February 28, 2011

My First Tattoo!

I know it's a little off subject but I had to share my most recent experience getting my first tattoo!

I've been thinking about getting one for a couple years now trying to decide exactly what I want, bouncing ideas around, and then trying to figure out where the heck I would put it. I knew it needed to be somewhere I could hide, but also show off if I wanted to, and not be in a place that would get ruined by a pregnancy or get stretched out if god forbid I gain 100 pounds... and most importantly it had to mean something to me.

I thought about getting a crown, since my sisters and I were named after famous queens for our middle names. But, I didn't want to be perceived as some self righteous girl who referred to herself as a "princess." I know it's a very common tattoo idea for girls... so it was a "no" to the crown...

Then I also thought about something that would tie in with my Gemini sign, but eh... another common tattoo and not very many pretty ideas to portray it.

Then, last week I found this picture of a girl that had this gorgeous tattoo on her shoulder of a dandelion with the little wisps blowing in the breeze and transforming into birds. It was so beautiful and feminine and complimented the curve in her back. I instantly fell in love with it.

I wanted to look up the meaning first...


Faithfulness, happiness, love's oracle, wishes coming true. 

They are stubborn flowers (weeds, actually, with deep roots) but they are beautiful. 

To me, they remind me of what is was like to be a child, still innocent, and acknowledging the simple and beautiful things about life, seeing the dandelion as something fun and exciting, rather than a stubborn weed. To me, the dandelion represents holding on to that child-like state of mind, trying not to get caught up with adulthood, and to always remember who I am and where I came from


When I looked up the meaning of bird tattoos, they have the meanings narrowed down by species of birds, but my tattoo doesn't have any specific type.

To me, the birds mostly represent freedom. I have often said that if I could be any animal I would choose to be a bird. Having the ability to fly sounds heavenly. The birds also represent me growing as a person through life. Birds also tend to choose one partner for life, so they symbolize love, companionship, and loyalty.

Above all, I just love the look of the design. It's very "me" in the sense that it comes across as artistic and carefree. And it's prettttyyyy :)

The Experience:

When the guy first turned the machine on I thought I was going to puke... like I was about to get tortured by mutilation... but then he started and it felt like getting stung by a bee... repeatedly.

Once the endorphins kicked in I started laughing hysterically. They tried to come up with things to make me stop giggling but to no avail. I had to get serious, control my breathing, making sure I wasn't moving, and stayed calm through the pain. The soft alternative music really helped with staying calm. Some parts were worse than others, but all in all, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

The actual tattooing part took about 45 minutes. The design part on the other hand took close to 2 hours... I was extremely particular about the design and made sure it was absolutely perfect... even if that meant moving a dandelion wisp 1 millimeter to the left, hehe :)

I'm so happy with the result and really glad that I didn't chicken out. Now I just have to deal with the healing process, which feels like I worked out my left shoulder for 8 hours straight. Ouch!

So what about you? Do you love or hate tattoos? What do you think is more important- design or meaning? Please share your thoughts!


February 25, 2011

Teacher's Pet Complex?

That would be ME!

A in Drawing + A- in Typography = 3.85 GPA = :D

I admit I was a little nervous to see my grades since I haven't been informed of the grades I received on my assignments or projects throughout the whole term. After my frustration peaked during my last class I was ecstatic when I saw how well I did in Typography. The instructor ended up really liking my Katy Perry design and said I have some real talent :)

I know I shouldn't worry about the grades so much but something about seeing an A just relieves my nerves inside and justifies all of my hard work and effort.

You see, I came home after the night of my Typography final all pissed off because I got an 89.


I know to some people an 89 is perfectly fine and decent and they would be very happy with that. I, on the other hand, am not. 

I don't know what it is about a B that annoys me... I think it's my perfectionist mind set that has been engraved in me since preschool, and even though I've gotten B's before, I have never been fully satisfied unless it's an A. 

Is there a diagnosis for this? Teacher's pet complex perhaps?

One of my new blog followers left me a very insightful comment that I have been thinking about more and more lately...
"The best advice I can give you is, never ever do work that you "think" your instructor will like (in order to get a good grade etc...) always do work that YOU like, and that excites you! Even if your instructor hates it and gives you a giant "F", these will be your strongest and most individualistic pieces in the end. In other words, SCREW THE GRADE!! No one will ever ask to look at your art school grades...Everything will stand and fall on the strength of your work." 
[Wee Spookeez Designs] 
He's totally right! Who really cares about an art student's GPA? They are only going to be interested in my portfolio anyway, so I shouldn't be stressing. Maybe it's just an OCD of mine that I need to figure out...

