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Thursday (In which I rant about the world around us)

I have failed you.
I’ve been attempting to have a new post every 2 or 3 days, because I know that this blog is new, and it will be awfully hard to earn new readers and maintain the few we have without a relatively consistent stream of content. Also, who wants to wait 2 or 3 days for something? That’s unheard of in this day and age.

Speaking of this day and this age, what age are we in now? The 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s have sort of blurred together from a cultural standpoint. I know that there are significant differences in almost any area you care to point to, but there seems to be less of a division than when you look at the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

Maybe there’s just certain time periods where there are a series of smaller shifts before a large jump changes how we look at things. Nothing has really been the same since the 80’s introduced home electronics and home computers, has it? Since then everything has moved at such an accelerated rate, and a lot of things have kind of squeezed themselves together in a way that they very nearly exist as one continuous event as opposed to a series of changes.

What do we get to identify with? Are we the “Digital Age”? Maybe the “Age of Social Media”? I sincerely hope we’re not permanently linked to the rise of social media. I honestly believe that while it’s useful, social media will ultimately cause more problems than it ever solved. It’s already begun, what with Twitter being used in lieu of an actual media outlet to announce things, and Facebook being more important as an advertising tool than a way to connect to people you’ve lost touch with.

You can blame the corruption of useful tools into advertising channels on the desire for everyone to have more money all the time. It’s a shame that Facebook started as a way for college students to connect about homework assignments and class projects, and has ended up being an ugly quagmire of social tools that serves mainly to cater to youth with a limited attention span.

I don’t want to sound like some sort of crazy anti-social media hermit here. I use Facebook to get in touch with old friends that I don’t have any other way of contacting. I use Twitter to make a more direct connection to celebrities and sports figures and keep up sports news. I just feel like it has all gotten a little out of hand.

With the change in direction most social media has taken, it concerns me that it might all be a runaway train headed for a brick wall of no privacy, and essentially a digital version of telemarketers calling every night at dinner. The trouble is, the information they have won’t just be an email or a cell phone number, they’ll know where you live because you’ve turned on the “My Location” feature, Or they’ll know what your entire schedule is everyday because you “Check In” every time you go somewhere. It’s all just a little scary.

I guess, at the end of the day, I’m just worried that we’ll be the group of people that caused the collapse of society and we’ll have to move to an underwater city that attempts to be utopia and ends up being more like 1984.(The book not the year)

That’s the long version of why I should probably write more often.

-Chris

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Where I Show You Some Drawings

I made some drawings over the weekend.

I have these fancy Micron pens, with archival ink, that come in varying nib widths. These pens are fantastic for clean line work because the ink dries relatively quickly and then stays put. They also use a liquid in with a nib system instead of a ballpoint so there’s a smooth application of ink. They aren’t overly expensive, but they are a little pricier than your standard non-art pen.

I used these fancy pens to draw in a fancy Moleskine sketchbook. As far as I’m concerned, unless you have a specific paper or texture you prefer for sketching, or you really are against a paper with some coloring, (it has a manila-colored surface) they’re pretty much the most awesome little book to doodle in. I have the Large Sketchbook in case you care, but they also have lined books, plain books and ones that are bigger and smaller than the book I have.

Well, I said all of that just to kill time until we got here. There’s 2 pages, and neither one is particularly polished, but you’ll have that.

As per usual, feel free to chime in.

Here there be Monsters...

A Windmill, I guess

There we are.

-Chris

Things You Should Like

Here are some things I think you should like, whether in the Facebook induced digital button format, or by exploring them further and maybe even purchasing something.

ART

Stephen Silver

Character artist, and the creator of Kim Possible and Danny Phantom. He creates some phenomenal characters. Really fun stuff.

Skottie Young

Comic book artist for Marvel. He also has a lot of individual project that are stunning. He’s recently been working on a comic/graphic novel version of The Wizard of Oz. Check him out. Very whimsical.

Music

The Decemberists

A wonderful Folk/Alternative group for those of you who don’t mind odd instruments and complex lyrics. They just released a new album last week. It’s a little closer to a mainstream sound and might be a good place for a new listener to get started. They’re a great group for writers/teachers/lovers of the English language, or anyone who likes fancy words.

Vampire Weekend

A very catchy Alternative/BritPop group. A little strange, but I promise the songs are just difficult to turn off. I’m surprised I like them, but once I heard them I had to hear more.  For a reference, they did the song “Holiday” from all those Christmas car commercials. I feel like I should point out that “Holiday” is not actually about the Holidays. Also they don’t really have any songs about vampires, or weekends.

Everyone should enjoy the same things I enjoy.

I’m just kidding.

Kind of.

-Chris

Don’t Color Outside the Lines!

Time for some teamwork action.

I asked Meister a little while back for a simple line drawing of me. I needed something to use every time a website popped up that little human silhouette with a question mark for an avatar picture. Of course, my plan of coloring this drawing right away went horribly awry and I have been using the black and white line drawing as my avatar everywhere.

I have finally colored this digital me, and to top it off, I even managed to get the shading done in a reasonable facsimile of “quickly”. So I am posting the process images. Line Art, then Colors and finally shading for you all to enjoy.

There we have it. Me, digitized.

I can assure you, Meister took some artistic liberties. I certainly wish I looked as awesome as my digital counterpart does, unfortunately, we don’t get to choose how we’re rendered.

It would be pretty cool if we could all choose our own preferred rendering options. I assume fellows like Meister and Myself would end up with some sort of hand-drawn, cel-shaded form.  Others might choose to go with the watercolor or stained glass options. Don’t forget to add a gaussian blur!

Alright, I’m done with the Photoshop “Filters” references, I promise.

-Chris

Little from Column A, Little from Column B

Hi there!

Me again. Remember how I told you there would be stuff from either Meister or Myself up here from time to time?

Well today I do you one better.  Meister needed some business cards for that fancy Premier I told you about last time. He was busy, so I put a little somethin’ somethin’ together for him. I blanked out his phone number because he wasn’t really sure he was ready to post that particular piece of info on the web for the world to see yet. So ignore the blue box at the bottom for design purposes.

Well I’ll shut up about it and just let you see it now.

Eh? Fancy.

Let us know what you think, or just email Meister and pay him exorbitant sums to animate or illustrate something for you. I bet he wouldn’t mind.

-Chris

P.S. I wouldn’t mind being paid exorbitant sums either, but my skill set is a little less defined. Still, can’t hurt to ask right?

Test 1, 2… Test, Test, 1, 2, 3…

Ok… Alright… First post.

Well, short version of why I decided to start this and drag my good friend Eric (sometimes referred to as Meister) along; Inspiration.

Nothing is is better for inspiration than having somewhere to put stuff and having someone to bounce your ideas off of.

So here we are. I’m trying to find a long-term career where I can be creative; Eric is attending a premier for a project that he took the lead on. I’m married and just bought a house in a quiet area of town; Eric is a bachelor living the big life in the Windy City. You could say we’re at different places in life.

We’ve been friends since college and wanted to challenge ourselves a little by starting a blog. Hopefully it will give both of us a place to get feedback on some things, bounce some ideas around, and who the hell knows, maybe we’ll get famous while we’re at it.

Cheers.

-Chris