Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It's hot in Topeka.

I've been trying to get back into the swing of things lately, and start blogging everyday. However, at the same time, I've been trying to organize my room (it's done now), keep up with homework, and not die from this ridiculous heat.

Yesterday, I had a decent case of the Mondays. I was up...late the night before, and up for an early class. I need to look into purchasing a gallon and a half coffee thermos. I was exhausted, and having four classes doesn't help. And these aren't hour long classes, either. I'm booked solid from 8am til 10pm. At least my studio classes are fun. And then I get to relax on Tuesdays, when I just have my fiber class, which I love more and more each week. (I know, it's only the second week. But still!) I have bunches of ideas for that class, and one may or may not involve an embroidered rotoscope (we'll see how attached I am to my sanity in a few weeks).

And tomorrow's Friday! Well, ok. It's not literally Friday. But I don't have classes Thursday or Friday. Or Monday this coming week. (Thank God I get to miss my crazy day!) Oh, hello 5 day weekend.

A feather I embroidered today. Does it remind you of Pocahontas a little bit?

Part of my viewmaster collection, my stereoscope, and some nice green buttons that match my room.

Estaban. Or, the cat previously known as John Cougar Mellancat.

If I'm not working in my studio, I'm probably sitting in this little corner.
(Click to enlarge a bit.)

Well, I still have some reading to do for tomorrow. Also tomorrow, I'll be starting a new side project, but more about that later. Goodnight!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Friday, August 27, 2010

Clean apartment!

Finally! Except for a few knick knacks that haven't really decided where to live quite yet, my room is clean! Would you like to see some pictures?

Ok, I lied. I have no pictures. My room isn't as exciting as these. Just a small bed that my dad built and I painted yellow, a plain ol' dresser, and, ok, some pretty rad furniture from Ikea, including my beautiful drawing table. Really, I manage to cram a lot of stuff into a tiny room. Oh, but it is a green color similar to that first image of Lisa Cogdon's home. I like to think of it as a nice Tinker Bell dress green. It looks quite nice with my framed sketch of Tinker Bell (that Nicholas bought me for Christmas in 2005) hanging above my desk.

I still have a fair amount of work I want to accomplish before I sleep. Tomorrow I have to work on some flip books, and some embroidery, and some embroidered flip books (I'm insane, in case you didn't know). Oh, and I have to disrupt or interrupt something. Any ideas? I have a few. It doesn't necessarily have to be rude. Just, you know, interrupt the normal order of things.

Today, CIA had it's opening year convocation/inauguration ceremony (followed by free food, of course) since we have a new president. We had a brass quartet of students from CIM (Cleveland Institute of Music) that played really fun, jazzy music, and there was this big procession, except art school style. No ties needed. Just 192 freshmen in bright orange shirts, following the previous president who carried the presidential mace, which, as we discovered when it was passed on to the new Mr. President, lights up. Holy elaborate flashlight. They knew a big stick wasn't enough to keep our attention. I love art school.

The Perks and Drawbacks of Being an Artist

Hello, floor. I can see most of you now. You could use a good sweeping. But I'll get to that tomorrow. I need to focus on organizing art supplies right now.

Being an artist definitely has its perks. I've known that I wanted to be an artist since I was three years old. My first childhood ambition was to have red hair, sit on rocks singing all day, and get married on a boat (under a rainbow, of course). But my mom had to explain to me that being the Little Mermaid wasn't the best career choice. So I decided I'd become an artist. As simple as that. I didn't even really know what it meant. And still, I was dead on. I was an artist before that day. I've always been one, in some way. Granted, my viewpoints were mostly amateur, but I still noticed things. I still had that urgency to make something itching from my nose to my fingertips to the soles of my shoes where I can feel ideas escape me while I trip over new ones.

I'm not a professional, really. Not yet. Maybe not ever. I don't know that it's something that really needs to be classified as such. I am an artist. I see things differently. And that is enough. I know that with every breath I inhale, my lungs expand, overflowing with beauty that most people never see or notice or think about. My lungs are left aching until I can share that with someone. And that is something I am so thankful for. I'm glad I don't have to look forward to a job where I sit in a cubicle with a photo of my future family in a frame purchased from Walgreens sitting on my desk. I don't have to look forward to white offices with white walls and people wearing their white, freshly ironed shirts. Instead, I look forward to...nothing specific, really. I don't really know what exactly I'm going to do when I graduate. I have some ideas, but why ruin the surprise? I think it's a little more exciting, the lack of job security, the unpredictability. If I do end up successful and happy, then it will be even greater.

