Is it bad to not update your blog?
December 30, 2021, 10:29 pm

What if it was extraordinary times? What about then? What if life went absolutely nuts all around you, and you just sort of forgot to update it? What then?

It's been a hot minute since I've put very much on this website. I need to redesign it. I need to rewrite some things (especially an image uploader), and I need to make more of an effort to keep my self honest about my projects by posting about them in public. Let's see... where was I?

This year has been a series of big changes. At the beginning of 2021 I was let go from my full time status at the Academy of Art and I got a job as a Senior Frontend Engineer at a company called IMVU. This job has been really fantastic. But it's the first fully remote job I've ever had. Working fully remote is not something I ever sought, and it's been both freeing and frustrating in a lot of ways. I like to be around people, and if I'm totally honest, when I'm stuck in a house, I find it hard to motivate myself.

I am still teaching at the Academy sometimes. I like it. Not sure how much longer I'll be able to continue, but I think for now if they keep inviting me back, I'll continue teaching a class.

I worked on a number of personal projects. I've been doing a lot of things with themoviedb api. Did a little project with a friend for figuring out which of your friends you're most compatible with, based on the movies you like. And I just pushed a big update to filmswith, a website for browsing movie data, and comparing people and movies together. I rebuilt that app from the bottom up in React, and I've learned so much during the process.

I'm not sure I'd call 2021 a success. When 2020 started, I thought it was going to be such a good year. I had so many plans. In some ways it was great for me. But 2021 just feels like a blur. I'm not sure what to expect in 2022. I just have no idea. But I think I'm going to try to work on more personal projects. Here's hoping I can stick to that. Someone keep me honest.

Icons and libraries
July 10, 2020, 3:15 pm

So I have a thing that I work on periodically. It's a library of javascript code that is... well more or less a jquery replacement. But it's something I wrote, and it's something that does what I want. And I made it to learn a lot, but also because it's small, and it's clean, and I like it. It doesn't really have a name, but it's part of my apptools collection on github, and it just got a new release.

I was working on another project, my icon library, and I started to convert it to something that uses my library, and it had ALL KINDS of problems when it came to querying on an svg element. Turns out I had to solve lots of problems, and I had to solve a number of them, and I had to set up an ampps server to get everything working right, and it was just a whole thing.

But I think I fixed a number of necessary issues with my library, and it's never felt better. Not just its use, but also my whole work process got streamlined a bit, and it felt really good.

... Maybe I'll update my website one of these days.

New Huion Drawing Tablet
May 25, 2020, 7:45 pm

So I just purchased a new Huion 16 Pro. I also just bought a new desktop, but that's beside the point. For the past few weeks I've been using my new computer, and I've been doing nothing, but playing video games and having fun, but feeling kind of useless.

So I've been paying attention to Wacom and its competitors for a while now, and I decided to go with a Huion instead of a comparable Wacom for a number of reasons. One reason is that it was cheaper, way cheaper. And the other is that for all intents and purposes, they seem to be great tablets. Huion and XP-Pen have made great strides recently to be competitive in the tablet market, and so I wanted to find out for myself.

I whipped up this quick drawing in Clip Studio Pro, and I had a blast doing it. I'm using some Frenden brushes for this, although truthfully only one. But hopefully soon there will be more. If you want to watch the whole hour long process, you can watch it on Twitch, which is where I will be streaming moving forward.

A bit of an overreaction
March 7, 2020, 2:15 pm

So I've been learning react recently. I've been getting pretty far into it. I'm pretty confident at this point that I understand the concepts, and I'm able to execute on React Hooks effectively.

I made a quick little demo example TicTacToe game, because one of my colleagues was doing a tutorial, and I wondered if I could write one from scratch. And the answer is, I COULD, but also I pulled a tiny bit of code from one of my old examples. But honestly I just pulled the win arrays, because my brain shut down, and I couldn't think of how to do them for a second.

So if you're interested, here's a quick React app of TicTacToe, and the Github repo to go along with it.

I'm enjoying React a lot these days, and I've started multiple projects in it. It's groovy, and I like the build processes.

