I've been Busy
10/15/2011 10:40 AM Filed in: Blog
Sorry about the long delay folks… but honestly, I’ve been busy.
I know I say that a lot but it’s true now more than ever. I’ve engulfed myself in my work to the point of obsession. It’s something I just have to do in order to do what I do. We’re very close to releasing the Jimmy and our CNC machine is cutting guitar bodies!
I’m really stoked about all of the new changes and challenges that Pladd Dot has in front of it. We’re about to purchase a new distribution warehouse, we’ve recently purchased a CNC machine to do the heavy guitar work, we’re about to expand our publishing division, and our new amplifier line is almost here! The new American guitar line is also only one month away! These products have been in development in some shape form or fashion for three years and will consume my future at Pladd Dot. I’m very pleased that our amplifier line (and American guitar line) is made in the USA.
Look out world, here comes Chris Mitchell Guitars and Mitchell Amplifiers!!!
I’ve got to give a great shout out to our team of engineers. Ty Riggs has done all of the CAD drawing that helped make this a reality. Sean Tanner will see the guitars to fruition by being the luthier over the project.
As far as Mitchell Amplifiers goes, I have to show a lot of love to Lane White. Lane is our chief engineer and he has answered every demand I’ve put on him. Together we’ll introduce an amplifier that will change the landscape of our market. I’ve already been performing with the prototype and I’ve loved it. We’re working to make it better before it goes into production. Together we’ve been able to troubleshoot every nuance that makes an amplifier great. We’ve experimented with new ideas and components and I’m pleased to say that we’ll have an AFFORDABLE American tube amplifier on the market very soon!
It’s a very surreal feeling to see all of your dreams come true. My last remaining dream is for the company to be successful enough to bring Ashlee on full time. I truly believe that will happen. I just want her to be a part of the company’s day to day activities. She is an amazing person and she is needed in our industry as well. There’s a reason I named our flagship guitar after her….
A PERSONAL FAREWELL TO STEVE JOBS
Almost everyone that knows me also knows that I’m a big fan of Apple. Part of the mythos, magic, reality distortion field, or “cloud” (if you will) was certainly due to Steve Jobs’ brilliance. Steve understood the difference in an OK product and a great one. He was meticulous about ever facet of design and he was also driven beyond the common person to turn his vision into a reality. Steve’s presence in the world will be truly missed.
I always felt a close connection to Jobs even before I knew who the hell he was. I’ve always been into art and drawing and one thing that always bothered me was drawing circles. Even with a compass I couldn’t quite get it right. There was always that intersect point where the lines would either slightly overlap or get bolder by default. Not to mention that once you drew the circle, you only had one. What if you needed two exact same circles or wanted to come back to it when you felt like it? If you applied too much pressure, your compass expanded and you didn’t have a joined circle. I hated that. Therefore, I never drew circles. Well…. until one day in 1985….
My cousin Troy called me over to his house to play one day (I was 11) and showed me this new computer they got called a Macintosh. He said you could draw with this thing called a mouse. I said “what can you draw?” He showed me the demos that came with MacPaint. You could draw details of all sorts – one example was a sweet looking gargoyle with shading and hatching just like a real hand drawn image. I can’t remember all of the other ones but I remember being blown away that you could draw all of this with a computer. I then asked Troy: “Can it draw circles?”. Troy showed me the elliptical marquis tool and and I was floored. A perfect circle in 2 seconds. No mess, no fuss. And I could save this drawing and come back to it and CHANGE it if I wanted. When I erased sections of the circle, there was no eraser lint or damage to the paper in any way. I was still working with a perfect substrate. So what did I do next? I did what any other kid did that grew up in the 80’s…. I drew the sweetest looking Death Star you’ve ever seen! I even erased the edges and filled them in with scribbly lines to make it look like the unfinished Death Star in Return of the Jedi. I added the trench, laser dish, even surface details.
This was one billion times cooler than the lame ass commodore 64s we were using in school.
I learned two things that day:
1. I would use computers in the future for drawing.
2. I didn’t care what they taught in school, I was never learning programming code.
Years went by and since we didn’t need (or could afford) a computer, we never got one when I lived at home. It wasn’t until my Junior year of college that I began to feel like I HAD TO HAVE a computer to get my life in order and get organized. I bought my first Mac in 1996 on the Apple student loan program and paid out the nose for it. It was a PowerMac 5400/120 that sported a whopping 1.6Gb hard drive and 136Mb of RAM. That was a lot in those days. I promised myself that I would make it worth the money I spent. It was $3,900 but since I didn’t know what loan interest truly meant at the time, I paid closer to $8,000. Yep. You read that right.
In the years to come, I would learn graphic and web design, how to write custom filemaker database files (which I still use to this day), video editing, and how to record and produce my own albums. I designed a logo for my company (that didn’t even exist yet). It was a circle. Then A dot. A Pladd Dot. And it became my identity. Just like Apple’s iconic logo, the Pladd Dot can be recognized with no text at all. Just a beautiful Pladd Dot.
Since corporations have to hire web masters, IT guys, graphic designers, and spend upwards in the 100s of thousands of dollars to develop corporate logos (and I do all of that for Pladd Dot), I’d say that my first Mac was $8,000 well spent.
It’s wild when I look back and look at the images above. I draw my amplifier chassis, circuit boards, logos, and layout with my Mac. Ty draws our guitars on his Mac. We’re now able to create 2D or 3D images in a computer and then turn them into a real object.
It’s a tool that I use everyday. It has enriched my life and I couldn’t live or work without it.
So yes–I feel a personal connection to Steve Jobs. He died on October 5th, 2011 (my 37th birthday).
Thanks for all you gave, Steve. I’ll miss you like hell.