Sunday, November 27, 2016

My Favorite View

One of the most noticeable landmarks in Amemura is a scale replica of the statue of liberty set atop a 10 story building. Though a meetup I was fortunate to meet a guy from Australia who rents out the top floor of that building. I get to hang out there sometimes. From his balcony you can see the main gathering spot in Amemura where I sometimes go to photograph interesting people. It would be nice if I could move to this area someday. This area is also fairly close to where I work. I really don't care for having a long commute.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Seeing a fat bike again.

Walking around Amemura the other day I came across a well-used fatbike. I remember they were popular the last time I was here 3 years ago. For that reason I bought my own fatbike  when I got back to the US. It was a real pain to use and eventually it got stolen, but even seeing one now, I must admit I think they look pretty cool.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Making Video Games for a Living

It's really happening. I'm getting paid to work on a video game while living in Japan. I must admit it feels good when I tell people what I do for a living and they immediately want to know more. It's definitely the most interesting work I have done so far. The sorts of problems I encounter on a daily basis are much more satisfying to solve than what I encountered working as a web developer. The other day I had to use calculus to solve a programming problem. This would never occur working on a web site.
The work schedule is a bit harsh. I typically leave for work at 9am and get home around 9pm. This won't always be the case. We have a major deadline coming up in the next few weeks and if we can make it, the chances of our game succeeding increase dramatically. I feel motivated like never before to push hard and do a good job. I have a sense that a little bit of struggle now could result in a lot of cool things happening to my career in the future. This certainly isn't the life for everyone. I'm currently making about 1/6th of what I was making in the US, but my daily life is much more enjoyable than it was back then. It kind of feels like I switched my life from easy to hard mode, but it's really thrilling.
I haven't been photographing much recently, but after the big deadline I should have a chance to catch my breath and spend some time on my hobbies.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Stay within the lines.

Recently I was in need of some blank paper for an art project. I decided to walk down to the nearest convenience store as they seem to have everything. I found they had an impressive selection of stationary, but what they didn't have was paper without any lines on it. They had all kinds of lined paper for various casual and official purposes, but not a single piece of free-form blank paper.
I went to another, slightly farther convenience store and found the same thing. I'm sure I'll be able to find blank paper somewhere, but I thought this was humorously symbolic of Japanese culture as a whole. Why would you need to draw outside the lines?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Adjusting to real life in Japan

Hello everyone.
I'm continuing to settle into my new life working in Japan. At the moment working on the game takes about 10 hours out of my day and when I get home I have various freelance projects I need to work on so my free time is rather limited. I'm really enjoying this change of pace though. While I sometimes wish I could take things a bit slower, a friend of mine once told me. "Everyone just wants to be left alone to underachieve in peace" My current situation is forcing me to really push the limits of what I am capable of and I enjoy the feeling. My hope is that I will be able to produce a body of work that I can be proud of. Because I am at work for most daylight hours I don't get many opportunities to photograph on weekdays. Previously I would go out photographing whenever the spirit moved me. Now I will have to schedule specific times to go out photographing. With any luck I will find a good work/life balance and make the most of my time here in this wonderful country.