How Digital Artists can Profit From the Future Of 3D Printing

How Digital Artists can Profit From the Future Of 3D Printing

The very near future of 3D printing offers a lot of fascinating opportunities for digital artists.

While the 3D printing industry is still in it’s infancy, revenue numbers are expected to double every year for the next 5 years, (I would say much longer though) and we haven’t even begun to comprehend the new business opportunities that are still evolving.

Naturally, when I saw the announcement from Daz3D today about their move to start offering 3D printing, I was really excited.

Daz3D is one of the industry leaders in 3D figure modeling software and content. I use their software quite a bit for my pin-up art and have a huge runtime folder full of their content. The idea of being able to print my stuff in 3D, directly from their software is really awesome.

Although a logical next step for someone like Daz3D, it is still a pretty brilliant move when you think about it. Millions of artists already have their free software, know how to use it and most likely have tons of Daz3D content. Daz3D (along with Smith Micro’s Poser) have huge ecosystems of artists, fans and products, so this is really a huge thing to happen in the 3D art industry.

Here are a few thoughts about where I see the future of digital art and 3D printing going, as well as how to position yourselves to profit from it:

  • If you create 3D art like I do, being able to offer limited edition 3D printed figures or dioramas of your work will open some awesome new business opportunities. Check out the Munnies and other figures over at Kid Robot for some examples and ideas of how the business and culture of limited edition & collectable vinyl art toys are booming.
  • If you create 3D content, your future looks bright! Right now there is a huge community and ecosystem of 3D art content creators (Daz3D, Renderosity, RuntimeDNA) and when you add 3D printing into the mix, there will be tons of new customers wanting to accessorize their 3D printed models. As 3D printing becomes more mainstream and the price of printers go down, I expect a lot more printable marketplaces to appear. Creating both content and places to sell content will be goldmines.
  • Creating graphics and textures for 3D models is already a growing business. I can see it eventually growing for 3D printed models as well. Currently 3D printed models come in limited color and texture options based on the type of filament material they are printed out of. Anything super detailed is usually hand painted. This should evolve over time, as the quality of color and painting increases. In the mean time, custom graphics and decals, as well as hand painting services, could be an interesting option to pursue.
  • I would assume that companies like Zazzle and Cafe Press will jump on the 3D printing bandwagon and start to offer all kinds of customized products soon. If you are a 2D digital artist and still haven’t begun offering print on demand products, now would be a great time to get started.

3D printing is coming and it’s going to be a game changer, so jump on it!

3D Printing Links & Resources

MakerBot – Makers of some of the most successful and affordable 3D printers

Thingverse – Thingverse is an online community and marketplace (owned by Makerbot)for 3D printed models

MyMiniFactory – Another marketplace for 3D printable models.

Yeggi – A search engine for 3D printable models.

Vinyl Collectable Toy Resources

Kid Robot

TOMOPOP

MyPlasticHeart

Vinyl Pulse

I’ll add more to this post as I think of it.

Is this the Digital Art Market of the Future?

Is this the Digital Art Market of the Future?

In my writing and presentations, I reference a book quite a bit called “Who Owns the Future” by Jaron Lanier. In his book, he discusses the future, where he believes that because of the inevitable total automation by robots and artificial intelligence, the only work that will be available will be for people (much like creative entrepreneurs) who can earn an income of micro payments for sharing knowledge, offering services, and selling original content.

The biggest challenge to this theory is creating a digital infrastructure that can successfully track the usage and pays the original creators who own the rights to the content.

If what Lanier talks about is correct, here is a glimpse at what that digital art marketplace of the future could look like.

A Blockchain-centric Digital Art Market

There is a very cool video from technologist Chris Tse, where he talks about building a Blockchain-centric Digital Art Market. If you are not aware of what the blockchain is, he is basically proposing that we use the same infrastructure that verifies Bitcoin ownership, and attach it to digital art, or any other digital media for that matter, so that there is a verified owner for all digital media.

This would be a great opportunity for digital artists, musicians, writers or any other digital content creators. I think there could be a lot of potential in this and based on all that I have read about the future of technology and digital media, it wouldn’t surprise me if we see something similar in the near future.

Do You Accept Bitcoin for Your Art?

Speaking of the blockchain, do you accept Bitcoin for your art or other products & services?

Bitcoin has sort of lost it’s appeal over the past year, after peaking to outrageous valuations sometime in 2013, however there are still people who accept it in exchange for art.

Check out BitPremier where they sell rare, collectable art and luxury items like Ferraris and Rolexes for Bitcoin.

