The rig is slowly coming together. The big stand made of metal pipe is to mount my camera onto. I got a DSLR camera that I bought years ago, and never used, that I want to use that to record myself drawing from overhead. I bought a clamp-on arm but the camera is too heavy. I’m either gonna return the clamp or use it with the GoPro I’m borrowing or my cellphone and maybe shoot from multiple angles. I also got some new light fixtures and bulbs. Next, I still gotta figure out a solution to securely mount my big camera to the stand, learn how to use the camera, and hang a 4’ fluorescent light fixture above the desk for more light. In the end I just wanna record fun videos and upload them online.
These past few days I've been trying to come up with a solution for recording myself draw. I have a DSLR camera that I want to record with but need to mount it on over my desk. I'm leaning towards building rig from steel pipe and buying new lights. Tonight I did trial recording using my phone and gooseneck phone mount clamped to my desk. My phone ran out of storage before I finished my drawing but I got a much better idea of what I want to accomplish.
I didn't get too artsy fartsy today but I did take a little time to think about how I want to build out the website. I currently have all my t-shirts and stickers on one page in my store and that's it. I plan on doing the same with the new one but I also want to create individual pages for each style of t-shirt that has more details and information about each design. I wish creating websites were as easy as sketching them.
I tried using a Weebly to Wordpress exporter to move my blog but got the error message below. The Wordpress dashboard shows that my old blog posts came over but the images did not.
That's what I paid for one extra month of Weebly, my current site host, so I can migrate my blog and everything else to Wordpress, my future host. Even though I was still able to write new blog posts, while my site was unpublished, I wasn't able to export all my old posts. I'm still figuring out Wordpress. It's a little bit confusing and I'm having a hard time staying focused on learning it but now I got an extra month to make the switch.
My new monitor arrived today! Finally, I have more room to play with when using Adobe apps. I can even rotate it 90 degrees and fit my whole homepage on it. Weebly also sent me an eviction notice today. My website is still up and running as of now. I paid for a year of web hosting with a new host and installed Wordpress. Hopefully I can transfer my old blog posts over before Weebly shuts it down. Otherwise I'm gonna have to pay for an extra month just to copy it over.
Messages have started showing up when I log onto Weebly asking me to pay for a plan or to remove some features from my site. I didn't renew Weebly's Business Plan when it expired last week. I thought they were going to close my site but it's still up and running. I can still post to my blog and I think as long as I don't edit the site and click Publish, I can keep using it as-is. I want to learn & switch to a Wordpress site, so now that I got the time, I've decided to watch tutorials and get educated. It seems complicated at first but looks easier once it's up and running. First things first, find a web host and pay for a hosting plan, so I'm figuring out how to go about that.
Today I replaced the old front door knob and deadbolt at home then went to Home Depot to make key copies. Then I went to Costco and bought a new car cover canopy for my dad to replace his old one. When I got home I cleaned the shower head and fixed the shutoff valve that was seized shut. Later I then got to work vectorizing some designs in Adobe Illustrator for a project I'm working on. It was a very productive day. Up next is patching & painting holes in the drywall and helping my dad assemble the canopy after taking part the old one.
Today I bought a one-year subscription to Skillshare Premium. Skillshare.com is website with a bunch of online courses on all a bunch of different subjects. I heard about it when one of my favorite graphic designers, Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Co., shared on his Instagram (@draplin) that he released a new course. He's taught 6 of them. Tonight I watched his 2-hour course on improving your Adobe Illustrator workflow and it alone is worth the $59 I paid for the whole year.
After hours & hours & hours & hours & hours preparing, I finally filed my taxes this evening. One day before the extended deadline. I was stoked to finally finish and learn I'm receiving a refund. The last few years I've had to pay the federal government so I'm happy to finally get some money back. After filing I celebrated with a short hike up to Eagle Rock at Alum Rock Park.
I made a lot of progress yesterday & today preparing my taxes. I got all my 2019 business expenses categorized and entered into Turbotax. It's even showing me, as of right now, that I'm expected to receive a federal refund. It's been a few years since I've gotten money back from the Uncle Sam and that got me excited.
I started calculating my self employed income & deductible expenses in late December then paid my Sales & Use Tax at the end of January. I then started doing my state & federal income taxes in early February to give myself plenty of time before the April 15 due date. Soon after, the Covid-19 pandemic hit and the tax deadline was postponed till July 15th, which is 4 days away. Tonight I tried picking up where I left off 4 months ago. I spent most of the time reviewing the work I already did, going over old notes and taking a bunch of new notes. I was a little overwhelmed at first but ended the night feeling confident about what to do next and preparing to make future tax filings easier.
A few days ago I started using a fresh Copic marker and today as I was warming-up I saw a little thread hanging from the tip. I pulled it, thinking it was lint, and it turned out to be the nib itself. It was damaged and I made it worse by yanking it. I was pissed off at myself. I tried cutting with an X-acto knife what I had pulled but I couldn't get it back to normal. Afterwards I didn't want to use the marker anymore and I didn't have any extras. I thought I wasn't gonna be able to work on my piece for a few days till I got new markers delivered. When I went on Michaels.com I saw that the store closest to me had black Copics in stock, and was doing curbside pickup, and had a coupon for 20% off the order. I ordered a couple Copic markers and a Pentel brush pen and they were ready to pick up in less than 30 minutes. I lost a couple hours, total, trying to fix it and picking up a replacement it but it was better than losing a few days waiting on a delivery. I don't know if Michaels stores have been doing the curbside pickup the whole time during the pandemic, or if they just started doing it, but it saved my ass today. And this is not an ad or endorsement, shopping at Michaels is usually pretty disappointing.
