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Journal Entry: Thu Aug 15, 2013, 8:42 PM



Well, guys, update time.

Never thought I'd be a stranger to this place, but I'm just never around here anymore. Wouldn't you know it, this working business takes a lot of time and energy.

Work's been super fast-paced, intriguing, challenging. I don't believe the range of things I've worked on in the past two-point-five months. Traditional animation, Flash animation (oh god so much Flash animation), concept art (the funnest stuff of all, why am I even getting paid for this?), proposals, games, toys, icons, exactly one squillion in-game items, websites, user interfaces, and on and on. SO COOL. We seem to be short-staffed, or just generally over-burdened (the guys have told me this is pretty much the busiest they've seen the place), so I've been racing through the daily minefield of surprise deadlines to keep abreast of the big thundering monster ones. But it's the speed and the unknown schedule that makes every day interesting. And a complete blur afterwards. I am so lucky to have something new and completely different to attack on a weekly, daily, hourly basis.  

However, since I was last around here I had a couple really drawing-intensive weeks in a row, like two hundred hours in three weeks or something. It was no-one's fault, a bunch of stuff just came up when the other animator-artists were busy or away and it was all on me, and you know I'd have no problem, no problem at all, but wouldn't you know it my g'damned pathetic mortal right hand does not share my gluttony for abuse. I reeeeally hurt it. Like, could hardly hold my stylus for the shooting pains, was involuntarily dropping my pen like a red hot thing. But we pushed through it LIKE A BOSS. But only because I locked my hand up in its brace all hours it was not being used for work. After all that brave talk last time I was here about never giving up personal art, for three weeks I didn't draw a line for myself. In my adult life I've never gone so long. The last two weeks have been less brutal but I'm still being very economical about the time I spend with a pencil or mouse in hand.

Without drawing to occupy me in the evenings I started doing mad things like going outdoors and crawling on my hands and knees, clawing holes in the dirt and throwing old plant parts into them. Old plant parts are finally taking off, I think, after the battle to keep them alive during the hottest part of the year. Dumb time to plant, but I was seriously in need of something to do that didn't involve more hours in a chair.

Which is fully the reason I've not been much on dA lately. I really am heartened by the news that this is an unusually hectic workload, even that December tends to be boring for the game design world, which gives me something to look forward to. Not the being bored at work, I mean, but getting a good long breather in for my hand and maybe the use of it for my own devices again. Haha, I am so happy I was not fired on the spot for my gimpy wrist. My bosses are so cool. They seem to appreciate my speed (was I a fast drawer before? pft, I was crawling) and I think I'm filling a niche as someone who's very comfortable with a tablet. I think they may keep me around. I am legitimately worried about my hand, though. Since nearly five years ago when I thought I'd set down the artist path I've known my tendency to blow out my hand would be an issue as a professional. Well, here we are. Aching fingers crossed I can balance this and maybe even find ways around it. By god I am not losing this job because this scrawny amalgamation of blood and bones cannot take it.

Anyhoo. For the curious, that's where I've been.

I know some people wanted to see work stuff, but all the best stuff isn't anything I can share. Give it six months and maybe some of these projects will be released and I'll try to remember to come brag about what I worked on. (: There's a super cool tablet game I'm very much hoping we get to develop for Nickelodeon that's glowy and awesome and that's all I should say. OHYEAH name drop timeh. After helping with several Disney projects I have a vague dislike of their persnicketyness. (Though I have gotten to see Frozen artwork over the shoulders of the guys building their website, and it looks wiiiicked.) PBS is my favorite client. Random House is not. </name drop time>  

I've been irresponsibly stealing the odd hour for my own art the last few weeks and will have something like artwork to post as soon as I get it together. I think I'm headed back down into another few crisis weeks so no promises I'll be any more active here for a while.

Hope you guys have been well and that the part of the world you live in is not on fire. Take care!

