Friday, October 10, 2014

Goals are dreams with deadlines. These are mine for the month

Goals are dreams with deadlines

     Everyone always thinks and talks about living out there dreams and living their life to the fullest, but most don't have the drive or desire to plan it out. They wont create a deadline or hold themselves accountable for reaching their goals. They are hoping that one day the stork will deliver it to them in a fresh hankerchief.
     Personally i have found myself being lazy and slacking at times. Some of the time it was for good reasons like being sick or overworked, but i will admit that most was because i didn't feel like doing something or was being lazy. I know this and have come to terms with it. These are experiences to learn from and grow instead of dwelling on them for all eternity as i sink into a deeper hole. I encourage everyone reading this to not only chase your dreams but to also come up with a game plan or strategy that allows you to catch your dreams with both hands and succeed in life. The #1 thing is to not give up and keep pushing forward.
     Here i am going to share with you a few of my current goals and ideas so that i myself can be held accountable.

  • I want to work on staying on schedule and meeting my goals as far as staying on track and working the hours i have carved out
  • In my schedule for the month i started adding hrs for my projects to get them accomplished and this month i am going to test out how it worked. I am stretching myself like a rubber band but not so far out of reach that it snaps.
  • My website and webstore will be getting updated and changed to encorporate an all in one view.
  • My email list will be back on track. My fear of this is having a Im back email and then fall off the grid and get lost again
  • I am more of a concept guy and 1 thing i need to work on is creating stronger characters that i am more attached too by creating stronger stories and characteristics. I can throw out a dozen great different characters but i need to work on that trait from the other type of concept designers where they can take 1 character and come up with a dozen ways to make him better. 

For more updates please like my Facebook page alteregodezines

Friday, September 26, 2014

Me, My Alter - Ego, and the world i have created

  • Who am I? 
  • What is my purpose? 
  • Why am i doing this? 
  • What do i get from this? (personally and emotionally)

     These are those questions that every one asks themselves or should be asking themselves. For me the answers revealed an immense amount of information, dig deeper and more secrets are unveiled. What are your passions and what is it that drives you? What spark make you open your eyes in the morning and puts a smile on your face as you take on the day?
     For me i have been a  creative from a  very young age. Thinking back i was a concept guy from the beginning doing quick sketches and drawing characters or monsters. I took the long windy scenic route along with a few pit stops along the way. Dating different ideas, and while i have saved and used the different experiences, none of those relationships fully worked out for me. These experiences have showed me that i enjoy helping others and creating things that have an impact on the lives of others. Seeing how different people react to my work is an amazing feeling and cannot be measured by the corporate standard or dollar signs, this is a personal feeling that is more important to me.
    Now after test driving these different vehicles i have invested and truly connected with a major force in my life along with owning a couple sports cars for fun joyrides. I have settled on an exciting medium and now i feel i am able to really express myself and my passions. When i enter the Zone i am able to let go. Let go of the troubles of the world, forget about the responsibilities of being an adult in an expensive and demanding world. I'm able to walk away from the stress of life and problematic relationships. After i put my headphones on i am able to unplug the world and get focused, drifting into my own world i allow my Alter-Ego to take over. A being untainted by the problems of the world. He turns off my over thinking brain and cuts off the emotion ties to negative vibes and stress while cranking up my excitement and joy levels as he brings these new creatures to life before my eyes.

I hope these few words have sparked some ideas and makes you think. The world around you is the the one you create for yourself. The life you live is a movie you direct. Life has his own way of throwing curve balls and atomic bombs, but in the end it is entirely up to you how you decide to react and overcome the obstacles.

Thank you for reading, please feel free to leave your comments and thoughts below and what you would like to see in the future.

For more updates please like my Facebook page  here alteregodezines

Friday, September 19, 2014

Live in the now - Time management

Wouldn't it be Great to live in the NOW!

