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Category: process

Rethinking creative process

Over the last few months i’ve been practicing guitar at least 5 times a week, in an effort to regain the abilities I lost by neglecting to play or compose music the last ten years or so. It’s been exciting to see how fast it can come back by simply practicing consistently and challenging myself. What i’d really like to do is get back in shape enough to start writing music again—and I’m pretty close. As i was writing in my journal the other day, it occurred to me that what i was thinking about in terms of my creative process for writing music hadn’t evolved in twenty years (which is the last period of time I was writing regularly). I just expect the inspiration to strike and whatever comes out to work or not work.

I’ve learned a lot about making things and harnessing my creativity in the last twenty years, and I’m excited to apply what i’ve learned to music writing for the first time. In every other creative discipline i’ve actively pursued, my process has evolved to include a lot of research and planning and more formal iterative processes.

Right now, I’m just at the beginning. Instead of jumping in on a new song, I’m taking some time to listen to the songs that move me the most, and observe what i like best about them. I’m writing sketches and short ideas without judgement and without diving into them deeper to force them into a song. I’m laying the groundwork, and it’s fun.

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Headboard/shelf for the loft

I spent quite a few days in December, designing, building, and finishing a nice headboard for the custom loft i built for my son. He’s a very avid reader and having all that space for books is going to be great.

I wanted a simple design on poplar to match the loft style, so i came up with this interlocked grid design with a cap and sides. Turned out really slick.

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Tomatoes for Libby (process)

Started up on this painting I’m making for my lovely (former) coworker, Libby. These will end up pasted on an old window from her house 🙂

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Vectorizing Team One fundamentals

I’ve built every element on the playfield into vectors, setting the stage for a document that will serve as a full scale design template. VERY close to handing off to my partner in crime who’ll be doing the playfield art for this project.

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More Team One vectors

Added the plastic posts, drop targets, and wood rails (just barely shown), and made the inserts the correct colors.

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Team One, vector reconstruction from trace

After trying to find a place to scan my trace for a few months with no success, i finally decided to scan it in piecemeal and stitch it back together in Photoshop. After i got that done and tweaked the image so measurements were extremely close to 1:1 with the actual playfield, I started vector tracing elements in Adobe Illustrator. It’s been awhile since i spent this much time in Illustrator, and i gotta say that i like the updates—they’ve made it MUCH easier to create these kind of shapes with accuracy.

The idea is that i’m going to trace in all the fundamental playfield elements, then use that as the foundation for the re-theme art/design. So far, i’ve made a huge amount of progress, vectorizing:

  • Holes and playfield cutouts
  • Screw/post/nail holes
  • Keylines around holes and cutouts
  • Keylines for areas below plastics
  • Inserts
  • Pop bumper area placeholder
  • Line showing ball travel from the shooter lane.

Next i’ve got some more elements to scan and/or draw, so that i can lay them in this design as well.

  • Posts
  • Plastics
  • Lane guides
  • Return bumper
  • Ball gates
  • Flippers
  • Ball guides
  • Top metal arch

This is going to be an enormous project but i’m really having a blast.

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Getting tidy and organized

Long overdue clean-up of my space. I should have taken “before” photos! I’m going to clear coat the two main work tables as they badly need refinishing. Tonight I repainted the white table white and I’ll some water based poly on them over the course of the week.

I fixed a minor issue on transformers with the trough switch, and then I marked out where I need to grind a groove on these new William flipper bats so they fit in the old em mechs. I am unsure whether I need to do this but the old style ones are no longer available and mine are torn to shit. I’d like to get space mission up and running again, which will motivate me to rebuild the match unit and then maybe I’ll sell it.

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