Begin Again

Whenever I need a quick pick-me-up, this snippet from Sam Harris seems to do the trick. Here’s my flawed attempt at transcribing it:

The whole point of life is not to arrive, but to begin again.

Because everything you’ve done, or not done, is now just a memory.

And everything you are telling yourself about the future, is a half-truth at best.

Because however good or bad things seem: nothing lasts.

Because there’s so much more to life than talking to yourself, about yourself.

Because this moment, is wide open. The world itself, is wide open.

And no one knows how good life can be.

Because in this moment, there’s always an opportunity, to stop looking over your own shoulder.

In this, living instance, and only here, this is where you can lose the mask that you’ve mistaken for your own face.

This next moment it’s truly new and totally unexplored,

And that’s always the case.

So, wherever you’ve come from, however hard things have seem, whoever is in your life, and no longer in it.

Whatever has been done, or left undone,

Just begin again…

2018 NYCFC Featured Collages

For this years’ Matchday newsletters we featured a different player for every game, 34 total. I got inspired by the black and white collages on this article by (great read btw!) and recruited Patricio Cuvi to help me with a lot of the Photoshop magic. They looked pretty awesome on the newsletters but since they were so small thought it would be fun to make some posters out of them.

A big shout out to Project Director Janine Padilla!

It’s my first time doing this download thing. Please shoot me a message on Twitter at @jupago if any of the links doesn’t work.

021 The Year of the Grid

2017 was a pretty awesome year.

Personally, Betty and I worked on a couple of cool projects; the one below by far our (90% her) finest.

She’s taken our sleep breath away.

Professionally, started speaking, mentoring, teaching, and got to work on a ton of fun projects as a freelancer. Will probably write more about that in another post, but for now I want to focus on the one that I enjoyed the most: CSS Grid.

It all started in 2015 at An Event Apart in SF.

Jen Simmons gave a fascinating talk on layouts that spoke to the designer-forced-to-learn-how-to-code in me, the one that had succumbed to floats and taken a sabbatical when Flash died. The next day at that same conference, Rachel Andrew took that spark to the next level by introducing me to CSS Grid.

I was hooked!!

Two years later, with help from one awesome meetup hosted by Jen and THE course on CSS by Rachel and I’ve become confident enough to speak at a couple of conferences about Grid and share my enthusiasm with others.

WordCamp NYC 2017
WordCamp Boston 2017
WordCamp Boston 2017
WordCamp Mexico City
WordCamp Mexico City ’17

One of the things that I’ve been wanting to do is put together all of my demos in one place. Anything from actual sites I’m working on, to book covers, to random snippets. If it sounds similar to what Jen Simmons did with …it is! Her work is my main inspiration and I can’t credit her enough.

I’ll aim to upload one a week so I can get on a schedule (I know.. I know.. me and schedules).

First one is live here!

(Eventually adding the page to the top menu. I’m designing my portfolio on the browser so I have to go back and rethink what I initially *assumed would be a very small menu).

*assumed: last word an UX Mentor should use.

020 Mexico Lindo y Querido

Mom and Dad just had their 40 year anniversary.




My brother (also known as Ficha Azul) and family flew here from California for a surprise party. Here are a couple of photos of them back-in-the-day that we printed for the event:

Mom and Dad
Dad Kid
Mom Kid
Don’t mind the kid wearing a green hat and looking a bit upset.

It was also my 8-year-old nephew’s trip back to NYC after many years, so decided to make it an adventure.

Designed a few quick badges he had to earn for points, the last one being the coolest badge of all: A sleepover under the big blue whale at the American Museum of Natural History. There are times when you do things you don’t enjoy for others. This was not one of those times. 122 fricken’ feet fricken’ Titanosaur!

My nephew documenting an empty Dinosaur Hall

Built him a quick website to have as a souvenir, keep track of badges, and perhaps add or redo at a later time!

Badges, badges everywhere!

