I was reading a contemporary art book just a few minutes ago… In it was mentioned that Odilon Redon considered himself to be in a “habitual state of melancholy” and the book attributed that to being one of the reasons he was not suited to be in the Academy. That is a very interesting phrase… It is something that my ‘old life’ involved all too often I think… it actually describes me in a lot of ways from the past… not really ‘depressed’ all the time, but in a negative state that bordered on it and may have led to depression at times… Negativity breeds negativity. However, on the other hand, catharsis is a good thing, so not necessarily all things negative should be avoided. Without shadows light cannot be used to see anything…
Category Archives: interesting reading
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.
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?
Strength of will?
Intellect/physique meets background?
Reasons? (for being? for being in a certain place, etc.)?
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?
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?
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.
The Artist’s way
A couple of weeks ago one of my friends on Facebook posted about the difficulty of doing a week with no media because she was working through the Artist’s way. It was very ironic because Facebook is a form of media. Anyways, that sounded like something interesting to me, and is something I had vaguely remembered seeing or hearing about some many years ago somewhere… so I went to Banes and Noble and bought the The Complete Artist’s Way: Creativity as a Spiritual Practice.
It’s actually 3 books in one, but the first book is a 12 step process that you are to do one chapter of weekly, but according to the forums some do it in more then one week per chapter or even a month a chapter, etc. It’s a very cool process. The first chapter deals with doing “morning pages” and “artist dates” where you have to write 3 pages out every morning to sort of clear the mind of thoughts that sit and hinder your creativity unless you get them out somehow, and going out somewhere to explore the art world around you for inspiration about an hour or more a week.
It is a neat little process, and it’s been about a week since I started this. I am looking forward to working through the rest of the process.
Find out more about all of it over at http://theartistsway.com/
working on folio
Slowly working on portfolio website (see link on right). This weekend I put together a few of the pages over there. So far the Charcoal and Ball Point Pen sections are starting to shape up.
I have not put together the other sections yet completely since those require shooting digital photos of my works. Not being the greatest photographer in the world doesn’t make getting the quality that I like out of the camera the easiest thing in the world. Also, it does not help much that I’m shooting outside when I do the shots, and it’s been fairly windy the last several days. The other day I shot some of my brother’s old artwork from highschool and the tripod fell over with the wind while I was swapping drawings with others in the house. The part of the camera that attaches to the tripod flew off of the camera when it hit the pavement. I luckily got it back together, but have not tried to attach it back to the tripod since then. Note to self – add weights of some sort to tripod the next time I try to use it.
The ball point pen drawings are mostly some of the mall small scans I took. I tried to limit it to about 30 or so images for each section. That way a nice little navigation bar table fits well in most browsers. It’s still a little too wide for the smallest screen settings, but I really don’t think most folks use the smallest screen settings usually. If so, sorry folks… I am trying to get this thing looking good, not optimized for your super low res screens… It’s tricky using the floating navigation bars I’m using because Internet Explorer is tricky. If you don’t put the dtd type up at the top of the html, it doesn’t float the css navbars where they belong, and just sticks them at the top of the page where they scroll with the rest of it.
It’s slowly coming together. I’ve been doing some cleaning around the house this weekend since we’ll likely be moving before too long… found a bunch of ol floppy disks and that reminded me that the last time I tried to put together an online web portfolio like this I was doing it on floppy and zip disks on Campus because it was like the year 2002 and I was using the free modem pool that the University of Missouri had back then… a whopping speed of 28k! No wonder I got frustrated and quit putting together the website last time, lol.
This time, things are coming together a lot smoother, and hopefully this blog will help make things work out a little better. I’ll add more to the website as I get more images put together and organized. I really like this click the image to get a bigger copy of it idea. I also like the floating nav bars with transparent backgrounds that makes it nice, clean, and easy to maneuver around in.
Got any pointers, tips, or ideas on how I can improve portfolio? Shoot away and give me some comments. I like listening to what people have to say. 🙂 😉
Dictionary of Imaginary Places
The Dictionary of Imaginary Places: The Newly Updated and Expanded Classic
is one of the BEST books on fictional places. Lots of interesting maps and various descriptions. If you like fantasy, fiction, or role playing, this is a must have. I used this book a lot back in college when role playing and also for just plain entertaining reading. Love it.
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”.
interesting reading – dollies
interesting reading – diy greenscreen
interesting reading – 3d Scanning on the cheap.
I read this article a while back and actually tried something like it a year or three ago… actually gave me a reason to buy a laser level! 🙂
Using I-modeler and/or d-sculptor is much easier since you don’t have to mess with lasers and stuff. I might try to get in to this sort of thing at some point in the future again.
Using d-sculptor about 6 years ago, I created a 3d image of my sister and brother in law. They were kind enough to stand still long enough for me to shoot them about 30 times from different angles to make it work.
Back then, I did that using a blown up d-sculptor grid – version 1 – the version 2 grid is a lot harder to blow up – version 1 is just a square that’s cut in half – so the dots are much easier to put on a blown up thing… I used 4 blocks of hardboard (masonite) that were taped together with duct tape to do that, and I made the dots on there with white china market and black sharpie pen and permanent marker to make it visible from a distance.
