I hiked a few new trails at Joseph D. Grant County Park and took some pictures. I’m almost done hiking every trail there. It’ll probably take me 3-4 trips to cover the perimeter and a couple more to hike the trails I missed.
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.
This is my 500th blog post! It'd be cool if I had some profound shit to write about. Instead I'm sharing the collection of maps I've printed, highlighted and carried with me on my hikes over the last couple months. I've thrown them away and fished them out of the trash at least twice now and I'm still not sure what I'm going to do with them.
The whole thing started after Covid struck and my gym was forced to close. I started going to Lake Cunningham Park to walk & run until that got boring so I started hiking the Eagle Rock Trail at Alum Rock Park. I kept hiking the same trail over & over till I decided to explore the rest of the park. In November I decided I was going to hike every trail at Alum Rock before the end of the year. I finished Alum Rock sooner than expected and moved on to the Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve and managed to hike all those trails before New Years. Now I'm working on completing Joseph D. Grant County Park and I'm about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way done. Since Grant Park is so big, and has tons of trails, I've been selecting my route and printing a portion of the map (middle pic) to carry in my pocket. When I get back home I highlight the trails I hiked that day on to the full map (bottom.) I'm hoping to finish Grant Park in February and starting someplace new. I'm thinking Ed R. Levin Park.
...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.
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 keep saying that about this project. I printed both pieces after going over them with a fine tooth comb and cleaning up all the little imperfections. They look super crisp at full, half & quarter sheets. I want to see how small I can print them so I'm waiting on my printer to spit out the 6-up & 9-up sheets. It's taking forever so I'm going to bed. They should be ready when I wake up.
Kept it low key for New Years, cause of covid and I'm old. I made a little animation for those who went out and gathered in groups. If they get covid, fuck em! After 9 months I'm tired of feeling bad, plus we should all know better by this point. If they get other people sick, well then then they're assholes too. Besides folks ringing in the new year with covid, I've plotted a short hike at Grant Park, to do later today with my buddies, and got back to work on the EMN Phoenix project I should have finished by now. Happy New Year... even though not a damn thing's changed!
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.
Before printing this out I brought the artwork into Illustrator and went through every eye, mouth & nose to clean them up. I also a brought in the vectorized Layla-Mae, instead of the rasterized graphic I'd been using in it's place, so now the name looks way sharper. Tomorrow I'll print smaller versions to see how they look.
I think it’s gonna need one more pass to clean up any of those pesky leftover slivers. Then Layla-Mae will be ready to print!
These remind of when you’d get your assignment back from the teacher and they marked all the mistakes you made. The best was when you had the opportunity to fix the mistakes and turn it back in for a better grade. That’s basically what I’m doing here. I’m going for that A++++
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 finished another round of tweaks. I’m going to print it again tomorrow to see how it looks before moving on.
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 did laundry, watched the movie “Slither,” (which is fucking good!) and started inking (digitally) this EMN Phoenix piece.
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.