Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Exciting lessons in being an adult.

It's odd how much your priorities change from educational institution to educational institution- sometimes it makes you laugh to look back and see what you worried about months or years ago.
But at the time they were important and relevant.

Graduating from college and moving onto a fulltime job was really odd. There was a disconnect that noone really prepared us for. They prepared us for a very sickly workforce, but they didn't prepare us for the adjustment.
Time adjustment, friend adjustment, priority adjustment.

No longer do you pull all-nighters and stay up worrying about homework. No more afternoon naps. You're working! :D This brings all the joys and responsibilities of not being a student anymore.

Positives: No more homework that stops you from going to nighttime activities. Money.
Stability of a kind, and (hopefully for you too) work satisfaction and fulfillment.

Negatives:  No afternoon naps. No staying up all night because you want to. Bills.

So really, the positives are independence, financial and otherwise. You just have to sacrifice your willynilly sleep schedule (like mine :P). It's funny how things that take up your segments of time start to separate you from college friends. Your priorities and time commitments are different; yours are set and known, theirs are more fuzzy and spread. Its hard to explain, but you fall out of the college mode really quickly.

Change always seems a little daunting, scary and unknown. But never let it stop you from exploring beyond your knowns. You risk losing the happiness you have now, true. But you also risk losing whatever dissatisfaction you have too. Maybe there's a bite of adventure you want to satisfy.
Don't let your fear smother that.

There is something very exciting about being independant. I thought grocery shopping and doing washing and cleaning my apartment would be terribly monotonous. But at least for now it is a thrill. Every one a reminder that though I have the full support of my family, I can do stuff on my own.
I can support myself. And there's something really empowering about that. It's hard to put into words.

I was recently taken by a 20 second intro to the song 'Counting Stars' by One Republic. The voice performance is clear, crisp, honest and moving. I don't know about other people, but my Disney childhood has plagued me with envisioning anthropomorphized animals when I hear a song I really like. But anyway, I decided to rough-out what I saw in my head, and this is the result.

Hope everyone's having a fun, or at least passable Fall/Autumn :D

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Blogception of Bowheads

Hey Kids!

How have you been?


Why haven't I been posting anything?

Well, I have a fulltime job that takes a lot of delicious creative juices, chiefly to create large cetaceans of the Bowhead nature.


Here, come see! I am now working for the UA Museum of the North full time- I have my own office and everything :) I am a Modeller/Animator, and right now I am in the depths of our Arctic Currents film, which concerns itself with the fascinating life of the gentle giants, Balaena mysticetus.

I've had the amazing opportunity to talk to amazing Marine Biologists, and pick their brains about their studies and findings. So very very awesome, getting to be part of a joint project between scientists and artists. :) I am busy modelling and animating the whales which will populate the film :D Super exciting!
I hope you guys are having as much fun as I am!

Peace out,


Friday, June 7, 2013

Hello Angelmice, here's a huge update.

And I do mean huge.



Wednesday, May 22, 2013


I posted a photo of myself.
I GRADUATED! BFA in Computer Arts!

What are all the cords and sashes you ask?
The sash is for graduating with University Honors,
the double blue and yellow cords indicate I achieved highest honors (27+ honors credit)
the medallion is for Golden Key International Honors Society members,
and the gold cord is for graduating with Magna Cum Laude Honors (GPA 3.92)

:D Was very fun. Felt like a Padowan graduating to JEDI JOB MASTER.

So I just realised I haven't posted a whole punch of acrylic painting progress...
Anywho, this is a Thai Naga for a family friend, 
scanned and photoshopped to add the background and adjust levels and elements :)

The Thai is a Buddhist proverb, and says "Today is worth two tomorrows".
I think it means you should never take your life for granted, because you are not guaranteed tomorrow.
Kind of an awesome quote.
I spent a batrillion hours painting this in detail, and then another 6 to photoshop it :P
So please show major respects- at least link to it please <3 nbsp="" p="">

This is a wallpaper I created, had a thought knocking about, a hazy idea about a blue dragon
and then I thought, wait, why don't I add a galaxy!?
So then I did.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A thought...

I made this- has been a slow and busy week, and I had a thought.
Thankyou to Thomas Towers for his photograph <3 nbsp="" p="">

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sometimes feelings don't make sense, but you have them anyway.

-9 frame run/leap cycle of a dog-deer thing.
Done in about 30 minutes, just to blow off steam from CGI work
(damn whales with Gimbal Lock....)

Sometimes you miss people but can't do much about it.
And sometimes you regret.

But regret and loss and sadness will not achieve anything!
So we draw and animate!
Draw and draw and draw and draw....

