Accelerating Rate of Change (Pt. 1)

It’s the gift that never stops giving.

I’ve been thinking about writing this for a while, but there didn’t seem to be a good time during the recent of string of changes to do so. So I decided to make one. Otherwise the problem would persist as there still wouldn’t be a good time to talk about changes while things were changing. It also serves as a good time to talk about things in general. I don’t do nearly as much of that as I used to, and it might be nice to reflect on some of the more positive moments in the last few months.

First and foremost my personal site has undergone a slight change.

This was primarily to update the presentation of the site as I’ve switched to larger, clearer, and more consistent font choices. In fact, the entire site is larger as a result. I really did like the previous design and that’s why it’s relatively the same, but it’s now larger and easier to access as a whole. It’s also somewhat reminiscent of my WordPress presentation. Which I’ve always liked.

I’ve updated the profile information across the collection of sites, too. I feel as though everything as a whole is closer to what I’ve always wanted it to be. My personal site has always been subject to drastic changes, of which this change is no exception. But I can safely say that each change has been a positive one. Even if I didn’t know it at the time. Which leads into how Moggie @ WordPress has changed recently. I’ve been working through much of the older creative content to bring it up to date with current creative content, which, given how little the actual content has been changed, reinforces that (as I’ve suspected) the content is good but was being held back by the presentation. I’ve also added a new category, Material Studies, under the Art category.

They’re both fluffy and naturally that indicates a conspiracy.

This was mostly added to provide accessibility to content like Fluffy But Terrifying without having to go via the Art page. Now it is all presented as a list of posts which you can scroll through at your leisure. I don’t think there are too many other posts which would benefit from additional or alternate categorisation, but that may change due to future content. For now I’m happy with things as they are. I’ll also be making good use of that category in the coming weeks and months.

I’ve been working on a couple of new things recently, too.

I may share details of one or both in the coming weeks. I also might not. It really depends on when the second decides to leave the conceptual sea, wherein it has already undergone a number of evolutions. It’s definitely more experimental and interesting than some of my older pieces. Especially when looking at choice and use of colour. I’m particularly excited about it.

I think that’s definitely a highlight of the last few months. I’ve felt much better about my creative efforts as a whole and that has definitely helped me see recent pieces through to completion. I also feel as though the quality of newer content has been higher as a result, which, again, is all I’ve ever really wanted for whatever this is that I do. I just want to create things and be happy while doing it. Which is pretty much the situation I find myself in now. That said, it hasn’t been as great as it may seem when reading the above. I’ve had to deal with numerous things in my personal life that I would’ve preferred not to. But such is life. It happens, and, much like a constant state of change, it sometimes manifests in ways you don’t expect.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

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Jovial July

Let’s make this month a good one.

I’ve been thinking about writing a post like this for a while. I’ve made numerous minor changes to all sorts of things recently and I felt like highlighting them, but previous iterations of this post never felt particularly coherent. So, if you’re reading this, this iteration made it. Good job, iteration! The first and most extensive change was to update both the Art and Gaming pages here on Moggie @ WordPress, which should (hopefully) make it easier to find what you’re looking for. Regardless of what it is or when it was originally posted.

This includes new sections for both of the pages, too.

These were the last few changes I wanted to make to the structure of the blog. Now that they’re implemented I’m free to update older content so that it can fit into the new structure, which mostly involves either new categorisation or presentation adjustments for those posts. It’s a background process in many ways. I’m actively working on it, but it doesn’t take priority.

The second change was to slightly adjust the presentation on my personal site by adding new thumbnails. These are slightly larger, lack the text, and I can only fit nine (instead of ten) per page. However, the loss of one thumbnail per page isn’t particularly notable. I’ve wanted to adopt a stronger visual presentation for my personal site for a while, which these thumbnails do and they’re incredibly easy to change back if I become dissatisfied with them. I can quite literally grab the old folder and throw it onto my server. I actually made that change a while ago (or a work in progress version of it) and liked it enough to finalise it. So, if nothing else, that gives me hope that this was a good idea. I couldn’t be wrong twice, right? Right?!

With the aforementioned changes now in place I’m feeling particularly good about how things are going. There are still improvements to be made- and there always will be- but I’m happy with the state of things as they are. I’m looking at YouTube and Twitch fairly closely, too. There are opportunities for both creative and gaming content on either of those channels. It’s definitely easier to put together videos as and when I have the time rather than set streaming schedules, but both are viable and I should keep both in mind.

