Archive | October 2012

Frustration

You know I must have stuff on my mind, because this is my second post today.

Well, I realized something that is frustrating me about my art this year. Most of the focus has always been on the backgrounds. I mean, look at my last few images. In almost all that I have done this year, the featured female (or male, in one case) was such a small part of the image. But the poeple are my favorite part to do. The backgrounds can get tedius. They also take longer, This may explain why I’m getting fewer images done this year.

The hard part about the people, however, has always been the fact that I’m working on landscape demensions, horizontal, when people are vertical.

I’ve also come to the realization that one of the reasons doodles are easier than the actual image is the fact that doodles are much smaller, so their energy is nice and compact. But for a full-sized image, you have to fill a page with that energy, and sometimes it stretches thin.

I’ve been doodling all day today, trying to get the look I want. I’ve tried a few ideas, and given up on quite a few. At last now I am looking at one image that might work. And I have no idea what kind of background is appropriate.

I feel like I’ve been going nowhere these past few hours. I thought, maybe taking a nap would be a good idea. Since, quite frankly, I don’t have anything else I want to do besides art, and art isn’t working for me. But with a little sleep- I could wake up ready to tackle it again, look at it with fresh eyes. Besides, the kids don’t  have mutual tonight, so it’s like I have a few hours of break time anyway.

Problem: Sister practicing saxaphone, Sister then borrowing my laptop (I gave her permission, so that’s okay) and watching a TV show on Hulu without headphones, and then Brother practicing guitar. So I gave up on the whole idea. I mean, I guess I had a little control over my laptop- it wouldn’t be any trouble to ask her to use headphones. But I am, in general, a passive person (the good kind of passive), and I think by that point I relized that I wasn’t going to be able to get to sleep, and maybe it was better if I didn’t so I can sleep better tonight.

I am instead venting out all my frustrations here. Journalling has always been very therapeutic for me. Blogs would have the advantage of reader response- if, of course, I had any readers.

New Image: Celebrating Autumn

 

Such a dissapointment. Maybe that’s not something that you would expect to hear on the completion of the image, but there you have it. Not because it was bad. In fact, the original looks really great. But both the scanner and my camera kept doing wierd things to the red. Besides the fact that my camera’s broken LCD screen makes photographing the image difficult- so many pictures just to make sure everything was centered and in focus. This is a much closer up version of the original, edited as best I could to make it look alright. If you de-noise the image on iPhoto, then it begins to look more like a painting, so I tried to go for the impressionistic look. But naturally by the time I finish this image, it is no longer colorful outside. It is, in fact, cold and wet outside.

Now, the nice thing is that when I finished this project, I could go straight to the next, because I had already drawn it out and began coloring. This is great, I thought, no lag. That time between images when you have to get yourself together and get an idea to work on… I didn’t have to worry about it. I can go from one project to the next. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?

Maybe because it also has problems. Particularly with this image, where I don’t really know what I’m doing. I’ve finished all the parts I did know how to do, so I’m already at a stand still with that project. Still, I like the system of working on two projects at once, so I have something to do when I’m having difficulty with the other one. And I wish I thought of it from the first. Then I might have more done by now. I mean, this image that I’m posting now was supposed to be a replacement for one of my other, lesser images. And it didn’t go quite as I wanted in the end. Ah well.

 

And now for a change of topic. I’ve said I’m one of those people who likes to watch the special features of movies, read the programs for plays, and watch documentaries about or interviews with various artists/musicians/etc. But then there is the other medium, blogs. I don’t read a lot of other people’s blogs- mostly because I don’t know where to look for one that would interest me. But I have been keeping up with one author’s blog, because I sent her an email about her book and she actually replied- with, naturally, a link to her blog. It has been interesting reading a writer’s blog (especailly since my Mom is a writer). Mom suggested another author’s blog- Patricia C. Wrede. I’ve enjoyed her books since I was twelve and reading The Enchanted Forrest Chronicles.

