On a sweltering Chicago day, thousands of people turned out to protest the Trump administration’s family separation decree. By then they had promised they would reunite the families, but the system is fraught with problems, and everyone knew that it was not a solution. I joined the throngs with my camera, to capture their voices. I don’t necessarily agree fully with everything I saw, since a naive part of me still believes in civility in political discussion, but these are strange times…
I finally had some moments to breathe and start mucking about with Maya’s new MASH engine. And then throwing on ridiculous shaders and cranking up mental ray and throwing in fun lights and splitting into render layers and oh my some 4K rendering fun. No reason, just playing. As I keep playing, I am adding these onto a more formal project page on my main site. But hey, why not post them twice? Something about twice as nice?
As someone who trained at an art school as an artist, yet works professionally in the entertainment industry, I ran across a quote today in a book in PDF form someone referred me to.
“Art and entertainment do different things.
Entertainment distracts our attention.
Art focuses it.”
And then it just keeps going. Listing one thing after another that applies to how I am, how I work, how I live, and it is, in the few short moments after reading it, already helping me slide headlong into a new mode of thinking about work. Or not working. Or keeping it all under control. There is much to think about here.
They have a goal to make 100,000 artists read this, and the PDF is a free download. I will very likely end up buying the paperback, mostly because I love the message and still love the tangible feel of a good book in my hand. So go head, download it.
So I’ll confess. I have never taken a course in typography. Through years of experience I have gained knowledge about the concepts of it, proper usage, etc., etc., but I never really knew the history. And now some lovely fellow has made a lovely little stop motion video. Which I also appreciate just due to the obsessive nature of making a stop motion video.
OK, it’s not always better, some sometimes it is. Like this. Taking a new website out for a walk. It’s not perfect, it’s stumbling around, it’s missing a few parts, but it will get there.
Sometimes as a creative professional, you can get caught up in how you are “supposed” to do self-promotion. I think sometimes you can get lost in that. Your personality, the projects that really ring your bell, get buried, and that sparkle, that thing that makes you you, that thing that makes people want to hire you, seems a little dull. That sort of defeats the purpose, right? You are dulling your own personality in the interest of doing what you think others might like, and if this isn’t where your heart lies… well… you will just be perpetually frustrated. So this new relaunch is about finding balance. Finding balance in that which I do professionally and that which I do creatively, late in the night, a glass of wine in one hand, a stylus/camera/pencil in the other, hoping to better all of it. It can totally be done.
So welcome to my relaunch of palecow.net, and stick with me while it grows!
I almost wrote that title with a straight face. I knew, even back when I was 19 and signing the declaration for an undergraduate theatre major, that this would not be easy. Of course, back then I apparently had a very, very different definition of easy. I think I even did at 27, when I waltzed through the doors of an art school after almost not getting in, driven to get my M.F.A. Notably, most people go back for the more sensible M.B.A., but trust me, if I had one of those, the economy would collapse into itself like a black hole. And even then, even after the M.F.A., I brazenly went forth waving my fancy credentials, still thinking this would somehow be easy. Ha. Because it has been incredibly hard, shifting through from stage lighting to animation to motion graphics to photography and now writing, with moments of despair, and moments of joy, realizing that every part has added onto the next, even on days I am harangued by self-doubt and wonder if I should have stuck harder with just one and done something different, or would that have been fruitless, and getting frozen by the unknown. It is still all something I really wouldn’t trade. And Ze Frank, an artist I deeply admire, says it all so beautifully.
I have had the privilege to teach motion graphics at the School of the Art Institute twice now, and it has been by far the most challenging job I have ever had. I love it to death, even the bad days, and it pushes me to try to get a better understanding of motion graphics as a whole, since it is a field I sort of fell into after getting a masters in animation with a thesis focused around character animation. I am constantly reading up, trying to find more ways to explain these things I just sort of do without thinking, and this article popped up on Motionographer recently, prompting me to do a little dance, read it, dig in, and become determined to push the industry in Chicago further. They talk about New York as a mecca for motion graphics, and I can’t really argue that. New York has that… thing. Many years ago as a young theatre professional, I felt the lure of New York and moved there for seven years, which proved to be an amazing and frustrating time, and I understand how it is such an epicenter of art and culture. I can honestly say I would not be where I am now, doing what I am, without that part of my life. But now I live in Chicago, and I’m starting to get feisty. There is an enormous amount of talent in this city, and we seem to be the victims of a brain drain that sucks remarkably talented people out of Chicago and to New York or LA due to their frustration with the ceiling you hit here in Chicago. I’ve pondered it several times myself. But I love the Midwest, and I love Chicago, and I would like to see it shift away from that. So… I have thrown down my own gauntlet. How can Chicago become a place talent moves to, rather than flees? Anyone??? Anyone???