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2013 review

This year was… quite the experience. Especially during the school year. I don’t know if I can say I’ve ever experienced higher highs and lower lows within such a short period of time. On the one hand I made some wonderful new friends, was able to share my ideas and artwork with others, got an opportunity to teach Sunday School (something I’ve been wanting to do for a while), got good grades and was able to get a full-tuition academic scholarship, was able to buy myself a new computer when I needed to, and had some of the best movie nights ever. On the other hand, the work load was heavy, a friend disappointed me, I’ve never felt more envious in my life, there were times of loneliness and confusion, and when all was said and done, there was nothing I wanted to do more than go home.

 

Except that I couldn’t go home. Because there was a family reunion scheduled for that side of the country two weeks after school let out, so I spent those two weeks vacationing with my grandparents. In the end it was about a month after school that I was finally able to be home. I was still trying to recover emotionally. I needed time alone, but I never got to be alone. I was always in a car or in a tent with somebody else. Camping is not how I generally like to spend my vacation. I don’t quite understand the allure of going out of your way to use an outhouse, freeze to death at night, and live out of a suitcase. When I wasn’t camping, I was on the road, visiting distant relatives I’ve barely met before, or looking at various historical sites and canyons. The canyons were great, by the way, but going to three different canyons in three days was a bit much for me. How is it that my grandparents have higher stamina than me?

On the other hand, during that vacation I was introduced to Sherlock and I got to watch a live performance of Les Miserables.

 

Things at last stabilized when I got home. There were still bouts of loneliness and bitterness, but I was in a safe environment. I could pursue my own projects. In fact, I consider those homemade audiobooks to be one of my great triumphs this year, because I tried something different and expanded myself. I learned new things. And while I was working on it, I was able to be deeply focused in that project, and I could forget about everything else. Other than that, I also did a couple of art projects that I am proud of.

 

In 2013 I learned that things don’t always go the way you expect and that people sometimes disappoint you. But life goes on. There is pleasure to be had at… creating and teaching, the way it expands you and the way you find you can contribute to other people’s lives. I loved 2013, really I did. But it hurt sometimes, and it was hard, it challenged me. I guess that’s alright, because that’s what I asked for. All in all, I’m glad it happened.

 

One last thing, I wanted to do a tribute to some of the artwork I did this year. I hope I will create more and better artwork in the future.

 

Getting closer

It’s been a while since I’ve last written. Well, I’ve been really busy with those projects. It’s been tiring, I’m ready to be done with it all. I’m almost done… I guess. It’s at the point where I’m like, “Well, it’s not brilliant but there’s not much more I can do to it.” I’m not sure how brilliant these recordings actually are, it’s not easy to measure without someone on the receiving end. I’m torn between my desire to do a good job and my desire to have done and get it wrapped and under the tree already.

We don’t have any presents under the tree yet. I suppose that’s part of the reason why Christmas seemed to come so fast this year, there hasn’t been a lot of anticipation involved. Low-budget holiday. I’m good with that, though of course there are the corners of my soul that feel it’s a rather anti-climatic way to end the year. I’m chalking that up to the crankiness I’ve been feeling lately, because I’m a terribly light sleeper and since my bedroom’s right next to the living room (which hears the most activity), sometime’s it’s hard to feel like I’m getting adequate sleep.

 

I’m trying to let my mind be calm. Peaceful. Like this image I just finished creating today. Thank goodness it’s done. Another project off my shoulder and to my credit, which I’m still struggling to feel triumphant about (it’ll be a delayed reaction I’m sure). This is what I said about it when I posted it on Facebook: “At last it is done. For those who like to see me post artwork, I’m sorry I haven’t for a while, I’ve been involved with other projects. Time consuming, exhausting, but hopefully worthwhile projects. This probably only got done because my sister had to borrow my laptop for something, and I able to take a break from what I’m doing. This image was inspired from a great piece of literature, A Christmas Carol. I was thinking of the Ghost of Christmas Past when it came to mind, but did not create it based on the description Dickens gave. I thought this would be prettier. In the end I think this image is… pretty sorta close to what I hoped it would look like. Kind of.”

 

Monday looks brighter

I admit I was a little bit cranky yesterday. I don’t know what it is about Sundays and me lately. They ought to be one of the best days of the week, but sometimes my worst days are Sundays. Admittedly, this morning wasn’t all that fun either. Winter driving. Trying to maintain a safe distance between the car  going 35 on a 55 mph area in front of me. But since I’ve gotten to work on my projects, things have been looking better. Nothing like work to heal the souls I guess. I’m working on two projects, audiobook and artwork. I hope to get both of them done before Christmas, and like I said before, it might be a close call.