It’d be neat to do some creative videos.

One thing that was painfully evident while updating my personal site is that I need to do more finished pieces. I’m definitely not seeing the correct representation of recent attempts. Mostly because many of those recent attempts have been material studies, which don’t make it to my personal site. So I’ve been wondering whether they should in the future.

I can only apologise for the erratic posting schedule of late. I’m still somewhat happy with it just because I’m only really posting when I have things to talk about, but I’d like to be more consistent. In so many ways. That said, I’m hoping that once I’ve worked through the infuriating indecision that I discussed in Mushroom Fluidity things will improve. At least creatively. So that’s something for both of us to look forward to. In any case, I do like to talk about the things I’m currently doing or will be doing in the future even if it’s not the most riveting content. That and now you can click on all of the above links and be astounded by the exceptional changes. Should keep you busy for a little while.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

Season of Change

It’s better than a The Times They Are A-Changin’ pun, right?

I’ve spent some time updating my personal website recently! You should head on over to David Wilkshire.co.uk and check it out. I promise it’s pretty neat. If this surprises you- it surprises me, too! I wasn’t expecting to work on that particular element of this (increasingly complex) formula. Especially when you reflect on my ill fated attempts at trying to update the thumbnails for the umpteenth time, however therein lies the reason that I finally decided to change the site around in the way that I did.

While the thumbnails remain the same not much else does.

You’ll probably notice that the sections have changed drastically and that we’re a few shy of the number we used to have. I decided that it would probably be best to remove any which leaned on certain materials, as I may not be using those materials as much (if at all) in the future. It didn’t seem to make as much sense as it once did. Not that I disagree with the original idea, either.

It was a pretty good idea. I broke everything up into sections based on their particular materials, which does have merit and does help you find the particular things you’re looking for but it’s also rather convoluted. As, if you like my pencil illustrations, it’s reasonable to suggest that you’d enjoy my ink illustrations. Or marker illustrations. Or even digital illustrations. So it didn’t really seem to fit, both for the outdated concepts and the fact that I’m not going to be the one to use this site to find my work. You are. If I want to find various things I’ve done I’ve got myriad directories to explore. It’s also built a little more around HTML and CSS than around graphical elements now.

Pretty neat, no?

There’s no particular reason for that change, though. I just felt it would be nice to be able to create the same thing but without having to rely on a singular large graphic to do it. Now I get a relatively similar effect- but this one is built from many different things. I’ve also got a thing for horizontal rules, now. Damn those sexy lines. That said, it’s quite an extensive change and now I’ve got the task of updating various links in various places. Thankfully these updates only need to happen for the two sections I’ve removed.

The other two are pretty much as they were.

Actually changing a link can be done in a matter of seconds- it’s just finding the sneaky buggers. Once this post has been published most of the major links on Moggie @ WordPress will already have been changed, but I will be updating more over the course of the next week or so. But, in case I do miss the odd one here or there, I’ll be leaving the old directories up for a while.

So I doubt that things will break too badly. If at all. I’ll admit- it’s a pretty ambitious change. But it’s one that I felt was necessary for the betterment of the site and my content as a whole, which hopefully will not only mean it’s better presented but easier to find in the future. Apologies for not sharing more creative content recently. I’m still working through a good few things and it might be a little while longer before I’m able to share things. That said, if you’re interested in a recent creative effort or something I dug out of my archives you should head on over to Twitter. I’m always sharing various bits and pieces over there. In any case, I hope you like the changes and that the new site is not too confusing.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Yearly Consistency

Something that is surprisingly within reach.

One of the few things I’ve always been slightly bothered by with this blog is how the older content stands out. In a bad way. Not to say that the content itself is bad- in most cases it’s quite good- but that it lacks the presentation I’d like it to have. There are a few reasons for this. Mostly that the older content was written without many of the changes I’ve made in the last couple of years. The pages which outline the various aspects of the blog, the expanded category system, and even scheduling posts have made a difference there.

So I’ve been adjusting things here and there. Slowly but surely.

