When Jiyoung went off to work a month ago, it was like half of my brain vanished. That half apparently included the machinery responsible for self-discipline. With her nearby all day, it was difficult to drift too far from the path. It's not like she was looking over my shoulder, but the house was filled with a general sense of focused productivity. With her gone, the house has quickly filled with a new sense of "let's play PS3, surf the web, take long lunches, and snack continuously."
Well, I figured out a way to not only recover my work ethic, but to increase my productivity. Frequent contributor Eagle has directed me to a streaming video site called Livestream, where several comic artists broadcast their desktops live while they work in Photoshop. That's a level of openness that I'm not ready to attempt, but the site also lets you broadcast from a webcam. Henceforth, from Monday through Friday between 9am and 6pm Pacific time, my little rat-fink webcam will tell the whole internet whether I'm shirking.
It works. I've been drawing my butt off. And the beauty of it is that it doesn't matter whether anybody actually watches the feed -- which is good, because I look sort of like a cross between Prince Charles and an ostrich. What matters is that somebody could be watching. The internet is now my Panopticon! If my mind starts to wander, all I have to do is look at that beady little electronic eye to the left of my monitor. It's like living with HAL.
Anyway, my Livestream feed is on the left toolbar. Livestream also supports chatting, but I keep the client minimized while I work. If you send me a message, please don't be sad if I don't respond. I don't let myself check the chat box until the end of the day.
In other news, my mom got me an Ergotron desk mount LCD arm for my birthday. Now my Cintiq is connected to the desk by a fully articulated steel armature. It looks like this:
Here's a video of another guy's setup. This thing is spectacular. It's great to be able to change your posture whenever your neck or back starts to complain. You can even hold the monitor in your lap like a sketchbook. The only problem is that I'm worried webcam/HAL will somehow commandeer the arm and bludgeon me to death with my own Cintiq.
Something else I got for my birthday: Viva il Ciclissimo, co-authored by Katsuhiro Otomo and Katsuya Terada. The two artists went to Europe to watch the Giro d'Italia bike race, and then drew one of the most beautiful illustrated books I've ever seen. I hadn't seen anything Otomo had drawn since Akira, but this book shows that he's been busy turning into some sort of art god. Click the image to see more.
Finally, a word of advice: if you're having trouble getting to the finish line (in my case, I'm staggering toward page 24 with a head-full of dehydration-induced hallucinations and a pantload of exhaustion-poop), listen to this song and imagine you're participating in one of the many studying montages from Real Genius. I admit that I did this. I'd like to suggest that I did it because I found it ironically humorous and not because it filled me with a sense of purpose that blazed with the majestic intensity of a thousand nerdy suns.