Wednesday, November 27, 2013

End of the Year in Review: Networking endeavors, Art update, life update

Hello one and all!
This is the big blog/journal entry for the end of the semester/year. So if you are in the mood to read a lot, or just skim, over an ocean of text about some random guy's life then I wish you luck!

End of Semester/year entry

I've been kicking it back in Austin for some time now, and I will be returning home to finish school which ends two weeks from now. It's been a rough year, but I've managed to push through. Also, within this year I have had what seemed like some near death experiences, near amazing experiences, and experiences that have really made me think while out of a job and focusing on school. Financially it is extremely rough, I mind as well be homeless in my raw position as a citizen, but I got people that are in high places that are helping me through till I land a job.

It's times like this semester that really mature you and make you more understanding of how the world works. It's been to the point where I have had to try and make 45-50 dollars of junk food (which is well ration-able) work for me for two and a half weeks at a time nearly all semester, and 100 dollars work for gas for nearly a month with weekend travel. I've been able to do nothing I do annually because of no income this year, and on top of that trying to afford expenses for college art class materials, along side financial aid saying my loan limits are just about up which is a worry for me as far as proceeding to graduate goes. And that's not all, But I just want to leave it at that. Depressing? I know, but that is just life, and I continue through it with a smile on my face, because there is always a way to get you up off the ground when it knocks you around a little. Do I regret leaving my job/income outside of Financial Aid to focus on school? not one bit. Even if school at some times isn't worth it, the things around it really teach you special things you would've otherwise been naive about in the world. And it has taught me to respect the work force and the principle of the importance of having a job, the strategies of when to leave a job, and managing your expenses even more than before. It's been a painfully healthy learning experience I appreciate putting myself through.

Introduction out of the way, I want to do the fast and simple art updates first and then hit home with a rather big one. The first update is about my lack of getting art up online. Oh believe me, I have stuff to post that I have done over the year, it is just been really slow with classes, building my website, getting sick, and traveling places via with very close family and friends, and learning other new things which I will touch base on later.

I do have some things I would like to share with you that are made obvious in the title of this article.
First off I've not been building a 3D castle, but instead I have been building a massive convention center which is also doubling as part of my environmental design class project.

This Is coming along nicely I tend to finish it and classify it as my second ever Google SketchUp project next to the 3D car to this date. I am extremely happy with how fast I am picking up the program, and the underlying 3D modeling principles and techniques it is teaching me via in a simple interface and toolbox of functions.

My second art update is on the Futurai series, which is coming to a much needed close. The deal with this series, aside from what I have mentioned about it in the past, is that is mainly derived from feeling and time. The feeling and time of the day have to be there to make this series as perfect as I can make it. If my mood is off, and/or the time of day is just to late or busy and tiring, I will not proceed with it. I have had a lot of those as of late. I do not want to rush this series and make it half par. I want to take my time with it and provide excellent quality to the best of my ability. With that said, the Ninja is done, and quite different in looks from the rest. The ninja is in shiny black metallic armor. It might look like the odd sheep out of the family of five, but it is at its fullest intentions, and the vision is perfect from what I had in my head. Black metal was an extremely difficult challenge for me, and for a first time really focusing on it, I think I did rather decently. Note, this image is actually a spoiler version for the alternate Futurai BG series- Rising Sun Edition.

The image quality is halved for the security of the image being printed. Also, the Sumo has begun its rough stages and will be the final addition to the family of my second largest illustration next to the PSO anniversary tribute. It's release date is unknown at this current time.

The last art update I have to give you is a rather exciting one. I'm doing a A-chromatic fan art portrait series of the Teen Titans. It's been a while since I have done fan art, and I really enjoyed that show growing up, and I already have Raven done out of the five. I might do Terra. But for now I am sticking with the official 5 from the show. I don't want to post anything visually from this series until it is complete. I want it to be more or less one big surprise finish, unlike the Futurai updates. Like the Futurai, I will strive to achieve the best visual quality I can do at the time of each piece being made. I do plan to get this one done more quickly though considering there isn't much to it except the bust shots/faces and the the shading.

Digital painting has been going through a small freeze. I'm in more of an illustration and 3D mode mostly due to getting school projects done and finishing my personal series', but I got a great holiday painting lined up that I am looking forward to doing. Till then it's all just small studies.


Now for the big update: The artist' year in review...

Aside from my intro, I have been growing a lot as an artist, and finding out new things about my skills each class I have had, and each drawing, design, project, or painting I do on my own time. Between art and pure design, I have found that I am not much a designer as I am an artist. These later classes have really put me to the test and are weeding out my weak points from my strong points, and are helping me clarify where I stand, and where my interests lay. Web design and environmental design have been my strongest design points in my college career so far. Not just the execution of it, but the understanding of it. The rest have got me by the balls, but I am pulling through.

I have also picked up on something this semester I feel like, and know I really enjoy doing along side art, and want to learn as much about it as possible, and maybe make a career out of it when my art career is not active and bringing in no income what so ever, which is pretty normal even with commissions. It is Networking. in specific Networking in technology. Internet protocols, DNS systems, and server based activities. I've prematurely grown a curiosity about it over the years, starting with setting up Phantasy Star Online back in 2010, and trouble shooting why it was not working, and then again in 2012 but with it working that time. I was introduced to subnet masking, a more thorough hands on experience in IP management and configuration, and other such things just to get this gamecube to operate online with this game through personally managed servers and hosts. Then I was hit with it when I had a heated argument with my room mate about the router being jacked up or not because of an online game, or the router just acting shitty, and from there began researching a bit more about how routers work.

