I put this blog up about 6 months ago to jump on the “I’m a blogger” bandwagon. Based on a few tweets and articles I tripped over, writing articles for well-known blogs or your own was a recommendation to drive traffic to your site. While I’ve no doubt that’s true, I felt like a square peg jamming myself trough a round hole. I did it anyway and wrote a couple “buzz” pieces, the early posts on this blog. I’ve decided to leave them there. Seems like silly history that you should know about me.
2011 was shall we say, lame. A little better than 2010 but not by much. I started a small design studio with my partner Morgan, C+G, in January of 2010. Probably one of the worst times to do so following the housing crisis. My wife and I bought a house during that crisis and got a great deal. Problem is I had to pay the mortgage and work was drying up. The release of the all mighty iPad and Steve Jobs open letter to the world on how much Flash sucked had a lot to do with it.
Flash jobs became hard to come by and HTML5 became the buzz word of the year. We held on tight to Flash and managed to find jobs to scrape by and keep us sane. I wasn’t about to learn HTML5. There’s too many damn browsers. And the guys I knew at the time doing it, talked of nightmares debugging this that and the other thing with multiple OS’s devices, browsers and platforms. No thanks, I’ll pass.
August of 2011 was probably the worst month of month life. I’m not going into why. I traveled to Black Rock CIty, Nevada to attend Burning Man for the fifth time after a 5 year absence. I went searching for clarity. What I found was a frustrated self who felt like it was a wast of time making the trip out there. Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of inspiration to be found but it was a different experience than the first 4 times I attended. It changed and so did I.
I got back to LA, picked up my shit a reassessed my direction. It took some time but it was obvious what I needed to do. That is, what we all should be doing. Do what I love, and what I enjoy doing and figure out a way to pay the bills at the same time.
Before moving to LA I spent a lot of time in CT dabbling in VJ’ing and visuals. The scene was fairly small and I traveled to NY occasionally to mingle with others doing something similar. I started file trading and sharing Flash based visuals and launched triggerMotion.com Within about a year I had a few dozen collections of swf files from various artist and VJ’s all over the world. Traffic was pretty fair and triggerMotion became the defacto source for Flash visuals.
In 2003 I moved to LA with my wife in search of work. My buddy Bryan who had moved out 1 year prior said, “come to LA, this is where the work’s at.”. We needed a change, so we did. And after about 6 months, I found the work. And there went triggerMotion, into the closet.
Bring us back to fall of 2011 and my return from Burning Man. I spent the next few months soul searching and trying to figure out what the hell I was gonna do to pay the mortgage. On November 9, Adobe figured it all out for me. In their obscene attempt at PR basically telling the world that Steve Jobs was right ( I wish he could have been around to hear it ) and that HTML5 was the superior choice for mobile RIA going forward. I decided to hell with Adobe. I love Flash but it’s time to jump ship. It became clear that Flash as a platform to deliver content via web browser was now over. It was obvious what to do next. I had to move in with the enemy.
I picked up an iPad, a mac mini and a book on Objective-C.
About 4 chapters in I put the book down and launched Flash CS5.5 to see what it’s iPad capabilities were. My first test was a port of STRING DNA. It ran horribly. I decided to start from scratch and started tooling around with a silly drawing app. Just some circles that generated based on your mouse position. Surprising, the performance wasn’t too bad. I figured I’d keep messing with it.
A few weeks later while doing the daily Facebook check I found a post from Resolume. The VJ software I used when I was active in that world. They had a 4.0 release that just came out so I followed the link to check out the new features. One video in, some cool new features. 2nd video talked about the Flash features. I’m watching and following along. Most of the info I knew already. I scrub through to the end to see if there’s any new features when all of sudden I see a screenshot from triggerMotion.com!? They were sending users to triggerMotion for free VJ loops and the site wasn’t even up! I ran back to the office, found my site archive and sent it back up to FTP.
This put a fire under my ass. The next day I redesigned the site in Photoshop. The following day I wrapped my head around CSS ( I hate CSS ) and built the HTML and style sheet. Day 3, I posted the new site. I sent a single tweet out expecting zero response. The next morning I woke up to find 20 new followers and a boatload of traffic thanks to a retweet from ArKaos! I guess the site was missed. Who knew?
In between play time in Flash for the drawing app, I started working on some new visuals built specifically for the latest release of Resolume. In a weeks time, I’ve got a new plugin pack live on triggerMotion. I promised a new set for NYE to my new VJ followers and followed through. I got a few sales but nothing crazy. Traffic on the site was up and feedback on the new visuals was pretty good. I think I’ve got something here.
Today is Januray 9. I had a call this morning with a group of talented motion artists and VJ’s that I’ll be working with in producing visuals for a small concert tour. At 4 today I succsessfully got my drawing app, Deco Sketch, uploaded to Apple for review. Later in the evening Morgan and I nailed down the new content being added to the C+G site and worked out plans for some new projects.
In early December I told a couple of people my plan to evolve beyond the web browser in 1-2 years time. That plan is now in motion. I’m inspired and I’m motivated and I’m making shit happen.