Thursday, February 12, 2009

First Meeting

Ok, since I called this Make Stuff Now, instead of Later..... I think I'm going to just throw this out there and we'll see how it goes. Tuesday March 3rd at 7pm.... 66 Regent Terrace in Milford (My House). I know this isn't perfect for everyone but I really don't want to sit on this and I think it might be fairly accessible to most of us.... Don't feel like you can't show up late either... I think what we're doing will still be relevant even if you miss some of it.

That being said... anyone that plans on coming.... email me at jimaltieri (at) mac (dot) com with 2 words. I'll mix them up and put them in a hat and then send you your first words via email. I know we don't have a full month but I'm sure we can manage to get something together.... plus we can test this whole thing out and see if it works properly or if we need to tweak the process.

A couple of things to keep in mind.

1. Show something.... it's better than nothing.

2. No excuses.... It's not fair to have people critique stuff and then say... well, if I had more time... or I wanted to do this but couldn't. If you wanted to do it.... then do it and show us that instead.

3. We all see something different when we look at art and I don't really want this to be us sitting in a circle telling each other that everything looks great. Critiques should be constructive and we can't say... I like that - or I don't like that... and not have a reason... so if you're critiquing make sure you have reasons to back it up either way.

4. Bring two words with you.

5. Take everything with a grain of salt. Critiques can get opinionated and heated sometimes but I've worked on many things with Bill for example... where we disagreed on things 100%, but then I went back and worked on it some more and it was better in the end. So sometimes... it's not so much the specifics of what someone is saying, rather than the process of you being open to revisiting it and owning up to yourself that it might not be the best you can do.

6. Every month is a new project. 2 new words... A complete new start. I think we'd all love to see previous projects if any of us decide to go back and rework them or ad to them but I think we'll have to save that for the end of the meeting or maybe just casually before we start... but I think the focus should always be the new project. I think that a lot of times too, we get hung up on 'fixing' something and don't move forward. This allows us to move on and incorporate what we've learned into a completely fresh situation.

7. Lets try new things.... I think this can apply to music, sculpture, video, photography, drawing, painting - you name it. So lets not always stick to the same medium. Lots of times, if you're trying to get better at say - painting, doing a sculpture will help you take the next step in painting better... for example.

Ok, enough of that... I think this gives you an idea of where I'm coming from. So let's get to it... Email me your words if you can make it or even if you just want to participate through the blog. I'm sure we'll run into a few snags but we'll work through them once they appear.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Ok, so just to keep this separate from the other posts. Let's talk schedule.
It seems we have two groups here.... one that has kids and is probably busy most the weekend and one that is working later at night. If we go forward with this being more of a critique/idea session I can see this working if we get together after work at maybe 7ish and waiting to start until 8 if that fixes Dan's scheduling. Gino.. chime in here too... are weeknights pretty much out for you altogether or is there something that can work on a weeknight for you? I don't think Tues or Thurs is a problem for me if that works better for Paul. I'm guessing we just need like 2 or 3 hours to do this so 8 to 11 is fine with me. I'm guessing we can do this a my house, or any of our places.... or even a coffee shop or somewhere that is friendly to us hanging out for a few hours. I'll do some more thinking about that but we can for sure do the first one at my house.

I could probably do a Saturday morning once a month as well, not sure how that would work for DJ though because I'm so intimate with his schedule.. i know he has Max whilst Rory is at dancing school with Ella (thereby freeing me up).

Alright... I've said enough.... discuss....

Some Ideas

So, driving home last night I did a lot of thinking about this and a year or 3 ago, I had a similiar idea and was trying to remember the details of my idea. Here's my concept. We all say we're going to do things that we want to do.... but at least I personally feel like we either aren't motivated or don't prioritize doing that thing.... there are other things that come up and we push it to the back of the line. But if you have to do something for someone else, it seems to get done because it's not for yourself.

After thinking of the logisitics of all this, I think it might be hard to have enough time, or space, or whatever... to produce stuff during our meeting.... but it should rather provide the motivation to make stuff throughout the entire month. So the meeting would be more of a show of what we've produced.... and then a critique by everyone in the group. Plus if some of us are interested in the 'how' of what someone is doing, we'll have time to share tips about different materials... equipment.. software.. etc. I would say the most important thing is knowing that you have to show up with something in hand to show for the month and being ready to have that piece critiqued on it's own.. free of excuses why it may or may not be your best work.... it has to be your best work.

So basically the meetup provides the motivation to make stuff. It provides a forum to bounce ideas off your peers and get your work critiqued so that you can improve your work.

Finally, I think that when given this blank canvas, most of us spend a year trying to figure out what the perfect thing to do is... I know I've done it myself many times where I spend lots of time figuring out what it is I'm going to do and planning it out and then I end up doing nothing. So my final proposal is this. That we each bring 2 concepts with us to each meeting, we put them in a hat and then pull 2 out..... and our work for that month incorporates those 2 concepts. So say I pull out "snow" and "farting".... well, I'll be trying to shoot a photo of a snowman farting, or doing a sketch of that, or making a webcomic about that (Paul). I think this is kind of important and the thing that gets me most excited about doing this.... because you know as soon as you get those pieces of paper, you'll have ideas flowing and I think it's the limitations of those concepts that will really help us to move forward and just start creating right away without wasting a lot of time on ideas.

The other thing I think that will happen is you'll get these limitations and all of a sudden have ideas that you really want to do that don't incorporate them.. which is really what this is all about... getting the juices flowing and inspiring you do more work for yourself.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Talked to Paul today and we decided we need to make stuff. We're all slackers and should force ourselves to create things of the artistic persuasion now before we get all wrinkly and old and dead. So let's make stuff. I propose some sort of group event once a month where we get together and share what we've made and then actually make something. So get your cameras, your sketchbooks, your poetry diary... whatever you want to create more of that might lend it self to getting done during our meetup and bring it with you. How does the first Monday night of each month work for you guys? Let me know. We'll work it out.