Archive | July 2012

At it again

Well, I’ve tried again at that ‘system’ that I was talking about yesterday. I found an interesing looking documentary and doodled for a bit until I had an idea. I hit upon a ‘swan lake’ sort of theme. So I drew it out. I think perhaps if I woked at it a little more, I could have come up with an image more satisfying, but I just wanted something down on paper so I could have something to work with. So now I just need to figure out how I’m going to color the background

Backgrounds. They can be so important to an image, creating a setting- sort of thing. And yet that the part I usually have no idea how I’m going to go about. One is always tentative about starting the coloring when one isn’t sure how one wants it to look. But I was spared from beginning to color, because my little sister came in at that moment so I could read more of Anne of Green Gables aloud to her.

I’ve been getting up really late these days. It bothers me. This is why school sometimes makes it more easy to get other stuff done, you are on a schedule and you have to wake up at a certain time and be ready for the day. As it is, my days have little structure to them- and I think it takes it’s toll.

But hopefully this means I have a new image to work with. I can start up again tomorrow- hopefully I’ll be able to find something to listen to by that time since I finished the documentary.

The flow

Last year when I got back from University, I was able to do a lot of artwork. It really surprised me, I had not been able to do that before- but the inspiration just seemed to flow. I even had a system all worked out. My siblings would be at school, I’d start in the morning, taking all of my supplies to the living room. I’d have my laptop with me, and there I’d listen to documentaries on BYUTV or episodes on the Mormonchannel. They had a program called Everything Creative, which I loved to listen to. Or sometimes I’d watch movies. Pretty much anything so long as I had something to listen to while I worked. And I’d have my supplies with me. Usually I’d doodle if I was in need of some ideas, and the doodles quite often fueled my work. Sometimes I’d brainstorm on a word processer on my laptop. Once I got an idea, it was just a matter of getting it done. Sometimes I’d miss lunch because I’d be so involved in what I was doing. I’d usually get a fair amount done (occasionally I’d finish) my work by the time my siblings came home from school. It was lovely how it all worked out. I’d get maybe three images done per week.

I don’t know if it will work out quite so well this year. I’ve already completed one good image. But that was an idea that had been been waiting for an entire semester to be completed. Now, I don’t have a lot of ideas going. Moreover, I don’t know what I can listen to. There hasn’t been anything new on Everything Creative for forever, and I’ve pretty much explored all of the episodes accessible on BYUTV’s website. I suppose there is always YouTube. This last semester I found some really great documentaries for Mozart and Beethoven. The Beethoven one was especially interesting. The guy was quite the character. I’ve done some brief research since seeing Eroica in my Humanities class- they think Beethoven might have been bipolar, and the documentary I watched really played that out. When I die and go to heaven, I think I’d like to meet him and see what he was really like. You’ve got to wonder about someone who writes music, despite being deaf. And here’s me, wondering what to draw.

I admit I’ve been somewhat distracted though. I’ve been skimming through the third Anne of Green Gables book, reading all the bits with Gilbert. Well, he finally got the girl. She turned down five proposals and finally ended up with him. What took her so long about it? But then there are those other books that I could read…

Vacations are very muddling buisness. You have so much time that you can’t get any work done!

Back-burner projects

There’s a term I use called ‘back-burner projects.’ The ones you shove away, but plan on coming back to later. Well, I have one of those now. I started a new image, tried to do something for the background that was a bit new- trying to extend myself and whatnot. Turns out I didn’t like what I was doing, so I then tried to change it into something different (not easy with colored pencils) and that wasn’t working out either. I think I might still be able to salvage the image, but I don’t want to worry about it right now. So the plan is to work on other images, and then come back to it later when it will be freash and I’ll have more energy and desire to deal with it. It still may not be my best project- if I end up finishing it- but I would hate to give up. Some of my backburner projects have turned out really great.

This is an example of a ‘back-burner project.’ I did the foreground, including Helmer, the tree, and maybe the papers, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do for a background, except that I wanted it to be dream-like and ethreal. It was on the back-burner for a long time. I was beginning to doubt I would ever finish it. But I did and it is now one of my favorites.

 

Ambition

Sometimes I wish I had a little more ambition, and could get caught up in delusions of granduer, since I figure people don’t accomplish much unless they have some sense of, “wouldn’t it be cool if…” Wouldn’t it be cool if what? I don’t know if I have a lot of plans regaurding my creative talents. I think at some point I may have said, “wouldn’t it be cool if someone besides a family member bought one of my calendars?” And then, wonder of wonders, somebody did. Somebody in Australia. My reaction was, “It’s May, why would they buy a calandar for 2012 in the middle of May?” But it’s not my place to question that sort of thing, and I’m the one who’s profiting by it. Two dollars for royalties. Wonderful, that might get me a week’s worth of laundry done when I go back to Rexburg.

Thankfully, I’ve been placed in a family that seems to have plenty of ambition for me. There are others too; friends and teacher’s and suchlike, but I’m always suspicious of people who I think overestimate my skill simply because they have nothing to compare it to. I mean, when people tell me that my work is good, and then tell me that they can’t do much more than stick figures, it get’s hard to trust their opinion, no? I wonder how I would take criticism. It might be refreashing. Or I might get sensitive. I don’t know myself well enough to figure which it will be. Of course, if I planned on doing something with my artowrk- I would have to take the criticism. But as of now, I have no plans except to create some more calendar images, make up a few new calendars with those images, and possibly doing some others to put on t-shirts or something, to flesh out my zazzle store (the thing with filling my zazzle store with calendars is that you have to make new ones every year). I guess I don’t score many points on ‘thinking big.’

I hope these posts don’t sound like downers. Sometimes when I write I get the feeling like I’m sounding really negative. Well if I do I don’t mean to.

Here’s a nice thought, a tip I just thought of for all up and coming artists (if you draw people). Start a comic. The plot and characters don’t matter, it’s just a way for you to practice drawing people in different positions and expressions. It’s excellent training.

The problem with love triangles

Just a note of caution: I’m sorry if this sounds really opinionated when I don’t have a lot of credibility. I have no experience writing, I’m just expressing an opnion based off of what I read and have read.

I have this thing about love triangles. They can work- but you have to be really skilled in order to get them to work for me.  Usually the love trinagle is with two guys and one girl. So, being a girl myself, my first question is “Okay, what is it about her that gets her two guys when some of us are still trying to get one.” But then there is also the idea that in a love triangle, there is always somebody who loses. One of the guys will not get the girl. So what if she doesn’t get the guy you would have preferred to get? I always find it rather irking when that happens. It’s slightly less irritating when she does get the guy you’re chearing for. But that’s still tricky ground. I don’t want the triumph of getting the couple together ruined by having me pitying or sympathising with the loser. If we don’t like the loser, why on earth was the main character girl entertaining his affections? (Also, if she’s two-timing, I lose respect for the character). If the main character isn’t drawn to both of the guys, it not exactly a love triangle.

I suppose there are ways to do it right. But as I’ve said, it takes skill and I think it’s too easy for love triangles to be used as a cheap trick to create tension in a love story (that’s the part I thought might sound a bit opinionated when I have no credibility). I personally like there to be one guy, one guy I get to chear for and will end up with the girl in the end. If you want to keep me interested without using the ‘tension’ of a love triangle, then make the characters fun. I have a special fondness for witty banter. Whatever works in the given situation. My understanding is that the characters sort of work things out themselves. I wouldn’t know entirely, I don’t write. But when it comes to reading, there is much I prefer to  love triangles.

Latest image: May I Return

The story behind this image: Well, it was Spring Break- which is particularly trying for a collage student away from home, trying to amuse herself. I ended up watching Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have something to watch while I doodled. The first song was the inspiration for this image. “A crash of drums, a flash of light- my golden coat flew out of sight. The colors faded into darkness, I was left alone.” So I did a quick doodle and said, “Okay, she’s going to be beautiful and colorful- but there’s a storm and the colors are going to ‘fade into darkness.’ Well that’s all simple to say and do a preliminary sketch for, but I’m not especially good at visualizing what I want in a final image. I kinda make it up as I go along.

I’m fairly satisfied with how it turned out though. But I may make some changes to it yet. I posted the image on Facebook and asked people what they thought when they saw it. I want my images to provike a little more thought, some kind of response other than “It looks great.” Of course, I’m very appreciative of all the people who give these compliments, but they’re not particularly helpful to me. It’s difficult to describe. I listen do documentaries occassionally, listen to artists talk about how people have had emotional reactions to their paintings, and talked about how the art was meaningful to them. That’s the sort of thing I would like people to say about my artwork. I would like it to be meaningful somehow.

