Fantastic

Today I decided to go to the gym in the morning instead of in the afternoon like I normally do. It seemed like a great decision at the time. A great way to kick start my day instead of the typical pot of coffee and cup (yes, literally cup. not bowl. bowls are boring.) of granola or Yoplait’s lemon pie yogurt if I’m feeling adventurous. So, off I went hopping in my car and jamming out to some alternative rock. Very little traffic. Not a policeman in sight. Everything’s fantastic. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there. 

First, there was no parking. Apparently everyone goes to the gym in the morning. I just didn’t get the memo. Fantastic. Solution: suck it up, park in a different parking lot, and walk over. No big deal. Problem solved. Proceed with “Spend Awesome Morning at the Gym” plan. However, this is apparently easier typed up on a blog than actually done. 

After swiping my card at the gym’s entrance, I start to run my two miles on the indoor track (it was 107 degrees outside otherwise I would have run outside). For the first half mile every thing is fine. More than fine. It’s fantastic. Because this is “Awesome Morning at the Gym” day. Why wouldn’t it be fantastic? However, lots of cars in the parking lot means lots of people at the gym meaning everyone and their second cousins are here and happily blocking the track all the way across as they chit chat with one another. So, about half a mile into my run I end up slowly jogging behind three middle-aged women as they catch up on the latest gossip infesting their mundane lives while moving as slow as molasses and oblivious to the other people actually trying to work out at the gym because that’s sort of what you are suppose to do when at a gym. Work out. And of course every time I eventually get around them it is only a matter of seconds before I’m right back behind them waiting to find that crack to dodge through (9 laps = a mile). Fantastic. Still feeling absolutely fantastic. My jaw might be sore later from gritting my teeth, but everything is fantastic. 

And then I get to the weights. I could live with the fact that it took me on average three minutes to get to use a machine because of the crowd. I could live with the fact that there wasn’t really that much room to move in the weights area. I couldn’t live with the fact that apparently elderly people like to literally stand right over you while waiting for the machine you’re on. Like they’ve never heard of personal space. It’s especially weird when eye contact is made because they seem to forget they’re not invisible and won’t look away. I know I don’t make attractive faces when lifting weights. You would think that would be enough to scare them off, but no. And here is the real kicker: I would ask them if they were waiting for the machine and politely inform them I only had one set left, but they would deny wanting that machine and claim to be waiting for another one. Once I got off, they got right on the machine I was just using. What. The. Heck. Why couldn’t you just admit to wanting that machine? You’re already making creepy eye contact with me while I make pained, distorted faces at you! I think our relationship is a little beyond you politely pretending you don’t want my machine. But whatever floats your boat. It’s fine. It’s more than fine. It’s fantastic. Really, really fantastic. 

Basically that was my day at the gym in a nutshell. I was only there for about an hour. I decided to go ahead and continue my pot of coffee and granola routine since the gym was more or less a failure. In fact, I went ahead and had a cup of yogurt, too, because I like to live life a little on the edge sometimes. It was really good yogurt. Pineapple upside down cake. Made my day just that tiny bit more fantastic.  

Hallmark Visit

A couple months ago I interviewed a retired Art Director from the company for a project in one of classes, and he offered to give me a contact in the illustration department so that I could interview them as well and possibly get shown around the office. Today I finally got to Kansas City where Hallmark is headquartered and received a lovely tour from one of the traditional themed illustrators, and I have to say I could definitely see myself working the company. From the impression I got today, Hallmark gives their creative employees an abundance of avenues to explore various artistic methods and to stimulate innovation and inspiration. Everyone I met was extremely friendly, and it appeared that employees extensively collaborate with other departments since the lady giving the me the tour seemed to know EVERYONE we ran into in every section of the building. By the way, the Hallmark building is huge! I entered on the seventh floor, and there were two more floors above me (the below floors go underground), and one of the floors connects to other Hallmark buildings separate from the main corporate building, and that doesn’t even include the buildings NOT connected and located elsewhere in the city. It’s mind boggling! On a related side note, my Digital Arts professor told me that Hallmark is different than Disney because Disney wants their employees to be concentrated in one area and only focus on that concentration and perfecting it where as Hallmark wants their employees to have a breadth of skills. 

