It has been about a week since I have posted. I’ve been a little busy getting some life stuff in order. Catching up on some wedding planning and some housing and freelance work as well. I have been unplugged a little bit catching up on those things but I do feel like I have freed myself up to get to my workflow tests that I have planned. As of now I have 3 different programs but about the same approach. I don’t want to dive into that too much now since I do want to do some recap videos on each process and discuss the various workflows and pros and cons of each. I appreciate your patience and look forward to getting you some more content very soon!
Whoa it’s been almost a month since I have been on here, writing updates and sharing the current state of my project Cosmic Rage.
It’s been a very exciting time and there has been a ton of things going on since I last blogged. I don’t like taking long breaks from the blog but there was just a lot of life event going on and Cosmic Rage was put on hold for a bit to get things sorted out. So let’s back track a bit and get all of our bases covered!
I was at Anime Fargo last month and really enjoyed the con. I had a great time talking with new people and seeing some familiar faces. I have been to Anime Fargo each of the last 3 years, which is how long the con has been running. It is always a good time to chat and catch up with people there. I met some awesome people in the Pokemon party room that were kind enough to share info about the local nests. In between events I was able to get to a nearby park that was actually a Bulbasaur nest!
After Anime Fargo, I spent the time finishing up packing for the move before I left to go on a family vacation. When I am on vacation, I really like to unplug so I try not to use social media since I am typically online for over half the day anyways. It’s a nice time to relax and enjoy nature. I did my first (and only so far) inktober piece on vacation as well. I was inspired by the ocean and the nearby Pokemon gyms so I drew up a Lapras.
Once we were back from vacation, it was time for the move. We spent all weekend moving things from our apartment to our new house. Plus, we had to remove our community garden too. Talk about a relaxing weekend right? Yesterday the internet was hooked up so I could get back online after work and get updates posted and get back into the swing of things.
So what is on deck for the upcoming week? Well, my e-book revisions are in. So I need to sit down this weekend and get those knocked out. Ideally I would like to get the book into the store over the weekend too. But I am not 100% sure how that process works since this is my first e-book. The other task at hand, I need to get my desk put back into place and get it ready to go. Things are moved into rooms, now it is just a matter of unpacking and putting things in order.
I am ready to get back into Episode 2!
One thing I have always told myself, is that I was going to be fully transparent on my blog. About Cosmic Rage, about production and just things in general. I’ve also strived for consistency over the years with getting posts up and letting you all into my world a little more. Well the time has come for me to fill you in on some of the inconsistencies of the blog. I’ve missed a few posts here and there and also missed some video postings to Facebook and Instagram too. Unfortunately, I am not yet in the position to have someone handle the social media side of things so I do the best I can 🙂
Anyways, after a little bit of a creative burn out, I was ready to dive back into Cosmic Rage for episode 2 and wrapping up some of the outstanding pieces for the e-book.
However, there was one thing I recently had to take care of. Quite frankly it was probably a bit overdue. I got engaged to my spectacular girlfriend. I proposed at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD. We went there on our first date. 🙂
She has been a solid foundation for helping me stay sane while working on the project and going back to school over the last year. She has supported so many of my decisions and has helped me stay on track when quitting would have been the easier thing to do. I don’t say that lightly, give that I rarely quit and sometimes will do impossible things just because someone says I can’t do them.
The only other thing that has come close to the mental challenge of creating Cosmic Rage was hiking Mt Fuji at night, without a light, in shorts… True story.
We don’t have a date scheduled or anything. In fact, we have actually started to look for a house here in Sioux Falls, SD.
Cosmic Rage will continue, don’t you worry about that. I just wanted to share this with you all, the side that you don’t see as much.
Been busy with freelance work so far this week and homework but I wanted to take a minute to post up a couple of quick updates!
First off, I will be at Anime Nebraskon in early November! It was suggested to me by a friend a little later in the season so I didn’t get a chance to apply for artist alley, but I am presenting my panel on the History of CGI. I am looking forward to being at a new con and meeting all kinds of new people!
The next thing I wanted to discuss is kind of my lack of reviews lately. There is a reason behind this. In terms of reading, I have been reading Starting Point. The book is a collection of interviews, essays and thoughts by Hayao Miyazaki. It is an absolutely fascinating read so far, even though I am not terribly far into it. It has me thinking that I want to write some of my thoughts down too on some of the topics he discusses. Maybe something I will do in the future.
From an art book perspective, I have been wanting to take some time to look over the art book for Ping Pong I ordered a while back. I have a pretty big backlog of art books currently that I want to do reviews on since I simply love art books and all of the behind the scenes content they have along with educational material.
Anime-wise, I have received the second season of Space Dandy so I would like to watch over the next week or so and finish that series off.
I’ll be back on Monday with another production update!
This topic has been on my mind for a while now and it was something I wanted to take time to write about and discuss because it may relate to you or someone you know. To give this some context, I was thinking of a way I could actually do a panel about it before Anime Detour in Minneapolis. I checked out a panel at Anime Detour by Kyle Hebert and another presenter about diet and the otaku lifestyle. These two things are closely related, we go to cons and live for 2 or 3 days on Pocky and Ramune, then we do this several times over the course of a summer. Every season we are given a plethora of new shows to watch and when some of are done with those we will game or stream random things online or venture into forums and spend hours there. In my case I spend my time animating so I am sitting in most cases working.
