Wednesday, March 30, 2011

From color theory class last week. I'm kind of sad he didn't want to keep mine, but I got an A so I can't complain. I really like it, it was a fun assignment. I also felt like I learned a lot from it. I realized this as I was working on my new painting this morning.

Today I woke up not sad at all about Sheridan. I'm mostly just irritated that everyone else is getting in. Sheridan wasn't my dream school, but I'd like some validation, especially for all that work I put into it.

Anyways, there is something thrilling and enticing about rejections. Sure, it's scary and I don't know what comes next, but that is also the fun part. I could do ANYTHING if I really wanted to. So much potential. Even though I hope I get into LCAD. I keep having daydreams about living in a groovy apartment I can't afford and learning how to surf in my free time.

Here are some drawings from tonight's life drawing that I almost like, but not quite

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Another Rejection

I got rejected to Sheridan's BAA animation program today. :/

I want to blame it on the fact that I'm an international student, and that my chances of getting in are significantly lower than my friends...when I compare my portfolio to theirs I feel we are evenly matched. But I can't really say anything until I see the scores.

It just makes me wonder....what the hell am I doing wrong?

SO many people tell me I've got what it takes, they expect to see me succeed, and then I fail. Am I just bad at putting together portfolios? What is going on?

Ugh, I'm really hoping LCAD will accept me now. I need the ego boost, and one of my close friends is going there next year and trying to convince me to come with...I am tempted...but I need to get accepted first, a thing which just isn't happening for me these days

Monday, March 28, 2011

What Makes a Great Teacher

Above is my most recent project from drawing systems. I honestly don't think it's super stellar. It's not bad, but I could have taken it so much further. I still got perfect marks on it. I guess you could say my drawing systems teacher likes me a lot. That's ok, I like her just as much back.
My drawing systems teacher, Sayeh, is incredible. She has so much devotion to helping her students. And I don't mean just in class. Sure, she'll spend anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes with us in class to talk about our work and what we should be doing individually. That's great, she really takes the time to make sure we understand the assignment, we are doing it correctly, and we are gaining something from it by pushing us. But she also cares a lot about our applications to other programs. This is a teacher who set up not just one but several sessions with animation and illustration students to take a look at our work and give us feedback. Did she have to do that? Not at all. But she wants to see the students that work hard succeed, so she did anyways. She gives us lectures not only about perspective and our projects, but about life and the wisdom she has gained from it. She passes on her knowledge, and I think she is very wise, constantly reminding us that no matter how talented we may be, we have to put the work into it to succeed, and that sometimes we still fail, and that's ok. I think it's rare to see a teacher with so much passion in a program like this, or in a college at all. I am really grateful I've had her as a teacher for even just this semester. I wish more teachers could be as dedicated as her.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

100 Themes Challenge- Week 1

As some of you may know, I've been complaining a lot recently at about how incompetent I feel with digital art. So I decided to take the 100 themes challenge (see here for more info, I am doing variation 4) and use each theme as my start for a quick sketch a day.
So, without further ado, here are the first 8.
1. Life
I wanted to start with a photo reference just to get a feel for things. Unfortunately, a glass of water (supposed to represent life) is really hard to paint x.x
I guess this just goes to show how bad I am at this.
2. Youth
3. Content
I couldn't really think of anything good for I went with my old stand-by of a naked lady. It's kind of like mature content...get it?
4. Change.
I've always wanted to do Doug Walker fan art
5. Dreams
This is how I've been sleeping a lot lately
6. Pessimistic
Ok, here I downloaded the REAL photoshop (not GIMP) and started playing with cool brushes and shit. It was fun
7. Pirate
8. Novel

Like I said, these are QUICK. I spend maybe 15-30 minutes on each of them. I'm not trying to create masterpieces right now. I just want to get comfortable using a tablet and all the tools. Maybe eventually I'll take some of these themes and do cooler stuff. But for now, yea, I feel like this is helping a bit. I'm also hoping this will spur some illustration skills and stuff.