How many of you out there are doing things with your friends or family or maybe taking a day off and are feeling guilty about not getting work done? Or vice versa and feeling guilty while your working. Thinking too much and worrying about your artistic projects and when you will get them finished. Worrying about how you will make time to do the things that need to get done and worrying about being able to do the work when you make the time.
This is something that we all struggle with, I still struggle with these issues and it is something i will continue to struggle with.

Here i will share some of my personal tips and tricks on scheduling and staying focused. Keep in mind these are my own personal techniques i have learned and developed for myself so read and take them in and test them. Then you can create your own and decide what works for you.

  • First thing is to learn yourself and your peaks. When are you most productive? Everyone in the world can wake up 1 hour earlier every day, but not everyone is a morning person and waking up early it may take you an hour to create something you can do in 15 min if you were ready. Find your prime time and create time in that productive block.
  • It helps me to set my time limits to keep track of my time. I have alarms set by the hour on my phone during studio time. It just takes a push of a button to turn off and keeps me aware of the time without looking at a clock. I use this to make sure i spend 1 hr on my warm up, then whatever i need on my other projects.
  • Schedule your days. If you break down your day you will have a visual map of what your days look like. Look into the time that you waste doing unimportant tasks, wasting time doing nothing, sitting in front of the TV, spending hours on the internet etc. Here is a quick example i learned from Noah University that really puts things into a visual picture and the possibilities. Think about a busy man that works full time. Wakes up at 6, works from 7-5, then eats dinner and spends time with his family 5-8:30. After his kids go down he can either sit and relax or he can pour into his craft until 10:30. This is a busy schedule and he is able to spend time with his family, work, and do his craft everyday. By just adding 2 hours at nigh 5 days a week he is able to create for 10 hours per week and keep in mind this is only Monday through Friday. Even the little amounts can add up.
  • Set up deadlines for yourself. Take some time to focus on your work and figure out how long your process takes you. Set a strong deadline for yourself that is both giving you a challenge but so far fetched that you are destined to fail. Stick to your deadline and stay on track.
  • When you create your schedule it will allow you to focus on the task at hand. You will have your life laid out and you wont have to worry about your time or if you will be able to complete your projects. Now you don't have to feel guilty and you can focus on the task at hand 100%
  • Keep a notepad handy and within reach. Notepads help you to catch those ideas as they fly by without distracting you from your work. 
  • Batches and Borders - multitask projects that you can and do them together to save time from chores to projects. Also put a strong border or fence around your studio time. When you create time for yourself there will always be people trying to break in and steal it, it is up to you to say no and protect your time.
  • Getting yourself into the mode - There are 2 things i do for this
    • First tell yourself to just go in for 15 min or 1 hr. Just a quick task to start working, after you start you become hooked and spend hours. The small time gesture is to trick your mind into getting started. Once you start your creative side takes over.
    • Second is i will take a power nap or meditate before i work. I turn off the lights and tv and lay in the dark. Laying there with my mind racing and being bored i get anxious and thinking about what i am going to do gets me excited and laying there gets me fresh and energized.
  • Have your projects ready to go. I read about another artist who lived 5 min from his work place and would take his lunch to go home and work. He was able to create for the 20 min. because his studio was prepped and ready to work. Now this may be easier for some mediums than others but test it out. Have your studio clean and ready to work.
  • Keep a track sheet to track how many hours you have been working and what you have been accomplishing. If you look at this over the weeks it will tell you how you work and will inspire you to meet your own goals

every moment counts - even if you only have 10 min.and your not doing anything you can write down some ideas or prep some work.

This is some tasks to start with, I will post more in the future as more ideas come to mind. Thank you for reading and please add your own ideas and practices.

(Below is an example of my track sheets that has my time and personal goals to meet)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Behind the scenes - a peek behind the curtain

Conventions and shows are amazing! They are fun and interesting and it is a great way to meet new people and get your name out to the world. The task that most do not think about or consider is how much work goes into preparing for a show. There is an immense amount of work that has to be done in order to fill a table and put your best foot forward.

Going to a venue and showing off your work is an amazing feeling and the response is inspiring! Here is will share a sneak peak behind the curtain, some behind the scenes in prepping for a convention and creating art. This is the not so fun part before the booth is set up and ready to go.

A few things to keep in mind

  • What do i want to show off or release - Center stage?
  • Who is my audience and do i have the pieces to reach them?
  • Am i bringing something for everyone and every price range? 
  • Is my setup interesting and engaging?
  • Do i have the space both at the venue and in car to setup my idea?
Here are some packing and set up pics along the way. There is so much more work than having fun for the weekend.

Friday, August 29, 2014

My Alter-Ego

What is your Alter-Ego? 
This is mine and the story behind the name.
Welcome to Alter-Ego-Dezines

     The original idea came to me a while back sitting and thinking about my work. At times I would have the same issue as so many of us artists out there. 
  • What should i draw? 
  • What should i sculpt? 
  • What character or creature can i bring to life? 

These were the issues that spawned an entire new way of creating. I realized that i was thinking way too much with my logical brain and not letting any air to my creative being. My works were being filtered by a very judgmental organism. Draining the juices so much from my ideas that they would begin to dry up. How could i get past this barricade and break down the gate?
 Well this is simple, just turn of your brain right? Easier said than done! but i did begin to think less about the projects as i began them. I would start with a ball of clay and just jump in. Letting my creative creature out without any blinders on and free to roam wherever he wished. As the clay began to move and new forms began to appear i would see the character being born. New ideas would arise and from that their story and being would develop. Like a child growing up, you keep seeing new characteristics and traits that dig deeper into their personality.

This is where my Alter-Ego came from. Now when i work i try to get myself into another place, lose the worries of the world and the troubles around me, drift into my own special place and create from deep within my own subconscious. I don't worry about what am i going to make or what should this look like, i do my best to turn off my brain and just let my creativity flow.

Thank you for reading, please post a comment and share your thoughts.

For more updates please like my Facebook page.

Friday, August 22, 2014

First 2 Inner Demons finished.

Here are my first two demons completed. Two creatures that are constantly lurking in our shadows and hiding on our shoulders whispering in our ears.

Here are their stories. Read through them and let me know what you think.

Both of these demons are now available with any color variation. Each one will also include the character card to display and help you face your own demons.

Thank you for reading!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Thinking outside the box

Are you trying to create something new and original?
     Think outside the box and create something from your imagination. Dig deep into who you are as a person and what it is you are inspired by. Look around yourself, take inspiration from the world around you and use the creatures already around us as a starting point. Start here and then work in your own characteristics, expression, and style. Also you can take a step outside the box and do something totally imaginative. Just start with some crazy ideas and shapes until they start to form something. Don't think as you create, just let your subconscious release its thoughts.
     When i do my free form clay sketches i don't think i just go. I start with my ball of clay and just dialing in shapes. I keep going until something starts to show and i follow it. If it doesn't turn out or i change my mind i just alter the sculpt and move forward. In the end you get an idea out and visualized.

Below are a few examples

This guy was created for a collector based off a few ideas - creature, Halloween, pumpkin, candy corn teeth

This piece was inspired from a fennec fox

 These next two were inspired by Cliff Wallace works and just starting with different shapes to see what comes out.

Finally this "kid in me" piece was based on a portrait and my love for Halloween and horror 

Don't stand in line trying to fit into normal. Be your own person and create your own creations from the heart

For more updates please like my Facebook page - alter ego dezines

Friday, August 8, 2014

Introducing my Inner Demons

Here is some progress on my New Inner Demons line. This is an idea i have been thinking about for a long time, these are two of my personal demons. I feel that everyone has their own personal demons, bad habits, or things they would like to get rid of or improve upon. Its part of being human, we are consumed with flaws. Differences are what set us apart and make each one of us individuals. Each one of us choose how we handle what is thrown our way.

First up is my Analysis Paralysis demon and my Procrastination demon. Two evils that have been lurking in my subconscious tempting my actions and persuading my thoughts. These two creations were created as monuments that i can face. Demons i could stand face to face with, no longer chasing their shadows and hoping to catch up. Now i can stare the monster in the eyes and overcome my obstacles.

Both of these guys have been finished and i am currently molding procrastination.
I will have painted pics to share soon. Let me know what you think, comment below

Friday, August 1, 2014

Calling it Finished! - Know when to stop

     Sometimes you just need to call it finished and move one! It is entirely up to you to decide when a piece is finished and how far you want to take it. Without a deadline you could continue refining a piece for months even years. I have seen quite a few students and artists work on a piece forever, it is my belief that sometimes you just need to move on.
     You might do a portrait and the likeness isn't quite right, you can keep altering the features and the structure over and over again for all eternity. For example, i know a friend that had been working on portrait on and off for about 4 years now. Over the four years she could have created multiple pieces with different expressions or styles and each would be up to date with her current skill level. Instead she continues to adjust the features chasing a perfect likeness. My opinion is to do a study and focus on the features that aren't working. Do a bunch of quick studies spending about 1-2 hrs each. Then compare your piece to images and do an overlay in the computer to compare. I have learned that moving the clay around is what helps you learn. Working over and over again in one area there is minimal clay movement and less learning experiences.
     Another thing to keep in mind is the piece itself and what it is being used for. If you are going to cast in a material that wont hold fine details don't spend all your time refining skin textures. I have pieces that i sculpt for my monster balls, they are cast in a skinning foam that picks up detail but it isn't perfect. This wouldn't be a project i spend hours on for textures that are not going to be strong and stand out.
     There is a certain level of perfection and finishing but you need to create a deadline and know when to put the piece down and call if finished. Only then will you be able to grow and move forward on your artistic quest.

Thank you for reading, hope this helps.

Let me know your thoughts below

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Extension - Don't be afraid to scrap it

I received some great feedback on comments on my last post and wanted to add 1 more piece i worked on. This is Trixie Treats from the Monster Dolls dance troupe. I did a few concept sketches early on to not only figure out the expression but to study her features and proportions in 3D. She took 3 tests that i scrapped before i decided on the one i liked. I did a warm up sketch and covered it and put it away, came back to it the next few days and looked at it and compared her through looking at her and comparing pics on overlays in computer.

As long as you enjoy and learn from every piece its not a waste of time, even if it isn't worth saving.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Don't be afraid to Scrap It!

        Who has ever worked on a piece they weren't completely happy with? Who has just kept working on it either adding details hoping it will get better or just finishing it so you have a new bust and just do better next time? This is a problem i ran into in the past, i had concepts that i wasn't 100% happy with and some of them i would just try to hurry and finish them so i could start something new. Over the years with my clay sketching i learned to not be afraid or worry about scrapping a piece. I created more sketches than i would be able to complete which forced me to really nail down and critique my work. I also did studies to focus on learning anatomy and expression. These were pieces that i would spend 1 hr on and know ahead of time that i probably wasn't going to keep the piece. Bottom line to all of this is that each new piece will represent you at this moment in your life. Don't be afraid to throw away or start over on a piece you are unhappy with, don't waste your time trying to save a piece with a bad structure or character. Each person is only given a set amount of time in this life, Don't Waste It.

Please don't confuse this with not being able to finish a piece or an excuse. This is a tip for critiquing your work and using your time wisely on the pieces that deserve it. There will be times that you work through that the piece may not be amazing but you will still have the passion for it and know that the end result will be amazing. There will be learning steps and years of growing so don't hold off trying to make that perfect piece. Jump in and get something out, learning sketches are better than nothing.

Next Week i will do a post on Finishing and calling it finished.

Below are a couple concepts and pieces that i worked on but didn't make the cut.

First is a tentacle creature concept - for me he didn't stand out or speak to me.
Next is a demon concept - this one i liked in the beginning but there were a lot of structural issues led to me losing interest.
Finally a female hunter character - Now this one i learned a lot about structure and form on this one but her proportions were off. A learning and thinking exercise, taking in slight gesture moves, anatomy, as well as creative thinking about the possibilities of molding and casting. This is a piece that i spent more time on than i would have liked but i did learn from it. In the end my time was more wisely used on other pieces.