Nerdy Things

Nerdy things happen. Sometimes I draw Pokemon for friends. Listen.

Dont Judge me.

If you don't enjoy that, try this. Its pretty hard to resist.


Looking Forward

I have a scattered list of goals that I hope to focus on over the next few weeks

  1. I am pushing myself to finish another animation, doing more creative things than just cycles helps me feel more loose and interested. hopefully I can make a habit of it and just mine larger projects for demo reel clips. 
  2. I am working on light, with landscapes and simplifying light and shapes in my work. Things are still flat but I hope to erase that soon. 
  3. Anatomy. I was doing direct from book studies from The Atlas of Human Anatomy and I feel like it was taking steps to erase some poor habits with simple contours on arms and legs. I need to work more here, particularly with volume. 
  4. 3D. Mudbox and 3D studio max need to be conquered. Its both fun and painful, But unavoidable. 

Generally, now that I am out of school I am producing just as much, if not more work, and I am enjoying the freedom of self-direction. I think after 4 years of producing for the approval of peers and teachers, I am more critical of my time, and my concepts, but its also nice to reduce some of the view points. Now have the ability to say "I want to punch through this concept and get critiques when I'm closer to finished." I am thankful that I still have reliable forums and friends for genuine critique, I know where to ask if I need some one to sit down and crit my work.  

Here are some recent works:
Halloween Jack Of Lanterns

Puppy for my Local SPCA website

Beginnings of a zulu warrior.


The Idol Effect

Sometimes its difficult to defend my existence. Artists often doubt themselves after every work left half completed, after every stroke gone astray. Every critique erases ten compliments. Brushing off the anxiety can be more difficult than all the other parts of making art put together. How do I know I'm good enough? What is good enough?

Sitting at the kitchen table, my mom is watching me fight a loosing battle with a taco out of the corner of her eye while trying to stay focused on the TV. American Idol is on, its the first week. A woman is singing and its a surprisingly accurate rendition of a goat bleating into a tin can. Mom is amused. I am depressed, and not by the fact that no one taught me how to properly maintain the structural integrity of a hard taco. 

It should be funny, and to my mom it is, but Goat-Lady and I have too much in common. For one, I also sing like tortured livestock, though skillfully avoid cameras and only annoy my friends who are prisoners in cars. Deeper than that, Goat-Lady is bleating her heart out, her eyes are swelling with pride as she puts her all into it. She knows it's good singing, everyone tells her shes great at it. When she stops, and the judges are relieved that the song "broken glass being shot at cattle" has ended, a disappointed silence fills the room. What becomes audible, far louder than whatever the judges begin to say, is her transition from boasting pride to a shriveled husk. "No No, You don't understand, see. I've been working so hard on this, see? I know I'm good. Everyone tells me I'm good! EVERYONE. You're wrong, you have to be, this is the only thing I love. They cant all be liars. I'm GOOD at this!"

They were all liars. She was terrible. 

 The anxiety will tell me that my friends are all liars. I have been in front of judges and despite my fears, every hard critique has not stopped me. Goat-Lady will continue to sing in the shower, and I continue to draw. Being creative is a process and not a product. No one ever feels done, or satisfied, or good enough. It is difficult to pause that pressing need and simply turn around to feel accomplished. I will always see work I respect and admire, I will always have new goals. The day I stop striving to improve is the day I have failed to be "good enough."


The Delicious Soul


Universally revered as delicious, pancakes are so wonderful, and so nap inducing, they are perhaps the best food option before sitting and contemplating life. What better time is there to consider the cosmos than when slowly sinking into the couch, stuffed up with a cold and buttermilk pancakes, eyes glossing over as The Price is Right lulls you into the fever induced coma that you've been waiting for. While it may seem like I'm suggesting to have a deep revelation while you slip into this sweat drenched oblivion, I'm actually positive that you already have. As your conciseness fades, instead of thinking "What the hell would I do with an old timey movie theater popcorn maker, and why is it over 800 dollars?" a cool white noise fills your head before the sleep really comes to take you, and then maybe its the afternoon sun splayed across your blanket, or how you can sort of taste the tissue wads you have shoved in your nose when you breath deep. A moment where the senses are really without words, as simple and peaceful as that, is a moment where you've had a thought as good as any philosopher.

Rainn Wilson might be disappointed that pancakes are so closely tied to being sick in my head, but his website and thoughts are no less interesting. Soul Pancake is a type place that is increasingly difficult to find on the internet, a place that is welcoming of spiritual ideas without preaching a particular one. Discussion of life and its big questions is essential to the human condition. On The Nerdst podcast, Chris Hardwick (the shows comedian host) asks Rainn "But, do you feel that you... I mean, I assume you're a pretty spiritual guy?"

Rainn's voice quavers slightly while saying "Yeah, I have a spiritual practice, Sure, its important to me." and continues "But, the thing thats more important to me is: one of the reasons we started Soul Pancake was literally this conversation I had with Ed Helms, and I quote this in the beginning of the book. We had just launched an early version of the site, and Ed helms was like 'So what is this Soul Pancake business?' And I'm like 'Well its this site thats seeking to explore creativity and spirituality.' And he said 'Well those two things are kind of mutually exclusive aren't they?' And I really thought about it, and this is now my mission."

He goes on to explain that he believes the modern world has caused us to compartmentalize our hobbies and our work. Rainn wants to be the same person no matter what he is doing. What struck a cord with me is that to Wilson, putting these thoughts in writing, putting it in paint, putting it in song, being creative in general, these are spiritual acts.

This blog is about pancakes. It is also about my daily struggles with trying to get better at art. It is also unabashed about smushy gushy feelings. I hope to find that we can be passionate about our work and connected to our causes, I hope to find the variety in our voices. When I heard Rainn his mission, I heard a moment where he was very honest, and true to himself. My mission is to be that transparent, I can do nothing but interpret the world through my lens.

All thoughts henceforth are based on Anecdotal Evidence.