Tag Archives: interactive

2010

So I’ve been a bit busy during the past month or so. It was holiday time, which with my cornucopia of a family, is a long and varied event. December includes a birthday for myself, a nod to Hanukkuh for one side of the family, and a very festive Christmas with the other. New Year is when Russians have their equivalent of Christmas, so it is another huge celebration, and a great time for after-Christmas clearance gifts. The 7th of January is Old Christmas (according to Russian Orthodox calendar), and the 13th brings “Old” New Year. These last two holidays got lesser attention, mainly since no one here in the states pays attention. Just small evenings of happiness for us.

Another addition to my schedule includes joining the creative team at Definition 6. They recently put out this video for Coke’s Happiness Machine campaign, so here’s a little flavor of their creative spirit.

Coca-Cola “Happiness Machine”

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Brush in hand

I’ve been wanting to paint lately, but I feel a twang of guilt each time I get close to the canvas.

The fact that I have downtime is new to me. I’m not used to having this time for creative exploration, and since I don’t know how long it will last, I want to use it wisely. Or it may go on forever.

So, should I be spending this time learning new skills or refining current ones? By these, I mean sitting in front of a screen. This fall, I got a really nasty note from a big client regarding my programming skills for a Flash project. I never promised to have any, but alas I was called “uncommitted” among other things. I was urged to learn Action Script until my mind exploded. That, with my creativity, would get me writing tickets anywhere (stated as a compliment). I never set out to be a coding master, but no one wants just a creative – at least when it comes to bottom level Interactive (i.e., recent grads trying to get the most basic of jobs).

When I was in the Interactive program at PC, we were constantly told to focus on the concept, design, functionality, usability, etc…find the limitations and benefits of technology, but someone else will handle what goes on behind the curtain. Well, right now people want both, and it’s a big game of catch up.  So, when it comes to sitting in front of a canvas or a screen, I hear that angry voice yelling “YOU ARE UNCOMMITTED!” and it’s back to sleepy AS3 tutorials….with my creative energy scratching at the back of my brain, ever so distracting.

For me, a painting is a big commitment. I can spend weeks, months on one. I’ve already spent hours sketching and digitally composing. I want to take a projector and sketch my work on the canvas, for the sake of time, but I feel guilty doing that as well. Am I not missing out on beautiful mistakes that could take me in a new direction? Both art and design are about exploration, and my end is not concrete (the beauty of personal work). Yet technology fuels faster production. which can lead to more time spent on other things – like mastering dreaded AS3.

The ideal is a balance between the two, where upon I just might find myself stressed about both and tinkering with After Effects projects instead.

 

Last painting, completed fall ’06 before I started Portfolio Center. Oil on Canvas, 30×40 (no black bars)

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Filed under animation, atlanta, design, flash, interactive, Portfolio Center, portfoliocenter