Bout of Books Read-a-Thon & Animation Updates 3

Today I filmed a quick To-Be-Read video for Bout of Books 17. I am currently reading The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma. It’s interesting and passing the time as my video renders. You can watch the TBR down below if you want. Since I am updating here as well as Twitter & Youtube I’ll post their blurb below. For most current updates Twitter will be the best, but if time allows I will vlog.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 22nd and runs through Sunday, August 28th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 17 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Animation bootcamp is going well, still behind and only have till Friday, but progress is progress. I’m aiming for at least one more project done before the critique closes. I think that’s reasonable considering I have an eye appointment on Wednesday. I never get any reading or video stuff done while my eyes are dilated. I am still delaying the Ogallala video because of edit time. Lack of tripod really makes everything difficult. Also I need to plan videos out a bit more. Editing the TBR video went very quick because I had a plan and idea for the structure…but the camping video not so much. Learning on the go.

Goals this week is get the bootcamp as close to finished as possible, and start animating my selfi animation. That has been sitting on the back burner for way too long, and I could benefit from actually finishing one of my personal animations. I just came up with another idea for an animation, so I’ll be adding that to my list of eventual short animated films to make. I really love coming up with these ideas, but starting to get too many!

This concludes my Monday Life updates. TBR is below for viewing. Talk to you guys soon!



Monday Life Update | Exercise & Animation

It’s Monday which means life updates!

I am working on Animation Bootcamp. It’s nice to get back into the swing of things, after realizing I haven’t touched After Effects in so long. I’m starting a personal project with mographs which I plan to launch on Tuesdays. Depending on production I might launch it tomorrow, but since I’m still working out my exact process for this particular project I don’t know if it’ll be ready. Depends on productive I am.

As for health I am doing much better. The combination of getting on a regular sleep schedule and exercising is really helpful. Also eating better and being more productive as a result. It’s amazing what happens when you actually listen to science and doctors.

This past week was really great as far as morale boost. I’m obsessing over the Adobe Creative Residency which is helping with my goals in the long run and reminding me strive for more learning opportunities as well as empower other creatives. I’m looking into doing a couple tutorials or infographics as a starting point in that process. Reading Harry Potter & The Cursed Child was helpful in adding to the reading streak I’m getting back into. Great fun with the nostalgia and an enjoyable experience. Video review coming soon before I leave for camping!

For this week I might be working ahead on a few posts since my family plans to go camping from Thursday to Sunday. No internet means no blog posts. I’m debating about collecting Animation Inspiration and scheduling the posts ahead, or sketching and posting when I get back. I have until tomorrow evening to decide so I will worry about that later. If you have a preference let me know via a comment below or tweet.

That’s it for life updates this week. It’s exciting to see improvement in such a short time! I hope everyone is having a good start to their week! Talk to you tomorrow!


Mondays are for Updates

I think I’m going to do life updates on Monday nights for the next few weeks. It’ll help me see where I am and remind me to pay attention to how I’m feeling. So here’s my updates on this burnout recovery.

I’m starting to feel better. I’ve been getting a lot more exercise and fixing my bedtime should help. It’s also the start of the Booktube-A-Thon 2016 tonight so I’ve been getting some reading in. Although not much between PokemonGo & actual work I’ve been a little distracted. I have some plans to just read tonight so going to get that going. I also have a hand me down and better camera with good video so I plan to be using that tomorrow. Look for some video experiments soon. I still need to get a tripod so I can’t promise said video experiments will be stable unless I can find a way to stick it on some books.

I am also finally getting some actual work done. The last few weeks have been the type of busy where I feel like a lot is going down, but isn’t necessarily productive work. I’m trying to be really adamant about what is productive. I think that is where part of my stress is coming from. I’ve been doing a lot of busy activities and not prioritizing work that is actually productive towards the goals or work. So now that I’ve really narrowed down what is important and what I need to say ‘no’ I hope that it’ll get a lot easier. I’m finally getting back on track, slowly, for some class homework. I’m working on making sure my todo list is actually checked off rather than full of arrows and notes saying “do tomorrow.” This has been a good Monday for focus and clearing my head.

