Commissions, and the Ethical Bounds of Creating

Uncategorized

Hi everyone. Time for another minor update before I go HAM on a larger one.

Reeling from the news from yesterday about the school shooting. I’m not just tired of the killings, I am tired of the overwhelming inaction, the tacit acceptance of death. We saw it with the (still ongoing) pandemic, we see it with gun violence, and soon we will see it as climate disaster grows more and more dire. People my age and younger have never seen a functional Congress or judiciary, and it is very obvious to most of us that there is no incentive for them to improve the lives of the general population.

I wish I knew the answers to all of our problems. I don’t. I know the addiction to infinite growth on a finite planet will kill us all. Personally, I have stopped eating beef and I am cutting down considerably on other meats, I only drive when there is no other option, and I minimize water and electricity use. I took the pandemic seriously and did everything I could to assure that I would not unintentionally kill others, by getting vaccinated and wearing masks and staying out of enclosed public places. That is what I can do personally, in my small sphere. It is so, so hard to think that I am making any difference, and I know I am not alone in that feeling.

With all this in mind, I had to refuse a few commission ideas recently because they wanted to portray suicide. Light hearted, jokey suicide, but that still sat wrong with me. And I have been working on things that are actually rather violent and grim! It’s a personal line that I cannot cross anymore. Long ago I had a character I would draw called Dex, and he had a friend named Suicidal Vinny who would perpetually have a pistol pointed at his own head as he went about his day. Vinny would take any opportunity to end it all by firing the gun, but some twist of fate always intervened to save his life. That was high school and in retrospect, it was coming from a very dark place. As an adult I would rather not feed these sorts of thoughts, and I certainly do not want to create a looping animation of graphic self-harm. My current limit for what I will do is “Looney Tunes but with optional gore”.

Lastly, things I would like to get done on this site:

  • Update the PixelArt page. I have done more pixel art animation than anything lately and I need to showcase that more clearly
  • Facelift the site completely? This is one of those things that is both more and less work than it sounds.
  • Update my Commissions Page to be more beautiful and user-friendly

Music, Art, Chemistry, and the Maze

Uncategorized

Hey everyone, thanks for visiting the site. Check out the galleries for neat art, check out my Twitch stream for live art and music, and check out my commissions page to see if I can draw something for YOU!

In March I finally got a music stream going. Now I can play my MIDI piano on my stream which is pretty nice. I have been doing tons of drawings, which has also been nice. But something has been looming on the horizon, less sinister than burnout but almost as damaging: it’s the Maze!

Comic I did early March 2021 on my attitude

Life has not always been easy. I was pushed very hard to be a concert pianist and that got really old really quickly (not to mention that nothing in my upbringing really screamed ‘classical’). As a teenager I did not know what the future would bring but I knew I wanted to CREATE things. Home was not a safe place though, and most of what I made was lost or destroyed in various eras of my families negligence and rage.

Life DID get better. My grades in college (design school) were far better than my grades in high school, but I still felt like I was not making progress in life. I had more skills but nothing that really made me enough money to live on, so I went back to college in an attempt to be a pharmacist. Back I went to Sinclair Community College, which was great, to learn chemistry. And I love chemistry! I felt smart, like I was learning something IMPORTANT. My grades were even better; I put in tons of effort. Then off to WSU which was also nice, for a college that dedicated practically no money or effort to their chemistry department. I got a bachelors in Chemistry and here I am! I learned that I didn’t want to be a pharmacist, but I lucked out and got a great job supporting water quality equipment.

And yet all this time I knew that I really wanted to MAKE things, to inspire and entertain. What was I doing? I wanted to draw so I went to design school; I wanted to play music so I did, but in private. I started learning chemistry and saw a whole other WORLD that opened up via mathematics and physics. What was I doing? I felt that I knew things, that I understood something about art and music and science. I attacked projects but it was in every direction, all at once. If I hit too much resistance, I stopped.

What was I doing? I was wondering the Maze. Looking for that path that meant the most, that felt the best, that was calling my name. And I don’t know where the maze ENDS. If there is a goal to life I don’t know in what direction it lies. Maybe the maze is the goal? If life were not about the endless accumulation of wealth, I think life would be so much happier. If I could afford a home, if I could contribute in small ways all over the place instead of grinding a job in a big way, if I was amazing at one single thing, then I could just throw myself into it. But I never know where I am in the maze; if I persue one interest and move headlong in that direction, I get lost.

The worst part is feeling left behind. Seeing friends and colleagues excel at something they are great at and move forward. Designers, artists, musicians, scientists; I am all of these things and yet I am not 100% dedicated to any of it. What does that make me? A jack-of-all-trades? A pretender? A has-been, or a never-will?

