Sunday, January 01, 2023

2023 Resolutions

Allan Lorde, wearing a mask and a hat, and covered in streamers.

I was beating myself up a bit for not having a new year's post ready to go at midnight, but then I realized no one else gives a fuck. I make my annual resolution posts public for a sense of accountability and all that. And they're guidelines for conduct, not laws that can be broken.

So, here they are. It's the usual shit. Maybe I'll get somewhere with these.

1. Artistic self-improvement: I realized at the end of 2022 that I've plateaued. I need to level up from a drawing-objects-and-people dude to a more versatile illustrator. Vehicles, surroundings, buildings, etc. I'll be running in place until I fix this, knowwhatI'msayin'?

2. Better health: Eating, exercise, etc. Same ol' shit. Don't expect workout selfies, I ain't that dude (no shade on those of you that are into that). 

3. Financial reevaluation: I need more disposable income and some shit needs to get juggled in order for more savings to happen. 

There we go. I hope 2023 will treat you right.

Friday, December 31, 2021

2022 Resolutions

2022 Resolutions

Just like last year, there's no need to recap how shitty things have been. 
As usual, my resolutions are more like guidelines for living and not rules where the world ends if I slip up. Who needs that pressure? 
  1. Drawing. More of it, more often, or as often as my mental health will allow. And I'm not gonna beat myself up when I don't because that does nothin' for nobody. It's like, yeah, you gotta "make that thing," but there are some days when you're just not feelin' it, right? Perhaps that's easier to do when you do not depend upon creation for your income. But I digress–more figure drawing, more backgrounds, more two-point perspective. I also have to remember drawing often elevates my mood because it's easy to forget that. So, yeah, more of that, too. Looking back at last year's creative resolutions, I got one thing accomplished for sure: I updated my portfolio. What a weight off my shoulders that was, f'real. 
  2. Health. I don't eat my feelings as much as I used to, so that's good. I'm eating more fruit and drinking water regularly. Maybe some exercise? Maybe. But I say that every fuckin' year. 
  3. Financial Stuff. I had a rainy day fund, but it got depleted by a plumbing emergency, which is the type of thing that shit was for in the first place. That stash needs to be replenished. On an unrelated note, If I cut our landline (yeah, we're among the last folks on earth to have one), I'll save nearly $600 a year. Not too shabby. 
 I hope that 2022 will treat you well. Stay safe and be good to yourself.

Friday, January 01, 2021

2021 Resolutions

2021 Resolutions Christmas threw up in our living room and ended up sleeping on our fuckin' couch. It's got cookie crumbs and turkey in its beard—time to kick its ass out.

2021 is here, y'all. And not a moment too soon.

The previous year has dampened my enthusiasm for 2021. You can't blame me, right? 2020 was fucked on a never-before-seen level, for reasons we're all completely aware of. No need to rehash.

Still, there's a glimmer of hope related to the usual new beginnings, clean slate, etc.
That means...resolutions. YAY.

As usual, my resolutions are guidelines of conduct and not hard rules, so I'm not screwed forever if I don't comply on the 1st or 2nd of January. And my resolution-posting is a form of keeping myself accountable.

The Usual Stuff:

  1. Better Health. Less medicating via eating. Seeing the doctor. Exercise? Sure, I guess. Like I said last year if I'm working out, y'all won't know. I'm not into seeing people's workout regimens on social media, and people will have opinions about what you're doing and how you do it - for better or for worse. Other than talking about it here, I ain't telling y'all shit. No offence.

  2. Increased Wealth. I'm ending my year's personal finances in the black. Nice. And thanks to my wife (Love you!), we're caught up on our taxes—time to stack chips for multiple rainy days and ramp up the creative endeavours for more dough.

Speaking of which, this is where I'd naturally place the theme of "creativity" in my resolution list, but I think it warrants its own section this time. In 2020, I came to grips with not having innate hustler ability and felt better about having a day job. That said, I'm not totally giving up on the idea of working for myself. I need to gain some momentum from a project (commissioned or self-initiated) and build upon it. I tend to finish something and have lengthy fallow periods. They're good for my mental health, but a portion of the downtime is often due to a lack of confidence. On the other hand, 2020 is the year I rekindled a love for drawing via the iPad Pro and Procreate. Here's what I've sussed out for myself via Twitter:

Creative Stuff:

  1. I will update my portfolio.
  2. I will get paid what I'm worth.

  3. I will sit down and read that Hoodzpah Design #FABAS book cover to cover & get my shit together.

  4. I will make myself available to be challenged creatively AND make shit that is unfuckwithable at the same time.

Number four on the list was inspired by a bucket list project that didn't turn out so great, creatively or financially (ask me about it sometime, I won't talk about it here). While I was pushed out of my comfort zone positively and came up with something I will be proud of, I still came up short. I want to create images that won't have their quality questioned a majority of the time. That'll only come from hard work.

