Going on philosophical on dat ass.
Today's Average Joe is an artist with an unhealthy addiction to Star Wars. It's gotten so bad, he even enjoys the new stuff. Bet he's even a fan of the Christmas special. While you shudder in terror at the thought of anyone enduring such terror, take a minute to read through his interview below. It's way better than the EU. I promise.
Q. Who are you and what do you do?
A. The details of my life are quite inconsequential.
My name is John and I’m a freelance graphic artist as well as lead graphic designer for a start up company. Along with the mouse and keyboard job, I am a full time student at DeVry University – currently enrolled in their GSP (Game and Simulations Programming) course. At 27, I feel I’m the old guy in class, but its nice to actually have goals. I sit in class sometimes and marvel at how little some students’ care about what they are doing. I’m glad I have this opportunity to be a student at this age. I’ve been an artist for all of my life but only had a real opportunity to extend my pencil and paper art to digital art recently. I’ve actually only been using Photoshop and other digital media for about three years, starting with the basics and learning to do more intricate imagery and designs. I was kind of forced into the position when a friend of mine told me to make a logo for our little internet radio show or I’m out of here. I really didn’t know what I was doing, but the results were good so I kept at it.
After a year or two with some basics underway, I started my own sole proprietorship and began doing print ads for Chicago magazines and companies, as well as some web pieces. Recently, well for over two years now actually, I’ve been working with bs angel of HawtyMcBloggy.com
. She’s been an amazing supporter of some of my work, getting the first approvals of a lot of my pieces to make sure I didn’t over do anything. I’ve had my hand in her…ahem…site as well, helping with some of her graphics and contests.
I’m also the biggest Star Wars fan you’ll ever talk to. Most people are actually shocked to see me spewing out intelligent information in relation to Star Wars. I even have the tattoo to prove it. And to answer the question right off the bat: Yes, I actually do like the -blam!- that is the new trilogy, but only after I watched all six in one sitting. They are actually stomach-able then.
In short, my hobbies are my job and “If you can make a living doing what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Q. So you're a nerd. Got it. What about the name? As nerdy as nerdy Star Wars stuff?
A. Oye. It’s easier to say that my name is a combination of “Hal” from 2001: A Space Odyssey and a “cylon” from Battlestar Galactica. But it's not. Actually I was virtually unaware of those two movies when I chose this name. It’s actually a misspelling of a Star Wars character I read about in the novel I, Jedi
. His name was Hal Halcyon. I could have just said that I wanted to put my own spin on the word “halcyon” - (pronounced /ˈhælsiən/), a term that originates from the Greek myth of Alcyone, is used most often to mean golden or marked by peace and prosperity - but that would have been down right nutty.
So sadly, by the time I realized that I had totally botched the name back in my early online days it was too late. I chose it for Xbox LIVE and never looked back…save for last year when I tried to get “halcyon” only to realize it was already taken.
So yeah, to answer your question, I’m just an idiot sometimes.
Q. Yeah, some jerk is squatting my first choice, too. When you squat down online, where do you park your pickle jar?
A. Since the revamp of the revamp of the revamp (did I get that right?) I’ve been frequenting the Halo Universe Forum, ODST Forum, and Bungie Community Forum. I stay away from places that make me mad to be online and shake my fist at the screen in boiling rage, but I have found a nice home in the other threads. I was recently holed up solely in the Halo Universe thread specifically because of the work I was doing trying to create an actual interactive “Halo Galactic Map” based off of one of my art pieces. This was a huge undertaking that wound up being more work than fun towards the end. “Too many cooks…” and “we don’t even know where everything is” were some of reason it since has lost its steam. But to SonicJohn’s credit, it looks phenomenal as an alpha stage model. He did a really great job with what I had asked him to do. I think with some input and more work it can really fly. I truly would love nothing more than to finish it.
I’m more into the community as a social place. I tend to leave Halo on the console and avoid conversations that start with “well my BR is bigger than yours….” It's not that I don’t mind discussing the games, I just feel that it’s gets redundant in some areas and that you just wind up screaming at each other because of this, that, or the other. The Bungie Community Forum tends to be the place to find a lot of creativity and new ideas. I love what the scripting guys are doing with Coup d’Bungie only because of how much dedication and time these guys put in. You have to keep your head above some of the stuff that’s out there to really see the threads, post, people, and communities that rise to the top. These parts of the site are what really drive the engine here and aid in making new features and advancements.
Q. So what drives you to play video games when you could be watching the horror that is the Star Wars prequels again?
A. Uh, the fact that you, Bungie, have released crack in the form of a game that never ends? I don’t remember ever not playing games, much less Halo. Any girlfriend I had or will have always needs to know on the first date – I’m a gamer.