Here’s to another month of wandering the maze. Thanks to the guides and well-wishers in that maze who have offered me advice. Here’s to leaving those behind in the maze who have chosen to let me wander alone. And here’s to finding a new part of the maze that looks like peace.

February 2021

Uncategorized

What’s in the pipeline for 2021? What little nuggets can I send your way? All I have to offer is words and pixels, at least until they are printed on a shirt or a mug or something. Oh speaking of that:

I have a TeePublic Storefront now! So now you can purchase my art, and a smallish portion of that will go to me!

I am still working on A Thousand Miles of Dust, although it has been slower. I need to do some of the less-fun aspects of it so I can playtest, like making real character sheets for cars.

Streaming is still going strong! Name change upcoming, should be slightly more professional and it will look slick too!

Thanks for reading, those who do. I’m small-time now but I keep working on those dreams. -Ben



More Art More Faster

Uncategorized
Chem Druids, dispensing their gifts.

HI everyone. Nice day to be stuck inside, as always.

I’ve been working hard on images for an RPG that I am working on, as well as some other projects which are bringing me a lot of joy. I’m trying to get better at daily output, something which will be incentivized by another exciting piece of news: I’m finally an affiliate over on my Twitch channel. That means that when I draw, people can support me financially to some small degree, so that’s a step in the right direction. Currently I am working on a few computer system upgrades so that I can make the stream as good as it possibly can be.

Lately I’m churning out drawings without even thinking about it. My right wrist is feeling good after 4 months, and my left is also recovering nicely at 6 weeks in.

Not taking a break – practicing!

Uncategorized

I had a nice run of streaming some drawings for a week or so, and they were fun! Now it’s been a week of working on drawings that are not-so-stream-able. I will post some parts of them here, but not enough to scare away my many, many sponsors. I may make a whole webpage of the 80 or so sketchbook pages I have produced in the last week, but for now you get just the dribblin’s.

Most of the sketches are really fast, loose and sloppy, taking 5 minutes or so.

I drew red ninja woman/demon a few times. I have to draw nudes about 50 times and then I bust out the anatomy books.
You have to learn nudes before you do clothing. Also a great excuse to draw nudes.

52 Weeks, 52 drawings update

Uncategorized

Here we are! I’ve been a busy boy. I made a fake Elden Ring boss for a contest, I scanned in and cleaned up a bunch of drawings, and I may just be able to keep that promise to myself. 52 drawings in 52 weeks? Just maybe.

I went through some of my more productive sketchbooks from years back, and those are turning out to be a good bit of fun. I have no compunction about getting into a half-completed drawing and finishing it off. There were tons of these pieces that were 80%, 90% completed. It’s extreme data-mining from my youth’s creativity, but a lot of it was pretty good so I inked them and ran!

Anywhayy, I’m just getting phelchy over here. I have nothing to post until later, although I will probably stream an ink job later. I know that I have a long way to go, so I forge ahead, through the thick foliage of 2019. Maybe a better artist is on the other side?

52 Weeks, 52 Drawings

Uncategorized

At the start of this year I said I would draw 52 drawings. This is despite some unfortunate wrist pain, a 4-year old, and an erratic work ethic. It was my choice and I made it. Now the field looks different: Have I over-promised? Overestimated? Only me can find out.

I’m sure to some, 52 drawings would be considered paltry output. I think of comic book artists and what they must have to go through to finish anything, and that adds up to hundreds and hundreds of drawings a year. That’s a lot, but it’s also what they do for a living so I can cut myself a little slack there.

But you have to start somewhere, and there is nothing to spur creativity like limitations! I imagine that what I consider to be a “drawing” will be stretched to the limit by December 31st, 2020. My standards are pretty simple, so I could always spit out a few quick sketches when the deadline looms, I suppose. I don’t draw as regular as I should, and my art schedule is as regular as I am. I didn’t do “Inktober” because that’s too corporate. I write that but frankly, if I’m anywhere close to 52 drawings by the end of the year then I will start counting rooms I’ve painted as a ‘drawing’ to pad the count.

I’ll post more as I photograph them. If I get to 52 then I will throw a party to everyone that reads this and can make it down.

Godrod.org v0.2

Uncategorized

I’m still amazed at the power I have. This is like self-publishing but way better, because I can write whatever I want here.

The bad part is it makes me realize how few things I finish compared to the number of things that I begin. Felch would not approve because Felch gets things done.

I suppose it makes sense to write here the thesis of godrod.org, the emptiest site on the net!

Felch took a pole,
 Four cubits tall,
  And drilled a tiny hole,

With mayonaise
 And confectioner’s glaze
  He made his felching pole