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I've been writing more, drawing less lately. I really admire people who can do both fluently. It feels like I only have enough creative fuel to burn through one at a time. 
  • Listening to: Weird Al - Word Crimes
  • Reading: Saga
  • Playing: Dead Space 2
  • Drinking: Coffee: Liquid Creativity
I love line art. I love drawing it. I love looking at it. Give me a choice between simple black lines and photorealistic color, and I'll choose the lines. Give me a choice between hand drawn animation and live action, and I'll choose animation. My brain fails to recognize a hierarchy of information based on the complexity of the icon. In fact, seemingly the purer the form, the clearer and faster my response is to it.

Unfortunately, my little prejudice is proving a limitation. Not everyone shares my attraction. Most apparently prefer life in color. So, I've started coloring. If that wasn't challenging enough, in coloring I've encountered another self-inflicted limitation of mine: backgrounds.

Leaving the background empty in line art doesn't seem so bad. It fits the minimalistic form of my designs. In a way if feels... intentional. But once you color it, the lack of environment makes the image feel unfinished. I could do simple fills or washes, or a gradient. For me though, it still feels like I'm taking shortcuts.

Another thing I've realized, is that while the opening statement is true, a large factor in how challenging I find colors and backgrounds comes from how tedious and uninteresting I find colors and backgrounds. 

So, I started coloring. And adding more complex backgrounds. Not because I like it. Not even because I think others like it (well, not entirely). I simply refuse to accept my own limitations as long as I can do something to overcome them. As in all growth, I find it painful and at times infuriating. Who knows? Perhaps in learning new skills, I will develop new appreciation for color. Probably not.  
 
  • Listening to: Devil's Song - Marcy Playground
  • Watching: MST3k
  • Playing: Borderlands 2
First off, I seriously like the community feeling here at deviantArt. People have been super encouraging, positive, and quick to be as helpful as possible. Really, I have no complaints. It's just... the watermarks. I can't help it. They annoy me. I understand the need to protect what is rightfully the property of an artist. I can totally see why a professional, who makes a living selling their work, might try to prevent others from stealing it. Really, I need to start at least signing my pieces, and maybe even try tagging them with my name and website. But in my mind the place for that is in an unobtrusive corner, out of the way, so that the intent of the art isn't lost. I mean, do I want people to see my work, or my watermark? What am I, Getty Images? I mean, how likely is someone out there going to snag my sketch of a t-rex with a chainsaw and make a million dollars with it? The whole reason I post here is so that people can see my work, give me some feedback, and maybe get a little inspiration out of what I do. When I click on a thumbnail and the first thing I see is a big "Don't Steal My Stuff" sign plastered all over the image, I have  hard time getting into the intent of the artist. I mean, what if poets did that? "Don't steal this, but I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked..." What's more important in art? I don't take what's yours? Or I walk away with everything you ripped out of your soul and put into your work?

Meh, I don't actually know if any ever reads Journal Entries, but I would be interested in hearing other artist's thoughts on the subject. Am I just full of it? Or do watermarks bug you too?
In ten years from now, I seriously doubt I'll look back on 2013 and say, "Man, it was a good thing I payed all those bills." I guess it had to happen, but I can't help feeling I have nothing to show for all the work I made myself do this summer. It's like I spent all my creative energy in the wrong places. Now I'm two steps into fall, and already the end of the year looks like it's coming at me like a freight train. 

I could just lie down on the tracks and wait for it. God knows that's what I feel like doing. Or, I could saddle up like Jesse James and try to take what's left of the year for all it's worth. 

Meh. We'll see how it goes...
Just got back from HeroesCon 2013. Excellent experience. My first time showing art. I met a lot of neat people, and saw a lot of interest in my designs. Exciting, and a little daunting. I will definitely have my work cut out for me in the next few weeks if I want to get MECHanism up on Kickstarter. My website needs attention, I need to migrate my Automatons over from my old blog to my new, and I'll need to do a lot of research on the goals and costs of this project if I really want to get it off the ground. Unfortunately, between working full time and all of that, I'm afraid I won't have much time for new designs. I'm going to try anyway though. I got to do some drawing at the Con, and that's always a good way to breathe new motivation into my work.
  • Listening to: White Stripes
  • Reading: Atomic Robo, Vol. 5
  • Watching: He-Man
  • Playing: Mass Effect 3
  • Eating: Only because I have to.
  • Drinking: Sobe's No Fear Energy
Well, it's official. June 7-9th I will have a table at HeroesCon. On that table will be MECHanism, a dedicated deck strategy card game built around my line-art automaton designs. I know, I know, I've been rather... absent here recently, and unreasonably neglectful building new designs. I promise I have been busy. I've been working on MECHanism. First I came up with a game system based around the idea of using Support-Type Units to play Tactical-Type Units against other players. Then I used the best of the three hundred or so robots I've drawn over the last couple of years and designed about 150 playing cards. After a few test plays, I completely redesigned everything. Ah, sweet, sweet perfectionism...The finalized starter deck will have 127 cards, made up of a mix of Tactical, Support, Weapons and Add-Ons. Depending on how this goes, I may create add-on decks. I plan on getting a Kickstarter project up and running by June 1stish (something about mice and men and the road to hell). Anyway, if you're anywhere near Charlotte NC then, stop by and tell me what you think. Or come and ignore me completely, because it's a pretty awesome con. Lots of artists and writers.
  • Listening to: Glitch Mob
  • Reading: Samurai Executioner
  • Watching: Batman Beyond
  • Playing: Mass Effect 2
  • Eating: Only because I have to.
  • Drinking: No Fear Energy
So... Tried using a lead holder today. I like it? Well, it lacks the consistant lines I get from my mechanical pencil, but it draws ok. Did a quick sketch of Hulk to get a feel for it. Of course, my "quick" sketch turned into something closer to 4 hours of piddling back and forth between the lead holder and the stick eraser I somehow kept losing track of... Well, I was also watching Batman Beyond, recently added to Netflix. Damn, I try hard not to be a fan boy, but Bruce Timm makes it hard not to love everything with his name in the credits.
  • Listening to: Glitch Mob
  • Reading: Samurai Executioner
  • Watching: Batman Beyond
  • Playing: Skyrim
  • Eating: Only because I have to.
  • Drinking: Green Tea
Line art robots. Woo-hoo!
  • Listening to: tUnE-yArDs
  • Reading: Samurai Executioner
  • Playing: Skyrim
  • Drinking: Coffee
This year: Do more faster better with less. Right now.
  • Listening to: tUnE-yArDs
  • Reading: Usagi Yojimbo
  • Watching: Fringe
  • Playing: Halo 4 as ValhallaCalls
  • Eating: Captain Crunch
  • Drinking: Coffee
October is here. I plan on trying to get back into creator mode. Life definitely has a way of challenging those kind of aspirations. I just wish that when I get too busy to create the ideas would stop coming. They don't. It seems my imagination wants to kick into high gear only when I have the least amount of time. Oh well. I know I'm not the only on out there with these kinds of frustrations.
  • Listening to: Good advice from my friends.
  • Reading: Atomic Robo
  • Watching: Magnum PI
  • Playing: Subtle games of wit with those around me.
  • Eating: The souls of my enemies.
  • Drinking: Sobe No Fear
I'm pretty sure there are an infinite number of variables when it comes to designing robots. Unfortunately I seem to lack the time to explore them all.
  • Listening to: Good advice from my friends.
  • Reading: Atomic Robo
  • Watching: Magnum PI
  • Playing: Subtle games of wit with those around me.
  • Eating: The souls of my enemies.
  • Drinking: Sobe No Fear
  • Listening to: The Flaming Lips
  • Reading: Atomic Robo
  • Watching: Mushi Shi
  • Playing: New Super Mario Bros. Wii
  • Eating: Only because I have to.
  • Drinking: Coffee
After much saving, and one failed attempt involving a regrettable purchase, I now own a new camera. I bought a GoPro Hero2 and discovered I'm not as easy to please as I thought. It lacked a certain versatility, and I found myself unable to create as freely as I had hoped. So I returned it. Deliberated. Asked advice. Read reviews. Finally settled on a Canon Rebel T2i. I have to say, so far, I'm pleased. It feels like I've been at war with every creative tool I've ever used, just to make it do what I want, to make something look the way I want it to look. The T2i however, straight out of the box, feels like it's on my side. First shot, interior, with the default settings, looked better than pretty much anything I've shot with my old SLR, a Pentax istD. I love that old digital camera, but its limitations have been all too apparent. Video has been something I've really wanted to get into. I'd like to do more time lapse drawings. I've always found those interesting, and an objective look at my own drawing style is always useful. A tutorial might be fun. If I understand George Orwell correctly, having a more diverse set of tools to express oneself is an essential part of developing emotional and intelectual content worth expressing. I believe having a doubleplusgood camera will enable me to do that. As soon as I figure out how all the settings work.
  • Listening to: The Flaming Lips
  • Reading: Atomic Robo
  • Watching: Mushi Shi
  • Playing: New Super Mario Bros. Wii
  • Eating: Only because I have to.
  • Drinking: Coffee
I've been slacking on the robots. I think I've done 10 this month. This is partially due to sheer laziness, although not entirely. I have been going back through all the old designs, picking my favorites, cleaning them up a bit, and getting them ready to go into an art-book. It turns out this is a much more involving process that I thought it would be. It's almost been a year since I started this little creative exercise. I have about 240 designs, so definitely not the one-a-day-for-a-year that I thought I could do. But hey, New Years is the perfect time for resolution, so maybe I'll shoot for 300 by this time next year.

