Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sleep is Good, but sometimes you gotta burn that midnight oil...

Artwork of Mandy and Rikk Wolf of ICWXP.
A new episode of Radio74 is now available for you all to listen to. I've been up to my eyeballs in attempts to get organized. And I have a meeting in like 8 hours I have to be at, yet I've not been to sleep yet.

I'd been working on an update over at Tenacious Ninja reviewing a Lego Ninjago Flyer set. As well as pushing ever onwards into the the depths of hell known as sanding drywall with a tennis elbow. But it's coming together. That part is about halfway done, to be followed by getting the electrical wires and lighting done next.

And taking priority over all of that, has been my commissions, of which I am down to two, which I am hoping to share images of in my next week's update. 
It will be wonderful to look back at these photos and be standing in my finished studio and utter the phrase, "NEVER AGAIN WILL I HANG DRYWALL."
In my latest episode, I talk about how sleep is good, and should not be ignored. I had fun with this one, trying to keep it light hearted and also a bit informative. Hope you all enjoy it.
Until next time, support your local artists, be kind to your fellow beings, and always take the path less traveled!

Mario, the Artisan Rogue
Illustrator, Podcaster, Writer, Toy Collector, and Animal Rights Activist

Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving 2017

Latest gaming/design tool. The now named anti-degenerative-tennis-elbow mouse pad. For "extreme" cutting and pasting sessions.
Thanksgiving. Once again, you come in a knocking at the sensible eating door, only to help me out of my safety zone and push me in front of the "gorge myself till I'm sick" train of thought.

This year though, I've made it a point to go over things that I am grateful for. Not just material things (like fancy mouse pads), but also, every day.

Yeah yeah, I know, that sounds like it should be on a t-shirt, or as an endlessly re-posted internet inspirational meme of some kind, but it's something that is really in focus for me this year.

Mainly because of this little guy. Meet Kubo (I named him that).

He was scheduled to never make it to Thanksgiving. Just for the crime of not having a family that would take care of him. He's a great little guy, a little older (like me), and I was able to make sure that not only did he have a little bit of turkey (Merrick dog food), but he even got a tiny bit of a pancake (totally not saying feeding human food is great for dogs).
Kubo wants you all to remember that a lot of other dogs, cats, ferrets, birds, and more need homes. Go ahead, cue up Sarah Mclachlan's "In the arms of an angel". He'll wait.
I've been doing some learning that's been out of my normal wheelhouse of design and reworking (see "correcting") stuff for Hallmark, and managed to somehow end up working on elements for the Hallmark personalized items site as my main source of income and time usage currently. If a paycheck and awesome coworker people aren't things to be thankful for, I don't know what is.
Although this picture looks cool and artsy, people around me thought I was trying to commune with a dried leaf in a park. On a Tuesday.
I've had time to also get some walks in parks accosting random fallen leafs like a deranged tree hugger. As well as working on commissions. I'm now starting up on the last two I have for the year. One of the ones I really enjoyed was this comic sketchbox that my buddy Johnny had done up for his son Liam.
It had elements of Lego Harry Potter, Sonic the Hedgehog, Minecraft and Ninjago on it.
Another project I have been working on is a group of concepts for an upcoming ICWXP idea that I have in the works, all revolving around slightly redesigning the look of some of the characters to fit a more animated sort of look.
Flux Namtari, random zombie, Dr. Blackwood rough concepts.
Hopefully, you've all had great thanksgiving holidays! I know that the next set of holidays aren't that far away either, and if you've got a hankering for some real from the heart gifts, be sure to look up some of the local artists in your area, the creators and crafters, the tinkerers and taskers, the painters and the... it's 2am, I can't think of another word that starts with the letter "p".

There's always a lot of talk about handmade being the new in thing, but it was never on the out, nor was it undiscovered. It's always been a more than viable, more meaningful sort of thing to give to someone else. 

I've also got a new review on another Lego Set for Tenacious Toys here. The rest of my earlier reviews are now also available and organized under the tab in the upper navigation bar that says "Tenacious.Ninja".

Until next time, support your local artists, be kind to your fellow beings, and always take the path less traveled!

Mario, the Artisan Rogue
Illustrator, Podcaster, Writer, Toy Collector, and Animal Rights Activist

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The night in our eyes.

A lot of fear, anger, sadness, on one side.

Happiness and joy across the divide.

I know that people often will say that the president is commander in chief, but that person is also the leader of the free world.

A free world. Think about that for a moment. You see, that by definition means that we were given the freedom to decide how we will shape our history. We as a nation rarely get that right. We in fact have made it a notion to repeat failures, but in doing so, have also had moments of triumph, brilliance, and incredible fortitude in the face of obstacles that would see us divided and torn down.

No one man or woman is defined by anyone else in this world, unless we decide to be. Nothing changes for me tomorrow. I didn't win or lose anything in this election, and for what it's worth, as silly as this may sound, 

I don't care who anyone voted for.

My question is this... will each of us still stand up for what is good in life? For the things that matter and heal and hold us together? Will we think, will we explore, will we learn and move forward?

Voting is important. I get it. It is. But all the rest of those days in between elections are far more important for all of us, each one of us that have to, want to, interact with one another.

I will never give up on this country. I have had family on this soil for generations untold. I would welcome any traveler unto the hearth of this land.

If you want a better world, you fight for it. You stand up and work for it. Maybe, just maybe, the light didn't go out... maybe, a fire in the hearts of many, was ignited in a way that will light a path to a better way and a better world.

Even if only in the smallest ways.

- Mario, the Artisan Rogue