Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Say Hello to GoodBye Kitty

Fall Catalog

Got my clients catalog in the mail yesterday and I have a lot of work in the book and even more on their site. Check out the pics below, I indicated my work with green arrows



Say You Swear Fall tour

New poster for the fellas over at www.SayYouSwear.com go check them out.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Current Blockbuster Situation

A few months ago our sales were kinda low so the company sent down 2 fellas from a town about an hour away to "show us how its done". They came down and they were cocky and pushy. They did a decent job, I sold the same as they did and do consistently do so.
Anyway, one of the fellas was badgering one of our best customers & trying to up sell. The customer a really nice old man just didn't want to buy anything else. Instead of taking "No" for an answer the new employee went back thru the guys account and was telling him how well the program would do him if he signed up.
The old man just kept saying no. Finally after a few minutes I was getting uncomfortable and I broke in and told the old man not to worry about it he should think about the deal, and we would ask him next time. The older gentleman thanked me and left. Thats when the guy turned to me and started getting all agro because I "killed his sale".
We argued a bit and I told him that I can't or won't sell like that. Nor do I need to because I was getting the same amount of sales he was with a softer sell.

A couple weeks later we had a meeting with our DM and she said that one of the guys told her that someone on our staff was trying to "sabotage Blockbusters success in Lebanon".
I tried to explain and she said well that wasn't the only thing he had to say.

So when out terrible manager went on Medical/Sick leave instead of having our Assistant Manager and the support staff step up we were told today that the guy from Rolla who already isn't my biggest fan is our new manager effective next week.

Here is the silver lining (I hope). I got called yesterday and had an interview for a better job today. So while I still don't know for a fact I have the job. I am confident cuz they sent me for a drug test and I just can't see them paying for that unless its a lock.
As well as the fact that Gods timing on this seems to be another indicator.

Anyway thanks for reading. I'll keep y'all posted on the job.

Alan

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Goodbye Kitty in Progress 3 "She's got legs, baby!"

Still quite a bit of work left to put in on the legs and I'm happy with the kitty just yet. This is the design 16 hours in.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Goodbye Kitty in Progress 2

Day 2 brings me about 9 hours in and a better idea of where I am headed. Not going to publish my original sketch cuz I hate my sketches and layouts for the most part. So uncivilized compared to my photoshop line art and rendering. Anyway, this brings me one more day closer to painting. I'm a little nervous about the hair Im not sure exactly if this is where I will let it stand or if I' ll go for more of an air brushed look in the long run.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Goodbye Kitty in Progress 1

Working on the first of two pieces both pin up style-esque but not salacious. Fully clothed, think Tank Girl Working on uber detailed masking first so I can paint. Im going to try and keep track of my time on this one and I'm shooting for 20-30 hours. I think part of my problem is that I get so excited to see the finished product that I cut corners to get there faster.
I pray I stay motivated on this cuz I think the finished design in my head is pretty cool.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Now For Something Completely Different

SHARKS!!!!!

I was kinda tired of "Gothic" designs so to try and show some more range I illustrated some sharks.
What makes this different in that the sharks are hand drawn. I took a silhouette and filled it in myself via ref photos. Anyhoo, just thought I'd share

Friday, September 10, 2010

Blockbuster Video

As you may or may not know, I am employed part time at Blockbuster. I've been there for a little over a year now.

When I started I was just happy to have a job. I had been out of work for about 3 months and things were starting to tighten up financially at my house.

That was before the company really started hurting. Red Box and Netflix were just starting to really cut into our business and the company was beginning to see a sharp decline.

The first thing they tried after I started working there was selling crap. Hot Topic style stuff. Shirts and pop culture related knick knacks. Then the Twilight swag rolled in.

The company would make a deal with these distributors to sell us a ton of merch cheap. Then the company would turn around and sell this crap to the customers. This didn't work. In some towns it went pretty well but here in the Midwest there are literally hundreds if not a thousand stores that just don't sell that stuff well.

Recently we were told to mark down our Electronics. TiVo went from $149.99 to $49.99. Our Yoostar and Blu Ray player each dropped a minimum of $100 each as well.

So selling stuff like that didn't work.
Then the company decided to bring back late fees. Eliminating late fees in the first place was the beginning of our sorrows.
You would imagine that we would give you plenty of warning that this practice was returning. You however would be wrong then.
We were told about a month in advance that late fees were coming back. We were told that customers would be aware because the company was sending out signage and possibly doing tv spots about this.
What happened in fact was this. About 3&1/2 weeks after we received a memo that they were bringing back late fees I got a text from my manager on a Sat night telling me that we were having a mandatory meeting the following day.
At that meeting we were told that late fees were coming back the very next day and the only notice the customer was going to get was a longer receipt with the info printed on the bottom.
As you can imagine this led to a ton of late fees by people who were still under the impression late fees were gone.

Next was dropping prices. Now this sounds like we are on the right track. However our new releases were reduced in price by .99 our "favorites" which are any movie more than a year old increased in price by $3.