And last!

Spoke at my first conference in Spanish, in Mexico City.

The title of the talk was “Llegó CSS Grid” (CSS Grid has arrived). I got super inspired by the work of Jen Simmons and Rachel Andrew that I decided to speak about everything I’ve learned,

Will probably do a full post on the whole experience and content, but overall, it was pretty awesome. Got people excited about CSS Grid, and made a lot of new friends.

If you are reading this and design for the web go go go go learn about CSS Grid

*Just Google anything Jen or Rachel above have done and you’re on a good track.

A couple of Screenshots from the Live Stream
A couple of Screenshots from the Live Stream

And Bonus!

Started working as a Mentor at Bloc, will probably follow up on another post once I get some more experience. So far it has been pretty cool. The curriculum is great and they have built an awesome community around it.

My June has also being pretty hectic, though it started with me googling:
Fix flashing question mark folder when I try to start my mac“…

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

I’m back in good shape, so…

┬─┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ)

But still, come on Apple, these new MacBook Pros are super buggy…

┻━┻ ︵ヽ(`□´)ノ︵ ┻━┻

But then again, me whining about an expensive laptop is definitely a first world problem.

┬─┬ ︵ /(.□. \)

019 Oh Hai!

The following is a conversation between JP and Jupago. It happened on a chilly Spring morning as the snow from the three previous storms was finally starting to melt.

[JP] So..what’s up, It’s been a while. When are you writing your next post.

[Jupago – JPG] Almost, almost, gotta have something awesome.
I’m working on a few things. My Projects page is almost done. I have two case studies I started writing..

[JP] Cool, so.. when?

[JPG] Soon.

[JP] When?

[JPG] Soon.

[JP] When?

[JPG] Soon!!!

[JP] When?

[JPG] Tomorrow.

[JP] Are you sure?

[JPG] I’ll try.

[JP] Not good enough..

[JPG] I’m busy man..

[JP] I’m just going by what you promised, that you’d write more often.

[JPG] I did, but what if I miss a few, it is not like I have a million readers.

[JP] But you said you are doing this for yourself.

[JPG] Fine… So I’ll write something quick tomorrow then try to go back on a schedule. Fair?

[JP] ಠ_ಠ

[JPG] What?

[JP] Can you create a schedule?

[JPG] Like a publishing schedule? I don’t even know what I’m going to write about tomorrow.

[JP] Yeah. But not just for your posts. For the other things; the case studies, the projects page. etc.

[JPG] I could I guess.

[JP] Could? Guess?

[JPG] I suck at estimating. I think It will take me 20 minutes, it takes me three hours. I think it will take me a day and it takes me one hour. What can I do?

[JP] I suck at estimating too. We all do.
A couple of things I can think of:

  1. The “set big goals” thing is awesome, you’ve managed to learn a lot in the past few months, but I think you need to modify the structure, it feels a little.. vague?
  2. You are too wired man. No need to watch Oz while you work, no need to have pushbullet sending you text messages. Focus!
  3. That daily list thing you started making is working. Get it started the day before if possible
  4. Be honest with your clients. They all love to have their stuff as soon as possible. But, you can’t always do it fast and well.
  5. Going to sleep at 3am..

If you give me 20 minutes I can come up with another 30..

[JPG] Let’s just start with those 5.

[JP] Works for me. So, we have another chat in a week?


[JP] Not convinced? Want more time? Let’s make it 2. Just make sure you follow through.

[JPG] Ok, two is good. Two is great. Thanks for this. Let’s do this!

[JP] Thank YOU

[JPG] No, Thank YOU!

[JP] No, Thank YOU!

*if { another Thank YOU: end loop }

Overview NYCFC 2016 Season

Client: New York City Football Club
Project Manager: Janine Padilla

New York City Football Club (NYCFC) just wrapped up their much improved-tough ending included-second season. I’m one of thousands of New Yorkers that come from places where soccer is king, so, when we found out the new team in town would be playing in a baseball stadium, we threw a privilege tantrum, then remembered the reason we love this soccer thing is because we get to play it anywhere from dirt to cement, using whatever object we can use a soccer ball.

