Monday, December 17, 2012

Good Ideas

For my class about professional business practices for illustrators, I was required to read this book, Linchpin by Seth Godin. I so regret not getting it on CD earlier! There are some particular details I didn't entirely agree with, but its overall message is one of hope and has such a can-do attitude. Here's a short review on it I did for my class, if you care to hear my opinion:

            What an insightful book. It sometimes felt sort of similar to having the sheets ripped off of your bed on a cold morning, or being un-blindfolded to see a really bright day, or even like ripping off a Band-aid. It was startling at first, and a bit unpleasant, but it’s ultimately a good thing. There were a lot of things Seth Godin talks about that I had never thought of before, like the “lizard brain” or the “resistance,” and I thought they were interesting and important to talk about.
            Honestly, there were some points in the book that I felt he was a little bit off. Like when he talked about perfection and our tendency to strive towards “defect-free”. I got the impression that he was saying we don’t need to even try to head in the direction of “perfect,” that it’s pointless and wrong. But that may have only been fleeting, because the other things he says about that are spot on with how I feel. As a perfectionist, I constantly have to remind myself of my Grandma’s phrase, “They’re not going to shoot you in the morning,” and my favorite Mythbusters quote, “Failure is always an option.” It is such a nice thing to give up trying to have a perfect result and instead focus on being perfectly diligent in my attempts. Wasn’t it Einstein or someone famous who said that failure only comes when we stop trying? And I agree. We need to strive to do things perfectly, but it’s more in the trying than in the result.
            I also loved what Godin said about the power of gifts. Everybody needs to hear that part specifically! Especially being LDS and being taught again and again about service, this idea really resonated with me. It’s so fascinating to me that Godin recognized that it’s the people who sincerely give first that become successful later on. And I really liked that he also said that we’ve got to be willing to share our talents instead of being afraid of rejection, which is probably most of the reason I very rarely give my art as gifts.
            In all, Seth Godin had wonderful things to say, even if I didn’t completely agree with every detail. I loved his positive outlook on life, on the hidden genius in everyone, and on the future and how we can become a successful part of it. It gives me such high hopes.

So there you have it!
I hope I keep posting stuff here even though I no longer have a class requiring it. I think I will. I've been surprised at how much I like it. :) Thanks to you, Reader, for making it fun.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Last Lap Around the Corner

I can't believe it.
I am give-or-take three finals away from being finished with my second-to-last (ish) semester in school.

Here are a couple of things I'm happy with from this semester:

-Some stuff from my character design class, like the series of emotions for Eilonwy's character, Fflewddur Fflam, and my final lineup. (below) I feel like my skills in being able to come up with and draw characters of my own have grown a lot. No matter the grade, I feel like I've accomplished a lot.

-The children's magazine article I wrote for my English class. It wasn't the hardest assignment, but I actually really enjoyed it, and I got to write about something I care about and something interesting: the art world that was damaged by Nazi Germany in WWII, and how Hitler had tried to become an artist himself, etc. I didn't know the extent of said damage to art and more importantly Russian and Polish people until I watched The Rape of Europa in my art history class sometime within the past year or so. More people need to know about that. Look it up, rent it from your local library-- it's important to remember.

Apparently, literally a couple of things are all that sticks out because I can't think of much else on the same level as these two.

Anyway, how about that game Clue?
Our family has so many memories with that beloved board and its pieces. We played again for the first time in a long time on Saturday and had a blast. I was the first to make a final accusation-- as usual, I was just barely wrong. It was Professor Plum with the lead pipe in the kitchen, if you were wondering, and I was banking on Mr. Green in the dining room.

For some reason, I feel like there may be a connection here with Sherlock Holmes that I can exploit for my BFA project, and not just because its detective work. We'll see.

Another fun game memory (of a memory game, coincidentally): HUSKER DU!!

I totally just stole from the internet, P.S.

Except that our set's cover-up pieces look more like a chess board's bishops than the checkers-ish ones on this cover. Husker Du apparently means "Do you remember?" in Danish. For some reason, the box always reminds me of my grandparents' red shag carpet, velvet walls, black leather furniture, and sparkly asbestos-ish ceiling. Oh and don't forget the creepy mirror in which I thought my cousins could really see Bloody Mary.

