Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Ol' Dot Com

Yesterday I gave my website a major, much-needed overhaul. (That until yesterday my bio said I live in Santa Rosa tells you everything you need to know about how much attention I've been paying to it.) It's always a struggle deciding how "professional"-looking to make my public persona.
Because really. I'm not "professional." I'm strange and whimsical and inappropriate. So do I have my website portray me as this person I'm not because it looks better to prospective clients, and then they meet me and find out what I'm really like? Or do I let them know up front: "This is me! This is the personality you'll be dealing with if you decide to work with me!"?
So I err on the side of the latter method. I guess if I were a doctor or lawyer or otherwise "serious" person it be a better idea to present a more "professional" (whatever the hell that means anyway) appearance. But I'm not in a serious field, I'm in the art field where they kind of want you to be strange and whimsical and inappropriate. And it doesn't do me any good to try to be someone I'm not, since I also have the misfortune of being a very unintentionally obvious kind of person and people tend to see through me in about three seconds.
And anyway, every middle school guidance counselor and after school special tells you to "just be yourself." And it's taken a long time for me to figure out how to do that, so now that I have I may as well stick with it for a while. (Incidentally, I think the "Just Be Yourself" mantra is the most useless, bullshit, potentially detrimental piece of advice you could foist onto a kid, but I don't have time to get into that right now so I'll save it for a future post.)
It's also hard deciding what pieces to put up for display. I took all the fairies down because I'm planning on doing something else with them (possibly giving them their own page), and I'd rather have them copyrighted first (as soon as I figure out how... there's a lot of things they don't teach you in art school, like intellectual property and your legal rights and responsibilities). It's a hard call because I feel like they're the best representation of my work, but I'd rather be safe than sorry and if I risk any of my work getting ripped off, I'd rather it be anything else but them.
And my work... while I'm doing it, and posting it on the internet for friends and family, it's all well and peachy. But as soon as I post up as though someone might want to buy it, suddenly I start thinking, "GOD NOTHING I DO IS GOOD ENOUGH WHY DID I THINK ANYONE WOULD BE INTERESTED IN THIS CRAP THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE BETTER THAN ME GAAAHHHHHH!" Does this ever happen to anyone else? How do you cope?
Anyway, I didn't mean for this entry to be all introspective and vulnerable. Really all I wanted to say was that I updated my website. So - I updated my website! Go check it out!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Everything I need to know I learned from my dad.

In honor of Father's Day, I thought I should share some quotes and anecdotes from my dad that shaped my experiences and helped form who I am.

- "Get over here, you three idiots!"

- "The glass is half full, but it's filled with piss."

- " ... So the next time you need more asswipe, get it from the closet and put it on the asswipe holder so the next person who needs asswipe can have it!" (trying to get us to change the toilet paper roll once it got empty)

- "I would get Christmas decorations for my office, but only if I could find a light-up sign that spells out 'KILL ALL ELFS.' "

- (After the smoke alarm had been going off sporadically all night, Dad ripped it off the wall, yanked out the batteries, and threw it all on the floor) "There, I fixed it."

 - "You kids are so dumb. Denise, why are our kids so damn dumb?"

- (While standing idly by and watching my mom bag all the groceries) "You know, if you were faster we'd be done by now."

- (After the printer had been malfunctioning all day, he grabs it from the desk, takes it into the garage, and hurls it across the floor, causing it to shatter into a million pieces) "We need a new printer."

- "You kids don't know how to hold the door open for people. So now we're going to have Door Practice." (All afternoon we had Door Practice.)

- "For Halloween I wanted to be a Wal-Mart employee. But when I went to Wal-Mart they wouldn't give me one of those blue vests."

- (with utter and complete resignation) "I hate everything."

If I left anything out, you can leave it in the comments!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The color of infinity inside an empty glass

Tonight I got to do something I don't often get to do anymore - listen to music while making art. Specifically, making art just for myself.
Okay, here it is.

