Friday, December 26, 2008

Shard Six - The Sound of Music

Hope you all had a great Christmas! (and for those of you who don't celebrate Christmas, I hope you had a very happy December 25th!)

I'm feeling a little excited here. Not for anything that's happened so far, or anything that is (although some of my current art projects are looking very promising). No, I'm excited for what could be happening.
'Tis a new year fast approaching, and I'm feeling optimistic. More so then usual, I think. There's just so many things I can/could be doing, and I'm thinking there's a good chance at least a few of my plans will come to fruition.


As some of you may know (and even more of you probably don't), I'm quite a jack-of-all-trades. There's a lot of things I can do. Granted, I'm only good at a much smaller amount of things, but I don't suck at most of the others. I've always loved trying new things, and my gallery tends to show that a little bit. So far I've messed around with digital painting, digital and traditional drawing, CG-realism-style artwork, written work, abstract CG wallpaper design... and that's just the stuff I think is good enough for my deviantART gallery. I've also done watercolor painting (when I was younger), messed about with some 3D-work, I've made jewelery before, and I used to build scale models and little clay doodads and thingies. I haven't quite decided yet what my "main" style is, or will be, but I'm very proud of the forays I've made into other territories. (if you've never tried it, challenging yourself by trying art styles you've never done before is almost always a fun experiment, by the way.)

I'm an adult now; twenty, going on twenty-one. I'm looking to... not narrow down my art, but focus it more. There's a good chance my art will be more then just a hobby at some point. And I'm thinking 2009 is going to be a good year to both spread out and focus, all at once.

I haven't decided yet what to focus on (although it'll most likely be digital drawing/painting), but I do have some things I'd really like to branch out into.
Music, for one.
I've always loved electronic music; synthpop, electropop, techno, industrial, trance, dance... you name it. Hell, I even enjoy good, solid rock and classic rock every now and then, and occasional metal (recently became addicted to X Japan's I.V.). Not a big fan of country, but hey, I've even gotten some enjoyment out of that as well (you just need someone who knows a bunch about the genre to show you the right stuff to listen to, hehe).
What I've wanted to do for a while now is actually make music. I have a guitar, I have a piano, but I've never been particularly good with/interested in either. I'm horribly electronic-oriented. But keyboard, now that's something different. Keyboard Synthesizer, to be precise.
The Roland SH-201, to be entirely precise.
That's my wishlist for the upcoming year. Subject to change; I've yet to find anything that looks better then the SH-201 (from what I know, it's great for starting off, and groups like Ladytron use them professionally). There is the JUNO-G, which is also used by Ladytron, but that's nearly double the price. The SH-201 is six hundred bucks (I'm told that's a very good price for equipment of the type), which will take a while to earn up, but it's doable. Perhaps I'll have some music to share someday.



Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Shard Five - Picking Up the Pace

*gasp!* A whole week past with no blog updates?!

...okay, so that's extremely normal for me. But the plan is to make that less so.
Not quite to the point of daily updates, certainly. I don't have nearly enough interesting things to talk about at this point in my life (although I would love for that to change). But weekly seems like a good, solid goal, eh. Even if they're short entries (or possibly even especially if their short entries).


Alright, to update from my last entry a bit, I've made slight progress on my art projects. Here's something I haven't mentioned; nearly every major project I've got planned is a giftart. A bunch of birthdays recently, and Christmas coming up, so it seems like a good time to exercise my artistic muscles. No spoilers, though. I'm not telling who's getting gifts, not until said gifts are finished. It's entirely likely I won't be able to finish a gift if I leak out the recipient (not by personal choice, simply by personal fault).

But one non-gift project in the works that actually looks to be getting somewhere is a complete style rework of Fragmented Infinity. If you check now, you won't see much; just the header has changed. No worries; that header is a mere preview. I know the resolution is quite cruddy, the "real thing" will look much better, is the plan.
Also, this blog will get the same treatment, eventually; I already dug around in the .CSS and HTML coding for the current theme, and I don't think it would be too challenging to rework my own theme for it all. Perhaps something that will match Fragmented Infinity, since they both share a bit of the same theme.


Ah, I think I had more topics to cover at this point, not just artwork. But 'tis late; I'm worn out, and set for bed. Perhaps whatever it was will come to me again later on.

I've actually got a question here, now. I'm still not quite sure how many people actually read this, but I'd like a little feedback here. (this doubles a bit as a "who's there" for me as well.) My question is my writing style. I'd like to think that just about everyone, myself included, has a bit of a unique style when they write. Sure, there are archetypes (some people stick to chatspeak exclusively, others enjoy expressive comments, with smiles and exclamations here and there, for example). If I had to place myself, I... don't think I could think of an archetype, but I'm quite sure I fit in one.
Anyway, what I'm asking for is just comments on how I write. is it wordy? Is it confusing? Is it enjoyable? No need to be specific, vague critique would actually be pretty appreciated.

The reason I ask is due to the Fragmented Infinity storyline. I've been making some good strides in the storyline, and it's starting to fill out a bit from plot point to plot point. But I'm still working on really filling out those "spaces" between the exciting bits, and curious to know if my normal, everyday writing style would translate well to an interesting story. could just leave a comment saying you've been here, too, that's also greatly appreciated, actually...



Monday, December 1, 2008

Shard Four - Slowly But Surely

Ah, yes. 'tis been awhile since I posted here, despite my plans to use this often. I hope to change that a bit; I'm used to really thinking out every post I make almost everywhere, so I tend to avoid making updates if I don't have anything "exciting" to say.

But that's not to say I don't have new things to discuss (or older topics that I've never covered, or never covered enough). I plan to start making entries here on a more regular basis, even if I don't make them all gigantic (which is also a good thing, probably).


So, what to cover? We'll start with the world of art. I have a few projects, in various states; some projects which have been delayed, but in progress (I can think of three at the moment). Other projects are still in the planning stage, and may or may not end up coming to life at all. But hopefully at least a few will...
I forget if I've covered it before. I don't think I have, here. DAZ|Studio is a program I've added to my artistic toolbelt; it's a 3D model rendering program. Not to be confused with a 3D model creation program; Studio is only designed to pose and arrange pre-made models into scenes. But it's very good at what it's designed for. I use it as a base for some of my newer, original digital works. I can create the pose or scene I like using models in Studio, generally without textures, so that I can use the resulting render as a base for a digital painting or drawing. It's quite helpful, and gets me past the boundary of my limited anatomy-drawing skills (and adds to those skills as I go, to boot).
So far I've only finished one work in this manner, that being this giftart for a friendly Gaian and his girlfriend. It's not spectacular, in my personal opinion, but it's a good start. And I've been working my way up to some digital paintings of my original characters using the method. A stylistic painting of Myrkr will most likely be the first one finished, or perhaps a little something featuring my newest character, Lysa.


You may have noticed some links the the previous section. Let me explain those a bit. More importantly, let me explain where they go.
Fragmented Infinity is the storyworld I've been designing for quite some time now; it was previously known only as Vynaiocc, which had it's own MediaWiki website, but time passed, the storyline expanded to encompass more then just Vynaiocc (which is one of the worlds in Fragmented Infinity), and the VynaioccWiki eventually was shut down by the webhost (more or less by my choice).
Fragmented Infinity - the website - is a "normal" website design, instead of a Wiki-style one. I always wanted to try my hand at regular web design, and I lost the need for a Wiki-style design after a while as well. There's not much content on Fragmented Infinity at the moment, but it'll be expanded as time goes on, to contain character bios, a glossary of terms and other information, world info, and eventually, the story itself, most likely.


As far as personal updates, there's not much I can think of right now. I've been sick with a common cold for the past few days, but that's clearing up, I believe. Looking for a job (sort of) as well; I'm not out there filling out applications as much as I should be, but that's on my to-do list as well.
...there's an awful lot of things I plan to do, isn't there. I need to focus more on finishing what's in front of me, instead of sitting back and thinking up more projects...



Friday, October 17, 2008

mini-Shard One - The First (and probably Last) mini-Shard

What is it about "bedtime" that just makes people want to stay up? Right now, I'm too tired to go to sleep (which may explain this entry).

I really want to sleep as well; not because I'm tired, but because I have things I want to do. That's probably the problem; I can't stop thinking of my plans (ironic, how that's keeping me from doing them).

It's a rather interesting subject, actually, one I would like to expand on in a full entry (later). For now, I need sleep.

...and I hit my PSP's character limit.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Shard Three - Rolling With The Kicks

Let's start off with a picture, shall we?

Collab:25 - "Say hi" by =Jioruji-Derako on deviantART
That would be my current latest coloring; a collaboration with a great artist, for a contest held by said great artist. (go to the picture's description for links and whatnot.)
I'm quite proud of this one, surprisingly more proud of it a week after finishing it (normally time gives me chances to find mistakes).
Didn't win the contest, regrettably, but I'm still quite happy. I think I gave a few of the other entries a run for their money.


That out of the way, a simple personal update. You all love those, don't you? The inner workings of my life, always an exciting topic.

This past Saturday was a kicking seminar at my Aikido dojo; Sensei Rick Berry comes in from his dojo to teach offensive kicking and punching, something we normally don't cover in Aikido (being a defensive art). Quite a fun class; I got the breath punched out of me a few times, I accidentally punched myself in the lip (I didn't block a kick quite right), and I'm currently quite sore from the workout. But if there was a second seminar tomorrow, I'd probably go. It's that fun.

After the seminar, I headed over to my Sensei's house for a sleepover. I haven't slept over anyway in... I dunno, quite a few years. But it was quite fun. Played cards, doodled, and watched TV for pretty much the entire time. Took about an hour to fall asleep (I overestimated my ability to "go to bed" on command, and ended up thinking up things to say in this very blog entry). But I slept pretty well once I did manage to shut my mind down.

All in all, quite a fun weekend. Unfortunately, I don't get a chance to rest just yet; I need to head out tomorrow to get my voter registration finished up (sent in my registration two weeks ago, give or take a few days, but still not showing up in the registry). But I'll get to rest after that's all said and done.


Hmm, and one more new thing to show off! I've just gotten a new website set up; Fragmented Infinity, which iscurrently quite bare, but will end up holding character bios and storyline details for my original story of the same name. I'll get to have some fun with that one later when I launch into HTML and CSS editing on the layout. (and eventually it'll have some content too.) Consider this an advanced preview; I'll make an "official" announcement when the site's fully up and running (or close to it).



Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Shard Two - The Voice of God (is played by Hideo Kojima)

Alright. Let's get this show off the ground, shall we.

For those of you who might not be big gamers, let me explain a bit of the title. Hideo Kojima is the man behind the Metal Gear Solid game series.
It's also quite possible that Hideo Kojima is a God.

What now? You're even more confused? Let me explain the scenario yet again.
Alright. Just recently (a few days ago, now), I finished Metal Gear Solid 4. And all said and done? It's the best movie I've ever played. Sure, it's technically not a movie, but Hideo's storytelling doesn't seem to know the difference. I actually had to sit through a single cutscene sequence that took fifty minutes, and the ending cutscenes? That took somewhere around two hours, I think. (I lost track of time.) And I was glued to the screen for the entirety.
Took twenty hours to finish the game, and I played fast, too. No dawdling about, and didn't die that often either. The game's just that long. And I'm looking forward to playing it again, now.

I really could go on and on about the story, but I would have to stick so many spoiler warnings throughout... I'm just not in the mood to do that right now. Really, if you own a PS3. Get. This. Game.


But as always, I have more then one topic to cover! One good one, one bad. Pick one...
...Hmm, really? But I'm afraid that wasn't one of the choices... did I not mention what the options were? Whatever. No time to spell it out for you. We'll just start with the good news.

That would be music. As many of you rabid fans already know, I really enjoy music. (If you're not a rabid fan of me, that's fine, just don't ruin the mood in here.) My mother actually turned me on to this site... Pandora radio. It's quite awesome; you need to make an account to use it (simple setup, happily), but once you get it running, it's great.
The link there leads to my profile page; you can see there's an ability to bookmark songs and artists (a feature I've already made use of), and what's that there? Right on the left side! A radio station. Go ahead, click on it. It's fine, I give you full permission to touch my stuff. (for you lazy people who didn't click the first link, or perhaps people who couldn't get the link to work, here's the station.)
I've been listening to my station almost non-stop now. It quickly evolved past the point of needing to skip tracks, and now just keeps playing great song after awesome song.

But that's the good news down. Now you've got to deal with the bad news. (Not my fault you had to go and save the bad news for last.)
Alright, this is more bad news for me then for you, but by extension, it evens out. My laptop is dying.
It's a convertible tablet/notebook computer; a Gateway, I forget the exact model number. Not super powerful, but just powerful enough to run just about everything I use regularly (Photoshop CS, DAZ|Studio, and even Guild Wars). The screen tablet is - was - of indispensable use to my artistic needs. Sadly, the pressure sensitivity never worked with Photoshop (it's not a WACOM tablet), but that actually didn't bother me much (since I was too happy with the ability to draw on the screen).
But the weak point with every convertible tablet/notebook PC is the swivel joint for the screen. That's what allows the screen to flip up, rotate, and fold down into tablet PC mode. It's been getting a little wiggly for months now, but it reached it's limits just today, I'd say. Depending on the angle you keep it at, it sometimes has trouble holding the screen upright, and it gained the unsavory ability to shut the entire computer down whenever it likes (probably due to the fact that there's a power button in the screen frame).
Needless to say, that pretty much spells doom for my laptop. It still works, mind you, but it occasionally turns itself off now (not to helpful if I'm working on, well, anything). The tablet function isn't doing so hot either. Luckily, it's not my only option; my desktop computer is still much more powerful, and I do have a "normal" digitizer tablet (this one, a real WACOM, although it's not built-in to the screen). But I really do love using my laptop... despite it's shortcomings. I'm afraid to use it now, for fear of killing it completely.

There's just about nothing I can do on my laptop I can't do on my desktop, so it's not a complete loss. But the ability to sit in bed and draw is one I shall sorely miss.
I'm already working on a replacement; I'm quite short on cash, sadly, but I've been needing to get a job anyway. And I hope to get a decent Mac laptop, this time. I've never used a Mac, being a big gamer; most games run either better or easier on a PC. But since my laptop is pretty much exclusively for art and media (not to mention, blogging from bed), a Mac seems to be a perfect fit. I just need to find one I can afford now.

...Oh, right. And one more complication. Getting a Mac means no built-in tablets. Apple doesn't make any tablet computers, period. Not yet, at the very least. I'm not quite up to the task of modding one myself, and the price tag on the ModBook is quite hefty, even at the low end. (I still really want one though, looking at the stats makes me cry a little. In a good way.)


Parting thoughts:
*Metal Gear Solid 4 is reason enough to get a PS3.
*a PS3 is reason enough to buy Metal Gear Solid 4.
*Metal Gear Solid Online (the online multiplayer part of MGS4) is awesome, although the initial account creation will make you want to find your nearest male Konami employee and kick them in the groin multiple times.
*Pandora Radio is awesome.
*Convertible tablet notebooks, not so much. (awesome at first, yes, but no fun when they eventually break.)



Thursday, September 18, 2008

Shard One - The First Shard

As the title may quite possibly suggest, this is the first entry out of what will most certainly be multiple entries.
Welcome to Shards of a Broken Infinity.

..."what is this all about?" you may ask. "is there some point to all of this? Why is the name like that? What's with the 'shards' theme? Are you, like, obsessed with Infinity or something? How old are you, really? Do you talk like this in real life? Will you sign my shirt?"
To which I'd have to respond, "slow down!" The answers to all of your questions will come in due time. Most of your questions, at the least. Although that is entirely dependent on your definition of "most". (I personally view it as the most convenient fraction of any given amount, which in turn depends on my definition of "convenient".)

Let me at least answer one question for now. What is this all about?
A whole lot of things, really. Important things? Probably not. Things you care about? That's debatable. Things I feel like writing about? Most definitely.

Think of it like a personal diary. A journal. Except it's not either of those (once again, that may depend on your definition of the words). At the very least, I plan to make this entertaining to read; at the most, I plan to have all of humanity in the digital palm of my hand, drinking in every last word I type. Really, I'll be happy to be anywhere in-between those two goals.

Geo - a.k.a. Jioruji Derako

P.S.: Oh, and of course I'll sign your shirt. Don't know why you asked though, you strange, strange person.
Hey! No! NO. You can not have a lock of my hair.