Tuesday, April 22, 2014

In Which I Talk About Everything Going Wrong at the End of a Seven Day Timespan

     Hello, I'm back again! In the last post I showed you some picture I made using ink and coffee and they were a pretty big hit with everyone I know! I was super happy with that! I had decided to make a bunch more of them and sell the on Etsy.com. If you don't know already, Etsy is an online marketplace for people to sell the things they made by hand. They also have antiques and digital work people have made but the hand-made stuff is typically what it's used for.

     I was in the middle of opening a store but I realized not only do I not have any shipping supplies, but I don't have NEARLY enough artwork to open a store. That's when I came up with an idea. I'd recreate famous book covers using the actual pages from each respective book. And I came up with these:


     And they were also quite well-received! That's great, right?
Well, let me continue...

All week, from April 6-12, I worked my tail off trying to get these to work. And eventually I perfected them! I was super proud of myself! So I post make a post on Facebook talking about how I was going to open up my Etsy store and have them available for purchase. I was so excited!
But then something came up... Copyright laws came into question.
Crap...
It didn't even cross my mind that what I was making was someone else's creative property and I could get sued for more than I'm worth.
As it turns out I can't sell them unless I paid the copyright owner. You know who they are? Publishing houses. Businesses worth MILLIONS. There's no way I could afford to do that or dare go up against them. bad idea.

     I had five pages of artwork ready to be finished when I started look up the copyright laws. I probably read 30-40 pages before I found what I needed to know. So, now I have these unused pages of words sitting on my shelf waiting to be finished in my spare time, because I'm sure not getting paid to finish them!

     It was the evening of the 12th when I finished reading the copyright laws. I had spent my entire week perfecting these pages and made a post on Facebook about my intention to sell them. And people would've bought them! My brother said he would totally buy a copy of The Odyssey. But I can't.
That meant my entire week was a complete waste. I was super depressed and physically and mentally exhausted (mostly from reading all the 'legal speak') and I was about to go to bed.
It was about 12:30 when I dragged myself to bed. So, I walk into my room and notice something odd about my window. The screen had been pushed open. And there are four cats in this house.
I immediately close the door and do a head count of all the cats. My cat, the one cat I claim as "mine", is missing. So I rush outside to my backyard to find my cat heading towards the back fence. He sees me, knows who I am, meows at me and jumps the fence into the neighbor's yard.
AT 12:30 IN THE MORNING.
I even went back inside and got his back of treats to try and coerce him into coming back. But no such luck.
As you can imagine I had ABSOLUTELY enough of that day. I wanted it to end 7 hours BEFORE my cat ran away.

     I really didn't know what to feel. I was just done. I wasn't even sad at that point. Since I really didn't know what else to do I stayed up and watched Doctor Who. Two episodes later I hear something outside and then this TERRIFYING scrape all around the siding of the house. Then it stops. At first I didn't believe it, so I open the shades, slide open my window and lean outside (I took the screen out of my window because I couldn't get it back in.). Lo and behold, there's my stupid cat trying to get back inside the way he left. Again, I really didn't feel anything. Not for about another 10-15 minutes. Then I suddenly I felt like I could breathe again. And I was super happy and relieved. Typically when most house cats run away they're dead within a day. From some other, larger animal or from getting hit by a car. Ask ANYONE who has owned a cat that ran away. They will very likely tell you it died from getting run over by a car, or else never came back. I have a feeling if he never came back I would've been completely crushed by the next morning. So I'm incredibly thankful he came back, in one piece and unscathed.

     So that was my week. I thought it was going to be a terrible week, but it ended up being capped off with relief instead of being disappointed in not being able to open my store. Well, you win some, you lose some.

~Caleb E.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Fun with Pens and Coffee

          Woah. WOOOOOAAAAH!! Two posts in the same month?!? MIND BLOWN.
Anyways, so I've been hanging out here a while and I don't exactly have a-lot of art supplies. I brought my little box of pencils but I forgot to bring my new sharpener so the only thing I could use was this box cutter. I tried using that for a while but it started really grinding my gears. So  I kind of gave up on using pencils altogether. So what does that leave me with? Pens. So my mind starts going: "Hmm, why don't I try doing watercolor with regular ink pens.

And then I stayed up until 3 A.M. making things with this technique I've never used before...

