My legs are pretty sore from yesterday’s hike. It was only 4.23 miles with not much elevation gain but since I haven’t hiked in over a month I’m a bit out of shape. I was hoping I could jump back in and go do the last hike at Grant Park, which is more than double what I did yesterday, but I’m gonna need to train a bit and hike other trails before doing that last stretch. Depending on how I’m feeling tomorrow I might go hike somewhere else to keep this momentum going.
I’m all done installing the 3D wall panels at Redwall Studio! I went full vampire mode and worked at night and slept during the day. It came out pretty badass. Check out the notes I made before I began installing the panels on the wall.
I didn’t start painting today after some difficulty laying out the first stencil. It was too windy to lay out both so I only did the top half, and by the time I finished chalking it was almost quitting time. I learned the kids were still walking & playing on the map even though I put cones and caution tape up last night so I tonight I covered the the chalked area with a few tarps and taped & weighted it down the best I could. I want to get in early Saturday and start painting the top half before chalking & painting the bottom.
Another busy day working on my map mural. I taped the long printouts that I pounced yesterday into a couple larger, and slightly easier to manage, sheets. I then packed them in the car, along with other gear and paint, and drove them to the Casitas site where we’re painting the playground murals on the ground. Carman and Emily both helped me line up the two extra large sheets, weigh them down so they wouldn’t fly away, chalk the perimeter of the map and paint the base layer. I was so busy I didn’t take pictures of the process. Tomorrow, with a little help, we’ll set the stencil again, chalk the whole thing and hopefully start to paint the states in color.
Today at Local Color, Ben from Brush House printed out my map on 5 long sheets of paper and trained me how to operate an electro-pounce to make a stencil. I took me about 8-9 hours to finish. Now I gotta assemble the stencil and hope that tomorrow, when I hit it with powdered chalk, I get a good transfer on the coarse asphalt.
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.
The plan was to go on a short hike at Grant Park today because I’m going to Henry Cowell State Park tomorrow morning and don’t want to over do it but when I arrived at Grant I just wanted to hike as many new trails as I could in the 3 hours before sunset and did 6.35 miles. When I got home later I started researching the hike to the Garden of Eden at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. Apparently there’s a route from the main entrance that crosses the San Lorenzo River but the seasonal bridge might not be up so it might require going across the water. There’s also another route that avoids crossing the river by parking at a different location and taking a different trail. I’m going with friends so I’ll let them decide what to do.
I’ve been making edits to the EMN Layla-Mae & Phoenix artwork based on the notes I scribbled after printing them out a couple times now. Some details were too small or busy and had to be made bigger and more defined. I’ve also been going around erasing a bunch of thin slivers which are partially erased brush strokes. They’re so thin they’re practically invisible on screen but on paper they print out as black marks and they’re all over the artwork. Going forward, I gotta be better about drawing & erasing so I don’t have to comb thru the whole image at the highest zoom setting looking for tiny blemishes that can ruin a print.
I spent most of the day fixing images I created in Adobe Fresco, on my iPad, then converted to printable formats on my computer. First were these 6 drawings of mine. My brother is going to get them printed and framed. I think they were in RGB format on the iPad then became dull when I converted them to CMYK on the laptop. It took me hours to figure out the best way to select the individual colors within the images, based on how I drew it, and finding approximate color matches. The next problem was when I exported a PDF from Illustrator that I originally drew in Fresco. In the PDF I there were thin lines around every brush stroke that wasn't showing up anywhere else before. My buddy Adam needed the artwork I made for his band's album, "Elysian," minus a the background, to put it on merch. He requested a PDF and I thought it was going to be as simple as one-click. Now I'm reading a 31 page guide trying to understand transparencies because I think that's what's causing the issue. I sent Adam some hi-res JPGs, hoping that they'll work for him, until I figure out how to fix this. I thought computers were supposed to make things easier for us.
I finally framed these four drawings because on Saturday they're going to be on display at Orange Moon Salon in San Jose. My friend, Catrina, is a hairdresser there, and also an artist, and she asked me to hang some work. These were originally going up at my exhibit at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library in May but covid ruined that. Six months later and they're finally going to be available for others see. Please wear a mask if you go!
