100

Yup. This is the 100th entry for this blog. I started it 2 years ago to shed light on my travels as an artist and business person. It's been a way for me to share and process what I've been making and thinking. A lot has happened these past 100 weeks!

Over the last couple months, however, I've had fewer ideas of what to talk about each week. My guess is because I'm also making weekly video tutorials and essays. So, now I'm only going to post on this blog when bigger things happen or when I have something I want to share. The blog has been great for me, regardless of how many people have read it, but I feel like it's had its moment. I want to focus on other things now.

So, in one final, self-indulgent post, I'm going to list some of the things I've talked about over these past two years. Thanks for reading, friends!

Your pal, Bailey

The Home Selling Process

I'm pleased to finally share my latest animation venture. A few months in the making:

'Twas a ton of work and a blast to create. I've been wanting to try my hand more seriously at a fully 3D rendered video in this sort of style. And now that I've got a few hundred more hours under my belt in the rendering department, I'll be able to make even cooler stuff going forward.

I'll be showing some behind the scenes stuff in the next week or two. So, if that sort of thing interests you, be sure to check back here at the blog for an update on that.

Bailey

Home Sweet Home

Hokey smokes, what a week this was. I didn't see very much daylight, as I was glued to my computer, cranking out animations and baby-sitting renders. In fairness, I still got enough rest each night (I do keep 20-mile marching in mind), but the last week of any big project is usually a push to get every last detail in.

So, what can I show? How 'bout this for now...

A section of a finished frame.

A section of a finished frame.

This movie is all about real estate, so it takes place in and around a home. Ooh look, complexity!:

I modeled and modeled and modeled...

Soon the video will release, and I'll post some more in-depth stuff about how it was made too. This one was a doozy for me, and involved a ton of work.

Bailey

New Territory

With every project I work on, I always try to do something that I've never done before. Eighty percent of the video will build on what I've done before, but that last pinch is generally something that I have no idea how to pull off. It keeps the work exciting and it keeps me growing. However, figuring out how to make something new work isn't easy. At the moment I'm trying out an art style that I'm not used to doing. Functionally this means that I'm out of my element.

Before I switched my focus to graphic design, I was a 3D modeler. And for the past few years I've tried many times to create an art style that utilized 3D environments in a more direct way. Well, this time I got my wish. But it also means that there are a vast array of unknowns during the design phase. How do I keep the color palette consistent? How do I keep text readable on top of moving 3d geometry? How do I keep the stylization consistent across an array of different environments? How do I light??

A cartoony piano. Fun for all.

A cartoony piano. Fun for all.

Still, I'm having a good time. I'm grateful, as always, that I get to make art pretty much all day every day. What a life.

Bailey

A Bay, Bai Holiday

What a week! I was on vacation for the first time since I started Forma. I went to San Francisco! Here's some of what I did (like seeing Pixar):

Calvin and Hobbes

I had the opportunity to see a real Calvin and Hobbes painting by the one and only Bill Watterson. What you see here is an actual photo of the real thing. I was beside myself!

A portion of the full painting.

A portion of the full painting.

I think I stared at this painting for at least fifteen minutes. Bill Watterson is one of the handful of artists whose work inspired me to pursue art. So, it was meaningful to me in a big way.

Industrial Light & Magic

For years I've wanted to head over to the Presidio to check out the place that I've admired for ages. So, I finally did! It was absolutely gorgeous. I can say it is one of the most beautiful campuses I've ever seen. Wonderful, clean landscapes combined with stunning architecture, bay views, and the looming Golden Gate Bridge give ILM a very lovely home.

It was a gorgeous day too.

It was a gorgeous day too.

Pixar

I had the rare opportunity to see Pixar Animation Studios. I was pretty excited because Pixar is, well...Pixar! Their movies were inspiring to me as a kid, just like they were for so many of us. My friend and collaborator Colin Levy (who works there) was kind enough to show me around. Thanks, man!

Yay!

Yay!

I got to see a lot of cool things they had there, like a giant Luxo Jr. lamp, beautiful facilities, and the big paintings that adorned the interiors. There were things I wasn't allowed to see or photograph, but what I could see was pretty darn neat.

Yikes!

Yikes!

Colin is on the left. I'm on the right.

Colin is on the left. I'm on the right.

The campus was beautiful, elegantly designed, and altogether playful. But the best thing, of course, was getting to hang out with Colin. Pixar was a nice backdrop, but ultimately it was the excellent conversation that made the day great. What a stellar dude! He's a layout artist at Pixar, but he's also directed a bunch of short films on his own. Go check out his work if you haven't yet. :)

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Overall, I had a great time. I saw a lot, hung out with good friends, and spent some time with family. In keeping with my 20 mile marching mantra, a vacation was just what I needed. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my work that I forget to slow down for a little while. And I can say that it did me good. Lots of thinking time, inspiration, and relaxation.

So, I'm back to work now. Lots to do! :)

Bailey

Quality and Conviction

My project is being delivered today, guys. I've been 20 mile marching more than ever, but I still had to move fast at the end of this project. And I'm a perfectionist, so there's always some hard days at the end. Not sure how to avoid that yet.

But, I still take care of myself even with the long hours. I eat my salad, exercise each night, run 3 times a week, and I force myself to rest for 30 minutes in the afternoon to break up the day. I stand up at my desk for about 3-4 hours each day, and I'm still using software that forces me to rest my hands periodically (been doing that for over 7 years). All of these things have really helped me sustain my energy output for the full days I've been churning out. Like I talked about last week, I'm no good at my job if my body is in disrepair.

I'll share the video as soon as I can, but today you'll have to make do with an image:

I've drawn so many cartoon people this month.

I've drawn so many cartoon people this month.

What's next? Well, it's been requested that my cube dancing videos keep coming. You can expect one next Friday. I had a good idea for one a couple days ago that made me laugh. Next week I'm also going to be working on a "video in two days" with somebody. I have no idea what it will be, because we will conceive and create it within the two days. A fun challenge.

I'll be showing more client work later this month in addition to some new work on Hunted. It's been a while, I know.

Releasing Art

I've been getting better at releasing art. This blog and those silly cube dancing videos I've been making have helped me to just get my art out there. I feel embarrassed by them, but there's a method to my madness. Throughout my career I've either obsessed over something for way too long or I've been forced to release stuff by my employers/deadlines.

Quality is still one of my most treasured principles, but releasing unfinished things has it's benefits too. There are some things that I will continue to obsess over, but now I'm creating "throw away" content that I churn out regularly. Right now, it's my cube dancing series.

So, what's the value? Well, it's made me more confident. The last big project I did had a 2 week period of intense crunching at the end. That's right when I was finalizing my business and putting in my 2 weeks notice at my old job. I was frantic! This time, I did work hard at the end, but I wasn't as overwhelmed by the thought of releasing it. I'm sure not everyone likes those stupid cubes, so it's forced me to be okay with that. Bottom line: I know I'm good at my job, so I don't have to prove it with every thing I release. The pressure to do better with every project has often suffocated me instead of helped me. For years my portfolio had like two things in it because I didn't think much of my stuff was good enough.

Not to worry, though. I'm a fanatic for obsessive detail and the life-long pursuit for greatness. I think we should all strive to be excellent in all we do in life. It's one of my life principles. I'm so passionate about it that when the quality of something is threatened, I quickly get involved and I fight really hard to make it good. But as my great-grandmother would say: moderation in all things.

Bailey