Sunday, December 22, 2013

art shouldn't be this stressful

"You're a sophomore, you shouldn't be worrying about this until later!"

"That's like three years away, you're crazy."

"You should be enjoying the stress-free underclassman life! What are you doing??"

Hush hush. 

I've come to the conclusion that I very much would like to go into animation, special effects, and that sort of deal when I'm older.

Which then prompts me to freak out about art schools, and get a good idea of what I'm getting into.

Yes, I'm looking at schools all over the country.
Yes, I'm thinking about my portfolio to send to these schools.
Yes, I'm doing everything in my power to prepare myself for this. Which includes:

a) Continue to teach myself proportions, anatomy, digital art techniques, and such
b) Switch from acting class to animation class for my second semester of school this year
c) Sign up for summer art programs
d) Plan out my ideal schedules for junior and senior year, to fit in art and portfolio classes

Art is therapeutic, though that's not why I'm doing this. I've just never been more overwhelmed and stressed about anything else in my entire life. And I think that's hilarious.

We've been over this; I love to laugh at myself and my stupid problems. I try not to take myself too seriously.

Here, I'll aid you with another hyperbole and a half inspired comic.


My mini-mes in my conscience are being quite rude to me these days.

I was already dealing with the loop of studying and practicing flute, which every young passionate musician deals with. When you're studying, you could be practicing. When you're practicing, you could be studying. 

Now we throw art into that mix, and it gets even worse. Two options impact my future career at different intensities, and the other is simply a hobby that I'm hopelessly passionate about.

So now it's more like, When you're studying, you could be practicing or teaching yourself art. When you're practicing, you could be studying or teaching yourself art. When you're teaching yourself art, you could be studying or practicing. 

Talk about priorities and time management.

I think I've hit yet another horrible artists block. Artists blocks are horrible for me; it's like I've forgotten how to draw. During the time period where I'm not in an artist's block, I produce one or two good proud pieces, and then I'm back to my block.

While I'm scrambling desperately to teach myself new techniques for the sake of learning, and to pull myself out of this block, I discovered my new favorite website.

CGCookie.com, where the hell have you been.

There are several Networks of CGCookie.org, all of which include tutorials, exercises, activities, and all sorts of things to help you advance in the focus of each network.
  1. Concept Cookie ~ Digital Art 101. I've been taking notes on hue, value, saturation, hue bending, temperature, key light, fill light, rim light, shadows, all kinds of crazy stuff. And that's just out of the free videos that I get to watch without becoming a "citizen."
  2. Blender Cookie ~ No, this is not a network to teach you how to make the most out of your kitchen blender. Blender is 3D Creation software, 100% free download. I'm very new to Blender, and was introduced to it just today. After watching the first five free introduction videos, I went ahead and downloaded Blender 2.69. This stuff is crazy complicated. There are endless drop down menus, options, all kinds of words that I don't understand, and I'm doing my best over here.
  3. Max Cookie ~ 3DS Max is also a 3D Creation software, but this one costs money. So I'm not touching this one for now.
  4. Modo Cookie ~ Another 3D Creation software, also costs money, also a no for now.
  5. Unity Cookie ~ Aha, a free version is available!! Unity is more focused on game design and creation, which I'm curious about as well. Hell, I don't mind having some crazy smart guy teaching me all about it. I'm all in. I'll become a silly little citizen of CGCookie to get as much out of it as I can; it comes straight out of my allowance, so I'm all set. 
Yeah, I'm sacrificing the vast majority of my monthly allowance for this. Two words: WORTH IT. 

Like I said above, I just downloaded Blender, and took it out for a spin. 

I tried to see how much of the skills from the introduction videos I could regurgitate in the program itself. The answer? Not much. I need to re-watch them, and take more extensive notes.

I first opened the program, and it looked like this.



Keep in mind, this is on my 13'' laptop. (I'll probably have to get an actual mouse to work with this program. Track-pad isn't doing squat for me).

Can we just take a moment to look at how many drop down menus, panels, options, bars, etc there are?? During the tutorials, I was thinking, oh, that doesn't look too bad. I can get used to that. But as soon as I had it thrown in front of me on my own computer, I forget everything I just learned, and I freaked out.

