I just came back home after being away for 2 months. I have never lived alone before nor worked in a real job, and I decided to do all of that for the first time in a another country… Lol I’m a massochist I know haha. Not only that, but this was in the United States and my first language is not English! You may ask wasn’t this blog about how to be a better artist or something? Yes it is haha I’m getting to that part. But before you get the wrong idea, my job at the United States wasn’t related to art at all, I was a cultural exchange student in a program that let the students work. It’s a program where the student can only stay in USA during his/her University vacations, in which you work with the employer you selected. After the 2 months contract, the mayority of people travel for a week in the USA with the money they earned during the program. It is called to be a J1 student, more commonly referred as a Work and Travel program. It’s a really good experience!! but… I’m not gonna talk about it’s details here! haha You can search about the program if you’re interested after reading this blog *wink*.
What I wanted to say here is how can you growth as an artist while traveling, whether you should do it or if you should just keep being surrounded by your blankets like a burrito in your bed!! Actually as I’m writing this I’m also being a burrito at the airport waiting for my flight to return home.
So I divided this entry in three points but if you’re lazy like me, you can just jump to point number two xD It’s the most important part haha.
So why should you travel?
Why not be a human burrito?
Well, let me tell you what happened in my trip, what I got from it and let’s see if I can convince you hahaha.
Ok, first let me tell you there are two ways of traveling: The first one, is when you go to some popular place, maybe by plane, check-in in a hotel, visit some popular attraction of the area, do some shopping and then go back home. I have done this before, as a kid. Yep, some years ago I went to Florida to visit Disney with my family. It’s a Seriously Super Fun place! And obviously, since I was a kid and I didn’t know english, I only talked to my own family there, but I enjoyed it anyways (I mean it’s Disney!!). Now, the second way to travel is to actually…how do I say it…Live in the place..to try to explore it, to try to know the people and the food, like really get to know what make this town what it is hahaha Does that sounds strange? I mean this time I also went to Florida (to Miramar Beach), not to a super exotic place. But I assure you, every place has a thing you can discover, and that makes it different than the other. And each place has someone worth knowing.
For example, when I went to Miramar beach, I really though the beaches were going to be just like back home. Normal, you know. But on our day off, I decided to go check the beach with my brother, and boy I was wrong! Walking in that sand was like walking on flour, so soft and white! And the sunsets!!! I never expected to find so beautiful beaches and skies. Sometimes they had like a violet hue that was so magical. Of course I took some photos to use it as reference in my future art projects haha.
When you travel, the world can surprise you with unexpected things that, obviously, you can use as reference for your art or simply to study. It doesn’t matter what style of art you have, or if you only paint fantasy themes, or science fiction, because while you sketch animals, houses, trains, sidewalk, trees, or simply anything from the real world, it will all help you to train your eye to discern shapes, colors and structures. I really think that the best way to improve your skills, is to study the real world! Plus, you get to have references for future art that can also inspire you to do very interesting things… like Cthulhu being inspired in sea creatures haha.
I know at first you could find difficult to know where to search for interesting places, but you can see on the Internet where you should visit or ask locals where to go. Or simply move around and be observant, you can find things other people hadn’t notice before… And don’t forget that while you’re at it to enjoy yourself, too haha.
And talking about being observant…
At first, I didn’t notice how interesting the people that lived in Miramar Beach were and the tourists that came to this place haha. I worked as a cashier, and at the beginning I was too nervous and focused in not repeating the same mistakes I was making while I was on training. The culture of the company I worked for was: to serve with personality, in short, be the best friend of your costumer, LITERALLY the best friend. I mean, you needed to ask them about their day, give them tips or advise, to ask them how was the family, how come they are in Florida, if they were locals or on vacation, traveling alone or with somebody else. It was a mega contrast with the service culture in my country! But seriously my costumers were so nice haha (maybe because they were on vacation?). A lot of them were interesting people, with funny personalities and very different styles of dressing! I know normal people won’t understand this but since I’m assuming you’re also an artist xD Here is a photo of some sketches I made about my constumers. I wish I had taken notes from the beginning. This will turn out very useful when I’m designing characters for my comics.