The plan behind that was we would sell more of our "Rewards" program. this program was a good deal especially since our favorites went up in price. As a rewards member you receive a free movie from the favorites for every new release you rent. So you save $4 for every $4 you spend. works out great for people with kids.
Plus you get a free new release for every 5 you rent. It really was a pretty sweet deal. The best part and a surprisingly key point in selling this program was the fact that the computer kept track of your free rentals so you didn't have too.

So there we were, our selling of random crap had failed and the company had decided to force us to sell the rewards program.
This was also the first time we were given sales goals and told that we would be written up if we didn't meet the goal.
I did really well selling this program cuz it really was the best deal we had going.
Here is the rub however. The day after the rewards drive ended we received an email informing us that the terms of our Rewards Program was changing.
The email said that this change has been planned for a while but they didn't want to confuse us during the drive.
Now the computer would no longer keep track of your free rentals. Now instead of your 5th rental being automatically free. Your 5th rental would spur the computer to print out an extra receipt with a bar code coupon on it redeemable on your next visit providing you don't forget it or lose it during the week or two between visits.
I can tell you for a fact that this has saved the company a ton of free rentals. Not a day goes by, not one that I don't have a customer forget their coupon or ask why they stopped getting free rentals.

So that went over like a lead balloon. Customers stopped buying it and many refused to renew it because it didn't seem to do them any good.

Now this brings us to our current "drive".
We are being pushed harder than ever right now to sell subscriptions to our online program. Think Netflix but not near as good. Netflix has streaming movies as part of your deal. Blockbuster charges $2.99 to stream a movie.

I wasn't thrilled about selling this but the company was adamant that if you don't hit your goal you get a write up and 3 write ups means your fired.

it wasn't until last week when Blockbuster announced that they are filing bankruptcy that it clicked.

See it was discovered by the media that broke the bankruptcy story that Blockbuster had met with the major studio heads and that during the meeting to calm the studios Blockbuster said that while brick and mortar stores are failing our online program is seeing a sharp rise.
Well of course it is. You threaten our jobs if we don't get you online subscribers.

So now we face imminent bankruptcy. After that is filled Blockbuster plans to close 500-800 stores.
Bankruptcy protection will get them out of the leases and that will be that.

Ironically a few months ago when our earnings came out for the quarter I asked my District Manager if our store was safe and I was told "you have nothing to worry about because your lease doesn't run out til 2014"
She failed to mention this does us no good if they file for chapter 11.

Now sales are down, my home town is really feeling this recession and hours have been cut.
Don't think that gets us off the hook for sales. I'm staring down a write up as we speak for not hitting my online goal. I was told when I arrived tonight that I am expected to have sales tonight and that I must call the DM with every sale. I receive 2-3 check up calls from my DM and other higher ups each day to see if we hit our goal.

A goal that will eventually completely cost me my job. If not directly by write ups for missing the goal then in the long run from more customers switching to the online program.

Kinda stinks.

Thanks for listening. Please excuse any spelling errors I'm trying out a blogging app on my phone.

God Bless
Alan

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lurking Anonymous

Hi my name is Alan and I’m a lurker. I’ve been digitally sober now for 7 months but I know i’m just a bad day away from relapse.


Let me clarify. I have or at least had a habit of lurking the websites and Facebooks of people I don’t like or don’t like me.

I delighted in their failures. When I found out that my best friend from high school who let a girl come between us got married because he was “tricked” his words not mine. I giggled.

When an ex employee left to pursue a future but tried to get me fired on his way out & ended up going to a 2 year college in town only to become the one thing he wanted least. I chuckled.

When failure happened I was there in the background.

I never let them know that I knew and the majority of the things i found out would have really bothered them if they were aware i knew it. Its not like I was rubbing their face in the failure that I was finding. It just amused me.


I haven’t done that in a little over 7 months.


How did I stop?


Easy. After my ex sister left around February I found myself devoid of loss. That is to say I just didn’t care. I actually thought I’d care. I expected to care. I just didn’t. No feelings of loss no regrets just the feeling of forward momentum.

I didn’t check up on her I didn’t ask about her. I didn’t try to see her Facebook. I simply had/have no feelings towards her at all.

I don’t wish her ill will I just don’t care either way. As long as she’s not around me and my kids then live and let live.


So it wasn’t until last night that it occurred to me that I haven’t lurked anyone since she left.

My best guess is that since I don’t care about her why would I care about someone I have had zero contact with in 5 or more years.


I even tested myself and thought last night that I’d do a little lurking. It just seemed like too much work (cuz it is) so I didn’t bother.


I can say now that I’m officially at least 7 months clean. With little doubt that i’ll stay that way.


Thanks

Alan


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I love this

I did this piece originally for a client at Results as a filler piece. The Elephant was just at the bottom and not the center piece but I always loved him. So I decided to pull it out and rework it for a new client making him the center piece. I opened the file and it was corrupt. Luckily I had posted it on this very blog 2 years ago and used that low res file as a template for the new improved Elephant......and I still love him.