Matt Lichtenwalner

Mobile mapper for TomTom - roaming the US and Canada constantly. Maybe a bit of art and/or writing here and there to spice things up.

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I think we should ban the use of the phrase "game changer" and related buzz words.

If I hear one more YouTuber talk about how this shade of yellow is a TOTAL GAME CHANGER or how the nuance of this tiny adjustment to something someone else has been doing for years "totally changes everything" I'm going to have to crush someone under my foot, and since I am not in the presence of said YouTuber - because, YouTube - that means some poor schlub is going to receive a significant dose of violence not meant for them.

I think that it would be perfectly reasonable, for example, to laugh out loud and point directly at the next person you hear say "this is a game changer". And keep laughing until they leave the room or start crying.

It's obnoxious, and it's one of those things that isn't going to change because no one will do something like what I described above.

Harumph, and get off my lawn!*

[editor's note: On the off chance that you're reading this and don't know me IRL, let me be clear: I am NOT actually advocating for violence or even actual shaming someone. I'm just being grumpy and venting about something I find utterly ridiculous and annoying.]

*That shouldn't really be a problem because I don't have a lawn. 😜

Whoa. Check that out - emoticons italicize?!

Yes. There are actually things that are game changers. Due to the fact that they actually change things significantly, they happen super rarely.

Of course, if someone just grabbed all the components to a board game I was playing and replaced them with some other game, I might be inclined to violence [okay, sternly worded confusion] rather than just conceding their accurate fulfilment of the phrase.
I wholeheartedly agree. Say what you mean, don’t use buzzwords.

So belief in something creates a god (or goddess or...) of that thing. Even a small amount of faith - by billions of people - adds up.

Goddess of Footwear.

God of the Monsters Under the Bed.

Goddess of Walks in the Park.

God of Brunch.

You get the idea.

I'd love to collect a series of short stories by authors more skilled than myself for a compendium where I illustrate each god(dess).

I could imagine short stories on everything from their daily existence to their creation to the indirect effects of their existence on the rest of us.

Diversity in both the sorts of gods as well as the types of stories would be the point. My art would be the only consistent thing throughout the book, because I think there needs to be a visual consistency to avoid being distracting.

Consider this Creative Idea Number 734098450893278 that I won't ever be able to get to. :(

Anyway - the image up top is the latest Twitter thing I'm doing. The place is a cess pool, and keeps glitching for me, but my little corner seems (relatively) unaffected, so I keep going. Seems like it is (overall) circling the drain though.

If any of you would like to play, I made a template that prints out to 8.5 x 11 with light lines so you can use paper and pencils/pens:

I used to make offerings to the Goddess of Parking Spaces by tossing pennies underneath a car I'd just parked, thanking her for the parking space.

I told Edmundson about this. He said, "Oh, yeah, the goddess of parking spaces is totally legit, her name is Squat. Chris Adams and I used to drive around West Philly, looking for parking, and he'd have his head out the window, shouting, "A juicy lamb for SQUAT!"
Oh that’s fantastic! Just the sort of thing that should go into The Book That Shan’t Be!

...and I don't hate them!

There's some weirdness, but nothing I am unable to live with.

For the curious: Dragonbones on TeePublic.

Yeah - they're kinda fun. Now I wanna make more.
Your logo shirt looks fantastic!

No, that doesn't mean anything bad about the other one, just that the logo shirt really grabbed me.
Yay! Glad you like it!

I can't make a living doing these characters. Or, if that's possible, it's certainly not probable. Not by a long shot.

So what would I like to work on that does seem like it would be more reasonable to make a modicum of moolah on?

Crests. For clubs and groups. I feel like this is an untapped thing. Like, if more folks realized that they could get something like this done, they might. I've even seen more 'official' types doing this based on family lineage and whatnot. I wouldn't try to put on airs like that. I would just assemble cool symbols for things your into. Or if your D&D group has a certain collection of character types and items that might be assembled into a crest in a cool way....

really would like to work on labels for a distillery. Heck - those crests mentioned above would work for this. Something fantasy or viking theme, obviously would be ideal, but really, as long as they understand my style and aren't looking for an anime artist (because we're all the same, you know), I'm game.

Oh, who am I kidding? I would absolutely draw anime if that's what they really wanted.

Beer labels would work too.