By the way, it would be totally reasonable for you to be thinking right now: Hey but I don’t need to travel to do urban sketching, or observe people on the streets or talk to them…I could to do that if I stayed in my hometown, so what’s the difference?
For me, the differentce is that while you travel you can become more human.
I know this could sound weird to some people, so let me talk to you a little bit more of the trip I did, and how it is related to my art.
The personal reason why I made this trip was to prove to myself that I could live in another country, despite my complexes. I always think of a certain “defect” that I have. It doesn’t bother my daily routine in any way, as one might say about someone that has a disability, but I always had it in mind, how that “defect” is the first thing people see in me and how they must think that I am not capable of doing certain things because of how I am. I also was very wary of comments made about me. But I survived this trip. I worked alone and lived in another country, and all of that being who I am. I feel that confidence can take me wherever I want, and help me in any artistic work I do. Really, who you are, is your brand, it is the trace that only you can leave in the world. Nobody else has lived all the things you have and lived from your perspective. How to say it? I finally checked after many doubts that being myself works. And could only see that after throwing myself into the world and worked very hard. Because it was hard. At the beginning I wanted to “compensate” who I was doing things that putted me at risk in my work, but little by little, I realized that it was not necessary, being who I really was, doing the things in my own way, not only worked, but made me shine. Specially my good attitude. It’s not me who said it haha Others told me that!! Sometimes I did feel that I shine haha sometimes not, but it was always better and it gave me more peace than pretending to be something that I was not.
I don’t know how are you in this area, but for me, it has always been difficult to empathize with others, to really care about them, to feel feelings of joy or sadness for other people’s lives. I have improved a little over the years. But, even then, my thoughts and life are always revolving around me and my projects. On this trip, I did something I have never done before. I cried for someone else. His personal situation and problems didn’t affect me directly or indirectly, and I didn’t grasp the whole ordeal until after sometime of knowing him. He will tell me little pieces of himself sometimes directly or sometimes just as a joke, and in my house I could not help to cry for him. For me this guy, was the strongest of us all, despite all of his problems and complications, he came alone and managed to survive and work in another country. He is very admirable and independent. I’m no telling you this, to say that on a trip only sad things will happen, on the contrary, a lot of fun things can happen. What I want to say is that the encounters you can have on a trip with other people can make you discover something about you, or make something be born in you. In my case it was empathy for others haha Thank you my pinguin :3
Well my dear reader, you should know I actually don’t have that many friends…haha I have friends xD but they are not the type of friends with whom I could spend hours talking to and not feel uncomfortable, not trying to search of what else to say. Until this trip hehe. I know it could sound cliché for you… but yeah I met someone I could talk for hours and with whom it feels ok just to be silent. I found someone I could trust. I didn’t gave my vote of confidence from the beginning but little by little, as some things happened, or just in daily life, we demonstrated to each other what type of people we were, and we took care of each other (please keep in my mind we are kilometers from our homes). Actually, he was more of help than me haha with all his cooking and medicine knowledge, but I listened to his problems and we had the same vision of life. Now, I’m not sure how you feel about life haha but I have always felt myself different from others and finding someone that cool, that I can learn from and look up to, and that shares my same vision of things, it’s very beautiful. I have people in my life that I can count on in bad times but I’ve never had a person who seems like they can be part of my life…effortlessly? A person that you know that if you give, he will also give. For me is rare to find.
Thank to God for this trip haha.
I’m getting to the art part again in a little bit don’t worry haha but just to give you idea: Traveling opens a door, where you can live many experiences, meet new people, know more things, and feel new feelings, you will grow as a human, and all of those things will feed your art. Because your art reflects, who you are, what you care about and what you know, and what you love.
I’m almost done so bear with me xD.
