back to the basics…

2013 New Year’s Resolutions
1. Exercise Regularly, and avoid setbacks
2. Get back in to creating art regularly.
3. Learn to play music.
4. Eat Right.
5. Write things down.

I’ve fallen off of the band wagon on sticking with the above. I am writing stuff down more, but got off of exercise a couple of weeks ago when my calf had a major issue…it sort of tightened up after I went down a flight of stairs a little too fast and it actually had me on crutches about a week… The pain stayed with me a long while. For the longest time I could not do stairs since it hurt so bad when the leg was in a certain position where the sore leg was behind the other leg… The pain has started died down a lot. It still does feel like a stiff, sore muscle in my leg sometimes… it is mainly one of the calf muscles but it sometimes radiates up to the back of the leg behind the knee and down to the Achilles heel… The ultrasound they did the day it happened didn’t find anything. I was told an MRI might find something since it has a finer scanning reading in looking for muscle tears, etc. Thank GOD there was no blood clots that the ultrasound found since I had the hernia surgery back in December.

I fell off the bandwagon also by moving my avatar in Entropia Universe to Rocktropia a few days back and exploring the entry level missions there. However, I’ve started to block myself from the forums related to Entropia with extensions on various browsers I use on home computer and blocking it elsewhere using other techniques such as content filtering in internet explorer and host file editing.

I got off target on eating right… I do plan to get back on target though. My goal has got to be 45 or 55 carbs a meal.

I got off target on the exercise because of the calf issue noted above, but plan to re-start exercising again regularly in the next couple of days. I have been doing some wii Just Dance 3 lately. I might re-start the Power 90 but it honestly scares me a little since I’ve read about how bad crunches are the last few days in a few blogs and websites. They can really screw up your back over time if you do too many. If I do do the power 90 again I might sometimes replace doing crunches with just doing a long plank or some other type of exercise?

I have been doing a little bit of MOOC (massively online open course) on coursera for song writing. It has been interesting learning about how line count affects stability/instability, etc. I find myself counting lines on songs playing on the radio these days. I haven’t been keeping up with that course or the social media MOOC I’ve been doing on Canvas Network the last few days since work has been very stressful and after work I just headed directly in to Entropia to reduce some stress through mindless grinding quests, etc. However, as I move forward and start to remove myself from Entropia as often as I have been playing lately, that will slowly come to a halt. If I’m spending all my free time in that mmo I’m not spending it doing other things like exercising and creating art, etc… I need to get back on path.

I see a lot of negativity around me at work, hear a lot of negativity on tv and in social networks, etc. I want to remove a lot of that from myself and focus with zen-like precision on tuning in to my own creativity and positive vibes. The world we live in is a wonderful place. I want to appreciate it more. I want to live long enough to appreciate it for many years to come. I can do much. I must do much. I don’t want to continue to “should all over myself.”

I want to DO.
I want to BE.



How many hours a day should I draw?

Came across an interesting thread over at today…

One poster in there indicates that he draws 4-8 hours a day. Currently since I’ve been focused on working out/loosing weight, I have cut back my own personal time to do art… but I want to get back in to it.

I also might possibly try writing during lunch/afternoon/morning breaks at work to make more time for ‘morning pages’ but maybe not… because I rarely have a bunch of free time at work even on breaks…between going up stairs, to bathroom, to cafeteria, then back down stairs, etc. there’s rarely more than 5-10 minutes of ‘free time’ during breaks… I could possibly get up earlier, but am not sure if that will work or not since plan of going to be bed at 10 only gives 7 hours max when getting up at 5…. been going to bed much later than 10 lately… one night during the weekend I was up til 2 AM I think… luckily next day I could sleep in since it was weekend… sleeping in on weekends is something I need to do away with eventually.

Goal for second month of the 1000 day challenge (which starts in two days on Wednesday) will be to do a second work out a day in addition to the one a day I’ve been trying to get in this first month. I originally was going to make doing the NO S diet the third month’s goal and possibly doing one page of ‘morning pages’ in the evening a goal for the month after that but may make drawing/painting the goal for the third month. I might try to do it some little bit during second month to get used to it more…. working it in might be tough but should not be too hard since I have all of my color pencils next to the couch now all organized by colors… light reds/earth tones, dark reds/earth tones, light blues, dark blues, light greens, dark greens, neutral/black/white/silver/gold, and yellows… I also have some room set up in the art/storage room on a few tables to do paintings/drawings… now just need to make the time.