 

The artwork will probably be made into a card. It’s sort of Christmas-y. Sort of. I mean, I came up with the idea when I was thinking about A Christmas Carol. It’s kinda inspired by the Ghost of Christmas Past. Except… that it doesn’t look like the way he’s described in the book. So it will be different. It will be… more me-ish. I’m not sure that’s exactly a desirable quality for something related to Christmas, but I mean it well. I’ll post a picture when I have it ready.

 

I don’t know how I’m going to push myself into getting everything done it time, but I’m sure I’ll find a way.

It’s friday gang

My art teacher would always say “It’s friday gang” on fridays.

 

Wonder of wonders, I did some coloring today. It’s been a long time since I’ve worked on any art– about a month. It’s weird being back, because the pattern is so familiar, but it still has kind of a new feeling to it. As I said before, I don’t want to let my art skills get rusty because I’m working on other projects. I still hope to get those projects done before Christmas (less than two weeks already?) but this morning I’ll be doing art. I may work on my project in the evening. See, there’s a Christmas part at my church, but not all of the family will fit into our car, so some will stay behind. It would be perfect if I was left behind, because I can’t record comfortably with people around. Unfortunately, there’s always someone in the house, which is very small and not really sound proof. That’s why I usually go into the car to record, but that’s been harder to do since it got cold. But I might have the house to almost to myself this evening, so that’s a possibility.

 

I love that I can keep myself busy with all these projects and trying new things. It’s a wonderful opportunity. I just wish I could… give back somehow. Despite all that I do, sometimes I wonder if I’m actually contributing. But I think it has and will pay off in the little things, like when my friends ask for one of my prints or when my little sister quotes my comic to me.

Latest Zazzle product- 2014 calendar

Well, I got myself to do it. I got myself to create a calendar to be available for purchase at Zazzle, which will include a combination of my work from this year and last year, making sure to get in favorites like Nymph, Masquerade, and Torrent. I get the royalties for every purchase. What I don’t tithe of what I earn will go toward my education, and education will make me a better person, and if I am a better person I will be able to bring more happiness to the world, therefore purchasing one of these calendars will bring happiness to the world. Alright, so that’s a logical fallacy, but since real advertisements use logical fallacies all the time, I figured I could have a go at it. Anyway, you can access the calendar at http://www.zazzle.com/2014_calendar-158047769807698495

 

I am also going to see if I can go about getting some prints available, and of course you can contact me if you want a custom made calendar so that I can produce one with all of your favorite of my works, in case you’re not completely satisfied with my picks, which are shown below.

 

Ice PrincessesMay I returnTorrentNymphOut of the WildernessEnchanted PlaceCaptain of the Red WingsCastle in the CloudsRagna's WrathMasqueradeCelebrating AutumnSwan Lake Dream

Early in the morning

Being a light sleeper has its advantages. For example, earlier this year when I had a 6:30 am class, I never once overslept my alarm clock. On the other hand, it also has its drawbacks. Like being awake at 4:00 am and not feeling like it’s worth trying to get back to sleep for an hour and a half.

 

But maybe you want to hear what’s been going on the last few days. Well, I haven’t come up with a new concept for my next artwork yet, I got a few chapters into a book I don’t know if I want to finish, and I tried to write a story only to get stuck again.

 

However, as it is nearing the end of the year, its time for me to start getting ready for the school year. I have no doubt it will be an adventure, and I kind of need an adventure. I’m not an adventurous soul, but I feel that I’m still rough and unpolished and that’s what I need to smooth out the edges. There’s always a bit of anxiousness attached to starting a new year.

 

Do you think maybe I should start making calendars and stuff on Zazzle? I have a hard time getting myself to do it. After all, it never makes a difference. Nobody buys. Wouldn’t it be great if they did though? All proceeds that aren’t tithed will go toward my education of course.

New Image: Ragna’s Wrath, and the curse of creative pursuits

Considering what a triumph I believe this image to be, I wish it got a stronger reaction on Facebook. I was feeling quite victorious yesterday when I finished, but now it just seems like a thing of the past.

 

 

Nevertheless, time goes on. I haven’t come up with a new image yet, and I’m not quite sure when it will be a good time to start creating products on Zazzle. I would love to do some creative writing, but it’s harder for me to feel like I’m accomplishing anything while I’m writing, since I’m so much better with art. With art I have something to show for all the time I put into it. But I’ll probably give it a try anyway.

 

 

People are happy when they are engaged in work they enjoy. Work is actually an essential part of our happiness. I like to be involved in creative pursuits, to me that is my work. But it’s hard. It’s wonderful to be creative, but there are so many challenges associated with it. You spend so much time and heart and energy in these projects, and then it really hurts if you don’t think the work is any good, or if people aren’t receiving it the way you want. I felt so accomplished when I finished this image, because I did something I didn’t think I could do at my level. Then I found out I could, and I wanted it to be celebrated. Failing to awe my audience sufficiently, then, is a bit of a blow. Sometimes I feel like I experience renewed disillusion every time I complete a project.

