Jun 10, 2009

My Creative Goals

Well like usual, leave it to me to steal a post idea from my internet hero Glendon of The Flying Trilobite. Of course I've done it before, and I'm sure to do it again! This time I'm following his lead on talking about his art goals for the future.

Funny enough I'm not entirely stealing his idea. Lady R pressed me the other day as to what my goals in life are (as I'm lacking ambition career-wise at moment).

My creative endeavours featured heavily in my answer, as I'd like to branch out of teaching into something more"fun" eventually (or even just teach Palaeo or [3D] Art). However I'd never thought of making a blog post of it till I saw Glendon doing the same thing. So I'm more stealing the idea of being able to post my goals, and not really stealing the whole concept with new freshly thought up goals :P

I also like this post as I can use it as a public virtual contract with myself, witnessed by others, to motivate me to get stuff done!

Some of my short term goals as you'll see are current projects I've been slacking on a lot lately (part of my current apathy). So I hereby state I aim to accomplish at least 33% of these goals on the dot. Why give myself 66% wiggle room? Well let's face it, at moment I don't make money off any of these, and so surviving takes a priority. Also I've found scheduling creativity is a fairly futile task, so if I set loose goals I'm more likely to press for the ones to turn out to be achievable (and yet leave me free to ignore the ones that turned out to be too ambitious or not in the cards).

Also as my discussion with Lady R was much bigger in scope, I'm just going to focus on my creative goals. I'm not going to bore you with the career ambitions of an ambition-less substitute teacher.
My Short Term Goals

To start off with I sort of lied. Obviously me and Lady R didn't discuss my non-profit creative projects, but I think these are important to layout for myself. At the same time I'm not making these up for this post (thus meaning I didn't entirely rip Glendon off :P)

I'm always doing a running record of what I should be working on and prioritizing with my time. So this is a list of my current status of my list. I again put it here so that I have put out a formal deadline/incentive to get some of this stuff done!

I need to get back on track with Traumador! He has been suffering a lot at the hand of my lack of ambition. I've been taking a "break" from him for well over a month (and soon that'll be 2 months if I don't get back on the ball!). His traffic is starting to suffer, and I fear I'm alienating and losing his few readers.

However at the same time it has been nice to take a momentary break from him. I have been doing his blog almost non-stop for 3 years. Which is a long time for me to stick to something!

The most immediate thing on this week's chopping block, I must get the Raptor Attack story finished! This Sunday of June 14th by the latest!

I'm very proud of the Raptor Attack, it has panned out very close to how I imagined (which as all artists knows rarely happens. You have that picture in your head, that never emerges into the real world exactly how you pictured).

However through it I'm realizing just how ambitious some of my future plans for Traumador may be.

Modelling the Dinosaurs aside (each taking 16-20 hours work to be usable), posing them with my new skeletal system though easier, takes a lot longer if are more then one Dinosaur in the same render. Added to that feathers (oh how I hate feathers!... many complain of Hollywood using naked Dinosaurs, but there is a reason!) each of the Raptor Attack pictures has taken at least 1-2 hours to make. The photo with 9 Raptors surrounding our heroes, even when rendered 3 raptors at a time, took me 7 hours to create!

So this is why I have left it hanging. With at least 10 more pics with at least 4-5 Dinos per shot this is a LOT of work I'm signing up for. However it must be done. Fortunately there is only one more part of the Canada trip that involves any significant number of Dinos (and they're not all in camera for this one PHEW!).

Deadline: THIS Sunday the 14th!

I then need to get Traumador out of Drumheller. Much like the bloated and never ending Museum Quest, Traum has been stuck in Drum for over 6 months now. At least unlike the museum quest things have been interesting and varied in Drum (or at least that's what I aimed for). Plus I'm liking the mix of narrative with science facts... A hopefully ongoing thing on Traum's blog.

He still has to goto Calgary before getting back to New Zealand.

Deadline, Out of Drumheller: by the end of July!

Deadline, Out of Canada: by September!

The reason I need Traum out of Canada is that I'd like to finally get onto the Search for the Taniwha! I've been planning this for almost 2 years now, and have lots of great photos, and a hopefully funny story to accompany them!

Deadline: The search must start no later then November this year (the 2 year anni of my thinking it up!)

Of course all the rage with my creatively lately has been my old movie project Delta Patrol (proving I still have gusto in me at moment!). Having been filmed 3 years ago this (northern) summer I need to get this one cranked out. In the last two weeks, huge progress was made towards this by the completion of editing all the live action footage into the long awaited rough cut.

However I have tond of special effects work to do! One of my immediate problems is that to do the effects I need to model all the elements. The worst part is that even though I did a lot of modelling back in 2006, I've lost many of it, and my 3Ding skills have increased so much since then that I'm having to remodel everything I still have anyways. After that lengthy process I'll have to animate it all. So...

Deadline on the Modelling: This New Year (aka before 2010)

Deadline on the Animating: Fall 2010

Deadline on the Finished Movie: Before I turn 30 (aka before 2011)

Okay so those are my current tangible and accomplish able projects out of the way. As is common knowledge with those around me, I like a full plate! The next list are the bigger loftier and hard to pin down things.

My Long Term Goals

My teaching friend Scott and myself back during our teaching training in 2007 put together a children's story that we've both been making the rounds of local skools with. Our story though very kid friendly has many dark undertones and a slightly unhappy message about how life works. The kids have seemed to like it and definitely relate to the message, but it has been teachers and skool staff that have been most enthusiastic about it so far. Which we hope means it'll sell...

If we can get the damn thing published! In our two half a$$ed attempts at approaching publishers we couldn't even get a letter or email reply. That alone someone to look at the book.

We may have a new innovative way of pitching ourselves (or so we hope), but I'm keeping quiet on it till we see if it works. Partially so no one steals our idea, and more to the point I don't want to publicly embarrass myself if it doesn't work!

I'm loving the goal and challenge that ART Evolved's galleries have been presenting for me on my Palaeo-Art. I'm particularly proud of this piece from our last gallery on Permian Synapsids.

With the strides I've been making with my 3D art the last few years (this year in particular) I'm aiming in the next 2 years to get at least one piece of my palaeo-art published in a formal capacity!

Now in good news I may have made my first step here in Dunedin working with the universities geology department. However I'll save the surprise and details for some upcoming posts I'll be doing on ART Evolved about my "Quest for Publication"!

I'd also like to try (quite possibly in collaboration with other people) to do some popular level Palaeontology books that include my art.

Another of my ongoing, and never completable goals is "celebrity" shots of Traumador with famous and established Palaeontologists.

I'm starting to get a nice small collection going, however I can always use more. I also have a bit of an Alberta worker basis, so I need to try and get Traum out there a little more!

My wish list includes my childhood heroes Phil Currie (the ONLY Albertan palaeontologist I've never managed a photo with... all I have is video evidence I have personally met him), Bob Bakker (is a must!), and Peter Dodson (I already have one of Darrel Russel). Also high on my list are net sensation Darren Naish, marine reptile expert Mike Everest, and (the skull of) Edward Drinker Cope. However I'm game for any and all Palaeontologists!

The unreal version of this goal is that historians could catalogue every worker, of even just one branch, of Palaeontology during Traum's "lifetime" by there being a photo of each of them with the puppet!

With these photos and meeting the scientists I hope to increase my network within the science world for other possible goals such as...

Though not a direct creative goal, through my creative efforts on his life... I aim to get a new fossil genus or species named after Traumador. I don't really care what, and frankly how many. I'd be fine with every phylum having a Traum names thing or twenty in it! However I'm not overly ambitious at moment, so one will do just fine :P

As of such I need to make sure that I get him out there into the Palaeo world, and that his science is as accurate and as well presented as I can muster!

Most pinnacle of all I'd love to expand Traumador into a real franchise! I'm not picky as to what kind. Whether it be I figure out how to make money off him on the web, or get him back in front of people doing live shows, or into documentaries or TV shows, a movie (a few of home made ones are slowly in the works right now mind you!), and/or books!

Meaning I need to keep up the work on him, and try to up the quality of his material while I'm at it!

Much like Glendon I'd love to increase my creative networking, and do more collaborative or cooperative projects with people. Much like this 3D version of the comic strip Walcott's Quarry I did for the internet's own Etrilobite.

On this goal I have been making strides towards it, but there is always so much more to do!

No matter what, I have my usual collaborator Peter Bond to count on. Recently we also took a huge step with the creation of the online Palaeo-Art community at ART Evolved, where we every two months collaborate with people to create awesome galleries of art.

However I'm always open to new creative ventures with people, and potential friends to work with. So if you have something that needs either puppets or 3D drop me a line and we'll talk!

This also being a hint to Glendon you are far from alone here on the net ;P

My last goal, while being identical to one of Glendon's, has been on my list for a while. I even have this 4 month old test render to prove it!

I'd love to illustrate (possibly write as well) at least one story about Marvel Comic's Devil Dinosaur in the savage land. Hopefully my contact within Marvel can set me up once I'm ready to commit to this!

So there is a rough look at my current goals and ambitions creatively. Not a short list, but it'll keep me out of trouble. Which can be a very important thing for the world's sanity I've been told.

I'll try to do a summary goals post every 6 or so months to see if I'm on task...

With that in mind, time for me to get to work!


Darren Naish said...

Tell me where to be, and let's see what we can arrange :)

Albertonykus said...

Good luck with your goals! I think it would be wonderful if some new genus was named after Traumador, and if there was Taumador franchise out there, too!

traumador said...

darren- cheers man! i'm more then a little humbled you popped by to make the offer...

i'd say come down here to new zealand, but of course it is pretty much the other side of the world :P

i'm sure at some point in the near future we'll find ourselves in near proximity through a conference or such. that and i plan on a big european museum trip in the next few years. england is a MUST stop (just to see some more of the dinosaurs from darren tanke's lost quarry project in london!).

Albertonykus- thanks man. with help from guys like you, it might just be possible :P

also if i can get craig to help me out on the blog a bit more, that'd help too! so hopefully he meets some of these goals!

Craig- i believe in you! so make those goals. especially the ones about me :P

Dinorider d'Andoandor said...

Yeah! Darren from TetZoo, I read his articles. I particularly recommend his last posts on the BCF theory... and read the comments, they are really interesting.

AND Bob Bakker of course! he's the dinoman! Tel him that at least in Southamerica paleochildren "believe" in "SantaBakker". I've seen pictures of "him". LOL

Let's go on!

Peter Bond said...

Good luck with the goals, my friend. I'll do my best to kick you and make sure you achieve them!

"SantaBakker" is such a wonderful image! Thanks, Dinorider!

Glendon Mellow said...

Thanks for the mentions, Craig!

A dinosaur named after Traumador would be teh awesum.

I think part of my feeling of mentioning my goals, was like you, a rallying cry to keep going. I've been feeling strongly discouraged lately, (I almost followed up "Goals" with "Doubts" this week,) so I was trying to inject some optimism into my own blogging voice.

It's always good to have support, which is the great thing about blogging- we're not alone.