I'm telling ya, these things pack a LOT of memory for me. What about you? What are your favorite game memories? Night games? House? Puzzles?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

My Mind Rebels at Stagnation...

The reason for the title is two-fold:

First: My proposal for concept and space for my final BFA show was all accepted!!
It will be in April. I may have previously mentioned that my subject is Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. I love so many of the films and versions (like House or The Mentalist) and I've loved listening to the original stories as I work.
Aside from the obvious favorite of Holmes being outsmarted by Irene Adler, my favorite story so far has been the guy who dresses up in makeup and costume to look like a beggar. I absolutely didn't expect that at all, and it was a marvelous revelation.
Anyway, once I comfortable with what I'm doing for my BFA, I'll tell you all.

Second: Even though my mind is fried right now and I just want to not worry about grades, I know that in two weeks I'm going to be really bored if I don't get something productive to do. Luckily, I have this thing called a BFA show coming up that should help my nerves stay nice and frayed until after April.

As far as art goes... I'm in the middle of new projects for all art classes, so there's not much to show, but I'll tell!
--I've sketched out my character lineup for my Character Design Final. They're characters from The Chronicles of Prydain. Left to right: Orddu, a witch; Doli, a dwarf; Eilonwy, a sort of tomboy princess; and Fflewddur Fflam, a king who'd rather be plucking his harp.

--I want to do a Christmas card for Zions Bank (this is all just kind of hypothetical here for the purposes of the class) featuring the ghost of Christmas Past reminding us all of what's important, to go along with Zions' tagline: "We haven't forgotten who keeps us in business." I haven't digitized my sketches for that, so you get nothing!

--I've been working on a moray eel makeup design. We poured the two-part foam molds last class-- it was incredible!! I really love learning about his stuff. Again, no pictures yet, though some have probably noticed all the moray eel pictures on my "Specific Projects" board on Pinterest.

Well, until next time, ciao!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fine, Christmas Spirit.

I love Christmas, but it feels like the shops are already trying to shove everything to do with Christmas down my throat, and it's not even Thanksgiving. But with the snow and happy music, I'm slowly caving in.

So fine, Christmas Spirit. You win. Haha, and I guess I'm not too entirely upset about it.

What do you guys think? Would you agree that having 11 months of not specifically be-decking things in lights or hanging mistletoe makes you more excited and grateful for Christmas without getting sick of it?

Well, onto business. I finally made something this semester that I'm mostly happy with! The only other thing that might beat it out is the expressions assignment I posted earlier. This is for my character design class. We were assigned to place a character in a scene for a Christmas card. I finally decided that I wanted to draw a mushroom, and things sprouted from there. (Punny!)

And so I titled this "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."

It's not totally to where I want it to be, but I feel pretty good about it, especially since I did the entire thing in less than 5 hours, excluding two general idea sketches done yesterday.
So Happy [early] Christmas!

Friday, November 9, 2012


Happy late Guy Fawkes day! Let's just be honest, I only know about him from the movie "V for Vendetta". It's a great film (though I've only seen it edited) that taught me a lot, mostly about the importance of my role in my country.

Second order of business: it's snowing in Provo. Let's take a second to reflect how gorgeous it is, how freezing it is, and how the first few snows of the season always make me think of that part in Hook. Also, while walking home from campus today, I was reminded of this precious clip from Dumb and Dumber.

Buuuut anyway. I finally turned in print finishes of my work to Brother Barrett. They looked hideous on paper, but it's time to be done with them for now. I'll fix them when I graduate, haha.

Poison Buffet

The Little Mermaid

Samhain (Fire Dance)

Also, we had to redesign a character from a film and render it in 3 different styles for Character Design.

.... Annnnd I'm not really done. But here's a couple of things I did for it! Presenting the great and wicked Miranda Priestly from "The Devil Wears Prada."

I really like the idea of doing this character, but especially since I made a better version than this which didn't scan correctly, every time I look at this version, I'm reminded of the wife's comments from this State Farm commercial: "She sounds hideous."
Oh well. I can re-do it.

In other news, my brother gets home from his LDS mission in 5 DAYS!!!!!! I'm just a little excited.

