Inktober 2014 Half Marathon

I’ve known about #inktober for a couple of years. Several of the artists I follow participate regularly. Well, I’m gonna do it this year.

Now for those who don’t know #inktober is an artistic challenge – full details here: http://mrjakeparker.com/inktober – the basics are to do a drawing in ink and post it every day. This year I saw the idea to do the “half marathon” which is a picture every other day, which is what I plan to do.

I want to keep consistent on this so I’m gonna lay out a few more parts of this goal so those of you who feel so inclined can hold me to these plans.

  1. Post every odd numbered day starting on the 1st
  2. Post what I have, works in progress are fine. I’m trying to work on my perfectionist tendency, as in getting it to ease up.
  3. Enjoy drawing in ink

I’m planning on spreading these images across my various blogs and social media. Specifically they will be on http://mydailydraw.wordpress.com and then they’ll spread from there.

And then it all changed

July 9th, I got an unexpected e-mail about a graphic design opening at a nearby company.
July 10th I replied to the email with an expression of my interest to learn more.
July 11th I talked on the phone with the CEO of the company.
July 14th I had an interview.
July 16th I had a job offer.

This has been a bit of a whirlwind of events.

So what am I doing now? I am a full-time Graphic Designer for California Pet Pharmacy. This means I make graphics for their website, banners, headers, and other sundry items; I also put together print materials for them.

Even though I’ve only been at this job a little over a full work day, my first day was Friday the 18th, I already feel an immense amount of internal peace and joy about it. The culture of the company is very startup, but with the expectation being that you work hard when you’re there but when the work hours are over … you’re expected to go home. The work area in an open layout and the CEO/owner and his right hand guy are commonly found in the work space with the rest of us.

It is rather difficult to put into words how I feel about this job. I am very thankful, excited, hopeful, and very … relaxed. I guess you could say, it “feels right”. The expectations are things I know I can meet and exceed and I feel like this is a prime opportunity to grow, personally and professionally. The sense of peace and relax-ed-ness (not a “real” word) are possibly the most interesting feelings. It is almost like a weight has been taken off my mind and shoulders. I feel lighter and like my mind has more space to do interesting things, not just drown out the background noise of looking for work.

The short of it all is that I am celebrating the blessing work and eager to see what the future holds!

State of the life

Friday the 10 was my last day of work. It is sad to be leaving a company that is full of amazing and dedicated people. I have had the honor to work on a project that is focused on improving the way medical research and administration is done. I wish them all the best of luck as they go forward. It was a joy to receive positive affirmation of my graphic design skills and to prove that this was an area I can and should pursue.

Alas I am back on the job hunt. Although this time seems like it’s a better time to be looking. I’m finding more opportunities that are in my strenghts and more that look like they fit my experience level too. So overall I’m feeling much more more excited about new opportunities to learn more and to get more experience.

This is not easy, but it’s not like it was before. I’m keeping my chin up and eyes on the goal! I’m gonna strive for the future I want to live in!

A Moment of Self Reflection to Start the New Year

On, December 29, Shane gave a practical example to thoughts and feelings I’ve been having. The example he used is the “Marshmallow Test” or “Marshmallow Challenge”. The basic premise is you tell a child, “Here is a marshmallow for you. You can eat it now, or you can wait and when I come back I’ll give you a second one.” The test is to see how well your child has self control, can they defer reward in the short term for a greater reward later.

Here’s an example of the test

Looking back at myself, I would have passed that test like a boss. But here’s the weird bit, I would have passed that test so hard I would have ended up failing it. I realize that’s a very confusing statement. Consider, the point of the test is to forgo a small reward now for a bigger reward later. For me I’d forgo the smaller reward and then forget that there was a reward. So ultimately I would fail the test. I’d have excellent self control, but nothing to show for it. Thus the self control is almost self punishment.

This how things were for … well for quite some time. But I’m pleased to say that this has been an area of growth! I am now gathering more of the rewards that come from forgoing near rewards. And interestingly enough some of that is actually getting more of the shorter term rewards. One example is my recent phone upgrade. I have gone from a Razr v3 to an iPhone 5s – yes that is quite a jump, from 2008 to 2013. Part of the delay was my rocky relationship with employment over the last few years. And some of it is the inevitable analysis paralysis that comes from having to make a relativity large decision with lots of variables and many good choices. But if I’m really honest with myself the decision was made several years ago when I got my first and the first iPhone. I ain’t about to knock any of the other good choices, just saying for me, I was already committed.

