Passing the Torch

So. I have recently become a person with a tattoo. If you told this to 14-year-old me, she would’ve been very confused and concerned. “Is future me some kind of lawbreaking, hardcore, punk lady….?” (This is how I would’ve thought. I led a relatively guarded childhood.) Thinking of it like this makes me chuckle. It seems to be one of those inevitable things that happen as you grow and change. I’m sure I’d be confused and concerned for 25-year-old me if I could hear about how she’s doing. Regardless, I now I have a torch on my left arm.

IMG_3284

This has layers of meaning, but the most basic story is this: For my summer job, which just ended, I attended training in Tennessee. (For more about this experience go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBav2tWhaNw) While there, I heard a phrase. I don’t remember who said it, but it stuck with me. “Pass the torch.” I had heard this before, but it was put in a new context for me. I have led a very blessed life. Not only was I born white and middle class in the United States, but I also have many good relationships and have been put into a lot of nurturing environments. I am very thankful for all this, but I’m all to aware of the misfortune of others to be fully content. Passing the torch means to give your blessings to another. Someone who hasn’t been as lucky. Whether that means through time, effort, thought, engagement, or some other kind of action. This is a message I want to help define me and my life.

I had an interesting conversation with a good friend a few days before I got the tattoo. We were talking about why we would get tattoos in the first place.  Our answers to this question were very different, but it gave me a lot of clarity on the issue. I want my tattoos (yes I’ll be getting more) to be like signposts for me. I want them to guide my actions, big and small. That’s what I need.

The work I want to do is hard, but worthwhile. I’ll need all the drive I can get. So I’ll begin to lay outlines in my skin for when the going gets rough. Let me know what you guys think.

Thanks,

Meg

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My Not-Planned-But-On-Going Hiatus

Hey you guys!

So I touched on this in the description of my latest video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcKFaVPuujg), but I wanted to go a little more in depth seeing as it’s been about two weeks since I posted that. I have been taking a bit of a YouTube break. Not just from making stuff but from watching stuff too. I still love it, but I feel like sometimes I get a bit too sucked in. Then, I get the chance to be in the physical world for a while and I realize that’s it’s not good for me to stare at a screen for as long as I often do.  With the weather finally getting nice again where I am, I’ve decided that I’m gonna spend less time at computers for a while. I’m not gonna totally vanish, don’t worry. You’ll just see less uploads.

The other half of this involves creativity, quality, and all that jazz. I want to be more conscious of what I focus my creativity on. I want to pay closer attention to the finished products I put out into the world.  In every creative person’s life/career there are always stages of learning and growth. Basically, you have to suck at something a bunch of times until you eventually get decent, then good, then maybe even great. I’ve done a whole bunch of sucking; about seventy videos’ worth. It’s gotten to the point where I know I can do better. I need to step things up if I’m ever going to get to the level I know I’m capable of. I obviously can’t sit around and polish every single project till it’s perfect. And I’m by NO MEANS done sucking. I just want to put out stuff that meets this higher standard.

And now we’ve come to the final order of business. I’ve recently become very disillusioned with vlogging. I can’t really place why I’ve come to feel this way, all I know is that I’d rather focus on other things for a while. I’ll still do Nerdfighters Info and the occasional Thought Box, but my days of making updates and talking just for the sake of talking are over, at least for now. There are more artful ways to tell certain stories.

I’ve still been working on stuff behind the scenes. And I’m pretty excited about what’s to come in the relatively near future. Expect things every now and again. Thanks so much for still hanging around. We’re only getting started.

 

Sending you good thoughts

Meg

 

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When We Live in Circles Analysis

Hey guys. Long time no blog!….. *sigh* I knew I would forget to do this. So I posted a video the other day about internet friendships and distance. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z3lcGoS9z0) It’s been doing well and I’ve been getting awesome feedback!…. BUT DUDE my friend Anna did this analysis and it’s awesome and she’s hilarious. I just wanted to share it. She shared this with me via Facebook, so that’s why it’s all casual. 

“the first time i watched it, i was like “okay so the beginning looks like it’s kind of reaffirming those stereotypes of ‘omg being online is like seeing shadows of people u aren’t really connecting’ and then it shifts to ‘nope these are real connections sucka'”

but even then i didnt feel like the shift quite got the point across

BUT THIS TIME

i thought the beginning was more “LOOK LOOK AT ALL THESE HUMAN CONNECTIONS ALL OF THE FEELINGS” and then we get to your first reaction shot and you look bored, disconncted, but then the shift happens and it’s like “look at these people she connects with!” but then you log off at the end and are all alone and sad in real lyfe”

second full viewing SHOT FO SHOT PEOPLE

“mmkay, so we gots out power coming on… den a shot of wires to imply connections…

then the video presents the people and i have emotions

 like “dese people look at them they so happy they impacting u”
 and den u type back to show “yo i interacting back”
 but honestly without the context that these are your friends slash collaborators, it really seems like these are just youtubers that you watch
 and dont have connections with
 and this is enhanced by your first reaction shot–you’re just bored and killing time on youtube
 and even the time marker seems to imply that time just drags on
 (but i think you meant to imply like “oh nu dont let dis eend”?)
the “you are awesome” montage

