Monthly Archives: January 2013

[NSFW] Learning To Draw: Post #16

I think…”fail” is the word I’m looking for here.

I’ve been trying to read the book “Drawing the head and hands” by Andrew Loomis the past 1,5 weeks. So more reading, less drawing. Also, my right shoulder and back + neck have transformed into a cluster fuck of pain, so no digital painting for me until things get better. I have acquired an ergonomic chair, re-scheduled my gym-plan and paid two visits to a physiotherapist. The past weekend I spent completely way from computers, got a massage, went to the sauna and just drew some random stuff in my old sketch book. Talked a lot about drawing and painting with my mum, she is very skilled and have plenty of experience. Very nice to have someone to talk to about all the difficult things. She was able to point out many flaws in my images, which I’m thankful of.

Honestly I haven’t been feeling it the past two weeks. I think it all began after I joined Conceptart.org…I just felt like I’m drowning in a sea of clones and people who want to be THE BEST. For me it’s a lot about the process, and I think art must have a bigger meaning than just one painting being better than all the other ones. And how do you even measure what/who is the best? Is it the one who gets the job at a certain studio, or someone who gets featured in a museum? I don’t know. I need to focus on why I’m doing this. I’m doing this for me.

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Reading about heads and faces at home. Got myself a small “fish tank” without the fish, only plants and water. Still love it!

I guess it comes a time every now and then when you feel like everything you do is shit.The colors, the form, the lines. Nothing comes together and you just feel like giving it all up. It feels like nothing you do is ever good enough, stuff even gets worse. I’ve been doing this drawing and painting for the past 5 months, so I think it’s probably a part of the process. I feel like it’s not really any fun at the moment, and this was supposed to be at least a little bit fun also, not pure grinding.

If I aimed to become a professional concept artist, then I would push myself every day, no matter if it’s fun or not, but since this is just a hobby I guess I need to step a way and dream it all up again. I already got a job, and I like my 9-5 job at Paradox. This is supposed to be something where I don’t have to deliver all the time. Also, I need to be able to go to work, and right now my back is killing me. 8 hours in front of the computer at work, and then the additional 2-3 hours a day when I get home. Let’s hope this new chair helps me in healing my back/neck together with a new gym routine (1 hour/day).

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29/1-13 Me and my friend Maria (Dolly), are doing some stuff together for the fun of it. She drew a quick line-art and I got to play around with it. Can’t really say I’m satisfied with anything, but I’m very happy Maria agreed to let me try. She has a very nice blog, click [here].

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27/1-13 Just my usual robot stuff…I guess I’m a Tron fanboy.

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26/1-13 Hmm… Studies of Loomis’s book. It feels like stuff is moving backwards even :O

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26/1-13 More faces from the Loomis’s book. I try to get the basics right, but nothing feels like falling into place.

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25/1-13 Skullszzz….

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25/1-13 Some doodles of skulls. If I want to draw nice faces I need to know whats hiding beneath that flesh…

So yeah, I need to get back on track and cheer myself up. It’s just that when I look at the stuff I make, it feels like I’m not getting any better at all. I fail to see any progress and don’t really know in what direction I should go. I think it’s just these back-pains that are making me grumpy. Here’s some inspiration I found when looking for refs of muscular dudes the past days. For some reason I end up at the homo erotic part of DeviantArt when searching for that kind of stuff. I guess gay men like muscles and beautiful boys? Well, so do I. No homo!

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Image by Kiumeireles. You should check out his amazing gallery [here]. I think this image is so inspiring, I could write a short novel based on just the feeling this photo gives me : O

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Image by kiumeireles. Some people say that only a woman’s body can be art. I don’t agree.  That’s bullshit. I think the human body is very beautiful, no matter if it’s a woman or a man.

Previous posts about my “Learning To Draw” project:  1514131211,10987654321

DeviantArt gallery featuring most of the stuff I made so far: [click here]

Two Weeks Without Facebook

Haha oh damn, I feel like such a tragic person, but now I’m writing a blog post about the fact that I haven’t used FB for two weeks in a row. I mean, I totally get how ironic it is that I use my own blog for writing about how I spend less time online, and more time doing stuff in real life.

