Week Ten: Code Quash

So, in addition to restarting DrawDown this week, I made looooonnngg overdue updates to my website www.dlzartner.com. This included adding new artwork—you know… stuff that’s not old enough be in preschool— and also restructuring the code to make things more user-friendly, flexible and responsive. I’m totally being all productive and crap. 🙂

Yes… productive, but there’s a dark side. As is often the case with Del-sponsored project undertakings (particularly the ones that involve hand coding), what I think will take a cheery few hours ends up brutally cannibalizing days or even weeks. Gah! And I haven’t even ironed out out all the kinks and wibbles yet! Nonetheless, the site is live because I felt it important to get things going instead of holding out for perfect perfectionistic perfectness. Huh… there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write. 😛

Anyhoo, if you happen to visit dlzartner.com in the next few weeks, please let me know about any bugs you end up swatting on your browser and/or device o’ choice. There is a comment form under the contact tab. I will correct reported issues as soon as my glowery, demanding-panda schedule allows.

All that said, you may be wondering what this has to do with you, a person who is presumably here for daily drawings rather than coding updates. I just wanted to give you a heads up in case you wondered why the blog suddenly looks completely different. It used to be styled to match my website, but, when I went live with dlzartner.com, The Next Generation, things over here went a little kabloopy. I made a stab at fixing the issue, but my WordPress customizing skills are rusty, and it will be awhile before I have time to polish them up. Therefore, DrawDown will have to make due with a generic theme for now. Sorry about that. You deserve better, kind reader. If it’s any consolation, I picked the version that seemed the least likely to stab people in the eyeballs with gaudiness.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

218.2

20150317

Pastel on Watercolor Toned Paper
6″ x 6″

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Several people asked me what I would be doing to celebrate, perhaps because my nondescript European-descent pallor could be some level of Irish. It’s not, and I did not… do anything that is. Well, I snarfed a shamrock shaped cookie from WaWa, but I suspect hardcore members of Team St. Patty’s would not accept that as a celebration. Otherwise, I did the same thing I do EVERY night… try to take over the studio!

Week… um… Nine?: ReBoot-y

I’m back, baby! I’m rebooting this booty-filled blog, and I’m declaring it Week Nine even though technically I suppose it’s week 9+52. Let’s just kick that little bit of arithmetic into the broader category of mathematics, though, and then I can happily ignore it like I’ve done for pretty much every other aspect of the subject since dropping Pre-Calc in 10th grade.

Ahhh, if only I could get away that. Alas, you might have noticed that, although the dates on the previous post and the following one are March 13 and March 14 respectively, there is indeed a wee little problem in that the years don’t match. Whoops. And 12 months is a bit much to explain away using nothing but academic bias. It’s too bad, really. I like the idea of Deus ex Math-china. 😛 (Ba DUM Dum! That nerdy-ass pun is why I need to cut back on the late-night sugar.)

So… anywaaaayy… what the golly heck happened?

If you read any of the blog posts from the last few weeks of DrawDown 2014, it’s obvious I was struggling. I don’t think I realized how much at the time. In fact, it’s only going back now and re-reading the ramblings of past-Del that I see the pattern. I was wallowing in an awkward halfway place: Six months into my graduate program, I had figured some things out, but I was still caught massively off balance between what I wanted to accomplish and what I actually could (I’m still wrestling with that, but at least I’m a bit more comfortable in my artistic skin). Moreover, my social life was in strange flux. I was starting to make real Philadelphia connections, but the closeness many non-Philly friends was slipping. That was more difficult and more draining than I wanted to admit.

Bottom line: I felt overwhelmed, and, as a consequence, things unravelled a little. I don’t mean I balled myself up in a corner with a tendril of drool waggling on my chin. It’s just that anything not falling squarely into the category of OH-MY-CRISPY-CRAP-I-HAVE -TO-DO-THIS-RIGHT-NOWWWWWW sorta got elbowed aside. DrawDown is really important to me, so it shouldn’t have been on the receiving end of my pointy-pointy arm joints, but somehow it was.

Since letting the blog lapse, I have thought several times about starting up again. Like I said, I feel this project has the potential to be quite meaningful, and I very much want to see it through. However, the timing never seemed right. When summer 2014 rolled around, I was busy moving studios. Fall rushed in with an absurdly heavy load of classes and teaching responsibilities, and the beginning of the current semester carried with it an out-of-the-blue, knock-me-flat bout of melancholy.

Excuses, excuses, right? There is always a reason not to do something or to put it off juuuuust one more day. Any of us who has tried to go against the grain of our inner comfort seeker knows this all too well. Whether it’s starting a gym routine or eating your Brussels sprouts** or, heck, disciplining yourself to fold the damn laundry rather than leaving piled on a chair until so much cat hair accumulates you have to wash it again: we Scarlett O’Hara the heck out of difficult or cumbersome tasks. “Tomorrow is another day,” after all.

And so it has been for me for the better part of 12 months. But, as my one-year slackerversary approached, I again began thinking in earnest about DrawDown, and I decided to take another stab (before today becomes tomorrow). In the interest of honesty, it may not be the wisest decision. Although I’m not as in-between as I was last year, I am arguably more overwhelmed. In just seven weeks (*huff huff*), I graduate from my Master of Fine Arts Program, but an absolutely ridiculous amount of work stands between now and then. However, there’s simply no perfect time, and at least I feel motivated. Besides, there’s a chance this regular daily task will help structure my crazy crazy studio practice. That’s my story, anyway, and I’m sticking to it.

If you are returning to DrawDown after your own busy year, welcome back. I hope you had mighty adventures, and thanks for giving me another chance (I will do my best to earn it). If you’re new to the site, you have my gratitude for checking it out. It’s worth it (I hope) to take a look at the project pages to familIarize yourself with the reasoning behind this blog. I suggest starting with Drawdown: Inspiration. By the way, I appreciate reader thoughts, so feel free to leave a comment or to message me via the contact page on my website www.dlzartner.com.

–Del

**This is totally an aside, but while writing this post I kept getting that angry red spelling squiggle under my typed version of Brussels sprouts. What’s “my version?” Well, it turns out I’ve been saying the phrase wrong my entire life (I would admit I’ve been writing it wrong too, but I don’t know that I’ve ever tried to scribe the words before). I always thought it was “brussel sprouts” rather than “Brussels sprouts”. This misconception is one of the few failings I can legitimately blame on my mother, who is otherwise wonderful. She HATES the vegetable no matter however it’s spelled, and I inherited her prejudice even though, until last year, I had never actually nommed it myself. Living in perpetual sprouts ignorance, I simply had no occasion to notice my error.

Incidentally, when I finally did try Brussels sprouts, I thought they tasted fine. I mean, don’t get me wrong… they’re no Hershey’s Chocolate Eggs, but they weren’t nearly as bad as I had been led to believe. What’s next… am I’m going to discover that reading in dim light is actually good for your eyes or that walking around a wintertime house without socks won’t cause you to catch your death? The possibilities are endless!

P.S. “Perpetual Sprouts Ignorance” would be an amazing band name. If only I had an iota of musical talent!