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On resolutions January 11, 2019

Posted by thejinx in art, life.
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newyears2019When I was younger, I wasn’t crazy about New Year’s. (Admittedly, I didn’t get invited to many parties.) These days, however, I like the spirit of renewal. A blank slate. Casting off the wearied remnants of the old year and looking toward the bright potential of the future.

Yes, it’s an arbitrary date and people shouldn’t need an excuse to improve themselves. But it’s a landmark. A reminder, when we’re so often swept up in the chaos of our daily lives, that we should constantly be trying to better ourselves.

And now, in the Information Age, it’s easier than ever to do. Free apps can teach you a new language, how to play an instrument, how to draw and meditate and all sorts of things. YouTube videos can show you how to make or do almost anything. There’s a mountain of free ebooks and online courses out there that can help you master a new skill or subject. Most of these options are even broken down into chunks that only require a few minutes a day. There’s no excuse not to attempt any pursuit one might desire.

I don’t tend to make resolutions. I made an exception with my Goodreads reading challenge for 2019, and I’ll admit I like the push it gives me. Otherwise, however, I don’t want to pressure myself. I prefer goals. Google Fit keeps trying to get me to lower my fitness goals, make them more consistently attainable for me. But I’m not out to check boxes off every day. I want to strive for those goals. I won’t beat myself up if I don’t make them, but I’ll allow myself to feel good if I do.

I don’t have a lot of goals for 2019. I already started trying to exercise regularly a few months ago, and last year I made some changes to my health that significantly improved my overall quality of life. I want to read more, of course. I do want to try to get the second Sisters of Chaos book out this year. Editing continues to be a slog, but I’m using the spirit of improvement the new year provides to try to push myself to at least continue working on it.

Of course, with all these options for personal improvement out there, it’s hard not to get swept up in the different things one can learn or do. I look at the guitar(s) in my bedroom and think about the apps I’ve looked at to try to start playing again. I watch my daughter using new art supplies and think about breaking out some of my own that I haven’t touched for years. I even downloaded one of those language learning apps on a whim last night.

Is it too much? Maybe. Do I have too little time to explore all these interests? Maybe not, at least based on the apps I’ve seen. Will I lose interest before the month’s out? Possibly. But these options are better than just sitting around playing a silly mobile game or watching cat videos on YouTube, which I tend to do more often in my free time because it’s easier than doing anything that can be judged. Maybe my true resolution should be to stop being intimidated by starting anything.

The key to a good new year is not merely hoping or wishing that it will be better. Now’s the time to start making things happen.

Here’s to a great 2019.

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The year of trying more? Oil pastels, 2.5″ x 3.5″

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‘Tis the season November 30, 2018

Posted by thejinx in photography.
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While doing my annual Christmas photo session last week, I took some nice shots of my cat, Mew, too. Enjoy!

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Look at this gorgeous beast and tell me this isn’t the Platonic ideal of a cat. If only he wasn’t so crazy.

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In the middle of licking his chops. A lot of treats were involved in getting these pictures.

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Gen Con 50 games wrap-up part 3 August 24, 2017

Posted by thejinx in conventions, life.
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And the conclusion of my Gen Con gaming posts. Read on for Pinball Showdown, The Sword of Zaldor: A Fantasy Escape Room, and Here, Kitty, Kitty!

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Mistakes January 21, 2017

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I have a problem with perfectionism. Not with other people’s work, just my own. It causes a lot of stress and impedes my work, and it impacts everything I do. Chopping vegetables. Parking the car. Doing my daughter’s hair. And, of course, it greatly impacts my creative endeavours.

So, in an effort to fight my perfectionism, I challenged myself this week to do some art entirely in pen – no underlying pencil sketch, thumbnailing, studies, or other preparatory work allowed. And in an additional effort to embrace those mistakes, I’m sharing what I drew this week just as it is, no image manipulation involved.

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An autumnal interlude October 16, 2016

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Pictures taken 10 October 2016 in Huntsville, Ontario. The third image is the only one with any post-processing done to it (and I’m still not that happy with it, but I am only using my tablet’s built-in image editing).

Playtime March 29, 2016

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Up until last weekend, I hadn’t been picking up my camera much this year. Which is incredibly unfortunate, as late last year I was given an external flash and my indoor photography quality has skyrocketed as a result, though I am still learning how to use it.

However, yesterday I did an impromptu photo session and took a few (dozen) shots while my cat was feeling playful, so here are the best ones. I hope you enjoy them.

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2015 art update September 3, 2015

Posted by thejinx in art, books, enduring chaos, photography.
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In short, I still haven’t done much of it. However, in my typical way, I have done a bit of dabbling, and at times perhaps I have been doing more drawing than much of the time over the past few years, even if it is just sketches. The beginning of the year, in particular, saw me picking up the sketchbook a little more frequently:

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 I have also done some character designs on my tablet:

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More recently, after having the materials for upwards of a couple years, I finally tried my hand at some proper wire wrapping:

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And finally, earlier this year I upgraded to a proper DSLR camera, with which I am very pleased:

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New art: November May 12, 2011

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Playing with markers.  November from the catgirl calendars I used to do.

Also, I’ve gotten some more wonderful fan art for Aurius:

 

Sketch backlog the third March 23, 2010

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It’s not much of a backlog anymore, nor is it necessarily all sketches, but I have a streak going.  Why not keep it up?  (I’ll post some writing soon.  I swear.)

Walking home last week, I saw someone in our neighbourhood walking a dog with really pretty markings that reminded me a bit of African wild dogs, and I wanted to draw it.

Our cat Tux, drawn from life last September.

Concept sketch for a larger piece.  I have a very vivid picture in my mind of how this one’s going to look, but alas, I don’t think I’ll have the chance to work on it for some time, so I threw down some quick colour a few minutes ago to try to keep the image fresh.  Unfortunately, it’s only making me want to work on the final version of it more.  C’est la vie.

Obviously not a sketch, this is a progress image of a picture I worked on this weekend.  The sketch was done about three years ago, though I couldn’t work myself up to painting it until now.  I have about three hours’ more work on this one done now, but I do have priority art I should really work on first, so I’m not sure when it’ll be finished.  It will be, though, undoubtedly, and hopefully before too long.

2010 catgirl calendar! December 2, 2009

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New art:

Cover image for the catgirl calendar, featuring November, August, April, and January/February (depending when the Chinese new year begins).

The 2010 catgirl calendar is now on sale!  Visit the website to order your copy today!  Remember, this is the LAST catgirl calendar I will be making, so if you want to get one, now’s your last chance!