But freaking out never really stopped me, so I kind of just rolled with it. Tested myself to see if I could make something move, or if I could even remember how to properly select an object without moving it on the x, y, or z axis.

I couldn't do much, but somehow I managed to make this happen. I don't know what I did, but that's not supposed to happen.



At this point, I decided to call it a day, as I had proved to myself that I still haven't the slightest clue how to work this program all by myself. 

After Christmas, I'll gladly post the step-by-step phases of how I put together my most recent work of art. I'm quite proud of it, given that I'm still quite new to the art scene. 

I think it's safe to say that it's the 1 year anniversary of the end of my horrible anime drawing phase. According to one of my friends, who also acts as my art mentor in some aspects, the "anime phase" is a necessary step. I guess I can agree. No one can jump right into drawing perfect realism noses and eyes and mouths; they all get too frustrated and resort to drawing triangles for noses and single lines for lips in anime, and then workup from there. 

That same friend also said, "There will be many frustrating noises."

That couldn't be more true. 

On that note, I bid thee good night.

I've had enough Pink Floyd for the day.

Cheers,
SWH

Monday, December 09, 2013

lesbians in prison

Did the title get your attention?

That's my three word summary for Netflix's original show, Orange is the new Black. It's literally lesbian drama in prison. The characters are absolutely ridiculous, and so original. 

I'm usually not into drama shows. I'm more of a science-fiction and humour kind of person, but this is definitely my exception. Goodness gracious, I'm in love. Netflix, I applaud you.

For those of you who've seen it, I'm very much in love with Alex Vause. I'm not sorry, not one little bit. I mean, just look at her.


A) Don't watch this in the living room, or in public.

B) There's kind of a lot of swearing, but you'll get used to it.

C) Everything in the women's prison is very much like the 1950's. Just go with it.

D) It'll make you appreciate how nice "real life" is, compared to prison? Depends on your perspective.

If you choose to watch it, you'll either love it and watch it all, or you'll end up like everyone else.

Everyone else says, "Um... yeah... I watched the first episode, and it scared me."



Now go forth and prosper. Or conquer. It's one of those two; I can't remember.

Cheers,
SWH












Sunday, December 08, 2013

because i like to laugh at my dilemmas

Yeah, I struggle with depression and stuff of that sort. This ain't a pity party, so I won't go into the details.

But, whenever someone wants to help me, I direct them to one of my favorite blogs, Hyperbole and a Half. It's ridiculously accurate explanation of depression, with a good dose of comic relief.

I showed my parents this article, too, and now my dad keeps talking about corn under the fridge. You'll understand that reference as soon as you read the article.

A lot of shit's been going on lately, so I decided to make some of my own Hyperbole-and-a-Half-inspired drawings.

Is this considered therapeutic? Goddamn, I hope so. It turns my stupid dilemmas into something to laugh about.

I'll probably do this more often. Each drawing only takes about fifteen minutes for me.

Here's my most recent one.


Yeah that's me. My glasses aren't that big.

The whole "sleep in heavenly peace" thing was a reference to "Silent Night," in case you didn't catch that. My dad sings that song a lot, whenever I get to bed before he does.

I was writing a real important letter, and I had started it around ten or eleven Saturday night.

Earlier on Saturday, I finally hung up my chalk board that's been sitting in the corner of my room ever since we moved in August. All by myself. I think that goes under the list of pathetic things that I am so incredibly proud of.

So, when I wrote my TO DO list for the first time in months, I was all motivated and giddy to get every damn thing done on that list. I blame my medication. Oh well. At least it's doing its job.

I guess I didn't realize how long it would take, because around one in the morning, I was so determined to just get something complete down.

My friend Julian told me to just cough it all up, and to be as vulgar as I want. Then, when I was a normal functioning human being again in the morning, I could polish it up and make it sound sophisticated and pretty. Even so, that was hard.

I know there are adults who know me that are reading this, thinking, goddamnit Sonja. Kids your age shouldn't be up at 1 AM. Get your sleep. 

To that, I say, oh well!! Wee hours of the morning are meant for half-asleep writing, girls sleepovers, insomniacs, college kids, and new years parties.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a very important chess game to play.

Cheers,
SWH