Warning: "continue" targeting switch is equivalent to "break". Did you mean to use "continue 2"? in /homepages/1/d193011658/htdocs/Ciaran/CiaranBenson/wp-content/themes/layerswp/core/helpers/post.php on line 53

Warning: "continue" targeting switch is equivalent to "break". Did you mean to use "continue 2"? in /homepages/1/d193011658/htdocs/Ciaran/CiaranBenson/wp-content/themes/layerswp/core/helpers/post.php on line 72
Ciaran Benson

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /homepages/1/d193011658/htdocs/Ciaran/CiaranBenson/wp-includes/class-wp-comment-query.php on line 405

Here's a bunch of stuff that I love to do or have done

Not really a resume, but more of a "Places where you'll find me on the web".

I love working with awesome people who are revolutionizing our world

My absolutely favorite thing is helping people be more effective at whatever it is that they love. Every job I’ve had has been following a curve from the font and desktop publishing revolution of the 90s to the information superhighway and “super computer in your pocket” revolution of the current century.

We’re surrounded by empowering tools that can revolutionize everything that we do – making us more effective, more productive, and ultimately more satisfied with our lives and more effective at creating the things that we have passion for.

That Star Trek world where people work because they passionately believe in what they’re doing? For a lot of our planet, it’s already here, and for the rest of us – it’s coming.

I love being a part of making that happen.

Soon, everything’s going to be connected and self aware, and I can’t wait to find out what that world is going to be like.

Finding this core value of empowering people with effective tools is a part of every thing that I do professionally.

If you’re a creative and want to talk with me about identifying and overcoming any hurdles in your process, or want to look for more empowering options for expressing yourself on the web, please contact me through “CiCanHelp” – my special services for creatives.

Ci Can Help
Transformative Business Group
It's hard to call it 'work' when you are doing what you love the most

To help people overcome the technological hurdles preventing them from expressing themselves and being competitive on the web, I created a little non-profit company to bundle and resell high end internet services.

“Support Is Mutual” is our motto, and in all of our activities we seek a balance between the self-interest of our members, our own organization, and our client’s audience.

Everyone we do work for automatically becomes a “Member” of our group, and gets special rates thereafter. It doesn’t matter whether the project was a simple turn-key website, a fully featured web-store, helping you get incorporated or re-organize your organization, or just providing a server to host your webstore on. We’re all members, and the costs of our core services are shared by all.

Some members even sponsor other members so that entrepreneurs, startups, and charitable organizations can gain access to resources that they otherwise might not be able to afford or manage.

We’re not a big company – its just me and a couple friends – and we really only work on projects that are very interesting or satisfying to us, but over the years we’ve gathered a a nice set of clients and have helped some people do some amazing things.

For myself, this is an extension of my passion for helping individuals and teams gain access to the tools and expertise that they need to express and promote themselves.

Consulting & Independent Contracting
Telling stories through sequential art

From speculative fiction story arcs that are nearly 200 pages, long to short 24-hour comics and one-off homages, I’ve drawn a lot of stuff. Some of it is complete, most of it is still in progress.

I still try to draw at least an hour each morning – there’s something about the detail work of putting ink on paper, bringing out the essence of expression and gestures, that really clears my mind and helps me get ready for the day.

So, the stories that are on the site will continue to evolve. I can’t promise when any of them will update, but I do try to draw something new each day – even if it never makes it to the web.

UberCyberCats & Other Comics
Speculative Fiction. That is to say; stories.

When I was 5 years old, the monster under my bed crawled out, and sat down next to me on the bed. She unfolded her four arms, took a deep breath through her six nostrils, and sang to me a story.

She sang about a place called “Rikon”, and how my people would kill her’s, thousands of years ago, because of an industrial accident that is beginning even now. It’s nobody’s fault: and we can’t really stop it.

But, we can never let it happen again. Even though it’s already too late.

I’ve been trying to retell that story ever since.

Some of it I tell through speculative fiction.

Metal made hot, then flat.

Working with steel and fire is without question one of my favorite hobbies, and I’ve been making metal sculpture and medieval ironwork and tools since the 1980’s. My pieces have been used as sets and props for theaters both in Wisconsin and Minnesota, including 10′ tall iron pyramids used by the Fitzgerald Theater, and suits of armor and stage fighting swords, axes, and maces for the UWRF theater.

Lately, I’ve been focusing on gardening and camping tools, ranging from recreations of portaging hatchets to herb axes and gardening knives, which have been selling very well in the U.K.

I like those. They’re fun to make.

/bbl – going to go smith.

If you’d like to see pics of what we get up to, and to see if I have anything available for sale, it’s on my blacksmithing site – Hanging Pig Forge.

I’ll also post notices there when I’m appearing at galleries or if I’m participating in any of the seasonal Art Crawls.

