Friday, September 3, 2021

My Recently Acquired Obsessions

This year, like most people, I haven't really had a chance to go out. Unless you've been out of touch or have been asleep for the past year or so, there has been this global pandemic that has been spreading like hell. This has literally changed the world as we knew it and how everyone and everything operated. 

That View From Taal Volcano. A reinterpretation from that photo of me back in 2017.


So without the ability to wander and take photos, what have I been up to? A couple of things - revisiting an old hobby that I sucked at, and a newfound fondness for mechanical keyboards.

 Same Mess, Different Age

Recently I created this account in Instagram, called "I created a mess." This one revisits an old hobby I had decades ago, which I have stopped dabbling in since I graduated from school. I must say, it's actually more difficult to do than I remember. I dare say though, that what I've created wasn't as bad as what I was creating before.

Dabbling In Digital Art. This thing that looks like it was something created by a toddler is actually the first thing I've ever created using a digital tablet. Consider it my "hello world" in digital art. *sobs in pixels*


... Okay, maybe it's not true in digital art. I may have had some experience and know my way around editing photos in GIMP and Photoshop, but drawing on a digital tablet made me feel like a fish out of water. People sure made it look easier than it is. For the most part I certainly feel a bit more confident in other media, despite the questionable workmanship. One can probably say it's Avant-garde, or downright deplorable- depending on you who ask.


A View Of The Crater Lake. This is my first splash back into watercolor. So excuse the muddy rendition of things.

Not all of my attempts were particularly successful though. This particular example wasn't as brilliant, and as the Instagram account handle suggests, it is indeed a mess. I recall how I've always been when I draw. Instead of making a proper curve, it's like I make several lines that curve differently and eventually becomes a proper curve. Unsurprisingly, this way of doing things requires a lot of erasures.

Going Up The Volcano. This was intended to be a recreation of the view going up to the crater edge on Taal. Needless to say, it turned out way differently than what I have intended. 


Also, among the painting media I've dabbled with, watercolor is probably my least favorite. They don't give me the effect I want, and they're too faded for my taste. Also it's a lot of mess to make. Have I mentioned it's messy? For some reason I find myself wanting to create texture with it. What I get are blobs of pigment. It's even a wonder that it somehow resembles what I originally intended, though more often than not, it becomes something different altogether.

Monochromatic. On some days I turns out as I intended. Ironic that it's when I use only one color that it turns out lovely.

As it stands, I may not be completely going back to this in the long run, but I still would be dabbling with it from time to time. It is after all fun to make a mess once in a while. Who else here enjoys this sort of thing?

The Pleasure In The Mundane

When one thinks of keyboards, one would think that there's really not much to write home about. It is basically an implement that allows one to encode letters in whatever they're doing, and to some extent, navigate around a computer's graphical user interface. And that's it. In my past decade or so of using computers I've used keyboards without giving it much thought. The most scrutiny people can have with keyboards are their layouts and how comfortable or cramped they feel. At least that's true for keyboards that use rubber membranes.

Glowing Letters And Long Key Travel. The lights also change colors.
Thanks to a friend at work, who  in his frivolity and interest in technologies new and shiny, I got my hands a few years ago on a mechanical keyboard for a good price. Let's just say that was my "gateway drug" to this satisfying frivolity. 
Mechanical keyboards aren't really new. They've been around with the earlier computers from a time when keyboards were build tough, durable, and in a pinch can be used as a blunt weapon. In the past few years there have been a resurgence of these things. Their promise of durability, better typing feel (one can choose a keyboard depending on its switches respond, whether it's a linear response, has tactile feedback, or if you want to hear yourself typing, clicky keys.) I've noticed things I didn't notice before like how the key press feels, how satisfying it is. The pretty glowing and changing lights or features like bluetooth connectivity are a bonus.
In a photo: Underrated typing pleasure. Yes, I have more than one mechanical keyboard.

Personally I'm a fan of tactile keys, with linear keys as a second preference. I'm not exactly keen on clicky keys as the noise annoys the hell out of me. Personally they sound like they're worn out or like something is broken whenever I hear people type in those. I know folks who enjoy them, though. This is just the tip of it though. With the diverse choices and numerous manufacturer, it's its own rabbit hole to get lost in.

 ... And so far, I'm only a few keyboards in. I can't promise I'd stop getting my hands on newer ones. 😅

 And there you have it. I've been dabbling with a few things as you can see. How are you keeping yourself sane in these trying times?

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