The Office of Eric Westerlind
I write stories, letters, poems, copy, ordainments, essays, and the odd angry commentary. I'll compile those published, here.
I've also started narrating our family photo blog.
I maintain a quasi-monthly update by email—'a Family Letter’—which is a mixture of observation, opinion, new media, and the like. If you’re interested in hearing from me, please go ahead an put your email address here and I’ll be happy to include you anonymously.
For small businesses or individuals in pursuit of business-like activities, I'll help flesh out marketing or explanatory material, but I'll be honest: if you're looking for someone to write these things for you, you probably need my editing more than my writing—your ideas might need organization and some penmanship, but the best words are probably yours. So: I'd see.
Or I can transcribe or pen as you wish. Happy to provide examples of prior work.
Editing is a mixture of listening and quieting the self to understand what the piece is already doing, while still maintaining the honesty and spine necessary to speak plainly.
I’m willing to work on any length document, at any stage in its development. Some clients prefer edits as a Word Document; most I mark up a provided PDF. Generally speaking, barring the rare flawless piece, I don’t ‘sign off’ or mark-as-finished, any work, as I'm suspect of the idea that writing can ever be ‘finished'. That I leave to the author.
I'll offer this: editing is a “business" of trust. The author trusts the editor to read without influence, and to encourage them to make the piece as sure of itself as possible. The editor trusts the writer to take the criticism for what it is: about the piece, not the person. My goal is to help you understand your writing as essential work, but I will not hesitate to say where I feel something can be made better.
A mixture of warning and promise.
If you're interested in hearing about the workshops, books, submission opportunities, etc, that I facilitate, I send out a monthly collection of all the above, usually around the middle of the month. Just pin an email for me here and I'll get it to you.
Photography was my second art, and remains a fascination. I shoot both film and digital, preferring the look of an unedited shot to the doctored image. That’s only a matter of taste, as there is value and creativity involved in both.
Self-assessing, I think my most memorable images are natural imagesI find myself fluid and searching with a camera when wrapped in trees, or seaside, taking a break from a walk or hike. I also, like Yukio Mishima, find something fascinating at boundaries, especially where what is descriptively ‘human’ meets what is not.
I am not particularly equipped to photograph commercially, though I am happy to serve small businesses, artists, and individuals interested in a budget alternative or stopgap until they hire someone with a bigger lens.
I do maintain an Ello account, @ew, which I find a pleasing and less messy alternative to mainstream social media, places where, for better or worse, I tend to los my head and so have abandoned.
Games! I feel as thoug I get to throw the serious cloak to the floor as soon as I say games. Games! I love games! Games are life’s practice place. they are a vent for social anxiety, personal insecurities, secret ideas, thwarted plans. I grew up on games, and now I make them.
Like video, games and the making Theron are a fusion of all the skill sets I’ve developed—user experience, piece design, role writing, game editing and play testing. Not only that, the product derived from all this work rarely needs to be evaluated on whether the client needs it or that its better for the world, they’re games! By nature, they’re good for you.
I started with standard games and discovered Advanced Dungeons & Dragons at 11 or 12 when my only game tester was my 8 year old brother and a bunch of camp kids at a summer camp. I wrote adventures for he and my family and friends as we got older, and still do today. I stepped away to build a MUD (multi user dungeon in which characters type their action and th game scrolls by), with online friends. , and then experimented with two board games, , the malleable jungle adventure Ziggurat, and the high -pace claim manager GOLD!!, always with two exclamation marks.
On moving to Seattle and with the advent of Discord as a constant communication platform, I’ve written new adventures. A Land Devoured, and The Gold Boned Monk and Beneath the Blackwater and happily founded Bongo Production, a family run game content, creation and review effort that is jsust now testing its wings.
Drawing. Developed largely as a means of keeping my attention in class, I’ve never taken a class nor attended a workshop. Thus my drawing tends towards formless, misshapen ‘things’ on which I explore texture and shading.
As time has progressed, what was a past time became. A useful first step in my visual creative endeavors, notably sketching or brainstorming for design. I’ve certainly seen more talented pencil people utilize their drawing to greater effect, but relatively my side-of-the-syllabus sketches have come a long way from hobby to hirable.
I think some interesting examples of how drawing has surfaced on a professional level include work for Blak, for Eric and Brittany and for Alex.
If you’re more eager to look at sketch work that never crossed the line to commercial, I’ll collect a small sample for you.
There is a side, too, of ‘drawing’ that doesn’t necessarily match the definition, but I’m reticent to add more categories so I’ll pin it here, and that is illustration.
Illustration, or for me, ‘computer drawing’ is as often an act of tracing and compositing as it is creating, collating ideas onto a page. In rare occasions I’ve brought out a stylus, but more typically, I use the pen and shape tools that Illustrator provides to create *or re-create) existing objects in new settings. This has never been my forte, though I’m certainly capable, mostly because I’ve never tried to ‘stick to a style’, which from what I’ve seen, the particular masters of the craft do.
I will, however, provide you with an idea of my capabilities so as to leave no stone unturned. Here is. a link for that portfolio.
Video Editing. is quite different from Video editing. It is laborious an and a tremendous strain on my current computer, bu the act of watching footage, isolating moments of quality in audio or visual, and snipping and resequencing combines all my favorite elements of photography, editing, and storytelling
To date, the most harrowing and beautiful project I undertook was a music video for Seattle’s Temple Canyon and despite the wear and tear on my rig, the final product satisfied me in a way I couldn’t foresee.
Wanting to be in and out a touch faster, I experimented with simpler programs like iMovie and Rush CC on my phone, and the limited controls boosted my creativity. These experiments became the foundation for *My Friend* Eric, a personal YouTube channel serving, as a mixture of sandbox for editing ‘moves’ and memory store for important events in my life.
I’m very interested in doing more with video so if you have a project you’ve been considering putting into play, do consider reaching out as, like photography, I am a reasonable lower budget alternative to more established videographers, and still maintain the age intent towards quality.
Because it was such a formative experience, I’m going to sidebar a story you’re welcome to read if interested, detailing the making of the Temple Canyon video, which will touch on process, problems, and discoveries through the lens of an unexpected director.