Archive for ‘Projects’

26/07/2014

A space to call my own.

*HAPPY INFECTED DANCE* I may have a really awful infection, but on the plus I’m gonna get my studio space. It’s been decided that the “work” room which is more of a dumping ground is going to get a revamp. More vertical storage, less crap on the floor. An old computer desk rebuilt as a workbench. A load of old melamine units taken out, and a new drawing desk with an adjustable drawing surface built into a corner.

Badly needed too, right now I have to pack away everything as I finish. Which would be fine if my health was more robust; but it isn’t. Right now if I have energy to draw for half an hour I’m losing 20 minutes of it to setting up, and packing away each time. Which this change I’ll be able to start something and walk away if I get tired; but also be able to just pick right up where I left off, even if it’s just for five minutes.

Anyway the end result should be more storage, less clutter, and a space where I can lay out drawing stuff properly, and leave it there.

In other news, a space will be created in my bedroom for recording my video blogs in the next couple of months. So yup, things are startin’ to look up for this creative puppygirl.

Oh and in, other, other news next vlog will go up in the next couple of days. Antibiotics kick my ass every time, so I’m just barely able to stay out of bed, much less record. So patience please.

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14/07/2014

These dreams, the ones that make me think…well fuck.

You ever have one of those glorious dreams? The ones where you wake up, angry because it wasn’t real, and you know most of it will never be real. I had one of those last night.

I was on a road trip with Tegan (one of my guardian angels), we were having a great time. But the RV I’d rented for the trip broke down…bummer. The fourth car to come up to us stopped, well I say car, FUCKING HUGE pick-up. Okay, cool, not glorious yet though is it?

Patience folks, it’s about to become so.

Well I’m relieved, Tee is relieved, the RV is dead, and the pick-up driver is Beth Orton.

Beth “so fucking beautify my heart could break just lookin’ at her” Orton.

Beth “her voice makes my spine melt every-time I hear her” Orton.

Anyway the RV is fuckered, the hire company are sending out another for us, but it doesn’t to us ’til the next day. So what to do? Turns out Miss Orton has an idea, dinner at hers, a spare bed, and my not stressing ’til I’m in tears for the whole day.

Well the dream went on. Dinner was eaten, my uke was dragged out, I ended up playing, and singing badly with our hostess. My badly, not Beth who sings like my idea of a perfect angel. And the next morning I woke up to find my uke signed by her.

Then I woke up…fuuuuuuuuuuck. It was a dream…*sigh*

All that said a road trip has been mooted in the past 12 months. I’ve started the ball rolling on actually making some money from my MANY projects. My partner in crime has made it clear that I need to learn to drive. An RV…well if it was done right would cost less than hotels, and give me something I would desperately need; instant access to a toilet anytime day or night, oh and an unchanging space that’s mine.

Yeah this could work.

Wonder if Miss Orton will appear somewhere in it all.

10/05/2014

Plans within plans. Gears withing gears.

So today I came to a few big decisions. The first one is to put off building my website ’til next Spring, maybe even Summer. Why? Well that’s the other decisions, though in truth they all boil down to one overarching decision.

The rest of this year is going to be about building up enough content to make a website worthwhile.

I started blogging again this week; it felt good to be writing in that style again. So I’m intending to write at minimum one 1,000 word post here per week, and look at that! A second one this week.

I’m going to get back to video blogging as well. I’m planning one short 5-20 minute blog a week for the time being, and once I get faster at editing, building up to Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

I finally found the right modpack for a series of Minecraft Lets Play videos, so I’m planning to do one 1 hour session per week (edit everything in one session) and put it out in 20 minute segments Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The idea will be that once I have a basic base built I’ll ask the viewers what I should do next, all the while riffing on whatever sparkly topic catches my eye on that given day.