Oh yea, I started a writing blog for the novel I am working on. Yay.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Moar! Yah!

Sketchbook pages I did while bored during presentations in drawing systems. Trying more of that compositional stuff.

^---Lol. Cam sits in his chair really low and it makes me laugh

3 minutes each

Warning: I'll probably be updating a lot more. I feel like I have hoardes of art to show, I've been very productive lately, and haven't been showing much school work.

2 minutes

2 minutes
Kind of how I feel a lot lately

Figure as a compositional tool study #1 for color theory. About 50 minutes. We were only allowed two complements and an earth tone

Figure as a compositional tool study #2. About an hour and ten minutes. I think it was coming along nicely, too bad I ran out of time. The background has issues though.
I can't wait to show what I did in color theory class today! I got a lot of great feedback on it, and it looked super epic. You'll see what I mean soon enough ;)
Have I ever mentioned how much I love figure painting now??

I really want to learn how to do outdoor painting. Like, nature and stuff. I always try but I feel overwhelmed by all the color and things that are happening.
So much to learn!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Life drawing dump

5 minutes
(Is it me or did I totally disney-fy her hair?)

5 minutes

5 minutes
So today hasn't been the best day ever.
I guess I'm still feeling a little down about my rejection. It's hard to constantly keep your head up. I mean obviously I'm going to keep trying and never give up, but there are just days when you ask yourself why you are doing this when there are so many people out there who are already better than you. I mean really, what do I have to add? I feel like no one ever taught me how to actually think. People taught me how to follow the guidelines and rewarded me for doing what they wanted. But to be a truly great artist you have to think for yourself...something I don't know how to do.

3 minutes each

I'm also really curious as to why I didn't get into Calarts. I mean, I don't think I'm some amazing artist or that I should totally be their top pick, but I did feel fairly confident, especially after improving so much after one year, and I actually liked my portfolio. So what was wrong?
Well I emailed Libby, twice, because I'm so anxious to know. She got back to me today saying she was too busy to give me my notes right now. If I really absolutely had to know I could call and she could say a bit, but if I wanted more thorough advice I should wait until May 1st. Ugh. How many notes could there have been?? I guess I will wait though, because I do want the full story. No more of this "just keep at it!" crap. I want real feedback this time, dammit.
Calarts never ceases to surprise me. Sometimes in the good way, but often in the bad. I'm really surprised at some of their decisions this year, and it leaves me feeling as clueless as when I started. I get mad sometimes, when I see people who are obviously good at drawing and could probably succeed in the program get rejected. This year must have been tough, I'm seeing some really talented people get crushed.

Personally, I feel as if my supplemental section fell short, as well as my sketch-book. I honestly think my basic figure drawing skills are decent enough for an entry level animation student (of course I'm not perfect and have tons more to learn, but you catch my drift) I lack in illustration skills. A lot of people apply this to their figure drawings, which I need to figure out. But also just in my fine arts stuff. I included a lot of random shit, including some boring school assignments, and none of it was super stellar.
Also my sketchbooks are full of lots of random shit. I always see these sketchbooks where every page is an amazing composition.
So I guess there are two things to work on.

3 minutes

So I guess I'm gonna go to every life drawing I can while I'm still here. And I'm going to experiment with style and composition in those, really explore, be very loose. None of this stuff really counts right now anyways. That is what I was going for tonight. I think it's showing a bit.

I'm also starting a challenge to do something quick in GIMP every day for 100 days so I can keep at the digital painting goal. Hopefully there will be some improvement, and maybe I can develop a style of digital art I'm happy with.

2 minutes

Still, with all this reform and hope, I am really tired and sad all the time. I've been trying everything. Improved diet, exercise every day, regular bed times, balanced social interaction, reading, structured days...and none of it seems to be helping. Sigh. I just want to go home at this point. I'm a bit interested to hear from Sheridan still, but gah, who knows. Just...who knows.

