[Rant] Irritation at academia. Don’t mind me.

It’s taken me a long time to decide whether to log my thoughts on the screenwriting class.  Since yesterday (after seeing my teacher’s social awareness fail), I’ve lost a lot of faith in the teacher and motivation to do the homework.  Today was the third day in a row of coming home and going to sleep.

Ordinarily, having some sort of set structure assists me in being productive.  Today, though, after having sat through another three hour lecture, I’m trying to avoid my consideration of not going back.  The only thing to keep me in is the fact that my financial aid paid for this class, and I don’t want to stop getting financial aid because of multiple Withdraw statuses.

My life on non-work days is strongly circling around this class — mornings, in class; afternoons, asleep; evenings, homework.  If I had any interest in film or animation I think it would be different, but I’m coming to see that I don’t — which is part of the reason I took this class.  I needed to see if I actually did want to be telling stories.

I write prose, fine.  But I don’t like to write stories as much as I used to.  And what I do want to do — which I don’t actually know if I’ll enjoy at this point, but it’s a possible goal, at least (writing and producing a graphic novel) — is less stringent than this.  It might give me a leg up to submit a graphic novel script in standard screenplay format, but I really think that most of what we’re being taught are formalities (e.g. use Courier in 12-point font), and not how to write a compelling, non-formulaic story.

In short, I think I’m liking my art more than I’m liking the process of writing.  It could just be because I’m not doing the art.  Or because I’m stuck with this kind of…intellectual exercise of trying to figure out what scenes and actions to show, and my art is much more exploratory and intuitive.  I suppose that my writing style is also very internal, because my stories are internal.  I’m just not that interested in laying out autobiographical works…

All that to say that my writing style is not well-suited to film.

One of the benefits to scriptwriting is that internal states are implied by action and not set in stone the way they can be, in prose.  This allows a state of openness toward differing interpretations which may not be allowable in highly specific fiction or prose format.  This means that I, as a writer, am not locked into one reality and one set future, as I’m writing.  However…problems arise in representation.

I found this early on in manga and anime, but it applies to other formats as well — the tendency of life to reproduce art, when art (or, rather, mass media) is using established social conventions in order to convey as specific a meaning as it can.  This means that it’s using known conventions, and known conventions have the problem of being grounded in the social hegemonies — or unquestioned societal systems of understanding which define “right” and “wrong” — which undergird and reinforce the power structures of the world we live in.  Thus when life imitates art, if art is reinforcing the present power structure, life comes to reinforce the present power structure.

In this way, certain things like body image come into play, as each body is encoded with specific meaning which may have little to nothing to do with the person who lives within that body.  Or, at least, when one meets another in the real world and comes to associate the other’s body type with the meanings one has gleaned (often unknowingly and unconsciously) from media which has used established social conventions in its encoding, then we have a problem.

We end up with a really big problem when we’re talking about mass media and people doing this en masse.  This reinforces racism, sexism, the idea that heterosexuality is to be celebrated and everything else is deviant; the idea that for one’s personality to differ from the image that is associated with one’s body is dangerous (particularly where this comes to transgender subjectivities); etc.  This has been getting better recently, at least in the LGBT realm, but racism and sexism are still rampant, as can be observed from the disproportionate targeting and incarceration — or straight-out killing — of non-white males in the U.S.  This is not to mention the high rates at which feminine-appearing people are targeted for sexually-themed violence.

I see this lack of criticality, and it makes me not want to engage in learning the system.  On the other hand, I only have 12 more class sessions left, and I can deal with a C.  Whether I’ll be able to restrain my own derision is something else (I find it likely that I know more about these issues than the instructor, having spent the better part of my life in the educational system, regardless of the fact that I only have a BA).  What I’m finding out is that covert racism in the faculty is really very present in all of the college systems in which I’ve participated.  And this is sad — especially considering where most of these schools are located, and who makes up the student body.

I learned to expect it at the University I first attended, because they had very little meeting of the minds with ethnic minorities.  Those who were on the faculty there…well, I remember one professor whose words were that of a conservative, racist white man, even though his skin was dark.  Of course, though, his own philosophy excused his behavior as “bigoted” at most; he could never be “racist” because “racism” was a term which depended upon structural inequality.  To him, because of his racial background, he could never be racist, even though if a white man said the same thing…well, I guess you still couldn’t fire him (tenure).  I (rather foolishly) thought I could confide in him.  I was wrong.

