Archive for the ‘Stuff’ Category

On Cons and Drive

August 18, 2007

Okay, so AmeCon. What a strange, strange weekend that is. I think the combination of lack of Anime Society, and lack of hitting the clubs with the lovely Ben has lead a bit of a lack of something in my life.

Mainly these things:

1) Getting excited about silly Japanese cartoons and comics.

2) Dressing up in frankly ridiculous outfits and mucking about without caring what you look like.

Amecon provides these things in abundance. It’s odd, for a long weekend Leicester Uni campus becomes detached from the rest of reality as a whole and is descended upon by a thousand-odd very excited geeks. And, well, it’s great. Utterly surreal and very very silly, but a lot of fun. And it gives you an excuse to BUILD THINGS which I’ve been missing right from A Level art.

(Though for the record, there were a frankly ridiculous amount of Squaresoft related cosplayers. Lots of FF and Advent Children and LOTS of Kingdom Hearts stuff going around. Okay, some of which was really nicely done. Though it’s kinda a shame there was nobody doing any Final Fantasy before 7.)

Amecon is also a good thing because it’s an excuse to meet up with some of the cool arty people I know from around the country and in my case revel in the Japanese style of stuff without having to worry about not being cool or original enough. Cause, yeah, I wanna broaden my stuff, but sometimes… well, it takes the fun out a bit to worry over everything, and here in Manc I’m surrounding by some VERY good comic artists who are mostly much more western in style, and I know it’s stupid but sometimes that gets really intimidating. (Granted, Abby, Dave, Tunney and Caddy are all older than me, more experienced and so on but still.) Like Caddy asked what I was drawing at Comics Night this week and I kinda wanted the floor to swallow me up cause man, I’m not cool enough. Most of the time since I’ve gotten here I’ve been too shy to show my sketch book any more, and it’s crept into my online stuff as well, only a few people end up seeing what I’m drawing lately.

At places like Amecon (or generally any time I hang with Hel and Scott of Makenai Team) there’s just less pressure, I’m not drawing in a style of a branch of comics half the people in the room think are crap and even if I’m maybe not pushing myself, I can draw whatever the hell I feel like and revel in that. I can draw stuff purely because it’s fun, and because it makes people happy. I can just draw to enjoy it.

(And there’s something amusing (if slightly scary) about some random girl giving you a strangle hug because you happen to be sketching a character she really likes.)

And, y’know what? In terms of making me feel good about drawing again, something which has been really lacking the last few months, It WORKS. Okay, so I don’t have the time because I’m in the middle of the dissertation stuff, but when I got back from the con I was more pumped to do creative stuff than I have been in a long while. And that’s a big thing. It’s all well and good demanding to myself that I need to get better, but it’s next to impossible to do that unless you’re actually ENJOYING what you’re doing.

So, from here on in, I’m gonna find that again. I’m going to get back into art, I’m going to try and draw the best stuff I can do but I am going to have FUN doing it.

Personal stuff aside, other things about the con in brief:

-To the crew staying at the Stoneycroft, you’re all awesome. It was a pleasure meeting you. To Matt, Rob and Lynn in particular, you guys rule and you BETTER stay in touch even though I’m no longer running HAI.

-To Hel and Scott, you two are still utter dudes, your animation was great and it is always a total pleasure hanging out with you.

-To Chloe, it was REALLY cool meeting you face to face. I totally meant what I said about you visiting, it’d be great to see you again, and I can’t wait to see your comic in print.

-I suck at Mario Kart but really need a copy now.

-I need Taiko DS even more however because GOD DAMN that is an awesome game.

-People who are good at ParaPara Paradise show up us people who such at it even more than the pros at DDR. Seriously, you people are scary. But look awesome.

-Whoever it was in the Dizzy cosplay… You are very very brave and you totally pulled it off. Nice one.

-The dealers room was all right, I was saved from spending too much due to not being into Bleach or Naruto or particularly wanting Death Note merch. I did however find a Kino’s Journey art book which made me very very happy. It is so very lovely.

-Obligatory ‘OMG CHAAAAAAIIIIIIIR WE LOVE YOU CHAAAAIIIRRR!!’.

-The DS is a great thing at cons. Partly because of multiplayer download games but mostly because of Pictochat making the wait for late starting events so much more entertaining.

-One day I will actually go to a SHOWING at an anime con. Maybe. Not this year though.

-Turns out it’s on next year, and I can’t wait. :)

In non con things, I’ve hit the half way mark on the first draft on my dissertation a couple of days ago, which is cool. I’m aiming to get another 1000 words done today (already done 1000) which takes me up to 12,000, with 8000 to go. Didn’t get so much done the couple of days before as I’ve been really tired and out of it. Working on that though, and am going to be more disciplined from now on.

Also in less than a month, not only will this essay crap be gone, but I will be GOING TO LA. Which is going to rock. Right now the ‘Oh god deadline’ is slightly dampening the excitement, but once this thing has gone to the binders, glee spazzing will commence. Because I am going to see my good buddy C from over at Dreaming in Red and that is going to ROCK. So there.

Anyhow, I should crack on with things because this has been a REALLY long post. (Geeze, it’s over 1000 words. God damn I’m verbose sometimes.)

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Not so much to report

March 1, 2007

No book review this week because I’ve not finished anything. I’ll probably whack up something on ‘Amsterdam’ when I’ve read it as that’s next on my list.

Creative wise, I’m trying to force myself out of this block, and also sort myself out physically a bit as well. As I am a bit of an absolute wreck lately and that’s not very conductive to doing anything useful.

I completely my first little script last night (Okay, it has no spoken dialogue but still, that’s a first for me as well) and Mike D and I are going down to London this weekend to make it happen with the ever lovely J. I’ve never done film work before so this should be fun. We’ve got an idea for another one that we’d like to do afterwards as well, which I’m looking forward to having a try at.

Other ‘GET STUFF DONE’ news, Mike suggested the both of us make a resolution that we have to produce at least 500 words (or some art on my part because Mike doesn’t draw) each week to crit at each other. Which seems a good idea to me. I’ve been trying to at least sketch something every day, but this will make me do something to a standard I can hack actually showing to people. I’ve been thinking that the way do get confidence back in myself is to actual do some stuff worth doing, so hopefully this will work.

Anyway, food shopping and essay research calls. (Okay, so the research is just watching Paranoia Agent again, but SHH it’s for my seminar paper and a mindmelt enough to be called work.) I’ll keep you posted.

Time to be predictable

February 13, 2007

Yes, I know most people who read this have already heard me glee about this way too much and okay, so I’m going to miss it and have to download it due to prior engagements, but…

LIFE ON MARS SERIES TWO STARTS TONIGHT!!

Oh it will be nice. :)

I feel cheated.

February 8, 2007

WHERE IS OUR SNOW?

I want to get irrationally excited over minor weather phenomena like the rest of the UK!

(‘Oh god there’s a centimeter of white stuff on the ground STOP EVERYTHING OH GOD WHAT DO WE DO!?’ I know it makes us look like wusses to the rest of the world, but dude, SNOW!)

I seem to have a stupid art block today. I can’t think what to draw and it is annoying me. Hm.

Observation

February 5, 2007

It’s odd what you see when you pay attention to your surroundings. Hull is a weird little place. I saw this when I was walking back from the shops with my housemates.

Trapped Headphones

Headphones trapped on razorwire. I’m sure there’s something meaningful in there.

(Maybe I should go back and get a better picture. A cameraphone only does so much…)

Christmas Meme nonsense

November 28, 2006

Ganked from C, because… well because I have some time to kill between work and running HAI.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
I’ve never had Eggnog. It scares me a little. So, hot chocolate. Especially the amazing kind I’ve had in belgium which is pretty much dark belgian chocolate melted into cream. However, more than one glass of this would actually KILL YOU I think.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree?
He gets channeled by us putting them in the stockings. Since I got older and found out the secrets, we have kinda a tradition of all contributing to the stockings, wrapping things together and doing nuts and banannas and so on, and just writing ‘From Santa’ on them. The things under the tree are always specifically from us to each other.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?

None on the house, and the tree depends. Quite often it’s just a few colours. We have some with red heart shaped holders that are cool. I saw some gorgeous cute star ones that scroll between blue and purple that I think I might buy this year though…

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
Nope.

5. When do you put your decorations up?
Late. Very late. Especially with me being at Uni… the holiday season is very very stressful and busy for my parents, and as (on top of their day job) they’re out spreading cheer in carol concerts each night, they don’t really have time to do the house… So it’s usually when I get back, after my birthday (the week before).

6. What is your favorite holiday dish?

Oh god, I don’t know. Roast dinners in genral are something I miss like nothing else when I’m away. Especially mum’s godly roast poatoes (seriously, they are heavenly) and dad is the man at gravy. Also mum’s soups and… look, just ALL of it, yeah?

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:
Tricky tricky tricky… The clearest on is one of the times we spent it in Belgium, when I was still young enough to get up at stupid o clock and have to be given some presents to shut me up… so being given Nightmare Before Christmas and Dad getting too interested and staying up to watch it with me. :)

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
Honestly, not a clue. A long time ago, though it was only a couple of years ago I was allowed to join in with sorting out the ‘santa presents’.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Only ones that were supposed to be for my birthday from people at the Christmas Eve get together.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
Normally me and Dad do it together. (One year he was gonna just do it himself and was suitable chastised by me and mum for not waiting for me.) Tinsel and lights and always an angel on top of the tree, and our bizzare santa doll thing that lives under the tree.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Love. I’m british. We overreact to snow. Ask C, she knows this.

12. Can you ice skate?
Hahahahahahaha NO.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
Am I bad if I say no?

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
The one time of the year work and all that just buggers off and can’t get in the way and we can be together as a family. Also because it’s when all the stress of the lead up for my parents is over and we can relax.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
Mum makes a killer Lemon Posset. Desserts are generally great though.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
The Christmas Eve get-togethers. Every Christmas Eve we go to Val and Lesters house, with loads of friends, to catch up with each other, trade gifts, sing carrols, eat nice food (Val is the best at laying out buffets ever, they are a work of art) drink nice drinks and so on. Their place is always very festive, dark and lit by big fireplaces with a huge amazing tree and lots of art and decoration and just generally lovely. (And because the majority of people there are musicians, the songs that get sung are in a gazzillion part harmony and awesome.) Makes me appriciate my roots a lot more.

17. What tops your tree?
It varies. A lot of time it was a corndolly angel. There is a lovely stylised white mesh and silver edged angel, and sometimes there is my gold and burgandy golden winged angel.

18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving?
Getting stuff is lovely, but I do like seeing people get made happy by something I’ve given them. Especially if it’s something I’ve made.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
God, difficult again. You’re talking to someone who knows like at least five different tunes for While Shepherds here. Traditional ones… as morbid as it is I’ve always through the Coventry Carol is lovely (I think that’s what it’s called, the ‘Luu-lee luu-lie thou little tiny child, bye bye luulee luulaiiiii’ one) and the really crazy elaborate While Shepherds or Sweet Chiming Bells. Or… well there’s just too many. Non-Traditional, I do love Fairy Tale of Newyork, and Dad, Lester and Jim do a great version of ‘It’ll be loney this christmas.’ Comedy Answer: ‘Thanks For Christmas’ and ‘Countdown To Christmas Party Time’ by XTC, because they’re so delightfully terrible.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?
What kind of monster doesn’t like candy canes? :(

RIGHT that’s enough festive nonsense for now.

From the ruins of my sleeping pattern…

November 2, 2006

Because, honestly, I need to stop waking up at noon just because I don’t have any classes.

As, in a shocking twist of fate, I am actually a couple of books ahead in my reading for my MA, no work today. Okay, maybe a little, because the books I’ve got afterwards are interesting too: ‘Transmission’ by Hari Kunzru (Some kind of social drama centring about the internet. Nice prologue but could go either brilliant or horrible), ‘The Long Firm’, by Jake Arnott (Hardboiled british crime, of course I’m going to like it) and a couple more crime fiction novels by American women writers.

However, if I can suppress my reading mode (and I’ll give some reviews of things I’ve read lately soon, I think. I want more content on here) I’m going to try and spend today on writing, critting and excavating my room from the untidy mess that is has become. As it is covered in amazon boxes, class handouts and empty glasses and so on again, and to a silly extent…

What, ‘I have to tidy my desk’ is the most tried and tested procrastination method. Shh.

Of course there is that tricky ‘lack of food in the house that is mine’ issue aside from all those instant noodles, so I better go and deal with that as well.

I’m thinking of doing some storyboard-like sketch collages to help get the story organised, get in touch with the mood again after having such a long hiatus, and also kill my artists block that is preventing me from finishing any of my drawings lately.

Anyway, that’s enough wasting time on blog nonsense. Time to quest for some socks and get on with the day.

A thought on shiny things

October 28, 2006

Somebody out there really needs to combine This with THIS.

We have the technology, and if these people can spin fire without dying, they can spin tech without smashing it. Come on, you know it makes sense. The poi spinning and glow-stringing croud need this to happen. (Okay, so I just wanna watch people doing it, but that’s because I still suck horribly at poi.)

It would be so very cool…