I suppose I could console myself with the thought that it’s meaningful to me. It’s inspired off of a song I rather enjoy, it made my Spring Break a little more productive, and it puts me in mind of wind and storms. I love wind and storms. Furthermore, I was able to use color in a way that was almost to my statisfaction, and I actually managed a half decent sky. But still, it almost seems like there’s litte point in my art if it… doesn’t effect people.

Sometimes I’m not really sure what I want to accomplish with my art. Whatever it is, I would like it to be more than satisfying a need to create.

 

 

The truth about art

The truth is… art is exhaughsting. You don’t quite realize this when you are a little kid scribing in a coloring book, which is how I started. And then when you get better at coloring, it starts becoming more work and even coloring books can take a lot of energy out of you.

I started working on an image yesterday. Actually, I started it about halfway through the school year and then didn’t work on it again until yesterday. I think part of the reason it was so tiring was that a lot of the image was focused on the background, the sky and the landscape. And the sky was supposed to look kind of stormy. Skies are hard for me. I used to think they were really boring, just solid blue with a few puffy clouds. Then I tried to do more complicated things like sunsets and clouds that actually looked somewhat real. Since then, skies have been more difficult and a little more interesting. The thing is, it’s a big space, and you have to get the colores to blend properly all throughout. Moreover, I don’t use quality paper. My art teacher would shudder at the stuff I’m using.

Sometimes I think that colored pencil artists are up against something quite different than painters. I couldn’t be entirely sure, because I’m not a painter. I’ve worked with it a little bit. In my limited experience I would say that colored pencils are easier to control, but perhaps not as easy to ‘fix’ the image if there are any problems. They also require more patience- though they are ‘lower maintanence’ than paints, you don’t have to clean up as much afterwards. Layering and blending colored pencils takes a bit of energy on your part to make the colors do what you want, and yet I find it easier to get the desired results with the colored pencils. Practice makes all the difference.

I’ll probably finish that image up today. I just have one last section. That’s another thing about art- sometimes you look at the image and you reeeeeealy don’t want to go at it. It might be the same reaction a writer has when they know they have to sit down and get some writing done when they’re not entirely sure what’s going to go on the page. It’s like that with me in a lot of my art, I don’t have it entirely visualized and I make it up as I go along. But I’m looking at it and I’m going “… One last section! I’m this close to being done, and I don’t really want to do it but I’ll do it anyway.” Hopefully the final image will be worth it. I’m fairly satisfied with how it’s turning out so far. If all goes as I hope, I will have it scanned in and I’ll post it tomorrow, and give you a bit of background information about how it was inspired and suchlike.

“When you are famous” = ?

While I was at school for the past half year, I haven’t had much time for doing art, but I did do these silhouette images below. I actually did five, but my roommate liked one of them so much that she asked if she could have it (she was so cute and tentative, but it was all okay because I was going to give it to her anyway). Later she came back and said, “You didn’t sign it.”

“You want me to sign it?”

“Yeah, so when you’re famous- I can prove I had some of your early stuff.”

This isn’t the first time I’ve gotten a comment like this. I’m pretty sure my spanish teacher in High School did the same thing when I let her keep my El Dio de los Muertos art project. Classmates have also said, “one day I will say- ‘I know that artist!'” Furthermore, I’ve had teachers think that I could illustrate children’s books- and a few who think I could write my own children’s books and then illustrate them.

And my reaction is to look at them wonderingly. Famous? Artist? Children’s books? Maybe this is because I grew up on Grame Base, but what on earth makes them think I’m good enough to do children’s books? Every once in a while I want to announce, “May I remind the general public that I am not an Art Major or even a Minor?” Though to be fair to the poeple from my high school, they didn’t know what my major would and wouldn’t be. Niether did I. But when I visited the high school last summer during open house I told my old Chemistry teacher that I was considering a Humanities Major. You should have seen his face, he was so taken aback. “Really?” was his reaction. Maybe he thought I would be a Chemistry major. Or, given how often I worked on art in his class (what could I say? Art class was right before Chemistry) maybe he also thought I’d do something with art. I will point out that technicoloy Humanities does deal with art, just not mine.

