When Sword Swallowing Does Not Impress

To fill a box somewhere in the universe / multi-verse. Don't worry about the horse being blind, just load the wagon. Involuntary, consistent, and memorable. Branded a Graphemeie because she mentioned the letter A, from the English alphabet, is likely to be red. She had been unaware this experience was unusual until she realized other people did not have them. Singled out, she felt, for the wrong reason, she scoffed it as associative learning from playing with colored refrigerator magnets. The human condition is such this. Saying what we are trying to mean and answering what we don't want anyone to hear. And all the while hoping we won’t carry any regrets and others will read between the lines. It does become so much easier to run when we believe something is chasing us. Woven memories over time, graceful acceptance of reality. From: The paper doll stories: life profiles & confessions. Note: Cabinet of Couriosities show will be coming down in two weeks. If you are in Denver Co. come by the show, check out the Museum of Outdoor Arts and introduce yourself to Lonnie Hanzon. There is a 'punch' on the main blog.

Cry and Let Slip the Dogs of War - Part 2

The owner, puzzled at first, then visibly frightened, has no answer. He does not know whether the hard drive inside the laptop is yours or not. You are puzzled. Why switch out the hard drives when he could just as easy make a disc image of your hard drive and transfer the data that way? But of course, what is easy and sensible is not always most profitable for him. He begs you to give him some time to work out what has happened to your data, but, he says, he is confident that whatever the status of your hard drive, he should be able to restore everything to the way it was. Skeptical, you leave the store. Your wife has already decided that you are screwed, but you are attempting to remain dispassionate. Apparently, the laptop has experienced some travel over the weekend. its one shortcoming in matching up to your old system is an inferior model optical drive. It was sent to the facility on the other side of town to have one installed. 

Strangely, some unnamed employee (who, we are assured, has been summarily fired) has taken it upon himself to format the hard drive, assuming perhaps that this is a recycle job, although there are no such instructions on the work order. Your precious memories... your irreplaceable documents, business contacts, music collected over four years... all of it gone. And why? Because you were stupid enough to take a computer repair service at its word that it would respect your data, what would seem to be the absolute bottom line expectation of any repair service from here to karachi, that in simply repairing your monitor they not reformat your hard drive. Or that they would keep a backup in case of this sort of rare error. By the end of the work day, meaning today, if i do not have satisfaction, I will publish the name of this store here and everywhere else possible. I will additionally take legal action. I will additionally construct a voodoo doll and commence needle insertion.

Cry and Let Slip the Dogs of War

I’ma bout to get medieval on somebody’s ass. So imagine that your 4 year old laptop, it is a good laptop, it is an expensive laptop, it is a laptop with a shitload of storage capacity; it is a laptop which contains your baby’s birth pictures, her first halloween costume, countless email addresses, in short, the veritable substance of your life, has a non-working monitor. For some time now you have had it hooked up to the once-standard desktop monitor of the 4,000 pound behemoth variety, loaned for free by a work associate. However, time has come to set accounts to right by your faithful laptop, and so you bring it to an allegedly reputable repair facility. You explain to them in great detail what they are to do and not to do with your monitor. You offer to pay extra for a full-system backup before they endeavor to do any repair work (you thinking, naturally, that since their aim is not to in any way touch your hard drive, any actual touching of the hard drive will perforce be accidental and therefore destructive), but they assure you that this is standard practice on every laptop they take in, free of charge.

You take a deep breath, and you hand over the equipment. Over the course of the next several weeks, reports come in intermittently: 1. It’s the inverter. needs to be ordered, week to ten days. Cost: about $150 plus or minus, parts and labor. You say, make it so. 2. It’s not the inverter. Maybe it’s the LCD backlight. Needs to be ordered. another week to ten days. Cost: unknown, unlikely to be greater than original estimate. You say, after a pause, make it so. 3. It’s not the LCD backlight. It’s a little widget on the motherboard that regulates power from the battery pack to the monitor, which cannot be modularly replaced, the entire motherboard would have to be replaced. You sigh. Estimate the cost, you say, and we will then consider the best course.

4. Replacing the motherboard would cost more than for us to sell you a new laptop we just happen to have on hand of exactly the same model, with a couple of mods required to bring it up to spec. Cost of the new laptop will be $400. You put your head in your hands. You contemplate taking back the laptop and running for your life. You need a new system functioning as much like the old one as possible. You say, “okay”. 5. You go away for a weekend trip. No messages when you return. You call the shop. They scramble around, and then say “your laptop is ready, come pick it up any time.” You are relieved. You arrive at the shop. The owner proudly places your new laptop, remarkably familiar except for the noted absence of a few toddler’s stickers here and there, and asks you to boot it up and see that all is in order. You do so. The computer seems to function as it should. Except that your data is gone. “Why is my data gone?”. To be continued tomorrow...

Interesting Solar Projects

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Vintage Romance

What does Romance mean to you? It could mean a world of things to me, long lost love to long lost books, I find it romantic to find things of the past and think of who these things belonged to, these latest finds are no exception. I love these photo I found, the book is about a couple who were living very far apart, but kept their love ever growing! This is probably my favorite find, Oscar Wilde's Lady Windermeres. I wanted to try a little something new which is why I started to read this book. Thank you for your well-wishes, I am feeling a lot better, just tired, but that is why my current best friend is coffee now. Wishing you all a lovely day ahead!