I've seen similar things done but I've never looked up tutorials or how-to's so it was pretty experimental for me, AND I LOVED IT.
So here's what I got done. These are the ones I don't consider a failure. There are about four I'm not going to even show you. They were THAT bad.



GRACE

POWER

FEAR

GLAMOUR

And this is my Espresso series.

BURST

DROP

SPILL
I have more Espresso pictures planned (I already have coffee stained paper ready to go) but I haven't quite gotten around to it yet. I'll let you know when I have more stuff done!

Monday, February 3, 2014

I DO THINGS AND I TALK ABOUT THEM. A-LOT.

          I'm obviously fantastic at keep this blog updated. You can tell by the impressive two-month gap between posts. I really have no good reason for that. It's been a long time so I said to myself  "Hey! Make a post on y'alls blog! Been a while, yo!" So that's what I'm doing.

          I am working on several things right now but a few things are being put on hold due to my current situation. I'm in Washington again! And my laptop isn't working properly so I didn't even bring it. Because I HATE technology. Sure, it's convenient WHEN IT WORKS. My 3DS had stopped working the day before and I had absolutely enough of it. So instead of spending all day everyday cleaning out my laptop I decided not to bring it. All I really wanted to do was draw and write. Both of which I can easily do on paper. The only thing I can't do on paper in make sprites for my game. I can do general design but I can't get into graphics like I wanted. But I guess at this point it would be more wise to stick with design. After all, we're not all that far into the game. And so, that is why I'm not getting much done. Now, for what my projects are.

          This first one I can't talk about much yet. What I can say is I was making it on my computer at home. Which means it has come to a complete stop. Worst part is I was making it for someone else. So, by coming here and helping my mom I'm letting down a few people and even missing Valentine's Day, which I was going to make plans for. : (

          The second one is my new game. Which, as I've said, I can't do much for right now. Just some general game design.

          The third, is a book I started writing for NaNoWriMo. The idea is for people to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. The site is a good way to keep yourself motivated. You can talk with other people about your work our discuss other peoples stuff. I'm yet to sign on and become an official user because I just like keeping my work private before it's done. You don't HAVE to post what you've written, but it's an option if that's what you're into.
I had no idea what I wanted to write for a long time until it started. It was about something SUPER personal, and it was on my mind all the time. I wrote about  it for maybe a week. (so I got about 12,000 words done) But as I got further into it it became something else and this 'something' I wasn't proud of. I started questioning my reasons for writing about this and what I wanted to express through this book. Turns out I wasn't sure what point I wanted to make. I knew my subject and what order I wanted events to happen but nothing else. It even had a conclusion but it felt so meaningless. So I put that on hold as well and went back to a book series I started when I was fourteen. Which brings me to...

          Project four! Like I said, I started this when I was fourteen, which was seven years ago. I outlined the plot to the entire series (which was six books), wrote two drafts for the first book and I started the first draft to the second book. I was VERY serious about making this series happening. I stopped writing because I estimated how long each book would be based on my two drafts of the first book. It was some obscenely huge number of pages and it was incredibly daunting. I remember the first book would have been over 1200 pages even when using a small font. And books in a series tend to get bigger as the series goes on. So I figured I would need to revise and shorten the whole story. Which to me was even more daunting than keeping my books mega huge. I guess I stopped working on it because the amount of work was so unnervingly big.
Seven years later I get to thinking about it again and how passionate I was about the story. I really missed that attachment. So I pulled out all my old artwork and writings and it was quite a blast from the past. Was it any good? Not at all. It was SO bad! But that's what I get for trying to write a story when I didn't do much reading. Or writing Or critical thinking. So it was a mess, a terrible mess. I'm very glad I've done a-lot of reading and writing before coming back to it. I probably would have left it the way it is if I hadn't. It's undergoing many changes, all of which will change the story in a big way. There are plenty of things I'm leaving the way they were, but even they will be forced to change with the rest of it.
It was just so, so bad... I guess I'll tell you the biggest changes.
In my original story it took place in two different worlds; the characters started in one world (a normal world) and were transported to another (a fantasy world). Like Narnia. In this revision it will only take place in this fantasy world, which will cut off about one-third of the first book. SO much of the first book was introductions and explanations. It was awful.
The next change was the amount of characters. In the my early drafts there was so many characters, all of which had back-story and some tie-in to the later books. Sure it all sounds fine in summary, but when it's written out in full conversations between characters, that's a-lot of unnecessary plot. I had four main characters (which were in every single scene of every book) in addition to the supporting cast. Scratch that, I actually had six main characters. Two were used for the first half of the book (one of these characters would then become a villain in the next book) which creates back-story for the next four characters. I had two different stories going on at the same time. It was bad...
Now I only have one main character (with supporting cast). Yeah, there will be plenty of people to love (and hate) but it only revolves around one character instead of trying to evenly distribute attention among four. So that there is also tons of fat getting cut off. I still plan on having all the books tie together but it won't be so convoluted. I'm really excited to get working on that again.

