Illustrating.. My First Special Interest

It’s a very exciting thing for me to share my illustrations with anyone.  While growing up, I gave probably hundreds of drawings to fellow classmates, random mall walkers, folks at coffee shops, etc.

I felt satisfaction knowing I was bringing some joy to others as a result.

It’s still a difficult decision for me to actually monetize it all by selling them online.  It’s funny (and, yes, I DO see the irony in this as well) that I’m publishing coloring books—see, I have NO appreciation for color apart from black, white, and grey (toss in chrome maybe).  It occurred to me, however, that if I despise color maybe others can do the coloring FOR me—hence coloring books.

Yesterday, I published the latest creation just in time for Halloween.  I do my most sales during this time of year because most of my work is a bit goth and macabre, anyway.

sampler
thumbs

 

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Martial Arts Versus Autism Spectrum Disorder

Being involved in any kind of physical activity can be challenging in itself. A common symptom of ASD is a difficulty with coordination. Social interaction is another. Combine the two, and you have a hella’ time trying to engage in a physical activity such as a sport.

I took special interest in Martial Arts at a young age. What was a fascination for me also resulted in a “cure” for coordination issues. I learned balance, simultaneity, dexterity, control, speed, fluidity, technique, concept—all of these things are what helped me.

Having typed all of that, there are still numerous challenges for someone On The Spectrum who wants to pursue Martial Arts training.  It particularly revolves around instructor/coach-student communication. Someone like me has a noticeable processing delay when dealing with VERBAL instruction (or general spoken communication, period). I have to SEE something in order to understand it. Someone like me takes things literally—especially verbal instruction.

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My Special Interest With Patterns, Data, and Analytics..

I’ve mentioned in my primary site that one of my strengths is being highly VISUAL.  I can see complex patterns in many things, break them down into categories/sub-categories, and analyze common traits, dissimilar traits, and conduct comparative analysis, root-cause analysis, historical analysis, and even forecasting (to an available extent).

Here are some of the things I’ve taken an analytical fascination with:work_projects work_projects_1graph_ex
These examples are how my analytical-visual strengths serve me well in the workplace, especially in regards to Project Management and Productivity tracking.

I manage my requests and projects—tracking ETA, budget, demand source, duration, scope creep, resources, etc.  This is how I am able to manage my demand time, incidentally.  If I treat my workload like a project, I can see it through without unnecessary delay.

In previous jobs, I managed data analytic and reporting teams, and analytics helped drive the business toward success as we were able to provide the businesses with an actual VISUAL representation of how they were doing, where they’ve been, and where they were going.  We made use of incredibly fun tools such as Business Objects, Crystal Reports, Xcelsius, etc. Continue reading “My Special Interest With Patterns, Data, and Analytics..”

Panspermia Theory

A few years before I even learned the term, I was watching a documentary about comets and how they contain the building blocks of life, frozen within their husks, and if passing by a warm body (e.g. an atmosphere or a star), particles break off and potentially float into the atmospheres of other planets.

I instantly pictured THIS:

comet-egg

To me, a comet looks like a sperm.  A planet looks like an egg.  If a sperm can seed an egg, thus creating life, then it is representationally-logical to me that a comet could do the same thing to a fertile planet.  The result of non-fertilization would be apparent in a barren planet as it would in a barren egg.

I was absolutely fascinated by the imagery, and it simply remained there until I came upon the term Panspermia.  Come to find out, there are others who theorize the same concept.

The entire theory puts the entire Universe in a completely different perspective.

I’ve always envisioned the Universe as something greater but still representational of the things on Earth.  I still am partial to the Universe being one big BRAIN—which would alter the Panspermia theory and make comets and planets the synapses of firing neurons, possibly.

Crazy theories, sure; but, they’re no more or less crazy than the countless mythological and theological beliefs we’ve been through in the past.  No matter what is truth VS fantasy, ours is still the musings of a microbe contemplating the nature of vastness—and it’s FASCINATING.

How I BEAT Sarcasm and Irony.. mostly

There is an accurate stereotype when it comes to autistic folks not being very good at understanding implied meaning, subtle hints, subtle facial expressions, and sarcastic humour—even irony.  What is NOT accurate is that it cannot be learned.