I'd like to do some more tattoo designs (see some previous work here). That's unlikely though because most tattoo artists will do the design for free (or nearly so) and if you've done your homework on the artist in question - you know - because they're going to put their art into your flesh forever - you presumably already like their style.

What else?

Pet portraits or portraits of real people. Especially if it's a mashup of fantasy and reality. "My buddy as a barbarian." That kinda stuff. I'm admittedly not amazing at likenesses, but I can make it work, and honestly, it's an area I could use more work in to get better.

I've started doing tee shirt designs, but I'm really an amature. I've got a buddy who does a lot of graphic design work for cannabis companies and he gave me some great feedback on the existing designs in my merch shop. That said, it also made it very clear how far I have to go before I'm, you know, good.


Jill "xtingu" Knapp said something in a brief chat recently that has me thinking about other folks who might appreciate the kind of illustrative stuff that I do.

So I decided to do some brainstorming, and this is the list I currently have:

  • DMs / Players
  • Developers (ttrpg)
  • Developers (apps / digital games)
  • TTRPG Adjacent Companies (Think Role Play Grow interviews)
  • Authors (children's books)
  • Authors (fantasy)
  • New Artists
  • Librarians / Bookstore Owners
  • Social Media Profile Owners

Anyone else have any ideas that I should add to the list?

Bookstore employees. Literacy campaigns. After-school programs. If you drew a picture of your nephews reading a big hardcover book, surrounded by a big male lion, a cool-looking elf archer, a mermaid, a giant robot, a lady scientist, a jungle explorer and a witch, you’d have every librarian, teacher and bookstore worker buying that t-shirt, poster and mug.
These are great - I'll add them to the list!
Now that everyone works remotely, and they all rely on Slack or Discord or some equivalent service, I think there's a market for someone to come draw avatars for everyone to use on their comms channels.
I’d use that.
Thanks guys - I'll add it to the list. A couple years back, I did these, and they might work.
I like these a lot.
Thanks! They're even fun to do. :)
Considering the trend of creepy AI crafted avatars, I’d much rather have an artisanal hand drawn avatar that makes me look a little younger and healthier than I am in real life, especially if it has a real artist’s signature on it.
On Slack our avatars are so tiny that they might not work for promoting the artist much, which is a problem. But I have to have a team bio picture and I often have to have a professional picture for work presentations that are open to the public. How much do you charge for social media avatar images?
Something like what I did above would be between $30 and $60 (depending on complexity etc).

If you just need some "Photoshopping" of an existing pic to *ahem* 'remove imperfections' I'd happily do that for you for free. 😁
I like the idea of these, but for me the lightning bolt split down the middle makes it hard to see the person’s face.
Yeah - I thought about that a bit too late. You can see if a bit in the pics for the ladies. In theirs, I reduced the 'haze' given off in the area of the face. In the future, I would likely do even less there.

Guess I'm just going to have to try number 2.

For the record - it's a rain day, so I'm back at my favorite local coffee shop (The Spokesman).

If you're curious, a quick search yields this article about Lichtenhainer beers at the Beer Advocate.

Heh. Spellcheck auto corrected the beer name to my last name.


It's delicious! Honestly, I've never had anything like it before. I suppose I should point out that I'm generally not a 'beer guy' so maybe this sort of flavor is more common than I realize, but...

It seems salty and sour. Kinda like a dill pickle brine. Obviously, I wouldn't drink a dill pickle brine down, but this is in that direction. If nothing else, it's something interesting for a change.


In the Mario Brothers series of games, my understanding is that you play the Mario Brothers and have to rescue Princess Peach. Then, Bowser immediately recaptures her and wash, rinse, and repeat.

This seemed... like it was in need of an update. So I didn't spend long on this, but I wanted to get the idea down before I lost it.

[small voice in the corner] I used to drink pickle juice as a kid…
Oh, I’m not saying I’ve _never_ done that…

…a lot…

Just that it wouldn’t be a go to. But this seemed like something I could drink fairly regularly. I won’t, because it’s apparently a seasonal ‘ short run, but…
We drink pickle juice as an Eagles football superstition. Green, a little rough ... go Eagles!

Also it's perfect that the beer with (almost) your name is the beer you like.

I know "Lichtenwalner" means "Light in the Woods" so Lichtenhainer is "Light in the something".

"Hainer" is a name and translates as a name as far as I can find with some quick googling/translation dictionary searching.