Moving on to other colleges and Universities, I’ve found that often those who were employed as faculty, if of a nonwhite race, were often assimilated and complacent with the systems they found themselves within — at least within the English department, which was so oppressive that the term “festering” comes to mind.  (One of my professors said that I couldn’t call any author “racist” if they lived before the term “racism” was coined.  Seriously?!  So all those slave owners and traders weren’t racist, I guess.)  Some of them (like the one who called me “Godless”) were more overtly oppressive than the white faculty members I studied under, though the really progressive faculty, at both of my Universities, were within the Ethnic Studies and Human Sexuality departments.

One of the things I was taught in the Creative Writing department, by someone on loan from Stanford, was not to make anything “different” in one’s story which the story wasn’t about.  I’m encountering this again in my Screenwriting class.  I don’t know then what the standard reference is — white, heterosexual, middle-class?  What do we avoid “differing from” unless relevant to the story?  I’m not here to write a story about Everyman, because Everyman stories tend to be ethnocentric and sexist.  But what then do I do, write stories about people who are of my race and ethnicity?  How is that less ethnocentric?  In more formal language, how do we avoid ethnocentricity when composing our stories?

I don’t think anyone teaches that, probably because people have tried before and failed obviously and miserably.  The best we seem to be able to do is hire writers who can be ethnocentric in a way we haven’t seen yet.

I think the problem arises with the model we’re being taught here.  It would be somewhat more refreshing if this were a three-semester series and we addressed these issues.  But, no.  This is a six-week class at a public community college.  What can I expect?

[Rant] Irritation at academia. Don’t mind me.

Remembering the reason I decided to keep up the posting…

I just remembered another one of the reasons I decided to keep up with this blog.  Whenever I’m working at the art, I come to a number of process points to keep in mind for future artworks.

As regards content and not form? Most recently, when I’m doing self-portraits, I need to be able to be open to my self-portrait looking very male.  This is what happened with the latest one, and it somewhat took me aback.  One transmasculine group later, I’m feeling a lot better about it :), but it was one of those things that reminded me that I have some embodiment issues, and gender identity issues, going on.

This isn’t standard FTM stuff, though I hesitate to say if it is more or less difficult than that.  The task I have before me is both to begin to present (intentionally) more masculinely, and to also figure out if I am genderqueer in a static manner, or genderfluid.  By that I mean that it’s my task to see if my gender identity itself changes from day to day, or whether I stably remain at one point (or two points) on the twin masculine and feminine spectrums.  Although it is the more difficult of the two options, I’m considering that I may be stably genderfluid — that the only thing which stays stable is the range of my identity and expression, and the fact that it changes.  I do have an art project I can think of which would encompass this, but not the lighting or equipment to do it right now.

Formwise…or experientially — that is, something that I came to in my working process — when I’m working with gel media, I may need to mix the paint and gel for each area separately and build layer upon layer of media on top of itself in a kind of fresco-like working process.  This, as versus trying to lay down a layer of media and planning to paint on top of it.  The paint may not be opaque enough.  And maybe I was working too fast, on Tuesday, trying to get everything laid out as fast as I could because I didn’t know how long it would take to dry.  As it was, I went home with a wet painting…on public transit, yeah?

Also, my prof advised me to do the underdrawing in pastel next time, not charcoal.  This is even though I did the first parts of my original gesture drawing in something like a sepia soft pastel, and then went all over it with the value-specific shading in charcoal (two times:  once to put in shadows, the second time to darken the local color and deepen the shadows, which had me painting in the light as well), then came back in with the pastels to add color.  I was starting to work back into it with violet and blue shadows (the only two hues I hadn’t used — prof said to try and use all the colors) when she said it was good enough and that I needed to move to the canvas, and could revisit the drawing later.

Well, working from scratch on the new canvas, I ended up doing the underdrawing in vine charcoal, which I was told I shouldn’t do, so I won’t have to worry about covering it up in the final version.  I’m thinking I was supposed to use the brown pastel directly on canvas, which was something I was afraid to do (as I didn’t know if it would ever come off).  I also started working directly from the photo on my canvas, whereas my teacher wanted me to work from my drawing, which was inspired by the photo.  That drawing is probably one of the strongest in the class, but I could see where it wasn’t exactly communicating what I wanted it to? which is why I went back to the photo.  I think my prof thought it would be a waste not to use the drawing.

