Sunday, October 16, 2016

Stranger Things x Super Metroid

Hey there! It's Zach, again!
I'm going to talk a bit about my latest piece, Super Stranger Things.
I was browsing t-shirt designs on RedBubble, Teefury, Yetee, and Ript as per my norm, when I felt an idea come on. This idea is a conglomeration of ideas hitting around in my head over a long period of time. A friend of mine was going to enter into this Stranger Things art show that's happening here soon. I felt like I should enter too. So I started kicking around ideas. Like a character sheet for Will and his Wizard, Will the Wise. But I wasn't really feeling it. Drawing other things as well, just nothing really coming up as "the one," ya know?
Well this idea hit, and I felt like it was something cool that no one has crossed over yet. Eleven could be Samus and she could be fighting the Demogorgon like Samus fights Ridley from Metroid. Boom, the idea bridge broke loose and I was sketching all kinds of rad shit.

I went with this idea of the Super Metroid box art. I thought it was perfect. So I figured I would attempt to make it out.

Several weeks pass by and all I had was this sketch. I just kept looking at it like, "when are you going to tackle it and do it?"
I guess I was battling myself because I didn't want to attempt to make it and feel like a failure. I kept looking at successful artists with their designs and just felt like I couldn't really be up to their level. So I guess it was a lot of me mentally beating myself up and not creating it for the sake of doing it.

I finally said fuck it, I have some free time and I should just give it a go.
I got into Photoshop and got my rough drawing down pretty quickly. It was just hard t get everything in it's place.
I liked the rough though. It was really coming together and it felt legit.
Eleven totally can be the hero like Samus, I mean she was in the show, but you know? My drawing is conveying that as well.

I worked on this for a while at the tea shop and started to hit my stride when they were closing. It was rough getting home and getting back into the groove to finish it but I am glad I did. It was a blast to kick back with a beer and just bang it out.
So here it is with a dark background. I decided to stick with flat colors because I haven't quite mastered that technique of using the black spotted shading. I think I could use a few of the brushes I have to test it out to give it a texture.
But I like it flat like this, it's like a comic book cover mixed with the Super Metroid box.

It's available on RedBubble.
I think overall it's pretty cool.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Final thoughts and feelings on Twitch Con 2016

Hi, greetings, hello! This is what I recall and remember about Twitch Con 2016. It's a rather long post, and I go into detail about some stuff and brush over other things. I blame it on the alcohol.

Twitch Con 2016
What an adventure.
I've been working a lot lately. 6 days a week. Just grinding and stacking money.
I have been online with Twitch for about 3 years now and I missed last years convention by a hair. I vowed I would make this years and do my best to grow my stream.
I rented a car and drove out to San Diego.
The drive was great, but I'm fond of driving. I love the focus, and control I have while driving close to 100 MPH.
The only thing on my mind was doing my best to interact with the people I appreciate most on Twitch, streamer or follower alike.
I made it to San Diego without any issues at all. I can't believe how big the city is. The convention was on the harbor and where I was staying was North San Diego. So it was a bit of a drive everyday to get there and get home.
When I got into San Diego I was expecting to see the ocean immediately.
When I wrapped around the mountains and came into view of the city there wasn't anything to see but the rolling hills and building / homes propped up on them, which was still amazing to see.
I forgot to mention, on the drive there were some cool things I really enjoyed seeing as I passed by.
There were these huge sand dunes, with the wind blowing the ridges into the sand. It's like the Sahara desert!
Past that was a mountain, where I drove through them, and in the valley was this city buried in the trees between two mountains.
Then there was huge wind farm with massive wind turbines. These turbines were impressively massive. I was just stunned by the sight of them.
Anyways, I got to San Diego on Wednesday, a day before the actual convention to just kick back and relax.
The house is owned by a guy named Joe and he rents his room out to my friend Shawn. So since that was the case guess where I was sleeping?
On his couch with the dog Marley. We went to a local pub to get some beers and food, and to mainly just catch up. We finished the night with some boba from a spot near the pub. I got some supplies I needed like a new beard comb and some cleaning stuff. (I should have bought some gym shorts or something because sleeping in jeans sucks.)
Thursday was crazy.
I got up early and looked at what was going on at the convention center. I picked up my badge, got the starter pack with the info book and the schedule. Some decent goodies and my favorite thing. Deodorant.
Which almost every nerd needs. Hahah!!!
I met a lot of people the first day. What was cool was that most of the big casters I talked to were real. They actually took time and talked to me as if we were equals. Because we are. We're both doing the damn thing, it's just they are successful. What they did and are doing works. I need to find that.
It was nice to get a different side of them in real life. That kept me grounded in my idea that I would be able to find other people who are willing to invest time and energy into me.
You guys are definitely doing that. I love you for it. Honestly. I'm getting closer and closer everyday to being something bigger as time goes on. It's with your help that it happens.
I did a lot of walking on Thursday which caused a pain in my ankle and blisters.
The people I met up with on Thursday were:
Bacon Donut, iKasper, Scarfino, Baccus808, ThatMoustachio, BloodyFaster, The Real McCoy and Richard Hammer.
I was stoked to meet Scarfino and Richard Hammer. They are people I look up to in casting. I hope to be a success when I get partnered with Twitch. They give me hope that I can do it.
I wanted to get some Twitch merch and have something to remind of me of the time there, plus have something cool to wear, but the line was just super crazy. I figured I would try again the next day. The Twitch Purple / Black hats with the glitch were super awesome. I wanted one.
I ended up meeting up with Baccus808 and having a drink with him, Black Ice Dragon and Newtiborn. I exchanged numbers and let baccbacc know I wanted to hang out all the time anytime. He said he'd keep me in the loop. 
I didn't stay out too late but we ended up drinking and having a good time at some of the bars down by the convention center.
We had dinner at Burger Lounge. A sweet burger place that let me get my burger rare. Delicious!  Reminded me of a smaller version of Smash Burger.
We went to this place called Double Deuce. It was a country bar with a mechanical bull. I tried a Rumchata and Fireball Whiskey drink. It was pretty tasty. I hung out with Black Ice Dragon, BZPlasma and MiniDelMacho.
Friday was more of the same. Just going around and talking to people, but this time I was hanging out and watching panels. I learned a lot about how people run their streams and how they keep their community growing and basically it's all about gaining and keeping steam / momentum. Which, once you lose it, it's hard to get going again. I think I've gone through a big slump but the stream has been back on a growth spurt.
I learned about Twitch Creative. It's like the wild west of Twitch and it's an area where getting partnered is easier. But the thing is I'm not going to try to take the easy way. I need to build a solid community of people who genuinely care about me as a human.
Which relates to my goals of going to the con in the first place.
I spent a lot of time just talking to people and going to panels, learning as much I as I could about what it takes to be partnered with Twitch, or what it takes to have a great stream.
I learned that I have a really great start, and that I just need something to help me build momentum and just to keep it going.
I walked a lot that day too. Although, Friday gave me an opprotunity to get drunk with Scarfino and the crew. I met Danotage, JWillNuhh, aMuskyFart and AoD_Insane. These dudes are beard-tacular. I can't remember but we met up at the Whiskey House and then went to another spot after that. Then we got kicked out and we decided to go eat.
We got in line for this place called Brian's. It's a 24 hour diner type place that's actually kind of small. We had a group of 12 people. The lady was really nice and figured out how to get us all sitting together.
More than half the group I didn't know, and it seemed like they didn't want to get o know me at all.
A girl was wearing an Alaskan Savage tee and I was like, "Hey I like your shirt. Sav is a great dude." 
The girl looked at me and got offended and gave me a look while saying, "Pfft, OK?"
The bitch was rude and super drunk, she kept falling asleep at the table and the people kept telling her she can't sleep there. I just kept kicking the table and jolting her awake. It was kind of sickeningly satisfying.
She was with these two guys who were holding each other the whole time we were walking. I thought it was a bit weird but when I was sitting with these guys I just saw they were trashed. Which, one guy ended up almost puking all over the place, got kicked out and puked on the street.
Everyone ate and then popped into an uber, leaving me standing there like WTF!?
I had to figure out where I was, then get to the parking garage and get home. The drive home was at least 40 mins.
I walked around downtown for a while, got my bearings and finally got home at like 4:40 AM. Slept as much as I could and got back at the convention center at 11 AM.
I went to check out the merch line again. I tried on a sweater and basically was like, yeah... I want one. The line was insane though, and everything was mostly sold out. The only thing that was really going on was Scarfino's meet and greet.
So I hung out on the expo floor chatting with people and hanging out. I saw a couple of panels that talked about what it's like to stream with shitty internet. You guys know my plight and struggle.
I talked with the artists at the artist alley too. A lot of them didn't stream, they were just contacted by the event coordinator and were asked to sit in. I thought that was pretty cool. I mean, they sold really good video game art. So it was natural they be there.
Just a fusion of my two favorite things. I was at home chatting with them and hanging out.
The meetup with Scar was awesome. I finally met Moses526 and I met a lot of other people. There were plans to hangout and chill at Scars hotel patio area and drink later that night, so I was pretty excited.
I went by the merch line and it was dead empty. I picked up a glitch pillow and asked about the materials, will there be a stock of the sweat shirts and hats, what not, they informed me that if I got there early in the AM I could possibly get something like a sweat shirt or a hat.
What I liked most about that day was the roast. They roasted djWHEAT who is a big part of Twitch. He's usually the main guy on stage. It was pretty funny. Learned more about the SourKoolaidShow, DP is the guy who handled the roasting and he was pretty funny.
I can't remember what day it was but there was the talent show too and I found out who Jeff Leach was. He's hilarious and he casts on twitch too.
Twitch Con Party
Mini, BIDragon and I headed over to the Twitch Con Party where we just hung out and watched some famous streamers play Heroes of the Storm. After that they opened the field which had a full bar, two VIP sections and a huge main stage.
That's when we got separated and I ended up hanging out with Scar and the crew. I was really anxious though. Being out in that open area with all those people kind of make me crazy. Too much. Like, sensory overload. Scar let me use his VIP wristband to get some free beer and it kind of cut the edge off but honestly I felt like shit. I walked around from group to group just trying to distract myself from the anxiety of being out there like that.
With it being my last day at the con, and nothing really planned I got up early and headed straight to the merch line. It was still crazy but I told myself to just get a sweatshirt and it'll be worth it.
It took 2 hours, and as we neared ever so close to the ordering booth everything was slowly selling out to nothing. I felt really lucky to get an XL Twitch reversible hoodie.
I sat in on a panel that talked about comedy and your channel. Jeff Leach, DP and MVGame were there. As well as FutureManGaming, who I instantly wanted to follow. It was really good. There was a full range and spectrum of jokes and comedy, from actual jokes, and just riffing off of the shit the game gives you. 
I ended up in the Kappa Theater the rest of the day watching the last of everything at Twitch Con.
I met up with FrailElement and just relaxed. There was a lot going on at the main stage so leaving to do anything else was just not worth.
I watched this Aussie win the video game challenge thing that started a while back. ezekiel_III was a total riot to watch as he and iKasper messed around with these two guys trying to with the PJSalt trophy. The closing ceremony was cool. SO much had happened during the con that it was really good to get a recap.
Amazon purchased Twitch and now they have the Prime link to your account, where you get Amazon Prime you get a free sub and some access to games for free. I think it's pretty cool. I'm thinking about signing up again, I haven't used it since my student prime expired.
I went to eat with Aussie Lisa, Mini and Aussies dude. We had Korean BBQ.
What an overall awesome experience. I had a blast hanging out with them and sharing good food. We uberd a ride back to the con and I ended up at the whiskey house with Scar, FrailElement, Moses, Swift_sh0t, a_tiny_fox, aMuskyFart, goodknightmarcy, nelstar, sogaeon, so many people.. I actually can't remember everyone. We drank them out of liquor and we ended up at this pizza spot down the street, where they were pissed that we walked in. They looked like they were about to close and would only let us order full pies. We ordered like 10 pizzas. It was overall really awesome to hang out like that.
I slept as much as I could and rolled out on Monday. Driving home was bittersweet.
When I got back into AZ I felt a sense of belonging and it felt as if it was welcoming me home. The combination of music and emotions just made me cry. I was happy to be alive for once. I was happy I could be myself around these people and they accepted me as a part of the family.

