What’s amazing about life is that people and industries collide and make alliances in random, unexpected ways. Creativity is the driving force between the ‘Collision’, I’m dealing with in this particular instance. Last April, I believe, I was going through my Twitter stream, when I came to a Tweet that read,”What could you contribute to the founding of a Hip Hop Museum?” So, feeling my Tinkercad Oats, I just tweeted back, “Figurines of Hip Hop Culture.” I never expected to hear anything back-I thought that anybody tweeting that must be some student volunteers canvassing for information, trying to determine if there was any interest in a Hip Hop Museum. I got a response pretty quickly, which asked me to show my work….then when I started communicating with these people, they turned out to be some of the OG’s of Hip Hop, the ‘real deal ‘people who were not only in the South Bronx when Hip Hop was born, but were the Doctors, Nurses, and Midwives, that delivered the Baby!
So, I showed Rocky Bucano, the Main Organizer of the Universal Hip Hop Museum, some designs I had been fleshing out based on the memories of my youth. If you know me, you know that I love Tinkercad because I can make anything I want with it, and I had always intended to make figurines of Hip Hop Culture. Months before I collided with the UHHM, the Universal Hip Hop Museum, I had already cranked out a Kangol Hat and was trying it on some Figures…. By and large, the designs on Tinkercad are demographically predictable. You mostly get 5-12 year old students there on Tinkercad-I’d say 90% of the offerings come from this group. Then you have precocious teen-agers who know 3D Technology-I estimate 7 % of these users on Tinkercad. Then you have adult hobbyists, professional artists, and random people like me, who just try to push Tinkercad to the limits of its powers-3% of the 2 million users.
If Tinkercad were to have AI do an intensive analysis of the Subject Matter of its database of designs, I think 50% of it would be kids making Minecraft models, 40% would be SCANS of guns,or models that were made by professional, commercial artists, and only 10% would be original content derived from an individual’s own creative processes. Out of 2 million users, am I the only one that has ever made a figure or design of an African-American woman? That was completely made from scratch, not SCANNED? I’m guessing so. Sad, but true. The first piece I ever saw that dealt with Hip Hop on Tinkercad was my Memorial to Notorious. B.I.G., then my Memorial to JamMaster Jay. These were not original, they were photos brought in through Tinkercad’s 2D import feature, then put onto geometrical shapes….but I then realized that the vast potential of Tinkercad had to reach the vast potential of the people I had grown up with, the Crazy MF’s, born into cycles of crime and neglect.
One of the hardest things to deal with in life is seeing people you have grown up with, people who were your friends your whole life, people you love,taking turns into tracks that lead to drug abuse, crime, violence, and death. When Hip Hop came along in my neighborhood, and in my life, I’ll never forget how much of a change it brought. People were not just thinking about drugs, or how to steal money for those drugs….they were dancing in the streets, they were making rhymes up, and using their vital energies for something VITAL….a door of HOPE opened up!!! When I first heard GrandMaster Flash, the Furious Five, and Melle Mel’s, “The Message”, I thought “Wow, that guy just said to NOT to do drugs, or jump into the Crime-Cycle,”-What a concept!!!
I have memory banks full of that 70’s-80’s energy, and I hope it shows in the exclusive designs I made in honor of the founding of the UHHM…I’m sure some people would say that these designs are simplistic, and not very good. These same people would barely be able to make a stick figure of a human form with Tinkercad, let alone make a human face or remotely portray the fluid motions of a dancing figure….which brings me to this point…Why is KrasherOx on Tinkercad every day, trying to work his ass off to figure out how to bring as much realism to it as possible??? Because I realize that Tinkercad is the only app out there that has instantly intuitive controls to get every single kid in the world into the 3D Tech without feeling intimidated. I’m trying to develop techniques that make really detailed, intense designs, so that I can share this knowledge with the Hard-Luck kids or people who don’t have $4ooo.oo to buy Maya, or the fancy computer to run it on. When I see what the educators out there are making their students do as projects on Tinkercad, I laugh! I’ve spent thousands of hours on Tinkercad, and I know a lot of its secrets-I guarantee you I can walk into a classroom full of absolute beginners and have them making designs that JUMP!!! Designs that they could print out and sell on the streets. I can walk out of Tinkercad tomorrow and never throw another design on the board, and move on to ZBrush, like my main man, Carmelo Nazario, the Creator.
But before I leave Tinkercad behind, I want to develop a Lexicon of style, a library of tricks and tips for my kind of people to be able to use and progress from. I feel that Tinkercad has not even begun to tap its potential because there is a whole planet of people from Demographics Unknown who haven’t gotten the word yet… they have not yet arrived. I want to see what THEY do with Tinkercad. They don’t even know that an amazing gift called Tinkercad has been dropped onto the Planet, a gift that can empower any and every child to become a creative entrepreneur and take charge of their own destiny….When Hip Hop dropped on the Planet, I saw the amazing power of Human Creativity unleashed….a Power that transcends place, race, and circumstance…I see Tinkercad as a vehicle, alongside Hip Hop, and the UHHM, as a force for universal positive change.
On April 21, 2016, Autodesk sent a Tinkercad representative to attend the UHHM’s Cypher Event. It was an event where Rocky Bucano had invited everybody from the Hip Hop Community, the South Bronx Community, and any commercial sponsors to come to the Old Bronx Courthouse to actually participate in the planning of the UHHM’s brick and mortar museum. The Old Bronx Courthouse itself was going to be transformed and reclaimed for Hip Hop, in the way that the old tenements of New York had been transformed and reclaimed by the original founders of Hip Hop. This was the premise as laid out by the ‘Hip Hop Architect’, Michael Ford. I was very pleased to see pictures of Tinkercad’s Andrew Taylor standing next to Kurtis Blow, the SugarHill Gang, Roxane Shante and other Hip Hop legends. I had actually asked the illustrious Guillermo Melantoni if Tinkercad and Autodesk would be willing to help the UHHM out with sponsorship in any way, because I had been corresponding with Rocky Bucano and thinking of any way I could help the fledgling movement get some momentum. I give Autodesk and Tinkercad a lot of credit for having the interest and insight to attend that event…and I hope it was the beginning of a long partnership between Creative Giants…
I grew up in the 60’s,70’s and 80’s in the Haight-Ashbury of San Francisco. I saw the Black Panthers with my own eyes. I saw the Hippies with my own eyes. I smelled the weed with my own nose….I heard everybody speaking of Revolution and Promise, and saw all that rhetoric disappear into an abyss of self-destruction, co-option, delusion, and absorption into the Machine….A real chance at Revolution has come back. With the UHHM, Hip Hop is reclaiming its original mission, and with Tinkercad, the power to create an aesthetic and technology based on one’s own unique culture has quietly, but irrevocably, come to Earth on a silver platter.
On the hidden corners of Tinkercad’s tough part of town, I’m throwing grafitti onto walls, making designs representative of the world I know and love, calling the Mother-Ships down to bring the Funk….waiting for the other outsiders to come….If you’re a parent or educator, and you want you kids to really know how to go full-throttle on Tinkercad, just look for one of my designs and hit a communication link…I will be there for them to share whatever knowledge and insight I have…e T.Y.S.