Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Post Trip

I've had a few days to decompress and unpack my thoughts on  the trip I took last week with the church.
It was an intense few days.  I feel like I'm back on track and I'm unwilling to give it up again. It was such a blessing to get to know the people from the church and let them get to know me a little.

I wish I'd taken more pictures of the church family and of the speakers.  I got so carried away listening that I forgot to document what was going on.

There was some amazing preaching the last day. Started with Pastor Brad White, continued with Ron Carpenter (my favorite of the trip) and ended with Dharius Daniels.
Dharius was an extremely dynamic preacher. I'm anxious to hear more from him.

Still Ron Carpenter was mind  blowing to me. I am definitely a fan.

So here are some pics from the trip. Blessed to go, and if at all possible I'll go back again one day.

Thanks for reading

Alan

Creative Steam App Session

Lobby Ceiling

Boom Cam on the first night. Hard to focus with this thing whipping over head

Durring the creative stream the Worship band performed their big Christmas number



Lance by the charging station.

Church family getting ready to learn

Brad White preaching. Amazing Message

Lobby on that first night. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Day 2

Been an amazing day here in Texas at the Creative Church Conference (C3)

Today we had a couple "sessions" which they call talks I call sermons.
That were inspiring and a great way to start the day.
After lunch we had "app sessions" which are small workshops on various areas of ministry.
I attended the creative stream and learned a lot. For to share what I learned with the group afterwards and we all added ideas to each others learnings.
It was fun.
Honestly my self conscious side was & is simultaneously unable to stop talking and worried that I was waaaaaaay overstepping my bounds.

Just a blessed day and another one tomorrow.
Sat its up and back to Lebanon to God willing put into practice some stuff I learned.

Thanks for reading.
Alan.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

C3 2013 Day 1

This week, I have been blessed to be part of the C3 Conference at Fellowship church in the Dallas/Fort Worth Texas area.
I live in Lebanon, Missouri.

It was a long drive but well worth it . I could have driven another 8 hours with this group.

The church where the conference is being held is amazing and very friendly. It doesn't seem put on or insincere in any way.
We started a sermon series at our church in Missouri last Sunday and discussed the family of God & I've certainly got a taste of it tonight.
It's one thing to go into your home church and fell comfortable. To go to a strange church in another state & feel instantly welcome is all together different.
Can't say enough about the welcome.

The conference kicked off tonight with a performance from the Worship team from Fellowship Church and as a show it was spectacular.
I was pretty mesmerized by the size of the church & the scope of the display for a spiritual movement but others in the group & many across the auditorium who are less easily distracted were genuinely touched.

After that the host Pastor Ed Young spoke and it was both entertaining & surprisingly significant to me personally. Which came as a surprise.
Expecting a good message from Pastor Young I was not counting on it speaking directly to me.

Afterwords there were more good times with my church family & now here I am at 12:59AM too jazzed to nod off.

Figured a good use of my time would be to get some of this down for you the intrepid reader & for my own mental wellness.

I don't know what the next couple days will have in store for me.
I feel this is really going to help bring me out of my shell & help restore me to a path I once walked.

I can't say thank you enough to the gang from Lifepoint for letting me join their creative team & treating me as family on the trip. I'll try to serve in a way God willing that will let me show you.

Thank you for reading
Alan


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Designs

Haven't posted any designs for a few days and I figure y'all are tired of reading me whine so I thought I'd put these out there.  I had a blast on the first one. I'll definitely use that idea again. Sooner than later.





Monday, February 11, 2013

Mini Portfolio's

I've talked ab out them before on here and I stand by them.  I have gotten more work from these little give aways than I've ever gotten with email.

Here is how it works, in case you missed it last time.

I take some of my art and size it a 4x6. Then I take them on a jump drive to Wal-Mart (or any quick photo).  Wal-Mart just happens to charge 13 cents a photo which is awesome.
So i get them printed then while Im there I pick up a cheap photo album like this one.....

I picked it up at the photo lab register for $1.49.

Then I went home and put the photo's in it along with my business card.

