Art: In Repair

So, as I may have mentioned in my previous post, my work station has been acting funny. Not “ha ha” funny. The other kind.

My diagnosis is that one of the fans on the video card has seized, and without that extra cooling, the machine reboots and collapses under the heat. It faints, essentially. Every five minutes.

Now, I’ve fixed many computers in my day. In fact, my first job was working as a computer technician for the school district – and though technology has advanced significantly, it hasn’t really changed. If anything, it’s only gotten more user friendly, intuitive, and ultimately easy to fix.

Armed with this knowledge and confidence, I cracked open my case and set about trying to get my cooling systems back up on line.

A commissioned piece I produced for a friend of mine of her lovely family. I painted most of it at my local cafe haunt in lieu of fixing my workstation.

A commissioned piece I produced for a friend of mine of her lovely family. I painted most of it at my local cafe haunt in lieu of fixing my workstation.

On my first attempt – things were much, much more stable, and I thought I might have actually come close to fixing it. Fainting spells came at 15 minutes apart now instead of 5, and under a heavier graphical load, but it wasn’t perfect yet. Emboldened, I went back in and tried again, reconnecting what looked like a loose fan cable. On next boot up, a tell-tale puff of electrical smoke fizzled out from the power supply, and I realized then that I’d killed it but good.

Penniless, with two commissions on the go – one with a deadline fast approaching – and no means of finishing them, I felt like a pitcher that just lost his throwing arm, and with it, his job. The actual straw that broke the camel’s back. Much to my surprise, I didn’t freak out, torch the house, and run into the hills to join the elk. No. Rather, I spent the next day with my record collection strategizing.

Both commissions were already started, but they were sitting on a hard-drive I could no longer access, so I just started the most urgent one from scratch on my laptop. It’s an awkward set up, but it functions – so I just got busy sketching until my subject started taking shape. After I got the foundation laid out, I started taking advantage of the mobility the laptop offered and took my equipment to the local diner to slowly dab out the detail work while drinking coffee. I even picked up some work for another commission from an onlooker.

If I’ve lost an arm, I’ve got a good hook to replace it for now. I’m not going to be at full production speed again until my main workstation is fixed, but in the mean-time, I’ll enjoy the awkward glory of mobility and do some painting in diners and cafes.

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