Thursday, June 28, 2012

Back Forward

Oh Boy.

I ripped apart my leg build up.
disassembled the hip/thigh and feet joints
I cleaned them.
I put them back together with JB weld.
I came back 24 hours later.
Things are looking good!

Oh wait... no things are looking bad.

I stopped and had a moment with myself.

I should just rip this whole thing apart and start again / that will take a long time / sometimes its worth it to just cut your losses / if I don't take the extra time now I may be screwing myself horribly in the future / but I really like the way the torso came out.... and it is still working fine / if it ain't broke don't fix it / what the hell should I do


Yup.  In the midst of complaining and cursing to myself I found myself smiling.  The truth of the matter is no matter what I love building things.  I also love destroying things that have been craftily built (if you are a stop mo animator you KNOW the joy of being handed a beautiful pristine prop knowing that to do your shot right you MUST DESTROY IT).  So I ripped off what was left of the legs.  I cleaned them again.  I JB welded again, this time a little more thoroughly.  Then I posed the crap out of my puppet because a) it seemed like a fun idea b) I could test if the torso and arms were still holding up.

Cleaned off the parts with rubbing alcohol

Skinny thighs after ripping off all of the foam leg build up.  All that remains is the apoxy sculpt that I reinforced the  lower leg with.  I think I will go back and reinforce the upper leg as well. 

Posing without fingers!!  The fingers are being kept safe in a ziploc for now.   I'm also going to redo where the neck joint attaches to the head.  This is only a placeholder head anyways!

They held up.  I'm gonna leave them for now.  If I need to rip apart the precious work I have put into my puppets in the next few weeks, I'm ok with it.  In fact it's going to be a good time.

Oh yes and back to the point of this entire post.
For ever step backwards that has happened, I learn something.  Even if it is the tiniest something I still have a little more information than when I started.

Therefore every step backwards is really just another step forward.

So there are no backwards steps.  This makes me feel pretty alright.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Me and my Brain

Today I went to the coffee shop.  My usual seat was taken.  As were my two backup seats.  So I had to sit in my 4th choice (which on the bright side is far better than my 5th choice).  Whenever this happens I get all up in my head and can't stop thinking about how perfect everything would just be if I could sit in my usual spot.  Then I stop and think about how this is a metaphor for life and to just be ok with where I am and see if I can find anything special about seeing things from (literally) a new perspective. This would be fine if I could just learn the lesson once and be good every time thereafter.  But this happens every time and it makes me annoyed with my brain.  My inside conversation with myself goes something like this:

Me: Oh man, looks like my top three seats are taken, well at least I can still sit in my 4th choice!  If I had to sit in my fifth choice I would be soooooooo annoyed.


Me: That father playing with his newborn and singing to him is really sweet.


Me: Hmmm... I kinda wish I had got a cookie with my latte today.... The cookies here are insane.... I wonder what makes them so good.  Oh look, that girl is reading The Artists Way.  I wonder if I should go talk to her on my way out.


So as I was saying. this is totally annoying.  Seriously brain, get over it.  Anyways I have faith that my brain will chill out eventually.  Until then, just one day at a time.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Doodlee Doo

I started a new sketchbook yesterday.  Whenever I complete a sketchbook and move onto another I give myself a little pat on the back.  It's a nice sense of accomplishment and physical proof that I have put time into something I love to do just for the sake of doing it.  All of my old sketchbooks are home in Toronto so it's nice to start a new pile in a new city.

I'm getting kind of tired of photographing my sketchbook for my blog though.  I left my scanner in Toronto and haven't had it for over a year now.  But I miss it....  Maybe I will buy a new one or maybe I'll get my old one.  We'll see!!

