Being Weird

There’s a “tag-your it” game going around the internet. The challenge is to list five of your weirdest habits. I haven’t been officially tagged by anyone, but I wanna play anyway. Here’s my five (as if you needed any more proof that I’m not normal):

1. I like to eat my cereal dry, with no milk. Soggy cereal = yuck.

2. When I’m making conversation and start gesturing, I have this unconscious habit of reaching up with my left hand and giving a quick tug on the seam on my left shoulder. I have no idea why I do this. Maybe I’m trying to shoo away the invisible parrot that keeps whispering cynical comments in my ear.

3. My sleep cycle is a mess. I can’t seem to go more than a few weeks on a “normal” schedule. Eventually I go through a persistent bout of insomnia, and finally I give in and wind up working nights for several days. Then my body “crashes” and I go back to normal. My wife is a saint for putting up with it. The really strange part is that I often do my best creative work during those night shifts.

4. Whenever I’m in a Wal-Mart or Target, I feel a compulsion to browse the DVDs. Even if I have no intention of buying anything, I still have to hover there for a few minutes.

5. I can recite all fifty states alphabetically, in order. When I was in elementary school our music teacher had us sing a song that put all the states to music, from A to Z. For some reason the tune stuck, and I can still sing the whole thing. Although I rarely get asked to at parties.

There you go. Other than those five things, I am completely normal. (Pause.) Quiet, Polly! You’ll get your cracker in a minute.

Online Drawing Groups

Being a freelancer is great, but its also very isolating. Thankfully there’s the internet, which allows me to make connections with other artists, share comments and ideas, and get feedback on my work without ever leaving my studio.

Over time I’ve found a few good websites that are designed to give artists a sense of creative community. Many “assign” projects for members to sketch or illustrate based on a special theme, just for practice or for fun. I can’t take part nearly as often as I’d like to, but when I can it’s a blast! The projects/themes give you lot of creative freedom (more than you would usually get with a client), and the feedback from other members is often very helpful.

Here’s a few I’ve participated in…

Unfortunately this one is pretty much a closed group. I was lucky enough to get on board early on.

Illustration Friday
A word is chosen each week, then you do an illustration inspired by that word. Post a link to your work the following Friday. Open to all. Just sign up to have each week’s word e-mailed to you.
This website is a fun forum in general, with lots of interesting topics and loads of artwork from artists of all skill levels. Most of the participants are from the animation and comics side of things. If you dig around there are usually several “drawing jams” going on at any given time (warning: some Jams use pornography and/or immodest photos for reference). My most recent contribution was to a Jam about Dragons and a Christmas Cards thread (like I said, I can’t contribute that often). Open to all, but you must register as a member.

Strange Behavior Challenge by the CG Society
I just stumbled on this one recently. I hope I can take part, although I doubt I will have time. Open to all, but you must register as a member.

If you know of any others, please post them.

Surprises About the New iPhone

From the crazy folks at Cap’n Wacky:

Users required to use AT&T for phone service, iTunes for music downloads, Fantastic Sam’s for haircuts, and Jimmy Toledo’s House of Hats for headwear.

Advanced speech recognition software detects users talking about repulsive medical conditions on a crowded bus and delivers a powerful shock.

Disobeys the first rule of robotics.

Takes not only photographs, but also x-rays and limited-field MRI.

During outgoing calls it records samples of your voice, and after approximately 15 minutes has enough vocabulary to convincingly converse with your Aunt Shirley without your actual participation.

Can (and will) disable all SideKicks within a 200-foot radius.

When you ask “iPhone, iPhone, in my hand, who’s the fairest in the land?” phone calculates your BMI and replies “Not you.”

When two iPhones are placed in a ring, they will fight to the death. Victorious iPhone absorbs address book and MP3 library of losing iPhone.

Despite depiction in commercials and ads, iPhone is really just a phone duct-taped to an iPod.

Pressing ‘Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, A, B, Start’ at menu level will grant unlimited text messages.

Will, in fact, walk your dog, clean the house and balance your checkbook, but it won’t do a very good job of any of these things.

It knows kung fu.

Comes equipped with new ‘iSmell’ technology, allowing iPhone to smell like selected object. However, the only smells currently uploaded for selection are ‘cabbage’ and ‘Carol Channing’.

It will not, in fact, cure cancer.

Can play songs without even having a tape in it! What will they think of next?

Fifi’s Mind-Reading Tricks

I’m on vacation visiting my in-laws in Texas, where it is a balmy 75 degrees (a nice change from Minneosta). So I can’t blog any images from here. But I did find a neat link to share called Fifi’s Mind-Reading Tricks. See if you can figure out how it is done.