Day 3 of 365 Stories

Will try to wrap this story up in the next couple days. I took some time to plot out the story so that it makes sense. I’m excited to keep working on these shorts and hope that you’re still working on your New Year’s Resolutions!

~Kendall

Part One
Part Two


Ellis looked back and forth between the aliens, unsure of how his words would go over. He expected them to reject the premise, but that left them with only the option of killing him. Unless there was another option that came about Ellis expected the Sandburgs to murder him. Although he wasn’t quite sure of the reasons, Ellis knew something was horribly wrong with the family standing around him.

Diana sighed heavily and looked at Mrs. Sandburg who was standing with her arms folded near the kitchen. She was battling the emotions of her recently killed host. The process of assimilating was always interesting. A host had to die to let the alien in, but once in they seem to awaken inside without any control over their body. They experienced everything but someone else was in control. It was a horrifying feeling for their hosts, but the aliens needed to survive.

Mr. Sandburg abruptly left the conversation. Marilyn and Preston started to speak to him as he disappeared. He ignored them as he went to the part of the house his host only knew of. It was a small closet with a hidden shelving unit. Inside Mr. Sandburg removed a shotgun and its bullets. He returned holding it.

Marily and Preston had been heavily discussing ways to deal with Ellis who sat with his eyes rolling. They cut off seeing what their leader held.

“Is that…Where did you get that?” Mrs. Sandburg asked. Her eyes were glazed over and focused on the gun. “Mrs. Sandburg hates having guns in this house! They’re a vile and horrible thing to have around children.”

“We’re all grown up,” Fell snapped. “The youngest is even too old to be here.” Mrs. Sandburg gave him a look and he folded his arms, pouting.

The was a loud crack that made all the aliens and Ellis jump. It sounded like lightning hitting the house. Mr. Sandburg scanned the house trying to figure out was happening. He didn’t need to because the back door slid open. They turned seeing a tall dark figure.

To Be Continued…

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2016 Highlights & Review

Here are some highlights from 2016 and my New Year’s Resolutions.

It’s interesting looking at to what this blog evolved to. It started with stories and then turned into this journal of trying to keep myself on track with goals and habits. I’m proud of keeping up my habit. Missed a few days but kept to it almost every day this year. Here’s the favorite posts from the year. There’s more of course, but I can’t pick all of them!

Proud of all the hard work I put in this year, but still got a lot to get done. I looked through the original resolutions I had for 2016 to see what I had accomplished and pivoted.

  1. Animation Shorts: Make some shorts to advance my portfolio.
    • Pivoted this one into learning better animation skills from School of Motion. I’m really proud of how far I’ve come in animating with After Effects. I feel more confident in where I want to go career-wise as a result.
    • Created some GIFs and worked on a couple larger animations. Some are not finished but I hope to finish them in January.
  2. Stories: Learn how to tell better ones
    • Changed this to learning through watching and analyzing short animations. I wrote a few stories through the year, but I changed focus to learning stories for animation and film.
  3. Minimalism: Start getting rid of things that don’t add value to my life.
    • I never made a full commitment to this one so…It did save me many times during the year when I did want to buy objects. A good reminder to check if I actually needed it or if I just wanted it. Still need to clean out and donate many things, though.
  4. A career job: Get a career job in graphic design.
    • Got one at the beginning of the year, but after that, I kind of dwindled. I lost a lot of confidence after I had to turn down a freelance project for the first time. November’s Startup Weekend really helped bring back that confidence. I think I will be able to focus better and apply for many things out of my comfort zone now.
  5. Read more.
    • I’m def going to make a habit of reading a minimum of 15 pages a night. I read some books but I’m disappointed in the amount of reading I actually did.
  6. Start a Youtube channel.
    • ACCOMPLISHED. I didn’t post much after the Booktube-a-thon but I started and that was the whole goal. I will hopefully post more in 2017 and find my footing there. I’m still camera awkward, but the more I practice the better it’ll be.

I’m happy with what I’ve done this year, a little annoyed at some parts of the work ethic, but excited to change these bad habits. Can’t wait to see what I make of 2017! I’ll admit 2016 was difficult with all the deaths and the sad moments, but we’re still here pushing forward. I’m just so excited to be out with the old and in with the new. I’m excited to work and make all the new goals real!

Happy New Year friends! Hope you’re celebrating and looking forward to making 2017 amazing! I’ll have a post with my 2017 New Year’s Resolutions tomorrow! Have a great party and stay safe!