Sorry, that was a bit of a tangent. The point is that I think too many overestimate my skill, possibly because they themselves haven’t persued art. On the other hand, perhaps I’m underestimating my skill. I think I have a tendency to be hard on myself. And while I don’t think that ‘becoming famous’ is what’s in store for me, I would like to do something with my art. What, exactly, I do not know. So far I have given away a few doodles here and there (like the afore mentioned silhouette picture to my roommate), and I’ve created a Zazzle store (I’ll explain later) which has mainly been used to have calanders with my images on them. My grandmother just sent me an e-mail today telling me she enjoys the one we sent her. And then a few T-shirts here and there and…. that’s it.

Maybe I will be able to expand and do more things with my artwork. But don’t expect any children’s books is what I’m saying.

 

The Fire Within               My Own               Catching as it Falls              Lighted Day

 

Slayers by C.J Hill, my thoughts

Well, seeing as I have always had a fondness for dragons and I like some of this particular author’s books (as I’ve said, CJ Hill is a pennname), I decided to give it a try. I don’t typically read fantasy books that take place in a modern setting (I haven’t read Twilight, just so you know), but I trusted this author to create something fun- or at least get a few laughs in. And that would be nice for a day of shuttles and plane rides

All in all, it was an engaging story. Some of the particular aspects of the dragon/ kinghts/ Slayers are a bit farfetched. But if you ignore that fact it becomes a nice frame work for some fun dynamics. Not my favorite romance that this author, but it’s not the worst either. My favorite character is a minor one (named Bess), which is a bit sad- I like it when the romantic interest is my favorite. However, it’s all nicely set up for at least a sequal (it didn’t finish!), so maybe there is time yet for my favorite character to get a love interest and then we’ll have lots of opportunity for witty banter- because I bet Bess would be good at that.

Here’s some of the funner quotes:

“Dr. B trusts her. So does Bane.”

Lilly let out a scoffing grunt. “Dr. B is an optimist, and Bane is a horse.”

“I’m only in high school, and I have a full schedule, and I’m flammable.”

Lilly let out a cought of disbelief. “Yeah, that’s it. One of the dragons will be feeling his way across the streets of D.C. with a cane clutched in its wing, terrorizing anyone who can’t suffle out of the way.”

“We might be caught, arrested, and sent to jail where we’ll spend the remainder of our days reading hate mail from Eragon fans.”

Reflections and plans

Tomorrow I leave Rexburg to go back to Ohio.

It has been nice these past two semesters at BYU-I. A couple of the significant things was that I was able to meet some new people and play D&D, I had wonderful roommmates, I oficially declared my major in Humanities and feel really comfortable with that choice of major, I saw some great performances, and I loved my classes.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to post tomorrow. It’s going to be a long day for Jasmine and myself- with shuttles and flights and such. But I planned to buy a book for my kindle called Slayers by C J Hill, which is a penname for Janette Rallison. She rights teenage comedy romances. Clean comedy romances. Some of her books I really like, and others- not so much. But Slayers is a fantasy book involving dragons, so I’ve been wanting to see how it turns out. With a new book, I could keep myself occupied- and besides that, my sister Lori wants to read it, so she can read it when I get home. It should work out very nicely.

Speaking of, I finished reading Anne of Green Gables yesterday. I kept going back to it, I didn’t want to clean so long as I hadn’t finished it. And now I have. Gilbert is a darling, of course. It occures to me that I could read the sequals for the shuttle, layovers, and plane ride- but I have been wanting to read this other book for a long time, and I told Lori I’d get it.

As for what I’m going to do when I’ve settled back down in Ohio, I don’t know. I’ll work out the details later. There’ll be things going on with family, I’ll be having my 20th birthday on the 19th of August, I’ll get some artwork done, maybe add some things to my Zazzle store, watch movies with my siblings, and I’ve kinda been wanting to read to someone. Isn’t it funny the strange cravings you get. Throughout the last semester, I’ve been wanting to read aloud to someone. I may find work, but those are details that I’ll work out later. For the moment, I’m contemplating tommorrow, where I say “Farewell Rexburg, until next January.”

 

This is the path leading into/ out of The Gardens at BYU-I.