The gesture-drawing part of the assignment — that drawing/pastel painting on newsprint…I’m still not sure how I did that.  It encompasses working on all parts of the image at once in order to capture visual flow.  Gesture drawing is probably one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do in the Art program.  For me, anyway.  It’s more fun because it’s more noncommittal, and freer, but I have a hard time drawing things paying attention to liveliness of line/process, and not photo-realistic precision.

I’ve also heard — from multiple sources and at least one book — that gesture drawing is very foundational, and that if I want to be an Animator, it’s essential to be doing this a lot.  All the time, essentially.  Maybe after I graduate from the Certificate program, I can start working on the program in The Natural Way to Draw.  That course wants one to commit to a one-year program, drawing at least three hours a day; something I just can’t do while I’m in work and college.  But it’s…very foundational.  It would also help extremely much with life drawing, and capturing a feeling of life in one’s drawings, which …is useful!

I think this is enough to post, for now…

Remembering the reason I decided to keep up the posting…

Facing fears

I’ve gotten more than my (minimal) expectations done, today, though I am not sure what it was, exactly, that I expected of myself on waking.  Well — I would have liked to have gone clothes shopping, but I got out of bed way too late for that, considering my other responsibilities.

I did go over the line drawing for my skeleton section with glazing medium, today.  I’d traced him sometime earlier this week, which let me know that there is some stuff going on at the collarbones that I really don’t understand, unless the skeleton was hunched over (a very good possibility, considering his jaw was originally way out of alignment, as well).  But, I don’t have the skeleton with me, and even though I thought I took some reference photos, I don’t see any on either my phone or camera.  (It’s possible that I realized I could tape an extra piece of paper to the edge of my newsprint to capture the whole image and got excited, as I was going to photograph it.)  So…I’m guessing I’m just going to have to wing it.

I started working on the background for the first half of the skull drawing (it’s two-sided), before dinner, also.  I used Cadmium Red Hue — Liquitex — not great on the density of color, but workable.  I put in two layers of this color, straight — I didn’t want to try and mix the same hue over and over again.  M says that Heavy Body acrylics have a higher concentration of pigment than medium-body acrylics…I did ask, but I’m not sure the answer is valid.  In any case, now I know to go with a higher-quality brand when I have to start replacing these tubes.

I’m planning to lay in a plaid pattern behind him, which is a personal reference leading back to the time when I was about 6 or 7 years old and was afraid of skulls — even, just, drawings of skulls.  Perhaps with parental encouragement, I made an imaginary friend who was a skeleton.  I can’t quite recall fully what his original name was, but I ended up calling him Maurice.  So he was Maurice, the imaginary skeleton, who wore a red plaid shirt.  🙂  Or as I found myself calling him in class, “Moe, the imaginary skeleton,” before I realized that the skeleton in front of me was not Moe, but the one in my mind was.

It was more chance than anything which led me to be assigned the skull portion of the skeleton to represent (remember that thing about spirits and chance?), though I did have to refer back to Bamboo to try and remind myself how to work on these things when I’m feeling overwhelmed.  Maybe I can take a better photo of the center of that image (Bamboo) and upload it here, so you can read it.  It helped another student make it through Finals last semester, and it’s helping me approach the problem of this now late assignment.  This is for a class that I can’t afford to get an Incomplete on; it’s required for the Foundation for Animation certificate I’ve applied for.

Only today did I make the connection that the act of representing something I used to be terrified of, and creating Maurice…both were deliberate acts of going up against something I feared.  This is not to mention my concern around chemicals, which has been an excuse to keep me away from painting for the last week.

Painting in the background, in particular…I realized that a solid red background looked like an alarm, and could signal death; but I think it will have a much more playful tone, once I put the plaids in.  🙂  (I’m thinking gold [Cadmium Orange Hue + Yellow Ochre?] or yellow, plus green? and possibly Prism Violet.)  I realized that I had to let go of my original image of how this piece would turn out, in order for it to be dynamic enough for me to want to work on it.

The skeleton itself was missing four teeth, though I failed to notice the lower gap when making my preparatory image.  So mine is only missing two teeth.  And its jaw is crooked.  ^_^;;  When I saw this, I started giggling to myself; it presented me with the option of fixing his jaw to make him look more “ideal,” or keeping the flaw and letting it give the drawing personality.  I chose the latter option.

