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Archived entry | Matt Wilcox .net

Creativity, and a look back in time

My first tinkering with the World Wide Web was back in 1999, and at the time I knew absolutely nothing about the medium apart from that one or two of the computers at school were ‘connected to the internet’, nor do I remember anyone being allowed to use those computers. Around the time when I was heading into my GCSE’s my parents decided it would be a good idea if we had a PC that I could work on. I remember sitting at that P166, with it’s 2.1Gb HDD and 16Mb of RAM, and firing up Netscape Navigator - trying to visualise what ‘the internet’ was like. Not having a connection of any sort, I duly closed Navigator down and didn’t think about it again for months. Instead I started to poke around with a program called ‘Bryce 2′. I got hooked on making 3D art, and over a couple of years I made quite a number of images, upgrading the PC as I went. Each scene would take days or weeks of setting up, and each took hours to render, some of the more ambitious images took days. At some point in that process, a lonely modem found a home in my PC case, squaked it’s first handshake, synced its first connection, and set me upon a path I’m still walking down six or seven years later.

The first website I ever made was directly down to my creative output. I had a collection of images I had spent a long time making, and I wanted to show them off. So I made my very first website. It went through a fair few re-designs and moved to another address (which, amazingly, is still live!). Over time I got into the making of the website as much as making images to put on it. Whenever I wasn’t making artwork or making web-pages, I was ’round my friends house playing the Bass and laying down jam sessions on his four-track.

Five of six years ago my creative output was high. I had lots of spare time and I filled it with being creative. I loved it. Today I realise that, apart from designing and building websites (which I do for a living now), I haven’t been creative in… years. Too long. Far too long. It’s one reason why I have tried to start Photography as a hobby of sorts - I’ve realised that I need to be creative. Unfortunately now I’m older I simply do not have the time to devote to 3D images that they require, and I’m not in a social circle with musicians and don’t have the spare time to dedicate that requires. I miss being creative. I think I’ve tried to fill that hole by reading, or by browsing online galleries, and talking in art forums. But none of that really replaces actually being creative. Now, when I know far more about what makes things look good, how images work, and have orders of magnitude more skill in Photoshop… now I don’t apply that to anything outside of my job. I just read more, and learn more, by proxy.

Buying that Canon 350D was a semi-conscious first step back on the road to creative output, but now I realise that’s what I was needing I also realise I’ve got to take a second step, and to make ammends. Those first websites were all about the artwork, whether it was good or not. And even though this website is the spiritual successor to my very first - the core of the site, the soul, is missing - replaced by a simple blog. I haven’t had a gallery on here in years (I don’t count the blog snap-shots as a gallery). So, to put things back in place, here are all the old images that I could rescue from the internet and my old PC. I know that some are missing, which is a shame, but I sincerely hope this puts my mind in a frame to start being creative again. It’s quite strange seeing pictures I had forgotten about, and to realise I can still remember what I was intending to do with each, even if the results sometimes weren’t what I wanted. I hope you enjoy taking a trip down memory lane with me, and excuse the talking of a guy who was up to 25% younger then than I am now. Some of those early pictures are actually pretty bad, but it’s nice to see that I did actually get better at this stuff. smiley icon: smile

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