The lady I met with gave me a website to check out called Odosketch which I got an account on: http://sketch.odopod.com/users/131077

On a final note, I have started to experiment with my art style a bit more, and I’m now trying to take a more comic book influenced approach to my work. I also want to mess around a bit with my subject matter and make it a bit edgier with more a more obscure dark sense of humor so that the message or point of the joke isn’t clear. Below is my first sketch attempting this. My mom just rolled her eyes when she saw this and asked me what the hell I was drawing now and why. She likes me art…sort of. When it has a happier, less bizarre (and possibly twisted in her opinion) subject matter. Unfortunately, my mind doesn’t roll that way. She keeps telling me if I want to illustrate for children’s books or Hallmark that I need to create lighter subject matter which I can, but this is personal work, so I don’t want to. But try telling her that. It gets a bit irritating at times. I enjoy using bright colors with quirky characters to the dark humor isn’t first realized by the viewer. Not exactly a play of irony but close. Image

Random Conversation Today

Cast List:

Payton = friend who just got her first kiss a week ago

Taylor = friend who has never had a first kiss or boyfriend and doesn’t plan on achieving either in the near future

Me = Me

The conversation at the pool today goes as following:

Payton: Taylor, you really need to get your first kiss. It’s great! (After droning on and on about her first kiss)

Taylor: Ew, no. I don’t feel the need to swap saliva with someone. That’s just unsanitary!

Payton: Oh, come on!

Me: I don’t know, Taylor. Some people treat it as a recreational activity.

Taylor: The only way I would exchange saliva or perform an sexual act with someone was if I was paid.

Me: No, that’s prostitution which is illegal.

Taylor, Payton: Silence

Me: I’m just saying….

End of Conversation  

Aliens, Apocalyptic Movies, and a Dash of Sketchbook

I just saw the movie Alien for the first time last week, and I just have to say I hate alien movies. I hate them. With a burning passion. I wished they would go away. And not come back. No more alien movies. Obviously, based on that fact alone, the movie was not my choice. A couple friends picked it out, and I just sort of decided to go along for the ride. It’s not the concept of aliens that I hate (I’m actually quite fascinated by it), and it is most certainly not the gorgeous 1980s gore in the case of Alien. It’s just that the aliens ALWAYS turn out to be evil and then proceed to attempt or successfully kill off everyone. How incrediblly depressing to think that apprently every single other life form out there feels the need to exterminate the human race. And a bit dull. Let’s stop being predictable Mr. Aliens, please. However, I suppose the director or producer is more to blame than the aliens themselves. Do these people get some sort of perverse pleasure from it? Are they living vicarioulsy through the aliens that kill off the population’s masses? What pleasant people. I just should invite them for tea sometime. Actually, I dislike tea so never mind. Maybe some coffee instead. With cake. That sounds nice. Maybe I would like alien movies then. It’s a theory. Anyway, alien movies come second to apocalyptic movies. I don’t really get any joy from watching Earth get destroyed in various manners.You could almost call it a pet peeve. I think I’ll stick to the reality of the planet currently remaining intact. It’s just a personal preference of mine.

 

So, on a completely different note, I wanted to draw a fairy today in my sketchbook and accidentally ended up drawing Tinkerbell. Woops. It honestly wasn’t my intention. Originally I imagined a more war-like fairy in armor and whatnot. That obviously did not happen. I don’t know why. Apparently, I don’t have control of my hand. It’s something I probably need to look into. Might need to take a trip to the doctors. Anyway, I posted it below, so enjoy

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Hipster Day

I had what I am declaring a “Hipster Day” yesterday. I woke up around eleven, showered, and dressed up in a black knit hat (even though it was 80 degrees out), a grey v-neck shirt tucked into a 1950s knee-length  forest green wool skirt (still 80 degrees out), and striped grey flats. I topped it off with wing tipped eyeliner and blue nail polish. Then I stuffed my crocheting and sketchbook into my black hole of a bag and drove to the coffee shop by my house with my brother where I proceeded to order a vanilla Northern Light Latte with soy milk and a vegetarian sandwich. I sketched a bit and then played checkers and chess against my brother on his iPod until 3:30pm. Unfortunately, my “Hipster Day” came to an end then because my friend and I had scheduled to work out together (two miles, lifting weights, and a 20 minutes abs workout). Overall, it was a very satisfying day. Hooray for reinforcing stereotypes! Below is just another sketch my sketchbook (not the one from yesterday). 

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Second Sketch

Oh my goodness. I sort of feel like a posting fiend since I think this is the third time this week I’ve posted something. However, I doubt I even hold a candle to half the people maintaining blogs on here. Anyway, just thought I would go ahead and post my second little doodle in my sketchbook. The coloring was done with Copic markers and the black outline with a Prisma marker. I think I’m going to mess around with printmaking again tomorrow. Most likely I will create a print of the girl with the umbrella in my sketchbook outtakes post. Other than that, not much to report between yesterday and today. I finished a scarf and took a four mile jog, so I guess I’ve been productive. Hooray! 

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A Beautiful New Sketchbook

Just bought a new sketchbook today after I spent about twenty minutes agonizing over all of the options. I am extremely picky when it comes to selecting one. I like them small but not too small. I like them with thick paper but not too thick. I like them with a hard cover but not too hard. Okay, that last one was just me being stupid, but you get the idea. However, I am extremely rough with my sketchbooks since I take them practically everywhere, so I do require a hard cover.

After buying it, I promptly went to my favorite little coffee shop, sat myself down, and started doodling away. I always feel a bit of pressure when making the first drawing. I view it as the introduction to a book I’m considering reading. The first page should ideally hook the reader right away, submerge them into the world the author crafts. Therefore, if my first drawing doesn’t excite me, I loose a lot of motivation to keep drawing in that particular sketchbook. I guess it’s just a weird fact about me. Luckily, this has only happened with two sketchbooks, and both of them were rather inexpensive that I bought on sale. Anyway, below is the first drawing in my marvelous sketchbook that I’ve started to fondly call my baby (yes, I know it’s cliche!).

On a side note, I went to the doctors today to discover I have a massive ear infection in my left ear. It feels like someone is repeatedly stabbing it with a tiny knife, and I’ve nearly bursted into tear on multiple occasion because it’s so painful. Mind you, I have an extremely high pain tolerance that is backed up by the fact that I played a month of soccer on a sprained ankle. I would of kept playing on it, but I sort of collapsed after a game since my ankle just sort of gave out on me. I am aware of the stupidity of my decision, but I swear it honestly didn’t hurt that bad, and I would have never guessed it was sprained. Image

An Abundance of Scarves

Today I have been crocheting like a madman. Since summer break has begun, I have crocheted four scarves and am currently working on the fifth. When everyone at my university found out I was making one for myself (I REALLY wanted a rainbow scarf and was too cheap to actually buy one), they decided to put in an order of their own. So now I am drowning in all of the yarn I bought and stocked up in my room, but at least my cat is having a good time. I don’t think she’s left my room since yesterday.

 

I shipped out two scarves last week to my friends, and I’m waiting to give on to a little girl I babysit. The one I’m working on now is for a family friend who use to serve in the Navy, so the scarf is blue and gold stripes. I just like making scarves for people. No one has ever gotten pissed off at getting a scarf. So if their day is terrible, then at least they can say that they got a crummy scarf crocheted by a mediocre crocheter who only knows one stitch, and I get to keep on crocheting without creating an avalanche of scarves at my house because that’s the only thing I know how to make. Everyone wins!

 

On a partial side note, today must have been Let the Husband Sleep in the Car as I Shop at Joannes Day today because I saw at least three people celebrating the holiday. I guess I just didn’t get the memo. Anyway, just thought I would share a bit of my day. I hope everyone else out there is having an equally splendid life at the moment.

Printmaking

I know it has been a while since I’ve made a post, but I was buys with finals, and then when I got home I spent the majority of the time sleeping, which is hardly exciting to write about. Not to mention the fact that it is very difficult to write a blogpost while asleep. I’ve tried it. Didn’t work out too well.

Anyway, today I spent the majority of the day creating a print to put on t-shirts. I got a kit over Christmas, and now I finally have time to use it. It was definitely a trial and error experience. My first print some how ended up with three mouths. Also, holes began to form in the emulsion, and I had to start patching it up with scotch tape which actually worked. The picture below is my second attempt. Image

Writing on a Whim

I’m writing this on a whim at midnight because I’m trying to fall asleep and can’t. I have all of these thoughts and images and ideas running through my head at a mile minute, all trying to burst out of my heart and head at once! My mind aches to release them. To find some kind of relief through physical expression because my vocabulary lacks words to verbally express. I want to create an artistic masterpiece right now. I want to submerge myself in paint, pastels, and pencils and not come up for air until my lungs burn for oxygen and my brain is sufficiently numb and silent. Unfortunately, my college ends next week which means I have to pack. I pretty much finished packing everything up today, so all of my art supplies reside at the bottom of various boxes, meaning I have no outlet for my mind and it is driving me insane!

Sure, I have my sketchbook and a couple of miscellaneous pencils and pens, but it has been a really long time since I’ve experienced the joy of a brush full of paint gliding across a fresh canvas. Aside from digital art and photography, I did have any traditional art classes this semester.I made a poor attempt at painting in my dorm, but the lighting is awful and there is a limited area of space to work in which is extremely frustrating. Thankfully, summer begins in a week, so I’ll have three months to go on a creative rampage in the comfort of my home, and I’m taking figure drawing next semester which should be wonderful. Anyway, I just need to vent a little to subdue my thoughts long enough that I might be able to relax to a point that will let me fall asleep.