Texturing and Bad Layer Hygiene

Lately I’ve been obsessively working on texturing a model I whipped up in Lightwave a couple of months ago. It has been a long and painstaking process that has taught me much about texturing and painting. To the right is part of said project (not all textures are current versions), a rundown corridor that will be featured in more work to come. Eventually. Today I had an instance of bad layer hygiene that led to hours of work being lost. Instead of fixing my problem I decided it would be more fun to create an image that represented my feelings on the issue. I’m taking a little break from this now.

For those that are interested in the software I use:

  • Lightwave (3D modeling)
  • UV Layout (uv mapping)
  • Photoshop (texturing)
  • Daz Studio + Iray (3D rendering)

Unauthorised Suicide Harms Others

Mock authoritarian anti-suicide poster

This one is tagged as Personal “Artwork”. It came up on my FB memories. It didn’t get a very good reception when I first posted it 5 years ago so I decided not to re-post. It’s a mock anti-suicide poster from an authoritarian dystopian state. It’s cheap and nasty, and it would be affixed to every window of every crummy apartment in a building over a few stories high. Now that I know Photoshop better I could perfect the crumminess, but I don’t care. It’s staying exactly how it is.

Creativity And Courage: Battles With Procrastination

alive: imprisoned man enjoying light streaming down on him
Alive. As yet unfinished piece that has been sitting untouched for nine months.

For me having a creative drive is a wonderful and cursed thing. On one hand I feel like it is the only thing I have to really offer, but on the other, I have completely failed to do anything substantial with it. For a number of years now I have had this growing sense of doom, as I’ve watched all my endeavours brought down by a lack of courage.

All creative endeavours require a huge investment of courage, whether the piece is created for cerebral appreciation, pure-candy, or a mix of both. Creative pursuits require investments of time, self-belief, and determination – courage by another name. Courage is what we call on when a piece gets wonky, goes awry, or when we encounter writer’s block. Courage is what we need to break through all the traps that can drag us down when we’re feeling weak, lost, tired, etcetera.

To date I have dozens of short stories, novels, digital art pieces, and one animation left unfinished. My hard drive is littered with the corpses of failed courage. Anxiety, depression, life falling apart; these have all been factors in why I have so much left undone. For some, creatively thrives in these situation, but this has not been my experience. Sometimes projects haven’t turned out because they weren’t properly thought out, little flash-in-the-pan-ideas that are more a feeling than anything – I’m not counting those here. Those feelings or ideas can often come in handy somewhere further down the line.

Every day is a new chance

And this is what we have to keep in mind: even if our courage fails us time and again, for whatever reasons, there is still the chance that today is the day we get started on that big idea, or get back to one we’ve left sit. Even if we start with something small. Start journaling, or blogging. Every day is a new chance to challenge habits of procrastination and get going. Every day is a chance to do all those amazing creative things we didn’t do yesterday. We can reverse the trend of years slipping through our hands, as we postpone our dreams. Yeah, that sounds good! Let’s do that. Let’s stop wasting our talents. …but when picking up these tasks it is easy to be overwhelmed by all sorts of thoughts.

Some thoughts that bother me:

  • Is the idea good enough?
  • Is it worth it?
  • Is there some better way to spend my time?
  • What’s the point?
  • Even if it is good no one will care.
  • It’s utterly futile.
  • I’m going to die and it’ll all mean nothing, forgotten in the blink of an eye.
  • Maybe I’ll get a head start on that that death thing.
  • No, maybe I’ll just get drunk and piss the day away.

The answer to all these questions? It doesn’t matter; do it anyway. If, like me, you subscribe to the idea that life has no inherent meaning, then what can be a greater goal than to pursue work that we enjoy doing? For me, ultimately I know I can do more good for myself and others by writing than I can do by forcing myself into situations that awaken crippling anxiety and depression. With that I am getting back to work on my most promising and complete novel. Laters.

Dark Horizons (Radio/Podcast)

I drank coffee and now I feel better, so I came back to do a proper post about one of my favourite podcasts.

I’ve been listening to Dark Horizons’ “Darkcast” (it’s really a podcast, but it’s a pun ^_^) on and off since October 2012, and started up again October last year.  I came back to it with a nostalgic pang, seeking out all the glorious industrial podcasts I’ve missed. Most of the other podcasts seem to be dead, on hiatus, or posting sporadically.

Dark Horizons’, on the other hand, has been broadcasting weekly out of Tampa, via radio, literally forever (literally as in 25 years). Luckily for me they package up their show into the Darkcast. The show plays lots of industrial, synthpop, and related genres with the occasional oddball track thrown in. Theresa and Edd, the show’s presenters, are obviously comfortable in their roles as they banter away and don’t sweat the little mistakes. The show is always entertaining and fun, and with Theresa’s silly question of the week there is a chance for listener interaction on FB, or through their forum.

I introduced my lovely lady to the show, and now we regularly listen on date nights as we play Words With Friends and drink wine. So come join us for a drink and some music. Not literally, of course; that’s our date night.

Subscribe to the Darkcast

More Kool Albums – Thrill Kill Kult: Confessions Of A Knife

My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult - Confessions of a Knife album art

Time for a post, but I dunno what to post about, so I’m just going to share another album I think is the absolute stank.

My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult’s (usually shortened to TKK – because fuck that!) Confessions Of A Knife, is a good album – the critics knew this, the people knew it, and that’s why it went on to be one of Wax Trax!’s biggest selling albums of all time, eclipsed only by TKK’s followup, Sexplosion!. I don’t like that album as much, so I’m not going to talk about it. Not today anyway.

The bands ability to bring in the big bucks subsequently landed them a deal with Interscope, which was a bit of a big deal at the time (but now defunct). The deal only survived a few years, and as the rise and fall of industrial music went, TKK went back to independent labels. Anyway, there is nothing here you won’t find on Wikipedia, so I’ma shudup and leave  you  with the choice to play this seminal piece of later-days industrial history, or not.

Play it!

Highlights:
A Daisy Chain 4 Satan
The Days of Swine & Roses
Kooler Than Jesus
Burning Dirt

It’s all pretty good though.

Thrill Kill Kult links:
Spotify
Official Website (including store)
Wax Trax! store includes some rare and out of print TTK stuff.

 

My Emo Soul

I stare at the screen
Inside I am torn
I feel like I’m bleeding
But my flesh is whole
The words arriving dead
I sip the wine
And wish for death
Make it quick
Life is fleeting
I don’t want to grow old