Thursday, November 29, 2007

Reading Level

Oh man, does this mean I need to start using a few big words and waxing philosophically on meaningless dribble to bring my blog up to college level? Aw poo...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Demon Depp is Delightful

Oh I am excited for this coming December 21st. A certain little film by one of my favourite directors starring a few of my favourite people will finally arrive. That's right, Sweeney Todd, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp's latest endeavour.

I'm a big Johnny Depp fan, and Tim Burton fan, and Helena Bonham Carter fan. Oh I do enjoy Depp films. He's a fantastic actor who can portray both the normal, modern and perhaps boring man and then turn around and be the weirdest, off the wall character you've ever seen. It's hard for me to choose two of his roles that I loved the most, I like almost all of his movies. I suppose, of course, I tend to enjoy his weirder characters better. Hrm...I can name three of my favourite Depp films:

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
2. Ed Wood
3. Edward Scissorhands

Before I get caught up in the "oh, of course you like Edward Scissorhands every mall-goth kid loves that", I will say I'm not a mall goth in the slightest and I refuse to buy the overpriced crappy clothing. I have no connection between dumb Hot Topic cronies and this genuinely original film. Depp is so young and innocent as Edward, it's quite appealing. The whole movie makes me want to go "dawwwwww, lookit his widdle scissorshands! I would totally hire him to cut topiaries and not think for a second he was weird!"

...but maybe that's just me.

His scenes in his master's castle are the most endearing to me. Sad, tragic, but beautiful. This whole concept and Depp's character of course rely strongly on the great connection he has with Tim Burton, and Tim's own fantastic imagination. I can't imagine that castle looking "normal" and I can't imagine anyone else portraying poor Edward.

Ed Wood is another top choice because of the partnership with Burton. In this film, Depp is so energetic and positive, you really want him to make it in the B-movie biz. I absolutely love his smile when he's telling his grand ideas to a group of stone-faced listeners. The ensemble cast works with Burton and Depp perfectly, and I think the scene with Orson Welles (as portrayed by Vincent D'Onofrio), is quite clever. A great callback to fans of Welle's classic Citizen Kane. I generally don't like black and white films, but I like Ed Wood, the lack of colour separates it all the more from reality.

OKay, my absolute, favourite Depp portrayal does have to be him as Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Fear and Loathing is one of my top films, and books. The director, the location, the cast, all perfect to bring Thompson's drug-filled journey to screen. Terry Gilliam is the best man for the job as director and his crazy, schizophrenic style was made for Johnny Depp. Even though Depp's character spends the entire film looking like one more hit will make his head explode, you can tell he had a fun time playing Thompson/Raoul Duke.

I love every moment of Fear and Loathing. I don't think the movie would have been as convincing had the director and main actor not spent a ton of time with Hunter S. Thompson himself. Spending any time in that crazy bastards basement, as Johnny did, really screams role commitment.

I love Johnny best when he's completely out of his mind on the screen. He has the best sense of humour about himself, which is nessicary to play such absurd characters as a timid man with scissors for hands, a b-movie director with a penchant for cross-dressing, or a fuckoutofhismind journalist wobbling his way through Las Vegas.

Now comes Sweeney Todd. Aside from his Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, I feel like it's been a while since I last saw a crazy Johnny Depp. I did visit the official Sweeney Todd movie site, watched the trailer, downloaded a lovely wallpaper (featuring one of my top favourite actresses, Helena Bonham Carter...who happens to be the wife of Tim Burton...I have strange taste), I can confidently say that my crazy Depp is back!

Like all movies now, this one has a myspace so visit Sweeney Todd on MySpace and preview some of the great songs featured along with wonderful evil acting.

Y'know, as a personal thing, Sweeney Todd was apparently the dinner theatre production where my parents announced their engagement to my mother's family. It's a bit of an odd musical to announce such an event, but nevertheless I assume I'm not the only member of my household who looks forward to this film.

