I've been in the news recently
May 20, 2017, 11:10 am

I've been getting questions recently after a couple local news organizations (KRON 4, SFGate) have run stories on me, so I think I should put up a post answering some questions.

FAQ, if you will.

What do you use to draw?
I currently draw on a number of devices. When I'm on BART I draw on the Samsung Note 5 and mostly in the app Infinite Painter. When I'm doing more professional work, I'll tend to use the Surface Pro 4 i7, 256 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM, in Adobe Photoshop. And when I want to do some fun experimentation or record a drawing, I'll draw in Procreate on the iPad Pro 9.7 using the Apple Pencil.
Why do you use those devices?

The Note line of phones are the only phones that exist that have a wacom pressure sensitive stylus. Any bluetooth pen that has to pair with apps just can't compare.

The Apple pencil, however, actually pairs with the operating system, so there's none of that latency other pens had on ipad devices when you use them, so it's great. Apple finally stepped up in that arena, and Procreate is a killer app for drawing.

Microsoft has been killing it with the Surface line of devices, and the Surface Pro 4 is a fantastic computer. It's also a full computer, not a "mobile" device, and so it can run all of the great drawing programs that exist for windows on it.

What are the best programs to use for these devices / What should I use to draw?
The programs I listed are my current favorites, but there are so many great ones.
So what device should I purchase?

That is really a complicated issue. You might not need as much as someone else, or you might need more than a particular device can supply.

If you want a full computer with Windows, and the ability to draw, touch, and install any software available, you actually have lots of options. Tons of devices exist that are tablet convertibles with pens and touch in the Windows ecosystem. No seriously, bunches of them. But make sure you don't just buy the cheapest one expecting it to be able to draw massive canvases with tons of layers. If you go cheap with a computer, you'll have a bad time.

On the other hand, if you're already embroiled in either the Android or iOS ecosystems, then you really only have a couple options, and both of these come with limitations and advantages. The Note 5 is a beast of a phone, but so was the Note 4, and it had a removeable battery and microsd card (and it's cheaper right now). Take that into consideration when purchasing.

The iPad Pro comes in two sizes, and one may not be right for everyone. I personally love to draw in a small space, and so the smaller 9.7 was a better choice for me, although both devices are essentially the same in their capabilities for an artist.

I've used a stylus before, it wasn't very good.

Well that's not really a question, but I'll try to address this.

Most "stylii" that you see out in the wild just have those big rubber nubs. Those are known as a capacitive stylus. Those "styloo" send the same charge as your finger does to the screen and allow you to touch the screen just like a finger. Those "stylaa" are not pressure sensitive. You can't press harder or lighter and get a different effect.

All of the devices I listed here use a pressure sensitive stylus. These "styluu" are specifically meant to be used by artists to simulate the touch and feel of a real media tool. These "stylee" will make all the difference between feeling like you're playing, and feeling like you could make real art.

How can I follow you on social media?
I have pretty much the same name for all major social media, and that's @bronkula. Twitter Instagram Facebook Youtube

Also, did you try to click that header image? HA. It was a total fake out. You fell for it. You rube.

I have been obsessed with 3D Printers
March 5, 2017, 6:54 pm

I can't express to you just how obsessed I've become. Suffice to say I have kept myself poor recently spending all of my loose money on more and more 3d printing devices, parts, and paraphernalia. It's probably not even funny anymore. I've learned SO much, and I've done so much too. I'm learning about construction, electrical wiring, engineering, 3D design, and so much more.

In about October of last year I bought my first 3D Printer. It was an M3D. It was a learning experience. I found out you had to know so many things to begin to be successful at this particular hobby. I also quickly realized that the tiny, cheap Micro3d printer could just not reach the standard of printing that I wanted. It was fun to learn on and play with, but it was too limited.

In November I purchased an original Prusa i3 mk2. It said it would have a 4 week shipping delay. It ended up being a 10 week delay. But it was so worth it. At the beginning of this year, I received the Prusa and it is an amazing machine. I bought the machine as a kit which meant I had to put it together, in a process that ended up taking me about 10 hours.

All this time, ever since I first got my micro, I had a dream of building a printer from scratch. I started doing research immediately, and after seeing a video on youtube by tech2c, I decided to make a CoreXY printer and use his hypercube design. I started printing pieces for it and ordering 2020 extrusions online. The pieces I printed on the micro were bad and very discouraging. It just couldn't produce smooth sides, and its circles were garbage. But I began cutting the aluminum extrusions and eventually bought more and more pieces every month, trying never to spend more than a couple hundred every month. But every time I bought a part, I bought two. I knew that if I was going to build one 3d printer, I was going to build two.

After putting together the Prusa and seeing what it could do, I was emboldened. I purchased all the remaining parts I could think of and began printing all the parts on this much better printer.

I'm almost done. I just have some wiring to do and I will finally have a 3D Printer that I made completely from scratch. I cut the aluminum, the steel, the wires, and I printed the parts.

It was very difficult to find all the parts needed from one site, but I've finally compiled a list of all the materials and tools needed to make a 3D Printer into one place, and when I put together the second hypercube, I am going to be making a tutorial and a build log to go along with it. For now, there is a page started which describes my process and has a bill of materials that you might be able to follow along with eventually, if you too would like to make a 3D Printer with me.

Constantly moving forward
October 21, 2016, 10:58 am

I have been working on using the canvas recently, and I am coming out of it with a bit of code. I've compiled that into a library of code called DrawTools. This library is still a bit haphazard at the moment, but it's starting to round out, as I improve my own knowledge of drawing on the canvas, and gathering positional data on clicks and touches.

I have a small example using the library, that I wanted to share with you, that I put together for one of my students, maybe it will give you an idea of how easily things can be done with it.

... or maybe not, I don't know.

A work in progress
October 8, 2016, 10:38 pm

hakisak

About five years ago, I made a bouncing balls script for my Flash class at LearniT. I've had that linked in my Codes page ever since. A while back, I made an updated version in html5 using a jquery library called jCanvas.

I've been doing a lot of work with the canvas lately, and I decided to go back to the drawing board with that script. I even bought a new domain name. You know me. Anyways, HAKiSAK is up and running, and I am currently working on it, so it could break at any moment, but it's playing pretty good these days, and I'd like it if you check it out and told me what you think.

A minor suggestion
August 17, 2016, 8:51 pm

I have always held off suggesting books for students to read when learning things in my class. Mainly, because I believe that someone else's methods and speeds of teaching will often interfere or even hinder someone learning things in my class. I think websites like Code Academy and Lynda provide brilliant tools for people to learn things at their own pace and at multiple levels. But being that I teach high level classes, I often find these sites either move too slow, or never reach a proper level.

I have, however, recently read a book that I feel is quite good, and I could recommend to people wanting to learn programming using the Javascript language. Eloquent Javascript is really quite a good book. I often tell my students that really the only thing they need is a reference for the guidance they will get in a class. In that case, I would usually just point someone at Javascript Pocket Reference

A much needed update
May 31, 2016, 4:23 pm

So for the past few years, I've been teaching at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. It's been about 2 years now, and I haven't really made a major update to my website code since then. I decided to take a bit of time today to update my CSS responsiveness. I did a lot, with a surprising little. I improved the gallery as well to be a bit more consistent across sizes. I fixed the mobile sidebar which has been janky since the first day I put it in. Honestly, I think I can finally be mostly proud of the mobile experience, which I definitely haven't been able to say in a while.

I've made so much code for students in the past 2 years, and I'm finally getting the chance to put some of it to my own use. It has certainly been a long road. I have learned probably so much more than any one of my students has, and that is sort of amazing. I have honed my own knowledge of all the subjects I teach, and I am now sharper, more knowledgeable, and able to articulate what I need to say in a far better fashion.

The next step for me seems to be improving my lessons, and creating content for learners. I've made a codepen to try to help people understand dozenal grids a bit better, you should check it out, if you're interested.

See the Pen Responsive Dozenal Sass Grid by Hamilton (@bronkula) on CodePen.

I made a breathing app...
March 5, 2016, 9:52 pm

You may have seen something about it on facebook or twitter. I'm working on making it embeddable for others to put on their websites. Let's try that here.

Copy this code onto your website to embed the xhalr breathing app into it.

<iframe src="http://www.xhalr.com" width="400" height="400" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen style="max-width:100%"></iframe>

A letter to the past
February 7, 2016, 10:00 am

10 years ago today, I wrote a letter to myself. I was 24, and the letter was written to my 14 year old self. Today I am going to write another letter to 10 years in the past. Here we go.

Think back 10 years, how old were you?

I was 24 years old. I was working at Bison Witches in Tucson, Arizona. I was not yet a kitchen manager, but I was soon to go through a number of big changes in my life, not the least of which was a move to California. I was paying rent for the first time in my life, and working a job that I still consider to be the funnest job I ever had. I made some lifetime friends who I still consider to be my closest, even though I'm near to so few of them these days. I went through an intense drinking phase, that I'm probably lucky didn't lead to any lasting detrimental effects.

If you ran into yourself at that age, what would younger you say?

That person could not have imagined the kind of life I lead now. He would wonder how I could be a teacher, if I never graduated high school. But at the same time, he would be surprised that I bothered to get my GED. He would be annoyed that I play the guitar so little anymore, but he would love that I live near the ocean. He would be excited that I worked in video games for a time, but he wouldn't be surprised that I ended up with a programming job. He would be amazed that I was painting, and he would be so excited that I had an art show.

What would you say back?

I would tell him to work hard when he found a job that was easy. I'd tell him to never be satisfied if he found a job where he couldn't move forward. I'd tell him start painting earlier. I'd tell him that art is where his heart is, but all the money is in tech. I would tell him that relationships are hard, but to pick his line and stand behind it. I would tell him to work on telling people no, and to not stress himself out over other people's projects. I would tell him to get his ass to California, but I'd tell him to skip Buena Park. I'd tell him to learn calligraphy, because that shit comes in handy. I'd tell him to smoke less, drink less, and observe his limits.

In ten years I've gone from my first jobs to teaching at the masters level at a university. I got married, and I got divorced. I moved from small towns to big cities. I went from art to tech to art to teaching tech. I am about to do great things with my life, which is not something my 24 year old self could've really even imagined.

I never thought I would do this thing again, but now I really can't wait to do it again in 10 years. My life has changed dramatically in 10 years again, I can't help but wonder that it will change so much more in the future.

Read my letter 10 years ago

I made a thing
December 21, 2015, 10:29 pm

Some of you may have seen this thing when it made the rounds this last week. I made a little app website called eXHALeR. It's a breathing exercise app, and I'm kind of proud of it. There's a facebook page now for discussing breathing patterns and such. If you have any ideas, definitely share them with me.

School is in session
October 8, 2015, 1:42 pm

And I've been writing... so much code. I've written so many things, and over and over and over again. I've started 4 new code libraries in the past month. I've made two version of dirty drawers. I've made big improvements to my prototyping framework. I've rewritten 4 students' projects from the ground up. I've been diving hard into my hamebase sass files. I've been improving my workflow with sublime. I'm learning a bit about nodejs.

And what's amazing is. I've never been happier. My art has suffered over the past few weeks, but I think I needed a break from that. I was drawing... a lot. It's been nice to kind of let that drop off a bit and do some coding for a change.

I'm very excited about my life currently. Everything is moving in directions that are good.