Chronicles: 2018 Spring

Another blog post that’s a little late! I feel like I’ve traveled a lot the past few months (for both work and art).

Academic

  • A few friends teaching a social computing class invited me to give a guest lecture! I basically just gave my dissertation defense, but I think the students found it useful? I got to stick around and learn about their class projects and give some feedback, which was fun. Giving that lecture, and knowing the students were looking at me as an ~*~*industry person*~*~, I remember thinking, “Wow, I’m definitely not a student anymore.”
  • I’m serving on the CSCW program committee! Lots of reviewing and reviewer assignments these past couple months as submissions have come in.
  • Visited the Seattle Adobe office for about a week! It was nice to meet up with colleagues in person. I also got to visit my parents over the weekend and go hiking with them while I was there.
  • Then, the week after, I went to CHI in Montreal! It was my first time there and found the city lovely and very walkable. A couple of favorite papers:
  • A few weeks after that, Adobe had their annual research retreat, held at the Seascape Resort! Gave a talk on an early thoughts on a framework for designing (machine learning and crowd-powered) creativity tools and got a lot of positive responses and feedback.
  • I also went to HCIC 2018. I gave a talk with my colleague (and manager) Mira Dontcheva on the same idea I presented at a research retreat and got some good feedback there too. Social validation, yay!
  • A bunch of my friends defended this year! Congrats to Ethan, Will, and Niloufar!
  • Intern season at Adobe started! I am working with Grace Yen (UCIC), Eureka Foong (Northwestern), and Mackenzie Leake (Stanford) this summer.

Art

  • Wrote up a new tutorial, this time on how I cut small prints!
  • Finished a new Harvest Moon print, featuring the More Friends of Mineral Town cast!
  • Attended the artist alley at A-Kon! I had a great time meeting people and doing commissions, but I was a little disappointed by a lack of communication from the artist alley that resulted in a lot of artists (including myself) arriving one day earlier than they needed to — it turned out the artist alley was not open the first day of the convention! I used my extra day in Texas to hole up in my hotel room and do paper reviews for CSCW 😛 Also, I ended up getting stuck at the airport overnight while trying to come home :’D
  • The Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary Fanbook I participated in was able to raise $1000 for Doctors Without Borders!
  • Got into Crunchyroll Expo‘s Artist Alley! I’ll be there from September 1 – 3 later this year.
  • I drew another Neat Things comic about how weird penguin skeletons are.
  • I did an interview with Sevengamer’s FFXIV Wiki about my artwork and life on FFXIV!

Personal

  • My dog died at my parent’s home earlier this year. I’ll miss you, Lucky.
  • I need to get back into exercising! Travel, combined with being sick and mildly spraining my ankle, made it so I haven’t been running or doing yoga for a few months.
  • Anime: Card Captor Sakura: Clear Card Arc (still very cute!), Boku no Hero Academia (still my go-to shounen anime fix), Kino’s Journey (finished it! I liked the last two episodes a lot, but somehow it felt less serious and philosophical than the original series), Pokemon Sun and Moon (still super cute, funny, and well-written), RWBY Volume 5
  • Games:
    • Rune Factory 4 (finished Arc 1 and 2, just waiting for Arc 3 to trigger while doing town events and dating events with NPCs), Persona 5 (finally finished it! The ending was pretty crazy but I enjoyed it overall), Breath of the Wild (finished it as well, I loved the beautiful world and I really like scholar/researcher Zelda in this iteration of the series), Granblue Fantasy, FF Record Keeper
    • I started Nier Automata! FFXV is also on deck to play soon, but after Persona I felt like I wanted a break from a long JRPG.
    • I’m super behind on FFXIV! I haven’t played through 4.3 yet.
  • Podcasts:
    • I got to go to the MBMBAM and The Adventure Zone live shows in San Francisco and had so much fun! It was awesome seeing some of my favorite podcasters live.
  • D&D continues!
    • Our group tried Roll20 for the first time since I was sick during our scheduled game session, and it went well! It was super nice being able to quickly pull together a map that players could move their own characters around. I tried forgoing battles completely for this session and doing a more roleplaying/social challenge using initiative order, which I think helped make sure all players stayed engaged.
    • I also tried a World of Darkness tabletop roleplaying game with some friends as a one-time player character! It was interesting playing with a new group. They were a bit more physically active in their roleplaying (e.g., having conversations in parallel in different rooms rather than everyone paying attention to everything) which was very new to me and hard to get used to, but they made me feel very comfortable despite how awkward and shy I was being (thanks guys!).

Chronicles: 2018 Winter

This blog post is about a month-and-a-half overdue, but here we go!