I still have to think for a few seconds after someone says something “dry” or sarcastic or doesn’t give any indication that he/she was not being serious.  While I was growing up, it was a far greater struggle until I learned how to beat it all.

How did I do it?

With the help of British humour, of course!

The Brits are masters of sarcasm and irony.  It only seemed logical to me to seek them out in order to learn how to overcome this very unusual deficit.

areyoubeingserved download

Monty Python was the biggest contributor for me because their very core is silly humour, but there is a high level of intelligence and implied meaning behind everything they do, and it was invaluable to me.  Are You Being Served was another essential learning source as that show was based heavily on silly irony and implied meaning.

marx-brothers

Another unlikely source was—not British—The Marx Brothers.  Silly slapstick, sure, but the idioms/ironic sayings and responses were incredibly intelligent and so subtle that they could very easily be missed. This is precisely the learning tool someone like me needs in order to help “bridge the gap” in processing time during humourous conversations. Groucho and Chico, in particular, require regular rewinds/replays just to grasp the subtle genius of their comments (p.s. Harpo is still my favourite of them all).

Even if you cannot appreciate the humour, itself—as it is an acquired item—I highly recommend anyone immerse his/herself in any of the above comedy sources in order to overcome the sarcasm/irony/implied meaning deficit.

Design

Being a predominantly visual person, I love design and illustration.  Often, these items tie into my other love, analytics.  I’ve also designed/developed web pages for companies.

Below, are some examples of design topics I’ve come up with:


training
internal web portal training page for Electronic Arts Distribution Center employees

louisvillelumber_main
external website (back when Flash was en-vogue) for Louisville Lumber

dcmainpage
internal web portal homepage for EADC

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My Momentary Fascination With Plants and Reactions to Stimuli

After spending time in a hot tub at home over the course of a few weeks, I started paying closer attention to the hanging plant that (was) just above the hot tub.

I noticed that its vines were spreading down the walls and into the tub.  There is nothing unusual about that—that’s what vines DO.

I did, however, notice that anytime the vines ends touched the hot water in the hot tub (I keep the water HOT—it’s a sensory thing, you see), a day or two later, they retracted away from the tub.

That was absolutely FASCINATING to me because plants aren’t supposed to have pain receptors the way humans do.  I took some pictures of this event, but I was unable to complete proving my hypothesis.  I wanted to research the theory that plants react to stimuli—particularly, a harmful one.  Come to find out, there is an entire science based around it.

Here are my photos:


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My Fascination With Car Spacing at Traffic Lights

So, a couple of years ago, I began to notice a strange trend drivers were engaged in: leaving 1.5 to 2 full car lengths between themselves and the car in front of them.

Why are they doing this?  Don’t they realize they’re actually causing more trouble for the cars that are further back and may be stuck in an intersection?

I had to capture it and analyze it.  After all, that’s what “Aspies” like me do.

My conclusion is that most (not all) of the drivers who leave an excessive amount of space between themselves and the car in front of them is due to cellphone usage (e.g. texting or browsing or playlist shuffling or..).  That result is an easy one to explain.  I can’t explain the other group that is consciously leaving that amount of space—looking straight ahead and seemingly aware of what they’re doing.  Why???

Below, are my compilation of drivers caught in-the-act—they are STOPPED—the traffic is NOT in motion during these pics.


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Cosplay

Cosplay is something my mom got me into since childhood. My very first costume was a sack of potatoes (LOL). I was Chewbacca for the longest time (Mom made the fur suit). My favourite was Dracula, and I kept that going for years. Mom made a Louis Victorian costume (Interview With The Vampire) for me. It took years before I learned the craft from her and even sewed my own costume from scratch for Raiden. I despise competing in contests, but I have won or placed in several. This is not a special interest or tied to ASD at all (with the exception of not wanting to compete). I DO find it easier to interact while I’m wearing a mask or makeup.


Louisville Zombie Walk (8/26)      Louisville Zombie Attack (8/29)


 

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