2 minutes each

2 minutes

These are a bit old....facial studies from Color Theory. About 1 hour each. The bottom two got displayed ^.^

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A project I did for 2D Design. Supposed to be about the contrast of the land of canada

These are gestures I did when I was opening GIMP. There were some skateboarder outside. I feel like a huge creep. I also feel like I draw like a 5 year old when I use a tablet.

I have a lot of life drawing I've done recently, but I need to photograph it. I don't really like any of it anyways.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Getting Rejected, Round 2

So, the latest turn of events hasn't exactly been the best. I was rejected to Calarts character animation for the second year in a row yesterday, and well I have a lot to say about it so I'm just going to say it all.

For those that aren't aware, yesterday was my 19th birthday, and in Canada that's a pretty big deal because that's when you are a legal adult and can drink and all of that. So I was pretty excited about it. I had plans to go out with some friends after class and get our drink on as soon as possible. We stopped by residence so I could drop off my stuff, and as we were leaving I checked my mail out of pure habit. I don't like not knowing whether my mailbox is empty or not, but I really did not expect to get a letter yesterday of all days. And so of course, I got it yesterday. I peered into my mailbox and was surprised to see a white envelope from behind the tiny little window. I didn't actually know what I felt next, but I remember thinking "oh god oh god oh god" kind of like I do when the rollar coaster slowly goes up the first hill (I hate rollar coasters) and not actually believing that it could be it. I quickly hoped it was from my bank or something, but I could see the neon orange letters that said calarts on the envelope right away and my heart sank. I quickly ripped it open, read the first line, and stuffed it back into my purse.
Then I headed out with my friends to the pub across the street and spent the next few hours downing a couple pitchers of beer and excusing myself to go to the bathroom very often so I could look at my letter, cry a little bit, and come back out. But I was quickly taken by the beer as I had had nothing to eat that morning because I forgot to set my alarm and woke up 10 minutes after my class had started. After sitting in the pub for a few hours, we left, took a pit stop at the grocery store so I could down a large toblerone, and then decided to walk to the liquor store and get "supplies," and besides I wanted my rite of passage. That's when I finally managed to admit to my friends I had gotten my letter. So that happened and we came back to my place to watch movies and hang out and use our "supplies" copiously. I don't honestly remember much of that part of the day, and then around 9 I went back to the pub across the street with more friends (another rite of passage, as people underage are not allowed in after 9) to eat nachos, play pool, and have a few more drinks. Afterwards I bought a large bucket of ice cream and came home to get on my computer and do a little damage control, i.e. talking to people to make myself feel slightly better.
So basically, I tried to forget about the bad news of the day in the best way possible on your 19th birthday in Canada, and it worked for the most part I suppose. But still, it was not a pretty sight. I have always imagined if I would hear from Calarts on my birthday, seeing as it falls in the middle of the month they send out letters. It was my dream come true to be accepted on that day (honestly, what could be better) and my worst nightmare that I would be rejected on that day.
Last year when the news reached me I accepted it silently and got on with my life, but this year is going to be a lot harder. I think the worst part is that I really felt capable of it this year, and I worked my ass off on that portfolio. I had a lot of people tell me it was good work, and my chances of being accepted were good. And most of all, when I compared it to other accepted portfolios I'd seen, I felt fairly confident. My work spoke of me well, and I thought I had a decent grasp on structure as well as expression, which was my main goal. I really thought it could happen, and I've been fantasizing about being at calarts all year long. So I guess reality is a bit harsh.
It's hard sometimes, seeing everyone else you know from high school go on to college and university easily. They all got accepted, went to school, and are studiously working towards their degrees. I want so much to be like that, to be working my way forward, but my direction is all zig-zagged and kind of fucked up. This is the only school I've ever really seen myself at, because I know it can squeeze the most out of me, and it's frustrating to know that I'm not ready, or even to know that I feel ready, but the portfolio reviewers don't agree. And when I think about it, there are so many other fields I could have pursued with my life and been successful at it. Many other animation programs, art programs, art schools, or even universities have and would have accepted me. I could be great at any one of them. I'm hard working, good with facts, and determined to do my best. I could have been a scientest or a lawyer or some shit like that if I had wanted...I could have done anything! But no, I chose the only thing I suck at (besides maybe physics...I really don't get physics at all) Dedicating yourself to the thing which is the biggest struggle is a huge commitment, and it is always my biggest fear I will regret it one day. I don't wish to regret pursuing my dreams and passion.