Okay, that's it. I hope 2021 will rub you the right way

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

2020 Resolutions


As always: my resolutions are guidelines and codes of conduct. The world won't end if I don't comply on the first day of the year.

Last year's themes are the same as this year.
1. Better Health
2. Increased Wealth
3. Creativity
...and a new one: 4. Balance.

Better Health: Better coping mechanisms. Making sure I go to the doctor. See a shrink again if I have to. Exercise? Sure. Don't expect any weight loss progress reports. I'm not into those.

Increased Wealth: Pay off that card. Pay off that card, then get that iMac. Stack them chips whenever you can. Celebrate small financial victories...but not by spending. Name your price and get paid what you're worth. Be about yo' business, playa.

Creativity: Keep doing. Just. Keep. Doing. Whether it's self-initiated or commissioned – attack that shit with vigour, or muster that vigour, THEN attack. Put ideas in the sketchbook and flesh out a few. Don't beat yourself up for NOT drawing, though. Like Jake Parker says: put deposits into your creative bank account. Consume good work, but don't forget to produce your own. And I can't let the comparison beast consume me, because it put me on the shelf for nearly two months.

At the beginning of 2019, I decided to start getting up at 5 to get a jump on the day and put thoughts to paper. I quickly forgot about that. However, my friend Ian McCausland posted a link to an article about the benefits of getting up at that time. I decided to give it another go. It's been kinda working. Hell, I started writing this thing around 6:30 on the 31st. It feels good.

Balance: People talk about achieving a work-life balance. Me? I need a housework-creative life balance. I will make sure the dishes are done over hitting the drawing desk. I'll attempt to chisel away at the laundry instead of jotting an idea down (and the laundry is never done. NEVER.). I don't shirk my duties, but I feel the need to put my duties ahead and above my creativity. This is me speaking it into the universe: I WILL conquer the mountain of sheets and towels in the basement, keep up with the constant onslaught of dirty laundry and load/unload the dishwasher regularly, but not at the expense of letting ideas and creative sparks die.

Glad to have gotten this off my chest. Thanks for listening. It keeps me accountable. I hope 2020 rubs you the right way. Peace.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

2019 Resolutions

No lead-off image this year, just straight facts.

As usual, my resolutions aren't hard and fast rules, but more like a code of conduct for the year. This year, my code revolves around three themes:

  1. Better Health
  2. Increased Wealth
  3. Creativity

Better Health: I get on/fall off the wagon regarding my health all year, every year. I'm aiming to stay grounded this time. I took a big step towards getting my mental health in shape last year, so now I have to work on the rest. I can and will commit to exercise, getting the right amount of sleep, and eating healthier. I need to keep the latter in mind before flipping the "fuck it" switch when buying the nastiest burger possible.

Increased Wealth: My wife and I handled some debt issues last year, which is great, needless to say. Now I have to: 1) take care of my Christmas credit card debt, 2) attempt to save more money, and  3) get my freelance business shit correct. I need to get paid what I'm worth. This oughta help.

Creativity: The eternal struggle. Taking a break from freelance last year was something I needed to do, and I don't regret it, but it's time to get back on that horse. I'm not sure how well this will work, but I'm looking at getting up at 5 every day to not only get a jump on the day job and family life, but to also work out the creative muscles before hitting the desk at the 9 to 5. I need to draw more, but not beat myself up when I don't do it for a day.

Monday, January 01, 2018

2018 Resolutions

The usuals:

1. Be healthier: mentally, physically, eating habits, etc.
Whatever's goin' on in my noggin, I need to speak to someone about it. 
DDPYoga, I will attempt to use you again.
As far as choosing the least healthiest option on the menu, I need to silence the impulse that makes me flick the "FUCK YEAH!" switch in my brain. Easier said than done.