~Kendall

Refocus

Made so much progress on a lettering for the Startup Weekend post, but it’s not quite done. It’s outlined and mostly inked, but still has some finishing touches I want to do tomorrow. I’m getting sleepy which leads to mistakes. Would rather sleep and finish in the morning then press on and end up with wobbles.

I realize I abandoned the 30 Days of Productivity challenge I started. I have to decide if I want to bring it back, but I can’t say that I’ve been super lazy recently. I do need to refocus efforts on the job search. I’m going out tomorrow with a bunch of resumes to hunt for seasonal positions. Not excited, but I’ve been saying I need to get one for months now…so need to suck it up. Gah, reading back over that just makes me realize how whiny I’ve been this entire year. I revisit that idea at least once a month. Really need to stop complaining.

I’m having one of those moments where I reflect upon on the ‘fails’ of this year…the year isn’t even over. Realizing there’s only one month left and I haven’t accomplished all these goals I set out on. I’ve done a lot, but I’ve also wasted a lot of time and opportunities. Trying not to regret anything. Just trying to figure out what I can get done before the year ends and what I need to do to accomplish these goals.

With one full month of the year left I want to make a couple focused goals for myself. I’ve gone through a lot of different mindsets and ideas over this year, so the goals I made in January have changed a bit.

  1. Make one more animation. Either a general Holiday animation or a specific Christmas Present for a family member. I want to challenge myself to make a narrative piece.
  2. Proposal for the Adobe Creative Residency drafted. I think I’ve neglected to say that I am applying for the residency, but I am. I want to make some really fun animations and work with people from Adobe. I’ve spent a large portion of the year thinking about this and feel that I would thrive in that environment. I’m not positive on what my project is going to be about, but I have a couple projects I want to test out this month.
  3. Apply for a few more jobs and internships in case I don’t get the residency. If it doesn’t work out I want to make sure that I’m still learning.

There are other goals, but I am prioritizing these three. Only one full month left of 2016. It’s time to focus and get shit done.

~Kendall

Goal Checkins

Time for a 2016 Goal check-in/status update. Been awhile since I’ve looked at them and tracked my progress. Below is a reminder of my goals below, some have changed a bit.

  1. 12 Animations, one per month to get better at animating
  2. Improve storytelling by doing 365 days of stories on a blog.
  3. Minimalism
  4. Find a design or mograph job.
  5. Read 52 books this year.
  6. More videos on Youtube.

Animations have been on pause recently since I spent a long time really trying to finish up the School of Motion projects. Now that it’s done I really just need to get that reel of them together and post it for you to see.  Also I need to rework a few scripts as well as do some concepting. Since I haven’t been animating outside of the homework I’ve been focusing on analyzing other animations.

Which leads into my Storytelling improvement goal via this blog. I would say that my goal is still ongoing, but has taking a pivot towards Animation Inspiration. Although not traditional storytelling the analyzing has been helpful in making sure I keep improving. I would like to see myself really bring back in the creation part though. Meaning creating stories from my own ideas rather than just finding them and analyzing. The blog in itself is still going swell since I’m still updating every night.

Minimalism is going okay. I’m not getting rid of a lot of things, but I am trying to make sure I bring in only things that are of value. This has helped me from buying really useless items just for the sake of how pretty they are. So still working on this. The objective is to pair down to most essential items when I eventually move for a job (hopefully soon.)

Job wise I’m on the hunt for some interesting internships and jobs right now. I’m reworking my website again for it and doing some other things for it. Hoping for something mograph/animation related!

Reading is going slow…I realized today I’ve been sucked into the Netflix bubble. We have it till May for a couple shows my sister needs to watch for her homework. Today my mother forgot to renew it so I was locked out for the day. Oh my god, I didn’t realize how much time I waste on it. I kept going to Netflix when bored only to realize it was the 5th time I’d visited the site in the past half hour. Need to start replacing it with reading.

Youtube is going better. I made vlogs for my spring break trip to New Mexico. The thing is when I got back I realized I don’t like vlogging that much. I’m up for trying Booktube again, but I need to get on my reading goal for that.

This is a reminder to myself to get back on track. Stop watching Netflix. I’ve been derailing my focus as a result. Also, I needed a reminder of what my goals were again. I’d lost sight of the reading one which kind of impairs the goal for Youtube. Gonna have to make sure I do more monthly checkins. The checkins will help remind me to get back on the path and stop wandering/watching aimlessly.

How’s everyone else’s goals/New Years Resolutions going? Start new ones, give up, or pivot any of them?

~Kendall

Milestone Checkin

Today I thought I’d do a bit of a check in on my goals for the 2016 year. We’re far enough in that I can see which ones I’m neglecting and which ones I’m carrying on with or need adjusting. If you don’t know the goals I have the short version below.

  1. 12 Animations, one per month to get better at animating
  2. Improve storytelling by doing 365 days of stories on a blog.
  3. Minimalism
  4. Find a design or mograph job.
  5. Read 52 books this year.
  6. More videos on Youtube.

Below are my quick thoughts I wrote down.

checkin

Animation wise I’ve decided to half my goal of 12 this year to 6. (Only if I get really far behind will I lower it to 4.) It’ll be a lot more manageable and it’ll give me the freedom to pad. I’ve been running into the issue of not knowing what I’m doing animation wise so it takes a little longer to learn and then perfect. I also feel a little guilty for not finishing the Snackadoodle one, but also wanting to double up efforts on my mental health idea. I would rather make these viable portfolio pieces and try to understand the mechanics of animation than just make for the sake of quantity.

So, my main goal, the Storytelling habit with this blog is going quite well. Aside from posting a bit late in the evening sometimes and that single day where my internet was being off kilter I’ve kept it up. Like I said in the illustration, I am running into the issue of getting a little off track. I think some solutions to that are to pick some running themes for the month or week and keep within them. It’ll help me organize topics all around. It has been helping that I have picked specific days for the animation goal updates.

I had another goal which was Minimalism. So far rather than reducing the number of items I have I’ve only gotten more, and many of them serve no purpose other than I like them. I’m tempted to try this again later in the year. I want to reduce some items so that if I move–which I’m sure I will in the near future–I don’t schelp along useless items. Also the idea of really being intentional is good practice. I think I need to get back to reading The Minimalists blog. It’ll help put me back on track a bit towards minimalism, and remind me to be more mindful of the items I keep and bring in.

Design job wise I have an amazing contract job with Food on a Truck! It’s been amazing so far working with them and I’m really enjoying it. Even though I love it, I know that I want to be working in the motion graphic industry sooner than later. So as the year progresses and I finish up School of Motion’s Animation Bootcamp I’m continuing my search for mograph & animation jobs and internships. I will make title credits for a living. I will.

So reading…I’ve been slacking on this one. Part of the reason I’m failing that minimalism goal is I keep buying more books. The problem is that instead of reading these books I’m just getting more. This is not helpful.  I’ve decided to start a daily habit of reading for 20 minutes every day. I’ve been in a bad reading slump, one that even Harry Potter hasn’t pulled me out of, so it’s time to start a daily routine. That’s always been the most helpful thing for me, so routine here I come!

And last, but not least, my Youtube goal. I’ve loosely decided that I want a minimum of 2 videos a month, if not more. Biweekly is a good goal considering that I have limited amount of time to film and edit. I’ve been doing reasonably well with the filming aspect for the goal, but finding time to edit has been a challenge. I have a backlog of tags I’ve started for booktube and footage created, but it’s all moot if I don’t post it. So, like the reading and storyteller habits, I’m going to start a routine. Every Tuesday is video day. I just need to upload a video to my channel. You’re welcome to watch my progress, but my videos are still improving. I’m still a bit iffy with the idea of talking to a camera, but that’s half the point of starting the channel. I want to get more comfortable with being on the screen and to stop hiding behind it. It’s weird ’cause I like my voice, but I tend to freeze up in front of the camera. Oh well, you have to start somewhere.

Feel free to keep up with my yearly progress on these goals. I’ll do these checkins every once in awhile to see where I am and what I need to alter. How’s everyone else’s goals going? Are you still keep up with your resolutions? Or did you get off track and need to start again? Let me know via a tweet or comment!

~Kendall

Reflections on January

Day 31 of 365

Hello friends!

Okay since my internet is going up and down speed wise I’m gonna do a quick update now and then a more in depth one tomorrow. Hopefully our internet will work by then, if not I’ll try to be in a coffice for most of the day. It’s suppose to snow heavily in Colorado tonight, so depending on the terribleness of the storm determines if I can even go to a coffice…but I’ll probably have to go anyway. Internet is essential for me to work.

So updates animation wise, I have yet to finish. That’s okay I realize that I started prep too late in January. I’m still aiming for 12 shorts by the end of the year, maybe not once a month, but as long as I get them done. It helps that I’m taking this Animation Bootcamp course. It’s giving me the skills that I didn’t realize I need to be able to achieve the animations I want to make. Since starting that I’ve been able to put into perspective the amount of time it’ll take for a single person to create an animation from scratch. As a result last week I came to the conclusion that I started the Snackadoodle animation prep too late in order to accomplish my ideas. Because of this I set myself up for a failure rather than a win.

Also, I want to make sure that I’m taking time to create quality content. One of the things I learned from last year is that just because I made 365 days of Lettering doesn’t mean I made quality lettering. Sure I got tons of practice, but I can’t say that it’s all quality. If I’m going to post animations for the world to see I expect to be proud of the work I make, and not just throw it up for the sake of meeting this goal. It’s fun to rush things every once in awhile, but at the end of the day I still want this as a portfolio piece. Where I am animation wise I can say that it certainly sucks. So as I continue into February I intend to keep working on the Snackadoodle animation and perfecting it along with my storytelling ability.

Aside from animation I can tell that I am improving my analytical skills for stories. Really taking the time to remind myself to look for the character’s desires, and how those motivations affect the story. I tried a variety of different types of storytelling this month which has helped me approach ideas in different ways. I plan to continue that idea into this next month, but I plan to set a schedule. This blog is great because it helps me plan ahead for the next day and month, as well as see what I can do better in the future. I’m pleased to be improving several skillsets by throwing myself into this new habit.

Some goals for February I have:

  • Finish Snackadoodle Animation
  • Create a quick animation for my Dad’s Birthday
  • Finish/Update Stillness and see where that goes
  • Make a schedule for the month & stick to it
  • Read some stories & analyze them
  • Write a script and send to Boulder Film Incubator

I’m excited to see what I come up with this upcoming month and will update you on Snackadoodle process soon! I’m glad that you have all come along with me this far and are still progressing on your New Year’s Resolutions! Thank you for taking the time to read and check in on my work. I appreciate that you take time out of your day to read the silly stories I make up or watch a GIF. Thank you. ❤

~Kendall

Flash is a Thing

Day 24 of 365

So….I completely forgot that Flash is a thing. I was reminded that it existed, and wow it makes animating so much easier. Now animating this story seems possible given the fact that my timeline has been truncated due to frustration with animating in photoshop & short timeframe during evenings.

Tonight I made the below GIFs of Snackadoodle. Boy does his shape and design keep changing. I’m in the process of starting the animation storyline, but I’m going to wait to show you that till tomorrow. Tonight’s time was spent mostly on trying to relearn Flash. I believe the last time I used it was around…7-8 years ago? Sometime in early high school. I remember taking a class on it and being the only person under 40 there… I was a bit bored and spent a lot of time helping classmates or playing in Photoshop CS or CS2…I don’t remember which one is was, just the distinct memory of the feather logo.

Tomorrow I’m going to have an update on this animation and I’m thinking I’ll try something new story wise. I’m beginning to make this habit too much of the animation storyline and getting away from my objective of building a stronger story skillset. Not that animation isn’t helping with that. Making an animation still exercises my skills in visual storytelling which is a challenge in itself, and will help in the long run. I’m excited to try another way to storytelling and will post it either tomorrow night or later this week depending on how long it takes to make.

Till tomorrow friends, Night!

~Kendall

snackadoodle_rough3snackadoodle_rough4

 

Slow Progress 3

Feeling a little low on energy tonight so I’m saving Snackadoodle catch up for tomorrow. As well as redoing my website and a few other things. I have a never ending todolist of creative projects. Hopefully I can make some headway before I add more to it.

Today I made another version of Snackadoodle & Ralph. More minimalistic and in a style I think will make animating faster and less frustrating for me. Process wise I used a lot of sticky notes and then illustrator.

Goals tomorrow are animation stuff, and find some late night energy unless I want to do this during the day at some point. Night!

~Kendall

snackadoodle_6snackadoodle_6

Walk Cycle test

Day 21 of 365

Today I got a little bit of work done on the Snackadoodle animation. I managed to start animating his walk cycle…although it’s not very smooth. But that’s what this project is here for. To learn new things. I’m excited to see how this progresses into the story. I’m hoping for a much needed catching up day this weekend. I’m getting a bit behind with this animation, and I’m worried I won’t finish by the 31st. I’ll just sleep a little less I suppose.

Goals tomorrow are continue animation of Snackadoodle’s walk. Adding a bit more of his personality into the walk, and if time permits start animating Ralph’s walk.

~Kendall

snackadoodle_rough