WTF is this shit?

“I came here for random shots of Tim Roth! Where are they?”

Yeah. That’s not what this is. If you’re looking for random shots of Tim Roth, let me Google that for you. When you’re done looking at that, you’re more than welcome to come back and watch me backing my brain into a corner and poking it with a stick.

Listen. Here is the bird and the bird is the word and this is how it flies.

1. TAKE a Random Tim Roth

What’s a RTR? I’ll tell you.

Once upon an Intertime, @TimRothLietoMe @TRhooligan1 started throwing down the random, sometimes called the Ran Dom, on the Twitter. These little tweets are basically discussion starters thrown out and left to percolate in the collective conscious of our 01001101011010 life streams.

Here is an example:

They sit there and if people’s brains are properly fondled by the thought, they tweet something back. In the olden days, I hear-tell that this was called a conversation. I think it still is.

I’ve never hit ‘reply’ and it’s not because my brain is unfondleable. It’s just that he tends to throw these Ran Doms out when I’m a warm lump of fleshy coal under my East Coast duvet. I enjoy his brain leakage as much as the next person, but I’m not going out of my way to stick around and sop it with a hunk of crusty idea bread. That’s what scroll bars are for.

Never mind. Carry on.

The point is, I think the RTR is an golden opportunity for Brain stretch.

The RTR is an opportunity to push Brain around and see if it punches back.

The RTR is a chance to experiment. Then experiment more. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

2. MAKE something

Anything. It’s not really important what it is, it just has to have its creative genesis in the RTR tweet.

Process is simple: Brain will spend Thinky Time on the nugget, followed by a period of Prepy Time (where I can explore design techniques or find source materials), and then actual Sit-down-and-doey Time.

The project must involve me playing in an area outside my comfort zone, where the potential for failure is highest. I’ve decided to focus primarily on design projects to begin with, since I’m good at the ideas and vision but shit at the execution.

Learn by doing. It’s the only way to improve. And Brain is about to get done like a dinner.

3. SHOW it to people

I don’t fail nearly enough. Actually I do, but usually it’s behind closed doors. I stuff these failures into trash cans, sometimes ripping them into a thousand papery pieces ‘just in case’ the garbage men tape it back together for a laugh. Digitally it’s easier. Delete. Gone. Have a pint and forget about it.

This stops now.

I’ve declared 2011 Year of the Brain. It’s time for risk.

Feedback can be positive and negative. Rough and smooth – and very effin’ rough sometimes. But just as the process of making teaches Brain how to work through problems, the exposure to criticism teaches Brain who it is.

I’m not saying Brain is bulletproof. Brain gets hurt. Brain pouts and cries and goes silent. But without risk of failure, all you have is complacency, and who wants to live like that?

Words hurt. Words lift. Words teach. Brain thinks it’s worth the risk.

I also intend to show as much of the process that gets me to the finished product as possible. You’ll see the scribbled list of ideas, the discards, plus all the initial efforts and steps and mini-failures that lead to the finished product (which may also be a failure). I’m just opening the back door of my brain to show you just how much shit is in there, and that everyone has bad ideas. I do. You do. But all you gotta remember is that ideas cost nothing. Thinking is free. Anyone can do it. So do.

I’m not a designer by any stretch of the imagination, so I’m scared. Grab your laughing gear, It’s gonna be good bad good. I look forward to fashioning your ridicule into a bowl and wearing it as a hat.


The success of each project will be judged by me upon completion, and rated on the SBP (Stick, Brain, Poke) scale.

1 stick = FAIL
2 sticks = Mild failure
3 sticks = MEH
4 sticks = Led Zeppelin
5 sticks = WIN!

What does it all mean?

1 stick = FAIL
Although I think a person learns more at the start by failing than succeeding, I would like to point out FAIL is an option, not a mandate. But to get 1 stick, the project needs to be a spectacular blob of shit on my shoe. Consider the following criteria:

  • Was the idea pleasing to Brain?
  • Did the finished product match the vision of Brain?
  • Was Brain poked hard enough to learn something?
  • Is Brain embarrassed to release it to the rabid internet dogs?

  • Three nos and a yes? Get out the shoe shit rag, I’m on turd patrol.

    2 sticks = Mild failure
    This indicates that there’s something salvageable from this disaster. Maybe I learned a new technique in Illustrator, or was introduced to the amazing work of a new artist in the discovery phase? Either way, there is something about the process or result that saved it from a one stick beating. Or perhaps I’m subliminally telling myself to buy a drum kit.

    3 sticks = MEH
    Ok, so I learned some stuff – nothing ground breaking – and the end result is pretty decent but nothing to wet my pants about. I shrug. Meh. 3 sticks. Move on. NEXT!

    4 sticks = Led Zeppelin
    You know what it’s like. It’s Sunday afternoon and you turn on the TV and “The Song Remains the Same” just happens to be on. And you’re a little bit drunk because you’ve had a lager and it’s Led Zeppelin, 1973 on stage, man. Jimmy’s rockin his velvety star pants and that legendary guitar, while Bonzo is sweating and thumping away while sporting his headband of destiny. He of the golden locks is strutting around stage with his shirt open and they’re jammin’ and it’s electric and perfect, but something keeps nagging. Something’s not quite right. Although it doesn’t make the performance any less legendary, it keeps catching your eye. It’s…it’s just right there. Lurking. Distracting. What is it? How do I say this delicately?

    Four sticks is an almost WIN, but a metaphorical jeans-penis is restrained somewhere in the design, rendering it not quite perfect.

    5 sticks = WIN!
    Brain has asked finished product to marry it. They’re going to live in Hawaii. Brain will learn to surf. I actually can’t see myself giving any project this. But who knows? Perhaps ego will jam a wet chloroform rag over Brain’s imaginary mouth and take control of the rating system. Perhaps.

    5. NEXT!

    Think it. Build it. Break it. Remake it. Share it. Walk away.
    [repeat sequence]*

    * Apply this philosophy to life in general.

    One Response to “WTF is this shit?”

    1. V July 10, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

      This is fucking awesome. You rock! Seriously. And to think I stumbled upon this website by accident! Keep going!

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