Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The First Day of The Last Semester

In case you were curious and wanted to hear about my first day of class.....

Did I mention I'm still a student?  So today school started again!  It's the last time school will start for me, cuz next comes graduation.  (weird... weird)  My family would probably say, "Sure...  We've heard that one before."  This time it's happening!

Oh, I go to Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah by the way.  Go wolverines!

So.  Monday classes don't start til the evening, so I tried to sleep-in and catch up on missed z's, but it really just meant lying in bed a long time wishing I was asleep.  The anxiety of a new apartment, new roommates, new church, and school beginning again has robbed me of sleep completely the past three nights.  But I honestly was in a good mood and looking forward to school starting again and seeing my friends!  School is the one new beginning I'm familiar with, and I'm also real excited to have a routine again.  Plus all the classes I'm taking, I've had before, from the same amazing instructors!  (PUMPED I AM)

Much later, I finally went to class and on the way I met a guy named Joseph.  I met him because he gave me a cheerful "Hello!" as I was passing by, and then I continued to pass by when I suddenly realized he was talking to me.  I quickly came back and asked, "Oh!  Me?!  Sorry!  Hi!"  He turned out to be a kind engineer student who was hanging around the music department because he use to be a music major.  We chatted a bit, then off I went.  (no, he didn't get my number... sigh)

I made it to class on time.  So that was good.   Especially because I heard horror stories all day about people including instructors missing their classes completely due to no available parking.  Yikes...  And I was pleasantly surprised to see LOTS of familiar faces and friends in this class!  It's gonna be a great semester.

The Will Terry
Guess... what... class I'm taking!!!  Children's Book Illustration with THE Will Terry!  Yeah.  Children's Book!  With Will Terry!!  I know right?

Painting By Will Terry
I was there just to test the waters and see if I really still wanted to take it a second time.  He told us THIS time in the class, we're going to learn to build a complete and full APP FOR THE KINDLE!  That's new.  Lee, my genius friend (and excellent artist) who suggested I take the class again, turned to me and said, "You should take this class."  I said, "I'd be stupid to not take it now."  She agreed.  Will also talked about our other assignments:  Illustrating scenes from "Little Miss Muffet," "Jack and the Bean Stalk" and "One Good Turn."  We can do any spin on them we want.  He even looked at me said we can do steam punk versions to make Ginny happy.  Which steam punk isn't actually my thing, but I hang out with people whose thing it is, so I can see why he said it.  But don't worry Will Terry, I will come up with something equally awesome as steam punk.

Steam Punk Art  by Alicia (Lee) VanNoy Call, who I like to hang out with lots
On my way out, I walked past my new friend Joseph a second time.  He said, "Hello again," as I was passing by, and after I continued to pass completely by and realized that hello was directed to me, I spun around and said, "Oh!!  Hello!  Sorry! ... I just keep missing your hello's!"  We both kept walking and I couldn't hear what he said in return.

Then I went home and waited for my roommate Jillian to come home so we could finally go get all our stuff from moving day and move it into our apartment.  Yay no more living out of suit case!  (We had to wait cuz we stored it in our friend's shed when our last apartment's contract ended the 15th and we couldn't move into our new place til the 23rd, and our friend was out of town til just barely)  So after we were done, our living room was stacked with boxes and boxes and bags and things, and probably spiders and shed dwelling lizards too.  We didn't feel like unpacking tonight, so we got ice cream instead.  1/2 Cookie Dough and 1/2 Chocolate with Peanut Butter Ribbon.  Mmmmmmm.  We ate while discussing what "fun facts" we would say about ourselves if we had to, inspired by an assignment Jillian had in her english class today.

A few Fun Facts about Ginny:

I can do the wave with my tongue.
I sang the star spangled banner alone in the middle of the ice before a championship college hockey game.
I have a white albino strand of hair that grows from the back of my head.
I've been to several amazing places, including Mt. Rushmore and Japan, but was too young to appreciate them.
I'm almost always the last person in my apartment to go to bed at night.
I froze my first wart last week.  :)  It has yet to fall off.

Anywhoooo... that was most of my first day of my last semester!  I kind of stole the idea to write about it from Lee's blog post today.  But that's part of what being successful is about... learning from the best, by sometimes copying what they do:), and sharing what you learned.  Don't compare mine to hers though, cuz she's actually a writer too so hers is more fun to read.  Plus, she added pictures she took herself, and talked about all the cool people.  I'm too tired to be that awesome today.  ;)

Good night!

Friday, August 24, 2012

YouShouldYouShould: Watercolor?

The critical artist in me hates that I'm showing you this.  You better feel very special. 

Remember this is still like a "rough draft."  Normally I'd put a lot more time and planning into it but this is just to get a general look and feel...  ya know?  Anyway.  So here's one example.  Not too bad...  I'm just not sure though.  Watercolor is just a whole animal of it's own!  I was missing the way acrylic works, surprisingly enough... and I don't feel as satisfied with this... but maybe that's cuz it's a little messy compared to a real finished peice.  I just don't know!  lol

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

YouShouldYouShould: Choosing a Medium????

This choice has held me up for some time!