--Tox

Add a Comment:
 
:iconshasari:
Shasari Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Glad to hear that the work is exciting and that you are very much enjoying it!  Take care of that hand!  You really do great work :)
Reply
:iconmadmeeper:
MadMeeper Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013  Student Filmographer
Animations! Is there any way you can share example of animations you've done? c: I know you cant share projects from right now but I was wondering if you have any examples from the past. 

Glad to hear your job is doing well! Sounds like a lot of fun. c:
Reply
:iconaltalamatox:
Altalamatox Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013
Aw, thanks for your interest! You know, nothing I've worked on significantly has been released yet, actually. Oh, no, actually I've found one: games.disney.com/disneychannel… Not uber exciting, but I did all the in-game character animations. (:

And thank you very much! 
Reply
:iconmadmeeper:
MadMeeper Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013  Student Filmographer
OOO still super neat! :D I was poking around in animation and it's a lot more difficult than it seems to get everything nice and smooth. You did a great job! c: Can't wait to see more!
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:iconillusioninme:
Illusioninme Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2013
^^ welcome back!  
Reply
:iconshralana:
Shralana Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2013
Hand massages/exercises, soak your hand in salt water, use those squishy stress ball thingies, and maybe even poke around with sculpting with sculpey, I've heard that helps with overworked hands!
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:iconshantien:
Shantien Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Just take care of yourself! =)
Reply
:iconangeliquealene:
AngeliqueAlene Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2013
It's great to hear that you're doing great! I remember when you were unsure about making art a lifepath and then here you are. I'm glad I caught this before it got buried under messages, it's great to catch up with you a bit and see how you're succeeding. :heart:
Reply
:iconcanadian-rainwater:
Canadian-Rainwater Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2013  Professional Filmographer
ANYWAY. What I MEANT to say, was - hang in there! We're all rooting for you, and with your phenomenal talent you deserve nothing less! :D
Reply
:iconcanadian-rainwater:
Canadian-Rainwater Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Wah, you're lucky you got into the industry! The best I got was an offer for motion graphics work, which is completely outside my comfort zone and uses Adobe After Effects and Illustrator for their basic animations, so at least I was looking forward to getting to work using programs that would develop a new skill set. Unfortunately, the offer fell through due to money issues - a six-month internship with pay that wouldn't even cover my rent. Now I'm assistant 2D teacher at LASALLE ... right back where I graduate! The plus side? I've been given my own office and laptop with full Adobe Suite and TVPaint to use while employed here, so that I can finish my animation.
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:icontwi-owl:
Twi-Owl Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Student General Artist
Wow sounds like youve got yourhands full.hope your having a wonderful. Time! Takw care of the hand your artwork is. So precious!
Reply
:iconmoonkelpie:
Moonkelpie Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2013
:iconyeahplz::iconsuperw00tplz:
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:iconwings33:
wings33 Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2013
Hehe, I love your writing.

Take care of that hand!  Once again, ridiculously thrilled for you.  Rock on with your bad self, etc etc, and all the luck in the world!  Most of all, keep having fun : )  I can't wait to see what you do and how you grow.
Reply
:iconrizathepenguin:
Rizathepenguin Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2013  Student General Artist
aaaaawh! I'm so super happy that you're enjoying the new job! But please look after yourself!! (Wouldn't it be illegal for them to fire you if you got a bad wrist from drawing too much? I'm sure that's against some human-rights-type thing.)
Carry on being awesome, Tox! =D
Reply
:iconabysmalsecrets:
AbysmalSecrets Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2013  Student General Artist

I'm glad to hear from you again! too bad about your hand though, eh? Hope you feel better REAL soon, so you could start doing what you love most, and create that fantastic art of yer's! Plus that job of yours seems so awesome, you are really lucky to have it! :squee: best wishes to you, my friend!

