Journal Entry Ranger Jonathan Mbekezeli
Zimbabwe, Hwange National Park. Rhinoceros re-introduction program. March, 2157
Our little Rhino orphan Farai is doing much better than she was 3 months ago. We found her barely alive next to the corpse of her mother who was taken by poachers. Since she was just a few weeks old her horn was too small so they left her to die. When we found her she was dehydrated, distraught, and exhausted.
We brought her back to base and got her back on her feet. It had never been tried before but we introduced her to our old Rhino drone Mbangura. I don’t know much about drone AI systems or any of that stuff but Mbangura seems to enjoy looking after little Farai! An Oxpecker hangar was installed on Mbangura and we let the two of them roam around the area outside of HQ. Mbangura takes Farai around the reserve and shows her where the water holes are, all the different animals in the park, and watches over her at night. He brings Farai back to HQ so we can give her milk and check on her health.
Farai is a cute one. She’s very animated and curious. She’s gotten into a few tough spots with some of the other rhinos but with Mbangura around she has nothing to worry about.
Researches from around the world have come to see the pair. Drone specialists are especially interested in Mbangura, specifically his AI core. The shift in protocol was unexpected and unprecedented. Mbangura is an old combat drone we received from the military. We used him extensively in busting poaching activity and he’s fought with other drones on multiple occassions. For him to be displaying what appears to be natural parental animal-like behavior has become an issue of intense speculation. We’ve argued to keep Mbangura with Farai, and so far we’ve succeeded. I don’t know what’s going to happen next or how long we can keep him.
All I know is that Farai can’t lose another parent.
Bob Kuhn (1920 - 2007)
Bob Kuhn was an illustrator during the 20th Century. He had a long career as an illustrator doing various book covers and spot illustrations for magazines. He also did many fine art paintings during his later career. Kuhn is best known for his wildlife painting which consisted of essentially his entire career.
There is a book available that catalogues his career as an artist called Drawing on Instinct. More of his work can viewed at the WildLifeArt.org website which I’ve attached as the source.
Stanley Meltzoff (March 27,1917 - November 9, 2006)
Meltzoff had a long career as an illustrator. His early career started with him being a correspondent during WWII to a major publication at the time. Afterwards he did numerous book covers, spot illustrations for magazines, and teaching positions at different institutions. The advent of color photography put him out of work so he turned to painting game fish like Marlin and Tuna. Subsequently this work is what most associate with him today. Incredible paintings. They look better than most photos i’ve seen of the same animals. He handles underwater atmospherics and caustic effects so well. I love it.
More of his work can be viewed on his website. There’s a publication of his work available and some of his paintings are still floating around for sale. Check it out!
Orca drone on patrol for the EPA in Prince William Sound south of Valdez, Alaska.
Awhile back I said that expectation will be the death of you.
I’d like to say that envy will be too.
I know it’s tough but don’t compare yourself to other people. By all means get inspired by their example, but don’t compare their success to your lack there of. Don’t belittle your achievements in light of theirs. It’s unhealthy, discouraging, and quite frankly it’s not being fair to yourself.
Everyone is different. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Though many people can do the same skill/trade/job their approaches, mindsets, and personalities can vary in minor or major ways. Not to mention some people have just been doing “skill/trade/job x” for a long time. Good luck trying to time travel to make up the difference.
Another tough one is age… it’s hard to look success in the face when they’re 1…2…3 years younger than you. That person could be slightly older than you, or…*Gasp*… the same age! Don’t get discouraged. Don’t get green in the face with envy. The factors going into that persons success can be huge and varied. Comparing your choices and experiences with that person’s doesn’t really do you much good in the present. Simple fact is they’ve probably been doing what they do longer than you have.
It’s tough. I have to catch myself all the time and even then it’s not much of a condolence when I do. As an artist I’m bombarded left and right with work that is far superior than mine by people my age, or art by long time vets with beautiful nuances only experience could bring, or both. Success stories fill the news feed on a daily, almost hourly, basis. I’m happy for those people. Their hard work and dedication has brought them far and they deserve their success. But I have my low moments just like everyone else and it’s in those moments that I try hard to catch myself from running down the comparison path.
So in closing be fair to yourself and don’t compare to others. Learn from their example and realize that you are not that person. Take that energy you would spend using to compare yourself and use it to make something for yourself. Life is short and your life is your own so don’t compare it others.
Big Five the game! Or at least what it could look like :)
The importance of your friends/peers.
Your peers and your friends are important people and hopefully this is just a friendly reminder to you all. If not… I feel sorry for you.
The people you choose to associate with are extensions of your personality. They inform your mentality and behavior and you do the same for them. Be aware of the effects they have on you and you have on them.
Associate yourself with people who bring out the best in you and help you to be more than what you are now. These people don’t have to be in the same field of work as you, they don’t have to be of the same culture, ethnicity, or age group. They don’t even need to agree with you! Find these people and keep them close. They are both amplifiers and sounding boards of the current you and can help you on your path of growing into “the strongest version of yourself” as Elliot Hulse would say.
This is not easy. Finding these people is like fishing in the dark and that’s what you’ll be doing most of the time, but that’s also the best part about it. Meeting people and learning about their story and who they are is fun. Everyone is unique and has experiences that are unique to them alone. Get to know them and hopefully through your interactions with others you can start to form that special group of people called your friends.
What’s the difference between friends and peers?
In my words I’d say that peers are people you interact with that are on a similar path with, i.e co-workers, fellow students, or members of a group that you’re in. Friends are people who don’t have to be on the same path as you, but there is a sense of a deeper relation between both of you. Shared experiences, selfless assistance to one another, and genuine honesty are some things I can think of that friends share amongst each other.
Peers have a similar effect on an individual as a friend would. You don’t have to be friends with your peers, but just because you aren’t friends does not mean you have/should have a negative relationship with them. You’re in the same boat and what you do effects them and vice versa.
Over the years you will shed friends of old to bring in new ones. This is not a bad thing. It’s the natural way of things and you should appreciate all the previous relationships, good, bad, romantic, or otherwise, that you’ve had. They have shaped the person you are today and hopefully will have taught you a bit about yourself.
This post got a bit long… I sincerely hope that you value and appreciate your friends and peers. They are the most valuable asset in this world next to your mind and your body. Maintain these relationships and keep them healthy. You’ll never know when you’ll need an extra hand or where the next opportunity will come from. Be aware of how these interactions are shaping you and associate with people who you can grow with.
Life is too short to hang out with people who are dull, whiny, boring, or who are holding you back.
Here’s another lesson I’ve learned that I want to share with you guys. It’s possibly one of the most poignant lessons I’ve learned as well.
Expectations will be the death of you.
Expecting to get the things you want is setting yourself up for potentially colossal disappointment.
So you got a degree and portfolio. Good job. Don’t expect a job right out the door.
You met the AD from your favorite game company at a portfolio review and he/she likes your work. Don’t expect to get a job from that either.
You’re getting featured on websites and people respond to your work. That’s fantastic, but don’t expect anything from that as well.
Expecting something is essentially already getting what you want… IN YOUR HEAD. You’re already seeing and feeling yourself in that state of happiness and bliss…IN YOUR HEAD. Things happening in your head are not happening in reality and reality has a tendency to hit like truck when it eventually rolls around.
I’ve experienced these situations in my own life. I, in my naivety, expected to get a job in a big company shortly after I graduated. Ha! Fat chance. I found out the hard way that my work wasn’t up to par and that there were many much more qualified people out there than me. I took classes and met lots of working pros expecting that to take me to where I wanted to go. Nope. I kept setting myself up for disappointment because I expected more than what reality was giving me. The ironic part is that I had things pretty good, but my expectations blinded me to that fact.
Here’s a funky situation. You apply for a full time job at your favorite company. They respond positively and the future is looking great. Unfortunately they end up using you for short term freelance. Sucks huh….WTF?!!!?!?!?! You’re still doing work for them, you came out with a job, and you’re going to get paid at the end of it. What’s wrong with that? With expectations so high it’s easy to get disappointed by smaller victories.
I’m probably coming off as very cynical right now, but that’s not my intention. What I’m trying to say is that expecting things to happen and forecasting grand success because of some minor incident or simple interaction is not healthy. In fact it can be very detrimental. Nothing brings me down more than being disappointed.
What I am suggesting is to go in with no expectations and be open to the possibilities. Keep an open mind, be confident in yourself, keep hoping, keep dreaming, and expect nothing.
The only thing you can expect is that the Sun will rise in the morning, set in the evening, and we all die eventually. So morbid huh…
:D !HAPPY FACE! :D