Imodler is much harder to blow up since it uses a proprietory algorithm in how far apart the dots are… pain in the butt to print out a 6 foot wide thing on 8 and a half x 11 paper to blow up the imodeler – but believe it or not I tried that at one point in time, lol. If I do this sort of thing again in the future, I’ll set up the hardboard so that it has both the Imodeler and Dsculptor grids on it simultaneously so that I can make the 3d meshes in both programs using the same digital photos… as one might work better then the other and/or be more “professional”
At one point in time, I thought I could do this sort of thing as a part time job – sort of set it up to do 3d scans for people at county fairs and things to get the kids on 3d models that could be used to make 3d prints, modify to create avatars in 3d games that looked like the people scanned, etc. However, never pursued the idea too far since it takes so long to shoot the images and the model has to stand still. It could work with a single snap from a bunch of photos all taken at once, but that would require a lot of helpers and/or some sort of automated system similar to the rigs they use in Hollywood to do stuff like is shown on the Matrix I movie dvd… it’d be possible but difficult, and pricey… otherwise, it’s a slow process that requires the model to stand perfectly still. Getting children, or even adults to stand still is not always the easisest thing in the world to do…
Imaginitive Flight – on this Bright Night
Zodiac was on attack,
so Amma got on,
red gown flowing.
The horse was pale
white, and warm
on this cold
and listless night.
In the spire
there was a squire
who spied his heart’s desire.
Hooves of thunder
took her asunder
was constantly bleeding…
Yearning and seeking,
Seeking, constantly seeking.
The land was plundered
as the hooves thundered
The Cheshire cat
laid on it’s back
The stars aligned.
The time was fine
when they finally met
in the heart of the city.
Gooving and grinding
in the air
ever so lightly
throbbing & bobbing
orange and reds
strobes went dead
in the moon’s
The zodiac attacked the crazy cat.
but the Cheshire keeps smiling.
They did conspire
near the bonefire
twisting and turning
yearning and learning
the two became one
dawning rays of sun
Cheshire went away
creative bug done bit.
Opens the mind.
Shakes and Grind.
filled with fright
You know your hooked.
Urine smells like coffee.
It’s a no-go without the logo
The Art bug done bit. That is it. Time to be creative.
Signs from Heaven or from Hell
Only time will tell.
I browse in my under-trousers
Blue underlines appear in my browser
leading who knows where
What a virus? Oh Wowsers!
You are just being silly.
Yes you are.
Now where’s the ham and jelly?
Hourglass, hourglass why are you here?
Duh, the network is down.
Why is it down?
I got no idear.
Hourglass, hourglass, go away please.
There ain’t no way.
You got a virus that won’t make you sneeze.
Hourglass, hourglass, 8 hours have passed.
Now I’m headed home.
I’ll hide in your email,
and give you a blast.
Hourglass, Hourglass, now why are you here?
You have passed me to your home network my dear.
Talking in circles, the man did find the lady to ask questions.
She thought he was very smart and inquisitive.
Then one day she discovered the answers were nothing more than puzzles.
She got mad, left so sad. Hearts both were broken.
Such is the story of couples who walk and talk but do not listen.
Learn to communicate. It’ll save you both.
Number has changed. I have not.
I’m still here. Nothing to fear.
Blah blah blah
bleh bleh bleh
Onwards we go.
No money to blow.
The timing just might be right.
Spend your life
spinning your wheels
Everyone says chill.
but I cannot.
I WILL NOT!
Language is something.
Language is nothing.
Jibber and a Jabber
done left town
following after the clatter.
He done found
No one around
He and you alone
Alone in the dark
in a moonlit park
It’s on attack
fighting the pack
of the Zodiac.
You know he’ll win
in the end.
Moon cycles turn
as they spurn.
The smiling clown
will wear the crown
staring from afar
as he sits upon his star
staring you down nightly
What a Ward.
Used in vain.
In the night,
In a fight,
even in Church on Sunday.
a few more…
Conform and get rid of your freedom.
Do things my way… the only way…
the way it’s always been done.
It can’t hurt to appeal.
Beg for more money.
You know you don’t deserve it,
nor does your boss!
but you do it anyways…
it can’t hurt to ask…
beg for more money…
Money they don’t deserve.
Money that they use
to make you serve…
Mammon is real and here now.
Living in the shadows
your dreams come out.
They are always beside you
but they don’t always shout.
They whisper silently
in your subconcious mind
Driving you ever closer
to the edge.
It is only when
someone you love
teases them gently
that they begin to surface
driving you to become yourself
and start living your dreams.
one small sign of true love.
Screwed up so bad.
What are we going to do?
It’ll all work out.
It always does.
Maybe just not
the way you want it to.
come on now..
you can do it…
Just a few more steps…
come on now..
you can do it…
Just a few more steps…
Good Boy. Good Girl.
come on now..
you can do it…
Just a few more steps…
come on now..
you can do it…
Just a few more steps…
come on now..
you can do it…
Just a few more steps…
So do we.
Life is worth
the biggest mistake
Sometimes we do cry.
We will live.
Life carries on.
Don’t let the 5 act play
end at act 2.
Drama makes life worth living,
even if there are a few sad parts.
Don’t make your life
come to a tragic end,
especially when it’s just beginning…
even if it’s not…
a new beginning
is born daily.
Life is worth living.
Don’t cut it short.
I don’t wanna do it mama.
Don’t let them take me away.
Surgeon masks surround the child
as he looks up at the bright light.
Surgery sucks, but it’s needed.
Dentist chair and buzzing drill.
Lolipops to cure their ill.
Mickey mouse stickers stop the wails
Ah, Silence at last…
but not for long…
Open up and saw Aw.
Fears and Tears
as pliers come out.
Don’t you shout.
It must come out!
It must come out.
It simply must come out.
the jaw cracks, the tounge is lashed…
blood is everywhere…
but never fear
Almost done my dear…
Just 24 more teeth to go.
Zipper of death
Zipper of Life
Camera bag does open.
Lots of toys
Lots of Joys
Click and Shoot.
Money comes. Money goes. All it usually brings are woes.
a few poems… simple and complex.
