My mom is in Europe for the summer, something she does every year; so there's no special Mother's Day event today to do. However, I do have a "Care Package" heading out her way in the next few days so that will be a nice little surprise; and I chatted briefly with her this afternoon. Next summer I might be spending a week or two with her - that will be fun. It's been a few years since I've had the time to do that and I'd like to visit before she eventually sells the apartment, although that might not be for a few years yet. Hopefully, my work schedule, wherever it is, will cooperate. Besides, it's time to get in some updates for my photo albums. That's me in the pix above, from a few years ago. No pink in the hair at all and it was still quite long although I usually had it pulled back or braided. I'd just broken up with my sometimes occasional boyfriend (SOB for short) so I think my mom figured a trip would be a nice distraction. The beer with breakfast, lunch and dinner helped, too.
Yesterday, I had a great time visiting with my friend Toni and her little niece and nephew. She flew them in to spend a long weekend with her. They've grown so much! We spent the day at the Taste of Addison festival with the kids and a few additional assorted friends, and had a great time eating, checking out all the interesting people wandering around, listening to the live music, and riding lots of carnival rides. It was a blast. At least, I wasn't the only one about to barf after the many spinning, twisting rides I went on with the kids...the nephew was about to spew on the last ride, but managed to keep it down although he turned rather green and shut his eyes. Toni was smart and let me have all of that fun with them while she watched and took pictures.
It's good to keep in touch with your friends. I try to hang on to the best ones. Which is one of the reasons I'm off in September to NYC to visit with one of my old friends and his family. I've known him for over ten years now. Crazy!
Next Saturday at the ABOSG meeting, Joe Riley will be presenting "Maquette Sculpting". Evidently, he was (maybe still is?) working as a maquette sculptor at DNA Productions. Considering the rather massive layoffs that have been going on at DNA, I'm curious to find out if they're keeping him on or if he was simply there as a contractor and now that contract is over. In any case, I'm really interested in polishing my sculpting and maquette skills (it comes in very handy to have a maquette when creating character turn-arounds and odd angles of a specific character...even for 2D layouts...so I have at times created some very rough maquettes to help me) so I'll be there with a few questions and taking lots o' notes.
Speaking of creating turn-arounds, I'm doing a very rough 3D set of one of my latest product concepts for work. It has a rather odd requirement for forced perspective because of the scene as well as its environment and the different views that we want to have available for the purchaser. Unfortunately, the company I work for, while interested in the capabilities of 3D modeling, refuses to budget or spend the money needed to get even one user license for a decent 3D package. First they say, "Yes, that's a great idea! Do some research and let's get that going here!" then they nod their heads when we get vendors in to demo....then they do nothing. The usual policy seems to be, ignore it and it goes away.
I'm sure, if you know me well, you can already see me rolling my eyes. Bah. So I'm working on this at my home studio, on my own time.
Well, I have to admit, considering that they won't even spend $50 to get us a second scanner for the company (every department comes over to borrow our scanner at some time or another so we have to go hunt it down at times when they forget to bring it back), I shouldn't be so surprised that they balk at buying a 3D application package.
So this afternoon, I bought a scanner for myself for use at work. It will be labeled with my name on it, I will take it home with me (although I already have two high-end scanners at home that I use), and it will be chained to me while I'm at work. Just kidding...sort of; but I'm going to keep a tally of how frequently my co-workers stop by and ask to borrow it and then I'll present that to my creative manager and the marketing director who is in charge of my department. I'm curious to see what happens.
Of course, that may simply be a moot point, if (when!!!) I get another job offer at last. Things are getting interesting yet again. As I've stated previously, my goal is to have a new creative job before August, to finally get closer to my creative career goal...and so that I miss out on the next daily costume show and parades to the buyers, as well as the next trip to China. There is NO WAY I'm going to move to China for six months. While I have, once again, gotten a couple of offers from people I know who would like me to help them out with a start-up game company as well as yet another animation studio, neither one of those situations is of interest to me. While both of those are certainly challenging with some future potential, they will also take time to turn a profit and establish a production pipeline, and I seriously doubt that they will bring in the kind of experienced artists that they will need...at least initially. I realize that I have quite a bit to learn myself which is one of the reasons I'd like to work for an established studio. In any case, I wished them both well.
Watched Dog Soldiers the other day. I'm still on a werewolf kick, I guess. A funny, almost scary movie with some rather hilarous cursing by the British soldiers. While the special FX could have been improved, even without using CG, it wasn't that much of a distraction from the story which was pretty decent. I still want to write my own werewolf story...that, too, is on my list. Surprise! Like Maurice Sendak said,"...write about what delights you."
For a bit of contrast, I also watched Kissing Jessica Stein. I love her apartment...wooden floors throughout, space for an easel and various paintings-in-progress, and all those lovely books and shelves to put them in! My kind of place. Fun story that hits a bit too close to home as far as the dating scene goes, even if I'm not 28 again. Anymore? ha!
The new website is just about finished (finally), so I can soon take that off my list of Things I Must Get FINISHED, and just do maintenance and minor updates. I've been updating that sucker for the past year now. Since I'm keeping this blog somewhat anonymous as it offers me the chance to talk to myself (in addition to the people that live in my head) and Work Things Out as well as post art and get the occasional comment from friends and strangers, I will not be posting a direct link to the new website. Those who know me, know where it is.
What else am I doing... Ah, I ordered a batch of illustration boards (my favs are the Hi-Line Hot Press), so that I can do the final art for the first chapter of my graphic novel. For the submission and editorial review, I'll also include the pencils of the first and second chapters, sketches of the characters, as well as the treatment and outline for the rest of the chapters...of book one. It's a nice little trilogy. I'm really excited about this project and I'm looking forward to seeing that published...soon, I hope.
This week, I've got myself scheduled in Big Red Letters, no less, to do some Maya practice (the above 3D set I'm modeling in Max). I'll be posting random images at intervals to show my progress. Interestingly enough, I saw on CGTalk the other day a new VFS grad's modeling reel where he had modeled a young napping elephant on a branch. I'm curious if it was modeled in the position that it's in, or if he rigged it and then positioned it. I wonder if he also used ZBrush...probably. Most schools have that available for students focusing on 3D modeling. It looks pretty nice.
Hopefully, mine will be better. ;)