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I'm just going to come clean, I don't think I'm going to be using my Deviant Art account anymore. I had already become increasingly annoyed at the website, and also Tumblr became more intriguing to me at the same time, that I had decided to make the switch to using only Tumblr. I felt guilty, though, about essentially abandoning my friends here on DA (since you guys are cool, it's the website I'm not really a fan of anymore), plus other things had prevented me until now to pull myself together and just admit to all of you that I'm no longer going to use DA.

If you guys still want to follow my adventures, my tumblr is thereforecrowbar.tumblr.com/. If not, it's been great and I do hope we cross paths someday in the future.

(Also, I recently went through a hard drive failure, and so I discovered my AIM name wasn't tied to any emails or had any security question set up, so if you're one of those people who chatted with me on AIM and need my new one, send me an ask on Tumblr.)
  • Listening to: 1940s Christmas Music
  • Playing: Dark Souls
WOOHOO THERE IS SNOW FOR ONCE I AM SO HAPPY~


Also this! I'll probably edit it for mistakes later, but WOO DEADLINE ACCOMPLISHED!
  • Listening to: Chiptunes
  • Reading: Second Shift, Hugh Howey
  • Playing: Mark of the Ninja
I've been thinking, my last day of finals is December 14th, so I hope that will be enough time to make an annual holiday gift...plus maybe it'll make up for my absence? I guess I didn't apologize for disappearing for so long without a word, especially after saying I might post some things to show my progress, so I'm truly sorry for that. So I decided to make it a bit more official with another blog post--currently have two characters lined up for it, and the more the merrier! If I don't make it for Christmas (although I'm of course going to try my darnest), it'll become a New Year's gift. Again, this is open to friends and watchers alike. A reference to the character would be lovely, especially one with a description about personality.

(For anyone who wasn't around last year, you can see previous years here: generalofdarkness.deviantart.c… generalofdarkness.deviantart.c… generalofdarkness.deviantart.c… )
  • Listening to: Chiptunes
  • Reading: Second Shift, Hugh Howey
  • Playing: Tokyo Jungle
HOLY COW. This past semester has been...CRAZY. My work that I was doing during the summer continued into the fall, and just...AAAH. This is the first time I've logged into Deviant Art for MONTHS. And I just stopped by to let everyone know that despite how busy I've been, things have also been going very well. It's all, I hope, going to help me get my foot in the door to have a job in the video game industry...and so while any art I've been doing has either been for work or doodles in my notes during those...less interesting lecture classes...but I hope to do some more during the winter. No promises, though...I have so much planned for this winter break it's also going to be crazy >__<

Happy Turkey Day!

(PS, my one friend published a book through Amazon, so you should check it out!)

Edit: Oh baaah, I should do a Christmas drawing...well, I don't know if I'll have time for it this year, but I want to! I love drawing for others T__T...and it's a nice tradition, right? Anyway, if you want to participate, just leave a character and a reference, and if I have time I'll draw something up >__>...it might be delayed past Christmas, though...maybe it'll be a New Year's Drawing?
  • Listening to: Tony Bennett Duets
  • Reading: Sherlock Holmes
  • Watching: Sweeney Todd with George Hearn and Angela Lansbury
  • Playing: Spliter Cell: Chaos Theory
Man, this has been a busy summer for me...I strangely think I  might have more time for DA during the school year...maybe? We'll see, hahaaaa >__>

Anyway, hopefully within the next few days or week I'll upload some of my doodles and/or work (not internship work, still have to wait to see if I can even talk about it >__<) that I've done over the summer...but just wanted to let you guys know that I didn't fall off the edge of the world...again!
  • Playing: Dear Esther
Sorry I've been silent for so long >__>...the non-computer realm has been keeping me real busy, and I keep bouncing between things I want to do. Anyway, just wanted to keep you guys posted that I'm still breathing, lol, so we'll see if perhaps I'll be able to post some of the things I've been doing as well as maybe make some new things.