Well, I’ve been a gamer since I was able to hold a controller and now that you’ve asked me that, I really don’t have an answer. I wrote a lot of papers and speeches on gaming, social networking, and the gaming industry to only come to the conclusion that gaming was the next logical trend in society. Oh yes, I went all philosophical on your ass.
Baring any long rant on those concepts, I love gaming. I think it’s one of the greatest assets to my life being a graphic guy and all. I have forged a lot of great friendships, most of whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person and spending some time with. Yoozel loves to cuddle…even when he’s not drunk. (I am full aware of what the repercussions of that statement will be.)
I think it’s the interconnection of a person doing something they can’t in real life that drives most gamers. Whether it’s playing football on an NFL team or tea bagging a bully because he got stuck right in the face! OMG did you see that! ROFLLOL!!!1!!!one! Games allow people to do something extraordinary; whether it’s playing or creating. That’s what drives me to want to do what I’m doing. I want to be a level artist/designer. Ever since I could hold a pencil to a piece of paper I’ve wanted to go into my art. Interact with it. I really, really want to make a perverted joke, but its true. To me, there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing something you’ve created enjoyed and appreciated.
What Bungie has done both on and off line is created a system that allows the user to play a game, submit feedback, have it implemented, and play new features. I.e., crack. I can’t wait for my chance to do that to people.
Q. What was the first Bungie game you mainlined?
A. Honestly, I didn’t even own an Xbox in college back in 2001. I saw my floor mate playing a game that he said we could play together. We started on 343 Guilty Spark of Halo: Combat Evolved. I had originally thought this to be some jungle warfare game, but was totally surprised. I remember that night because it was a Friday night and we started at about 5 PM. When it came time to go out, we realized that we were on the final mission. We just couldn’t stop! We kept getting killed however and figured getting drunk would solve our issues. That was a great college lesson. Regardless we talked to a guy who was mentioning the game and he told us how to take care of the “end run” of the campaign. What a night that was. As you can probably tell, I was super cool.
Q. Oh, yeah. Are you surprised that your initial drunken run drove you to become involved with the Bungie community?
A. Yes and no. I would love to be more involved, but there’s only so much I can offer in my craft that would be allowed. I’m not much in way of posting and being involved in idle chitchat. I make my posts where I see they can add (or subtract) from a subject.
I love doing artwork for the community though, especially of screenshots and renders. BS Angel has given me a ton of support in this area and even let me host my images of remade screenshots on her sites. I can never really thank her enough for how much she has helped me grow in that respect. Plus she claims she “gave me Recon”… whatever that’s about. :)
Community interaction is what makes me feel like I can make anything though. I have a lot of great feedback and support from so many, many people and it lets me expand to areas of art where I would normally shy away from. To be fair, I’ve done very little though. If you look at some of the members who bust their ass to bring up important topics, moderate the forums, and dedicate time and money to hosting sites and offshoots, you really see the level of dedication that people put in. I love putting in all the time I can for art and video.
Q. Do you get involved with those offshoots as well?
A. I won’t speak for anyone, but I’m currently involved in a number of sites that I just can’t get enough of. The aforementioned Hawty McBloggy and her sites have given me so much that all I can do is contribute as much as I can to them. I was a part of a growing audio/video podcast called “Shots in the Dark”, but our two leads left for greener pastures. Now sometimes I write columns for Newsarama.com and some other media sites, but nothing official.
Q. Anything you would like to add before you make the jump to lightspeed?
A. What, you don’t think that’s enough? How much can one person talk about himself or herself?! Answer: a lot.
I first off want to say thank you for this chance to thank everyone that’s ever been involved in my mischief. I know I’m not the easiest person to get along with or work with, but the success we’ve brought to the table speaks for itself. I’d love to give the following shout outs:
Yoozel – I still have the note you left me on my nightstand.
Lil Bob 1269 – You may say “do what now huh?” but you’re a great friend to have.
Cdog23 – You’re aim’s as bad as your grammar, but wouldn’t be where I am without ya!
Catme27 – Gotta get that?
I wont give everyone a personal message – I think I hear the “get off the stage music playing” – but PunkPirateAFO, B5D guys (especially you, Kritical, you stallion you), Sick and Psycho, Kapture (I’ll keep your secret safe), Foman123 (now that I mentioned him this thread will probably get locked), Pika and Jayno, Xeropain, Dupindi and AngelicRenegade, Insain54, Duardo, H3ITWP people, and all those on my friends list. Finally, I really want to give a special thank you to bs angel. You’ve done more for me in the past two years than most people do in a lifetime. You are a wonderful person and I’m glad I can call you my friend. You’ve blown me…away.
I see what you did there. And it is good. If you just read through Halcylon's sweet interview and want to see all this artwork he's been on about, you can check out his online galleries
. We've featured some of it before in Comm Chatter and in the weekly update, but if you're looking for the one stop Halcylon shop, that's your go to resource. If you're just looking to sound off and chew on his ear a little, you can hit the discussion thread attached.