Saturday, August 08, 2009

Art update and the end of the solitary hobby...


Well, it appears my skin cancer worries are eased for now.

The discolored area is somewhat akin to a liver spot. Combine that with an insect bite that was subsequently shaved and formed a scab which itched as it healed, and you get a panicky Steve.

But not melanoma.

JP approached me this week with an offer to do the interior plates, and after generating a rough drawing and detailed run-down of each, I sent them. It may be that they are beyond his ability at the moment. The time it would take to do each would push the publishing date back at least sixty days – and that is if he does nothing else.

I looked briefly on to see if there was anyone out there who could pull these off. JP says they are somewhat complex; I have no idea myself. I thought perhaps I could find an artist, and I did, but realized about halfway through my search that any artist capable of doing these probably does not need the exposure and has plenty on their plate to begin with.

I went back to Alex Iglesias and submitted them. No response yet, but what the hell, right? I know what the answer is if I don’t ask. He has already done work for Catalyst Games, which puts him in the big leagues as far as I am concerned. I will count myself blessed if he agrees to do them for the amount he charged for the last one. If he does, I may push the publishing date back. Alex is really that good. [Update: he has agreed to do them after he completes his move to Florida.]

Several proofers have made progress on the writeups, and we have put those to bed. There are many left to go, but we’ll get ‘em done. The Cortes is finished and the Horatio and Mastodon are in the pipeline. Mike Sullivan is concentrating on real life problems and so there will be a delay on the Crinos, but a rough draft of the Fox has come through in the meantime and that means production has begun. For that piece, anyway.

Today I will PayPal a few artists for their work and find some way of paying JP for the ‘Mechs he has already done. I’ve changed the oil on both the Cavalier and the Aerostar; while under the Aerostar I noticed a big gunch in the oil pan, which will need replacing, as well as some totally worn-out fittings on the stabilizer bar, which will also need replacing. The bills need paying and I return to work next week. It’s been an interesting week off, but I am glad to be back at Trulife.

I have not heard from the Pea-man on the Leopard, and will have to follow that up so I can call it complete. [Update: Jeremy turned in the Leopard but is going back to add some additional material to the surroundings. He also submitted some preliminary sketches for the Diatryma Armored Car.]

Finally, I want to let you all know that the last post was not one big whine about how no one appreciates my contributions to several hobbies. Perhaps I misspoke. I certainly ran on far too long. No, what got me down was that there were several perfectly good pastimes in which I seem to be the only participant. Yes, even with the internet and the ability to reach out to others with my interests, it would seem there are very few young people nowadays who are interested in hobby electronics, modeling, control-line flying and – well, anything else that involves taking real-world kits or parts and assembling them into something which resembles a real-world object. It may be that their exploits in the virtual world are enough for these kids, but sometimes I wonder.

The really weird thing is that, as people become more connected in the virtual world, they become more solitary in the real world. Conversely, the more they become secluded, indulging in social networks instead of relating to real people, the less they actually engage in truly solitary hobbies. I can only conclude that the solitary hobbies - electronics, etc - are meant to be pursued in solitude that no longer really exists.

What seems to be valued now are money and fame. Making a dollar with your hobby is, apparently, equivalent to getting respect. Being connected to dozens, even hundreds of other people who read your words and know of your life and doings – that too, is considered ‘respect’. It all seems to tie into ‘respect’, which is another word for feeding the ego, or what older folks called ‘spiritual pride’. I’ve seen first-hand what effect doing that has on me. I recognize it as a temptation to something which is quite pleasurable but bad for me in the long run.

But convincing younger people that it *is* a bad thing – is very hard to do in our current cultural climate.

Back in the day, folks pretty much knew when a thing was bad for them and when it was not. They might love to do it, but they knew deep down it was bad and many of them tried to abstain. Cigarettes are a good example. But nowadays you have to 'sell' the idea something is wrong - and then you have to 'sell' the idea that it is worthwhile to stop doing that something - before you can even begin the 'cure'.

Maybe that’s why folks tend more and more towards hobbies which are manifestly *not* solitary, but rather are maximized towards connectivity. It seems to me that nowadays being known for something mediocre is more desirable than accomplishing great things in private. That, and the feeling you get when you are zipping down the road at 80 in a 70 mph zone - as long as you are surrounded by others driving the same speed, hey, 'everyone else is doing it' is as good an excuse as any. Right?

But then again, I could be wrong. However, I think it’s quite telling that I find very few hits on Google when I go looking for someone who has raised the subject. Perhaps my search methods are to blame. I simply don’t know.



David White Illustration said...

Great news about "the spot"!

btw, final payment came through free and clear last week. Thanks a lot for all the mech fun!

Anonymous said...

Did you get my e-mail with edits?


Steven Satak said...

Yes, I did, Jeff. Thank you!