This was my second season as a fan in the supporters section. It has been a blast watching the team grow and create its own identity. There are the ongoing struggles, like the very confused stadium staff by the energy of a 90-min game compared to a 4-hr pass time; The weird season schedule; and the efforts to get the mix of classic Latin American, European, AND new chants going, but hey! if there’s one thing this city is about–besides letting Mike Pence know what we think of him–is that we are the coolest melting pot in the world.

Me hitting those high notes.

This was also my second season working with the club on a few things throughout the season:


Under the direction of Janine Padilla, designed and built a set of responsive emails for the different campaigns. The goal was to make the code a lot leaner from the previous season (gmail would often clip them because of their size), make them uniform, easy to edit, and targeted to NYCFC’s local and international supporters.


What I learned:

Litmus is a lifesaver, there are 50+ email clients out there and Litmus has, by far, the fastest and easiest way to test/preview them.

Screenshot of Litmus Email Clients settings
Screenshot of Litmus Email Clients settings

Dan Denney gave me a bunch of great tips at Squares. One of them is to use this handy Bulletproof email buttons generator. Reliable & and huge time saver!

– Gmail joining the responsive game means it is a good time to stop sending 700px+ wide emails!

If you know some CSS then you can quickly learn @media queries. Here’s is a quick (a bit dirty) simplified version of a responsive email.

See the Pen Simple Responsive Email by Juan Pablo (@jupago) on CodePen.


Worked on a mix of different graphics for emails/website/sponsors/social media campaigns. These are fun to do. Mostly because of the size restrictions ad and email vendors provide.

A thing about size… I’m leaving a lot of images out because the page is already a bit heavy. The website is set to serve you a smaller, responsive image if you are on a mobile device. Also imageoptim!! It will reduce the size of your images significantly. Can’t recommend it enough!

*Huge thanks again to Janine for creative direction and Milo Kowalski (NYCFC’s designer) for the styleguides and those time consuming silos!

018 I’m on a (mini) art gallery!

I live in a classic prewar New York building with a long history. Sadly, the building was a bit neglected for a few decades up until a few years back—just before we moved in—when a new co-op decided to take more control and do a major overhaul.

Fast–forward to today and we have a new roof, new boilers, new elevators, gardens, energy-saving lights, and soon new lobbies! I’ve helped out a bit with the web/graphics part and last year they asked if I’d be interested in taking some photos for the new lobby.

Can’t remember if I said yes or hell yeah!

This brought me to a topic I’ve been thinking about lately: Side Projects.

On one side I’ve listened to a side of the design community where everything is: Charge for everything! Only do work that pays! Don’t work for family! Don’t work for friends! Hustle all the things! Then hustle more! You are not hustling enough! Be like Gary Vee! Become a millionaire! Don’t do work that will bring more of the same work! Why are we yelling??

On the other side, there are people like Aaron Draplin, and Chris Coyier, and James White, whose message is more in the lines of: Do work, rinse, and repeat. That’s it. Of course, be smart and learn how to run a business but just do what you love, who cares.

The reason I’m going on about this is that I’m not a professional photographer. I did take some photography classes in college and have been taking photos as a hobby and, like millions of people, share a passion to capture moments the way I want to remember them. But I don’t intend to sell my next photo at Christie’s.

If I would’ve had thought like the first group I could have invested those hours doing something else, something that gets me closer to retiring at 40. But I said yes to the project because it sounded exciting because I want the place where I live to be better. Because I still learned a lot just by going all over the city capturing places. Because it made me a better photographer and made me understand a bit more about a fascinating world.

Anyhow, the message is: YES take on side projects. Even if they are for your friend or if you don’t expect to get money in return.