 

 

Reply
:iconkupieckorzenny:
KupiecKorzenny Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013  Student General Artist
I'm glad to hear that you like your new job, good luck with finding more time for personal art :) 
Reply
:iconweaver8:
Weaver8 Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013  Student Writer
I'm glad to hear  you're doing well with your new job. Don't go over board though. I'd hate to hear another one of my favorite artists got their hand terribly hurt doing what they love. Missed you, but it is completely understandable. Life must come first, and these are your choices to make after all. In any case I am truly looking forward to seeing these things you've worked on when they get released ;)

Wait... you went out into the sun? Not the light! Seriously though, its awesome that you went on out to do some planting thingys. I tend to seclude myself in the house and lock myself away in my personal delusions. Its fun and all, but I should try and make it a habit to get out more often.

Peace and Love Tox :heart: I'm glad your not dead. (Not that I was suspecting that or anything :shifty: )
Reply
:iconvimeddiee:
Vimeddiee Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I'M SO JELLY RIGHT NOW.

Your job sounds so amazing, like a dream come true...I would love to be able to do something like that (still stuck in a soul-sucking day-job that has nothing to do with my diploma) but it inspires and motivates me to see so many dA artists I watch manage to work on such awesome projects. Congrats!

Also, keep with the brace and take regular breaks! I very nearly developed CTS in my right hand from using the mouse so much at work because I didn't stop and stretch and I had to wear a brace even to bed. Thankfully I draw with my left, but I'm very careful with it. Whenever you have time give it a nice massage with oil or gel (I recommend Movelat), trust me, that helps HEAPS.
Reply
:iconmaiden-chynna:
Maiden-Chynna Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ahhaha, I live in the part of the world that's on fire. XD But we're alright.

ugh, sorry about your hand! D: Maybe if you get a chance where the deadline isn't THAT close, you could find some simple tasks to use with you un-dominant hand. When my right hand starts having a fit I start to do erasing with my left. I also try to eat and do other tasks with it as well. It's been getting stronger and hopefully it's a small step to ambidexterity.

Good luck with your work!
Reply
:iconacetucker:
AceTucker Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Take your time, girl. This is amazing stuff, and the fact that you're contributing to the gaming world in your job is phenomenal. Let your hand heal, let the job slow, and we'll see your stuff as you post it, at your own rate. Thanks for the opportunity to see such fantastic art!
Reply
:iconmoorecreativity:
MooreCreativity Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013
You should get short-term disablity insurance...it will cover you if your hand completely craps out on you and it's not that expensive. That way you aren't scrambling to find a new job while your hand is in recuperation. Looking forward to seeing the stuff you've been working on!
Reply
:iconjwiesner:
JWiesner Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013
I'll have you know! In real life I started to BRAG about how cool it is that I know someone from DeviantART that got hired to work for Disney and stuff. Now that you told me about more details, I'm even more thrilled and jealous. :D *not jealous in a I-hate-you way, in a I WANT TO JOIN WHAT YOU DO TOO way lol*

SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR PAIN THOUGH! D: I hope there's a way your hand heals from this, or at least grows stronger so it can handle your art career well. I certainly wouldn't want you to lose your job, either.

Hey maybe my message got buried in your inbox, but I finished my part of our art trade: jwiesner.deviantart.com/art/Mo… Just so you got something nice between your daily troubles. C:

Btw the part you wrote there "Without drawing to occupy me in the evenings I started doing mad things like going outdoors and crawling on my hands and knees, clawing holes in the dirt and throwing old plant parts into them." made me laugh. :lol: I just love the way you write!
Reply
:icontatchu:
Tatchu Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Your right hand won't cooperate? Time to train up your lefty! (That's what I do when I try to eat with chopsticks and draw at the same time)
It's fun to hear what you're doing! Not the no-personal-art-for-weeks-part, but it really sounds like you're doing really cool stuff!
Reply
:iconvladimirsangel:
vladimirsangel Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Your job sounds like the best job in the world. I am so, so glad you've got it and that it's giving you the chance to show more people just how fantastic you are. 

However...take care of your damn hands! I have been the victim of RSI too many times and have felt the "oh-gods-I-will-never-draw-again" terror when I've over-reached my limits. 

