Bye Bye 2014!

vinterstudie

First post of 2015! Had a great New Year’s with a bunch of friends, celebrating, eating good food and just goofing around. It was all fun and games until half of us decided to go outside at midnight to watch the fireworks. Literally three seconds after they stepped out on the street a gang of teens aimed fireworks into the crowd and sparks and explosions were everywhere. Then someone started throwing beer bottles at my friends from a balcony. Fun times when you live in Sweden’s Gangsta City #1! I had a very nice silver dress I purchased the day before (thanks for that bunch of money Santa!). Did get some photos of the dress but out of respect to my friends I’m not gonna post them here, since everyone’s looking really wild and drunk in those photos, heh! Speaking about images, here’s a sweet Christmas card I got from Tarsier!

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Looking back at 2014 it has been a very exciting year, but also one of the most stressful in a long time. I didn’t get to keep my job at Tarsier, and went unemployed for two months before I started my very own business; Casen Crowd. Running my own thing has pushed me miles away from my Comfort Zone™ more times than I can remember, which is awesome in some aspects but also extremely scary and tiring at times. I’ve learned that the Comfort Zone™ is a place where you should be able to rest and recharge. If you are always outside of it, you don’t really get to recharge your batteries or rest. This past year sets some kind of record in exhaustion for me. I’ve done almost everything to try to battle the sleepiness, and it’s working so-so. I’ve made sure to keep a steady exercise routine, eat my D-vitamin, fill my fridge with healthy foods and lately I’ve tried to determine the best time to go to bed and get up with this cool sleep-analyzing app (it’s showing me my body almost always tries to wake me up at 07-08 no matter when I went to sleep, guess I should take a hint from my body on this one).

I’ve done a lot of interesting work this past year: researched a big report about the state of the video games industry for Game City, helped Mediocre with their social media, made sure VisionPunk got some extra support for their awesome Unity Asset and accepted an upcoming gig as a project manager for a festival in 2015! I did lectures for The Game Assembly and at my old university! I worked the 2014’s Nordic Game Conference and got to the chance to meet so many cool developers < 3 I’ve also got something super cool coming up in 2015, but won’t be able to talk bout it in months (if ever).

Among all this I’ve learned some about how to run a small company, how to design logos, to build web pages, how the tax-system in Sweden works and soooo much more. Having my own thing has taught me more in 10 months than I’ve believed to be possible ^_^ Of course I’ve failed and had sleepless nights, but I kinda knew beforehand that comes with the package. One of the coolest things during 2014 was to get the offer for an interview as community manager for Riot Games in Ireland! For 2015: need to work on how to reduce the stress.

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When it comes to my Art Project I feel a bit confused. On one hand I feel like I should do something with my skills…like have a plan for where this is going, but on the other hand I’ve come to learn that the best things in life are often created out of random and coincidents. In August this year it will be three years since I started The Art Project.

I look at the leading concept artists in the games industry and feel that working as an artist with games really isn’t my cup of tea. I honestly don’t enjoy drawing tanks or Star Wars stuffs, I just feel like all I see is beeews and mechs all the time. Nothing wrong with that, but it just doesn’t float my boat. The stuff that gets me excited seems to be landscapes with down to earth, kinda quiet settings. I totally love the art by Simon Stålenhag! I’ve also noticed that I don’t feel so happy while drawing anymore, I feel like it’s all just for the sake of learning some technique or doing a study. I almost feel like I can’t draw for the fun of it right now. Not sure what to do about this. I feel very alone in front of the computer. I can’t sink into my own world while drawing since I miss human interaction too much I guess. One of the drawbacks on starting my own thing has been to not have a stead team to work with everyday. I meet all these cool developers, but I really feel that I need a team for perform my best.

To close this post with something positive 2014 marks the year when I moved to a very nice apartment, I traveled to a lot of countries, celebrated an awesome Midsummer, got to hang out with some of my favorite people in the world and attended a beautiful wedding for some of my best friends. Also, here’s an drawing from 2002 (when I was 14 or 15 year old) I dug up during Christmas when I finally cleaned away all my old stuff from my room at my parent’s place in Finland. A poster for a made up movie. Enjoy!

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2 thoughts on “Bye Bye 2014!

  1. Andreas

    Dig the painting. Before I would suggest to tone it down with the textures but it works a lot better this time for some reason. I appreciate you took the time to add form to the trees. Does a lot for the depth, especially when most of the scene is flat ground. Also a red something waving in the wind can’t go wrong in my opinion.

    Glad you liked the Christmas-card. I designed most of it actually, not the typography and some additional tweaking. Did a paintover of an other concept by our concept artist.

    Dig the painting. Before I would suggest to tone it down with the textures but it works a lot better this time for some reason. I appreciate you took the time to add form to the trees. Does a lot for the depth, especially when most of the scene is flat ground. Also a red something waving in the wind can’t go wrong in my opinion.

    Glad you liked the Christmas-card. I designed most of it actually, not the typography and some additional tweaking. Did a paintover of an other concept by our concept artist.

    I’m quite impressed that you managed to start your own business and had immediate success. To me the very idea of having my own company is very scary for some reason. Like it’s something that’s unattainable. You ever get that feeling?

    It’s a strange time for creativity indeed. Managed to get a painting-thing done yesterday actually but for some reason the desire is not as strong as it used to. Something I haven’t quite figured out apart from that there’s more things that interest me. I definitely prefer to be good at multiple things than being a master of only one.

    Concept art is not bound to any subjects, but yeah if you only look at the mainstream stuff it gets tiring pretty quickly (although I never get tired of mechs, heh).
    But I see what you mean by not getting as much joy out of art right now. There’s a lack of purpose. Just doing things for the sake of it isn’t always that satisfying.
    Did you consider starting a voice chat group by the way? I’d be up for it anyway.

    Reply
    1. Saxen Post author

      Yeah the Christmas card was awesome! I must say it was a clever move as well. By sending them out to people who got a lot of followers online you kinda guaranteed “Hunger” got some hype ;D Maybe that was not part of the plan, but as someone who’s a bit into PR that’s what I was thinking.

      Looking back at the landscape I do think it looks a bit too flat, especially the sky. I want to learn how to add more depth into images like this. My stuff often ends up looking flat.

      Starting my own business was indeed scary, ans sure still is, but after a while you get used to that. You get stressed, maybe have a slice of panic, and then you notice that you seem to survive anyways, and you done that a few times you become more relaxed and you start riding the wave of stress instead of trying to swim against it. I think that if you can’t make this transformation you will drown in the long run. Having your own thing sure is scary and stressful, but also very rewarding. I’m also a bit proud of myself (and thankful to my clients), that I’ve been able to lift a salary from day one and had clients every month since the start. I know that’s not the norm, but I’ve been working very hard and got lucky in the beginning :) Super grateful of it! That said I really, really want a team to work with on a more permanent basis. I need a team to share my fails and successes with to keep my mental health xD

      I’m gonna look into the voice chat thing. I’m just very shy when it comes to voice chat LOL.

      Reply

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