Book reviews, art, gaming, Objectivism and thoughts on other topics as they occur.

Jun 28, 2009

Old Sketchbook: Dakota Sue

And here's a portrait of Dakota Sue from the M&M campaign that's posted on this blog. And yes, I know the nose is messed up.

Jun 27, 2009

Old Sketchbook: Marty

Here is Friend Andy's character from the same M&M campaign.

Jun 26, 2009

Dayton Independence Day Tea Party

I'm hoping I'll be able to attend the Dayton area Independence Day Tea Party. It's actually scheduled for the 3rd at Golden Gate Park in Brookville. Be there to help show support for capitalism and individual rights!

Or, go to one of the 1,200 other protests scheduled across the country. From what I've seen, there's one pretty close to just about anyone.

Old Sketchbook: Knox

This is one of my few portraits, of a character of Adam's in a Mutants and Masterminds game. Not sure he liked the character all that much.

Jun 25, 2009

Old Sketchbook: Gundancer

This is a picture from the same campaign as "me", depicting my friend Andy's character. He was a bit dumbstruck and not exactly thrilled with the idea, poor guy.

Suicide Watch

To anyone lacking my admittedly peculiar mind-set, this post is going to seem really horrible and likely in poor taste, indicative that I Need Help, and probably a number of other stupidly cliched reactions. If you're the type of person who has never felt the need to think about suicide and gets jumpy when the topic comes up, you should probably stop reading right now. Go do something cheerful. Nothing I have to say will do you any good, anyway.

Personally, I confess to being surprised if there are people out there who *don't* contemplate suicide on a regular basis. I do, every few months or so (or even more often), and it's comforting in an odd sort of way. Well, maybe comforting isn't the right word--liberating, maybe. It makes tough things easier to handle when I know I don't have to handle them if I don't want to. It's a sort of value affirmation. Do I still have reasons to stick around? Apparently so.

I also don't understand why just talking about it gets people so upset. A lot of people seem to have the same knee-jerk reaction. Therapy. Medication. GET HELP. It's almost like they take it personally somehow, like they have some sort of responsibility for making you want to stay alive. But no one can make you want to live, propaganda and suicide hotlines to the contrary. They may manage to avert a sudden crisis. But the problem that makes someone suicidal in the first place will still remain. If you don't learn your own methods of coping with sudden pain or loss, then crisis will own you forever. You have to know why you want to live. Or even if you do at all.

Most would probably say that wanting to live comes from inside, but the real truth is that it doesn't *come* from anywhere. It's something you manufacture. It doesn't arrive. It has to be constructed. You have to be someone like me to notice that, I think, someone who has had to assemble desires bit by bit from strange and isolated parts. Someone who regularly watches the entire edifice teetering on the brink of collapse and has to decide all over again whether to keep working at it or let it fall down.

I think that's why suicide upsets people more than the more ordinary sort of death. (Is there an "ordinary" way to die?) Not because it's particularly horrible, but because it reminds them of the existence of their own ramshackle house or skyscraper or whatever kind of soul they've managed to build. If it's not well-constructed, maybe they start to wonder whether some hidden defect might send the whole thing tumbling down. Perhaps they feel out of control, and it frightens them.

I don't, and I think that's the one good thing about really thinking about suicide on a regular basis. I may feel out of control in my daily life. Things happen, I wasn't paying attention, everything gets out of hand. But when it comes down to the line, I'm in complete control. I know what kind of soul I have. So I can talk about suicide. I can even make horrible black jokes about it when most people would shy away. I'm not afraid of a sudden fracture--I knew the stress was there from the beginning.

That's not to say that my way is a good way. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. I imagine it's much better to have a soul that's carefully constructed from thinking about life, not death. But it's the way I'm stuck with, so I may as well enjoy the benefits, such as they are. I'm not sure anyone else would call it a benefit. It certainly doesn't make it easy for anyone to deal with me.

At least I know, for certain, that I'm only doing this because I want to.

Jun 24, 2009

Old Sketchbook: Sorceress

This, if you can believe it, is supposed to be me. Me as an elven sorceress. Also thin. I claim artistic license.

Jun 23, 2009

Old Sketchbook: Tega, Action Girl

Here's Tega in an action pose. I do actually like doing action poses, but they're a lot of work for basically no benefit, as some yahoo ALWAYS says something along the lines of "what, are they humping a rhinoceros?"

Jun 22, 2009

Old Sketchbook: Tega the Scarred

One of my all-time favorite characters, although not a very distinctive drawing.

Jun 21, 2009

Old Sketchbook: Necromancer

This one was, unusually, not my character, in, also unusually, a bit more of an action pose. Sadly, I've also forgotten the character's name.

Jun 20, 2009

Old Sketchbook: Halire

I really, really hate the positioning of the sword in this one, it looks like she can barely lift it. But the legs and armor were pretty interesting, I thought.

Jun 19, 2009

Old Sketchbook: Leren Ratbreed

This is actually the main character of the novel I'm working on, however in the novel she doesn't wear that outfit. At all. Don't even think about it.

Okay, well, maybe a little.

Jun 18, 2009

Old Sketchbook: Bayleros Viridian

This is some astonishingly impractical "sexy armor" I did for an Exalted character.

Jun 17, 2009

Old Sketchbook: Navara Serpentine

Not only did several people insist that this was a guy, one person said she looked like Michael Jackson. A word to the wise: unless an artist has labeled their work "Michael Jackson", this is probably not a comparison you should make.

Jun 16, 2009

Old Sketchbook: Ymboura Gozani

Everyone annoyed me when I first did this drawing because they kept saying "he". It's a girl. So there.

Jun 14, 2009

Old Sketchbook: Jaw Dog

I've been too busy/distracted for blogging, but I've been scanning my old sketchbook, so I'll post a few drawings for ya'll.

Jun 8, 2009

And Another One

Here's another illustration similar to the last one. It didn't take me nearly as long to do, though. The weird skin color is an artifact of the characters I'm trying to portray--this character has a greenish-bronze tinge to his skin that was rough as all heck to work out. I think it turned out well, though.

Jun 5, 2009

Working With A New Medium

In case you've been wondering where I disappeared to, I've been working on mastering Illustrator so that I can actually start doing some illustrations. Here's the first one of several to come.

Jun 1, 2009

Drawing of Adam

Here's a profile drawing I did of Adam for my current drawing class. It's not perfect, but I think it turned out pretty well.