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Projects Galore and Even More
"Busy, Busy and Productive Week"
Friday, April 29, 2022
by Tom Sylvest, Jr.

Tomorrow I am hopping in the car early in the morning and heading West. My destination is the Houston area. I intend to visit a colleague with whom I share an interest in art, graphic facilitation and collaborative design. He relocated to Magnolia, Texas from Chicago. He may be experiencing cultural shock. I wanted to see for myself. I will also visit some paternal cousins on my way back.

I am carving out this time for a road trip to relax. I got so much done this week that I felt free to grab some fun time. Originally, I expected a buddy of mine from Pensacola Beach to drop into Baton Rouge for a visit. I spun up my activities and attacked my to do list with gusto. By the time I completed my tasks, chores and objectives, my schedule was free and clear. My buddy decided not to come to Baton Rouge and spend some Mother’s Day time with his mama. Can’t fault him for that. I wish I had mine to honor.

Without my friend visiting me, I had time on my hands. The yard work was done and my “to do list” looked good. Now I’m off to Houston for an over-nighter. I need some road time to think about the steps I took this week.

Book Project

I began the week visiting with a local printer that can help me produce my first book. The vision is to provide a compilation of some of my cartoons to commemorate my twenty-fifth year with a website on the internet. I do not intend to eat the whole elephant at once. I just want to take a bite. I need to see what the market looks like for the niche I serve.

The meeting with the printer allowed me to gather information on the parameters for the project. I have the software suite that the printer uses. I have an idea of the number of pages, page sizes, images per page, layouts, and binding consideration. We even discussed the number of printed books and print-on-demand possibilities. I could not be happier with this meeting to initiate the printing aspect of this project.

T-Shirt Project

The Spanish Town Ladies Auxiliary has a fund-raising cruise planned for June. I was honored they asked me to contribute with a design for their cruise t-shirts. I have done numerous designs for Spanish Town Mardi Gras activities. Bayou Apparel has been our printer in recent years. I have enjoyed working with them, but most of our work has been by phone and e-mail. Monday I decided I needed to visit their operation, see their set-up, and meet the personnel that have helped me through numerous struggles. That little bit of face time went a long way to solidify my understanding and relationship with folks with whom I will work in the future.

NFT Project

My good friend, wonderful supporter, and owner of the world-famous Pasttime Restaurant, Randy Wesley, has encouraged me since January 2022 to pursue the NFT market with my collection of TigerToons. I took some time out Monday afternoon to visit with Randy. I can’t remember the last time we saw each other face-to-face. I needed to update him on my progress and thank him for his valuable encouragement. His faith in me and my work have kept me energized to explore this non-fungible token idea.

I have read articles, watched videos, attended webinars, and spoken on the phone to numerous experts. With everything else I am doing, these past few months have been a deep learning experience for me. Block-chain, and NFTs within that universe, are still a mystery to most people. Is it a bubble ready to burst? What does its future hold? Is it real or a huge scam? So many questions are still out there. For me, I will take the plunge given what I perceive as a minimal risk to me and mine. I am very risk-averse, but not so much so that I cannot commit small amounts of resources to something that could be huge.

Band Image Project

Back in February, I was asked to come up with a few imagery ideas for a local band named Mr. Man. My friend, Jerry Padgett, is the leader of the band and we have known each other through LSU sports for years. I have not had a lot of success generating ideas I consider worthwhile. I fell back on drawing caricatures of the band members as a first step to get me going. That was a huge help and got the dialogue running about the possibilities. We aren’t there yet, but this progress has been what I needed for months.

Timmons' Project

I have been fighting with myself over the way I should begin the delivery of my mentors' materials to you guys. I need a decent beignning video to get this thing started. I have other videos ready, but not an initial one. I am afriad I have been caught by my penchant for perfection and my tendency to stifle myself with "paralysis by analysis." This happens to me when it comes to writing or artwork. I do not have a blockage in my creativity. I have the problem of choosing between very good alternatives. But it is as if I cannot overcome the white canvas or white page. Same fricking result.

Arrrrrgh! I hate it.

Enough time has passed that I feel guilty for not starting and just selecting one of the approaches I have imagined. I overcame the obstacle today, Friday, by admitting my problem and writing a script to kick this off. Of course, I will sleep on it, edit it, and change it. I will move forward next week and produce the first instructional video for release next week.

Cascading Style Sheets

I signed up for a 21-Day Challenge with Kevin Powell, a web designer, to learn CSS in a learn-by-doing format. I reached day 16. I have progressed in my understanding of CSS more than any other way of the past. I am getting very good at using what I have learned for my own purposes. I don’t want to become a web developer. However, I appreciate what it takes to create the fabulous website experiences people take for granted. This education will assist me in monetizing my work, reaching my current following, expanding my reach, and delivering valuable content to my various audiences.

Yeah! This old guy isn’t going quietly into the night.

In Summary

Those were the major accomplishments this week. I hope you either had as productive a week or will have one soon. In addition, to these achievements, I also got my yard into the best shape it has been since before the 2016 Flood. I had he tools and equipment. I had the time. I had the weather on my side. And my health and injuries are not an impediment.

Thus, off to H-town I go.