Originally, the skeleton was going to give some resigned commentary on his jaw being misaligned and missing teeth, via a text bubble I was going to put in an upper corner.  But right now…there really isn’t enough background space to do that.  I’d have to cover up some of the main portion of the drawing, which is possible, but I should give myself some space to determine things as I’m working.  If it’s already finished in my mind, after all, that takes away the drive to work on it in real life; and it also gives an unattainable standard that I feel I have to work up to in my real-life painting — which also will make me afraid to work on it.

I’m thinking of using the colors in the background as highlight and shadow on the bones themselves…but I’m also a little hesitant to mimic others’ work, too much.  I guess it’s only color choice, right? and contour drawing.  I’m apparently really good at contour drawing!  Though I may need to find one or more references, as I didn’t add any real indication of directionality of the planes of what I was absorbing, into my original drawing.

I suppose that’s a good thing to learn for the future:  if I want the final image to appear dimensional, I need to pay attention to dimensionality in my practice sketches.

If I want him to be Moe the cartoony flat skull head, though, it may not matter.

Other than that?  I’m 10 pages away from the end of my required reading, and I put the Arboretum painting aside for now.  I’ve found that I’ve had some resistance to working on it, due to some unexpected collisions.  The lower left corner, in particular…it has the right hue combination, at least in the Phthalocyanine Green and Blue areas (I am not so sure about the Violet).  But I laid in the color before figuring out what would display that color, and how to represent it.

I put in a (fictional) spray of grass, but it is the same color as what I depicted in front of it, and on the advice of my teacher, painted it back into the middle-ground.  In actuality, there are a bunch of little plants with bright blue-green leaves in the foreground, and I’m not sure what to put behind them so that they’ll stand out as foreground objects.  Nor am I totally sure of what to do with the branches which arc in from the left (they’re kind of yellow-green because of lichens, and I didn’t get a close-up reference of them)…

So I’m kind of treading water on that one, right now.

Good news?  Laundry:  Done.

I meant to ask earlier if, when encountering resistance towards doing one thing in particular, if it is permissible to do other things that have to be done to lessen the entire workload, or if I should keep pushing myself to do the one thing in particular.  M said that if those things really need to be done (and aren’t things like going to sleep or going online), then yes, it is permissible to do those other things, first.

I almost forgot to say:  I took tomorrow off of work, so I now have at least two more full days to work on my homework.

I hope I can keep up my momentum (and not be scared off)…

Facing fears

Feeling more serious and happy than ever. Things are coming together.

(Advance notice:  apologies for this post being ill-placed in the Reader.  I just really felt the need to mark Categories and Tags to reference the mental state and direction I’m facing, now.  This post addresses life and career goals, getting college in line with them, and basically realizing how much I like what I’m doing now, and how I might get where I want to be, with an emphasis on what I can do now.)

I really should be going to bed about now, but I feel the need to post.

I was writing to my prof asking about office hours when I realized that I could see her more quickly by visiting during open Lab time.  Then I checked and found out that one more slot had to be filled before the district would keep the Lab — and I found that tomorrow was the deadline to both add and drop without a “Withdraw” status.  This class had been in development last semester and is experimental…I’d hate to see it go down and not be tried again because it needed just one more student.  Besides, the other 19 students will also probably be really happy, too.

I’m kind of feeling a bit bad about having taken up so much of my prof’s time already — I signed up for her section, so basically I think she’ll be familiarized with my work and process.  At least now, she’ll be getting paid a bit more for helping me.

I just kind of feel like I need the additional tutelage of the Lab, especially when I keep getting more serious about this stuff.  And I’m loving having these three classes anyway — I guess you can say it gives me hope of a qualitatively better and freer/more creative life.  The structure of having to get out on Mondays will probably also really help me stay out of bed and not waste my Mondays asleep.

My prof from last semester (the Department head) still hasn’t written me back with comments on my portfolio or self-evaluation, though she’s been meaning to.  I loved her class, too — I met her back sometime around 2007 when I had her for Intro to Art History.