Project five! ...Do I have a fifth one?
1) A drawing for someone else
2) The video game I can't work on right now
3) Was writing a book and stopped to reevaluate
4) Going back to an old series and rewriting it

          Ah yes! as you may know I am always in the middle of reading a book and in the middle of playing a video game.
I am reading a fantastic book right now. Several books, in fact.
The first is written by someone I know, which it pretty cool. You can check it out HERE.
The next is The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King. It's the second book in The Dark Tower series.
Chronicle of a Death Foretold, which was a gift from a good friend (and I'm very much enjoying it, by the way...)
I'm also reading a classic Chinese novel that was first in print in 1592. It's called Journey to the West. What's most fascinating about this book is how it's written. Back in the Ming Dynasty it was very common for people to gather in a tea house and read stories to each other. This book is written like it was first spoken. some parts are normal and some tell of things through poetry. It's one-hundred chapters in four volumes. I'm almost done with the second volume. If you can stick with it's pretty rewarding. At least I think so...
And lastly I am trudging my way through War and Peace. By "trudging" I don't mean it's bad, I think quite the opposite. It's just SUPER long.

          Since my 3DS is broken I am playing on my old Nintendo DSlite. The game I'm playing right now is called Radiant Historia. It's for the Nintendo DS and it's fantastic! It's a JRPG and it has turn-based combat, but it has a little tactical twist to it. You can read about it HERE. The story is fascinating but it's still unfolding. there are two armies at war and you are a soldier. You're given this book called the White Chronicle which allows you to travel back and forth through time so what you do in one timeline affects what you are capable of in another, and you can correct any mistakes you may have made. Only problem I have with this is you can do anything with absolutely no consequences. It's incredibly fun though. I would recommend it to anyone that's a fan of the Final Fantasy games.

          So that's that's what I've been up to. And congratulations to me for breaking my personal record for longest blog post!!! That's all I got for you. This is post is just an update. I really have nothing to show off. If you're interested the other blog my brother and I post to in HERE. That's the most recent post. I'm sure Josh will make a new one soon.

If this was too long I'll summarize for you...

"I do things and I talk about them. A-lot."

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Hand

I painted a hand with horribly disproportionate fingers! Yay! This was really just practice for using color. 
Two things I'm great at.
1. Great titles
2. Sarcasm

Monday, November 18, 2013

Post-Hiatus

     Hmm... What has happened since last I wrote? Plenty. I started my internet hiatus on September 5th and ended it on October 5th. It didn't start out that well, but got better as it went on. I put a website blocker on a TON of websites to (hopefully) prevent me from getting distracted when I used the internet for work. But I found out I could turn off that blocker by pushing a single button on my browser. Way to go, designers. That really helps... I found myself clicking that button and browsing Reddit.com for hours. So that filter didn't help at all. It was easy for me to avoid Facebook because I barely use it anyways. But Reddit on the other hand, I couldn't go an hour without looking at the front page. I eventually got over that and controlled my urge to click that button and turn of the site blocker. After that I barely used the internet at all.
 
     I started writing a book. Again. For the third time. I like writing but I never seem to get it all out onto a page. When I do it usually turns out alright. Here's the big problem. I don't have MS Office on my computer. Or even MS Word for that matter. So I've been using the generic WordPad that comes with windows. It's DREADFUL. Absolutely awful. There's no spellcheck, it's not divided into pages (it's one long, infinite page) and there's not even a word count. And I don't think I could insert any images if I wanted to. It's pretty bad. It feels like being an artist while being stuck with MS Paint, which I've felt before. I had to scrounge up paper and a pen from somewhere in my grandmother's house. I'm getting by, but as soon as I can afford MS Office I think I'll be getting. There's been more than one occasion where we needed a computer with Office and we didn't have it.

     I'm still working on the game my brother and I have been making. In fact, he (my brother Joshua) just made a new post on our development blog! Which you can check out HERE.
He talks a bit about what we've done wrong and we're finally getting right. Like I've said many times before, this is a huge learning experience for us. Mainly learning what NOT to do. But, over the course of all this I have gotten more proficient with making sprites and Josh has gotten exceeding well at programming. I think when we finish this game and start the next, we'll get it done much faster. It actually depends of which game we decide to make. They vary in size and complexity.

     I really like writing and this book is very person for me. It means a-lot. I find myself choosing between getting this book done for myself or getting this game done for both Josh and I. I end up choosing the latter, but I still find time to sit and write for a little while. This game needs to take priority because I'm not the only one who wants this game done. It's more than just me in this, which I sometimes make the mistake of ignoring that fact. I glad to say I'm learning not to make that mistake. I don't like being torn between two projects, but I'm getting by just fine and I'm learning to make wise choices in the midst of it.

     There's been much more going on in my life, but that's for another time.
Thank you, Joshua, for posting something on our blog, therefore encouraging me to do the same. It's been far too long. I'll come up with something to post on our development blog within the next week or so, so keep an eye out for that.
And thank you to whoever is reading this! I know I don't always have much to say, especially these last few months, but I'm trying to keep up. It means a-lot to me that people actually read this blog. This blog and the one for me and my brother.

     Oh! I do have something to show you! I made a wallpaper in anticipation for Pokemon X and Y that was released a little while back.
These are Desktop sized ones: http://imgur.com/a/BNH1B
And these are smart phone sizes: http://imgur.com/a/964jR

     That's all I have for now. Like I said, I'll try and post something on our other BLOG.
Until next time!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hiatus

     As of today I'll be taking a month-long hiatus from the internet. Every single time I've taken I hiatus from something nothing but GOOD has come from it. I disconnected all my devices from the internet, like my tablet. I've kept my computer connected so I could at least write this and post it.

     I've been getting lazy (for a LONG time now) and it's effecting me and the people around me. The internet has been an enormous distraction for me, and not just with my "business" but my life in general. I'm not keeping in contact with my friends, I'm constantly distracted from working on my game and I'm distracted from getting a REAL job. I can't even tell you the last time I opened my Bible on my own volition, and it's ruining me... very... slowly...

     When I was younger I was addicted to comic books. Every penny I earned or received as gifts went straight to getting more comic books. It was all I could think about and I spent every day looking up more info about comic books and what happened in each issue. The Amazing Spider-Man was my drug. I used to be able to tell you exactly what happened in EVERY comic for the first thirty issues and every milestone from then on. I had a mental list of EVERY single comic I wanted and which comics came before and after that would complete the story. I even started a fund  for the single purpose of buying Amazing Fantasy #15, which is Spider-Man's very first appearance.
I couldn't drive yet so I always asked my brother if he could drive me to the comic book store. If he said no I got angry. VERY angry. In my puny, stupid mind it was them at fault for never letting me go, or never taking me, to the comic store.
     Then one day my parents had enough. My entire family had enough.
We went out for dinner and across the street was one of the comic book stores I went to fairly often. So I asked if we could go after dinner and they said no. I got angry again, accused them of NEVER letting me go there.
Turns out they wanted to talk to me. After they told me shut up and listen (in a kind way, just so you know...), they told me I was grounded from comic books. That included buying and selling my comic books, and even trading issues with my friend. And above all, I could NEVER go to the comic book store. For how long, might you ask?
A year.
Three-hundred-sixty-five days without my drug, and NO WAY to curb my cravings.
After a few months, I didn't even care about comic books. Sure I read the ones I had and kept them on my shelf, but I never asked to go to the store, never bought any secretly or traded any without my parents knowing.

I am SO glad I got punished like that. It's seriously one of the best things to ever happen to me. Not only did it FEEL like punishment (and I learned my lesson well) but it opened my eyes to how AWFUL I was.
     Every time I've been (unhealthily) addicted to something I've done this to myself. I was addicted to Facebook at one point so I too a hiatus from it. Lasted a month or two and since then, I've never spent more than a few minutes on Facebook at a time.
     I used to be addicted to trading cards. That's kinda' what took comic books' place. I had those taken away from me once, and then I even had to take them away from myself again.
(I have this problem with collecting things, you see? At least I'm learning to do so with moderation...)

     Anyways, I'm currently addicted to some "thing", and that "thing" is the internet.
It's such a strange thing to be addicted to. It's not even a real, physical thing. Just a complex, jumbled around string of one's and zero's.

     So with that said, the only time I'll be using the internet is when I'm practicing my C# coding and keeping my game development blog updated, ONLY to keep myself in check.
(That blog is HERE, by the way. Just in case you wanted to read it...)

     You know... I think this'll be a good thing.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

It's the Little Things

     I felt like today was a success. I've been having to tighten my belt another notch, which is always nice, but here's what really made today pretty cool for me.
     On the game development blog my brother and I have I made a post about updating the graphics. That was all and good until I came to a problem I couldn't get around unless I fixed the graphics again. After messing with the character ALL day I finally got it right. At least I think I got it right. I'll have to run it by my brother and see what he thinks.
     Yesterday was awful. Late for work, got a ticket on my way there, we understaffed and I end up covering for two people who work completely different jobs.
...Okay, it wasn't all that bad (except for the ticket part. Oops...) it was just a little stressful. I guess after yesterday ANYTHING better than that is pretty awesome.

     I'm working on a logo for the game right now, so when I get that done I'll probably post it. Until then, I'll show you the eye I drew just for the heck of it.

I like drawing eyes

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Vash the Stampede

So, I haven't been feeling entirely well. I have a really sore throat, running a bit of a fever here and there... Hasn't been pretty.
When I'm sick I'll watch movies and TV shows NON-STOP. Last time I was sick I watched three movies back-to-back until 4 in the morning. This time I started watching a TV show called Trigun. I've been meaning to watch it for quite a while but never got around to it because TV shows take up a-lot of time.
So, I finally got into it and I fell in LOVE with it. The characters are well structured, the world they live in is believable and the voice-acting is phenomenal.
The main characters' name is Vash, or Vash the Stampede.
I love this character. He's so unique and lovable and quirky. You'd think you knew him after a few episodes, but you'd be wrong. His character keeps evolving and when it does it just makes sense. There's no conflicting information about these people to make their decisions seem out of character.
After falling in love with this show I immediately wanted to draw Vash. So I did.
As I mentioned before I don't have my drawing tablet with me, so it's not a digital drawing. Please excuse the quality as I had to take it with my 3DS...


I know it may be a little hard to tell what's going on here, so that's why I included the links above.
It was my first time drawing him and it was all from memory so it's not totally accurate.

Anyway, I hope you like it! I'm doing my best to keep this updated, but it's pretty tough you're feeling ill. See you next time!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Li'l Update

I really wish I had something new to show you. But I have a very good reason for not having anything. Not home. Out of state and very far away from my drawing stuff. All I have is this laptop with it's touchpad and Paint.

As you can see I won't get very far with that...
I do, however have some pens and some paper so I've been practicing drawing Dex and Ambi. The biggest part about getting them right is their faces, so I've been practicing drawing their eyes and figuring out how wide their faces are, how far apart their eyes are, how far their mouth is from their nose... Proportions, you know?
I'm at my grandmother's house for three weeks. Been through one week and three day already, so only about a week and a half left.
Been keeping myself busy. My grandma has a small orchard and she had a bit of a bug problem. Caterpillar problem, actually. Tent Caterpillars were getting all over her trees and would eventually eat all the fruit. I had to take care of them. I finally finished today and then I found out I'm going to have to bury grandma's dog. He's way too old, has cancer and just can't function. Poor old boy's getting put down and I have the somber duty of digging for him.
On a lighter note, my current favorite band released their newest album to those who pre-ordered it. You should check them out! I was hooked when I heard their song Good Mood. They're called The Joy of Painting. Do yourself a favor and listen to it.
Other than that, I made my way to the local GameStop store and found some great PlayStation 2 games. On the off time I've been playing the latest Monster Hunter game. Super fun game! Very challenging and time consuming but it's also very rewarding. If you have a WiiU or a 3Ds you should try it! LINK

I guess that's all I have for now. I'll keep practicing with the drawing and when I get home I'm going to make a new promo picture for Dex and Ambi (working title). It'll take a little while so relax and listen to some smooth jazz.