The Pantone Process & A Bucket List Wish

Feeling good today. This is a welcome improvement from yesterday and even the day before. Not knowing how long it will be this way, I’ll say I’m grateful and hope it continues as long as possible.

Today was one of those days where my job was awesome. Good vibes and good people made for a spectacular day at work – one of those days where you actually feel a sense of satisfaction for everything AND you know people are genuinely happy to be talking to you. Bonus round: you’re happy to be talking to them as well. I wish all my coworkers had that same feeling EVERY day, but that’ll happen right about the same time we all win the lottery.

Meh.

Anyway, today was not just great but productive as well. Four thumbs up. There are three people in my department, and one of them is on vacation from 5/10 – 5/22. That means getting normal work done is kind of a major achievement, so today rocked because I got daily stuff + past week’s stuff + some weekend stuff done PLUS I got things ready for my coworker for when she comes back. I also managed to get some web-related things done that I’d had on my “Round Tuit” list, which is like mentally leveling up right there. Yes, please buy me this keychain:

round tuit

I need to own this.
Image via squidoo.com

Sheesh. It’s now 10pm and it’s time to fluff up the cloud I’ve been on all day to get some sleep, hopefully this good feeling will continue tomorrow… but sleep isn’t happening for me right now.

A friend of a friend emailed me a few weeks ago – she’s getting married soon, and asked if I’d be able to create a monogram for them. The past few hours were spent Photoshopping up some designs and researching stickers and envelope seals. It was a good design buzz, something I didn’t realize how much I missed. There’s nothing like getting lost in pixels for hours, and it made me a little sad to remember that my computer at home is dead and also lacking all design software.

I’ve been borrowing J’s laptop for months now, which means all this stuff in my head is going out through a borrowed outlet. Design software is so far out of my price range right now it’s ridiculous. Yes, a friend has offered to lend me their Educator’s Discount to get a lower price for buying it online, but it’s not like I have any excess funds. All I want to do is go back to making digital art, because I know for sure it will mix in with my non-digital stuff, and life will be perfect.

It’s been windy, so I’ll put the whisper out there… yes, I will work on projects in exchange, and accept payment in the form of a new computer with Photoshop and Illustrator.

Let me clarify.

I don’t need anything fancy.

I don’t need the whole suite.

I just need a decent machine with decent memory/storage that runs Photoshop and Illustrator. My primary machine for years now (seriously at least twelve) has been a PC, but I *have* used a Mac in years past, and am generally always quick to pick up stuff like that. Whatever gets the job done, you know?

Anyway. Pass the word. Here’s my plan (and I probably will make it into a Craigslist ad or something). If you get me Photoshop & Illustrator (yes, I can get a discount online) and a machine to run it on, you get to use my artsy-design skills for pretty much any project you’ve got your brain set on – for the amount of time it takes to pay that off.

So let’s say Photoshop & Illustrator cost about $400 (with the discount), and a random laptop (Dell example) costs about $700. Not counting tax or shipping or what have you. If you go by the $50/hr rate I usually charge for basic stuff, that would get you 22 hours worth of work from me. Let’s even round it off a bit: I will spend a full week, every night after work until I go to bed at 11ish, working on your project. If you consider that’s probably another six hours a night for seven nights, that comes to 42 hours – so really… that saves you about a thousand bucks. (Estimating it would be an extra twenty hours at fifty bucks an hour.)

Maybe it’s late at night, but to me… it kind of makes sense.

What do you need? Brochures? Flyers? Logos? Invitations? Icons? Clothing? Accessories? Murals? Do you have albums of old photos that need cleaned up and salvaged? Do you want me to Photoshop tattoos all over you so you can be a ‘model’ online? I don’t care. Hell, I’ll craft you up a whole pixel-art CITY.

You get some awesome work, save a bunch of cash, and I get the equipment I need to keep producing awesome work. It’s a win/win. So yeah! Why not, right?

Aaaaand …yes, this one’s a long shot, but it’s getting mentioned… if you want to know my bucket list item, it’s a big snazzy amazing interactive LCD tablet that costs like $2500. Yes, it’s basically a monitor that you can draw on – it’s not an actual computer. So that would need to be in *addition* to the stuff I asked for. But like Gretzky put it, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

This is the future. You’re looking at it. This freaking thing is a TECHNOLOGICAL MIRACLE – bask in it!!

If somebody is amazing enough to buy that tablet AND a computer AND the design software, I will craft you up whatever you need (and I hope you need a line of skateboards or surfboards or purses or tote bags or team t-shirts) … and I will work on crafting it for you for two months. Five nights a week for eight weeks. I even have hookups with a local printer and local sign shop, so yeah.

