July 24, 2008

Getting Started - or Why the Hell I'm Doing This

Hello World! Well after months of threatening everyone that I was going to get around to creating my own place to store my stuff on the INTERNET, I've finally taken the plunge. Thank goodness the Mrs. is out today with the kids or I'd still have excuses to avoid it.

So, a couple of questions to answer before we get going too far:

"What is my focus?"

Well, to be honest this is supposed to be a kind of bloggy thingie where I want to focus on creative people including artists, illustrators, logoists, designers, nudists (hello?), makers, etc. Granted I'm rather late in terms of getting "into the game" but what the hey, we can't all be Bill Gates.

What that has to do with blogging, I have no idea... but do try and cut me some slack, this is my first go at it...

"Why focus on the creative types?"

I actually started this at my old job a few months ago. I was spending a romantic weekend in Paris - that was given to me by my wife for Christmas - and decided to help out some pals at the office and attend the "Maison & Objet" Show.

So there I was alone in Paris (wait, wasn't this a romantic weekend given to me by my wife? More later... maybe) and I really found I enjoyed myself talking to the different folks strutting their stuff.

Plus as I'm able to utilize the one valuable skill I still have from High School, namely I can type really fast (like take dictation as someone talks ... also thanks in part to those damn piano lessons), I was able to bang out an interview or two in record time. And one thing led to another and here I am!

"But aren't you usually adverse to meeting new people?"

Who the hell is writing this anyway, my therapist? In answer to that question, yes, I am usually adverse to meeting new people. No, I can't be considered shy (shut up guys), but going out and getting to know new people has never been one of my strong suits.

But somehow I've found that through the interviews - both live and via email - that I've conducted over the past months has really helped me get past this. Plus, I find that I am just absolutely fascinated to talk to so many creative types across the globe. Plus-plus, the folks I've talked to so far have been without exception just really cool about the whole thing!

"Why the longer interview format vs. the usual 'quick fire' input you see on many 'design' blogs?"

I have absolutely no problem with most design blogs; in fact, its great how so many find so much terrific stuff so quickly and sometimes I wish myself that I was more comfortable with such a "brief" format. There are several that I cruise almost daily (I'll make a list in a few days, I promise) along with various more permanent like sites for getting tips and hoping to find a link within a link that leads me as well to my own next targets.

The only issue I do have is that after seeing say a one- or two-picture display by a given artist, a statement like "found this, thought it was cool", and maybe also visiting even their own web-sites or blogs, I always find that I want to learn more. A LOT more!!

So I figure, that's where I come in: I've decided then to do the digging or googling or whatever you call it. Then I ask what I hope are pretty good questions and try to put together something really unique about each person I'm talking to. In a lot of cases, there even seems to be a bit of relief that I'm not just putting together a synapsis (sic) of their own biographies.

And as a "disclaimer", two things:
  1. first, if you want to use these inputs for a term paper or something similar, don't. No, not because I'm a lawyer or my cousin's name is "Guido" (it's really "Knuckles McGullicutty") but because you just won't get a good grade.
  2. second, if there's ever a case you think something might be related to your own work, just let me know. But don't sue me, again not because of any legal training but because I'm actually really really poor. But getting back to the questions...
All kidding aside, I'm not adverse to "sharing" but as I do have agreements for images and stuff to think of, you are "politely requested" to take it up with me first. And link me up, too, my ego needs stroking as much as the next person's... ego that is.

"But why creative types and not, say, hot bikini models?"

Hm, never thought of it that way, perhaps owing to my total lack of experiencing meeting any hot bikini models (noting I was dressed as you see here well into adulthood ... but that was a damn cool lunchbox!!). All kidding aside, I guess you could say its in my blood. You see both of my parents are "artists" in one way or another (different types of architecture, painting, handicrafts, you name it, they're both disgustingly talented). Each attended design school and wound up one way or another spending the next years of their lives interested in art and design and even trying to make money with that.

Come with us now down memory road ...

In fact, after recently bringing it up with my Dad again after a few years back (namely when I learned lots of surprising details about my coming to be, only by getting Pop and one of his old school chums REALLY drunk) it seems I was - owing to being the first kid to be born to the design school group - considered a sort of "mascot" to the design group. And indeed over the next many years, despite my adolescently required moaning and groaning, I myself learned a bit about the arts and such.

Continuing then with this long-winded tome, the years passed, as they tend to do and along came high school (I'm now talking about me by the way, if all these prepositions are getting too messed up). We used to have to take this test called the CAT (California Appitude Test I believe) and mine came out with a score of 92 for the sciences and 91 for the arts (and also a warning to never, ever go into any kind of field where I'd have to care for people or be allowed to touch their bodies in ANY way). Well, that was no help and there I sat for the next months wondering where to go next.

So it was my junior year I believe when one of the local Universities toured our high school and gave a demonstration on of all things the science of dyes, pigments and essentially color science (ever wondered why blue jeans are blue? That sort of thing). I was immediately smitten and not the "hand of God" type smitten (or is that smited?) either. I could combine my interest in the arts - drawing those huge organic molecules was like drafting together a plan for a new downtown office complex - and also science. Plus, it gave a young kid with a tendency to get really distracted more of a focus to be involved in a specific area of sciences, vs. just "chemistry" in general. The fact that this industry is now totally dead outside of China is irrelevant.

Later on this know-how would lead to me re-enlisting and staying a few more wonderful albeit very poor years in college, which then landed me on the shores of Europe. Now in nearly the 18th year of an 18 month assignment, I'm out and about looking for other ways to entertain myself (see earlier comment about a dead industry) but as this could turn into an adult-rated biography with lots of naughty words rather quickly, I'll stop here.

So here I find myself trying to put together rather "vicarious" inputs from folks that did indeed take the plunge to be more creative than myself (adding as well that with the exception of writing, I do tend to be rather lazy). And ergo and to the extent thereof, here we are.

Enjoy!! I know I have and will continue to do so. I hope you'll agree with me that this wonderful set of people I've gotten to "know" so far are really neato and cool and all that. And I can't wait to meet even more!

Ciao for now... and in order to keep peace in my own house, here's a couple of pictures of my "critters"...

thank goodness they don't look like their old man, eh?

Ziggy Nixon James Posey Design Chemistry

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