Honestly, the first few weeks of the working out twice a day will probably be tough on me due to sore muscles/etc… so it’s probably a good thing it’s not the second month’s goal to draw/paint right at the first…

Now for the third month I need to think about how long to draw/paint… and how much time to set aside for each. Paintings typically take me a very long time to do since I’ll rework an area over and over and over and add new layers later, etc. then there is drying time, which for acrylic is not as long as with oil painting but it still is time…

In theory evening workout time should be from about 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm by the time I get shower etc. done. That leaves from 6:30 – 10:00 to try to work in some art, assuming Tekla and I are not spending quality time together, etc. 20 minutes of drawing, either in one session or like four 5 minute speed drawings mith work… maybe alternate between those two, and/or ten 2 minute drawings to fill the same space maybe… then after that 20 minutes go on to longer work.. either with acrylic or color pencil for an hour or three… and then 10 minutes or so cleanup time to get brushes clean, etc. might work. Not sure if I’ll be able to do that every night, but want to make it a goal to get to that level, give or take a little… and then work in art on weekends too. Saturdays being the ‘rest days’ on workouts should be best day for art in theory… but on Sundays being laundry day might be better as a ‘rest day’ instead of Saturdays since gym shorts can’t be dried so have to be hung dry, and are not always dry all the way through before I want to workout if I work out on Sundays… I alternate between shorts and then wash them at the week’s end so that way I don’t have to have a 6 or so pairs. I used to only use one pair but working out twice a day, that’s not acceptable since they are typically still sweat soaked by the time the next workout rolls around. I might need to buy more gym shorts with the next incentive money, if more comes in in the future… and also might get at least one more kettle bell set so that I can do two arm kettle bell workouts eventually, or so there will be one set for me and one for Tekla if we start working out at the same times regularly.

Right now, I’m thinking maybe 2 hour minimum of drawing after month 3 starts might be a good low aim, and any more than that is just nice little extra. that way I’m not kicking myself with negativity snowballs from hell if I don’t get in a full 3 hours a night…

Eventually I’ll need to get the scanner going again… laptop needs to be used for that since main computer doesn’t have a driver for it… laptop is on it’s last legs I think, but it is still useful for that and a few other oddball tasks that I don’t have drivers for on the latest version of windows… Just wish Linux, which is what I use on laptop, had a driver for US-RR 360 sound recorder… becuase i really don’t want to have to reinstall windows xp or drag out an old computer from storage that has it to be able to use the sound recorders again…

Acting/Roleplaying/Theater/Game Design Character Questions. Characters with character.

Found this list of questions in one of my old sketchbooks and decided to post it here since these are very important questions.

It’s vitally important that characters have character. Knowing the answer to just these sort of questions as a game designer, role playing game master, storyteller, etc. is very, very, very important. These are the kinds of questions actors ask themselves when preparing to take on a role and are the type of questions anyone involved in any art form that involves characters should be asking themselves.

How old?
Origin in Feeling toward others, society, organizations of note?

What is your concept of beauty?

What is your concept of fear?

Has your character encounters either ????

is characters goals, fears, hopes, aspirations?










Occupation? (or former occupation?)

Feelings towards… ?

physical = height? weight? shape? form, physique? eye color? hair color? skin color?


Love(s)? Lovers? Sexuality? Sexual?

Dark Side?




Strength of will?


Intellect/physique meets background?


Reasons? (for being? for being in a certain place, etc.)?





Former Lives?


Birthday sign?

Name?.. and true name?



When and how did important dreams meet your life?

Name enemies you have met, not met?


True Form (and it’s looks?) (physically and spiritually, etc.)

Who do you serve – people, self, country, a master, a religion, a gut feeling, a dream, a wife, a husband, kid, etc.?

Ever been to battle?

Ever been to a library?

Ever killed someone?

Ever graduate – from where?

Work experience?


What do you value (as your riches, goals, etc.)?

Motives – ulterior, true, false?

Beliefs – myths, truths, half knowledges, lies, afterlife(s)?

Angered by _________?

Turned on by ________?


Origins unknown – history unknown?

Mentally deformed?




Anal accountant type?


How do you have fun?

Hangouts? With who?

Make a living by ___________?

Past Life ideas? — Reborn, death, life? Immortality?

Immortality as a goal?


Practice?, etc. etc.

(I could go on forever with more questions)…

Build character. Characters that have character are far better then those with no character.

more old sketchbook stuff.

Working on scanning more old sketchbooks, but I’m not sure if I’ll upload them or not since half of them are not completely readable, and some of them are old rpg stuff and dream journals that might not make a lot of sense to others then me… but we’ll see. I’ll have to look over it all and decide if I want it all here or not.

fantasy stuff… role playing… virtual reality… art – back to the basics

I’ve been kicked out of Entropia Universe a few days now since Vista went kaput on my computer and I don’t have a restore cd that works. I hate HP for not putting the restore cd in the box when they ship it out and rely on a hard drive restore that may or may not work when you need it… and then they want you to pay them lots of cash to buy a restore cd that may or may not work since their blasted hardware is junk that relies on partitions on a hard drive that might get corrupted someday (which happened to me I think)…

I am trying to figure out a way to make Entropia Universe work under Linux, but it’s not promising. I got the installer to work fine under Wine, but now need to install Direct X on wine and a few other things, and even then, it still might not work.

