People talk about the movie Office Space a lot in the context of their jobs. It makes sense that the themes cross over no mater where you happen to work.
I work in a visual effects studio with custom made furniture, polished concrete floors and, too often, too little light. But the atmosphere couldn’t be less like the movie if it tried. That doesn’t mean it’s any more glamorous. I joke all the time that it’s demo reels that glamorise the work because we look like a bunch of telemarketers or accountants at our desks.
I’ve been thinking that I am kind of running out of space for the projects I want to tackle in the future. Which is odd because I have been using my Surface Pro more often and can be anywhere with it. But the scale of some upcoming architecture and design ideas means I might need actual fabrication space.
Router tables, bandsaw, maybe a CNC machine – I can’t afford any of that, but it’s goal right? One of the most exciting products I’ve seen lately is a handheld computer assisted router that could really help with some larger constructions I want to tackle. Think the ultimate transforming desk. Or outdoor portable studio.
I’d want there to be an engineering element to more of my work this year – real structures, great spaces, something grand. Does this sound like a new year’s resolution? Not really, that would be too formal.
What is formal is trying to get my latest book done. Almost all of my engineering ideas take less actual time and energy to finish than a single issue of my comics.
The song, not the question, was on my mind yesterday so I looked up some lessons for it. There are plenty but one stood out.
People have now pretty much annotated my entire musical vocabulary in some way. In fact, almost anything you could want to look up online … you get the picture.
People say it makes finding anything new really difficult. That’s not true. Finding something new that you LIKE is hard, unless you have no taste and like anything anyone sticks in front of you. Obvious, right?
What they usually mean is its hard to make something new POPULAR or successful. Even the hottest stars in any field flop eventually. That part is easy. It’s downhill racing.
Back to the song, it’s mostly regarded as existential crisis, what does it all mean kind of stuff. Like a lot of creators, David Bowie found some kind of creative energy and angst in the constant grind to find outlets for his music. I heard him comment in an interview about how hard it was to play to audiences who just didn’t understand what he was doing.
Here’s the picture he painted – working class London in the seventies, broke down and tired office workers heading to a pub for a drink with coworkers, neighbors and friends are met with Ziggy Stardust. You really couldn’t have asked for a bigger mismatch of audience and perfomer. But I am betting some people who saw Bowie in those early days secretly thought he was the most interesting, new, and awesome new act in their short and boring lives.
And now he’s been gone just over a year – so if you STILL don’t get it, as the song says, you’re “beating up the wrong guy.”
First update of the new year, and the good news is I got my placement for my table at WonderCon this year. The bad news is, I got my placement for my table at WonderCon this year.
I shouldn’t be surprised, placement in artist alley is kind of a crapshoot unless you are among the elite creative class. But it’s not as depressing as many would think. The first time I tabled at WonderCon I was in the second worst possible placement on the floor, all the way at the back of the hall, next to to loading exits. I have never had a better show than that one.
To explain, WonderCon has historically flowed attendees not through the lobby doors but through the side of the hall along the length of its shorter side. What I saw happen was that it forced attendees down the entire length of the hall. They would mostly follow the path they were on all the way to the end of the hall. Since artist alley is the the end of that path, they tend to mill around for a good long time before cycling back through the show.
So what I thought was one of the worst possible placements on the floor was filled with foot traffic for the entire length of the entire show. It was pretty impressive. I had a commission buyer at my table minutes before the show ended.
The Long Beach Comic Con layout puts artist alley in the middle of the action, but sends attendees through one narrow entryway and exits. The flow of people tends to dwindle dramatically on the last day’s waning hours. Not ideal. But I tend to do decently at Long Beach in no small part to the regular folks who always attend the show and make it a point to drop by and at least say hello.
The last time I tabled at WonderCon, I was sitting right across from Rob Linfield no less. It was a very high traffic day and Deadpool the movie had scarcely been announced yet. I might not be getting that kind of traffic this year, but it should be nice to get back to Anaheim instead of downtown Los Angeles.