I actually didn’t go completely alone in this trip, I went with my brother. I already knew he cared about me but he showed and said things he hadn’t before. Like when he verbally told me how he worries about me. Or that te would be angry if someone breaks my heart. And for the first time he told me he loved me, hahaha I wish nobody had entered the room at the moment but the words were there! I already knew that he is the best brother of all, but it was a great experience to be in actual situations where he was my support. A trip not only allows you to meet new people, or change the way you see yourself and others, It also allows you to know a little more about people who are already close to you, have experiences with them. And maybe you will have the opportunity to show them how much you care about them, too.
Awww that’s so sweet, now the real question is what will YOU get if you lived in another country, for two weeks, two months, etc.?? So I made you a list haha:
Soo how to prepare for the trip?
My art medium of preference is digital art, but since I don’t have a laptop and because there was no way I was going to bring my big computer with me, I decided to keep it simple and I just packed things to do sketches and inkart. I didn’t even think of bringing colours with me because when I do traditional art I just do black and white drawings.
Also I wanted to keep everything to the minimum since I didn’t know if after work I will feel too lazy to do anything. Furthermore, I bringed like two or more of each of my tools because I’m always losing things. I know myself pretty well. So this is what I bringed:
I also setted three goals ahead of time, of what to do with my free time: to do a fantasy background, to do a cat’s paw study and to do a clothing study, so before the trip I downloaded pictures to use as reference to be ready at any time to work on the goals I just mentioned. At the end, I only fulfilled one goal but it’s better to set your bar high so that you can achieve more things than if not.
So if you’re confuse of how to prepare yourself if you’re going to travel, I think it depends mostly on what kind of trip it is, where are you going, what you will be doing. I packed it simple because I was going to work a lot and I wasn’t going to have a car to travel comfortably hahaha Pack your tools in a realistic way, taking in count if you’re going to move in long distances, and how comfortable you will be , and if carrying certain stuff won’t actually torn them or damage them. To stay minimal is my recommendation but do what works for you. Above all, put some goals or points to work in this trip and pack according to that.
Don’t forget to take notes and photos of everything you find interesting to use as reference later. And my last piece of advise would be that, if you are traveling, and you find yourself with not enough time paint, draw, write or whatever it is that you love doing, it’s ok! Things happens, just take a quick note or photo and finish drawing later. It’s better to use that time to visit more places, meet more people, do more new things and feel many things. Because I assure you what you invest in growing as a person or living, it will reflect in the art you make.
Hope you want to travel a little bit after this rant hahaha.
Thanks for reading and please have a beautiful day and a nice meal,
Nnaku chose to sit in one of the back-row desks. She always felt more comfortable where she could easily observe it all. As the explanation for today’s class advanced, the ukhozi girl couldn’t shake off a feeling of uneasiness. There was a certain deviousness in her teacher’s smile today. Something different. It could be something completely unrelated to them but Nnaku remained alert just in case. This semester she seemed to know all of the students in her class, and the fact would have been comforting if it weren’t for a lingering feeling of embarrassment she felt. These were the same classmates that had seen her failed attempt at summoning her familiar some weeks ago. That wasn’t completely accurate, she had summoned something. However, there was something wrong with it and she still wasn't able to fix it. Nnaku sighted almost imperceptibly. She greeted her classmates as if nothing had happened. She had to stand tall, after all.
Today, the were learning about spellcircles. Nnaku pondered about what Instructor Nathalie was saying. Indeed, it was true that an enemy could see your spellcircle and thus be able to counter it, but that was only if you were standing in front of him. Nnaku never confronted people in that fashion so if she remained in the shadows that setback would not apply to her, technically.
"So... today, you will not only be practicing spellcircles, and air writing... but of course, there is a catch!" said Nathalie.
Nnaku narrowed her eyes. Heh, the teacher’s odd attitude had a relation with today’s class after all. Water began to flood the floor, apparently coming from beneath the tiles.
"You only have a short amount of time before this room fills up. Don't bother with the doors, or windows. They won't help you. So... I guess you'd better hurry up and find a circle that can help you, shouldn't you?"