So I looked at her blog. She writes a lot. But while skimming through her posts and reading some of the content I am reminded once again that there is a lot more that goes on in writing (or any other craft, I’m sure) than we suspect. As I have said before, the experience the artist has, and the experience the audiance has are two entirely different things. And sometimes when you get some idea of what the artist goes through (goodness, I wish they wouldn’t use ‘artist’ to cover all of the creative arts, it’s far too misleading), it’s a bit overwhelming. I can’t imagine how they do it. It just seems like a regular day job would be much easier.

Creative people blow my mind.

It all makes it harder for me to figure out where I fit into the picture. But then… maybe I’m worrying about it too much? I am, after all, only twenty. The temptation at this kind of age, is to try to get the rest of your life figured out, because now you are an ‘adult’ and you have to get out there on your own. The problem is that you can’t get it all figured out at once. Things happen that you don’t expect. And then there’s the things you do expect, but can’t plan very well until they start happening- like getting married. Long story short, I really don’t know to what end I am doing all of my creative efforts. But I hope that they contain some value.

 

Oh the irony. Also I learned something yesterday

Well, I’m closing in on the end of my autumn picture. As there is snow blowing past my window. See, this is one of the unfortunate things about the fact that most images take me a couple of days to do. When I started it was all colorful outside. But, alas, my art can’t keep up with the changing of the seasons. Isn’t that a flattering thought.

But if it is any consolation to… myself I guess, I have also started that other idea I talked about yesterday. I don’t know if it’s a keeper yet, but at least the eye looks great.

On a different note, I read a magazine artical on Lloyd Alexander. Apparently he died in 2007. I didn’t know that. One of my favorite authors died and I didn’t know it. The same thing happened with Dianna Wynne Jones. But it was lovely reading about him. And, as always, looking at his face. It is the very picture of Fflewddur Flam. Which is quite the accomplishment, I know of only very few faces that remind me of fictional characters whom I have never seen before. In fact, I’m pretty sure his is the only one. Anyway, I enjoy Lloyd’s books, particularly the Prydain Chronicles. I’m still waiting for somebody to make a live action movie adaption. That would be pretty great. After all, there have been live action adaptions of The Lord of the Rings and Narnia books, so the Prydain Chroncicles ought to be next right? Cheers for high fantasy literature.

 

Artwork update

Before talking about my art, let’s hope we’ll be alright from the effects of the hurricane. Last time the aftermath of a hurricane took out the power… well, many of us rely on electricity to keep us entertained and peaceable. Besides that, I’m rather fond of having a working stove, mirocwave, and refrigerator.

Now, about my art. I got past one of the parts I was concerned with, not it’s just a matter of sticking it out to the end. Which isn’t as fun as it sounds. I’ve been taking short breaks to doodle, hoping that I come up with an idea. I’m actually kind of wondering how well I could manage doing two images at once, then when one starts to get tedius I can work on the other. I’m still having a hard time actually committing myself to trying it out. But I do… sort of have an idea of another image. It’s actually a lot like one I’ve already done, Bree’s Starlit Hour. Except that it’s Repunzel instead of Bree. So there’s going to be a lot more of her hair showing. And a tower.

Bree's Starlit Hour

Who knows? It might be a decent image. At the very least, it will give me somethign to work on that doesn’t involve so much background. Because the backgrounds, of course, take up the most ime. That’s the thing about working with horizontal demensions rather than vertical.

But the thing is, I’ve got to pick up the pace. This is supposed to be able to get to my grandparents in time for Christmas, even though they are in another country completely (Africa, doing missionarly work). There are a lot of images I want to replace, and it’s almost November. Ah well, we’ll see how much I can accomplish.

Girl’s night

Well, my sister and I had some time to ourselves yesterday. It was fun. We discussed games and movie. The usual stuff for us. Movies especially for me. I mean, you have your car fanatics and the sports fanatics and your video game geeks, and then there’s me. I am, shall I say, a major disney fan. As such there are certian movies that I look forward to even while they are in developement. Consider Brave for an example. Ever since this same sister told me that Pixar was going to do a Princess movie, I’ve been keeping my eye on it. I could look at the concept art, but I had to wait before I could see a trialer. Then I saw the trailer, and had to wait for a trailer that wasn’t just a teaser. Then I had to wait for the movie to actually be out in theatres. Then I had to wait until it was in the cheep theatres. Then finally, I was able to see it. Now I’m waiting for it to come out on DVD. Then I would have to wait until Dad buys it. So it’s always a long, looking ahead process for me and movies.

