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The Crooked Thimble https://crookedthimble.com Where Like Minds Meet Sun, 14 Apr 2019 10:15:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5 https://crookedthimble.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/cropped-Sign1-32x32.png The Crooked Thimble https://crookedthimble.com 32 32 99131918 Peachy Pop https://brianadempsey.com/peachy-pop/ Mon, 08 Apr 2019 16:42:54 +0000 https://brianadempsey.com/?p=1770 Continue Reading]]>

For Clip Studio’s 19th international illustration Contest, prompt: fruit.

Still Life March 2019 https://brianadempsey.com/still-life-march-2019/ Mon, 08 Apr 2019 16:38:07 +0000 https://brianadempsey.com/?p=1767 Continue Reading]]>

Maybe someday I’ll settle on a style. This still life practice is heavily simplified from a super lovely photo from alenadanko on instagram. If you dig still life photography with a lot of atmosphere, elegance, vintage and shabby-chic styling, check her stuff out. A lot of her work has really evocative lighting and reflections!

Inktober Postmortem https://brianadempsey.com/inktober-postmortem/ Tue, 06 Nov 2018 08:19:48 +0000 https://brianadempsey.com/?p=1719 Continue Reading]]> Okay let’s look at the goals I set for myself.
  • Making a “finished” drawing every day.
  • Be drawing a heck of a lot of hornedworms.
  • upload these drawings every day, or at least once a week.
  • tweet about these drawings every day, or at least once a week.
So I fell short of my goal of participating every day, but I did complete a drawing for 22 out of 31 days. I feel pretty good about that considering I was also adjusting to having four hours (or more on homework days) of my day taken up by my new Swedish language lessons. I remember now why I avoided class schedules that had me going to school every day when I was in university: Being around people is exhausting and I take way to long to recover from it, regardless of whether I was having a good time or not. Next goal. “Be drawing a heck of a lot of hornedworms.” This was a resounding success. I have drawn so many good worms. A+ How did I do on my upload rate? I seem to have managed slightly more than once a week, but not quite every day. Generally weekends were my weakest time. Similarly I managed to get all of my works posted to Facebook, but I had a much harder time tweeting about all of them. I think part of this is that I actually had a community of other artists on facebook to commiserate with. I was usually excited to share there, as opposed to twitter which felt like exposing myself to the great mysterious void and tempting fate just waiting for the trolls to show up and tell me how I’m inktobering wrong. That last bit never happened, so I guess that part of the anxiety was disproportionate. However I think this is really telling that I still haven’t really figured out how to interact on twitter yet. I don’t really know what I want to say there, what I want my “brand” to be so to speak. Over all, I think I made great strides to meeting my goals for a first attempt. I certainly learned some things about myself. Now some general thoughts about the whole process: I bailed out on several of the weekends due to how exhausted I was from essentially trying to maintain two part time jobs (my art and my school)… especially since some days I was so into what I was drawing that I was not able to keep myself to short hours. I ended up working a few 12+ hour days. I think this is a place where inktober works at cross purposes to the things I need to practice. I felt such an intense pressure to get my art posted within a single 24 hour period that I did not take enough care of my health, both physically and mentally. Thankfully all of my ailments were minor, but I did experience basically all of the stress induced issues that I used to only get during midterms and finals at university… All month. On the plus side sharing my art regularly with deviantart and facebook was Really motivating and reassuring. I draw a bit on the slow side, especially when I set a complex composition for myself… which are the kinds of things I love to draw. And I am super susceptible to the self doubt that creeps in when I go a while without any feedback on what I’m working on. These things combine to mean that I have often gone very long periods with nothing that I feel is “good enough” to share with folks, and thus long periods without feedback, resulting in a mess of nasty thoughts about myself and my work. So even though I pushed myself too hard for this Inktober, I am really glad I participated. I was able to reach out and connect with other artists, friends, and family, and that really helped ground my motivations and give me more strength to fight off my brain spiders… at least regarding making art. Brain spiders are awfully tenacious jerks. I think next year I may reduce my goals to better reflect the time I need to work on multiple projects and take care of myself. But I am definitely going to be giving this another go. Thanks to everyone who went on this journey with me.  To you and everyone else I wish you, as always: Love & Peace]]>
My First Inktober https://brianadempsey.com/my-first-inktober/ Tue, 02 Oct 2018 07:13:10 +0000 https://brianadempsey.com/?p=1716 Continue Reading]]>

The things I will be physically doing for Inktober:

  • Making a “finished” drawing every day.
  • Be drawing a heck of a lot of hornedworms.
  • trying to upload these drawings every day, or at least once a week.
  • tweeting about these drawings every day, or at least once a week.

The thing I’m hoping to get out of this is better habits. 
I almost never feel comfortable enough with the state of any piece of my art to call it “finished” and share it. That’s a problem, because it also means I tend to get caught up in reworking a single piece for far longer than I should, when I could just be going on to making new pieces. It makes me feel like I am slow and bad at art. Making myself start and quit, permanently quit a drawing and call it finished every day… It honestly sounds impossible to me right now.

To combat how impossible this task feels I will be leaning heavily on my favorite doodle friend the horned worm. I have been doodling them in the corners of other things for years now, and they’re almost effortless for me now. So throwing a lot of the Inktober prompts to my worm friends will help me actually reach that “finished” quality, since I’m used to them just being doodles anyway. It will also help me keep time for working on the art assets that I need to spend most of my time on if I ever want to release a dang video game.

Similarly I have a lot of self confidence issues when it comes to promoting my work, and I hope that by doing it over and over I will start to feel less bad about it. It’s hard to get an audience if I never engage socially on the platforms they do… So yeah, I need to get better about tweeting.

Beyond that, I don’t know that I will hold myself to any particular stylistic constraints within or across all the works that I hope to share with you during Inktober. Right now that’s just not the part of my practice that I want to work on. 

Once I get the daily practice & upload & social-ing part under control then I’ll probably want to try more exciting challenges.

Tune in! The Twitch Stream is LIVE tonight at 8:00PM PST! http://ravensdaleprintandgames.com/blog/2018/4/12/tune-in-the-twitch-stream-is-live-tonight-at-730pm Thu, 12 Apr 2018 20:53:48 +0000 https://crookedthimble.com/?guid=182b1cbcbd151035aa8ca570ec67a2e3 Continue Reading]]> Hey all! If you've been following our blog and social media, you know we're giving out a free copy of Tabletop Simulator tonight on our Twitch stream. But if you already have Tabletop Simulator, you just can tune in and watch the devs and fans play Villains & Henchmen! We'll be playing a few campaigns and answering your questions.

So here's everything you need to know:

  1. Here's where the stream will be taking place! Ravensdale Publishing's Twitch Channel!
  2. Already have Tabletop Simulator and want to play the game yourself? Here's the Villains & Henchmen! Steam page
  3. -Don't- have Tabletop Simulator and want to win a copy? Check out our giveaway we have below! The winner will be announced on April 15th.
a Rafflecopter giveaway]]>
Hey there! It’s the new social media raven! http://ravensdaleprintandgames.com/blog/2018/2/14/hey-there-its-the-new-social-media-raven Wed, 14 Feb 2018 23:25:27 +0000 https://crookedthimble.com/?guid=349eadcd5fa3f0bbc448d3b909740224 Continue Reading]]> What's up guys? we've recently hired a new social media specialist, and guess what? It's me!

I'm CACAW, and I'm a raven with the astonishing ability to write human language--who knows how I came to be this way. Ben and Sarah found me at a cursed marketplace, trapped in a cage by a wicked merchant. After challenging the merchant to a rap battle, they defeated him in just 8 short hair-raising bars, thus freeing me. As thanks, I have agreed to man their social media accounts and handle their press for the foreseeable future. In exchange, every time I sent a tweet, they give me a grape.

Anyway, look forward to more posts by me!

And if you care to follow my good friend Tess Young, who is the new "official" social media specialist or whatever, you can find her on twitter @thechicmonster

2018 Check-In & Update! http://ravensdaleprintandgames.com/blog/2018/2/8/2018-check-in-update Thu, 08 Feb 2018 15:55:06 +0000 https://crookedthimble.com/?guid=5624784607f5a18d1c497ffeba4ca1a4 Continue Reading]]> Ben here!  I know it’s been a while since we posted any big updates – partly that’s because we don’t want to spam trivial posts, and partly that’s because our 9-5 jobs have been demanding a lot more of our time & attention than anticipated.

However, that’s not to say that we’re not busy.  We’ve been diligently hammering away at Villains & Henchmen! (and other projects) over the last year, and have made serious progress towards reaching a “100% completed” status!  Here’s what we finished in 2017:

-          Base game artwork for all cards

-          Box art designs

-          Game mat design

-          Player board design

-          Rule book initial draft & layout

-          Play-testing for 2 expansion settings

Here’s what we’re working on in the next few months:

-          Rule book revisions & final layout

-          Play-testing for additional expansion settings

-          Final revisions/edits for all card text

-          Kickstarter planning & prep

That last bullet point is a doozy, as we have a few things planned for the Kickstarter.  While we don’t want to spoil anything this far in advance, we’re excited for the campaign, and we'll be sharing more details as we solidify our plans.  But just so everyone is at least somewhat aware of our timeline, the target launch date coincides with a certain mid-summer, southern California comic convention. 

Speaking of conventions and such, we’ve got a pretty busy schedule planned for the first half of 2018.  Check out our calendar for full details of each event, but here’s a quick recap of which events we’ll be attending:

                February 10th – Gamer Bowl

                February 17th – Long Beach Comic Con

                March 24th – WonderCon

                April 20th-22nd – Kingdom Con

                May 25th-28th – Gamex (Strategicon)

                July 19th-22nd – San Diego Comic Con

                August 9th-12th – GamerCon SD (exact attendance dates TBD)

And for those of you who saw our previous post, we hired a new social media specialist.  She brings a lot of talent and experience to the team, and we're extremely confident that she'll help get the word out about V&H!.  She'll be introducing herself in the next few days, once she officially starts!

We're also going to try and be a bit more active in general, both here and in general.  We really do want to do that podcast idea that we tried out, as well as some semi-regular game streaming.  Once we can work our schedules to accommodate those things, we'll be sure to let everyone know.

In the meantime, thanks very much for following along with us!  :)

We’re Hiring Again! http://ravensdaleprintandgames.com/blog/2018/1/24/were-hiring-again-1 Thu, 25 Jan 2018 04:50:24 +0000 https://crookedthimble.com/?guid=b60a82b1668e393738c5d87e79e7f3c8 Continue Reading]]> Position Title: Social Media Specialist (Contract)

Hours: Part-time, varies

Schedule: Varies

Location: Remote Work (San Diego or Los Angeles local preferred)

Compensation: Dependent on experience & qualifications

Job Description

The Social Media Specialist (Contract) for Ravensdale Publishing will help to increase community engagement with the company's existing followers, as well as grow the company's fan base. This will involve posting on applicable and appropriate social media accounts with updates, images, and other content related to Ravensdale Publishing products and events. Finally, the social media specialist will identify and explore possible marketing opportunities and partnerships with related companies, media outlets, and brands.


The ideal candidate will have:

- In-depth knowledge of crowdfunding strategies and best practices

- Solid understanding of social media platforms

- Familiarity with trending topics, current events, and groups/communities that focus on comic books, board games, and general geek/pop culture

- Excellent interpersonal skills, with an emphasis on interacting with diverse groups of customers

- Strong grasp of social media analytics

- Dedication to the role's duties and to Ravensdale Publishing's success

- Attention to detail, especially regarding copy editing and accuracy of information in communications

Preferred Education/Experience

- Background in marketing, community/public relations, or prior work for companies in the gaming or pop culture industries highly valued

- Background as a "gamer", especially a board gamer

- Positive reputation in the overall geek community

- Knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO) best practices

- Knowledge of web development

- Connections with brands/media outlets that focus on aspects of pop culture

Job Duties

     We're interested in hiring someone on a very part-time basis. Essentially, during a standard month we'd be looking for a social media specialist for a few hours per week (probably 5-6 hours per week).

     Prior to and during conventions & similar events, we would likely increase that number of hours based on the size/duration of the event.

     And of course, during the Kickstarter campaign, we would require this individual to put in significantly more time to spreading the word, broadcasting project updates, and generally helping us to keep our backers and potential backers informed and engaged!

     Occasionally, the social media specialist may be asked to attend conventions and similar events on behalf of Ravensdale Publishing when the company owners are unable to do so, to promote the company's games and other products.

     On a monthly basis, the social media specialist will provide status updates on their activities in the form of analytics reports. These reports will coincide with monthly planning meetings via Skype or similar video chat software.

     In addition, this role will involve assisting Ravensdale Publishing in establishing and maintaining positive professional relationships with pop culture media outlets (in the form of news sites, podcasts, YouTube channels, etc.).

     Finally, the social media specialist will explore and pursue marketing opportunities (including but not limited to interviews, special events, game reviews, and new conventions) for Ravensdale Publishing's games and other products.

Personal Notes

     We're gamers - thus our desire to create fun new games! We would love to work with someone like-minded who can play and appreciate the games we design, and can skillfully explain and promote them.

     As far as us preferring Southern California locals, that is primarily so we will have opportunities to meet up in person from time to time - either at conventions, company planning sessions, or just for fun! If you're not a SoCal local, don't fret - we're more interested in the general skills and experiences than we are in your zip code!

     Ultimately, we would like this to be a fun opportunity for the selected candidate, without sacrificing professionalism, productivity, or quality in their work. We'll do everything we can to provide this individual with the tools and resources needed for success!


Perks of this position include, but are not limited to:

- Occasional comped entrance into conventions & similar events (for example: San Diego Comic Con, Stan Lee's Comic Expo, KingdomCon, etc.)

- Access to Ravensdale Publishing's board game library, including prototypes of our upcoming games

- Credit on games & other projects, as a member of the Ravensdale Publishing team

- Possible financial bonuses based on performance


As a contract position, this position does not include benefits.

If you think you'd be a great fit for this position and would like to join the Ravensdale Publishing team, please submit a resume and/or cover letter summarizing your relevant education, experience, and qualifications to ravensdale (dot) publishing (at) gmail (dot) com, and put "REQ002-M Social Media Specialist" in the subject line.

DO NOT submit applications to us via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other avenue outside of the email address specified above. Applications received other than by email WILL NOT be considered.

Ravensdale Publishing is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

The Kind Man’s Legacy https://medium.com/@TrickDempsey/the-kind-mans-legacy-6d5afd0f3d48?source=rss-264ac3ac512------2 Mon, 04 Dec 2017 21:04:54 +0000 https://medium.com/p/6d5afd0f3d48 Continue Reading]]> This morning, I awoke to discover that my friend, Nels, had died. His wife posted on his Facebook page to inform his friends, coworkers, and loved ones that he had died unexpectedly from an illness. Just the day before, he’d been replying to friends with his usual wry, kind humor.

Now, I cannot even ask him if he considered me a friend. I cannot ask him anything. Ever.

Let me tell you a second-hand Nels story.

After a rough day at work, Nels and some of the fellas walk to the local burger joint - right by the beach - and order some burgers. Nels, being vegan, orders the vegan veggie burger. Minutes later, the waitress returns and the gang descends upon their food. Nels takes a bite, swallows, and exclaims - joyously - "My God, this is the best thing I’ve ever had."

The waitress freezes and turns. Her face is a mask of horror. She says: "Oh! I'm so sorry, I gave you the wrong order!"

Nels, who already knew that, does not miss a beat: "Why did you tell me!" He gestures wildly, slowly-but-with-grand-passion. "I could have lived in ignorance of this joy for my whole life, but you ruined it!"

He laughed. Everyone laughed. When his order - the real order - finally came back from the kitchen, he devoured it merrily. He tipped well.

He brought joy to people, that’s what Nels did. He brought joy to his wife and his children. He brought joy to his friends and coworkers. He brought joy to countless players that never gave his craftsmanship a second thought.

He touched millions of lives, and most of them will never know it.

Maybe you enjoyed the recent Doom’s multiplayer. Maybe Defiance had you firing on all synapses. Maybe you just loved Everquest and Everquest 2. Maybe you hated all of those things, but you remember them.

Nels was a man who worked quietly, never seized credit, and filled any conversation with a combination of kindness and mischief. He was the sort of man that any gathering would be thankful for. He would never stand at the center, but he would be the heart.

I wish we took more time to be thankful for people like Nels. I remember when Red Dead Redemption “failed to meet financial expectations”, and people very like Nels were sent packing by men who would buy a second Porsche to go with their second house later that week. I remember, weeks after laying off the actual Nels, the man who made that decision showed me his new Tesla at his big condo in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Silicon Valley.

This morning, I read that my friend got sick “probably of the flu”. My friend was not the sort to get rich, any riches he had came from his frugality. Frugality dictates that you don’t see a doctor for a run-of-the-mill flu.

This morning, I read that my friend died.

I am filled with both sadness and fury. I wish I could be filled with the joy that was his friendship.

Be like Nels. Be good. Be mischievous. Be kind.

Tip well. It may save someone’s life.

Speed Sketch Update https://brianadempsey.com/speed-sketch-update/ Tue, 20 Jun 2017 17:51:19 +0000 https://brianadempsey.com/?p=1569 Well it’s been 9 days, and I’ve learned some things. A- Don’t expect a new habit to take on the first try when you are starting it in the middle of moving and right before a week of house-guests. B- Avocado toast has a lot of shapes. C- Cold toast Continue reading Continue Reading]]>

Well it’s been 9 days, and I’ve learned some things.
A- Don’t expect a new habit to take on the first try when you are starting it in the middle of moving and right before a week of house-guests.
B- Avocado toast has a lot of shapes.
C- Cold toast is not as good as hot toast

So I’m doing a pseudo reboot. The alterations are as follows:
I will work from a photo reference of my breakfast so that I can eat while the food is still hot.
I will do the fifteen minutes before 10am.
Bonus points if I start my fifteen minutes as soon as I’m done eating.

Let’s see if I can get a seven day streak this time!

Love and Peace.