===LUMPS IN THE DIRT===
new brick walls…
new lumps in dirt.
Quadrangles are now triangles.
CHANGES, CHANGES, CHANGES..
Rec center is now 4 times bigger.
CHANGES, CHANGES, CHANGES…
The new garage is really huge.
The new facades are really fake.
CHANGES CHANGES CHANGES…
The art hall remains the same…
always dirty, always grimy, always in need of repair.
MU’s wasted money…
Says the Millionare
as he passes through the
doors that bear his name.
Funds are now dried up.
===REMEMBERING LONG AGO===
Gone are the days of wandering
around the Ville at night
Gone are the days of wandering
a camera without a light
gone are the days of wandering
paintbrush in my hand
gone are the days of wandering
throughout all of the land
running barefoot in the groves
through the pavement
on the concrete and the stone
10 years and more have passed
time pushes on…
History and Present Clash.
Time to begin the new song.
Time to follow the new path.
singing in the rain
watching the clouds again.
prisms of light and dark.
The greys, greens, blues, violets,
and of course the reds, purples, and
hazy darkness behind the trees so
Don’t forget the Oranges too.
==DISTANCE IN THE DARK===
In to the night
we shall traverse
a small dim yellow flick
or maybe a currelean dab
as the night screen closes in
with ultramarine and precious
===LITTLE WHITE BUNNY TALES===
Where the fuck did that go?
Never God Damned Mind.
The cursing times…
Hide the tounge
The kids are near.
Hide the truth
Bring out the Lies
It’s Santa’s time.
Tooth faires sprinkling
different colored glitter
Why’s the colors different mom?
H377 if I know… Oh no…
I mean… darling dear,
oh me, oh my.
Let me tell you some more lies.
Gaps between the poems
make you stop and think
times to reflect
times to remember
times to pause
you are alive and well
you are sick and ill
the coughs of sick old
middle aged people
coming from their kids
all life is a poem…
REFRAIN is not far away
sound of the
busy bees working away
in their prison cells
those little things called
=====Cube cell hell=======
10 punch numbers worn off
keyboards dusty for years.
Counting down the days
til the weekends is here.
and freedom from these 4 walls
is clear… at least a while.
new goals and organized life…
I’m going to try to get organized in my life again. I’ve created a daily spreadsheet that I will try to write too and check off as I go along that lists all the stuff I should be doing daily. Included in the list are
– walking the dog in the morning
– walking on morning break
– inhaling lunch and doing something creative during the last part of lunch breaks
– walking on afternoon breaks
– walking the dog in the afternoon after work – maybe ride a bike with the dog if I don’t walk him… possibly working up to 5 miles on the MKT trail someday?…
– working out for at least half an hour nightly either at the YMCA, with a workout video, on the wii, riding a bike, on a jump rope, or doing some other form of excercise for at least half an hour
– working on updating online places – this blog, turbosquid, entropia universe stuff, entropiaforum stuff, and whatever else needs to be updated…
– doing at least one chore a night (one chore is something like a load of laundry, mowing, working on organizing the basement, working on organizing the attic, dusting, cleaning one room of the house, working on a 3d project, working on a 2d project)
I like doing little organized excel or google document spreadsheets like this to keep myself organized. I used to do this sort of thing for 24 hour schedule back in college and a couple of years after that, when I was still in shape, healthy, and had a lot of ambitions… Well, it’s time to get my ambitions and goals set again, and not just continue to let myself be an out-of-shape old man… Time to be young, healthy, wealthy, and wise again…
Time to actually stop being a lazy bum with no direction in my life. The time has come, today is the first day in the rest of my life… an organized, orderly, and fulfilling life. A life full of vigor and life. A life worth living to the fullest!
Levitt in Color, New at MoMA
There are no installation views of the Projects exhibition in which Helen Levitt first presented her color photographs to MoMA’s public, for one simple reason: all forty pictures were projected onto the wall, fading as quickly as they appeared. The year was 1974, and Levitt was in the midst of a creative outburst—unusual not only because […] http://bit.ly/aWjbvq
Books by or about Helen Levitt
Searching for Tim Burton
The search for Tim Burton took us to four Hollywood studio archives, five independent production company collections, and four private lenders, exposing us to an interesting variety of archival situations. Studio archives are traditionally housed on the lots where their films and television programs are shot, or, if their collections are large enough and the […] http://bit.ly/c3vwHP
Tim Burton Items on Amazon
Mapping out Entropia Universe…
I started a google document… it might be a little easier to maintain than text formating in some Entropia Universe Thread or here in the blog, or on entries in Entropedia or something. It’s open to editing by anyone so it should be easy to keep things updated.
url to the new spreadsheet is
url to the html web page format of it is
Almost nothing’s in it yet… but soon I’ll start using what info is available on Entropia Forum, Entropedia, and in game in the estate terminals to start making what info is in there accurate. I invite you to do so too. This is a huge project and I cannot do it alone.
There is a place on there to put the name of the TP, name of the continent, name of the planet, name of the service, a link to the service’s website or entropiaforum thread, and a link the the shop owner or estate holder’s avatar in entropiaforum… as I said, huge project…
I wanted to do this project about a year ago, but lots of things got in to my way due to lack of real world time, etc. I’m hoping that others will join me on this crusade to map out our virtual world, and make it easier to access the estate owners of various places, and make it easier to see exactly which shops are active and which are now.
We CAN make this the best darn resource on how to contact shop owners over time! 🙂 😉
Inspirations – Jimmy Kuehnle
I looked up Jimmy the other day on facebook after looking through a list of artists that I went to school with at Truman State U.
http://assessment.truman.edu/components/5year/Art2004.pdf is the list of artist I found. That list is far from a comprehensive list as it only names a few names, and it actually has a lot of false or half truth info. I don’t work nor ever have worked for Boone Hospital. I do work in a University Hospital in the same town though.
