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.
Now that I spend more time on my own business it's getting harder to switch my brain back in to wedding mode, especially after a couple weekends of vending t-shirts and no DJ gigs. I spent whole day today going over notes, timelines, emails and music requests for my next two weddings for this Saturday and next Saturday. I also had phone meetings with both brides & grooms today after preparing all their wedding music on my work laptop. I like to play the music back for them to make sure I have the correct songs for their ceremony and formal dances as we walk thru their wedding day. After the my last phone meeting tonight I was drained. My eyes were tired from staring at laptop screens and pages of notes so I drew myself for Day 2 of Inktober.
I keep a checklist of all the gear I use at events. This way I don't have to spend time looking for things before the day-of. Just grab and go. All the smaller items go in plastic tubs, I got this idea from my DJing job. I used to use two big tubs (with orange tape in pic below) but recently switched to three smaller tubs. (yellow) It's a little easier moving around three smaller tubs than two big ones. I also used to carry a bunch of items I never used so now the big tubs are for storage. Today I went through my tubs and checklist and made sure everything was in there and left them ready for this Friday's Street Mrkt.
That's how I roll.