Wednesday, June 27, 2012

For your viewing pleasure, or horror, depending

Hello, readers. I'm sorry I have been neglecting you. As you are all probably aware because I talk about it ALL THE TIME in every outlet known to man, I am working on another novel. I'm aiming to finish the first draft by December, which means writing two chapters every month while simultaneously editing previous chapters, and doing research, and then rewriting what I got wrong because I hadn't done enough research yet when I wrote it the first time. The amount of time this takes up is excessive and it's surprising that I still have friends. (Thank you, friends, for not stabbing your voodoo doll of me every time I say, "I can't, I have to write!") It has not left much time for blogging, mainly because editing photos takes too long, and photos are at least fifty perfect of what goes on here. I have a whole list of things that will need a post, but getting around to it has been difficult, and posting will probably be extra-sporadic until the end of the year.

In contrast to the rest of my life, work has been incredibly slow and boring. While this can lead to many dispiriting afternoons of clock-watching (Tuesday afternoon in particular is neverending, just like the song says) it has also given me the chance to learn how to use Adobe Illustrator slightly better. My recent goal has simply been to learn how to draw things, which is surprisingly complicated and requires a lot of practice. For me, anyway. I'm not so good at it to begin with, even on paper, so doing it on a computer is even harder. Which is why the stuff I made while practicing turned out to be really weird, and two out of four are aliens. I've never had much of an interest in aliens, so I can't explain that other than to say that when you're just playing with lines and have nothing in particular in mind, the life forms that come out of it tend not to be recognizably human. Again, this may be a problem that only affects me. I don't think Adobe Illustrator has a built-in bias toward aliens, although that would explain some of its more difficult features.

Figure 1: MOOSE

You may be able to tell that this one started with me just making squiggles.
And then I decided, what the heck, let's make an anatomically incorrect animal out of it!
To be fair, this was my first attempt at actually doing anything with Illustrator.
Also I've never seen a moose.

Figure 2: Purple Alien

I think he/she must be in the same phylum as Jabba the Hutt.

Figure 3: Alien so happy!

I don't know. I really don't know.

Figure 4: You . . . shall not . . . pass!

This one was legitimately work-related. There's construction outside of one of the main exits, and by "construction" I mean there's going to be a giant hole on the other side of the doors. Consequently, the doors have been blocked off, and it seemed like they needed an attention-getting sign. This sign has already been made by like sixty people on the internet, but because I'm a perfectionist, I made my own. (I'm thinking about how to construct a giant flaming Balrog to put in the giant hole once it's been dug. The sign for that will say, "Too deep you delved here, and woke the nameless fear. Please exit to Lothlรณrien. Thank you.") As I was putting this up a student walked by and said, "Haha, that's kinda funny." And I was like, "WHAT DO YOU MEAN, "KINDA"?" Kids these days are so hard to impress.

Other legitimately work-related things include:

Figure 5: How to use the library

This is for a web page that no one will ever use because they will probably never find it. But if they do, they will discovere this semi-faithful representation of Rush Rhees. Which took like ninety years because it was possibly the second time I used Illustrator.

Figure 6: Little Red Riding Hood

Last March, the semi-annual book sale needed signs to delineate the genres, so I made a bunch of these, but this is the only one I drew myself. It took eight hours and there were fifteen signs or so, and it didn't seem like a worthwhile use of my time to draw them all. However, I'm very proud of this one because of the strong resemblance the deformed wolf-buffalo hybrid bears to an actual wolf! So close! (This was actually made 3/4 in Photoshop, 1/4 in Illustrator, and assembled in InDesign. I like to do things the stupid and inefficient way.)

Hopefully this will tide you all over (because I know that when I don't post regularly you all start to look sad and gray in the face because life without Simon & Ivan is hardly a life at all) until the next post, whenever that will be. There will be alpacas in it, I know that much.


Anne said...

We've missed your more regular posts, but glad it just means delayed gratification and not disaster. Bird by bird, or as it is better known around here, "just keep swimming, just keep swimming...". Hang in.

Simon said...

Thanks! Bird by bird indeed!

Anonymous said...

Would that sign possibly be from UofR? Just visited and loved it!

Simon said...

It is indeed! I'm glad you liked it! It was a lot of fun to make.