April

It’s been a while, hasn’t it! I’m going to strive to make more updates on here, not least because I need to make sure I’m reflecting on my learning. Recently I had a severe bout of “I’m terrible at everything” so I think it would do me some good to look at what I’ve learned recently.

Firstly, a little more on that last point. I don’t believe I’m terrible at everything. I am however aware that I’ve spent a lot of my life being indecisive; picking up new skills before the last one was fully developed. I’ve dipped my toe into just about every industry I’ve had a vague interest in, but I’ve never truly immersed myself in a particular thing. I’ve played guitar for 19 years, I’ve been designing for at least 12 and I’ve animated in a professional capacity for about 5 of those. All the while I’ve played around with other areas of music (I’ve been a drummer, vocalist, keyboardist, and if I want to go back far enough a violinist too!), while I’ve expanded into web design, programming, 3D and even a bit of photography in my professional work too*.

So no, I’m not terrible at everything. I’ve got a whole list of talents that I’ve spent the years developing. It’s just that my talents are spread thinly across a huge wide area. I am a Jack of all trades, and part of me wishes I could be a master of one. Before I can do that though, I’ll need to decide what exactly it is I want to be a master of. More on this at a later date…

In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been up to…

I worked on a really nice animation brief back in December, creating some HUD graphics that would be included in a video for an engineering company. Since the elements I created were just intended to be used in the background, I had a lot of freedom to play around and focus on the effect we were trying to achieve, rather than conveying any sort of message or meaning. You can read more about it and see the work in context on my website here.

I also updated the website for my music project Steve and the Sea. Previously I’d been hosting this on Tumblr using a customised theme, but after running into problems (namely Tumblr blocking JavaScript on pages) I decided to switch to WordPress. This was my first time building a theme almost from scratch (I used the BlankSlate theme by Tidy Themes) instead of a child theme, and it was surprisingly easy. Really I should be putting more time into making some actual music, but that might have to wait until I can find more time for it.

Otherwise, I’m in the middle of two new modules at university.

The first is Interactive 3D Programming, in which I’m building a game in C#. In all honesty, it’s been a massive pain with lots of gaps in teaching, and it’s taking a lot of work to understand any of it, but I’ll keep at it.

The other is Technology Enhanced Learning Environments. I’ve been interested in this area pretty much since I started working with interactivity, so I’m quite enjoying the module. We’ve been learning about learning theories and motivation which has been really intriguing. I’m developing a prototype for a Virtual Learning Environment which focuses on teaching career planning, but could potentially be used to support any long-term projects. I’ll tell you more about these when they’re done.

That’s it for now. I’ll post again in a few days, and ideally twice a week from now on. But we’ll see…

*Music would be classed as professional too, if it ever paid.

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