What exactly is it I want to do?

I’ve been giving a lot of thought recently to what exactly it is I want to do for a living. The key themes come through pretty strong: I want to do something creative, something with a big internet component, and something independent or with a small team. I don’t expect for one second that someone will read this post and just give me my dream job, but the very act of collecting all these thoughts has been hugely valuable to me. And who knows, perhaps I’ll find a programmer or writer to collaborate with on something.

What follows is a list of examples of the kind of work I could easily see myself doing…

Help conceive and design a news site

I’ve been thinking a lot about how news should be reported online. I’m certainly no journalist, or even a blogger, but it would be interesting to work with a small group of talented people with fresh ideas. Creating clean and well organised designs is one of my strengths, and creating site with a strong grid and getting the typography just-so would be a great challenge. Plus I’ve become quite familiar with SEO best practice, another key skill in this area.

Produce a regular webcomic

I’ve got good enough illustration skills to produce a stylised strip of some kind. More Demian5 than Penny Arcade. I’ve actually come quite close in designing some characters, locations and vague story notions, but it’s the writing that always fails me. I’ve also got some fun ideas on how to construct the website around the comic. This would have to be a collaboration, more for fun than profit, at least in the early days. I’d also quite enjoy doing just lettering, colouring and layout work in collaboration with a talented artist.

Produce a podcast

Maybe in the format of a radio drama. I’ve done a limited amount of work in Audition and Audacity, but I quite enjoy the process. I think in collaboration with a good writer it would be possible to quite cheaply produce some kind of audio play, complete with music and sound effects. There are many sites that offer free and open source resources, and several marketplaces to find and cast voice actors. Building a website around something like this could be a lot of fun too.

Make a short film

This is actually more of a hobby ambition, and something I am already buying kit for. I’m a huge film production nerd with a background in CGI, so I’m hoping to come up with something cool. I’ve got a notion for a war story which could be shot in the countryside, and a thousand terrible sci-fi ideas.

I’ve also got a fun idea to make a murder mystery, or something similar, using the yellowBird video panorama technology.

Write a blog

Not like this one (or this one), but a proper blog where I dedicate time to writing (hopefully) interesting things, and ultimately earn a worthwhile amount from ad revenue, or something. I enjoyed writing a blog for six months where I explored and explained many of the new web services that were popping up at the time. Recently I’ve been having the urge to start something in a similar vein, but going into some more depth and focusing on the near-future web. Probably a team blog, with lots of interviews and in-depth explanations. 

This idea seems like the least profitable one to me, but perhaps the most interesting!

Design an iPhone or iPad app

While I have no programming skills, I’m very interested in UI design. I’m a whiz at creating buttons and backgrounds with subtle visual embellishments and would love to collaborate with someone on pretty much any app idea they had to produce all the graphics. Even if it’s another Twitter client! A literal UI like Hipstamatic or SwankoLab would be a blast too.

Work on a computer game

I would enjoy creating the graphics for a game. Texturing and environment design are my big CG skills, but I also think a top-down shooter, tower defence or a platform game would be a lot of fun. A stylish puzzle game in the vein of Drop7 too!

Other ambitions…

  • Make a Newspaper Club paper. I’ve already started Open Paper and plan to start pushing this idea soon.
  • Design a typeface. Or two.
  • Help start up an internet radio station.
  • Design a website for a band. Particularly a band who aren’t looking to sign to a big label and get social media.
  • Write a piece of interactive fiction
  • Get serious about my photography, particularly landscape photography. I have a good eye, but I’d like to develop a style. I’d actually like to use my CG skills to build some hyper-realistic surreal worlds.

I’ve got a lot of skills that are going to atrophy pretty soon if I don’t start making good use of them, and a lot of ideas rattling around in my head. I’m more motivated then ever to find a way to satisfy these needs (especially if the Tories get in tonight and start dismantling my current employer). If you want to get in touch with me, I’m always on the Twitter, you can leave a comment here, or find me on LinkedIn:

View Geoff Rogers's profile on LinkedIn

Now to polish up my CV and portfolio!

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7 thoughts on “What exactly is it I want to do?

  1. Some fab ideas in there… and definitely something we should all sit down and do! Most of us sort of know where we’d like to be heading but not many of us actually take the time to think about what it is we’d love to do.. in fact I’m off to write a list of my own :-) Thanks!

  2. Very thoughtful post, and like John am a little bit in the same boat. Really good idea to write it all down too; who knows, in a few years you may look back at this list and have made lots of this happen! :)

  3. Great post! Really inspiring. It echos a lot of my own thoughts. Would love to collaborate on anything that gets moving!

  4. I’ve been considering starting a podcast too, but that’s a pipe dream to be honest. I don’t have the wit for it, and I don’t have a subject that I particularly want to cover, so that one’s probably best left alone.I also want to start a webcomic, and I’m a lot closer to that one. I’ve got one strip completed, plenty of ideas for more, a name, two characters designed, etc etc. so I’m looking forward to cracking on with that.Usually my creative urges get sparked by @wilw! Every time he says ‘get excited and make something’, I do. It’s like a pavlovian response.

  5. I think being absolutely fed up with work can be a great spur. I started something I’m very proud of because my workplace (the same as yours, as is surely no coincidence) wasn’t interested in getting the best out of me. After a lot of thought and some hard work I now have a reasonably idea of what I’d like to do in the longer term, and can eventually see my projects bringing in a decent passive income (essential for breaking out of the day job and to buy more time for the good stuff).You’re clearly a very creative person, but I suspect you’re underused and in the wrong job at the moment. But knowing what you’re good at, and where your skills could be best used, helps get things into focus. I’d suggest now you concentrate on one or two projects and really try and make them great, and then go from there.

  6. Thanks for all your comments and encouraging words. Although this list was career/project focused, I think there could be great value in writing up a more extensive list of personal ambitions. Probably not as a blog post though. :)

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