It’s something I’ve talked about before. It’s also something which I’ve said is not a major concern of mine, and, as such, will not take time away from the creation of new content. But recently I’ve seen the potential to finally bring everything to a level of consistency (and quality) that I want it to be at. So I’ve invested the time to make it happen.

The changes mostly exist in the posts themselves, but there are a few changes that everyone can benefit from (and enjoy) such as the new child categories. It’s now much easier to find both the First Impressions and Review posts. It’s a minor change but one that makes it easier to access content- especially if that’s the content you’d like to see. As I’ve mentioned in the past, the great thing about designing anything that someone else will use is trying to imagine what it’s like from their perspective. It may make sense to look for things in a certain place to me. But, to you, the user, if you can’t find something- it’s kind of useless. So I’m hoping these changes will make certain things easier to find and/or digest.

Not that I would ever suggest eating any of my posts. This process also gives me a certain amount of clarity as to how things are progressing. It’s interesting seeing the changes I’ve made over the years, it’s equally as interesting that I’m actually quite happy with things as they are now. I think we’ve got a good thing going on. That’s mostly interesting because I tend to be quite critical of myself. To actually be happy with something either means I’m becoming less critical or I’m doing things that I like.

Both of which are fairly positive results.

I would have preferred to bring you new content with this post, but I’ve been doing a lot of smaller experimental pieces recently and I don’t have anything reasonably coherent to share. Oddly, many of these have been related to digital painting. Who knew I’d dig that up again? Me. To be entirely honest. It’s always been fairly fun to do.

I’m starting to understand more about my weaknesses therein. I’d say that my use of colour and texture are among my strengths, but the initial sketching is pretty weak. I seemingly can’t sketch for love nor money with a tablet- but I can sketch with traditional materials. Mostly. I wasn’t intending to do coloured lined pieces with digital painting, but it might not be an entirely terrible idea even if it’s only for a short while. The only problem being that recent ink pieces aren’t really conducive to that approach. That said, I’ve always had fairly simple line art for watercolour paintings like Grotti v2. Which, thankfully, I scanned before painting. So there are a few ways to practice this new approach through those.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

Fruity Nostalgia

Wherein I unearth things.

One of the perks of being around cats all the time is that you get to unearth a lot of things. That is if they bother to bury them first. I’ve known one or two that don’t, it’s just sitting proudly amongst the litter. Gaze upon it in awe. Or don’t- that works too. In any case, just a short post today to show you this painting I found in a box of old sketchbooks. It’s funny the things you find when you’re not even looking for them, it’s also funny that this painting is eight years old and I only vaguely remember painting it.

I think it was painted with watercolour… something. I don’t think I had tubes back then.

Gaze upon it with unbridled confusion.

Gaze upon it with unbridled confusion.

It doesn’t have a name, either. Which probably explains what it was doing buried in a box of old sketchbooks in the first place. The subject matter is hardly surprising when you think about Lemon and Lime, The Melon Most Watery, Corn on the Cob, and the like. I’m just a man that likes fruit and vegetables. Mostly painting them. Not eating them.

In other news, I’ve made some minor updates to my personal site. Minor updates that took nearly a day and a half to do because I never give up on things once I’ve decided to do them. Good ol’ personality foibles. There are new thumbnails, minor layout changes, and general quality of life changes everywhere. I’ve even added another new piece to the site following Aquatic Owl. I decided to upload the owl from that post- Ol’ Hooty– as its own piece. It’s great that I’ve finally realised that I have a section for those sorts of things, as I’ve been able to share so many more pieces with you all as a result of it. Which is a good thing, right?

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Plotting Progress

An entirely mathematical affair.

The protractor always said the compass was acute and they weren’t just talking about their angles! I’ll admit- that was terrible. But the rest of the post won’t be. Hopefully. I guess it really depends on your definition of terrible, though. I wanted to talk about the general state of things today. I haven’t written a post like this since Archive of Experiences earlier in the year, where I talked about the content creation process and what I’d like to do next. Now we get to reflect on whether I did those things or not.

I think you’ll agree that the recent content has been of higher quality, has been more diverse, and that overall they’ve been more engaging posts. Leaning a little heavier on gaming content at the moment, with some posts covering one my favourite series of all time and some focusing on my adventures in World of Warcraft. Gaming content will be the focus of some minor updates on Moggie @ WordPress in the coming weeks, too. As I’ve pretty much got the creative content right where I want it. Now to explain my nefarious scheme in detail only for it to escape and foil me once more. Not sure why it would want to stab me with a fencing sword- but we can figure that out later.

