A Certain Lack of Focus

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Quick Update

So if there's anyone out there actually still reading my blog you've probably noticed that there's not been anything to read lately. Please forgive me and come back in a couple weeks when I'm done with end of the semester and end of the Vindicator (for me) stuff. I'll be back. (not intended to be read in a Schwarzenegger voice, if you imagined a Schwarzenegger voice, stop it.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Just because

Because we all know how much I love stupid quizzes...
77% Geek


Bring it on.

(OK, but seriously, asparagus is not a color, I call bs.)


Or something.

291 WATTS Body Battery Calculator - Find Out How Much Electricity Your Body is Producing -

Don't tell the matrix.


JustSayHi - Science Quiz

Personally, I think this disproves the above geek percentage.

I might not have done ALOT better on this one... but this really was "how many countries can I SPELL."

2,157,120How Many Germs Live On Your Keyboard?

No really. I've been working on my thesis. All night.


Here's another teen drawing for your viewing enjoyment. In color no less! A real rarity in my work from then OR now.bubbleSo this one was actually drawn in crayon. I'm guessing I was about 16 because I think that's about when I was playing with color more (eventually I'll get around to scanning some of my less angst-y work that's in colored pencil). Click on the picture for a larger version.

Phone Pic 04-15-08

I realized I haven't posted a phone picture in a while so here's one I found amusing for, oh, so many reasons.rockThis is from YSU campus, where I'm taking a non-fiction class. For those who can't read the fine print the sign says: "Only The Rock May Be Painted. DO NOT Paint Adjacent Surfaces."

Monday, April 14, 2008

Dark Star

Here's another teen drawing to chew on:starThe age on this one is pretty easy to guess because of the hair on the central figure. I was obsessed with spiky hair my senior year of high school (right up until after graduation when I got mine spiked and the style lost all charm) so my characters tended to have spiky hair. I would have been 17. By the way I would like to both BRAG because notice that my anatomy in this image is pretty damn good for someone without any real training and LAMENT because, honestly, it's not any better now.

Other updates: Blogger unlocked my art index blog (woohoo!) so I can start working on that again. I may or may not be able to get that up this week because I REALLY need to get the Vindicator website up by next week. I'll keep you posted on both. As for my thesis, which is sort of the main focus in my life at the moment, I hit the 175 page mark today! It feels like I'm moving slowly, but I do seem to be making progress.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Today's IF is "Fail." I was surprised at how few of my teenage drawings fit this tag since I was generally pretty negative. Going back a little ways: I believe I drew this one when I was fourteen. If you're coming here from IF you may want to check this post to get an idea of what I'm doing.
failThis is from a large (11X17) sketchbook (hence some of the darker areas... my scanner's not big enough) that shows a pretty wide span of skill... which either means I improved drastically in a short amount of time or, more likely, I abandoned it and found it later with a ton of blank pages. Here's a self portrait from just 3 pages later.selfsignatureIt's dated! Bonus! That's not quite a month after my fifteenth birthday which tells me that I'm probably pretty close on my guess of fourteen for the first one. Obviously the technique here is much better than the first one, so either there's a decent time gap or I just never got around to finishing the first one, which is equally possible.

*There's a larger version of the first image but not the self portrait.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Another drawing from the teen years. Not even going to venture a guess on age (I'm too lazy to go back and check which sketchbook it's in right now) but I know it was high school so 15-17.headacheI should mention at this point that because I was picking out drawings for a paper on depression, the drawings I'm showing you right now are really the darker more twisted ones. I've been trying to mix in some of the more "weird" with angry-sad-I-hate-my-life drawings, but they're still not exactly representing everything I was drawing between the ages of 15 and 19. I do have drawings from this age that are not as dark, a lot more fantasy and silly drawings, and I'll get to those eventually.

Just finished reading the webcomic book and Childhood's End. Review of the web comic definitely and Childhood's End possibly coming sometime next week.

No word yet on the Art Directory stuff from google/blogger... hoping I'll hear from them tomorrow...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Very Bad Things

Ok, so at the time this one didn't strike me as particularly screwed up, but looking back I think this might be one of the more alarming things I drew as a teen.drawingYou can usually click my images to see a larger version... with this one it might really be worth it to see some of the detail. I'm not sure how old I was when I drew this, I think it goes with a storyline I was working on in highschool that I can't remember anymore... so somewhere between 15 and 18, which I could have guessed anyway.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

I Robot

Here's a picture I took on the way to Jackson last weekend (or so). I took the picture because the clouds looked so cool, it's kind of hard to see, but they looked solid, like pyramids.cloudsMy art listing blog has hit a slight hitch because google shut it down. Apparently they think I'm a robot. Fan-freakin-tastic. I don't feel too bad since apparently they also confused the coyote lady for a robot... I think there's something a little off with their algorithms. I'm not even planning to host it on the blogger site, and it's not even listed at the moment since I'm just playing with templates to get something like what I want. I hope they eventually conclude that I'm not a robot because I spent four freaking days getting the html the way I want it. Hey blogger... I'm not a ROBOT!


Ok well treehead actually but the pun was too good to resist. Another drawing from my teen years.flowersJust a head's up (ha) that I'll be a bit sporadic in my posting for a bit (shocking I'm sure). I've been inspired by this blog to make a directory of art blogs. I'm working on coding now and hope to have it up by the end of the week. (we'll see how that one goes...)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Trapped in Time

Another installment of my teen drawings. This one I think is a little more recent... I'm pretty sure I drew it when I was in college rather than high school, so I'd guess I was eighteen or nineteen.time

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Teeny-bopper Drawings

Well I haven't drawn anything in a while for my "drawing of the day" thing, and honestly I don't know when I'm going to get back into that. Soon I hope. In the meantime, I was writing a paper yesterday on teen depression and wanted to use some of my old high school sketches to illustrate a point. I'm in the process of scanning in all my old sketches (that'll take a while) and figured you guys might enjoy seeing some of them. Here's the first:hanginI think this one was drawn when I was seventeen or so. Whenever I look at my old sketches it strikes me that I was much more creative when I was younger, but then, I was also much more depressed and generally screwed up in the head, so, you know, I guess there's a trade off.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

REM & Improv Everywhere

Some of you may remember a stunt I posted on by Improv Everywhere a couple months ago. A group of I think 300 agents infiltrated Grand Central Station in NYC and froze simultaneously for five minutes. If you haven't watched it yet, it's surely worth it.

Well a couple days ago REM posted this video, which IE was calling a shameless ripoff.

I guess it kind of is. I mean they're obviously doing the same sort of thing, and that is in fact a ripoff... sort of.

Wired Magazine picked this up yesterday and made a few counterpoints. The main one being everything is copied from something these days, so what's the big deal? While I don't agree with that statement necessarily I think it could be fair to say this video was inspired by, rather than ripped off from the IE video. It's even possible that they thought of it independently based on a common influence. Thill at Wired says, "It has been done before, differently and similarly, which is to say that the frozen-in-time routine is hardly an 'original idea.' As James7777777 commented on Geek Gestalt, the U.K. spoof Just for Laughs pulled the same trick almost a decade earlier, albeit in a convenience store rather than Grand Central Station."

So you could say it's not a ripoff, get over it, except that yesterday in response to the backlash REM PR people apologized, admitted that "us on team REM love the stuff you guys do," took it down and are currently redoing the video to include a nod to IE. By taking those steps, REM basically admitted that yes, it was in fact a ripoff. Honestly I don' t think there's anything wrong with that, and I'm even impressed that they're taking steps to repair the hurt feelings. Because in this case that's all it is... as far as I can tell there was no possible legal action IE could have taken as far as copyright stuff goes. (Lori, are you out there? Am I right about that?)

Here's my issue. In spite of REM's response, I don't really think this was a ripoff. For one thing the REM version doesn't take place in Grand Central Station which takes one degree of similarity away. As far as the style of the stunt, as James pointed out, freezing in a public place to confuse and weird people out? Been there. The main connection between IE's stunt and REM's stunt was the number of spectators and agents involved and the simple admission by REM that they ripped it off. That isn't enough of a similarity for me. The biggest single difference between these two videos in my mind is intent.

The purpose of the REM video is to look cool (and it does). It also succeeds wonderfully in capturing the attitude of the band REM. While the spectators involved probably didn't know what was going on, the people freezing were likely paid actors, or at least an informed group of people who wanted to be associated on video with REM rather than the stunt itself.

The IE video on the other hand uses hundreds of agents who, before they meet up right before the stunt, have no idea what they're going to be doing. In away the spectators, while even less informed, are every bit as involved as the players. And the main difference is that in IE the intent is to play, to confuse, to interact with people and spaces. This is fundamentally different from the purpose of REM.

I guess my point is that while it might have been copied it's not even possible for REM to ripoff what IE did in Grand Central station. It's the difference between art and marketing.

And since we're talking about Improv Everywhere, I'll finish off with the latest IE video from the The Boston Society of Spontaneity.