Sunday, June 15, 2014

Delete. Undo.

I tried breaking my ties from Blogger recently, and wiped my entire blog here clean.

As so frequently happens in life however, I felt the need to undo what I had erased. Fortunately I had backed up before I hovered over that fateful button, and within a few minutes, almost everything was returned from deletion land.

I feel that a record of the past is one of our most beautiful gifts. We should cherish it, because it teaches us - and with that in mind I have restored my blog - a collection of almost ten years of online writings - which will remain here.

Having said that, future entries will no longer find their home here. My new online journal needs somewhere a little cleaner to live. You will find it here:

Thanks for following along all these years.

Jimzip :D

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Art: Tropical Skwark!

Every now and then, a sketch falls out of my pencil that feels like it should adorn 50's product packaging... and I think this is one such piece.

This little guy actually began as a test, I was playing with proportion and indeed, a 50's style of illustration. In the end, it turned out being one of my favourites in a series, mainly because of the colours, but also because I really like how the overall texturing came out.

Another one for a t-shirt? I'll let you decide.

A bientôt!

Jimzip :D

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Evil Neighbour - Or How I Learned to Stop Loving, and Hate the Bitch Next Door

The cold war was (from what I have read, heard and seen in overly prevalent postcard photos) really something pretty dysmal to live through, if you were anywhere near the influence of mother Russia, or caught between the trade embargoes, tension and lack of internet, then you had no choice but to sit back hopelessly and watch the super powers scratch at each other until they both gave up.

A similar relationship exists between myself and my neighbour. A sour, bitter husk of a woman evidently deprived of zygomaticus major or any connected muscle tissues at birth. Every greeting is met with a grunt, and normal formalities are swept away in a muddy stream of silence.

Perhaps she's so eternally noxious because mail that cannot be delivered to the rightful recipient is always dropped in her jagged talons - yet then I remembered the only reason she receives this mail is because the woman in the hall opposite who usually does so is on holiday.

Normally not a bitter man, I took the first few encounters with a nonchalant laugh and a flick of my hair (this recounting may be falsified), but naturally, after a few run-ins and not being able to squeeze even a smirk from the creature, I did what I usually do when someone rubs me the wrong way; and continued being nice.

It was not until today that this changed, when I rang the doorbell to collect a package on my way to work, and was greeted with an eye at the keyhole and then retreating footsteps, followed by music in the apartment behind the door being turned up. It was this moment when I decided to retrieve my white enmity gloves from storage - where I swore I would leave them - and begin a mini-cold war of my own.

It's an experiment, per se, to see if her icy demeanor and excecutioner-style unkindness is actually unintentional, or whether she truly is Jadis, Queen of Charn and has no capacity for warmth.

I will ring her doorbell once more on the way home, and when she answers, I too will stare at her with ursine bluntness, my usual smile vacant, my greeting consisting of just three - possibly four syllables (everything in German requires at least double what one normally uses in English), and then I will take my mail, thank her (omitting the standard "kindly" and "very much" - sure to come as a shock) - after which I will turn and leave without waiting for her to close the door.

Before you cry "genius", and "she can't help but become infuriated" I will just say, yes, I know. Surely, my victory lies close.

Jimzip :D

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Silent At Sunset - Short Piece

I walked down the street, silent at sunset save for the wind whipping over a rounded series of granite teeth nearby. Some pussywillows bobbed in the blond eventide. Not a soul was around. It felt like I really was at the edge of the world, sea-wind blowing from the source, unseen around the next bend, over the next mesa, beyond the stone islands. The street curved, forked, and a forest greeted me, the tall alder and birch on a bed of moss. Things feel so primal here, so raw and rich - it's hard to imagine something so pure until you feel that cold air brushing your cheeks, and the murmer of the trees all around. It's as if the world here is older, but fresher. I wish I could scoop it into my hands and take it back home. Instead I open my eyes, breathe it in, and try to imagine how I will imagine this later.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Hope & Hostility - An Open Letter

What I will always fail to understand, is how minds at the top of the political ladder feel it justifiable to let hatred be their compass, and I will wonder what blatant idiocy let this misguided garp become policy.

For a second, let's stand back and ignore the rest of the world exists. If that's so, you still shouldn't be able to make such decisions. The fact that you would ever let your opinions become more than your own quiet thoughts is one problem. But the world does exist outside your borders, and now you are faced with some very hard questions.

What role does that play in advancing your country? What role does that play in advancing human kind? What signal does that give to the rest of the modern world, and what does it say about your own citizens, of whom many disagree but (now, like in the comparatively recent past) have no voice?