The Dreaded Octeagle! SQUAA!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Arizona, Scholarship Breakfasts and Experimenting with Photoshop

I went to Arizona last week, went and saw the Grand Canyon, and generally just had a kick-butt time.
Seeing the Grand Canyon was really surreal. I realised how transient I am in the grand scheme of things, how I should worry less about little things.
Because long before me, this canyon was delved and formed. And for many years after, it will still stand, indifferent and resolute. That many more gregarious squawking people will come visit, with cameras and dogs and fast food cups, many more voles and deer and robins will scamper along it's surfaces, but nothing but the sheer weight of time will wear at it. There was something deeply powerful in that. Though I don't think I fully understand it yet.

You could look out straight across, and see the plateau continue uninterrupted far across the other side of the canyon. That many hundreds of thousands of years ago, this plateau would have been whole and flat. If you look to the side, you see sheer cliffs tumble straight down into the depths of the valley- and if you peer into the dusty atmospheric depths, you can make out the winding ridges and gulleys far below. I really wished I could fly down, flapping and all, and explore the plateau shelves, the deep ridges, and sloping rises. An unforgettable experience.

Here's a feathery avian raptorid I sketched out.

Robed Tiger Progress

I had a dream last week about a big tiger that wanted to go pay respects at a hilltop temple. 
In order to make his way through the village without being hurt or mistaken for a maneater, 
one of the Thai villagers draped a monk robe on him. 
Was a really awesome dream, and the tiger had a really regal air. Here he is :) 
The Thai says 'tiger.'

I am thoroughly pleased with how this turned out!
I hope to do more in this subdued, sketchy style soon. The rich calming colours please me so!

Hope you are all doing well <3 p="">

Sunday, March 31, 2013

A 3 minute break from life...

I won't do this much, but this video is breathtaking and inspiring as heck.
If you had a pretty cruddy weekend like me, this will hopefully cheer you up like me.

1280 HD, because it's gorgeous. :)
Have a happy Monday! xoxo

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A personal thought on love

As a kid in primary school I remember being taught that love/friendship has no race, religion, age, or gender.
That you can love anyone for being a good person. That you should never bully someone for being different than you.
That before you tell someone how to do something, you should consider it from their position first.

I feel that adults forget these rules. Opinion and politics and other adult things get in the way of things we were taught as a child. The world doesn't have to be difficult. We make it difficult. We let our opinions and voices get in the way, when understanding and listening is all that is needed.

I support love for all people, of all steps of life.
Adult bias be damned. Let people live and be happy. ♥

(^ A piece of mine from 2007 ^)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Artists: A Guide

I have been giving several talks over the last few weeks to high school and college kids, on the varied topics of animation, art curricula, career, passion. These are usually awesome and fun and easy to do- I really just get to show some of my digital art and animations and explain process and intent. I try to impress on them that, no matter what dream they decide to chase, they actively chase that dream, rather than wait for it to find them.

I recently gave an Honors Thesis presentation to the Freshman & Sophmore Honors Students to show them what kind of projects they can do for their Capstone Thesis.
This was the first slide of that hilarious and fun presentation:

This week there was an Honors Student Artist Symposium, where four Honors Art students presented their art and explained their process and inspiration. I presented a series of WIP step-by-step pictures as well as the following slides, which I hoped would help non-artist students understand how we work.

High School Trials
One of the biggest hurdles for me to overcome in High School was finding time and a friendly environment to draw in school. It varied widely, on a teacher-by-teacher basis. Each semester was a tenuous testing-of-the-waters with my teachers, to see which ones did not want me drawing during their class, which ones would tolerate it, and which ones actively encouraged me.

The teachers that were downright unfriendly about my drawing in their class were under the impression that drawing distracted me from their class, from concentrating on their lecture. I can safely assure you, at least for most artists, that drawing helps us focus and concentrate. This is especially true if a teacher is  not as effective at speaking to their class, and I am inclined to nod off. Drawing helps me focus and concentrate. This has remained true in college (the difference being, professors don't mind you drawing here, ever).

So if there are any teachers/professors reading this, understand that artists operate on a slightly different system. Please don't yell at us and forbid us from drawing. This is maybe the meanest thing you can do. It is suffocating to us. If we are trying to draw, all we want to do is focus. Drawing whilst you lecture means that when we look back on the drawings, we remember what you were saying as we drew each thing.

I would like to think that artists have their own set of rules for learning- just like teachers make concessions for people with learning difficulties. (wow that sounds funny to read) I think there needs to be an understanding and a more embracing acceptance.... that artists work on a different set of rules, to a degree. We do not 'scribble' to escape, we draw to reconnect. As always, I cannot talk for everyone but only for myself and other artists that have agreed/related to my feelings on the subject.