This is as close as I could get to a translation of the name, "Hainer Name Meaning
South German: from the ancient Germanic personal name Haginher composed of the elements hag ‘hedge enclosure’ + hari heri ‘army’."

Light in the army's hedge?

A friend asked for some podcast recommendations, and this is what I offered up. Since I get the question fairly often, or some variation on the theme, I thought I would share it here (and on my travel blog publicly so I could reference it when folks ask.

The Creative Penn - about independent author life. Production and sale of books without traditional publishers. 

The Dungeon Run - an Actual Play of 5e that I like. 

The Great Detectives of Old Time Radio - just what the title says. Old radio shows from the 50s in podcast format. I can't take the host's voice for very long and tend to skip straight to the shows. Johnny Dollar are my fave. 

How Not to DM - interview show about ttrpgs and how not to...

LORE - 1 part Twilight Zone + 1 part mythology. Been listening to this guy forever. Pure mood. 

Make Me Smart - NPResque news show. Different style to each weekday (deep dive v fun v etc)

Life in the Ted Lane - my friend Lindsay (who you may know) and her brother Ted talk about Autism, the Muppets, and their myriad adventures. 

Re: Thinking - interview show with industry leaders, scientists, etc about looking at subjects from a different/ new perspective

Science Versus - one of my faves. A scientific breakdown of different popular opinions like "Is one adult beverage / day a health benefit?"

The TED Interview - a deeper dive into the topics of TED Talks. 

Think Like a Game Designer - how to do what the title says. 

Travel Writing World - about writing about your travels and interviews with folks who do that. 

Twenty Thousand Hertz - a podcast about sound.

Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me - the NPR news game show in podcast format.

Tech News Briefing from the Wall St Journal - news about tech from the WSJ. 

There are many more that I personally subscribe to, but this list has a bit of diversity to it, and (I believe) will be enjoyable to a larger collection of people.​​​​​​​

If you're reading this, and you're wondering about some specific genre or topic of podcast, feel free to ask me about it, or tell me if you have some recommendations! I’m always looking for new and interesting stuff to listen to.

(Also, while this list has links to each of the shows for convenience, they should be available through most any podcast catcher. I personally use PocketCasts. If you haven't chosen one yet, I can recommend it. Simple and effective.)

Ooooh! Forgot about Lore! Thank you for reminding me.

I so often forget about podcasts.
When I remember, I listen to either Cracked (Stained Glass podcast) or SawBones (a fantastic podcast about old medical devices/practice. It's very funny. And informative.). Love, love, love that one.
I used to listen to Sawbones. Don't remember why I stopped.

One of the themes in my life of late is to try to get as many folks as I can to see the illustration stuff I'm doing. In an era of "you don't see everything from everyone you follow" social media, this is... more challenging than seems reasonable.

I understand that mailing lists are the way to go for that, but the problem with mailing lists are two fold: 1. You have to get people onto them, which many folks are loathe to do. 2. Once they're on your list, many folks ignore / delete the emails because they're 'extra'.

Which isn't to say I'm not going that route. On the contrary. I probably will. I've started to before, but never really finished (see all my previous commentary on ADHD).

Even if / when I DO manage to create a reasonable email list, that still doesn't get around issue 1. The vast majority of the internet using world won't be on it. And is accessible to pretty much everyone who has access to the web.

Shut up, man. Get to the point.

Okay, okay. Sorry. Verbose Guy here.

I thought I would start doing a monthly summary post on dragonbones about the sketch work that I did the month prior.

It's a good art-news system, it gives folks a taste of what's in the Patreon page if they might be interested, and it keeps dragonbones fresh(ish).

So here's the first one: The Sketchy Stuff from December 2022.

(Dwarf at the top of the page is just something I was noodling on... yesterday? This is at about the 1/2 hour stage.)


Yes, we get it. You made an ebook. 

Sorry - I know you've probably seen me posting about it elsewhere. Thing is, you can have it for free, if you like, and I want as many people to have access to it as possible.

Didn't get anything for your neice for the holidays? Bingo. Grandson's into fantasy / D&D? Sold. They can print the pages out and color them as many times as they like.

I won't tell if you're there coloring alongside them. ;)

Anyway, if you haven't picked up a copy yet, it's available on my site / Gumroad here: 

If you do download / gift / check it out, I would love to hear what you liked or disliked about it! (I'm planning to do more like this in the future, so all feedback helps.)

12/19 '22