I talked with my current prof about the possibility of taking Special Projects with the Department head and instead of following a kind of make-your-own-curriculum path, joining in with her Beginning Drawing students and basically re-taking Beginning Drawing.  Because the Beginning class I watched in progress last semester was very different than anything I’d done, and as the class is given as a basis for Animation (same as Figure Drawing), I feel like I need to brush up on or acquire skills I haven’t been directly taught, in order to be competent.  She told me to consult with my prof from last semester, and that maybe we could work something out.  That actually sounds really good; the class was very foundational in a way that showed me how much my own Beginning Drawing class had been lacking.

I was also able to alter the schedule I’d made…I’m now at 9 units, plus 19 hours at my job.  I’ve stopped trying to figure in the complication of whether in-class lab counts as outside work…I have 8 units without the lab; that means to expect 16 hours of outside work.  On the two days I have free afternoons, I have five hours each; three with daylight, two without.  On Mondays, I will have four free hours in the morning if I don’t oversleep, and two after dark (though I did just realize I forgot to factor in lunchtime).  That makes 16.  If I need additional time for that one extra unit from the Lab, I can work on Sundays.

There’s also the possibility of working after dinner, but I probably won’t need to, especially since I have the three-hour lab on Mondays.  But then, there is also the possibility that I will really want to work after dinner.

I had been talking with one of my co-workers a week or so ago.  She was saying that she preferred full schedules.  I can see what she means.  It’s kind of interesting to keep busy all the time and only go to sleep at night.  🙂  I mean, I actually feel like I have a goal, now.  And I actually feel like I’m being serious about a career, now.  Probably the hardest part of this for me is going to be time management and motivation.  I can see it going in a direction like my martial arts training, where I really love it while I’m doing it but have an inertia against doing it.  But, you know, that’s probably really my disorder talking and not me, if it’s at all possible for my disorder to be separate from the person I am.

But yeah.  ♥  I’m feeling pretty good.

What I need to do now, really, is get a handle on this sleep-pattern thing.  I’ve got myself waking at either 7 or 8 AM most days of the week, and setting a bedtime of 10 PM.  Should I keep to that, I’ll get more than enough sleep.  The problem is getting to bed when I’m excited and happy and thoughts are swirling through my mind and I want to write and stay up longer.  But then it becomes difficult to wake, and like today I end up running out of the house without having taken one of my medications because it causes acid reflux without food, and I have no time for breakfast.

But that’s easily remedied, right?  Put a pill in your backpack, and take it at your first break.  Easy.

And I do wonder if things are getting so much easier and clearer because of that med…

Feeling more serious and happy than ever. Things are coming together.

Train of thought…

As things go, I have been intensely busy for the last week.  I’ve been reading a lot of material in art, studying a lot; though much of this is visual research.  There’s a lot of educational material that I’ve been made privy to which I did not think to look for, and probably would not have thought to look for, for a very long time.

The positive part of this is that, even though it’s a lot of work — I estimated earlier that I’m committing to an expected load of between 40 and 50 hours a week — I don’t really mind doing the work.  It’s engaging in a way that left-brain-type work is not.

I need to make an appointment with my Figure Drawing professor to ask her about whether the way I’m drawing now is compatible with animation and quick poses.

I have a lot of trouble understanding things in the way that she wants us to draw them.  That is…I can draw figures, but aside from placing the landmarks of head and feet on the page, it’s difficult for me to see the figure as this one object taking up space, because then I feel like I have to get the proportions and position of each body part right.  Without using line and edge, visualizing the angles at which things meet each other and how big the internal shapes are in comparison to each other, I have a hard time visualizing what I’m trying to draw.

Though I do suppose that it may just be part of how my brain works, in that I can start from a small area and work outwards, and things are proportional and at correct angles and lengths and appear to hold volume.  I don’t quite understand how to set landmarks in a blank space with little to no prior reference, and have things work out to be, well, legible.  It probably didn’t help that the model was doing some complicated poses.

I can upload a couple of my best drawings, and try and get some feedback — but I’m thinking that because of lighting considerations, I should schedule that for either Sunday or Monday.  All I have right now are charcoal drawings, and some of those are double-sided (hence, marked up) because I forgot my newsprint pad and had to take paper from class.  Maybe I can give some back…I tore out at least 20 pages of my pad (it’s not a good pad), hoping that I’d be able to leave the bulk of it at home, but as things go now, I’m concerned about running out of paper next class if I *do* take just those pages.

I have been getting support from M, though — I think she can see I’ve been doubting myself — so that’s been nice.

It’s also nice to have an external outlet for the creativity.  Since I’ve been able to work visually, it’s been easier to not worry about the spiritual stuff so much.  Although — it would probably still help if I got back to that book on Channeling that I bought last semester.  I’m finding that a lot of creativity, when it entails expression, puts one into a very vulnerable place.  I’ve also found that not everyone can tolerate that vulnerability.

And not everyone is tolerant enough of their own imperfections to be able to do this — I’ve known some very critical and hostile people, and if that is on all the time, it’s very easy to turn it on oneself.  That can hamper creativity, if it doesn’t destroy it.

Given as well that I set this as my life mission after my last severe bout with depression…it’s fairly apparent, given some thought, that I would arrange my life around my creativity.  One of the links I was presented with led to a blogger on WordPress who is an Art teacher and answers questions from students routinely.  One of the questions had to do with financial stability as a freelance illustrator.  The blogger said that most successful illustrators she knew had part-time jobs which provided steady income, while working a second job doing their art.

That post is here.

I had actually thought, initially, of becoming a Library Assistant and working part-time in order to pay my bills and finance my art (as well as keep me close to various kinds of illustrated books), and then working as an Illustrator the rest of the time.

I could probably also pull an Administrative Assistant position as well — and hey, it might pay better.  Plus, I might get to use my Writing skills and my Business training.  But in order for that to be successful, I’d have to really…recover a bit more from all the sexual harassment I’ve experienced over the course of my life, because I’ve been told to expect it there.  It might not be as big of a deal, though, if things continue as they are now and my air deflects a bit of the sexual attention.

That could actually be really cool, yeah?  Especially if I worked as an AA within a Publishing firm…that could actually be pretty awesome, really!

That would be awesome.  Maybe I should be looking for internships…even though I graduated almost a decade ago!

Well — look for internships, either after I finish the Art and possibly Multimedia Arts training, or take a lower class load?  As things stand, after earning my Certificate(s) and finally exit college, I should be able to hold down one part-time job and look for an internship — or attempt to apply directly to a job, so I can keep working on my art.  I’ve heard that things go downhill when one doesn’t practice.

Actually, skirting an internship seems to be the more realistic approach…I’m no longer 23, after all, and I would have some clerical experience from the Library.  In the meantime, I could enter the County temp pool, or I could try and become a Clerk within the Library and/or County system, first, as well (actually, there is no distinction once one applies as a Clerk, between the County and the Library).  That could then be a stepping stone to a Clerk job within the Publishing industry.  I should ask.  That could be fruitful.

And actually, one of my siblings’ old friends does work with me, and does seem to be pursuing the Art + Clerical combination.  I hadn’t thought of it, but I should talk with him, too.


New Year’s Resolution 2015: Read more Graphic Novels.

I have been reading back through some of my past entries on here.  I really didn’t realize how prolific I’d been in posting.  I guess it says something when I feel like I need to write after a week of not writing…a week’s absence probably isn’t that long.

So I was browsing and realized that connecting specifically to one post will often lead me to another post on the same issue from a different time, using an algorithm that I don’t quite understand, but still like.  🙂  Using this functionality, I was able to link back to the time when I’d been considering the Digital Imaging certificates and was not so heavy on the Animation.  I’m still not so heavy on the Animation, truth be told, but there are some classes in there which will very much help with Graphic Novel work.  That, however, seems to peter out after the Basic Animation certificate.

I’m not really heavily into wanting to make a multimedia comic, so going further than this may be a waste of my time.  However, there is still the Digital Imaging track, which I’d forgotten about — this includes Digital Photography, which may help very much if I become an Illustrator.  And I actually have a camera, now!  I can barely use it, but I actually have a camera, now!

Anyhow, that will give me some stuff to think on if and when I get done with the Art certificate.  There are actually a range of possibilities out before me now in the distant future.

The most lucrative of these (for me) is the possibility of becoming an illustrator for Graphic Novels and/or kids’ or YA books.  As things stand, I’m not aware of too many illustrated books for adults…things like Persepolis and Maus aside.  But both of those are really graphic novels.  I’ve also run across a few of Gaiman’s works which seem more unconventional in their combination of text and image (I think I’m remembering one of the Sandman series), but I have yet to look really closely at them.