Speaking of OCD, I'm really happy about my introduction to Psychology class. The instructor is everything I hoped for and more, plus the class is a lot bigger so I get to meet a lot of new students. I took a Psychology class in high school but I think taking the class now will help me connect with how I can use the information in my field of study, especially with learning how images and colors are perceived by people. How exciting :)

Design Fundamentals will be an interesting one since it's all very basic, almost the kind of stuff you learn in elementary school- shapes, space, lines. But one thing the instructor talked about is how being a designer has a lot to do with refreshing yourself with the basics and tapping into your childhood imagination. As adults we tend to forget about the basics and quickly learn that life is complicated. As time goes on and we mature the stresses of every day get to us and it gets harder to remember how you thought as a child before everything got crazy and serious. We did an exercise with tangrams and I was surprised how difficult it was to figure out the puzzles! What has all this growing up done to me?!

Anyway... I have a feeling that this is going to be a really great spring term. I'm hoping to learn a lot about design and also about myself :)

Stay tuned!


February 24, 2011

Flattery at its finest!

Oh SNAP.... I've been awarded!!!

...with a blogger award that is :)

I was so giddy to find out today that my cute friend, Joanna awarded me with the "Versatile Blogger" award! Wooooo!

I was so flattered to be thought of! I've seen these fun awards here and there on some of the more popular blogs, but didn't know where they came from or how the heck I could get one.

So, Joanna my dear, thank you for thinking of me!!! You made my day! :)
(check out her amazingly, funny, quirky, hilarious, and entertaining blog Dehydration & Procrastination right now!)

But, I apparently have some responsibilities to take care of before I can proudly boast about this award for the rest of the day...

The rules for after you have been given this particular award:
- Thank the person who gave you the award :)
- Share 7 things about yourself
- Pass the award to up to 10 other versatile bloggers
- Let those other bloggers know you gave them the award

So, seven things about myself... let's see here....

1. I'm a true Gemini in all aspects of the sign.
2. I'm a reality TV show junkie and I'm not ashamed! 
3. I love to bake but I think cooking is a drag...
4. I recently found out that I have tokophobia!
5. I had a serious obsession with Blink 182 during my teenage years.
6. I fantasize about punching someone in the face.
7. I listen to my new favorite songs on repeat until I memorize them... and it drives my husband crazy. 

I would like to pass this award on to the following bloggers...

Check 'em out!


February 21, 2011

My Worst Critique EVER!

Since my next school term does not start until Wednesday, I figured today I would share with you an experience I had when I was an Art Major at Utah State University.

If you are an artist you probably have had your fair share of critiques, whether it be from your classmates, teachers, friends, or family. It's an intimidating experience... showing your creations to people that may or may not like it. You hope they do but you sometimes fear a bad review.

I specifically recall this one incident during my 2-D Design class that I will never forget. There was this one girl that looked like your typical artist. She had long dirty blond hair that she wore in a ponytail every day, no makeup, always this green jacket and black combat boots, listened to Pink Floyd, had a quirky sense of humor, and was really, really good at her artwork. I respected her, mostly because of what she created.

Anyway, we had just finished our projects and it was critique day. This particular assignment was to take an object of your choice and come up with five different angles of the object to then combine in one final piece. I remember being excited to present because I was feeling really confident with what I came up with. I loved everything about it.

We put all of our canvases on the board and sat around in a circle. This particular day the teacher wanted to mix up our critique time by having us choose one person we wanted to critique us, probably to encourage participation from everyone. After presenting my work and the theory behind my design, I took the opportunity to ask this girl to critique me.

Well... she hated it.

She didn't have one good thing to say about it, either. I remember her saying, "I just don't get it."

I listened to her pick apart my work and looking at it in disgust as I sat there, humiliated and crushed.

What a bitch, right?? I came home that day and believe I cried for several hours in my dorm room. I secretly hated her from then on, but the experience always stuck with me. It was then that I learned the harsh reality of being an artist. I shouldn't be expecting anyone to pat me on the back, smile, and give me a gold star like when I was a kid.

The reality is, my artwork is not going to be liked be everyone. Even famous artists that have their work hanging in the walls of museums are not liked by everyone. I think the important thing is to appreciate different styles of art by recognizing the emotions it is evoking inside you. Art is there to get your brain to think outside of the box.

Today, I've realized the art industry is a tough world. Especially in graphic design, someone is always going to be picking apart what I've done and telling me what they don't like about it and what needs to be fixed. Artists can express themselves and not care what others think, but designers have to create for someone else's liking. Some say designers aren't really artists, but I say designers are artists with the tougher job!

My advice to you is to take all forms of critique with consideration and class, but don't let it get to you. Don't go back and change things because the critique made you feel insecure. Go forward, learn, and just keep doing the best you can. Your style won't be for everyone, but there will be people out there that get you and will be thankful you stuck with your vision.

And to my future critics out there... I say, "BRING IT ON!"

So, what was your worst critique like? How did you handle it? What have you learned about yourself and how did you grow from the experience? Please share your thoughts!

February 15, 2011

Katy Perry!

I told you last time I would be posting pictures of my Katy Perry design!

Are you ready to see?

Well... I think you know by now I can't resist telling a good story when I share my projects... and this story is actually going to be more of a rant, so I apologize if I'm not super sweet for the next couple minutes :)

I'll spare you most of the drama, but basically I went into school yesterday with the following expectations...

1. Finally present my storyboard project in my Drawing class
2. Ace my final Typography test
3. Go over my final Typography project with the teacher so he can help me fix some of the issues I encountered before I turned it in.

Not very complicated, right?

Turns out, we never presented the storyboards, I didn't ace the test, and I never received any guidance on my project.

I won't go into my theories I conjure up in my head while at the peak of my frustration, but I'm noticing a trend with this school and that is rewarding mediocrity. It's disappointing, but I guess that's what happens when you're not enrolled at a higher end university.

So I'm hanging in there, biting my tongue, and just keeping high expectations for myself. In this sense, it's a little less "showy" because no one seems to give a shit, but at the same time it's good because I'm only doing this for myself-- no one else. I don't have parents, teachers, or peers that are holding expectations over my head. I'm only here doing this to learn, create a bangin' portfolio, and give me the gas I need to start up my career in this industry... I just have to keep reminding myself of that.

Anyway, I turned in what I came up with and if I don't get an A I will hurt someone...

Here's my Katy Perry interview I created using InDesign... 
(click to enlarge if you care to read!)

What do you think?

This was really fun, actually. I think if I ever landed my dream job I would be working as a Layout Designer at Marie Claire magazine.

A girl can dream, can't she? :)


February 13, 2011

Updates Galore!

So, tomorrow is February 14th, Valentine's Day, and also the last day of my first term at school! I can't believe how fast it went by and how much fun it was. I feel really accomplished that I've completed my first step towards my goal and I know now that I can definitely do this and that I can't give up!

I've been so consumed with this storyboarding project that I haven't even had a moment to discuss anything else going on including my Typography class! We have been learning all about layout design particularly when it comes to designing written articles and information in a visually appealing way.

I'm an avid magazine reader, Marie Claire being my favorite, and I love seeing how the designers layout each page. Whether it be a fashion spread or a celebrity interview, I always pay attention to the way everything is placed and have recently been paying more attention to the typography.

To create these layout designs we have been learning a program called InDesign. One of the biggest challenges for me is trying to embrace the change as I transform from a Microsoft to a Macintosh. It makes it that much harder to let my creative juices flow when I don't completely understand the program I'm working on let alone the system. I try my best, but it's definitely frustrating at times. The good thing is that next term I will receive my Macbook with all of the design software so I can have time to work on the projects at home and familiarize myself more than just a few hours a week in class. I need to resist my temptation to play on my PC and get used to being a citizen of this Mac world!

I have my final article design project due tomorrow, and I decided to design an article on Katy Perry. I watched an hour long TV special over the weekend about Katy's story and her rise to fame and it really inspired me. She is one of the few genuine pop stars that I believe expresses her true self at all times, no matter what anyone has to say about it. This project will be my next post so make sure to check it out!

Also, tomorrow is my Typography final and we studied by playing a game of Jeopardy last class (which I won!). Hopefully I will end the term on a high note by acing this test...

My next term starts on February 21st and I will be taking Psychology (which I'm psyched about!) and also Design Fundamentals. And guess who is going to be in the same class with me? PAUL! :D

There is also an art show coming up...

Which piece of art do you think I should enter? :)


February 10, 2011

Theo & The Hawk

It's done, people.........



I would like to first give you a walk through of my procrastination drama this week...

Monday 2/7
I went to class and finished all of the pen work and cleaned off all of the pencil. Ready for coloring!

