THIS right here

General / 11 January 2021


More Humble Bundle Goodness

General / 19 November 2020

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Something to think about

General / 17 November 2020


My Art Theme for November is...

General / 01 November 2020

For those who may not know, my birth month is November. Yes, this November I’ll be turning 39 years, and as an experimental birthday gift to myself, I’ve decided that the theme for November will be...RANDOM! 


Like whatever I feel like in the moment. Ideally it will give me a chance to complete a few ideas that have been burning in my head, but all fit different genres or categories. 

Next month I’ll go back to the Picker Wheel for choosing themes and concepts, so if you’d like to get a suggestion in for the month of December and possibly have your message shared in blog or vlog form, drop me a line at the Contact Page.

Thanks for reading, and hope that you enjoy my random birthday art!

Mike

Time To Pull the Plug

General / 02 October 2020

No, I'm not talking about my career in art and writing. You WISH you could get rid of me that easily. 

No, I'm talking about social media. 

I know a few weeks back I wrote about how I feel that social media is affecting society in negative ways. 

Facebook is full of adults acting like children, squabbling over the stupidest things and arguing like children over any minor difference. Instagram has too many "models" and nudies and is just distracting. Lost interest in Twitter long ago and have never taken interest in or dropped most other ones with the exception of LinkedIn.

I'm not going to explain why I'm keeping LinkedIn, because I don't have the desire to endorse them, but in general the conduct is a little more mature and professional. It seems to have the things I enjoy about Facebook, but not the negatives. 

I did watch "The Social Dilemma" on Netflix, but the ideas were in my head for a long time. All watching the film did was help confirm my own feelings and reassure me that I'm not the only one who feels this way and sees the concern. 

I'm not telling anyone reading this what to do. Use Facebook or Twitter or any social media you want. I hope it's positive for you, but I know personally that I find the more time I spend on social media, the less happy I am. 

So, I'm just dropping them. Not maintaining my Facebook etc. Any more. I'll try to set things up to update those other accounts from my LinkedIn activity, but if you want to see and follow my current social media posts and you are on LinkedIn, feel free to find and follow me. 

In the meantime, I did some art:


Thanks for reading,

Mike

My theme for October is...

General / 30 September 2020

My randomly selected art theme for October is...Monsters!


If you’d like to suggest an art theme for November, send me a note on my contact page.

Every month I choose 10-20 of my favourite theme ideas and randomly choose one with pickerwheel.com.

What would you like to see me draw?

Thanks for reading, 

Mike

How the ‘Rona gave me time to get to know myself

General / 10 August 2020

So, of course, if you are reading this, you know all about the Corona virus, you know; the weird virus that everyone on social media is arguing about while we all go crazy locked indoors.

Anywho, I think it’s real easy to say that this virus has effected and changed life for everyone in some way.

Well, my teaching job went online for the first few months and kept me busy enough that it really didn’t affect my life that much and I didn’t have time to notice much difference. I was still working, just from home on camera. Then campuses got merged online and I got laid off, suddenly giving me much more time to fill in my schedule.


Now don’t worry about me. It actually allowed me to take another opportunity from another school that wanted to hire me, so I’ll be back in class/online soon.

I had originally also planned to reduce my teaching hours this year, in order to focus on professional development and continuing to improve my creative skills.

So, with any free time I’ve had I’ve been filling my time with that.

Again, a pretty seamless transition.

However, I can not avoid the fact that there is a lot more room for my anxiety driven analysis of the world and self-reflection. And so my mind does as it always does.

However, the funny thing about reflection, when done properly, is that you can actually  work though some issues that may have been troubling you for a long time. If you’re being honest with yourself at least.

In spite of the world wide apocalypse plague, when I reflect on my lot in life and experiences that got me here, I have to say I’m probably at the best point in my life thus far.

I’m not rich, I don’t live extravagantly, but I have people in my life who care about me and I feel like I’m finally reaching the quality of work that I’ve imagined in my head since I was 10 years old. I have lots to be happy about.

This recognition of these things that I appreciate is suddenly allowing me to change my perspective and really pay attention to life and my connections with the people around me. It is so satisying to just not have to rush constantly. This clarity is more valuable than I can put in to words because I feel like it has given my brain the chance to slow down and realize what I want to do with my life and why I do what I do.

If I’m being totally honest, I want to help people.

That’s it. I just want to help others.

Now, I’m not a lawyer or doctor or firefighter or of the other jobs we under-appreciate that make our lives possible every day. I could try to develop one of these skills, but as I am closing in on 40, my chances of success are extremely low.

What I do have that I can use to help people now is a professional level set if skills in storytelling.

Whether it’s a book, comic, video games, cartoon or anything else that I create, my objective and purpose is to help people. It may not be obvious on the surface all of the time, but everything that I create is full of hidden meaning and context, some of it subconscious, but always meant to reach out and be a connection with the viewer. Sometimes it’s to comfort them. Sometimes it’s to comfort myself.

The world can be a wonderful place. It’s up to each of us to make the world a better place in the best way we know how.

In my case, i feel like the best way to do that is to at least try to create a new, fair publishing system that allows the artists and creators of content to be fairly compensated and to prosper from the fruits of their own creation.

Some people are going to think I’m crazy. Maybe they all will, but I just can’t see any other course of action than to speak up and lead by example if you truly believe in something.

Maybe the idea will fail. There’s a good chance that it will, but I’m not willing to give up on the idea without trying. Even if my ideas help someone else build a better system, or my failure helps the next person create  better system, or just one other person tries my approach and prospers because of it, then it will all be worth the effort.

We should all be trying to make life on Earth better for everyone. Some people improve life by a mile, some by an inch. Whether my contribution is meant to progress things by an inch or a mile, I will use my skills to carry that progress as far as is asked of me.

Thank you for being the kind of person who does that too.

-Mike

May have to move this

General / 26 May 2020

The artstation blog system is a horribly programmed mess with no discoverability or "friendliness" with other apps and crawlers. I may have to move this blog back to wordpress, which sucks, because it looks like I can't import these blog entries over there. Of course. 

Looking for charities and open source online communities to support

General / 09 March 2020


So here's the deal. I don't want my life or creative work to revolve around dollars. I don't think anybody does. I want to sell my work at a fair price, even share some of it for free. The work that I do sell, I want to go towards helping people and improving the world, so I want to donate some of the proceeds from my sales to deserving charities. This is where you, the reader comes in. Got any ideas? Know a group that fits that bill? Let me know on the contact page.

Beyond that, I don't want to use supporting charities to support myself. Modern business has become so greasy that I want no part of it. So no, I won't be putting out a press release every time I donate a portion of sales to worthwhile charities. I might post it here without any big fanfare, just to update the real fans and followers and let them know how the money they choose to spend entertaining themselves with my content also supports worthwhile causes. 

I'm not super keen to support charities where 80 cents of every dollar goes to administration and salaries either. I'd like to support as many real worthwhile and honest charities as possible. 

I also don't care to continue supporting social media and promotional or crowdfunding channels that suppress people and censor content. If anyone out there know of open source and ethically run social media and web platforms please let me know and I will review them. If I find them to be morally and ethically equitable, I will shift my content and posts over to those places as time in my schedule allows. Looking for alternatives to facebook, artstation, patreon, etc. So please let me know, I'm all ears, really, If you know of the kinds of places and services I'm describing or think you might know, just drop me a line here. Maybe I'll post a shout out in thanks or something!

As always,

Mike

My response to Upwork's adult content policy

General / 21 January 2020