Some Creative Stuff

The other day Fran said she was taking the kids to Hobby Lobby. Something deep within my soul stirred and I decided I had to go with them. As I walked through the infinite isles of decorations, sewing supplies and weird paper craft things, I came upon a meadow filled with art supplies. “Art.” I thought. “I used to like art. But then I got too busy and we just sort of drifted apart…” Being a man who believes in second chances I decided to look around.

I picked up a sketchbook. Strathmore Bristol 300 series. Heavy, acid free. For finished artwork – pen & ink. I opened the book and stared at the cool white surface. I ran my fingers across the paper and memories flooded back. I tucked the book under my arm and moved further down the isle.

At home on a shelf was a glorious collection of PrismaColor alcohol-based markers. Every color, hundreds of them. But I was going to need a pencil and some ink pens. I knew exactly what brand I wanted- Pigma. Permanent, waterproof with archival quality ink. I had fallen in love with them years ago as a boy. I selected a set that included a sexy black pencil. Adrenaline coursed through my body. I was going to draw something!

I have a tradition. When I get a new sketch pad I draw Optimus Prime, heroic leader of the noble Autobots (No, I don’t know why). From the get-go I knew the Strathmore paper was special. Pencil erased effortlessly, ink and paper fused sharply, colors sank deep into the surface producing vibrancy with no bleeding. My Pigmas and PrismaColors performed perfectly, beautifully. The power of creation coursed through my fingers. The only weak link was me; It had been over four years since I had drawn anything (if you click on that link the blog entry there is a heart breaking betrayal on many levels). Within in the hour Optimus stared back at me. Was that approval on his face? Not great art, but certainly acceptable given my hiatus.

The next day I felt compelled to sketch a Lamborghini Aventador (Michael has been talking about them incessantly these days). As I sketched out the rough shape of the car I felt the presence of destiny. Nothing fancy, I decided. Two hours tops.

First I roughed in the pencil lines. No tracing (as is evident by some distortions). The Strathmore 300 is much to thick for that anyway.

Next I inked over the pencil. What I love about the Pigmas is that after inking you can simply erase the pencil without any smearing.

And then the colors. You are never too old to color. Blendable, bold, beautiful- best markers ever (lost a little detail when I colored, but such is life). I ended up spending closer to three hours on the car. Again, not great art- but I had a blast.

And then I remembered something. When I was younger I had painted a Lamborghini. A Diablo was it? Luckily I happen to have kept all my artwork over the years. I found my drawing and smiled. June 27, 1991. I was thirteen. “Same old perspective issues” I thought as I looked at the two cars. And there- that same green color around the cars twenty one years later. I must like that color. In case you’re curious this Lamborghini Diablo is what I was trying to draw in 1991.

I really hope I get the chance to draw again soon. It’s something that I enjoy and it soothes me in a way that’s hard to explain. And I especially want to draw with my kids- I hope they can experience the same feelings of passion that touched me this past weekend. I don’t want art to become another casualty of our war against time. Fran bought me an architect lamp today. Maybe it’s a sign.

Fun, Interesting, & Sad Stuff @ Work

Even though I spend nearly half of each day (that’s awake time for you math people) I don’t blog much about work. Maybe it’s because each day is pretty much the same for me (commute, emails, cry, soothe employees, network, solve problems, cry, inspire, confuse, go home) . But lately there are a couple of fun out-of-the-norm type things going on.

First…  Blade HQ has been working on this secret project for a long time and now it’s nearly ready. In conjunction with Microtech we are bringing back the Tachyon butterfly knife! Microtech has made some design tweaks (check out this Microtech rendering) and we have dudded the rebirth the Tachyon 2.  It will be available exclusively at Blade HQ sometime in October. Exciting!

And then… We recently acquired the old PowerTri space (although, we are very sad to see PowerTri go under). After getting the space we decided we should split it into two levels. The bottom will become our new retail store and the top will house our production studio and some additional offices. We’re about half way done at this point.

First the building was gutted and prepped for construction.

Framing out the walls.

Framing the ceiling. We also roughed in another set of stairs in the second warehouse.

This is the upstairs after the downstairs framing was completed.

For me the coolest part of our remodeling was how we relocated the furnaces. They were in closets at the end of hallways in our old space but we pushed the units though the closets and around the corners into the new space. This gave us access to our new building through our old hallways (as opposed to cutting access doors in weird places). At first it seemed like no one wanted to move the HVAC stuff, but in the end I think this worked out perfectly.

Followed by…  A few weeks ago this showed up. Yes, that’s a laser. It engraves, it cuts and it costs as much as the GNP of a small country. I’m not exactly sure why we get stuff like this, but they tell me one day we’ll be happy we have it.

And who could forget… Anyone remember our old data closet from a few years back? Scary, right? We finally got our data closet all nicely organized. We added a rack, a patch bay and even got a ventilation system installed. Yes sir, living large over at the HQ. Every time I look in there I’m floored by how much junk we need just to keep this company kicking.

Finally… And a bit of sad news. For the last four years so Fran and I have shared an office. To be fair, she’s so stoically dedicated to her work that I usually feel like I’m alone, but now I actually will be. Accounting & HR has moved down the hall since it will be adding a new employee. I think I’ll leave the empty desk there to remind me of how things used to be…

And so ends another adventure. Once these projects get sorted out part of me hopes that life will return to it’s familiar dullness. But another part hopes that a new adventure is right around the corner (some awesome non-tiring adventure with golden armor and babes).