After my industrious session of shopping and preparing, my fatigue got the better of me, and I ended up spending the middle of Saturday afternoon in a half-conscious daze on the sofa. However, I did manage to get some good source material from the microKORG before heading out for dinner in Kagurazaka. This week I don’t think I can afford myself any relaxation (TNG) given the amount of time remaining, so I’ll be spending my nights this week in the cycle of producing and processing audio data between Sound it! and Cakewalk (yes, I’m a ghetto rookie). The thing is, since I doubt any one person is going to be staying around my booth for more than fifteen minutes, I actually don’t need any more music than that for my audience. However, I have no doubt that I will loathe my own compositions enough to want to quit music forever if I have to listen to a twenty-minute loop for nine hours.
Thanks to some Illustrator tips I got from Risako, I managed to put together a personal business card that I don’t hate completely. Of course, after uploading it to the print shop online, I’ve already come up with a number of shortcomings (e.g. I don’t list the fact that I’m an engineer anywhere on the card). [This in itself is interesting in that I spend over seventy percent of my life being one.] Still, it really improved during last night’s power session after watching X-Men 2 on Asahi TV’s Sunday night movie.
I’m beginning to notice patterns in design that are pleasing to me. Everything seems to start out big and complicated, and I iteratively whittle away at what I want to convey until in the end I just have a condensed, subdued morsel left over from my initial delusions of grandeur. One of the key points to creation (at least for me), is to be acutely aware of my resources and limitations (time, technical skill, ability to focus), and do the best I can with that. Stretching myself to accomplish more than what is feasible is what results in half-finished and flat looking material. After flipping through the couple hundred business cards I have piled up on my corner shelf, I realized that the ones that appealed to me most were the ones that didn’t have bitmapped backgrounds, tons of text, or bold marks. To me, professional is subtle curves, thin lines, and a conservative use of space. Everyone has their own sense I suppose, but I think it’s more than chance that I embrace this kind of philosophy now after growing continually disenchanted with inefficiency, hype, and gluttonous amounts of shellac on a dearth of substance. At last, I am learning to accept this is part of a process for continual improvement, and not push myself beyond what I can adeptly accomplish. I must be content and proud of what is achievable now. To illustrate remedial concepts with prowess and exhibit the glistening promise of future potential will serve me well, I believe.
I also had several depressing reminders that Japan is small and you always have to be thinking of other people before you do something. Putting nails into pine is a very noisy process, and can’t be done in my home, in front of my house in the alley, or in fact anywhere near any number of tightly clustered buildings. I went to the park to assemble the base of my display, but ultimately succeeded only in learning that there are way too many biting insects in late summer, and nails are good for little more than hanging pictures. I have since upgraded my philosophy to screws, which, by the way, quickly show just how overpriced the low-grade lumber at Tokyu Hands really is.