Saturday, August 26, 2006

Considering a new direction

I was watching a video on YouTube about Steve Jobs speech to a college graduating class and it was very inspirational, it got me wondering if I should rethink my priorities and concentrate on other things I might make more progress on.

Since my story has been deleted off of City of If

City of IF : Forum Cleanup

and I've haven't been able to finish Chapter 4 since last March maybe I should concentrate on something else. My goal was to sell the CD with the animated comic and novel of "An Angel's Destiny" on Cafe Press, but is that going to do any good if I haven't been able to figure out how to market it 1st? It'll probably just sit there unoticed like everything else I have there unless I can figure out how to promote it to the right people.

In Art 39 class last week, Dan was saying that the publisher he uses was always looking for ideas for Design books and that he could help with the proposals and had templates for them. Maybe I should be focusing more on that since it's more practical than some of my other ideas.

What would be a good idea for a Design book though? Should I try and give techniques of how to make an animated cartoon in Flash like "An Angel's Destiny?" Should I find something else I love about design? Maybe I should do some more research on the kind of books that Dan's publisher does so I can come up with something more suited to what they do so I have a better chance of getting it accepted.

The problem with that speech was even though it was very inspirational and it had obviously worked for Steve Jobs, how would I apply those ideas to something practical to help me? He said "Do what you love" just like Dylan said that in Art 35, the trouble is, how do you arrange to get paid for doing what you love? I haven't been able to work that part out yet.

In that speech Steve talked about connecting the dots, that if he hadn't taken a calligraphy class in college then he wouldn't have recognized the need for that level of font types when they 1st developed the Mac. He couldn't see that need when he took the class but he could connect the dots after the fact when the Mac was done. His point was that you can't connect the dots looking forward but have to trust that they will join up in your future since that will give you the confidence to follow your heart even if you go against conventional wisdom.

There are some elements in that, that seem useful, but I suppose it depends on the kind of foundation you give yourself for the future. If you haven't given yourself enough skills to be able to handle what comes up, how are the connections going to be able to be made? It's a lot easier to connect the dots down the road to be successful if you're literate than if you didn't prepare 1st and never learned to read.

Although it does help to have faith and trust in something even if you don't know what it is at the time. When I had that dream about future worldlines and decided to move to Toronto. I couldn't connect the dots past a certain point and had amnesia at the recursive part. I think it was partially because of future choices obscuring the way the lines would connect. When I got to those choices, I did remember what those parts of the dream were, but that was 20/20 hindsight as Steve said connecting it backwards. If I hadn't had some faith and confidence in the course that dream showed I would've stayed stuck in the same rut and I doubt it would've worked out as well after.

The thing is what dots do you prepare to be connected down the road to achieve your goals? How do you know when you're just agitating the dots and not getting anywhere like in that Nextel Commercial?

Do you try to get the widest range of skills and experiences to make as many connections as possible, or more specific skills to get the connections in the shortest amount of time? It's really hard to tell, since trust only gets you so far and it's a lot better to have some guidelines to follow also.

Steve went on to tell another story about how he was fired from Apple. I always thought it was kinda ironic that the rebel company that made the comparison to IBM being a "Big Brother" in that Mac commercial then Apple had turned into another corporate monolith when they fired him. I guess that was one of the differences of vision he had with them. I'm wondering if it was Steve's idea to keep everything proprietary to Apple like Sony did with Betamax and left Apple as a niche market.

He had a good point that in being fired from Apple had let him develope Pixar into the most sucessful animation company and that it wasn't the business that he loved but the computers he engineered so he could still do that elsewhere. I agree that you have to do what you love since I've spent most of my life in jobs that I hated because I couldn't find a way to get paid for what I loved to do. Steve did highlight how important it was, but he didn't give any advice on how to arrange to do it. All he said was don't settle, but not how to pay the bills until you could be able to do what you loved. Over 20 years experience had already taught me how important it was, but not how I could make a living at it.

Steve's 3rd story was about how he was diagnosed with cancer and having to face a brush with death. He spoke about how that changes your priorities with thinking you can put off things until later when there might not be a later. But that is as it should be because it provides for renewal of the old and stale by the young and fresh. In other words, don't fear the reaper (or even the reefer)

He said he looked in the mirror each morning and asked himself "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to be doing what I'm going to be doing today?" and if the answer was no too many times in a row he would know something needed to be changed. I could answer that question no for a few decades, but that doesn't give me much idea of what to change to fix it. Maybe it's what I said in Art 39 class about fixing up my portfolio to include examples of DVD interface designs. Maybe it's something that takes more effort like sending out more emails and trying to get more interviews for jobs. Maybe to be able to do something as "Insanely Great" as Steve did with the Mac I have to take more risks to accomplish it.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Passionate Duet

I have been messing around with YouTube for a couple of days and have found a lot of great stuff that's easy to post on this blog. It's also good for sharing stuff I do in Adobe Premiere like the Ebay music video I did for my MSP 10 college class.

When I found the Elephant Love Medley from the movie Moulin Rouge done with anime and Final Fantasy clips I thought that would be a cool idea to do the same duet with Chris and Minerva since that was essentially the idea that he was trying to convey about soulmates. Although I could change the songs in it or even write other lyrics for them that make it more personally pertaining to them I'm not sure where I should put it yet since it could go in the part at the Boardwalk or even after the confereence with Odin. It would make sense to put it in the part at the Boardwalk since he was trying to convince her about why he brought her there. But it also might fit in when he tries to convince her that no one else will do for him so finding someone else for him won't work.