Nnaku had already lifted her feet from the floor, she left her chair, and now she was fully sitting over her desk. She crossed her legs. Nnaku glanced around the room, to see what her classmates were going to do. They seemed undecisive. Nnaku knew that it would be dangerous to try fire magic in the floor to evaporate the water since her classmates were still touching it and she wasn’t experienced in elemental magic. She recognized that she didn’t know the counter spell to nullify her teacher’s magic from flooding the class. There were still a few options. First option: She could cast a spell she had read in the library that allowed her to breath underwater and wait to see if one of her more experienced classmates could counter the spell on their own. Second option: She could try to cast a spell to unlock the doors or windows. The teacher had actually warned them against trying this, meaning that she probably had used her magic to trap them there, so it would be Nnaku’s magic against hers. Nnaku decided to go along with her first plan for now.
She didn’t need to look at the runes written in the board again. Learning about them during class was enough. She put both of her hands over her heart. It helped her to concentrated and ignore the water running. She had the urge to close her eyes, too. But that was a habit she wanted to get rid of. It would eventually prove fatal in a battle. Nnaku tried focusing her mana in the tip of her index finger. It began to glow softly with a blue light. Nnaku carefully drew the runes in the air, until a full circle of blue light lingered in front of her. This form of casting magic felt very natural. She was so accustomed to do things with her hands that this spellcircle had come out as if she already knew what to do. At last, a spellcasting method she could enjoy and understand. She glanced to the side. Licorice was also beginning to draw a spellcircle. Nnaku wondered if it would stop the flooding since it had some runes related to the water. The glowing runes from Nnaku’s circle traveled towards her throat and were absorbed by her skin. She was relieved. She had made too many mistakes before in this class, so succeeding at the first attempt was something very welcomed.
Now Nnaku would just wait and see the rest of her classmates' performance and if it comes to it she would attempt to draw another spellcircle for her backup plan, maybe even convince her other classmates to help her since the three would be more powerful together. Nnaku tilted her head. She doubted it would come that, thought. Instructor Nathalie would probably stop the flooding herself after the three of them had drawn their own spellcircle.
Nnaku arrived very early to the classroom, more than she normally did. She was ready for her new semester at the academy. Now Nnaku wasn't completely new to the magic arts, but she still had so much to learn and that thought excited her. She noticed immediately as she was opening the door, the unmistakable sight of Instructor Kreios, who was currently placing a cauldron in the center of the room. Then, he proceeded to prepare its contents. Nnaku hadn’t seen Kreios for a long time because Raine had given most of the classes last semester. She greeted him as she was entering, receiving a smile in return. Nnaku silently walked to the other side of the room. As she was passing near the cauldron, she got a glimpse of what Kreios was brewing. It was a thick mass which was revolving and twisting a little. It was void, as expected. Until the class started, Nnaku decided to sit at one of the desks positioned against the wall. From her spot Nnaku observed her… unordinary teacher. During the festival of memories, a small part of the academia had been partly destroyed. A sour confrontation had occurred when her teacher had to protect one of the students from a visitor. As soon as Nnaku had heard the rumors, she had gone and sneaked into that area. She had wanted to see the damage before the school staff purified the place. The destruction had indeed surprised her but not more than knowing her teacher could control so much power from the void without getting corrupted. Perhaps, it had been a strong desire to protect those he care about. Perhaps not. Nnaku tilted her head as Kreios was peacefully getting everything ready for the class. He was humming, his tail swinging from side to side sometimes. There were many things Nnaku wanted to ask him. But how to ask those questions without revealing so much about herself? The good part is that her initial hunch of studying void magic was starting to look correct. But… was he really-
The arrival of her classmates interrupted her trail of thoughts. Everybody surrounded the cauldron as Kreios indicated and Nnaku followed them. She watched carefully every movement from her instructor as he began to manipulate the void from the cauldron, and thus, infusing himself with it. His stance was clearly authoritarian. A strong willpower was the key to all void magic, after all. Nnaku was sure of her own resolve. Nevertheless, she needed to be careful and learn her limits as Kreios had stated after his demonstration.
After a few attempts of some of her classmates, Nnaku asked her teacher to let her try next.
Copying what Kreios had done before, she extended her hand and beckoned the void from the cauldron towards her. It coiled up in the direction of her hand, but Nnaku deliberately stopped it from coming all at once. She adopted a regal posture and commanded it to come to her drop by drop. It certainly was draining to do it so slowly, but she was determined to test how much void she was able to control, and this was the safest way to do it. The formless substance hovering in front of her grew at a leisurely pace. Although, the void was writhing angrily as if getting impatient. The bigger it became, the colder Nnaku began to feel, especially in places like her hands and her heart. Nnaku clenched her teeth to prevent them from chattering. She hated the feeling. ‘That won’t work again, you know,’ she said in her mind recalling her first class. Nnaku halted the process, sensing she had reached her limit. The substance she had gathered wasn’t impressive, it disappointed her a bit.
Now she just had to give it a form to finish the assignment. Kreios had chosen to make a sphere, perhaps for its simplicity, since he just had to show his students what he was expecting from them. However, Nnaku remembered reading at the library that void mages were able to create weapons from the void. Battles didn’t interest Nnaku, she wasn’t a fighter, but the possibilities did make her wonder. How amazing would it be to create something using mostly your imagination and willpower rather than metal and a forge at more than 1600 degrees. In her case, she could easily imagine a dagger in great detail from memory, even the smell. Nnaku closed her eyes and motioned with both of her hands towards the floating substance, her fingers traced air figures as if she was a director of a music performance. She imagined a blade with proper distal taper so that it was a balanced knife. She traveled along its form with her mind placing a beveled edge, carefully imagining a handle without any special designs. Nnaku was feeling the resistance of the void. It wasn’t only that the freezing sensation remained. The void took a dagger form for a second a few times, but it kept reverting to its formless self.
Nnaku opened her eyes. ‘You look better like a dagger. Remain in that form.’ She ordered calmly. The void finally stayed in the form of the dagger. The blade’s color was a dark shade of purple giving it a unique look. Even with a simple design Nnaku couldn’t help but to smile at her creation. She clenched her hands in fists and the dagger lost its form. The void disappeared into her palms.
Photography 101: Chapter 09: Nature PhotographyHello and welcome to a new Photography 101 chapter! My name is Yuukon and I'm pleased to see you made it here!
If you are new to Photography 101, please check out the previous chapters first:
Photography 101: Chapter 01: Basics - Looking
Photography 101: Chapter 02: Composition-Location
Photography 101: Chapter 03: Lighting
Photography 101: Chapter 04: Light sources and WB
Photography 101: Chapter 05: RAW and Basic Editing
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Before we move on, I would like to give a very brief explanation of the difference between landscapes, environments and backgrounds.
A landscape is a painting or drawing which depicts a scene somewhere. This can be in the countryside, the city ('cityscape'), near water ('waterscape'), or anywhere you like. There can be characters in the image, but the main focuss is on the overall scene. The character (if there are any) is there to enhance the landscape. (ex. Shrine)
An environment creates a setting for your character to move around in. It tells a story, and may even tell you something about the character. The character and environment interact and work together. For example, the character sits on something, casts a
So You Want to Join an RP Group
So You Want to Join an RP Group
A Guide to Creating and Playing Original Group RP Characters
Disclaimer: People have different styles of roleplaying. This centers around the style that I and my friends use. When reading instructional manuals for creative endeavors, always take suggestions with the knowledge that everyone likes different things.
RP groups are a lot of fun. After having exclusively done single one on one roleplays for the last nine or ten years, I only recently discovered the world of the deviantArt RP group. Many -- sometimes even hundreds! -- people gather in one location, all interested in the same base concept, and all hungry for roleplaying! It sounds like a writer's fantasy.
You almost always end up hitting it off with a couple of people whose style of writing compliments yours. The bonds you forge and the friendships that come with them are immensely strong, and you'll find people there for