Do as I say, not as I do
March 4, 2020, 4:46 pm

My students are constantly required to have a work journal to record their progress. I rarely ever journal these days. Maybe it is because I can just tweet something out.

I started a new hobby, and a new project for it. Whenever I start something new, I can usually think of an app to go with it.

I started podcasting. I bought a bunch of equipment and I've recorded a bunch of material, but none of it has been released yet. So like... not casting. Just podding. Whatever.

Along those lines, I've started a new coded project this weekend called Agenda Run. It's an agenda software that is useful for people who are making speeches, or running group meetings, or... ya know... podcasting. I realized it was hard to keep on topic while podcasting, so I needed to make something to help with that. And of course, I bought a domain name. Cuz that's half the fun.

It's entirely possible if you click that link, that page will be broken. I am actively working on this, so whatever. It's also possible that you'll find it useful or useless immediately. Tell me your thoughts if you have any. I'm interested.

Portraits in 2019
January 13, 2020, 9:23 am

So in 2015 I painted a live digital portrait every weekend. It was a lot, but an amazing experience. I was using a Samsung Series 7 Slate back then. It was a tablet PC with a wacom drawing stylus and it was amazing. It purported to have a 7 hour battery life, but when I was drawing, I was lucky to get an hour and a half out of it. We weren't on Windows 10 yet. There were no touch controls. I wasn't even able to pinch zoom. We all used this software hack that added a touch section of buttons to the side of our screens.

Times have changed. We're inundated with choices as artists. In a lot of ways, it's never been better. Like Windows? Get a Surface. Like iOS? Get an iPad. Like Android? Get a Samsung Tab. Like your computer? Get a Wacom or a Huion. Like a phone? Get a Samsung Note.

I've managed to collect a number of devices over those years, for art and testing purposes. Devices have amazing battery life these days, and I can sit down to paint with a charged device, and fully expect to roll through a 4 hour session with no problem. Touch applications have come such a long way, from old standards like Photoshop and Clip Studio, to new contenders like Infinite Studio and Procreate.

The point is there's something for everyone.

I want to do some portraits this year again. I did my first already. I want to do more. I am putting this out there to the world, if you are interested in getting a portrait painted by me in 2020, send an email to me. Use the subject "Portrait Project 2020", and tell me a couple of dates you think you'd be available.

When I did this last time there were lots of questions. Probably not enough questions on my part, actually. But basically this would be a live digital portrait. You may be doing whatever you like. They tend to take about two to three hours, so best to pick an activity that you can sit still for, and a place with controlled lighting. This is basically just for practice for me. It's fun. I like to go to new places in the city, and meet new people. And although it never happened last time, maybe there can be a book or a show out of this in the end.

Into the Hammie-verse
September 16, 2019, 11:19 pm

Have you seen Into the Spider-verse? That's a good goddamn movie. It's got an amazing soundtrack. It's got style up the ass. And it's got a number of really awesome messages.

"How will I know I'm ready?"

"You won't. It's a leap of faith."

That's a pretty excellent sentiment. It's been hitting me pretty hard lately. "But when will I know I can start?" You will not ever be ready to start. You must simply start. You must create. You're going to think that there's a best time to start. That time was yesterday. The next best time is today.

Stop putting off the things you could be doing. Stop telling yourself you'll do it tomorrow. Make it now. Put your all into it.

I've been putting a lot of effort into my AppTools javascript library. It's getting bigger and better all the time. I need to put some effort into documentation again soon. I'm nearing completion on a pretty big part of the puzzle. If you're interested in what I'm working on lately, that's it.

If you're not interested in what I've been coding, then maybe you'd like to know that I made a shirt I like a lot I've been calling Sisterhood. It's available on Etsy and at Redbubble. It also looks real cool as a tote.

The Toolbox Fallacy
September 15, 2019, 12:08 am

I watched a video today on youtube about a concept called The Toolbox Fallacy. As soon as I heard the title, I knew what the concept would be. As soon as I saw the video's first example, I knew it was perfect. It's such an easy trap to fall into.