In the mean time I’ve been reading some of my old art books, studying some old drawing books more, and also reading a lot of old role playing books and things. Future posts will probably have more scans of my drawings and paintings, but might also have some other more philisophical thoughts, thoughts on role playing, stage lighting, animation, and a number of other things. Being offline in the virtual reality I spend so much time in has started to get me ‘back to the basics’ on a variety of trains of thoughts that I had several years ago and wanted to follow through back then but didn’t because I got too distracted with this other “virtual world”… I enjoy fictional worlds as a means of escaping reality sometimes – but it’s very easy to take it overboard with a super hyper imagination and make that false reality in to your over-arching real reality sometimes… Its something we all do on some level – people think about their soap operas while they work… or maybe their comic books… maybe something else. We all have hobbies, and most of us don’t have the ultimate job that keeps our attention that we love so much that we never think of anything else — anyways, I’m getting back to the basics mentally and physically on a lot of various levels at the moment…

German social philosopher Ernst Bloch wrote that utopias and images of fulfillment, however regressive they might be, also included an impetus for a radical social change. According to Bloch, social justice could not be realized without seeing things fundamentally differently. Something that is mere “daydreaming” or “escapism” from the viewpoint of a technological-rational society might be a seed for a new and more humane social order, it can be seen as an “immature, but honest substitute for revolution”.

motion capture cheap…

Yes, Chris, and anyone else who cares to read this. I did post this and the last few posts. This is NOT a robot. I usually bookmark this sort of stuff with but since I don’t have the toolbar for that installed on this computer, I’m just posting it the stuff here…

Believe it or not (yes, you probably do believe since I”m a bit nutty sometimes), I had a jogging suit with pom poms sewed on way back 6 or so years ago when I wanted to get in to this d-sculptor, imodeler, and greenscreen junk. However, way back then the computers I was using were way too slow to do much… Aura 1 used to be in Newtek’s ftp site for free. Not sure if it still is. Newtek is the company that makes Lightwave 3d… There was some sort of a pixel tracking thing in aura that could be exported to lightwave… so you could record motion and create paths for it in 3d. Now that I’m starting to get back in to 3d and stuff mentally, a lot of this old knowledge is starting to flood back in to my brain… interesting stuff.

I have a couple of 1000 watt spotlights that are typically used for construction jobs in my basement. I was going to use them to make a homebrew photo studio, or greenscreen studio a few years back. Not sure if I will do that or not… never used the lights yet since I’m not sure how safe they are (warning label on the side of the box talks about lead)…

I might use them to set up as cheap homebrew strobes to shoot my portfolio in the basement someday.

Need to clean out the basement someday before all of that can ever happen though, or before I can convert the basement in to a descent painting studio like I envision it to eventually be… (assuming I can find some way to ventilate it).

It’s still got quite a few things in it that is a bit unorganized from last year, when mother-in-law moved and father-in-law passed away, and we inherited quite a bunch of odds and ends that are now in storage in the basment…

More archiving… and re-installing…

I am a bit of a Scatterbrained individual sometimes. I have a tendency to want to do many things but have little time to do any of them to completion.

I mentioned re-installing some stuff on the computer in the last post.

What I have going on is a collection of random doodles, random digital photographs, and just a lot of other stuff that I want to organize, much of which will likely end up here in the artfolio section of this blog. I want to get as much stuff as I can backed up on here and in to a few dvds and other places so that the one copy of all of it that I have digitally won’t suddenly dissappear someday to cyclical strorage errors (i.e. broken hard drives and cds/dvds). I can’t tell you how many hard drives I’ve had crash over the years, or how many cds and dvds I’ve had stop working after being in storage a few years.

This is a bit of a priority for me now, so I need to make it a bit more of a priority and focus more time/energy on it then I have been up til now… because otherwise it’ll never get done… and the random collection of stuff will just sit unorganized on the computer’s hard drive for years, taking up many gigabytes that could be used in other, more productive ways, and that will dissappear someday when the hard drive goes out or someone reinstalls some other operating system on it down the road a few years from now after I am long gone from the face of this earth.

The photos need to be sorted out in to various collections. Right now they are somewhat chronological, which is fine for family photo type stuff, but for the other things, like stock photos, it’d be better if it was organized by structure type – for instance, one collection of asphalt textures, one collection of bricks, or maybe even subgroups it – like dry asphalt, wet asphalt, cracked asphalt, red bricks, yellow bricks, white bricks, cobblestone, etc. I did a collection like that many years ago, around the end of 2002 and beginning of 2003, when I had my first digital camera, a little 1.3 megapixel monster… and it’s online at

I want to do something similar to that, but with newer stuff in it too… I also want to do this for my own reference as a bit of an archive to use as reference for paintings, 3d textures, and other creative projects. Eventually, I need to get a newer computer with a larger hard drive… but that’s down the road a bit.

