I went to Ed R. Levin County Park for the first time on Sunday. I wanted to hike all of the Agua Caliente Trail but I had to turn around, with less than .6 miles to go, so I could be out of the park by closing time. It was beautiful. Saw lots of animals including 2 snakes, one on the trail and the other in the dog park being escorted out by security. I can’t wait to come back. I’ll probably start hiking all the trails at Ed R. Levin when I’m done with Joseph D. Grant.
My legs were no longer sore and I was feeling good so I went on hike at Alum Rock Park. The South Rim Trail, from the No Horse Bridge to the Sycamore Switchback Trail, reopened after being closed all of last year so I hiked that. I saw some wildlife feasting, drew in my sketchbook a few times, and found spring water bubbling out of a hole in one of the parking lots. When I got in my car to leave I felt something on the back of my neck and found it was a little green worm. Gross!
At 7.43 miles, and almost 1,000 ft of elevation, this was a great warm up for my upcoming hike at Joseph D. Grant County Park. Hopefully my legs aren’t completely dead tomorrow.
Let’s see... This morning I picked up a bunch nerf bullets and plastic balls in the backyard that came over the fence from the neighbors over the weekend. I put everything in a box and dumped it over the fence. Later I had a dentist appointment for a filling. Luckily the cavity was small and shallow so I didn’t need to get injected with a numbing agent before drilling. And at night I prepped the paenls that I’m installing at my brothers studio tomorrow morning. The box had a pretty cool typo that I read out loud and made me cry laughing. It was an eventful day.
Another busy day! This morning I went to Local Color to pick up and pounce the missing piece of the map that didn’t print last time. At home I cut the new pieces and taped them to the main stencils. Later, I went to Home Depot for some supplies before going to Casitas de Esperanza and priming the Hawaiian islands with white paint. I’m hoping that on Friday I can start painting the states in color after making another stencil transfer.
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.
Today I got a covid test and it was much more pleasant than the last time I got in June. I made some minor tweaks to my heart-eyes logo and uploaded it to Instagram for Valentine’s Day. Several friends said I should make it into a shirt and I just might. I also finished the “Scents by Drea” label design for my friend. I’m still working on a logo design for another friend which I’m almost done with.
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.
I’m making it sound a lot cooler than it really is but I went on a 6 mile hike this afternoon and covered new trails, bringing me a tiny bit closer to completing the whole park. I saw a few animal bones, large moss covered rocks, a fallen tree obstructing a bike trail, a tree that looks like it belongs on a motivational poster, the ass-end of huge grasshopper or something and views of Lick Observatory & the valley below from the top of the Yerba Buena Trail. When I left the park I drove further up Mount Hamilton Road to check out the Twin Gates parking lot & trail head and the Smith Creek Fire Station. On the way I up a saw a coyote eating a dead snake on the side of the road (see video) then again posing for sunset photos on my way back down.
Mira, mira! I printed the names in 5 different sizes and cut them out to see how they look. They look great! I’ll probably skip the smallest size since it’s not much different than the next size up. Besides that, they’re about ready to print on adhesive vinyl sheets and get turned into stickers.
I have a 27” monitor that was given to me a few month ago that I finally want to put use. I want to use it in 3 different ways: 1 - Connected to the DSLR that’s mounted overhead on my rig so I can see what the camera sees while I record myself drawing. 2 - To watch movies & shows via a streaming device. 3 - A monitor for a Raspberry Pi computer running a retro video game emulator as well as regular computer capabilities. I thought it’d be a simple task but the monitor only has one HDMI port and no speakers or audio-out ports. I haven’t tried connecting my camera because I need a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable, which I don’t have. I connected my Raspberry Pi but needed speakers so I went to the store and bought a set. When I came back I played a couple games for a while after connecting the speakers to the computer. Afterwards I swapped the Pi for an old Roku Streaming Stick but gave up when I realized there’s no way of getting audio from it without buying a separate piece of hardware. So now I’m looking at HDMI switches that also export audio to get it all to work. The shit never ends.