I had been feeling like some kind of twilight creature for a while, not really present online, not really present in the real world. I think it all started when I got an iPhone back in the last days of 2011. I spent more and more time online, checking mail, social media and news. I grew tired of always being connected, always up to date, processing huge amount of information in a short period of time. As someone once said, it’s not information overflow  it’s filter failing. As a community manager and very social person, it’s natural I’m interested in Internet behavior, but I felt I was channeling my energy in a non-constructive way. The only time I log in to Facebook is when I use it for my job at Paradox.

To me Facebook has become increasingly boring during the last coupe of months. It’s mostly because of the enormous amount of spam and adds, but the feeling that so much of my life being in the FB servers bothered me more and more. I want to be in charge of my own pictures and stuff. At least I want that illusion. So here’s a collection of real life activities that makes me happy!

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Spending time on the beach in Denmark, 2011.

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Diving in Norway, 2006.

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Paddling in the Finnish archipelago .

So what’s my view about this FB-experiment so far?

I feel like I have more time to concentrate on my drawing and hanging out with real friends. I was a bit worried to lose touch with my friends, but most of them got my Skype and cell number. To my surprise I don’t really miss Facebook or checking my feed while on the metro. I still use Twitter, but not in the same way as before : )

Avalanche’s Game Beer

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Game developer beer at the bar Imperiet, Stockholm yesterday!

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Guess what all Paradox employees got as a Christmas gift this year? Hint: they are touch screen compatible…

Since I decided to ditch Facebook (as for now), almost two weeks ago, I’m not really up to date with all the events going on. So I almost missed out on this month’s game developer beer at Imperiet, in Stockholm. It’s like this tradition. Every month or so, a game studio near Stockholm hosts a get-together and everyone gets one or two free drinks. The first time I joined, it was Rovio who hosted the party, and the time after that it was King.com who served the drinks. The created on Facebook and it’s almost 900 people replying to each event. In the end it’s usually something like 400-500 devs in the same bar, so you can imagine it gets pretty crowded…This time it was Avalanche (makes of Just Cause), who paid the bills.

I had a very fun night, met some new and old friends, and a woman even asked me if I’m Sara Casén. She was a student, now looking for a job within the industry, and recognized me from Facebook. We spoke for a while and she was really nice. This is kinda crazy, because at both Rovio’s and King’s parties the same thing happened several times. People I don’t know show up and ask me a lot of stuff. A random guy even asked me if I’m Sara Casén, and when I answered yes, he said it was nice to meet, that he used my name to test how their data base handles “é”. I find this a bit strange and fascinating. I don’t mind talking to nice people I don’t know, it just amazes me how small the game dev industry in Sweden really is (~ 1 500 according to the numbers from 2011). I’m an admin of a Facebook group called  the “Game Developer Ambulance”, and I guess that’s why people recognize my face. The group is dedicated to help people find new jobs in the industry. That group’s got over 1 500 members by now…

Anyways, I guess it’s easy to be remembered when I set myself apart from the crowd a bit by being a woman and speaking with a Finnish accent, here at the Stockholm game dev scene…But It’s just a bit weird since I haven’t really done anything remarkable that could make me famous or something like that. Speaking of meeting people, I had the pleasure to meet with Kata, a former member of the Junebud Crew. It was so nice to talk to her, and she seemed very happy with her new job at Rovio. A lot of the Junebud Crew have moved on to new adventures at Massive, King, Abovee, Frictional Games, Tarsier, HelloThere and some of them even moved to Dubai to work for Riva Digital. Others decided to study or are still looking for a job. I’m very happy that people seem to have landed on their feet and bounced back.

My time at Junebud will always be special to me. I joined a fresh start-up, it was my first job in the industry and I learned so much from working there. I gave absolutely everything I had to make it work. We all did. People put in so much time, dedication and money. We worked late nights, patched chaotic releases, had many great Friday beers. I moved away from my home at the time, risked a new relationship, to settle down in an unfamiliar city, ready to tackle all the problems and make MilMo a big success as a community manager.