Anyway, thanks to all of you who have shown an interest. It's encouraging to know there's a few more out there who think this stuff is cool. AT the rate it's going, the art-book should be finished by early Spring. I plan on updating the text description on each one, fill them out a little, and add my own artist's comments as well.

Within the Mechanism: Blog

Within the Mechanism: Primary Site
  • Listening to: Not much lately.
  • Reading: Locke and Key
  • Watching: Wolverine and the X-Men on Netflix
  • Playing: Just finished Bioshock 2, finally.
  • Eating: Only because I have to.
  • Drinking: Coffee
I have to say I've really been impressed with the deviantART community. Not only have I found some amazing artists to inspire me, but there have been quite a few very awesome people who have shown support for my designs. Thanks guys.
  • Reading: Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot
  • Watching: X-Men (1992)
  • Eating: Captain Crunch
  • Drinking: Sobe No Fear Energy Drink
Well Baltimore Comic Con was awesome. Met Geoff Darrow and Stan Sakai, two of my favorite artists. Got some signatures. Got some cool ideas. Bought way too many comics. Found a bunch of Samurai Executioner for way cheap. Awesome.
  • Reading: Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot
  • Watching: X-Men (1992)
  • Eating: Captain Crunch
  • Drinking: Sobe No Fear Energy Drink
Taking alot of time off this month, vacation last weekend, and I leave on Friday for the Baltimore Comic Con. Hoping to get some inspiration/motivation to turn my robots into a weekly webcomic. In the meantime I opened a Cafepress shop for the mechs. Not much there now, but eventually I want to do an artbook and more t-shirt designs. And I made a Facebook page:  Facebook. Now all I have to do is open a Twitter account, sell my soul to the devil, and then, I don't know start my own religion or something.
  • Listening to: Bush
  • Reading: SCUD: The Disposable Assasin
  • Watching: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Never enough time. My brain is strobe light of imagination. Can't seem to hold onto anything long enough to define the details, but the ghost of their images is seared into my mind.
  • Playing: Fallout: New Vegas
Took a break for May. Back now. Break was a bad idea.
  • Listening to: Jay-Z, Already Home
  • Reading: Whatever comes up on StumbleUpon
  • Watching: Spike Jonze music videos.
  • Playing: Fallout: New Vegas
  • Drinking: More Coffee.
Almost done with Set 04 now. I will probably take a break from robots for a while after this. There's some other ideas I've been kicking around. Might start a web comic, and downshift to only one robot a week. The robots have primarily been an excersize in creativity. I feel moderately satisfied with the results.