Tuesday 2/8
I started the coloring after work and quickly realized I needed better quality pencils. After a late night trip to Walmart I left with some outstanding Crayola colored pencils and a decent pencil sharpener. I got to work again, and quickly had another realization. The coloring was going to be the most time consuming part!! It's not like coloring in your kid's coloring books... it's totally different when you're an artist trying to make each panel look shaded, blended, and visually appealing. I actually went to buy myself some Starbucks intending to go on an all night coloring binge, but about an hour into it I felt no effects of caffeine in my system and ended up passing out on the couch early.

Wednesday 2/9
DUE DATE. I brought my project to work so if I had some down time I could work on it. I ended getting a big bulk of it done since our network went down and there was almost nothing to do. What a blessing in disguise! I go home around 1:30 and I am in NO mood to color. I try to start and my tired brain quickly gives up looking for anything else I could possibly put my attention towards except picking up a colored pencil. All I wanted to do was sleep. Thankfully, after a 20 minute break I had a sudden surge of energy and decided to bust it out. I even went to school early, cutting each panel, and mounting them perfectly.

Wednesday 2/9 5:45 PM
Class begins and I am the only one who got it finished on time and the only one ready to present in the beginning of class. I'm not surprised, but you can imagine the annoyance that came over me. Turns out, Paul, my only competition, showed up late and spent the entire class mounting his beautifully Photoshopped designs. We're told we will present towards the end of class. Several smoke breaks and phone conversations later I return to class and guess what...


That would have been nice to know before I colored until I was on the verge of collapsing.


On top of that, I am the only one in class not experienced enough in Photoshop to heavily design each panel to perfection, so it was quite intimidating when I compared my hand drawn colored-in storyboard to Paul's action filled anime scenes. When compared, they were polar opposites. I was feeling down at first, but had to remind myself that they are just two different styles and that one was not better than the other. They were both visually appealing in their own ways.

Well, the good thing is that I got it done and I get to present it to my blog readers! Aren't you just dying with anticipation? (If you aren't smart enough to scroll ahead, that is, in which case I would be disappointed you chose to skip through my entertaining introduction, but whatever... )

And now, without further adieu... I present to you...

"Theo & the Hawk"

(Keep in mind these look so much better in person and I'm sorry for the bad photography! If you can't read one just click on it and it will enlarge it for you in a new window.)

Hope you enjoy it :)


So you be the judge...

Here are some questions to get your critic juices flowing...

What did you like or dislike about it? Where do you think there could be improvements? Did you like the story? Was the story portrayed visually and did it flow to your understanding? What about the technique?

And, do you think I have a future in storyboarding? :)
(I hear they can get paid up to $80,000/year... gone are the days where artists were destined to be poor, right?)

Please leave a comment with your thoughts!


February 01, 2011

Character Development

So, if you have been following you know I've been working on this mega storyboard project that is due February 9th. 

...yes, I realize that's a week away. 

Why, you ask, am I such a procrastinator? 

Oh, I don't know...

Mostly it's because I end up putting on my 90's music station intending to focus, and then suddenly a song like "Shoop" by Salt 'n Peppa comes on and I can't resist getting up and putting on a rap/dance performance for my dogs.

What? Doesn't everyone do that? 


Well, even with my ridiculous procrastination tendencies, I intend to finish on time and present an amazing storyboard display that will BLOW. YOUR. MIND.

So, as you may know the point is to come up with a story of a hero/heroin and illustrate how the story would be filmed by using different camera angles/shots/movement within each panel... blah blah blah...

But before I could start drawing my thumbnails of each scene, I needed to develop my characters. I have four characters in my story and thought I would share with you a little preview today...

I would like to introduce you to... 

First, my main character, Theo (the hero):

Theo's mother...

Theo's friend, Henry the Hawk:

And last but not least, (dum, dum dummmmmm)

the Villian...
 "Hector the One-Eyed Hawk"

Ooooh yeah... you know you're excited :)

And just so you know, here is what I have to do in the next week:

1. Thumbnails of the scenes (Done... and there are 25, people, TWENTY FIVE)
2. Draw out each 3.5 x 5" panel
3. Draw out the final scenes in pencil
4. Go in with pen and clean up each panel
5. Add color (I'll be using colored pencils)
6. Add scene descriptions to each panel
7. Mount all panels in a creative way on black matting board

Wahhhhhhhhh! School is harrrrrrrd :-/

Who thinks I can pull this off???