A Teleological Tweaking is in Order
Welcome, everyone! Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and/or other Winter Holiday Celebration.
For a while now, I've come to realize that the twofold purpose of The Bradshacalypse I proposed in a previous post and have since structured the site around is a bit, shall we say, schizoid. By that, I mean one purpose has little to do with the other purpose, at least not at first glance. It's time to take this previously established teleological overhaul and just sorta tweak it a bit.
Let me tell you what I mean.
So... Which is it?
Is it a gallery of creative works, or a useful resource for creatives?
This is the question that has prompted me to reconsider the dual purpose of The Bradshacalypse (that of being both a gallery of my artwork and a useful resource for creatives). In my own head, this makes sense. The idea is that I espouse a philosophy of Art and Creativity founded upon the esoteric teachings of old and in turn prove its efficacy through my own creative work. All well and good, yes?
Here's the thing, though... In order to prove the efficacy of a creative philosophy via a body of creative works, I must first, y'know, make the body of works, right? It's the old adage, "show, don't tell". Talk is cheap, so I need to start putting my money where my mouth is.
So far, The Bradshacalypse has indeed served half its purpose as a gallery of my creative works. However, 95% (or more) of these works are all old stuff, some positively ancient. This creative philosophy I intend to espouse is a fairly recent development, within the last few years or so, at least in full.
-- And I should clarify exactly what I mean by "this creative philosophy". The gist is this - The World of Art is on the brink of collapse, vapid and devoid of all meaning, having given way to toxic solipsistic and borderline satanic ideologies and political propaganda of like ilk as its fundamental core instead of objective, quantifiable, immutable Truth. By looking back to ancient esoteric traditions, from Shamanism to Hermeticism, the practices that have been at the forefront of extrapolating Meaning and Purpose for Humanity from objective Truth, perhaps we can derive also a more efficient means of creative expression, one that conveys Truth in such a way that can bypass the ever-analytical and self-obsessed ego and communicate directly to the unconscious mind to enact real, lasting change within the Consciousness of its participants... or something like that, anyway. See the About Page and this blog post for more on this philosophy. --
So, that means that a huge chunk of the creative content on the site does not properly reflect this philosophy I wish to communicate. There's nothing particularly deep or insightful about some EarthBound fanart I made back in the late 2000's while I was still in high school... unless you're reeeeeally creative, I guess.
And that's not to say that absolutely everything I make henceforth has to be super deep or anything. Part of this philosophy also incorporates the Virtue of Joy, using Art and Storytelling as a means of imparting a sense of good cheer for the uplifting of one's spirits (which is just as important as the imparting of knowledge, I would argue). But, again, some EarthBound fanart I made back in the late 2000's while I was still in high school doesn't necessarily exude that kind of hilaritas either.
So, if you take that huge bulk of creative content from the site away... there's not much left, if anything. Meaning, I'm gonna have to start generating some new, up-to-date creative content!
You can't ride two horses to the finish line... unless...?
One lesson from the Laws of Success I've been studying vigorously since October of 2020 when I first started listening to Kevin Trudeau's You Wish is Your Command program and later reading the works of Napoleon Hill, is the importance of focus, having one and only one chief aim at a time to properly accomplish goals. Many like to employ the "throw shit at the wall and see what sticks" method to try to get things done; the method I've been using for ages up until now, which, as I've learned from 10+ years of experience, yields no results.
Since then, I've been focusing my attention more and more, doing my best to whittle down a specific, definite chief aim from my plethora of ideas (which has been a monumental task for one as scatterbrained as I, let me tell you). Finally, I think I've made good headway. I've decided to make my current chief aim this website - The Bradshacalypse.
Now the question is, what the hell is The Bradshacalypse?
Currently, as stated above, The Bradshacalypse has been at least two things; a gallery of art, and an intellectual resource for creatives... That's not one horse, that's two, and as the saying goes, "you can't ride two horse to the finish line."
... Unless, that is, you can yolk them both to a single vehicle, like a wagon or a chariot. Right?
So then, I could make it so that The Bradshacalypse is not one horse or the other, but the vehicle that unites them and allows them to both work in a synergistic way towards a common endpoint.
This is an entirely new way to think about this enterprise of mine, and a useful one at that. Instead of being two almost entirely different things, it can now be a single thing pulled by two (or more?) purposes aligned to move in the same direction towards the same goal.
Maybe this doesn't make any sense to you at the moment, but thinking about it in this way really helps me clarify what it is I want done with the site and helps guide me toward a unified purpose.
So... Which is it?
So then, if The Bradshacalypse is not itself either of these purposes but the vehicle pulled by those purposes, those two telos, towards a shared endpoint, or eschaton, then what does that make The Bradshacalypse?
Here's the working idea: The Bradshacalypse is, first and foremost a Gallery of Creative (and some Intellectual) Works, driven by two fundamental purposes;
One, to entertain and bring joy to those who engage with it, and
Two, to serve as a resource for creatives who wish to improve their own creativity by means of changing how they think about it, either through direct intellectual discourse (intellectual works) or by way of example (creative works).
... those purposes moving in tandem towards one endpoint, which is a net-positive uptick of syntropic content in our collective human system of aesthetics we call "Art", "Storytelling", and "Creativity".
The way I see it now, a gallery is not actually a purpose, per se. Rather, it is merely a thing that can have a purpose... or two. And that is what The Bradshacalypse fundamentally is, that is its ontology. Its teleology, its purpose, is twofold, moving towards a common end.