I remember Jimmy from back there in college as being an interesting individual, just as I was. However, he was a lot more outgoing than I was.
It looks like that has not changed much, and has actually become the focus of his work to some degree. Drawing attention to ones self is something artists must do on some level since it’s all about bringing the fragile inner psyche out for examination by the artist and those around him or her that become viewers…
Here’s an interesting article on him that is linked to from his facebook account:
Don’t be alarmed: The walking balloon is artist Jimmy Kuehnle.
Using baloons to create gigantic mobile sculptures is a very cool idea. We all expect to see this sort of stuff going down a huge parade or something, but not just out in the everyday. It is neat to see that Jimmy’s becoming the pied piper so to speak.
I guess this sort of thing might make him seem silly to those that don’t know him, but that’s actually a good thing since it opens the general public’s eyes up – makes them become aware of their environment, surroundings, and gives them the privilege to meet someone that is a great artist! 🙂 😉
Inspirations – http://www.wordsaroundtown.com/
Clarissa left me a little comment over at https://jeffthomann.wordpress.com/2010/01/09/mall-small-19-drawing/ talking about her friend’s website at http://www.wordsaroundtown.com/ so I figured I’d visit and do this Inspirations posting about it. I have not really done many (read any, lol) inspirations postings up til now that have to do with anyone’s art that I did not know about before now. Time to change that, and start exploring the art world in these here intra-web tubes.
As indicated at http://www.wordsaroundtown.com/page8.php wordsaroundtown.com is owned by Kevin McCartney Studios.
Kevin appears to be a very good photographer.
The words around town site seems to be made of various pictures that Kevin has taken and converted in to fonts to spell out words.
He’s using the forms he finds in his compositions as letters.
As stated in the site, Kevin has a real enthusiasm about this obscure typographical artform…
The challenge of finding objects around us that we normally pass by everyday without a second glance which look like letters has been exciting and fun!
Finding the hidden beauty in everyday things that we often pass by without a second glance IS, in my opinion one of the great things that exploring art does for people that get in to art.
Finding the invisible forms as Kevin is doing and making it visible is sort of a theme that has run through art for many years. It is an obscure idea that can be traced back to the Surrealist movement, especially in Salvador Dalí’s paintings… but the idea actually goes back a lot further than that.
Trompe-l’œil means “fool the eye” and that phrase is what is best used to describe or categorize this form of art. Actually, almost every form of 2-dimensional work that goes back to the earliest known cave arts is somewhat in this to some degree – since after all making a window out of something that is not a window as paintings do is fooling the eye so to speak.
It’s all about hidden messages or meanings, and really being a keen observer of the world in order to see the form and the way that simple basic design principles can allow multiple things to happen in the same plane.
The idea of bringing the reality of the 2-dimensional canvas of a painting or photograph in to the viewers plain sight so that it’s simple beauty can be observed in and of itself outside of all other rules and principles of creating illusion is a very modern idea that is seen over and over and over again in 20th centrury art. That’s why I say that genres like Cubism, Op-Art, and a lot of other genres that focus on the 2-dimensional existence of the plane in an artwork are MORE REALISTIC than simple little paintings that pretend to be windows showing pretty landscapes or cityscapes that most other people classify as Realistic…
Is it realistic to pretend that the 2 dimensional surface on a wall is something other than a surface on a wall? Sure there can be little pictures in there, just like there is on that flat plane you are looking in to to see these words, or that you will view tonight as you watch Prime Time TV… but isn’t it more realistic to acknowledge that what you are looking at is really a 2 dimensional flat surface?… as Kevin has done by seeing the letters in his photographs?
Some folks even take this sort of idea in photography to a whole different level in the form of Photomosaics… After all, if a photograph is really just a bunch of dots made up of 4 colors, CYMK (Cyan Yellow, Magenta, and blacK), it makes sense that each photo is balanced more towards one of those 4, so it makes sense to use an entire photo as one small element in a larger picture… Actually, given enough time and photos, photomosaic technology could go to a whole new level and allow an infinite amount of images to exist hidden inside of a set of photos… the first level would look like something from space, then as you approach it to the airplane level it would phase and each level as you get closer and closer could phase in to a new image, hidden… only to dissolve as new ones come in to play. The hidden typography that Kevin is searching for is a little different than Photomosaics, but not completely. There is a lot of similarities there – searching for what is hidden in plain view.
It’s strange but all language and all these ideas that get thrown at us daily in these little windows that are not windows are something that connects us all as a society. People from 200 years ago would think we are crazy staring at computers and tvs and spending as much time as we do daily on these devices that are really 2 dimensional boxes producing light. Works like this make people think. They can become kitsch or cliche sometimes if overdone, but they do start to open the mind, and let people begin to question reality itself on some level, which, in my opinion is what all great art should do.
Keep looking for the hidden meanings Kevin. Your typographic photos are amazing. Keep spreading the Love.
A few thoughts about illustration… copyright, trademarks, why “Work-for-hire” is EVIL… and Zombies, or actually Golems Really due exist!
While I say I love illustration, and want to get in to the illustration field, I think it only fair to give you a little bit of background about me, and some of my own personal biases and things about illustration… In the wide world of illustration, usually the client always comes first. The artist does work for the client. The artist creates things, but seeks approval from the client at each step of the process. The preliminary concept art is just thought of as something to hand to the client to seek approval. The client and artist then have a disucssion and talk about things, and go to the next step… and the artist continually changes the idea to be in agreement with what the client is wanting since the client has the ultimate say as the artist is seeking payment for the work from the client.
