Finished Works

Grief, only tangentially inspired by Seripop

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This morning I listened to the Move Your DNA podcast, and the guest talked about the idea of the Wall of Grief: when you think about all of the things that need to be fixed – referring to the state of the world, but I’m not sure if that’s always the context – and become paralyzed with overwhelm. (Can overwhelm be used as a noun, or is that just a David Allen thing?)

I was trying to mimic the style of Seripop – candy color, busy layouts, color fills with black offset lines, scribbly homemade patterns, hand drawn text filling up spaces, hard to read and, in their own words, “weird junk.” Then I got hung up on this bailing-the-ocean-with-a-bucket metaphor and lost the thread. This is one I’ll want to revisit if and when I revisit these posters later.

I had work again today. At the risk of tooting my own horn, I’d forgotten how good I am as an employee. The pay on this assignment is not a lot and the task I’m being asked to do is pretty simple, and I can’t help but add more value. While I’m checking if A matches B, I’m proofreading B, looking up things I’m not sure about, suggesting ways that B can be improved, etc. None of this shows in my resume though. That’s the tricky part.

The text spilling out of the bucket are random bits of industry jargon that caught my eye today at the office. I scribbled them on sticky notes, then Adobe-Captured them into vectors.

Behind the Scenes

Priority Shift

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I was planning on a big catch-up post for today, then I got a call yesterday evening about a temp job starting this morning. I made two posters over the weekend, and I have so much to say about the process – instead, I’m brushing the lint off my pants suit and packing a sandwich. I did take notes on the whole week’s worth of artists last night, so I can keep on track despite work and Thanksgiving. Fingers crossed.

 

Opinions

Poor People Jobs

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Today was the first day of the new job. Just training this week. Then, next week I start part-time. That’s so somebody can check my work. Once they’ve determined I can do the job without mistakes, then I can start full-time.

It’s a pretty low paying job and, considering how often there are openings, I’m guessing that the turnover might be kind of high. It’s not just the wage that makes this a poor person job though. The whole structure and attitude is vastly different from the jobs higher up the ladder. The hours are non-negotiable, including lunch. I think even breaks are scheduled. The dress code is very, very specific. It felt like half of today’s training was about the dress code. We haven’t gotten key cards yet, so we need to be let in to the training room and let into the break room. We may need to be let in to the bathrooms too. I’m not sure. There’s Guest WIFI in the break room, but we don’t get access to it. If we get back from break or lunch early, we have to sit off to the side until they let us back into the training room.

None of these things are a big deal but, combined, they send such a negative message. And considering that more than 80% of the people in my group were African American, I think this is one more thing that adds to the racial divide in this country as well as the economic divide. I haven’t had a chance to give it much thought, but I wanted to put something here all the same.

Behind the Scenes

What’s New With Me -or- Maybe This Time, I’ll Finally Stick With Blogging

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If you’re reading this, it’s probably well past 2017 and you’ve gone back into the archives of this page to see how far I’ve come. That, or [some explanation involving technology of the future that I couldn’t possibly understand]. My point is, nobody is reading this so there is no pressure on me to have a great writing voice or even to be entertaining.

Eventually, I want this blog to have a point and to have a voice. I don’t know what either of those are yet and, waiting to start until I discover them has not gotten me anywhere. I’m going to start with the mess I have and see what I end up focusing on.

I start a job tomorrow. It’s not a job I’m terribly excited about, but it is something to slow my financial hemorrhaging and give me some breathing room to focus on my medium to long term goals. As far as I can tell, the work is filing documents and the pay is just above minimum wage. The start time is really early, but I should be home early enough to get some real work done.

Look at those handsome sweeties!
Henri and Joseph, from their NextDoor post.

We (WS and I) adopted cats a few days ago. They’re called Henry and Joseph and they’re finally starting to feel at home. We found them through a posting on NextDoor.com from a woman in the neighborhood who had to give them up because of her son’s asthma(?).

We’ve wanted cats for a while now. After 19 years with WS, Pandora had to be put down last October. We both really miss the companionship. We were out at The Long Room and WS blurted out, “Let’s get those cats!” or something along those lines. It was very similar to when we were out at Nighthawk and he said, “We should get married!” As he has since pointed out, we make our best decisions when a little tipsy.

We’ve been married for a little over five weeks as of this post. It still hasn’t sunk in. Probably because nothing has really changed. I decided quite some time ago that WS and I were forever. Getting married was just a thing we did because we wanted to… make a public declaration, I guess? I don’t know. It’s pretty cool. I haven’t done the paperwork for my name change yet. That will probably make things feel pretty different.

I’m still pursuing the data visualization. In theory. I haven’t done much about it. That’s one of the reasons I’m writing here now. I’m hoping that the desire for content will motivate me. That said, I don’t want the writing itself to become a time sink. So, maybe I’ll stop here. Save something for tomorrow.

A moment from the big day. City Hall.
Behind the Scenes

No more excuses… after this one

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Today was my job interview. I think it went very well. I was honest with them about the fact that my long term plans aren’t their long term plans and I reassured myself that it was a place I could be happy working for a few years.

Now I wait. It’s possible that they’re going to pass me over in favor of someone who wants to make a career there, or it’s possible that they’ll appreciate that three to five years is as much as you can reasonably expect from anyone.

