Sunday, March 14, 2010

Science is about ideas and preparation

A few years ago, my oldest brother got me a book for Christmas called "Build Your Own Humanoid Robots", by Karl Williams. There is a sort of pattern with the two of us... a set of gift buying rules, I guess. Generally, everything is off the beaten path, and touches on our interests and sensibilities in unobvious ways. The use for this book is nearing as Abby gets older, and some of the little boys I know are approaching an age where little fingers are less clumsy, and interest and attention can be held on a project through completion. This leads me to the title of this post.

I was thinking about making a robot. This brought to the surface of my brain a memory of my youngest brother (he was about 10 at the time) collecting old electronic junk (literally parts of VCRs, Stereos... I think he might have had part of a CPU in there) to make a robot out of. None of these things were really useful to his final goal, I think. This was an idea without preparation, and looking back on it I wonder how things would have turned out differently with a few less encouraging "mmmm-hmm"s and a little more guidance... I take my share of dropping the ball on that one. So... let's say you wanted to make a robot that had legs like a crab, and moved like one. (idea) Part of the preparation is obvious robot stuff (programming, servos, actuators... remote control), but part of it is less obvious. Stuff like biology (studying the muscles and joints of a real crab and how it moves), fabricating (parts have to be made somehow) and drawing. So many of the best ideas fall apart due to poor planning.

Mostly this post is set-up for next week. Your homework this week is to think about what the word "Subversive" means to you. I'm going to endeavor to adequately explain where I'm going with it (with a little help from my local library). There are some ideas and thoughts that have been weighing heavily on me of late, that I think I would like to share with my friends.
This weeks drawing is basically just practice for my next cover for Hex, trying out some new brushes and inking techniques, and practicing my color work. The colors on this one are still pretty rough. I'm hoping to grab a couple of minutes this week to tidy them up a little bit and push this drawing to a better finish. Her shirt was originally just going to be a big red circle... maybe with some text in it. The Eggplant graphic was totally accidental, but once I saw it it was too good to just let go.

Until next week. Take care and be good.
Your friend,
(in an effort to be more searchable) Jeffrey Johnson

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