Get a flexible heat pack and a cool pack. They helped me when the tendons were screaming.
Reply
:icondogz:
Dogz Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013   General Artist
Fantastic news! Keep your brace on hand and stay with it! :)
Im so thrilled you have found a happy place, cheers and prosperity!
HUGS!
Reply
:iconblaze-flamewing:
Blaze-Flamewing Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist

Dude. Whatever your job is... I WANT IT!

Glad to hear you are keeping on top of everything!

Reply
:iconmblackwood:
MBlackwood Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013  Student Filmographer
I'm happy to hear you're doing well, 'Tox! Be very careful with your hand, and I'm glad you're being economical with your time using it! It's just the same as any other limb on your body - if you over-use it, it can die in a very bad, sometimes permanent way, and that would be very, very sad for us and you, I'm sure. Baby that hand while you can, then take it easy on your slow months during the holidays! Do some gentle relaxation pics, and don't turn your hand into a lubii critter. :heart:

(P.S., That comic we were discussing is still a thing, but has been blindsided by IRL things. I shall update you on its progress via email once some viable progress has been made.)
Reply
:icontigryph:
Tigryph Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Good to see you're doing alright! :3 I'm glad to hear that you're loving your job and finding time to crawl around outside. XD That's always fun. Keep us posted!
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:iconcrewofthebloodydawn:
CrewOfTheBloodyDawn Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013
Short staffed eh? I wouldn't mind a job >o>? >;3
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:iconcobean:
Cobean Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
That's great that you are having some fun at your job. But that must be very painful for your hand :ohnoes:
Going outside is pretty fun at times, once when I went outside I saw a little hummingbird :la: 
By hearing you working with these big clients are inspiring! I can't wait to see what projects you have been working on^^
I hope you take care of yourself!
Reply
:iconrunawayspirit:
RunawaySpirit Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013
It's so great to hear that you're keeping busy and enjoying every second to boot! Not something you hear too often these days, sadly enough. Sorry to hear about the hand, but like you said, boss tiem. You seem to be a star employee! They'd be pretty silly to give up a worker who is not only obviously so devoted to the work as to work through injury, but kill projects in the process. Kudos to you!

Give the personal art stuff time. I know, that tends to make one simultaneously cringe and sigh in agreement, but at least you know when possible down time is going to be. You'll at least be able to say "Hey, I EARNED these lines! Like a boss! And then we will all celebrate with you. In the mean time, keep killing. Keep enjoying it. See you next time!
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:icongingeropal:
GingerOpal Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013
Crawling on the ground and digging in the dirt is one of my absolute favorite non-chair activities! I know how that hand pain goes, it's really the worst! I've had to make a habit of wearing my brace, even when I'm taking a sewing break. I hope you can give your hand some proper pampering and get it working well again! I miss your art!
Reply
:icondragonflame123:
DragonFlame123 Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Damn it Tox what did I tell you??
You cant go that long and not give your hand the pampering it needs. My hand gets like that at times but I have found ways on how to get it back on track.
1. A manicure. Yeah I said it and yes it does wonders for your hands.
2. If your hands hurt, put the pencil down and do exercises for about two minutes.  (Not the drawings but actual exercises)
3. Take a short vacation and pick up a hobby that does not require stressing your fingers.

I worry when you say things like that, you know as well as I do a hand blow out is physically possible  
Reply
:iconpavender:
Pavender Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Glad to hear that you've been having a blast! Always take time to care for yourself! (Maybe get a robot hand to replace yours. One with lasers.) Plant therapy always works for me, too, but I've never tried it in the middle of summer. You are a brave soul.  
Reply
:iconsirmeierlink:
SirMeierlink Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013
It is so good to hear that you are well. I am glad you are enjoying your job. Very sorry to hear about your hand pain. Thank you for keeping us informed. I find what you do very fascinating. I find that a perfect job for me even though I studied finance lol. I hope your hand doesn't become worse because of over use, but you continue to push through like a BOSS!
Reply
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