Risk & Innovation by Andy Stoltz

I have a rant to get to but first…

I’m moving soon. I haven’t been working on personal projects because my job and family takes precedence and both have been needing more attention lately. I’m hoping that in the next month or so I can get back on track. I have been mostly taking down copious notes on some projects that will need a good deal of planning because they will require me to invest substantially. That said I’m really looking forward to getting more work done in the coming months, especially now that my partner is going to be living with me!

and now a gentle rant

There is going to be a time when you need to change. It’s not easy and you won’t always see the benefits right away. If you notice a better way to do your work or find a tool you can learn to use that saves time then do a cost benefit analysis and go for it.

You either innovate or die a slow costly death working twice as hard for half the profit.

There’s always going to be that risk that what you invest your time and money in is going to only make a marginal difference or even set you back. Just accept it and learn from that.

I have had a pet project at work for the past year at least finding a faster way to create higher quality drawings while also reducing file sizes and it’s really paying off. This has meant getting my hands on some new programs and trying something new wherein hours wasted are big deal and cut noticeably into the bottomline. The first batch proved my process could work to get better images with smaller file sizes but failed to save time. My second run I tweaked the process listening suggestion from coworkers and the results have been about a 30% reduction in production time.

Of course nothing is ever perfect, I’ll likely be varying the formula for my process every chance I get to run it.

Learning never ends and you can’t learn without taking a few calculated risks.

Anyways that’s my rant. It’s directed at no-one and everyone who works in a competitive industry.



Always Learning. by Andy Stoltz

Getting to know AutoCAD better.

I’ve used a number of drafting programs and vector illustration tools in the past 15 or so years but I’ve never taken the time to really dive into AutoCAD. I’m having a great time thinking up floor plans mostly and then Illustrating the outside in Photoshop, This program provides the user with an excellent sense of scale and I’m loving it. I’ve always had a good spatial sense but using AutoCAD just cranks that skill up to 11 and it’s been surprisingly inspiring to use.

It’s much like using Corel Technical Suite except with far more emphasis on drawing using more precise. It’s certainly more mechanically driven. By that I mean I can automate more of the drawing with the right inputs to create more precise drawings. There really is something very satisfying about it and I’m definitely looking forward to learning more of what AutoCAD is capable of.



Big Steps, little steps. by Andy Stoltz

I’ve been working on far more projects lately and taking longer hours working on illustrations under NDA. I truly wish I could share that which now makes up the bulk of my portfolio. I have been doing more personal work lately and have planned some collaborative works for the future.

Screen Shot copyright 2019, Andy Stoltz

I’ve just finished the initial drawings for a series of fantastic illustrated maps. They are currently being critiqued and revised by my peers. I’ve updated my illustration gallery here to include a preview. Super excited to continue doing work like this and hope to carve out a niche for myself doing these.

My next steps are to be making some smaller pieces and dropping into more Graphic Design. Thats all for now. I’ll be checking in again in late July. In the mean time please stop in and check out my live streams on Twitch.tv/paparhombus

Until next time,

Andy Stoltz

time for art. by Andy Stoltz

How do we find people to collaborate with? Battling with a fully loaded schedule and a burnt out brain.

There are so many things I want to do but I find it difficult to get in touch with the right people with the same passion and drive to do a thing that I have. Another big part of this is trust, anyone I’ve ever met and invited to collaborate with has been flakey or just not a team player. I usually end up spending more time with team building and trying to build engagement. Part of all this is on me too, I’m competing with my work schedule to find time and my weekends are a blur of driving around between states and being a parent. This leaves me with just 4 weekday afternoons to work with. Time spent finding a space to breathe and recenter, time to cook, clean, and read. Time to get to work all over again with the energy and passion each project deserves.

So I’m playing with options to grab up more project time and it comes down to - just push harder - or - make more time somewhere. For now I’m just pushing harder and maybe I’ll try to grab up an extra hour of sleep and that’ll get me the energy I need to get what I want done.

a bit of a rant but it’s my birthday today and I think I should be allowed one rant a year.

Forward Motions by Andy Stoltz

In the past year I’ve read over 150 books and listened to more than 400 hours of podcasts. Now after two and a half years in the creative desert of patent illustration I want more than anything to make something real and new. My mind is a treasure trove of ideas and stories ready to birth new worlds.

I’m digging into a small stack of moleskines and bringing out the best ideas.

This is so overdue. My schedule is hell, it’s been hell for years, Dante had to start there so why can’t I.

I have a nice home set up to work from. Anytime I feel like I can’t find time I’ll just remind myself of the considerable investment I’ve made in putting my ideal office together. Also I’m on Twitch www.twitch.tv/paparhombus go there and make me beholden to your expectations. Social media is the beast I’ve feared for far too long but it the beast I need to ride whether I like it or not. I’ll just be learning the ropes on twitter @paparhombus.

This isn’t just a big social media plug for myself. Just an introspective. We al have our tales to tell, this is mine.

2019 and we feel good by Andy Stoltz

Been busy cramming in time with my better half before she flies off to Israel for a bit so this one’s a bit late. Oh, and the holidays too!

Going to start streaming loads more so subscribe for that. I’ll be diving into some cool new vector tool plug-ins for Illustrator making a big ol’ beautiful space lion!

Streaming vector art is a bit of a challenge because it’s a little on the slow side. All art takes time but vectors are a special breed of art that takes good planning to execute well. Super worth it though, like putting together a good story. I also go over the technique I use and how I’m learning all the neat ways the program can surprise me even after 6 years of vector illustration experience. I went and got myself a professional microphone so you get to hear my good voice, all smooth and sexy!

My boss has got me writing copy and doing all his marketing at work lately so it’s nice to write a little something here for all you wonderful folks who’ve supported me in so many ways over the years. Wish I had more to share but, I’ve got “Hungry Like the Wolf',” playing in my office right now and I just cant think of anything else to say. NICE “Burning down the House” by Talking Heads just started up!!!!