Finally I plan to keep working on my drawing skills, and speed up my page updates. I’ve been struggling with it lately because my my migraines, but I think I’ve hit on a way of working that allows for those. This is in part with the intention of having my skills at a point where it becomes worthwhile to start sourcing a secondhand (though hopefully relatively recent vintage) Wacom Cintiq.

So yeah, that’s the plan. Of course the blogging has started, the next two pages of my webcomic are getting there, and video blogging will start as soon as I work some kinks out of my equipment (most notably the sound and video not synching without a shedload of jiggery pokery), Minecrafting…as soon as I figure out how in the hell the program for recording it works…*sigh*

I’ve an awful lot of work ahead of me; but I feel at peace with this plan of action. It feels like the right amount of output, while leaving me enough time for writing, rewriting, and gaming. So wish me luck folks, after all when I pull this off it’ll end with all my stuff on one site, and a lot more of my weirdness for you all to enjoy.

22/02/2013

Acidgirl Page 5

It’s that time of the week again, webcomic page time! Drawing it this week was actually a joyous experience for me, it took just under four hours, and I think the artwork has made a huge leap forward over last weeks. Well anyway here’s this weeks page, enjoy.

Acidgirl Page 5

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15/02/2013

Acidgirl Page 4

Here again with this weeks webcomic link. I actually had a lot of fun doing this one. I took my time with it and got everything as close to spot on as I could manage. Anyway, enjoy.

Acidgirl Page 4

08/02/2013

Acidgirl Page 3.

Starting a little weekly thing here as I haven’t figured out how to publicize my webcomic through the host site yet. So for now at least each Friday there’ll be a link posted to the latest page here. Anyway click away if you’re interested.

Acidgirl – Page 3

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26/01/2013

A dream came true yesterday. What I learned from making it a reality.

Anyone who has paid any sort of attention to my blog over the past year will know that one of my long-term life goals has been to have my own webcomic. Well as of 1pm yesterday that dream finally became reality. Yes, that’s right loyal reader, Acidgirl is now and honest to goodness, live webcomic, updating every Friday at 1pm (until I get faster at drawing them then it’ll be twice a week, and we’ll see what the future holds after that.) It’s been a long, hard slog to reach this stage. Well over a year of teaching myself to draw, learning how to use various art programs, getting to grips with my graphics tablet. In short, in one year I taught myself all the basics I needed to know. Mastering them…well there’s a reason I’m only putting one page up a week for the time being.

But as excited as I am about the reality of being webcomic artist, what I really want to speak about today are the lessons I’ve learned from reaching this stage. And I don’t mean the skills, I’m speaking here about the life lessons I learned over the past year, and a half.

Eighteen months ago (more or less) I decided to write a webcomic. The original idea was as far from the Acidgirl concept as it’s possible to get without literally moving to a parallel universe. But it really excited me to have this concept jump almost fully formed in to my mind. Then I tried to draw some of it. The results were less than good. Actually the results being described as bad would be complimenting them far too profusely. The results were frankly, frikkin’ awful. The bastard love-child of Star Trek: The Final Frontier, and the last All Saints album, it died a cold lonely death, unwanted, and unloved by anyone but me. I weep for it still. No really, see? Actual tears.

It was a disheartening experience to say the least. But I learned from it. I realised that while I could write (if punctuation was ignored, and it often was), I couldn’t draw anymore. There was a time when I could draw extremely well. A time when I won competitions, and small awards for my artwork as a child and a teen. But the intervening 20-ish years had put paid to those skills, and if I was to ever be a web-artist I would need to relearn everything, from scratch.

It was a hard lesson to learn. It nearly killed my dream there and then.

But I persevered, and around November of last year realised that my artwork had reached a good enough standard to start putting up pages. Note how I said “good enough”.

That’s the second biggest lesson I learned building up to yesterday. That sometimes there is such a thing as good enough. As horrible a thought as that is to any perfectionist, much less one with a nasty case of O.C.D. What I put up yesterday is not perfect. It’s not as well drawn as I wish it was. It’s not really in the style I wanted it to be. It’s not a lot of things, but it is good enough for a start. It is good enough that people will see where I’m trying to go with it. And it is a starting point, a point I can build on, and develop from.

That was the biggest and most important lesson I’ve learned over the past 18 months, that even if I’m still drawing comics in a decades time, it’ll still only  be a starting point. You’re never going to reach the zenith of your skills, style, techniques. Because it’s all an ongoing learning experience.

I now know that I will still be studying drawing techniques in decades to come. I know that I will still be practicing in years to come because it’s the only way to improve my skills, but I also now understand that I will never get it perfect, I will always be chasing that imaginary goal, and it will always be on the horizon. I for the first time truly understand the idea that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become truly proficient in any skill. 10,000 hours of doing that skill, not studying it, not thinking about it, but doing it. I’m now excited by the idea of going to events, museums, bars, burlesque nights. You know purely to practice life drawing, nothing to do with the semi-nude ladie…okay even I couldn’t keep a straight face on that one. I’m excited that alongside my writing I have another complimentary skill to practice, and grow into, perhaps for the rest of my life.

And who knows, in a few years I might even get to a point where I can tell the story of my original idea. We’ll see.

But in the mean time I have Abigail Acidgirl’s story to tell. (<—- that’s the link to my webcomic, you know, in case you missed the first two times I put it in this article.)

20/10/2012

Stalled plans, and huge frustration

I’ve mentioned my upcoming webcomic several times in the past year. And each time it’s had to be put back by another month.

I moved home partly to be able to lower my cost of living, but also because that new home had enough space to give me a small woodworking workshop. Why does that matter? Because I’ve spent the past year designing my ideal ukuleles. I want to build them for myself, and perhaps some day to sell to other. Again delayed.

My video blog which started last month was another project which had been stalled again, and again.

Even this written blog started out as a project which had been put off over, and over.

That’s the thing about large projects, they tend to need fairly substantial preparation time before you can get into the meat of them. And life will often get in the way. At best this is frustrating, at worst it’s beyond infuriating.

My two worst current bug-bears in this regard are my webcomic, and my video blog. My webcomic is a project with 2 years of work already done on it, without a single panel having found its way on to the internet. I’ve spent months working on my drawing skills, working out characters, storylines, learning to use graphics programs, etc. It’s a lot of work to have already done with nothing solid to show for it. Why nothing to show for it? I’m doing the ground work for a new novel at the moment, which is rather time intensive, so until that’s done, and I get back to my regular writing schedule I’m buggered for time.

As for my video blog, it has admittedly been launched. But even after another month, and 40 hours of work over that time because of financial issues it still won’t have grown to what I had hoped it would be when I release my second edition next week.

Both of those projects are not precisely stalled, but they are being held back in different ways by life in general. The webcomic by my mad dash to clear a backlog of other work so I can finally set aside so much time per week purely for drawing. The video blog by my income having been savaged in the past two months reducing my discretionary budget from tiny to almost nothing. And it’s driving me nuts.

I have a story I want to tell, a story I’m excited by, enthusiastic about; the webcomic.

I also have things I want to say to the world, things I want the world to hear from my lips, not read from a page; the video blog.

But despite my hard work. Despite my enthusiasm. Despite how much love I have for both projects I am stalled. I drink not from the keg of victory, rather I’m stuck in the corner of the bar, and the barman just pawned me off with the dregs from last nights run off. And I am not happy about that.

Now that said I know I will get to where I want to be. My webcomic is going to be launched, come hell or high-water. My video blog will develop from a “talking head” model to the more magazine show format I want for it, just more slowly. So I’m not frustrated by things which will never happen. I guess that I’m simply irked by having run so hard and fast, just to stay where I am.

Here endeth the bitching, and moaning with a question. How do you deal with this particular sort of getting nowhere? And what mechanisms have you used in your own life to get through it.

