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Today, about a year since my first DD, I got another message on another social media site congratulating me on a DD. I am really honored - The Long Path is a very important painting for me, and it means a lot that other people are seeing something they love in it.

STelari, thank you once again! You were the one who selected my last DD, and I appreciate it so much.

As with last time, the odds of my becoming active on dA once again are very slim. This DD makes me happy and excited, but I've shifted over most of my activity to other places. My main tumblr serves as an inspiration-board; my art tumblr is where my process posts and sketches have been going. My dusty blog is where I mull over my artistic path and the pieces I've been producing, and my main website is just plain and simply my portfolio. I'll continue to update here as I have been: with the final drawings and finished paintings of each piece.

Thank you all for your support!
So today an anon sent me a message on Tumblr congratulating me for the DD.

Uh.

First of all, holy shit thank you to ElindielForestStar for suggesting Tristan and Isolde and to STelari for featuring it! This is my first DD, and I couldn't be prouder of the piece that got picked. Thank you so much to everyone who'd commented and/or faved!

Coming back to such a thing made me realize that I've let this place gather a shameful amount of dust. I'm going to attempt to rectify that: though I'll never again be as active here as I was in past years, I can at the very least keep it updated to reflect my current art. I'm going through and scrapping everything that isn't either a portfolio piece or the drawing for said portfolio piece, and then I'm going to go through my scraps and prune those down into a collection of stuff that doesn't make me flinch.

More importantly, I'm going to update this space to reflect my current portfolio - and, further, I'll be doing my best to keep it updated.

I'm not going to be terribly social here - for that, please check out my Tumblr! For WIPs and thinky thoughts head over to my blog, and for my straight-up portfolio there's always my website.

All my non-portfolio work will be going straight to scraps, btw, so if you're interested in seeing sketches and miscellaneous stuff you might want to watch that space.

Two things!

Sat Mar 10, 2012, 12:45 PM

Hello! I haven't done one of these in, haha, a long time. Some things have happened! Or, well, a lot of things. But I'll only post two of those things, because if I tried to talk about everything this would become a novel.

Thing One: Most apropos of deviantArt, I recently gained my 300th watcher(?!!), zantetsuren! I shall be doing a sketch for her because she was the lucky 300th, but I really do want to thank each and every one of you. I'd probably still make art even if no one was seeing it, but knowing that there are people who like my art makes it even more special. <3 to all of you.

Thing Two: I've posted about it before, but I'll reiterate: I have a website! It's nothing you haven't seen here, so that's less of what Thing Two is, I just thought I'd get it out there. Actual content of this Thing is that I have a new blog, and a Tumblr! The blog is for a lot more blathering on about Thinky Thoughts About Art than I post here or in my artist's comments, and the Tumblr is functioning as an inspiration board/look at these beautiful things look at them. So here are the links!



Take a look if the mood strikes you. I'm way more active on the Tumblr and even the blog than I am here, sad to say. (which does not mean I'm leaving dA, not in the least. I love you guys too much xD)


  • Listening to: Redford - Sufjan Stevens
  • Reading: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Hello, 2012

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 12:34 AM

It occurred to me, as I reflected today on 2011, that this past year represents a full pendulum swing for me. Last January, I was in the middle of my junior thesis, easily the hardest period of my life to date. Until April, for four months, my life was defined by the agonizing inches I clawed my way through thesis by; I was unhealthy physically, mentally, and emotionally. And then I finished my thesis and had a very hard epiphany indeed, that I was nowhere near as good as I'd liked to think I was, and nowhere near as good as I needed to be to succeed.

So I spent the next four months doing a painting a day, working to gain by brute force what skills I lacked. It was hard and I hated it - and it worked.

These last four months of the year have constituted the single best upswing of my artistic career. I'm improving exponentially with each painting I do, and I feel like that far-off, hazy idea of success is becoming less of a pipe dream and more like the pinnacle of a mountain waiting to be climbed with each passing day. I don't know if I can properly express how exciting it is, to feel like this insanity of a goal is actually achievable.

Even setbacks, like my accident, are doing nothing to dampen my spirits (though it's certainly rendered me rusty enough that I'm going to have an interesting time of getting back into gear). I'm entering 2012 full of hope and joy and excitement, and well aware that each day is full of grace.

Let's see if I can keep this outlook through the first week of hard pushing, eh?

I know my activity here of late has been spotty at best, and I thank all of you who still drop by from time to time, both visitors and watchers old and new. DeviantART has played a large part in my artistic development, even through things as simple as giving me friends to watch me through my growth. Every person who watches me serves as encouragement, no matter how actively you comment or how thoroughly you lurk.

So I say thank you. I wish each and every one of you a 2012 that rewards and challenges you, and brings to you what you need.

(the 31st marked my 8th year here, omg. and the 10th will be my 22nd birthday. god, how time flies.)


  • Listening to: On My Own - Les Mis
  • Reading: Kushiel's Avatar

Hello again!

Sat Dec 10, 2011, 5:41 PM

So, it seems that I suck at journals. I got my computer two or three weeks ago, and no updates from me. It's mostly because my life is pretty unexciting on the whole. DeviantArt isn't the important social site it was for me in years past, I guess... I'm here to post my art and look at beautiful things at this point (:

Though it might be worth mentioning that on Thursday, I got hit by a car and fractured my pelvis. (Oh, that.)

This is impactful (HA) mostly because the two paintings I planned on finishing by the end of the semester might not get done by then...? I mean, I can sit without pain and I have both crutches and Happy Pills, but we'll see. I want to finish them and feel like a fucking BAMF going into my break.


I don't mean to be overly blase about this, but I mean... it's really dramatic to say 'I got hit by a car' and all in all, it's not so terrible. There are a lot of awful things that can happen to a person in that situation, and all I got was a stable fracture that didn't require surgery. So there's that x3.


Oh great

Thu Oct 20, 2011, 3:40 PM
And then my hard drive failed.

I'm going to be doing as much as I can with my inbox from school computers when I get a chance, but yeah. Things, looking so promising, are again grinding to a halt.

Still doing art, though, and the school does have scanners...


Being an Explanation of Sorts

Tue Sep 27, 2011, 9:12 PM

or
What I Did on my Summer Vacation
by Jenna Kass, Age Twenty-One and a Half

This summer, I completed one painting a day for all one hundred and twenty-three days of my vacation.

'I knew that,' you might say. 'You called it your Summer of Painting or Quest for Jenius, and you posted them on your blog. And don't think no one noticed that it's taken you a month to finish posting them up there.

Well, yeah. That. I made a lot of noise about it from the start, because the more people who knew, the harder it would be for me to punk out. (I finished posting them so late because I couldn't stand to look at them any more.) And, well, whether it was the fact that people were watching or just sheer bloody-mindedness on my part, I did them all - every last one. I hauled my painting supplies to my friends' apartment in Queens just about every weekend, and to DC for a week; I painted at 5am after an all-nighter, and at 1am after meeting Elizabeth Bear at a reading and then going to dinner with her and her friends, and at midnight with a hurricane pounding at the windows. I bullied myself into painting when all I wanted in life was to not paint.

And so I taught myself a basic understanding of oil paint through plain old brute force.

That's what I learned in four months of painting every day: a basic understanding. And I want to make it very clear that I had no higher goal than that going in; in fact, I feared much worse.

For those playing along at home, what touched off this project was the assessment that I had "a lot of enthusiasm, and a lot of ambition", but that my "technical ability [didn't] equal them." It was an assessment I agreed with, and I decided that the only way to go about my response usefully was to keep this quote in mind: '"What you can, when you can" - to suspend the manic urge to fulfill your potential and instead focus on doing what is possible, with the materials to hand.'

To a certain extent, yes. But - you know, I'm middle of the pack (where 'the pack' is the very small pond of 'the SVA Class of 2012 Illustration Department'). At my best, and speaking charitably, I can break into the lowest ranks of the top - but that's at my very best, and those historically have happened beyond my conscious control. Telling myself to calm down and concentrate on doing what was possible is what enabled me to claw my way through last year's Thesis project - but having survived that, I've realized that I don't have anything to gain by that frame of mind.

Randall Munroe said it perfectly: "You don't become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard that you become great in the process."

I want this so badly - 'this' being a career in fantasy illustration. I look at Donato and Dan Dos Santos and Tristan Elwell and Tyler Jacobson and Rebecca Guay and Eric Fortune and Kinuko Craft and John Jude Palencar and I want to be them. I want to wake up every day for the rest of my life and paint.

I won't get there by being middle-of-the-pack, and I won't climb above middle-of-the-pack by taking reasonable steps.

The next illustration on my plate is the most ambitious painting I've ever attempted. The one after will be challenging. The one after promises to be a real test. I have plans to do cover illustrations for one of my favorite fantasy quartets, and a vague notion of doing an illustration for every chapter of a book that's dear to my heart.

I don't actually know how I'll pull any of it off, but - I'll let Elizabeth Bear, who is much smarter than me, say it:

"...spectacular failures, big reaches. They're scary. They're also necessary, because it's climb or die, strive or stagnate. If I'm not on the verge of failure all the time, I'm not working hard enough."

"Reach, reach harder, stretch higher, and grasp something a little bit better than if you contented yourself with assured success"

"There's more honor in over-reaching and failing with ambition, than in limited success. And if we measure our goals by the best of the best, at least we're unlikely to run out of challenges."

The thing is, this is recent. I've always tried to strive upward, but something about this summer's project clicked in a way that I'm still processing. For the first time, it's a matter of course that I'm going to be in my studio and working basically at all times - not only a matter of course, actually, but something I get excited by considering.

The other thing is, it's sort of precluding a lot of 'smaller' work. I still doodle in my sketchbook - but, well, I lost my Moleskine, and that hurts, and most of my doodles are in the form of thumbnails and half-readable wireframe scribbles. What aren't either of those... I don't know. They're not things that are particularly for show. And things that are more than doodles are perforce being slated for development into 'real' pieces - full illustrations.

Which means that my gallery is sort of echoey.

What it also means, though, is that I'm gaining confidence. I can look at my final drawing for the Elf Cleric and say to myself, 'this is a good drawing. it is going to be a good illustration'. It makes me a little skittish - it smacks of hubris to that part of my mind that constantly smacks me down - but, to quote Elizabeth Bear yet again:

"The first step to moving the world is picking up the lever. The second step is accepting that you have the strength to put that sucker where you want it. You gotta wanna. But you also have to believe you can."

So, uh. tl;dr, my Summer of Painting taught me a lot, I want to be great, I'm planning on reaching for that greatness until I creak at the joints, and if I fail, at least it'll be a noble failure in pursuit of that greatness. Also, I'll still be posting few and far between, sorry.


  • Listening to: Harvest Home - Big Country
  • Reading: Genius (Richard Feynman biography) - James Gleick

Done

Thu Sep 1, 2011, 11:28 AM
Last night, I completed my one hundred and twenty-third painting. I don't feel anything yet. I'll give it some time.

(what this means for you, my endlessly patient watchers, is that I might have some Real Art for you at some point before we all expire of old age.)

Also, I seem to have lost my Moleskine sketchbook, which is why I haven't posted any sketches.

(school starts in a week.)


  • Listening to: Believe - Yellowcard
  • Reading: Genius (Richard Feynman biography) - James Gleick
  • Watching: The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

A beautiful thing

Journal Entry: Fri Aug 19, 2011, 3:50 PM
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In the absence of anything constructive to say (I'm in one of Those Moods, and have a miserable cold to boot), I got a lovely thing today: HessianPeel commented on my Beren and Luthien to tell me it had inspired him to create this! It's a beautiful work of calligraphy, and I'm incredibly honored to have produced a piece of art that made someone want to create their own in turn.

Also, I've updated my website. I need to go change all of the text into images of text, since no one who's not a Graphic Designer will have the Mrs Eaves font installed and I hate Times New Roman - but! I like it!

Also also, as per my poll I'll be uploading some Moleskine spreads, almost surely all destined for Scrapping once I start producing Real Art again. That is unlikely to happen before school starts, btw. My will to make art is being sapped away moment by moment by the painting a day project, which I WILL beat into submission--

WHOOPS SORRY DESCENDING INTO SELF-INDULGENT WHINING AGAIN.
QUICK, BEAUTIFUL ART!!!




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  • Listening to: Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) - Mika
  • Reading: Genius (Richard Feynman biography) - James Gleick

Haaah.

Journal Entry: Tue Jul 12, 2011, 2:28 PM
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Uh. Hi.

It's been a while, hasn't it? I don't actually have an excuse. I mean, yes, a painting a day and an internship and tours and recently also working at the front desk in Admissions is a lot, but it doesn't actually fill up every moment.

The reasons I have for not spending a lot/any time on here are dumb and mostly related to ennui. Things are good, I promise! I'm not even 'blah', I'm just '....i don't feel like it' to about 90% of things I usually do on the internet, most of which is interacting. Also, I haven't been doing basically any art outside of my paintings, which is all sorts of not okay considering how many things I've promised people, assigned myself, or, I dunno, working on FOR TYLER JACOBSON. -facepalm-

It didn't help that I decided to start watching Criminal Minds and wound up finishing all six seasons in three and a half weeks. Do you know how much time every day that takes? There is something wrong with me.

Anyway, I'm doing my best to get back on the horse because oh my god my summer's over halfway done and I have accomplished nothing.

On the plus side: At the beginning of the summer, I told myself that if I didn't reach a certain technical level by the first day of class, I needed to drop oil painting and concentrate on a medium I was already good at, such as ink or pencil. At this point, with two months left to go on the challenge, I've reached that point :D



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  • Listening to: Heat of the Moment - Asia
  • Reading: Fool's Run - Patricia McKillip

Character Commissions: Open

Journal Entry: Tue May 24, 2011, 10:44 PM
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Commissions are closed | Kiriban at 65,456

The deets


Hey guys! My Painting-a-Day challenge is going well, but it didn't take long to realize that holy crap, surfaces are expensive. Buying a month's supply cost $100+, and that was with over half of them being crappy canvasboard. I shudder to think about how expensive it'll be when I make the switch to mostly gessoboard instead.

I'm not here to bitch, though! (All evidence to the contrary.) I'm very fortunate to be able to pay for the supplies with my tour guide job at SVA... but I'd like to supplement that if I can, and judging by my poll, it seems like I might be able to do just that.



Once again, I'm open for pencil character commissions! They will be line drawings, with the possibility of shading at my discretion, on some really lovely 5.25"x8.5" Strathmore Bristol I picked up recently.

$10 will buy you one character, with +$5 for every additional character. I reserve the right to charge extra for super complicated costumes and/or poses at my discretion. I only accept payments through Paypal, and while I'll probably start drawing before payment comes through, I'll only post after I receive it. I'm willing to mail out the original if you're comfortable giving your address.

To claim a spot, comment here or note me with what you want and any necessary character sheets and refs. If you have someone 'cast' as the character, please send me those pictures, too.

1. Open
2. Open
3. Open
4. Open
5. Open

To-do list

- Ferrum-Penumbra gift art
- temiel trade
- Tyler Jacobson sketches
- Mandolin commission edits


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  • Reading: Blood and Iron - Elizabeth Bear

Questing for Jenius

Journal Entry: Sat May 7, 2011, 10:41 PM
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'Quest' connotes epicness.

So, as you may or may not know - dependent entirely on whether we're friends on Facebook and, if so, whether you've taken this past year as a lesson to never read my statuses - I decided that it would be a sound and reasonable idea to do one painting from observation a day for all four months of summer.

No, really. To explain:

This was touched off by a comment by Woodruff that my ambition outstripped my technical ability. I agree with him wholeheartedly. It's not that ambition is a bad thing (on the contrary, it's basically the reason why I'm where I am), it's that ambition without any technical groundwork is useless. I love painting, but the fact remains that I only started truly applying myself to it this year, and I'm not one of those people who have a natural understanding of the manipulation of paint.

After Woodruff's class, I spoke to Peter Fiore - to whom I owe most of what remained of my sanity this year - and he told me that if I really wanted to improve, the fastest way was to paint every single day. He'd done just that after a terrible car accident put him out of commission for months, winding up back on the horse after only three months. (he then sold each painting for $100, making a tidy sum, which I don't actually expect to do xD.)

So. Four months, 123 days, 123 paintings (or 100+ paintings and a dozen or so drawings - there'll be one or two week-long trips I'm going on that I probably won't be taking my painting supplies on). And so as not to spam dA, I started a blog where I'll be posting each and every one.





In other news...

Other than my painting-a-day thing, this summer I'm also:
--> Interning for Richard Solomon, an artists' rep who represents illustrators like Greg Manchess, jon Foster, and Tyler Jacobson (who will be mentoring me through an illustration assignment :D!).
--> Working for the Admissions Office at SVA, giving tours three days a week!
--> Going to DC for a week! Also possibly Minnesota!
--> Attempting to be social!

Because overcommitting isn't just a schoolyear thing.


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  • Reading: Blood and Iron - Elizabeth Bear

I promise I still exist

Journal Entry: Sat Apr 23, 2011, 7:13 AM
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Shenanigans

Hi! It's been a while, hasn't it? This whole year hasn't really worked out for maximum dA/internet time, which was, on one hand, to be expected; and on the other, fucking sucked.

When last I popped up, it was to inform you lovely people that I'd got into the thesis show! Interesting things have happened since then (two weeks of illness, exacerbated by not one, not two, but THREE different demanding and draining outings, one of which was...; five hours on the Doctor Who Season 6 premier line, only to miss out on the showing by 17 people and instead winding up in a special 10pm showing; Game of Thrones!!; fuckin' awesome internship; got a summer job doing tours for my school!!; etc) but the pervading theme of these past two weeks has been ennui.

Thesis drained me absolutely dry, and it ended a month before classes officially do. I have art to make: a long-overdue commission, a fanart for the author's reading, and, oh yeah, one last assignment for my thesis class - not to name the handful of trades, gifts, and challenges I've also decided I will do.

It is so hard to pick up a brush at this point. I'm feeling the inspiration and the energy to create art slowly trickling back, and I know I'll be back in fighting form at some point, but it's a slow process. For two weeks all I did was watch trash (America's, Australia's, New Zealand's, and Britain's Next Top Model. JUDGE ME ALL YOU WANT, I DO ALREADY) and not do any chores, and while things on both fronts have improved greatly, it's sill an effort to sit down and work on my assignment and flog out results worthy of where I am at this point.

AND YOU THOUGHT I WAS DONE WHINING NOW THAT THESIS WAS OVER. OH LOL.

But no, no, I'm done. I'm actually in a very good place right now - I'm happy, I'm finally healthy, I'm set for the summer - but nothing is perfect and why keep that to yourself? 8D

(art will be posted anon. i promise!)


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  • Listening to: Stupid Girl - Cold
  • Reading: Blood and Iron - Elizabeth Bear

Hey, guess what? +details

Journal Entry: Fri Apr 8, 2011, 3:01 PM
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Drumroll...

I...

am...

IN THE THESIS SHOW

:iconimsohappyplz:

(also i am sick and possibly a witch but mostly i am in the thesis show 8D)


COME TO THE SHOW



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  • Reading: Light and Color - James Gurney

:D

Journal Entry: Tue Mar 22, 2011, 6:51 PM
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No, seriously, :D

In deference to those who were sick of my whining (I really don't blame any of you), I have held off on posting until now - because now, I have happy things to write about!

Last Monday, I had a moment of clarity: Wow, the work I'm doing right now is beautiful and so much better than it was last semester. I don't care whether or not I get in the show! This was followed by about three days of me walking around in a haze of 'FUCK, SO THIS IS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO BE HAPPY' and restraining the urge to skip down the sidewalk.

My thesis is only four paintings now. I'm really very proud of all of them, though the last two especially warm my heart. And today I put them up for Woodruff and Peter to decide whether they were show-worthy, and, whereas even one or two weeks ago the answer would have been a solid 'no', today I was waitlisted.

:D :D :D

No, I'm actually really happy about this. The edits I was told to work on aren't earthshattering and, hey, if I do them well enough the answer might change to a 'yes'. And guys? THESIS IS ALMOST OVER.

I want to thank everyone for putting up with me these past five, six months, because holy god I was impossible. You guys rock ;_; <3


To do for Tuesday

The Pear Tree: Fix face, hair, arms, sleeve, skirt
Cast Out: Fix skirt, waist, hair; detail hand; add hand


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  • Reading: Worldwired - Elizabeth Bear

This is a journal about my thesis. +edit2

Journal Entry: Sat Mar 12, 2011, 5:55 PM
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Not that that's so new.

Okay, so. My thesis has finally crystallized! Which is great, haha, since it's due in less than a month. But no, I'm actually really pleased, because for the first time since I started this process I can actually see where I'm going and be happy about it.

Some Changes have been made since my last update, two of which aren't locked in yet because I need to discuss/fight tooth and nail for them on Tuesday, when I see Woodruff, but we will pretend. Three of my nine paintings have been dropped; one is slated for repainting; and all of them but the latter are in-progress.

So, as of Tuesday, 3/13, this is how I stand:

Painting 1, The Girl Without Hands: 25% done
Painting 2, Leaving Home: 99% done; minor edits to do
Painting 3, The Pear Tree: 98% done; edits to do
Painting 4, Silver Hands: 50% done
Painting 5, Cast Out: 98% done; edits to do
Painting 6, Once Again Whole: 50% done

god, how are you all not sick of this shit yet?


Edit1: Well, this was coming.

So I'm apparently not allowed to get up a head of steam.

In class on Tuesday, Woodruff told me that a), he doubted I could complete more than four paintings, b), no three of them looked like they went together, and c), he didn't see me getting in the thesis show. This didn't quite send me spiraling into the quivering ball of depression that happen a few (hah) times last semester, but it absolutely threw me off my stride. It also made me go into a bit of a self-doubt spiral that, true to form, actually has nothing to do with what he said and more to do with wondering if I actually have a personal style any more and if so what the fuck it is. (this i am ignoring until thesis is over and i can pound some personal projects into giving up the answer)

THAT ASIDE, I've decided that Woodruff said all of that for the same reasons that he gave me a C last semester: to piss me off, to make me work harder. I did get angry then and I did work harder, and that C was changed to a B; in my head, this is what the intention was this time, too.

It's hard to regain momentum after face-planting like that, and I have, in fact, spent the week since then watching Life on Mars and Merlin, but today was the last day before Spring Break and it's time to work. I'm so sick of all of this but I'm almost done - just a week or two, and then the show in a month.

Who knows, I might even stop bitching :D



Edit2: Extra week & I am whiny.

SO an email got sent around that it's not the 15th (this Tuesday) but the 22nd (next Tuesday) that our work will get reviewed for inclusion in the show. This should be exciting and awesome for me! Unfortunately, at this point all of my forward momentum is powered by panic, and an extra week of removes all sense of impending doom.

So, right now my overriding instinct is to throw two of my paintings through a window and curl around another two because I love them (because they are done) and glare balefully at the last two paintings in an effort to make them finish themselves.

I have been watching a lot of NCIS and asking myself if I really care all that much about being in the show. Which is stupid, because I don't think I'll forgive myself if I don't get in because I threw up my hands and said FUCK IT like I really want to/have been doing on and off for most of this week.

FFFFFFFFFFFFFFF
:iconffffplz:


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  • Reading: Scardown - Elizabeth Bear

Re: Radio silence

Journal Entry: Wed Jan 26, 2011, 11:30 AM
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My bad


I'm sorry for my complete absence in the last few weeks, guys. Sometimes, when I stress, I talk about it; sometimes, I draw in and go quiet. This is an example of the latter, and I'm fine - I'm actually doing pretty well, believe it or not - but comments, faves, journals, and devs are all being ignored right now, along with everything but essential emails and most of Facebook.

I don't have an ETA on when I'll have anything to upload, except a general 'in the next month'.

Again, I'm sorry. Thank you to those still stopping by my page and leaving feedback. I appreciate it!

See you on the other side of all of this madness.


Thesis Progress


Painting 1 (Deal with the Devil)
thumbs; sketch; drawing; painting (65%)

Painting 2 (The Handless Maiden)
First attempt: thumbs; sketch; drawing; painting
Second attempt: thumbs; sketch (0%); drawing; painting

Painting 3 (Leaving Home)
thumbs; sketch; drawing; painting (75%)

Painting 4 (Eating from the Pear Tree)
thumbs; sketch; drawing; painting (75%) - roughing up needed

Painting 5 (The Silver Hands)
thumbs; sketch not yet approved; drawing; painting

Painting 6 (Left Behind)
thumbs; sketch; drawing; painting (0%)

I've dropped this painting from the line-up. Woo!

Painting 7 (Cast Out)
thumbs; sketch; drawing (0%); painting

Painting 8 (Regaining the Hands)
thumbs; sketch not yet approved; drawing; painting

Painting 9 (Reunited)
thumbs; sketch not yet approved; drawing; painting

Due: April 1st. (lol.)


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  • Listening to: Breathe - Michelle Branch
  • Reading: The Last Full Measure - Jeff Shaara

Made it to 21!

Journal Entry: Mon Jan 10, 2011, 4:40 AM
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Woohoo!


For my birthday, I get to wake up at 7am to start Spring Semester with a 9am class! WOO! I am a wild and crazy kid, all right. Tonight my parents are taking me out, though, and I'm looking forward to that. And THEN, next Saturday, my friends are taking me out to lunch to mark the start of my other birthday bash. One of them put together an itinerary, oh god xD.

Twenty-one feels a lot like twenty, as I'm still utterly insane re: work and still freaking out re: thesis. I'm just impressed I made it through fall semester to get to this age; now let's see if I can survive through spring and make it to 22.

HAW HAW HAW.

Thesis Progress


Painting 1 (Deal with the Devil)
thumbs; sketch; drawing; painting (65%)

Painting 2 (The Handless Maiden)
First attempt: thumbs; sketch; drawing; painting
Second attempt: thumbs; sketch (0%); drawing; painting

Painting 3 (Leaving Home)
thumbs; sketch; drawing; painting (10%)

Painting 4 (Eating from the Pear Tree)
thumbs; sketch; drawing; painting (90%)

Painting 5 (The Silver Hands)
thumbs; sketch; drawing (0%); painting

Painting 6 (Left Behind)
thumbs; sketch; drawing; painting (0%)

Painting 7 (Cast Out)
thumbs; sketch; drawing (0%); painting

Painting 8 (Regaining the Hands)
thumbs; sketch; drawing (0%); painting

Painting 9 (Reunited)
thumbs; sketch; drawing (0%); painting

Due: April 1st. (lol.)


CSS made by TwiggyTeeluck, edited by LaughingAstarael
Brushes by solenero73
  • Listening to: Lookin' Out My Back Door - Creedence Clearwater R.
  • Reading: The Bards of Bone Plain - Patricia McKillip

Happy New Year, everyone

Journal Entry: Fri Dec 31, 2010, 6:01 PM
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Here's to 2011


Today is the seventh anniversary of my joining dA; tonight, at midnight, the year will end; on January 10th, I turn 21.

Isn't that insane?

This has probably been the most challenging and rewarding year in my life to date. The Spring semester of my sophomore year saw a huge improvement in my art, the discovery that painting was what I wanted to do with my life, and my first real school-related breakdown. Over the summer I found myself in two of the three most word-defyingly beautiful places I've ever been (the north shore of Lake Superior and The Grand Canyon; the third is Tibet) and in my first soul-sucking full-time job; also, I moved out of the dorm, emptied my room at home, and moved into an apartment. And this Fall semester... well. I found my upper limit, and skated along the edge of it for most of four months. I produced my best work and found a better understanding of who I am as an artist and nearly broke.

I can't believe how fast this year went; I can't believe my progress. The support I've received both on- and off-line has been stunning and humbling, and I don't joke when I say that without it I couldn't have made it through in anything approaching one piece.

My New Years' resolutions are few and simple: I will take better care of myself. I will make sure to see my friends ever. I will finish my thesis well and on time, and get into the show. I will get an artistic internship and paying job, not one or the other, for the summer. I will start my senior year well and use it to hone my art and make connections. I will continue to be a hard taskmaster to myself, but I will learn to be forgiving, too.

I hope you are all having a healthy and happy New Years. Cheers!

Thesis Progress


Painting 1 (Deal with the Devil)
thumbs; sketch; drawing; painting (50%)

Painting 2 (The Handless Maiden)
First attempt: thumbs; sketch; drawing; painting
Second attempt: thumbs; sketch (0%); drawing; painting

Painting 3 (Leaving Home)
thumbs; sketch; drawing; painting (10%)

Painting 4 (Eating from the Pear Tree)
thumbs; sketch; drawing; painting (90%)

Painting 5 (The Silver Hands)
thumbs; sketch; drawing (0%); painting

Painting 6 (Left Behind)
thumbs; sketch; drawing; painting (0%)

Painting 7 (Cast Out)
thumbs; sketch; drawing (0%); painting

Painting 8 (Regaining the Hands)
thumbs; sketch; drawing (0%); painting

Painting 9 (Reunited)
thumbs; sketch; drawing (0%); painting

Due: April 1st. (lol.)


