Tail-End of 2017

happy new years.jpgThe year’s winding down to an end. 2018 peeks from behind the heavy mahogany curtain: is it her turn to shine yet?

For others, it seems like every year was a salad’s mix of highlights and shit-shows. But for me, 2017 might have been one of the best. Instead of slaving away to social expectations, I did my own thing, carved out time for myself, landed a paid writing internship, visited six cities–including a beachy vacation with family, roadtrip with le beau—started seeing le beau, hit the one year blog mark, did well in my last batch of classes (all A’s so far, yay) etc. Life hath been good; I art grateful.

My favorite New Year’s WP posts that I’ve stumbled upon so far have been imbued in wisdom: what I learned this past year, what I grew to appreciate. Yet the year went by so quickly that I haven’t had the time to contemplate lessons learned or gratitude boxes checked. If anything, it seemed to be a fairly calm year, one in which the 2017 flower grew as expected, bloomed with surprising quickness, fluttered with patches of vibrancy. That, as opposed to running headlong into concrete blocks, dealing with abnormally dreary weather, or facing a lack of floral nutrients. In other words, the year somehow sidestepped the usual tricky roadblocks. For that, I am appreciative– 2014 and 2015 were growth-spurt years, awkward and painful and hasty, whereas 2016 was pinkishly aimless.

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2017 was a good year, a mellow year. As of now, 2018’s just rounded about vague goals, semi-forming and morphing–I’m not really one for resolutions. I’ll soon flesh said goals out, jot them down on paper, work towards them. The only “creative” goal I have so far is to make more art, several pieces a week. I’m considering starting up my daily drawing project again (which didn’t get terribly far in the start of the year). I’m looking for some way to consistently commit myself to fine arts, even though I’m not required to. Otherwise, in looking ahead, I’ve been told that this pocket of Youth will be a time of exploration, loneliness, uncertainty, excitement. Ah. We’ll see what it has in store.

In looking back at the year, I’d be remiss not to note how grateful I am for you, reader. Thank you for taking the time to click, like, read or comment on any posts, for being a part of 2017. If you’re reading this (as Drake scribbled on his album cover), thank you, and happy New Years. 🙂

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A Year of Digital Painting

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Spent last Nov/December holed up into digital art, the one thing I derived a sense of stability from. With protests going on outside my room–constantly, it seemed–and wishy-washy people fluttering around and tests looming ahead, art was an escape.

So I drew. A lot. Mostly on the computer using Wacom tablets–the library had them. They had the Cintiq, a massive screen you can draw on, and smaller Wacom bamboo tablets. I’d spend hours a day drawing on Photoshop, learning from artists on Youtube, hunting out inspiration on DeviantArt.

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Blink. These are screenshots from an animation I worked on in February. I didn’t realize, until attempting animation, how much of it I took for granted–how tedious the process really was, how every 1/20 or 1/80 of a second had to be drawn by-hand. And only then could you piece together the slightest movement. (Though there are animation programs now, which speeds up the process)

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Ruby. I used this piece to practice digital shading. Creating depth/values on Photoshop is a quicker process than it is with oils and acrylics. With paint, you have to mix and dilute until you have the right shade and consistency; on Photoshop, it offers the entire color spectrum with all its variations. I was initially was frustrated with this piece until I threw in highlights–on the nose, lips and cheek–which added a lot more depth to the piece, and subsequent realism.

When it comes to shading, I’ll usually start out with a base color, add in shadows, then tentative highlights. I’ll go on to darken the shadows, do a bit of blending, and then add a final layer of the brightest (sometimes completely white) highlights. These are the little white dabs on her upper lip and nose bridge.

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This was my first digital sketch, done hurriedly over a one hour lunch break.

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A few days later, I decided to expand on the eye, to practice faces and portraits (my favorite! as you can probably tell), so I sketched her, who I never named–my first digital portrait.

Nihilistic Summers

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I wake up to words ending in -less. Like: meaningless, aimless. It’s just another episode of Rick and Morty all over again where the aliens have taken over the world and they’re left to escape into another dimension where nothing matters, nobody chooses to live, and we all die anyways. Now come watch some TV.

Starting to realize that I’m only ever transferring my stream of consciousness from one place to another. So I wake up and it’s my Notes, and then I sidle on into Word, and then I’m back to scribbling on you, WordPress. What is this? A journal? Maybe. Probably. I don’t really know. ‘Why don’t you just get a journal?’ my friend asked. Yeah, well, I have a journal. More than one journal. If we’re talking number of existing collected journals, I’ve got somewhere around, oh, fifty?

Seven years into one of my best friendships I said something about collecting journals. She responded, no, you don’t, you don’t collect journals. Except that I do and all my notebooks are heavy with scrawls and stories and childish arrays of emotion.