That half a house key I pulled out of my tire yesterday wasn't what caused it to go flat. Today I removed the tire, put some air in it, sprayed it with soapy water (where I pulled the key from) but there were no bubbles. I was confused till I looked on the other side and saw the nail head. I videotaped myself pulling it out with pliers. It was a big fucker, as you can see. I had a tire plug kit in my car so I was able to plug it up quick, put the wheel back on, fill all the tires to the recommended tire pressure, then went out for a spin. It was a beautiful Saturday so I drove up the hill and back. Not a smart idea, incase it went flat again, but luckily nothing happened.
This is kinda what it looks like when you go to @sanjoseday on Instagram and scroll to my post. It's one long seamless image broken down into 10 slides. I laid out a bunch of different digital drawings & designs I've made over the past few years. It was fun making this and participating in the virtual art show since we're all still sheltering in place. The actual San Jose Day event has been postponed to July 18. Hopefully we'll be over the 'Rona by then. Fingers crossed.
No one's buying t-shirts anymore so I've introduced two new items to my online store:
Frankie Mcfly's Reusable Face Mask & Frankie Mcfly's Reusable Toilet Paper Roll. For cooties & poops during this Covid-19 pandemic.
Both items are available now (find them under t-shirts) *Remember to wash before you wear or wipe!
I shot my first Instagram Live video today. I built a rig to hold my phone over my desk to record myself drawing. I made an hour long playlist on Spotify of 80s music because I read Live videos go up to 60 minutes but my video got cut off around the 30 minute mark. I freestyled the pencils then inked it with Sharpie and Copic markers. I finished it by coloring in the inside shape with a yellow highlighter but no one got to see it. Next time I'll plan for a half hour video.
Follow me on Instagram to catch the next one @frankiemcfly
Today I and counted all my shirts after the Local Color Daytime Market on Sunday and updated my inventory online. This is the part of the job that sucks the most so I'm always trying streamline and improve the process to make it faster and easier to do. Everything from the way the shirts are folded, stacked, stored & logged has had some thought put into it. I recently made changes to how I log the info so I can see how many total shirts I have in stock per design/style and made it so I can quickly figure out how many of each size & style has gone out. Making those little tweaks are fun and the data it provides is valuable.
I'm getting ready to file my taxes so I went thru last years tax stuff and found I picture I drew of myself. It was my first year filing business income & expenses for 2018 and it took me a few weeks to go over all my records and file. It sucked while I was doing it but felt great once I finished. I think I did better job at keeping records for 2019 so it shouldn't take as long as last year.
I came up with the paintbrush holder (the M shaped one with the two feet) a few years ago when I was working on a canvas. I needed something to set my brush down and not get paint everywhere. I don't know how I got the idea to bend a paperclip but it worked out great. Recently, while working on Head Thing 2, I made another brush holder then came up a second design (triangle base) that was a little easier to make. Super simple and practical. I love that shit.
I am tired of staring at spreadsheets. The whole reason I started doing this now, instead of waiting till February, is because of Covered California. I have to update my information before the end of the year so I can continue getting healthcare coverage. I went and figured out how much money I made from DJing, t-shirts, murals and graphic design work. Then figured out my business expenses and how much I can deduct. Once I got those numbers I went to the Covered California website but kept getting stuck. I spent a couple hours trying to figure it out till I got frustrated and decided I'll just give them a call on Monday. At least when this is all said & done filing taxes should be a breeze.
Today I finished going thru all my credit card transactions from 2019, till now, and made sure they were all properly logged and categorized on a separate spreadsheet. After every purchase, I'd log the date, dollar amount, who I paid, how I paid, category, and notes on the doc. A lot of damn work. I made a Google Form and saved the link on my phone to make it easier. I mostly pay everything with credit card so this took me a very long time to go thru. I've already logged my business debit & checking transactions, all I have to do is go thru my personal checking transactions and make sure they're all been entered properly. Once I'm done I can start figuring out what's tax deductible and have a head start when I file taxes.
I kinda got forced into starting my taxes a couple months before I originally intended. I'm not filing yet but I do have to figure out all my income and expenses asap. Figuring out the income was easy but going thru all my receipts, invoices, bank & credit card transactions, adding up my business expenses, is taking a long time. Once I gather up all the expenses I need to figure out what can & can't be deducted.I gotta come up with a better way of managing and logging all these transactions for next year.
8 years ago I joined my buddies non-profit group known at the time as Mexico Extravaganza. The year before I joined they put on a theater production called "Monarca" and they were gonna do it again. One of the scenes involved a large tree in the background. Someone had built them a tree the year before but they needed something bigger so they asked for my help. We went to the hardware store and bought two or three 2-inch thick 8'x4' styrofoam panels, paint and supplies. I think I shaped it with a knife and boxcutter then cut the grooves with my Dremel. I brushed on a lighter shade of brown inside the grooves then rolled on a darker brown on the surface to highlight the texture. When it was done it was 16' tall and about 10' wide at the bottom. In the end I think it was too tall so they had to chop off a few feet. I only built the trunk and someone else made the top. I don't remember if I got a chance to watch the show. I might if had to work that day. I think all I saw was the picture below.