CSS made by TwiggyTeeluck, edited by LaughingAstarael
Brushes by solenero73
  • Listening to: Lookin' Out My Back Door - Creedence Clearwater R.
  • Reading: The Bards of Bone Plain - Patricia McKillip

One semester down, one to go.

Journal Entry: Tue Dec 21, 2010, 2:55 PM
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So, about that.

Well, the semester's over, and I don't even know where to start.

I completed ten illustrations this semester, nine of which are full oil paintings; only three of them aren't portfolio-worthy, one or two of which might be with a few more hours of solid work. They ranged in size from 30"x40" to 9"x12", with an average around the 18"-square range. One of them was part of my thesis series; all of them, hopefully, look like they're part of the same aesthetic.

I had five or six breakdowns of varying type, length, and severity. They haven't had any lasting effect, but they've shown me that I do, in fact, have a ceiling on how much stress I can actually deal with before I fold. My most recent one was probably the worst, and through it I've come to some conclusions about myself and my art that make me feel somewhat more firmly planted. (Also: Next time something of that magnitude happens, fuck it, I'm going to one of the school therapists. Pride, meet sensibility.)

In a trial-by-fire/what-doesn't-kill-me-makes-me-stronger type of way, this was a good semester, but it was mentally, physically, emotionally, and creatively exhausting, to a degree I have never before experienced. I don't actually know how I'm still on my feet, let alone looking forward to more work - but I am.

Observe:

SVA's winter break is just about two and a half weeks long, and I plan to do four full thesis paintings in that time.

I don't think this is completely impossible. I did a fairly straightforward 24"x24" painting in a little less than 2 days this past weekend, waking up at 7am and going to sleep at midnight, with a lunch and a dinner break of about an hour each; going with the same schedule, I'm estimating that I can probably finish a thesis painting in three and a half to four days.

By pushing myself to do this, I'll be over halfway through the series with a lot of momentum behind me, and I'll be in a good position to finish the whole thing, including edits and repainting, by the March 28th deadline.

I dunno. This semester did its level best to break me and it almost did once or twice, but it didn't succeed and I have too much work to dwell on it. I'm actually excited about my thesis; I'm proud of my first result and determined to make each successive one better, and I've learned enough since September that it's possible.

As my dad says: Any landing you can walk away from is a successful landing. As far as such landings go, this one wasn't too bad.


And, by the way...

To everyone who's been commenting and faving my work recently, random passers-by and watchers old and new alike: I don't think I have the words to express how much the feedback means to me.

To get a comment calling one of my paintings inspirational or moving or beautiful, to get faves on a project I poured time and effort into - it might seem silly, but it's a kind of vindication that's different from a teacher's praise and in a way just as valuable.

So thank you. I'm going to be scarce[r] in the coming weeks, but I'll answer every comment and thank every fave when I can. In the meantime: thank you.

Thesis Progress


Painting 1 (Deal with the Devil)
thumbs; sketch; drawing; painting (30%)

Painting 2 (The Handless Maiden)
thumbs; sketch; drawing; painting ; edits (0%)

Painting 3 (Leaving Home)
thumbs; sketch; drawing; painting (0%)

Painting 4 (Eating from the Pear Tree)
thumbs; sketch; drawing; painting (55%)

Painting 5 (The Silver Hands)
thumbs; sketch; drawing (0%); painting

Painting 6 (Left Behind)
thumbs; sketch; drawing (0%); painting

Painting 7 (Cast Out)
thumbs; sketch; drawing (0%); painting

Painting 8 (Regaining the Hands)
thumbs; sketch; drawing (0%); painting

Painting 9 (Reunited)
thumbs; sketch; drawing (0%); painting

Due: April 1st. (lol.)


CSS made by TwiggyTeeluck, edited by LaughingAstarael
Brushes by solenero73
  • Listening to: All Good Sinners - Lightning Bug
  • Reading: The Bards of Bone Plain - Patricia McKillip