I think this nostalgia might get it’s own post later on, but I can say for sure, there was nothing I didn’t do for Junebud, so when the company finally went bankrupt I knew it was over. I knew there was nothing more I could possibly have done. I think everyone at the team did everything they could. You can say that company died fighting. And even if Junebud is not around anymore MilMo is still up, and that is great!

I’m happy to work for Paradox now, and I know the industry is full of similar stories. Teams of talented individuals risk it all to follow their dreams, and most of them will fail. Most even die within a year or so, while few survive for some time, and a few rare ones make it to the top. That’s life.

Paradox Studios: Three Months Later

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Stockholm as seen from the 24th floor, where Paradox North got it’s office. It’s early morning and ice-cold winter. You can see the “warm” sea water generating a soft gentle mist, rolling over the shores in the distance.

It’s been roughly three months since I packed my bags and moved from Malmö to Stockholm, to start my new job as a data analyst and community manager at Paradox North. So far I’ve been working with two unannounced projects and three other projects that’s already live; Salem-the crafting mmo, Magicka and some stuff for the coming brawler The Showdown Effect.

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It’s got to be one of the best jobs ever, getting paid to have a snow fight dressed as wizards from Magicka!

Stockholm may be a cold city, and I get tired of unfriendly strangers pushing me around on the metro, but the Paradox Studio is a great place to work! Short story to clear up some confusion: Paradox is Sweden’s biggest game publisher. Incorporated in the studio are:

1. Paradox Interactive is the publishing part of Paradox. They work together with skilled teams of game developers to publish new titles. They published games like Magicka and Mount & Blade.

2. Paradox Development Studio, that create their own classic hardcore strategy games in-house, such as Europa Universalis, Crusader Kings and Hearts of Iron.

3. Paradox North is my base. It’s a fairly new studio based in the same office as development studio and interactive. We are up to something very exciting, but I can’t really tell you any details at the moment.

4. Paradox South is the name of a content creating art studio based in Skövde (the same place where I studied game development during my time at university).

Paradox is growing like mad at the moment. A few years ago they were just about 30 people, and today we are something like 80+ employees, it’s amazing! The company pays my gym-card and provides me with a stand up desk as well. I really wish more video game  companies would display such an interest to help the staff maintain a healthy lifestyle.

I’ve learned so much since I started working at Paradox. My closest boss John H is damn smart and has a way of asking me to explain exactly what I’m doing. This way I find obvious flaws in my way of thinking and solving problems. He is the studio manager of North and his partner in crime is David N. David is an experienced industry veteran that always adds positive energy to the team! I feel so humbled to be part of the team, learning new things each day! All in all PN is something like 15-20 people, and we are still searching for more talent if you know any skilled programmers [jobs here].

The reason I don’t talk that much about what I’m actually doing all day at Paradox is that I find it very very sensitive. I work mostly with user created data and how to improve the games based on data that we track and analyze. It’s like game design reverse engineering. I might measure the steps in a mandatory tutorial for a game, trying to find out where players struggle to move forward, or how many players that ever return after starting the game for the very first time. I work both with our own data system and Steam. I believe it’s important that the players know the data we track is made anonymous and treated with respect. The end goal is always to make the game a better experience, to find hidden bugs and help developers understand how people use their game.

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At Paradox not only the wizards have board game nights, a lot of the employees do too! Photo from Magicka’s official FB-page.

Apart from this I do some community management like posting photos and events on Facebook, manage twitters and organize multiplayer events. My job at Paradox is a more advanced version of many of the things I did at Junebud. The main difference so far is that I work much more on the technical side, closely with the backend and database programmers. Right now I’m learning how to construct SQL-queries and how data packages should be organized, how to filter data and how to think when working with big quantities of data (we are talking millions of millions of text strings here). I’m grateful I got very friendly and smart people that are willing to answer my 10 000 dumb questions all the time <3

I’m happy to work at Paradox, but I really wish Paradox could open an office in Malmö since I love that town. There was a gang rape near where I live in Stockholm, in this small suburb, so I don’t do those midnight walks anymore :/ It’s a bit disturbing to think somewhere in these hoods there are five rapists hiding, hoping they won’t get discovered.

