Projects, projects, projects, keeps the insanity away!

Another semester is down and only one left to go! This one was pretty light in the way of work, but the stress was most certainly there. Hit a financial snag right at the start of it, thanks to the actions of a sick individual that I’d LOVE nothing more than to see ripped apart by a pack of starving crazed weasels with rabies. (Karma, come on! I believe its your turn up to bat, buddy!) The ceramics class was fun, frustrating, but cool to play with. I ended up with half a bag of clay left over so I’ll have to figure out what to do with, as well as how to fire it.

Drawing class was extremely frustrating, but I did however get to learn how to use color pencils better and THAT has inspired a massive urge to play with them more. The final assignment was to do a photo copy replica of an image based on other artists who work with color pencils. I picked an image of one of my obsessions, Tori Amos. I discovered her music in 1994, right at a time when I was trying to block out all of things that were tearing me apart. Her music got me through some of my toughest moments; moments when I was so close to not surviving them. Her songs were like the caring hugs that I needed during those times. When I turned 21, I got the piano notes of one of her songs tattooed on my right ankle with her favorite flowers wrapped around the notes. (Side note: Fiona Apple has also become just as important as Tori to me. Her stuff has been the rope I grab onto during dark moments. I plan on getting one of her songs tattooed on the other ankle) So when I needed to do a photo to draw, she was the first thing that came to mind. I chose an older image of Tori from around the time I discovered her to do as I figured it was fitting. It turned out amazing in my opinion. Several people in class mentioned how much they thought it looked good, and because of it I want to do more drawing like it. Here’s the image for all to enjoy. (Or at least those that actually read this blog.)
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I think I did an amazing job, so I don’t care what anyone else says. Its my first time working with color pencils and I got a chance to understand how to color properly. Over the summer break, one of my personal tasks is to do at least three of these so that I can practice.

Speaking of summer plans, the scheduling of projects has begun so that I don’t lose my mind. I think I’m going to actually print up a work schedule so that I can stick to a routine, which always makes for a less crazy Strange Child! I’ve got my parents 50th in July, so I’ve got some crafting decorations to make. The projects I want to work on are as follows:
Finish my four elements paintings
3 Color pencil drawings
Sewing practice
New front door wreath
Eye flower bouquets
art studio organization
Random abstract artworks
clitoris sculpture for cousin

I will have to also schedule in workouts, getting out of the house (maybe even with Daisy), and hopefully some reading. The sewing practice is to help me prepare for the Doctor Who convention that we’ll be going to in February. I need to plan and make my costumes I want to cosplay. So excited for that! Hubby is also going to cosplay! EEEEEEEE! (happy dance) I’m going to have to make a dress form which I’m not looking forward to. (Oh yay, I get to look at a physical sculpture of my fat carcass.) I want to attempt a dress at the very least. I can get through a circle skirt so far, and I’ve got some throw pillows that need to be finished, but if I can manage a dress I’m gold!

So many projects!! Hopefully I will be able to be too busy to let the brain demons attack me. I don’t want to sink, so I’m laying out the ropes before the water gets too high.

The final stretch of winter freedom

Next week school starts again and my brain couldn’t be happier to be functionally active. Well, other than functioning as the internal voice of Damien high on his own ego and out for blood. Man, I seriously can NOT handle being without something to do!! Hubby being gone last week was yet another shiny example of how I’d fail miserably at being single. I barely left the house during that week. I did work on my elements paintings but I really only got one 95% done and started another one. I’m hoping to work more on them later in the week, but if its all crappy outside and the bed turns into “comfy bed”, its going to be damn difficult to drag my carcass out of the dreamy soft warmth. Well not too hard. Daisy’s dead weight of sleep will act as the forklift of momentum to get up as the pain of her awkward snuggling murders my back. That…….and the need to pee.

I have been making more digital collages lately. I am freaking in love with making these. I’m getting better at understanding how to use Photoshop by doing what I usually do in order to learn a program. A little technique I call “Button Smash”!! Basically, its just me hitting random features a bunch of different ways until I figure out how it works. This monkey doesn’t need expensive books to learn things! Youtube tutorials sometimes, but Button Smash is the best way to understand something complicated!! Poke something repetitively and eventually you figure out how to do it right. Just learn to love the “undo” feature with all your heart and soul, and all will be right in the world! Most of what I’ve done I put up on my Facebook page but like most addictive things, I’ll give the first taste for free.