Then there are the serials…which I’m not too hot on emulating, for the fact that it seems things have to be reset back to the place where they began in order for the series to continue (indefinitely).  But I still love Deadpool.  And speaking of dead things, I also haven’t taken a look at Prometheus, yet.  I really want to, it’s just that it’s really mature content, and looks like it ventures into quasi-horror territory.  Add to this that it’s been years since I’ve seen any of the Aliens movies, and have not seen Prometheus (the movie) yet, and I’m just…meh.

But hey, I actually did like the first Riddick, and that was a pretty dark movie, too.  Just kind of cheesy.  Which I am not expecting Prometheus to be.

And how could I forget Watchmen?  Saw the movie, have the comic, haven’t read all the way through it yet because of having seen the movie and already knowing the story.  I still like Dr. Manhattan.

It would probably be easier for me to envision myself as a graphic novel author and/or illustrator, if I actually read some of these things instead of keeping them in a little “want to read someday” cupboard in the back of my mind.  And I work at a friggin’ library, it’s not like I don’t see these things on a daily basis.

Yeah, maybe that would be a good idea for 2014 2015.  Read some Graphic Novels.  That doesn’t mean to read all the way through the Daniel Way Deadpool series, because that’s not where I want to go as an author, but still.  It’s a start.  Daniel Way is better than nothing.

And maybe I can give myself permission to read the kids’ comics, too (I have a little guilty spot because I want to read Sonic Universe but haven’t gotten the guts to check it out yet).  I still want to check out Mameshiba.  For real.  Though that’s more of a picture book than a comic–!  And then there’s the awesome mymilktoof blog which basically…well, you can see it for yourself.  I first came across it on the New shelf at my library — there have been two books published of these narratives.

I think that’s enough for now!  Phew!  I think I worked myself into a happy place…

And just a note to me:  for the future, when you wish to write a story, do not be afraid to harm or upset your characters.  I know this is the hardest point you come across, but when everyone’s happy, it’s hard to have drama or a story to tell.  Not impossible — but, think about it:  when is life all happy?

With that, I’ll be on my way.

New Year’s Resolution 2015: Read more Graphic Novels.

Two things:

One:  I just came off of watching the third episode of a mini-series called “Superheroes:  A Never-Ending Battle” which I took note of precisely because of my last entry — my mind was still oriented in the direction of comics/graphic novels, and this fit right in.  Spirits tellin’ me somethin’, eh?

Two:  If I use more than 15 tags+categories, it’s probable that my posts won’t show up on the Reader, and both are used in the Reader’s algorithms.  Just learned that today.  I was wondering what was going on…

As regards the first, it looks like comics will be moving in the digital direction in the future.  This is good to know, because it means that if I do want to do comics illustration, I will need to have the digital background, going forward.  This also means that it is entirely reasonable not to go for a Studio Art MFA and instead go for Digital Media certification at my present school.  I would likely be using an IPad or tablet computer, but that seems to be where things are going now, as well.

And now I wonder about the Animation track?

In any case, Drawing and Painting will be useful, especially Figure Drawing and Portraiture, both of which I’ve avoided because of the difficulty level, and the fact that I can get stuck in a rut of character drawings.  (And I’m not kidding when I say I can get stuck in a rut — it’s a reason I took Intermediate Drawing this last semester.  TOO MUCH ANIME.)  But hey, I’m really only three courses into the Art Certificate, and I don’t have to stay there.  But I want to learn to paint and draw for real, anyway, in addition to on computer.  I just don’t want to be like one of my friends who can draw on computer, but as most things go, not by hand.

Also, if I’m going in this direction — I’m going to want to start to write and block out and manage scripts…not the easiest thing.  If I’d done Screenwriting, it would have been easier, but that wasn’t a specialty offered at my University.  There is a Scriptwriting class offered at my current school, though — even though it’s more geared toward Digital Video Production.  I’ll have to check that out.

After the big switch over to Windows 8 at the beginning of next year, I do want to try some of the newer graphics programs…I just have entirely no idea as to whether my tablet (no LCD screen) will work with any of it, or if I’ll have to get a tablet computer.

As regards the second thing I mentioned above:  sorry for the misplaced posts — I am just still learning how to use WordPress.  I did end up “Following” myself just so that I can make sure things are actually working!  *sighs*

Two things: