30 December, 2017

draw; a @somethinganniething annual summary

Hi friends. As always, it's been longer than I care to feel guilty for since the last time I posted here. I had a lot of goals at the beginning of the year that didn't end up happening this particular year, because I underestimated the energy level it would take to do all the travel I had to do.

One of those goals was to do a finished art piece every day, which is how @somethinganniething was born. It eventually turned into more of a sketchbook situation, where I was to post at least daily for at least a year. I hit that goal, but even a drawing a day was a lot more work than I had originally thought it would be. I'm occasionally unhappy with a post, but I think it was a really good habit to get into to draw and be accountable for that minimal amount of drawing every day no matter what time zone or country I happened to be in.

On that note, this comeback post will be about the drawing habits I've developed, the usual subjects I ended up choosing, and about the fact that, even though this turned into something that I did not intend to do at the beginning of setting these goals, I am proud and won't shy from celebrating that I've continued a whole year's of daily drawings. I don't think I was even drawing daily when I was in university.

Overall I think I've always drawn in very many ways with very many things. In 2017 I let myself get back into things that I didn't let myself enjoy during university for various reasons, and specifically getting back into anime has effected how I look at what I consider to be a finished piece of art. Even something that isn't so finished has had one or two iterations before I post, which I wasn't doing when I was at school.

I think for a lot of years while I was studying I had forgotten that it was kind of never my intention to specialise in drawing animation. This isn't to say I didn't like it, because I became quite obsessive with the craft quite quickly, but I never had any intention to step out of one environment to step straight into something else that was practically the same environment. It'd take a lot more explanation to clarify that point but that's where I'm leaving it.
Animation helped me find a lot of myself but also lost me in an obsessive wave of content creation. I quite clearly lost who I was in favour of blending into a group that I held with high regard - and maybe that's what I needed at the time. Maybe that's what everyone in the group needed at the time. I realised strangely recently that I really don't need that anymore, and that I can proceed on my own towards something even if I'm not sure what it is, or am creatively alone.

Luckily, @somethinganniething never became a daily journal. I was afraid at one point that it might, and that I would only be able to refer to it as strictly personal reflection. There are posts where I'm definitely sad, but not enough of them as a whole to say that the account is only about that.
That being said, much of it is observational drawing. The top 6 subject matters of the year were (unranked): hands & body parts, Macy (@macythegreyt), places I've been & seen, selfies, @nguyensatran, and other travellers. Let's talk about that.

I drew a lot of myself in 2017, which isn't really news at all. I like drawing myself, because I'm allowed to make myself as ugly as I like. To step back into drawing a relatively realistic style was real strange after so many years of minimal line usage and cutting back on detail.
I remember taking the illustration media elective for the first time and remembering that I didn't have to work on projects all the time. What a rush, honestly.

On an absolute basic level, looking at this many variations of my own self portraits gives me a vague sense of how I see myself.
I'm considering only posting self portraits to @somethinganniething next year. I've got a day to decide.

I'm mildly infatuated with hands, and have been for a long while. The most common comment I get with my hand zines and stickers is how remarkably hard they are to draw, which I don't find at all. I'm pretty sure the fascination started with when I watched a lot of anime, which overemphasises hand positions (an understatement, honestly). I practiced drawing hands and eyes more than anything else, which is why I'm a fraction better at those two body parts. Nothing else quite fits right.

In 2017 my body part fascination extended to my own point of view. I drew a lot of my own body from where I could see it, realising that no one else saw me this way. I have never had issue with how I looked, and while I know I have a level of weight privilege a lot of it I think also comes down to not really having friends in my earlier teenage years to give me any pressure to look a certain way. Somehow the part of me that, at first couldn't, and then wouldn't dress like everyone else was never ridiculed, so it never went away.

I went to a lot of places this year. Here are some of them. Some of these are also drawings of places I never had time to draw in person from when I was in Europe. I no longer think that drawing from photos is bad. Why did I have that association? What a weird thing to think.

