Ahoy there!

The last few weeks seemed to be a string of mechanical failures: from the car to multiple doctor visits by two members of the family, one also kind of caused by the car. (Annual reminder: the one time you don’t tell your kid to watch their fingers when shutting the car door will be the one time you need to rush them to the ER for X-rays. Nothing was broken, but it was still a very traumatic, expensive lesson.)

Thanks to my co-parent’s brother, the car/ a.k.a. “finger smasher” is working again. In an attempt to take a break from the chaos while also doing research for a few projects, I signed us up for a family trek on the Lady Washington.

Lady Washington docked in Tacoma. 6/25/2021. Photo by Suzanne Skaar. All rights reserved.

This was the second time I have ever been on this ship. The first was during a Nisqually Middle School oceanography field trip to look for whales. I didn’t see any. As I recall, the trio of nerds of which I was a part spent much of the day struggling with sunburns and motion sickness. It was still such a cool experience, so when I found out the ship was docked in Tacoma, I wanted to share it with my daughter.

My child threatening a random insect by the waterfront: 6/25/2021. Posted here with her permission. Photo by Suzanne Skaar. All rights reserved.

We didn’t tell her where we were going, but when she figured it out, she was excited, too. I came prepared with an OTC children’s motion sickness med, which she and her dad decided to take just in case. I also loaded my camera bag with snacks and cans of 7-Up. Although the ship didn’t leave Commencement Bay, the little one had a rough time up until right before came back to the dock. So in essence, I did share my experience with her, but not in the way I had hoped.

My child on the Lady Washington, June 2021: posted here with her permission. Photo by Suzanne Skaar. All rights reserved.

I need to accept that our Scandinavian ancestors were most likely landlocked farmers and not fearsome, seafaring Vikings.

Concept illustration of what the artist’s great-grandparents’ journey from Norway could have looked like, originally included in April 2019 Tripod Series slideshow presentation by Suzanne Skaar, 2019. All rights reserved.

The crew did their best to help make kiddo feel better and recommended hanging out in the back close to where the Captain was stationed in order to not minimize her seasickness.

Lady Washington Crew: 6/25/2021. Photo by Suzanne Skaar. All rights reserved.
The Captain of Lady Washington. 6/25/2021. Photo by Suzanne Skaar. All rights reserved.

In between juggling parenting duties and documenting the experience, the outing was a great chance to learn about history,

History Talk on the Lady Washington: 6/25/2021. Photo by Suzanne Skaar. All rights reserved.

enjoy the sea and the sun before the Pacific Northwest heatwave hit,

Bell on Lady Washington. 6/25/2021. Photo by Suzanne Skaar. All rights reserved.

and look at our city from a different perspective.

Tacoma Marina. 6/25/2021. Photo by Suzanne Skaar. All rights reserved.

Kiddo said she enjoyed our day despite not feeling well, but our next adventure will be on a much smaller vessel: like a pedal boat.

Big news!

And now it’s official! I just signed my Tacoma Artist Initiative Program contract. I am grateful to the Tacoma Arts Commission for sponsoring me as I research and develop assets for my video game. I’ll be giving an artist talk later in the year on the technical aspects of this project and what accessibility means in art, community, and our daily lives. I will also be sharing details on how the local community can become part of the game.

Acceptance into this program was the catalyst for another major leap. No Mine Studios LLC (named after a once constant refrain from my daughter when she was younger) is an official business within the State of Washington.

Thank you everyone who has supported me in this endeavor over the years. More updates to come!

Screenshot Saturday

Given I’m building a retro 2D pixel art game where a dino runs through a city loosely based on a part of the country that was still mostly underwater during the Cretaceous Period, I concluded I have spent way too much energy worrying about whether to include trilobites due to “historical accuracy.”

Good News

Animated gif of a dinosaur happily bouncing up and down side to side.

I am pleased to announce that I have received a Tacoma Artist Initiative Program Award for the 2021-2022 cycle! I’m honored to be included as there are many great artists on the list. Thank you everyone for your support through this process. More details to come, including how to watch my artist talk later in the year.

Voiceover Challenge

I have been seeing the TikTok Commercial Voiceover Challenge everywhere lately, so I decided to give it a try. You can watch it on YouTube by clicking here, or on TikTok by clicking here.

If you like what you see, please follow No Mine! Studios on the following platforms:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nominestudios​

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nominestudios

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nominestudios

TikTok (nominestudios): https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMeFQQTMx

Thank you for your support!

Suzanne

Fun with Audio

While working on a new game animation sequence yesterday, I decided to take a go at some audio. Watch through the end for my voice acting debut. I may have made a few slight — major — adjustments to my voice using Audacity.

I don’t mean to brag, but usually I’m an alto.

I’m not even sure what range this would be.

I originally created individual sprites/ environmental elements in Photoshop and composited the scene/ set up the mechanics in Unity. Other sounds were made using BeepBox. Audio was added in Adobe Premiere Pro. This is still very much a work in progress.

I hope you’re having a wonderful day. Let me know what you think in the comments. If you’d like to show your support, please follow No Mine! Studios on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok!

Cheers,

Suzanne

Dino Game Update

Hi.

I started working on my first video game in June 2020. Progress is coming along nicely. I’m striving a balance between pushing forward and fleshing out the first game level’s overall layout while going back and refining existing work. The following trailer contains some new in-game scenes. Tacoma people might recognize a couple of shout outs.

Thank you for following along as I tackle my largest project to date!

If you haven’t yet done so, connect with No Mine! Studios on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and now even TikTok. I would love your support!

Suzanne

Happy New Year!

It feels wrong to write this without acknowledging the tremendous amount of sorrow that has hit our communities and homes.

Midnight marks a new day and a new year, but it doesn’t erase the pain, suffering, and disappointment.

I spent much of the year grieving, but 2020 brought me so many reasons to be grateful. Pre-pandemic closures, my writing was published overseas for the first time, and in my adopted hometown’s print literary anthology, Creative Colloquy. School closures meant being able to spend more time with my daughter. Changing my work style to accommodate additional childcare responsibilities led to taking new risks. In June, I started work in earnest on my video game. I even got up the nerve to try standup this year (from the comfort of my home).

The moving of meetings online post-pandemic has made it easier to engage in community decision making processes. In June, I successfully lobbied the Pierce County Democratic Party to recognize CS gas and tasers as deadly force. In 2021, I want to see this momentum continue at the State and national levels, and for the first time in a long time, I am optimistic that it will.

Gen-Z has taken to the streets and used social media and other avenues to challenge not only police brutality, but racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, economic inequality, and climate change. Emma Goldman said, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be a part of your revolution.” In the darkest of times, the new revolutionaries have embodied joy, humor, and hope. I am grateful my daughter has such positive role models.

Please stay safe and enjoy the holiday.

Happy New Year!

Suzanne

Gif: Animation sequence for as yet untitled video game. Suzanne Skaar. 2020. All rights reserved.