the wind in the willows// changling

I will be attending the Toronto Comic Arts Festival today! Don’t know what this is? Well, if you’re in the Toronto area, you can come and find out~ In addition, we heading to the Ontario College of Art and Design University to see their 97th Graduate Art Show.


Lots of friends off on vacation, so it’s a little quiet. I found a site that does 3DS Meet-Ups, but it’s very quiet and…impersonal, in a way. I wouldn’t mind holding one after Anime North, since I’m pretty sure everyone will be procrastinating on their cosplay very busy during the summer.

Really tired from work, I should sleep.

Several things to report:
a. Successfully hung out with another anime club
They’re a pretty cool gang- the tradition of the “anime club” continues strong. 

b. Found out what “technical writing” really means, and despite it being the extreme version of being a proofreader and a valid excuse to be paid to be “detail-orientated”, perhaps this isn’t the ideal job I was thinking about.

Being treated at work to lunch. 

c. Translated 20 cards from Japanese relatively accurately. I’ll leave it you to guess what I’ve been up to. XD

d. Got a chance to meet Allen Lau, CEO and co-founder of Wattpad at the Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference last week.

He talked a lot about not “missing the boat” in terms of the possibilities that technology is offering up at this moment in time. Things that coming to life today could not have been thought possible ten years ago..and perhaps, it’s a little incentive to go out of your way to be do something else, do something else.
The most interesting thing about his talk extends beyond his take on “social media.” I’m a little tired of how much emphasis is placed on that word, but this is different. On one level, Wattpad operates without a business model, at least, according to Lau. The idea, the users and their content create the interest and drive the project forward, and that’s all there is to it. It’s the less the product, and more about the platform. He also spoke about the future of the publishing industry. This is probably why I found him more interesting to listen to than Jeremy Bailey of Freshbooks.

Jeremy Baily, perhaps, is the person that I found on the opposite end of the spectrum. He graduated from a MFA (Masters of Fine Arts) program, and is currently the Art Director at Freshbooks. I found it really interesting that he learned what people would define as “interactive design” or “user design” on the job, the hard way. In a way, I think this is a way of working “blind” in an environment. There’s coders, designers, artists…maybe I’m just asking for a more well-rounded generation of artists.

I know that I came out of a distinctly “Arts” background, but I’ve always felt that “art” is best found “in context.” Maybe that’s one of the reasons I don’t fit in at the Fine Arts program at school. “Design” is “art” in my head, and I see a lot more things are more interesting “art” when I see it in, say, science. Or in a clever engineering project. Or a well-coded program. Or math in an origami shape. Art was never “beautiful” in one specific way, and I’m really starting to dislike traditional forms of it. Yes, they have value, but why must we hold onto them so tightly?

But anyways, there was Wattpad, and it’s implications. I’ve been more interested in Wattpad over the year, and the more I think about it, it sounds like a kind of like a place I would like to work someday. I’ve told some people want I wanted to be, what I’ve tried to do (ex. apply to be an intern at Hachette Books every term), but not always. I guess I don’t want to come off as flaky or unsure, even though I’m more unsure than most people. Wattpad- kills the original idea we used to have abut publishing. That’s what I love about it, really. I know I might cause some of my writer friends to dislike me because I hold doubts in my heart when they tell me they want to make money off their writing.

Wattpad was an interesting turn-of-events for me, I think. I found out about it through a friend that dropped off the face of Deviantart, and resurfaced on Wattpad. That, in itself, is a demonstration of how Wattpad catches on. Not only that, it deals in stories. It’s a social environment that fosters growth and retains it’s members. Although there is no monetary value from uploading content, there is the feedback and following of other users.

People love to talk about the death of the book, the death of the newspaper. Perhaps. News itself does not make the newspaper, and neither does the author of the book. Maybe you’ll become a billionaire writer, and you can come back and laugh that I doubted you. But I think…the value of the writer, the word, is quickly changing. It’s not disappearing…in fact, I think we look at more words than ever, since we’re so attached to our electronic devices.

The word itself will not lose it’s value. But the creator? The author? The “death of the author” has been hundreds of years in the making, since humans gained the ability to replicate works en mass. I don’t see how fighting uphill in a shrinking industry whose model needs a lot of change is worth pinning your hopes and dreams on. Not all of them, anyway. I do believe in friends that have the guts to go do it anyway, but I just want you guys to take care, pay attention, and do your best. Don’t waste time talking about it, just do it already! Want to write for a paper? Go apply. Want to start a blog? Do it. Fill it up. Even if it’s full of crap, you’re practicing, and it’ll get better.

I’ve wanted to be hundreds of different things over time as I grew up, and I can’t be them all, but maybe merging all the large pieces that I used to hold to, still hold to, will mean I’ll understand where to go from here.

But hey, what do I know.

Two things to check out:
Rchard Johnson, News Illustrator for that National Post and Track Team’s music for the Legend of Korra.

Bonus image:
Courtesy CUTC2012.

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