There’s Something Wrong With Me

Cover Image

Something I have been noticing as I get older.

I’m not normal.

Let me put it this way. My existence is something of an enigma even to me. To prove the point – I have never liked basketball. Which is, by far, what most manly, semi-athletic males aspire to be at a young age. Didn’t go for the basketball shoes that players endorse, was not excited to wear a favorite team’s jersey, nor follow the games religiously, like a penitent during lent.

I never read any Shakespeare. Not for the lack of trying. But growing up in Paete, Laguna, my literary choices border on the lewd and pornographic to the absolute crazy stories like Flowers for Algernon, or the novels by Clive Barker and Stephen King to name a couple of writers I am really familiar with. I even read The Lord of the Rings on the dusty, darker side of the school library while my friends are busy harassing the girls elsewhere.

A deviant.

Tv program choices, even that makes me think I am  somewhat off kilter. I was watching Sesame Street and The Electric Company in my elementary years. Three’s Company, Mork & Mindy, Saturday Night Playhouse, The Wacky racers, just some of my boob tube favorites. Not the soaps and That’s Entertainment. Even the movies I like are not quite mainstream. Because I seldom trust movie reviews and prefer to make my own view of the movie rather than bash a movie I haven’t seen. Come to think of it, why bash a movie when you can just recommend what you like about a film you just watched?

Never liked AlDub. Outgrown Eat Bulaga. I laugh at people reacting vehemently when they feel nsomeone has besmirched their name or their school, or their company, online. I cry at sad parts of movies. I love old school illustrations and drawings, even woodcuts I place in high regard.  I like to get to an appointment an hour early. I don’t like people waiting on me. At the same time, I am loathe to wait for people who are never on time.

I’m an aberration.

I don’t care for Kanye West’s recorded music, but I love every bit of track Moz Def put out. I can listen continuously to Rammstein, Metallica, Rivermaya, The Dawn and maybe throw in a few Classics and Tom Waits in between playlists. I cover my ears on every Nicki Minaj sound on radio. Rishloo, Enigma and Crystal Method I play on my laid back hours. But I am extremely annoyed with videoke singers singing the same song every chance they get. Gimme some live music, but please don’t make everything Bossa. But I like singing.

Not normal.

Am I too radical to declare I do not care for religion, but still believe in God?

Abomination

I have this strange fixation with ramen, boiled food and lots of soup. I once enjoyed a plate of Pasta Carbonara lavishly garnished with salty, spicy bagoong, and it got me hooked. And I don’t care much for fine dining. Street food, turo-turo works for me. But when I eat at someplace expensive, I eat everything. I don’t subscribe to that train of thought of leaving something on your plate, lest they think you a patay-gutom. Fuck you, I love food.

I’m one of the few who still insists on using email for professional transactions, social media is just for advertising and online ranting. If there ever was a reason or cause to rant. I don’t put too much value on titles given to you at work. Hell, I’m a Graphic Artist, yet I can clean the office, run errands, make coffee, and while all of these are occurring everyday, I still manage to handle uploading articles to the entertainment website I used to hold, create collaterrals for print, you know, stuff I’m underpaid for.

Heck.

I even created some video clips for a very special friend for free. What could otherwise have netted me five grand (pesos, friends, in pesos) I gave away for free.

Because I can.

Not normal, I tell you.

I cringe every time someone comments how good my drawings are, asks how much for this and this, and then stands aghast and spews these utterly abhorrent words “Para drawing lang?” (That much for just a drawing?).

I am an alien. Of sorts.

There’s definitely something wrong with me.

Now,There’s A Challenge . . .

Second guessing yourself may slow down progress in any endeavour. But it’s a sure way to step back and look at the big picture, look for flaws in the design, or backtrack with the methods.

Oh, if only my co-workers and friends realize what a fraud I am when it comes to my skills. At least I admit that. No it’s not that I don’t know what I’m doing, but most of the time it’s all about teaching myself with the tools. My tenure with animation nearly drained me of creativity, the redundancy turned to complacency and in my mind, if I had not decided to do something different, I would have turned sour and dormant, a warrior that stuck to swords and shields while the world armed itself with smart guns and GPS.

Now, I see myself as an outsider, but I can’t help but be attached to my colleagues at work, in whatever job I have held in the past, and at present, as a graphic specialist (motion graphic artist, but it sounds way better). And most of the time, co-workers turn out to be good friends. We interact only at the studio, but they will never know how much I value the ribbing, taunts, masked insults  and overall camaraderie.

At some point we were just shooting the bull, in a manner of speaking when freelance jobs worked its way into the conversation (pun unintended) and I asked Conde and Mike if they could throw me some, you know, given the state of economy and all that. And what could have been a simple answer became a big challenge for me : improve the skills and get some raket (what we fondly call freelance jobs nowadays)

Now, an acquaintance might say “Sure.” and forget about it, but this challenge made the proposition more interesting. I’m not a wizard with Adobe After Effects . I’m still learning to use SketchUp. I know I could create stuff with Photoshop, and so much awesomeness with a pencil and paper – but, there’s a challenge.

Remember, I was talking about reinventing one’s self on the previous post?

Well, there you go, no better time than now.

 So I went to my usual web haunts – SFFF and MBFF and immediately looked for something I can use, and hopefully give something back. Something our local industry and government fail to comprehend – it’s called sharing.

My Ae skills are rudimentary, barely basic and utterly simplistic.

Now, there’s a challenge.

And lest I forget, this whole reinvention things has been brewing for weeks now, but it was Sally, that wonderful woman who seem to hit me silly and unawares every time, who finally convinced me to do something.

So I did.

But I take caution, and extreme care not to storm into this with eyes half closed. This is nothing like improving the way I prepare and cook lugaw by adding some mushroom bits or putting the onions first instead of the garlic. Instinct is good but we need methods. Lots of it.

These are rare times when I seem to come to a deadend, and a hand just snatched me up to go over the wall and continue walking. Friends do that. Good friends will even shove you and complain that you’re too slow.

I’m not. I’m just relishing the good feeling while enjoying the sights, is all.

And Just Like That . . .

Introspection

It’s always a problem when I treat a project like my own.

If I was given a task to do, with just an idea, or a concept to work on, I try to learn everything there is to know, or maybe just enough to understand what the outcome should be. It doesn’t matter if the job is an illustration, motion graphics or web design. There is a time as the work progresses that I adopt the project as my own.

Lo and behold, it’s taking shape, exhibiting behavior, showing purpose and cadence. Indeed, we often treat our work as infants brought into the world. Forget the fact that I was hired to do it. The baby is growing.

Now all of a sudden, some nitwit thinks it could have been done better, or this shouldn’t be there. You know, pedestrians posing as analysts. Or worse, as experts. Continue reading