Related posts: Five Weeks Later

Looks

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Me winter 2012.

It’s funny. When you are a woman people like to comment on your looks; how you dress, how you should dress, how you shouldn’t dress, what you should wear. If you don’t wear enough clothes people called you slutty. If you look too uptight they call you an old lady.

Magazines rate the dresses of all the women going to the Oscars, Golden Globe or the MTV Awards. They gossip about if someone is getting fat, or if someone is getting too skinny. An actress can rise to fame if she make obvious statements like “I eat plenty of food and I like ma curves”. Politicians like Merkel, Rice and Clinton are commented on because of what they sport, not because of their brains.

I have worked enough with Photoshop to know 99,99% of the photos out there in celeb/fitness/fashion blogs and sites are manipulated.

I don’t really care about what someone might think about my makeup (if I ever wear any), or my clothes. I dress the way I want to, and put on what makes me feel good. When I was   a teenager boys used to make fun about my lips, and when I turned twenty I suffered from a bad skin condition.

I make an effort every now and then and put on a nice dress, but really, the place I feel most sexy is probably in the gym or on my surfing board.

Learning To Draw: Post #15

I’m back with a batch of new stuff! This week I’ve been suffering some serious neck and back pains, so to get away from the computer, I have been drawing the old school way, with a pen in a sketchbook (also going to the gym for 1 hour/day doing weight lifting)! I aim to use more media when practicing. Right now I paint digitally with my Wacom, with regular pend and paper and with colored pencils. It’s always good to learn how to use different mediums, it speeds up the process and makes your brain develop in more than one way. I don’t want to depend on just one tool for creating.

I got some real life people to pose for me so I could practice drawing faces, which is awesome. I’ve noticed I always learn so much more when drawing from real life instead of photos.  Feels a bit strange what I’m doing, picking apart the human body piece by piece. Sometimes it’s all eyes, then lips, then hands etc. Well, here’s what I’ve been up to anyways!

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20/1-13 Drawing lips from life, then drawing the same thing over again from memory to test myself. Note to self: I need to shorten the distance between the eyes and the corners of the lips (common fail for beginners).

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19/1-13 Doodling while watching TV and hanging out with people. Did I say I love robot designs? Now I just need to get better at poses so I can draw the rest of the robot’s body!

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18/1-13 Spending my time drawing on the train this weekend. It takes something like 5 hours to get to Göteborg from Stockholm. I try to draw only the important stuff of the human face, experimenting and trying out new things. Trying to hold the pen in a really loose way, which gives interesting results.

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17/1-13 1 hour. Listening to a wildlife documentary about the French wildlife while painting this : )

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17/1-13 Had some fun and painted random stuff in different layers, then combining them and do something creative with the mess!

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17/1-13 I like never, ever draw this kind of stuff. This was juts a doodle, experimenting with using polygon lasso tool and putting different stuff in different layers. I heard it’s good when drawing metallic things. Gonna do some more experimenting on this and share it with you, plix have patience!

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17/1-13 A study of a tortoise and some imaginative coloring on top, as a warm-up doodle!    I love reptiles <3

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15/1-13 1 hour. On of the games I work with is called “Magicka”. Their new Facebook photos of Magicka wizards in real life makes perfect objects for practicing drapery and clothes!

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14/1-13 1 hour. Drawing a kitchen spoon from real life, practicing light, color and shadow. I’ve noticed I actually improved my hand-eye-coordination since I started this project! Sounds silly, but I could never ever have managed to draw a spoon this way (only line art), just a year ago.