I have to pick between: 
pen and ink with water color, 
or ball point pen and water color, 
or graphite (pencil) with watercolor, 
or gouache paint, 
or acrylic paint.

I have the most experience doing children's book illustration in acrylic paint, but I really love making art that involves more use of LINE.  So I'm testing a couple things out.  These are small 8x10'' cold press illustration board.

TOMORROW:  I paint on these with water color!  Then we'll see how we like....

Hippo n Flamingo is pen and inked (the kind you dip in an ink bottle).  I really like the look of it, and it's very fun to work with!!  Down side is... I keep smearing the ink all over before it dries.  Oops.  Can you see the smudges?

Hippo n lightning bug started out a test with black prismacolor pencil (it's great to draw sketch book with) but it wasn't working with the illustration board very well.  The lines were too soft and detail wasn't showing up.  So I gave up and covered what I had and finished with ball point pen instead!

"You Should You Should" will be published by the end of the year in ebook form with new Publishing House "Familius."  If it does well, it will go to print!  You can read the story Here.

Friday, August 17, 2012

YouShouldYouShould: Thumbnails!

A tiny small sketch used to put ideas down quickly on paper, as well as to figure out quickly the start of placement and design, is called a thumbnail.  So if you hear artists use this term, now you know they're not just strange "unique artists" who are obsessed with weirdo things like the dead ends of their thumb.

So today I spent working out thumbnails!  Some of my old ones were bugging me, and once I put pages next to each other I saw too many similarities in size relationships and camera angles.  Makes for boring reading and dull page turns.  I also hadn't finished the last third thumbnails of the story board so I got those knocked out today as well!  Yay!

As promised, here is my progress work:

(believe me, these ugly little sketches took a lot of time and thought)


 Fun fact:  The last sketch in the layout above is actually for page 24-25, and it's one of the few/many that I'm most excited about!  You probably can't tell what's going on, but I know and trust me, it's gonna be GOOD.

And here's what I had before today in case you forgot:

Music and Art: Left Brain, Right Brain

First, I'm sorry for the delay--I'm in process of moving right now.

So.  I'm all excited to draw again!!  I'll tell you why, but first let me give you some background so you understand.

As an early art student I took "Drawing I" and my professor set up some cones and boxes with direct lighting in the center of the room for us to draw, and then.... turned on some music.  "Cool.... music!  I like this guy," was my only thought.  I soon discovered there was more to this trick than met my naive ears.  He explained that drawing is a right brain activity, and if we put on music, we distract the left brain which will allow the right brain to go to work and draaaaaw til there's no tomorrow.  Surgeons do the same thing while operating.  You've probably found that music or audio books help while you're cleaning or cooking.

So back to why I'm excited to sit and draw again: I've had a lot of advice about tapping into things that inspire me.  I was sick of all my music and didn't have that to look forward to anymore.  And music is one of my main inspirations and passions in life.  SO... I recently found the BEST pandora station.  Escala Radio.  I highly recommend.  Especially when in brainstorming, idea-oriented, thumb-nailing stages (because left brain is needed).  If you're like me, you can't listen to your favorite songs, especially if you love singing along, because you won't be able to concentrate and think of ideas.  But once you get the thumb-nails knocked out, you can put back on your fav songs and sing along again because now your art is back to right brain--thinking about color, shape, texture, design, etc.  Now I'm all happy to sit and work cuz I get to plug into Escala Radio.  If I'm being really honest, the real excitement is that I also only just remembered pandora existed.  Where have i been!  How many amazing stations are there to discover??!

So it's awesome.  That's what works for me.

What inspires you?


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Dear Anxiety

July 2012

Dear Anxiety,

Just wanted to thank you for being a part of my life.  I enjoy the time I spend afraid of all the people who will look at my every upcoming blog post of art.  What joy I have worrying about failing, worrying about deadlines, worrying about succeeding and responsibility, worrying about being a pretty penniless illustrator, worrying about what my dear supportive audience will think, worrying about opinions expectations and disappointments of college professors, gallery owners, editors art-teams and publishers, bedtime story readers, my friends and family, cats and dogs, me.  Worrying I should have become a nurse.  Oh anxiety, my dear friend.  Nobody can quite overwhelm the way you do.  The loss of focus, the lack of concentration and energy, the time we spend in bed together staring at the ceiling, thinking thinking thinking of all the work I haven't done.  Oh what would I do without you.  Your smooth way of immobilizing creative passion and desire.  The way you disintegrate artistic fuel.  What talent and skill you have at magnifying each tiny expectation by a thousand.  The way you coax me into hours on facebook and youtube.  Your potent influence never fails.  Aren't I lucky.

Just wanted you to know.

Yours truly,


August 11, 2012

Dear Anxiety,

I'm sorry.  I've thought it over carefully, and decided this relationship needs to end.  I've got WORK to do!  So.  Take a hike!!  With a porcupine!!  Bye!

Not yours,


P.S.  I know that due to your chronic and pathetic attachment to me, you'll be back to visit.  Know this: no more Miss Nice Girl.

Dear Artists,
Here's a helpful article written by Ami Mattison: