My name is Magic. I was born 22 years ago to my father Richard Garfield and I have quite a storied upbringing. I remember finger painting as a child, and always prefered to paint with blue. It offers a lot of counterplay to other hues and makes for the most powerful paintings. I decided a few years ago to start painting with more colors though because balance in life makes for a richer experience. I didn’t forget blue and still paint with it often, but whites, greens, reds, and even shades of black have worth too.
I also remember some years where I had temper problems as a kid and broke a bunch of things. The worst was in 1994 during a particularly cold winter. Since then I’ve only had one angry period of breaking things as an angsty teenager in 2004, a phase during which I particularly liked shiny metal objects.
But enough background on me. The reason I’m here today is to discuss my New Year’s Resolutions. Like many others, this is the time of year where I both reflect on the past and project my goals for the upcoming year. I think I can grow a lot, and so I’ve outlined the three areas where I can best branch out.
1. Build On My Strengths
If there’s one thing I get praised for most, it’s being myself. I know who I am and what I’m good at. Every 3 months I reinvent myself with new trends and ideas. In fact, you could say I’m a trend-setter and while many of my friends try to copy on my successes, no one else can really be as good as me: Magic. I think that’s because some see aspects of me and think I’m worse off for them, when in fact they’re strengths. It takes a while to really get to know me, and even though I can be a little erratic from time to time I think that just makes me more exciting. Some of my other friends just go about their business the same way every day.
Ever since I was a kid I’ve had a good eye for fashion sense. I’ve always been well dressed and I like to show off my looks. My wardrobe is set out to match nicely in 2-color pairs which I draft up together. People understand these 2-color pairs and respect me for the way I combine and match these colors. When I pair blue with white I look cool and collected, waiting for the crowd to make the first move. On other days I pair black with red and look more inspired to make bold claims and make the day about me.
What I forget to do at times is build in complexity and final touches. This is mostly when I have limited time—when I have enough time to construct the perfect outfit I do really well. The thing about having limitations is that it’s important to remember the details. It’s all about that uncommon pocket square poking out from my otherwise predictable outfit that separates me from the crowd. This past summer I showed off what I called my “Origins” line. The problem was some people thought I was dressed too plainly. I’ve promised more advanced wear this coming year with less basic designs, and hope I can build in some sweet styles that let me be more expressive. Building around key uncommon garments is very fun and something I hope to emphasize even more in the future.
2. Live Up To My Promises
I have had many mentors over the years to help me become the best version of me. Some of them have helped with my PR image, while others have taught me new languages and given me the skills to constantly reinvent myself. With these backers, I have always lived up to the promise of being the best me and I believe 2016 will be no different. Recently, I unveiled that I’ll be making an old-timey movie called “The Watchers of the Gate.” It’s a mob drama but most importantly it recaptures the past by being a black and white movie. No color! I just have to make sure that my audience gets it and doesn’t think it compares poorly to past films I’ve made.
As part of my drama background I’ve worked with many coaches that tell me where to stand on stage and how to present myself to the camera. I’ve always been a little awkward in this area, and it’s something I’ve worked on every year with my New Year’s Resolutions. This past year I tried to get over the awkwardness through sheer volume. I traveled to more film festivals all over the world more than I ever have before and I always bring my trusty crew with me. My vocal coach Marshall Sutcliffe never turns down a challenge to travel and I can always trust him to help me put on a good show. However, there were just too many shows. I want to cut back on the travel a bit and focus more on the delivery of each film. My plan is to make each the beacon it deserves to be.
I’m a vibrant person but very analytical and like to think about how things will play out scene by scene. Because of this, my movies are often slower paced than those of other fellow directors Blizzard or Riot and it can be hard to keep the attention of all my viewers. How I attract more of an audience has always been on my mind, and I think the best way is to deliver a winning movie that’s well scripted that also respects the audience’s time. I need to make sure there’s less down time between scenes and build story arcs that last between my films. Focusing on my main actors will bring out the best of my work, and while I still think my movies are better than Blizzard’s or Riot’s I could learn a thing or two from them about how to present myself.
3. Develop My Computer Program into Pure Greatness
When I was in my teens, I started my first computer class and built my very first program called Online Me. I threw it into a beta test and opened it up to the public and before I knew it I had a very real program on my hands that required a lot of attention. Everyone loved my program but felt it was a bit slow and laggy and had many other infrastructure problems. I hired a few of my friends and we rebuilt the program to be a better version. Sadly that didn’t work out and the program was full of bugs.
I’m not exactly the type of person to be deterred though and for years I worked on Online Me to make it functional, but at every turn I faced problems. Looking back I probably should have turned to others for more help, but I was proud of what I had built, and my loyal users still logged in frequently because a bare-bones version was still better to them than having nothing at all. I had something very unique and special on my hands, and I promised more to my users because they’re worth it to me. I’m still trying to improve and deliver on that promise.
Last year I worked on stability and making a program that lined up to expectations. I brought back an old feature called Lounges and it’s been a big success ever since. This year I want to make forward progress rather than play catch-up. I want Online Me to grow more than it ever has before but to do so it needs to focus on continued stability and building in more fundamental features. To do this it’s going to require a big budget because I’m going to need even more programmers, and a bigger R&D team to think of ways to build the user experience. The easiest way is to just pick up my phone and call up my grandpa Hasbro. He comes from old money and would probably extend me a loan if he knew how much potential my program has. The only problem is that first I have to prove that Online Me is worth the investment because obviously it’s a big risk to dump large amounts of money into my program. Luckily, he’s family and I think I should be able to convince him.
This year I want Online Me to get to the point that it never crashes and is bug free. Without worrying about micromanaging issues I can start to think bigger picture and start to apply new features that are unthinkable under the stresses of maintaining functionality. The program as it stands is still incredible, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Without a good push I might never get it there, but I’m confident that with the right energy, focus, and team I can. Here’s to 2016.
With my goals in writing I can only hope to live up to them. Remember that these are not my manager’s (Wizards of the Coast) stated goals and only my interpretations of where I should be headed.
As a fashion maven, film director, and computer program manager you can see that I’m pretty busy. However, I wear my many hats quite well. Happy New Years! May we all grow to be the best versions of ourselves.