Well, given how infrequently I update this ol' personal blog, I think it's about time I moved things over to JKRiki.com permanently. It's updated every Monday, after all! Plus I'm going to be upgrading it in the next few months to include links to other spots I hang out online, such as my new digs at Instagram. If you're looking for me in the meantime, check over here!
Please note: Posts here older than June 24th, 2015 should be considered officially archived. I am not removing them, but in the ten years that I have been writing on this blog I have changed a great deal. Things beyond this point should be considered outdated at best, and may contain many errors or opinions I no longer hold. These things tend to happen as you grow and live life. Or at least, they hopefully happen as you try to become a better person as you age! I just want readers to be aware of that, so that if you decide to go poking through history you will know that it doesn't necessarily reflect my current or future views.
If you'd like current thoughts and posts, please visit JKRiki.com for regular scheduled updates that provide better insights and information. Thanks!
I must admit, I'm struggling at the moment. I have yet to return to a familiar "groove" after the craziness of the Egg Show. Last week I took a much needed day off, which seemed to slip into two, then possibly three. I've seen this pattern happen before, so I need to make a change. When this pattern happens, I get very lazy and apathetic and start doing nothing instead of something until eventually I fall into depression over the fact that I've just wasted days/weeks/months of life.
Part of the issue, I think, is the fact that I've been "looking ahead" a lot recently. My focus in the early months of the year was the Egg Show. When that was over my focus quickly slid to an upcoming trip to Germany I'll be taking. When the "Germany Event" is complete I very well may be stuck watching for the day that family comes to visit for several months from China, and I will be very busy with them and sightseeing/showing. Then it looks, currently, as thought life "calms down." But I hate living that way, waiting around for life to "calm down."
What I need to do is find a balance between anticipating upcoming events but also living in the now. Rarely am I more happy than living in the now, which I think makes sense because "now" is all we have. As the Switchfoot song goes:
This is your life, and today is all you've got now.
Yeah, and today is all you'll ever have.
I have today, and I want today to count and be useful and not just be ANOTHER day off. Part of that means planning, and lists, but another very large part is mental. I can write and complete a to-do list as long as my arm, but until I feel I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing with my time, no amount of busy-work (or vacation) will truly fulfill me.
Well dear friends, it has arrived. My historically "most stressful week of the year" is upon me. It is, for those who don't know, the week of the annual Ukrainian Egg Show that I lead for my church. Preparations and egg-creation begin in January, but there always seem to be precisely one bazjillion things left to do the week of the event. In order to save my sanity, I am going to do something light for the blog this week. Each day I will have a new egg that I've done posted here, and that's it. It will be a chance for me to focus on the show and not have to worry about any updating (Ferdinand is handling Animator Island's update next week as well). I appreciate the patience with these few single-image-only posts. The alternative is no post, which I imagine would be less interesting. At least, I would hope "nothing" is less interesting than seeing the fancy egg designs!
Continuing on from last week's post, here are a few of the items on my annual to-do list for the new year:
- Work Through Animate to Harmony Book
I picked up Adam Phillips' new book late last year and since the house stuff was still overwhelming my time and energy I decided to start it in earnest once January rolled around. I'm really looking forward to it, because it's very "project based" which is exactly how I enjoy learning. I'm not a fan of memorizing random aspects of a program for future use, I like to get in there and get things done. So I think I'll probably finish this item on the list before the winter has melted into spring.
- Ukrainian Egg Show: The Return
Last year I didn't feel the familiar calling to do the annual egg show I've spearheaded in the past for my church. I let everyone know and asked if anyone wanted to take charge. No one did, so it just didn't happen. But I think there was a lesson in there for me someplace (or two, or a dozen) and now it's back to work so that we can host the show again in 2015. I'm looking forward to setting up a table in the new house and starting work on the eggs. Have to start now so I can get a solid 50 or so done by Easter. In the past I've talked about getting some online to sell, and I still would like to do that, but for some reason it never quite happens. Maybe I ought to add that to my list...
- Create an App With My Wife
The Mrs. is a software engineer (we're opposites) so using my art skills we want to collaborate and make an app for the Android shop this year. We actually started brainstorming and have the bare bones in place, so now it's just a matter of doing the huge amount of work to put it all together into a cohesive unit. It'll be free, so when it releases I hope everyone who has an Android phone or tablet will check it out! Might do an Apple version as well if there's interest for it. And I plan to chat some here on the blog about the project as we work , so expect some updates in-progress as the months roll along.
- Write a Guest Post for Somebody
I really enjoy writing, so I thought it would be fun to do a guest post for someone else sometime this year. If you have a website and would be interested, let me know! Otherwise I'll poke around a bit and see if my services can be useful to one of the animation or writing blogs I frequent.
There are other things on the list of course (like the exciting endeavor of organizing the garage!), but that's just a sampling. As is always the case in early January, I'm excited to get started. I need to harness this excitement into productivity before I slowly burn out and have to wait until 2016!
Anyone who has been stopping by here for a long while knows I do Ukrainian Eggs as well as animation. The time of year has arrived again for that endeavor, and we've finally set up a small area of this messy, messy house to do them. In past years I've organized a Ukrainian Egg Show at my church as a fund raiser/fellowship opportunity, and as the main egg producer I've had to do 50-70 eggs per year. This year, though, I didn't feel the same calling to run it. I offered to help if someone else wanted to take over the lead, but no one did, so we're not going to do a show this year. As such I've been able to just sit down and have some fun!
It's been a very different experience with no deadline or quota to fill, and I'm able to just experiment and not worry about messing any up or "wasting time." In past years, with so many eggs to do, I've had to rush through simple, well-known patterns so there were enough to put on display. Now I've been making up my designs as I go and when one turns out poorly I just move on to the next and try to correct whatever happened. It's been really nice.
In other news, I may have some form of asthma apparently, which could be why I've been having a lot of issues breathing lately. No fun. I guess I'll go get that checked out and see if I need to do something about it. In the meantime I have a temporary inhaler.