Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wrapup: Part 3, Overall Experience

Okay, so here's what y'all have been waiting for:

An old friend and I at SteamConII - thanks, Karen, for snapping the photo!
This picture is pretty much the only one I wound up with of my completed outfit. I've added it to the Gallery.

Overall I think my costume came out very well, but lacked accessories - which are pretty critical to the Steampunk look!  I would have done well to have found gunbelts, and some jewelry.  The boots and hat are great, and the handbag was fine; you can't see the star on the front flap, but it's a remnant from another project that has stuck around because it's just plain good.

The convention was a great time.  It was totally worth all the effort.

I started out with a time-boxing experiment... that fell quickly to the wayside.  Why?  Because Pomodoro takes itself too seriously, and isn't as well suited to every task as its creator claims.  It would be useless for customer service (where you cannot control your interruptions) but also turns out to be useless for time spent in creative thought processes, as entering "right brain" space can take most of a time unit and the breaks bust you out of it with very little time spent in that thought mode.  When actually sewing, a 25 minute time box with a 5 minute break did not work well either; working at the cutting table or the machines is much more physical than a desk type job and trying to use the "official" pomodoro time made for aching backs, physical exhaustion, and not enough of a refresher.

Also, learning the skills taught by the technique takes more practice than I managed to give it.  That's right, practice.  So I will make another stab at it, but will bring what I learned to the table.  When drawing, I'll use a longer time block and also a longer break; when sewing I'll use a somewhat shorter time block with a bit longer break.  But I will continue to try to master the technique and fine tune it to my use, because I did also find it advantageous in a lot of ways.

When I was doing it, the task lists did make me think about the complexity and method of my work, and it did also teach me a lot about how much time it really takes to get work done.  Making the lists made me prioritize and think ahead about how to work efficiently.  Additionally, some of the skills given in the Pomodoro Technique book for avoiding distraction are very effective, whether or not you are using time-boxing.  With practice and adjustment, I expect the technique will become an even more valuable tool.

What's next?  Well, I'm already dabbling on a couple of projects.  I need to set a priority on them and pick one to complete.  I am working on drafting some slopers, and would like to complete the shirtfront and hat wrap up the green Victorian gown pictured in the Gallery.  I am already considering what to produce for SteamCon III; it's "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea" theme is very appealing and I've got a lot of concepts rattling around waiting development.

And there's this blog.  I found that I needed to post after EVERY work session or it got to be onerous; I hate catch-up work, and it's tough to remember what exactly I did if I wait.  However, right now I am back at the beginning stages of the creative process as opposed to in full-swing on a workroom project, so I will probably post a little less.  I am aiming for once a week and have set aside some time on my calendar on Fridays to come and go through what I've been working on during the previous week.

See you Friday!

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