Today was President’s Day. I went to the movies and had dinner with a friend. When I got home I watched a video on how to properly scan line artwork and took notes. I almost fell asleep watching it. Tomorrow I’ll give it another chance.
I finally hooked up my new scanner to the computer and did a couple test scans. I scanned an old ballpoint pen drawing and printed the scans to compare them to the original.
I bought a $250 flatbed scanner today. The plan is to scan a bunch of drawings from my sketchbooks and make zines. I’ve been wanting to make a zine for a while and I got a bunch of drawings and sketches I’ve hoarded over the years, many of which I’ve never shown to anyone. I figure a zine is a good way of distributing my art for relatively cheap.
Yesterday, besides cleaning out my stash of old sketches and stickers, I backed up my iPhone, iPad and Macbook and updated their operating systems. The iOS devices continued to work fine but my 7 year old laptop was having a tough time after the new MacOS update. I updated my Mid 2014 Macbook Pro's OS, from Catalina (10.15) to Big Sur (11.3). After the install the fans in my laptop came on full blast and overheated. I'd known for months that Macbooks days were numbered. One of the speakers had blown out and the trackpad hardly works unless you press down on it really hard. I was waiting for the new M-series 16" Macbook Pro to drop but didn't want to risk losing any of my work in case my old Macbook took a shit so I pulled the trigger on a Mac Mini. I'd mostly been using my Macbook as a desktop with an external monitor, mouse, keyboard and speaker so the new Mac Mini fits right in. Now I can use my Macbook as a backup and get it repaired and not be computerless while it's in the shop.
Almost there. Still cleaning up the design by smoothing out the paths and removing unnecessary anchor points. This sucker is 12 states away from being print ready.
Today I learned about the Smooth Tool in Adobe Illustrator CC. It smooths out jaggy lines (paths) and gets rid of a lot of unnecessary anchor points which is what I need for the drawings I make on the iPad. Using the Smooth Tool, with a mouse, on my US map would be a nightmare so I downloaded Astropad which turns my iPad & Apple Pencil into a graphics tablet & stylus to control my laptop. This sped up the process significantly and I’ve now cleaned up 22 states. I’m almost halfway done.
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.
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 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.
... and I didn't do shit besides wait for this desk to arrive. The UPS guy dropped it off around 8:00 PM and I put it together a few hours later. I haven't used it yet so it's too early to say if I like it or not. I noticed there are a few bumps on the drawing surface, probably dirt or debris between the laminate and particle board, but like they say, "you get what you pay for," and this thing was not expensive. I might sand down the bumps or just lay another material on top so I don't fuck up my drawings. Hopefully there are no other issues with it. I don't want to have to disassemble it, repackage it, then ship it back.