If you’ve been following my web comic effort over the last couple months you may have noticed I’ve been hitting the promotional effort quite strongly. Thing is, this little “goofing around on a boring weekend” project has escalated into something that has some leg. The legs are small and weak and barely pulling along the wee body mass of the corpus-proper, but there are legs.
So it now seems like I’ve jumped in with both my legs and decided to see how far I can push this thing until it runs out of steam. For example:
I’ve actually punched out a proper logo.
I’ve set up a few additional social media channels to cross-promote.
And since I had the art work sitting around in HiDef-ready format anyhow, I’ve been using the simple YouTube video online editor and some in-built audio clips to chop out very simple video versions of the comic strips.
You can check out the video version of one of my most popular strips (based on page views and retweets, etc)…
Or, number 007, which is one Claire simultaneously loves and hates because NOW… now… she says that they’re not called unicorn pancakes anymore, so… dad… WTF(udge)?
To top it all off, I’ve created enough strips and scheduled enough stuff that I could officially go on a vacation until October and this thing would just quietly post away until virtually Halloween. That’s a cozy place to be sitting… and it really only giving me more time to flex my promotional creativity.
Now I almost feel like the next milestone is to make it –actually, chronologically– until Pi Day 2018. Imagine that?
About a year ago I introduced Claire to Minecraft. I mean, she had spent plenty of time sitting on my lap and watching ME play, but it was that moment when I showed to her the basic controls of Minecraft on our iPad that it all really started.
…the most accessible and limitless three-dimensional digital construction kit that’s ever existed in the history of human existence.
I’d be the first to admit. If I had been handed a toy half as awesome as Minecraft when I was five… hey, my life would have been complete. Strap me in, close the door, and just make sure to circulate the air every couple of days.
So, what do you do if you are a five year old who has one of the most accessible and limitless three-dimensional digital construction kits that’s ever existed in the history of human existence? Well, you take it for granted (as a start) and then you become mildly obsessed, beg to play on every occasion, and build mind-boggling creations that make your father wonder if he should start saving for either architectural school or some big-city fine arts program… or just assume that she’s gonna get a scholarship with… well, keep dreaming, right?
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What do you do if you are the parent of a five year old who has one of the most accessible and limitless three-dimensional… blah, blah, blah… you know where I’m going with this, right? Well, you could thwart your daughter’s creative obsession, put closely framed boundaries on it, and then complain about the whole thing with other parents. Or, you could get down on the floor and play right along with them.
Claire and I are Minecraft buddies. And heck, six years ago, when Karin was starting to swell with the anticipation that comes along with that thing called pregnancy, if you’d asked me what I thought of having a kid who’s biggest issue at five would be a mild obsession with one of my favourite video games… well, I probably wouldn’t have considered that a problem. I still don’t. But it frames up a story quite nicely, though, doesn’t it?
Through some bit of odd shopping happen-stance — we won’t go into that here — I wound up pre-ordering, or maybe back-ordering, or in some way ordering a set of Legos that was out of stock or out of production or out of luck in some way.
People have been paying hundreds of bucks for these particular kits on auction sites, but it turns out with a little time and patience, they arrive in your mailbox for the suggested retail price just the same. And they are just as fun to build then, too.
Of course, the quasi-official Minecraft Lego kit was labelled as a ten-and-up product, but Claire (familiar with both Legos and Minecraft) quickly figured out that with only a little intermittent help from her old man, ten-and-up simply meant she needed to concentrate a little harder.
The four hundred and eight piece sculpture was fully assembled and starring in some serious floor-based playtime within twenty-four hours after arriving at our house.
Just Playing Minecraft, Videos
Back at the computer I’ve opted to mop up a little bit of the wandering and aimless play we’ve both been veering into, and I started experimenting on a little video project.
A Minecraft video project…
Now, I’ve no illusion lurking in my mind that the videos Claire and I have been making are anything unique or clever or novel or insightful… not any of that. But it goes something like this: Claire and I are playing Minecraft together anyhow, she sits on my lap and her commentary is priceless (for me, if no one else) and I’ve often thought on how it would be great to record it for my own personal posterity, and hey… would you look at that… I have screen capture software and a couple microphones just waiting there on my computer, looking for any excuse to get out and be used.
We’ve made two YouTube videos so far.
They are just us playing the game, recording our adventures as we build and explore, but the audio you hear is our conversation all the while. And again, while this is nothing unique or particularly innovative, it is ours… and it’s a way for us to play together, create together, and share (in moderation) our obsession together. Isn’t that what good dads do?
Ah, June… Summer is at our doorstep, the days are (almost all of them) seeming to get a little bit longer, and for the second year in a row I am partaking in my daily blogging exercise, marginally focused along a theme I’ve simply called Those 30 posts in June. No planning. No writing stuff days ahead. Just this: each day a meanderingly vague prompt drives a meanderingly vague post… and today that post just happens to be:
June 1st // Something You Have Decided
I’ve been deciding a lot of things lately, particularly with reference to filling this great big thing (we’re now all fairly familiar with) called ‘The Creative Fodder Gap‘ (the topic of the most-frequently-read post on this blog as I write this, actually.) It’s that sense that we can’t just stop creating things because we haven’t immediately received the results we’d expect: noteriety, recognition, publication, or whatever. That we need to create as a kind of never-ending practice for some future-state of skill and experience; That there is an inexperience gap to be filled with raw work. So, as it stands, I spend my time trying to clutter up my metaphorical gap with as much original content as I can reasonably generate, through opportunities created via life and work and all that oddly-consuming stuff in between, and hope that the hundreds and (gradually) thousands of hours I’ve spent writing words, crafting arts, snapping photos, and cluttering the net with the carefully freed digital flotsam of my mind will pay off with an ever-more crossable bridge in the great chasm between my desire to create and some actual skill in creating.
That’s what I’m doing here, or didn’t you know that?
As far as that little granule of motivation is concerned then, I’ll refer readers back to something they may already be intimately familiar with: pixelated. You know; That groovy daily photo project that as of TODAY has a mere three months remaining on its originally scheduled contract. That is correct: I am seventy-five percent complete, 274 images, nine-months worth of photos accumilated under my belt, and not much more overwhelmed by the experience than I was without it. In fact, once I got over the masterpiece-syndrome and allowed myself a fraction and percentage of just-plain-randomly-poor shots, the weight of the project has actually been minimal and has generated a girth of photos and a clout of experience with more volume than I’d ever anticipated.
I am a better photographer, all humility aside, from doing this.
Thus, it’s just this: I’ve decided to just keep it going. I mean… well… I’ve tossed around the idea for a few months now of, at the very least, tracking it through to the end of the calendar year so that not only do I have a full year of photos from start to finish, September to September, but a full 2012 year set, as well. But now… now I think I’m just going to keep at it until I have an actual reason to stop. I’m going to just keep taking photos and stuffing them into this real thing called the Internet and this metaphorical thing called my Creative Fodder Gap. And we’ll see what happens.