I have less than $3.00 in one of these with 10 glossy pieces of art


Next I send them out to prospective clients.  Unlike forgettable email that are read and then easily forgot these have a way of sticking around.  A handful of times now I have heard from a client who came across this on thier desk months after I mailed it out and they contact me about work.

Today I got an email from a client that found one on their desk I had sent out last April.  Unfortunately I couldn't help the client because they need the art in a format I am unfamiliar with. Still I wanted to share the story with you.
Had I just left it at an email last April I sincerely doubt they would have still had my name in their head. These little beauties take up physical space and are harder to delete than an email.

Thanks for reading.

Alan



Sunday, February 10, 2013

Prayer Request.

This week I am going to the C3 Conference in Texas with my church.  I've gotten over most of my anxiety if you have read the previos blog.

I'm now more excited than nervous.

So I would like to ask those of you who pray and i assume thats all of you reading this, that you might say a prayer for the team and I as we go. Safe travel and all that.

Also if you would remember my wife and kids. I'll be away for half the week which means I won't be working. That means a scary dry spell in our already tight budget.

God has been good to us over this time of me trying to build a client base for my art and we have went weeks with our checking account in the double digits.  Even when it gets scary low we get by.

I covet your prayers

Thank you
Alan

Saturday, February 9, 2013

This Week

This week is busy, I have deadlines to meet by the 13th.  I have lunch at Maplecrest with my oldest on Tuesday and Wednesday I'm scheduled to go to a conference with my church.

I'm excited and nervous about the trip.

Excited because I'd like to get to know those people better. I'm anxious to see what C3 is all about.
I'd love to meet other artists or find more opportunities. 

Unfortunately the nervous part has a longer list.

I'm behind on bills and if I'm off for 4 days I won't be able to accept assignments so I'll be even further behind collecting on invoices. Bank account is super low. Quickly heading towards the double digits.
I was expecting a check this weekend and it didn't come.  I had figured I'd have had my taxes done by now and money wouldn't be a worry while I was gone.

So there is the physical worry of money.

Then there are the mental or emotional nervousness.

I kinda keep to myself and I have for years now. So I'm going to be putting myself out there with a group of people I consider my spiritual and social betters.
I feel like the Randy Quaid to their Chevy Chase (National Lampoon reference!)
Just the white trash hanger on.  That is my perception at least and I have the checking account to back it up.

So there will at least be part of me that feels like I'm there as a charity case.

Also I think I'll be rooming with someone else and that makes me infinitely anxious.
If anything would talk me out of going that is the biggie. I get dizzy just thinking about it.

Then there is the fact that I will be gone on Valentines day which isn't a huge deal but it will be the first time in 13 years I don't see my wife on V-day.

I was hoping to go to see my sister and niece the next weekend but if I'm not working this week then I won't get a check that week. So I'm not sure if I'll get to go and I miss them something fierce.
I haven't got to see them since Sept which is too long.  I just found out about her last July and I want desperately to be a consistent part of her life.

So far my panic attacks have been pretty manageable when I think about the trip

Ok so getting this out in the open makes me feel a little better (except the room mate part).

Thanks for reading
Alan

Friday, February 8, 2013

Comic Book Talk


Been reading a lot of comics here lately. Really digging X-Force vol 3.

If you had asked teenage me which X-man was the best I would have definitely picked Cyclops. Thanks to Jim Lee and Chris Claremont back in the 90's.  I remember picking up X-men 1 the week it came out. I don't know if I ever looked at a single issue as much as I did that book.
X-MEN #1 Gatefold Cover Oct 91


I collected that comic until a little after the wedding of Cyclops and Jean Grey. Then I fell off for a long time.

Wedding of Jean Grey (Phoenix/Marvel Girl) and Scott Summers (Cyclops)

     I came back on board for the New X-Men written by Grant Morrison. Morrison will pull me into any book he is writing. Dude is creepy IRL but he can write a comic.

