Sunday, January 1, 2017

1321 - Year Seven: JSVB In Review

JSVB is seven years old today!  It's time to post my progress and comment on my past year's work on this blog of mine.  

Likely you'll notice that this year's blog entries in the seventh column on the far right,  appear different from the others.  Google, with their traditional intent at this time of year to fix what is not broken, changed their archive format.  It's not such a terrible  improvement since the pictures are larger and the background isn't a searing white, but it does change the look of my matrix. 

I've mentioned in previous years on how I've been declining in my post count: you can see this by looking at the ratio of pictures to blank area on my matrix.  2016 is no different, there were wide valleys of disinclination between peaks of activity.  Sometimes, I just showed my final work rather than posting iterative saves over the course of a few days.  Sometimes I ignored my work.  There are a few unfinished pieces I wish I had completed.

Even so, I managed to pick up some more technique, proving that you can teach an old dog new tricks provided that you prod it enough.  I am better at Photoshop and using Bézier curves than ever before.  I believe I have improved my draftsmanship, and deeply inspired by my wife who has embraced crochet, I've started to become "crafty" by building physical art projects like a life-like foul-smelling Necronomicon and a Star Trek tricorder that doubles as a purse.  

So the craft pieces will be at the top of my list of favourites from JSVB 2016:

1. JSVB Post #1300  The Necronomicon Ex Mortis!  Despite the pretend evilness of my project and its notably horrible smell, it was a lot of fun to put together.  Of course, the Hallowe'en kids were too young to know anything about The Evil Dead, though.  "Look! They have a 'Facebook'!" one little girl exclaimed.  Precious!

2.  JSVB Post #1312  My wife and her friend went all-out to create the base for a realistic tricorder purse.  I had to use all my best tricks to make the detail on the tricorder look screen-authentic.  

3.  JSVB Post #1209  The pretty-close-to-finished icon of Our Lady On Throne.  I don't know why I don't bother to take pictures of my finished icons.  This one is hanging on the wall in my mother's bedroom. 

And here's a few of my other favourites:

4. JSVB Post #1208  The "X-Fools" post is memorable because it's a placeholder for an Ungood Art piece I chose to jettison (it was the right choice).  It also shows that I can handle Bézier curves.  Finally, I think it's better than anything in the execrable X Files Season 10. 

5.  JSVB Post #1234   My tribute to World Hamster Day and Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks" all rolled into one, this was a fun little project to recreate Hopper's iconic paintwork. 

6.  JSVB Post #1253   Although this one's a litte racy I'm a big fan of Judge Dredd, and I wanted to improve my ink and line work.   A similar post is Doc Ock's Suicide Squad, although this one was hard to draw since I am really not a fan of that work at all.  Even so, it turned out to be one of my most popular JSVB posts among readers: JSVB Post #1286

7.  JSVB Post #1197    Unicycle Falls:  I used someone else's photograph and Photoshopped it into something really stupid, but it makes me laugh. 

8.  JSVB Post #1304   Action Hamster No. 1 is another hamster-themed post for JSVB.  I was researching Joe Shuster, the artist who first drew Superman.  He had a unique, self-taught style of penmanship I seek to emulate, although his life with and after The Man Of Steel was regrettably tragic.  What I want to know is if I can draw like that without ruining my life.  So far, the jury is out on that one. 

9.  JSVB Post #1198   Tears In Rain, an illustrated theme on contrasting good and evil in creation.  At the beginning of 2016, I was heavily shaken by watching movies about androids.   In a blur of activity, I crash-painted the artwork in a couple of hours and then hammered out a brisk yet eloquent essay that I had worked out in my head as I painted.  Sometimes I can work that fast.

10. JSVB Post #1228    The "Hello Kitty Regional Hospital" was a fun bit of Photoshop work for me, and I even got some money for my efforts.

11. JSVB Post #1232  Mixing more Blade Runner imagery with my commentary on Microsoft's "Tay" fiasco.  Microsoft tried introducing its own AI robot personality into Twitter, with the result that in less than a day of contact with the Internet the robot had been converted into a rabid neo-Nazi.   

12.  JSVB Post #1268   I enjoyed placing my Stork character into the world of Winnie-The-Pooh as illustrated by E.H. Shepard.  Although I personally am okay with this piece, other people seem to really like it a lot, so I am including this on my list. 

Blogger analytics have never been all that strong, or maybe I have not learned to use them properly.  From what I can tell in 2016, JSVB reached over 100,000 views.  Still by a wide margin JSVB Post #777 "The Wrath Of Gandhi" from 2014 is my most-viewed post, having itself reached over 10,000 views.  Now that the videogame Civilization 6 has superceded Civ V, I expect the viewership for that post to subside.  Other new favourites by viewers numbers include Doc Ock, Action Hamster, and my Necronomicon.  

Overall, JSVB viewership has been climbing.  I can't tell if it's humans watching my blog or bots, though.  By far my greatest viewership is from the U.S.A, so I am suspecting bots.  All hail our new robot overlords!

As always, I really look forward to loyal JSVB readers buying some of this artwork.  It's the best way to tell if my readers are human, at least until Microsoft Tay gets her own credit card.  2017 is a new year and hopefully prosperity will be featured in the coming months for all of us.