It's been a while since I put up anything. I've actually been focused on improving my Japanese and looking into Japanese culture and necessary information for everyday life. I came across a seminar for TESOL Certification that's going on in October. I thought we'd give it a try.
Although, previously I never really gave much thought to being a teacher. I don't know if I'd be good at it or not. I don't even know if I'd like it or not. All I know is that we have enjoyed trying to teach people about some things. I like to be helpful, and I feel like if I can do it in a more meaningful way, whether I officially get to teach, or help my boyfriend plan and even teach English at a church or something, it would be a whole lot more worth it. Maybe my sense of adventure I didn't know I had got the best of me in thinking it'd be good to visit Japan, a foreign country with kanji every which way and odd and particular customs, but we'll see.
In any case, maybe if I find more useful things, I'll put them up in my Japanese Resources section; I did add a couple.
Here's the class: Oxford Seminars
It seems like they not only give you the certification, but help you to prepare for interviewing and such. You can also get a $100 discount for signing up early, and a $50 discount for referring a friend.
I can't tell you if it IS good or not yet, but maybe after we take it I'll comment on it. I won't assume it is just because it says "Oxford".
I've been quite busy lately. I now have 2 part-time jobs, and have recently acquired a quite energetic puppy.
I finally finished a charcoal drawing that I was doing for a friend. I had to redo it once, actually. I was working from a photo, and the drawing was also on a large piece of paper, so it took me a long time to get the proportions of everything right. My boyfriend gave me a lot of help with that, I don't think I could have managed without him. It was definitely a learning process--drawing well is basically just being able to draw what you see. It sounds easy, but it's not. You have to constantly be aware of what is where, and you have to see it both as a whole and in sections so you don't mess up the placement, proportions, and perspective of everything. I'm still not very good at it.
I've also considered doing some jewelry. I've always liked shopping for it, so I thought I might give it a little try. It would be something I could make multiples of easily, and it's something that's theoretically easy to quantify a base cost for.
I get discounts working at Michaels, so now I have more opportunities to try different things. Being around the supplies and seeing people get them for their own projects makes me feel like working on projects too, as I kind of hoped it would.
I should have a couple more drawings to put up really soon that I'm just finishing.
Ah, I just realized on my contact form that it by default made name and email mandatory, so I fixed it. I mean, I don't like having to do all that just to leave a comment, so I won't make other people do it. After all, no one will if it it's that way.
I've been fairly busy lately. I just started my new sales associate job at a clothing etc. store. Everyone seems very nice, and the atmosphere is pleasant enough, and I get decent discounts on already cheap things. They started me out as a cashier, which isn't so bad. I'm still only part-time, but I might be able to move up to full-time from there. They seem to be more open to rewarding people for doing well, unlike the campus bookstore I worked at before. I loved the job, but I would never be able to get full-time, since they laid off almost everyone that was full-time back in November and split us all up. It shook us up pretty badly, and I don't like the company that took over the store in 2011. I just had a get-together with my former coworkers yesterday--the retired, laid off, and currently-working-there ones, since one of our friends recently passed away. I really miss working with them, and I know they will all soon go their separate ways, because before long that bookstore will close, and another one with a skeleton crew will open up in a different location on campus that will be mostly automated, I hear. I can only wish them the best because they've all been great.
I've been working on drawing more lately. I'm trying to make sure I practice well. I enjoy it quite a bit, but I don't know how good I am. I'm just exploring options and trying whatever I want. I've even added downloadable content for my more recent ones for a small price (I am attempting to adjust them if necessary) at BreWStudio at deviantART--wallpapers in many different sizes in one pack, even for cellphones. If there are any more sizes that anyone wants, please let me know. Although you could make it yourself from the original file anyway.
Please feed a starving artist today! :)
I make very little money :(
It probably always seems that way, considering how inconsistent I am at continuing with any particular pursuit, posting almost nothing for a long time. I am not entirely sure what I should be trying to do. I am told that my charcoal drawings are good, but I don't always feel like doing those. I want to get better at doing digital drawings but I'm not really sure how to approach it. I am unable to do ceramics very much at the moment for a lack of kiln still. I've formulated another set of instructions for firing ceramics in a charcoal grill using raku clay. I am working on a test piece to try out. The last pieces didn't quite vitrify the way I wanted, among other things. There is potential if I can get it to work. However I am a little restless because I am not skilled enough in anything that I should know what to pursue improving in. I have a short attention span and don't like to work on one thing for very long. I am likewise under pressure to find a full-time job as well, but they seem rare. It is a discouraging time, and all I can do is try my best and have faith that God will help.
What I feel like I want to do is be able to make good digital drawings. I realized that I the ones I have done that are in my scraps are not very good. I think I understand why.
So I was planning to find myself some new wallpapers because I just got a new computer not too long ago. I then decided it would be a good opportunity to gather together artsy ones that struck me for one reason or another, and understand why it is that I love those styles so much. Maybe if I can study it a bit, I will understand what I can do to improve.