Retooling the Website Altogether
So, with that said about the teleological tweaking, with The Bradshacalypse's purpose reconfigured, that means a retooling of the entire website is also in order to properly reflect that.
What Could a Future Bradshcalypse.com Look Like?
Here are some ideas I've been knocking around in my head. They're fairly recent and subject to change, of course, but here goes:
Emphasis on the Gallery aspect
If The Bradshaclaypse is to be a gallery of creative works, then the website needs to put that front and center, such that it is abundantly clear to newcomers that this is, indeed, without question, an art gallery first and foremost. Any other aspect must be relegated to secondary and tertiary in priority.
Streamlining the Gallery Categories
Currently, the Gallery is broken up into several categories based on medium (whether the work is a comic, animation, illustration, etc.), which I'm starting to think is a little clunky. Why not just have everything under only a couple categories instead? Why segregate the mediums this way? If someone's perusing my works, would they really care if they're organized by medium? Would anyone interested in my work really prefer my animation over my comics, or comics over my illustrations? Wouldn't it all kinda be the same for the most part?
Instead, I think I'll separate my works under only three categories - Major Works, Minor Works, and Legacy Works.
Major Works are those that I am particularly proud of and that take the most amount of effort to produce. These would include long-form comics stories (from multi-pagers of higher quality art to full-blown graphic novels), longer-form animation (higher quality, longer running animation), and any video game project. These works are the ones I invest the absolute most effort and commitment in, and that most reflect my underlying creative philosophy. This would also exclude all fan art.
Minor Works are those that didn't require nearly as much thought and effort to produce; the "for fun" type of stuff. This includes most all illustrations, short-form lower-effort animation (>2 minutes or so), graphic designs, and one-off comics. Any works that require less than my absolute best go here. This also includes all fan art, regardless of quality.
-- The reason why I exclude fan art from the Major Works category regardless of the effort it took to make is because I believe it takes more effort to create something new from scratch than it does to take a preexisting intellectual property and make derivative works from it. Plus, I want my Major Works gallery to all be works that come 100% from me. Just a personal preference. --
Legacy Works are anything made prior to the formal formulation of my own current creative philosophy, so pretty much anything pre-2019 or so goes here. It's possible I might even divvy up the Major and Minor Works galleries into having a Legacy Works sub-section (having both a Legacy Major Works and Legacy Minor Works gallery as well).
-- For example, a Legacy Major Work might include my old Stone Punks comic, seeing as it's still the only completed comics story I've ever told (so far), and the longest work I've yet produced (20+ pages).
Dividing my corpus of works by quality rather than medium, I think, would make more sense and be more convenient to the gallery-goers. But, for those that prefer the old way, I'll leave the old gallery portal page and rebrand it as the "Classic Gallery"... but the Major and Minor Works galleries will remain front and center.
NO MORE "COMING SOON" CRAP!!
As you've no doubt noticed, there are a lot of "Coming Soon!" sections of the site, some of which have been around for more than a year! That's false advertisement, isn't it? Definitely not my intention!
Announcing things and not following up on them has been the bane of my existence since the deviantART days, and I'm sick of it... but old habits die hard, unfortunately. I've been doing my best to only make announcements and future promises I can actually feasibly keep and intend on keeping, but sometimes plans change or I simply get distracted and forget what I was doing.
So now, I'm going to make a radical change to that - I intend to purge all "Coming Soon!" stuff from the site altogether! That includes the entirety of the Story Index, the Video Games gallery section, and the Sketchbook gallery section.
What I've done is over-expanded the platform to include works that have not yet been produced. This gives the impression that the actual body of works therein is rather small. Instead of expanding the platform to include things I might do, I'm going to shrink it down to only include things I've actually done. That way, even if it seems smaller, it'll also seem a lot fuller, which I think would give a much better impression to visitors. I know if I were browsing an artists' online gallery, I would rather see what they have done than be inundated with what they might do or could have done.
Even though the Story Index isn't necessarily a "Coming Soon" type of thing, I still want to get rid of it entirely, as it seems to be a hold-over of my old ways of thinking and my former attachment to my old story ideas. What good is a Story Index if there are no stories to go along with it? Who cares about a bunch of vague concepts that probably won't end up seeing the light of day, (not for a long, long time anyway)?
Re-Imagining the Blog
For the past few years now, I've noticed I only every seem to use this blog for periodic updates, just "what I've been up to as of such-and-such a date" kind of posts... which is probably kinda boring and predictable at this point.
The Blog is such a versatile tool, it's a shame I've only ever used it for that one purpose. Moving forward, I plan on utilizing it much more creative and diverse ways, such as using it to post artwork, written works like articles and perhaps even short stories, tutorials, how-to's, etc. and not just lump all those in bi-monthly update posts.
I'll also spread the blog across the entire website where it makes sense, such as having a blog feed on the Major Works page that filters out posts relevant to the Major Works gallery, same for the Minor Works page, and so on. That way, the blog feels more integrated into the website and not just quarantined to its own designated page. That may help viewers find relevant posts as well.
So, anyway, yeah, the website will be experiencing an overhaul here shortly. In fact, you might start seeing changes very soon... like, at any moment. I've already made headway in reorganizing layouts, adding pages and media, etc., and all it would take is one accidental clicking of the "publish" button to make those changes active... so the site may be in upheaval for a bit. In the meantime, please pardon the dust, and watch for falling pages.
Until next time, peace be and take Care!