Friday, September 28, 2012

Drawing Assignment 8 + wrist injury

I swear...

I'm going to somehow record the feedback I get from Ms. S.
It's gotten to the point that I just...stand there and listen to her go on about my work in ways I've never quite heard before, and it seems to surreal I can't respond.
I'm a little weary already of just talking about it - almost as if what I'm typing is a sick, old lie someone made up to give me a false sense of encouragement.

This was assignment 8. We were to stick with our theme, of course, but this time we were to write a piece to go along with our image. Of course, the writing needed to be personalized, hand written, and thought out as an art piece itself in whatever way we saw fit. Very open criteria. I simply chose to pour my heart out onto homemade stationary. 

I'm glad prof didn't lecture me about this being more of a design after calling the drawing an "emblem," and the class pointed out the tattoo-ish look (someone even offered to pay me to do one like it for them). Instead, she challenged me to put even more of myself into the art. She said it was too generic, and brought up my autumn apparel. Apparently, she'd been analyzing more than just the look of the clothing when I wore my new top and scarf the other day.
She said I was unique. And when I was reading my writing piece to the class, she said she'd been admiring my "aura." ...what? Sometimes I wonder if I'm reminding her of herself in some way...judging by the way she's been talking to me.
I didn't say anything. I was thinking, and she went on.
She mentioned my choice of clothing style and how much it said about my personality. She said...that I'm not a normal girl. I don't know what she meant by it, but it reminded me of when she pointed out my "strong side" with a hidden "vulnerability." She noticed I wear the same black boots every day, and that I wouldn't even think of wearing something outside of my style. She wants that inner charisma to show in my work. And I've been debating how to do that ever since. I told her I was afraid of disappointing her...and she told me not to be cause she "likes everything [I] do."


I need to go to bed soon, so I'll mention one other thing real quick...

I got hurt. Badly. Strained my wrist while handling something heavy during officer training today, and now I can't use my drawing hand for much. Can hardly open a door or cut meat. It's fucking pathetic.
I didn't see a doctor or anything...just talked to a cadet in the medical field, and he didn't seem too worried. But my big fitness assessment is on Wednesday. If this doesn't heal by then...I'm in some deep shit.

Here's to hoping...~


Monday, September 24, 2012

Drawing Assignment 7 + 2nd big piece

Just a quick one here...wanted to talk about some stuff before Senior Seminar begins...(dude, I'm literally at school from 9:40am to 8pm on sucks big time).

I forgot to get a shot of these four recent images before taking them off the wall, but here they are - charcoal again - was to spend no more than 15 minutes on each...I timed myself this time:

Again, going along with the theme of inner struggle/turmoil. Charcoal + short time limit = very frustrated me. I just went all over the place with those bottom I juz didn't care! 'Cause y'know...nothing ever really goes well when I'm rushed. But alas...the bottom right was people's favorite...
GO. FIGURE. :| Went off on some tangent about how intriguing the linework was - YOU KNOW...intellectual artistic jargon like that.
They also liked the markings found in the bottom left, and how the eye on top was so deep and pulls you in...and I'm just standin' there like: ^___^  ;;

But anyway. Here's a WIP of my second giant piece:

I've got on my new top and scarf/sash and Ms. S asked why I was dressed up. I told her just for autumn and she said she liked it. p: Glad she didn't comment on 'at dar farmer's tan!!
So, yeah, I know the hand closest to the viewer is too small. I get it. I've tweaked it over 9000 times, I'm done, I've lived and learned, got it. 
It's totally gonna bug me for the rest of my life.

I get to use pencil this time, I'm so happy. ;u; It'll have color in it and a bg, too, when it's done...and I'll go over the deeper meaning of the image at that point. 

But in other news today...
Prof kept complimenting me again...and it just feels weird. She said she pushes me out of my box because I "have mad skills..." I told her thank you, but I'm thinking...really? I mean I guess I keep comparing myself to all those amazing accomplished artists on DA, and it keeps me in this constant state of "well, I'm really NOT that awesome, kay," despite how much of an ego I can get. p:
But here's this great college professor (who is most certainly not easy to please in the slightest), speaking so highly of what I do.
And on top of that I overheard my classmates talking behind my back during class this afternoon. Some girl was working on her portraits, and when one of the guys came around to talk about her stuff (the asshole I mentioned on twitter lol), I heard her say, "Yeah, Ashleigh's just so good at this..."
And I know she was talking about me 'cause there are no other "Ashleigh's" in the vicinity during this particular time period...but I minded my own business. Honestly, I was a little embarrassed. I don't like it when people watch me draw, let alone talk about it while I'm working on something (yes, livestream makes me incredibly nervous if you're wondering).

Sooo, I dunno. Just gonna keep trying to get better so I feel like I deserve what they're saying. = / And I'm really not just saying this. I know about the huge, deep limitations I have, and it really bugs me, I guess.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Drawing Assignments 5 + 6, Senior Project, 3D stuff

I finished the giant Uni piece, but I'll save showing you the finished photo of it for when I turn it in with the other two giant ones on Oct 8. Here's to hoping I finish on time. x.x These things are brutal. Luckily I don't have to use charcoal for the other two. ^^ Shit drives me crazy...

I don't like how drawing assignment 5 turned out. Okay maybe the lower right one, but we were experimenting with value, and again, I had to rush through it like a fool. People liked the upper left, though.

Ew. I don't even wanna talk about it. xD Kay, moving on.

Assignment 6. A bit more fun, I guess. We finally got to add a second medium. I chose watercolor to emphasis the connection between the soul and the eyes (windows to the soul, y'know). Fun stuff. Prof liked it. It could still use a bit of work...and re-work...but it's alright for the assignment. My second giant image will go along with kind of the same technique and idea. 

Ms. S saw the sketch for the bigger one and liked it, too, until I exaggerated the eye-lashes. "It's too pretty-pretty, princess..." lol wtf okay whatever. Fine. Jeez. 

Aaand my major advisor had me completely turn my senior seminar project around. Visit the online portfolio for the low-down (starting on week 3)~

And then here's another example of stuff I'm working on in Maya:

I'm so proud, I modeled that one all by myself from a candle on my desk. No assistance for once. :3 Oh yeah.

Anyway, I need to go work on commissions, so I'll pick this up again later with maybe a WIP of the new giant drawing. 


Saturday, September 15, 2012


I must've made these in high school...! lol I'm going through old files trying to find material for an art project, and ran into these. So crazy...makes me wanna redo them and make more. :P



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Drawing Assignments 3 + 4 and then some...~

Oy...I'm getting weary.
Constant work. I go to school, I come home and do work, I sleep for maybe 4 hours, and then I do it all over again. Then there are the ROTC training requirements which are kicking my ass...I hardly have enough energy for the physical aspect of it. Luckily, I'm still a badass. Otherwise, this would be impossible. ;P

So, the charcoal drawing assignments are continuing, and we're expected to adhere to our theme. My prof wanted me to expand on the successful dark piece in the last assignment, so I delve into the head of the character and drew 4 more pieces to show what she was so afraid of. Bleeding guardian angels, her bloodied and torn spirit, suffocating demons, and the endless struggle keeping her chained to her misery.

All the things I don't miss from my past. Not very happy with these, though. The angel was alright, and I suppose I like what I did with the upper right piece (literally tore into it with a knife). But I had very little time to complete these, so they were rushed and a lot more simple than what I'd have liked. At least they got the message across, and it seems like that's what prof is looking for. 

The next project was a panorama. And I was officially sick and tired of all the darkness. I like myself some passionate angst every now and then. But too much is never a good thing. So, going along with my more angelic theme, I drew out my Timeless Planet from Uni's story.

It's the escape from the darkness. I was a little worried prof wouldn't approve since at first glance it doesn't seem to have anything to do with my inner struggles theme. BUUUT. She didn't even do the critique today, so I was like kay whatever. :v
I hope to expand on that Angel's Palace there in my 3D modeling course later this year.

Speaking of which. I'm also doing many 3D projects which I'd rather not document at this time. But here's a photo of an example of my work in Maya!

This shit is ridiculous. So many numbers and technical parameters required for making art, it's just driving me crazy. I can't believe Pixar makes whole movies like this. 3D Animation next semester is going to kill me.

I'm also doing art projects in that art course I'm taking which is supposed to teach me how to teach art to grade schoolers. >_>;; Buuut I'll probably document those later as well when I have them all done. It's literally little kid craft projects in college. Unfortunately, I have to do actual work in there, too, like research and writing. : / Bleh.

So, anyway, I had an interesting conversation with my Advanced Drawing professor today. Yesterday, I spoke with my major advisor and she said she wanted me to change my direction with my Senior Seminar project (the pachyderm portfolio website thing I linked earlier this month). A couple semesters ago, I created a photomanipulation that really represented a part of me that was far from anime, and she seemed to like that a lot. And I mean....a LOT. 

She keeps bringing it up even today. So, she sent an email to my drawing professor.
To avoid confusion, my major advisor is also my main electronic art teacher since that is my focus within my major. We'll call her Ms. R.
My advanced drawing instructor is also my professor for Senior Seminar. I'll refer to her as Ms. S. 
Ms. R emailed Ms. S and let her know the two of us talked and discussed a new approach to my senior project. 
I will be doing photomanipulation now instead of digital illustration. I can incorporate illustration a bit, but the end product will be made largely by digitally manipulating photos to create a new scene. And these scenes will tell a story.
I will keep the content to myself for now...but it's going to be deep.

After we talked about the project, I asked Ms. S about anime and why all my art professors were trying to get me away from it. I understand that as you're learning to draw, you should branch out and get experienced with all kinds of styles. But I thought as a senior it would be alright to expand myself art-wise in my realm of comfort. I asked her why it was okay for everyone else to be drawing what they liked...but somehow anime was something to avoid. 
Long story short, she told me anime was too specific. It was a solid focus and she had nothing to teach me in that realm. If I want to explore it more later, that's fine, but she's still focused on broadening my horizons and making me discover what more I'm capable of especially where meaning and technique is involved. She wants me to stay away from "illustration" as much as possible. I could have argued with that, too, stating that's completely possible to accomplish with an anime style, but decided not to. It's not that big of a deal anyway.

But I'm glad she's letting me do Uni for my first giant (3' x 5'11") drawing!

I wanted to do this so much. But I was really worried. I almost put her in angelic attire and not senshi because I was afraid of being judged by the content. But then I was like....FUCKIT. Judge me, bitches. :| And went for it. This is an unfinished photo of it. I just wanted to get a picture before I accidentally ruin it or something. p: 
It still goes along with my theme as she will be coming out of the darkness and offering a saving hand. Just as she was always meant to...
And the paper's kind of curled up at the bottom, but her other foot is visible on the page. I drew her to scale. :] She is, in fact, life size. 5'8" and sexy as hell. 
I'll be sure to get a photo with me and her when it's finished.

Anyway, my conversation with Ms. S got deeper. 
She began pointing out other students to me. One girl relied too much on illustration, but Ms. S wasn't going to say anything to her yet because the student simply wasn't ready to hear it. She told me that I'm stronger, more developed, and capable of taking the criticism to let myself grow. 
I kinda froze.
Then, she mentioned a student with similar taste in fantastical art subjects as me, and said he simply wasn't as skilled as me, and that was okay. But since I was on a higher skill level, she felt I was ready to take on the challenges she presented me with. 

And I'm over here like...

holy fuuuuuu....?!

We are definitely not in elementary school anymore. >_>;; But still I couldn't believe what I was hearing. On twitter, I mentioned she was playing favorites, and that I was one of them. I found that out for sure when she gave me a pricy art supply for free and had me hide it from the other students. But this conversation made my stomach knot up because I realized just how much she expected of me...and it's pretty intense. I'm actually a little scared...but thrilled at the same time. 

No art professor in my 4+ years of higher education has ever put me on such a superior level. I've been told my work is good, but to praise my SKILL like that means something else entirely to me. 
And I like that word, "skill." I like it much better than "talent." It implies the hard work I've gone through to get where I am instead of attributing my success to purely natural gifts. 
For the longest time, I've been comparing myself to popular artists on DeviantART and could hardly call myself talented. Even comparing myself to other students. Sure, I can impress non-artistic people. But my stuff just doesn't seem so special when pitted against other accomplished artists. So...what prof said today was...mind blowing for me.

And I really need to get back to work, so I'll end this here.
'Til next time~ :]


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I figured out what a drawing is!!

Lmao...oh heavens...

Before you read this blog entry, read the journal I wrote on the subject on DeviantART.

Well, guess what...I stayed up all night trying to "draw" what I thought my professor would accept as an actual drawing, and it fricken worked.
Granted, I was pretty damn tired this morning, and physical training was rough...but I suppose it was worth it.

There are about 20 students in my Advanced Drawing course and we each had four 18x24" charcoal drawings due today. We went through the critique as a class, as usual, and when we got to my set, prof got up real close to the upper left-hand piece and studied it closely.

I got a bit nervous, like I though she was gonna say, "That's not what I wanted," but she had me go on with my explanation anyway.
I told the class that I chose to go with the encouragement I got about having myself in my images and made a bold move by sticking with it regardless of the negative feedback I've gotten about it in the past. The concept of these images revolved around light vs. dark, or good vs. evil in a way it has meaning in my life. I explained that things have happened to me in the past that I don't talk about very often because most people don't understand what I went through. So, I use art as my outlet for these emotions. There was a curse and a redemption, and I portrayed that with a figure that represents me, and then the character who represents my salvation.
The upper left image was a more realistic approach in style.

Anyway, we went through the whole critique before the instructor touched on her "what is a drawing" topic again. I let her know how frustrated that made me, and she seemed to get a kick out of it. I explained what we'd discussed on DA, but instead of giving me a solid answer, she just kind of nodded her head.
When she was giving examples of good actual DRAWINGS that had been brought in that day, mine was one of the ones she focused on. "The piece Ashleigh Brett did used expression effectively," or something along those lines. And she was so excited about it (the upper left one). I'm usually irritated when people chose my realistic work over my fantastical style simply because I don't like it as much. BUT...I did personally like that upper left one myself, so it was all good. :]
Later, as I was working on my big huge fat 3x6' drawing...

...she had me keep up the piece she liked so she could talk about it with me. We discussed the emotions that sparked it, and she encouraged me to keep exploring that area. She gets that it's a sensitive topic for me, but I said I'd try to work with it. The big image...I'll keep a surprise for now. But it will have to do with the theme I've been going with lately in charcoal.
Then, as she was giving us our homework assignment (another set of four 18x24" drawings), she mentioned me again... " upon your idea. Like, Ashleigh Brett will be continuing with the idea behind her piece there..." 
I wasn't sure why I kept being used as the example...or why she kept saying my whole name. lol She literally sang it, too...wasn't sure how to react to that one.

...And to think this was the professor I was afraid to take before.
I think she likes my stuff. p:

Look for a large single image of the highlighted piece today I talked about on DA.


P.S. I was listening to Robin Williams stand-up comedy as I drew these super serious images. It was great. :P

Monday, September 3, 2012

Senior Seminar Portfolio Website


When they told me I'd get to create an online portfolio for my Senior Seminar course, I was hoping I'd get the opportunity to redo the one I currently have attached to = /
UNFORTUNATELY...this has to be a portfolio created only for this class...only for this semester...only on their server...and it's...temporary? OY.

WELL, heck, if you wanna follow along anyway, I'll be updating this thing every week:
Ashleigh B. - Senior Seminar

I hope I get a good Still trying to figure it all out. Basically, they wanna see growth, exploration, and overall understanding of my art focus. I think. :]


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Charcoal Princesses

My first assignment for my Advanced Drawing course was to create 12 themed charcoal drawings of whatever we wanted. The only criteria was that we spend no more than 15 minutes on each...

...yeah that didn't go over so well for me. I ended up spending at least 4 hours on them (total). I chose to draw the Sailor Moon princesses...because drawing on subjects I enjoy reeeallly helps me get assignments like this done. I'll challenge myself in other ways later. xD But for a first assignment, this worked out fine. And there are plenty of senshi to go around. :]

Below are the individual pieces and a video of me working on Moon, Mercury, and Mars. ...That would be over an hour condensed into 10 minutes... >_>

I'm not used to working on charcoal...I don't like the medium, and it was very awkward for me. But my personal favorite outcomes were Moon, Neptune, and Pluto. I s'pose I like Uni, too. :]

My art instructor let me know she really enjoyed "the one that looked like [me]." She said she valued the importance of incorporating one's essence into their artwork. One of her teacher's assistants also mentioned he noticed the likeness in my work to my appearance, and said it was a good thing - that I should continue to strive for that. And...I told them that meant a lot to me.
Recently, my best friend of 11 years cut ties with me, and one of the things she mentioned that she couldn't stand about me was Universe and how I put so much of myself into my work. She called it, "the epitome of self-absorbed behavior."
It stung because of who was saying it, but I couldn't take her seriously for reasons my art instructors pointed out. I'm old enough to realize people don't always see eye-to-eye on personal issues, not even best friends. It really bothered her, but this is who I am. It's not self-absorbtion, it's my choice of expression. And I believe she's completely misunderstood where I'm coming from. Sailor Universe isn't me...I'm not selling myself. I'm selling what I stand for because it's real and what I love.


Childish Adults

This entry is a rant. 
Read at your own risk.

     I had to apologize to a good friend today who was gracious enough to accompany me to an anime convention I frequent. She was pretty excited about it, and while I had some fun, for the most part I was just 'meh' about it. And other times I was downright cynical, so I felt bad. 
I often get that way at cons.
It's because of the people. Some folks are awesome, wonderful, talented, and fun to be around. But most con goers are disgusting freaks I simply can't stand. 

I support having fun. I support being immature every now and then. What I don't support is grown, healthy, adult human beings acting like fucking preschoolers in a public place like its normal. It makes me sick. Waves of pure detest rake through my whole body, and it takes a hell of a will it restrain myself from throttling these degraded creatures right on the spot. 

Do not scream if you want something. Talk. Ask politely. RESTRAIN YOURSELF like an educated, intelligent, sane, well-behaved person. Trust me, it's possible to have a great time and act civil simultaneously. Sure, holler if you're excited. But don't do it constantly, don't do it in my goddamn ear, and don't fucking lose control and start foaming at the mouth unless you're wanting animal control to throw you behind bars and have little kids come point and laugh at you for the rest of your pathetic little life.

Do not fucking touch me. If you want a hug, ASK, and then do so in a chill manner. If you jump on me, fool with my costume, cling without permission, OR PUT YOUR ARM AROUND MY WAIST LIKE YOU OWN ME (you perverted piece of filth), expect to be shunned and possibly reported. 

Do not ask stupid questions. I'm seriously debating bringing a photo of every canon sailor senshi with me to conventions I attend as Uni. 
"Are you Sailor Venus?!?!" 
...Are you an idiot...?

I also have been called Moon, Saturn, and Cosmos in this costume - none of which look anything like Universe. They can't take a look at the caliber of my work and think that just MAYBE if I wanted it to look like a canon WOULD? Then in my Haruhi outfit...which is complete with brown hair and no glasses...frequently gets called Kyouya...(more like screamed at, because we all know normal talking is just so complicated)...

These people don't use their though they'd downright explode if logical thought dared prance through the hollow of their skull. It's tragic. 

Do not suddenly stop in the middle of a walkway. Common courtesy, people. If it was legal to throw you out of the way, about 20 unfortunate souls would have gone airborne today alone. I move with a sense of purpose through hallways, and when people loiter like mindless corpses, I have to remind myself they're not children and can't scold them. It's painful.

Do not show yourself in public without showering. What the fuck are you...homeless?? Then get to a shelter, not an anime convention! Just because people are overly accepting here doesn't mean you can skip on the basics in life.

For the old men - Do not assume it's cool to dress like young school girls. Supposedly, everything goes at anime conventions, and some people may squeal and shout "SUPER FRICKEN KAWAII" in your general direction, but here's the reality: ........that's fucking creepy. You're not cool, you're not cute, you're not expressing yourself, you're flat out DOING IT WRONG. And don't stalk the school girl cosplayers either, for Christ's sake, it's so obvious when you pose like professional photographers and then track down every attractive female in the vicinity! 

And I do not find it okay for grown people to prance around and sing like toddlers. I'm sorry if you find that FUN. Dancing and singing is one thing, okay, there is a big difference between that and galloping around in public like a 2 year-old with your shirt off and belting the words to your favorite J-pop song like the world needs to hear your tone deaf antics. If this was anywhere else, you'd probably be arrested for public disturbance, indecency, and possibly acting out under the influence of some obscure drug. That should tell you something. 

Other things on my "do not" list are merely personal preference. I don't like people playing ocarinas in the corner like they want attention, I don't like the yaoi/yuri hype, or the overrated cosplays (naruto, hetalia, death note, bleach, etc) and the congregation of mindless con goers all screaming and shouting, or The Game (fucking hell, people), I can't stand it when people run around chasing each other like little kids, or talk like they've never set foot in an educational facility in their life...

There's just a whole lot that bugs the absolute hell outta me.

I attend anime cons for two things: cosplay and art. Occasionally, I'll indulge myself in the presence of a talented voice actor. But mostly, it's my passion for fantastical creativity that drives me to keep going back to these things. In addition, I have attended at least 14 conventions since '07, and there's only one at which I didn't make any money. My artwork gets me paid at anime cons even when I don't have a table in the Artist Alley. I have my ways, and that's another thing that keeps me going back.

I just wish I could enjoy myself a bit more without having to worry about the immense lack of maturity at these conventions. And then I come home and am faced with my roommate. She's a good person. But she's, in some ways, just as childish as these people I'm complaining about. ...Cannot pick up after herself, frequently whines that she wants her mommy, can't stand being away from her parents for an extended period even though she's 22 years old, very often talks down to me about how to clean or do certain things that she herself isn't very knowledgable about, goes through mood swings like mad and will cry about pretty much anything, talks about getting a cat when she failed at taking care of mine, is extremely dependent on other people emotionally and financially...the list goes on and on, and to be honest, I'm no longer in the mood to rant about it. 

This is one reason why I love my boyfriend so much. He willingly listens to these rants of mine and offers a calm, stable, intelligent mind for me to rely on when people around me just seem so out of it...

Definitely hoping I get to speak with him soon.