I'm really sore from yesterday and my restless sleep last night, but there's no use wasting time, I'm setting up a new game plan as of right now. Even though it hurts me deeply, and I'm so depressed and so sad it didn't work out again. It's humiliating to be in there, involved and showing your work to people, to being a part of things and for people to even expect you to get in and you get shot down. I'm always so embarrassed when I think I can but I cannot. Like when you raise your hand in class to answer a question and you get it wrong. I stopped raising my hand a long time ago, but I thought it would be worth it for this.
Anyways, the game plan.
Well first of all I am going to wait to hear back from the other two schools I applied to, which were Sheridan and Laguna. Sheridan should tell me probably within the next two or three weeks at the latest, so it won't be a long wait. I'm not sure about Laguna. I sent them my portfolio a few weeks ago, but I don't really know how long they take to get back to you, or even if they have received it yet. I don't really care much though, I don't have a strong desire to go there. If I am accepted to Sheridan, I will probably decide to attend seeing as it is a good school and affordable as well. Laguna, well, I guess it's good to have options. However, due to my latest set back I don't have that much confidence in my work. There were over 1000 applications to sheridan and only 120 spots. So when you think about it, to get in you have to be better than 900 other people, which is a lot. I certainly don't feel more skilled than 900 other people.
If I am not accepted to either school of my choice, I will return to the USA. I know I could take another year to continue my foundational studies at Sheridan, but I'm tired of throwing money at anything but a degree worth having. It's too expensive to keep doing this. This year has been amazing and very, very helpful. I learned so many things I feel give me all the tools I need to be an accomplished artist. I'm grateful, but enough is enough.
Anyways, this potential return is riddled with a lot of possibilities. Number 1, I go back to live with my father in Colorado, work a minimum wage job somewhere, and put together a new portfolio. Number 2, I go back to live with my mother in South Carolina, although I don't think that would be the best option because there are no life drawing venues where she is moving to. Although she is getting a puppy, so it's a tempting idea. Number 3 is just an idea, and I haven't brought it up with anyone nor would I know whether or not its ok, but I would like to move to the LA area. I have an Uncle out there who has a nice, mostless empty house that his two teenagers have vacated and gone off to college from, and I think I could get a job, pay a small rent fee, and have a lot of life drawing options, as well as the closeness of calarts to help me. I mean, I've made a few friends out there over all the years of being involved in the forums with all the applicants who eventually made it in, and more than one have offered to give me whatever help I need. A very kind gesture of them, and I wouldn't mind taking up their offer. I'd need to clear this with my family obviously, and it would be tough to move to a new city where I don't know anyone or have any friends, but I think if I had a job I could make it by.
Besides, I am vowing from here on out my new best friends are pencils and paper and nothing else. I can't keep getting so distracted by my social interactions with other people. When I hear about all the most successful artists, they did nothing but draw, all the time, 24/7. And I feel ashamed in knowing that I do not do that. How can I expect to be great without putting the work in? I need to buckle down, focus, and breath in drawing on a constant basis. Living in a new, art-focused city full of strangers would probably help.
Anyways, those are my options and we will see how they play out. I'm really, really bummed calarts is still unattainable to me. I know it's just a school, but really, the acceptance would have meant a lot. I have come so far from last year, but it still falls short, and that's a hard reality to face. :(

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Today two things happened to me.

