November 2015

29 November 2015

It's ALIVE!! or "Motion Portrait Funtime Playness"

Two posts in one day! What's this world coming to?!?

There was a trend (that didn't last long, I might mention) on Instagram where artists were using the app Motion Portrait to 'animate' their drawings. I downloaded them and came up with these fun bits:

and this:

It was fun. I had an idea that you could animate some scenes in a sort of DIY cartoon using this app. I might as an experiment, but for right now it's nothing more than a novelty. An addictive novelty, though.

Ideas are ethereal

Ideas are ethereal. They’re out there. You may be lucky enough to catch it; when you do, it’s your obligation to do something with it. If not, it goes back out into the ether and someone else will catch it sooner or later.

A couple of years ago I had an idea about a near future where the human race was stretching into the solar system. People mostly lived in habitats on the moon, Mars, the asteroid belt and the Jovian moons. I even started a web comic titled “Tales of the Lost Skies” using this very blog’s name.

Tales of the Lost Skies, January 2014

I also had a few stories that I wanted to integrate into it:
Mushroom Moonshine
Ceres Gambit

But, I lost interest. I didn’t develop it, and it slipped out of my fingers.

Today, I watched the online premiere of Syfy’s show “The Expanse”. I loved it. They did a better job with the story as well as the revenue to truly make it an enjoyable show. And, it made me realize that I let that idea slip back into the ether- whether it was even mine to begin with. I make no claim on what they created- it’s just a similar idea and we’re all products of remixes.

My point here is that Ideas are meaningless if they aren’t implemented with passion. My motivation for TOTLS was lukewarm at best. But it made me realize that I need to develop something new and follow through with it so I can claim it as my own.

Check out “The Expanse” on or wait for the premiere next month- it’s a fantastic show and I can’t wait to see where it goes!

21 November 2015

Life goes on

Well, although we're not to Thanksgiving yet, I wanted to give a retrospective on 2015... it's been a wild ride.

Every year a "theme" presents itself that puts a stamp on it.

In 2011, it was Money- I had spent nearly the entire year chasing a client to pay me for some christmas illustrations I had done for them. Egos clashed and ethics were questioned. I was finally paid (in installments, no less), but the amount of effort it took to get what was owed to me was ridiculous.

2012 was about Career. I love my day job; we have a fantastic team and a solid strategy, but that wasn't the case three years ago. I was dealing with a few characters that made my year there less than ideal, and I dreaded going to work. I was also in a state of trying to decide what to do with my life- I needed direction.

2013 was about Family. It really tore me apart when I lost my dad in January of that year. Although I was his only son, we were polar opposites. He wanted the best for me, but he also tried to relive his youth through me by attempting to get me into boxing and martial arts. His love of movies rubbed off on me. He was often proud of my artwork, but we never really had much in terms of conversation. He had his faults, we never really "clicked" as father and son, but I respect the man and often wonder how he would handle tough situations I find myself in.

2014 was about Health. After I was hospitalized, I meditated on how my health was headed down a dark path. I needed to take care of myself. Two failed attempts at working with some great (but poorly fitted) personal trainers, and then letting it go, I realized again with many older family members health failing that I needed to be proactive. I now have an amazing fitness trainer, and I'm on my way to the lifestyle I had in my 20s.

2015 has been about Illusions. I've had many. One, in particular, was shattered after 10 years of friendship. It's a long story, and a little too personal to share here, but its been a long hard road and now I know that sometimes people's sincerity isn't as real as you had hoped. I guess, what I'm saying, is NEVER take anyone at face value—It's been a problem I've ran into time and time again throughout my life. People will use you, be it innocently or malevolently, people are not interested in you unless you have something to offer them in return. It's fair, I guess... but sometimes you don't get anything in return other than confusion and pain. So, this large illusion has been shattered. I'm better for learning it and surviving, but it's been very hard to come to terms with.

The other illusion is about belief. Faith, upbringing, and "truths" you are educated with are all subjective by those who have control over you. You become hardwired, and frankly that's what's causing so much ruckus across the world. I'm not getting into any sort of religious thing here, but I've decided to take a more critical thinking sort of approach to life- sort of anti-empirical; there is no "truth", just points of view. And, is there really a truth anyway? Can things really exist without being observed? They just are, but have no consciousness or form? Take a drawing- it is just graphite or ink splayed on a paper... but it's our perception that makes it representative of something- and there needs to be an experience to make it "real" in someone's head. That last part is magic... but sometimes magic can be bad.

SO, because of some major personal rewiring, I've been away as I've sorted things out. I've experimented with game design (which had gotten me into graphic design in the first place) and studied sailing (which making it a lifestyle is some ways off). As always, I come back full-circle to what I am: an artist. I am drawing again... the one thing that gives me peace.

In the end, whether you learn to survive it or not, life goes on, and all you can do is pick yourself up and start over. The trick is to learn from those mistakes and challenges, and try to do better next time.