Risking It All and Paying For It

Ups and downs my friends. There are days when choosing to play in the online casino world can bite you. I had built up a nice little pile of cash at LeoVegas last week using free spins. I’ve been playing there since they hired me. And then this morning I placed a max bet and it crashed and now the site says I have a negative account balance. Like WTF! I’ve got a call into their support center, but the guy who answered was having a hard time with English. What did I do? Or was it them? Do I want to build a game for a site that is unstable?

My phone is still ringing. Yesterday it was Casumo that contacted me for some work. They say I have a “style” they like. I’m always left wondering which style it is that grabbed their attention. I’ve made little marbles for marble popping games, bread wrappers, signs for construction companies and even some really cool lace background for a fabric manufacturer. With any luck, they’ve seen some early shots of the Industrial Mining game and want some of it for themselves. I certainly hope so.

My new computer got a new desk, too. I’ve got three monitors tied together and now can compare, swap and build images using the setup like a art room at school.

I’m seeing him again tonight. He said he was getting transferred at work…to the same village my parents live in. That’s creepy, isn’t it? Or is it serendipity. I’m sure Mum would choose the latter. I’m going to try to keep my head on straight and not say something horrible. I’m liking dating the same guy for longer than a week.

The kittens are now climbing my curtains. Literally. Climbing kittens…it could be a new kid-friendly phone app! Do you suppose somebody at LeoVegas knows how to build apps?

Till next time. Ta!

Jenny Ming: The Industrious Queen Rules the World

Hey! I know it has been some time since I last posted, but that’s because I have been one busy girl! For starters that tiny little cat that Max brought home was his girlfriend. She had kittens! Under my bed! Two scrawny little tigers that make the most amazing noise when they are hungry. So, small distraction there. I’ve contacted our local shelter, but they can’t take the mom or the kittens for over a month. Max has been looking entirely too smug.

But that’s not the big news. 7red, one of the competitors of LeoVegas, wants me, too! They sent me five pages that needed a whole new layout. Web design is not really my ball of wax, but I gave it a shot. I created four new CSS for them and they loved them all. It really took their site away from the cartoonish appearance so many of the gaming sites have and gave it some class. Background tiles of real champagne, red satin sheets and images of currency all blended together for a sexy basis. When you start to layer on all those addictive Click and Win tiles, the site really took on a life of its own. God, I love my job.

I turned around the assignment so quickly that they dubbed me the Industrious Queen. I love that! Maybe it’ll be the name for this blog.

Has there even been an alien invasion game? Spaceships could make a really active foundation for some comets or something that explode into money. Sound effects. I need to call my guy in York and see if he has any new sound files to review.

I’m picking up a new computer this afternoon. It’s like I need a machine to crunch all the graphics and one just to handle boring stuff like email and banking stuff. I get paid after all!

We had a third date. He asked where my parents live. I am officially freaking out and a little in love, maybe.

Patterns in the Waves and Digging for Dollars

It is like I hit the jackpot! But that news is for later.

It was a second date, which in itself is slightly terrifying. He took me out to Brighton, which when we made the date, it was supposed to be a perfect day for the weather. Well yeah, this is England. It was cold, windy and grey and there was some kind of problem with the electrics so all the shops by the pier were closed. I was crushed. I really didn’t want to spend the day inside anyway, so we walked out to the end of the pier and just watched the ocean.

The water can be mesmerizing. Just when you think you can see a pattern in the rise and swirl of the waves, it all changes. I started wondering if I have a randomization engine that would sufficiently duplicate that kind of motion to give a water game the right organic feel. The problems of a graphic artist in the 21st century!

So, news! The interview with Bgo didn’t work out the way I hoped, but that is okay. LeoVegas signed me up for the game project. They are being very generous with the rates and building in bonuses for early completion. The working title for the game is Industrial Mining. You dig for precious metals and gems with each spin. We’re going to work out if we can generate a new wheel, so to speak, and get rid of the traditional slot machine appearance. Maybe if we combined a crane game with a slot game? That could be fun. I’ve got to make notes.

Max came in this morning and brought a friend. She’s a young, black long hair. I figure she has to be lost, not feral. She cuddled in my lap. I posted notes around the neighborhood. I can’t decide if I want a second cat or if I’d be happier when she went home. Cute little thing.

Till next time. Ta!

Networking with the Online Casinos and Rock and Roll

I was so overdressed! The idiot of a date never told me it was a retro-rock concert combined with the Royal Philharmonic. I thought we were going to listen to Mozart or something. Nope. I never even heard of this band! I bet my Dad knew them when he was a tot. Not me. My red satin dress was totally out of place with all the ratty old t-shirts and jeans on everyone else. It was mortifying. Still, I took a ton of pics of the Hall. It is an amazing space. I’m going to use some of the medallions to build a new background tile for wallpaper.

Speaking of jobs! That gig with Drake really paid off. They must have used my stuff at some sort of industry convention or somewhat. I got calls from Bgo Casino and LeoVegas this week. Leo wants to set up a conference call with their design team to see if I’d like to join them on a permanent basis. After that set of emails I may have been literally dancing on my sofa. Max left for the afternoon when I bounced him out of his napping spot.

Bgo is working on building their own signature game and needs some unknowns to keep it fresh. I guess they are out to make a name for themselves. If I get to go along for the ride, that would be amazing.

Wouldn’t it just be wild if I got enough work in my favorite hobby area to pay for all the time I spend on those sites? Oh. Is that not what a job is for? lol Mom keeps asking me when I’m going to get out of this two-room flat and move back down the coast to be closer to her and Dad. I guess a new place would be a better use of my money, eh?

Meanwhile, I am working on static designs for a new candy wrapper. It can’t all be games and roses, can it?

Winning Coins with Drake!

It is the best day ever! I just completed some work for Drake Casino! It’s like my birthday and Christmas all rolled into one. They have some of my favorite games on their site, so when they contacted me for new scrolling banner ads to pop up on their pages, I wanted to fly to the moon. Max thought I was a little crazy, but he’s a cat and has a tendency to go a little bats from time to time, so who is he to judge?

I spent the morning building some new coin graphics, as the ones in their library didn’t sparkle enough for me. I really wanted the cascading jackpot to almost jump out at the user, just like if they were in Vegas and hit the big one on those old coin operated machines. Then I just couldn’t stop myself, and made a little point and click game out of the coins.

You win! You win more if you hit the coins while they fall into your bucket! I sent that part along with the regular banners and hey, they liked it! They added a bonus to my payout for the extra laugh. It’s not like it’ll get used on the site, but it was a bit of fun and I ended up getting paid for it.

Which is all bonus in the freelance world, let me tell you.

On the mundane side of the world, I tried a new brand of crisps today. They were awful! I crumpled up the wrapper before I finished. I guess I’ll just stick with Walkers. A friend has invited me to a show at the Albert Hall and I haven’t a thing to wear! lol But I bet there will be tons of fancy dresses for me to ogle and put in my mental graphic design cupboard. I have so many images on my phone that I snap while I’m out and about. I wonder how many people think I’m mad?

Till next time. Ta!

Jenny Ming: Graphic Designer Extraordinaire and Cat Mum

Welcome to my world. I’m Jenny Ming, 27, spend most of my days forcing colors and shapes to my will and at night, love to cuddle up in the lounge with my cat, Max.

What am I blogging about? From time to time I’ll visit a museum, a con, or share what I think about the latest online game. That’s my addiction: online casinos. I think it’s all the pretty colors and sounds that keep my fingers clicking. Ooo! So Shiny! It can be extremely distracting and doesn’t do a thing for my day job as a freelance graphic designer. But we all have our soft spots, don’t we?

When did I start drawing? Oh, probably while I was still in nappies. But the real fun for me as an artist began in my first year of high school. My mum brought home our first Mac loaded with my first vector enabled graphics software, and I never looked back. Suddenly I was able to layer color, pattern, pictures of my pets and toys into collages I imagined would belong in a graphic novel. It set aside my questionable abilities as an animator and sent me straight towards the design world.

Now I can’t look at a new sign over a shop window without peeling apart the layers of font, texture, color, light and images. It is sort of a past time. What would happen if the bookshop sign lived on my laptop and could move? I can do that now, along with adding special effects and music. It’s like having a bottomless well of art tools at my fingertips. Only the limitations of current computers stop me from flinging my creations onto the walls of my studio.

There will be a day when we can do that. Just imagine! Holograms dancing in your lounge instead of another episode of Alan Carr. Maybe I could make a mouse for Max to play with.

Well, until we meet again. Ta!