strumzilla

​A blog/journal about my life and the stuff I like. Popular subjects include music, guitars, gear, books, movies, video games, technology, humor.

Filtering by Tag: Social Networks

Fanning the Embers...

It’s been a fairly busy summer, with a few new areas of focus in the wake of social media disconnection. As I said last post, I deleted my main FB account from the last ten years and I’ve been spending significantly less time on social media. I had a dummy account “Fred Garvin” (heyohhh) and I was using that to keep up with bands, etc. but I did want to maintain a page for Pyramid Grid so I ended up creating an account in my name for the band and deleted the Fred Garvin. This account will only be for the band and keeping up with concert announcements and the like. I haven’t added any friends and don’t plan on it. I’ll see how this works out. There’s significantly less time spent checking FB and it’s essentially removed all impetus to post the trivial.

This extra time has been shifted to more reading and starting to rekindle my interest in writing. I’ve been slowly going through Neil Gaiman’s Master course and there has been a lot of additional recommended reading. I also started another drawing course on Udemy and it’s my intention to keep slowly working on these renewed goals for my eventual plan of combining mixed media in storytelling. I’d love to combine original drawings with animations and video effects to use in music videos and short films/bits.

I’m also slowly making progress on the model building with the primary goal of finishing the soldiers and environments for the Christmas Armistice video. I’ve been watching a variety of miniature and diorama making videos and this is another area I intend to investigate further. I’ve loved miniatures since I was a child and I’m interested in this just as a pursuit but it definitely could be used effectively in filmmaking.

I probably don’t need any more interests, but I can’t help my nature. As of now, I’m regularly working on guitar, bass, drums, vocals, songwriting, production, filmmaking, video effects, drawing, model and miniature building/painting, as well as writing. This change in work status has really enhanced my ability to pursue those creative urges I’ve held dormant for so many years. I’m eternally grateful.

Below is my first ever proper drawing. The Udemy course starts fast with a tutorial on this eye and the instructor takes you through the various steps of line/shape drawing, shading, etc. I even surprised myself in that I’ve never been able to just spontaneously draw with any great realism, although I’ve never given it much effort. I think this particular task was well chosen in that it probably looks more difficult than it really is. The next step is learning to focus more on an object we are drawing than the page. I need to draw a variety of household objects with a focus on lines, shadows, perspective. I have a feeling these initial efforts will be a bit humbling compared to my relative sensation of success with the eye, but this first project was a nice bolster to my confidence.

Eye - 1st Drawing.jpg

Disconnecting

In a theme visited before, I’ve decided to break away from Facebook, at least as far as having a personal account. I find that at its best, it’s mostly a distraction. I don’t have anything significantly negative to say about it, just that most things related to FB are superficial and don’t provide long term value. I’m not condemning the superficial in general, I enjoy watching mindless movies and television (to an extent) that only provide the momentary entertainment, and will continue to do so. I find with FB that my hopes and aspirations are generally so self contained, that they don’t change through that lens at all. As Neil Peart so wisely wrote, “Sometimes our big splashes, are just ripples in the pool.”

That’s not necessarily bad, it’s just there’s such a disconnection between the amount of effort you put into a project compared to the typical feedback that it starts to dilute or obscure the value of your creative work. The long term value of anything I produce is admittedly only of lasting value to me, as much for the love of the process as the product. I had hoped FB would be a nice ancillary means of staying connected and socializing, but it just seems that for me I don’t typically get a benefit from the shared experience in that I’m either not interested in what people are posting, or I have a negative reaction to it. That’s totally on me, I’m not judging anyone else for what they post or care about, it’s very personal. I think it probably gets back to the fact I’m inherently a lone wolf by nature, and although FB was a nice controllable(ish) means of social interaction, it’s just never felt like it was enhancing my life. In fact, it’s mostly felt like a distraction that was taking my attention away from more important things with lasting value.

That’s not to stay I’ve sworn off FB completely. I have an anonymous account (friendless) that I use to stay up to date with bands, authors, etc. - essentially all the stuff I love that has a strong FB presence where they often choose to announce major events like concerts, album releases, etc. I’d hate to miss a presale announcement for someone I truly love just because I wasn’t checking in to FB in a timely manner. The nice thing about this account is that it’s purely for that, there’s no social interaction otherwise.

For my creative work, I’m obviously maintaining this blog and will continue to primarily use YouTube, although I may start posting more to Vimeo. No one really gives a shit, including my wife, so I’m just doing this for myself, which has always been the case in the first place. I’m already reaping some rewards in that I’ve been able to focus more on study and composition. I just started to flesh out another new tune after completing the recent “If Tomorrow Comes.”

Ah, collective punishment…

how I miss it. The military has decided to cut off access to multiple "social" sites, like myspace, youtube, etc. as a means of preventing unwanted information getting leaked by soldiers.  The intention is understandable, and these targeted sites are probably the most likely places that a large number of soldiers could inadvertently (or not) reveal classified or sensitive information.  The opportunity for those leaks still exists, but the likelihood is decreased now.  Still, I can't help but remember my days as a young enlisted soldier when the screw ups of a few led to punishment of the many.  I can't argue the logic that these sites aren't mission essential and can lead to decreased bandwidth for more relevant traffic. It does add more to "the suck" of deployments, though.