You know how clients go “I want this thing with green stripes and pink polka dots and in five hours you’re going to need to actually make it blue stripes with yellow polka dots and please don’t count this extra revision as an extra revision because I just kind of wanted to see what it would look like, oh and can you make the font bigger and add a kitty”? Right, well normally people charge for revisions. This means you can get me to work with you AND HAVE UNLIMITED REVISIONS during that time.

Here are some links of stuff I salvaged from the great Crash of 2010. I can make you whatever you want though.

https://www.facebook.com/media/albums/?id=189331344433930

https://www.facebook.com/media/albums/?id=10330637988

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: This isn’t me saying I’m the end-all-be-all of graphic or digital design… but I’m pretty good. I’ve done this stuff for a long time, off and on, and know for sure that I have a good eye for it. After almost fifteen years of digital art experience, I feel like it’s okay for me to say that my work is above sub-par [and almost always turns out better than you expect].

Yes, I have multiple monikers, but whatever. Here’s hoping the breeze goes with my sail and not against it. *crosses fingers*

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Down

“You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald

What do you do when you have something to say but don’t want to?

The fear of not wanting to offend is greater than the fear of pain, is how I believe Martin Vanger put it. AKA ‘Bootstrap Bill’; yes I just watched “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”. My plan was to read it first but a friend whom I was visiting this afternoon had it and wanted me to see it. It was the 2011 version. It was quite good.

That’s all I’ve got for the moment. The rest of this evening finds me not feeling well, physically or mentally.

Basically The Worst Thing Ever

On my way over to WordPress today, I saw some links on my Google Reader that deserved clicking… fashion, celebrigossip, funny stuff. Unfortunately one of them was so awful that my brain refuses to properly process it and will now serve up some nightmares.

In all seriousness I am genuinely disturbed by this and want to find that woman and pull all her teeth out, sans anesthetic.  Just with pliers, really.  After that, I’d like to inflict hundreds of tiny paper cuts on her body and spray her with saltwater and vinegar.

But before all that, I’d like to make sure her baby is somewhere far, far away.

This horrifying footage of 18 year old Malaysian mother beating her defenseless ten-month-old baby girl is pretty much the worst thing I’ve seen in a very long time.  I can’t get it out of my head, and I’m sharing it in hopes that someone with a lot of money will see it and be able to actually help take her baby away forever.

I don’t even remember what I came over here to talk about, but I hope the night gets better.

You Can’t Win If You Don’t Try

This motivational article cropped up a few days ago, and it’s been sticking to my mind.  It echoes my thoughts nicely, the ones that are more feelings than coherent sentences.  Here’s what Jon Acuff has to say, and what I agree with:

You will work harder at something you love than something you like.
You will work harder than you have ever worked when you start chasing a dream.
You will get up earlier and go to bed later.
Joy is an incredible alarm clock.
It will wake you up and keep you up and pick you up and gently pull you through a thousand rejections along the way.

The feeling of late-night-computer/creative-project-hangover is very familiar to me, as I used to make websites before things like WordPress or Dreamweaver or even FrontPage came along.  Remember the Angelfire/Geocities days of the late 90’s?  Right.  If you’ve been following along at all you’ll recall that trip down memory lane.  It’s the one where  was supposed to pop out of a cake and make me famous, or something.  😉

Here’s my library haul from this evening:

giant stack of books
Some funnin’ at the top:  Catcher in the RyePride and Prejudice and ZombiesFort Freak (what!? he wrote a book OUTSIDE the Game of Thrones Series?!?!two days later i notice he did NOT write it, he only EDITED it. even though his name is in giant print everywhere. grrr.)

Some learnin’ in the middle:  Learn Spanish With Batman: Rogues Gallery (yes that is a Spanglish comic book that I couldn’t resist picking up) – The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Intermediate SpanishSpanish Made Simple – Learn Spanish The Fast And Fun Way

The rest is art project researchin’:  Succulents: Nature’s Sculptural WondersShellOwls: The Silent FliersWild Birds of CaliforniaJellyfishThe Octopus: Phantom of the SeaDown in the Sea: The OctopusTentaclesButterfly & Moth

I picked up all those books because A) I wanted something fun to read, B) I’m trying to refresh my Spanish and C) I’m starting up a new series (will probably be encapsulated in The Fear Collective or something like that).  There’s definitely a lot stirring in my artsy subconscious, and I’m not one to try and quell it when it finally does peek its head out.  My thoughts were that all my cupcakes, robots, and bunnies have all been more of the cute-but-evil variety, definitely getting darker as they go.  There’s a recent Bunny painting that is hard for me to complete because it actually triggers my dizziness, but it’s almost done.  Now this new kick is going to be me and some of my fears.  Birds, moths, creatures with sharp bits, deep water stuff.  Why not, right?  Is my goal to get over my fears by some sort of immersion?  That wasn’t the plan, but if it works, that’d be nice.  Here’s a secret: when I opened the “Butterfly & Moth” book, just to browse and see if it had what I needed, I started to panic a bit.  My skin was crawling, it was not good. That’s how I knew it will do what it needs to do.

You’ll notice there are no books about spiders, bees, or flying/biting/stinging insects, and that’s because I am effing TERRIFIED of them.  I’m not that brave right now, sorry.

Anyway, here’s hoping the outcome is shaped similarly to what’s in my mind.  I’ll have some base sketches by tomorrow – if I type that, I plan on following through with it, so this is me crossing my fingers.

Digressing a bit – back to Jon’s article up top.  He mentions the alarm clock of joy, which reminds me of how enjoyable my manic stages are (despite the undesirable effects of sleep deprivation).  At working harder, that’s also true – if I only kind of liked shading in circles to give them depth, I wouldn’t do it during long phone calls.  It wouldn’t calm me down or keep me entertained during flights.  I wouldn’t pick up books hoping to see a photo or a phrase that sparks off something in my mind that absolutely MUST BE sketched out or painted.  I wouldn’t try to feed my compulsions.  I wouldn’t care what my final product really looked like; it wouldn’t bother me if the edge wasn’t totally crisp.  At getting up earlier and going to bed later, that’s also true – my alarm is set for less than 7 hours from now.  I don’t function well on less than 8 hours of sleep, but if this blog entry doesn’t get written and I don’t at least flip through some of the books there will be a mental hangnail that bothers me for the rest of the week.

On hope, and rejections… well, let’s just say that even though I’ve heard my fair share of the word No in various forms, I still keep on keepin’ on.  The creative process – creation itself – it’s what I am.  The pieces that don’t turn out perfectly, the emails that don’t get answered, they all just keep driving me.  Even when the only sound is my nails scraping off the bottom of the barrel, after a brief hiatus of lying in a pool of self pity, I take a deep breath and pick up that mechanical pencil just one more time, because this might be it.

Then suddenly, wonderfully, it is.

Something clicks.

That is why I keep going – not for money, not for infamy (though bonus points for anyone else saying ANYTHING I made is awesome) – but for that one tiny feeling of remembering what it’s like to see something on paper that is EXACTLY what needed to get out of my head.

Some people say that real artists are never happy with their work, they never accept compliments.  Someone says, “Wow – your work is amazing!” and they say “Eh, it’s not that good, look at this flaw and that flaw and that blue is less turquoise than I wanted and it’s actually a 44-degree angle not 45 and and and”.  The person trying to pay the compliment just looks and says something like, “Yeah, I can’t draw a straight line, and you drew THAT, it’s incredible, just hush”.

I think once you stop caring about your work’s imperfections, that’s when you stop being an artist.  Your imperfections are what make your work what it is, and they are what drive you to do the next thing.  I have a hard time writing all this because (personally) even claiming to be an artist… who am I, this random nobody, claiming to be in The Ranks of Artists?  That word: ARTIST, it’s reserved for those of Dali ilk; sculptors that make magic out of a block of clay or music from a sheet of dots and lines.  It’s reserved for the old masters and the new technical geniuses.  I will never feel worthy of calling myself an artist, and will always feel like some sort of sham.

It all feels very hypocritical, and much like wearing jeans that have been in the dryer too long. An uncomfortable sort of stiff tightness, and when you put them on the other day the zipper worked just fine, but today it sticks and doesn’t lie flat.

An “ARTIST” is defined as follows…

From Google:
art·ist

noun /ˈärtist/
artists, plural

  • A person who produces paintings or drawings as a profession or hobby
  • A person who practices any of the various creative arts, such as a sculptor, novelist, poet, or filmmaker
  • A person skilled at a particular task or occupation
    • – a surgeon who is an artist with the scalpel
  • A performer, such as a singer, actor, or dancer
  • A habitual practitioner of a specified reprehensible activity
    • – a con artist
    • – rip-off artists

Web definitions

  • a person whose creative work shows sensitivity and imagination
    • (artistic) relating to or characteristic of art or artists; “his artistic background”
  • (artistic) satisfying aesthetic standards and sensibilities; “artistic workmanship”

From Dictionary.com:

1.a person who produces works in any of the arts  that are primarily subject to aesthetic criteria.
2.a person who practices one of the fine arts,  especially a painter or sculptor.
3.a person whose trade or profession requires a knowledge of design, drawing, painting, etc.: a commercial artist.
4.a person who works in one of the performing arts,  as an actor, musician, or singer; a public performer: a mime artist; an artist of the dance.
5.a person whose work exhibits exceptional skill.

From Wiki:
An artist is a person engaged in one or more of any of a broad spectrum of activities related to creating art, practicing the arts and/or demonstrating an art.

From Merriam-Webster:

1 a  obsolete : one skilled or versed in learned arts
b
archaic : physician
c archaic : artisan
2 a : one who professes and practices an imaginative art
b
: a person skilled in one of the fine arts
c : a skilled performer; especially : artiste
3 : one who is adept at something <con artist> <strikeout artist>

Examples of ARTIST

  1. the great artists of the Renaissance

So… that’s the classical definition.  I don’t know where I’m going with all of it, but I know I will never give up.  It’s part of me.

I’m Not At A Pay Phone

One of my guilty pleasures is today’s top 40 style music.  It makes for good workout music, and good driving-with-the-windows-down music.  Anyway, here’s an earworm for you; the first few lines of this song has been stuck in my head for a day or so:

Maroon 5 – Payphone

It’s been a busy few weeks for me, and the remainder of the year is filling up.  It’s a good feeling.  Here’s the short version to catch everyone up, as if I’m some rockstar. 😉 No particular order other than how I remember events.

1) Finally felt well enough to have a beer – yes, one single delicious Stone Smoked Porter – over at Alchemy, discovered hours after that my body no longer tolerates alcohol.  A sip here, a taste there, but that will be it for me.  I was sick for hours and eternities after that beverage, which made me realize that I don’t want to test my limits in that regard any longer.  It makes me very sad, because beer can be delicious.

2) Celebrated the One Year Wedding Anniversary (4.23.12).

He successfully located the garter, and got it stuck on my shoe. Woot! 🙂

We celebrated with a nice weekend of relaxation:  dinner at Island Prime; sleepover at The Dana.  Our anniversary weekend coincided with a Pens playoff game.   The night before we were watching the Pens kill the Flyers, and he emailed in to ask the experts over at Crash The Net what they would do if they had the same dilemma: Pens game on the next morning in the middle of our scheduled FIRST ANNIVERSARY time of alone-ness.  I only heard half the answer because we were laughing too hard, but over the broadcast we heard them say essentially that money should be no object – buy me whatever I needed to gain my permission to watch the game.  I’m still waiting on my private jet and unicorn.

Dinner was tasty.  Expensive.  Meaty.  We hung out and talked for at least an hour after eating, which is always a good thing.  They gave us a complimentary delicious dessert:

Blueberry yum

It was also good to spend time together at the Dana, watching our wedding video and silly television, relaxing and enjoying the view.  I had a comped suite over there because they have a partnership with my work, and it’s always a refreshing getaway.

View from our Bayview Suite, waiting for breakfast to be delivered.

We surprised each other with sentimental stuff – a letter, a video.  It was all just nice, and yes, I got a bit weepy.  He surprised me with a voucher for some bellydance classes with the lovely Leilainia of The Shimmy Sisters, and hopefully my health continues to improve.  The dizziness and nausea have subsided tremendously, although my energy is still really low and all this past week I’ve had trouble breathing.  Not in a congested way, but more of a tight-chest-closed-throat way.  It’s not fun but thinking about it too much makes me panicky.  Keeping an eye on things for the moment.

ANYWAY – it was a good weekend, and helped me remember all the magical moments.  I wish I could share all my photos with all of you, but there are hundreds so you just get a few.  It really was one of – if not the #1 – very best days of my life.  🙂

No one at the event was Jewish, however, many people are a bit Ridiculous.

Steve’s “best man” speech … I had the fear, at first, that he would just make gassy noises into the mic, but it worked out okay. 🙂

The “cake” was a three-tiered stand with mini cupcakes of Total Yum – shoutout to CupcakesSquared.com! The cake toppers are from my friend D, from the heart of N’awlins, as they should be. 😉

Some of my very favorite people, including our Swanky Officiant and Close Personal Homie Of Mine, Mr. Durwood Murray (in the white shirt & blue tie). At the time he was dating my best friend/maid of honor, Alicia. Best couple ever.

