Machvergil Comic number 043

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Archive for September, 2010

I used to draw stuff

Monday, September 27th, 2010

That title is a bit deceptive.  I do still draw stuff, but I’m not nearly as prolific about it as I was in college.  A large part of that is a shift in schedule, specifically that working 8 hours a day without break doesn’t allow for the spare time I used to spend throwing together sketches that going to a few hours of class a day did. That goes without saying.  However a second part of the problem is a shift in creative energy, decreasingly from an artistic angle and more and more towards a more technical one.

To be more specific, all throughout high school and college I always had various self-motivated creative projects to give reason for my art.  A few of you have heard about my dabbling with novel writing on an enigmatic project I’ve probably only refereed to you as “my life’s work.”  Working this project motivated a solid 90% of my drawing throughout high school.

Many  more of you are familiar with my dabbling in fan-fiction, which was well still very different from what most people do, and the “R&D Warz” stuff that surrounded it, culminating ultimately in Rhapsody & Requiem. That project and all the work that went in before it motivated a lot of drawing.

Then of course there was the comics, which at this point remain on the top of this very site as a byproduct of my in ability to take the time to replace them with something better.

Across all of these I had these side projects that gave me a reason to put down controllers/keyboards and stop playing video games long enough to commit something artistic to paper,  as well as possibly scan it and then upload it to a web space.  However, in my post graduate years, I find myself not really motivated to do that sort of stuff any more.  I imagine again that part of it is time, while another is that I’ve spent that free time that would have been spent writing a story on well, gameknights, and the projects that go along with it.  While I know it’s not ‘artistic,’ I still argue there’s an awful lot of creativity that goes into inventing programing solutions and new features, and I’ve certainly been doing a lot of that over there over the last 8 months.

That being said, I still draw, from time to time, but something has to motivate it.  Lately that “something” has been our Dungeons & Dragons games.  I know that I am a capable enough artist to throw something basic together, so the notion of using default D&D art to represent my character bugs me enough to break out pencil, paper, scanner, and photoshop to bring something together.  Still as I do that it doesn’t occur to me to throw that art up on this site.  I suppose I could  fix that, though I’m not sure what good it’d do.

At the end of the day, there’s definitely a part of me that’s sad I’ve allowed myself to let my artwork slip so far back on my priorities list.  Drawing is still a bit part of who I am and how I express myself, but these days that expression stays mostly with myself and doesn’t ever reach a public place.  In some ways that makes me sad, but in others, I remember what it was like doing art as a form of generating content for a website and that can get tiresome.   If I wanted to fix that it’d be really easy for me to just start drawing and CGin’ more often and just doing fan-art of my favorite games or what not.  I’m not doing that though because it goes against my personal rules against doing fan-art.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against fan-art, nor do I have something against artists  who do it.  It’s a clearly powerful way these days to get people to learn about you and care about your work if they do a google search for their favorite video game character and your art shows up.  I just personally hate doing it.  Sitting there over my drawing pad, obsessing over how accurate I’m getting someone else’s character design, if I’m matching the personality, etc.  I’d just as soon cook something up in my head and draw that.

Of course the problem with that is, getting people to care about your art, which yeah don’t have a solution to that yet.

The whole point to this post is to try and explain why I don’t really do the artwork thing online anymore.  I’m not sure I succeeded.  I’ve noticed that without some sort of ongoing creative project to motivate the drawing, I don’t do it, and right now, I don’t have such a project, and getting one isn’t something that will happen while I’m still knee deep in improving the game knights site.

So to all of you (if there are any of you left which I doubt) who used to come to this site to follow the fan-fics and/or the artworks, sorry, I don’t see them coming back any time soon.  If they do, it’ll be somewhere on this space, but these days, I spend too many hours of the day being a web developer to be a writer/artist.  As I write those words they make me a little sad, but hey, gotta pay the bills right?

Guest Blog and Portfolio Update

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Hello friends!  Been a bit I know.  I’ve been busy keeping active at the other site, and I feel bad about it because I’ve had a couple ideas for blog posts and then didn’t set the time to sit down and write them.  Should have done that while I had the energy/inspiration to do so.  Oh well, lesson learned.

I did want to update you all on two things.  The first is a couple of weeks ago I had the chance to speak to Professional Writing students at MSU as a graduate.  The primary topic was “What is Professional Writing,” but that discussion lead to all sorts of fun questions, including “What didn’t the major do to prepare you that you wish it did?”  Tweeting about this topic resulted in an old PW class-mate of mine who keeps a blog asking if I’d guest blog on the topic.  I was honored to do so and I invite you to give it a read.

I also wanted to let you know that I’ve updated my portfolio with new work.  We just launched the new Sustainability website for MSU (in fact this news is so fresh that if you look at that link right now the DNS might not be updated yet and you may still see the old one >.>) and I’m pretty pleased wit how it turned out, so feel free to check those out too!