2. Get better with money.
I've been able to save over $100 in change at times and temporarily stash money in a rainy day bank account. I'm also about eight months away from paying off my stupid line of credit. These are baby steps towards financial responsibility. I'm often hard on myself, but in this aspect, it's justified; I have to be strict on my spending – and hustle harder outside of the day job in order to have more to play with.

3. Draw, then draw some more.
I mentioned being hard on myself earlier; I'm still about drawing every day, but I'm no longer about beating myself up when I don't. And drawing can be anything from a fully fleshed out idea to a scribbled something that only I can understand. I'm just doing my best to get the ideas down when I get them. That's the important part. I've decided to take Kasey Golden's approach to sketchbooking. I was already sort of doing the same thing, but she pushes every idea before going to the final piece.

My hope is that the getting-the-idea-down-and-posting thing will lead to something – opportunities, etc. Right now, I'm still coasting on the good feeling I got from the props I received from an illustrator I admire. I was just signing up for his mailing list when I got a personal response and this postscript. It made my day. Hell, it pretty much made my year! I figure I'm on the right track. I just need to keep pushing and update my portfolio.

4. Tidiness.
During the holidays, I teamed up with my wife and my mom to tidy up two trouble spots for the holidays: the living room and the kitchen. From there, I felt the impetus to move a ton of shit from our beleaguered dining room back into my workspace, which had been repaired months ago thanks to my father-in-law. I wanna keep this up. The first floor may be fully functional again!

Some new shit:

5. Get that computer fixed.
The display on my iMac is fucked. What took one "on" button press to turn on has gone from three presses to 10+ presses, to rarely functional. Not cool. I want to make stuff. I need this thing working to make stuff. Either a secondary monitor will be coming into play or a refurbished iMac. I don't wanna do either, really.

6. Watch more movies/even more YouTube.
I've never thought of myself as the biggest cinephile, but I do like a satisfying flick. My attention span is so messed up that I only really watch short YouTube vids, some of which are in my 300+ video "watch later" playlist. I'd like to whittle that down to 150. 
I need to challenge myself to watch more documentaries and dramas. And anime...can't forget the anime.

7. Buy more music.
I still read liner notes. I want that music IN MY HANDS, MAN.

8. Get more and better sleep.
Needless to say, this is related to resolution 1. I have a sleep disorder. I've had it for years. I feel the need to be reassessed regarding this condition because things could be better.

9. Be more like Satoshi Kojima.
For those unfamiliar with Kojima-san, he's one of the elder statesmen of New Japan Pro Wrestling. He's held many a title as a singles competitor and as a tag team with Hiroyoshi Tenzan. And as proven through his Twitter posts, he LOVES bread.

He's also incredibly positive. He loves his job and knows his place in the world.

I need to be more like him.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Random Thoughts: August 10th, 2017

10:05 p.m.

  • I haven't written one of these in nearly three years.
  • I'm tired as fuck. Dissatisfaction with my professional life doesn't properly cover what I'm going through.
  • Summer's fading fast. As I get older, I find I miss it a little more. This is coming from a winter guy. Not sure what all of that means.
  • Now's the best possible time to be a wrestling fan. Never in our lifetime has so much been available to everyone. Everywhere you turn, there's a streaming service. And if you're not satisfied with that, YouTube fills in pretty much every gap in your wrestling interests.
    And that's the problem: there's too much.
    I guess that's a good problem to have.
    New Japan Pro Wrestling is near the end of their annual G1 Climax tournament. There are 19 events this year. I only made through to night four. Each event has a packed undercard with shit that might affect future matchups. These things are 2-5 hours long! I don't have the time or the fucking attention span. I just wanna watch YouTube. Easily digestible YouTube moments.
  • An additionally depressing thing about pro wrestling: there's a divide between the folks that prefer the days of kayfabe ("kayfabe" being the illusion that everything in wrestling is real and not a pre-determined athletic contest) – even as goofy as things could get back then – and those that laud the antics of Kenny Omega*, Chuck Taylor, and the Internet famous Joey Ryan. Loyalties are gettin' divided. It saddens me a lil' bit. I love pro wrestling, but what Joey does is the type of shit that makes me embarrassed to be a fan. It kinda makes me wanna just...quit.
  • I don't do drugs, but if you see me with a bag of Peanut Butter M&Ms, things ain't goin' well.
  • I feel a little better having written this out. I'm gonna like, do something else. Maybe go to bed early (Yeah, right, asshole.).
*Disclosure: I'm a Kenny Omega fan, and he's from my hometown. I love what he's doing right now and can overlook the wrestling-a-child thing, but he's one of the dudes that comes up in conversation in regard to ridiculous spots.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

2017 Resolutions

2017 Resolutions
New year, new me, same ol' resolutions. Looking back on last year's list, I really did succeed in eating more poutine. I have to set different goals.

  1. Financial Management. Me and money. Our relationship could always be better. I haven't budgeted in AGES, and I know it'll help.
  2. Health. No more eating every damn thing I see. Back to DDPYoga. Yeah, I know I said that last year.
  3. Creativity. I can say that I love drawing now, but it really comes through when I'm actually drawing. And I'm okay with not drawing every day, and I no longer beat myself up for not putting pencil to paper for long periods of time. (Related note: these tweets.) Also, I need to get back into practicing the art of sign painting. I don't want to lose whatever skill I gained under Rick Wagner's tutelage. I didn't finish Inktober, and I got down on myself, but I know I'm not the only one.
  4. Tidiness. I feel like I've been doing nothing but cleaning for most of the year. That said, my wife and I did a cleaning blitz just before my brother and his wife came over, and we were both taken by the results. Now, I have to tackle my usual nemesis: the workspace. Get it clean and maintain it.
  5. Music. I've listened to Spotify a lot more and realized that I could come up with at least a top six of albums. Not bad. As always, I need to listen to more. More physical copies of albums, too.
  6. Japanese. A friend of mine is learning the language and he's working hard at it. I find that inspiring. Also inspiring, this article. It's never too late to learn, and with the amount of New Japan and Crunchyroll anime I've been watching, it'd be great to get a grasp of the language. I'm dying to visit there again, too.

Friday, January 01, 2016

2016 Resolutions

2016 Resolutions: Puttin' My Best Foot Forward

  1. More Music. All I do is listen to podcasts and Spotify (occasionally). Gotta BUY more music. More physical media. CDs. Vinyl. Edison cylinders. Started 2016 by listening to John Coltrane and Guilty Simpson, so things are goin’ well already. Gotta go out to more shows, too.
  2. Better Health. Been eating horribly. My lifestyle is sedentary. Time to get back on that DDPYoga. With that said…
  3. More Poutine. …I could stand to eat more poutine. It can be my “cheat” meal. The poutine at Le Garage RULES.
  4. More Drawing. As always. It’s becoming more of a habit. 2016 is where it’ll take hold.
  5. Better Financial Health. Make more, save more. And by “more,” I mean “start.”
  6. Tidiness. The workspace, the living room, the kitchen…the whole fucking house, really. Dishes. Laundry. Yeah.
  7. More Comics. Comics America is closing. Time to go to Comic Factory instead. Time to buy more comic PDFs from Gumroad. More mini comics. More webcomics. More, more, more.
  8. Better Time Management. Pretty much nipped lateness in the bud, now it’s time to take care of the moments I have to myself and use them to the max.
    No lazing’ about – make the most of it!
  9. Baking. My wife and I have a Pinterest board of peanut butter recipes.
    I need to make some of these.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Too Much On My Mind Like L.O.N.S.

Shaven Lump Mode

The shit that's goin' down in Baltimore, man.
I wish I was a little more outspoken about things but in the end, I just don't want to argue with people. I don't have the time or energy. Folks that are fucking shit up out of anger in that city?*
I ain't mad at 'em. Would I do it myself? Nope. But I understand the frustration. We're looking at 400+-year slow-motion genocide against bIack people in the U.S., like it or not. If I mention this on Facebook, I just know that I'll get a lot of static from people I call friends that are unable to walk a mile in black folks' shoes. I guess that makes me a coward or something. So be it.

I like to think that I can "stay woke" while surrounding myself with beauty for the sake of my peace of mind. If you need me, I'll be at Pinterest or something.

*As usual, there are multiple angles involved in what's going on. CNN/Fox/CBS/NBC/ABC will sing you a one-note song, but there are people right there in the middle of things taking to Twitter and Tumblr to give you the uncut dope. Stories about how people are truly being affected, not some unified blanket statement. Stories that are positive about the situation that won't be covered by the aforementioned group, because the shit ain't sexy, and America needs its boogeymen/women.