Oh Etsy. Thank you for this one. Birdcage veil + vintage hair clip. Also, my necklace was an antique one from my Gramma way-back-when.

Sheets of sheet…music, a few books, glass squares filled with local sand and (eventually) succulents.

How to buy all your centerpiece flowers for under $20 – I love you, Home Depot. Almost all of them (including the big piece) have survived and are currently in antique light cover glass bowls on the front porch.

the cactus garden in the foyer, on the gift table. it’s started to bloom over the past few months. 🙂

aformentioned cactus garden, and antique Corvair Garden Club San Diego award ribbons.

I’d also like to take this moment and reminisce about how awesome Alicia was for making our bouquets.  Yes, I am going to pull a hipster moment and say that I wanted a brooch/handmade bouquet before that was all the rage, because I found the idea in like 2009.  She crafted up some magical genius stuff and they turned out beautifully.

Shoutout to Alicia for the magic… and the mermaids.

She also made boutonnieres for the groom, best man, and groom’s dad.  Perfect.

I didn’t even know they made fake succulents. This was perfect for the groom’s boutonniere.

The best man’s boutonniere – J’s dad’s was similar but with more of a gold ribbon. Also fake flowers, which means they are all now chillin’ happily in our living room. 🙂

Looking through the photos never fails to make me happy, things just worked out wonderfully.  🙂

2) Finally was able to get my business stuff all situated.  Congrats to me on having Young Enterprises finally be a legal sole proprietorship. There’s a lot more paperwork than you might think but it’s worth it.

3) Starting getting repair work done on my car.  Chubbles is doing well (yes, Chubbles is the car’s name).  All the work is preventative – not particularly cheap, but cheaper than waiting for my timing belt to break and pay more in repairs than the car is worth.  You know how it goes.  That will be a full summer-long project

4) Went to a wedding reception at Humphrey’s By The Bay.

At Eric & Jenna’s reception, 4/29/12

5) My friend Morgan came to town for the reception, it’s always nice to hang with her.  Her visit was made even more exciting because the next time we see her will be at *HER* wedding – in Seattle!!  I’ve never been there so it will be equally awesome to go and have a good reason to be up there (other than just being a tourist).  Ceremony will be at Gas Works Park and reception will be at Tyee Yacht Club, wedding theme is robots.  That’s right. We’re trying to craft up a nice steampunky blend of robots and costume-y silliness, as per the bride’s request.  It’s going to be a great time.  🙂

6) I have been putting more work and effort into my fundraiser art event: Fight Back San Diego.  Finally got a caterer to donate some snacks and beverages; am now working on the artist list.  Once the list hits 20 it will be time to pick a date.  Please tell everyone.  (No, for real.  It’s free.)

7) Alchemy (yes, the aforementioned place where I got my last beer and promptly swore off drinking) has finally given me the green light to do an art show.  Insert shriek > here <.  :))  From my artist page: “Spoiler alert: …….. guess who’s getting their work displayed at Alchemy, starting in June, for six weeks? Keep an eye on @drunkbunny for more info like specific dates/times. 🙂 Woo! *excited*” Yes, this means I have to crank out another couple paintings in the next three weeks, but it will happen.  Somehow.

8) Went to a bachelorette party this weekend, and that’s  all I’ll say about that.  😉

9) You guys know how I never go anywhere?  World Travel, we’re talking.  Some people go to Mexico, Europe, cruises, all that sort of stuff.  I don’t.  There is no passport in my possession, and really no resources to even plan .  We’ve been talking for quite some time now about a honeymoon/vacation, and of course my plan was a Fiji-New Zealand trip.  A nice little ten day jaunt of beaches and ridiculous tropical touristy goodness.  Palm trees and hiking and surfing and cocktails and jet setting, all to the tune of about $6500, right?  It was one of those plans you save up for, and enjoy the heck out of when you get there.
This week, J booked us an ALL INCLUSIVE five day trip to CABO SAN FREAKIN LUCAS for $498 total.  (Not counting the $400-per-person plane tickets that he also snagged, but STILL!)  That means for under five hundred bucks, they include lodging, meals, drinks, entertainment, taxes and gratuities.

Oh, and the view.

Photos of Holiday Inn Resort Los Cabos All-Inclusive, San Jose del Cabo

This photo of Holiday Inn Resort Los Cabos All-Inclusive is courtesy of Trip Advisor.

So yeah, in completely awesome news, we’re staying at this joint during the week of the full moon in October, and not breaking the bank.

WIN.

WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!