Blog

Digital Painting

Sunshine & Dog - 12/20/16

Here's a present I made for my sister-in-law that I printed and framed for her. This was my first attempt at digital painting as I was just learning about brush opacity and blending colors within the software.

Looking back, I would have experimented more with the shadows to make them look better than the original picture. She's not as dark as the original would suggest. I'd like to have spent more time on background as well, but I understand that to be very hard even with a lot of practice. This was a learning experience for sure.

Bulbasaur - 10/31/17

At least this one wasn't me tracing somebody else's drawing/photograph. It's still a Pokemon though. Doing the line work was difficult with my current tablet and unpracticed hand but I'm glad I didn't wimp out on it. I really enjoyed doing the coloring on this piece and felt like I was solving problems I had with shading and problems I had with the software. I'm quite happy with how it turned out.

Maggie - 12/12/18

Here is a digital painting I did for my girlfriend's birthday depicting her dog. Had a lot of fun doing the linework and testing brushes for this one. Ended up looking nice in a white frame. Overall satisfied.

Professionalism and Networking

It’s important in the world of digital media to have connections with other people. I mean, it is social media right? That means you will have to master the 2 simpe elements of professionalism and networking.

Professionalism is a fancy word for fitting into the environment you are going to be in and not making dumb faux pas that can be easily avoided. Keep calm and don’t focus on trying to be professional, and that will actually help you be more professional. Funny how that works.

It may seem like professionalism is supposed to make you act like a robot and be exactly the same as everyone else, but that’s not the case. You’re allowed to have character, encouraged actually. As long as you don’t push any boundaries you think would go too far, try to be as natural to yourself as you can be.

Networking is simply having a conversation with another person and making an impression large enough that they will think of you when the right moment occurs. It’s the same as just making friends by telling that person what you’re interested in and what you would like to help others do. Similar to making friends though, you don’t want to talk the whole time, as the other person has dreams and aspirations that are important to them, and you would do well to pay attention to what those things are

Networking is a 2-way street. A symbiotic relationship that benefits both parties. Building these relationships is important for an industry that needs people with specific skills. Even if these reasons aren’t enough to make you network more, you should know that these people aren’t just business people, they can be your friends as well.

Saying all of this makes me realize that I should get better at talking to people.

Proposal Writing

Proposal writing is extremely important because it is what sells your product to a client. Without a solid proposal, a client could easily decline your offer and you’d be stuck looking for a new client while receiving no income.

Of course there are a million factors that can be taken into consideration when writing up a proposal, but I believe there are two very important aspects you can focus on to succeed. Those two things are to show your competence at what you do, and also show that you have an interest in what your client does.

It should be made obvious to a client that you and your group know what you’re doing. In order to do this, you must have a detailed outline of what your intentions are for the project. You won’t get everything correct as it is only an outline, but it will show your client that you have given their project some forethought.

 

Baking?

Is baking actually the weekly topic? I also just found out I’ve been behind 1 week for every post. I really hope the topic is actually baking because I’m really confused and need to talk about tasty pastries. We had a six slide presentation in class that I think was supposed to relate baking to something so I’m just going to roll with it.

I actually never bake anything ever, but when I think about baking I’ll just head over to You Suck At Cooking’s Youtube channel. His channel is amazing for the quality of the content, and I’ve never actually followed one of his recipes, but the food looks amazing. He has running jokes throughout the series, and generally has strong visual gags or storytelling in each video. Here is a video that actually doesn’t have any baking, but stands out to be one of my favorites because of the great jokes.

untitled

I’m not a huge vegetable eater but he makes it look like just putting them in the oven for 30 minutes can make anything look edible. It’s almost enough to make me want to start making my own food more often. Almost.

Baking is like building a rocket ship. Extremely easy to do unless you don’t have the instructions on how to make the thing. I’d gladly fly a man to the moon over trying to make brownies from scratch. I think you need to put an egg in there? Some milk maybe?

I remember asking my mom what putting eggs in baking materials does for the end product, and she told me, but does anyone actually know? What is the science of an egg that helps create a cake? I think that the true message of baking is, just throw stuff in there at a moderate 350 degrees for 20 minutes and see what happens. If it turns out well then you can say you meant to do it and write down the recipe for later and become a baking master like myself.

