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Saturday
Jan022016

We survived 2015

2015 is officially over. (GOOD)

At least by our calendar on this planet in this place. 

I really got off track with my weekly posts over the past couple months but mannnn has it been a hectic couple of months. 

However, now it's January, the holidays are over, I've had a while to acclimate to my job, and I plan to regain focus. 

I don't think I really have anything to show in this post -- I mean, I have some things I WANT to show/post, but I haven't organized them in my brain or this post so I don't think I'll be posting any pictures. I mean, I thought about holding off until I'd sorted everything out but that is the path to endless procrastination, am I right? I think that one of the easiest traps to fall into is the 'I'm not yet ready for this challenge so I'm going to wait until I'm really prepared' trap. Okay and yes, waxing a little philosophical regarding delayed journal posts but I feel that it applies on a small scale as well as a large one. And a lot of times the smaller things are building blocks for the bigger things, like, 'well, I need to work on this project but first I need to make sure my supplies are organized and before I do that I need some desk organizing stuff from the office store and I can't go get that stuff yet because my car is dirty and I want to clean it before I take it anywhere and I can't clean it yet because I don't know where the upholstery cleaning attachment for the vacuum is.'

Or perhaps, in a more immediately personally relevant example, 'well, I need to work on this big project that I've been planning but first I want to do some sketches and before that I should really do some studies and before that I should watch some sketchbook videos for inspiration and before that I should really update my website journal but I want to post some art there and I need to figure out what I want to post and I don't really have anything new, maybe I should do some new sketches/work more on the illustration I'm doing FIRST..'

You see. 

But I decided that instead of nattering, I would go ahead and just post. 

(though I don't have a lot to share, I HAVE had the opportunity to work on some cool projects recently that I will share soon. But not tonight.)

And i think, since we just started a new year, maybe I should do a little of an overview of 2015 and all the things that passed through it or that I passed as I went through it. 

I didn't get a lot of art done at the start of the year because I was pretty occupied with getting my heart broken, and it takes a while to find the joy after that. I've tried channeling misery into my drawings and it never quite comes out right -- I always end up with something that looks like it's out of an emo 14 year old's wall. It makes mockery of my pain and the fact that I made it and am making the mockery well, it's just a vicious cycle.  Actually, I looked back through my deviant art for this year and that's not quite true -- I made a couple cathartic things that actually...sort of worked and that I kind of like a lot. BUT I was pretty depressed and well, depression =/= motivation. So I spent most of the winter just trying to piece myself back together and not creating much. But I did acquire my apartment and my sweet little sister of a roommate.

In the spring I took an active role in trying to get out of the job I hated by applying to be the lead artist at a different store -- something for which my manager was apparently supposed to help and guidance but which I went into pretty blind. And may have mentioned genocide in my interview though they claim that's NOT the reason I didn't get the job. I started my redbubble and society6 stores. (Have I mentioned that sometimes people buy stuff from them?! Like...NOT people I KNOW. People Elsewhere.)

With summer came Heartbreak: The Reckoning and that was pretty awful. But with summer also came work on Crissi Dillon's book cover and that was pretty awesome. Also came sweltering heat for which my unairconditioned Californa apartment was ill-equipped. But so did a book on channeling my creative self into creativity or whatever and as much as it is a woowoo self-help semi-spiritual book, it really did a lot for me regaining my focus and taking a step back from some aspects of my interpersonal relationships that were things I was allowing to take up my time rather than working on art. I seriously love waking up and writing three (if I wake up in a timely fashion) pages every morning. I was somewhat nervous, but I can honestly say that starting the day by clearing out the mental cobwebs and smearing them on a page is very...centering. 

Then autumn arrived and brought, as autumn does, change. But first it brought...more sweltering heat. Yeah, I absolutely have to buy an air conditioner before this summer. And in the middle of that sweltering, as summer ended, I lost my job and that was ...honestly not a tragedy even in the moment because I knew it wasn't personal and I HATED that job. And they gave me severance so I wasn't mentally calculating how long it would be before I had to start turning tricks to make rent. I figured that I had projects I wanted to pursue and MAN I was going to pursue the HELL out of them. And then, before I had really even settled properly into unemployment...I got a new job. A job at which I am doing the work that I went to school to learn. A job at which I am paid well and have a desk and can just put on my headphones and work all day and that is FINE. 

A job at which I am prepetually terrified that they are going to decide I am a total fraud and send me packing. (I spent part of last week working on laying out a media kit in InDesign and I haven't done something like that since school and I really spent most of the project feeling like this: 

...and look at that, I even added a picture.) 

The last couple months, well, I've been acclimating to having a proper adult schedule and to setting for myself a structured schedule around it because my brain really stays happiest when I have a plan.

I also spent a lot of time with and taking care of my cat, who was diagnosed with renal failure at the end of the summer and with lymphoma in December. A lot of my focus and energy was willingly given to her in her last couple months. It still feels strange not to hurry home in the evening to make sure to separate her from my other cat to feed her. Stranger not having her curl up against my belly to sleep at night. 

And now, I move forward into the new year with new and on hold projects I want to tackle, with that stupid Ophelia painting I STILL want to try to go back and fix, with at least a PLAN of being more focused, and inspiration and adventures to seek. 

And now the year, at least as we see it, turns and though it is all just an illusion we give ourselves to organize our linear time stream, we have a new chance at everything. And even though I know that January first is, in the mind of the universe, no more relevant than December 31st, or...August 9th, it still FEELS like a fresh start and fills me with unwarranted optimism. 

Happy New Year, world that follows the same calender that I do! I hope that no matter how great or terrible 2015 was for you, 2016 is better. 

 

 

Friday
Nov132015

Bear With Me

...i am typing around a cat. 

(she may not look like she's in the way but she's right where my elbow needs to go)

...and may have just spent an inordinate amount of time looking up which spelling of bare/bear to use in the title. 

The fact that this one shares a spelling with the animal resulted in confusion. 

I know I missed last week. Still adjusting to the new schedule and woefully behind in so many areas. I had planned to sketch at least one sketchbook page a week this month and here we are with November half over and I haven't done a thing. I haven't watched sketchbook videos. I haven't started the character designs I need to. Heck, I haven't even gotten up to take my meds and wash my dinner dishes -- but that's more due to being trapped by a cat than to my schedule. 

(Resists urge to go into detailed discussion of many things about my cat)

I continue to like my job. I had forgotten what it was like to have a job I actually look forward to going to. And no, I'm not just writing this in case you read it, Crystal. I have been working on cool projects. I have been getting to do the kinds of things I went to school for. And I work with really cool people. 

My own art, well...see above. 

But, I did finally finish the thing I was working on. I'm...honestly right now, I am not super happy with it, which is always annoying after spending a large amount of time on something...but I don't know if the dissatisfaction is genuine or due to being too close to it and seeing all the flaws. There ARE things I like about it. There are just other things I DON'T like about it. 

But...so there was this thing I heard. That artists are perpetually dissatisfied with their work because the rate at which our mental skill develops outstrips our technical skill by...was it, about 5 years? Not sure if that number is right...or if any of this is actually true...but it makes a certain amount of sense. 

But either way, here is my latest. It was a personal piece based on personal things. An exorcism of sorts. 

It just...it didn't come out quite how I thought it. And as I've mentioned, I fought with it some. And now that I'm looking at it there are things I'd like to change. Like...I would have liked her shirt to have a logo or design. Her face never quite came together for me. I'm still not sure about the green of the shirt with so much other green, but I experimented with changing the color and I think I liked that best. I THINK. I liked white, but the red light showed up better on green. And there are some things that are purely technical problems. 

But time to move on to the next thing. 

I need to do character designs. 

I want to work on an idea I had based on the song Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by The Flaming Lips. Something poppy and exciting and fun. I really want to work on that. It will be horizontal and long. The background will be cream. Lots of primary colors and tertiary colors. 

Anyway, about bed time for this girl with a grown up job. 

Until next week (no, really). 

Tuesday
Nov032015

Autumn has fallen doesn't have the same ring

November is here and the air is finally chilly. The sky has been drizzling since the turn of the month.