I am so glad I decided to go to art school, and not study art at a general university. I am so glad I'm an artist. However, there are a few tiny disadvantages. Like many artists, I thirst for new places. I want to explore tiny, overlooked corners of the world. There are so many places I want to go and so many things I want to do. I wouldn't mind doing residencies here and there if I had the opportunity. But that might be a problem. Why? Because I'm just starting my third year of college, and I've already lived in a dorm, plus three other apartments. I think that's taking the whole "free spirit" thing to an extreme.

Moving sucks. The end. It really does. My dad will never forgive me for carrying boxes down 18 steps, up 2, into the van, and up 42 more. And I have a lot of boxes. Why? Because I'm an artist. The worst kind, at that. Let's look at my go-to media, shall we? Stop motion animation: the kind I do often involves objects interacting with people; therefore, it requires such objects. Hand drawn animation: drawing supplies and paper supplies. Cut Out Animation: Requires things to cut out, and therefore, more papers. Collage: let's not talk about how many different papers and 2d materials and scraps I have lying around (actually, organized as of now). Sewing/embroidery: often overlaps animation or collage, but still requires oodles of supplies, like fabric, scissors, ribbon, thread, floss, hoops, pens... Oy. I prefer to think of it as collecting collections, rather than hoarding.

So if you're thinking to yourself that I've been in Cleveland for a couple weeks now, and I'm STILL not organized! then hold up. Think about all the different art supplies that are breeding among my shelves. It's a rather daunting task to organize them all. I suppose I'll finish tomorrow. I've said that a few times before.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

To Do Today

Typically, my To Do lists end up on little yellow adhesive squares stuck everywhere, typewritten via Sir Reginauld, my trusty 1949 Smith Colorona Silent, with the 9 key that doesn't quite cooperate. But I haven't been able to do that lately. Why? Because of my biggest To Do: clean and organize my room completely! Don't worry, though, I am determined to finish it today. And then you may see some more of these. But for now...

x Record reference footage for gesture/emotion flip books
x Select segments of footage & print out filmstrips
x Search for treasure in JoAnn's with Vanesa
x Buy all sorts of fabrics, ribbon, floss, and other materials for embroidery, and more hoops and needles
x Peruse nearly everything else in that wonderful store
x Make a teepee.  (Ok, I guess that one will have to wait. But I have such a great pattern!)
x Think about long term project ideas
x Get my record player to work again
x Clean my room! Goodness!
x Animate, animate, animate. As usual.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Weekend Wednesday?

Hello there. Here I am, sitting in my room, in my [very colorful] apartment. Sitting. Just sitting. Doing absolutely nothing productive. Why? Because, my friends, it is Wednesday afternoon, which is now my WEEKEND! Yes, Mondays are hell. But the only class I have Tuesdays is Fibers, and sitting and embroidering is a nice way to recuperate. And Wednesdays, I'm done at 4:30pm, or whenever my class gets out, which was around 3 today! And now, I have nothing scheduled until 8am Monday when my week starts again. What a wonderful, wonderful feeling. I made it through the first week, I love my assignments, and now, I have a four day weekend! Don't worry, though. After this week, I'm sure I'll be as busy as ever, and those days off will be filled with jobs and homework. But for now, I think I'll enjoy it.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Chapter Books

Do you ever think about how ink becomes marks, and those marks become letters? Then those letters are strung together to form words and phrases and sentences. Those sentences are structured into paragraphs, those paragraphs grow into pages, which then accumulate into chapters. The chapters eventually become volumes, and the volumes become editions, and the editions become collections that eventually become libraries that permeate our society and inform our culture. Of course, that ink could have just as easily been a note to self written on someone's palm, or in my case, scribbled all over my thigh along with oodles of project ideas and other thoughts. That ink could have been smeared across a page and formed an image. Or it could have written a date on a calendar, a date that could later become an anniversary, and the beginning of something beautiful.

