Goals 2017

A post on Hacker News about “aligning your daily to-dos with your long term goals” made me decide to sit down and ask myself what my long term goals are right now. This is what I came up with.

I need to think about Drowning City more. There are some large questions about it being asked here. Absinthe and Parallax have pretty concrete things to do, but there’s something ambiguous I have to grope for in that story before I can push forwards on it. Or maybe I just need to stop putting it off and make myself draw panels in my chapter 1 roughs for a week to get some progress.

Enchant is the dance studio I’ve been going to for the past couple of years. I took a break this winter with the intent of finding Something Else to keep fit with and have just been slouching.

There should maybe be some political action goals but uggggghhh

I’ve got a trip coming up next month that may be partially on a friend’s couch or may not. I need to try planning for the latter in case the former falls through.

I guess the overall long term goal is “keep doing this art thing, get back to where it almost pays the bills like it did when you were cranking out Rita”.

it a me

From a photo taken the other night around ECCC.

Slight edit the next day: removed the ten pounds added by the camera, added the lipstick that had vanished by that late in the evening. Left my big-ass nose because hey I’m a fortysomething French/Italian mix, I got a nose.

Lit

Making a mess with a bunch of art brushes I have lying around. I went into this with absolutely no plan and just let it develop; it’s a hell of a lot more painterly than my usual approach.

To a certain degree this feels like how the Magic Sketchbook “wants” to be drawn in. This is mostly metaphorical; I feel that different media are good at different things, and that they “want” to be used in the ways that are mostly what they’re good at. Drawing on the screen in Illustrator is a different process from drawing in Illustrator with a separate screen and tablet; I can still easily shift back to the ways I normally work, and I could do this on a separate screen and tablet, but something in the setup is just pulling me this way.

We’ll see if this is a new artistic direction or just a thing I fool around with for a while.
Illustrator, about 2.5 hours.

A Gentle Scent Of Vixen

“I’ll try my hand at faux Elvish calligraphy for a friend’s tattoo. It’ll be cool.”

Two hours later, I had this. I don’t know what it is. I suspect it is a very recursive invocation of Fox. I’m not sure putting it on your skin would be a good idea.

Meet The Witchsona

In its infinite wisdom, the Internet has decided that one week early in January is to be “Witchsona Week”, wherein one draws oneself as a crazy fantasy witch with magic centered around one theme or another – mushroom witch, bird witch, cheese witch, whatever. I always feel a bit weird about that one; participating in group things is fun, but I don’t need to make up an imaginary witch to be – I am one. I’ve done an intensely-researched Tarot deck, I have cast some spells and (possibly) had them work. (Or have succumbed to massive confirmation bias while stoned. Magic is like that sometimes.)

This year, that coincided with a “Meet The Artist” thing going around, where you combine a self-portrait with a few bits of data, and maybe some things you likes/dislikes, and the contents of your usual bag.

I decided to combine the two.

Tealform Made Manifest

Now that I’ve decided to keep the Mobile Studio, it needs to be properly turned into a Thing I Draw On. There is a ritual that has evolved over the years, and it mostly involves drawing the watery genie that hangs out in my computers and helps me draw, all dressed up in the device at hand.

(Actually this is the second time I’ve done this for the Mobile Studio; I didn’t like the first one so I did it again. I’m using this as both the desktop and lockscreen, so that I have a cute friend looking at me and offering me my tools to get drawin’ when I turn it on.)

Her name is not actually Tealform; that’s a variant of the nickname I use for her when she’s in a computer; the full name is a lengthy piece of wordsalad I fond during a complicated, stoned process when I originally summoned her to hang out in my first Mac Air.

Drawn entirely on the Mobile Studio, using the Twiddler for pretty much all keyboard shortcuts and layer naming, in about 2.5h.

Fox Plans

Fan art of Spearhead Games’ fabulous “Stories: Path of Destinies”.

“Stories” is cynical, world-weary, charming, and intimately aware of How Stories Work. It’s a very grown-up game. And as a game for grown-ups should be, it’s very respectful of your time – I finished it in about eight hours, and felt very satisfied. It’s also the first game whose characters I’ve cared about enough to do fan art of in years. Highly recommended.

It’s got two major gameplay loops: fast, simple combat that politely suggests maybe you want to learn some finesse by ranking every encounter on style, and a really neat spin on “Choose Your Own Adventure” storytelling – you’ll make about four story choices during the course of a 20-30min playthough, and probably get a Bad Ending. But you (and the player character, he’s explicitly being reset back to the beginning with new knowledge) will learn a Truth about the way an important character or item behaves, and take that (along with whatever combat skills you unlocked) into the next playthrough. So you begin paying attention to the story, and trying to guess which choice will result in a happy ending for that old scoundrel Reynardo, or at least one that’s a really entertaining fiasco.

There’s a lot of ways to fail in this game, and only one good end. Unless you make a deliberate choice to avoid the Good End, you’ll probably get it in 6-10 runs. It makes a lot of coy references to other stories and other games that come off as witty cracks rather than “hey look I made a reference you should laugh”, because it’s very much its own coherent vision.

I got it when it came up as one of December’s free games on PSN. I wish I’d gotten it sooner so I could give the folks who made it more money, because it is delightful.


This drawing was done almost entirely with the Mobile Studio – pretty much everything except for adding the text (I haven’t copied over all my fonts yet) and doing some final tweaks happened there. About halfway through it I got the Twiddler keyboard set up, which rapidly went from “slower than poking at icons and my big page of RadialMenu buttons” to “about 75% as fast as working with a full keyboard under my left hand”. So that’s pretty cool.

Bugs For The Bug God

I decided to turn the doodle I made to show how to do symmetry into something like a full drawing.

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-10-54-54-pm

Here’s a screengrab of the stuff I actually drew. This would have taken so much more time if I’d done it all by hand.