This has to be the longest intro for a set of photos. So without further ado here they are:

*Huge thanks to Melissa Strada for putting so much of her own time into this project!


017 Those who can, do teach

Once upon a few-weeks-back time I attended a Codepen NYC Meetup
Among the talks there was one by @aidanfeldman on what he’s learned teaching JavaScript, and invited the group to the Hacker Hours meetup, which I joined.

A few days later I got an email from them looking for volunteer teachers to join ScriptEd_, and so I applied. And so will be teaching how to build for the web to a group of high schoolers this fall.

This is scary awesome!

Mainly for three reasons:

1. I never had this when in High School.
Although I did have a keyboarding class where we would mostly debate if the PS2 would beat the Dreamcast while playing a Windows 95 speed-typing-spaceship-shooting-letters game. My real intro to making websites really started in my second semester of college. Somewhere in my archives there’s a cool-lookin’ Photoshop-to-table layout website I built on BBEdit.

2. If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough..
I’m glued to my computer everyday and every time I learn something new it is rarely from the same source. It can be while listening to The Web Ahead, or reading CSS Tricks, or good ol’ Stack Overflow. I don’t mean to go full Tim Berners-Lee, but having a curriculum, a structure, will help me get some of those fundamentals down and be able to explain them faster than the attention span of a teenager

3. My students will look at this blog someday and say “He is also not funny in writing“.

And last, if you live in or around New York City and would like to join the team here’s an awesome video to get you started!

016 I stopped blogging

It’s been 2 months since I wrote my last post

Have a couple of posts in my queue but either felt they were not ready or too personal, so I decided to write more about the web and the work I’ve been doing but I missed my first self-imposed Tuesday deadline, then another.. then another.. then another.. then.. oh hai.

This weekend, as I went through my very old notepad, found notes from An Event Apart conference last year in San Francisco. These were my notes from Jeffrey Zeldman’s talk The Fault, Dear Brutus (or: Career Advice From a Cranky Old Man):

Aesthetics are important, but everyone has their own…Attitude trumps work at most companies…Zeldman giving a Shot out to introverts…First impressions are forever…I am what stands between me and my success…If you can’t communicate you can’t sell…Blog like no one is reading

They took me back to one amazing conference, and that last note, the one where I should blog like no one is reading, got me thinking that I overthought my thinking (Who’d a thunk it?). So here I go again, trying to write a bit more and care a little less about getting to it.

Some notes on what I’m currently working on:

1. Got asked to take some B&W photos for my building’s lobby. The prints and the frames are ready and they look awesome! Will post some-color photos of the black and whites-photos when they are up.

2. FC Harlem grows faster every day. And the London Eye keeps on rolling.

3. Arts Everywhere and The Nature of Cities sites keep growing and creating amazing posts like this one in AE and this one in TNOC.

4. NYCFC projects are a lot more fun now that the team is winning. Next week we beat LA. Always a pleasure.

5. Added a contact page and form to my site and it is working great!
*Stole the slider idea from Zeldman’s site. Yes, the same Zeldman above, who I’ll also happen to see at this weeks’ Abstractions conference in Pittsburgh!

015 Dribbbling

Got around to asking for an invite to dribbble last month at Squares Conference.
Thanks Derek Torsani!

I’ve been doing a lot more web stuff lately, and updating my codepen profile is on my list, but figured it would also be nice to have some graphics up on dribbble.

Check out my account!

I don’t have a set schedule for uploading content there yet (overcommitment issues), maybe something like every weekend or two to keep it fresh.

Below are a few of the first shots I uploaded in their original non-dribbble ratio crop.

These are from a set for FC Harlem’s 2016 season kits. The template I used is not exactly the same as adidas’ 2016 template kit but they ended up looking slick! The team is doing great on their first season so that is a big plus. Go Lions!!







–makes note to add a photo of uniforms later.
–makes another note of adding a footer dribble icon.