So, I'm carving again. I'm not really sure how to feel about that.
I like working with wood, but making up lost ground is a real struggle. Sharpening, for example, was already really difficult for me, but now I'm rusty, and it's a nightmare. My general artistic skills were also pretty noobish to begin with, and now I feel like I have to learn them all over again. I'm also really bummed that I lost my only real source of viewers for my stream. Derpibooru doesn't support Picarto anymore.
On the other hand, it feels really good to have wood in my hands again. (Get your mind out of the gutter.) Not only that, I recently came into some extra money and immediately blew it on new toys! I don't have a special work room or anything, I just work on my desk in my bedroom. It's, uh, not the most convenient of arrangements. But as soon as my things come in...
My current lamp is a magnifying glass surrounded by LED's. I think it's intended for things like hobby electronics. It turns out it sucks for woodworking. The light is an ugly color. The source is spread out over such a wide area that it kills any ability to make shadows, and shadows are super useful for when you're doing detail work. The head is heavier than the spring arm can easily support, and so it droops just low enough to get in my way all the time. I'm replacing it with a regular swing-arm lamp that costs 1/4 of what this one did.
My desk is right up against a window, which should be awesome, but isn't. The lighting that I get from it is just too inconsistent to be useful. Unfortunately, when I close the blinds, my room is too dark to work comfortably in. That forces me to use The Super Annoying Lamp That Cost Way Too Much and... yeah. Eyestrain and cramped quarters. Fun. I decided that twenty dollars wasn't in fact too much money for a light bulb. It's a 55 watt fluorescent bulb. For comparison, I'm currently using a 23 watt fluorescent that's equivalent to a 100 watt incandescent. 3,600 lumens, 300 watt equivalent. I'll practically need sunglasses!
And finally, I decided to get a proper armature for my camera. I know it sounds stupid, but I'm way more diligent when I have an audience, and livestreaming is a huge motivation for me to work. My current camera setup is about as ghetto as it gets. I taped the webcam to half of a Raisin Bran box, which I then tape to my blinds to prevent it from tipping over. With my new toys, I'll be able to set it up for shots from any angle I like! I'll probably start with an overhead shot. That will get the camera out of my workspace and hopefully make it easier for the camera to find the right focus settings.
I'm gonna have room in my workspace... It may not sound like that big of a deal, but getting the lamp and camera out of my way is going to make a huge difference in comfort.
The rest of my comeback is pretty much up to chance. My schedule for this week and next is very regular, so I plan to do regular streams. It sucks that I won't have very many watchers because I can only do my streaming in the middle of the weekday—not to mention the aforementioned issue with Derpibooru—but you can't have everything. After that, I have no idea what's happening.