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Not too bad, right? Not perfect but I think that actually makes things more,………authentic I guess is the word. Like, if these were made from real physical images there would be flaws so having the digital versions being not absolutely perfectly put together makes them feel more real to me. I’m learning as I go along. Trying to build up a stockade of images to use too. Trying to be mindful to use more retro images or stock photos so as to not be a jackass. If I DO get contacted by someone, I’ll amend the image or just remove it all together. I actually prefer the retro/vintage stuff anyway. (its already ridiculous in appearance on their own) I get to build surreal universes!!! A world of nonsense all the my fingertips and click of a mouse! And it’s not porn!!!!!

When school starts, I’ll feel a bit better probably. The brainmeats will quiet down a bit so my depression will roll back somewhat. I’m also getting a home gym this month so that I can come home from school each day and workout. That should help since exercise is supposed to, but sweating makes me more angry than happy. Damn I miss my old gym in LA where I had a steam room to sit in! I don’t care for a sauna all that much but a steam room was just so freaking awesome! Its a big bowl of donkey dicks that I can’t seem to find a gym close to my house that has one. *kicks dirt* Stupid gyms. So I’ll have a gym at home to stare me directly in the face, and therefore, absolutely ZERO excuse for doing something! I turn 40 this year and I hate how I look. I need to do something, mostly so that I can once again be able to take a photo of myself without wanting to hide in some Cavern of Sadness forever. I’m broken, so its time to start gluing pieces back together.

Mapping project: Final layout

As I try to avoid having a panic attack as the election results roll in (seriously, I’ll be sickened if that orange goblin wins), I decided to share my final layout for the mapping project.

Concept process:
I didn’t have much time to get out to do the photo scavenger hunt map that I wanted to do, so I just decided to do a map of the two cities I’ve spent most of my life in with noted spots on the map that relate to me. I originally wanted to do the grid lines on top of each other, but a student in the class made a suggestion of incorporating my love of Doctor Who into it. That got me spinning into creative land and I found some images to use. Some time playing around in Photoshop, since I couldn’t really figure out Illustrator and my trial ran out, and I managed to put together something awesome in my opinion.

The shapes are of my two favorite doctors: 10 and 11. 11 is on the left with the map of the Bay Area in his silhouette, while 10 is on the right with LA in his silhouette.  The icons for the map are the Adipose for food (since its a creature made of fat), Bow tie for schools I’ve gone to (because bow ties are cool), a Weeping Angel for the church I was married in (don’t blink), K-9 for the shelter that we got Daisy, a Dalek for the Alameda flea market (its at a navy base), and of course the Tardis for the all of the places I’ve lived at.

Artist statement:
“Home, the Long Way Round”
“I have a new destination. My journey is the same as yours, the same as anyone’s. It’s taken me so many years, so many lifetimes, but at last I know where I’m going. Where I’ve always been going: home. The long way around.”- The Doctor (11)

Home means something different for everyone. Having lived in only two cities in my life, I’ve always fantasized about traveling continuously; never landing in one spot for too long as I’d only get itchy to see more things. I have a love of geek and pop culture that has no bounds, and is as endless as the universe itself. Which is probably why I adore the British TV series Doctor Who so very much. From the very first episode of “Rose”, I realized that I had found my personal savior. His is this enigmatic alien character known as a Time Lord that travels all of time and space in his infinitely bigger on the inside blue police box called the Tardis. The show focuses on his adventures with his human companions and his determination to never stop seeing what needs to be seen. He has a motto of “Never cruel nor cowardly” and no matter what situation he finds himself in, he always finds a way out of it, no matter the odds. The Doctor never goes where he wants to go, only to where he needs to go. Each time the Doctor dies he regenerates into a new face, making him just as infinite as the universe itself. I chose this because the show is very much a part of who I am. I turn to it during emotionally dark times as it helps me get through many of my depressive moments. Also, the show is kind of a family thing as all of my family members watch the show and it is one of the few things that we bond over. Hence, the show itself is home.

The map and icons are imagery from the series representing specific spots for the two cities I’ve come to call home. The two shapes are the silhouettes of each of my two favorite doctors. On the left is 11, played by Matt Smith, with the map of the Bay Area in his shape. On the right is 10, played by David Tennant, with the map of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles in his shape. I placed them within a nebula of space as the image is strikingly beautiful in how it demonstrates the fairy-tale quality that is the universe he travels in. The icons represent locations of favorite places to eat, schools I’ve attended, homes I’ve in, the animal shelter I got my dog from, the church I was married in, and the flea market held at a former navy base that I find most of art projects at.

The Doctor once said that, “the least important things lead to the greatest discoveries.” (1st Doctor)

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