My New Year Resolutions for 2011

Are you allowed to talk about new year’s resolutions before Jan 1st? December 28th is close enough right? In any case here I go. But before talking about next year I’ll review how I did in 2010. As some of you might recall, I set two resolutions for 2010: “Save My Fingers” and to do a “365/Sketch-a-Day Project“…

2010 Resolutions Review

2010 Resolution #1: Save My Fingers | Grade: F-

Sadly I failed miserably on this one.  I did OK for the first couple months -I  even had one trip to get a manicure – which was weird, surreal and fascinating.  But around March I started to realize that to truly accomplish the goal I’d set for this would actually take up a decent amount of $ due to all the various nail/hand products needed for the daily “care” involved. I guess I should have expected that – but I didn’t think of that at the outset so I opted to save the $ and let this resolution go – probably ending this year in the same (bad) shape as last year.

Oh well! Maybe I’ll find some frugal finger care blog somewhere to encourage me to try again.  If nothing else – this was worth the attempt for the manicure experience alone. I hope Jane the manicure girl is doing well. 🙂

2010 Resolution #2: 365 Project: Sketch-a-Day | Grade: A+

Fortunately I succeeded with my second resolution of 2010. At first it was a bit hard to get my brain to squeeze out even a 2 minute sketch of anything at the end of the day – but I eventually got in a habit and found ways to keep the ideas going. One of the more helpful things was that Lincoln and Corgan would often draw a “picture of the day” themselves next to me – which made it a fun group thing a lot of the time. Plus when I had artist’s block – Linc would always have an idea for a sketch topic… “Hey Linc… what should I draw tonight?”.

Here’s a link to all sketches for the year – the numbering may be confusing but there should be 365 in there (after the 31st).

2011 Resolutions!

2011 Resolution #1: 365 Project: iPhone-Painting-a-Day…(or Week!)

Most of you know I really love doing paintings on my iPhone so this one seems like a natural evolution of the “sketch” project. Of course, pretty much all iPhone paintings I’ve done to date have been 5+ hours each so doing something in 5-10 minutes every day may turn out to be quite a challenge – so I’m reserving the right to downgrade this resolution to an iPhone-Painting-a-Week if the first couple weeks go badly.  I have no idea what kind of art styles/techniques this will lead to – we’ll find out I guess. Will be interesting to see if I miss the pencil/paper from 2010…

2011 Resolution #2: Submit an app or game to the Apple App Store

Gulp.

Here is the big one – the one that will take actual focus and hard work.  This will make doing a silly 5-10 minute iPhone painting a day/week seems like cakewalk. Make sure to note the wording of this one though – my goal here is to submit an app or game to the App Store. Whether it gets accepted/listed or not is not part of the deal! It’s ambitious enough to aim to get something in a state that’s worth submitting to the App Store – so as long as I submit the app or game by December 31st, 2010 I will consider this one a success.

As some of you may/may-not know – there are companies you can “sell” you idea to who will handle the actual development of the app/game for you – my goal (at least at this point) is to NOT use a service like this! I want to build the whole thing myself! (ask me that in 6 months though…)
I have a couple ideas for what I might do here but I’ll give that a month or two before committing. Of course if any of you have ideas (for an app or game) by all means chime in!

Ok that’s it. I’m sure I could come up with 5 more resolutions to aim for – but I think 2 is a nice manageable number for me. I have other goals for the year – but they’re not year-spanning in scope so they’re not going to be listed here.

I just noticed… both my resolutions are completely connected to my iPhone – funny. Just goes to show that it is STILL the best money I ever spent on an electronic device and my most precious possession…after my kids, wife, my health, life – you know… the small stuff!

Chime in if any of you have set resolutions for yourselves!

2010 Christmas Card Online!

Just about all the cards have been addressed, stamped and mailed out now so I guess it’s safe to mention that the card website now has this year’s card (with sketches/etc)! I included a time-lapse movie this year too which was kinda neat. I wanted to do actual video footage – not because I think my every brush stroke is genius – just because I personally find footage of of other [more talented] artists interesting so I figured I’d try it.

