Wonderful life advice by Neil Gaiman. He is a writer (of comics like “The Sandman”), but all applies fully to any other artist… and beyond. Including some practical freelance-tips. A must see.
The second week of the portrait month is on.
Painting people for three days in a row really taught me a lot, I should do it more often – else its really just walking in shallow waters. Anyways, here is a work in progress – planning to have two or three more faces on this canvas. And maybe I’ll fill up the white with a dark color so the colors come out more.
There are these little things one learns sometimes, that will affect every day from then on. Little, but powerful. And I think I just came across one of those bits of information: The one piece flow.
Before I write a bit about it, check snappy introduction by Eric Ries. It’s in the middle of a talk – but the video here should start when he gets to this concept (47m 35s) and you can stop at 50m 30s.
So basically the idea of the “one piece flow” is: Do tasks that need several steps (like folding letters and putting them into an envelope) not in single production steps that you batch together, but in one continuous flow.
seems is very counterintuitive, but actually quicker. Toyota uses is for it’s mass production, but it clearly can apply to all kinds of tasks. Physical or not.
Seriously, all my life I thought I’m acting really smart by stacking works – i.e. when creating lots of 3D objects I would create 10 meshes, then map them and then texture all them, instead of just doing each in one go. Duh!
Here are what I think are the main points why it’s effective:
- Like they mention: Less stacks, so more space to work. And less shuffling.
- If steps in the process are broken or there are flaws in the planning, you’ll notice early. Not just when you try to assemble all items.
- You got an item ready early – you can put it to use or ship it to a client. Either case it again might allow you to get feedback.
- It’s less repetitive – it allows you to work in a nice flow.
- You’re more flexible – adding or removing some items is no problem
The whole talk by Eric Ries has a couple concepts that wowed me. So check it out, and if you want a longer explanation of the one piece flow, with the actual envelope test, check this video.
A new portrait of a friend. And just delivered to the gallery for the Portrait Month exhibition, that will start tomorrow.
It’s done in what is now my new studio – I love the diffuse light, even if it makes it all a bit tougher. So there is more to come from that place. And thanks a million to Elise for offering to sit for this portrait. I know it takes a lot of patience.
A pastel drawing from a recent sketch-session in Berlin:
May it please our new eight-legged overlord! To whom this was a homage to.
I’m all serious! If the octopus from this clip is not the most heroic creature that ever walketh the earth…
…. and did you know they have brains in each of their arms?
Thanks to Heiko, Nadia and David for the fun drawing session, the idea aaaand the tip with the Puppet Warp tool in Photoshop. I didn’t even know it existed. If you ever have to animate an octopi, then try it – the tool was made for this job.
Just last year the Dutch government raised the consumption tax on visual art from 6 to 19 percent. I really don’t demand a special status, but raising it just this year again to 21 is gonna be tough. Clients barely had the time to get used to the higher prices… apparently galleries had a drop of sales by 25 percent. One can only guess what the aggregate of 15 percent higher prices will do. Never mind that they hack at all other pillars of support at the same time.
I rambled before about the particular oddity of cutting funds to visual arts in Holland, so I keep this short. If you are an affected artist or think either way that the Dutch government should reconsider: Here is a petition you can sign (featuring 17.000 signatures already).
The extra funny part: Any art that is on a stage (called “podiums art”, so theater and singing) will go back to 6 percent. Now should give the lawmakers credit for following a divide and conquer strategy … or do they simply don’t spend any time thinking laws through? Hmmmm.