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I Never Really Stopped

Been awhile. 

How are you?

Me?  I'm good.  However, truthfully, I wasn't for a long time.  I'm going to be pretty frank because since 2013 when I was laid-off the first and probably only full-time artist position I received I started to question whether or not my commitment to being a creative content creator was something I could do.  I'm never really the first person companies select when it comes to hiring.  Plus, with the video game industry having mass hiring and mass firing, I did not think I could go through a cycle of disappointment.

2013-2016 were some rough years for me personally.  I fell into a massive funk, to the point I ill-fatedly decided to try a career path in Mobile Development mid-2014 and burnt out spectacularly early 2016.  During which I produced little to nothing creatively.  

Barely any doodles. Practically no illustrations.  I have a few things up here on the blog, but nothing compared to when I was in high school still dreaming of being a comic book artist or in college when I was being inspired by my fellow student to just create.  Maybe this was just being an adult struggling in our current times, fooled by the veneer contentment and perfection we all use on Facebook.  Or maybe it was just depression, ignored and unmedicated.  Both.  Why not both?

I could hear the little doubting voices in the back of my head:

"Why are you not drawing?"

"You're never going to get a job if you don't practice."

"Spent all your parents' money and here you are, doing nothing."

I doubt they will ever go away, but let me reveal how I kept sane: I found other ways to be creative.  An old friend from college a few months ago asked about my schooling for mobile and I told them I essentially dropped out.  It had been a few months and I wasn't as bitter anymore.  I realized that going back to school while it wasn't a mistake, I could have gone about it differently.  I explained, if I really wanted to go back, I could but I would find a more affordable option.  They said to me then, and I'm just paraphrasing, "This is why I like you, you're optimistic and you don't really ever give up even if you change course."

Firstly, I was surprised as being called optimistic.  I'm generally pretty content despite the hiccups and dark pitfalls of life, but still a little jaded and pessimistic.  Secondly, they were kinda right.  I had always felt guilty about not creating illustrations or other forms concept art when some of my friends I went to school with remained immersed but I realized I just shifted what it meant to be creative.

One thing about me I tell people almost right off the bat is my love of Dungeons and Dragons.  I've been playing similar tabletop RPGs since around 2007-2008 and in 2015 decided to take creative control and start running games to world build.  I fell into long-form improv-acting by taking on the personas of various characters that populated the world I and my players were creating.  I've always loved storytelling and here I was, telling an elaborate story that could dynamically change depending on the actions of others.  While a small part of me is sad I might never sit down and illustrate the vivid world being created, another part is happy it isn't all in my head.  Other people know about it and are visualizing it with me and that form of creativity is satisfying. 

Added to this is my love of audio storytelling.  It started in 2013 when I got into the medium of podcasting.  Much like oral traditions, it is sometimes soothing to hear someone tell you a story, explain historical facts in a fun interesting way or just talk and be personable and relatable.  I am admittedly not someone who can sit down and watch a movie or television series.  I don't have the best attention span and get bored if I can't multitask.  But an update to my favorite podcast?  Absolutely, yes.  

I've dabbled in simple audio editing from recordings of one of my old D&D games and recorded a pilot episode of what I learned as a Dungeon Master.  None of these were ever publically released.  However, I do have some short recording of myself doing some narrations for my current D&D games.  Recently, I joined LibriVox, a volunteer project that turns public domain novels, poetry collections and plays into free audiobooks.  While the works aren't mine, I'm still lending my voice to a creative project and that is absolutely something that I take pride.

So for a long time, I thought I stopped being creative.  Instead, it just took me a long time to realize I just took a different route.  I might not be the illustrator constantly working on one piece after another, nothing wrong with people who can and do, but I've found my outlet in various hobbies and artistic endeavors.  I finally might be on the road to happy.  

"Jack of all trades is master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one."




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Under Renovations

I took a really long look at my personal website and decided it was time to update its content.  Most of the work that was previously linked to are still available if you are interested in seeing the works I have done for my previous employers, upon request.  I also took down the pages of sketch work, it seemed like too much to browse through.  New artwork will primarily be in the form of blog posts and sketches which I will share via social media like Twitter and Tumblr.

New content will likely include an expansion on my shirt design concepts and if there is enough generated interest, I will put them up for sale.  Of course, more sketch videos because I enjoy them.

Hopefully the new structure will help with navigation, plus less can be more.  Keep checking back for future updates!

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For a better part of 2009 - 2010 I was really into making skate deck designs.  I still have a few of the boards I ordered for my personal art wall in fact.  The only one I am still proud of and have up for sale is the Zombie Cupcake deck.  

Also in 2009 I opened up a Redbubble account as a way to encourage myself to design and sell t-shirts.  Of course, I promptly abandoned and forgot I ever made it.  However, now I find myself with time on my hands and the Adobe CC at my disposal.  So, finally I uploaded a new design based on the soul crushing experience of rolling a critical fail in any of my D20 pen and paper roleplaying games.  

Included in the two designs I have up is a t-shirt version of Zombie Cupcakes.  Check them out!

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Life Update

So it has been awhile since I've updated with any significant art and I'm poorer for it.  However I do have this to present one of the art calls I painted for the Stone Way Cafe gallery artwalk in Fremont.

However, other than those pieces I haven't worked on personal pieces since October because I'm ramping up my focus on my continuing education.  Since July, I've been attending school online to help supplement my Fine Arts degree with something in Computer Science.  So I'm attempting to learn the the nuances of mobile development from design to code.  It's been good for the most part but I'm coming close to my second "academic year" and it's about to get serious.  

Hopefully when stuff balances out I'll be able to draw more and maybe in the future present you guys with mobile applications.

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2014 Goals and Such

2014 Goals

It’s that time of year again.  Resolutions.  Self-promises that you either make or break.  Posting last year did give me some insight that keeping a general idea of what I want to accomplish does help a little in keeping up with myself and to remind me that some work is better than no work.

So, 2014 and some general goals:

- Take more proactive steps in furthering career goals.  I have already contacted a creative placement agency to help find a more permanent job in the field I studied, but personal steps will assist in making me more valuable as an employee.  Employers like my work, but until something sticks I need to keep going to land a stable job/career.

- Make more speed sketch/speed paint videos.  I find I like watching and rewatching my painting process.  It shows me what I was thinking at the time and maybe I’ll be able to capture a technique I tried and promptly forgot.  I’m shooting for one every month, so I can have a compilation video for the end of 2014.

- Try to illustrate the little stories inside my head.  I have plenty of ideas, I just never seem to get them out.  Try this year.

- Lose a little more weight, no particular goal in mind but another 10 lbs would be nice. 

I like to think these are simple and doable.  This will help me be accountable for personal goals and not to flake on them.

This is also double post, so I won't lose or delete it on accident.  I've deleted my blog before.  It can happen.