Oh yah!  And check out the new pages I put on the blog.  There is an About Me page and a Where Do I Draw? page.  Fun!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Time Out

Sometimes I fall into this false sense of security where I think I have gotten everything in my life really figured out.  I think more than anything I want to believe I have figured it all out.  Optimism abounds.  Then something will inevitably happen, some new situation and I will not be prepared to handle it with as much grace as I would have thought I could.  I know this is normal and I know that it hurts to grow but sometimes I really just need a solid time-out from life.  There is no such thing though.  I suppose if there was some of us would never want to tag back in.  We have to go through it.  This is life and this is art.  We never really know if the decisions we make are right or wrong, or if there even is such a thing as right or wrong and maybe all there is are the things we have already done, the decisions we have already decided on and made.  Right and wrong then become irrelevant.

So let's see what happens.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wrappity Wrap!

I am aspiring to make my progress posts clearer and more explanatory.  I'm figuring things out as I go along and I want to share my thought process as much as I can so ANYWAYS here's some stuff.
I realized that I was not quite getting the silhouette that I was after mostly out of the neck.  I also wanted to redo the knees and start working on the feet.  So I went in and sandwiched foam with spray adhesive over the parts I wanted to build up.

Then I wrapped/compressed those parts with foam wrap and left it over night for the adhesive to set.  I am SO impatient so if I don't walk away and leave the room I WILL TOUCH everything and anything before it is ready.

So I left the studio and came back the next day and just started trimming, first with big scissors then with little ones.  Here is what I ended up with:

So now I have a better silhouette with the neck that I was after.  The feet still need a lot of work.... so I am still working on them.  Of course I need to keep reminding myself that to get a really good silhouette you really need 10% a good puppet and 90% a good animator.  So I need to stop being such a perfectionist with this puppet and move it along so that I can get closer to animating.  It's easy to get distracted by your own thoughts when your the only one working on a project!!  Truth be told I am scared of working on the skin.  I haven't settled on a method yet and I'm kinda scared!  Which is silly!  So I'm just gonna get started on it!  Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Gouache Succeeded

Well look what happened.  Finally some colour to brighten up my sketchbook.  HAPPINESS.  I can feel the wheels beginning to turn again.  I am slowly (so slowly) but surely returning to the mental state of productiveness.  Today I read another chapter in The Artists Way and there was a sentence in there that came to the effect of "self respect comes from the doing, not from the done".  Something I totally needed to hear today.  It's a simple way of me being able to understand that even though I am so proud of all the things I have accomplished, it is not enough to sustain my happiness as an artist.  The only thing that make me really feel happy is doing.  So that is why I feel so much peace when I draw in the morning.  That is why I feel like I have accomplished the best day of my life if I go into my studio and test out a method that ultimately won't even work for my purposes.  Cause I'm doing.  That's really the thing that gets me out of bed and instead of saying to myself "you have not done enough" I say "what can I create today?"

GO DO!!!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Everything Everywhere All The Time

Lately my mind has been a jumbled mess.  It is frustrating because I've had some really good extended periods of time of non-jumbledness and those times are so productive and fun.  But I suppose what goes up must come down and I'm just in one of those down times.  I have confidence that the next time I am up it will surpass my last most creative period.  Things just seem to happen that way.  For now I am trudging along, doing what I know I should be doing the best I can until I can snap out of it and run (creatively speaking of course...).  I've been experimenting with some textiles!  I made a rule recently that if something sounds like I fun I do it.  So buying embroidery thread and experimenting with different ways of wrapping it and even having a go at knitting with it using fine wire as knitting needles happened. It was fun and interesting.  So mission accomplished.  I had this thought about using embroidery thread instead of latex paint for the skin of my Old Man.  Experimentally it is not working in a way that I like.  But I think I want to explore some new colour themes and then maybe some new approaches.  I'm not fully giving up on the idea yet.....  I'll let you know how it goes.

Experimenting with mixing different colours of embroidery thread to see how different colour combinations/wrapping and weaving read optically.  These are wrapped around his legs.  Screen Left leg is just wrapped while Screen Right leg I braided the thread first then wrapped it.