Tuesday, June 11, 2013

An Open Letter to Nintendo of Canada

An Open Letter to Nintendo of Canada,
Hi. I'm Matti. I grew up with you. I watched you go from 8 bits, to 64 bits. From SD Wii to the Wii U, and it's because I've known you so long that I think we need to talk.
I have a soft spot for you. I always have. I always will. Some of my best gaming memories are with you. I loved you from the moment I picked up my first copy of Zelda. I remember spending hours playing with Mario's face in Mario 64. When I got my very own Nintendo 64 under the Christmas tree that year, I very nearly shit a proverbial brick. You had so many good games and so many interesting ways to play and to experience new things.
And here lies my problem.
Where's the new?
I just watched your Nintendo direct and I was underwhelmed. Yes, I love Zelda. Yes, I love Pokemon, and Smash Brothers, and Donkey Kong and will most likely get them when they come out (If I've bought a Wii U at that point).
But I have a serious issue I need to discuss with you. You're stuck.
I don't know how else to say it Nintendo, but you are stuck. You are stuck, stuck, stucky stuck-stuck. Your proverbial rut runs so deep that it's shocking to me that you can't see how stuck you are, or that you've been in this position before.
When you innovate you do great things. You've given us THE major gaming franchises. Juggernauts like Metroid, Mario and Zelda. The gaming franchises that crafted some of my most tender childhood memories. I can't count the hours I spent on Smash Brothers, playing alongside my childhood friends...
But there is one thing that you used to do that you don't anymore.
Nintendo: Please innovate again.
In your entire press conference you displayed a total of ONE new franchise. Beside that, you had Smash Brothers (the fourth in the series), Donkey Kong Country Tropic Freeze (The second in a reboot of a series that ran for three), a new Mario 3d land reboot (countless entries), and a Zelda Remake (Mind you, for one of the BEST Zelda games that has ever been made... but still... Not even a new Zelda game?)
Nintendo, you are an amazing company who makes great franchises... but you haven't had a new standout franchise since Pikmin... and that was 10 years ago now. I LOVE me Animal Crossing... and that was 10 years ago... It seems like your desire to create new franchises died with the Gamecube. Now you pump out new iterations of franchises every year. Yes, I love Mario Kart, but we have 8 of them now! Yes I love Mario, but two-five new games every year is pushing it, even for gaming's most recognizable mascot.
I am frustrated by you because I want to see you succeed. Remember the Wii? Remember how well it did because it was something fresh, innovative and new? You can't just expect to keep pumping out old franchises and hoping that these projects will float your company indefinitely. Something either grows or it dies, and right now you need to innovate or face the harsh consequences.
You are perfectly poised to do amazing things, especially with the Xbox One fiasco and the PS4 easily poised to swoop in and become the system of choice for the next generation of games. If you can find the right games to reach peoples hearts, you can easily succeed for decades to come.
A gaming world without Nintendo is not a gaming world that I believe to be worth it. We need your innovation and spirit back again to help keep the competition in line and the world gaming in new and unique ways.
You were once the ultimate in innovation. I hope to see the day when you are again.
With much love from a big fan,
Matti McLean

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The beauty in average

I think I've come to the conclusion that in many ways, I am not a remarkable human being.
I will never be a pro athlete.
I will never be a pop star and go on tour to meet Katy Perry, Carly Rae Jepsen and all the other pop stars I love.
I will continue to make horrible life choices when it comes to love and have my heart broken, beaten and left for dead on the side of the road.

However, I have discovered something about myself. I fear being average. I fear the thought that I am an unremarkable human being. I fear the idea that my life is un-extraordinary and will not amount to the amazing journey I know it can be. I fear being forgotten and being bland and plain.
However, I've also come to accept where I am in my life.
While I will never be a pro athlete, I am athletic for the first time in my life, and doing things that I never thought I could do. I'm becoming a silks aerialist and that in itself is pretty awesome.

I may never be a pop star, but I have worked on my singing voice to the point where I feel it will benefit my career. I can sing better than I ever have before. My voice is stronger and it's unique tone will more than likely land me a job or two one day. In the meantime, I'm more than happy to sing whenever I can (including at home at all hours)

Finally, when it comes to love, I'm sure that one day I wont need it. I wont need to have my worth and value connected to how other people, be they lovers or losers, and how they feel about me. And at that time, I'm more than confident that if someone was to come along, I would happily be willing to spend time and effort on them.

There is a beauty in knowing where you are in the moment. There's a beauty in being ok with where you are in life. There's something special about knowing that you don't have to be everything to everyone, and that's ok, because you're something to someone. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

In the interrim

While filming I'm afraid that I'm not exactly able to keep this updated as often as I'd like to.
I'll have many stories when I return, but unfortunately must put this procedure on hold while I am away and simply upload the photos to the facebook group.
Thanks so much everyone for helping to be a part of this amazing project! I promise to have everyones journal done very soon!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Matti Paints - Subject Ala

Ala is one of the best storytellers I've ever met.
He is fascinating, crafting stories from everything from his song choices, (he had multiple stories for almost every song) to his colours and even his poses.  The entire time I was painting him was delightful as within moments he was cracking jokes. He's one of the few people who have come in and totally owned the space he was residing it. He wasn't challenging me, the process or the space, but he was aware of it all and gracious enough to let it happen. It was a strange but enjoyable dynamic.

He is a fascinating individual that I am so glad has come into my life.
I was so glad when I finally got him to come by and be a part of it. Plus, we both love the Tug of War era Carly Rae, and a fondness for Cory Lee.
According to Ala, Cory was one of his three major influences in his life. So if you're reading this Cory, you got a fan boy!
I'm not really sure how much else there is to say about Ala. His beauty as a person is undeniable both inside and out.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Matti Paints - Subject Brittanie

So I haven't done this before, but I really wanted to for this piece.

Now there are several paintings that I've done that I love. This was easily one of them. My immediate reaction after I finished it was "Wow... I did that?"

I guess a part of this goes back to my own personal insecurities (which I speak of in detail HERE), but when I finished this, I really felt like I had made something special. Something awesome. Something I could REALLY be proud of.

NOW, maybe I should take this back to the beginning.

Look! It's Brittanie!
She works with me at the Hot Oven and we generally get along famously. We've only had a few shifts together, but this girl has already kicked into the mode of surrogate little sister.
We joke. We laugh. Mostly that's about it.

Anyhow when I told her about my project she jumped at the chance and actually pitched me an idea.

"So, do you think you could do something like starry night?"
For serious? For true?
I don't think I can properly express how excited I was at the prospect of doing this piece.
Van Gogh has long been one of my major artistic influences. His use of colour and form are incredible and I LOVE working with new material.

So obviously the colours were picked for us and we just had to find a suitable playlist. Turns out she loves Red Hot Chili Peppers so we had a good base to start from. I had to introduce her to Petty Victories because that's just what friends do, and I added Tonight Tonight to the list simply because the song fits beautifully in with the painting style.

Combine this with an extremely photogenic model and we had our shot in a matter of minutes. I am in love with this painting and am so glad that I got to have this experience with Brittanie. She's a really amazing person and I'm so glad that I've got to meet her.

Is the picture an exact replica of Starry Night? Of course not. No one can copy his genius in twenty minutes. But working with what I had, I have to say I am so proud, not only of Brittanie but of myself for being able to do something so close to the original in so short a period of time.

I could go into paragraphs upon paragraphs about this piece so maybe it's best I end it here. But I am SO thankful and proud of this piece and this canvas. Thanks for letting me be your big bro for a day!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Matti Paints - Subject Ari

I think Ari was one my more pleasant surprises.
We met briefly at one of Libby and Cassie's wild parties. He was an interesting guy, and shortly thereafter he asked to be painted.

I really enjoyed everything about the experience. He was one of those quiet, cool guys you see and instantly know there's more to this guy than you thought.
Pictured: Dark and Mysterious
Turns out I was right!

Ari and I talked about many things during his session from school, to his life growing up in Bulgaria, to his schooling and the girls he was dating. He was a wealth of interesting information, and even though I could tell he was nervous at the beginning, as the painting continued he began to relax more and more. Before long it felt more like I was talking to a friend. Or more likely a bro. I now understand bromance.

 Musically he chose excellent songs. And a good and interesting variety of indie, rock and even a Reggae tribute to Radiohead. Lots of Killers too. We had some good talks about them.

His colour choices of orange and black ended creating an almost tiger like pattern on his face, and especially on his left shoulder which I really liked. It fit really well with his character which was a nice, fun element. I enjoyed contrasting a bit of the blue which I thought contrasted nicely with the orange.
Overall I was extremely pleased with how the picture came out and am really glad to have got the chance to work with him.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Matti Paints - Subject Adam

So in painting Adam, I had some cheats that make this picture a little bit more planned than the other ones.

I know Adam since he is room mates with Matt R. (You can see his excellent portrait HERE) and was pleasantly surprised when he volunteered to be a part of the project. We didn't know each other well so I was really looking forward to the experience.

What made his canvas so unusual was how the paint reacted to his skin. The gold and silver were applied in a thin coat all over, but it's so translucent that you can hardly see it! I managed to work around that easily enough however and ended up with  rather dynamic photo.

Our music tastes are quite different which is something I found amusing. It was interesting to force someone out of their regular music choices by making them consider and listen to a project. We of course managed to find some common ground.

The reason I found this such an unusual canvas was simply because in the initial batch there wasn't a picture that was useable so we went back and retook a variety of photos from the same angle. I like to think it's not cheating since I made the project, but a small part of me still feels guilty about it. That being said, I really enjoyed how it turned out. Especially the big bold pop-art style pop outs on his chest and face.