Project Management: People, Time, and Money

Project management is a learned skill that’s easier to learn by experiencing it firsthand, though it will be stressful the first few times you need to do it. Keeping track of your resources takes practice, especially when some of those resources are people. We all have busy schedules and completing large group projects can be difficult.

When working on projects with multiple people, make sure you know everyone’s talents in the group. You should know who exactly to go to when you need to solve complex problems. Having a record of what each member of your team does and what the schedules’ are like will allow you to most effectively communicate with your team.

Working in groups is especially hard when it seems like your group members never have the time to meet or are not getting their jobs done. In that case, you need to go over with them how important their part of the job is, and that it’s critical that they pull their weight. If they cannot do this, then you may consider finding a new person for the job.

For other members who are able to meet for important meetings, make sure you always have another date planned for the next meeting. You don’t know what they’re going through in their life so it’s important that everyone agrees on a date. If there is no need for meeting in person to discuss, there should, at the very least, a group chat with all of the members present.

Working with a budget should be planned out before any work is done. Previous experience should help you calculate how much money will be needed for  certain projects, and if you think you will need more, you’ll need to state your reasoning on why. If you have no prior knowledge of investigating how much a project might cost, you may want to get a professional to help you.

Freelancing

The concept of freelancing is one that is appealing to many of us. Having a traditional job can easily get stressful if you’re not carful. Working with customers, coworkers, and bosses can overwhelm some people, and doing freelancing work is an alternative to working in that chain of command forever. Luckily, freelancing is a solution to become the boss that you’ve always wanted to be

Having the freedom to work on whatever project you want, whenever you want, seems like one of the best ways to live your life. You can sleep in the day, work in the night, eat whenever and do anything else imaginable so long as you get your work done. Not only that, but your interaction with people outside your residence is completely up to your discretion, allowing more introverted people to have a nice comfort zone.

The major thing that stops people from diving into freelancing is the fear that without a steady office job, you are in serious risk of having financial problems. It’s completely viable to live comfortably off of freelance work, but you have to make sure that you can keep a steady amount of clients

If you’re not sure you want to try something that risky, you can test out freelancing without much risk while working another job. It might be rough doing freelance work on the side, but it will help you find out if freelance work is something you would want to do as your main job.

The amount of freelancers in America are steadily increasing. The Bureau of Labor There was a study done that determined that by 2020, around 40% of our workforce would be independent workers. As jobs become increasingly hard to find, recently graduating students will look for methods other than traditional jobs in order to start their professional career.

 

Digital Illustration Projects

My digital illustration class projects, all done with Photoshop and Illustrator.

Animal Forms

Sketched out animal forms to be traced in illustrator and colored.

Jayson Rice Animal Forms.png

Greeting Cards

All photoshop, was designed to teach about texture in digital media through the usage of layers and different digital brushes.

cat-and-balloon-with-shine-2 halloween-card2 presents-crd-1-layer

Character Development

We had to create our own character with full turnaround poses  and expressions. These were then digitized and colored in Photoshop/Illustrator.

turnaround-full                  color-sketch

expressionsfull-color-final

Magazine Article

We had to choose an online article to create a 2-page magizine spread along with the title and some text.

Dakota Access Pipeline.png

Snapchat Taking Over

I recently saw this post by Mashable and started thinking about what makes has made Snapchat become more popular than established social media sites. Of course, then I watched the video and it said some of the same things I thought.

I need to say that I don’t have a Snapchat account. I actually downloaded it at one time and couldn’t figure out how to do anything, it made me feel old and out of the loop. Teens don’t want to use the same social media that their parents use. Anything old people use just isn’t cool, and I think that’s why Snapchat has become more popular recently.

The whole app benefits from people having shorter attention spans, which matches where our culture is headed with the popularization of the Internet. Limited text with a picture that you can forget about within a few seconds. From my point of view, it seems like people who only use this app miss out on a lot of interesting things that could be said with more text, or for the picture to be able to be studied. But maybe that’s why I’m not hip.

Obviously there is a huge boon to not having to worry about taking high quality pictures because of their immanent perishability, and Snapchat adds a connection that other social media networks don’t. It’s the beginning of a new popular platform, I’ll be interested to see when it will peak.

