I would like to begin this blog by telling you a little bit about myself. I am masterxeon1001 however, that’s just my 3d identity. In my regular life, I am much more boring. I began 3d Feb. 1, 2010 at the same time that I began the worst job ever… at a call center. I have always been very into technical things and how things work, so this job was entirely torture. I answered back to back calls with PCs that had everything enjoyable win-locked out of the system. One day, I discovered that I could run Blender 2.5 from a pen-drive and with that, my life changed.
From what was an unfortunate series of events, in what I can only describe as the worst job I’ve ever had, I found a friend in Blender. Even on Pentium 4 PCs with 512 MB of RAM, I was able to efficiently do my job while practicing 3d. I remember going in to work and thinking, “Man! I wonder if I can build a character, and rig it, before my shift ends?” I would watch tutorials on the bus, and get to work amped up to get busy modeling. This method of getting past the beginner stage, was beneficial because I leaned efficient multitasking. But to be honest, I was just dealing with calls and focusing my full attention to Blender. It was a uniquely bad situation which also provided hope. Maybe if I could get good enough, I could escape this life of servitude, and stop doing tasks that I wasn’t suited for.
As time went on, the job began to get more ridiculous and tedious, to the point that it was not the same career anymore. My job changed from fixing problems, to being judged based on salesmanship, while maybe fixing problems. I endured as long as I could, but I had to move on. After five years of taking phone calls, my nerves were shot. I couldn’t talk to people without feeling the urge to go “Super Saiyan” on them. And god help you if you asked me a basic PC question like, “How do I use the mouse?”
Since this is my introduction, I’ll go over a few interesting tidbits from my adventures working there. I would work in Blender while taking calls on DSL. I would be so focused on modeling tasks that I would lose focus on the customer, causing me to say interesting things on calls. I remember telling a woman that birds cause DSL trouble. She put the phone down and went outside screaming at the birds before I could tell her that I was kidding. Another lady went insane because I told her that it was silly to unplug your PC because it was not a modem. A modem has been a modem for hundreds of years but a tower has never been called a modem. I became more cynical as time went on and it began to shape me into the person before you now.
I was getting to the point, where I would take calls, and be able to complete tasks in blender, like rigging, bone naming, or compositing, before they could find the label on their modem units. It’s not that I’m some sort of genius – it’s just that, the people I was dealing with, weren’t by a long shot.
Through my experiences with troubleshooting, I was able to improve my learning and teaching skills by using the work I was doing as a tool, and the people I talked with as lessons. Thus the personality of masterxeon1001 was born.
My very first videos are still online, showing my journey from where I was when I started using blender, to where I am today. I would like to talk about some other jobs I’ve had, however, the next place that I worked, at the same time as the call center, is worth mentioning.
Fleshlight. Do you know what that is? It’s a sex toy for men. I was working at the company that made them. The terminology was pretty hilarious. “Hey go grab those pink p***** vortexes and finger them.” It wasn’t funny after a week. I am probably a master fingerer, but who knows. Haha! Maybe that’s where I got master hotkey skills and iron fingers.
So this company was very strange and different because, instead of being behind a PC, I was on my feet, and the work was literally fingering stuff. I once again had to figure out how to best utilize this time to advance in 3d, because I was aware of the competitive nature of the 3d industry. I had not yet truly joined the 3d artist community. I docked my ipod, set up the wifi on it, and watched Blender tutorials while fingering p*****. What an adventure so far.
So, another strange thing about this job, was that no one thought it was weird to sell a product that was basically a double gulp you busted a n** in. I thought I was just being prude, so I endured. Then I met the owner. Haha! He can only be described as “Porno Jesus”, because he acted like he walked on water, and looked like Jesus. I remember one day, we had a meeting about how we should be grateful for the air conditioning. I was like, “What?! Don’t you have this so these rubber p****s dont melt?” But, it gets more interesting. They also only gave us half hour lunches, so that leaving was out of the question. But, no worries, we had the Fleshlight Diner. Sure! This was an overpriced kitchen, within a company that forced us into eating like rabid wolves, in a p**** shop. As time went on, the menu got more and more pathetic. How pathetic? Well, how does a potato salad sandwich for $5.00 sound? If that doesn’t sound appealing, then you’re like me – a guy who never eats a sandwich without meat.
I found myself becoming popular here, since I could not stop cracking jokes about the situation. It’s actually my curse. I can’t stop lamenting irony.
I put a dollar in the suggestion box, saying that if they are a billion dollar company, they should at least have quality grub, so I can have the strength to make sure consumers won’t injure themselves, with staples or plastic molding tubes. I guess people are so eager to try the product, they don’t think of inspecting it first.
As a result of my suggestion, I was confronted during a 150-person meeting. Instead of blushing away like a shy girl seeing a prince, I decided to stand up for myself. “Cmon bra! You eat a potato salad sandwich!” Sorry. I have sandwich standards. They probably didn’t like it, but it didn’t affect my career immediately. I was working from 6am to midnight 6 days a week, so I didn’t care. Being slaughtered was more glorious than working to death, and if I was going to die working, I might as well keep my voice.
As time went on, I continued developing my skill at 3d. Everyone who ever met me, knew I was obsessed, with some strange PC game called Blender. Its not a damn game!
I modeled Fleshlight, after Fleshlight, in an attempt to demonstrate my worth as an employee, to management on the other side, while being shut down repeatedly. I took that as a challenge to earn their amazement. I continued working on the fleshlights until, finally, they started looking photo-real. But by this time, they had made it clear that I was a boxboy, and that to even approach the office was heresy. “No advancement ever,” was the message. I still think that, if you begin as a servant, they’ll never see you as anything more no matter the determination shown.
My then girlfriend found this to be a good time to break up with me. Her last words to me included the phrase “amateur loser”. I remember hearing that and thinking, ” ^#**@! I will show you that I’m more than that. How dare you!”
She was right. I was an amateur loser. I was still making cube art. But those were harsh words, nonetheless.
So finally, after a year and a half working for Fleshlight, I was laid off in “company cutbacks”. This didn’t matter, since I was already aware that there was no future, except as a laborer. These hands of mine can do things more beautiful than fingering Fleshlights.
These events set my determination into overdrive. I told myself, “This woman will never see me. The closest she will get, will be to see my art from the outside at the top.” That was my goal – to make sure that when masterxeon1001 was googled, only pretty images and progressive growth would be found. There would just be me on the first page with my accomplishments.
After all of that, I moved out and began living with a coworker, which was very relaxed. Court and Les were the greatest roommates ever. I was able to come home from work, practice art, and make tutorials. This situation was very peaceful and nobody messed with me. I would just shut my door and do my Blending.
To be honest, the goal I set for myself was to put 10+ hours a day into 3d, so it has been a very intensive journey for me. I also take it very seriously.
That’s the end of “Intro Part 1”. I just wanted to get this in writing, so that my history and beginnings were established, while hopefully entertaining with my tired words. Sleep for now, but I will return.