Do you want to build a snowman? 🎶

Today I took my Pre-Test. And I was lost. It took me three hours to finish it (breaks considered). It has been a hectic week, work is a crazy place to be during the holidays.

Last week we worked with a sweeeeeeet program called Cinema 4D. It’s actually a plugin for After Effects. This software allows the artist to build 3D models, and it’s kinda daunting at first but once you get the handling of it you are good.

I stayed from 9am to around 5pm last Tuesday completely lost into it. I was tired, with a headache, and my neck ached for hunching over the keyboard but you know what? I still loved every-little-second of it. The sense of discovery, the feeling that YES, I’m finally doing this…. it still makes me smile just thinking of it. 

My only (real) frustration was controlling the arms; I gave my snowman ⛄️ a hat, a bow tie, (because bow ties are cool 🇬🇧) and a carrot-and-acorns face but… the arms, which I made them look like real pieces of wood, were not doing what I wanted them to. Maybe I went way over myself there but I feel in great shape for tomorrow…. well, today, almost. It’s 11pm so… bye. 👋🏼 

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So fast so slow

Can you believe that we are halfway through the first class? It’s going fast.

I have so many things going on in my life that it seems like the opposite, though. My job is 65 miles away from my house (why? that’s a story for some other day) and the school campus itself is a good 30 minutes or more from home, without traffic. I work all night, sleep like 5 hrs at best and then I have a mere 6hrs to do the “family” part of my life. As a consequence of all of that my days feel LONG. But you know what?

I’m happy.

I’m happy and grateful for my salary (and having a job, although I had never liked it), I’m happy with my house (which I rented, but liked it so much that I bought it, even though is wasn’t for sale… that is also a story for later). I’m happy for my kids and wife, never mind the fact that we are not exactly a harmonious family. Hell, I’m even happy for my 66 miles, because I look at the opposite side of the road and the traffic jam is horrible, I work at night so I drive the opposite way. 

But most of all I’m happy about being FINALLY a graphic arts & design student. It’s what I always wanted.

What’s after that, I don’t know. Film maker? Advertisement agency? YouTube personality? There is one place I would sell everything and move to California TODAY: The Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. (http://creatureshop.com/ ). I am a big fan of the Muppets and as a kid I made my own with no training whatsoever. It would be a dream job. 

What will the future bring? I don’t know. But I’m happy to think that I have a better future ahead of me, a future better than living to pay taxes and die.

Am I’m happy and grateful for that. Stay tuned.

Bewitched alright…

Today at school we had to do a marquee for some promotional material (or brand) and I spent a while measuring my pieces (a mail envelope, stationery, a business card and a flyer. I put them all on a piece of foam core (which is like a hard cardboard) that I measured as perfect as I could. Then we glued the set pieces on the board and we were done. 

Or so I thought.

We needed now to do a presentation in front of the whole class, but the catch is, it was in front of people from “group B” (for lack of a better name). Guys who had been there a while and can actually do a critique. And critique they did. I actually agreed with virtually all that they said. And I know that accepting criticism is not only a learning tool, but also helps me grow.

So, I was nervous for just a second. Then I was at ease. Maybe talking loud to strangers at work has helped me to do that, or maybe the fact that I felt for the first time the joy of doing what I always wanted to do. 

I used to watch “Bewitched ” and because of Darrin I wanted to work in advertising. I love commercials of any kind or medium. So for a bit I felt like I was Role playing him. Then it hit me:

I can. And I will. This is my thing. This is my time. And nothing will stop me.

M. A.

Beard Necessities 

Here am I on a crossroad

My wife doesn’t like my beard. Every now and then, we go through that routine: She express her opinion (which is always “I don’t like it “.) and I tell her “get used to it” and I soldier on… For a while. 

Women have a way to make men do things. In her case, she looks at me in a way that makes me feel rejected. She says my beard pinches her lips, so yesterday I decided to verify how does it really feel. I folded my lips inwards to feel the pinch and Holy Guacamole, she wasn’t lying. It felt like a bamboo splinter. 

So why do I keep insisting on having it?
Well, for starters, I had never been able to wear a beard for too long. Then there is the fact that I look younger than I am, and without the beard I look even younger. People rarely guess, they actually guess “25” and that makes me laugh. It wasn’t fun when I was 18 and could not enter into a club, while younger friends who look older went in like nothing, but now it feels great. Those who looked older then, look way older now, with white hair, wrinkled, potbellied, balding…
But although it feels good to hear people saying that I look younger than my real age (which will help me get a job in my new field, hopefully) there is a part of me who wants to look his age. A part of me that wants to reinvent myself. Yesterday a coworker didn’t recognize me. It felt good, it told me that I was being successful at it.
I had been changing internally. If I look a mere 5 years back, I am a very different person. I am way more mature (way!!), responsible, reliable, focused and energetic today that I was 10 years ago.
Society has different standards on how they treat people. I feel that people treat me with more respect when I have the beard than when I shave and look way younger.
So the other option is to TRIM IT, but I’ll be damned if I know how to do that. Never done it. I plan to go tomorrow and get it trimmed, in hopes of catching the Barber’s technique and then do it at home. Maybe you will see me at class (if you are in my class AND actually are doing the blog task) with a new look, maybe not. We will see.
Stay tuned… 
(Which team are you? Team Beard or Team shave?
 Let me know in the comments!)

Maunsell Sea Forts

Oh my… had you ever heard about the Maunsell Sea Forts? 


I LOVE ARCHITECTURE! I never pursued that because I don’t like numbers, but I see art in everything. A skyline makes me as happy as seeing nature. Well, anyhoo… these beautiful (and admittedly creepy) Forts were built during WWII to protect the U.K. 

Funny how structures made ages ago were so well made that they still stand. Buildings nowadays are made shoddily and in a hurry. These were made to withstand a freakin’ war, dude.

Wikipedia says “The Maunsell Forts are armed towers built in the Thames and Mersey estuaries during the Second World War to help defend the United Kingdom. They were operated as army and navy forts, and named after their designer, Guy Maunsell.[1] The forts were decommissioned in the late 1950s and later used for other activities including pirate radio broadcasting. One of the forts is managed by the unrecognised Principality of Sealand; boats visit the remaining forts occasionally, and a consortium called Project Redsands is planning to conserve the fort situated at Red Sands. In the summers of 2007 and 2008 Red Sands Radio, a station commemorating the pirate radio stations of the 1960s, operated from the Red Sands fort on 28-day Restricted Service Licences. The fort was subsequently declared unsafe, and Red Sands Radio has moved its operations ashore to Whitstable.
Previously, forts had been built in UK rivermouths etc. to defend against ships, such as the Grain Tower Battery at the mouth of the Medway dating from 1855, Plymouth Breakwater Fort, completed 1865, the four Spithead Forts: Horse Sand Fort, No Mans Land and St Helens Forts which were built 1865-80; and Spitbank Fort, built in the 1880s,[2] the Humber Forts on Bull & Haile Sands, completed in late 1919, and the Nab Tower, intended as part of a WW1 anti-submarine defence but only set in place in 1920.”

Pretty impressive, huh? You can read the whole article right here:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maunsell_Forts
I wonder if I will ever design something that will be appreciated 100 years from now. Who knows. 

m.a.