29/09/2012

Struggling with steel strings.

Last Christmas I was given a mandolin as my gift. For the first month I split my practice time, two hours per day usually, equally between my ukulele and my brand new precious. Yeah, that didn’t work out very well. So I came to a decision. I would practice my uke exclusively until I had played it a year. Then switch to my mandolin, and pick my uke up for an hour each week so I wouldn’t lose everything.

Well the year’s up, and for the past week I’ve thrown myself gleefully in to playing the mandolin. And mostly I’ve truly been enjoying it. I mean sure, the strings buzz like crazy because I haven’t taught my fingers to fret them correctly on instinct yet. And of course having to learn a completely new set of chords, and scales is tough going sometimes. And it truly is frikkin annoying that it’s so difficult to find tabulations for grade 1 and 2 pieces of music, but that’s partly my fault as I still haven’t gotten to grips with standard notation.

But the one set of things that are completely screwing me up are those steel strings. Those painful, vicious, never to be cursed enough strings.

And what scares me most is that my mandolin, which is this deep, DEEP, red to begin with has now tasted blood. Should I be worried? Will it now hunt me in the dead of night, determined to feast on the rest?

Or is it bad enough that I now regularly have dreams about playing it. Dreams in which ever note is bum, and every fret, every pluck hurts like a hundred thousand sons of bitches?

Well regardless I do love my mandolin. And someday I hope to be this good with it. Have a great weekend folks, and see you all Tuesday with my guide to thrifty high street shopping.

 

 

 

26/06/2012

Being Monumentally Physically Bored.

I don’t get mentally bored, I just don’t. How could I when at the moment I’m working on the following projects.

1: My webcomic Acidgirl.

2: My video blog aspect to this blog you’re reading right now.

3: Learning to play ukulele.

4: Learning to make ukuleles.

5: Writing my second novel.

And 6: Playing the following PC games. Diablo 2, Diablo 3, EVE Online, and Minecraft.

Besides all of those I have a couple of hundred books in my “read next” stack. And anyway I’ve never been mentally bored, ever. I have never been able to work out if that comes down to the fact that I’m a very imaginative person, and so spend a lot of my time wandering through the landscapes of my own mind. Or because I’m just too dumb to be bored. The latter is more a taking the piss out of myself thought than anything serious.

But while I don’t get mentally bored, I do get very physically bored.

Up until my mid-twenties I was a very active person. I rock-climbed, hillwalked, I was a fell-runner, I cycled 30 miles, or ran 15 miles ever single weekend. I swam, I was a kayaker, I was a scout leader. I may not have been healthy, because Goddesses know I’ve never ever been healthy, but I was ripped, fit, and never bored.

But since those days my health has forced me into serious physical inactivity. I take my dog for long, slow walks, I wander slowly through Dublin with a friend, and that’s about all I’m capable of. Even that is a huge victory, but it leaves me so physically twitchy, physically bored. I permanently want to jump up and do something. Preferably something that will scare the crap out of me. Preferably something that will make the adrenaline flow as my heart races. But instead I take the dog for a long walk, a long slow walk. Yay!

On Sunday though thanks to a really special guy in my life (no not my boylesquer boyfriend, a different guy) I had a tiny taster of the fun I could have with Airsoft. No running, unless I want to… or want to be shot in the head by someone who has more patience. Maybe a couple of new friends could be made. Certainly a lot of new people I could piss off royally. And best of all these are the “toys” you get to play with.

Yup, that a replica M4! Mommy wants!

So this is probably a future cure for my physical boredom. Whether I find myself at the indoor airsoft site in Naas, or the outdoor one near Bray, or even just plinking away at some target in a suitable environment it should be a lot of fun. And what’s more fun that I can enjoy at pretty much my own pace.

Which leaves me with one question to answer, which of these to get and use?

Hmmm decisions, decisions…

Never mind, found my toy. Mommy really, really wants!

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