Until I have something else completely trivial to say, adieu!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Adventures in Makeup Land!

Remember that I say in my profile that I think almost any subject can be seen as an art? 
So since I'm in a makeup class here in school, and since I LOVE it, and since doing makeup helps me understand the human face structure and other art things better....

I'm going to post some of my pictures here! Even if it wasn't done for class. :)

***UPDATE: And if you think from hereon out that I'm super narcissistic, just know that it's about 10 times more embarrassing to ask someone to allow me to paint their face at odd times and then take a bazillion pictures from every conceivable angle. And I think it's clear by my posting all of this that I'm aaaall about less embarrassment......

Other than being born, etc., all the obsession with makeup began when I was in my first year of college.
One night, the school was having a girls' night and boys' night with fun activities in different buildings. For the girls, they put on a chick flick and encouraged us to paint our nails, eat popcorn, and otherwise act like typical girls.

My two roommates however, were jealous of the guys' activity: basketball.

They decided that they could probably get in by dressing up like guys and not wearing any normal makeup. I joined in the fun even though I planned on going to neither event.
I think it was as soon as I got laughs out of that first mustache that I wanted more.

It spiraled out of the realms of "I like pretty makeup" and escalated first to:
-Weird costumes and hair
-Then to either simple Halloween-y characters and putting anything on my face at all (i.e. frosting)
-And finally to seeing how close I could get my face to resemble film characters using only the limited makeup I had and some acrylic paints.

(You may also notice that I briefly attempt to protect my friends' identities so that they don't have to suffer embarrassment by association with me. My resolve was quickly met with the insurmountable task of pixelating all their beautiful faces out of my many pictures. My deepest apologies to those involved. Haha)


I noticed after buying a black light that all my highlighters were super bright under it... and I thought it'd be fun to see if it worked on skin. Oooohhh, yes it did. *smug smile* My friends found out and we had a blast drawing on each other and ourselves while blasting tunes.

I got really into the *art of Avatar, and realized that I could make the Na'vi's little glowing spots with those highlighters. *Fist pump of success* Yes!!

*Avatar's creature design and art in general is probably its only redeeming quality. Oh, I guess the music isn't bad at all, either-- typical lovely James Horner. Also, let's just all admit that Zoe Saldana is great and Sam Worthington looked really good. As a side note, there will apparently be an Avatar 2, and at least some of it will be filmed at the deepest location on Earth, Mariana Trench. It was the classic Pocahontas-ish tale last time, maybe it'll be The Little Mermaid this time? Haha, just kidding, Avatar fans. I'll probably pay to see it when it comes out, too.

So yes. Anyway.
And here we see the long list of (usually) recurring themes: 
Tim Burton or other film characters, cross-dress into a boy, and Halloween-ish.


After all of this crazy stuff, (Really, though, are you questioning my sanity yet?) I transferred to BYU, and got all new roommates. But soon, the urge to paint bruises and punk rock makeup overtook any embarrassment I may have feared.

At which point, one of my roommates mentioned that her coworker had been in a makeup class where they create fake injuries, Halloween makeup and such. Of course I signed up for it at the next opening!!

And since then, I at least have some kind of excuse to go crazy with pigment on my own face. Here are a few of my in-class or post-Snow makeups:

Latex wrinkles
Crepe beard
Minor earthquake injury for mock disaster
Old age *stage* makeup

Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas
Raggedy Ann doll face

My version of Mad Madame Mim
from "The Sword in the Stone"
Profile view of Mad Madame Mim--
nose made of sculpting putty

                                   INFECTED  [and burned]  ZOMBIE!!

Just a cute clown maybe for Halloween

Guy Fawkes mask makeup

Leaf girl-- Halloween makeup
linking back to Celtic Samhain origin

There you have it!

And if you're thinking now, like me, "Isn't she a little self-conscious about putting all these pictures of herself up?" then I should point out that a) there are only so many people besides myself who I feel comfortable asking to play model for my makeup experiments and b) I'm pretty sure I can come back and edit or delete this post whenever I feel like it. :) At the moment however, it satisfies my urge to share how fun this is and there are probably only 5 people who look at my blog once in a while anyway.

So I figure I'm OK for a bit.
Happy Halloween and onto the next project(s)!!