My Work in Progress

A sketchblog where I post a few of my scribbles from a variety of works-in-progress, usually from my rather random personal creativity outside of the daily grind. I occasionally, but not always, post the final artwork.


What is it about Shopping Malls?

This week's Zombie Flick was "Bio Zombie". Truly an odd kind of zombie movie; but our host said it was one of his favorites, so I expected something interesting. And it was quite a fun one. Definitely one to see with friends and...have your popcorn handy for those random moments of "No way!"

Healthwise I'm not quite feeling at zombie status anymore, although the muscle relaxer I take at night is a pretty good one - and one of the reasons I can only take it before bedtime. Migraine is gone, sinus infection gone, back-pain still present. So, 2 out of 3 isn't too bad. Hopefully, the next few days will still see continued improvement. If not, they want to do more X-rays. All over.

Hmm...that could be interesting.

In sketching studies, I've been helping out another illustrator get a better understanding of horse particular, flying horse anatomy. Here are a couple of the random sketches I quickly did and then discussed with her.


It's All In My Head

So, the headache wasn't going away after seven days even though I was taking OTC pain-killers, and I was starting to feel dizzy during the day, too; so I finally went to see the doctor on Friday. It appears likely to be a combination of stress, migraine, muscle tension, minor sinus infection, too much time at the computer (and working with poor posture lately...I know that, been trying to fix that), a lack of regular exercise, etc., etc. On the plus side, there's no fever so probably nothing infectious. I got a few different meds (horsepills they look like) to take for the next few days that will hopefully kill the pain at last. If it doesn't improve, then they want to do an MRI and see what all is going on in my head and back.

One cool thing, they X-Ray'd my skull to see if there were any polyps or other random growths in my sinus cavities that was causing the pain....and it looks like I have a micro-chip in one of my upper molars.

Just kidding. Or am I? Hmmm....


Evil Mood

I have the worst migraine and sinus headache today. Almost left early from work so I could go home and pass out. But I didn't. Needed to get stuff done, particularly if I have to call in sick tomorrow. On the plus side, no involuntary crying or nausea along with the headache. Just an occasional involuntary eye twitch, dammit. Was getting bad enough this afternoon that not only was it getting difficult to think, it made me feel sore all over...not just my head. And I was starting to get rather dizzy. To make myself feel better when I finally got home, I indulged myself in a lovely vanilla almond Hagen-Daz ice cream bar (yummy!) before AND after dinner. Like I said, no nausea. Ha! Still feel a little dizzy, though. Hopefully, since I plan on going to sleep shortly, it will all finally be gone by morning. Usually that works. Usually.

And, I also ordered me my very own epic scale Balrog. It will look very nice and intimidating guarding my cube at work. Will just have to cut back on the groceries this month and certainly no going out for the next month. Starting next week. ;)


Belly Dancing

The hookah for the previous post reminded me of this farewell party I attended over in San Francisco with my project team. Yup, there were belly dancers, and I even got to do a turn on the floor with the ladies. Well, I was one of the people that was leaving, heh. But only after quaffing the many appropriate good luck and farewell toasts, of course! Even though I was wearing a dress I had none of their hip coordination, I'm sure. I'm quite happy to say that I don't have any photos of that bit of hilarity. The fond memories I have are probably much better in any case. ;) I still remember the Buddha Bar we all went to afterwards. Lots of fun!

So, just a quick sketch for tonight of a late night belly dancer memory. I'll need to fix it quite a bit, especially the shoulders and arms, if/when I decide to color it.


Mmm...Lovely Greek

I found a reminder of this really nice Greek restaurant that I finally went to for lunch with my co-workers this past week. A bag of tea. A great bag of tea. Not only was the food totally tasty at the Dunes, a nice little Mediterranean restaurant across the street from the Irving Mall, right next to one of my favorite places to visit, Half-Price Books, and just around the corner from Lone Star Comics. The service was quite friendly and the tea an excellent way to finish a great lunch. We all liked the tea and were so complementary about it to the owner that he brought each of us a bag to take home with us. It's the Sadaf Special Blend Pure Ceylon tea with Earl Grey. Soooo good! Especially for bag tea. I even kept the wrap so that I could find it and, hopefully, order it for home. The tea is that good. Especially for one with Earl Grey, a tea I don't usually like.

I have every intention of going back to Dunes again. And again...and again... You get the picture. :)


Fly Away Home

I fell in love...

I went to see "Lady in the Water" a couple of weeks ago. It's a nice, little, modern fairy tale with some beautiful imagery. And, I have to admit, I appreciate the color palette that is frequently a structured element in
M. Night Shayamalan's movies. I was, however, unexpectedly delighted with the stuttering character of the "Guardian" as created by Paul Giamatti. His character Cleveland made me all mushy. :) Not the kind of beautiful man I usually get a crush on, that's for sure.

Obviously, I have horrible taste in men.

The friend I went to see the movie with liked the big brown eyes of MNS instead. Bleh, she can have him. He's a "pretentious jerk", per the biography written by a journalist that MNS hired to follow him around for a year. I am annoyed by MNS's acting, but he does some interesting stories (although I've since read that there are possible elements of plagiarism in at least two of his movies), I've most definitely liked his screenwriting, and he has done some really nice directing. Overall, I must say that I've enjoyed his movies. I really appreciate the awkwardness of the ordinary characters in his films. So, after seeing the movie and getting involved with most of the story development (although I was really really hoping that M. Night's character would die a horrible, evil death...sadly that doesn't happen...why, oh why does this guy think he can act...his face is always blank and his voice so irritating to me - it always pulls me right out of the story) any case, when I got home I did some quick rough sketches of some ideas as inspired by the movie.