I wrote a blog post over on Digital Pinup Magazine when they were selling two original Olivia De Berardinis pin-up paintings. I would have totally bought them if I had the extra XBT laying around…

Personally, I dabbled a bit in Bitcoin and still have a few just to keep my hands on should they gain again in popularity. I traded some work for what was, at the time, $20 in Bitcoin and watched it grow in value to over $300. Pretty amazing to see. Now it’s at about $60 or something (I have to check).

If you are interested, you can learn more about Bitcoin over on Coindesk.

Interesting Times

Definitely something to keep an eye on and let me know what you think. Do you trade in bitcoin? What do you think of the blockchain? Does it have a future?

The Georgetown Castle – A Paranormal Investigation

The Georgetown Castle – A Paranormal Investigation

As someone who creates technology all day for a living, more and more these days, I cant help but to feel a growing sense that there is some sort of huge, metaphysical void in all of it. It feels like there is no magic or mystery anymore.

Technology used to be the things of wizards, witches and mad scientists written in blood in some dusty, old, leather bound books, not in some data center in Oregon that watches you pee and knows which brand of toilet paper you prefer.

Whenever I feel discouraged or overwhelmed with technology, I have to keep reminding myself that there is still a whole dimension of experience out there, far and beyond anything we have yet to understand. Admittedly, there is some part of me that hopes that things stay mysterious, but part of me also hopes that some day we crack open the doors and some really crazy shit starts to get real!

The following story is an account of a real life experience that always reminds me that we haven’t even begun to figure things out yet and there is still plenty of mystery in life and beyond to be discovered.

The Georgetown Castle – A Paranormal Investigation

In honor of Halloween and all things spooky, I thought I would share this account of my first paranormal investigation of the infamous Georgetown Castle in Seattle Washington. The investigation was conducted in 2004 and was done prior to the house’s most recent remodel by the current owners (who did a beautiful job btw!) so the photos depict the home in it’s previous un-remodeled state.

A brief history:

The Georgetown “Castle” is located in the old, industrial area of Seattle, WA, a former Red Light district, now called Georgetown. This large 3 story, turn of the century, Victorian style home, was reportedly built in 1903 by Peter Gessner, who was a gambler and blackjack dealer at the famous Central Tavern in Seattle’s Pioneer Square District. Having trouble with the local authorities for running “questionable” gambling and prostitution activities, he decided to move his operations farther out of town, to avoid too much unwanted attention, turning the home into an infamous brothel and gambling parlor. He died a gruesome death one year later, committing suicide in the house reportedly by drinking carbolic acid.

The home was then purchased around 1912 by Dr. Willis H. Corson who was a former superintendent and head coroner of the King County Hospital, located close by. This hospital and it’s grounds, which at the time surrounded the house, served as the county poor house and tent city for tuberculoses patients, as well as a crematorium that was used to burn the bodies.

The house has a long history of paranormal activity and unexplained accounts. Numerous violent and supernatural events surround the home. A prostitute was reportedly murdered with a shotgun by her john “Manny” on the second floor. There are reports of a ghostly apparition of a woman in black, with burning coal for eyes grasping at her throat, waking tenants from their sleep on the top floor. She is believed to be the ghost of a “Spanish woman,” a previous resident who possibly killed her unborn babies and buried them under the stairs surrounding the home.

Countless reports of strange sights, sounds, mysterious voices and hidden rooms make this definitely one of Seattle’s most haunted places.

This was to be my first paranormal investigation and my findings convinced me that the world of the paranormal was indeed real. There was definitely something strange about this house…

The Investigation

We received the call around 11PM that the house was available for an investigation, so we quickly grabbed our equipment. Some friends of friends were moving out of the property so this might be our last chance to view the place before the new owners renovated it. The team included myself, Jessica Ruse-Harding & Matthew Lorenz.

Having never been on an actual investigation, we quickly grabbed what little equipment we had. A camcorder, a digital camera, a couple flashlights, a TriField EMF meter and a digital minidisc recorder with an external stereo mic. Having not being ready for the call, we scrambled to find as many flashlight batteries we could grab and took about 20 minutes to charge up the cameras. Boy Scout motto…”always be prepared…”

The House

Having heard stories about the infamous Georgetown Castle, yet never actually seeing it, I was surprise to find that it was nothing close to a castle. Just a large 3 story Victorian that sat just off the street in a somewhat run down residential neighborhood of south Seattle.

The view of the house was skewed by trees and unkempt vegetation. The only thing you could see from the street was the large dark tower looming from out of the trees. In a poor state of disrepair, the house was covered with nearly a century’s worth of peeling and cracked pink paint and loose paneling. Beyond a short, rusty, chain link fence, the front porch leaned slightly to one side.

Our first gut impressions were: Yep… this place is totally haunted!

We met the current residents on the porch. They had “prepared” the house for us, by turning out all the lights and lighting some candles. Excellent….

The first half hour was spent having a smoke, readying our equipment and getting the short rundown on the history of the house.

Including the residents, there were seven people total. Everyone was outside talking and the house felt calm, but even though we were all outside, I had the sense that there were still people (possibly other residents) walking around inside. Not that you could hear them or see them, but just sensed a presence. Not a paranormal presence, just that maybe there were other people there, maybe in the back of the house, packing or making dinner, just normal activities.

I asked if there were anyone else inside, but there were none. Ok… weird… I didn’t voice this feeling at first. Just took a mental note.

We decided the first thing to do was take an EMF reading from inside the front entranceway. Entering the dark hallway you could see a large wooden stairway leading up and turning to the right into the darkness.

I immediately had the sensation of being watched from beyond the stairs. Not sure if this is just normal paranoia and instinct when faced with the unknown darkness, but I think it’s important on and investigation to open up your mind to first impression. We set up the meter, turned up the alarm volume and stepped back outside to wait. The meter screeched and squawked right away. Not sure if it was picking up us or if we had set it up wrong, but it definitely was picking up something.

I quickly snapped a few pictures and walked in alone. Again the sense that there were other people in there, just doing normal things. Because of this feeling, I felt comfortable walking around the first floor in the darkness, through the hall, through the living room, then to the back where the kitchen was. There was nobody there.

The others finally had the courage to enter and we walked around the first floor some more. As the others talked I took a minute to walk back outside and around the house. Following the porch around to the left, the side of the house had a long rickety stairway leading to the second floor. Was this the stairs where the woman buried the babies? Not sure.

Around the back of the house, there was a large yard and a tall bare wall of the back of the house that went all the way to the third floor. I looked up at the top floor and snapped another picture. It was starting to rain, so in the picture there appears to be an orb near the window, but it was probably a raindrop. A dirty cellar door led down to the basement, but the stairway leading down was so covered with spider webs, we decided not to go down there. I hate spiders… At this point I had the sensation again of being watched from the windows of the upper floors. The back yard was creepy, but just a normal dark back yard sort of creepy.

The upstairs of the house had an entirely different sort of feeling. “That’s where I need to go”, I thought, even though part of me wanted nothing more to do with it.

The house had definitely seen many remodels. The walls were decorated in some rooms with multiple layers of thick paint, some rooms in old newspaper, some rooms had strange boarded up walls that appeared to at one time maybe be connected to others, or perhaps to conceal hidden rooms. The second and third floors were large in volume, yet the rooms and hallways offered little access to so much space. There was a lot of space behind the walls in many places, so I’m pretty convinced that it held a secret passage or two. Having been a gambling den and brothel during the Prohibition Era, I’m sure there was some questionable remodeling going on to conceal some questionable items.

On the second floor there is a large red room that used to be the cabaret stage. A ticket booth with a coat check was located at the room’s entrance. The second we all walked in, the door of a desk on the other side of the room flew open. Not sure if it was because of the vibrations of everyone walking in on the old floor all at once, or what… but still the timing was interesting. Snapped another picture.

Around the back of the second floor, there was another narrower stairway leading up and a heavy door that lead to a blue colored room. This room is supposedly where a prostitute named Magdalena was murdered. The door to this room, unlike other doors in the house would not stay open. If you held it open, it would almost pull out of your hands and slam shut. I’ll admit it was a heavy door, but the sensation was more than just the gravitational pull of itself. It was almost like it was being pulled shut.

We stood in the room for some time and listened to one of the residents dictate the story of the murder. When I played back the audio of this, an interesting thing can be heard. As she says “a prostitute was murdered in this room with a shotgun…” you could hear what could be the sound of a man on tape shouting “NO!” after the word room While corroborating this with everyone who was in the house later, everyone denied saying it. Could this be my first EVP?

Audio Recording

We decided then that the others should go back outside so I could get some clear audio. I started to approach the stairway alone and up beyond the stairs somewhere I could hear the sound of someone stumbling around. It sounded like someone who was wearing shoes that don’t fit right or maybe too large and awkward. A woman in high heels or boots perhaps? I thought maybe one of the residents had gone up there to change clothes or something. A perfectly natural sound so I at first ignored it.

Unfortunately the audio was off at this point. Deciding not to take on the upstairs on my own, I asked Matt to come along. We proceeded up the narrow old stairs, which were difficult to manage without holding on to the railing. Upstairs there was a smaller hallway with 2 or 3 small rooms, leading into a very large room they call the gambling room. Next to it was a small bar and surrounding it were openings to the other parts of the house. No doors, just larger open areas. Now, Matt and I were both wearing heavy boots with rubber soles. On the audio, our slow careful footsteps, when we walk are dull heavy thumps. When playing back the audio later, I heard another interesting thing.

(For audio, refer to the Sound Cloud file Above)

As I approached the gambling room, I say “Third floor, gambling room” and right after that, you can hear what appears to be 5 or 6 quick footsteps in the same room walking away from us. Light, clicking footsteps that sound like women’s heels. At the time we were both standing still right next to each other. The others were, at this point, back downstairs on the front porch. There were no other people in the house, no other people on the third floor accept us, and something else walking around in the same room!

It retrospect, I wish I had heard the footsteps while standing there, not just on the playback, or I would have spent more quiet time on the third floor. Again, the ambience in the place seemed so natural, it was difficult get a sense of something out of the ordinary. I think the fact that there were so many people there made it difficult to concentrate and the fact that the residents were in the process of moving out that night, we had limited time to spend investigating, or I am sure we would have come up with more evidence.

I am sure that if I spent a night alone in the house, things would have made themselves known. Even with the place full of people, you can sense activity there.

As far as a quick run through on our first investigation, I felt satisfied with our findings and observations. Because of the time, we made no attempt to contact anything there directly, however I would love to return some day and do a further investigation, perhaps with more video cameras and equipment, as well as some psychic minded people to attempt contact.

Following our visit, the house was sold and completely renovated. I’m glad to see such a beautiful old landmark preserved instead of torn down, however I am totally jealous of the owners because it must have been a real thrill tearing out those walls and discovering what secrets they concealed.

Regarding this article

This article was previously posted on my old paranormal blog called “The Midnight News” which has since been taken down. As a result, there appears to be a few copies of this post scattered around the web on various paranormal sites, however this is the original account and I am the original writer and copyright owner of all of the related content, photos and audio. If you happen to be the owner of a site containing one of these reposts, I would like to thank you for preserving the original article and encourage you to please link back to to this one.

Related Georgetown Castle Links:

Mom & Son Revive a Creepy Castle in Georgetown
http://www.georgetownhistory.com/History/Homes/Gessner/
Seattle Times Article

How to Write a Book in 10 Minutes a Day with a Mobile Phone, while Standing on a Train.

How to Write a Book in 10 Minutes a Day with a Mobile Phone, while Standing on a Train.

I am officially an author. On July 17, 2012 I published my first book on Amazon Kindle. It took two years to write, and a majority of it was done using a mobile phone or an iPad, while standing on the train from Wiesbaden to Frankfurt Germany, during my long commutes to and from work.

Yes, two years is a long time to write a book, especially when edited down, was only about 120 pages. or so. The first year was kind of a wash because I just kept rewriting the first 2 pages over and over. It wasn’t until the following year where I actually took it seriously, created a solid outline (a plan) and dug in.

The goal of this book was not to write a bestseller or change the world. It’s certainly not a feel good, Oprah Club, curl up with a cup of tea, kind of book. (In fact it’s a little bit “shocking” but more on that later.)

It was simply to just write a book, finish it and publish it. It was purely an exercise in completion. In my post about creating a 20 year plan for myself, writing a book was one of my 2 year short term goals. Well… mission accomplished.

It almost didn’t happen though.. (more…)

On Thinking INSIDE The Box

On Thinking INSIDE The Box

Thought for the Day: While innovative thinking is a much discussed, rare, valuable and sought after skill these days, sometimes thinking INSIDE the box can be the hardest thing to do.

My advice would be that before you go spending valuable time, energy, money and resources dreaming up some BIG idea and glorifying the need for “new, creative, crazy and innovative” make sure you first have a solid grasp of the “old, tried and true, reliable and predictable.” Chances are you haven’t even scratched the suface of what is right in your very own backyard.

  • What underutilized or untapped resources do you have hiding in the closet or right under your nose?
  • Who do you already know that you can ask to help you?
  • What can you do to make what you already have, even better?

I’d be willing to bet that you have way more options than you think.

New isn’t necessarily better. Sometimes the best new ideas are the old ones that are just reanalyzed and better thought through.

Welcome to the Collective

Welcome to the Collective

I like to collect things.

Throughout my entire life, I have always had some sort of collection going.  It started with comic books and Matchbox cars, then model rockets, then tropical fish, then action figures, then guitars, then mexican art, then books, then Harley Davidson t-shirts, the list goes on and on.

You see, much like squirrels instinctively hoard nuts and berries for the winter, humans have these instinctive, primal urges hard coded into our brains too. With us, however, it is a little more complex.

With the advent of 24 hour grocery stores and electricity, somewhere down the line, we stopped NEEDING to hunt and gather to survive, or collect pelts or the skulls of our enemies. (more…)