Some of you may realise this, some of you not, but Flip Flop Flyin’ has existed as a web site since May 1999. That’s twelve-and-a-half years. As with anything that has existed for that long, things have changed. Looking at the home page, there are things in the “Ongoing” section that, really, if I’m completely honest, aren’t ongoing at all. Minipops, for example. Those little buggers are the reason why the site had a certain amount of success in the first place. They are probably the best idea I ever had, even though, and I will always insist on this fact, someone would’ve come up with the idea of drawing famous people really small eventually. I just happened to be the person who did it, and that was pretty cool. I doubt there’ll be a time when I lock the door of Minipops and say definitively that I am not doing any more of them, but I just don’t feel Minipoppy much any more.
I’ve been reflecting on the site a wee bit of late. Mostly because I spend a heck of a lot more of my time working on Flip Flop Fly Ball, the baseball-themed site, these days. Part of that is due to my seemingly never-ending obsession with the game, and also partly because it’s nice to have that thrill of people liking my stuff. And that happens more with the baseball stuff than with the bloggy or arty stuff. I’ve come to realise something, and I came to realise this because I recently looked at an old version of FFF that I have archived on my hard drive, and clicked on some of the links from the FFF links page that existed in 2001. Some of those links contain wonderful work. Wonderful work that I haven’t looked at in many many years. People still keep working, but I have, sadly, stopped looking. And maybe it’s strange that it took that to make me realise that my twelve-year-old site is one of those sites for a lot of people, too.
But the main thing I thought about was that over the past five years, there has been a slow decline in the level of joy and silliness that I’ve put on Flip Flop Flyin’. But in truth, I’m probably not as joyful and silly as I was back then. It’s still there, though. And while ideas and the sparks that create ideas are important, working at that joy is something I’ve not devoted any time to of late. I’m kind of in the mood to change that. Partly because I’m going through a period of cluster headaches at the moment, and they make me so damn miserable. They’re painful, they ruin my sleep, I’m tired as hell, and find it tough to do anything other than sit in my room all day long. And the best way for me to start feeling the joy is opening the “Ideas and Sketches” folder on my hard drive and looking at some of the older ideas that never got made, and seeing if there’s something good there that can help kick start some joy on the site again. There’s, even if I do say so myself, quite a lot of good stuff in there. And that folder’s purpose is for times like this, when I feel like doing something but don’t know what to do. Just because they’re old ideas, doesn’t mean they’re sub-par. Some of them are, but some of them were just things I never got around to making.
Of course, it’s entirely possible that I’m not capable of doing that again. It’s difficult to see within yourself, I think. I mean, I’m sure when a band releases a new record and say it’s the best thing they’ve ever done, they do genuinely mean it. But you listen to it a couple of times, try to like it, but really, it’s nowhere near as good as their first, second, and third albums. Maybe I am at that point with the silly stuff. Which is all a very long way of saying that I’ve made a new silly animation. It’s short, it’s childish, but it makes me giggle. Which is pretty much all I want it to be. The first drawing within this particular folder is called “jellydog.psd” and was created at 4:36 am on 11 February 2004. It was just a drawing. So I added a couple of elements, a tiny slither of a story, and here it is: The dog who hates golf. It’s not the best thing I’ve ever done by any stretch of the imagination, but when I was making it, I enjoyed doing so, and I smiled. And that, for now, is enough.