Back on Track

Hello everyone! How are you all? Can you believe we're already in October? Ok, enough rambling, I'm back! Well kinda. Pretty much more half back. My computer is still on repair and I still don't know what's up with it (the guy at Apple told me it could be a major system failure, a hard drive problem or a motherboard problem which I already suspected). I don't know when I'll get my computer back but awaiting it, my sister could fix the internet connexion on my second laptop so I can be there. And I'm here! My old laptop is painfully slow making it a real challenge to edit even disney princess coloring pictures for my little niece and even be on the internet (it drives me crazy) but it's better than nothing. I missed blogging. Thank you to all those who sticked by me... One week off blogging was weird. You know, when I don't post I usually always work for my blog (making photo, editing them, writing). I work all the time. But that time I couldn't really continue as all my photos / text are on my ill computer and I wasn't just in the mood to start everything from scratch.
The laptop I'm currently using is the one I had before the ill one, it's 8 years old, tough although it has suffered a hard drive crash in 2010 (I changed the hard drive and did data retrieval myself, a real challenge) and it's kind of outdated. It has reconverted now as my "travel computer" (because it's small sized and really convenient) as well as "emergency computer" (always there when the other has a problem). It's practically empty since the new hard drive and doesn't feel like home like the other. I feel a bit estranged on here. Weird how our computer is like a familiar room. It's my will to keep it clean and empty but as I knew I would have to use it for a little while, I did some necessary change, calibrating the screen, asking my sister to fix the connexion, etc. So it's better now. As blogging was minor, I took the opportunity to make something I hadn't done in ages: music! All my samples (all the ambient sounds I collected) are on my other laptop, but I could start a couple of tracks anyway. I can't be without having a creative outlet it seems! Anyway, all this to tell that I'm back, not quite like I used to be yet but things should go back to normal anytime soon and awaiting this, I can at least show you some beautiful polishes I've shooted again. Ok, I should stop talking and finish the edition of my pics. But it's so good to be back that I had to say hello!

Do I Need to Work in Another Art Style?

I recently received an email from Laura, a member of our community, concerning a recent portfolio review... "I recently had my portfolio reviewed by an art director. She liked my work but mentioned it was all in the same style, and recommended I diversify a little. After slinking away, I've been trying to break out in media and subject matter, but it's difficult to not use the style I've been developing exclusively for six or seven years. Do you have any tips on rounding out a portfolio without losing my artistic voice?" Laura, let me start out my response by saying that I'm a little dumb-founded by this art directors response. I just can't imagine looking at Brom's book and telling him "all your work is in the same style. You should consider diversifying." That would be just ridiculous. So I figure there has to be more to this conversation... I took a moment to wander over to your site, and took a look at your work to try and get a better understanding of what the AD might have been talking about. Your work is very centered around childrens illustration, primarily the girls flavor at that. I'll be straight. I don't know a lot about that market, but let's see if we can make a few assumptions.

I'm going to make the assumption that the ad you were talking to doesn't use your style in their current line of work. That is the only reason I can understand why someone would say that. Actually, that isn't true, the other reason would be when an artist is mimicking another artists style and that's a whole different issue. I will often review portfolios from folks that work in styles that are not very D&D-like in their presentation style. There certainly isn't a crime in that. The first thing I'll do in a review is ask someone who they want to work for, and why they are visiting me. That way I can ascertain if they are seeing me just because I'm available, or if they are really trying to work for me. 99% of the time I'm seeing their book because "I'm available". That's okay too. I will take a few minutes and try to speak to their work if I have any experience with the industry they are trying to work in, try to point them towards someone that might be more relevant, or suggest ways to hook up with a publisher that would be a better fit.

Board yet?

Hello out there in stopmotion blog-land. Yes, there has been another big gap in time since my last post. My wife Cindy and I recently moved which is always a big time drain, so I haven't really made any solid steps forward on the film for a few weeks. The other bummer about the move is that I no longer have a garage to use as a studio space. Angry Puppet Films is now based in a 6' x 8' garden shed in my backyard! Just enough space to hold my tools and a workbench- so I will be counting on the universe to provide me with a shooting space once I am ready to go again. In the meantime I am trying to get some things finished that can no longer be put off. One of them is storyboards. There is stil a significant chunk of the film to board, and it is the hardest thing for me to do since I am not the best wth a pencil. I really admire the abiilty of a good storyboard artist to communicate the key information about a shot without spending too much time on each panel. I am trying to losen up and just get through these scenes, without worrying about the quality of the actual drawings or whether the angles are true perspective. Check back soon for a Brawl Magnet update!

Now, for the person that is actually hoping to do work for me but there style doesn't fit my house look, then we'll have a deeper discussion. I like to talk about the key beats of my work: Epic Heroes, Terrifying Monsters, Immersive Environments, Artistic Lanscapes. Requirements of the images: Dynamic action, Strong characters, Descriptive narrative, Faithful to the brand and setting. Then we'll talk about ways they can chart a course to move their artwork into the direction of working in D&D. That's how I try to handle a portfolio review when things don't align. At this point, you need to look back at that review and try to figure out what you need to take from it. Portfolio reviews are just opinions. Take from them what you need to learn from, and then put the rest of it on the back shelf. Some day it my be of use, and you'll be able to snag it. Don't let a portfolio review define you though, it is just one persons opinion. Very early on in my career I had a professional look at my book and tell me that I would never be successful in the creative field. I guess I proved them wrong...