I didn’t make any progress on the reel. The interview, while not at all stressful, was draining. By the time I got home, I didn’t have the brain power for Blood Diamonds. I did a bunch of administrative and clean up work on my computer and I’ll make a fresh start tomorrow.

Behind the Scenes

Day 4: So Distracted

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I keep thinking about tomorrow’s job interview. I think that’s why today’s attempt at a run was not particularly successful. And why I don’t have any Blood Diamonds progress to share.
I’m of so many minds about tomorrow. On the simplest level, it’s a job interview and those are always a little scary. I’ve already talked to the interviewer though, and the process seems to be going really well. There are two other candidates though, so nothing is a lock. But I’m pretty confident of my chances.
Getting this job would solve a lot of financial problems. And the work sounds like it’s right in my wheelhouse. Which is why it feels so crazy to realize I might turn the job down. There are one or two red flags and, if I can’t reconcile myself to them, this might not be the right job for me, despite all the many positives.
Time will tell. I’ll know more tomorrow. I’ve spent a lot of mental energy on this today and I’m ready to get a good night’s sleep.

Works In Progress

Day 3: Constructive Procrastination

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I didn’t get *anything* done on Blood Diamonds today, but I got so much other stuff done in the process that I don’t feel that bad about it. Especially after I spent the morning locked out of my apartment.
I got the day off to a great start with a workout in the park. I was feeling very proud of myself until I realized I didn’t have my keys. I’d dropped them somewhere in the grass and hadn’t remembered to pick them back up. I spent 45 minutes combing the places I’d been before I finally gave up. By the time I got back home, I’d put in four miles of walking. Not what I’d planned, but a pretty good silver lining.
One of my friends was able to lend me a jacket for Monday’s interview, which means I can return the one I bought yesterday and stop quietly resenting its beige-ness. I got several weeks worth of mess cleaned off my desk – and really cleared up too, no piles of things to deal with later. And I worked around an Adobe Media Encoder issue that was messing up progress on Sesame.
Since I’m going to revise my schedule Monday, after I have a better idea how this job interview goes, I’m going to spend tomorrow (apart from a scheduled yarn-based event) working on Blood Diamonds. It’s (literally) the least I could do.

Behind the Scenes

Day 2: A total bust

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Elmo and Grover had a rough night

I got a little bit more done last night, but not much. I think I was too wired from finding out about the job interview. *Something* kept me up until 2:00 anyway.
My late night led to a late start and I spent the whole day running around. Nordstrom Rack for a boring blazer, a bunch of other shops in failed attempts to find something less boring, home long enough to drop of my bag and pick up my laptop, then to Mochi. Very productive meeting on the Sesame Workshop project. Back home for a nap and dinner and off to the Esquina opening party. That was a bit much after my long day (and with no booze), so WS and I ducked out for a bit.
Now it’s the end of the night and I haven’t even opened Blood Diamonds. I did, however, get an email from another company. I’m going to go deal with that now and maybe I can fit some Blood Diamonds in tomorrow between Sesame and laundry.

Works In Progress

30 Day Plan

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The road aheadI have been trying to do a lot of things with my life lately, one of which is finding a job. But that’s not going to happen unless I focus on one thing at a time. And, for now, that focus needs to be on putting together a great demo reel. My student reel was mediocre at best, and it hasn’t been updated in ages. I’m giving myself the next 30 days to focus entirely on improving my reel. That’s going to require focus on my part and, the more people I have holding me accountable, the better I’ll be able to do that.

Here’s my plan:

July 21: Show progress on the Blood Diamonds music video (in progress)
July 22: Show progress on the Blood Diamonds music video (in progress)
July 23: Finish what I can on video and add a 5-10 animated clip to my reel

July 24: Come up with a concept and storyboard for an Explainer Video*
July 25: Choose a 5-10 second clip to develop. Select visual style and palette*
July 26: Show progress on Explainer Video clip*
July 27: Show progress on Explainer Video clip*
July 28: Add clip to my reel*

July 29: Come up with a concept and storyboard for a combined live action/graphics video*
July 30: Choose a 5-10 second clip to develop. Select visual style and palette*
July 31: Show progress on Video clip*
August 1: Show progress on Video clip*
August 2: Add clip to my reel*

* During these ten days, I’m also getting back up to speed on Cinema 4D for next project

August 3: Come up with a concept and storyboard for a Cinema 4D video**
August 4: Choose a 5-10 second clip to develop. Select visual style and palette**
August 5: Show progress on Video clip**
August 6: Show progress on Video clip**
August 7: Add clip to my reel**

August 8: Come up with a concept and storyboard for a Typography video**
August 9: Choose a 5-10 second clip to develop. Select visual style and palette**
August 10: Show progress on Video clip**
August 11: Show progress on Video clip**
August 12: Add clip to my reel**

** During these ten days, I’m also learning what I need to know to capture data for next project

August 13: Choose a data set to explore, look for potential stories to tell
August 14: Settle on a data set
August 15: Select visual style and palette
August 16: Show progress on Video clip
August 17:Show progress on Video clip
August 18:Show progress on Video clip
August 19: Add clip to my reel*

Those of you reading this, if you could keep following either this blog or https://twitter.com/boyleanimation and watch for me to post some progress every day. If I don’t, leave a comment or send me tweet and let me know that somebody is watching. Thanks. If I do post, feel free to let me know what you like or don’t like. Or ask questions. All feedback is welcome.

As a start, here’s a little intro footage I made in April, but somehow never added to my reel: