Sailor Song The music video Sailor Song was a collaboration between me and musician Frankie Beagle. Sailor Song includes paper cut-out puppetry, one of the many artforms I like to create work with. Even though I co-produced and directed this music video, it took a whole team to create this project and I am so very proud of that.
Marinda Botha I have been writing poetry since I was a teenager and I dabbled in photography, too. I studied to become an actress, and moved to London where I lived and worked for 8 years before returning to my home country, South Africa. During my drama studies, I was introduced to puppetry and there, I fell in love with the medium. On both continents, I have worked with numerous genres of puppetry, but my first love is for wooden marionettes. Perhaps, as a result, I have found myself in daily life observing people and catching small gestures they do, the way a person flicks a hand, a transfer weight, tilt a head, fascinating to watch.
For the past 20 years or so, I have also been a voice over artist, working with studios in London, while in the UK, and now from my home studio in South Africa. If I had to condense what I am about, what my art, I would say:
I believe in the power of words, in transporting people to other forms of existence and worlds through the use of that age-old artform: storytelling.
I believe that our lives and identities are shaped by the tales we absorb and tell. It is what we come to believe.
I love movement. In another life I want to be a contemporary dancer, say nothing and just move).
I trained as a mime artist in London and still love that form of performance so very much, but everyone hates a mime, right?
I love animation and the delicacy of that medium.
I am new to the NFT community but will be launching numerous projects in the next couple of weeks. My spoken word audio art can be found at Foundation and I will be dropping video poetry soon, too. Please follow me on Twitter for updates.
Sailor Song full credits: Vocals and guitar – Frankie Beagle. Backing vocals, keyboard and beats – David Driver. Upright bass – Brendan Ou Tim. Saw and percussion by Frankie Beagle. Recorded at The Cooler. Produced and written by Frankie Beagle.
Video credtis: Puppetry / Director / Producer – Marinda Botha Co-Producer / Director – Frances Charlton Director of Photography / Editor – Karien Mulder Lighting – Damon Berry and Tammy Reid Cinematography – Nicole Olwagen, Celeste Muller and Karien Mulder Continuity & Gaffer – Liani Lombaard Puppeteers – Franqi van Niekerk & Anri Wessels Make-up – Yowyn du Plooy Stills – Mark Straw, Nicole Olwagen and Celeste Muller Concept design – Marinda Botha and Frankie Beagle
Thank you for viewing this post and getting to know this talented artist, whose voice is featured in studio film productions. How exciting it is to meet someone who is dedicated to their craft. Please follow her on Twitter. I have seen sneak peeks of the poetry videos and I have to say that they were stunning. Marinda has agreed to let me feature her work here in future, so please stay tuned.
In next week’s post, we will meet filmmaker, photographer and diversity activist Brissa Marina Page. Stay good until we meet again.
On Leaving (07:45) is a documentary short by Indian filmmaker, Sagar Kapoor.
Synopsis Lockdown in India had just started to be lifted, however, due to job loss, increasing COVID19 cases, and other circumstances, the narrator is forced to vacate his rented room. This short film tries to express the feeling of the narrator visiting his room for one last time and how spaces can be personal and important parts of our lives.
Bio Sagar Kapoor is a filmmaker from India and he grew up in Lucknow, a city known for its delicious cuisine, history, art, and culture. At La Martniere College, he was first introduced to the world of art and photography. Today, he works as a independent filmmaker and illustrator. His documentary films are introspective and empathetic, as they focus on our relationship with the environment. In his free time, he loves to read, write, travel, and cook.
His upcoming projects are: 1. Eating clouds, a documentary on a local delicacy from Lucknow. 2. On Death a City; how the uniqueness of a city dies with time and our need for modern infrastructure.
How many of you have friends who make films? Well, you have one now. And you will make another filmmaker friend next week. On October 22, 2021, drop by and greet South African poet, voice actor, and performance artist, Marinda Botha. Stay tuned as I feature more filmmakers and creatives over the next few weeks.
Greetings, Earthlings. We are back with more art and photography from six of my friends and colleagues in the Metaverse. This post also introduces one of the most organised groups of creators online: The Thai NFT Community. There are many Thai artists on Twitter, and an uncountable number of fascinating projects to enjoy. My timeline speeds by, so I thought it would be best to slow things down and get to know them better.
And as always, please be good enough to follow them on Twitter, where you can see their beautiful artwork in your timeline.
Isreyah Pradabvate I am a Thai NFT creator and I believe in making this world a better place. If you want that too, please support my artwork because it allows me to give back to communities where I actively engage. My favourite causes are: a positive outlook; sustainability; small community outreach; children’s rights. I use my artwork to deliver messages of support and help those in need.
This sold out project I am sharing with you is called, “My Other Half”. And it is a 1/1 token which I created with my dear friend, 100Acre. She is featured later in this post.
The story goes, we have a crush on one guy but it will never come true because he is not real. How did we sell this project when there were two creators? We both wanted to be with our darling. Well, we split the illustration into two pieces and named them, “My Other Half”.
The Japanese text on our darling’s chest means “Stay together forever”. Our supporter, astrophotographer Amit Exploring Night Sky, purchased these two tokens without hesitation. He told me that they reminded him of the pendant he gave to his former girlfriend, who is now his wife.
Each half was priced at 0.036 ETH (US $125.76) and we came up with the price because 18 x 2 = 36. The number 18 is a sacred number for longevity in Japanese culture. And guess what? Our collector’s birthday is on the 18th. This felt like a miracle, indeed.
And would you believe that the magic happened during Lily Nicole’s Twitter Space? She drew together beautiful people, energy, and friends to meet there. I feel moved and I appreciate so much how my art could recall the innocent memory of a beautiful couple through my soul sister’s Twitter Space. It goes without saying that our other half doesn’t have to be our dream prince but rather, a bond of sisterhood and friendship, even from afar.
Student of Universe/STU NFT This is Pete from Student of the Universe NFT Collection project, also called STU NFT. I would like to share with you the story of this community project. I started my NFT journey as a collector around March this year.
In the Thai NFT community, I discovered a lot of amazing NFT art projects. But after I collected and flipped (relisted and sold for a profit) tokens for a while, I felt that I wanted to be part of something bigger. Something that could inspire and change the world in wonderful way.
At that time, Thai artists were not adding utility to their NFT projects. However, I soon found one perfect project that I loved. After collecting a lot of artwork from it, I talked to the artist and found out that we had a lot in common. As a result, we launched a partnership, created a road map of our project, and spun this universe into existence.
This is how the Student of the Universe NFT project was born. Our Discord channel was built from August 15, and we launched the collection on Twitter shortly after that.
Jehn’s Bloom My preferred name online is Jehn. I am a writer, fine artist, and amateur photographer from Thailand. I cherish fragility, gender spectrum inclusion, and divine creation. And I do art based on this concept: ‘Of flower, love and queers’.
I use soft pastels on Indian handcrafted paper and my 10 fingers as a blending tool. These are only the specific combinations which I use. And this is what I do to create a unique effect, which you may have already noticed. Follow me on Twitter and get to know me and my friends.
Z1MPLEX NFT Lab Hello, I am Zimplex, a mixology cocktail bar owner from Thailand. In my home country, I am known for creating visually stunning cocktail shooters using spirits, liqueurs and syrups. In other words, I love to create artwork in shot glasses.
These drinks have been subsequently visualised into unique and physical generative NFTs. For my main project, I remove the shot glass from each photo by using a retouching tool, and then I let the solid form of cream liqueur stand out.
These are then transformed into mirror-image artwork and video installations like the one embedded below. And, there is my side project, ‘Shooter Monsters’, which is a problem/solution project for those wondering how my cocktails look before I turn them into artwork.
100 Acre Hello, I am known as 100 Acre in the NFT community, and I am Ploy’s collaborator in our project, “My Other Half”. She was featured at the top of this post. I would like to share my project, 100 Acre Kindergarten, along with some artwork from the collection.
My primary inspiration is my artist alias, 100 Acre, which refers to Winnie the Pooh’s 100 acre wood. The 100 Acre Kindergarten collection is similar to a collection of children’s stories. It was created to be a place where I, as well as those who view my work, can unwind and enjoy life as we did when we were children.
Each token in this collection introduces a new character of an animal universe, with their own personalities and backstories. When the project is complete, there will be 100 characters in total, with 85 being common, 10 being special (coastal area kids), and 5 being rare (parallel world kids).
Thank you for viewing my work. Find me on Twitter where I hope you will also become part of our 100 Acre world.
Go2Skull My name is Wake and I am known as go2skull on Twitter. (My name is pronounced ‘go to school’). The story behind my project is that if you see someone looking for a way forward, and they are in the dark, be a light for them. The Fairy Tales in Postmodern Era project is a retelling of classic fairy tales from the perspective of social activist movements in my country.
I got this concept from my full-time job. I am a teacher in Thailand. I have witnessed efforts there related to student activism in areas such as children’s rights, human rights, bullying, racism and sexism. So I would like to participate by helping to reflect their struggles. My artwork gives me a way to do that. Until wrongs are made right, I will continue on this journey.
¯_( ͡❛ ͜ʖ ͡❛)_/¯
And with that powerful message from Wake, we are at the end of this curated post. I was amazed to discover that some artists are also social activists and community organisers. Isreyah and Pete, thanks for helping to set this up.
There is never enough time to hear everyone’s story in spaces, which is why this post was necessary. I am happy that I was able to discover more about each artist and their worthy causes. My gratitude goes to them for sharing their stories. Best wishes on the road ahead. Thank you, everyone, for reading.
Does anyone remember that time last year, when I was crying into my phone about Twitter? Well, I took my own advice and it seems to have worked. I was miserable because I felt I had to change myself to fit into what I thought would gain traction. However, with this new account, I started out with the intention of doing what I wanted to do.
Being a person with broad interests and unquenchable curiosity might have helped. After deciding to focus on non fungible tokens as a subject, I had no idea that all of my favourite topics would collide under that niche.
Unlike my previous post, in which I showed how you can get Instagram’s smart tech to work for you, Twitter is tricky. I can only give you generic advice with the caveat that everything depends on your specific subject matter. As you read, remember that I am using Twitter to promote sales of my creative projects, including fiction writing and fine art.
Social audio, specifically Twitter Spaces, allows me to hear from machine learning specialists, Buddhist and Hindu philosophers, philanthropists, musicians, authors, poets, programmers, game developers, actors, singers, tech venture capitalists, marketers, attorneys, architects, publicists, and blockchain specialists.
My work has been to use Twitter Spaces to create one large thought bubble, wherein everyone discusses a topic from the perspective of their areas of expertise. Reaching for a cognitively rich experience has made my time on Twitter stimulating instead of exhausting.
In the list below, I will share some general ideas for working within your own niche with the help of Twitter Spaces. The most important principle to remember when marketing or promoting your work on any platform is simply, “Do what works, not what you like to do.”
Spend time on Twitter. Can’t tell you how many times I have had people tell me they had no time but wanted to know the one tweet they could post so they could gain 10,000 fans overnight.
Curate your feed. Do not scroll. Stop and engage with tweets for about ten minutes. Like it, share it, or toss it. Use the “Not interested in this tweet” option and add specific reasons. This helps the smart tech to learn more about you.
Tweet a bio tweet like the one in Sreeran’s example above. Thereafter, when you enter a space, say your account name and your personal tagline and the smart tech will index your account under the correct topics of interest.
Join Twitter Spaces and listen in as a priority, even if invited to speak.
Use your time on a speaker panel to give a voice to your engagement. You may want to say that you have commented, liked, or retweeted a speaker’s tweet.
Support other accounts more than you tweet about yourself. We use the word “shill” to mean “self promote”. Shill for others because as a rule, do for others and they will do for you. If you receive no support from an account, focus on other accounts until you find your group.
Take your time and work consistently. Results will multiply over time, because your diligent effort will earn you trust within your network.
Keep the hashtags to a minimum (2 – 4 maximum) until you meet your ideal threshold of engagement in terms of tweets, retweets, comments and likes. Thereafter, use them rarely.
Avoid negativity. Rephrase your words positively (for the smart tech). Do not follow accounts that are antagonistic towards your principles.
If you must be outspoken, discuss and debate in spaces where your ideas will be heard, even if others disagree. Same rules go for all audio spaces. Keep rants super short.
Quote tweet. Own the conversation by bringing it to your timeline. Bring it up later in spaces and ask for feedback, shares or other engagement on your tweet.
Tag accounts and mention them in tweets with requests for answers. This raises your engagement by putting you on their timeline. It is also a great way to start a conversation.
Consciously disengage. When you disagree in a comment, etc., the person with whom you disagree gets a boost by the algorithm because the smart tech will read your engagement as POSITIVE interest.
Avoid engaging with inactive accounts. Twitter’s smart tech loves fresh content, so keep within a view/comment/share threshold of about 17 hours.
Follow accounts that you genuinely like and want to support. As a rule, I avoid following popular accounts and add them to lists instead.
Any support you receive must be reciprocated. And focus on supporting accounts that give you support in return.
Analyse, rinse and repeat. If you start gaining support from your activities, try them again and see what happens. If a thing is working, keep doing it, regardless of whatever “advice” you receive, including mine.
Remember to try many things. Do what works and not what you like to do (for example, staying off Twitter or only tweeting about yourself). After joining Twitter with a fresh new account on June 19, 2021, my account now has 3107 followers today, September 27, 2021. The final push to 3000 happened last night (Sunday) when the count was at 2992. Thankfully, when I asked for some help getting over the line, my friends were there to offer their support. And that is how it should be. That’s all for now, and thank you for reading. See you in the metaverse.
Happy Thursday, everyone. I am having an epiphany after using AI software to sculpt with light. It was an interesting conversation, with much guesswork on both our parts, but I think we understand each other. I am using the Silk web app for a second day in a row. If you want to try from your desktop browser, it takes a lot of tapping around, but eventually, you will get used to it.
Back to my epiphany. I wonder if anyone reading this is familiar with the hypothesis that we are living in a simulation? By familiar, I don’t meant listening to Elon Musk worshippers who say, “Our world is a simulation”. I mean have you looked at the math and tried to weave a hypothesis on your own?
Some scientists have taken plant-based substances in order to access the cheat codes and escape the program. They seem not clever enough to acknowledge that they lack the correct plugins to decode what they are experiencing. Or perhaps they use the math as an excuse to go on trips and escape the truth, which is that a genius rigged this game and coded them into it.
Many trips later, they are left with a pile of printouts on their office floors, and no-one knows what they are talking about.
PS: Thank you for viewing my video installation. If you are using social media to share your work, and your reach is low, do not take it personally. Yesterday, the results of my first attempt at light sculpting went viral on Instagram. I was getting audio messages to please post more. Weirdly, the same presentation had only a few views on Twitter because the smart tech did not show it to anyone. The same thing happened this morning, with this version, so I will have to rethink the “get seen on Twitter” theory that is being sold to digital artists. Glad this is happening now and not when I have something major to release. Have a great Thursday.
Can you, as an author, achieve effortless book sales using social audio? Please read this post and learn what I have discovered. But get some popcorn first, because there is drama.
It has been a year since I published my novel, The Quarter Percent, and if someone had told me to relax because that people would ask to buy it, I would have thrown a tantrum. And yet, since joining social audio nearly eight weeks ago, I have had lots of people tell me they bought my novel. First, in my Clubhouse profile, I mentioned writing my second novel. Then after a number of requests to share a buy link for the first one, I added it to my Twitter bio.
I’m not using social audio to sell books, by the way: the book sales are a side effect of staying active on the platforms. By staying active, I do not mean staring at my phone all day. Instead, I make time for active participation in spaces or rooms on a range of subjects.
Last year, I collaborated with several artists and we produced artwork for The Quarter Percent. We focused on key scenes and events. One of the scenes opens in front of a graffiti mural in the foyer of a refurbished warehouse. Tensions in a friendship, the transfer of power, and a generous gift are overseen by a portrait of King Cordial’s late wife, Queen Cara. The scene, mural, and cover art are called Cara de la Reina or ‘face of the queen’. To write that scene, I did a lot of research into warehouses and architectural design because the description of the interior had an important function. It set up a contrast between the home’s cool, trendy, laid back atmosphere and the next level scheming that would take place there.
Based on other research, I knew that a cover with a face was ideal, and I assured my publisher that using the mural art was going to work. A year later, this is my avatar everywhere, and saying so in the first paragraph of my Clubhouse profile has made promotion effortless. When people ask me why I don’t use a selfie, I tell them that I am using social audio for business, and I don’t want to attract the wrong sort of customer. Seeing that I get book sales without doing anything extra, it stays right there.
On top of that, someone has been earning money from views of my trailer on a dodgy platform. Every marketer I hired to promote the book has denied having merched the trailer. I only found out because the analytics on WordPress finally appeared in February and showed me a cascade of clicks out to my blog. The owners of the platform are not answering emails or taking phone calls so I cannot find out who is doing this.
Amid all of that drama, you will understand why I gave up on promoting my novel altogether. But I am happy that l have stumbled upon an effective way to sell it.
Regardless of the obstacles, I enjoyed the creative process from last year, and I will expand on that for my upcoming novel. My first idea was to create art prints and posters. Still researching styles that I want to use, and practising on Procreate. Currently, I am producing instrumental compositions for piano, violin and cello. These will match the mood and themes of the story. My YouTube channel is dry and ashy so I asked a composer friend to help me out. I am hoping to share the music with artists and creators who like listening to music as they work.
About an hour before publishing this post, I talked about the project in a business networking group and I was encouraged by the response. The music will also be my rehabilitation after sacrificing brain cells to ratchet YouTube (for research purposes).
Happy Wednesday, everyone. Keep creating, and thank you for staying in touch.
On Wednesday, I downloaded the app again and created a fresh new business account. My experience is much more pleasant because I’m not using captions or hashtags. Instead, my method for increasing my engagement has been to make demands and threats. This has worked so far.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I get asked daily why I am not on Instagram, so I created this business account to connect with professionals I meet through social audio.
Recently, I was fortunate enough to make friends with someone who works with Google to train business owners to use Instagram for marketing. Thus, I have a strong incentive to not toss my phone out the window.
Instagram’s smart tech is impressive, something Marvin Stone would have approved of. I’ve only been on there for three days, not scrolling or searching for anything, and it showed me my favourite dish: charcoal grilled eel on sticky rice. The person who posted the image also has his headquarters at Starbucks and like me, he has the same drink every time he goes there. I had better behave or that thing is going to publish all of my secrets.
So in one of the scenes for my upcoming novel, I wrote about a social media application that shows only one post at a time. One of the characters, Mimi Hollingsbrook, is preparing for her work day. Because she works in the Royal Household as Baby Pudding’s nanny, she has agreed to keep a low profile on social media. Against her better judgement, she decides to look at her feed, and notices something in a caption from a famous influencer. She has a meltdown after reading it. Within a few minutes, her response, which is full of expletives, gains 5 million likes. This prompts her to permanently archive her account. In a later scene, Mimi is given a taste of power when a quarter percenter asks her to decide about that influencer’s future.
When writing notes about the social media applications I would be using in the story, I thought about reactions from readers. I was convinced that this feature would never be adopted in the real world. However, at the moment, the trend is to be super minimalist on Instagram, with as few posts as possible. At this rate, if I don’t hurry up and finish drafting, I will be publishing historical fiction.
In further news, I have been sucked into the vortex and I am now managing my social audio apps on two phones. One for Clubhouse, Discord and Twitter, and the other one for Greenroom and Instagram. That’s because one of the apps keeps crashing if I’m in audio spaces on two others. (Don’t ask). Juggling two phones might look cool on TV but I’m an introvert, so it does not feel right.
Where seconds before, castanets were rapping their clat-ta-tat-tat, a deafening silence fell on the host of avatars in the room. Friendly banter was interrupted, a question went unanswered, and earphones were unplugged from devices to broadcast the newest tirade over speakers. Someone in Brussels unwrapped a lunch sandwich and listened in.
Gloria was in the room. This morning, she presented with glossy grey locks, which billowed in a nonexistent breeze. Her flawless, peaches-and-cream skin was buffed to a high shine. But that was not why everyone was squinting at their screens. They were accustomed to seeing a dark-haired vixen in a slice of underwear, sat with her knees exactly fifty centimetres apart. (Someone attempted the pose at home.) Today, everything, including her shoulders and most of her neck, was covered.
A stream of pings followed. “Everyone, get in here. Gloria is wearing clothes.”
Master had stopped the castanets mid-clat to croak at the host of avatars, “Reverence! Gloria is having a bad day.”
“And today’s crisis is…?” thought everyone. And they waited to find out. In New York, a spoonful of breakfast cereal was returned to a bowl. “What… exactly?”
A summary was sent in a backchannel. It read, “Dental emergency at the dentist, who has Wi-Fi, so Gloria can be here with us shortly before receiving treatment for the dental emergency, and then stay here with us, in fact, during the entire procedure, so we can be there for her.”
“Surely,” went one dictated response, “the care and feeding of her children comma who materialised out of thin air only last week comma should be the focus of concern question mark.”
After that update, volume buttons were pushed all the way down. But unable to see this, Master squeaked again. “Praise Gloria. Genuflect, you peasant scum!” No-one heard him. The rebellion had started.
Three hours later, Master punished everyone by giving Gloria his proxy. “Host the room for us, will you? For your teeth, dear.” A dubious honour it was, to be the doyen of disenchantment, dueña to disconnected souls.
Where two or more humans are gathered on a social media platform, there will be beef. And, on Tuesday morning, social audio delivered two servings of beef to me before I even got out of bed.
It started when I woke up at 1 AM to have some water. I checked my phone and noticed an invitation to join a Greenroom networking session. The room looked like an exploded space ship. Avatars were floating about, and all mics were muted. In the notifications was a hyperlink to an adjacent Clubhouse networking session, so I beamed myself in. After saying hello to the group, I bid everyone a good night and promised to visit again.
Five hours later, I was awake. Now, I checked new messages in a Discord server for creators. Almost all of the members were posting screen captures of notifications showing that they had been blocked from entering one particular room on Greenroom. These individuals were all button-down suburban types, and not ratchet gang-gang Crips v Blood folk. The person accused of starting the drama was a new member of the server. I thought that for sure, the server was under attack (!) so I sent a message to the administrator.
Seconds later, I was back in the Clubhouse room from earlier that morning because I wanted to see if the group was still active. I noticed that the room had a different title, and that the host was discussing the blocking incident. He explained how groups worked to “steal networks” from influencers. The app is only three weeks old, but Evil never rests. I turned off my phone, put it on my desk, and went to work.
As I reflected on the storm that was swirling in my phone, it occurred to me that burnout on social media is caused by emotional attachments to vanity metrics. In the end, these metrics are a rendering of specific data points in virtual space. Many of us do not have a clear purpose for using social media applications. Too often, we misuse them and then blame “social media” for dampening our creative spirit.
I reminded myself that I should focus on communicating with the smart technology that runs these platforms. And how do I define effective communication on each platform? Knowing that they have different functions, learning what they require for sustenance, and feeding them.
On Sunday, for example, I practised a focused detachment on Twitter. Applying a formula to composing my tweets, I noticed that each one was retweeted. Then, I focused on networking on Greenroom. In a short time, I got a dozen new follows. These individuals searched for my profile on Clubhouse and followed me there, too. Stress level? Zero.
Yesterday, I took a break from my tested formulae to whine about “rude people”. My tweet was ignored. I allowed myself to get irritated by a creepy person leering at an attractive woman posing in underwear. I was taking things personally, and not being purposeful about promoting my business. No-one followed me. I promised to manage my time better.
To be honest, Tuesday’s incidents were nonstarters and quite boring. But I could see how people get addicted to feelings and then lose sight of their objectives. On Wednesday morning, everyone had moved on, so Tuesday’s energy expenditure was nullifed.
There is nothing I can do to convince anyone to feel less possessive over imaginary fiefdoms populated by the digital imprints of purported people. Perhaps my scepticism is based on the understanding that anything existing in electronic form can be made up, invented, copied, duplicated, forged, faked and reproduced. And it goes without saying that given how easy it is to do all of that, beefing over vanity metrics means next to nothing if you cannot convince your followers to show up for you when and where it matters.
I am still broadening my horizons and yesterday, my list came to the rescue again, thank goodness. The project in question started with an idea: “Make a super short film with one actor, in a single frame, with minimal monologue.”
The first attempt at production was binned due to technical issues. There was a recast but the second attempt got scrambled during two separate uploads to a cloud server. C’est la guerre.
Once upon a time, I would point my iPad camera at something, press record, and an interesting short film would pop out. Now that I am trying to show you something, I find myself living a scene from The Truman Show.
What confirmed this to me was that this evening, a UK-based filmmaker offered me producer credits on his two upcoming films. Have you seen The Truman Show? This is that scene in the bank.
Presently, an actor is filming a different mini micro super short story that I wrote. If we both like it, I will share it here.
They say that if you start nothing, there will be nothing. However, I have proven, over the past three months, that even with strong will and a positive attitude, this outcome can happen anyway.
Does anyone remember who said, “Follow your joy”? I think this quote is popular because everyone can imagine feeling happy at the final stage of a project. Recently, I told Caring for Art that my nightmares have become work product. I was not exaggerating. Public speakers will never tell you that you must hard work to find the thing to which you can happily commit. If they told you to face reality, nobody would pay them $50,000 to talk about themselves for 30 minutes.
And because I know that the truth is hard to hear, I feel confident that no-one will copy my secret formula, which I am going to share in this post. This is my recipe for staying committed and focused on the way to finding joy. First read it, then scroll down for a taste test.
🧁 Commitment Cupcake 🧁
Ingredients Absolutely everything real about you right now.
Write down every idea you have but stay loosely attached.
Seek advice from qualified experts.
Listen to advice and evaluate for quality.
Search for useful ideas in negative feedback.
Be assertive but never argue, no matter what.
Lose fixation on irrelevant details.
Shut down anyone who attempts to devalue you.
Transfer your idea from a “hard” medium to a “soft” one.
Follow up on each new idea (see item 1).
Table, pin, or expunge unworkable ideas.
Shred your lists.
Keep at it.
The taste test – Covers only Item 8 became especially important this week when my plans came to a full stop. And though I was feeling isolated and trapped, I decided to shred everything and start over.
One of many ideas I had written down was “launch a magazine”. However, I threw it out because there are billions of writers, millions of magazines, and only a handful of subscribers.
From that, I imagined what it would be like for a young writer to dream of launching a magazine only to hit roadblock after roadblock. How would this writer solve these problems? The answers to that question became the treatment for a writing project. My preferred medium for presenting that story is a “hard” one, so I pinned it for later.
The transfer to a “soft” medium was a frictionless fusion of my interests. After careful research, I did some math: photography + fashion + world cultures + health + making stuff up + graphic design = a concept that I really like.
That is to say, I will only produce the covers. I’ve posted two test copies for you and I hope you like them.
Today is the third day of the third month of the third year of the reign of the Emperor Reiwa. 3-3-3 is an auspicious day and as it was all over the news, I thought I would publish a post on this occasion for readers who love numerology.
Fun story. When His Imperial Majesty was Crown Prince (kou-taishi-denka) I was in the same banquet hall with him and that now disgraced CEO who was smuggled out of Tokyo into Beirut in a double bass case. I was, however, introduced to his brother and sister-in-law when I was an undergraduate. The mother of the future Emperor tripped and almost fell on top of me.
We were warned before the meeting not to touch them but had she fallen, she would’ve dinged her face very badly. Much to my relief, she caught her balance.
Oh yes, those were the days when people would ask me why in the holy muck was I studying a language with a writing system that looked like algebra and calculus got handsy with each other at a bar.
Perhaps I should stop being rebellious because I’m a grown-up now. But I feel inspired when someone tells me I can’t do something that’s lawful, perfectly doable and really fun to do. My ancestors martyred themselves to get shackles taken off and I am supposed to do what now? Be boring and bored. I cannot do it.
After the last of the farmers’ carts had left, Heracles summoned Themis to thank her. She had told him what to say to convince every farmer in Greece to use immortal bovine dung to improve soil quality and guarantee bountiful yields, even in times of drought. The best part? The dung was free, as long as they scooped it out of the stables themselves.
Kisshoutennyo, one of Lakshmi’s cousins, was visiting with Themis. She appeared when Heracles said he still had a decade’s worth of dung to clear out. She offered a solution. “Let’s do a night cream called, ‘Kissho Immortality Dung Mask.’”
“Who the $#!+ will use face cream made of $#!+?” asked a bewildered Heracles.
“Everyone,” replied Kisshoutennyo, not quite understanding what the problem was. “Ten minutes of this is going to snatch your face.”
“Are you seeing my office, though?” whined Heracles.
“Relax,” said Kisshoutennyo, “because I will help. But give me a second … Be right back.”
While they waited, Themis suggested mixing extra virgin olive oil (lamp fuel) and immortal bovine colostrum into the dung. These ingredients would prevent the cream from drying out. Two days later, the churning was turning into a new labour, and Heracles was not happy. They were well past the deadline and they had no packaging ready.
“I should have thought of packaging first,” Themis said. Then she got an idea. “Do you realise that we can use this mixture to make soap? No packaging necessary.”
“How?” asked Heracles.
“We have colostrum, which has water; olive oil, which is fat; and dung has lots of salt.”
Heracles’ eyes glazed over. He was, after all, just a guy with muscles who did stuff.
“We need a cauldron and some fire,” continued Themis.
Pointing to an urn containing lamp fuel, Heracles suggested, “Like, why don’t we use that and burn all the $#!+ in here?”
“That works better,” agreed Themis. By now, the noxious gasses in the stables were making her loopy. In spite of this, she put the cows out to pasture, and Heracles set the stables ablaze.
And as they chuckled to themselves, Kisshoutennyo appeared.
“Oooh, you’re done already?” she exclaimed. “You’re so hardworking.”
Themis glowered at her friend, flaring her nostrils. This prompted Heracles to stand between them.
Artemisia woke from a nap to smell orange oil burning. The aroma floated in and poked at her nostrils through the gauze lining her hammock. She spun out of it and walked to the foyer of her home, expecting to greet a pupil from her archery school. Instead, she found a man praying there.
“Divine Artemis,” he muttered, “I want … to be … a master thief!” The man looked around in surprise as a melodic voice echoed.
“Why aren’t you praying for power and privilege?” asked the voice. The goddess herself was interrupting.
“Because,” replied the man. “I want the results.”
“I think you should aim higher,” was Artemisia’s response.
They talked for a while and the goddess realised that such ambition was beyond the man’s grasp. He did not realise that he was petitioning a goddess in her own home. And he certainly had no idea that because of this, Artemisia was compelled to grant his wish.
While bound to human form, she could offer any human a single gift. She told the man that someone else had it, but that she could help him steal it if he could get within arm’s length of that person.
“Conditions are attached,” she explained, without even revealing the identity of the current owner. These conditions were isolation, extreme paranoia, and death. The goddess said all of that to dissuade the man, but he happily accepted the terms.
Based on my retelling of the Greek myth of King Midas. WordPress is trying it with me. I am not sure what is causing the engagement on my posts to drop, so I am going to PLAY!!!
On Saturday afternoon, I was waiting to take down an art exhibition and while I was waiting in the car, I decided to pull an Oracle card. I bought them because they’ve got a matte velvety finish and the gold inlay looks pretty. I could not for the life of me understand what it was trying to say.
Hello everyone. Are you enjoying your Sunday? I have been at my “home” office all day. I am chuckling at the moment, because when I was searching my phone’s image library, I noticed that photo from yesterday and suddenly, my entire Sunday makes sense. This, for once, is not a rant.
I’ve had the most insane day. I had a vague project deadline circa now: Thirty episodes for a Japanese/English animated series. Sounds fun, right? Except, the criteria changed three hours before I submitted the scripts for TEN episodes.
There is a budget issue. “Smaller budget: remove characters.” So I asked three friends to help me out of a jam. Halfway through, when I presented a snippet of the draft, the graphic artist/animator demanded I write the script for the trailer first.
Now, the reason his company hired me was that the project team was led by a talented graphic designer and animator who was not a writer. Because I understood that, I explained to him that the writing process is not linear. One never starts with the summary. It appears that way because that’s how a story is presented to us. But you can start in the middle and work your way backwards or forwards. You know what I’m talking about, right? You’re all writers.
And of course, I might be the most non-linear writer of them all. I was giggling because he probably thought I was being unreasonable.
I say, “Should we have notes on the first ten episodes and then write the trailer script, which will happen very fast because we will know what the story is all about?” Doesn’t budge.
That’s how four of us were at one point editing the same sentence at the same time. I would like to give a special big up to Google Docs for facilitating that. When we were all finally done tweaking the scripts, the graphic artist texted, “I’ll take a look in two hours because I am going out.”
What?! It’s 7 past 22 o’clock (two hours later) and he wants to have a meeting at 23 o’clock. I, on the other hand, will be going to bed.