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Stuff I’ve been drawing when riding the metro to work this week. I usually work on these for more than a day, and only while on the train. When I feel like I can get away with it, I try to draw strangers…I prefer them sleeping, so they won’t notice, hehe…

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Tried to sleep when I had some fever on Sunday to Monday night 14/13-1. Eventually I fell asleep, but only managed to get something like 4 hours of sleep before the alarm clock forced me back to reality. Stayed at home the rest of the day to get rid of the fever.

I joined the site conceptart.org this week to get a little bit more feedback on my images. I now got my own sketchbook over there, documenting my creations. Probably gonna post something about my feelings about that forum when I got the time to put together a post. I got mixed feelings about it. So, here’s some inspiration I found this week:

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Image by Andreas Zafiratos (Albino Z). His amazing art is so frikkin cool! I love the style and the colors! Slightly scary but beautiful. Click [here] to watch his art!

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Image by Albino Z and Alexandr Pascenko. Click [here] to view Alexandr’s epic images.

 

Previous posts about my “Learning To Draw” project:  14131211,10987654321

DeviantArt gallery featuring most of the stuff I made so far: [click here]

Learning To Draw: Post #14

New week, more grind! I’m really looking forward to my new books about anatomy that should arrive any day now < 3 Right now I’m drawing and painting between 12-15 hours/week. I’ve started a Skype group with some of my skilled friends. We talk, paint and give feedback to each other, which is nice!

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13/1-13
1 hour. Upon popular demand: a banana! (And some kind of strange onion) from real life.

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12/1-13
1,5 hours. Generic sci-fi stuff…blergh….

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11/1-13
1 hour. A small Fire Dragon, creature from imagination! : D

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11/1-13
1 hour. Drawing something from imagination, experimenting with colors and having fun. Some days it seems like I’m too into the learning aspect, that I forget to have fun, and that’s a bad thing.

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10/1-13
1 hour. Following a tutorial for painting human eyes. I never quite really seem to be able to make my eyes come to life :/

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10/1-13
2,5 hours. Drawing stuff from imagination and a photo study of [this happy girl]. Still strugeling to draw human skin…=__=

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9/1-13
2,5 hours. My friend Dolly helped me and sent me her own tutorial for painting skin, which helped me a lot! The girl to the left is painted from memory, and the girl to the right is a photo study of [this photo]. I painted a black and white study, then added color on top of that.

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7/1-13
1,5 hours. Since I know humans and human skin is as far from my comfy zone I can get, I continue to draw them. It’s hard, and some days I almost feel like I’m not getting any better at all…

And now for some inspiration! Emanuel is currently studying in Skövde, at the same Uni where I went a few years ago. He is very skilled at painting self-portraits. The way he paints using big chunks of colors, making it look like oil, is amazing! He has a whole gallery filled with amazing self-portraits, and I’m sure he will go far if keeps it up!

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Image by Emanuel Mårdsjö. Click [here] to view his DeviantArt gallery!

Previous posts about my “Learning To Draw” project:  131211,10987654321

Online/Offline

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Summer of 2011, Norway. Doing IRL stuff that makes me really happy and excited.

 

The Beginning

When I grew up there were no such thing as Facebook or MySpace. No Google or YouTube. A Nordic version of Facebook hit the Internet when I became a teenager, it was called “Lunarstorm”. You created your own profile page, chose an avatar and collected friends. The basics were pretty much the same. You could PM people, and “poke” them if you had a crush.The only real difference was that you never wrote your real name anywhere. That, and also Lunarstorm was an aesthetic nightmare! Lunarstorm died when Facebook started to gain members.

My first though when I heard about Facebook in 2007 was “omg how can anyone be so stupid and put their real name online? Losers!1“. My whole life I’d been told to never, ever give out my real name online. Predators were said to lurk everywhere online, just waiting to  lure you into a shady cam session. Around that time blogs became popular and mainstream. The Swedish version of “Metro” even put the blogger Kenza on their first page, writing about this new Internet trend in late 2007. I’ve never heard about blogs before. This was the time I moved to Skövde to study computer games at University. To me it seemed so strange. I mean, when I was a kid you wrote about your life, your dreams, your fears and how you felt in a personal diary. You put a lock on it, hiding it in your closet. If anyone dared to read your diary you felt so violated, so angry and sad. And here they were; young people like Kenza, writing about their lives online, telling absolutely everything to anyone who felt like reading. My friend Ola said: “it’s like a message in a bottle. You write something, throw it out there and hope for someone to find it and read it.”

I browsed Kenza’s blog and immediately felt dirty. Like some old man hiding in the bushes, trying to get a sneak peek of her in the bathroom, trough the window. This is crazy, I said to myself. Today, a little more than five years later, I run my own blog with over 16 000 views in 12 months, I got a Twitter with 1000 followers and I update my Facebook at last daily. How did we come to this? Is it even possible to tell if it’s good or bad?

When I were around 10 or 11 years old we started having computer education in my school. It was all Netscape, Altavista and CDROM. I remember those rather confusing days in class, how the teacher tried to figure out how it all worked, and what was she supposed to teach us really? I dreamed of my own e-mail, to get pen palls from all over the world. I tried to grasp this whole www-thingy. I realized you could find online communities and talk to like-minded about your interests. I found web-pages about my favorite idols! I didn’t know much English at this point, and struggled to understand how to navigate the web. There still were no such thing as Facebook, no Google and no YouTube. Most newspapers did not have a web page. We did not have a computer at home, so I stayed late at my fathers job, playing Red Alert and drawing in Paint, using Windows -95. Bonsai kittens became a big thing a few years later. Everyone of my 15-year old friends were so upset about those cats. I’m pretty sure a lot of them still haven’t figured out until this day it was all a joke…

Me and my sister discovered LimeWire, Google stared to become popular and soon this new browser called “Firefox” emerged on the scene. G-mail started to compete with Hotmail. Back to Skövde late 2007. I joined Facebook. Simply because all my friends had joined and started tagging me in photos, sending me e-mails I should join. I remember how MSN-messenger still was cool, and Skype was a new thing. Soon everyone I knew were on FB. It was considered strange not to be part of the site. People asked you for a reason if you didn’t have an account, a bit like if you go to a party and don’t drink alcohol. It’s considered almost a philosophical or political standpoint today.

 

Nothing Is Only God or Bad

I’m not native of the Internet-generation, I was born before it became mainstream. To me the “save”-icon i games and programs still means “floppy disk”, not just “save”. My 9 moth old brother will probably never get the connection when he grows up. I still remember my first Nokia that could contain up to 14 messages in the in-box at the same time. I remember when touch screen devices were something that belonged to Minority Report. Today I spend almost all my time in front of a screen in one way or another. I work with video games, I draw digitally when I get home, and I browse my iPhone when riding the metro every morning. It’s hard to imagine what my life would be without computers. Or without Facebook. That’s so strange. All of my top ten luckiest memories feature my IRL friends, family or physical exercise like wind surfing, diving or swimming. Only one of them features something Facebook-related.

I’ve been told my whole life being online is almost a bad thing for you. Your body gets hurt, your mind becomes weak. You get a shorter attention span. You do nothing real. I might agree that my body is taking some stress, and yes, I do still think of afk as the real life. But I don’t think online is purely bad for you.

This sometimes make me confused. I get told it’s bad to share too much stuff about yourself. That you are giving away your own private life to Facebook for nothing in return. I sometimes try to minimize my time on social media, and it feels really great. But then I miss all those friend, and I get back online.

When I was in Egypt last year, I went online for a maximum of 15 minutes each day. Wonderful! But then again I had so much IRL stuff to do, diving, hanging out with my family and all sorts of amazing stuff.

 

The Graveyeard

To me hanging on Facebook feels like visiting a graveyard. You don’t really talk to anyone. You only remember those days that already passed, by remembering all your friends. All the fun things happened somewhere else, not in the graveyard (people plan events on Facebook but attends them IRL.). You visit representations of your friends (their walls and albums), and lay some flowers on their graves (like and comment). But it’s not real life. Its only echoes of the past. You are alone, but it feels almost as if it’s real. Because in your head it all comes to life. Next time you get back to the graveyard someone has laid flowers at your own grave (liked or posted a funny link on your wall). The two of you still don’t meet, but it feels almost like human interaction. Too often I find myself thinking “is this a photo I would put on Facebook”, and instead of giving my friend a call I like her new profile photo. I’m starting to feel as if this is being trapped between two worlds. I’m not really living IRL, nor do I want to hang out this much online. I end up in some kind of twilight zone. A place that too often makes me sad or angry. Leaving me unsatisfied.

Some days I feel like I don’t really want to be part of the human species anymore. Each day I read bout gang rape, abut animals that go extinct, about murder or other cruelty. The Internet made the world a small place. It’s wonderful to have the possibility to search for information, to get friends in all parts of the world, but you get to see so much shit.

 

The List:

f I make a list of different kinds of interaction with other human beings, it would look something like this:

1. Meeting someone IRL and hang out. It makes me happy and brings new lasting impressions and ideas, energy into my life.

2. A phone call with family or friends. Makes me happy : D

3. A real written letter delivered to me by the mail service. I still get some of them, and the wedding invitation from my Twitter friends Hollie and Chris living in the US was a true highlight of 2012! Still trying to decide if I’m buying ticket to attend it in July, in Minnesota : D

4. An e-mail to my private e-mail address. Long, well written e-mails from people I like makes me happy and warm at heart.

5. Comments on Facebook or Twitter. Kinda leaves me wanting more. A comment is read in seconds, and two days later you forget it was ever written, unless it’s something really, really special like an old friend getting back in touch or 100 people wishing you happy birthday on your birthday.

6. A “like” on Facebook or a “star” on Twitter. Doesn’t really make up for human interaction in any way, just makes me miss my friends even more. A like is quickly forgotten and no matter how many you get, if the right people did not click like you feel sad, which is insane really. There’s a cleaver and fun article in Swedish about this [here]. How sad we get if no one presses “like” on our new profile photo.

 

Offline

I quit Instagram a while ago, because it just felt so shallow. I know some people are having a very vivid life online. They might be very shy in real life, or they can’t leave their home. They might get bullied in school and have found a sanctuary online. I have many friends who have found long lasting friendship when joining guilds in World of Warcraft, a friend even found his wife in a MUD. The Internet can be an amazing place where you can share your opinions, publish your own music, browse reference images for drawing…I do not deny all of this. The thing is I just feel like it’s time for me to start living a bit more offline.

Three months ago I left Malmö for my new job in Stockholm. I left my gang of crazy Malmö-friends. Now I live in a suburb near Stockholm, and it takes me about 30 minutes at least to get into the city, to meet up with Stockholm-friends. I’ve noticed that the more family and friends I got hanging around, the less I use the Internet. I think I’m using the web like this right now because I’m in a place where I haven’t found out where my home rally is, where I belong. I browse the Internet because my friends are hard to meet and I’m bored.

This week’s sick leave at home, hanging out even more in front of the computer than usual, made me realize I want to focus on the real life. I need to be bored without surfing online. Quite often the most amazing things come to life if you are bored and have no way of distracted yourself. I’ts important to be bored sometimes. I hate going to parties where everyone is just browsing their phones, not talking to each other : /

I don’t mean to upset anyone with this, and I respect that others might not share my view. This is just how I feel for now. To all my friends on Facebook, you got my phone number, my Skype or my e-mail address. If you want to contact me, don’t be shy to send an SMS or an e-mail. I will also bee visiting my blog when I feel like it.

I will be back. Maybe.

Solutions

 

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Doing stuff you love is important, or you will grow a bitter cynic.

There’s not that many things that get me into a bad mood, or that really gets to me, that makes me angry and sad. The list is quite short: 1.People who don’t respect their fellow humans in basic ways like covering their mouth when sneezing 2.People who complain and do nothing about their problems 3. Folks that are extremely narrow-minded haters (like racists or homophobics).

So, in order to not turn into something I don’t like myself, I decided to take care of my problems. Today I went for a killer workout, had an epic meal at Texas Steakhouse and I intend to go to bed really early tonight (we’ll see about that!). The thing is, it feels OK to devote my time and energy to drawing and painting. It’s my adventure, and I feel like I already opened Pandora’s box a few months ago. I simply can’t close it, nor do I want to. I just need to find a way to energize myself and not brute force myself into grinding stuff night after night and end up with a sore wrist. I need to work smart, not hard.

Conclusion, I need to eat plenty of food, I need to sleep at least 8 hours each night and work out three times a week. I know I’ve been denying my body the exercise it craves since I moved to Stockholm for my new job. That’s really the only thing I don’t like about working in the game making industry; you sit in front of a computer all day. Luckily my employers, Paradox Studios, are giving all employees a stand-up table, money to buy a gym card and it’s even OK to take a prolonged lunch to visit the gym if you make sure you attend all meetings and deliver awesome content when it’s time for your deadline. I wish more companies would display such a great interest in their workers well-being.

Not to get too personal, but things have been really hard the past months. I had an all around the clock headache for two months, which made it very hard to get into my new job, or to act nice. When I went to the doctor they told me that it could be a brain tumor, and I got a time to the doctor right away. Ever since the summer of 2012 I’ve had problems focusing my eyes when looking at things, and being overly light sensitive. So a few scary weeks followed before the doctors concluded I it was just the muscles in the right eye that for some reason have failed a bit. They said it’s probably due to stress of some sort. 2012 was a really exciting but also stressful year, so maybe they’re right. The good news are that it’s probably not permanent! So I got special glasses, went for a splendid vacation to Egypt and returned to a kick some game-related ass.

The whole experience was terrifying, to hear you might have a deadly lump in your brain. All in all it made me even more dedicated at creating something lasting. To master a skill. It makes me happy to know I’m learning something that’s inside my brain. The ability to translate an mental image into something I can share with others. I don’t really care about things and stuff anymore. I don’t put too much value into items and physical things. I can lose all the sketch books in the world, and it wouldn’t matter, because the real treasure is inside my brain, it’s my skills.

Enough rambling, time to sleep! : D

Obsession

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Sometimes it feels a bit like I’m going crazy. I wake up in the morning, get dressed, eat my musli with milk and glasses of water (I’m like a domesticated cat who always eats the same kind of dry food haha) ride the metro to work, spend 9-10 hours away from home. Then when I get back home I try to cook some kind of food, but usually I’m so tired it feels like I’m in a coma of some sort. Then I sit in front of my computer and paint the rest of the night, listening to nature documentaries or music. I even forget to eat the food on my desk because I’m completely devoured by trying to create a picture that’s in some way at least just a tiny bit better than the one I made yesterday. Noticed I can see my ribs in the mirror. I’ve almost always been thin/fit, and I don’t really like loosing muscles.

I’m fully aware that this project will go on for quite a long time if I ever want to be able to get some lasting progress. It just feels like the time we spend here on Earth is too short. Every night I crash down in my bed and try to get some sleep before going to work the next morning. Since I’m living way out in the suburbs of Stockholm and my roomie and I live quite separate lives, there’s no friends who come over or want to drag you  away to a party. I left almost all my friends back in Malmö three months ago. There’s no distractions in my room, just a bed, a desk, my computer and some clothes. Feels a bit strange, like I crated my own little bubble in the middle of the real world. Some days I’m just so sick of the real world, all the intolerance, the hate, the things you need to buy, I just refuse to take part in it. I choose to create my own reality.

Really need to get my workout routine back on track. The problem is that if I work out on the office hours I need to stay at the office even longer, and I get so hungry feel sick if I don’t get home at 18 to eat dinner. It’s very rare for me to meet anyone with my appetite. My body really needs food ever 3 hours, or I start to feel as if I’m going to faint or puke of hunger. Trying to make sure I always have a package of musli at work : ) /Rant