It seems like art is sometimes less about skill and more about taste and creativity. Even if you draw something fairly accurately, if executed poorly the imperfections will look worse. Your skill is brought into question when the overall impression is that it is not done well. Even abstract art needs balance and composition, after all. This is something I will have to learn more about.
I'm going to fix up the rest of my newer drawings soon. I still have a lot to learn.
I have one of them up. I entered my "Enchanted Night Sea" into the "Animals" Light Space and Time online competition, and at first I thought since mine was on there but didn't win anything that they put all entries up anyway. I just got an email though that they chose artwork out of 581 entries and gave me a Special Recognition Award Certificate. Naturally I was surprised, because I have very little experience in drawing, even more so with a drawing tablet. This was the first full drawing I finished with that tablet.
I'm still working on drawings, it's just that the last one took me a while. I'm not used to drawing on larger canvases. I'm also not used to drawing people in any style, so I took a lot of time trying to get the mermaid to look right.
I also submitted a couple of these drawings to online competition/exhibition type things, so we'll see how that goes. Not that I'm very confident in my drawing ability, seeing as I've had very little training in it, but I thought there's nothing to lose if it's free. There's another in-person one I'm planning on doing a themed drawing for that's due exactly a month from today, so I'm going to start it now to make sure I have plenty of time to make sure everything's right.
It doesn't feel as disjointed drawing on a tablet and looking at the computer screen anymore. I don't even notice it now. I have a lot more ideas, and so far, I've surprised myself that I can get any of the ideas I've had so far to turn out as much how I pictured it to begin with. There's usually a big gap in what I want to do and what I can do, but things have been acceptable so far. I probably should use more reference pictures though.
There have been some technical difficulties in the setting up of my kiln--there are a lot of space constraints, so I've been trying to work through those. I need to find a job nearby where I can set it up, even then it will be difficult, so it won't be happening very soon. I tend to think too much about how to get things done that things never do get done, also.
That being said, I am working on other things in the meantime. My boyfriend found my Bamboo drawing tablet not too long ago that he had bought for me, and I had kind of forgotten about it because I was busy with school at the time. I also started using it more after my coworker Melissa started showing me pictures of some drawings she did, which made me want to start drawing again. I only took 2 drawing classes, and I found them to be a bit of a pain, but I guess when you're lugging around drawing pads that are about the size of you and are inhaling charcoal while drawing within the boundaries of what your teacher assigned, it can be a bit unenjoyable. I've found a new appreciation for it though, at least drawing things on the computer, GIMP notwithstanding (They updated that for the worse, with those stupid sliders.) This appreciation comes from my background in ceramics.
The reasons are:
1) There are no supplies to get out and no real setup involved (call me lazy if you want, but lugging around clays, wheelthrowing, mixing up glazes, cleaning up dust in a safe manner, and monitoring firing tires one out.)
2) There are no finite materials (this means a lot when you need an acceptable place for everything, have to keep track of each ingredient in how much you have left and how much you'll need to get.)
3) There are no real limits. (In ceramics, there are a lot of limits. You have time limits, especially for handbuilding things--you need to keep pieces wet to keep working on them--even decorating the outside can have silica hazards if it dries. There's a limit to the thickness of pieces, or they will not dry well and will explode. There are some color limits in that clays would have to be specially formulated for certain colors, and are formulated for certain temperatures. Glazes are formulated for certain temperatures, oxidation/reduction atmospheres, and some ingredients can be toxic, most of them colorants so you have to be careful when making them as well as considering whether or not your pottery is food-safe. Some colorants are expensive as well. Glazes can be volatile in behavior and color.)
4) I can reproduce and distribute copies easily and the image quality will always be top-knotch. (I'm not very consistent, so making ceramic copies might not be easy for me. Taking pictures of ceramics is a real pain too. You have to have a room you can get dark, hang a tungsten light from the ceiling or somewhere, and then lower the light a bit above the piece, and then take some pictures. Otherwise, the colors get weird. The colors turn out ok outside sometimes, but then that looks unprofessional, taking pictures of your work on your driveway or somewhere. Presentation is everything here.)
That doesn't mean I dislike ceramics. I do enjoy wheelthrowing once I get around to it, although I'm admittedly not very good at it. I like being able to do somewhat 3-dimensional designs on the surfaces of pottery. I also like that I can then sell tangible, practical objects.
But I digress. My boyfriend found another drawing program to use, but I haven't yet explored it adequately. I plan to do so when I get the chance. I was thinking of setting up accounts elsewhere for the sake of selling things. Artists don't just subsist on finishing their artwork, after all.
Anyway, there will be more drawings on the way. I was never very good compared to others in my classes in any area of art, and I've been quite out of practice for years, but I did them anyway, because I wanted to.