Pirates don’t need your help

3d rendering of pirated ships formed into the shape of a gun
Created using Maya and Photoshop while studying digital media at Georgia Tech, 2012.

When a class assignment required the making of a 3D object, I realized how much I think in 2D. I had no idea what to make. That was probably the first indication things would go horribly wrong.

I did learn the tenant of trying to build a cohesive body of work. I wanted to focus on datavis, so I figured I’d take this spreadsheet of Somalian pirate attacks I had always wanted to do something with and make a good image.

I do not know when the ships became an AK-47, or when that AK-47 got pointed at the Earth, or when a plume of ocean spray looking more like a splash of spoiled milk or a fake clown flower became an okay thing to build in my mind. There also is an animated video out there of this gun spinning around and crashing into water for the follow-up assignment. I live in fear of someone finding it and distributing it to all my potential employers.

The lesson? Don’t fit square pegs into round holes. When you aim for “make a cool thing in 3D” you don’t get anything awesome. The next time I tried integrating violence it worked so much better because it wasn’t gratuitous. It was necessary.

After you look through enough fast food ads you realize how sorry salads look. If you want to be tough, you don’t eat a salad. What would make vegetables cool? Blowing up a few burgers, obviously.

Bad Ad Kitchen allows you to rewrite the headlines on bad ads, replace junk food placements in TV and movie scenes with fresh produce, and apply your choice of health cooking method on sexist, misleading, or altogether offensive ads.

What it does it put you back in control of your food choices again. What it doesn’t do, thankfully, is glorify ocean piracy and automatic rifles. This project works because it attacks the right bad guys – the misinformed consumer in us all.

bad ad disappearing in a poof of smoke bad ad placement replaced with healthy food alternative