The above is a work in progress of one sketch inspired by the film that I'd like to create a more finished digital illustration of one day. So for now, something new for my ongoing idea box.


Change in the Air

Some very rough layout sketches and thumbnails of another one of my story ideas that has been rolling around my head for years. No, this is NOT my tween project. Drawing most of the day at work (or coloring or re-designing product) and then working on my own projects at home evenings and weekends (updating the portfolios print/web, sending out samples, working on the tween graphic novel and other proposals, learning about sculpting, studying animation and concept art development, blah, blah, blah) I actually sometimes get to feeling even more creative.


So, it felt right to take a break from the day-to-day grind (ha) and do some quick sketches of yet another one of my stories I'd like to completely pull out of my head one day and actually set all down on paper.

And, yes, I do have a routine for daily sketches after dinner. I just don't always post my little scribbles. :)


Got a lovely postcard from my mom who's in Germany again visiting with a few of her sisters over the summer. Another nice one to add to my collection on my corkboard at work. I missed her phone call this past weekend. I figure I'll try and call on Saturday for a few minutes just to let her know I'm still alive. heh. Unfortunately, she still doesn't have internet access over there (doesn't really want to, I think) or she'd be visiting my blog, too, to see what silly little things I've been up to.


At work for the past week or so, I've been banned from accessing the toy and related websites I liked to visit which were part of my initial morning research, if I didn't have an art request that was "urgently required". Yes, they denied me access to Google even. Once. I immediately complained about that. It was over a year ago, though, and I really thought that was the last of it. I mean, it makes perfect sense to deny online access of current information to one of your product designers...just keep me in a vacuum.

Yup, no else has been banned.

Isn't that the stupidest thing. I couldn't believe it when I saw that horrible red, white and blue "Surf Protect" page. I'm not accessing porn, dammit! Even weirder, these are ALL sites that were initially sent to me by other employees (designers) at the company! It's not like my employers purchase any design periodicals for us, either. Nor do either of my immediate managers provide team building workshops or design activities to expose us to different modes of production thinking and/or motivate us to build new skills that we can use to enhance our work. It seems lately that we just work. I like to learn things from my peers and my managers. Isn't that why they're senior to us "junior" artists? Yes, I've presented a couple of times during the weekly scheduled "Art Development" meetings. I don't see anyone else on the design team volunteering to do the same. Not lately. Not for the past year? A product designer (me) obviously isn't supposed to be cognizent of what is currently on the market or has the potential to be, and what prospective consumer design or product trends our competitors are potentially considering. Obviously I'm just supposed to keep my nose to the sketchpad and Photoshop. Will do. (End sarcasm/rant/...ok, maybe just a wee bit of whining....sigh).


I'll simply see it as another whip to motivate me.


It Rained Today

Kind of weird to be happy for just a bit of rain, but there you are. It's been too long since we had some here, I think. It felt like we were watching one of those old movies about the end of the drought during the Great depression where everyone starts to smile and then dance in the rain which finally comes after 7 long years. It's fun getting wet and dancing in the hard, heavy, end of summer (almost) kind of rain. :)

Here's another dance that put a smile on my face at work today, from "WHERE THE HELL IS MATT?" I give you "Matt Dancing" -


The Places I've Been...

We had a nice little happy hour after work (well, we left a wee bit early...well, I left about 2 hours earlier than my usual 6:30/7pm). Anyways...for some reason or other I started naming all the different cities or countries I've managed to live and/or work (from a few weeks to several years), or visit for a bit of vacation. Evidently, I'm a bit well-travelled. Funny. Most of those places I've been to on my list are because of work. Likely that's why I don't feel a real need to travel on the job these days, although I'm ready to move out of Texas at last. I think I've been here too long.

So, just for fun, here's the list in no particular order:

- Germany (mainly central and up by the North Sea area)
- Italy (northern areas)
- Switzerland (primarily around Zurich)
- Austria
- Sweden
- Lichtenstein
- Paris, France
- London, England

United States:
- North Carolina
- California (San Fran, L.A., San Diego, Santa Monica, etc., etc.)
- New York, NY
- Tennessee
- Louisiana (Baton Rouge, Alexandria, Lake Charles, Shreveport, West Monroe/Monroe, etc., etc.)
- Pennsylvania (Pittsburg, Philidelphia)
- Arkansas
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Detroit, Michigan
- Bismark, North Dakota
- Arizona (Phoenix, Tempe)
- Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Cleveland, Ohio
- Chicago, Illinois
- Washington, DC
- Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
- Orlando, Florida
- Vienna, Virginia
- Baltimore, Maryland
- Colorado (Denver, Colorado Springs)
- Danbury, Connecticut
- Texas (San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, Austin, El Paso, Galveston, Padre Island, etc., etc.)
- Oahu, Hawaii

- Sint Maarten/St Martin (Antilles Isles)
- San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Tijuana, Mexico

I'm sure there are a few places that I've missed, but I think I've listed most of them. :)