SIDEBAR - for more on Morrison's strangeness watch this video, be warned he is going to swear, talk about aliens, sigils and various sundry occult business



      Lost intrest again after that. My problem with the X books are the same as they are for the Batman books. I love a good Batman story, I like a good Batgirl story and could care less about Robin, Batwing or Nightwing outside of a story contained in a Batman book.
      For instance the first Batman and Robin arc of DC's new 52 was great it was one story told over 3-4 issues of one book and had both characters in it. That to me is perfect to me.  Even if I am buying 5 Batman books a month I  like them self contained in that book.
Batman and X-men do not do that however.
      You may collect X-men for 11 months and you have them all bagged and boarded and placed in a long box. then out of nowhere your next issue is continued in X-Force, or X-factor or Deapool, the New Mutants or 1 of  the other books I don't care about just costing me money and clouding up my collection with random single issues.
      This latest Batman storyline "Death of the Family" about the Joker returning to Gotham with his new look after volunteering to have his face removed in the New 52 Detective Comics #1.
      Now if I want the full story I would have to get a bunch of books I wouldn't buy normally. Honestly though, I torrent the ones I don't want to buy. Even in the digital world I don't want single issues clogging my collection. 
      It's maddening and that is why i avoided the X-men for so long.

      However with that said I did recently start reading the All New X-men by Brian Michael Bendis cuz that guy can spin a yarn.  It is really good too.  So far its 7 issues in and Current Beast has traveled to the past to bring the original teen x-men back to our time. In hopes that young Scott Summers can convince current Scott Summers to simmer down.
      As you may or may not know Scott Summers possessing the power of the phoenix force killed Dr Charles Xavier at the climax of another long crossover "Avengers vs X-men.

Cyclops doing away with Prof X

      It's been a great read so far and it stands alone which keeps me reading.  

      All and all I've enjoyed the new Marvel Now books and find them infinitely more readable than the new 52.
      Those got old real quick.
      
      Superior Spiderman and Thor God of Thunder are both extremely fun. While Iron Man is one of my favorite characters, currently it's looking like it might be the first I drop.  Right now its in an Iron Man in space story and I'm not a fan. Art is fantastic though.

     Thanks for reading

Alan


Mental Exorcisms

Ok, I was raised by women, I'm pretty sensitive and I talk about feelings a lot.

I'm having a weird day.

I have a lot on my mind and mostly its about my ex-best.

I haven't talked to him in months, not since Oct 17 last year.

I have 2 theories  on how our friendship went from pretty tight to non existent.

I won't go into details here because I have a suspicion that he lurks my twitter and my blog and I really don't want to offend him anymore than I have.  I have an uncanny ability to not lurk.  Partially its a skill and partially its a fear of seeing something that would make me mad or feel bad. 

I've just been thinking about it today. I go from being totally ok with it because it was his decision to stop talking to me to sad that I lost possibly the closest friend I'll ever have.

So yes, I am hurt.  I am sad about it, I don't think I did anything wrong. My biggest problem was thinking that my friendship to him was as important as his was to me.  That is to say I put more stock in it than he did.  Our friendship was a big part of my life and just a peripheral to him. 

Am I better off now? Yes I am, but that doesn't stop me thinking about it once in a while.  
I'm better because I now am more present in my home life. 

So there, that kinda made me feel better today.



Monday, February 4, 2013

Remember These


I was listening to a podcast today and the host mentioned how much he enjoyed movie novelizations when he was a kid.

I hadn't thought about these wonderful things in years.  I used to read them too as a kid.  Shoot I even read a few as an adult because they normally come out before the movie and can give you a good idea of how the film is going to go.

Especially back in the late 80's early 90's.  I don't know if the authors had a different process back then but the books were exactly like the movie and sometimes better.

The Star Wars books were ridiculously detailed and just amazing.

More current adaptations are based on early scripts so they can be quite a bit different than the movie.
Spiderman for instance I remember being vastly different from the movie which pretty much ended my reading of "movie books" as I called them when I was younger.

I got started when my sister got a copy of The Karate Kid novelization. I read that when the second film came out and she got that book too.
It's crazy to think back to when I was 8 and I was reading the Karate Kid.

So that started my love of reading.

Now I listen to more books than I actually read but thinking about novelizations really took me back this afternoon.

I found the covers on google to some of the movie books I read as a youth.

Enjoy, and thanks for reading.