Academic

  • Work continues to be hard but fun and interesting! My current struggle: figuring out how to reduce meetings and increase available time for research work. I’ve been asking some more experienced folks for advice and was relieved to hear that it’s perfectly reasonable I’ve been more meeting-heavy since I’m trying to get to know people and figure out what projects to work on. I got some good pointers and encouragement on how to make sure I’m spending my time on the things I find most interesting. (Side note: my work colleagues are super nice and thoughtful people and I’m so glad I work with them!)
  • Worked with a few folks to submit a talk proposal to HCIC 2018! Will it get in? I hope so! (But then that means I have to prepare a presentation, so…)
  • I interviewed potential hires for the first time! It’s super weird being on the other side of the table. I think I already knew this, but actually conducting interviews and participating in meetings about hires really cemented for me how difficult and human (?) the whole process is.

Art

  • Participated in Hourly Comic Day!
  • Got into A-Kon‘s artist alley! I’ll be there from June 7 – 10 this year. It’ll also be my first anime convention of 2018, which makes me a little nervous. It’s been a while since I’ve done commissions and travelled for a con!
  • Finished my first illustration this year: a portrait of Alphinaud and Alisaie from FFXIV!
  • Also did a few ink sketch portraits of my D&D players’ characters! A whole year ago I had done a few for two players for their birthdays and realized I had never given birthday presents to the rest of them… Better late than never?
  • Spent some time putting together some speedpaint videos of newer illustrations for my YouTube channel! I actually really enjoy putting these together… it’s relaxing to see the end result and it’s fun finding and working with music artists and featuring their remixes and songs.
  • Tried a stab at a new type of comic for Herogirl that I’m calling “Neat Things”, where I illustrate a fact or real-world story that I find neat! My first one was about the history of citrus fruits.
  • I put together my Inktober 2017 artbook and sent it off to print (finally)! I’ll hopefully have it up in my Etsy store soon.
  • Completed another full Hobonichi and started a new one! I’m so glad to have discovered journaling and I hope I can keep it up for many more years.

Personal

  • I made self-care a 2018 resolution for myself! So far, I’ve:
    • Started getting monthly massages. This is the one thing I’ve been looking forward to trying to do now that I have more disposable income.
    • Started running twice a week! By “running”, I mean jogging lightly on a treadmill for like 15 minutes. My knees were not liking this, so at a friend’s suggestion, I got myself some new super-cushioned running shoes.
    • Committed to doing yoga twice a week! I’ve been doing it on and off for the past year, but now I’m making it a part of my weekly schedule. I just do it at home by following along with Youtube videos.
    • Made time for meditation. Now that I regularly take the train to work, I’ve found it’s provided me a way to get a 10-minute meditation session in my day. I am still terrible at it, but hopefully this will help me do it more regularly.
    • Worked on better sleep hygiene. I’m trying a couple of different things to help me fall asleep in a reasonable amount of time (like, falling asleep in less than an hour would be really nice), like not eating and exercising at night and not looking at my phone in bed. I also started wearing an eyemask — I used to think I was pretty good at sleeping with lights on, but the eyemask has been probably one of the most helpful things I’ve tried so far.
    • Tried out a daily “worry time”. I worry about everything, all the time, for any reason, so I thought I would try taking 20 minutes or so each day to worry as much as I want! My thought was that this would help me worry less the rest of the day, but so far I’m finding it just makes me more anxious than before. Go figure.
  • Anime: Girl’s Last Tour (my favorite anime I’ve seen in a while! Very cute and mysterious), Pop Team Epic (I can’t tell if I liked it or not, but it was… engaging?), Yuru Camp (the animation quality and characters were nothing to write home about, but it was a relaxing show and very good at making you want to go camping), Gintama (still good, still working through the archives), Card Captor Sakura: Clear Card Arc (enjoying it so far! It’s pretty true to the original anime, which I love)
    • Tried: Osomatsu S2 (I’m not sure why, but the humor just didn’t hold my attention this season), Love Live Sunshine S2 (the plots for each episode started getting repetitive), Darling in the FRANXX (no), Idolish7 (why did I try this), A Place Further than the Universe (looks great, but the story seems a bit heavy! I’ll have to come back to this), Violet Evergarden (same), Mitsuboshi Colors (animation quality is great, but I couldn’t get into the humor)
  • Games: FFXIV Patch 4.2 (finished Coil of Bahamut with some friends finally, cleared Byakko Ex, leveled some of my crafters to 70, and I changed my main class to PLD!), Dai Gyakuten Saiban (finished watching a let’s play of this, enjoyed the fun story!), Persona 5 (still working through it, still good, but it’s so long), Granblue Fantasy, FF Record Keeper
  • Podcasts: The Adventure Zone: Amnesty, Wonderful, The Polygon Show, Acquisitions Incorporated
    • I nabbed tickets to see MBMBAM and The Adventure Zone live in June! Woohoo!
  • D&D:
    • Had my first session with my D&D group since October!
    • Because we’ve been having some trouble role-playing, I set up individual character brainstorming sessions with each player and I think that actually went pretty well! I’m also starting to see how a story can come together based on how characters’ individual backstories connect…
    • Built a campaign wiki to help me keep in-game and DM knowledge separate and to have a place where I can keep session notes 😛