Release notes: February 2020
See all reflections.
In February 2020, I started a YouTube channel, created a visualizer, pattern generator, and creative tool, started brainstorming ideas for tech talks - both work and personal -, did my taxes, and increased my estimated yearly networth by ~$550 through the opening of a Roth IRA.
For the highlights of my release notes checkout my video:
For more details / links, read on:
In projects, I've been putting a lot of effort into my brand, what it consists of, and how to continue growing it.
HAMY Labs YouTube channel
The biggest thing I did this month was start a YT channel! Well I didn't really start it this month, but I got inspired to treat it as a core outlet this month. If you want to hear more about it directly from me, check out my video:
Otherwise, the highlights are:
- I've been thinking about video as a medium for several different projects
- YT is still king of video
- It's a market I haven't tapped into yet
- I have a lot of stage fright and want to work through that
To limit my opportunity for risk and ensure that I'm putting in the effort to test whether this is a promising endeavor for me, I've committed to making at least 10 videos by the end of the half with the caveat that I can only spend up to 2 hours per video to ensure that I am optimizing publishing things vs perfecting them endlessly. My win goals were originally to have 1000 views on my videos and to have made $1 off ads, but YT has a minimum requirement of 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours before monetization so my new goal is to have 1000 views and 100 subscribers by the end of the half.
It's not gonna be easy, but I'm pretty giddy about making videos to share with people so that's at least a good sign I'll enjoy the process.
making more art
I dove back into creating more art with code, starting with creatng some sort of audio -> visual system for sounds from @steve.isspace's new album.
The second was shifter, one of my first forrays into what I like to call creative tooling. I'd been thinking a lot about how algorithms were an empowerment to human creativity and ways to bring back some manual control to the human agent to aid in output computation. Shifter itself is pretty 2d but I enjoyed the process - both the building of the tooling and subsequent play times with it - so I think this idea will re-emerge in future projects.
The next thing I built this month was randform, a simple pattern generator. Visual patterns are something I often think about and I thought that it might be useful to go ahead and build an engine to produce said patterns so that whenever I came up with one I could minimize the obstacles between my idea and reality. It's still in its infancy code-wise, but I think I'll be getting a lot of use out of this one.
I came out with a new draw type for my #blinder series as part of my ongoing burn on what it means to create natural marks. This instance involved creating squiggly curves to make #blinder's traditionally static lines a bit more organic. The curves are a bit aggressive to actually appear organic but it was a fun process and involved diving into math I hadn't thought about in years.
sharing more art
In addition to making more art, I've also been thinking about different ways to share more broadly the art I have been making. My motivations for this are several: to grow a larger audience, to find artists that are into similar things, and to build a critical mass of buyers to turn this practice into a business.
New York has a thriving art scene (and one backed with a lot of money) so if there's anywhere I could make a splash, it would be here. So far I haven't been accepted into any galleries / exhibitions but I'm just getting started and hope that my two-pronged approach - online and in-person - will at least increase my odds of getting this thing off the ground.
If you know of any entities looking for some code art / wanting to collab, let me know!
sharing more tech
On the sharing note, I've decided to move tech talks further up my priority list. Tech talks are something I thoroughly enjoy - a rather intimate sharing of process, knowledge, and humanity. It's something that I kind of do already, albeit in prose, here on my sites but something I've increasingly wanted to do in-person for the last few years.
As such, I've started adding goals for the next few weeks to create talks and present them to people like friends, local Meetups, and followers of my YouTube channel in an effort to start ramping myself up in both confidence and experience. I'll share more here as I accomplish said goals.
At work I've been focused on creating a solid plan for the half and building a muscle for identifying, designing for, and executing on inefficiencies in large systems.
As part of that plan, I've been slowly positioning myself to start giving tech talks for IG! This is super cool for me as, as I've said, I really want to get into giving tech talks and what could be better than giving them for a world-renowned company you actually use! At the same time it's a little scary as now I have a path to what I want to do but I don't really have any talks I feel I can give that are both interesting and meet the high bar we've set for shares.
I know these fears are surmountable, but that makes them no less real. I plan to combat them with some deep dives into current talks of similar calibers being given around the country, brainstorms of knowledge that I could share that might interest people, and surveys of the people I know to ask what they're interested in hearing about!
If you're interested in knowing more about how IG does something (or even something non-IG related) let me know! Worst case I can't talk about it and best case maybe I can do a whole talk about it!
Aside from thinking of talks, I've been building habits to stay on and ahead of the schedules I've set through personal organization and time management tweaks as well as to seek out and scope new build opportunities as they arise through the addition of new prompts to my brainstorm lists.
My priority in #self was to shore up my financial position with respect to the future.
In this effort I increased my savings rate to 50%, did my own taxes for the first time, and ran the numbers on opening a Roth IRA which, by my calculations, will make me an extra ~$550 / year with little / no extra effort.
Nothing specific to share here - just been roaming round.
Thanks for tuning in this month! If you've got a sec, please sub to my new yt channel!
As always if you've got Qs / feedback / want to collab - lmk
Until next month,