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📙 #004 - Ten Thousand

📙 #004 - Ten Thousand
By Daniel Catt • Issue #4 • View online

That would be £10,084.15 / $14,161.90 / 3.6288Ξ raised for Women Who Code.
This Sunday just gone, I had another one of those NFT sales things. I know this seems hot on the heels of the last one, but that was back at the start of April, such a different time.
The plan was to have three larger “Series” of the 70s Pop design, with smaller “Bonus Packs” of 64 artworks slotted in-between them. The interesting thing about the Art Blocks platform is how the payments work. After the platform takes its 10% cut, you plug in your cryptocurrency wallet address, and whenever a sale happens, the money goes directly to that address.
The Women Who Code non-profit has one such address because they’re a bunch of nerds. Those that are curious can see all the payments going into the address here: https://etherscan.io/txsInternal?a=0x4F2ea658c632713cAa0273c8309426b323a77fEa. That’s 63 successful payments of 0.0576 Ethereum, each worth around £160/$225, sold in just under 30 minutes.
Hopefully, I’ll be able to do this all over again in July and September, but even if everything falls apart before then, and who knows it may, I’m pleased to have been able to do this. It’s also a fun way to spend a Sunday evening.
New Studio update.
Having the new studio is fantastic. I feel I’m right in the middle of everything, and there’s absolutly zero chance (unlike last year) of it flooding. Or at least if it does, we have much bigger problems than some soggy paper.
The joy of the studio is slightly offset by the stress of not having everything in here yet. I want to be getting on with stuff, but it took me a whole morning to post off an order (thanks, Simon) because I didn’t have my printer here for printing out the labels.
Then when I got the printer, I realised that I’d also left the labels at the other studio too.
It’s easy in that it’s not very far to pop back to the old studio, but at the same time, that’s a lot of back and forth. I’m reluctant to bring everything over quite yet because I’m still waiting for more shelves to arrive. But each time I need something, back I go, pick it up, and then have nowhere to put it. I know in the grand scheme of things, this is a good problem to have; the low-level stress is real, though.
It took me the whole morning to get my shit together enough to post one package!
Shop update.
This isn’t the “Hey, there are new plots in the shop, and you lovely readers get first dibs because I haven’t mentioned them yet” update I’d hoped for when I started the newsletter. Although I’m sure, that moment will come.
This is the “you get to see my struggles with working out what the hell I’m doing” update.
When I started the shop, I decided to have collections; at the time, I thought it’d make sense, plots all fitting neatly into a collection or the catch-all “experimental and one-offs” category.
It turns out I don’t work like that, and everything so far is pretty much an experiment or a one-off.
I realised that without knowing it, this was both a) making me avoid dealing with the shop and b) unhappy.
I have a big hangup about displaying things with “SOLD” on them, in that I feel, or felt, I guess, that it’s important. When I look at someone else’s shop seeing a few items marked as “SOLD” is somehow reassuring. For that reason, I wanted to give the same reassurance to potential buyers on my own online store, that other people were also buying things, so “no” you’re not making a mistake buying one, you, like these other people, have great taste.
But now my shop is pretty much all “SOLD OUT”, and who wants to buy the last couple of items that no one else has purchased yet? Obviously, there’s something wrong with them.
Does that make sense? Am I overthinking this?
So, here’s the plan, which also may make me unhappy and be weird but gotta start somewhere. I figured I’d try to put sixteen items into the shop and always keep it at sixteen items.
When an item is sold, I put a new one in the shop — no “SOLD” on things, no external validation.
When I make a new item that I want to sell, I put it into the shop and remove the oldest one.
There’s a couple of physical shops here in Shrewsbury that I also put my work into, which is more of a vanity “oh look, I have my stuff in a shop” thing, to be honest. So when something is “retired” from the online shop, I can move it to one of those two places before ultimately recycling it.
I’m not sure what that means work-wise. It feels like it ought to be simple, but I have the developer/engineer thoughts coming into my head that I want to tear down the whole shop site and rebuild it… which is when you can tell I’m trying to avoid sorting the entire problem.
The very imminent issue is that I need to get sixteen plots into the shop, which is fine because I have a stack that I’ve been meaning to put into the shop for months, but the whole things above has been stopping me.
Luckily I feel like I actually have the time to deal with these things now.
Tutorials
Talking of having the time to do things, I’m going to get cracking on the first three pen plotting tutorials, which are:
1. The anatomy of a pen plotter
2. The anatomy of a piece of paper
3. The anatomy of an SVG file
When I first thought about buying an AxiDraw pen plotter, I went to YouTube to see what videos there were to find out more. But there were only a couple, one basically a promo for it, and the other was someone drawing a test SVG.
There are a few more now, but not geared towards someone just trying to find out a little bit more, and I’m a great believer in giving very basic information.
I’m going to do the above three as blog posts first and then work out how to video them.
Meanwhile, the best pen plotting video on YouTube currently is this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIFd06WGw58 by Amy Goodchild, which is everything I love about artistic videos.
I have a long list of tutorials planned, where I’ll take a fundamental concept and then break it down into excruciating detail — pretty much code for pen plotting for almost absolute beginners. I’ve misplaced the list somewhere in one of my many notebooks that are back in the other studio, so either I’ll have to hunt it down or re-remember what that list was.
YouTube and practising in public
Speaking of YouTube, because of the above videoing-my-tutorials-plan, I decided that I needed to learn how to edit videos in Final Cut Pro because Adobe Premiere is basically useless now.
Somewhere someone possibly said something to the effect of practising in public. That your first efforts will be terrible, that you have to keep pushing yourself, be willing to make mistakes and tell people what you’re doing, so you have to do it.
With that in mind, I decided to start a weekly vlog because writing a newsletter once every two weeks isn’t enough work; spending a whole day looking up how to do various video editing things every week seemed genius.
If you think hearing your own voice is terrible, try not only listening to yourself over and over but also watching yourself to get really crushed.
In about a year, the theory goes, I’ll actually be both good and quick at making & editing them. I gotta start somewhere, and this is my start.
Weekly Vlog #001: https://youtu.be/fArE2ZPIUyw
Weekly Vlog #002: https://youtu.be/gO5joF8_p80
Bonus, Trying an AUTO-FEED pencil for PEN PLOTTING: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCEmRX1g2ro
Hey, when I’m a world-famous pen plotting YouTuber, you’ll know where it all started!
The End Bit
I loved getting replies to my last email; it was lovely to hear from people. Send me ALL YOUR THOUGHTS!
Or if you want to send letters old skool you can do that too:
Daniel Catt
PO Box 4862 
SHREWSBURY 
SY1 9PE
United Kingdom
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Daniel Catt

In 2020 I decided that next year was when I should start a newsletter, it's now next year.

If no-one subscribes then I don't have to do it, if you subscribe then I guess this thing is on. Also I hate writing, so it'll be like once or twice a month, preferably on a Tuesday.

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