At work, I have been rediscovering what I do and do not know how to do in InDesign. What I do remember is more than I expected and for the things I don't, a quick internet search usually solves the problem. It is occasionally infuriating the way that the Adobe Creative Suite all work almost alike, but have enough little kinks and differences that a lot of stuff just doesn't carry over. 

I have started a 100 drawing challenge. 

I have resolved to sketch more because I get SO MUCH out of sketching. 

I have been slacking off on my latest piece this week, only working late late late when I'm tired and it is almost time for sleep, but I made at least a decent bit of progress tonight, and figured I'd show you a sneak peek. Just a tiny smidge. 

And now it's time for this employed moi to go to sleep. Good night and good luck, Internet. 

Tuesday
Oct272015

I've got nothing new to show you

but that doesn't mean I haven't been doing anything.

Of course on the night I planned to update my journal, I had a variety of personal drama fall on me that is causing static in my head and making ordering my thoughts a trial. 

*deep breaths* 

So, not really a lot to say tonight. Mostly wanting to stick to my goal and keep my weekly updates on schedule. 

I have been working on my illustration and it is finally going where I want it to. Or somewhere I could want it to. 

I have been doing some really fun stuff at my new job. I don't know if I'm allowed to post it here, and it's all in process right now anyway, so once it's done, I'll find out if I can. There will be thumbnails and sketches and all SORTS of fun. 

I have a big personal project that ended back on the back burner this month. I want to fix that. 

I have new ideas for new projects. I have made very loose sketches which I was going to refine but was then called away to help a friend wrangle her 2-year-old. 

I have networking things to get done tonight and I really just want to draw. I'm stressed out and irritated and long to lose myself in art. But I will be responsible first and do work like an adult. 

But I'll do it quickly and efficiently and then work on art.

And hopefully by next week I'll have something new to show you.

Monday
Oct192015

October is a Roller Coaster

I know I missed last week. 

I wanted to have something new to show you. 

I finished a thing but...it's not really that great. It was an old doodle that I wanted to complete and so I did but it is just kind of...I guess the reason I never finished it before is that it wasn't quite working for me then and that didn't change. 

It was an enjoyable exercise. I watched episode after episode of Ghost Whisperer while I worked on it. There were definitely some design things I got out of it because by doing, we learn. But it still isn't that...GOOD. 

Well, here:

I like some of it. But other parts are just off and the overall thing feels off balance and doesn't work, as a whole. 

*shrug* 

Sometimes that happens. 

It's okay. 

If I were really in love with this design concept, or other people were really in love with this design concept, maybe I'd try redoing it. Heck, maybe I still will some day if I'm bored and somehow have time on my hands. But for now I have brushed off my hands and walked away. 

Right now I'm working on another illustration that is determined to give me fits. 

I had an idea while out hiking, the way one does from time to time -- an image that I really liked thought would be a) super beautiful and b) a companion piece to another illustration of mine. But...I don't know if it is because I didn't get around to starting it for a few days while the weather was awful and I was poking around with a bit of silliness that my best friend and I came up with and the idea had lost clarity, or if it is simply one of those times when bringing an image to realization is just a struggle because of lack of skill or a mental block or the wrong approach, but for whatever reason, it is, at this point, a very frustrating project. 

I'll probably open it up and work on it some in a few minutes. 

By which I mean, open it, realize the face is STILL wrong, and delete and hope it is better for the third or fourth time in a row. 

But I won't work on it too long. 

Because I have to get up early.

Because I have a job. 

That's RIGHT. 

Two weeks into unemployment, I was hired by a company that seems REALLY cool. I like the environment, the people seem great, my job duties and the way I'll be working sound great, and i will be getting to do proper design and illustration. 

Yeah.

I am TERRIFIED. 

This is definitely a case of "Tons of people will be seeing my work and I have been a fake all this time and I just KNOW that within a week they will realize they made a huge mistake and they will kick me out unceremoniously and possibly throw things at me'. 

Oh god I'm so scared. It is pretty much everything I was hoping for and I am SO worried I'm going to screw it up.

But also excited. 

Also very excited.