Sheldon’s “Self-Sacrifice” story: Wiggle
George’s first threat machine album.
The (highly recommended) book that Sheldon keeps referring to in terms of the idea of the armature is from Invisible Ink by Brian Mcdonald.
The whole story (and tons more goodness) is available in Raid.One
First of all, congratulations Sheldon on sending the book off to an editor \m/,
Gotta say, I can relate to the pantsing bit (boy, that’s friggin weird to read out of context). That’s how I do all of my DnD story lines for my group. I’m not sure if you get the same feeling but it gives off this sort off… unknown elation. Maybe those are the words, but what I’m getting at is even you, the writer, don’t know 100% of the details until you’ve come up with them. It can lead to fun works that you’d never think of otherwise. The world my friends and I created, had I not been for me going “Umm sssshhhit….uhhhhh! fu- this- yeah! This thing is a thing now!” we wouldn’t have an entire realm of gods which acts as a secondary mechanic now. We have lots of fun with the goofy bullshit our brains come up with.
Yo. George. Threat Machine is such a god damn cool name! So I’m a younger guy, 25, so I wasn’t around when records were the proverbial shit, as it were. That being said, I do that very thing you spoke about regarding listening to an album and gorilla gluing your eyeballs to the art. My dad has his whole collection of records; Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Megadeth, Black Sabbath to name a few. On those days where I feel the need to just… drift away for a bit and maybe get some inspiration I put one on and look over the brush strokes of the art. It’s almost peaceful until I zone back in and Bruce Dickinson is singing “In the night, the fires burning bright. The ritual has begun, Satan’s work is done”.
Jokes aside. Laying there, looking at the art and listening to the music can totally inspire and that can carry through the whole day. Like a… a inspiration high I guess?
P.S. if your album art doesn’t involve you standing behind a big ol’ explosion I’d like to speak to your manager.
Eric, question for ya. Whenever you get artists block and, let say you’re stumped on design direction or anything of the like, how do you get over that bump? Step away and look at it later with a fresh(er) take, which I feel like is the general rule for artists in general. Or do you have something other than that? I ask because there will be times where I look at the accident I threw together on my screen and I yell “Why, O why god hath ye blighted me this dayith?”. A day later I come back and I look at this and it’s a struggle of “Do I completely scrap it and try a different approach?” or “Let’s be a lazy shit and slap a colour filter on there aaaaaaaaaaand good enough upload that trash fire and move on to something less depressing!”.
For the record I live by a simple motto and that is “Promise nothing, and deliver less”.
Ok seriously though. The block has killed so much time and I’ve been to unhappy with things I’ve done and to this day I can’t seem to defeat this beast. Sometimes it is best to admit defeat because there’s always potential to learn from starting from scratch, could even produce a better product, but I’m curious to hear/read what you have to say/type.
Enjoying the podcast thus far, doods. Another good podcast to help me get though the work night.
Having artist’s block is a problem that never goes away and I can totally relate. I know that the easy approach and one that I’ve definitely done many times is to just scrap it and start again. However, I have on occasion pushed myself past that feeling and told myself to believe in the process and trust the end result which will come out of it. If that makes any sense lol.
Funny enough, I am going through this right now with a painting I am working on. I REALLY don’t like the current state of it and feel like I’m trapped in it, with nowhere left to run. When I think about working on it, it stresses me out but I have to get it done, so I am going to trust myself and my abilities and that at some point, I will pull it out of the trash and like it just enough to be okay with it.
It’s a brutal part of the process and can be debilitating. We will most likely devote a podcast just to this particular issue as it invades all disciplines. The many ways your art can fall apart is a fascinating subject, whether it’s technical and/or emotional.
Anyways, for me, I always try to find the small parts that “are” working and build my confidence to continue from there. Almost like I’m fooling myself that the rest of the work is not awful, when in fact I feel it is. I use whatever tricks I can to make myself finish things, because all it takes is one curve or one highlight or one happy mistake to get the juices flowing again. However, if it’s beyond help, then scrap it I say! Try again and hope you learn from your mistakes.
Hope that helps and we really appreciate the great comment and questions.
Great job on ep two, guys, and big ups to Sheldon on sending the manuscript to an editor!
While I have plenty of thoughts on process, I definitely agree with Eric on the idea of a feeling/theme being the armature of a solid piece. The execution may change from the outset, but as long as it remains true to that original note, it’s almost always a successful piece.
On the subject of feelings/themes, have any of you guys managed to identify recurring themes/feelings/techniques that you believe have become your signature (intentionally or not)? I’m currently struggling to identify what it is I ‘do’ as an artist– AKA, what do I seek and put into my work that identifies it as mine. Have you guys figured this out or is it one of those life-long journey things?
Specific to George: Your thoughts on EP vs. Album, as well as the inclusion of artwork in your upcoming work, reminded me a lot of a project I’ve been involved with for a few years now. Although it’s an EP (3-4 songs), it’s deeply themed, and heavily built upon visuals (that I did! *preen preen*) that are meant to enhance and augment the work. However, since it’s a digital release, there won’t be that option of flipping through the CD booklet while listening.
If you’re interested, the project is about to launch its funding kickstarter, but the twitter account is @alice_akk and will have all updates/information regarding the project. I hope you’ll check it out!
Personally, I have always romanced the idea of connecting music with artwork– Music is something that can help my process or influence the work heavily, and I’ve always wanted to play around with that circular connection– music inspired by artwork, and artwork inspired by music. Let me know if you’re ever game to play around with the concept for fun!
Thank you guys again for sharing your perspectives on all this stuff. I’m hooked on your journeys and hope it’ll help me find more motivation to continue mine!
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Thanks for the comment Shadrad.
Yeah, identity is a tough one… and would make a great podcast episode, hahaha! I do think quite a bit about “my voice” and if it is unique enough. I think that’s one of the reasons that I always try to do something different with each release. That way I am constantly growing as an artist and always incorporating new ideas and lessons learned into my next project.
For me it is super important to have the idea of theme running through all aspects of what I produce. I think sometimes identity gets lost in “the other parts” of a project’s release. Speaking specifically to music, I think it is really important for the artwork to reflect the project and not just be there “because it has to”. That being said, it can be a tough nut to crack and I am still working on it!
I will definitely check out your project, and good luck with it!