But it’s all worth it. Because it’s not just a matter of the movie being great, but then there is the special features and the commentaries and the like, and I love that sort of thing. Currently on our list of ‘to see’ movies, there is The Hobbit (obviously), and then next year Disney is doing an animated movie that I’m looking forward to called Frozen. Based off of the Snow Queen fairy tale. And you know I’m such a sucker for fairy tales. So I’m looking forward to this one. There’s also National Treasure 3, which we are all hoping is better than National Treasure 2.

And we had a good dinner and watched a comedy show together. So all around, it was fun. So we didn’t waste the day while our family was out having fun at a Filk Convention.

Life as of now

As of now, I’m taking a break from the image I am working on. It looks like I’m going, once again, for visual impact with lots of color. What can I say? It’s what I’m ‘good’ at. But it’s tricky to manage, and because of the nature of the image, I’m kind of making it up as I go along, and the process is a bit irritating. Furthermore, I’m getting to be rather aggrivated with my cellphone. Not outwardly, of course, but it’s always annoying to have little problems like that nibbling at the back of your head.

But I try to push aside those feelings. After all it is the weekend, and there are much pleasenter things to meditate on. For instance, I watched Thor yesterday- on account of Thor being one of my favorites in The Avengers. Reason being a) he has one of the best lines of the move (‘he’s adopted’) and b) his presence is one of the few things that makes Loki less of a flat villian, their relationship gives Loki more demention. I enjoyed Thor, and thought that Loki was a much better villian in this move than in The Avengers. He had more demention, he was more interesting, he was also less evil. Besides that, the movie overall was funnier than the Avengers, and relied less on explosions and battles to make things interesting.

And yet, as much relish as I get from contemplating character developement, potential for redemption, and inner emotional turmoil, it’s a bit hard to apprecaite that sort of thing when you have a nagging feeling that you ought to be doing some work. Not because you have to. I can come up with plenty of excuses for me to take a break; the fact that it’s what the rest of my family is doing, the fact that it’s the weekend, the fact that I will work better if I take a break every once in a while, and so on. But sometimes you feel like you ought to be working, simply because there is nothing in particular that you want to do- including recreational things.

I’m not sure if I made that quite clear, but no doubt there is someone in the world who understands. I shall take comfort that thought.

Concerning Fairy Godfathers

Being your own cheerleader isn’t easy. But I managed to use the guilty conscience trick to get some work done yesterday. As for how the image looks… I can’t really say as of yet. I’m trying something different, and I really don’t know how it’s going to turn out.

I actually took a break from art yesterday to indulge in a little writing. The first thing I played with was the idea of doing A Christmas Carol, starring Wyvren. I mentioned him briefly before, he’s the older brother of Drako and Kimodo- and he’s the Evil Overlord. He conquered the world when he was 15 and is still ruling now, four years later. Anyway, he would be my Scrooge. I’m still not quite sure how I would go about creating a story like that, but then- it’s a comic. I never once in my comic cared about making sense or anything, which is probably the only reason why I have gotten as far as I have in it.

The other thing I toyed with was an idea I cam up with while watching Gargoyles. See, Puck is punished by Oberon, so that he can’t use magic unless it is for the protecting or teaching of Alexander. So it occured to me, Alexander has a Fairy Godfather. Of course. It makes perfect sense; Fairy Godparents exist as a form of punishment for naughty fairies. So I wanted to play with that idea. But the problem is need a story to play with it in. Best case sceanario, for me, would be to create a grandscale fairy tale world, with all of the old favorites. And Murdock (the Fairy Godfather I created for the purpose of enslaving to some fortunate fairy tale princess) would be mixed in amoung Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jack the Giant Killer, and others.

