Today my grandma and I finished the 1000 piece puzzle we started a couple days ago. Afterwards, because the air quality was good, (from the wildfire smoke) I went on a 5 mile hike/walk through Alum Rock Park and just a few minutes ago I sent off the revised design for that little job I'm working on. Time for bed.
I made a little progress on this job today after receiving notes from the client. One of the changes requires a bit more tooling than I expected but I'll figure it out tomorrow before sending it off again.
I'm still not showing the whole image but I made the requested changes and will be sending the updated version for approval later today.
I helped a coworker buddy move out of his house yesterday. His house is on the side of a hill and we had to carry a bunch of boxes from inside the house up a flight of stairs to the U-Haul on the street. I was there for 3 hours and got one hell of a workout. I slept great last night but woke up sore as hell this morning. My shoulders and arms got it the worst. I pretty much stayed in bed all day and watched the whole first season of Cobra Kai (It's fucking great!) and I worked on a graphic design job for a couple hours so the day wasn't a total waste.
Here's another updated snippet of the current job I'm working on for my buddy's band. I really like how it's coming along and sent him the first draft earlier tonight. I can't wait to show off the whole thing after it's done.
The SCU Lightning Complex Fire continues to spread but luckily hasn't moved closer to my home since Wednesday afternoon. Today I pulled away from constantly checking online for updates to work on a design job that's been on hold since the fire started. I'm really liking how it's turning out so far and I can't wait to finish it.
This new job I'm working on is a refresh for my buddy's bands logo. He wants the new design to look like the old one but make it look older & beat up. He also requested a separate graphic that is basically the same concept but of an iconic image. Both are still in the early phases but starting to take shape.
I started working on the new band logo job tonight. Sketching out different variations of the general idea. Getting things out of my head and onto paper before vectorizing.
I picked up another small graphic design job today! I met with my buddy, Adam, (socially distant, outdoors and with masks on) to discuss redesigning his bands logo. We talked about what he and his bandmates have been through over the years and their plans to release their first LP. I also talked about how I've been considering doing more graphic design work for clients now that Covid has taken away my DJ & vending gigs. His band logo, and the other design I've been working on, are good first jobs to help me get my feet wet doing freelance work, which has never been appealing to me before.
I've been working on a design for a client for a couple weeks and it's almost done. I won't share till it's done-done but here's a little portion of it.
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.
I thought I was going to pay taxes for 2019 so I set aside some money. Instead, I got a refund so now I have a little extra spending money to put towards my business. Tonight I pulled the trigger on a couple pricey items that I'd been thinking about buying for quite some time. The 1st item is a new 27" monitor to connect my 15" laptop to. I need the extra real estate to work comfortably in Adobe Illustrator and other apps. I'll share details about the 2nd item later. It's something I've wanted to buy for a few years and I think it's going to be a lot of fun. I can't wait to share it with everyone.
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.
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 did some protesting last week and I'm DJing a wedding reception this Saturday so I went in to get tested for the Coronavirus this morning. I was told to stay home till I receive the results which can take 24-48 hours. I hate waiting on results like this and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the results come up negative.
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.
Today sucked. I felt depressed all day and I didn't know why. Maybe the loneliness of sheltering-in-place is finally getting to me. I barely did any work on my Hearts & Stars piece, just made a quick digital mock-up with a black background but didn't lay down any ink. I couldn't get myself to workout or go for a walk. I went for a long drive, took Capitol Expressway from east San Jose all the way to Campbell, but didn't feel any better when I got home. Later that night, still in a funk, I noticed the the note on my calendar, "MLK Exhibit Day One." Today was supposed to be the opening of my art show at the Martin Luther King Library downtown. I wonder if that's why I down all day. I wasn't aware of today's date but maybe subconsciously that's what has been bugging me. For the past few weeks I've kept my head down and worked on my drawings for the show. It was a goal I was working towards. I recently got confirmation that my art show, and all other exhibits, were postponed until further notice. Now I don't have anything to work towards, besides finishing my current drawings. There are no DJ gigs till June, if at all this year, and no event vending opportunities in the foreseeable future. I hope this depression was a one-day thing. I don't want to lose any more momentum and risk undoing everything I've worked so hard to do over these past few months. Wish me luck!
With all the downtime, I decided to get started with spring cleaning. I'm on that Marie Kondo sparking joy shit. Every year or so I go through all my crap and get rid of the stuff I don't need. Today I pulled a stack of old Thank You cards from brides & grooms I DJ'd weddings for. Sometimes I do good work.
I spent this morning reading over the EDD website (California's unemployment dept) to learn more about filing an unemployment insurance claim. I've already lost 3 DJing gig and 2 vending events due to coronavirus concerns so I figured it was time to file. After reading all the info, I called EDD and the recording said they were experiencing large volumes of calls and I wouldn't be able to file over the phone and to use the website instead. Doing it online took me a while and don't think I filled it out correctly. I'm really hoping someone calls me back. While I was on the EDD website I couldn't find "Mobile DJ" as a work-type, but saw that "Ritual Circumciser" was. Weird. After filing with what EDD I called my bank to discuss my car loan. I also called my credit card company, my health insurance provider, Covered California and my auto insurance provider. Since all events are canceled I'm not going to have much, maybe not any, income for a few months. Every person I spoke to was very helpful and understanding of the situation. Hopefully things get better soon and it's safe to go to events and things go back to normal. If not I might need to start a new side hustle performing ritual circumcisions.
I figured it was only a matter of time until weddings started getting canceled due to Covid-19/Coronavirus concerns. Tonight I found out the wedding I was supposed to DJ in two weeks got postponed. Last Friday the fundraiser I was working got canceled that very same morning. DJ events at this time of year are already slow to begin with. So are the festivals where I sell my shirts. Two events that I was going vend at next month also got canceled this week. I know I shouldn't complain and I will try and remain optimistic, but damn, most of my income comes from working events. I'm going to try and file an unemployment insurance claim next week. I'll also need to contact my bank regarding my car loan and my credit card provider to see what my options are for late payments. Money is gonna tight the next few weeks, or months. Aside from that I'm doing my best to stay healthy and positive during this weird & uncertain time. I hope you and your loved ones are too. Let's hope we get out from under this soon.
I was supposed to DJ an event tonight but I got text this morning saying it was canceled due to Coronavirus concerns. Bummer, because I really needed the cash. This time of year is already pretty slow for DJing. I did wake up to some good news though, an online t-shirt order came in. Before I got notified about the event being canceled I was planning on just bagging the shirt and sending it off. After getting word that I wasn't gonna be working I started drawing a Thank You card for the t-shirt order. I drew my head first then the tentacles & letters with pencil. Then I inked it with a couple Micron pens and fixed a few mistakes with Pro-White. When I was done I threw it in the bag with the t-shirt and a couple SJ stickers and delivered it. The customer lived 15 minutes from home so I figured I'd save him a couple days of waiting for it to arrive by mail.