Wednesday, December 29, 2010

surviving a christmas card...

This year's Christmas card (which has a more involved design than what is shown above) took me a great deal longer than I had thought it would or really that it should, BUT it began with the concept of moving one step closer to the writing and illustrating of a children's book.  I wanted to do a complete project using some of the concepts and lessons I have learned so far. The poem woke me up one night and from there it all became a delightful, deeply involving project. After I completed the card and mailed them all out, I tried (in vain so far) to put the card to motion, in both Flash and AfterEffects.  I actually did both but I still haven't figured out how to make it look good on the internet.  My idea was to present the card, in motion here on the blog.  I haven't given up yet, but to be honest I can't figure out what I have done wrong.  The file "renders" either too large (way too large) or the graphics just aren't very crisp.  Even though this hasn't worked, the process of taking time each day to write, illustrate, design, and then to learn some Flash and AfterEffects has been great.   Inch by inch, I love the learning process and just imagining what I could do next!   By next Christmas I hope to have the "motion" idea down pat. 
Hour by hour this already has been such a great journey so far.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

One Christmas Check off

It's done! The Christmas card is ready!  Printing & mailing this week!  One more project crossed off this list. 
It worked particularly well this year with my card.  Of course to be honest, in the beginning, I didn't spend one hour each night in any disciplined manner.... more like 3 hours one night and then none for three nights - then 12 hours all in one day!  But the putting together & tweaking was done in hour spurts and that was what pulled it all together.   Once I get them out in the mail I include the drawings in the blog!
Merry Christmas!  (in case I don't get anything posted before then.)

Monday, December 6, 2010

inching along...

Hour by hour, inch by inch I am working my way down the list.  My newest (and really, my oldest) lesson has been time and the time we think each project will involve.  Because of the calendar (December & Christmas) I moved my Christmas card up the list and, of course, that has taken much, much more time than I planned.  In fact, yesterday I spent the day (almost 12 full hours) doing the final sketches and color work on my card.  I am going to include one of the drawings here and will put all of it up after I can get the cards in the mail.  I came up with an ambitious idea (my usual dilemma) and now feel compelled to get it done.  Anyway, here's a glimpse.  I am heading back to hour by hour (maybe I can get this finished within the next hour!)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Working behind the scenes

I realized this weekend that it looks as if I haven't been busy if you only look at my posting dates...
Not true.  Actually, I have been doing the "Hour to Spare" -  honestly, not every night but most nights.  In one way or another, sometimes silently either at the drawing board or behind the scenes with some writing or tweaking I have been pretty consistent with putting the time in on this project.  The biggest problem I am finding is keeping on track, following the"to-do" listing (2do page on this blog) in what I had originally thought was the most organized way of getting everything finished.  Forget that.... the projects and their priorities seem to jump around, depending on ideas and issues each day.  I can work an hour on some writing if it's being carried with me - I can do some computer work if I can't sleep at night... Little hours stuck in here and there fulfill the self-requirement of an hour each day (sorry, almost each day), but there are times it's definitely not in the prioritized order.  This brings me to the realization that the jumping around is what made getting things done so difficult and so very unproductive in the first place. I knew this, and I know this.... so back to the list and the "drawing board" I go.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cross Another - OFF!

I sold some of my note cards this weekend, and I have to say - it felt good.... which, of course, sent me off track once again.  (It really doesn't take much to get me running in another direction!)  On my " Hour to Spare" list I am supposed to be finishing the portfolio for my note cards - I haven't finished that yet.  Instead, I opened an Etsy account. Check it out!

(Of course there are something like 145,000 cards for sale on etsy - who will ever find me? But then, it's been said, "...if you build it, they will come,"  or something like that.)

A thought:  This "Hour to Spare".... works.  Amazingly, I have found is that even when I am soooo tired, thinking I am TOO tired to sit, disciplined, for an hour, once I begin the time flies by and I find I have to be disciplined enough to stop!  

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Illustration Friday - Week of Oct. 15th

"Spooky" - This is my first attempt at "Illustration Friday".  Not really "spooky" but I am hoping the touch of clever might create the link....  I am looking forward to the next topic!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

1st Illustration Friday / "Spooky"

Sketch only so far...

Honestly, I have been working...

And if you believe that I have some other lies to tell!  I took a lovely vacation with family and enjoyed myself tremendously!  But, now I know I have to get back to serious stuff.
I wanted to make note (even if it's just to myself) about Illustration Friday... a website that offers subject content and some great inspiration from other artists.  Each Friday they offer up a subject which makes your mind spin a little - After the imagination keeps you up at night (it does it to me all the time), you get to do some artwork and even share it.  The best part is that the sharing connects the looker to your own blog, so you really do "share"...
Check it out:

Friday, October 1, 2010

Check off one...

     Checking off the first thing on the list of "2 Do's".  Ready to begin the next project over the weekend.
The discipline of "Hour to Spare" has definitely worked this first week although it turned into more hours than I thought it would each night. (Thanks to my own obsessive nature.)  If the idea is to only sit down for ONE hour each night I would have to call this week a failure.  I probably could do nothing all next week and catch up to the extra time I put in this week!  BUT, the accomplishment washes away the implied limitations of the guidelines.  The extra time is exciting and so worth it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

So far, no spare hours...

An hour to spare - it's just not enough time when you get going!  Although I figured out SO much tonight... it's been more than an hour! WAY more than that.  I wonder if it's possible to save all the extra hours (of problem-solving obsession) so that one of these nights I can get other things done!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Template Lock-Down?

Already I have disobeyed my own rules. Instead of only working for only an hour I have become obsessed in solving a problem and have worked for close to two hours on designing this blog. But, I think I have learned something. After all of this work and wandering through the "create your own blog" screens I think I might have taken the seemingly easy path (certainly NOT my usual style) of choosing a template. The template seems to have locked me into some set boundaries and creative limitations. Tomorrow will be a go-back-to-the-beginning night to find out if using the basics might be a better way to work. My biggest problem is that following the template for the first page, I can't change any subsequent pages...So, if all else fails - go back to the beginning.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day 1 / Hour 1

The experiment has become frustrating already, just in this first hour.. which if I remember correctly either shouldn't be stressful or shouldn't be worrisome or whatever.  It's been both stressful & worrisome!
I thought I was someone who knew my way around computers and such - wow... ego should definitely be left at the door.  So, with all that said, my first hour towards "finishing," my first step into the world of blogging has gotten me to the point of pushing the "publish" button with the fervent (sp?) hope that this works.