I love just going out with a camera and shooting til the card on it is full or I run out of batteries (usually take at least 2 spare sets of batteries for times like that), but even then, I sometimes can run out of batteries before the card is full because rechargeable batteries do tend to have shorter lifespans the more times they get recharged…

Along with this massive re-orgainzation of creative works on the computer, I’ve also reinstalled some old programs that I didn’t have on the computer for a long while now. It usually takes me 2 weekends to get all of that sorted out since there’s so many installers involved. I don’t use all of the programs as much as I would like to, but most of them do have some use that I like, which is why I have them on there. Many of the programs came off of magazine cds I’ve bought over the years. Some are progrmas from old companies that don’t even exist any longer…
I’ve mentioned this in another post… but it’s worth repeating – for instance my copy of Motionbuilder 5 came from Kaydara, a small company that used to be in Canada that was loved by freelancers and beginning animators over at and a lot of other places. I think I ended up spending around 300.00 or less for Motionbuilder…

Kaydara got bought by Autodesk, the big company that always sells overpriced software, and now Motionbuilder costs around 5 grand!

Autodesk also bought Maya and now it owns Maya as well as it’s own 3ds Max. One major reason that I got in to trueSpace, and later Lightwave is because the biggest competitors, 3ds Max and Maya, costed a LOT more back a few years ago, and today, that price difference is about the same. A new version of 3ds Max runs around 4 grand, and the same goes for Maya. I got Lightwave 7 back about 9 years ago for 1 grand… and I thought that was pricey at the time. I have upgraded it to version 9 but doubt I’ll do that any more unless I do get a full time job in the industry eventually, which will let it pay for itself. Until then, I’m going to try to learn to use the freebie tools out there – Wings 3d, Blender, Pov Ray, trueSpace 7 (which is now free since another great, small company, much like Kaydara – Caligari, got bought out by another big comapny – Microsoft). Back in the days before I got Lightwave, I used to run trueSpace when it costed me about 500 dollars…

Other oddball software that I’ve obtained legally (I hate piracy from a creative standpoint, as well as from a moral/ethic standpoint) is on the comptuer too that helps me with various creative tasks – including but not limited to Photoshop 5 LE (yes, I’m using that old clunker because I never wanted to pay a lot of money to the other giant company eating monster known as Adobe – remember Flash & Freehand, and how they were originally owned by a little company called Macromedia.)… Imodeler, D-sculptor, Gimp, Project Dogwaffle, Aura, Painter, Painter 3d, Daz Studio, Poser 3, Magix Video Music Maker 6, Magix Audio Studio 7, and and a lot of other stuff (might edit this post and expand this list later when I’m actually on the computer and have a list of all of it in front of me – probably around 50-100 various pieces of creative software involved, if not more; or maybe not since it’s not really directly relevant to this blog…)…

I guess the main point is that installing all the various programs and copying all the DVDs and CDs from past projects is fairly time consuming, but it’s definitly worth it in the end. It usually probably takes me a full 2 weekends to do a reinstall of everything and get the computers all networked the way I want them to be, and another few weekends copying dvds and cds so that all of it’s easily accessible for sorting, and then several weeks, if not months to organize it all the way I want… and God only knows how long to make it organized in a manner that it’s able to be stored on DVDs and/or uploaded to various places so that it’s online.

Eventually, after I get this huge archive of stuff categorized, organized, and online or backed up to dvds, I’m going to try to start creating all sorts of fresh new artwork and art projects. My goal is sort of to put the older stuff out here as a frame of reference to use when talking about the newer stuff since talking about art is really fairly impossible without doing comparisons of some type – of various works to study trends, habbits, and look at the world from different perspectives at different points in time. Art is a living thing. It deserves to be seen. This blog is one way of letting myself see my own artwork in different ways and to allow you a peek at it too.

I’m not 100% sure what direction the new stuff will take when I get to that point, but one area that I’m thinking about, and have been thinking about a while, is possibly creating book covers for some public domain books. That gives me the freedom to play around with the source material however I want as the copyrights no longer exist on that stuff. I’ve also been thinking for a few years about taking public domain music and/or videos and using that as source material to create greeting cards, create royalty free sound libraries, remix videos with my own artwork and recordings, and do all sorts of other oddball things like that. Who knows, if I can prove I’m good at this sort of stuff, maybe some book publisher might want to hire me on as an illustrator, or some recording studio might find a use for me someday. I would not mind running a full time production studio of my own someday, or working with someone as a partner in one, but that requires a lot more up front cash then I have at the moment, and a lot more free time that I don’t really have a lot of at the moment. However, in several years… well, we never know what the future might bring. 😉