Let’s backtrack a little first. About 2 years ago my mom needed a stent put in for a clogged artery by her heart, which is in part to diabetes. She developed diabetes during her first pregnancy with my sister and it came back. After that I started paying more attention to what I was eating and lost about 25 pounds. Part of my solution was my community garden I had. I was able to plant several types of vegetables, which in turn helped with what I consuming. That’s why I also blog a little about gardening, it is necessary for me to keep up with my diet, which I prefer to call a lifestyle change.
I prefer to call it a lifestyle change because with diets you reach a goal and then you stop and you gain your weight back, which is what happened to me. For that reason, I am writing this for myself and for others who may need inspiration.
What worked for me was tracking my calorie intake, but also the types of calories. I avoided things with high fructose corn syrup, artificial coloring and tried to eat more whole foods. With that routine it was a good way to operate because all you have to do is eat less than you burn (using about 2,000 calories for a male), and you will lose weight over the course of time. I thought I made the lifestyle change and stopped doing this process and as I slowly gained my weight back I thought I could gain control again but couldn’t. I learned from that mistake and it will not happen again.
All of this circles back to the community garden. Our city is fortunate enough to have the space for people to get gardens. The initial investment in fencing materials can be a little intimidating, but it is one thing I learned, is if you are unwilling to invest in yourself, no one will. The garden isn’t as easy as one may think. You can’t simply plant your plants and harvest it later. It requires work putting up the fence, weeding, and watering, but the work is worth it when you get to cook and enjoy all of the produce you grow. I have learned a lot about growing cycles, staggering plantings and canning. My favorite thing is learning how to maximize space by planting crops that have short growing seasons in between the plants that have longer cycles.
Every year I try to grow something I never grew before. Last year I grew a plant I can’t recall but it was a Japanese green. I learned how to make a few dishes that people used that plant for in Japan and how they cooked with it. The plant also grew insanely fast, we were cutting it constantly, which made it good to grow because we were able to get a lot for the space it occupied.
Here is to another year of urban gardening and working to get back down to weight.
This past weekend was my 30th birthday, something that seems like it would never happen when you are a child. It’s amazing how fast time goes by once you are done with school. So now seems like as good as time as ever to write a brief retrospective on some of the biggest things I feel I have learned over the course of my life so far.
This one may sound easy but is often the hardest for people. I recall being in figure drawing classes in college and some students would be afraid to start drawing so my professor would walk over to there area and draw a mark on their paper. He would tell them “Now your paper isn’t perfect any more”.
In everything you do, you are not going to be an expert, you are not going to be perfect. The point of starting something is to get your work or idea out there and get feedback or validation of it to improve upon it. If you wait until everything is perfect before unveiling it, it will never get released. This is because as you work on it, you find more imperfections in your work and if you constantly go back and revise and revise, you can see the loop you fall into and you are shorting yourself the satisfaction of having something out in the world.
There is a saying “It’s only a mistake if you don’t learn from it”. You have to be able to see the positive in negative results. So go get your project started, go practice what you want to be good at, just start. Chances are, you will learn something even if things go south, which will leave you better prepared for your next venture!
Invest in Yourself… and Others
This is something I learned during the recession while I was reshaping my career path. At the time, I had spent all of my career doing sports animation, which I really enjoyed doing. Due to circumstances I couldn’t control, I had to shift gears a bit. During the time I did full-time freelance work, I decided to invest my own money into software and other things I wanted to learn to get better. I recall a time where I spent more money on a piece of software than what I was getting paid for a job.
I was looking long term and decided that this was a direction I wanted to go so I spent the extra money to get there. No one was going to pay for me to learn this piece of software, no one was going to buy the software for me. If you are unwilling to invest in yourself, others won’t invest in you.
While this is going to sound a bit contradictory considering the above statement, you need to invest in others. True story, when I was freelancing I was struggling to find a full-time studio position. I knew a full-time studio position is what I needed because I had a hard time turning off when I was freelancing. When I wasn’t animating I was networking and sending emails and reels out. I simply did not have the structure to have “off” hours. I had personal projects I wanted to work on and other things to do like travel.
I couldn’t get a studio to really give me a chance, granted this was still during the recession and budgets were cut and places were laying people off. I was able to find a small studio at the time and they took a chance on giving me a couple projects so we could see how each other worked. The studio and myself each invested in each other and the result is that we have been working together for almost 2 years now. Sometimes you have to give someone the chance to step up, they might surprise you.
Leave Things Better Than You Found Them
This phrase was plastered on the wall of the art studio I went to school in as a freshman. While I didn’t stay at the school, it was a phrase that applies to so much more than simply a room that students would sometimes leave a mess, it applies to everything.
The current job you have, will most likely not be your last. Where you live, the community you live in, might not be your last either. The planet we live on, the people we live with and interact with, should all be left better than you found them.
We have all worked with a person or perhaps were that person, who thought “When I leave, this place will fall apart”. How often does that actually happen? Almost never. The competitive society we live in somewhat promotes this mentality. The same goes for relationship break-ups, wanting to prove the other person was wrong and they can’t do better.
Instead of these mentalities, we should be helping each other succeed and setting people up to succeed through our movements in life.
What things have you learned in your life so far that you want to share?