and i have feelings-especially when there’s a clip of you

 because it;s like “im part of this–i entertain you!”
 and NFI is a part of this
 and den you have a supportive friend say “you got this” and you say “thank you
 but because of the angle, it feels really…hollow and not a heartfelt message of support and connection
 and this is highlighted by your bored/doubtful reaction shot
 i really like the eye shot that follows of dat person with green eyes
 okay and then there are your eyes in reaction but they arent making contacts with him because they keep wobbling around
 and then you are startled by something
 which is apparently this green dot and i dont know what that is…
 then you’re skyping and seem really happy
then a typing transition…
 and you have an interested fess
okay so you were typing and it feels more like a transition instead of “i interact with yoooou”
and then you will be right back from your hangout–which has a lot of people in it
 but why do you go away from de people? :”(
 ARE YOU TRULY ALONE ON THE INSIDE?
 so then the next shot….
 and you tap your fingers in wait
 but den the people are back
 AND PEOPLE ARE REACTING TO YOU
 the boop on the nose for chelsea is cute
 yeah and i like the glasses on the guy because LOOK WE ARE PARTICIPATING IN SOMETHING AMUSING AND INTIMATE
 and then the evocative high-five with the person
“we connecting!”

and then enthusiastic mouse pad tiem

which is the most active of the computer shots that i’ve seen, like more enaged than the typing ones

okay and for the first two viewings, i thought you were logging out
but you actually dont
(good because…your mousing seemed so engaged before!)
and then you are social networking in your dark little cave
 
so, i guess in summary: the montages of other people are feely but would be more effective if there were more of them reacting to you i get the dyanmic you are trying to make with your facial expressions and how you make a shift, but it undermines the feeliness of those montages also it’s a nice music choice and WELL DONE MAKING IT SHORT”
 
THANKS ANNA <3 And thanks to everyone who has watched the video.
 
-SS-
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Shifting into HIGH GEAR

I’ve been thinking more critically about my content lately (let’s be honest, my thoughts consist of little else). And I think that I’ve been kind of lazy, like, without realizing at all. I used to be proud of myself for putting something out there at all. If I made a video that day, then yes! I’m doing it! Go me! But recently, I’ve been feeling less that way. A lot of my content hasn’t been testing my limits. And if I don’t test my limits, then how will I improve? It’s not gonna cut it anymore for me to just coast. I gotta step up my game. So from now on I do declare that all my videos (except for Thought Box, which will always be  rambly and disjointed) will test some kind of limit I have. I will work to hone my style, and shave off any ideas that don’t meet that criteria. OFF I GO. *ascends into the clouds*

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The Inspiration of the Brotherhood (and Crash Course)

Here’s another vlogbrothers themed post for you guys. *watches as you all collapse in sheer shock and surprise* …It shall come in two parts! *continues talking to your unconscious bodies*

Part 1! 

It’s one of my New Year’s resolutions to watch at least one episode of Crash Course everyday in 2014. But I’m not talking about just passively watching, I mean watching with a notebook in hand, taking notes, actually retaining the information. I started yesterday and I feel good about it. Learning makes me feel good, so I should do more of it.

Part 2!

I’m finally being a good little nerdfighter and going back to watch brotherhood 2.0 from start to finish. So far, it’s pretty hilarious to see how they both used to vlog and how much they have grown in 7 years. But watching also gives me a weird kind of hope. They started out just like anyone else. They were both already fairly accomplished, but in terms of the channel they were just two guys with some project ideas. And they followed through with those ideas. And people noticed. It’s not possible for someone nowadays to grow a YouTube channel like the vlogbrothers did in 2007. But the basics are still there. Think like an innovator, work hard, follow through, and people will start watching.  The vlogbrothers have built something great from that. Maybe so can you or I. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m gonna try my damnedest.

(Also “gonna” and “damnedest” are recognized by wordpress as words… I find that interesting… *texts linguist friend*)  

Have a good day!

-SS-

 

 

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NEW MERCH

Okay, so here are the button details!

I am in the process of setting up an Etsy shop. It will be at this address: https://www.etsy.com/your/shops/SkyheadStudioMerch

Here is where you will purchase the buttons should you so choose! They are $1.50 each plus shipping. And yes, half the profits (the $1.50 PLUS shipping) will go to charity. To start, the money will go to water.org to help people in developing countries build wells to get clean water and such. I want to rotate the charity we donate to every month or so. Tweet me suggestions for future months! (https://twitter.com/skyheadstudio)

For now, all I will sell is bottle cap buttons. But if the interest is shown, then perhaps I will make other merch….

I know we are a small group, but we are mighty! I wanted to do this because you guys deserve dope SkyheadStudio buttons and others deserve to benefit from the little community we got going on here.

Let me know what you think, and, THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART. Let me know if you want to buy a button. Tweet me, comment on this post, send smoke signals LET ME KNOW. 

I also wanted to say that for now I will not monetize SkyheadStudio videos. The gain is too little to justify bothering you with more ads. Plus, I want to keep my focus on all the important stuff like you guys and creative integrity and all that jazz.

Thanks guys! Here’s to a good 2013, and to an even better 2014.

Cheers!

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P4A is GO!

Today I embark on writing and filming for my Project for Awesome video! I’ve decided to choose a charity that deals with homelessness, because I believe it is a huge issue that has a lot of stigma and misconception around it. The deadline snuck up on me this year so I’m kind of racing to finish, but I know it will be so worth it to make one and hopefully raise awareness and money for this issue. I hope you guys are making videos too! If not, I hope you get involved. Donate to the Foundation to Decrease Worldsuck, comment on the P4A videos, and tune in to the vlogbrothers channel tomorrow for the livestream!

DFTBA everyone! Let’s make this year’s P4A the best and biggest yet!

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