I caught Grendel unawares as he snoozed along the side of the house in his favorite sunny spot. Grendel is a good subject, as long as he is sleeping. Awake, he doesn't often stand still enough.
Happy Tuesday, Internet!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday Night Blues

I wish I could be working on my own art, but when I have a commission to work on it's hard to justify doing my own stuff when I could be doing the stuff I get paid for. (For which I get paid? The grammatically correct way sounds so much more awkward.) So every time I sit down to draw or paint, I focus on cranking out my commissions as soon as possible. Then I realize that I don't really do anything but go to work and come home and slave away at my drafting table. Then I get depressed. And sigh. And feel sorry for myself.
Le sigh.
Now that that's out of the way, here's a picture of some birds. I hope they brighten your day.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Do you have a name to go with all those rippling pectorals?

Hercules is by far my favorite Disney movie. It has its flaws, like the half-assed soundtrack and the painful jokes that are only funny because you know they're supposed to be. But I love it for three reasons - the stretchy, geometric animation that was a departure in tone for Disney at the time (pretty much none of the characters translate well into dolls), the saucy, sultry voice work of the fabulous Susan Egan (why is she not a world-class superstar?), and the unbelievably dated references to the 90s (seriously, Charlton Heston actually utters the line, "You go, girl!").
I saw this movie in the theater when I was 13. Although even I knew at the time that I was a little old to be liking Disney movies, Hercules struck a chord with me because I was at the precise age where I was beginning to comprehend and embrace the idea of romantic love. (Yeah, I was kind of a late bloomer.) I was completely entranced with Hercules' and Meg's storyline, and for days afterward I replayed my favorite lines over and over in my head. "Sometimes people do crazy things when they're in love." "You're the most amazing person with weak ankles I've ever met." Awwww... Other movies that moved me in this way for this reason include: Titanic, Love Potion #9, and Crocodile Dundee. (God, I can't even look y'all in the eye right now.)
Viewing it now, I am struck by one thing - even though the good guys aren't Sunday-school-sickly-sweet good, I still can't help siding with the bad guy - Hades. Why? Because he's not evil. They try really hard to make him look evil. They talk a lot about how evil he is. But he doesn't act evil. He's honest, he does what he says he's going to do, and he always comes through on his promises. When Meg is injured by a falling column, Hercules gets his strength back - exactly as Hades promised. They pick on him for being hard on souls who try to escape from the River Styx, but really, he's just doing his job. Souls aren't supposed to return from the dead. He's just trying to keep the natural order of things. Even his reason for being evil is pretty understandable. Zeus and the Olympians shun him and treat him like some icky thing because of his job as Lord of the Underworld - a job that Zeus himself foisted onto Hades. Hell, I'd be pissed too.
I want to see a follow-up movie that tells the story of how Hades abducts Persephone into the underworld. Then I'd be able to get behind the idea of him being an asshole.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

But wait, there's more!

Hehe. My art history professor always used to say that.
I just wanted to share with the world my love of checking out movies from the library. Last week I watched Sicko and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1954). This week I am going to watch Before Sunrise and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. In the words of the immortal Rebecca Black, we so excited.
Plus, checking items out from your local library means more circulation, which means more funding, which means better resources for the library and therefore for the community. Support your local library! It's free! Well, technically, you pay for it with your tax dollars, but let's face it - there are a lot of much worse things your tax dollars are supporting.
I also figured out another way you can read for free, but the catch is you have to be a fast reader. Basically, if you have three or four hours to kill, you can go to a bookstore, pick out your novel of choice, sit in one of their cushy armchairs, read it all in one sitting, then put it back on the shelf. I'm working my way through The Hunger Games trilogy this way. I feel a little bad for not supporting the author and the store and basically stealing the content of the book to store in my brain, but oh well. It's their fault for not releasing the paperback version sooner. I don't have $25 to spend on a book I'm going to finish within 8 hours of purchasing, and then it will just take up space on my shelf with its almighty hard-bound cover.
This is where everyone is going to tell me I should just suck it up and get a Kindle. Well, I don't like Kindles. They're the reason print is dying, and I don't want print to die. Print is going to turn into a lost art, like writing letters or tuning in your CB radio.
I am smiling because I'm thinking about the time an elderly black gentleman called out to me, "Hey, lady - you hot!" That will never stop making me smile.