Heh, also, I bought all the DLC for New Vegas for PC because of the Steam Sale, despite owning all that stuff for Xbox already >__>...I sort of want to go through the game as Samuel Hawkins and document it with comics as I encounter them in-game...this time trying to be truer to character (like he totally would have allowed the president of the NCR to be assassinated so he could get his suit)...but we'll see. There's a lot of other stuff I need to do for the upcoming semester, too...like study calculus, since I have Calc 3, and haven't had Calc 2 since my first semester at the university, lol...*sobs*
  • Reading: First Shift Legacy, by Hugh Howey
  • Watching: Legend of Korra
  • Playing: Mouse Guard RPG
So, yeah, I've been real busy with my internship since I sort of volunteered to help on all aspects of the project--which is a game, so of course I did! I actually don't know how much I can talk about it, but when the particular organization starts advertising, I'll mention who I'm working for, if I can :3

[Kiriban at 20K, or whoever is closest.]
  • Reading: First Shift Legacy, by Hugh Howey
  • Playing: Mouse Guard RPG
So, since I'm finally getting settled into the pace of summer, I'm thinking I'm going to finally go back and finish those two Round One pages, and maybe start working on the side plot idea I had for The City OCT, although I  haven't been as motivated as I was originally do to that (my interest my be piqued by other people wanting to help ;) )...In addition, I should get cracking on these gaming projects I've joined, too (of course internship work comes first), but my job in those projects is programming, so it shouldn't conflict with my DA interests except for time (which, at the moment, I've got a lot of it).

I also would like to do some more fan art or requests, so if anyone has been itching to see me draw something, lemme know. I'm so indecisive about what I want to draw, so any requests or suggestions will help. My personal preferences would probably be something related to The City OCT (still been meaning to draw all contestants/judges), Samuel Hawkins, or maybe a movie/game I've seen/played recently...but just start throwing ideas at me, maybe something will stick.

I should probably get around to answering messages, too...>__>'


[Kiriban at 20K, or whoever is closest.]
  • Reading: First Shift Legacy, by Hugh Howey
  • Playing: Realm of the Mad God
Good News: I'm feeling better!
Bad News: My 10-year-old (or as my dad says "seven") Wacom tablet is officially unusable!
Good News: I got a brand new one!
Bad News: It took a lot more time to setup than it should have...-__-'

Anyway, got some internship work to do, but hopefully I'll start drawing DA stuff again soon~


[Kiriban at 20K, or whoever is closest.]
  • Reading: First Shift Legacy, by Hugh Howey
  • Playing: Realm of the Mad God
Good News: I found my Wacom tablet pen!
Bad News: I'm sick with a sore throat and congestion >_<

Also, Kiriban at 20K.
  • Reading: First Shift Legacy, by Hugh Howey
  • Playing: Realm of the Mad God
Gah, drawing and uploading stuff will be delayed...I've been busy with internship work, but also I can't seem to find the pen for my Wacom tablet...maybe a good excuse to convince my parents to get me a new one (I think it's been ten years since I got my first, or something ridiculous like that), but I think I just packed in one of these boxes from my dorm...
  • Reading: The Complete Sherlock Holmes
  • Playing: Treasure Adventure Game/L4D2
I'm finally done with classes and exams! I have a few more things to do for school before I can wipe my hands clean of the semester, but I'm already at home, and perhaps will start drawing and/or posting things within the next few days. I had absolutely no sleep yesterday, and only recovered some of it last night (don'ttellmethat'snothowitworks>:I), since I have a phone interview in the morning (for an internship that actually involves making a game!)...so you might not hear more from me today, at least not until later tonight.
  • Reading: The Complete Sherlock Holmes
  • Playing: Treasure Adventure Game/L4D2
Gaaah, the end of the semester is so close...yet there's still so much to do! I know I already haven't been that active lately anyway, but here's your official notice that for the next two weeks I probably won't be on much, if at all.

(Or at least this coming week, since it's the last week of classes. I actually may have a little bit more time during finals next week...)
  • Reading: The Complete Sherlock Holmes
  • Playing: Sword &amp; Sworcery
So, while I'm avoiding work (like always T_T), I was shifting through some of my older pieces, gaining a little more appreciation for improvements I've made to my own style over the years, when it occurred to me that I sort of left Lona Brigg's story hanging (my Decepticon OC, for those who don't know her)...or at least I don't remember sharing any conclusion.

I was wondering, first all, is there anyone out there who cares to know the details of her back story and where I was intending to take her story? Should I just tell people in a journal, or maybe make a comic about it (there'd have to be a larger number of people who cared for me to put this kind of effort into it, sorry >__>')? Or should the past just stay in the past (for now, until I get an itch to do something about it)?

Either way it wouldn't be until after I finish my Round One comics for The City OCT (which I only have two pages left to finish), after I draw all The City OCT contestants who got in, and after I do any side story comics for The City (I might wait until after Round Two finishes to really get into this, so more ex-contestants can join in if they want to)...and plus that'll be closer to finals, so I'll have more time then.


Just something to think about.
  • Reading: The Complete Sherlock Holmes
  • Playing: Mass Effect 3
As expected, I didn't make it into the next round of :iconthecity-oct:, but don't worry, it won't be the last time you hear from Ourabo and Pho! And even though most of the judges voted for Que, the judge :iconzeurel: voted for me, which makes me unbelievably happy.  It was Navious Mayvor whose character design I fell in love with and his ref sheet that originally led me to the city~




I plan to finish the last two pages, and then—since I don't have to worry about round 2—draw all of the contestants that made it in, probably in the order they're listed in the very first journal announcing the contestants. After which, who knows...I'd love to coordinate with any of the contestants who made it in, regardless of whether or not they made it into round 2, to continue on with side plots. When I do, I'll be counting :iconnyaph:'s pages as the canon.




Also, I'm thinking once the finals have passed for the City OCT, I might enter another OCT...obviously it's too early to look now, but if you know there are any that will start in the summer that you think I'll be interested in, let me know! Or, if one of my DA friends wants to enter one with me, regardless of what that OCT is, you should let me know!



Update Edit: I'm currently looking into possibly entering one of two OCT this summer: :iconeden-oct: and :icongodfalloct:.  Feel free to keep sending more suggestions to me as you run across them (mid to late June seem like excellent deadlines, atm), I'll take any I'm sent into consideration! (Although I'm excited about entering any sort of OCT, I know a certain someone who wants to collaborate with me on a Persona-related OCT, so definitely, even if it's got a May deadline, send it my way).

Also, for any contestant, winner or non-winners of Round 1, I'm considering doing this big side plot to the tournament regarding Mythside/Techside prejudice. Anyone who has ideas or wants to collaborate with me, please add a comment or send me a note! I think it'll be a great opportunity with the variety of characters we have, as well as a chance to work together as opposed to competing with one another.
  • Reading: The Complete Sherlock Holmes
  • Playing: Mass Effect 3
I've decided that my top priority for DA (school work will come first, of course), will be to finish my Round 1 OCT comics even after the judges make their decision. I'll be replacing the current pages with the revised ones, but before the judging takes place I'll stick the originals that I uploaded into scraps (when I do the revision), so the judges can still use them for judging and I'll leave a note in the comments section for the judges letting them know they've been revised, and on what date, so they can take it into account while judging (although we all know who's going to win anyway, lol--and if/when I'm out, I actually want to still contribute comics and side stories in support of Que). I was originally going to re-post the originals in scraps, but honestly I don't think it matters too much at this point.


On a different note, I went to bed at 6 PM because I hardly had any sleep the past few days and woke up at 3 AM, and suddenly I feel like advocating Benjamin Franklin! Whoo, I want to go to bed early and wake up early everyday (#probablynotgoingtohappen) !

Edit: It's rather strange, but I've never felt so motivated by perceived failure before...I mean, this morning when I got up at 3 AM, I was pretty much able to work five straight hours on a graphic for one of the clubs I'm in, and as I'm typing this I'm currently redoing the OCT pages (starting with the last one). I suppose it's because I really liked Ourabo and Pho as characters...idk, maybe when this is all done I might do something else with them...although I feel like it can't be just in their world...as strange as it sounds, Ourabo and Pho, I think, are more fun to work with in situations with which they are least familiar.

Edit, Edit: 10/12 pages updated
  • Reading: The Complete Sherlock Holmes
  • Playing: Mass Effect 3
Disclaimer: I only had 3 hours of sleep last night, and four hours the night before, so this journal probably rambles, but luckily not in a whiny way, methinks.


I usually am too afraid to take opportunities in which I will most likely fail, which is a shame since failure provides some of the best opportunities to learn.  So I've decided to try to take more opportunities where the probably for success is low for myself, which is sort of what the The City OCT was for me.  It represented being able to take on big tasks outside of school and to persevere, and clearly I have not in this instance...and typically I don't.  When I do, either the task isn't that time consuming or there is a high degree of fear or stress (which I was literally running on last night, the only thing keeping me awake), and I don't want to have my successes only driven by fear when I can also run on hope or optimism.  I think, though, despite my wishes, if I'm going to succeed I'm going to need to apply both motivators to tasks I truly want to accomplish, like future competitions or projects like the OCT.  GDC has inspired me in many ways to take a more proactive approach to these sort of things, so I'm going to try to always analyze projects like the OCT for where I went wrong (and right) so I can increase my chances for success later on.  I won't always do it in an open forum like this, but for DA-relevant things I would love to get input from my DA friends and watchers, or the random passerby. (Well, honestly I probably won't post my analysis like this again—it just seems like a good idea now, and things that seem like good ideas when I'm sleep deprived don't always turn out to be good ideas).

Learning from Failures
Many of the below concepts aren't new to me, but all of them are applicable to my experience with the OCT (as well as many other of my projects):

Probably my biggest failure, as always, is time management, but there were other things, too. Below are some ideas I have for myself about tackling the problems I faced:

+ The first thing I'm going to do is time myself doing various tasks, as in figure out how long it takes for me to accomplish the task. This is something I've been told is useful when trying to get a production job, but I figure it can also be really useful for when you're managing your time.  I should know how long it takes me to do a comic, and each phase: the blocking/paneling, the rough sketch, the vectors (keeping in mind how many vectors in image).  Maybe even break it down further:  backgrounds, characters, dialogue bubbles, the small details.  From that I could probably figure out problem areas and determine how to improve.  I'll probably always add a certain percentage to the time (maybe 20% or more) for slowing down due to lack of motivation or inspiration, which is very unpredictable. Based on that, I'd set a new deadline that would give enough time to do task twice, and treat it as such (aka be willing to lose sleep, which lately I haven't been as willing to do).
Managing time also becomes twice as hard, I've discovered, when you're waiting on someone to finish something in order to start your own work, but you need to manage their time (or make sure they're managing their time as well), I've learned, in order to stick to your own time-managing rules—else be prepared to find someone else or do the task yourself.  Note that I'm not directing this at my sister since she was often busier than I was, although we should have coordinated better (ah, hindsight).
+ I also have to prioritize better...there were times I was doing other tasks when I should have been doing this.
+ Don't do it all at once: I have a hard time doing this....maybe what I need to do is break down tasks and assign individual deadlines, and I won't permit myself to go on from a task until the one prior is complete.
+ I also tend to take on more than I can chew in one task, let alone I tend to take on many ambitions at a time, and what I need to do is aim for one job at a time.  Else, if there are too many tasks due around the same time, break down the tasks into units (which I already mentioned in the previous point) and treat all like individual tasks, thus doing only one sub task at a time
+ Leave room for the unexpected, of course.

Successes
The OCT wasn't a complete failure (heck, all that hard work and lost sleep was worth it just to see Nyaph draw Ourabo and Pho :heart:), but here are the things that I think went well:

+ I was able to speed up time by having a color palette in the corner of Photoshop that I could easily access in order to access the colors I needed in an individual panel.
+ I learned a little about reusing vector shapes to save time....didn't use it very effectively, or in the most visually pleasing way, but I now have a better idea how I can do it to save time.
+ Doodling Ourabo, Pho, and Que in my spare time helped me become better accustomed to their look so I didn't always have a reference up, which further saved time.


Of course, actually doing all this is different from just saying, so we'll see if I follow through.  Anyone else have tips about time management that they follow or are perhaps uncommon?

~~~~

...so am I sad about not being able to finish to the extent that I wanted to? Heck yes, I really love drawing Ourabo and Pho, and I really liked the story my sister I were developing within the OCT, and I also loved the design of Que, and I feel like I've been a disappointment...plus, I do hate failing, even if you can learn more from failure. But in order to make up for it, I do intend to eventually go back through it and finish it (maybe not as polished as I had hoped for in the beginning, but more presentable).  I actually should go through all my DA entries and journals, 'cause I'm pretty sure there are many other things that I always intended to finish but didn't. Even though I failed, I think a lot of good will come from this experience.
  • Reading: The Complete Sherlock Holmes
  • Playing: Journey
Thanks to all those who posted with words of comfort on my last journal--I'm doing better now that spring break is over and I'm back into the swing of things. I've still got a lot of work to do on the OCT, since both my sister and I have been busy, but this week is relatively clear compared to last week (although it's only Monday >__>'), so I'm feeling pretty confident about it at the moment.

Also, if you have a PS3, go play Journey. It's a truly amazing experience.
  • Reading: The Complete Sherlock Holmes
  • Playing: Mass Effect 3
Sorry I've been absent these past few days...my grandmother's health has suddenly declined, and my family thinks she doesn't have much time left. Just wanted to keep you updated.

Update: My grandmother passed away this morning...feeling kind of numb at the moment, but I'm most worried about my dad...
  • Reading: The Complete Sherlock Holmes
  • Playing: Mass Effect 3
Arrived home early this morning from GDC, although still recovering from jet lag (and daylight savings, not a good combo)...will update later with more information, but I will say this: although I didn't get an internship, it was AWESOME, and I'm already pumped for next year (if the funds are there to go again, lol :iconcryforever:)