Sunday, 30 November 2014

Electric Elkboy (continued some more...)

It was understandable for Chester to be concerned about his masters optimistic views on transport, especially due to the absolute lack of any. They needed to get to London, and yet without the knowledge of their whereabouts it would prove to be an interesting point to raise. Chester rolled forward inquisitively, 'may I press you for a solution sir?' 

The Elkboy turned handsomely around and smiled. 'My dear Chester. I have indeed resolved our little pickle, which was, admittedly, something I should have thought of much earlier. You may want to stand, or erm, roll back a tadge my friend.'

Chester bleeped and followed the order. He was used to these elaborate schemes that the Elkboy concocted, becoming continuously intrigued and entertained. And with the Elkboy currently attempting a handstand, it looked like this would be a good one. 

Sure enough, in a vertical manoeuvre, the Electric Elkboy had lifted his body up from the ground with his feet in the air. Certainly an unorthodox posture for a superhero, but he proceeded nonetheless. With eyes tightly closed, he concentrated all his power toward the lightening bolt upon his brow. The dusty terrain surrounding them trembled and shook, groaning with anticipation as the lightning bolt began to glow brighter. Then the Elkboy opened his eyes and looked to the horizon, raising his voice and bellowed into the expanse before him, 'POLAR BEASTS OF THE NORTH I CHOOSE YOU!' A beam of light shot out from the lightning bolt and penetrated the ground beneath him. For a moment there was a pang of utter silence... and then a sonic boom of awesomeness swept across the land. The Elkboy closed his eyes once more, bent his elbows and flipped himself into the air to finally land on his two feet. Most elegantly done, thought the author of this chapter. 

With the silence returned, the two heroes stood side by side as the dust settled. Chester, still full of unanswered questions, bleeped as scrupulously close to a sigh as robotically possible. 'Worry not, my young padawan,' the Elkboy crooned. 'Remember what Treebeard said to the Hobbits; 'don't be hasty'. And we all know what happened after that, don't we?
   'We do sir?'
The Elkboy nodded, 'of course. The trees only bloody won Chester! And carrying the Hobbits at the same time! Now that is TREE-mendous!' 
   'Sir, I am always supportive of your... puns, but your love of the Halflings leaf has clearly slowed your mind.'
   'Points for the quote, points deducted for sounding so negative. I have summoned a little bit of nature to come and carry us to London. Now, they may not be trees, but they sure as hell get the job done!'
   'Very good sir, I never doubted you for a second. Wonderful.' 

As soon as Chester settled down to wait he felt the ground tremble once more. The dust returned but far upon the horizon, where a trail of cloud grew larger and closer towards them. The vibrations felt more like a stampede than an earthquake; it was alive, moving, and hoofs could soon be heard. Then out of the dust cloud bore the head of a proud beast, antlers spurring through the mist, leading a herd of at least twenty more of these magnificent creatures. They were elk, of course. And the Electric Elkboy had called to them from across the globe, for that was the power that he held within his lightning bolt of truth. 

The Elkboy strode up to the herd and held aloft his hand. The thundering elk slowed immediately to a canter and stopped before him, their heavy breath and gentle snorting lingering in the air. The Elkboy placed his hand upon the head of the lead elk and murmured in a strange tongue that Chester had yet to hear from his master, but it was full of calm and gratitude. The Elkboy turned to Chester, 'they have travelled many miles,' he said. 'But they are strong and courageous. I have no doubt that within the hour we shall be riding for London at great speed. First we need to harness them a little, and find a cosy spot for you and I.'
   'As gallant as your beasts of burden are,' Chester queried. 'Are you sure that they know which direction to go?'
   'Of course they do Chester,' scoffed the Elkboy. 'But I'm rather surprised that with all the hi-tech malarkey I installed into your body, that you don't know which direction to go? Do you still have the Tommy-Tommy Sat-Nav function?'
   'Unfortunately, the missile attack on HQ contained a mild EMP and wiped out many of the systems. You were oblivious to this, sir, as you gallivanted off on your... kite...'
   'Do not underestimate the power of the kite Chester!' interrupted the Elkboy. 'It is fully equipped with...'
   '...So I'm afraid that some of my systems were coincidentally tampered with,' continued Chester. 'I adjusted all the power I had to my boosters so as to follow you.'
   'Very well,' said the Elkboy. 'And I am thankful that you did. We shall, however, put all our faith into these glorious steeds and their navigational skills. Now, could you spare a little power to your toboggan settings?' 
   Chester looked perplexed, even for an expressionless droid. 'My what settings?'
   'Search your network old boy, you'll find them,' said the Elkboy, full of confidence. He was busy choreographing the elk into single file and using the cable from the (temporarily unsuccessful) kite to harness them together. If only Santa could see him now, he thought. And with that thought in mind he directed Chester to the back of the herd. 
   'Chester my trusted droid,' he announced proudly. 'You are to become an imperative part of this convoy. ACTIVATE TOBOGGAN SETTINGS!'

Suddenly, Chester's wheels sprang up and folded neatly beneath him and extending in their stead appeared a pair of well carved, well varnished toboggan rungs. As the compartment doors closed, firmly locking the rungs into place, another extension lowered from the droids back. This would soon become the step for the Electric Elkboy to stand upon; for Chester had transformed in to nothing more and nothing less than a fine looking sleigh. 

'Haha!' laughed the Elkboy. 'How d'ya like them apples, Chester?!' 
   'I feel positively mutilated, sir,' the droid replied. 'Are there any other settings that I have yet to discover with an equal level of disgruntled surprise?'
   'Oh come on Chester... this is going to be bloody amazing. Now can you reach the cable and lock it into place? I need to grab my bag.' Chester did as he was told, accepting that his masters excitement was beyond negotiable.
    After some final adjustments, all was ready; the elk were stamping their hooves, the Elkboy had harnessed himself to Chester's body and the cables were taught with the eagerness of departure. All they needed was the call of the wild; that loud eccentric announcement Chester would expect his master to call out to nobody in particular. And sure enough it came...


Chester couldn't help but let his circuit board smile at his masters optimistic views on transport, especially due to the absolute style in which they would travel. And away they went.

To be continued...

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Episode VI

Freelancing is a funny business. On occasion I feel like I don't particularly belong anywhere, but then again this is precisely what it's all about, so I won't pretend to be dismayed about the matter. I have the writing tendencies of a drama queen sometimes, so ignore me. But don't! Because you need to read my blog. I do actually enjoy the free aspect of this lancing lark, especially when you get a surprise day off to write the next blog chapter. 

What I've come to realise in these last few months of my progress as a freelancer, is that there is no room for laziness. And I am so lazy! (this is subjective to the people who are not hiring me). But this is not in the work place; I love what I do and will crack on 100% in the studio environment. My problem is at home. As you may have noticed in previous blog posts, I claim it takes 'x' amount of hours or days for me to write a paragraph or the like. This is because of my homely distractions!

Here is a short list of things that cause procrastination:
  • lunch
  • planning lunch
  • rearranging my Star Wars figures
  • watching the Tribe
  • making lists
  • going into town and achieving very little from the list I just made
  • planning dinner
  • making a brew
  • tidying my room
  • writing my blog (controversial I admit, but I really should be looking for work right now!)

When it comes to those little 'home' projects i.e. sculpts, card designs, canvas painting, you can always find a place to sell them. I haven't actually considered online sales for any of my work (on for example), purely because I don't have an extensive range. I have paintings, drawings and models but not nearly enough to set up something significant. But there is a solution! 

Facebook. It's largely full of codswallop and nincompoops. But a midst the chaos is a beacon of Minas Tirith. People are always on Facebook. Friends, family, acquaintances, pets, people you don't like, people who don't like you, people who have met you on that coach ride from Bogota to Lima and can't stop tagging you in photographs of himself standing next to a bus. My point is, it's a good database for an incredibly broad range of potential clients. Post some photos of your work up, Facebookers will like and share so that your skills will transcend to all ends of the Internet. I've managed to sell a few items for chump change, but it's still good practice for the budding freelancer. For example, the image below is of a mural I'm currently painting for my Aunty Val; hopefully she can spread the word! 

One of my odd jobs is painting murals; this one is almost finished!

Another part of freelancing is your title. What do you call yourself? What area of your chosen trade do you specialise in? The latter seems fairly obvious, but I still don't know whether to call myself a model maker, carpenter or a stop motion animator. I assume that I'm all three, yet I can do more. Tommy the multi-artist? Sir Thomas the brave? Mr Grainger the carpenter (who can also sculpt, paint, draw, cook, clean and hang out your cotton socks). I'm still in the process of deciding my freelance title because I will be designing some new business cards in the near future.

I am currently in the process of creating a sidekick for my freelancing adventures. It (none gender specific) is called portfolio and wears a cape, whereas I do not. It's all good and well having an online presence (LinkedIn etc) but I wanted a place for visuals, images, videos, not too much text and yet kept a professional level. It is advantageous to have an online portfolio full of visuals because a) that's what artists do (so what could describe our talent more than actually seeing it) and b) it's much simpler to send a link to a potential client or studio to show what you're capable of. Even now I can say click HERE and you've been transported to a rather fetching site concerning yours truly. 

I realise that my blog is full of images concerning my work... but it also contains images of random animals, holiday snaps and the ever present topic of Star Wars. So perhaps not as professional as I'd quite like. But it means that you guys get to read the real me... find out more in this months issue of Heat with an exclusive look into my wardrobe. 

Speaking of Star Wars it's getting very close to that time of year where it'll be a year until Episode VII The Force Awakens is released. And good lord am I excited. It now has a title, filming has been wrapped and the on-set photographs have kept us all ludicrously engrossed. I do believe (and hope) that there will be a Star Wars teaser trailer before Christmas this year. There must be something for us!