I’m also doing my best to work on my minimalism goals. So really going through the items I have by either trashing or donating them. I’m definitely looking for what things are adding value and what’s just existing to exist. I’m not doing the best job because I did go to the flea market the other day, but I’m at least trying again.

I’m also working on getting my freelance jobs more together as I continue with my main job search. I need to find a better income source other than just the one off job or two so I’m teetering about just going for something part-time. I’m trying to figure out something that won’t stress me out too much, but that I can still save some money up for. But things to figure out tomorrow. I need to go to bed and get some more reading in!



Selfi Progress 2

Made a little progress on the styleframe front for my selfi-mograph. I still need to go back and tweak them a bit. I’m indecisive if I want to change some of it to some lettering or make my life easier with type. I’ll decide sometime this next week. I haven’t yet spent time to draw out the letterforms and won’t have time till then, so depending on then will probably be the deciding factor on type or not. Till then this is where it’s starting to head design wise.

I’m debating about splitting this selfi mograph into two animations. One that’s more oriented toward getting a job/internship and on that’s more self-portrait oriented. I could combine them, but it might be getting a bit too long for sending out for job opportunities. I just feel like I lose a bit of personality in the version I currently have…Hmmm…I still have time to make more flourishes to it so I’m not worried yet. I’ll take the 5 hour car ride back home on Monday to make decisions. Especially since I get motion sick and can’t work at all. So much potential time to work, instead I just spend it day dreaming. Great time for making up stories at least.

Anyway, more work still to be done and lots of time that I am allotting for family this weekend, so we’ll see how much I progress tomorrow. 😀




The types of stories

So I’ve been thinking about the types of stories I want to tell and where I want to go with my animations. I’m still working on the Snackadoodle one, but I’m also thinking through my February short. The thing about the Snackadoodle one is that it’s just a cute story about a fat rat’s love for Twinkies, but I really want to push out of my comfort zone narration wise for this next one.

One of the goals with these films is for me to really take a stance on subjects. I have a tendency to not say anything, which in some cases can be worse than taking sides. Film is a tool for making an impact with stories, so I’m trying to make sure I approach this upcoming film with that same type of story.

Below are two short films that I really liked and set the mood for the animation idea I have. They’re dramatic in a way that is appropriate for the subject matter I’m aiming for. These are important reminders to make sure the tone is appropriate for what you make, and I’m really going to make sure that I stick to that.

Long day, and another long one tomorrow. So bed time. Night!




Ideas & Vague Stories

Today’s post comes in 2 parts. One for yesterday and one for today. My internet has been fixed so regular posting shall resume.


Day 32 of 365

For storytelling practice I didn’t do a ton. I made a list of types of stories I want to work on and the broad categories they can fit into. This is to help me for when I get stuck.

  • Visual Stories
    • Lettering, Photographs, 2D artistic narratives, illustrations
  • Video Narratives
    • Animations, scripts, vlogs, videos
  • Creative Writing
    • Novels, short stories, one offs
  • Analytical Narratives
    • essays, resources
  • Design Dumps
    • Inspiration, doodles, and thinking process for stories, experimental ideas
  • Animation updates/Misc
    • GIFs, idea generation

I also picked a schedule for my animation. Updates for animations will be on Wednesday and Friday. That keeps the rest of the week free for whatever type of content I want to create. One thing I don’t want to do is restrict myself with a schedule, with the exception of large milestones for my animation. You can view that below.

Once again big animation updates will be on Wednesday & Friday. Below is the general schedule I’m aiming to hold to.

Week 1: Planning – Ideas, moodboards, scripts, thumbnails, prep in general
Week 2: Animatics – Rough animatics, refining story
Week 3: Rough Animation
Week 4: Refining & coloring, post video by last day of the month

Day 33 of 365.

The Notebook

My notebook is torn around the edges with a little bit of dried blood as the scent. I forget frequently that it spent an afternoon drenched in death over a year ago. It’s got scratches and a hole deep inside of the pages where Katie once stabbed a knife through it. I threw the notebook at her head after that. It nearly killed her when she fell into the glass table. Of course she had it coming after trying to kill me. She’s still mad and every once in awhile I catch her in the shadows looking for another way to tear me down. I don’t care much for her kind though. My notebook is reasonably solid despite all the wear and tear of it’s hard life. I still write in it, around the hole. I still refused to let go of it despite Rainer and Scarro’s need to mock me. They’ve been mocking me for longer than I can remember, but I still hold on.

Today is one of those horrible days. The notebook is falling apart on the sofa and I’ve been stabbed in the shoulder again. I keep dripping blood on the pages as I write. My shoulder burns with every movement, but I refuse to stop writing. I’ve smeared blood over the words I’ve written.

“Vern, why do you keep that thing?” Rainer asks walking in and she filling a whisky glass. Her jaw is bloody and her red eyes flick over the scene. “and who’s she?” She gestures to the woman lying facedown on our white rug. There’s a pool of blood oozing out and staining it.

“She stabbed me,” I counter,”Why do you wear your necklace?”

Rainer raises a dark eyebrow. “I want a new rug for my birthday.”

“When was this one from again?”

“Sometime early? I don’t remember. Just get me a new rug. Whisky?”

“No, she poisoned it with some kind of drug for vampires,” I say. Rainer spits the sip she’d just taken back into the cup.

“Now you tell me!” she hisses angrily. “What type of drug?”

“Something that makes you weak, have a headache, feverish qualities, and blurry vision.”

“She drugged you and then attacked you, didn’t she?”

Scarro waltzes in from the backdoor. He stops short at the scene. “Who’s she?”

“A terrible vampire hunter,” Rainer responds walking over to the arm chair. “Oh…there goes my vision. Fuuuuuck. Verrrrn,” she whines leaning back as the drug begins to hit her.

I sigh and write another line into the notebook. The blood is still wet, drenching the pages.

“What’s with you?” Scarro asks Rainer as he pokes the dead hunter on the floor with his toe.

Rainer points at me with a shaking hand. “That one let me drink the drugged whisky.”

Scarro puts his hands on his hips. “You let her do what?” he asks, his mouth tightening at the corners as it always does when he’s angry. I glance up, and shut my notebook. I’m not getting any writing done at this point.

“She didn’t ask until she already had a sip. Do you remember when the rug is from?” I ask.

“I don’t remember…sometime between when killed Raunch’s wife and when World War 2 ended…actually that’s just when we acquired it from that museum. I’m not even sure past that point.”

“Well the rug is ruined.”

“We know that, just get me a new one,” Rainer says rubbing her head. “How long till this wears off?”

“Probably 20 minutes at most. You didn’t drink much,” I tell her.

The phone rings. I roll my eyes and look around for it. Scarro beats me to it and answers.

“Rossette estate, this is Scarro speaking.” Rainer closes her eyes and grumbles dramatically. She never could take any type of sickness well in her human moments and vampire state. “I’ll let him know. Thank you for calling.”

I raise my eyebrow. “For me? Who’s delightful enough to call me?”

Scarro hangs up the phone after a moment. He glances at Rainer and then back at me. “They found her Vern.”

My grip tightens around my notebook. Rainer snaps open her eyes to stare at Scarro. Her bloodshot eyes are wide.

The word is slow on my tongue, “Where?” This feeling of despair and confusion is foreign to me. I haven’t felt it for at least 30 years not since Katie stabbed the notebook.

Scarro fidgets with a stray string on his sweater. “You sure you want to invite her back in? It’s been nearly 100 years since you last talked her.” He refuses to make eye contact with me.

I glance at the notebook. The scratches and blood it’s endured and my grip on it it. “Where?” I ask again louder.

Scarro swallows hard. He hasn’t been supportive of this century long search since the beginning. Every time I get close he tries to convince me to stop. After a long pause he speaks. “New York.”

I rise. “Where in New York?”

Scarro fidgets.

To Be Continued