But why wait so long? Well, there’s a weird level of perfectionism but more than anything else it was a misguided belief that there’d be an even better marshmallow later. This is a fallacy and while yes, technology and life move forward and continue to improve, that won’t mean this awesome thing you have now is any less awesome. It just might not be the newest version. But me, I’d hem and haw, look at the other awesome choices, consider, re-consider, second guess the re-consideration, second guess the second guessing, get fed up with the whole affair and push it off to tomorrow, and then repeat. This is a somewhat destructive version of self control. There’s a thing you want, you have the means to achieve it, there is the opportunity to achieve it, and yet you still don’t have it. I’ve learned that when enough pieces line up, puting it off isn’t really a good thing. As someone smarter than I has said, “That thing you want to do, that you love. Go do it.” Sorta like following your bliss but less hippie-dippie.

There is reward in doing the thing/getting the thing that you want. Sometimes the doing of it is even more enjoyable than the getting. If you never do, you can never receive. So action and choice are vital to being rewarded.

Author Interview with Alina Sayre

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Alina Sayre, author of The Iluminator’s Gift. A fantasy novel for 9-14 year olds.

Synopsis of the novel:

Ellie is a twelve-year-old orphan who desperately wants a family. She just doesn’t expect to find one when she joins the crew of The Legend, a flying ship in a secret rescue fleet. On board, she meets a boy with a pet tarantula, a bully with eyes like mirrors, and a librarian who can read eighteen languages. Unexpectedly, Ellie also discovers a powerful gift that only she can wield. But when The Legend is called to a dangerous rescue mission, Ellie risks losing everyone she loves. Will her mysterious gift be enough to save her and her friends from a deadly enemy bent on destroying their world?

Follow her authoring adventures!

Today’s Been Full of Inspriation

Today’s inspiration is from Kazu Kibuishi

Followed by awesome insight from Alexandria Neonakis

And then Mr. Kibuishi further blew my mind away with

But wait there’s more! This Back to Work ( link ) was all about success, getting things accomplished and not freaking out while doing so.

And  all of this just further backs up what my wise and loving wife has been telling me.

And and all further supports what it seems like God is telling me through my dreams.

“Go! Make the things you dream. Trust I will provide. Work hard on the things that keep you fed. Work hard on the things that feed your soul.”

A bit of creative writing … ya know. for fun-zies

One of the blogs I follow is, Write to Done, which is about encouraging writers. As part of that goal they sometimes have “Scene Stealers“, where the post author starts a scene and then we finish it, in 350 words or less. Today I participated. Here are the results.


The tiny park was almost deserted. Boundary walls, lawn, play area. Two toddlers throwing sand at each other, their mothers or nannies chatting next to them, strollers put aside. Nobody else – not even a gardener or dog or cat.

But the note had been emphatic: “Be there at 1pm. At 1:14, you will get the scoop of a lifetime.”

I fidgeted and glanced at my watch. 1:14pm. Suddenly there was a pierceing flash of light, and a wave of force so strong I felt it move my car. I stepped outside and waited for the world to reach visual cohesion. I kept trying to look for the park but as my vision cleared I realized, there was no park. A perfectly round and semi-sphereical crater was where the park should have been.

In the center was an object, like a coffin off the set of some science fiction blockbuster. It was smooth on the outside, but underneath was a textured surface, like a scarab shell, it even refracted the sun light in that familar way.

I’ve seen this movie, I know it’s damned stupid to touch it; but I felt drawn to it. Against my better judgement I was kneeling next to the thing. I touched the surface of it with a trembling hand, my brain screamed at me to stop. When my full palm and fingers were in contact, it lit up like a CES demo device.

After a moment, the object emitted the hiss of released gas. I lept back, and watched as half of the object tilted toward me, making it’s coffin analogy complete. A figure sat up, it was draped in some sort of cloth, similar to the textured part of the shell. An appendage moved and pulled the material away. I hid my face. This will change everything, I thought.

A moment later I heard a voice in my head. “You’re right. Things will change I am the answer to that great question.”

I peeked through my fingers. “Which one?”, I squeeked.

“Are you alone in the universe.”

Pacific Rim – I love it!

I came for the robot/monster fights I stayed for the joy of it! This is a quintessential summer film. It’s not high art but it is high octane fun! In my mind Guillermo del Toro takes it above an average summer blockbuster, his is more of a labor of love, a sense of craft that makes it more enjoyable. Which is not to make it sound high brow, it’s mostly good fun, but really well done fun. Ehh. I’m droning on here. Let’s cut to the chase.

Do you like giant robots? Yup!

Do you like Kaiju (wikipedia link) movies? Yup!

Do you like Guillermo del Toro’s visual style and story telling? Heck yeah!

If you also answered some from “yes” to these questions then Go see this movie!

I also recommend seeing it in IMAX 3D if you can, it is fantastic!

If you want to hear the Tested crews “Spoilercast” on Pacific Rim check it out here - http://www.tested.com/art/movies/456929-spoilercast-pacific-rim-7292013/ – They much more eloquently express my feelings of joy about the film