I have been creating written art for as long as I can remember. I remember way back in junior high I had a folder with a number of poems/songs that I had written and a spiral notebook with stories I had written. One series of stories was about a boy who came home one day with turtles in his pockets. (And that was just the first of his animal adventures!) I even had this one story that was a cross between Superman and Thundercats. (Literally… Snarf with superpowers.)
In high school, I continued to write poetry and songs, though I never really shared them with others. Well, except two… One was a poem that went into a youth newsletter. The other was a song that I sang for some friends when I was moving away.
Then, in 2005, I began what has turned into one of my biggest adventures of all. The year before, I had heard about this writing contest, NaNoWriMo, but it wasn’t until 2005 that I decided to try to undertake it. And from then on, I was hooked. To date (late March 2013 is when I’m writing this), I have participated and won 8 NaNoWriMo events. (For those who are wondering, NaNoWriMo is a noveling event whose goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.)
The visual content has really been a much more recent development, though it, too, has been going on for a while. When I was in college, I first came online in 1994. The internet was available to the colleges at this time, though I believe it wasn’t until a year or two later that the masses became aware of it. My first attempt at building a website (and creating computer graphics for them) was with a Geocities website. My graphics that I made for that page were terrible. But, at the time, it was all I could do and the only tool I had was MS Paint.
Somewhere around this time, I took a bit of an interest in drawing. Not anything that I pursued, but I at least taught myself, using the classic Betty Edward’s book Drawing From the Right Side of the Brain, how to draw a decent picture. I’m no Picasso, but I’ve at least gotten to where I can at least draw an accurate representation of what I’m trying to draw. I still can’t do things from my mind, yet, but that is more of a lack of effort than ability. I haven’t pursued it enough to be able to do it… yet.
Around the turn of the century, I got my first experience with two of the tools that have since become a part of my arsenal. These two tools I use just about every week nowadays (if not every day) in one way or another. The first of these two tools is GIMP. It’s an image editing program that can be used to create great graphics for web pages, edit images, and a whole lot more. I still have a lot to learn about this program, but it has allowed me to do things that I wanted to do before but the tools I was using weren’t good enough. The other program is Blender, the 3D modeling and rendering program. Most of what I can do with these two programs I have taught myself through online tutorials, books, and just trying things out. And I’m always trying to learn more.
I’m starting this site, GradyPruitt.com, for three purposes: First, to give me a home for my writing and visual efforts. People may be interested what’s going on with me as an artist (both visual and written), so this makes the perfect place to host such things. Second, this site will serve as a portfolio for those who may be interested in hiring me to do work for them. I’m not considering selling my services as a writer (at this time), but I am willing to assist with and make images for people. Third, this will also be a place where I can share what I’m learning with others so that they can learn how to do these things too. Hopefully, my site will become a stepping stone for them to reach their successes.
For those who may be interested, I have another site, Success Building Blocks, where I take my experiences from doing NaNoWriMo, scouting, and other successes I’ve had in my life and share tips on what you can do to become more successful. This site, though, will be focused on creativity, both in the written and visual medias.
If you’d like to hire me or if you have any questions about any content on the site, feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
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