Friend work

I’ve been insinuating myself into my friend’s businesses lately. Nothing rude, just poking around into their projects here and there.

Every so often I get stuck analyzing my own work, and one of the easiest ways to break out of that is to ask my friend’s if I can do something with their projects.

Honestly sometimes I don’t ask, I just do it.

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Above is one of the notes I made on a friend’s work.

Gerimi Burleigh is a friend and comics maker with whom I collaborated years ago on a version of the story of John Henry. I wrote, he illustrated. I told him once we should turn those roles around as I think he’s a good writer.

As an artist, Gerimi admits his struggles with his own work and I chose to make some notes on his latest Morningstar cover. Actually, I made a version of my own after one of his blogs. A few rounds of notes and he was happy. He tells the story better, of course.

Soon, I’ll be back on my own projects.

Comedy of values

One of the questions I keep asking about 3d printing, many people ask as well, is how do you make money.
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Sell 3d printers is usually the answer. BAH dum bum. Tsh. These are the jokes, right?

A more important question starting out is whether or not what you are printing has any value.

Here’s the comedy.

I went to lunch with a group of 5 people one afternoon.  All visual effects artists, which means they can very often have trouble deciding WHEN let alone WHERE they ALL want to go to lunch.

They’ll debate the expense, the distance, the service,  at least once I have endured an argument over decor.  But once agreed, the group set off, conversations brewed and orders were made after seating.

When you want to observe people’s values in an instant, watch them react to their food as it’s brought to them and compare it to their mood when the bill comes.

Jason, sitting next to me recoiled with a visible and audible lurch when he realized how much he’d just spent on lunch. Jason is an odd duck. Like many artists, he was desperately impractical in some ways.

I noticed that he was wearing Prada sunglasses and complaining about the cost of his lunch. Something about value lessons really grabs you in a moment like that. Sunglasses are usefull all year round but a market priced ahi tuna burger can just bowl you over.

At the time, I though it was funny someone who likely paid a few hundred dollars for sunglasses wouldn’t be so upset by a pricey hamburger. But our domains of value often have little crossover or relevance and making assumptions because of perceived similarities is, well, unfounded.

One of my favorite metrics of value is so simple it bears repeating – if you want to make something, tell ten people. If they tell 10 more, you have something of value. If they don’t,  you either told the wrong people or you didn’t make good enough stuff.

That’s paraphrased from Seth Godin whom I mention a lot, and still writes one of the two blogs which I consider to have real value.

By Seth’s and even my own metric, the pencase has had a slow start. But I am not concerned about momentum yet. The people who tested the pencase have all cooperated with the guidelines I set and the questions I asked. Few products are bought so many strings attached. That level of participation impressed me.

At least half shared something on various social media channels – you remember what I said about the 10 telling 10 more? Well, the math got weird, but I was satisfied that there was enough emperical value to keep going even BEFORE the internet got involved.
I still have yet to make a sale, but I’ve got some people talking. That’s worth something.

Breaking Creative blocks

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I like the Seth Godin quote about writer’s block. “No one ever gets talkers block.” If that makes sense to you, I like you. Lets get coffee.

I learned the term “non linear thinking” in high school. I never really fit in during high school. Not that I hated it but like plenty of guys, i just couldn’t wait for it to be over. So the idea of creative thinking sat well with me. Redirecting or even outright distracting yourself can yield some interesting results.

I actually tried explaining the concept to my friend Leo. Leo was an everyman in high school, average grades, went on to a military stint, then a wife and two kids later in life.

But in college, I saw him on campus before he left for his duy station trying to get back into his car. The keys were locked inside and he’d managed to find some wire to slip thru the window to try and flip the lock while we talked about the good old days.

As I was explaining the concept of non linear thinking to him, he lost sight of what he was doing to the car. For a second he was actually focused on trying to remember an instance where he had experienced something similar to what I’d mentioned.

Then, not without irony, the wire found its mark, popped open the door and stopped our conversation cold for a second before we both realized the punchline.

So there’s a bit of art, a goofy story and a blog post before I settle into a pretty rigorous Phase 3 of e Pencase project. Thanks for watching.