< Piro >
Tuesday - June 19, 2001
[quick update - well, tonight has been quite an evening. The lady living in apartment across the way from me had her place broken into, and after talking with the police and the poor lady and the rest of my neighbors, we had a pretty massive storm blow thru here, leaving us without power for a while. Geh, what a night. ^^;; i have trouble getting things done on normal comic evenings, nevermind when stuff happens. ^_^. Wednesays comic will go up sometime tomorrow afternoon - i'd say around 9:00pm (so, it technically is still wednesday ^_^). The art is all done, its just too late to finish (scanning, cleanup, and putting it together in Illustrator takes a good 2 hrs). I'll finish things up when i get home tomorrow from work. Better to put up a good comic later in the day than a mediocre one right now - and i do need to sleep sometimes. I got very close to burning out last month, i'd like to avoid that in the future. Thanks for your patience and understanding. - piro]
Ahh... for some reason, i feel very relaxed this morning.
The past few weeks have been pretty hectic, but not because of Megatokyo. It's that other thing, you know, the Day Job. :) Finally got thru the deadline yesterday. Originally, last friday was our deadline, but as Friday loomed over us, our deadline was moved to Monday. Now this was both good and bad. The good thing about the extension was that it gave me time to get more things done, the bad thing was that I pretty much lost the weekend. ^^;;
In life, your 'jobs', whether they be things you get paid for (like your day job) or things you do for fun (like megatokyo) have various 'task lengths' that you have to deal with. In many jobs, your tasks can be repetitive - your goal is to get thru your task set before the day is over, and you repeat this every day. For others, you may have a list of tasks that may run anywhere from 1 to 4 days, and then when it is done you move onto something else. Sometimes these tasks run concurrently, and you find yourself working on 10-15 things at once.
One of the things about architecture is that most projects tend to be long and very involved. If you run a architecture firm, you tend to find yourself in a position of keeping an eye on dozens of projects, making sure that they are moving along and that the people in your office responsible for them have things under control. Those people, the ones who run specific projects, live, eat and breath those projects for weeks, months and even years at a time. Sometimes you will have 2 or 3 projects going at once, but usually your focus is on one specific project. That's what I do.
You can get pretty wrapped up in these projects. On my current project, I was really only helping out another Project Architect, but still - it's been absorbing my thoughts and my time for several months now. The nice thing about this is that you can focus on one project at a time, in all the detail you need to. The bad thing is that when you are mired in the middle of the enormity of all that needs to be done, it's very hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. For long projects is very had to see where you are, and how much left you have to do. That's why more often than not, by the time deadlines approach, you find yourself putting in beaucoup overtime to get things finished. It's not as bad as it sounds. There's a lot of gratification in getting things done, and personal commitment to a project is a personal thing - even tho its your job, you toss a lot of yourself into these things, and it's important they come out right.
Over the years I've often had to deal with the 'anti-climax' that comes at the completion of a project. When you are nearing the end and working your ass off to finish things, all you think to yourself is 'whew, can't wait till this is over so i can relax'. Finishing a project is a lot like finishing race - you can't just stop running and chill in a easy chair. You have to have 'cool down' period. Really, it's like a release. You have to deal with the remainder of that pent-up energy. That's why whenever i finish a big run like this (and it was no where near as big as the one i was in the middle of in Feb/March) I try to do something useful when i'm done. So, rather than chill out and relax when i got home last night (which can leave you moody and irritable) i dove into cleaning up the apartment, and then Seraphim and I ran out to do Laundry. We got home around 11:30, and i was completely whipped out. But i felt pretty good. I was ready to relax. :)
And that's why i feel pretty good today. Then again, it might just be the Drixoral taking effect. ^_^
In my musings about architecture this morning, something else occurred to me, and its something i've thought about before. I think that one of the reasons that i've been pretty good at putting together comic style story lines and manga layouts (not patting myself on the back here, just saying that even tho the layouts need work, generally i have a good feel for it) is because there are a lot of similarities between the production of construction documents and comics. A set of CDs (short for 'Construction Documents), in case you've never flipped thru a set, is really a graphic narrative of how to put a building together. It is a set of custom, detailed instructions that communicate information to the contractor about how I want the building to be assembled. You have to try to think of every possible unique situation (you never can - there are always surprises) and you also have to integrate things like structure, mechanical systems, electrical systems, data, fire protection, finishes, furniture, code requirements, barrier free issues, etc etc etc. Buildings are very complex things. Effective communication of what needs to be done is very important. You do this with detailed plans, sections, notes, details, elevations, etc. And you have to think about the order in which things are put together.
It's very similar to doing sequential art. It's just a little more boring. :)
Anyways, enough musing. I've been very lax at plugging some of the many online comics that have been surfacing lately. Many people have pointed out a manga/anime style comic that just started called 'North'. Take a look, it will be interesting to see where they go with it. I need to go thru my email to find the other URLs, so i'll catch the rest of you on thursday. ^_^ That's the great thing about the net - there is always room for more webcomics. :)
I've mentioned this before, but i feel i REALLY need to do something about this. I was digging thru my email download folder the other day (thank god for ACDsee) and i was rather amazed... i never realized that so many people had sent me so many damn fine pieces of gift art! I'm going to start a new thing here - i'm going to dig thru the images i have and post a link to some of the best ones. Please don't be disappointed if i missed yours - it will take a lot of time to deal with the backlog, never mind new arts. But, in short, please keep drawing. I love seeing MT fan-art. Its inspiring to see so much of it, it really is.
Ok, to start, just one for today. I'll try to do 3 at a time in the future. Today I received this very lovely gift art from Nichol which shows Kimiko in a pretty sweet little t-shirt, jeans and a lollypop. ^_^ Thanks Nichol, very sweet!
Oh, and when i said to check out winamp and type 'megatokyo' in the box in the Winamp Skins section... i never realized there were so MANY Megatokyo winamp skins! some of them are really cool, too. Wow, thanks guys. Amazing work.
Oh, to other things. I have a tendency to not get around to mentioning things I should have mentioned ages ago. I've enjoyed popping into the #megatokyo channel on irc.megatokyo.com from time to time, and its a pretty decent bunch that hangs out there (i usually pop in every day at some point in the day) One of the guys on the channel who has been a big help (he didn't want ops, but i told him too bad, he's got em ^_^) , Chris (aka Lizardman) runs a online store called Dragon Magic It's worth checking out. I've had a chance to meet Chris, and it's always nice to have a face on the other end of secure socket layer :) I've been influencing some of his stock lately (snicker) :P Thats the great thing about the anime community - a lot of people who run the stores tend to be fans themselves.
The other long overdue plug is one that will probably make many forum goers of old cringe. ^_^ My good pal Kai (who i knew long before MT) put up Neko Neko Wai! - a place for your inner Neko almost back when MT started as a MT fan site and a community of its own. He's recently set it up so that he can host people's artwork for the artwork forum. Don't let him know, but i'm a secret fan of that site. :) Thanks for all your work, Kai.
On a final note. Its an ARMANI suit, not 'armini'. Junpei does NOT wear cheap knock-off suits. :) I'll fix that as soon as i get a chance.
Oh, and the image above? Thats from a game called "My Fair Angel" - i didn't link the site there because Studio E-go specializes in adult games. So, don't go here unless you are over 18. ^_^