It finally really starting getting to me this semester in a positive way when I was told knowing DNS is very important to land a job at a cloud hosting company. company aside, I was very curious about DNS, and wanted to know what it stood for. I found this hour and a half long youtube video of a DNS intro lecture that got me on the edge of my seat. Perhaps it was the way it was explained, or just the amount of content that I felt like I should know more about. I'm pretty sure it was both. From there I began researching certifications, Linux OP tutorials, server administration, and network engineering knowledge online and now I'm just hooked on it, and want to strive to achieve a professional/expert level networking license in the distant future. I feel/know this kind of knowledge about how the web works on a deeper level will not only keep me up to date with technology, but learn how to manage and solve future networking problems in the world while making a doodle or 1000 right next to it. lol

Alas, I now have three things I want to focus on in life, with the one I mentioned being the most recently discovered. I want to create beautiful digital paintings and illustrations, Design websites via CMS, and try to strive towards being a networking engineer. The flow of these three are funny; Painting being the most right winged mental discipline, web design being in the middle, and then networking being on the far left wing. I think they are a great flow of balance that an artist or any person should have. It opens up gate ways of new ways of thinking, and brings them closer to the world while under the umbrella of what they love to do. It sounds very renaissance in its path, and I enjoy the feeling. I feel these things will launch me into a new height and chapter in my life as I exit college at the end of next year.

I ultimately have my web design class last semester for opening up my mind to the world of the web, and how it functions beyond just design, along side my girlfriend's stories at Rackspace that really made the push into a field of knowledge I was at first scared to venture into because of my history with
being encouraged to do art because I loved art, and told I would never be a a techy guy in grade school because artists were not technical, and anything techy related had heavy math (not as true as the counselors made it out to be btw), and I was bad a math growing up, which implanted a fear of learning networking and development in my brain, when it was all just a scare of people trying to make a path for me of what they thought was best to a third grader, 8th grader, 11th grader, etc. Well, I think that challenge has been thoroughly overcome, and now that I am older I know how the world works more than in the past, and to follow what you think is considered interesting or a passion no matter what any one tells you. Some people discover things that click with them sooner or later than others, and most of the time they are very un expected. This whole journey this entire year has been one of the unexpected, and it has worked out brilliantly in making me stronger and wiser as a person.

This year has really been a year of branching out and discovering more about myself, and devising game plans for my future when I graduate a year from now. Adaptability is essential, but if you are going to be adaptable make sure you make yourself marketable and they are the things you at least are highly intrigued about learning and doing. Having a top 3 like myself is a great way to organize your time outside of what ever consumes most of your day. I look forward to seeing what next year has in store for me. I am armed and ready with time for a full time job if I can land one along side finishing school, and I plan to see where that leads me, and what I have to share from it.

I also want to make note on one last thing before I close, which is mobile apps. I did have plans to make my first app this year, but given the circumstances of our developer in my team, it only was half done, and I want to make one more after this one that I feel can solve a problem I found out about as well as to say I made/came up with an app or two to myself as a life goal.

I want to try and get my first one 100% complete by next year, and then try to find some way to begin working on constructing the blue prints for this second one. It is a massive learning experience making an app with your friends who each have something creative and constructive to bring to the table, and I want to continue at least for a little while longer building these two apps together before moving on to other things.

To conclude this entry, I encourage you to hold on to the things you love to do, learn as much as you can about it, and discover things you have tried avoiding in the past out of some senseless fear. Hell, make it your New Years resolution, I fulfilled mine this year. You never know what kind of possibility or endeavor it can bring into your life. There is always room for some one some where to contribute something for yourself or society. I want to be a contributor, a problem solver, and a creator to the world, and I feel my top three major life goals/career paths I have affixed myself with total confidence this semester will help me do just that, and I wont let anything convince me otherwise.

Till next entry, Have a happy holiday every one, and go out and share the things you have learned about this year over the Christmas and New Years holiday's with those you care about and love.
Now I got to get back to drawing and learning more about networking. :-)



I should be updating more regularly after college is done this year, and the next when I have less classes
to focus on.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November Update: Futurai, and end of semester

Things are starting to slow down just slightly. A lot is going on, and I picked a bad time to start doing daily/weekly blogs when I revived this thing. Things should pick up around December if I didn't already mention it in my last post. Especially when my website is done.

Website is coming along nicely, and I got the slooooow Futurai piece of the warrior monk done. Finally! I am also going back to the ninja. the consistency is way off. I also dabbled in Google Sketch up again, as I am planning to build a castle (not a car this time) for my first big Matte painting. I'm going to explore 3D just a little more, as I feel that it is a vital supplement to my scenic paintings. I've also been studying hard for a possible full time job as a web tech. Which will be a nice indirect gateway into learning more about the web, along side doing web design and CMS building.

In my final bit of info, I've been helping/art directing you could say, my girlfriend's comic. I'm so excited about working with her on this via support and feedback. It is coming along nicely, and is very unique in dialogue and style from most other comics.

School is just about done for this semester, and a year from now, for good. I'm really excited!!! I will have a blog about that when that mile stone comes for sure.

Also, love the new time change. There is something about this time change that makes me feel much more productive than usual. And the weather has cooled down, plus it's been very rainy, which is a big productivity bonus!!!

Here is some visual candy on the Futurai updates.