Spending all day printing is no fun

That's basically what I did today. Spend all day making graphics and sending them out, only to have the not-so-smart printing refuse them for stupid reasons. Such as telling me there is too much data on the disc to properly print and then telling me my image sizes are too large.

Okay, first off, I'm sending PHOTOGRAPHS that need to be at least 24INCHES WIDE and printed at a high enough resolution to look good. As such, I had to downgrade them already to jpgs, and apparently 20 MB for a high resolution, large print jpg is too large. What do they do when professional photograhers come in needing to print a 5 ft tall wedding photograph that is 1200dpi?

Second, each photo was no larger 20 mb and as such I put all of them on a CD. A CD which holds 700mb. My files, in total, took up less than a 1/4 of the entire CD. And that's "too much data"?

Okay fine, I'll put each image on a separate CD, personally I think burning 20 mbs onto one CD is kind of a waste but hey, what do I know? I'm not a professional printmaking company.

I was recently told to lower my image sizes even more, to make them about 6mbs or lower. Frankly, I refuse to do this as I don't want my name to be associated with a crappy print because someone doesn't know what they're doing or their equipment is far too old. I did lower my images, and some are about 8 mbs. One even has to be 150dpi, which I have no doubt will not look good when printed full-size. If they have a problem with this, well, too bad. I suggest going to a different printer who knows how to properly print large digital images.

Bitterness about a lot of wasted time aside, the installation for our next show is almost all done. Here's the evite (which shall fall under Spectacular Spectral Saturday because I did it and because I'm too far behind with that >.<)

It's going to be a pretty fun show. All the pieces look great, and I wish I had more than a week to help with this, as there is a lot to do before this Sunday's opening and not enough time for it all.

Oh well, at least after this I can begin working on preparing for all future planned exhibits and probably what I'll be working on during the summer. I love VisArts, I really do, and I try to do my best for any and all graphic work they need. However, I am very annoyed at this printer issue and can only hope my prints don't turn out horrendous. If they do though, I won't be surprised in the least.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Savannah is the City to See, if you like guided tours

Okay, I'll take a break for a minute from my endless amusement with Wacom's Vista driver updates to talk about a city that is near and dear to my heart. Yes, Savannah, GA, the city where I spend my formidable college years sitting around, twiddling my thumbs. To be honest, I'd hate to live here. There is too much crime and it's too expensive. However, if I have the safety of my dorm and school, it's not too bad, but overall it's a much better tour site.

I think I've only gone on one official tour of the city, and that was when I first got here. It was actually an Old Town Trolley tour, which is very popular here. Frankly I'd rather explore the city by myself, get to know it and then find all the facts. However, all that walking is not for everyone. The tour was pretty informative, but it was quite hot that day and sort of boring to a young person like me. The parents, however, thoroughly enjoyed themselves, which is why I highly suggest a trolley tour for older folk.

I didn't realize a lot of the tours here were related. Trusted Tours does a lot of the ones I see on a daily basis. When walking to and from class it's pretty common to see some sort of tour group or bus. Trusted Tours have a few nice options for Savannah tours, but I'm not really a big tourist so I probably won't enjoy them. They offer one to the Jepson center, which is a lovely building and has several nice pieces. I highly suggest visiting that as well as the Telfair museum, bot have great artwork.

Trusted Tours offers a ghost tour, which my boyfriend's and mine parents really want to go on. However, I'm hoping they pass up the Trusted Tours one and go for the particularly lovely sounding haunted pub tour. Ghosts and hauntings are very popular in Savannah, I believe most of the old buildings in the historical district are haunted. I've seen the trusted one around though and it's great, at night the tour guides dress in Victorian garb and carry lanterns. Pretty cool.

Trusted Tours doesn't just cover Savannah though, they have several cities, such as San Diego, Atlanta, Boston, and New York, to choose from. Each city has a fair option of different tours, so if you're into that type of thing it's worth checking out. There's also a nice giveaway going on where if you sign up for the Trusted Tours and Attractions e-newletter, you're automatically entered into a drawing for 4 free tickets to any tour in any city you want. The contest ends on December 14th, enter soon so you can prepare for a lovely haunted Savannah tour in the Spring. That's when all the good ghosts come out.


sorry the updating has been a bit sparce as of late, I'm once again falling behind because of work. However, I'll do a better update this evening, promise.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Catching up a bit

Oh I am a happy camper.

My laptop is working wonderfully. I went with an HP Pavilion DV 9500t, their "entertainment laptop PC". 17" screen, Intel Centrino duocore hard drive, great resolution, good ram, upgraded to Windows Vista Ultimate and fully loaded with Adobe CS3 and full Microsoft Office 2007. It's pretty comparable to my boyfriend's new Asus machine, with only a few little differences (like he has a higher resolution and slightly better graphics card), but I'm happy. This little baby is quite lovely looking and I'm rather excited about my tiny, insignificant and probably never-to-be-used remote that fits in the express slot. What? It's the first time I've had anything to go in that slot! It's nice.

On top of that I've got my Mustek Scanner all loaded and ready to go. It's a bit of a beast, but hopefully worth it, as it's one of the very few A3 size affordable scanners out there.

I've been sucked into this machine and am using it nonstop. I've transferred almost everything from the old HP and just need to get a few more files.

Tomorrow I'll be a bit sad as I won't be able to spend all day on this lovely little machine, but that's to be expected as it's Thanksgiving. I expect tomorrow to be a very busy day, filled with too many relatives (and future relatives) and food. I expect to be bloated and sleepy by about 6 p.m.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Promote Myself

hrm...I'm thinking I should promote this blog better. Perhaps get my name out there and bring more attention to SCAD, comic art, and VisArts. Or maybe I'm just feeling the pangs of not having any sort of business card. Either way, if I can get 100 Free blogger cards, and it will help promote my blog, art and, I might as well, right?

Nothings better than self promotion through small cards! Next stop, Muffin Mumblings bumper stickers and magnets!


Ah yes, the comic-con I've been talking about has finally happened. In all fairness, it was more of a comic show, but hopefully as the years go on this baby can become a full-fledged convention. Going through, my pictures from the show are pretty crummy (I didn't take them), so I've only got a few.

There were a lot of really nice people there, and a ton of geeks so it was good. Overall it was a success, we didn't have that many people come through, but more than expected for sure. I got a chance to snag an artist table, so the first day of the con I didn't have too much work to show. Admittedly, the second day I only had a little bit more to show, but that was fine. A good portion of the show, and when a lot of artists were there, was Saturday.

Our two guest artists were Jerry Robinson and Lee Marrs. Like I said, these photos are pretty bad (my mother took them, she's not the best at catching people looking good) but here's Lee, in the middle of conversation:

And Jerry, deciding what he and his lovely wife want for lunch from Cosi:

Riviting, no?

They were both really nice and I hope they had a good time. I know everybody else really enjoyed their presence, and they are probably what drew a good portion of the crowd.

The venue itself was pretty small, I guess it's because I hadn't seen it since walls and floor were put in:

But it seemed perfect for the size of the show we put on. Like I said earlier, the artists were all really nice and I think they had a good time, even if it was a bit smaller than what they're used to.

I do enjoy being in Artists Alley because of the people you get to meet. Both the fans and fellow artists. I only wish I had more work to show, it doesn't help that I was told I'd get a table till the day before I left from Savannah. Oh well, next year should be better.

I did meet a lot of people but I think one of the few who stood out was Mark Jackson, a fellow (former) SCADie. It was interesting to find another person who knew who my professors actually are. Even moreso, to know he was about to graduate right when the sequential major got started! Mark has some really nice work, I highly suggest you check him out at

Sunday was pretty slow, less than half of the attendees from Saturday showed up. Also, a few artists didn't come back so the room felt a bit more empty. It worked out though, as the quietness was quite peaceful. I brought the boyfriend with me too, he took the time to work on a "school project" on 3DSMax, so that was time well spent for him I think.

It was a pretty good show. I hope next years is more successful and perhaps we'll be able to get actual workshops, contests, and viewings so this becomes a real convention.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Orange Scented Holiday

Whoo! I'm back! I'm tired, it was quite a long drive, but I came back to some very nice things:

- A super computer. I'm in love, all over again. Oh this thing is magnificent!
-A gigantic scanner. It's huge, but it should be perfect. Haven't gotten a chance to install it quite yet...
-The promise of a near and dear comic-con (more on that tomorrow)
-Some awesome little gifts from the great folks at Vat19.

I got a set of Colour Flame candles, some Insta fake snow and a gourmet orange scented pencil.

Obviously, I had to try out the pencil. It's great! The scent of orange is really quite strong, and leads to inspiring drawings.

My cat enjoyed it too, or at least made an attempt to be slightly curious about this weird fruity pencil.

He also feared it, as though the orangyness was far too much for him to handle

Psh, weak cat.

This pencils come in 10 flavours: Chocolate, Orange, Cherry, Cotton Candy, Grape, Watermelon, Popcorn, Root beer, Very Berry, and Bubble Gum. I sort of wish I had gotten cotton candy or bubble gum....they are some of my more favourite scents...mmmhm... On second thought, maybe it's a good thing I didn't get those, I might eat the pencil! Not that it would be that bad, these pencils are made from recycled newspapers. Mmhmm....cotton candy and old Washington Post....yummy.

I think I'll use this tasty pencil to make my classmates curious as to where that mysterious orange smell is coming from. I shall laugh quietly and continue to doodle my nice smelling drawing.

I really like these colour flame candles, they are a nice idea to pump up a birthday cake, turn off all the lights and stare when the power goes out, or accessorize a cat with:

Oh ho ho ho, and yo should see when they're lit!

No, don't worry, I didn't light these candles on my cat. I'm not that evil....really. I haven't lit them yet, I'm saving them for our Thanksgiving celebration, I think it'll be a really nice way to accent our bounty of food.

I also haven't had a chance to use the insta snow. I'm considering holding off anyway until I get back down to Savannah. You can view the video here
to see it in action.

My roommate is also from a colder state and we were both lamenting about how we couldn't get snow or Fall in Savannah. She went so far last year to have her friends back home mail her leaves so she could keep the changed colour for a while. Well, now I think I know what we can use so we don't miss snow!

Vat19 has some great and interesting gifts, but they also have a few practical items. Like an Electronics Charging Station, which is very useful if you have several products that need charging (Ipod, cell phone, Nintendo DS). I also love how Vat19's staff has a sense of humour. I highly suggest checking out the "Burning Question" area of each product's page (especially insta snow), there are some weird questions and Vat19 provides some brilliant answers.

I think I'll rather enjoy these products from Vat19, and I hope this pencil lasts all the way through break so I can taunt my classmates with the delicious smell of fresh oranges.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Quick Review of Cinderella Man

To be honest, I’ve never been a big boxing movie fan. I love films, most any kind, but I just can’t get into boxing movies. I am fascinated by the sport, especially boxing from the golden age before it became the father of modern, admittedly ridiculous, wrestling. While the latter is less of a sport and more of a form of entertainment, I can’t believe that any of the steroid-pumped badly named professional wrestlers would last very long if put against a real boxer. I hold high respect for the old boxers of the depression era, those who had to put themselves in the ring more than they should just so they could feed their families. It must have been hell to be the wife of a boxer, like Mae Braddock, knowing that at any time her husband could come home permanently disabled or not come back at all. That terrible strain is what made Cinderella Man so interesting and captivating.

It’s obvious that Mae and Jim have a strong relationship, even if it is tested by his chosen profession. Cinderella Man, with it’s great director and fantastic cast, shows the dynamic between the two perfectly. They obviously love each other very much, but Mae goes through a lot of stress because of Jim. That their relationship lasts in the end is a promising sign, it’s always nice to see a woman stand by her husband and honor his decisions. Even when their relationship hit a rocky spot, Jim was always looking out for his children and wife.

Ron Howard really knows how to create a strong movie. He understands how to handle actors like Russell Crowe and Renee Zellweger. Zellweger typically annoys me onscreen; she has a permanent angry face. In this film, however, she appeared sincerely concerned for her husband; her angry face was put to good use. Paul Giamatti is a personal favorite of mine, and I thought he was quite convincing as a coach who genuinely believed in his star client and he brought a great energy to the screen. I don’t know who worked harder during the fight scenes, Crowe or Giamatti. Russell Crowe himself was a good choice for Jim Braddock, although I could also see Clive Owen in the role.

Cinderella Man was a story of triumph, and some points seemed reminiscent of Jack London’s “A Piece of Steak”. Every time Jim mentioned how much he would love to have two big steaks, I laughed. Though boxing movies aren’t really my favorite genre, I did enjoy this one quite a bit. The fight scenes were very well choreographed and it was hard to tell when Crowe actually got hurt and when he was acting. The actors brought as much to the screen as the director and real professional boxers.

I haven't been able to write too much, but this is the most recent film I've watched and I rather enjoyed it. I also would like to post something before the next two days fly by, as I'll probably spend my time packing and then too many hours making my way across the east coast. Oh well, could be worse, I could have school right after Thanksgiving.

3 More Days...

Finals week = almost no time to post.

I'm finally done with that huge shot list and we leave for home in 3 days. I've got one more illustration to work on and that's pretty much it.

Not completely looking forward to the drive ahead as my glasses have once again broken on me. This is the third time in less than a year, so needless to say, I'm not too happy. 3 seems to be both a lucky and unlucky number for me >.<

I seriously can't wait for next July...I want my new eyes!!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Mixing it up a bit

When I'm in the mood for baking, I use a mixer a lot. Ever since I started to tackle my mom's Hershey chocolate recipe book, I've known that you need the proper tools to be able to create those delicious desserts.

There aren't too many "family recipes" that we hold dear here. Most of them are just old recipes found in books that have been staples. These are pretty basic, easy recipes. Nobody in my family really cooks I'd say. I know everyone does, but nobody really goes out there and tries something new. Only my grandmother makes the more exotic dishes. Even then, I don't know her personal recipes. She makes some mean Italian cookies, delicious jam-filled ones. And fantastic soups. I know she has some great old Iraqi recipes, but I've never really been able to ask her about them to any extent.

Really, I'm on my own in the cooking world. I'm finding my way in baking and am working on my own assortment of recipes that I hope to replicate year after year. I love improving and I can't wait till I can have my own personal kitchen and all my own tools.

Most recently I made a chocolate torte for my parent's birthdays. It's not too hard of a recipe, and can be found here. I think it went over pretty well, and it was a pretty mix heavy dessert. Which is to say, I spent a good....2 hours making this thing, and most of that time was spent mixing.

I only had a hand mixer to work with, so it was really tiring to stand there, mixing away late into the night. I really wish to own a good standing mixer one day, and it looks like a Hamilton Beach® Stand Mixer is the way to go.

I'm a big Food Network junkie and every recipe looks far easier when you can use a standing mixer. They're really easy to use, and far nicer than handheld mixers when it comes to making something that requires a bit of perseverance.

For the torte I had to whip up a meringue and chocolate mousse. If I had a stand mixer, both my hands would be free and I could just pour in the ingredients as needed. Hamilton Beach® has a line of nice looking ones called the Eclectrics® Mixer which, aside from looking really nice, have some awesome features. It has twelve different mixing speeds! Oh, and what I always love about stand mixers, different add-ons, like the flat beater, dough book and whisk, annnndd a splatter shield and pouring spout! That's something I can't get with my handheld mixers.

