Out and About

After a long day of work as one of the senior staff on duty, followed by my regular biweekly Saturday evening counselling session, I eventually made it up to the Novotel Excel for a little before midnight to join the rest of the household. It meant that I could be with them for day two of the Social In The City event – and while it just isn’t my thing, it was a delight to see how excited boy s, the niece and nephew, and the cub were. I did the coat holding and bag-carrying thing as my brain weasels were in revolt, and my stomach decided to flare up – but that didn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the people watching. If nothing else, seeing the hero worship reactions was both delightful and entertaining.

For her part, Lady M went into shameless networking mode with the youtubers and podcasters in attendance. Her positivity and directness looks to have nabbed a number of high profile LGBTQIA commentators to participate in future discussions, and I can’t wait to see what comes of those contacts. It was a rare chance to see her at work in that aspect of her passion project: namely, the identification and planning of future content, and ways to widen conversations and discussion. Her Two Women In Tech podcast (available all over the place but start with Spotify and Apple) and her wider TWITT projects are deeply personal, and related to her belief in building people up and opening opportunities. That’s why it was lovely to see and hear the enthusiasm on various people’s faces as she told them about what she was doing and invited them to take part. I shall await the results with interest

For my part, to settle my nerves and rest my aged aching body, I settled near the coffee stall and edited up an old sketch on the laptop in between retrieving lost children as they disappeared and reappeared without telling anyone where they were off too.

Yes, there will be a tshirt

Its one I did with a variety of metallic ink pigment ink pens a few years ago on black craft paper. I tried an edit at the time but could quite make the colours pop, but this time with some filter layers and light rendering on the filter layers I was able to bring more a vivid flame flicker to match the lines. I also resampled it in slightly different proportions as it originally didn’t quite work in my eyes. I’m much happier with the new proportions and resulting better clarity of facial features that have resolved while working on it.

I might not be feeling great, but I can take some measure of satisfaction in being able to create and produce images that catch the eye. It’s particularly enjoyable as a reclamation of skills I’ve not felt able to use in a while – and is especially warming when the act of revisiting an old piece I’ve discarded creates something better than it was when I started.

But I digress – we all got home and my body decided it wasn’t going to cooperate any more, so I’ve spent the best part of the late afternoon asleep and trying to settle after a broken night. I’m getting very tired of being ill so regularly. Hopefully the various investigations under way will pinpoint what the problem is so we can deal with it.

Back to Work

Ah Monday, and the inevitable panic after nearly two weeks of remembering passwords and hoping they haven’t expired. I did, and they hadn’t, so that was nice.

The first words one of my managers (and by this I mean managers working for me) said to me was: “have you lost weight?” – given the amount of time exploding from one end or the other I’d be very surprised if I hadn’t lost a few pounds. Always nice to see the sunny side of these things.

The theme of new tech continued too, with a new work phone – so in between emails and phonecalls I’ve begun the solemn duty of subverting the kit to my requirements. Should keep me busy in downtime for a bit.

I’ve also been digitally painting again, taking advantage of the touchscreen and tablet mode offered by my new laptop – I have no idea what it is, but I’m rather pleased with how it’s going

I think it needs more eyes

More Markets

I’m pretty sure I mentioned a while back that I’d been notified that Amazon were about to start widening my access to various markets with a program of translation into various languages in an automated process.

Well, that process is now underway, and my Ludd Clothing items are now available in not only the UK and US versions of Amazon but also the French, German, and Japanese markets as well. Looking at my visitor statistics I can see regular visitors from each of those areas, so if you’re interested please take a look and I’ll endeavour to put direct links up for each of the .de .fr .jp and .com versions in addition to the .co.uk version above.

So, that’s a thing that’s happening.

Designs and Markets

There has been a shift in how Amazon handles designs for their merch initiative, and it has been a joy to realise just how wide a reach this potentially gives me in terms of markets. It isn’t just the UK and the US, but countries in mainland Europe in the form of France and Germany, and Japan.

The new markets can be selected, but I need of course to translate my copy to the appropriate language for each market. French is fine, but my German and Japanese are non-existent. Fortunately Lady M made a quiet suggestion to use a site that she has been taking advantage of at work: www.deepl.com

It is, at its heart, a translation website and I have to say so far I’ve been quietly impressed at how easy it has been to use. Well worth adding to your toolbox, I’d say.

Maps and Pens and Rock and Roll

My current methods of zoning out and calming down continue to mostly be drawing and making maps. I bought a book of gridded paper off Amazon recently, and have started filling pages with designs that I may never end up using, but that are still an outlet that allow me to work out the story of their use and history.

The sketchbook also continues to grow full of designs, and I’m posting things mostly to Instagram as I go to share with the world. I’m very much enjoying the wider availability of pigment ink and fine pens for the more consistent finishes they offer.

Some of them I’ve started adapting using the map building sites and software so versions of some of these locations may appear, but then again maybe not – that’ll depend on which way the stories go.

It’s the Weekend! Almost!

Time to relax…oh, wait… as you were…

On the plus side, although I’m working tomorrow, I have already prepped enough material for a couple of game sessions so I won’t be too anxious on that front this week.

Oh, and I have of course been doing some more doodling – I’m trying some new things in character poses and composition along with stylised light and dark. I’m not aiming for anything I’m particular, but I am pleased with the results:

Easing Into The Week

Today started a bit frantically as I picked up various emails from yesterday, but I soon got things settled, and had a conversation or two to address some not-so-hidden elephants. So all in all not a bad day.

Tomorrow will be busy with a variety of things, not least of which will be interviewing people who want to work for me, or at least are looking for jobs and don’t object to me being their manager (hello imposter syndrome) – oh and apparently there’s a photoshoot booked for a project launch in the building so there’s that too.

So to unwind I drew a thing this evening:

Monday Musings

My weeks normally start with a day off, but with the new job starting in a month or so I’ll be working full time so I want to try and use the time while I still have it.

So today I finally got round to catching up with Lady G for lunch, and the first pub visit since I can’t remember. As is traditional, we both waxed lyrical in our gossip about work and people we know – and it was just nice to see her again.

We both play (I use the term loosely as it’s a mostly zero-interaction game) Godville, so I got challenged to draw her hero and their animal companion – as if I need an excuse to doodle away – so thought I’d share the results here:

Meanwhile, I’m trying to limit checking on work emails while I’m off, but there’s an awful lot happening all at once so I did respond to a couple of them. The very minor issue that it has highlighted is the continuing tightrope I’m walking where I’m still substantially working in my existing job but am being called upon in the new role, while that new role is also still occupied by someone.

I shall have to have a conversation or two about how best to manage this over the next few weeks to both manage expectations and limit any treading on toes.

Migraines and Musings

Yesterday was lost to a migraine, today in scrambling to cover for an error in rota planning – so that was tiring. I have at least been creative on the drawing front in the evenings

The first picture is my post-migraime brain buzzing, the second a competition entry for a friend’s cosplay group that composites the cosplays of all the moderators of that group.

On a musing front, I have had two members confirmed of my new team of library managers. Three more need to be found in the next round of recruitment interviews.

In the meantime I’m getting drawn into wider project conversations and needing to step up into the role early while the current boss is on holiday – so far so good…