My Declaration of War

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I, Chris Hilbig, am declaring war on life in general. I am angry and dissatisfied with myself, my circumstances, and with my environment. My patience for fools and shysters are about close to reaching their limits. I am tired of bouncing from gimmick to cheap gimmick in order to pave my way towards my goals. I have come to the realization that I need to focus on my talents, not what I lack. I will no longer tolerate any more unnecessary crap, and I will no longer allow myself to be a victim of my circumstances, like most of the people on this planet. I must assume responsibility for myself and stop thinking and acting like someone or something will swoop in to save me. If not than I will never have any control over my life and circumstances.

“I have come to tell you tell you that one is coming.”
Nathaniel Brandon

© 2012 CHRIS HILBIG

I’ve long recognized the warning signs, but I’ve either ignored or put them off. My last job (which could get me sued by a major computer company if I ever write about my experiences) drove my anxiety to the point where I’ve been suffering from chronic insomnia for days at a time. And if I don’t sleep, then life goes to crap. I feel silly just thinking about all of the pills I’ve taken (in both herbal and pharmaceutical forms) just to deal with it. Never fear, I’ve walked away from my employer and as for writing, I’m currently in what I call “recovery mode.” (I also have a cold that doesn’t want to go away of top of this.) As of this post, today is the first of many steps that I must take to change.

So what does this mean to you, my reader? Probably not much. My war does not involve weapons, bombs, and will most likely only kill me if anyone. This will eventually stretch all across the internet and social media. You, my reader may consider this post to be a sign of help, complete nonsense, or in some ways indearing. Regardless of your opinions, I, or better yet this blog, will succeed or fail based upon my efforts and nothing else.

I will do my best to give you, the reader, a reason to visit this website. I will work towards making this website a place of inspiration, insight, and education. My main goals (a side from making lots of money) are to share my knowledge, ideas, and discoveries on art, illustration, CG software, graphic design, photoshop, the web, drawing, etc.

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My Dirty Li’l Past on the Internet

Even though this is my first time running a blog (or a WordPress site), this hasn’t been my first rodeo on the world wide web. A couple of years ago, I posted the not-so-ready-for-primetime portfolio site that attracted about nobody. I was also running and barely able to maintain VagueComics.com. I was using old-school HTML/XHTML, CSS 2.0, JavaScript, Flash, and Dreamweaver to create it.  After building up to a certain amount of content, I began to realize how time-consuming it was just to post a new comic strip. To give you a rundown of the process, I hacked the strip together, created a web optimized version for publication, opened Dreamweaver to make the necessary changes to the Home page, the Archive page for whatever series it was for, remembered I needed a “preview” graphic for the homepage, tested the site locally, and then finally uploaded it. Just getting to this mundane point was quite the learning curve.

Towards the end of my run, I at least applied a PHP script that scanned a folder containing my comic strips and let the end-user dynamically change between strips without having to open a different page. That was alright as a temporary solution, but even at the time it wasn’t a robust enough to help streamline my efforts or to reduced the time it took to complete the process on a weekly basis.

After a while, maybe months, I eventually got burned out, and started to get behind on the comic strips. At first I blew off Fuego. Later on, Parti Animals became more and more of a pain to work on. (Cutting corners didn’t help.) I tried learning PHP, and to be honest, I learned enough to understand what a piece of code might do, but I didn’t know enough to create my own useful scripts. Then there was SQL (which needs PHP to work its magic), which seemed like the ideal solution. By that point, I neither had the time nor the patience to learn anything else. (A cheap excuse, I know.) I’d written this off as me just being lazy, but in retrospect, I just had too much on my plate, so everything eventually went to hell because I could handle all the demands in life. By the time that happened, I gave up. I justified it as a necessary hiatus. I was running Google ads on the site (which were running all sorts of unrelated ads) and never made a dime on them. I also had no clue as to how to sell advertising no my site, and how to determine a price range that would make any sense to potential clients. Therefore, I had very little incentive to continue the hard slog. So I pulled the plug.

Sample from VagueComics.com

Sample comic strip from VagueComics.com

For those of you wondering, I didn’t have money to pay for professionals, yet I did try to bring in friends to help out. Either circumstance or lack of interest prevented any type of active partnership. One guy I knew called me up one evening and told me after he received a comic strip to color, his monitor fell (or got knocked) over. We agreed that strips cursed whatever he used because this wasn’t the first time.

© 2012 CHRIS HILBIG

 

Recent History…

Previous to my current stint on ChrisHilbig.com, I was posting a series of online tutorials on Squidoo.  Previously I purchased a system on how to make money via online marketing and ironically Squidoo was the place to plant your flag. I say “ironically” based on my experiences with Squidoo. They try to present themselves as more of a “community” then a commercial website. My first lens (which is their term for a post) was on the basics of Forex trading. And why not, I’ve pissed away enough time and money learning about FX trading. I also posted Click Bank links to a trading system that I was an affiliate for. To my frustration, Squidoo claimed it was “too spammy”. (Wow, that pissed me off!) This was among other annoyances, like taking previously published lenses and making them “unpublished”.  I have as of yet to determine what it’ll take to get Squidoo to “publish” them. I’m also left wondering if my niche articles were either really crummy or there just weren’t enough regulars at Squidoo who have an interest in my niche. I believe this has been one of the catalysts for finally creating my own website where I have much more control over the situation.

As of December 10th, 2012, I had officially wrapped up my three year stint as a student of the Art Instruction Schools. (Which I wished I would had attended before community college long ago) I had enrolled into AIS as an alternative to standard art school (which was super expensive), and it provided me with a more solid foundation as an artist. With that out of the way, I’ll have more free-time for my personal projects such as ChrisHilbig.com. I envision this website to be a launch-pad for other ideas and projects. Even the eventual return of VagueComics.com…

© 2012 Chris Hilbig

 

WordPress

I’ve been spending the past two months or more learning about WordPress. So far I’ve found it to be extremely robust and powerful. That said, It’s steep in PHP, and customizing it to my liking will require much more effort than I’d care to expend. That’s why I’m extreme grateful to Brad Thomas for his Leaf theme. Even after reading up on and playing with WordPress, I still feel like I’ve only scratched the surface. Everyday I learn something new. It reminds of ZBrush in the sense that it’s an extremely powerful tool with an over-whelming number of options that do all sorts of things that I haven’t yet understood.

I’ve also been learning about WordPress’s little quirks and how they’re rendered in different web browsers. (Just when I thought the web has grown beyond such things…) A great example, for you HTML geeks, is the anchor, which lets the reader jump to a specific place on a web page. I have to code the link or web address in a particular way, otherwise it‘ll just load the post like normal. Fortunately, I stumbled across the solution on a forum that Google sniffed out. But I’ll write a simplified post on how to accomplish this and any other quirks I learn while playing and experimenting with WordPress.

© 2012 Chris Hilbig

 

 

In Conclusion…

In conclusion, thank you for taking the time to read the first shot of my war. The site you’re viewing will be the first of many fronts. Prepare for a fight!

 

 

 

Chris Hilbig

Mon, December 24, 2012

© 2012 CHRIS HILBIG