Then I come back to being a guy who works at a tea shop.
Just another cog in the wheel. Not only that but I come back to drama which somehow I'm at the center of, even though I was gone.
I can't believe this life sometimes. I'm doing my best to keep my head held high while I weather this shit at work.
I'm actually fed up, but I need the job if I want a car.
Once I get a car I can move along to better things, maybe even a better place.

October 9

It seems I'm working on a lot of stuff but nothing is done so posting it is just taking forever.
I'm writing a story about a girl who finds a mans journal and she falls in love with him, but the thing is, he committed suicide. So she loves someone who is no longer here. It's kind of cool.

I finished my 'politics' piece, "We Are FUTURE"

I love the icons in this piece. I'm glad I was able to finish it. I think it's pretty clean and the style is there. I'd love to put stickers of this stuff everywhere or see it on a clothing line. I'm already working on a part two of this piece.

I think it looks good on a shirt too. But if I had the ability to do it, I'd put things differently, like move the vultures to the collar, move the pyramid closer to the top of the chest, and move the gas mask flies to the sleeves.

You can buy it by clicking right here. =)

I'm also writing about my experiences with Twitch Con 2016.
And that has turned into a huge thing.

There's a lot going on with me right now emotionally.
I just feel like shit coming back to reality.
Coming back to being this guy who works at a tea shop. Under paid, not appreciated and treated like trash.
On Friday, my manager was just being unbearable. He was just nitpicking everything I was doing. I just kept feeling like, dude I've been gone for a week and I'm out of the groove. It takes time to get back up to par.
Also, I just keep thinking about December and how I need to make a life changing decisions. Do I stay in Tucson or do I go somewhere else?

I got stickers on the way for Tucson Comic Con. It cost me about $260 bucks but we got a ton of stickers. 20 big and 20 small of 14 different designs.
I can't wait to see how successful they will be.
I'm also working on those OverWatch sprays, with little time left I'm worried I wont have a lot of them to sell.