Today I prepped the ceramic skull by first spraying it with a clear fixative so the pencil lines don't fade or smudge from constantly handling and applying & removing masking tape. After the fixative dried I masked off everything except for cells I was painting and propped the skull on the wooden bar I'm using as a stand. When I set it down I heard a crack. After painting the first color then removing the masking tape I saw that a pieces had chipped off and stuck the tape. Luckily it only broke into 3 parts and not a million tiny pieces so I glued them back on. I also poured glue inside the skull and let it coat the inside where it broke. That was all for today. Tomorrow I'll sand it down and continue painting. Thank god I didn't totally fuck it up. My Inktober drawing for Day 6 is based on today's mishap.
I went through my tub of old spray paint and pulled a few cans I might use on the skull. They've been sitting for years so I had to test them first. I then went to Home Depot and bought 9 different colors of Rust-oleum Painters Touch. They didn't have some of the colors I wanted, and I'm not 100% sure if I'll use all the cans I bought today, but I'll need at least 9 different colors for this project, preferably 11 or 12.
It's been a pretty busy week at home so far. Not so much much with art but with other projects. Tonight I rearranged & saved my workspace on Adobe Illustrator to match designer Aaron Draplin's workspace, as shown on one of his Skillshare videos. His course, "Design Like Draplin: 21 Tips for speedingUp Your Design Workflow," is what motivated to buy a larger external monitor. I've been using my 15" Macbook for years and never realized how cramped and cluttered my workspace was till I watched his course.
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.
I forgot to write 2 blog posts this weekend, for Friday and Saturday, so I'm making these filler posts to make up for them instead of just a single post for Sunday night.
Friday, I was up late prepping music & notes for my event on Saturday and I forgot to post.
I recorded another quick-mix set. 14 minutes of 80s rock. It took me all day to pick songs and set cue points but I'm happier with this mix than yesterdays.
My work requested some recorded mixes of music I'd play at weddings, that's quick-mixed in & out of. I tried a few days ago and couldn't do it. My mixes fell apart after a couple songs. I feel that most music I play at weddings sounds better when people are dancing to it. Without an audience, most wedding dance music feels flat to me. Today I tried again but used a few songs I wouldn't normally play at events, focused on what makes me dance and had fun with it. It took a long time to choose the songs and listen to them to find the in & out points. When I finally recorded it it took me two tries to get it right/good-enough. In the end I made this 13 minute mix that starts in the 60s and works its way to the 2000s
It was a nice day today so I set up the DJ rig in the back porch with the intent to record a set. The goal was to record a mix of songs I'd play at a wedding and quick-mix in & out of each song (not play the whole thing.) My plan was to mix and record different sets based on decades starting with the 60s. I listened to, and prepped, a bunch of music before mixing. Because I'm used to playing full songs at events I had to listen to the music again and find points to mix in & out of. That took a lot of time and when I was ready to play none of my mixes were sounding good. They'd fall apart after 2-3 songs. It was really frustrating and in the end I had nothing. I didn't even have fun. I might try again tomorrow with different music and not quick-mixing.
Inking for Hearts & Stars is complete. Now I'm on the last level, Eyes & Mouths. I saved the hardest one for last. This one has a lot more detail than the previous two and will require a few different size pens. I tested them out today. My main pen will be the Copic marker but I'll also be using most, if not all, of the different size & shape Microns. Wish me luck!
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.
Today I finally shared the news that I'll be showing my artwork at the Dr. Martin Luther King Library, in downtown San Jose, from May 1st thru June 26th. It's happening in the Jennifer & Philip DiNapoli Gallery on the 2nd floor. I've gone and measured the walls where I'll be hanging my stuff and have an idea of what I'll display but there are some things to consider. I'm not allowed to drill or tack things to the walls. They must be hung with wire. It's also in a very public place with lots of foot traffic, and I'm solely in charge of protecting my work from theft & vandalism, so I have to rethink how, or if, I'm going to show my smaller & more delicate pieces. Keeping those things in mind, I want to make it fun and eye catching for everyone who sees it. I'll be posting more details as we get closer.
I only had a few hours today to get the materials, prep and draw the outlines using a projector and chalk. I left early to attend an event at Local Color and snapped a pic of my EMN mural while I was there. Tomorrow I'm going in early to knock out the Redwall logo.