28 November, 2012

Wednesday; Nostalgia hit, double dosage.

I begin with somewhat a warning that if you don't like extended metaphors, this blog should not be on your list of blogs to watch.



The longest I've recalled living in one place was in high school with my grandparents, for six whole years. It startles me that there are people in this world who have lived in the same establishment for their whole lives. I actually can't comprehend what it's like to settle in that way.

Travelling is ingrained in me. I've drilled into myself the habit of not allowing myself to get too comfortable no matter where I go in order to never have to go through too much intensity when I need to uproot and physically separate from people, because it happens often.
Perhaps it's not that great of a way of making friends or something, I don't know, but it's how I get by.

I've only reserved a few spots in my heart where I've allowed certain people to set up camp there.
Sometimes, I don't know that they have built a house on the space they have taken until it's too late for me to not care, and I have no choice but to love them forever. That's what happened with Tin. And now I live with her.
We're practically married.
Sometimes, I'm only aware of their presence when they've dug the foundations, so I can't get rid of them or I'll be left with a hole in my life and questions about my life choices. That's what happened with Nat. She's going to be the one I consult for baby names, life changing decisions and housing locations. Nat's the one, I can tell, that I'm going to share a room with when we're insane cat ladies so we can lady cats together.
She's pretty much my twin.
Sometimes, I hand them their bricks and watch them pick a spot and smile as they accept and give them banners for their housewarming, aware of exactly how and when they built their place, and being thankful the whole way. That's what happened with Mick. I'm not sure who he'll be, yet, but he'll be there.
And that's all I need to know for now.

It's fantastic. And that's about as much of a shout out you will ever get from me, any of you.
(Clearly I'm lying because I love them too much not to constantly be talking and blogging about how great they are)

Some days my heart expands in my chest, and every time I open my mouth more love pours out. I'm not sure why those days happen, when other days I open my mouth and there's nothing but soot because my heart is weighed down.
I think I just love people. Sometimes it gets a bit much, and I have to remember that telling strangers that I love them probably isn't a good idea. I think I love people, and some days that gets me up, down and around. It gets a bit odd. I'm not sure why it happens.

I question myself often. My motives, emotions, thoughts and actions all confuse myself. I don't analyse me very well. I think too much and sleep too little, and it makes me question everything that I have to question, which can't be good for me but I'm at the age where I should be doing things that aren't good for me and I guess this can't be as dangerous as various other things that I could be doing in the eyes of those who have authority over my life.
Sometimes I do things just to see how I or others would react. It doesn't always end well.

I go Christmas shopping tomorrow, and I'm rather excited! I don't know who I'm going to give gifts to this year, but it's probably only going to be a select few since I'm rather poor constantly now and I don't believe in giving boring gifts.
I developed a habit during the early days of my friendship with Nat where every card I wrote turned into a letter. I will be writing Christmas letters, this year. It will be glorious, and knowing that those who I write to will probably keep my letters makes me a very happy individual.



I should sleep,
Annie.

26 November, 2012

Sunday; Single parenting.

We'll start with the final project, this year.





Doing a whole project by oneself in animation is legitimately terrifying, I suppose. It means you have to take care of all aspects of a whole final product yourself, asking advise but ultimately deciding on the fate of a creative result by your own lonesome. There is nothing stopping your own faults from getting in the way of a fantastic result, nothing stopping things going wrong and no one else to shoulder the blame with you if and when they do.
Things will always - always - go wrong in a project. There is no stopping that.

I chose to stay safe, for this solo baby. Stay safe and stay insane. 150 A4 pages of drawings, the first of which is located at the top.
It's where I began, with observational drawing (which is code language for "following people for a reasonable amount of time before they begin to get highly suspicious of your motives and thus you must walk quickly in the other direction before they suspect you enough to alert appropriate authorities"), and where I ventured from, onwards, for 150 pages of solid effort.

A simple change of mediums produced a whole new feeling for me. I started drawing with graphites and pencils, as most do, and my favourite pencil in the world is Creatacolor's Nero pencils, because they are amazingly solid and seriously black as black pencils could possibly get.
Brush pens are something that I've discovered since the beginning of the year. I've not looked back since. Treating them the same way as pencils and Neros weren't the way to go, and I managed to phase that habit out by 8 pages into the single parent project.



I spent an average of something like 3 hours a day drawing, every day, for a solid 21 days. I've not done so much drawing in my life, possibly ever. On the first day I did something like 3 or 4 pages, and by the time it was the last day I was averaging about 6-8 pages a day.
I shaln't, however, bore you with too much of the drawing details. 
Just understand that I was drawing more than I'd ever drawing in successive days ever in my life, and the result of that was a fantastically dramatic rise in quality of drawing.

The best part was the exhibition.



When I exhibit my work or my work is exhibited, I'm not always there to see it on opening night. When I happen to be present, I always keep a lookout for the types of people to spend more than a glance at looking at my work. Habit remains as such, because on Thursday night I spent a ridiculous amount of time watching who went through my drawings, and which pages they paused upon.

Needless to say, everyone's attention is caught by completely different things. There were people stopping on pages that I'd spent much less time on, and people who admired the pages I slaved at. The best feeling was always the second half, but knowing that people liked the things that didn't take three days to perfect also gave my heart a bit of a kick (although that may have been the beers, who knows?)

I've not stopped feeling good about the 150 pages of improvement. It's like watching yourself grow in the mirror at a rate that's three times as fast as usual.


Some of the individuals I spotted really looked fantastic. I wanted to speak to many of them, but couldn't think of a conversation starter any better than "I've noticed that you have a gorgeous nose. May I draw you naked?"
Of course, I could have said that and gotten away with it. But I'd really rather not make anyone that I wish to draw naked and/or repeatedly too uncomfortable in case it decreased my already minimal chances of doing so.

Some of the faces that I saw regularly became faces that I would give personalities and generate stories for. Sometimes it got to the point where I would rather not talk to them because the person that I'd made them into had gotten much more elaborate than I would expect them to ever be like.
I'm not confident with strangers when there's nothing mutual between us, anyway. Even when there are mutual somethings. I'm just not good with strangers, even when it seems otherwise.




I've discovered that colour is really not my thing. Perhaps it will be in the future, but for now I will mainly stick to monochrome schemes and linework, because it seems like the way to go.
For now, anyway. 

Inks and watercolours may be my exception. I'm not sure. I've got three months to decide if I'm good enough at it for my other projects to involve those two beautiful, wonderful mediums. Perhaps if I had a lovely set of Chinese inks that I could make myself, everything would be better. 
Who knows, right? I'm not a fan of Indian inks, because they're not thick enough. When they dry they don't leave enough of a mark on the page, unless I use bamboo pens. That's something I've got to work around, because Chinese inks around here seem stupidly expensive.

It's a month before Christmas. I must start making my cards and collecting my gifts for my four most brilliant partners in life, crime, love and the rest. We put up the tree today, the flatmate and I, and her Christmas spirit has grown about five times it's original overwhelming size since. Everything is copper coloured on the tree, and it makes me dizzily happy that the first proper Christmas Day will be spent with someone who has changed the direction of my life. 

I have no doubt that this summer will be one of the best in my entire life. 



Farewell for now, 
Annie.

23 November, 2012

Friday; Be Merry, My Love!

For old times' sake, I will start at the end.



I truly finished my first year of university today. The final exhibition of the year was over and done and packed away in boxes, and my annual Summer Doom settled in my stomach alongside the butterflies and salad.
When I was younger I dreaded the summer for familial reasons. I didn't particularly like my circumstances or, more specifically, my living arrangements, and being stuck in the same place with the same people seemed like hell.

I'm aware that this year has changed a lot in terms of both circumstance and living arrangements, but it doesn't stop the dread or the Monster. I'm not sure why, considering literally every negative aspect of my high school life has been altered so to grant me a fantastic year (which was received on my end in a spectacular fashion). My summer won't be bad at all. I'm just hoping that it will be good enough to chase my feelings of doom away.

The final exhibition was a ridiculously good night. I had an amazing time meeting friends of friends and introducing them to the family of animators, with all the work we had done in a year's worth of time surrounding us and music and alcohol... I couldn't have asked for a better ending to the academic year. The only thing that may have been even better would have been if my parents were there and proud, but I'm used to their lack of presence. I say that in the least affected manner possible.
My parents haven't been around much. More so lately, but it doesn't change much. I'm happy with it, though. I'm happy enough to just know that they're supporting my way through this.

There is literally nothing else in the world right now that I want more than to understand myself and other people in general. I've been down and I noticed that. It's a start, I guess. I have the rest of my life to grow into that aspect of wisdom that I lack.
I am falling in love with people all over again, and it's just painful, most of the time. I can grow to get used to that, I suppose. My anchors will hold me, and my fate will carry me where ever I need to be, I trust.

For every aspect of my life that has gone wrong, something has gone so very, very right. I thank God for every single person that I've met this year through something new that I've tried, or something grand that I've not missed because of circumstantial differences between this year and the past, or something fantastic that I'd have missed out on.
Animation has been one of the two best things that have happened to me in life decision making. I've learnt that there are people who will move mountains for me, and people who will move ant hills, and that I will go out of my way to shift the oceans' tides for them.

The affection I hold is limitless, because the moment I think I cannot love someone more than I do, I can. The moment I consider something to be the most I can feel for or towards someone, I will feel more. There's nothing that will make me forget the way I've felt all year, with emotions getting more intense every single day.
I still don't know if it's a good thing yet. We will see.



May the stars shine into your window tonight,
Annie.

19 November, 2012

Sunday; The Nothing Monster.





We'll begin with a shadow of mine.



I don't sleep very much. This makes me neither a morning nor a night person, since all I do is avoid sleep. It entails letting go, and that is my worst skill of all the skills I possess.
I think too much. That is my curse.
Sleep's prologue is many minutes and hours of darkness in which I am completely alone with my thoughts. Combined with the factor mentioned above, sleep doesn't bring much happiness to me. I think too much and sleep too little.

When I was younger I lied so much to others and myself that there are moments of my younger life that I doubt the authenticity of. The monster started then.
It didn't do much. Just sat in my heart, most days, feeding off my lies. Those days are long gone, and it's grown a rather startling amount.

I have a tendency to switch off emotions when it gets too difficult. It wasn't ever a problem when in high school because my chances of happiness were rather low due to various different circumstances and reasons, but it grew even after I stopped the lying. Instead, it fed on my nothingness.
It wasn't numbness or shock. Just simply nothing. It responded to my acceptance of it with a string of words that formed sentences that didn't do very much as singular words, but with the power in numbers and crushing weight of each connotation I let it slowly take over me. It wasn't pleasant.

It never took too much for me to sink back inside myself and let it take over. I'm trying my hardest to never go back there again.

Going backwards in any kind of way is terrifying for me.
Unexpected backward journeys are the worst. Inevitable ones are even more frightening.

I've not drawn much today, but I'm in a soft mood. My, How You've Grown was drawn two days ago, during a bout of quiet panicking. I learnt that day that I must, when doing private illustrations, draw to suit my mood. Otherwise it ends in frustration, and that's never satisfying. Today I learnt that no matter how strange a friendship is begun, it begun with a purpose and it might take years for me to learn what that purpose is. It has been a good day of food and drink and being merry and unproductive. Nevertheless, I'm back at uni tomorrow for exhibition work.



I bid you a good day, kind stranger,
Annie.

16 November, 2012

Thursday; Shall I?

Let's begin with hello.



I'm the extra blank tiles they give you in mahjong sets. I'm kind of the same thing as all the other tiles except I play no part in the actual game itself, generally, so I just kind of sit aside but I'm not very good at that. Or maybe I'm the five cent you've found on the street who's lost from the rest of the pack. Perhaps I embody society's desire to defy every characteristic category it's assigned everyone.
The point is that I lose track of myself often, I think.
I have numerous issues with life but we shall not dwell on that here. Instead, we will feast your mind's eyes on the oddity that I seem to channel well.

There isn't very much to know. Blogging is something I have never done quite right, so I might just hit the nail on the head this time, send it off and wish it dead. I write, I sing, I play guitar. I paint and draw and sketch and create and sometimes, late at night, I lay in bed and think of the path I'm travelling down. Generally in these thoughts I am not blindfolded. Sometimes I am.

There are three people in my life that I shall never let live in peace, because I've decided to have them constantly in my life. They're not travelling down the same road as I am, but we cross paths multiple times, and sometimes they piggyback me for a while. One distant day I will offer them every single drop of happiness that I have left, and then shove it in their faces and run away because they are far too generous to accept any of it graciously.

Last summer bought a world of change into my life, and perhaps this one will too. I wait in anticipation for the four months to pass and my life to emerge on the faraway shore, covered in glitter and possibly some sort of oil and pollution. Life's pretty great, without the rainbows and whatnot. I've grown an eye for reality.

I've not drawn anything decent today, but I've bought an amazing stash of secondhand clothing. That's got to amount to something. And made a journal blog! That's got to be pretty great.



Goodnight, my dears,
Annie.