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Talent(ful?)less Hacks
Just curious, how many of you consider yourself to have some kind of affinity for artistic/creative stuff? Like, do you draw, take pictures, make music, shoot movies/pr0n... whatever? And the obivious follow up question, does it help/influence your map making?

I have a hard time drawing stickmen, myself...
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Hey Ma, Look At Me Answering First 
I'm a photographing ragtime guitarist ski-bum and I don't remember which came first. If I told you when my first photograph was published you'd probably not believe me.

I have photographed architecture specifically with Quake mapping in mind e.g. Rhodes Town, Venice, Pompeii and the Cappilano(?) Bridge, to name a few. 
I Draw 
a lot, mostly doodles, but whenever I try to put my level ideas out on paper it always ends up wrong somehow. I guess it's the same when I try to put it in the editor :( 
In addition to the occasional mapping I do, I like to make music. I find that they are incredibly similar at least in terms of constructing them successfully.

In the same way that you can open an editor and throw a few brushes around and come up with a cool design, yet not have anything significant to build upon, you can lay down a nice melody for 4 bars, and then not really know where to go from there.

I also find that if I'm having trouble in one, working on the other helps me out.

For example, most "pop" songs have a basic structure. An intro, verses, a chorus, a bridge, and an outro. Or if it's a jazz or blues song, they have 1-2-1 structures with solos and improvisations.

Thinking about constructing a more coherent song helps me to construct a more coherent map, and vice versa.

The area where this holds the most truth is in finding a balance between repetition and complexity. If a song is too complex in terms of chord usage and notation, it becomes hard for the listener to stay with it, but if it's too repetitive the listener will figure out the song and it loses it's initial appeal. Obviously the same applies to mapping. If you run with the same architecture and textures throughout the map, it's boring. But if there's too much "noise" it looks ugly.

Basically I find that it helps if I'm having trouble in one, to try and approach it the same way I would the other. If I get stuck in an area mapping, I'll get frustrated and try and make some music. Sometimes it helps because I'll end up constructing the song in the same mindset that I was building the map, and it will make me realize that where I'm trying to make the song better is where I should be making the map better (more complex, less complex, less repitition, etc.)

Aesthetic, yes.

Artistic, no. 
I Do Some Art 
As a very small kid (around grade 1 to 2,) I started drawing in 3D. I used to draw a lot as a kid, mostly vehicles, buildings and human internal organ systems (I really wanted to become a surgeon and could draw a great digestive tract in grade 2.)

I've done short fiction writing (longest story is 40 pages about a guy learning to mountain bike.) In high school and college, I did some cartooning, much in an unpublishable John Romero vein (gratuitous and violent.) See JR's Melvin for the tone although almost all of my cartooning was single panel.

Perhaps not art but to some extent craft, I do some wood working and home repair and reno. I'm rebuilding a basement bathroom, so to some extent that involves design. I'm slow with brushes made of wood as well as ones made of text.

My job involves mechanical design. Although I quest for beauty in my work, constraints often keep the butterfly crammed into the ugly cocoon.

3D visualization helps with mapping as does a sense of proportion. I like to study buildings from all eras and often I turn them into brushes in my head (which is faster then the editor.)

I do consider myself creative and I admire people who made good things with mind and hands more so then those that just make money. 
I Am... 
..working on my jackson pollock tribute using only my sperm. 
Interesting. Apart from one area of the map I am currently working on, I never make-it-up-as-I-go-along.

With music, that's exactly what I do. My guitars are never put away and I pick them up every day (no, not both at the same time), usualy without consciously thinking that I am going to play a specific tune. I then run through a few tunes (ones I know so well that I can talk while I play - not easy, try it) and eventually settle down to practice a new piece or one that I am having trouble with due to some awkward fingering. And that means no talking!

With my mapping, I will have laid out the basic idea on paper and the only thing I play with on the screen is scale. I also never open up the editor without knowing what I am going to do that session. That doesn't mean that I don't drift but I always get further into the map and never dump a sessions work. Maybe it is because I do not have a lot of spare time to map that I am keen not to waste it.

With music, no time is being wasted, even if I play a bum note - any noise that pleases me is music and I love music and I love making music. 
I Make Music. 
I don't find it influences mapping at all though. They're two completely different worlds; sometimes I'm in a mapping mood & sometimes I'm in a music mood... former is becoming increasingly uncommon :-/ . I think it's becase I can make an average/mediocre map/speedmap and still be happy with it; there isn't much of a demand for quality out there and less-than-brilliant maps can still be enjoyable; it's not so much of an artform for me in this sense. Music however, I will persist on forever until I get everything sounding perfect, and then end up hating it a week after it's finished because the sound quality isn't all that, and set out to improve on it again.

There was one point several years ago, during my Q1SP addiction phase (when half my waking time was spent in Quake & the other half in an editor), when I started thinking of tunes structurally as if they were maps, and sometimes it took me several moments to distinguish between the dimensional aspects of each. That fucked with my head. 
I Draw Cartoons.

And people have seen some of my adventures in word strangling already. F'rinstance:
And there's more, as they say, where that came from. 
I make music and occasionally draw, but I don't map much. No current game interests me that much. This gives me more time to make music tho, so it's not all bad. Or maybe it is. (At this point the disembodied spirit of Jerry Goldsmith flies in from the window and strangles me.)

Arts in general have taught me one thing when it comes to mapping. It isn't good until you like it. Screw others. 
Being able to draw concept art for one's map really helps make the map better. Otherwise you're just moving brushes around hoping you'll accidentally create some pleasing shape. 
A Substantial Part Of My Income Comes From Tat Art 
most designs comes from varying and embelleshing (sp?) underlying ideas so I do have a good eye for design, good enough that people are willing to wear the designs for life. However, I'm not sure if it really makes me a better brush pusher. 
Arts in general have taught me one thing when it comes to mapping. It isn't good until you like it. Screw others.

Damn straight. Even moreso with music in my case. I had a track last year which I posted on another forum (music based). Everyone liked it, some said it was one of their favourite tunes of the whole year (this was around October time...) and others said I should send it off to various labels since it'd apparently get signed on the spot. However, I personally think it's shit & riddled with technical errors, and refuse to do anything with it for that reason, no matter how many other people like it.

Listened to your track by the way. Can't say it's really my thing but it sounded pretty nice... would make good soundtrack music for a movie/game. 
Once I dropped some food on the floor and it kinda looked like art. Sorta. 
...I paid the rent for a few years playing keyboards, but at the mo I'm heavily into my Maton fretless bass. I see the connections that blitz outlines and have on occasion tried to use musical motifs in mapping but I've never got it to work to my satisfaction.

When I look through the masses of lines in editor (I rarely use vis groups, that's just the way I like it) I see a text rather than a song (not "text", I don't pretend to be neo). I love diving into the mass and isolating first the section, then the piece that I need to work on (seeing the part in relation to other parts and the whole as much as possible). I guess that's my critical thinking background coming up, and whether critical thinking is art or artiface is a moot question. 

Bloody hell Fric I expected some unlistenable esoteric techno or something, not that.... 
hunting squirrels in the dark woods 
Yeah No 
None of the thing.

... I like to build lego tho, but I never do. 
I'm a web designer, musician and like the occasional photography and mapping but there's really no connection between any for me. 
Muzak My Butt 
Listened to your track by the way. Can't say it's really my thing but it sounded pretty nice... would make good soundtrack music for a movie/game.

Well, it IS Goldsmith's movie score composition, I just orchestrated it. Gotta find some use for all these orchestra CDs.

Bloody hell Fric I expected some unlistenable esoteric techno or something, not that....

Art is like mapping. One must not get stuck doing the same thing over and over. Trying something wildly different can give you new valuable insights. And if I see one more Q2 waste themed map I'll invade Norway. 
Fat Controler 
If only Calvino knew how to rocket jump . . . 
You mean Snoreway. 

not really good, but it's artistic i guess... 
I Do Stuff 
I write short stories.
I make and run roleplaying games.
I make board games.
I attempt to sing & play keyboard. 
Explains it then :-p

You normally make techno? Got a site with any hosted perchance? 
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