I finished editing the Hail Santa video tonight. I ran into some issues and learned a few things while working on it. First off, the DSLR camera (overhead) stopped recording and I had to start it up again. There was a notice on the display saying it stopped recording. Luckily I caught it after a few seconds. After Googling it, I learned that I need a faster SD card. My current card is too slow and can't keep up with the camera as it records video. The other option was to record at a lower resolution but I ordered a new card instead. After importing the DSLR and iPhone footage (side angle) into iMovie I learned the two videos didn't sync up. It took me a while to figure out that one video was slightly faster than the other. That shouldn't happen. My guess is that the slow SD card is the culprit. After doing my best to sync the two videos and cutting the hell out of it, I sped up the video from 18 minutes down to 40 seconds. I want to keep my videos short since most people on social media have little or no attention spans. But after speeding it up I realized the quick cuts don't look good at such high speed. I might export a version that's a little longer so the edits aren't as jarring. Either way, next time I edit, I need to mindful of the original video length and how much I need to speed it up.
It was today. Saturday. I went on an early morning hike with my buddies and I was running on 3 hours of sleep so I when I came home I ate lunch and took a nap for a few hours. At night I started editing the videos I took of my Hail Santa drawing and realized I should have started earlier because it's going to take me hours to finish and it's almost 2:00 AM. The video will have to wait. I'm going to bed and watching some TV before going nigh-nigh.
I drew the Thank You card pictured below a few weeks ago for a cool gal named Lulu. She bought herself one of my t-shirts, and her mom really liked it, so she bought second one today. I drew her a second Thank You card (not pictured) and it's this dude's twin brother. I recorded myself drawing it using two cameras. I'd stay up and edit the footage but it's already 4:00 AM so it'll have to wait.
I started experimenting with multiple camera angles tonight. I used my DSLR, iPhone and a GoPro to record myself drawing. The first thing I realized after finishing was that I forgot to turn on my fill light. After importing the footage from all 3 cameras to my laptop I soon learned that iMovie only lets you work with two video tracks. I scrapped the GoPro footage and went with the iPhone and DSLR recordings. After messing around with the iMovie I put together the video below.
I recently bought prints from local artist homie, Eddie Ramirez, and the package arrived today. My drawing desk was the only available space that wasn’t cluttered so I opened it there and took advantage of the mounted camera & lights by filming an unboxing video. I think unboxing videos are lame in general but I thought, “what the heck?” I need to get more use out of my rig and was planning on sharing pictures of Eddie’s prints on Instagram anyways. Two birds, one stone. The three prints are of local San Jose retail store signs that have been around for as long as I remember.
Check out Eddie’s work at eddieramirezart.com and on Instagram @eddieramirezish
Today I finally finished hiking every trail at Alum Rock Park, and as an added bonus, walked down a steep dilapidated old road that’s not on the map. Next on the agenda is to hike the Open Space Authority trails. (Green lines on the map below) I hiked a little bit of the Boccardo Loop Trail yesterday and fell in love with it.
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.
I recorded myself doing a quick drawing using a GoPro Hero 3+ that I'm borrowing from a friend. I'm still waiting on parts to mount my DSLR overhead so I figured I'd test a different camera while I wait. The GoPro has three Fields of View and I used Narrow in this video because I didn't want to distort the image. The downfall is that I can't fit the entire page on the screen. After recording myself draw I edited the video in iMovie to speed it up (from 10 minutes to 30 seconds) and added some transitions, titles, & stock music.
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.
Incase you missed it... a fly landed in Vice President Mike Pence's hair during the vice presidential debate tonight. It hung out for a little while and the vice president didn't even notice it. Instantly, all the social media platforms lit up with "flies on shit" jokes & memes. Kamala Harris is lucky it didn't land on her head too.
I watched the presidential debate. It was a shit show but these Snapchat filters made it a little better.