25 October, 2011

And the winner is... Uh...

So.  Remember the rather mortifying post, my dear blog, in which I listed the crushes of years past?  I added to the list when I turned 20 - but the 21 addition is long overdue.  Because I have a problem:  I don't have one this year.  I mean, I can come up with possibles, but there isn't an obvious choice - and that's the point.  I didn't even have to think when I listed the others, because when I went mad for them.  I didn't have to sit around going "I think I like so-and-so."  I just went mad.

But, here are the nominees.

1. Anthony Michael Hall, circa 1985
Appeal:  Funny. Awkward.
Problems:  He was probably shorter than me, definitely thinner, and I'm growing out of pathetic boys.  Thank heaven.

3. Adrien Brody
Appeal: Fantastic head.  I could look at his strange head all day.
Problems: He sounds like he's a method actor, which would be too weird.  What if he played a psycho murderer?  He might strangle or stab me.  And I think he might be too short.

4. Ian McShane in Sky West and Crooked.
Appeal: He was quite good-looking, and a gypsy, and (in the movie) falls in love with a nutcase, which makes my chances good.  And even though the film is way over the top, he still manages to be cool.
Problems:  Now he's, like, old.  And - this is a side question - why does he look so short now?  He seems about five foot in Pirates of the Caribbean, but normal-tall in this movie.  Did the man shrink?  Or did they just load him down with so much stuff - beads and hats and coats and things - in that last Pirates movie that it makes him look shorter than he really is?  I mean, he's gained a bit of weight (who hasn't? That's what I say), but how could it change the way you look on screen that much?

I've got a few more I could add, but it already feels like I'm stretching it here.  There's still a good many months till my 22nd birthday, but I'm getting worried.  What will I do if I don't have a defining 21-year-old crush to look back on when I'm old and drooling?

Sudden thought! Maybe I am becoming a mature, sensible, non-silly person and outgrowing film crushes!  What a strange idea.  It is going to take me some time to get used to this, I can tell you.

24 October, 2011

my glue gun lies cold

Every once in a while, I have an angst fest about the imaginary lives of other people.  In my mind, other people spend all their time making art and songs and poems, instead of (as I do in my real life) watching cruddy comedies from the seventies on Netflix.  And youtube videos.  And reading facebook profiles of such mind-numbing inanity (is that a word?) that I have to resist the urge to smash my head repeatedly against the table top.  Why do I even do Facebook?

But.  Anyways.

I feel bad that the urge to create, if I have it, is so lazy about its job. It ought to be telling me that the time wasting I indulge in is... um, a waste of time. Why is it not arresting my hand as it moves towards my laptop and turning it towards, like, yarn?  Or something, you know, with arty potential?

Urge to create, you're fired.

23 October, 2011


DOWNSIDE: Early in your studies, the work is extremely tedious.   Presumably, projects where we actually have to use some, you know, creativity will come along.  But right now it's "make a perfect cross-section of two colors using the (perfect) 7-step value scale you did two weeks ago and have probably lost by now, you disorganized kid, you." After figuring out what on earth a cross-section of two colors is supposed to be, you actually have to paint the thing.  Basically, it was making different shades of a color match the values of a white to black grayscale.  Did that explanation actually help at all? I'm feeling doubtful.

Tip I wish I'd known 1:
When dealing with color value projects, holding your laptop precariously above your desk and using photobooth's black and white effect will save your life.   It is extremely difficult - at least, for me - to tell when you've got a yellow and a purple at the same value level.  Black and white pictures solve that problem.
The downside of using this handy tip is that it makes it clear, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that half your paint squares are wrong.  Which leads to the second downside.

The end result of that mess up there.  Some of it is still wrong, but I don't care. 
DOWNSIDE: Apathy.  When you, for example, use photobooth to photograph your project, you will find that at least half of it is wrong, and apathy sets in.  For a while, the desire to fix things, for perfection, will drive re-do's.  But, at a certain point, you stop caring.  Breaking into the not-caring zone is a bit of a relief, but it's also not entirely positive.

DOWNSIDE:  Even if you, by some miracle, retain your drive to attain perfection, you can never have it.  At least, not when you're working with cheap-o acrylic paint. See photo above.

DOWNSIDE:  I know that each major or field of study has it's own tricky bits.  But I think I can safely claim that art has the most potential for technical mishaps.  Meticulous execution and spotless presentation are required - in projects involving paint.  Paint.  And tape that pulls bits of paper off the surface of your illustration board after you've finished the project.

DOWNSIDE:  Your clothes get ruined.  You are never clean again.  I found paint behind my ear the other day.

DOWNSIDE:  You ingest things you should not.

Do you see the danger here?  It's unspeakably easy for your preoccupied brain to allow your hand to put a nice, painty brush into your tea cup.  Also, I tend to hold things in my mouth.  Using the old choppers to hold onto a pen is alright, but when you're sticking paintbrushes in there, things can get unpleasant very, very quickly. And grown-up paint isn't non-toxic.  If I'm dead tomorrow, Mom, this is why.  I tremble to think of the day when I start using turpentine.

DOWNSIDE:  You have to hear people rave about art that's about "the process" and "kinetic energy" and "a return to child-like enjoyment of mark-making".  If someone says to you, "oh, we should go to this show, it's all about the process of kinetic mark-making," run.  I mean, unless you like giant pages of scribbles or prints made by scraping things across wood.  Personally, I loathe that sort of art.  I think it's ridiculous.  I DON'T CARE about the artist's process.  I wasn't there when he made the silly thing.  Why does his process matter to me?  It's a cop-out, really.  Nobody judges a film or book by the process they didn't see and weren't a part of - they look at the results.   As you can see, this makes me get a little bit worked up.

But, I can't really just leave it like this.  As exhausted and grouchy as I may be now, I still have to admit that there are upsides.


UPSIDE:  You get to say you're an art student.  Even if you're to be the most boring, technical web-design person on earth, while in school you get to say you're studying art.  Which definitely ups your cool factor.

UPSIDE: You can wear weird things.  This can make up for the inconvenience of ruined clothes.  So far, my jacket, sweatshirt, black v-neck, polka-dot pajama pants and white tank top have been irreparably splattered, smeared, or spotted with paint.  But, because I can shrug and look embarrassed and say "I'm an art student" if anyone mentions it, it doesn't matter.  Though, I think the tank top is a goner.  It's got a big smear of red-violet which, now that it has dried, looks like a giant stab wound.

UPSIDE: You get to listen to your ipod in class.

UPSIDE:  I'm beginning to feel like a problem-solving god.  That's what you do, really.  Solve problems.  For example, every week for 2-D design, I have to represent the same item (one of my high-tops, to be precise) in a new way that corresponds with the things we're studying.  "How do I represent my shoe?" is a fairly simple problem I have to solve every week.  It sounds silly, but knowing I can get down to business and do a project is empowering. I feel like I can tackle almost anything.  Except taxes and flat tires.

UPSIDE: The people are weird.  Marvelously entertaining.  And you have to wonder how they decided to study ceramics or blacksmithing.

UPSDE:  You get to buy stuff at Art Outfitters (a wondrous place) instead of Textbook Brokers.

UPSIDE: In spite of the frustration, long hours (3:30 am is the current record for agonizingly late bedtimes), weeping and gnashing of teeth, it's pretty fun.

So I guess the ecstasy balances out the agony, in the end.
Bad joke.