BustedTees – Yes We Catan

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This t-shirt? Want.

The good, the bad, the ugly.

So a little annoyed with Apple today.
 
I asked for people to give me Apple store gift cards for Christmas and birthday gifts over the last couple of years – this was so it would make it easier for people so that they wouldn't need to go online and get confused with getting a giftcard for the online store.
 
I went in to the Apple store today to see how customizable the computers are in-store, and they only do RAM and matte screens.
 
Which SUCKS, because I wanted to upgrade to a 3.06 GHz processor on the top-of-the-line 15" and a faster hard drive.
 
I guess the silver lining is that getting a replacement hard drive doesn't void AppleCare, so I can always change it down the road if needs be. Just a little annoying that I'm being hampered from getting my "dream machine", but I suppose I'll end up saving about $350 and still have a good amount of power (it'll be 2.8 GHz).
 
I also picked up some trades at lunch:
  • Usagi Yojimbo vol. 20: Glimpses of Death
  • Usagi Yojimbo vol. 21: The Mother of Mountains
  • The Boys vol. 5: Herogasm
  • The Immortal Iron Fist Vol. 5: Escape from the Eighth City
I foresee great reading in my weekend!
 
And in a total show of faith in customers, the guys at the Hairy Tarantula gave me a copy of Usagi vol. 19 to hold on to when I complained that the copy I had had 8 pages misprinted and put in upside down. All I need to do is bring the misprinted copy in the next time I'm in. That's pretty awesome customer service.
 
All in all, a fairly productive lunch. I'll eat later – my lunch is actually defrosting on my desk.

The iPod Chronicles, Chapter Two

So today I remembered my iPod. As I pressed Shuffle Songs to rev it up and do my walk to the train station to get to work… nothing was happening. I took a quick look through the library only to find that there WAS no library. I really need to get that p.o.s. fixed…

All was not lost, however! I remembered that in my bag I had an iPod filled with music, fully charged and good to go. But it DOES have that broken screen… and the right ear output only works when the input jack is put at certain angles…and I need to send it in for repairs sometime soon before the warranty is up in January…

Moral of the Story: Screw iPhone sales. Put a camera in the iPod Touch already! Or wait! What if I buy an iPhone and just get no phone service? Hmmmm….
–case p.

The OLAccountant 0001: Government Cheese

So it would seem that it has been decreed where my skills would be more useful, so this is the role that I shall address. This will be the art-business blog I had originally intended for it to be, before it got off-track.

With that said, before I can start free-posting on any and all topics relating to the business side of art, there were some lingering questions from a previous post that I should cover before moving on.

The first (and infinitely easier to answer) is:

Rene: I know that the Government is planning to invest $263 million into video game development, and with us developing Bijoux Red, I was wondering how we could tap into that?

Well, Rene – without working for Ubisoft, I don’t know how successful that approach is going to be 🙂 I did some quick research (i.e. some Googling before I had to leave the house), and swiftly came up with a July 7, 2009 Toronto Star article with this as its title:

Province investing $263 million in game developer, predicts 800 new jobs in fast-growing digital media

What it is is a 10-year investment plan where the government will invest in the new Ubisoft offices here in Toronto on the condition that they dole out the new jobs. Which only amount, on average, to 80 jobs per year. In a city of millions, that ain’t much.

So I guess the answer here is to either get hired on by Ubisoft or take an entirely different approach. Which is actually a good segue for the next question…

Aaron Alfred had asked “How do I go about applying for grants?”

I consider this a wildly open-ended question. It’s like “how do I apply for a job?” With a job, there’re a number of factors that’ll affect the manner in which you’d apply for a job. These include (but by no means are limited to):

  • What kind of job it is
  • What the company does
  • What the company needs
  • What the job ad asks for

and so on. Similarly, a grant application must be treated with the same degree of individuality. You must consider:

  • What is the grant for and how do you match those requirements?
  • How accurately can you describe what it is you’d like to do with the grant money?
  • What makes you more deserving than the next grant applicant?

There are a number of factors one could consider – the point I am trying to illustrate is that it is difficult to give one catch-all answer on how to apply for grants and make sure that it is accurate.

A quick search on “canada art grants” using Google will give you results such as:

I invite you to check out some of the grants and see what the qualifications are. I’ll probably apply for a few myself, sooner or later, so I can definitely give more insight after going through the process.

Anyway, let me know any further thoughts, etc. that you might have and that I might be able to address.

Thanks,

–case p.

0015: The Rough Life of an Artiste, Part Deux

So here I am, finding out that I have something of an extension to get this calendar done. When I say “extension”, I mean until 6:30 pm tomorrow evening. When I say “until 6:30 pm tomorrow evening”, I mean that’s when the client wants the calendar in their hands, ready to deliver to the intended recipient. When I say that, I repeat what I said last night…

…I’m screwed.

Now, it’s not ALL bad. I did manage to wrap up those 12 sketches last night – now what needs doing is getting them digitally inked and prepped to be put into the “final package”. Just gotta keep focused long enough to do it, and make sure I get enough rest for a “cluster day” tomorrow, where I meet our Chief Information Officer at work for the first time, learn about our I&IT cluster and what we do, etc. Then have the bi-weekly OLA business meeting after dropping the goods off to my client. Yes, this is how I roll. I will earn the sleep I get tomorrow night.

I was thinking lately about the things I’d like to have as an artist.

THEN I thought about the things I already DO have and SHOULD use.

I think I’ll take some time to put both together and see if I can get some input from everyone on what’s good, what’s not and how you best see me using things.

But anyhoo, there’s a calendar to be made, and it’s not going to do it itself.

Peace y’all – keep drawing!

–case p.

0014: The Rough Life of an Artiste

You ever have those days where you wish you weren’t “that guy(/girl) who draws”? I mean, don’t get me wrong; I love drawing – I wouldn’t be who I am without it – but… okay, let me explain the situation…

So one of my old jobs has requested my services – my old manager is leaving for another location, so they want to give her a going-away present that’s very individual. So they called me a while back to ask me to do this, telling me that they’d discuss with me further in September to figure out the details. Which was fine and all… if they’d called me back at my correct number. Instead, they were trying to get me on a work number that no longer applied to me. The only reason why they were able to get a hold of me is because my friend who still works there sent me a text saying that they still wanted me to put this together for them.

  • They sent the text Thursday
  • They want it by Monday.
  • It’s a calendar of 12 images.
  • Plus a cover.
  • Thursday I was at band practice.
  • Friday they sent me the details.
  • Friday I was out with friends.
  • Yesterday was a housewarming for the girlfriend, and I spent a good chunk of the day cleaning.
  • I wrote this blog entry in a notebook while I was at a Quarterly Business Meeting for church after the service, which I’d already gone into early (tired as heck) because I was operating the sound board

Yeah… I’m screwed.

In other news, I’m getting a little revved up as of late to really getting FNC up and running again – I think it’s partly due to seeing this piece by Aaron; it reminded me that drawing cities wasn’t nearly as difficult as I was making it to be – sometimes you just gotta go and do the damn thing.

Anyway, I’ve got a calendar to do with my name on it.

Until next post,

–case p.

0009: Here Comes a New Challenger!!! (How Doomz Creates Characters.)

Hey all,

Here’s another Saturday, and another sketch session that’ll be missed due to me and my absenteeism 😉 (But really, it’s due to a conflicting schedule. Alas, this is ME we’re talking  about here – I’m always doing something.)

Now that I’ve actually managed to find a few hours before I’m obliged to do anything (except, of course, getting keys cut, tying up the boxes in the back for recycling and mailing off a package), I’m looking to get a decent blog post put together.

So yes, character creation – how the heck do I do it?

Oftentimes, I’ll come up with ideas for my comic, Fish & Chimps (which I really do hope to start re-releasing sometime soon) where I haven’t figured out what characters will be used, or even if they exist as of yet. Without spoiling too much of my story or thinking, let’s observe one character I’ve come up with recently – it’s one that’s still in the works, so if anyone has anything to say on it, feel free.

There’s a situation later on into FNC where I need Yeti-like creatures in order to better develop a key character. I wanted them to look extremely powerful and somewhat aggressive, but also like they could be their own race with their own culture, etc. I didn’t want them to just seem like your basic enemy threat, something that’s only around to be defeated by the protagonist. So, since this is based on a Himalayas-like mountain range, what do I know?

  • Need to have bodies that help shield them from the elements
  • Need to have bodies that look like they could haul massive loads
  • Need to appear as if they’re slightly more “primitive”, in that they haven’t been touched that much by the technology and “progress” of the world
  • Need to be mostly white to help blend them in with their surroundings

So this is a good start – parameters that I can work with to define what kind of character I’m creating. Now that I know what kind of character I want to create, I need to figure out what kind of factors from the rest of my comic will affect how they’re going to be created. I ended up taking these into consideration:

  • As the type of characters in my webcomic are Planet of the Apes-esque, I should try to keep that in consideration for this new character
  • I don’t want to have any one-dimensional characters in my comic – I want everyone to be the type of character that people could see themselves caring about, no matter if it’s only a little bit
  • Even though I like detail, I don’t want the character to be so overly detailed that I won’t want to draw them repeatedly – I need to keep in mind that I’ll probably be drawing a TRIBE of this character at a time

So, keeping all of this in mind, I went to work. I think this exercise was likely the epitome of the statement you see on all those infomercials for self-help products – results may vary.

I figured that the most powerful primate that I’d thought of using in my series so far was a gorilla, so I decided to base the Yeti design around that. Taking a look at G, my gorilla character, I decided to start basing the Yetis around him.

The first sketch was a rough one – with rough being the operative word:

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White Gorilla: First attempt

As you can see, this is what I like to call très horrible. It was a rough to more or less figure out the look I was going for with this new set of characters. Though, it wasn’t a complete failure. What I figured out from this exercise was:

  • This race would need to have a lot of fur/hair on their bodies to survive cold, mountainous conditions
  • I wanted them to have strong-looking jaws to show that they could rip through a variety of foods, since they’d likely have to hunt some tough creatures for foods
  • I didn’t quite know what I’d do to show that they have to deal with a lot of snowblindness from the sun always reflecting off of the expanses of white around them, so I settled for black surrounding the eyes – what I felt that this could show is that the rings could help absorb the excess light so they could still see in those conditions (yes, I have an explanation for everything!)

So, great. I have something to work with. Let’s try again:

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Second attempt: Starting to get a better idea of form

This was starting to get closer to what I was going for – looked a lot better drawn, stronger and put together than the first attempt. However, if you clicked on the link of G I posted above, you might agree with me when I say that this just appeared like G with white fur to me. Obviously this is due to using my “gorilla” body style as a base. I need to figure out what I can do to make the White Gorilla a little different. Back to the drawing board – literally:

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Third attempt: Really starting to figure out how big and powerful these things will be.

This is where I felt it really started to come together. This version involved a lot of pencil layering and redefining to capture a few things:

  • The density of the fur
  • How freaking massive these things will be
  • The degree of their musculature

I thought I’d really hit the nail on the head here and asked a couple of co-workers if it reminded them of a Yeti-like being. They said yes, BUT the posture was way too humanoid.

facepalm Let’s try this one more time:

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Attempt cuatro: This is where I’m at for now.

In the end, I ended up with a more primal version of what I’d come up with on my third attempt, and that’s okay with me for the time being. As I get more comfortable with the character, I’d likely draw group scenes with males, females and children to get a better idea of what they look like, how they interact, their size relative to others, etc.

So I hope that gave a little bit of insight into how I go about creating characters for use in FNC, and now I’ll open up the floor to questions and comments.

Have a great day, one and all!

–case p.

0005: www.getyourdamnwebsiteup.com

About to grab a pizza with double pepperoni! Yeaaaah boyeeee!

Today after running a number of errands I didn’t necessarily want to do (but were good to get out of the way, nonetheless), I started working on what will be my website. I was chatting with mi hermano de otro padre German earlier about the fact that what was stopping me from getting my website done before now is the fact that I didn’t have a clear vision for what I was trying to accomplish. So instead of taking that approach, I figure I’ll just start throwing in all the things I think are relevant and just go from there. Other than having some issues finding the embed codes for individual sites I use (right now, I’m looking at you, Flickr!) it was going pretty smoothly, but as usual, I got sidetracked. From writing that first line until now, about four hours have passed. I don’t even think y’all are getting a sketch today, but you shall soon. I’ll explain why.

Today I:

  • swapped my hard drives around so that I created one 1.25 TB drive in one enclosure and had access to all of my stuff at the same time
  • combined all of my random text files all over the place into one MASSIVE mind map
  • found lots of old ideas for my website
  • found lot of sketches that I should really combine into a sketchdump

So you see? I’m not up to nothing. Promise 😉

–case p.

0004: Dear World, I’m Tired of Ballin’

World, I’m tired of:

  • Too many birthdays to celebrate
  • Too many going-away parties
  • Too many expectations of chipping in for overly extravagant situations
  • Too much costing too much too much of the time

Yes, I work a job that pays pretty well. But I work hard – I work DAMN hard. And things just keep coming up. My weekends are full of events all over the map that require my time, effort and dollars… and I think I’ve reached my limit. Art – oftentimes it costs nothing. The resources I use are my imagination and the tools I choose to use to create. The return I get from what I invest is more often than not guaranteed to be what I expected. I just can’t live a life that isn’t reflective of who I am anymore. I can feel it chipping away at my sanity, and I think I’m having no more of it.

But back to what this blog’s really about with that rant out of the way. Why do I draw? Funny story: last night I was in the Yorkville area of town with the girlfriend and some of her crew, and as the night progressed (literally, as we were at Remy’s for 6-7 hours) I busted out the pencil, some paper, and while the red wine was knocked back, the sketches went a-flyin. Our waitress, Celeste, was very complimentary, but what was surprising was that some hot chick (though not as hot as the girlfriend, obviously) randomly made her way out of the crowd and suddenly appeared to my right:

Her: “Are you a designer?!”
Tipsy Casey: “Kinda sorta – I tend to draw tons of different things!”

We talked a little about how she has numerous friends who’re designers and whatnot, and hopefully she’d see my work on the cover of Vogue in the future or something.

Yes. Vogue. Let me clarify.

So when I busted out the drawings, what had been on top of the stack this time were photos of runway models and their crazy outfits. So I began sketching away as I do with anything else. Now, let’s translate this into a mathematical equation:

Yorkville hangout (i.e. Place where people want to act richer than they actually are) + drawing pictures that make you look like a stylist (looks like Cosmo magazine has a purpose after all!) + copious amounts of alcohol (which, of course, is instrumental in many equations in life) = girls coming to talk to you. Learn from me, men. I will show you things in life which you have never imagined. 😉

So right now I’m at Marben Restaurant on Wellington just at the post-meal bill-waiting. The food was alright – your standard small portions, costly place-type fare – but the dessert was pretty interesting; “home-made” sorbet in the following flavours:

  • Strawberry Mint
  • Lime Basil
  • Blueberry Cinammon
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The Sorbets served with Marben’s prix fixe menu…

Blueberry Cinnamon was whatev (for I don’t like blueberries and rarely eat anything cinnamon), to me the strawberry mint tasted like… strawberry sorbet… but the lime basil – SO GOOD. They took two of my favourite flavours and combined it into something EPIC. It makes me want to learn how to make my own sorbet so I can make MORE.

Anyway, we got back home in one piece and I’m in dire need of rest, so I’ll close this chapter shortly, I suppose. I’m thinking perhaps next blog I should just upload a ton of sketches and no words? Would y’all like that? Are you tired of my verbose nature?

Holla at a brotha.

Until then, I remain…

–case p.

0003: Growing Up a Little Bit at a Time

Today is one of my groggier days. After staying up late sketching and just cleaning a few things up in general, I’ve been definitely feeling the effects this morning. I didn’t end up buying those DS games last night, so I’ll venture across the street to the Eaton Centre and see if I can get my hands on some copies. Taking a look at the current to-purchase list, we have:

  • Drawn to Life
  • Locke’s Quest
  • Raynox DCR-250 Super Macro Lens (import from Japan!)
  • Macbook Pro quad-core laptop (doesn’t exist yet)
  • iPod Touch with camera (also doesn’t exist yet)
  • replacement parts for a 5th gen iPod Video 80 GB
  • SmartDraw 2010 (expensive software that will be used to make stronger documentation for OLA)

But in all honesty, you know what I’m starting to find? The longer that you go without something, the more you realize that you don’t really need it to do what you do. Yes, it would be NICE to have certain things, but how did you do what you did without them? You just found a way, right?

[Lunch Break]

Both Drawn to Life and Locke’s Quest are discontinued – I did not expect this! It’s almost as if God is telling me not to spend any money on big items… no iPod Touch, no DS games, no Macbook Pro… I didn’t even go for the lens after looking it up… wonder what this all means….

No, seriously, let’s stop and look at this – the only item on the list that’s easily accessible to me and that I can justify spending dollars on is the one where I actually know that it will have a definite effect on what I can provide to OLA services-wise. Funny how that works out – this in combination with the talk I had with my friend yesterday kind of make me think that I should be making OLA a bit more a priority! Hmm….

Despite the fact that I like to work around the same hours as such notorious characters as the Brothers Shible and The Kid (all born in September, coincidentally enough), here’s a public service announcement for y’all – get your sleep. Not because it’s good for you or any B.S. like that – mostly because without it, the day goes a WHOLE lot longer. I need to go catch up on sleep JUST to have enough energy to catch up on all the work I didn’t do TODAY. Vicious cycle, y’all – vicious cycle.

It’s been a while since I’ve gotten to really hang out with the OLA regulars, so I feel as if there’s not much I can offer in my blog right now. I should follow my friend NJ’s advice and go back to basics – to the foundation of it all – that’s where I’ll find the answers I need to grow and move further. In my role, I get to play the bad guy – the guy who makes sure that OLA is doing what it’s supposed to do – and with that, I’ve gotta make sure I keep myself on track to lead an example – right, guys 😉 ?

Anyway, I’m off to make some beer in a bit (yes, I did say make and beer in the same sentence), so let me wrap this up.

Today’s sketch is partly what kept me up last night (well, that and the latest episode of Bleach with a filler arc that’s actually been worth watching so far) – it was one of the few non-celebrity ads I seemed to have lying around, and I’m hoping to use all the celebrity pics for another piece at a later date. So… check it out!

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Sketch of a lady from an ad – looking for crits!

I’ll upload an actual scan when I get home. (Currently out for Greek food.)

EDIT: So I’ve uploaded it, and I’m not exactly liking it all that much yet – any crits or comments that anyone has would be much appreciated. Thanks 🙂

So that’s bout it bout it for now. This weekend, I think I’ll take a good look at all of the OLA-related stuff sititng in my lap so I have more… relevant stuff to write about.

Peace, homefries!

–case p.