Thursday, June 25, 2009

A year at home away from home away from home

Today was June 25th, which means it has been exactly 1 year since I moved out of Chicago and back into my parents house here in Minnesota. Oh sure I could have stayed in Chicago, maybe even stayed in the same apartment for another year while I looked for work or did whatever else. I'm still wondering if I made the right decision in moving home for a year or not, but its still weird and someone entertaining to stop and think about what life might have been like if you decided to do that other thing.

I thought about making this a really lengthy retrospective about that past 12 months, but thinking back I'm really not sure how much I have to say about it. The most important thing I did was spend a good 9 of those months interning at the Japan America Society of Minnesota, meeting all kinds of people in or around the Japanese community in this state. I made a new group of friends out of a bunch of people at the University of Minnesota which is something that I was never really expecting, but totally welcome.

Whoops, if I would have kept that previous paragraph's train of thought going this totally would have become a really long retrospective that no one is probably interested in reading. You know what? Screw that, I'm looking into whats ahead of me which is bound to be WAAAAY more interesting. I'm going to the country where crap like this is not only socially acceptable, but also apparently encouraged:


So yeah the past 12 months, awesome things that happened:

-made website
-got internship at JASM, made friends and met many new people
-joined Animation Mentor, made friends and met many new people
-went to New York. Twice.
-went to Chicago. 4 times.
-passed the Japanese Language Proficiency test Level 2
-started yoga, lost lots of weight

Stuff that was not awesome in the past 12 months:

-made $0

Yup, that's all. I leave for California in less than 2 weeks. That'll be fun! I hope I can find something interesting to update with before then.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Like I think I said last time, I'm done with Animation Mentor for the moment and have nothing going on until July 7th when I take a trip down to California for the Animation Mentor Graduation and BBQ. That's still 2 weeks away, so in the meantime I'm working on a new portfolio website and also learning how to do a bunch of other silly internet things. And brushing up on HTML and stuff too.

So lets if this image posting thing works. This is a sketch I did a few weeks ago for the weekly sketching challenges posted each week in the Animation Mentor forums. I couldn't get it uploaded to the forums, but lets see if it'll work here:

Napoleon BonaSpike

Until next time!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Animation Mentor Class 2: Finished!

I haven't updated a thing about animation mentor this whole term, but here is the final composition of everything that I've done so far in the program. I feel that I've improved a HUGE deal in my workflow and the way I think about this whole thing, but I also know that I have a very very long ways to go. Here you go:

Animation Mentor Class 2 Progress Reel from Alex Harms on Vimeo.

I'm taking next term off in preparation for my move to Japan, so I won't be posting many animation related things on here for a while. This also means that I have from not until the end of July completely free! There's a lot of little side projects I've been meaning to do for a while now before I leave and with all this free time and no more Animation Mentor, I'm out of excuses :)

But first order of business: Clean out my room. Lots of stuff here I need to get rid of. Just in going through my closet yesterday I found a ton of old crap that I picked up my first two times and Japan. Basically anything that had any kind of Japanese writing on it I found for some reason necessary to keep which means I'm not left with a lot of old papers that are surely going to be filling up my room in the coming days.

My weekend.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Little update!

I found out recently where I'm going to be living in Japan! The place is...

Sakai City, Osaka prefecture!

It's a pretty big town just south of Osaka which apparently acted as a very important seaport in Japanese history. The guy I'm replacing already sent me a video tour of the apartment and its AWESOME. Here's a little view of the surrounding area I'll be living in:

Woo! next step is registering for for visas and planes and then getting ready to GO!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

April is here, but May is not quite yet

Some new stuff that's been happening around here!:

I changed the layout of the blog and cleaned some stuff up a bit. Got rid of that amazing picture of George Clooney as well. It just didn't make any sense any more. I'm keeping the name though, because I like it and it references an old inside joke I had with my roommates, so yeah I'm keeping it. It works as a blog title too, because you are investigating (stalking) me, kinda. I'm not totally sure about the color scheme yet, as it is the default, so I'm sure I will mess around with that on a later date :D

Also I just found out yesterday that I was accepted to become an assistant English teacher in Japan starting in July. I'm really excited about that and feel really fortunate that I was given the opportunity. Hopefully the things we get to talk about here will become a little more interesting in the coming months.

Until then!

Animation Mentor: Class 2

I'm in week 2 now of the second term of Animation Mentor, which is titled "The Psychology of Body Mechanics." Its going to be a great class I think, but unlike last term, there is going to be a lot fewer animations. In the span of the whole 12-week class, it looks like we're only going to be doing 3 or 4 animations. Good news since that means better more fun stuff for you all to watch! Bad news in that it gives me much less info to update on. I'll just have to find other interesting things to talk about here, which has been my goal for this blog since I created it. Which, by the way, we are nearing its 1 year anniversary!

I'm working on a couple character design and drawing projects, I hope I get to post those soon. Otherwise, have a wonderful day!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Animation Mentor: Class 1 Progress Reel

I have finished class 1 at animation mentor, which means I am currently 1/6 done with the program, which is a pretty cool feeling. All in all its a really great program with a lot of focus in making connections in the industry, which I'm finding out more and more is one of the most important things you can do.

So, next Monday already the next term starts. I'm really excited to get into more advanced animation stuff, so it should be a good experience. And I intend to put even more time and energy into the program this time around as well! Wish me luck!

Oh yeah, here's the reel:

Animation Mentor: Class 1 Progress Reel from Alex Harms on Vimeo.