Scheduling has also encountered a slight change recently.

I’ve decided to push back the publishing/scheduling time a little to make it easier to work around things outside of this. Hopefully this won’t change how people interact with the content too drastically. But, if it does, I’ll change it accordingly. The frequency of posts remains as was so there will be just as much content as before. Just a little later in the day.

There may be some minor changes coming to the collection of sites, too. I’ve been thinking about changing the header/cover images. I just need to think of a decent design, design it, upload it, and then tinker endlessly until it looks right on every site. I wish I could say I was being sarcastic but that’s how it goes. That won’t affect the creation of new content, though. Nor can I give a definite date as to when I’ll be ready with it. It’s not a major concern at the moment as I quite like my current header/cover image.

I haven’t got any new sites or major changes to talk about, either. I was considering actually using my Twitch account and doing some streaming at some point. The odd one here or there, to gauge interest, to see what it’s like, and to see whether it’s worth an investment of time. Probably something like Fallout 3 at first. Given it’s something I know quite well, it’s easy to record, and it shouldn’t cause too many problems. Just as long as I turn off the radio stations. There are still a few things to set up before that will be available, though. Like the possibility of using OBS to record/stream, as I’ve heard that has been updated considerably since I last looked into it.

I hope that everyone is still enjoying the content and that they’re excited to see more.

You can always drop me a comment or two. Tell me what you like, what you don’t like, what you’d like to see more of, what you’d like to see less of, or even what breed of cat is your favourite. It doesn’t even need to be a domestic cat, either. I’m open to all kinds of suggestions. Some I will only indulge in after dark, though.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

New Approaches

Every day the list gets longer.

I’ve spent the last three months (on and off) working on various updates for the collection of sites. This started as a small project to improve the quality of older posts for Moggie @ WordPress, that led to developing new teaser images for art posts, updating my personal site, working on a new social media site, and is a list that gets longer with every passing day. Every time I start to work on one thing I think of other improvements I’d like to implement!

The good news is that I’m ready to share these updates. First and foremost I’d like to unveil my new Google+ page which filters through updates from Moggie @ WordPress, as well as tailored updates, and (some) posts from Twitter. It also features a collection entirely focused on my creative efforts. You can follow one (or both) if you’d like to get updates via Google+, too.

I’ve been slowly adding updates and content to my Google+ page since late last year.

You’ll also find a link to the Google+ page on both my personal site and in the sidebar to right. Additionally I’ve been making some changes to Moggie @ WordPress in the form of new teaser images for the art posts over here. You’ll find all but the oldest content (from 2012) have new thumbnails, updated layouts, and other minor changes. I’ve been working through many of the older posts trying to keep the quality and formatting as consistent as I can. For the most part the content has been left as was and you’ll still be able to go back a few years, browse old posts, and observe how my writing style and/or approach has changed in that time.

You’ll also find that both the Gaming and Art pages are now updated with some newly discovered posts that slipped through my initial sweep of published content. These are now closer to being concise, well organised, high quality lists of previously published content that you can use to find anything (and/or everything) I’ve got to offer. My personal site has also seen a few small changes to heighten the level of quality you’ll find over there, too.

Twitter has seen a lot more activity recently and some of those updates will now be mirrored to Google+ which should allow a much higher level of exposure for certain things. Best of all this allows people who may not use Twitter but use Google+, or vice versa, to access the content if they want to. I’m pretty pleased with how these two sites are currently progressing.

This doesn’t conclude the range of updates, though.

I’ve still got a few things that I’d like to update for Moggie @ WordPress along with a few ideas for my personal site. But, for the most part, I’m quite happy with how much work has gone into- and how much difference it has made to- the various sites. Besides the aforementioned changes I’m actually at a loss as to what I’d like to work on next. Obviously either creative or video game content is always a welcome addition, which, if you’ve been following recent posts, you’ll know there’s already something nearing completion there. I’d like to do a post or two about Grim Dawn (and likely a full review) when that fully releases this month as well.

I apologise for having a few text heavy, explanatory, less interesting posts recently but I hope you’ll agree the updates were worth it.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie