Website Coma

Uh, wassat? How long have I been out?

I know, I know, the last entry was a maudlin meditation on the death of an admired one, then silence.

The truth is, my website has been put at the back of the queue as far as creative output goes. There’s a new lady in town, her name is ‘Day One App’

I’ve been having an affair with it while neglecting to add reflections and news on these pages. Guilty! The thing is, just because there is no news, it doesn’t mean that there is no news

2020 has got off to a racy start of my own creativity. I use Day One to compile and collate many previous works in terms of journal entries, autobiographical gap-filling reflections of the life I’ve lived, dreams dreamt, people, places. The project of digitising old battered diaries has been quite an adventure and I’ve barely made a dent in transcribing the volumes and tomes.

And for what reason? I think it has partly been a growing sense that life is short and uncertain, if my writings and works form part of a creative legacy, then how would I like it to be presented when It gets handed over to my daughter or other friends and family members? The original works are fairly fragile, the grammar in places was terrible, the art has faded etc.

I admired the small series of web-documentaries called “Everything is a remix”. The title alone got me thinking of remixing my own works and to try and consolidate them into a central chunky narrative. I also thought of the time I used to lose when I was a Windows 98 user, attempting to breathe life into my spluttering machine. I’d run a script called ‘Defragmentation’ and watch the visual representation of the computer reshuffling its hard drive contents into some form of order. This project has been the human attempt at performing the same task with my own mind.

Day One App is a marvellous bit of journalling software, I’ll link it below. I’ve been using it since September 2017. I was on holiday taking a much-needed break. During the brief and beautiful period of having nothing to do and nowhere to go, I decided to take up an old habit and start journaling again. Thanks to the multitude of distractions that the web had provided in terms of blogging and social media, I’d dropped out of keeping a written record of my life events and feelings sometime in early 2004. Given that from 2004 onwards, the best years of my life had begun, I had a growing sense of shame that I’d never stopped to write about them. So at some future point, I intend to put this historic wrong to right and compile them into a retrospective journal.

This is all very well for you, the reader of the blog, you’ll probably never get to see any of what I’m describing? What? You think I should share it online? Give it all up for the great algorithm? Come on! I have got some dignity.

At best, I may select certain entries and artworks and ‘might’ post edited versions here.

Well, there is a middle ground…

Earlier this month (Feb 20) I decided to take a small break from the practice of mental defragging , I decided to get my head around some other new software called ‘Affinity designer‘. A very splendid company called Serif have decided to take on the digitally ancient company Adobe, and offer software that not only competes with the likes of Photoshop and Illustrator, it also offers a very attractive point of entry pricing model which confidently urinates all over the Adobe cloud-based pricing plan.

Like many digital artists out there, I create for the pleasure of art. “Art for art’s sake” I haven’t attempted to sell any of my works for a long time, so It seemed like a kick in the balls when Creative Cloud was unleashed into the world and Adobe wanted at least £20+ per month for the privilege of using its software. The team at Serif clearly found this an objectionable business model too and decided to take on the Adobe behemoth with their own alternatives. Cue Affinity Photo/Designer and Publisher. All three programs offer similar functionality with a superb interface, brilliant tools, cross-program compatibility and (Cherry on top) a one-off flat fee for the experience. Their pricing is very reasonable, to me, switching over to the Serif way of doing things seemed a ‘no-brainer’ I’m delighted with the software and what It can do.

During the last couple of weeks I’ve put some of my fairly limited break time into learning Affinity Designer and have fallen in love with what it allows me to do. I’ve returned to the slowly simmering Umpquamadic Peel project as it suits the software perfectly (or is it the other way around?)

I’m delighted with the results, which is a point of creative glee for me personally, as I know I haven’t fully tapped into the power of the software yet.

One suspects that they know how you feel…” – Lord Pointy Head

Keeping things creative, I’ve also spent a combination of Birthday and Christmas money given to me by my mother, on a bloody brilliant little device called an Instax SP-3. (Thanks Mum!)

The device prints slightly smaller than Polaroid format, Polaroid-style photographs. During the history of my dreaming, I’ve often dreamt of taking photos in my dreams of subconscious weirdness that has caught my eye. I’ve lost count of the mornings I’d woken up with an instant disappointment that photos taken in dreamland have stayed in dreamland. I’ve ended up resorting to recreating what I’d seen using photo editing software, then making a digital dream photo. All very well, but a jpeg is a jpeg, It looks nice on screen, but like a dream-photo, it doesn’t necessarily exist.

The Instax SP-3 has helped me overcome the problem with something tangible. I can now print dream photographs and the format more or less makes the imagery seem a little more credible.

Photographs taken in Dreamland.

There is a grander vision to all of this, but If I told you what it was, I’d have to kill you. Given the limited readership this blog receives, I’m afraid that this is where we have to leave things for today. No, I don’t blog often, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not doing things in Actual Reality. The most faithful of my subscribers here will eventually benefit from the fruits of my everso secret projects…you are just having to sit it out while I focus on ‘the long game’

M X

Affinity Software

Day One App https://dayoneapp.com

Everything is a Remix

Instax SP-3