Since I launched it over 3 weeks ago, thousands of people have watched my Kickstarter video, but I haven’t watched it again myself since that first day. I knew if I watched it I’d find new problems with it, and remember all the things I wanted to fix. It’s too late.
I had fun creating it. I wanted something with a hand-drawn feel, because to me blogging is about individual creative expression. It’s about not being afraid to publish something that isn’t perfect — something that is personal and a little rough, like a quick sketch.
Because I love traditional animation I wanted to draw all the frames with a pencil and paper, not digitally. Here’s me flipping through some of the drawings:
At 30 frames per second, doing any animation at all is extremely tedious, even with these little sketches. I made about a hundred drawings and scanned them in one at a time. I composited everything in Apple’s Motion, then ended up using Motion for sliding objects around and fading them in or out, which cut back on the number of drawings I would have otherwise needed.
The inspiration for introducing the video was the early 1920s-era Max Fleischer and Walt Disney cartoons, like Alice’s Wonderland. I also thought it would more naturally cut from me talking at the camera to illustrating the story of why independent microblogging matters.
I’m not sure whether I will ever do another Kickstarter campaign. But I hope to have the chance to make a video like this again. I learned a lot from it.
Shawn Blanc has been publishing a series of essays leading up to his new book and online course, The Focus Course. In a recent post, he writes about how we all need to get through more bad ideas. It’s easy to assume that because your friends’ lives appear perfect on Facebook, that you should reserve only your brilliant ideas for posting:
“One of the things that comes with having the internet in our pocket is that we can share moments and slices of our life with the world. But most of us are sharing the highlights. We share the best photos of the grandest places. Which is fine. But it also can cause a slight sense of disillusionment.”
The essay reminds me of something that always stuck with me reading about legendary Warner Bros. animation director Chuck Jones years ago. He said that when he was young, his father would give him and his siblings essentially unlimited paper to draw on, unused supplies from his business. We all have 100,000 bad drawings in us. The sooner we get through all the bad drawings — in Shawn’s essay, the bad ideas — the sooner we can start producing our best work.
I’m still working on a longer post about SXSW 2011 — yes, a month late — but until that’s ready, here’s a drawing I made after the conference.
Late notice, but I’ll have a watercolor piece in tonight’s Monster Mash art show at the Lowbrow Emporium on South Lamar. If you’re in Austin, drop by between 7 and 11pm and say hi. (Address and other details on “the poster by Jason Chalker”:http://austinsketchsquad.blogspot.com/2007/09/they-did-mashit-was-monster-mash.html.) The art is from participants and friends of the Austin Sketch Squad, some of whom will be doing live art at the show. There will also be free beer and candy!
I snapped a “photo of my desk with art stuff”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/manton/1558857105/ while I was preparing for the show. I forgot to scan the final art, which sadly didn’t come out nearly as nice as my first sketch, but I’ll get a picture of that tonight. It was fun to work on and a nice break from late-night programming this week.