Aug 20, 2011


Added some great new items on the video page about sustainable farming and cost cutting :)

Aug 16, 2011

Enter.... PEACE KITTEN!!

Over the past few months I've been tinkering away on the first piece of full traditional (all be it still digital) animation I have done in what must be over 20 years. Its a character I've been playing with for a while called Peace Kitten, he/she (I haven't decided yet) is kind of a cartoon personification of the thinking I explained in my earlier Sick Of Cynicism post, he/she is unashamedly positive, fighting (irony!) for peace, love and harmony.

This activity was inspired by a new trick I learned with Photoshop recently, where you can use blank video layers and animate frame by frame. I've always enjoyed drawing with bitmap programs (like Photoshop) over vector based ones like Flash, so this was a real Eureka moment for me. I've spent some time setting up a custom interface for Photoshop with action buttons for editing the timeline and used in combination with my little cintiq I now have a full traditional animation studio on my desk. Weeeeee!

I know its very short, but this took a long time to do ( for some stupid reason I started at 24 frames per second instead of 12 :P ), every single inbetween is hand drawn from scratch. I REALLY enjoyed doing this and want to do more.

Happy Hooves

Another horse comic :)

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Click on images to enlarge.

Aug 13, 2011

This House

This post and its subject matter has been stuck in my craw for a long time, months. Looking back I think some of the more recent posts were an attempt to avoid or delay it, I don't intend to make a Blog where I rant about big world issues. While I don't want to lock myself into anything too specific, I'm hoping this space will mostly be about the discovery of my new life style, but much of the process is stalled for now because of this house.

I've moved around quite a bit in my adult life, always around Brisbane or Sydney, but I'd say I've lived in about 11 places over 20 years. So that's an average of less than 2 years per place, I've been here for over 5 now. Viewed objectively its been a great place, sturdy, practical, and a peaceful location.

When looking back over life however, homes inevitably become bookends for phases or events you have been through. My last house is where I lived when I had the best job of my life as the most senior artist in small studio, it was where I became the owner of an animal for the first time. The house before that one was a great one, where I moved in with my wife to be, where I spent evenings dancing to Jane's Addiction  and TMBG until my legs could stand no more with my new 6 year old step daughter, where great backyard party's were held with old friends and new, and where I was when I married the most wonderful woman on the planet.

This house however (for now at least) carries some far less pleasant memories for me, its where my ability to maintain my career fell to pieces, where my first pets life came to a premature end, where my health suffered some serious blows, where I lived while two studios I worked for closed their doors and worse of all where I failed as a parent. This house feels a lot like a ball and chain, Vicki and I want to move west of here into the countryside where we can have our animals close, and move seriously towards self sustainability. With just the two of us here now this house feels ridiculous to me, there are rooms I hardly ever go into.

Its been well over a year since we decided we were going. We made a list of things that we should do before putting the house on the market to make sure we were getting the best price for it and that list has been our main focus since. In some ways the work feels like moving away from my lifestyle goals, I have had to reduce the size of my veggie patch, it used to fill the whole back yard, we bought turf and I hate turf (an expensive water hungry imported weed), but suburban home buyers will have their expectations.

The good news is that the end is in sight, the house is almost ready for sale. The upstairs interior is all painted, the decks restored, kitchen renovated, turf laid, and garden prepared. We just have a little painting and tidying to do in the downstairs living area ( a converted garage ) and we will be ready for action. The housing market is pretty flat so it may take a while to sell, but at the very least it will be a big symbolic step forward.

I'm looking forward to posting about livestock, solar panels, crop rotations, building on and working the land. Maybe I should have waited until after I moved before starting my blog. Until then you might have to put up with my undirected ramblings. :)