I am making a creativity tool
I’m having a happy, busy time at work!
This time last year (or thereabouts) I was in a really bad place mentally and physically. I worked through an infection and a fever because I felt I had to, but still felt like a rubbish contributor at work every day. It has made such a huge positive difference to me to be back at Paymentshield. So, I’m very grateful. Moreover, last year my eyesight degraded in a noticeable way and I had to go to the opticians. They said “prescriptions don’t just develop overnight, your eyes will have been like this for some time”, but after some lifestyle changes (and prayer), my vision has actually gone back to normal. 👀
I find that creative energy breeds creative energy. What do you think? I’m very happy when I get to employ creative juice at $DAYJOB – and sometimes that’s all I’ve got – but on other occasions, the inspiration flows over into hobby time.
Wreck this notebook
I am not an artist. I have this blue notebook for arty things. I bought it in 2012ish and made two or three really high-effort pieces in it. And since then I have been afraid of using the book for anything “less good” than those things I really liked. So in a “wreck this journal” kind of way, I got my Sharpies, scribbled “Ste draws in this book” on the front. Stuck a Glitch sticker on there. Then I just got a normal pen and doodled on the next five pages. Very freeing!
I am making a creativity tool.
I sat down with my book and drew mockups and wireframes of a thing I want to exist.
Have you heard of scrapchatting? You use Figma or Figjam or Kinopio to hold a multimedia conversation with another person, like MSN/AIM/ICQ in 2D space. It feels like there is a whole subculture using fun, creative tools in new ways. Apart from scrapchatting there’s a beautiful aesthetic some people call a comic log. Kicks and WeiWei are making a really nice app called multiverse which is like a social tumblry thing where comic logs are first class citizens. I love the style options on there, even though I did find it a bit overwhelming.
What can you make on a phone?
A lot of these tools are desktop-focused. Sometimes we open our phones because we have five minutes and want to create, not consume… but we can’t all be TikTok dancers and Instafluencers or whatever. I want instant creativity; colour, feeling, energy.
I imagined a satisfying interface for creating comic-log blocks that are filled with personality like a multiverse post… but they connect effortlessly to one another. Perhaps the interface even prompts you for things you might want to write about; ideas, reflections, reminiscences…
A journey of a hundred tiny tools
If you’ve built something you know it’s hard to build a big project all at once. It’s easier, more fun, more engaging, to build lots of small things along the way.
I built a page of palettes. This was surprisingly fun. It has an additional output which is a generated CSS file to use in the next stage…
I built an editor for a single block. In my notebook I planned this to be the minimum viable toy. I find joy from playing with this already, I hope you agree. It works nicely on iPhone!!
I am building tapestory
It’s meant to be tapestry + story, but if you want to read it as Tape Story that’s fine too.
I’ll be making it on Glitch at ~tapestory but it will often be broken while in development!
Oh, the proviso is that I have permission to quit anytime I feel like it 😊 I’ve made one cool output already and that might be it! This project is for my own creative satisfaction and as long as it serves that purpose it may continue.
Thanks for listening! Eat your vegetables, plant some trees 🥕🌳