Monday, December 29, 2008

Faun and the Fox

Quick pencil sketch on water color paper.

Vietnam Overview

I'm not sure it really comes across in the journal, but our trip to Vietnam was absolutely wonderful. I couldn't have expected any of what happened there, even though James had planned much of it out.

It is hard not to start talking about the trip without beginning it with the negative sides of the country though. There is a heavy weight on the people there, and you never stop feeling it. Tourists are treated with a kid glove attempt at people handling that separates you from the reason you came in the first place, to get into the culture and get to know people. As a tourist you are also preyed upon heavily and taken advantage of, more so than other places I've been to. Other countries are taking advantage of Vietnam because it is so desperate in some ways and you can see it along every road, giant factory after factory of loose law and cheap labor. You can see it in the countryside where the wildlife no longer exists because of poaching and habitat destruction. I've never been to an outdoor environment so devoid of wildlife. Cities usually have more wildlife than I saw in the forests. Everything is very very dirty, garbage in every place.

There of course is A LOT of good and people keep clean and are always sweeping away debri. For instance, as a tourist, your dollar goes a long long way in Vietnam. That is a good initial attraction. Many of the tourists we met were there because Vietnam is so affordable. You get to meet lots of people from many parts of the world and everyone was awesome. Also, if you like Obama, be prepared to hear how much everyone else in the world likes Obama. The people who live in Vietnam are awesome. Even though plenty was lost in translation because I don't know any Vietnamese you can tell. They are tough, hard working, and funny. Though there is always an air of caution, and like I said a weight over it all, because life can be very hard there and the govenrment is interesting. I know it is out of necesity, but exploring the towns and looking at how inventive people have been with the limited resources is really cool. I've never seen so many practical and varied uses for bamboo before. Vietnam is incredibly beautiful in stunning ways. The terrain is diverse and has enormous history. I loved Ha Long Bay, even though I had to eat so many french fries. Though the wildlife was starkly absent, there are domestic animals everywhere adding livliness. Plus... The food is really fresh. I ate some of the most delicious dishes I've ever had there for less than a dollar.

If you can afford the plane trip over, you should go to Vietnam. It is fantastic. Don't spend more than two days in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh though, it's cool, but the rest of the country eclipses it.

Vietnam Journal 5

That's all of it!

Vietnam Journal 4

Vietnam Journal 3

Vietnam Journal 2

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Vietnam Journal 1

So I didn't get as much drawing or writing done as I'd intended, but I'm posting what I did get in batches. Here's the start of the trip and an extra page from earlier in Seattle.

Vietnam Photo Album

We are back!

I wrote a journal that I'll try to have scanned in later. I did a little drawing, but...don't get your hopes up!

Here is the photo album.

Vietnam 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Vietnam Trip

Starting today I will be away for a couple of weeks(back on the 27th). I wouldn't expect any activity here, but I may find an opportunity to post an update. James and I are traveling to Vietnam and I'm going to try my hardest to draw the trip. So when I get back there should be a bunch of art(provided I'm not a bum about it).

I'm very excited!...
Did I mention I'm scared to death of flying? Ruh-roh.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Random Recipe

Sooo... Several weeks ago we bought some fresh beets. I decided to cook them today, but the greens that I would have used for salad were beyond floppy. They weren't rotting or anything yet so I couldn't throw them out. I decided to try cooking them in a pan and the random recipe I made up actually worked out to be very very tasty! It brings out the sweetness with the awesome contrast of bacon! My Southern side is showing... :)

Beet Greens

Washed greens from 3 large beets (this is a great recipe for wilting greens, you could probably use it for collard greens and other tough stemy veggies too)
2 tbs Butter
2 tbs Olive Oil
3 tbs Precooked Ground Bacon
Black Pepper

Cut beet greens into 1in pieces, stems and all.
Heat butter on medium high heat until melted and bubbling.
Stir in beet greens. Keep moving greens around in pan so they don't burn. ( I will let them rest in a pile, then stir and turn them, then pile them up again)
When butter is absorbed add olive oil and bacon.
Cooking time is about 10 minutes or until stems are tender.
Add salt and black pepper to taste.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My first ZBrush sculpt

This was made while learning from YouTube tutorials. Hooray YouTube!

super quick tigers

Monday, December 1, 2008

WIP Kangaroo Thing video

WIP Kangaroo Thing

Quick creature in ZBrush. About an hour just messing around.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Not for the Queasy!

Susan and I learned how to prepare specimens for the Ornithology Department at the University of Washington today. Chris Wood held our hands through our first Flicker prep. It was awesome! Brains that have been in the freezer are way less brainy than I thought they'd be.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

DIY Squid Hat

I finally got the squid hat sewing pattern together this weekend! This album includes the pattern you need to make your very own squid hat friend.
By the way... Squid hats will attract a lot of positive attention, mostly from cute girls. You listening fellas? I'm trying to help you out here. :)

Supply List:
Polar Fleece (about 2 feet)
All Purpose Thread
Velcro or snaps
Large Craft Eyes (I used 35 mm)

There are two really simple ways of modifying this pattern. You can alter the shape of the ends on the big tentacles and top fin, like turning them into hearts! Also, making the backsides of the fabric an alternate color and adding alternate color appliques(spots, stripes, stars, etc.) will give the hat more dimension.

The next one I make I'm going to try to find some conductible thread to make light up eyes. I'll probably drill a hole in the black eyes and insert an LED there.

Word of warning:
If you make your own and make a white one be aware that people sometimes think it is a KKK hat at first. I've gotten a few angry people up on my grill wearing the white one, but mostly the reactions are very positive and people know what it is.

I just added an instructable for this pattern here!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Couple of movie notes

Firstly, I saw Bolt last night. Basic plot, little bit of a spin to it, nothing too wacky going on all in all. We all loved it! It's very funny and you feel for the characters. Maybe not a true classic, but really enjoyable. :)

Secondly, I watched a true classic this morning, Dumbo. Sixty years later and it still holds up. I haven't watched Dumbo in about 20 years, but when the Baby of Mine sequence came on it was all out gut wrenching tears. I'm not really a cryer when it comes to entertainment, but I'm not immune! Several of the older Disney films have sequences that trigger the same response. It's a testament to Disney's story telling abilities. It also drives home something that I've been thinking about for a little while, which is, outside of the older Disney movies an animation has never made me feel so strongly for the characters. While most of my favorite animations are relatively contemporary(they are very fun!), none of them have that strong bond I develop with the characters in these old school movies. I claim that the Lion King is my all time favorite(along with Godzilla), and the scene with Simba and Mufasa is pretty potent, but it doesn't make me well up with sorrow, just pity. THAT being said, every time I watch The Return of Godzilla(Godzilla 1985) and Godzilla falls screaming to his apparent doom into the volcanoe I cry uncontrollably. I know why. Because Godzilla can not speak I've placed upon him my own personality, and also hero worship, I'm not watching Godzilla die, I'm watching everything I believe in destroyed by the powers that be, and the world watches grimly as this tragic figure slowly screams himself into oblivion. I know they bring Godzilla back in lots of other movies, but it feels like he is really dying every time.

Anyway, along with my desire for Pixar to make a musical, I also wish they'd develop their characters enough to jerk tears out of me someday. I generally enjoy their movies, but I don't believe they have peaked yet. They do what they do with real polish in every aspect, but they play it too safe. I'm wondering if they are too happy to make their characters have more dimension. Disney was kind of fucked up inside from what I've read.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Good Morning!

I reeeally like the taste of coffee even though I hardly touch the stuff. The whole peeing all day thing is more annoying than feeling groggy for a few hours.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sunday, November 9, 2008

3 years of Guild Wars

There are videos of the 3 Years of Guild Wars panels from PAX up on youtube.

It was a pretty overwhelming experience being up there with so many hardcore fans. I really appreciated all the Charr love out there. For the record, I am pro pink Charr. ^_^

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I went to the farmers market...

...and found a lost ferret!

The last three images are videos.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Another WIP of Cloudy

I've done some lighting, proportion, and general image tightening so far.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Mo' rhinos

In loving memory

Our family dog went off to die several days ago. We don't think she suffered, but probably slipped into a coma and passed on. Phoenix was a great dog, if very naughty, she was loved in spite of it. Her head was enormous and fluffy and I miss it.

Pumpkin Picking 2008

Rhino Head Sketches

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Craft FAIL

This is my first attempt at turning a t-shirt into a book cover.
The theory is sound, the execution is FAIL.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Parrot Head

Mudbox WIP
About an hour of messing around in the new demo.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

More ink head sketches

Heads on the bottom are of the character Ulla by Makani.