After a minor update to my heart eyes logo, and uploading it to Instagram for Valentine’s Day, I got a few comments suggesting I put the design on a shirt. That was never the plan but I’m up for it. Unfortunately I’m going to be out of town for 3 weeks so it’ll be a month, maybe more, before I could really start production. I’ve started sketching ideas for the label inside the neck that tells you the size and, depending on cost, a small graphic for the back. There’s not much else I can do till I get back besides get pricing, lock down the artwork, keep the momentum going and take some pre orders. We’ll see if people are still interested a month after Valentine’s Day for this lovie-dovie design.
I’ve been changing my car’s oil & rotating the tires myself for a while. A few years ago I made this doc to help make the process a little faster. I print out a copy when it’s time to change the oil and every time I write notes and make edits to help improve the process. Tonight I geeked out a little extra.
I pressed some new buttons tonight. I also removed the pins and glued magnets on a bunch of them.
If you’re reading this and want custom 1.5” buttons of your own... send me a message for pricing info.
The HDMI switch I ordered arrived yesterday and I hooked it up tonight to make sure it works, and it does! It’s got 3 HDMI inputs and one HDMI out plus one 3.5mm audio output to connect speakers. Now I can use my spare monitor, with a single HDMI por, to connect a Roku Streaming Stick for movies & TV, my Raspberry Pi computer running Retropie to play old school video games, and use it as the viewfinder on my DSLR camera when I record myself drawing. Now I gotta figure out how to neatly mount everything so it’s not on top of the desk but on the rig instead.
...with the EMN Layla-Mae & Phoenix project. I printed them out on adhesive vinyl sheets and cut them to size tonight. The blue fill on Phoenix’s stickers didn’t come out as clean as the green fill on Layla’s which I’m not happy about. It’s something to do with the vinyl sheets. All I gotta do now is find an envelope to ship them out.
The Layla-Mae & Phoenix sticker sheets are ready to print! I’m waiting on the client (my cousin) to let me know how many of each he wants. Then I’ll print them out on adhesive vinyl sheets, cut them and mail them out. While I’ve been waiting I pulled out the spare Raspberry Pi, attached to a 7” touchscreen, that I had laying around. I installed the latest OS and managed to get Disney+ to run on it, but not very well. I also tried installing Retropie, to play old school video games, but had no luck getting that to work. I’m on the lookout for something cool to with my second Pi computer but everything is either lame or above my skill level.
I'm almost done with these. I printed them out in different sizes and scribbled some notes on what needs tweaking. In the end they'll be printed on vinyl stickers.
I got 2 orders ready to go out! One to be delivered tomorrow via The Frankie Mcfly Express (that's what I call it when I drop it off myself) and the other via the USPS on Monday. I also edited a short video with a crawling banner to promote my sale going on till December 25, 2020. Use the coupon code: IGOT5ONIT at checkout and get $5 off each t-shirt.
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.