This is not the first time this has happened, but drawing a bulldozer surprised me. It surprised me, because I was enjoying the process of drawing something that normally doesn't interest me. We all have our safe zones in our hobbies. Some people stick to playing basic chords on a guitar and avoiding the whole non-standard tuning or even the finger picking thing. I often like to default to plants because they're simple and wonderful to look at.
This time, I drew a bulldozer. Not because I wanted to, but because I needed to express something. Yet I enjoyed drawing that part even more than painting the flowers, and you can tell, because of how much more detail one thing had over the other. A lot of the enjoyment may have come from this past Inktober experience. There is something cathartic about outlining a thing in pen. About making thin lines and thick lines, making them permanent and bold. It feels more like play time.
In this same sketchbook, I painted a bit of architecture - specifically a picture of an old public market building, surrounded by other older corrugated metal type buildings. A bit marine. Architecture is the opposite of organic plant drawings. The lines are straight, rather than curved. They are unforgiving, and a little slip up in perspective can throw the whole thing off. Spacing is hella consistent. There is much more room for error. But I enjoyed the hell out of it. It was new, it was a SETTING, whereas I am devoted to SUBJECTS. I liked the result so much more, not just because I was pleasantly surprised that I did not suffer for it or make a disaster, but because it had some depth and interest and space that so many of my paintings lack.
Of course, I had to rely on reference shots. But if I practice enough buildings, bulldozers, scenes, landscapes, I should be able to collect enough details to create something on my own. Give it a shot. You may surprise yourself.
I didn't get any input about vlogging so I'll just say, I took a few clips here and there during the week and ended up with 6 or so minutes of final footage. It's fairly tightly cut. As it's about as long as most of my regular vids, I'm thinking of uploading these things on say, tuesdays, to round out the video schedule. I also worry that it might be weird and confusing for any newcomers who click on a video expecting a cat painting and only a cat painting. So if you're interested, be sure to subscribe to my channel. Hopefully, I don't lose the nerve to upload it entirely!
I really like the effect of an art video played backwards. It's really satisfying. I really want to start a regular series like this, and it will take a bit of wrangling. I'll explain.
Technology tends to make me have to do a lot of roundabout hoop-jumping and this video has been the worst! As it turns out, Windows Movie Maker, the rather low-tech program I've been using this entire time, doesn't reverse video and has no real explanation for it. So what happened, is that I used John's work laptop to reverse the video, which meant having to learn how to use Adobe Premiere. It took me a couple of hours JUST to do this, and then I ended up exporting it incorrectly. And then I had to start over because Premiere is kind of a jerk about aspect ratios.
I don't like to spend a ton of time on editing videos, because videography isn't my passion, I just want to get my artwork out there in an effective way. I so appreciate the subscribers who have stuck around this far! <3 I'd really like to make my channel more interesting. I'd like to face my fears and add some minor vlogging into the mix, because we may not be able to get to know each other as PEOPLE otherwise. Maybe my artwork would make more sense if you knew me.
So exporting video on one relatively weak laptop, transferring it to another laptop, and then saving it AGAIN with audio not only added hours of work but it seems to have terribly affected the quality as well. SO! I need an editing program. Windows Movie Maker, you've been fun, but I've capped out at your limit. I'd like something that will let me reverse footage. I'd love to be able to layer audio. Right now, I have to convert videos into MP3s just to get the tin-can voiceovers you've been hearing lately. I'd like to be able to record a voiceover without yet another Windows program screwing it all up. That'd be nice.
One suggestion was Lightworks, and I'm considering that. I'm glad I had a chance to learn a tiny amount of Adobe Premiere, but my videos don't pay for themselves yet so I'd like something a little more open source for now? A lot less expensive, preferably? Just for the ability to play a video backwards? I'm ready to receive, universe!
Putting myself on the internet, even if it's just my voice for now, is genuinely unpleasant. Just as I was uploading the video I thought "oh, I should probably listen to this to make sure it sounds okay."
Yeah, don't do that. *CRINGE* I know why some people will just film vlogs and post them without actually watching them, but I think that's actually an even braver thing to do.
No sign of camera parcel yet.
Oh yeah, here's a link to the card if you want to adopt this angler fish! He has a little plastic rhinestone eye!
So where the heck have I been, am I right??? I mean... I've been posting videos on time, I built some new art journals/sketchbooks for the shop. I may even have tweeted at some point. But I wasn't really "here". I wasn't present, I wasn't connected, I was so far away that it was a bit like being a mere shell of a person. Too afraid to do much of anything. Too overwhelmed by my one annual social obligation.
I was wrong when I thought I'd built myself up long enough (9 years) to leave the isolation of a restaurant kitchen for the isolation of a retail backroom. It's not isolated enough. I think my new job exposes myself to much more general hostility, negativity and public exposure than I had originally expected.
I'm not handling it well.
But at least the horrible holiday season is through, and three days into the new year, I'm almost caught up to day one. Hi! So this is 2017. How's it going. I just got here. I'm so behind. But there is so much we can get up to! <3
I've fallen out slightly from sketchbooking, but when I have no ideas, I can always turn to my cats for inspiration. I'm going to come off as SUCH a cat lady, but cats switch poses so many times during their grooming/napping sessions that I can fill a page in a very short amount of time. They don't hold still for very long, so they make for very challenging models.
I'm waiting for Purolator to come around with the purple camera, so I will have no excuse not to vlog. There is a lot of fear in vlogging: fear of physical criticism (but I'm too old to care about that), fear of safety, public embarrassment, but also a fear of boring the heck out of you. I digest artist vlogs regularly. Yet the imposter syndrome is active and kicking. I don't know if it's best to continue tacking clips onto the ends of the usual videos (too random??) or if I should just upload something randomly, once a week. Or never. So tempting to back out on this.
Most people seem to make new vlog channels which makes total sense, but that calls for unnecessary steps, and I'm more into efficiency. Welcoming opinions, here!
Another thing I wanted to do, is to reboot the 365 daily photography project. Ugh, I know I keep leaving this thing on life support but I love looking back on the truly random, mundane photos. Stuff that I would easily have forgotten otherwise. The above photo is today's. (Turns out that all of my spouse's Lego is a bunch of 1980s space sets). Of course, I'm already technically "behind". But what's different, is that if Purolator actually gets it together, I'll soon have a tiny pocket-sized camera I can take anywhere. My hefty DSLR is the reason why I don't take photos anymore. No excuse now! Also, I'm back to legit "part-time" at the day job so my days hopefully won't be totally absorbed by stuff that I can't actually publicize or talk about. Finally, I'm using a calendar, to fill up with the daily pictures so if I don't want a ton of blank spaces, I have to take a picture.
I might share them here occasionally (like this^), but otherwise don't have a public outlet for that. Twitter? Facebook? Maybe. I don't want to clutter art feeds with non-art things. Too lazy to make seperate accounts for stuff. Meh.
So. Other than that, I haven't done my 2016 review yet (SO BEHIND) but there are a few things I'm interested in. For example: now that I've got some weekdays off I'd like to get back into livestreaming (perhaps this Thursday?). I still have much of a pack of papers to turn into sketchbooks. Vlogging sounds awful, but I'm prepared to try it if people are interested. I need to reapply myself to traditional art hubs - like putting together at least one gallery proposal. Gag!
I will probably not do monthly newsletters anymore.
I also want to do more voiceover type things instead of the usual old soundtrack rut. Recording my voice has gotten easier already! So feel free to throw me some questions so I can have something to yak about.
It's gonna be an interesting year, I can feel it.
Hello! I'm Melissa, and here you'll find some behind-the-scenes footage of an artful life. Won't you join me?