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. 😉


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
His heart
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

micheviously smiling,
always smiling

The stars aligned.
The time was fine

when they finally met
in the heart of the city.

Gooving and grinding
musical binding
mystical hair
in the air

bodies swaying
ever so lightly
celestial choirs,
rythmic squires
throbbing & bobbing
orange and reds

currelean blue
strobes went dead

in the moon’s
bright light
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

Smoke Stack at Night

Smoke Stacks at Night
Smoke Stack at Night
Copyright 2010 by Jeff Thomann
Media: Photography
Original Status: Original is Digital Photo
Print/Purchase Status: This digital photo may be purchased online at
Themes: MU, Mizzou, Tigers, Columbia, Smoke, Smoke Stacks, Tower, Towers, Columbia, Missouri, Lighting, Night, Scene, Photo, Photography, photos, Jeff, Thomann, stack, fog, light, downtown, outside, atmosphere, mood, building, beacin, airplane, warning, city, urban, color, 2009

3 and a half x 5 Inch Drawing #16

3 and a half x 5 Inch Drawing #16

Copyright Jeff Thomann, 1999
Media: Ink on Paper
Original Status: Not for Sale at this time
Print Status: Prints of this image on various items is available at
Original Size: 3 1/2″ x 5″
Primary Themes: Portrait, Sketch, Drawing, Line, Head, Study, Figure, Face, car, vehicle, road, impact, collision, wreck, lighting, night, scene, staging, boom, greytone, shadow, chairoscuro, bright, light, darkness, action