Nothing will slow down artistic momentum (or any other kind of momentum) quite like being sick. Yep, last week I caught some sort of cold/flu/sinus thing that kept me away from the drawing board, off the bicycle, and on the couch for almost a week. Two days of it came with a really bad sore throat which was the worst of it and all the other days came with a lot of fatigue. It killed whatever artistic momentum I had before hand though I don’t think I had a lot. I can’t seem to remember what I was thinking about the week before but that’s part of the momentum killing.

The first thing I managed to get done after getting better was a video from the NYC Comic Con from back in June. I went there on the Sunday of the con and spent some time shooting video with the intention of editing something together like the Bryant park one that I made a little while ago. This one seemed to be a little harder to make since I didn’t want to just repeat myself but didn’t really have a firm grasp on what I wanted to do.

Luckily I had already made a song for the video in Garage Band the week before. I seem to be getting pretty good at Garage Band. I find that it’s something I can do for about fifteen minutes before bedtime to relax myself a bit. Most work that close to bedtime will just keep me up but I seem to be okay with moving around music loops. I even made a second song before I started making the video because I was enjoying myself.

Before I got sick I had looked at the video but hadn’t gotten any ideas. Though I’ve been doing the video work on my desktop with iMovie that’s not where I first look at the video to get ideas. I put all the minute or so long video files onto an SD card and plug that card into my laptop. Then I watch individual files in Quicktime looking for interesting visual bits to give me an idea of how to structure the thing. For my first video I had the SD card in my laptop for no more than a week. I think it was more like half a week before I got started on the final video. This time the SD card sat in my laptop for over a week with no end it sight when that cold/flu/sinus things hit me on that Sunday.

It was the following Sunday when I was finally feeling better that I decided I had to get back to doing some creative work. I did a little drawing but couldn’t get anything started. It was Sunday evening before my mind drifted back to the Comic Con video. I still had no solid visual idea for it but I decided I should get to work on it anyway and actively work out the idea by editing rather than passively work on it by just watching. It turned out this was a good choice.

The song was, once again, the key to the whole thing. The song I made for the Bryant Park video was a melodic dance thing so I purposely made this some something different. It’s more of an ambient dance thing. My music vocabulary is limited but that’s what they seemed to be to me. Whatever they are the two musical pieces had different structures from one and other. I used the structures to make the videos around.

iMovie is consumer level video editing and though it’s good over all it’s not always easy to work in the way I want to. I think my way is a bit peculiar though. The first thing I do is put in the song I made. Though once it’s in iMovie it’s one track so I also have to have the song open in Garage Band in order to see the loops. I match the edit to the timing of the loops. Despite having to go back to Garage Band to see the exact loop timing it’s a fairly easy process. A loop is two seconds long and I can make a video clip exactly two seconds long. The problem comes after the first minute.

The first minute of the movie in iMovie is measured in seconds. Minutes and seconds. That’s makes sense. But as soon as you pass one minute the time becomes a decimal rather than seconds. Suddenly it’s 1.1 minutes. What’s .1 of a minute and where are my seconds? Seriously, 1.7 minutes?!? That does me no good. I could find no preference to change this so the timing of my video is only precise in its first minute. That’s a bit annoying. I got it finished though.

I was able to gain some momentum and get back to drawing later on in the week. I was happy about that. I started with some easy stuff. Worked in my ink book drawing, made some of the brush and ink drawings that I had been doing before I got sick, and even made a ten minute video drawing at art card size. But it wasn’t until I stared to get images stuck in my head that I knew I was all better.

It was on that following Tuesday that I started to get a picture in my mind. It wasn’t so much a specific picture as it was a type of picture. It was one of my complex drawings. I even tried to start off little slowly by doing some inking over a complex drawing that I had already made but then I ended up on a detour fixing a part of that drawing that I wasn’t happy with. After that I got on with it. I was able to satisfy the vision in my head with a new complex drawing. Lots of little figures and do-dads and decorative things. It was good to be able to satisfy a vision in my head and feel like I had a little momentum. It was good to even have a vision in my head. Those aren’t always easy to come by and sometimes I think they’ll never come back but once again they did. That’s a good thing.