To my readers, I understand that many of you out there feel this doesn't impact you, or you may find it insignificant. Some may feel that because of the large natural gas and oil dependancies from this country, that, following the startling silence of the UN, the IOC and most of the world powers, nobody can say anything about it - but that is even more reason to do so.

If you and your girlfriend, wife, boyfriend or husband were jeered at in the street, or wrenched apart and bludgeoned, had tomatoes thrown, or urine tipped over your heads publicly, how indeed would you feel? If you comitted suicide, and this wasn't horrible enough, but your memory was then smeared by those left behind simply because hating is encouraged - would you recognise it as agony? If this happened to that friend you were just sending a message to on Facebook, or your mum or dad, brother or sister, what then?

As this is written, individuals and couples alike are being beaten, kidnapped, raped, and publicly humilated just for being themselves. In some cases, these actions are being filmed and distributed online. The Russian government has ratified it, and this ignorant, backward mindset backed by law gives people an excuse to carry it out, essentially free from judgement and reprehension.

I personally fail to see how I, walking down the street holding hands with the one I love, differs in any way from you, walking down the street holding the hands of the one you love. Or them, walking down the street with someone they love. I fail to understand how my life is 'wrong' because I like green instead of blue.

If your argument is that I am an abomination in the eyes of God, I would respond that I, as well as you and all things wild and wonderful, are His creations, and he is supposed to "love them all". Is a message of compassion and tolerance not what the Church is for? What else it is meant to propagate?

If you side with hate because you feel it's wrong or uncomfortable, I encourage you to step outside your comfort zone, and see that love is just love. Blind, deaf, and as simple as you or I - which is to say, complex to the extreme. It can only be understood by experiencing it, and we all should go out of our way to do so. But it is never something to be judged, or hated, even though at times jealousy or personal lack leads some to do so.

I am overwhelmed with disappointment for the leaders of Russia - and pained to think of its citizens, but I feel more than ever that it is time to voice out in whatever way I can, because I am - quite honestly - getting tired of being disappointed, and tired of hearing of the repercussions of one power-obsessed bigot's choices.

Hate has never done one useful thing for humanity. We are capable of so much more, and it shows when we come together that incredible things can be accomplished. It shows equally, what disasters lie in misguidance. Haven't we learnt enough from the past yet? How many times must we repeat things just to become a better civilisation? The world is now making some huge bounds forward in terms of rights, but every now and then, someone stumbles and staggers that process. In today's world, this kind of hate is one such stumble, and it should not exist. It's time for us to start working together, and realising that we are all born on this planet together, and that in this one life of ours we can do something wonderful - or we will repeat these problems over, and over, and over.

Stephen Fry, Nick Symmonds, celebrities and media worldwide are condemning Russia's behaviour right now, and I ride wholeheartedly with them. I don't speak out about many things, but this ridiculousness must stop.

The winter Olympic Games are once again approaching, and to host them, Russia will have to do so much better. At current I boycott them entirely - on the ground of blatant hypocracy: Russia's government is spreading unfairness, discrimination and ignorance instead of the values of which those very games stand for, and it would be a mockery to watch them under such circumstances.

Last week a petition which I, along with 330,000 others signed was delivered to the IOC headquarters in Switzerland, and it got attention. But this should just be the beginning. Much more needs to be done to show Putin that his behaviour right now is unacceptable.

Sometimes all it takes to show family, friends, leaders, goverments or countries which is the correct path, is the voice of a few. Perhaps this issue will summon the voice of many.

I can't stress enough how much I want this effort to succeed.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Art: Puffin

He's waddly, he's curious, and he's definitely not from your neighbourhood ... feels like the new tagline for some new terrifying Eddie Murphy film.

But no! It's a little puffin, just waddlin' over to say hi. Far less terrifying than Eddie Murphy, and definitely less willing to convert you to Scientology.

I like how this one turned out. I think it would also look cool on a t-shirt. ;)

Readers from back in the day will recall I used to post backgrounds every now and then. Well, there are some new backgrounds coming soon too. But for now, enjoy.

Vi ses sen!

Jimzip :D

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Art: Racoon

It's not the most creative source, given, but google is regardless a great source of inspiration, especially when it comes to image search. It's so easy just to plug an animal in and get sketching.

Running with the current illustration bang, I've gone ahead and made another. This one took around two hours.

It's a rather guilty looking raccoon looking like it's really sorry it just ate all those berries from your garden.

Plus à venir. Enjoy.

Jimzip :D