during the ’90s, and now I draw comics. Childhood was fun then, and it still is at twenty-five. 🙂

  6. Karl Zimmerman says:

    I blush now.

    In the vein of a recent tweet by Kurt, a short inventory of our high school class (or thereabouts): Brad Ellis, Bill McKibben, Kurt Busiek, Scott McCloud, Ted and Brian Dewan…

    Did we know those days were gold? “Build a rocket, boys!”