Hanging Pig Forge
Sacred Paths Radio [off the air]
Music and programs to help to help you find your path to the Sacred

In 2011, I created a radio station that featured a wide selection of alternative and native or historical sacred music and programming including morning chants and prayers, along with longer programs for world religions that sometimes don’t get a lot of exposure, like Mongolian and Tibetan Buddhism and Japanese Shinto – all of it interwoven with Trance, Alternative, Progressive, House, and Dub (with just a dash of PonyStep).

Basically, sunrise and sunset of each day had 4 hours of “something religious for someone”, and the whole thing was wrappered in music that I feel goes best with long periods of intense writing or programming projects.

Turns out it worked really well both for software engineers and students.

After five years, the station rose to be the 32nd most popular station out of the thousands of stations in our genres (Sacred, Trance, Progressive), and the 1,937th most popular station overall out of the hundred thousand broadcasters on Live365.

I was even able to pay for the whole thing through advertising, including sponsored ads for artists and small charities who couldn’t afford their own advertising.

Daft Punk, Adele, Michael A, Elite3, Life Of Riley, Mike Oldfield, The Streets, Lola Ray, Duke Dumont, The Beetles – if it fit the groove, we played it.

And even though we weren’t a “ProStation” Live365 kept us in their final selection of a few hundred “Pro” stations that they kept on the air for the first month of 2016 as the licenses ran out.

And we were on the air right up to the second that their servers went dark, which I think is a real testament to the quality of the programming that we had on the station, and the investment and dedication of our listeners.

I’m pretty proud of this station, and it was a huge amount of fun.

Being able to highlight new artists, and to expose our listeners to the fabulous pool of independent artists who are out there was enormously satisfying.

Sadly, with the expiration of the Webcaster Act of 2009, microcasting is no longer permitted under the licensing structures of the Copyright Royalty Board.

But – believe me – I’m waiting for microcasting to become possible again, because when it does I absolutely will do this again.

Setting up a station – configuring and hooking together all the enormous number of licensing and other broadcasting variables required to make a station work, and keeping the whole thing up and running, 24x7x365, is more fun than I’ve had with any game I’ve ever played.

Seriously – everyone should do a radio station.

Here’s a playlist of that I’m building on YouTube if you’d like to hear what our overnight programming was like. It’s not as good as the original – I can’t control level and gaps and variables like that on YouTube – and sadly a lot of my favorite artists on the station aren’t on YouTube. But, it’s a taste.

Sacred Paths Radio [off the air]
Illustrator [Possibly NSFW]
Game Reality Is Pretty

I love to draw, and I love the entire concept of the paper-to-press process, from the original pencil gesture sketch to the final inks, separations, and the final to press plates.

I love “The Dot”. It’s a thing of wonder.

Most of my career has either been directly involved with press, pre-press, and film delivery and post-production, or I’ve been in the cube next to the people doing those things.

Along the way, I’ve done some illustrations for CD covers, magazines, and print and web advertisements. Most of it never made it to the internet, and I’ve slowly started putting together an online portfolio of my favorite sketches and drawings.

PS: Don’t worry about the name of the site – I came up with it in Japan when I was looking for a way to describe the almost pre-pubescent joy and energy that the entire anime and manga industry swims in – a kind of innocent yet vaguely erotic world of images that you just don’t see in the United States.

It’s “Pervy”. It’s “Toons”. Ok – “PervyToons”.

A lot of people have been disappointed when they found out what I meant by that. Sorry – I don’t draw sex. Just sexy.

But don’t worry – any Not Safe For Work art is well marked as such before you’ll get to it.

That said … be aware that I’m coming from a Japanese esthetic on this site, so bare butts and breasts do abound. So – if you shouldn’t be looking at stuff like that at work, then it’s NSFW for you.

PervyToons [Possibly NSFW]
Shinto Priest
'Do nothing. But! It has to the right kind of nothing' -- Tom Baker

Most people don’t know it, because I never really have any reason to talk about it and it’s not the kind of thing that comes up, but I’m ordained.

My family moved about every 2 years when I was growing up, and every time we moved to a new town my family would try out a new religion. And I kept that practice up as I have traveled. So, I’ve collected a lot of religions over my life, and I’ve even gotten ordained in a couple that I really enjoyed.

So, although I am not actively functioning as clergy any more, I am still a Shinto priest, and I do maintain the normal certificates, licenses, and duties.

If you’re a friend, I do periodically solemnize weddings, help with funerals and the particularly business-focused services that seem to be unique to Shinto, and do still offer marriage and life counseling for friends and friends of friends.

I also volunteer on a daily basis on online suicide help and life counseling resources, because I believe strongly that once someone “accepts the call” that it is important to “answer”.

Besides – if I wasn’t doing this, I’d probably be spending all my spare time playing in World of Warcraft or something like that.

If your school or organization is doing any sort of cultural awareness program and would like someone to talk with your group about Shinto, or if you need help with public ceremonies, feel free to contact me via my shrine.

Visit The Shrine
Don't you hate orphaned spaces?
PS: This doesn’t go anywhere – I just couldn’t stand the orphaned space. The image is the header from my first ever website from … umm … 1995? Ouch.