I have a massive back log of photographs from the past couple of years of things I've already drawn but would like to draw again. Honestly, I need to clean out my phone photos. There's over 12000 in there, at least half of which are just multiple photos of the same thing to get the best one. Why am I like this?
Soon I will do a zine about all the places I've seen.

One of the most wonderful things about public transport is getting to see what kind of other people exist simultaneously with me in this space, I think. On the rare occasion I do inevitably get harassed it dampers the thought, but I am in general quite fascinated with regular people traveling. Sometimes I draw them because I like the way they look, or stand, or frown.
Since starting a regular commute I do my best to catch the exact train that's between wild amounts of people so I can sit down to draw the people sharing my carriage. The morning commute is really surreal sometimes.

Other things in this collection are people on planes, people in museums, and people shopping.

I don't want to get grossly cute. I really don't.

If anything it's a little unavoidable to be drawn when dating someone who draws. Nguyen Sa likes to be drawn but isn't the most comfortable posing, which is absolutely understandable and why he's looking away or down in most of these. I feel like I've drawn him quite successfully maybe two or three times so far, but that's in comparison to how I feel about my self portraits which is a pretty unfair comparison simply because I've been drawing myself for many more years.

Is it a wonder that I like Nguyen Sa's hands? And his hair? And the swirl he has on the side of his face? Probably not. Let's move on before this gets sappy.

And now it's definitely time to get sappy. Drawing Macy gives me life. I'm still trying to figure out how exactly all her parts could even possibly fit together. How does she turn herself into a donut? She's so long.

Am I obsessed with my dog? Yes, absolutely. Anyone who has ever met a greyhound (unsurprisingly not many have) will know what I'm talking about when I saw that they're all absolute sweethearts. So much of my life has changed since adopting her, and I have absolutely no regrets.
She's so long. I'll probably draw her tonight. How do you even draw dogs? Macy's like if an alien heard a description of a dog and tried to draw it. I often forget what regular dogs look like. I flip out when I see small dogs now because I understand them even less.

I made a zine about Macy. I'm selling it on Etsy, you should check it out
. It even comes with stickers.

This will probably be my past post of the year. If you've actually read up until this point, I just want to say thank you. I know that I can be erratic at the best of times, but that's been improving significantly since I've stopped traveling for the moment.
It's a relief, honestly. I'm looking forward to not being able to travel for a bit. It's a self imposed ban (my mother wants to go to Cape Town and all of Japan next year), but it's much needed rest.

Now all I gotta do is incorporate post here back into my schedule! One of which I now have!

Other things I also would like to do in 2018:

  • Get into The Etsy
  • Market stalls, with and without other people
  • Preferably a part time job w/ a freelancing situation on the side somehow
  • Get back into hand binding books
  • Make shirts, totes
  • Basically make a lot of stuff now that I have stuff to make them with
  • Figure it out, acknowledge it, move it on
  • Figure out that exhibition situation
  • Get on the sewing business

May 2018 be the year I start posting work that is a lot more refined and finished. May it be the year I get the travel rest I need to find a job I enjoy. May I finally clean my office. Wishing everyone a wonderful start to what needs to be an excellent year - the world could use one right now.

See you next year,

15 September, 2017

update; etsy! dog! things!

Guys! I got a dog! And opened an Etsy store!

First, the dog. Her name is Macy, she is a greyhound, almost 5 years old, and I love her with all of my actual being. Watching her personality unfold is an absolute gift. I've wanted a dog for so long, and enjoy every moment of it.
She's so relaxed but also such a worrywart, it's amazing. She would rather run away from a source of worry and come to me for a hug than confront literally anything.

Some fun facts about greyhounds:
  • They headbutt you to show affection. I can't get over this. I'm telling everybody.
  • They're sighthounds, and use their eyesight more than any other sense. 
  • They very rarely bark. Macy has only ever barked once at a bird that land on the balcony, and another time at a shadow.
  • They trot, like a lil show horse. Macy does this when she's looking for a spot to pee on the balcony and when we go on walks not on grass. It's amazing and graceful and I'm so in love. 
Macy is figuring out how to play, and only really does it in secret. I'm not sure why this is. She also likes to put her head and snoot through the space your elbow makes when you bend your hand up, especially while you sit down. She has tried to lick me and Nguyen Sa in the crotch a couple of times. She is very suspicious of her crate, but I would be too if I'd spent my whole working life as a racer living in one. She's won $750 as a racer. She's slowly gaining weight back to a regular greyhound standard.
Macy has met a few of my friends. I've bought her clothes (they don't fit great though, and I will alter them to fit better) and a strawberry print collar. She really likes walks, goes up and down stairs like a champion, but is very reluctant to step inside the lift that takes her to the walk.
I could talk about her forever.

Now, the store. So far it only has stickers, and I haven't even posted anywhere about it just yet. I'm excited to see how it goes. It was on my to-do list all year.
I'm making store-only items, too. I really enjoy buying mystery packs that just have 10 miscellaneous items from people so I'll be making my own of those, with items that you can't even buy. I make a lot of stuff to destress, so I have a lot of things that I don't end up using just laying around. I have so many scarves. It's ridiculous. I might unravel some of them just to reknit something nicer.

I've gotten started on my long list of zine ideas that are stuck on my wall in my office, under the storyboard that's there at the moment. I also want to start production for the music video, but a lot of things are getting in that way and it looks like it'll be a little longer than expected (which was actually expected).

I've been so productive since coming back from America, and all because of jet lag. What a life.

Drawings soon,

23 August, 2017

draw; traveling is tiring

In the past year, I've been traveling probably too much. Nguyen Sa was there for some of it. I ended up drawing him a lot this year. He's quite lovely to draw. 

Melbourne was the first time I'd actually asked to draw him in person. An oddly specific milestone for me, really.

New York, New York
New York was almost a breaking point for me. I'd needed a rest in Seattle, but some way or another that didn't really end up happening, so for two days out of the week that we were there I pretty much folded into myself and didn't reappear until I forced myself to take a break.
I've always preferred linework over colour. The second New York drawing of Nguyen Sa is made of 2 lines and the dots for his hair.

These are all up on my Instagram, but raw scans are somehow nicer for these kinds of multipage spread sketches.

I was really very thrifty with my sketchbook page space while I was abroad this time. I didn't have another sketchbook until I went shopping at a Moleskin store in Woodbury, quite a way into the trip. A lot of the single sketches I'd been posting were sharing space with other sketches I'd already posted before. I generally prefer to keep things chronological with the use of sketchbooks, but it was also really nice to see if I could keep a spread nice and relatively matched in quality of drawing.

I'll post more double pages of my travel sketchbook soon. In the meantime, I gotta get my apartment up to scratch before I can do any of the other things I've got planned for the rest of the year.

The list is long. Here we go.

Self imposed travel ban is in action.
Let's get productive!

24 July, 2017

update; yes another

I've still been drawing every day on @somethinganniething. This is incredible for someone like me who tends to bail on personal projects involving schedules. I'm honestly pretty impressed with myself.

I'm on the road at the moment, on the last trip of my year. We're in Canada still. I'm pretty determined to want to like my family since I see these guys probably about once every five or six years, but I'm just too unused to being around family I think. I didn't realise until we started the trip that I've not had to be around family like this since the last time I was on a trip like this six years ago.
The best part of now vs. then is that if things get too much, I can just go off on my own. My mother likes to tag along everytime I'm off to go do my own things because I have a tendency to seek out a flat white and a steak in every city we go to.

I've become very sensitive to touch and sound in the past few years, even more so than I used to be. I'm not sure where that's going. It's getting pretty specific. I should probably get that looked at under a microscope.

There's so much of the world I'm not used to, but I honestly question if I ever was. I haven't been near any resemblance to a "regular" nuclear family that every time I am now I never know what to do.

I'm a month away from being back home. What a relief, honestly. I'd like to have some sort of routine, and soon because I'm pretty finished with being paraded around.

Things to do when I'm home:

  • organise portfolio files
  • production for mv
  • prep the apartment for a grey
  • get a grey
  • also get grey
  • develop all the 2017 film
  • finish the list
I've been home all year, but I've been waiting to get home all year as well. I'm tired of not being understood. Bring on the usual problems. I wanna be allowed to have problems again. 


30 June, 2017

draw; some gif updates

In May I had one or two weeks of very regular, scheduled productivity where I churned out these 1 second hand drawn loops like every two days between drawing more finished than usual illustrations and doing bank errands for my mother. I got quicker and quicker at making these and then... fell out of the habit. I can't remember why. I think I got sick.

I'm about to leave for a trip that's just under 2 months through Canada and America. Hopefully someone will come up with some way for me to be connected to the internet all the time because I am a ~millennial~ (and also because I'd like to keep up my daily posts @somethinganniething) but I'm sure that, since I'm traveling with my mother who requires (if anything) more internet usage than me, I'll manage it fine.
I come from a hilariously technologically dependant family.

At some point I decided black lines on white paper got too dull to be posting to often and added colour, which looks alright when you look at 'em on Instagram as a whole but I don't particularly like them on their own. The grey one above is supposed to be blue, but since these gifs are hosted on Tumblr (which has a 2 MB file limit lmao) in the process of shrinking file size the colour disappeared for some reason. 
Photoshop animation is some sort of weird magic that I don't understand at all. 

I also did a bunch of hand related drawings, because I really like hands. So that'll be up at some point as a post by itself, since at the moment all I'm doing is waiting between trips. 

I honestly miss living in Burwood. Central Park is easy, new and all that, but it's strangely sterile.
I mainly miss my books, my guitar (which I never ended up taking over), and my desktop computer. The laptop I've got at the moment is my mother's old MacBook Air from 2012, which functions as well as you'd image it to. I have a single video file on it that I know is the root cause of most of my lagging, but that's actually one of the only things I'll need on it (plus Photoshop) while I'm abroad again. I don't doubt that I'll get too impatient with it and just post hand drawn drawings towards the end of the trip.

I leave next Wednesday. I'll hopefully have at least one post queued up before I leave so to continue this dismal 1 post per month situation. Apparently I've only got enough self control to build up routine with a single place to post, which I guess is not unusual.

I'll be starting a vlog again I think? Except I'll be with my family a lot so I'm not sure how fine they are about me videoing stuff like that. Maybe I'll just post a shit load of photos @annieandthemotions and video via snapchat, as I've been doing since I've been back. I'm not sure. We'll see.

In other news, I've been feeling particularly down this month. It's a little ridiculous that my life can be relatively fantastic and I'll still feel like shit. I gotta get myself back into therapy, but I leave in like half a week.
Why didn't I get myself back in earlier, when I had both the time and the effort? Easy. I wasn't sad then.

Not to end on a sad and tired tone, but I'm pretty sad and tired rn. I'll be fine again soon. That's how the pendulum swings.

I should start packing,

23 May, 2017

update; new apartment, same ol' me

@somethinganniething is going really quite well, I'm rather glad you asked.

I still don't have internet in the new apartment. At this rate it'll be an Airbnb before I can upload anything from there. We've been watching a lot of Rick and Morty but through my phone data, but hopefully (by god, do I hope) the eventual wifi will be quicker.

If you really, truly think about it, any criticism anyone is about to give me probably about anything is something I've muddled over before. This shouldn't mean that no one can give me any criticism, because by all means I need someone to trod on my ego before it gets too big and I self destruct.

I guess what I'm saying is that I know it's fast. The degree to which I am in love is loathsome, really. I didn't know this is what it was supposed to be like, I suppose.
But I'm so happy, so let me just have the next 2 months before my life does it's thing and I gotta reset.

But also, thank you for worrying. Caring is hard work.

I got a light box! I'm going to try and churn out a bunch of short bits until I'm fast enough at making 1 second straight ahead actions that I can robotically finish the music video (hopefully before the end of the year).
At the moment in 4 hours (which is the only animating stretch I can manage these days) I can manage enough, but still not quite enough. I haven't animated on a lightbox without an absolute deadline over me before. It's quite fun to see how much I can manage in the accidentally little time I allocated myself this year.

What a year it's been so far. It's already May. I've so many year long, ongoing projects that I haven't posted here because they're in so many other places already, so I may as well save up the individuals and post them in one go.

Things to do before the end of the year:

  • Get my shit together
  • Finish the mv
  • Canada/America
  • Consider that exhibition option
  • Van Gogh & the Seasons
  • Portfolio


28 April, 2017

photos; melb/nz

I would 100% say that this trip to Melbourne mainly consisted of food.

I went to Hardware Ln's restaurants for the first time and swore to go back (and didn't because I got distracted with all the other food related things Melbourne has to offer).
I did go back to Nieuw Amsterdam and had no regrets paying an obscene amount of money for whatever those nugget looking things were (also gin).
We also went to a place called the Gin Palace because... How could you not go to a place with the word Palace in it's name? It looked like a extremely high class place and I was wearing shorts and a tank top. The waitstaff were all highly excited to talk about gin. What a life.

Tim and I went on a roadtrip up New Zealand right after Melbourne. Somehow it was actually more relaxing than I thought it would be.

Christchurch was so lovely.
Every single sunset in NZ was incredible, every time it wasn't too windy to live or too cold to go outside (even tho it was the middle of summer).

I honestly have no idea where the rest of my NZ photos are, so good luck to me in finding them.

I'm in Singapore at the moment. This year has been beyond intense so far. I'll be posting a better update soon, when I actually have the tools I need to do the things I want.

I'm full of coffee & still tired,

22 March, 2017

photos; home again

Where the heart is, really. I adore this place.

James came to town somewhere in early December and it was a miracle.

Tim came to visit, and then mum was back in town, and then Sydney came to Sydney, and Christmas involved hot pot in aircon and it was glorious.

We went to the Kiama Blowhole with no concept of tides and how they'd affect what we'd see so we ended up just climbing rocks for hours. It was actually quite fantastic and I'd recommend it even if you don't stay for the tide coming in (we didn't).

Showing Sydney around Sydney had been a goal of mine since I met her, namely for the hilarious purpose of tagging every variation of #SYDINSYD possible.
I miss her very much.

New Years Eve was spent at Darling Point, which looks at the back of the bridge where you can't see the waterfall fireworks but was still a brilliant, brilliant time.
I'll still be watching from home next time. It was less crowded than expected but nothing beats watching the televised fireworks at the same time as watching the actual fireworks while in the comfort of your own apartment.

It's the end of March and I'm posting about four months ago. That's gotta be an improvement, right? I'm onto the actual same year!
Granted, I don't take as many photos these days as I do while travelling.

Yesterday I realised I fucked up a roll of film that was in my yellow camera, and now I don't have a record of some very lovely moments from earlier this year, and I am so incredibly angry with myself. But what can you do? I'm an idiot on all fronts. It's more surprising that this doesn't happen more often.

Things to do before HK/China/Singapore:

  • sort out bank rubbish
  • start on site etc
  • finish animatic for mv
  • get a zine done ugh
  • buy a mattress for Connor
  • sort out furniture for Connor
  • find wherever it is that I've put my mental health plan
  • get (re)started on therapy
  • sort out Connor bills

Here's my 2017 moodboard