A little bit of a philisophical problem that I have with that sort of thing, at least in my own works, is that I consider each work of art that is created in every stage of creation as a seperate and unique art form… something that is not just a preliminary work for something later, to be discarded like pretty wrapping paper that is torn apart as a Christmas present is opened. The process of creation has multiple stages. Quick little doodles done in a sketchbook are just as valid as a final work of art as something that’s been re-worked three hundred times by an illustrator or designer that is seeking permission from his or her client.
Another huge issue in all of that is the “work-for-hire” issue. Many clients want illustrators and designers that work for them to consider their work as “work-for-hire.” According to the way contract law works, art that is created as “work-for-hire” is artwork that the client will own the copyright to. In other words, if an artist creates work-for-hire artwork, the artist will have to seek permission from the copyright owner to republish the work that he or she created, and the same thing applies to and “derivitive” work… that is work that is dervived from the original… That puts artists that work in “work-for-hire” contracts in a really sticky situation since they can never use the work for hire stuff unless they get permission again, which might actually end up costing them money, etc. The derivitive issue makes the bad situation even worse because most artist tend to build a sort of visual library in their subconscious that forces works they create later in life to resemble works they created earlier… which is something they could possibly get sued for if the earlier work was a work-for-hire form of art.
For this reason, I’m not sure if I could ever “really” be a full time illustrator. However, I do like the idea of illustrating things, and creating narrative structures, so it’s possible that I might be able to get in to this field sort of. One reason I really am attracted to using Public Domain stuff as the basis of illustration is that the original copyright owner no longer has copyright over that stuff, nor does anyone else… so it’s free game for anyone… However, writers that no longer have copyrights on their books are probably long gone, and so other people probably have created derivitive works of those books and artforms over and over throughout the years, so it leaves the ancient stuff as content that will be difficult to gain any economic profits off of in a direct manner… since dead writers won’t pay anything usually… That’s why I got interested in Cafe Press, Lulu.com and other similar types of places in my exploration of all of this stuff. The internet has created a lot of new little niche areas for many of us to investigate if we want to take the time to get in to it. There’s a lot to explore and play around with in the huge playground of tweaking public domain concepts, ideas, and works, and redistrubting them with our own little additions, changes, etc.
Eventually, if I do get in to making book covers and interior illustrations for Public domain books I will build up a lot of variety and introduce new fresh ideas, in hopes that maybe someday a real writer that is alive today might ask me to do some works for their books, magazine articles, blogs, etc. If that does happen, this whole work-for-hire issue will likely come up down the road. I guess I’ll cross those bridges if/when I get to that point. Regardless, if you create artwork, this IS something you should be thinking about somewhat. There’s a lot to copyright and trademark laws. I don’t claim to be a lawyer, but do know that this sort of stuff can be a major hassle if you don’t think about it before you dive in to a contract or situation similar to a contract that is all done with verbal agreements, etc.
Do you really want to give away your right to be creative?!?… Just something to think about.
A similar thing to think about – be sure that you are honoring the Copyrights and Trademarks of other… If you want to create a work of art depicting a soda can or car, are you aware that you could be sued by Ford or Coke, or any other company if the work looks too much like theirs? This is especially true of photographs. Speaking as someone that has had some photos removed from Turbosquid a few years ago because Turbosquid received a Cease and Desist Letter from Ford due to the fact that there was a Ford car somewhere in the forground of a picture I shot once, even though it was not the main focus of the composition, I can say this stuff is a reality you SHOULD think about before and while you are making your artworks. The possibility of having to go to court and pay high lawyer fees and court fees just because you clicked your camera in the wrong place is not a fun situation to be in! Ford is probably one of the biggest companies that chases people down for this sort of thing, but any copyright or trademark owner can do similar at any time because copyright and trademark law DOES apply to “derivitive works.”
For yourself, this can be a good thing, as you could possibly sue others if they create artworks that are in your style or just look too much like your work for your liking… However, what comes around goes around, and the you can find yourself on the receiving end of the same issue if you create works that are too much like other folk’s stuff too… which is something we all need to think about a LOT as everywhere you turn today there’s some namebrand, logo, or copyrighted thing in your face 24/7.
Your computer has a logo on it… oops better not photograph or draw it. You want to take a photo of a street – oops there’s a car on it that was created by an automobile company that has a trademark on that design. You shoot a photo of a gargoyle on a building – oops there’s an architect or sculptor somewhere that owns the copyright to that design. You shoot a picture of the sunset – oops there’s an airplane flying low there that was designed by a company with a trademark on that shape. You take a picture of a wall in your house – oops someone has a tradmark, and probably a copyright on the design of that wallpaper… Where is nature? That is one of the few things people can’t copyright… Nope?!?… someone has done a picture of a deer posing in that posture before! YIKES!
If you take a photo of someone, or create any form of artwork depicting anyone – you have even more issues to deal with since there are privacy laws. That’s why you always see notices in various films, literary works, etc. say any resmblence to real people in the characters depicted is coincidental, etc. It’s also why photographers need to get the permission of anyone they photograph, usually in a written form so that they can prove that the permission was obtained. The little photo of Barrack Obama standing next to the China Wall that was put in Times Square by the coat company is just one of the newest little examples of where these sort of issues can come up and cause major problems for all parties involved…
All of these little issues are amplified by the fact that Zombies, or at least Golems really do exist! As mentioned in How to Argue & Win Every Time: At Home, At Work, In Court, Everywhere, Everyday, corporations and money are both lifeless beings that we give life to… things that are really dead that we give power to.
(*Perhaps the Golem are the invisible corporations and the Zombies are the employees that become “dead” 40 hours a week to serve the golem?*)
Sometimes, actually far more times than we probably want to acknowledge, we actually give our entire lives to these souless, lifeless beings! Corporations are our society’s gods from the ancient world. They don’t really exist but everyone knows that they are there. Everyone talks about them… shares stories about them… We even give them Social Security Numbers and call those Tax Identification Numbers… We give them life through our <a href="Memes“>about them.
Logos and employees are just one sign of their existence, as are all the contracts created in their names… Curators of Universities, CEOs, Company Presidents and others in power in the coporate world, just to name a few, are the priests of this religion that we don’t call a religion, but they are NOT the corporation itself, even if they think they are. They are hired and fired by the invisible zombies or golems that we breathe life into, just like everyone else. The piece of paper that creates a corporation is NOT the corporation itself. The corporations don’t really exist in our world, but we all pretend that they do and continue to bring life to them in our belief in them… continue to pay homage to them every time we think about that brand name we want to pay for, etc…. They are the true gollems that all of us helped bring in to power to submit our entire beings too in some way, shape, or form.
Advertising, and all of the little illustrations that come from it is just one of the many little offerings that are given to these souless, lifeless zombies to help them exist. You can call me a crazy lunatic if you want, but when you really dig deep and think about it, you have got to know that it’s true!
Does this mean I don’t want to be an illustrator. Of course not. I love to illustrate things, tell stories, bring life to the lifeless objects around me.
In a strange way, all people that create art, or anything really – letters that you made when you hit the keyboard on your computer (you do know that each letter and phrase is different from place to place in the world which is why there’s different languages that exist – we all breathe life in to our own perception of reality that the elders in our tribe have taught us IS reality and so we make it become OUR reality too), recipies you put together to eat, All Things that we do really… sort of do the same thing, whether it’s for a corporation or their own needs and wants to create. Art itself is something we breathe life in to, and it sort of takes on a life of it’s own in that process. Maybe all of this is something Jesus was talking about when he said you cannot serve God and Mammon?… but in reality, that’s not really possible is it, at least not if we want to live in this world and exist – Give to Ceaser what belongs to Ceaser…
Anyways, I am a living being, just as you are, and as The Universe’s Creator is. The act of creating things is in some ways the real and ultimate goal and meaning of the universe?… or is it? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, be sure to make your works your own, and unique enough that you don’t get sued for copyright infringment by other humans or the golems that exist in our society.
Just something to think about…
Interesting Reading – Asimov’s Guide to the Bible: A Historical Look at the Old and New Testament
You folks reading this might think I’m nuts doing this many Interesting Reading posts in this short of a timespan, but there’s a lot of various books that I’ve read and/or am in the middle of reading that have a lot of relevance to this blog and life in general really, and are just great books that I think everyone should at least take a glance at some point in time… I’ll probably add more interesting reading posts in the not-too-distant future…
Asimov’s Guide to the Bible: A Historical Look at the Old and New Testaments is a very interesting book. Asimov, possibly one the greatest science fiction writers of all time, explores the bible from a scientific and historical perspective in this book. He’s an athiest, (and a former Jew I think) but that does not matter. He covers a lot of the historical aspects of each chapter of the Bible in this book from a scientific perspective. There’s not a lot of mushy love and miracle belief talk in the book like you see in a lot of the bible study books that are written by Christians. Also there’s a lot of discussion about geography and history of the locations in the bible, and how each of the main characters in the bible is thought of from a historian’s perspective and how they sort of fit in to the Social Studies and History books. That is something you don’t typically get a lot of with a lot of other books about the Bible. I don’t know that I agree with him on everything (since he is an atheist after all), but I do think he presents a lot of ideas that anyone interested in Religion, History, or Geography, regardless of whether they are Christian or not a Christian might find interesting.
His explanations that seem to explain away miracles or give them a new twist by allowing you to think about them in a different way than the way you might have been taught in Bible School by adding a bit of science is somewhat refreshing, and for the most part does not make the Bible any less relevant or True.
Remember, there are multiple perspectives to our reality… What everyone that witnesses anything experiences is likely slightly different than others that witnessed the same darn thing. It is good to sometimes think about things from a different angle. There might be a slight challenge to your faith in some of the info in this book, but that actually might be a catalyst that will help you gain a stronger faith by reading the book. There is a lot of historical and geographic info in here that you probably won’t come across many other places unless you are theologian and have read a LOT of ancient texts and have a masters degree in religion. It’s good to learn a few new things. and think about things in a different way on occassion! 🙂
Interesting Reading – When I say no, I feel guilty
Manuel J. Smith’s book, When I Say No, I Feel Guilty is a very good book about being assertive. If you have been unassertive in the past for whatever reason, as I have been sometimes, it can help you get past that, and start placing value on your own opinion and rights so that people are not always walking all over your every day.
The book introduces something called the Assertive Bill Of Rights that should be thought of as rules that you can and should apply to your everyday thoughts, and way of living, but probably have not always done in the past.
The Assertive Bill of rights are:
I have the right to be the ultimate judge of my own behavior, thoughts, and emotions, and to take the responsibility for their initiation and consequences upon myself.
Yes, you are the judge of your own reality ultimately. The Church, your parents, your boss, your coworkers, even the bobble heads on the News Channels and everyone else in the world is not the ultimate judge of your own thoughts, and emotions. You are a real person, just like everyone else. Underneath the surface there’s no difference between you and the President, any kings you read about in history, any slaves you read about or have seen yourself at your place of employment. Since you are responsible for yourself, you have the right to be assertive in this crazy world and not let everyone else tell you what to think, do, and be.
I have the right to offer no reasons or excuses to justify my behavior.
Just because someone asks you to logically explain any action you take does not mean that you have to give them a logical reason. Logic is really just a way for people to try to manipulate them in to doing what they want sometimes… That’s why statistics lie a lot – change the population of any stat, and the odds are likely that the result of that statistic will change as well. The world is malleable, and not all black and white. People change their thoughts and actions daily. You have the right to not have to justify yourself to anyone other than yourself, and even then sometimes you don’t even need to do that because your subconscious mind knows what the right thing to do is even if your conscious mind does not…
I have the right to judge whether I am responsible for finding solutions to other people’s problems.
You don’t have the entire world on your shoulders unless you choose to put it there… Take care of yourself BEFORE you take care of others and you might find that you do a better job taking care of both!
I have the right to change my mind.
In other words, your ideas about the way the world is should not be thought of as the only way at any given point in time. You have the right to change what you think about anything at any given point in time, just like anyone else.
I have the right to make mistakes – and to be responsible for them.
No one is perfect. Own your mistakes, but don’t let guilt about them ruin your life.
I have the right to say, “I don’t know.”
That’s right. You can say, “I don’t know” no matter how many people say that you can’t do that. However, don’t take this to the extreme and use “I don’t know” as an excuse for laziness as some people do when asked anything. You have a brain, use it. However, just because you have a brain does not mean that your ideas about the right course of actions to take at any point in time is always 100% yes or no, or whatever. Sometimes you just have to say, “I don’t know” when someone asks you something and expects a yes or no out of you immediately. Take your time and think things over. Don’t let the people around you in your life ruin your life by forcing you to commit to things immediately all the time.
I have the right to be independent of the goodwill of others before coping with them.
Some people many not think so, but you do have the ultimate right to take care of yourself before you take care of others. Who cares what the ladies at church think, or the guys that want you to come out to the bars to drink until you are smashed on a work night. Forget what frat guys using peer pressure are trying to get you to do… Of course your boss wants you to work overtime every day and every weekend. You are the ultimate ruler of yourself and your behaviors. Be responsible and good to yourself! Stand up for your rights!
I have the right to make decisions without using logic.
As mentioned above, logic is really just a way for people to manipulate one another in to thinking the thought patterns that the logic giver is giving. Throwing logic out the door can sometimes get you what you want. That manager at the grocery store won’t come to talk to you – maybe you should stand in line at the check out counter and refuse to move until he changes his mind. If that doesn’t work, maybe you should take your shirt off (if you are a guy – no need to break the law ladies)… and then yell a bit louder… pound your fists on that darn table and raise a ruckus. Who cares if logic tells you that you are embarressing yourself and will get no response. Taboos are a part of the logic that is deeply embedded in our society and sometimes they exist for stupid reasons that really are not all that logical at the core…
I have the right to say, “I don’t understand.”
The only dumb question is one that’s never asked.
I have the right to say, “I don’t care.”
That’s right. Who gives a hoot is sometimes the best answer! Who cares if your sister is mad at you for not coming to her Christmas party when you really want to go to your in-laws that is at the same time instead. She’ll get over it. Who cares what the ladies at Church think. They are not your God.
The assertive bill of rights is to mainly be reserved for use when you are dealing with people that are manipulating you because you don’t want to make yourself out to be a real pushy jerk… but for folks that are not too assertive naturally, sometimes, that may not be such a bad idea… perhaps they will think twice before they try to stress you out by getting you to do something they want you to do when you really should be doing something else, or just don’t want to do what they want you to do… YOU ARE ALIVE! YOU ARE HUMAN! YOU HAVE RIGHTS TOO!
Interesting Reading – Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
Dave’s Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness is a very good book. In post-stock market crash world we live in today, it’s reliance on using stocks as the main method of making money once you get financially stable is a bit questionable. However, all of the steps in the book to get to that point are sound, and simple enough that anyone can do them.
The main “baby steps” that need to be taken as the first steps to get financially stable that are listed in the book are:
1. Save $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund. The goal here is to get yourself to a place where you never use a credit card again, or have to take out a loan again in your life if possible. If you can get 1k in savings, and ONLY use it when you have a real emergency (car blows up, etc.), you can slowly get yourself off of relying on plastic and loans.
2. Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball. The idea with the snowball payments is to pay off the smallest debt (loan, credit card, etc.) that you have first, and pay minimum payments on everything else until that little debt is killed off. Then keep paying the same amount you would have to the little loan, and just apply the extra to the next biggest debt, and keep doing that so that you are basically doubling or tripling your payments over time as more things get paid off so that you minimize the amount of time it gets to get completely debt free to a few years instead of to a few decades.
3. Save up 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings. This step is important since it gives you a chance to really build up your savings account. The reason you do this now instead of earlier in step 1 is so that you could drop more cash in to the debt earlier before you do this so that you are not killing your savings interest rate with the interest rate of outgoing cash going in to paying off the stuff in step 2. Honestly, I think for most people, in todays unstable economy, it might be smarter to actually save up 1-2 years instead of only 6 months if possible, just so that you are safe. The unemployment rate is raising a lot more, a lot faster than it has in the past, and I personally know a few people that have been on unemployment (except for a few part time job seasonal monthly jobs) for a couple of years… so it’s a good idea to save!
4. Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement. I’m not sure I agree with Dave on this. I do agree it’s good to invest in something, but since IRAs are still one form of stocks, they can loose money if you the market goes down again… It might be better to invest in US savings bonds. They at least have a guaranteed interest rate that is backed by the Government. I’m pretty sure the government back out on paying bonds any time soon, even if our national debt grows every year at the rate it has for the last few years…
5. Save up College funding for children if you have kids, or alternatively, save up a little nest egg for yourself to get yourself ready to start up that home business you’ve always wanted to start, or to give you enough cash so that you are safe and can try to switch jobs and start doing what you really want to do if you don’t have kids. If you don’t want to do a business and don’t have kids, save up anyways. You never know what the future will bring. I think I read somewhere the other day that on average, a retirement home can eat up about one million dollars over the course of 2-5 years!
6. Pay off your house early. This one just makes sense. Get that mortgage gone so you can be completely debt free. However, don’t make it a priority over other debts unless the total payoff on it is lower than other debts because typically interest rates on houses are a heck of a lot lower than on credit cards and other unsecured debt. You also might put off paying minimum payments on your college loans right before paying off the house, depending on how many college loans you have and if you consolidated, etc. since college loans typically have a death clause and a low interest rate. (The death clause pays off the debt if you die so those you leave behind won’t be paying off your college loans forever after you are gone).
7. Build wealth and give! The ultimate goal is to be completely debt free, and never to rely on loans or credit cards again. Once you get to this point, you can start looking at a lot of different ways to invest and let your money grow itself for you. When you get to this point, and you are not living paycheck to paycheck, you can start looking in to giving money away to charities or people in need. Help them out. It’ll help you out spiritually, and probably mentally too. It’s nice to help people when you can. It’s just hard to get to a point in your life where you can do that without worrying about all the other debt… If you follow Dave’s baby steps, you can get to this point a lot sooner than you might think! 🙂
Interesting Reading – The Four Agreements
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) by Miguel Ruiz is an interesting book. It talks about a lot of things, but mainly how to handle your internal train of thoughts to become more at peace with the world around you.
The 4 Agreements are
1. Be Impeccable With Your Word.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions.
4. Always Do Your Best.
One of the many themes in the book is that Original Sin does not really exist since the Fall of Man is just a story in our head… but it is much more than that too…
because our conscious minds that are always trying to make up stories about the world around us to help us understand and cope with the world around us based on our own unique psychological pasts, IS that the true Serpent in the Adam and Eve story… not really a serpent so much as a story teller – something that is constantly feeding us lies about the world that we can choose to believe or not to believe.
In many ways what the book is getting in to is a very DEEP and profound understanding about the world, and how to look at the world. I don’t know if I agree with everything that the book’s author believes, but I do believe that a lot of his ideas presented in the book are applicable to all of us in our every day lives.
Sometimes if we take the time to just shut up that little voice in our head that is telling us the way that things are, based on our own perceptions and mis-conceptions that we believe are Truths about reality we can come to realize that there is a lot more to the world around us than our own little single solitary point of view and can start to see the other sides of the multi-faceted jewel of reality that is hidden in the the story of each individual in the world around us… and can go 3 or 4 steps beyond that and start to come to realize that Reality itself is not really necessarily all that we have been taught, but is something much more than that…
and can come to realize that maybe, just maybe, we really were made in the image of God, like the Story of the Fall of Man tells us that we were, and that there really can be heaven on earth and peace everywhere, at least inside of us, if we just change the way we think about things a little sometimes and stop trying to continue to use our past biases and little lies that we have told ourselves in the past that made our reality a little more black and white than it should have really been.
Many years ago I remember that I had an in depth discussion with a Catholic Priest and he told me that the true Fall of Man is that we forgot that we were made in God’s image… Sex was not the problem… it was that Adam and Eve discovered that they could be their own mini versions of God to themselves, and saw things in their own ways, and started trying to make logic out of things, and taking actions to mold the world around them to suit their own needs instead of molding themselves to the world to be at peace with the world. It’s something to think about… It is a very interesting book. It really gets in to some deep psychology that is very simple on the surface, but has deep implications and can help you see the world around you in a new light.
Don’t continue to listen to that biased voice in your head all of the time assuming that it’s always right and has the true Truth about all of the world around you. Sometimes that voice can be wrong. Sometimes it can have a lot of little biases too it that have come in to creation based on some things that have hurt you in your past that you might not even be aware of today. Sometimes it is good to look at that multi-faceted jewel of reality from a different perspective.
Perhaps if more people started looking at things from more than one perspective, and started to really get in to thinking about the world around them instead of rushing around doing things based on assumptions, lies that they’ve been told or told themselves, taking everything personally and seeking revenge because of that, and being overall morally lazy by not doing their very best in all that they do, the world could become a better place, and we might not have as many conflicts about silly things… maybe there would not be as many battles in governement. Maybe there would not be as many wars. Perhaps we could start to bring peace to the entire world around us, both socially, ecologically, and environmentally.
Perhaps we could get back to the true Reality that we were born to embrace – a Heaven on Earth. That reality does exist today. It’s just a matter of changing your attitude and way of thinking about things to make it more of a reality for yourself. Negativity is all around us. It’s blasted at us in the newsrooms. It’s shouted out in all the advertisments everywhere – “You are not good enough to be happy today – Buy a Coke and put it in the coaster in your Ford Truck today so that you can have a supermodel sit next to you as you get a happy life. It’ll just cost you several thousand dollars… ” Stop listening to the lies. Start trying to find the true Reality. It does exist, and is in your grasp, and this book might just help you find it a little easier.
I’m constantly reading various books, blogs, websites, reviewing new material, reviewing old material, and rethinking about some of the content in those books, blogs, websites, etc.
Moving forward, I’m going to reserve the “Interesting Reading” tag and category in this blog for interesting reading articles, website links, links to books that I’ve come across, new thoughts I’ve got on old material, etc. This is not necessarily for “book reviews” so much as to toss an interesting piece of information that I’ve come across at you to think about a little – a pebble of thought, in to this wide Ocean that is the Blogosphere.