Oh I dream of a day when I can have a good excuse to buy a Hamilton Beach® Mixer . Ah, moving day can't come soon enough!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Yet Another Reason I love Sequential Art

Where else can I walk into a school building, be greeted by the awesome security guard who never asks for my ID because he recognizes me every time, and have him compare my complaint of stress with his time in Vietnam?

The Sequential building and all the people in it rock.

Trust the Bearded King

Let's get right to the point, shall we?

There are bad Stephen King movies and there are good Stephen King movies. Lawnmower Man, that was a terrible Stephen King movie, The Shining, that was a good Stephen King movie. However the horrible movies always end up being tremendously amusing. I suppose this all has to do with the directors and, to some degree, the actors. Get good actors and a good director and Stephen King will win me over.

The Mist by Stephen King is one of his recent film encarnates and judging by the trailers it looks like it will fall into the latter category of good Stephen King movies. I was an idiot and lost my original post here so I'd like to add this little visual element to help make my post clear:

Why do I need to issue the Bearded Stephen King Stamp-o-Approval? Because there are too many terrible movies out there with his credit as writer. I also think he looks a little more charming with a beard, don't you? Kind of like a cross between George Lucas and a happy monkey.

I just want to list a few of my more favourite films of his that I think deserves this high honour:

I could add more but just remember this simple rule; if Stephen King with a beard would make a good substitute for the main character on a film poster, it will be a good adaptation. If he looks silly and uncomfortable (uhm...more silly and uncomfortable than he does normally), then it will be a bad movie and you should stay far, far away from it.

That being said, I hope that I can add The Mist to that list, at least from the trailers it looks promising. I'd like to believe that this director, Frank Darabont, who has also worked on The Shawshank Redemption and Green Mile, believes in Stephen King and will do his best with this film. The directors of a Stephen King Film are what make or break it really. The movie's website is pretty entertaining and contains a few webisodes that give you a behind the scenes look at the film. I highly recommend checking that out.

Of course, I can't issue an official Bearded Stephen King Stamp-o-Approval until the film is released, but I will reserve one now and judge whether to distinguish that honour later.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

It's Just Another Thing, isn't it?

Well, turns out that my tablet hadn't failed...the USB ports did. That's really comforting.

My new HP laptop is almost home so I'll have a nice one to come home too. I love this little laptop but it's become quite a pain. Now I'm behind on my illustrations too, excellent >.<

Sunday, November 4, 2007


This week looks to be quite busy, so I'm not quite sure when I'll be able to update.
I've got a few major pieces due as well as finals to begin working on, since we only have two weeks left in the quarter.

At the moment I have a large quantity of illustrations (21 actually) due Friday and it doesn't help that my Wacom tablet is deciding not to communicate with my computer.


Keep on Searching for the One

I am currently looking forward to a life of freelance illustration/comic work. I really have no idea how to go about getting a job, or at least browse for one. Sure, there's or HotJobs, but those cater to business professionals and people who already have their degree. I want a website that has a wide range of jobs for freelancers and where I can find people looking for graphic designers, illustrators, programmers, writers, web designers and others that don't quite fit in the office norm.

I'm rather happy to find this freelance marketplace, it's actually exactly what I've been looking for. Their categories, visual art related of course, are nicely organized and the site design itself is simple without any distracting elements. And there are real comic/illustration jobs! Whenever I search on Monster or other sites I can either find nothing that's remotely related or I get stuck with entry-level sales positions.

I would really like to try this out...but....there's a membership fee...of course. Well, I'm not too keen on that. The whole reason I'm looking for a job is because of lack of money, but I imagine this is an excellent resource for non-college students. Or people who already are somewhat established in their field but want more work.