(Click on photo for source.)

Sometimes I worry about projects I have created digitally. I always try to have a tangible connection, for I worry about my art, in the end being nothing. This sensation, a new age horror vacui, is something I think about every day. It scares me to think about how many beautiful creations can be reduced to a series of ones and zeroes. What if one of those ones or zeroes changed places with another? Just two tiny digits in a seemingly endless stream...could they really make that much of a difference? Or could they make a huge difference? Could they be the difference between an elegant animation and a Youtube parody? The difference between a thesis and a facebook status? Between libraries and homework reminders?

Sometimes, I just think about things. I like thinking about potential, and the things we create and the beautiful relationships we seem to form by chance. I don't think it's by chance, though.

I'm sure that by week three, I will be dreading Mondays, solely because my days will go from 8am til 10pm. At least I can look forward to my classes. I really enjoyed all of them. The liberal art classes seem to be really interesting, and I already have projects in mind for my studio classes.

Tomorrow I have a fibers class that I have been looking forward to since last year. There are so many processes I want to learn that will only help make my animations stronger. At least, that's the plan.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Isn't it strange?

How quickly things change. How the present becomes a blurry memory. How the summer breeze becomes the rhythmic crunch of fall leaves. How my tanlines are already fading. How I'm starting to forget what Nicholas & I had for lunch two weeks ago. Sometimes change stresses me out. Not because I'm unprepared for the future. Not because I'm worried of what it may bring. But because it doesn't take long at all for a beautiful afternoon to become nostalgic. I'm already daydreaming about waterfalls and southern picnics, and soon enough I'll be making up most of it.

School starts tomorrow. It's a rather surreal feeling, starting my third year. How am I already halfway done? When I started, I felt like I was at the very bottom of my class. I was so behind everyone, and the only thing going for me was my work ethic and potential. I came to CIA for communication design. I ended up majoring in T.I.M.E. Digital Arts with an emphasis in animation. And now I want to study more than that. I went from a very commercial field to dreaming of being a fine artist. I am no longer terrified of Conté or newsprint or still lifes or figure drawing. I am anxious, not afraid, to try to mediums. And I have never felt more free. I came here knowing that I would be paying for everything myself, terrified that I wouldn't get a job and would be buried in debt. Now, that's not a concern. I have my share of loans, but I'm sure that if I want one, I could get a job when I graduate. But I would be perfectly happy without so many luxuries. As long as I have a camera of some sort, and something to move in tiny increments, I'll be ok. A roof over my head would be wonderful, and regular meals would be nice. But that's really all I need for my sanity. Money won't make me happy. It might make things easier, but it could just as easily complicate things. I have goals for myself, but they are really goals to help others. I really don't feel the need to worry about it.

Mondays are gonna be hell for me this year. They make my previous long days look like lazy afternoons. As of right now, this is what I'll look forward to at the start of every week:

8am-9:15am Photo History
9:30am-12pm Creative Resistance: Media Art in the Social Sphere
12:30pm-1:45pm Sexuality and Popular Culture in America
2pm-4:30pm Creative Resistance: Media Art in the Social Sphere
5pm-10pm Animation II

Talk about having a permanent case of the Mondays. On the bright side, I have Thursday through Sunday completely off. At least until I add jobs in the mix.

Right now, I need to get together a stack of notebooks and sketchbooks for my 4 classes tomorrow, pack a lunch or two, clean some more, and pick out a dress to wear. Perhaps do some ironing. And most importantly, dream.

Ps. Dear Nicholas, how vividly do you remember that day? I know that it was a Tuesday. It was May 20, 2008, and this was right after you flew in that morning. The park was a field of dandelion clocks and I made wish after wish that you would never have to leave. You looked good in a tux, and my dress was too big. Mia wanted to be in every picture with us before we left for the ball. We danced to only two songs, the second being "American Pie." I don't remember the slow song. I don't remember what we ate, but I remember the pattern of the plates. I remember the river, and you analyzing boats. I remember staying up all night, and you were up nearly 24 hours. We made airplanes out of foam, though I don't remember where they came from. I drank Mountain Dew and you had your Coke. We ran through the inflatable shark slide so many times, I could barley breath in between my giggles. You beat me at putt putt, and I used a pink golf ball. I forgot to bring a change of shoes, and I forgot what you forgot. I wore my Will Hoge shirt, and I think you wore your North Face. Although, you do so often, that I might just be making it up.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

One question.

Now what? I have been so incredibly busy this past week with orientation training, that I'm not quite sure what to do now that it's over.

Our days will filled with intentionally awkward games and fireside chats, and after dinner we only had more work. The twelve OL's spent nearly every waking moment together, allowing us to grow closer, even if we were getting annoyed. There were late nights, and really late nights. There were hours of work put into a silly dance for the welcome. There were patient people who dealt with our short attention spans. There were caring people who dealt with our stress. We laughed until we cried. We cried a little bit more. And then it was done. Just like that.

Move in day came and went. Even though we started at 7:15am and ended close to 1 in the morning. But we took breaks and climbed rocks and enjoyed some wild wings (or, you know, cheese quesadillas). The welcome came, and we were nervous. But as soon as people laughed at our attempt at the Soulja Boy, we all loosened up. The incoming class is a really great group. There were so many positive people that personally thanked us for working on orientation. Their energy helped keep us going. I think it was worth it. And then today, it stopped. Suddenly, everyone had eaten their dinner and we were cleaning up. And we were free to leave. I went into my apartment, sat down on my bed, listened to the rain, and fell asleep.

And here I am now. Sitting on my bed, looking at my little room filled with pieces of my life. I don't have quite enough floor space to move around, and yet somehow, I need to clean it before running errands tomorrow. I'm trying to procrastinate that organizing as much as possible, because I know as soon as that's complete, I'll be wondering the same thing. Now what?

Class starts Monday. I've been looking forward to it since June. I'll get back to blogging everyday. I'll begin accumulating To Do Lists, and To Do Lists of To Do Lists. I'll lose sleep and drink coffee. And hopefully I'll nail down a personal artist statement. I think I got a big step closer as of this morning.

So now what?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Some tents and mountains and rollerskates and boyfriends.

Hello again. It seems I have once again dropped off the face of the earth. The last couple weeks, I was with   Nicholas in my favorite city enjoying the sunshine and sea breeze. And before I left, I was busy ending projects, starting others, finishing summer break, and starting to pack because I came home Thursday, just to leave for Cleveland today! My summer endings are always hectic, though.

Today was spent riding in an air conditioner free car, sweating in the 90+ degree weather and extreme humidity, being welcomed by Cleveland's constant precipitation, carrying boxes up and down several flights of stairs (my dad is still mad that I don't live on the first floor), running a few last minute errands, and organizing while Estaban, the apartment cat (who apparently used to go by John Cougar Mellencamp and is now affectionately called Booger, leaving him very confused), sat on my desk and watched.

Here's a little of what I have been up to lately.
Making backyard tents.

Bringing home flowers for this pretty face.

Rollerskating with Alyssa & Mia. Because I had a dream about magical rollerskates.

Painting cats gold for an animation Alyssa & I made about drugs and greed. Ha.

And photographing the cats with Reesco.

Dragging Nicholas through lovely stores. And making him carry the bags.

Following this boy through winding trails.

Admiring some beautiful waterfalls.

Being adventurous.


Hopefully not falling.

Discovering the perfect place to cool off.
Enjoying the scenery.

Finding some blackberries hidden along mountain roads.

And finding others nestled in mountain sides.

Licking off my juice stained hands after picking several handfuls.

Studying perfect spiderwebs.

Counting dew drops.

Going somewhere mysterious.

That seemed to be where the world stopped.

Looking for more.

And finding nothing. And everything. And the closest thing to infinite.

Sighting the little mountain towns that were hiding under the clouds.

Walking into that clock scene from Pinocchio.

And now I'm missing Nicholas. I'll see him soon enough. I have other things to distract me for now, though. Like putting everything in its place. Enjoying my new apartment. Hanging with Estaban. And getting for Orientation Leader Training Week, which starts tomorrow.

School starts next week. As always, I'm excited.