Friday, January 21, 2011

The music of the night.

This past week in college has been very fun, and very entertaining -- as well as exciting, in a surprising way.

My Cartooning class has been extremely fun and enjoyable, and it's only the second week! I just look forward to it every Tuesday and Thursday, and seriously, time actually goes by TOO fast in that class. I find myself just sitting and drawing and drawing, trying to get better, do well, and really push myself. As well as the atmosphere is just really laid back and entertaining, with a lot of different personalities and tons of nerdiness (of course!), which always makes for a good time. My instructor even mentioned how he wants to petition for our class to get to go to Comic-Con as a class assignment/field trip thing! My jaw literally dropped -- I was in heaven. Whether it happened or not, the idea of it being thrown out in a serious statement just made my day.

My 365 days project has been going really well so far! Though, I'm still catching up from day 1, which means drawing 2+ pictures a day instead. I'm trying to challenge myself more, but, I still find myself drawing a lot of the same things; which usually means cute girls with flowy dresses or edgy outfits, usually just standing in a three quarter view. I'm getting better at sketching less messily, unless I try for something more complex than a simple pose, it still gets sketchy and erased up ... that of which I'm working on. The next couple of weeks/month or so I want to really push myself to:
- Draw more guys -- work with guy outfits, posing, attitudes, etc.
- Draw backgrounds to my work -- whether that means full on backgrounds, or just some props, I need more in the white space.
- Try a mature style -- experiment more with the more detailed/mature style of anime rather than the cutesy shojo style I tend to lean towards. (Not mature as in adult/explicit o_o I hope you all get what I mean).

There's probably more, I just forgot.

Lesse, what else. OH, right.

I'm taking a hip-hop class! Which is going to be super awesome, I love my hip-hop dance crew so far. Hip-Hop is such fun style, that you can really make your own and get away with it. You can make it hard and edgy or just chill and groovy; girly or strong. It's also a really great work out, and makes me appreciate hip-hop music for the beats and the high energy, adrenaline pumping aspects. There's soooo many girls in that class that are just amazing dancers though, like my roommate for example (she's a dance major, so, go figure). I find myself comparing myself to them, but, I really don't want to for the sake of enjoying myself instead of getting too frustrated. In that class, you really can't get too harsh on yourself, or start worrying and comparing because then you'd never have fun -- besides, there are tons of other people in there just like me who's not nearly as good yet either.

I just love dance though, especially hip-hop -- it's so expressive and athletic and artistic all at once. I can't wait to explore it more.

There was a fire in the suites the other day!


I know right?

It started in the grill in our suites because someone left the grill on after closing, so it was a grease fire; it was around midnight or so, so we all had to shuffle out in the FREEZING COLD and wait for about a half an hour before we could go back in. It was all good though, the fire department is right down the block so they were there in a jiffy to put it out. God really had things under control and kept everyone safe, and we were back in the suites like normal in no time. It looked worse than it actually was though, with smoke curling around the parking lot and up into the sky like a bad house fire. That was the "exciting in a surprising way part". It was one of those things that kept everyone talking about it even into the next day. Like in grade school when there was a REAL "tornado drill", even though the tornado was 45 minutes away, everyone gushed about it for about a week or so. That'll probably happen with this. It's funny how we all latch onto stories like that and suck them dry like leeches until something else interesting happens.

Ah well, let's hope the next interesting thing isn't dangerous or bad at all.

Tonight though was really enjoyable -- I went to this showing at UCO called 101 Years of Broadway, brought to you by Neil Burg! It was really amazing, with bigtime/current Broadway stars singing hits from any Broadway show you can think of -- RENT, Mama Mia, Les Miserables, Jekyl and Hyde, Wicked .. -- and of course, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. It's funny, cause his precursor to the Phantom section (which was the last two songs) was along the lines of: "WELL, in Broadway and musical theater we all like fresh new things, so sometimes old musical theater pieces gets redundant; however, you're the ones paying! And this is the longest running, still running, Broadway show of all time, as well as one of the most magical." And then they performed "The Phantom of the Opera" and "Music of the Night", both of which were stunning and amazing as always. I just found in amusing he pointed out the fact that Phantom of the Opera, though very beloved and a classic, isn't always the cream of the crop and the pick of every Broadway star out there. HOWEVER, I conclude myself, that if those Broadway stars were to be cast in such a classic, timeless and beautiful piece, they wouldn't be complaining in more.

I rest my case.

I love Phantom of the Opera though -- the music is so beautiful, and so enchanting... the story is too. Music of the Night is probably the best piece of music ever written for Broadway, EVER. It's undoubtedly a captivating song, and truly does everything the Phantom sings of -- intoxicates you, and draws you in.

Oooh, I'm getting goosebumps thinking about it.

Hey, Cheryl: "TURN YOUR FACE AWAY!!" I thought of you during that, and tried to not giggle, hahaaaa <3 :)

Well, that's it for this week! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The sunshine inside of your heart!

Today I was watching an anime, called Diamond Daydreams. It's all about little stories of girls who all in live in this central area of Japan, Hokkaido, who all go through their own life stories and they all end up in different ways.

One of the most inspiring stories, was about a girl who was an ice skater who's best friend was also an ice skater, both starting really young. They're the best of friends, but they both wanted to win the gold when they were older. They were walking together and it was snowing -- in the anime it's called the "diamond dust" in folklore -- and if you wish on the diamond dust, it's to come true.

This was one of the aspects that caught my attention.

The other was that they're story was rather sad -- one of the friends sabotaged the other by hurting her to keep her out of skating, so she could win the gold. The hurt girl ended up running away from skating all together, but recently decided to return, and she just wanted to see her best friend and make amends. Because they wished on the diamond dust together that they'd win the gold medal together, and "split it."

In the end, both girls became best friends again -- through the trials and the rough times, they found a way to be complete in one another again. One of the last things they left their story at was, "No matter if the sun is out or not, it can still be a beautiful day -- because the sunshine is in your heart!"

I was like, BLOWN AWAY just now thinking about it, as well as after reading this lovely comment from Mattie on my recent blog, in which I found myself complaining about things again: (I hope you don't mind me reposting this, Mattie! XD)

"I love living in America though, we have it so good and don't even know it. But I believe spending time in my textbooks isn't just something that I have to do or that it's wasting my time, I'm learning things and attaining new talents that God has chosen for me to do so that I'll help people / save lives in the future. I think everything happens for a reason, maybe you're in a traffic jam or in a line at the store because it's a witnessing opportunity. Yes, technology has made us a bit lazy, okay really lazy for some, but with it's advances we're curing diseases and making people well. We can talk to people many miles away and people are using that as a tool to share the Word.

I'm not downing on you, just some healthy arguing. XD I love you girlie! I wish I had more time to just relax and be with my family, but I know that doing all this work will benefit me and my family and that I'm doing it for Jesus. ^.^"

It's so true! Thank you so much Mattie for blessing me with this comment. :)

God's in EVERYTHING, even the traffic jams and textbooks I always complain about; even in the hard times and the times I feel like giving up, I feel forgotten, ugly, or unloved -- God's in every negative feeling, trying to grab us by the shoulders and tell us otherwise. What the devil uses for evil, God will sure use for good - and He has before. It's ridiculous to really sit and dread on things, or complain when there's so much beauty even in the things we complain about. There's so much beauty in life, even when the sun's not shining outside.

So, in this time of winter, when it's cold and dreary, little sunlight, with a lot of worries or struggles or dark thoughts, we should just take time to really take God in -- what are we doing for Him? Are we giving Him glory by complaining? By acting negative and pessimistic? No! Who wants to believe what we witness if we don't live out the joy we really have? We DO have that sunshine inside of us, but, we tend to let the cloud cover or winter of life really get in the way.

Sunlight always comes bursting through -- but until it does, we must remember the sunshine we all have within us, which is that true Joy that only comes from God, and what Jesus did for us.

When snow is falling, when ice is slick under you, when you feel cold, lost, lonely, ugly, depressed, you should look for that sunshine inside of your heart to really remind yourself -- it can, and will be, a beautiful day.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sometimes I just want to go.

... and be in a time like this.
When days were spent with family and friends, not hovering over textbooks or researching on computers or mindlessly watching television.
When our eyes were filled with natural imagery of our beautiful world, untouched by industrialized hands or rotted away by pollution.
When we didn't rely so much on technology as a way of being and living.
When true creation of inspiration was rooted.
When happiness was truly found through family, art, reading, falling in love, friends, and time with God, not through lustful sex or money or technology.
When lying in fields while reading a book all day was considered productive and you didn't have to allot time just do so.

Sometimes, I get these clouds of thought; clouds that of thought and just desire to just shed all that's of this world and be truly set free. Sometimes I just want to run away, wild and in nature, letting go of stress and disappointment; fear or worries.

And I'd only look back to smile gently and let my fingers brush against the waving, tall grass, as it sighed its goodbye.

Friday, January 14, 2011

365 days project!

Just wanted to write a quick blog about this project I'm taking on for the year, in case you all were interested in following on my progress!

I'm going to be doing the 365 days project! Now, this is a very broad sort of project, but, basically the idea is to do something every day for the entire year. "Do something" as in: drawing, sketching, painting, writing, blogging, documenting outfits, photography, etc... Something that you can keep and collect to look back on and see progress.

I've decided to tackle this project as well as improve my illustration techniques; so I'm going to be doing a drawing or sketch of some sort, every single day for the entire year! @.@ 365 drawings, wow... This should be fun!

Now, these sketches will range from anything, but basically, just what I can get done within that timespan. So, I probably will stick to just black and white pencil sketches, no coloring or really fancy stuff. I want to use this project to work on a lot of things with my artwork:

- Porportions: Human proportioning is a lot harder than it looks! Especially if you're trying to display different body types.
- Variation: In a lot of different ways; style of characters, hair cuts, outfits, personalities, poses, etc...
- Posing!: I want to make a lot of unique poses, whether that means referencing for help or trying it on my own. @_@
- Solidify my style: Make my style more unified and consistent.
- Sketch faster, and neater: Normally when I draw, I'll end up using a light table to ink a sketch on a new, fresh sheet of paper. So my original sketches are usually always smudgy and messy and erased a lot, because they end up getting retraced anyway. However, I want to try to train myself to SKETCH much neater and much faster on the spot, so a light table isn't becoming a crutch. That way I can also get used to doing quick commissions for people that are just as good as an inked and colored drawing. This is the main focus of the year :3
- Challenge myself!: Sometimes I never challenge myself, I get stuck in the same boring routine with drawing. It stinks! I want to do more, try more; fanart, poses, outfits, backgrounds, etc...
- To have fun drawing!: Really make myself draw everyday. I love drawing so much, it's an escape, and keeps my mind sharp and focused. Drawing every day will really help stimulate inspiration and keep my hand skills sharp :3

That's just a few of the things, but, I'm really excited! I am a bit behind though since I only started the project early in the week, however, I'm trying to catch up so I eventually just do one drawing per day.

Wish me luck everyone!

If you wish to follow my project, here is my deviantART folder for the project. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lolita dreaming & other styles.

One of my new year's resolutions is to get a lolita dress! A legit one! I'm not ever going to really go into full on lolita with my closet, however, I'd absolutely treasure a lolita dress to wear to nice outings or poetry readings. *sighs dreamily*

My style of lolita is still under construction, but, I'm thinking it's along the lines of classic lolita. Classic lolita uses less bright or sweet colors, and instead uses more muted, rich colors (like browns, crimsons, greens, plaids, etc... with some ivory or black) and has a more simple look... now, this isn't the official definition, however, it's what I've gathered from looking up images of classic lolita dresses, haha.

In the mean time, I keep my eyes peeled for dresses that look lolita and if they're a decent enough price, I buy them. I'm also going to keep looking for anything I can alter or modify to look more lolita. A lot of blog sites I've looked up so far suggests moreso than anything that there are possibilities for thrifty lolita that looks just as authentic. This means you sort of work with accesories or make your own accessories that aren't necessarily a lolita brand, but, that look lolita anyway. I'm really excited!

Any one of these dresses will do.. It's so hard to pick a look, but I especially love the second and third one. Deep blue and crimson are my favorite colors! ;o;

This one is also SO cute!

I'm also very in love with the sailor style!

I'm BOUND and determined to get a lolita dress of some sort this year ;o; It's gonna' happen! ><

This resolution also goes along with my "trying out new and different things" when it comes to fashion at least. I have a sense of style of my own, but, I want a lot of variety for those days that I feel like being different. Does anyone else get like that? I'm sure us girls ALWAYS do, haha, at least a few times in our life. Along with this, I'm also trying to just keep my wardrobe dressier and grow it up a little bit. So thrift store shopping will have more of a target focus, and I'm going to invest in good quality pieces too so they can all last longer. I'm turning 20 this year (?! WHAT?) so, I'm pretty sure it's time to shed the teenage style and experiment a little bit more.

This means for ME:
- Layering more pieces.
- Dresses! Skirts!
- Different kinds of shoes other than Converse D:
- Color schemes; play around with them more (oranges and blues, pinks and browns)
- Quit having just black as my only neutral with clothes.

This just SCREAMS my style.

I love lots of scars, neutral colors like grays and blacks with denim. And BOOTS. Oh yes, boots.

Patterened dresses/long shirts are also my favorite. I love any that have an empire waist, or are slightly baggy like a peasant top that I can cinch in with a belt. These always looks awesome with scarves and lots of fun accesories, like layered necklaces. And ya' can't forget the stockings and boots ;) Though baggy jeans and converse look good with them too.

Though I'm not an extreme girly girl, I adore this style here! It's not as much classic with a twist of edginess like my style normally is, however, it would fit into my wardrobe well. I may wear longer skirts, or shorts instead, but I love the high stockings idea with boots or ankle boots, or legwarmers and graphic tees.

I'm always so inspired by fashion! I've finally been able to define my style though...

My style is where classic (like pearls, camios, more muted colors/class colors, Victorian style, vintage) shakes hands with edgy punk (converse, baggy jeans, high boots, stockings, etc..).

Huzzah! Thanks for reading guys. :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

AMVs galore.

I've always had a fascination with making videos, AMVs mainly (anime music videos) because so, so much could be done with them. You could create whole new stories out of the manipulation of clips and video editing, and nothing sends goosebumps down my arms more than GREAT music video editing (ie: to the music, right use of timing or the story told).

However, when I was recently going through what it was I wanted to pursue more, video editing just wasn't really screaming above the rest. I've made my own AMVs before, but it's a hassle to try to make them. I've done other video editing with footage I've shot, but, I like taking still photos more, capturing single moments -- plus, I found myself so infatuated with filming for long periods of time that I was missing out on the actual activities I attended, which, is kinda' dumb.

So! I've decided to sort of let go of video editing, only really use it in the future if I need to for my graphic design career, but when it comes to AMVs, I won't really pursue it anymore. It's also a very timely hobby that I just don't have time for. It's fun to make them yourself, but, I also like to search them out and really appreciate what others have made.

I thought I'd share with you all some of the best videos/AMVs I've found.

This is a beautiful AMV made to the song "You Are Loved" by Josh Groban. It features Key Animation, which includes the animes Clannad, AIR, Kanon, etc. Beautiful stories and animation set to Josh Groban? Yes please.

This is a very high paced, action packed AMV. I'm not sure right away what song this is, but the anime featured is DNAngel, which is an amazing anime! It has romance, action, adventure, suspense, fantasy -- everything!

Everyone LOVES Disney -- especially us girls. We grew up wanting to be princesses, with our own love stories. This is an adorable video that really highlights all the love stories of our favorite Disney movies.

THIS is truly an epic video. "This is War" by 30 Seconds to Mars, edited to various Final Fantasy scenes. It's really well done, with little effects -- but it's still captivating. This is truly a video that shows that even using the rawness of the anime scenes itself, edited in the right way with timing, can create magic.

Haha, this is a little bit of fandom comin' at you, but, I can't help it. This video is amazingly done. It's from Avatar: The Last Airbender, and is a AMV of the fanon (sadly, not canon...) pairing of Zuko and Katara. Even though there were a lot of moments they shared in the series, some hinting at canon, they were never "officially" a pairing. However, massive amounts of AMVs flood Youtube of this couple... long story short, good editing and manipulating of effects and clips makes Zutara completely real to people unfamiliar with the series.

Last but not least! I'll leave you all with a cute, feel good AMV. This is another AMV with various anime, but, it's very well done, and all the anime work very well together. It's to the song "Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars.

Hope that wasn't too boring or anything, haha. I love watching videos, especially AMVs, so, I could keep posting more and more. :) These are just the most recent ones I've found that I enjoyed the most, and keep re-watching. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

One dream coming true.

So, I recently posted a blog about how I want to actively pursue my dreams more, and not just sit around and expect something to happen... well, they're happening more quickly than I thought!

For Christmas, I got a Nikon D1300 SLR camera! It's a pretty professional quality camera, but on the amateur-beginner end, so it's not too overwhelming. I've always had a dream of pursuing photography in a more serious way, considering my love for taking pictures anyway, as well as always wanting to capture those perfect moments.

This is now seriously underway!
I absolutely ADORE this camera -- and I was just made for photography, it seems like. I can go outside, anywhere, and want to take endless pictures at different angles, as well as finding beauty in the simplest or oddest places. I can't wait to learn more and more about photography and this camera, as well as put myself out there as a freelance photographer. It's very exciting!

Here's some photographs I've taken already. :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Hello, 2011.

A new year already? Wow! I can't believe it, honestly. 2010 flew by, and so, so much happened, changed, turned around...
It was an amazing year though, really.
Even though a lot of bad or heartbreaking things happened, a lot of blessings happened as well. I glimpsed God's love and with patience and prayer, witnessed a miracle recovery of someone I love very dearly...
I gained courage and discernment from Him to step into a relationship based on faith and courtship.
I've learned a lot on how to be a better friend, better daughter, roomate, girlfriend, and follower in Christ.
I grew wiser, but younger, at the same time. I truly laughed a lot, cried a lot, became angry, felt blessed, felt hurt, but felt grateful. All the things that, wrapped together, are put on me to make me step towards being a better version of myself. A stronger version of myself, and a version of myself ready to do God's will, and further in my plan for Him.

But, those are all the serious parts I guess that every new year blog calls for. :)
I also got a LOT of my goals accomplished, as you've seen in a previous blog, that I'm really satsified about.
However, as you also saw, I didn't get all of them accomplished... which, I plan to really focus on doing this year. I feel like I'm finally a productive and diligent person, compared to the lazy and almost TOO laid-back person of the past few years. I'm ready to take on these goals and take them on with confidence! *rolls up sleeves*

I'll settle for 10, since it's an even and healthy number, haha.

1) READ MORE. I really want to strive for 25+ books this year...
2) Save more, spend less.
3) Try out new things, of all sorts -- fashions, music, foods, books, movies, etc...
4) Start doing freelance photography work.
5) Maintain a healthy diet/weight, and routine exercise. (lose a couple sizes?? flat stomach?? Yes please!)
6) Buy a lolita dress?!?!
7) New cosplays -- Sailor Jupiter, Belle (ball dress), Rinoa, or Haruhi!
8) Draw, draw draw. Experiment with new mediums.
9) ALL A'S IN CLASSES. >< Really try for it in design, too.
10) Tackle a new hobby/interest -- learn the piano!

I really hope I can do all of these, though some may be harder than others, I'm going to really try hard...
Have a great year everyone, remember, our lives are merely vapors in the wind -- here for only a little bit, then vanished in an instant. Enjoy them and be grateful for the time we are given!