Sunday, August 29, 2010

Account Approval

Have you ever asked somebody if they have ever done a thing that is so weird and so oddly specific that you must have done it yourself, and then when they say they have not done it you respond with "Yeah, me neither," even though it is a complete lie?

Yeah, me neither.

I am back at school! Living on campus again. My friend was supposed to move over from Washington with me and be my roommate, but she backed out at the very last second. So I'm living with Mystery Roommate X. She seems pretty chill. She's spent a lot of time this weekend out of the room hanging with her friends, which is fine. She says she will probably be spending a lot more time in the room once school starts up. I'm hoping we'll get to be good enough buddies that we can go and grab dinner together and and watch movies and talk in general. She's not into geeky things like I am, and she is certainly more active than me. But so long as she doesn't mind my homebody habits, I think we'll be fine.

I also got a new computer! I am back to using a PC, and I am pretty jazzed about it. I still have my Mac with me so that I can get everything moved over. Dad wants me to bring it home and give it to him, but I don't know if I am ready to give it up yet. I was really excited about using Scrivener again this November for NaNoWriMo, and it's only available for Mac. But we will see what happens.

What I'm really excited about it that I've got my full version of Photoshop CS2 on here now. This means I won't have to fight with the program anymore to do simple things, like resize. I also have MSPaint again for really simple picture edits, like resizing. As you can see, I'm really excited about resizing my pictures. I can also finally go back to using all of the programs I learned to rely on all of those years ago. I put Noteworthy Composer on here almost immediately. Before iTunes, even! Every time I've complained about how a Mac can't run all of the programs a Windows machine can, that is the program I was thinking of. I'm so very, very happy to have it again.

Class starts tomorrow. Mondays and Fridays are my busiest days, with four of my five classes happening. I think I will be fine, so long as Philosophy doesn't prove to be too boring. It's my last class of the day, and it's a lecture. That is a recipe for disaster. But it's in a very small room (The same room anime club was held in), so I will probably be forced to pay attention and participate.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Editing Papers

I decided I don't want to talk about my drawings today, so I guess I lied in my last post. Oh well!

Instead I want to talk about college. I move back to MSU next week and I'm pretty excited. I keep having dreams where I move in and things are all wrong, but I try to fix them anyhow. Last night's was a lot of fun in particular, because after deciding I wasn't going to fix the room, I went wandering around the dorm halls. I kept finding people I know and interesting things that I remembered, and I'd bust out laughing every five second or high-fiving some person. All the while Amber followed behind me completely bewildered. I was totally in my element, and she was being left behind.

I'm excited just to move into my dorm and get everything set up. I've sort of got it figured out in my head, but I don't know if it will really work. I want the desks facing the window, the beds on the wall with the door, and the TV against the big open wall. I don't know if there's enough room for the desks, though. Amber will figure something out, she moves in first. And then I'll show up, put my stuff everywhere, and go to class like a day later. It will be great.

While I was spazzing out and trying to find some solid evidence of the underground tunnels at MSU, I looked up some stuff about University of Hawaii. The plan is to go there the fall of 2011. It sounds like the suckiest things about UH are the costs of living and the price of their meal plans. Hawaii is expensive to live in general, so apartments near campus aren't such a great deal. I'm having a hard time figuring out their dorms. It looks like in Frear you can get a pretty good rate and even have completely your own room if you do the four-room, four-people thing. But all the other dorms are one room with either one or two people in them, like at MSU. But even the cheapest rates at UH are more expensive that the most expensive rates at MSU. And Montana has much better options for off-campus housing, too, with large neighborhoods of tiny houses right next to the school.

The sad part is that I'm comparing the cheapest rooms at UH minus meal plans to the most expensive rooms at MSU with meal plans.

It feels like I'm only just getting started in Montana, and I'm already planning on leaving to go to Hawaii. Over this summer I've realized that I really like MSU, and I'm excited to go back again. But it will be cool to be able to fully experience a different university. I'm a little worried about getting into UH, if only because I don't think I'll have enough credits transferred over for them to look at my college performance when considering me. They'll have to look at my high school performance, which really isn't so great. But there's nothing I can do about it now, and I have a pretty good feeling about this. My GPA may be a bit low, but my last few years of school my grades were pretty good, and my test scores were high. This past summer I've caught up with a few friends from high school and found out who went to college and who did not. The kids that did go are the ones that seemed like they had any chance at all to make it into a school. The kids that didn't get into a school were the ones that made you question what the purpose of education was if it was only going to fail so miserably. So I think I have a good chance, because I know how to write a five-part essay and when to use its and it's.

I can also spell definitely.

Friday, August 13, 2010


I will forever be interested in the way an artist prioritizes their techniques.

... Wait, that sentence made no sense. Let me explain.

When I was little and still mastering the art of holding things, the only thing I cared about when drawing was making things look like things. If I drew a cat, it needed to be easily recognized as a cat. If anybody thought I drew a koala or maybe a mouse, then I had failed.

After I had learned how to read and write, drawing things consistently mattered. Especially since I was into drawing comic strips. It has to be obvious that the person in all three panels was the same person, and they they weren't randomly shrinking or growing.

In ninth grade, when I thought I knew everything there was to know about art and drawing, I got really persnickety about my process. It went like this:
- 0.7 Papermate Clearpoint Mechanical Pencil with 0.7 Ain H pencil lead and Pentel Hi-Polymer Eraser (With the plastic still on below the red line)
- 100lb paper desirable, but anything will do that isn't lined
- Sketch basic shapes for the body very lightly
- Add wire framing, also lightly
- Check proportions and make sure everything is perfect
- Body outline, slightly darker but still very light
- Guidelines on head for the face and hair
- Face and hair detail
- Draw hand skeletons about 5 times until it looks like a hand
- Draw hand blob because my style is to cut that corner
- Clothing with "perfect" folds
- Other details, like clothing accessories and shoelaces
- Pilot Precise Grip Extra Fine in black for fine lines and Uni-Ball Vision Elite Bold in black (Something like 0.8 thickness) for thicker lines
- Ink thin lines first using fast, fluid, and accurate movements (Use arm and shoulder, not wrist and fingers)
- Ink thick lines next to add variability (Wrist and fingers, since these were usually small lines)
- Wait for ink to dry, and then erase all evidence of pencil
At that point I would either add shading in a persnickety way, or scan it into the computer which starts off a whole new list of things that needed to be done. I never strayed from my process, and having perfect details and lines was only possible to me if I did the process right.

Now days I'm obsessed with making big areas of black look completely solid, and not like I tried to fill it in with my tiny pen. Everything else is optional.

You see, the thing was, back in 9th grade I thought that what I strove for was what every artist strove for. I thought everyone was insane and touchy about what materials they used, and that perfectly proportioned people were key, and that you had to do everything a certain way Or Else. I thought I could achieve any sort of art style perfectly so long as I followed a similar process. I guess I've grown out of thinking that way, because now I don't even want to draw people. In fact, I'd be happy if I never had to draw another person again.

Enough about me. What I was getting at is that different artists strive for different things in their art, and I find it fascinating. I was just reading the blog of an artist that goes to great lengths to make his drawings look like they were dashed together in a minute. He spends hours sketching and planning and practicing how to draw his lines slowly but still make them look haphazard. It goes against everything I believed in back in the 9th grade, and it's really really neat. And then I was just reading about how another artist thinks it is incredibly important to use as many different materials as possible in his artwork, and there was this other artist who thought the most important thing was to have a generic style that could get her a job working in the manga industry.

I like knowing what is important to an artist in their works, especially since most don't see it as something that they want to do, they see it as what they are supposed to do. It makes me wonder what caused them to think that there is a wrong way and a right way to make a pretty picture.

I've drawn four new pictures in my sketchbook. They are different from how I used to draw, and I like that. I think my next entry I will upload a bunch of art I have made, and maybe talk about why I stopped drawing for a few years. Mostly I just want to show off these new pictures because I had fun making them.