10 Things About Me (Sunshine Award Community)

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This post is based in part on being nominated for a Sunshine Award (link), so you can go there to see what that is about and why I’m doing this now.

Here are 10 things about me.

I Love Art

Art has a profound impact on my life, and specifically the visual mediums: painting, drawing, film, and the like. That is why my blog is the way it is. I can’t NOT be moved by someone’s passion so eloquently encapsulated through their hands into an artistic expression. As I’ve stated before in my about page (here), art is a product of creativity, and creativity is an expression of our understanding of our creator.

I Like to Draw

I really like to draw. When I was a kid, I would draw all the time. It was a product of a deep love for comic books, superheroes and the idea that people were making the world a better place. Somewhere along the way, I stopped drawing, maybe stopped believing that stuff. But recently, I picked the pen back up and I’ve started to reacquire that passion for drawing.

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I Like the “WHY”

For some reason, I’ve always asked “Why?” You can ask my mom. She will admit that I was a handful as an adolescent because I wouldn’t do things without understanding the why of it. I think it is because without understanding, there is no meaning. My actions have no meaning, if I (and the people around me) don’t know why I’m doing it. A movement is empty of meaning if people don’t understand the “WHY”. It’s okay to question the reasoning for doing things. It’s okay to be curious.

WRITE

Take a thought, make it breathe. Nothing would exist today – society, culture, art, music, religion – if someone hadn’t taken the time to write something down. If someone hadn’t taken stories passed down through oral tradition and transcribed them to paper (or some other form) their reach would be very limited today. It’s becoming my life mission to write things down, for better or worse.

My Beautiful Wife

I love my wife and we both design together and really sharpen each others skill in a fantastic way. It’s such a joy to share a life with her. She inspires me everyday to get up and do something with this journey called life!

2 Crazy, RambunctiousĀ Dogs

My dogs, WiFi and Draper, are a couple of characters whose cuteness is only surpassed by their nature to create shenanigans. They inspire me in my art from time to time. We even put them on our christmas card this past year!

Christmas Card

I’m Designing a Board Game

I won’t say much about this, but I’m creating a board game with my good buddy, Andrew Sears. It’s going to be loads of fun, and when it’s closer to completion, I will definitely be sharing it here!

HISTORY is Important

History is important. It is a narrative of our collective actions to influence the course of events for all of mankind. And understanding that will change the way we react towards events, decisions and each other. Opinion matters, but it’s also not the end of the road. How we view ourselves now is shaped by the past, which means that our future is determined by the choices we make today.

I Also Make Videos

You can check out the work I’ve done here. I am well-versed in Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere and After Effects. My other design work (in Illustrator and Photoshop) is really an extension of my video concentration.

I Like Your Art

I’ve really already said this earlier, but I think it needs saying again: I likeĀ your art. I share it. I reflect on it. It is important to remember as an artist, that other people’s work is just as important as your own. There are so many talented artists in the world, and I love that wordpress lets me connect and experience their talent regardless of distance.

Well that is 10 things about me. Hope you’ve enjoyed it! Thanks for hanging in there all the way to the bottom of the post.

Inside the Social Media Echo Chamber

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Our ideas are flawless. We have become convinced. We are above reproach, beyond any feeble attempt to argue. Our profile is the collection of a life lived 2 parts digitally, only 1 part physically. Friendships are built on assumed qualities of others, not necessarily the qualities made known by constant interaction. Intimacy is no longer necessary to know and be known, at least on the surface.

Our greatest desire in social media (an inner desire perhaps) is to have constructed a grandiose echo chamber, in which our own ideas bounce and reverberate through other people. We share and like and re-post and comment to stake our personality in the sameness of others. Bold, black and white comments on society, religion, politics, taxes, healthcare, lifestyle, demographicsā€¦ all just pieces of paper that we stick to our digital bodies like fashionable clothing. None of it truly us, nor anyone else, but all of it a mass of meaning if it were to be taken seriously.

But some don’t take it seriously. What is most displeasing is the dissent of a lone negating comment. We grimace at the contrarian and roll our eyes in befuddled anguish as our echo is cut off by a stray wall of contrary delight. Suddenly the papers on our digital self are wrinkling, crumbling in the breeze.

But instead of reassessing our social media stance, we gather more paper to stitch together a persona. We all wear masks, hide the true and distinguishing qualities, in favor of appearances. And so the false intimacy gained by social media is an assumption of the laziest order. We look at photos and think of what it must’ve been like to be there, but we rarely make any effort to ask the questions that would give us that knowledge. We continue with the assumptions, live off the fantasy of a hundred lives we’ve never lived, nor care to understand them if the opportunity was ever presented. We create paper dolls of other people, other profiles, personas and put them on stage to develop some vague narrative of lives outside of our own.

What questions do we ask now?

Do we continue living inside the bubble: the echo chamber?

Do we live an assuming life, drawing conclusions from vague messages, photos and events or do we draw from questions asked between friends?

Sorry for the rant, I was just thinking about this in the morning and thought I’d share my brain with the internet. Oops.

(echo chamber graphic can be found here.)

Why We Hate Superman

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WHY WE HATE SUPERMAN

Why We Hate Superman

A lot of people hate Superman. What was once an icon for the American Dream, a believer in truth and justice an the American way, is now looked at as a boy scout out of touch with humanity. Countless internet comments I’ve read over the past few years celebrate the humanity of Batman and despise the bland character of Superman. Why is this?

Superman isn’t Realistic or Relatable

Superman comes from another planet. His parents are aliens. He can throw cars into the air like you and I would throw groceries into our trunk. His assortment of super powers is a list so vast it becomes laughable.

Batman on the other hand is a regular man. He has no super powers, just relying on his knowledge and ability to get the job done.

Of course, people like to forget that Bruce Wayne was born into money, the son of a billionaire family. I would say I have much easier time relating to a guy who grew up on a farm in a small town than I do with a wealthy socialite who watched his parents get murdered.

It’s too easy to be Superman

Superman has it so easy. He has all these powers and really no equal on this planet. So therefore it must be easy to be him.

That’s why I liked the recent Man of Steel film because it showed the scope of Superman’s problems. Batman has to protect Gotham from the criminal element within. Superman has to protect the planet from itself and external threats. And in many instances of the canon, he has to do this while people distrust and even hate him. Superman is an alien, so not only are his problems global in scale, he also is the last of his kind and lonely because of it. Lois Lane, or no Lois Lane, no one can really understand how he feels. He is theĀ Last Son of Krypton.

Superman is a Religious Metaphor

Superman is a metaphor of the messiah in Judeo-Christian terms: The only son of a ‘distant father’ sent to earth to protect, defend and save it from itself. Even in the comics he lays down his life to save the world from Doomsday, then resurrects later.

Even in film, these comparisons are drawn (case in point):
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Just listen to this voice over by Jor-El (Marlon Brando’s Jor-El of course) in this teaser trailer for Superman Returns. It feels to me like it could’ve been pulled out of a passage from the New Testament.

I think in this day and time, earnestness and hope are not admired qualities. People would prefer the cynical, truthless choices of Batman than the vision of Hope and attainable peace that Superman endeavors to offer. What it comes down to is that Superman hasn’t changed with our culture, but Batman has. Superman feels like a relic of American exceptional-ism and less like the new post modern dichotomy between right and wrong that Batman embraces.

But Superman offers us a goal to strive for, a hope to grab onto and a peace that could be attainable if we were to accept our own idealism and exceptional quality.

Top 3 Lies Artists Tell Themselves

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The top 3 lies artists tell themselves. An introspective look at insecurity and passion. Great piece by KW illustrates.

KW illustrates

I often wish I could turn off my brain. It is so easy to psych myself out before even picking up a pencil, charcoal, paintbrush, or wacom pen. Too much stuff starts sloshing up there between my ears. I realize that most of it is just lies brought about by fear. But like I always tell my kids, courage is doing something despite being afraid. So I present to youā€¦.

My top 3 lies that an artist needs to banish from his head and how to combat them.

  1. This has been done before.
    Maybe so but not by YOU. Everyone has a different perspective. There is room in the world for your unique perspective.
  2. Other artists are better than me.
    Also might be true but who cares? How do artists get better? By doing. Thatā€™s how anyone gets better at their craft. Enjoy it. Be excited about learning. Be inspiredā€¦

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