Anyhow – this should be the last of my Christmas Card spam so – Merry Christmas everyone!

http://cards.chris-emerson.com

Christmas 2010 Cards Printed!

Last night I finally committed to the card as “final” so my poor Deskjet printer has been printing cards and envelopes all day. I used up the brand new color and black ink cartridges around card print 30 – so I may have to buy more if I realize I don’t have enough (hopefully not!). Now the hardest part is to come… for me to use a pen and actually write words inside each one (oh the horror!). Which reminds me – I think I’ve mentioned in the past, please pardon me if the message in your card seems odd/awkward – after writing a certain # of card messages I start to get writers block (trying to say Merry Christmas differently to each person is quite tricky!).

As usual I will be posting the final image online soon… will post here when that is. That’s all for now.

Making the 2010 Christmas Card

Thumbnails and notes from work on 12/05/2010 at bottom of post

Blog note: I’ve decided to merge the individual “session” posts into one master post to keep things a bit neater/ better contained.


Most people who know me know I like to keep artwork and related creative works super secret until everything is finished, final and as perfect as possible. This year just to try something new I’m going to go against my usual instincts and post thumbnails of this year’s Christmas card as I create it. The thumbnails will intentionally be pretty small to avoid spoiling the (hopefully) special moment people experience when opening the card (or full size image online) for the first time on Christmas. The only downside is of course that you’ll know what the card will generally look like before it’s done. Speaking of which – if any of you would prefer to not see anything until the card is finished I’d recommend not coming to my blog until after Christmas!

Ok so – with that said, here is the first batch of thumbnails!

Work Log: 2010/12/03, 8pm – 11:30pm

Session thoughts:

  • I thought I would hate having to go back to the my ancient Wacom Intuos 2 tablet after having so much fun with the iPhone painting the past few months – but so far it’s not so bad. I also think I’ve actually learned a few things from the iPhone painting that are helping me here too which is cool. Of course, if anyone wants to buy me a Cintiq 21 please don’t hesitate!
  • I think I went through a phase w/cards from the last couple years where I thought I’d try an entirely different painting style – but I chickened out and/or failed miserably so I went back to the old faithful style I’ve used for all previous cards. I may be entering that same pattern this year – but I’m hoping that with my collection of iPhone paintings under my belt I may be able to push through this year and try something different/fresh. We’ll see how I feel after another day or so… too early to know if I’ll chicken out again yet.
  • Note to self: Turn on the #$@! attic heat for next session! My hands and bare feet toes are freezing!

PS: Thanks to everyone who commented/emailed about the sketches – I appreciate the input!


Here are the thumbnails from today’s work on the card – rambling notes below.

Work Log: 2010/12/04, 2-4pm, 8 – 11:30pm

Session Notes:

  • So far I haven’t abandoned the idea of trying a slightly different style this year – I’m still going for it. It’s really not that different than what everyone is used to – it’s mostly a focus on not having hard lines around everything so it looks less like a Sunday comic strip. I’ve been using hard lines less and less over the past couple years but I’ve never done a card that had no hard lines – and that’s really what I’m aiming for this time (more like my iPhone painting style).
  • I waited as long as I could before introducing some shadows but I finally caved and tried some to get a feel for how the lighting will work.
  • I still don’t know what exactly will be on the end of the polar bear’s fishing line… I have a couple ideas/sketches – but haven’t committed yet… anyone have suggestions?
  • I spent a fair amount of time making sure I didn’t make Linc look too big or too small – always tricky.

Ok – Here are some thumbnails and notes from today’s work on the card…

Work Log: 2010/12/05, 2-4pm, 8 – 10pm

Session Notes:

  • Card is coming along quickly – it’s tempting to add some final polish and call it done but I’m going to give it another week or so to make sure no adjustments or additions pop into my head.
  • Finally came up with what to do with the end of the fishing line – won’t be a huge shock to anyone I’m guessing but surprisingly it took me a bit to think of something there.
  • I’m also debating whether or not to put in snowflakes this time. I think part of why people like the 2004 card is because it’s a bit “warmer” (inside a coffee bar) so I’m contemplating leaving out the snowflakes this year. Although – there is actual grass/trees in this year’s card so maybe that’s enough “warmth”?