But of course… I don’t exactly know how to do that. So I just played with it a bit. *Sigh* I could play with it some more, on the assumption that I will get better at creating stories if I practiced. It’s just… harder to feel like you are getting work done when you are still only able to play around with ideas.

My own cheerleader

Well, it looks like I’m going to have to rely more on self motivation than on external encouragement. I’m not getting as much reaction from my Facebook friends on my art anymore. So I’m just going to have to be my own cheerleader. I can do that I suppose. I was having trouble yesterday, having posted my latest image and somehow knowing that it wasn’t going to see a lot of comments. And then I got the idea for my next image and I wondered, “Do I really want to do this today?” I don’t typically get around to the initial coloring the same day I finish the previous project. But I got the idea, and I liked the idea, and at any rate it would stay in my head until I got it out. So I started. And it was difficult to keep at it, but then I went on youtube and started listening to sentimental sort of music, like ‘Back to Pooh Corner’ and ‘Rainbow Connection.’ That kept me going.

It was kind of interesting being melencholic while working on this next image, a celebration of autumn with warm, happy colors. But I think the music I mentioned before managed to bridge the two emotions with a feeling of… nostalgia. And that was nice. It at least got some color down.

But I can’t stop there. I’ve got to be my own cheerleader, and that’s not as easy as it would sound. It challenges my sense of self discipline, to motivate myself to do this and to have fun doing it (just motivating myself to do it is hard, but not impossible thanks to my guilty conscience).

 

New Image: Beyond the Wall

 

Thank goodness that’s done. The mist was such a pain. And I still don’t like how the lower third of the picture looks, but I was having enough of the image so I decided to stick with how it looks now. And it doesn’t look too bad I suppose, but I’m not exactly happy with it. I am happy that I am done though. I hope I can now move on to a new image, a better one. I have twelve images done, so these next ones can replace ones that I feel are lesser. And that is a nice thought in itself. Yes- move on, proceed ahead, continue, that’s the ticket. If nothing else, I’m going to console myself in the fact that there was a story in that image, before all the coloring got in the way. I’ve little more to say about the image itself than what I have already said.

My goal is to keep pushing myself to draw and color. That last image could have taken much longer if I didn’t push myself so much. And I really wouldn’t want it to go on for longer than it did.

 

 

I’m starting to get a new idea for an image. I’ll have to doodle it out a bit, but if I can get it right… it should look pretty great. That’s always the thing, isn’t it? If I do it right it could look great.

But this is no time to be discouraged! I got the idea as I was looking outside. The tree in our front yard has more of it’s leaves on the ground than on itself. I’m thinking… some kind of ‘in the trees’ view of autumn (yes, another autumn picture. I like those). She won’t be on the ground (I’m going to do another featured female. Featured males are too much trouble), but rather she’ll be on one level of leaves, but there will still be other leaves above her. So she can enojoy jumping in the leaves, and  reaching out to the still falling leaves. It’s hard to explain. Especially since I don’t even have a doodle of the place. It’s only an idea in my head now, but I wanted to come back here and give the news. One has to have a positive note in one’s posts somewhere.

Coming together

Well, the image is starting to come together now. At last. I think that it’ll be done today or tomorrow. Then I can move on at last. It’s also significant because with the completion of this image, I’ll have created twleve new images this year, enough for a calendar of completely new images. So all the stuff I do after this one can replace the ones I didn’t like as much. For instance, While ‘I call him Fred’ is a good enough image, it’s mostly there for Lori, who actually understands it’s origins. And ‘Akinra’s Dream World’…. doesn’t fit stylistically with the rest of it very well. So… one or two more images, and I could create a really cool calendar.

Driving Lori to school, we saw lightning! But with no thunder, and no rain. It was perfectly lovely. And once we could see the bolt ahead of us, instead of lingering at the corners of my vision. It was quite lovely, and made me very happy this morning.  Nature is so pretty 🙂

Here’s another pic from the walk we took on Sunday.