Recommendations Report – The Score of Murfreesboro

Most of The Score’s problems come from not having specific goals in mind when making posts. This leads to inconsistency when trying to communicate with their followers. Random quirky posts can be alright as long as there are consistent posts that have a goal in mind as well. Finding a balance between advertising and interacting with their fans is an important factor here.

Facebook

As surprisingly often as The Score posts, they’re not very consistently spaced. Sometimes they post 3 times in a day and sometimes they have a drought of posts for a week. The first suggestion I would make is to keep a consistent schedule that can be kept up with by whoever runs their social media. A Monday, Wednesday, Friday posting schedule would be easy to keep up with and would be consistent for readers. It would also be beneficial to make a post every Saturday highlighting the upcoming events happening at their store. Along with this, followers who take the time to post a meaningful comment should always be replied to

Types of posts they would make would be split between building hype upcoming games or hardware, media involving their store, and special discounts or sales. Those three types of posts would be evenly posted on the Monday, Wednesday, Friday post schedule with each topic being assigned to the same day every time. This allows followers of the page to know what to expect on certain days and allows them to cherry pick the information that they want to see.

Posting about upcoming games is important because it builds a desire to play that game, and playing multiplayer games in a social setting is very exciting for some people. News on MOBAs, MMOs, and shooters will build interest for the game, and customers may be willing to test the new game at a LAN center before they commit to buying it. It’s a strategy that doesn’t see immediate results but it’s important to continuously show support for popular games because the desire to play those games is why people go to The Score in the first place.

Any media showing off the greatness of what happens in the LAN center should be shared to encourage others to join in. This would include pictures, videos, and possible interviews/quotes from the gamers at their events. Pictures and videos could show the excitement in the room that only happens when dozens of people see something exciting in a video game. For example, at the end of a tournament, the winners could give an interview that is mostly related to what happened in their games, and at the end of the interview, ask how much they enjoyed the venue. Both positive and negative replies will be helpful to the store and will give video content for the Facebook page in exchange for publicity to those players. The more effort that is put into caring for these players, the better the content will be, and will encourage other gamers to come in and experience The Score’s atmosphere in person.

Specialty discounts build a lot of interest for coming into the store to play with others also utilizing that discount. Lesser holidays would have themes for their discounts that would last throughout a week, an example being a discount for couples in the same week as Valentine’s Day. Besides holiday specials, there would also be promotion to more basic deals like playing specific games for a discounted price. There would be a Halo day, a Call of Duty Day, League of Legends Day etc. that would rotate throughout the month.

Twitter

The Twitter account should be similar to Facebook, in that the types of tweets that are made will resemble the Facebook posts. They will relay the same information in a different manor by using different graphics or wording. They’re allowed to be more laid back in what days they are tweeted, but they should always be relevant to current happenings, and they shouldn’t share the same content with what is being posted on the Facebook page that day.

Twitter overall is allowed more leniency because of its low character limit and the assumption that most of its users are on mobile when they read tweets. This means that there should be less links to events than Facebook, and more text based content with the occasional image or short video as well. This allows users to read content fast without having to leave Twitter to read information on another site. Keep it simple and short.

One thing that Twitter does better than Facebook is contests, which could be used to their advantage. Doing a giveaway on twitter can give surprising publicity for little effort; just say that everyone who retweets is in a drawing for a game, controller, or a system. The amount of retweets gathered from people wanting free merchandise reaches a lot of people, and some may be interested enough to give your profile a look at. Doing these contests consistently every month will encourage people to follow the account and get updates on future posts.

Website

The Score’s website needs a bit of touchup but it has the right basis to work off of. To continue to update the website, it needs to react to what is and what isn’t effective and act appropriately while also optimizing it to give the right information in the right places.

As of right now, the forums section is dead and doesn’t need to be there anymore, which defeats the purpose of having an account so that can go too unless the account is reworked. The Location and Hours tab can all be put on the home page.  The EBAY tab is weird but if they actually get significant business through EBAY then it might be worth keeping. A big recommended change would be to make a banner that cycles through relevant information instead of static boxes for people to click.