The first thing was my friend came over to borrow my camera so he could photograph some of his portfolio work. He asked if I had one of the "DSR-thingy" cameras, and I told I did, much to his surprise. When he asked me how to work it to get really good light, I told him I didn't really know, I never really figured out a lot about it.
The second thing was I found a deviantart of a really great nature photographer in Colorado (check it out: who really inspires me

These two events reminded me of how I used to want to be a photographer. I grew up in a place, in my opinion, that is one of the most beautiful places you can live in. At least, in the USA. I suppose there are some really, really beautiful sights out there I've never seen. I used to go into the mountains all the time, and my mom, being well, my mom, used to drag me and my brother to all sorts of mountain town galleries. I used to stand in awe over some of the photography I saw.
When I was 14 I bought with my own money a DSLR camera, in the great hopes that I could become a better photographer. Many hours of babysitting went into buying that camera! It is probably, to this day, the most expensive thing I have bought with entirely my money. It was a Nikon D50 and I used to use it all the time. I have so many old photographs on my external hard drive I don't know what to do with them. I experimented with portraits, still lives, and nature photography.

From there I don't know what really happened. I never got into a photography class at school because in my freshman year I put it off for another year, my sophomore year I transferred and they couldn't get me any electives besides all the reject ones, and by 11th grade I started IB and didn't have room for fun electives anymore. Also by then I had decided I wanted to be in animation and focused all my attention on drawing.
Somewhere along the way I stopped experimenting and playing around. Now I only drag my camera out to photograph my drawings, and I don't even bother to do a good job at that. This make me sad. Photography really inspires me.
I really miss doing photography for fun, I think I'd like to perhaps take it up again, perhaps this summer when I'm at a camp for three whole months.

Two photos I took for an English project in 2007 nearby my house in Boulder, CO. I always looks at these to remind myself how lucky I get to (got to) live where I do (did)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sheridan Portfolio

So this is my entrance portfolio for Sheridan Animation 2011. I figure since the whole deal is done and overwith, I suppose I should share my hard work. I turned this in Tuesday morning.
I won't know for awhile know whether or not I got in, but I will update this as soon as I do, for reference.

Edit: This portfolio was not accepted to Sheridan's BAA animation program. It scored a 2.84 overall, and for the 2011 fall intake class at least a 3.00 was required. You needed a 2.90 to 2.99 to be on the waiting list

Section 1: Life drawing.

I went with a lot of gestures for the figure drawings, knowing that they are probably stronger than my longer poses, and hopefully they will help me stand out since 5 minute, super structured poses are more popular submissions.

Life drawing score: 2.6

Animal drawing score: 2.6

Hand drawing score: 1.83. Ouch. This was my worst category.

Section 2: Character design

Ok, so this character design isn't exactly what I turned in...I redid the hands in the rotation, as well as the sad expression, plus minor touch-ups. I don't really feel like rescanning and putting another sheet together again, but this is basically what I submitted.

Rotation score: 2.8
Action Pose score: 2.75
Expressions score: 2.88

Section 3: Storyboard

Storyboard score: 2.78

I wasn't very happy with this section. I feel like I just don't know enough about story to do it right. Also, I hated the characters and the premise they gave us. So boring! I'm sure even the graders get bored with it.


Section 4: Layout

sorry the quality on these suck. The sheets are too large to scan and the see-through quality of the paper makes it difficult to get a good shot. I've tried like a billion times.

Household objects score: 3.0

Room Line Drawings score: 3.33. My highest category
The following drawing is the only one that I only had to do once...minus touch-ups and the chairs and table in the background (which I are different from what I originally drew, and what is actually there)
Section 5: Personal Artwork

Personal artwork score: 3.13

"The Dragon Inn"

Bone studies- I feel so unoriginal D:
Sketchbook collage
Self portrait

Yep, thats it! I feel pretty confident about my work actually, but I won't know for another month whether or not it's any good, so the waiting game it will have to be.