Art to Live, Art to Survive
So whilst many artists have a dream of living a life of Bohemian freedom with no schedule and no deadlines, etc., many discover this is not synonymous to having money or being able to survive or pay rent. Most have to either take on tutoring, teaching, commission work, or a line of work totally unrelated to their passion. I consider myself lucky that my interest in art is applicable to a larger industry, I really do. I also do not mind deadlines and working in a workplace, so hurrah for that :)

But it is interesting to note that no matter what workplace you are in- be it a big movie studio like Disney or Pixar, a small independent workshop, in a coffee shop... when you talk to artists, there is always a struggle for balance. A struggle for doing work to live, and doing art for personal fulfillment and enjoyment. Even artists and technicians that work in film and game studios crave personal creative time. When you think about it, they spend their days making amazing work that is essentially creating another person's vision. Whilst this is exciting and fulfilling in it's own right, there is still the nagging craving to express your own voice, your own vision.

So I think the struggle to create to survive vs. live is a struggle between responsibility to society, and responsibility to yourself. Perhaps it is an eternal struggle, and perhaps it is not a struggle confined to artists.

Emotional Sincerity
Some artists fall into a pitfall of craving to be popular or edgy, without a deeper personal drive or desire to create the art. This approach to creating renders the art in question transient and temporary, soon passing like autumn leaves. (Although my reaction to purposefully edgy or forced art also hinges on the attitude and personality of the artist in question...)

Man, that sounds judgey. Ok. Here's another way to look at it. If you are an artist that lives on the cusp of the wave of popularity and the now, realise that it is a tireless endeavour- taste and meme never stops evolving and changing. But. If you create art you do not care about. Have no emotional investment in. Why should we, the viewer?

Artistic Drive
If you have a passion, you know this feeling. You know the feeling of bursting with a need to create something. ANYTHING. You just have feels and you have to make use of them. No matter what medium or end product. You have to get to making something. Sometimes you have an idea, a direction, a plan. Sometimes it is just a blind need to create. And this ties back to my time in High School. There is nothing worse- more frustrating- than having a burning desire to draw, get an idea out... and your professor has forbade you to let you get those feels out and on paper. 
Oh it is a most frustrating and suffocating feeling.

Opinions weigh heavily
So this is another point I can only talk about from my own perspective and those I've talked to who've agreed. But advice, warning, opinions, they all affect us, even if we put up a strong front. Artists, for the most part, experience the world with their emotions close to the surface, their heart on their sleeve. This doesn't mean I'm an emotional wreck- we still have emotional control- it's just that everything we encounter, good and bad, does not really have a buffer. It's raw, bam, hits us, then we go about figuring out how to digest it. Good and bad, the feels are very strong. 
Now if it's good things, I'm usually beaming all day :D Cloud nine. Bad things? ART TIME. I'll explain this reasoning (or lack of reasoning) later.

But know, if you're a parent, teacher, or authority figure to a young artist, that your words REALLY matter. If you keep knocking them down and discouraging them from pursuing art, you really are getting to them. You are possibly ruining their drive to chase their dream and passion altogether. REMEMBER THIS. Act accordingly. I truly mean this :(
It does get to us. We do care what you think.

What is the point or worth of art?

If I need to justify/defend this question then you should not be reading this blog.

That being said, some people do not help themselves, and live in dreamland where they trust they can find a job out of college that involves an obscure or very specific art field that may or may not be in much demand.
College serves NO favours in that repsect. It does not give a hint of how the real world will recieve you and your talents and skillset. So the owness is upon YOU to research and go to conventions and workplaces and apply for internships. To discover for yourself if you are ready for the workforce, if you are at a competitive level. Sadly most colleges will not prepare you for that huge gap.

Ok, kind of a weird statement on it's own- it's related to this next slide.

I think this is the most rewarding thing of being an artist. The ability to take the strongest, worst, saddest, most taxing feelings... and recycle it into strong art. That is the most rewarding and healing aspect of being an artist. Most of the art I've featured here was drawn when I was feeling some pretty strong sadness, anger, loss, confusion, dismay. This is how I control and temper my emotions. 

I draw them- I passively take them, work through it and meditate through drawing them out. I know it sounds a little odd and bleh, but it's the truth. When I feel bad feels, intensely, I wait until they stop swirling chaotically- I wait for them to form a good strong idea. Then I draw it. All that emotion and feeling lends itself to giving you conviction and drive. To create some very awesome art.

By the end of the art, you've worked through some or all of that negativity. It's tired out, it's thought through. And look what you've done! You've turned the worst of feels into some kickass art. That is a pretty cool trade off if you ask me :) 

Now, art does not always stem from having a crappy day or a tragedy. It can be tripped by almost anything. 
A person. A song. A place.  A memory. 
As much as you need to create and express and put back into the world, you need to realise that this is a cyclical process. Without input, reflection, observation... your art becomes samey. Uninspired. There usually needs to be a give and take to this process. Some call it procrastination, I call it research ;) 
It all counts. Even if it isn't apparent at the time.

Don't become hung up or obsessive on self-reflection, pride or style. As suffocating as self-doubt can be to an artist's work, self-pride can be equally detrimental. This is most noticeable in people whose parents coddled their Golden Child.

As awesome and virtuous as your talents are, realise in the end that you are not the singly talented special snowflake your mum wants you to think you are :) There are thousands of very talented individuals out there. They are just as awesome as you, if not more so. Be competitive, but don't treat everything as a competition. Taking yourself seriously to the nth degree only sets you up to have your pride hurt over and over.

Trust yourself. Be humble. Be sincere. You're an awesome person,  just be the best you can be. 
Oh and don't write preachy blog posts like I do :P ha ha.

Love, Hannah.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dreams > General Opinion

Remember when people do not approve of your dream. When they cast doubts. Tell you it's not possible, you will fail, never achieve your lofty aspirations... remember the flipside.
If you give up, the only person it affects is you. You in twenty, forty years, maybe regretful or sad you never stuck to your guns. Sad you let go of something you were truly passionate about.

Remember that those who run you down, make you feel foolish, make you feel you're not going to make it... wether you steel yourself and chase it, or follow their advice and give up... the only person it affects. Good or bad. Is you. They will live on as they wish, regardless of you too.

So live for you. You are here for a reason. You have time to figure out what that is. And don't let others try to push you off your course. You have a voice and a reason, and the world is better for you being here. Live that everyday, and never let anyone make you feel small or unimportant. Never make their jeers come true.

Live everyday to make the world better. And you will.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Kindan-No, a progress of pictures.

Tada!!! Finished! Took a few weeks, on and off. About 20-25 hours work I think?

A tiger, of course! Done in ballpoint pen while I was waiting for my painting to dry...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Maybe procrastination is a good thing?

So you may not know it, but I'm a procrastinator.
And I don't know what it is. I am still rather productive as far as senior college students go, but I know I procrastinate also. I get the weirdest (read, deathly fear) inspiration or gust of perpetual PRODUCTIVENESS when the deadline is closing in. And I know this isn't just me. 
But it's weird, and I can't explain it.

I know that the brain, for as much time it takes to be concentrated and productive and thoughtful, it is healthy for it to take some time out and watch some silly videos on youtube.
If you keep squeezing a sponge, it will eventually just be dry and crusty and gross. 
Nobody wants a brain like that.

Gotta soak it in some tasty mindjuices. Tasty, tasty mind juices.

Hm. Maybe this is me trying to explain away procrastination.
Well, not really. I know I need to reign in how much mind juicing I do- I know having a to-do list (with really generalish goals for each day) it really helps me get my butt in gear. So, I'm going to have a go at trying to do that more.

The worst problem I guess is that both of my jobs and both my degrees require me to be on my laptop pretty much constantly... and the internet is so tempting. Games I can somehow more easily say no to.
But facebook, reddit and youtube kill me.

Oh by the way, if you are a potential employer reading this, please know I make concerted efforts not to procrastinate when I'm working. I feel there's something fundamentally wrong when I'm wasting someone elses' paid time. Also, I have really liked all the bosses I've had thus far- a few of them have been more like friends/family than bosses really- and I'd feel like a scumbag for messing with their trust.

That being said, if I do procrastinate, I detract hours, or work overtime to make them up.
 And this is me being honest- just as I was honest above ^^^ 
My time, I will wantonly waste :P No arguments there. 
But I have definite conscience and morals when it comes to wasting others'. 
So please don't read this entry and NOPE away.  


Well now, with that being said, here's some art from the last week and a half. 

These were all painted and scribbled in beginning painting class. 
Oh yes, I forgot to mention, I am taking Beginning Painting in my last semester of College.
And it's the best thing I've ever done. All the BFA and Honor's Capstone Thesis stress is over, all my other requirements are fulfilled. Time to sit back and do some awesome painting after learning about colour theory and composition for the last 5 years, and getting to relax and put it into a beginning class. Best idea ever. 

Working out tiger stripe patterns.

TADA! Final piiieeece!

Tiger bum.

I have not done acrylic painting in YEARS. This is a huge learning curve for me.
It's like digital art, but HARDER.

WIP of Kindan-No. I spent a lesson preparing the canvas and background 
(it had been bright yellow before).
Then I spent last Thursday freehand drawing in the design and starting the painting.

Scribbled while I was waiting for paint to dry. MEESTA TERRORDACTEEL!


Goodness, I am sincerely hoping employers don't find this. They're going to think I'm nuts.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Talent vs. the Evolution of Skill

So I have been thinking about careers and skills and such lately, with my graduation soon approaching, and I have been pondering the dichotomy of natural talent vs. hard earned skill.

And the summation of my pondering is as follows.

As humans, we are cruddy at gauging and visualizing time in sizable quantities. We just suck at it. It's why the concept of evolution (tiny changes built up over time) can be so hard for people to understand. To visualize millions of years of selective pressures morphing and redefining organisms due to environment, predators, natural disasters... that's a big idea to get your head around.

Another example is the stars in the night sky- the distance that light has to travel is so vast, that by the time it reaches us, the gaseous body from which it was sent may have already died. That idea explodes my brain every time.

I think the concept of evolution can be applied to an individual's skillset, on a smaller scale. I'm not saying this idea will be foolproof, and it's idealistic, so feel free to disagree.

You have 300 children- let's just say they're five years old, for the fun of it. And they all want to be artists. Let them progress and grow for 15 years. You will see a gradient of skill levels. Some of this can be attributed to outside forces- family encouraging/discouraging their interest choice, free time and materials to practice their craft, health, disposition, etc. etc.

The skillset gradient can also be partially attributed to internal forces. What am I getting at? Let me explain with antelopes. We can all agree that predators are a selective pressure for antelopes. Therefore, any little genetic alteration a baby antelope inherits that will improve it's chances of surviving predators, will help it survive to pass it's genes on to the next generation. This might be slightly longer legs, better eyesight, faster reflexes, a more cautious disposition, better lung capacity, etc. etc. Over time, these genetic alterations add up, and what started as a small advantage (to the current set of selective pressures) can become a rather dramatic advantage.

Let's apply this to our 300 young budding artists. What would be perceived as talent could be something as subtle as slightly better hand-eye coordination, slightly better perception, spacial awareness, colour sensitivity, enthusiasm/inclination, etc. Over time and with a lot of practice, these small *internal forces* can give the children an advantage over those who possess advantages in other areas (but not relevant to the selective pressures of this skillset).

What is passed off as natural or 'god-given' talent could perhaps be attributed to small advantages from a young age, wether it be inner drive or a subtle physical advantage. (maybe these are linked also... if at a young age you find certain interests improve with relative ease, you might be more inclined to pursue them over others...)

So I guess what I'm getting at is. I disagree with people deciding not to pursue certain fields of interest on the argument of 'I'm not talented', or, 'person X has natural talent, I've never been able to draw like that.' And so they give up before they started. Because of (what I would argue is) the social myth of talent.

Sure, maybe they have a small physical advantage. Maybe outside forces enhanced this also (very encouraging parents or unlimited materials and time...) What you are seeing is perhaps a seed of unfair advantage, supplemented with a lot of time and effort.

When people have directed questions to me about talent or how I learnt to draw, my answer is time and practice. I did a lot of terrible terrible drawings in order to draw less terrible ones now. And the terrible ones I draw now, I draw so that I will draw non-terrible ones later.
Whatever small advantage that might be coined natural talent is negatable, and without practice would have been for naught. So never tell yourself you can never be like your idol. The only thing that truly separates you from them is time and practice. Skill comes with deliberate practice.

I hope this in some way makes sense.

Feel free to comment and disagree, I'd like to hear your opinion.

This was the result of my musing over the past few days, after a friend asked me for help learning to draw, and beyond the usual advice to study figures/ favourite artists and books, I could simply only suggest practice. I felt bad that I only caused him frustration (it has not been the first time that answer has inspired that emotion). But in all honesty, I and anyone else who has a specific skillset has dedicated a lot of hours to their craft. There is no easy way to fast-track those hours of hard work and pain.

If there is, please let me know.

To show what I mean about pain and dedication to improvement....
here is a picture of horses I drew circa 2004 (forgive my eerie staring O.O)

circa 2007

circa 2011

circa 2012

I don't even want to try and calculate how many drawings of horses go in between these four. 
Or before these four. Or after these four. I guess this post could be condensed to: 

~nothing worth having in life comes without sacrifice and patience~

I think I forget this sometimes.