 

I noticed a while ago that when I feel lonely or isolated from the world, I’m more inclined to seek solitude. When I feel ignored, I’m more likely to want to shut down my Facebook, less likely to want to send an email to a friend, more likely to quit blogging. I don’t understand why this is, it sounds like avoiding food when you’re hungry, and that makes no sense to me. But that’s how it happens. Maybe there’s a creative goal I’m willing to pursue that will keep me out in the world, but I can’t think of any creative goal I’d rather pursue than art and creative writing.

 

Awesomeness needs refueling

I really like my latest image. Not only does it look good, but it’s got meaning in it, and it was a bit ambitious for me. I don’t usually involve that many people in one image, which means I’ve also never incorporated such a variety of different poses, they were also in a building, which I don’t normally do. It was fun to conceptualize and fun to see it come together.

 

However, up until this point I’ve managed to go smoothly from one image to the next. As soon as I finished one, I could start in on another almost right away. I thought it was a bit unusual, last year it would usually take me a while between projects to do some brainstorming for my next image. That changed this past year. But after I finished Masquerade… I didn’t have anywhere to go. It’s like… all the images that I did before this year were building up to this last image, and that was the culminating moment. It turned out wonderfully, to the point where I even liked it while I was doing it, but now that it’s done, the awesomeness gage is low, and it needs refueling.

 

Even though I feel like Masquerade was, in some way, a culminating moment for my artwork this year, that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop doing artwork for the year. But it’s falling action at this point. I don’t have a lot of time left in the year, and I have even less time to make my artwork available on Zazzle. You know, on the off chance that some crazy person actually wants to give a calendar with my artwork to someone as a Christmas gift. It could happen.

 

 

AAAAAAAAAAH! Not even long after I posted this, one of my friends asked if I was still selling prints! HAPPINESS! I love my friends. Their awesomeness gage doesn’t even need refueling, because they can hardly contain all of their awesomeness as it is.

 

New Image: Masquerade

The amazing thing is that I actually like this one. In fact, I like it so much I don’t want to look at it too long, for fear I’ll find something about it that I don’t like, thereby ruining the effect.

 

 

I’ve already sort of explained most of the story behind this image in my post “Behind the Mask.” The idea was that each of the costumes/masks are significant in some way either to the character or to me. That’s why it was so fun to conceptualize, it was a creative challenge. Now it’s fun to think about other characters I have and wonder how they would dress for a Masquerade Ball. I tried to create a Cinderella based story that takes place on Masquerade Day and decided that my title character, a fairy godfather named Bastian, would have a gargoyle mask for the occasion. This is partly because he hopes the stoney face will keep people from chatting with him, but also because he’s standing guard on this occasion.

I also imagined that his lady-friend back in the fey realm would dress as a flower girl. The idea was that she would have a basket of flowers, and if you lifted your mask to her and showed her your real face, she would give you a flower based on what she thinks of you. So, if you reveal yourself to her and it turns out that your her friend, she would probably give you a yellow or pink rose, to signify friendship. She carries other flowers like rue for those she disdains, pink carnations for those to whom she is grateful, purple hyacinth for those she feels she has wronged, and a red rose in case the one she loves should reveal himself to her. It’s fun, because the main theme of the holiday is identity, yet instead of picking a costume/mask that speaks something about her own identity, her costume was meant to entice other people to reveal their true identity. People often like to know what other people think of them.

Almost done

I’m almost done with Masquerade. I’ll finish it up tomorrow, then pray it doesn’t lose any quality when it’s scanned in. I’m particularly worried about the reds. It’s been so long since I’ve been this satisfied with an image.

 

I’m worried that I’m becoming one of those kinds of women that feel guilty whenever they’re not doing something productive. I suppose for a lot of them, it’s a matter of not taking care of themselves because they’re busy attending other people’s needs. While I don’t think I’m liable to suffer from over-selflessness towards other people, I do feel like I should be engaged in projects that are helpful, useful, or beneficial– like, for developing talents and stuff. It’s a darned nuisance, because I don’t think it’s quite the right attitude to have, even though there’s a lot of good intent behind it. I don’t want to feel guilty for taking time to read a book. I’ve really felt like reading something lately, but there was my latest artwork looming over my head. Since they take so long to do, sometimes it’s hard to feel like you’re making any progress at all.

It’s kinda sad. I can’t stand the look of some of the images I did two years ago. There’s not a lot from last year that I’m especially fond of. Hours on top of hours go into these images, and then it’s only a few of said images that I actually end up liking.

 

You’d think that with all these grievances I have about art that I would give up on it one of these days. But I can never quite get myself to do that. There is no description for being able to create something. Of course there isn’t. Because you are giving part of your life to it– literally, because of the time that goes into it and even sweat and tears.