I can't make anything yet, because I don't have this thing. I'll make more content, once I get this upgrade.

It's so easy to waste so much time with this mentality. It's so easy to always pass blame onto anything but yourself. The fact is, when you were a kid and drawing, you didn't have anything. When you were young and pirating photoshop and had a 4x5 wacom, it was pathetic. But you did it. You did it because you had two things. Passion! ... and time.

It's the one part of the Toolbox Fallacy that doesn't quite hold one to one. Because you see, there may truly be no time for you now. Or is there? Should you have gone to town and hung out with friends? Should you have went on that date? Should you see that concert? Or should you be creating?

When you're young you have whole swathes of time with no commitments except your own urges to create. But later in life commitments and jobs and relationships can cut a hard line through your priorities. You can create art with anything. You CAN create. But you will have to take time away from something else now.

Because you almost certainly DO have commitments. But maybe that's the dream that only comes at the end of success. To take some of those commitments out of the equation, so that the thing you had such a hard time convincing yourself to start is now the only thing you do at all. Or maybe just the thing you do the most.

Tags: personal

Who was in that film with that other guy?
September 10, 2019, 8:42 am

A while ago I made a thing, but I never really released it, because it was never really done. It still isn't, really.

Sometimes when I'm in a bar, I want to know the name of an actor. I don't remember their name though. I don't remember the name of the movie they were in. But I do remember they were in another movie with another actor, and I remember that actor's name. Playing this game of musical chairs with names is something that can sometimes be frustrating when you don't remember anyone's names, but you remember their faces.

I also sometimes wish I knew all the movies that two actors have been in together. Or all the movies an actor and director have worked on with each other. Or perhaps all the actors that appear together in two movies.

I've always wanted an app that could cross reference these things, and honestly, I always wanted to make it myself. So I started work on it recently, using VueJS and The Movie DB. It was a lot of fun, but I wasn't really liking basic VueJS. So I'm working on remaking it in my own framework. But more on that later.

For now, you can find this tool at Check it out, see if you can figure out how to use it... I often find that it's just nice to browse a site of faces.

Existential Dread
September 10, 2019, 12:24 am

I woke up tonight after having a dream filled with existential dread.

I'm not fulfilling my potential. And life is starting to go faster. When you're twenty, life seems like it will just keep going forever. But as I near forty, I feel a wave of inevitability crashing toward me. The last 5 years have seemed so long, but they've gone by so fast. Maybe looking back on any chunk of time makes it seem small.

I need to redesign this website. I need to draw more. I've actually been doing that. I need to build myself some image uploading tools for this site. I need to use them to archive all the art that I've done within the last few years. I need to write a will. I need to write a map that leads to all the content I have hidden all over the internet.

I need to release something. I told some students the other day that it's not important whether or not something is done, only whether or not you released it. I have so much stuff that's released, and very little that's done. Teaching is a constant improvisation experiment, and sometimes you say something that's so totally right. And sometimes you say something that sounds right, until you hold it up against yourself and it shines a dirty light back on you.

I don't feel successful. I don't often feel fulfilled. I'm having a night of existential dread, and I haven't written in a while.

I like writing. I like the process of words. I like the process of distilling a free form thought into a transposed concept. But all I seem to be able to write is prose and poetry. I wish I had the discipline, drive, or ideas for writing something more story oriented. I've been drawing a comic for the last 2 years, and it has taken forever. It's so close to finished, and there's nothing scarier than finishing something. Except maybe starting something. And I didn't write it. I've never written anything except this blog, and some poetry a hundred years ago.

I'm having a night of existential dread. I pondered the notion of taking your life and waking up dead. What if you stayed in your body as they carted it away. What if your consciousness was bound to the flesh, and you screamed to the darkness as they threw dirt on your face. What if you stayed in the earth while the beasts and bugs slowly ripped apart your body until, like Theseus' ship, you weren't quite the whole anymore, but carted off to new existences. What if each of those pieces formed their own consciousness, separated off from the group. What if that's all we are is the existential dread of a being pulled apart time and time again, only to be placed back in the dirt to wait for the process to repeat.