Monday, March 3, 2014
______I've been thinking about creativity.
______The other day I was scrolling through Tumblr and came across an image that I thought a person I knew had drawn, a person who we will call Jessie. It had thousands of notes. "Hey, that's Jessie's picture!" I thought excitedly. "Good for them!" But upon closer inspection, it wasn't exactly the same image. A few stray lines were here and there. I knew Jessie had posted their version to Facebook, so I opened the two side-by-side and compared them. They were nearly identical. It was, disappointingly enough, a copy. A disappointing copy that Jessie had clearly made of the drawing from Tumblr.
______When I Google searched the Tumblr image, it came to an artist who had posted it a few years ago. It had been re-pinned, re-posted, and such so many times that the artist name had been lost, thought not a struggle to find. It's disheartening to think that a person I know would copy then claim another artist's image as their own. Maybe they don't think it's a big deal. But... it kinda is. Yuck-o.
______That's not to say it's wrong to look and be inspired by others' art, absorbing their ways of making or utilizing a technique you hadn't thought of, along with viewing source material as a reference--because it's most definitely not. Looking at other art is the only way to grow and not have your art look like other art! And references are great ways to make sure an aspect of your work is accurately depicted, as is copying it for the purpose of pure practice. However, to directly copy something line for line to the point where it's practically a replica, then adding an extra line or two and calling it your own? That's sort of more disgusting than a moldy egg sandwich.
______I understand that coincidences may occur, but coincidence and inspiration have to stray from each other at some point. The fact that Jessie turned their art in as an assignment, as their own, is what bothers me the most. Maybe the original drawing isn't the most renowned piece of art in the world, but it's still someone's creation. So why would a person say it's theirs? Whyyyyy? What would you gain except for a cheated sense of praise?
______I apologize for the grumpy gargoyle mood in today's post, but I suppose a blatant disregard for artists is one thing that picks at my nerves. Especially when it's another so-called "artist" doing it. People shouldn't get credit for what they didn't work hard at. You gain so much more through failure and actually trying than you ever will from turning in something that isn't yours. Art is something that should come from a person's own artistic knowledge, not an uncredited image from Pinterest.
______What's one thing you could rant on for hours about?
______On an outfit note, these snazzy-fierce Jeffrey Campbell boots were a Christmas present from the parental units. I think they make for a surprising combination with this hot pink dress. The metallic heel and embossed snake print in the leather caught my eye quicker than a bearded man in a room full of beardless men would. Nature calling? No, no. Shoe calling? Yes, yes.
Dress: Cynthia Rowley, via TJ Maxx (similar)
Sweater: via TJ Maxx (similar)
Boots: Jeffrey Campbell, via RevolveClothing
Necklace, earrings: Charming Charlie
Hair: styled by my most beautimous mother
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Sea Croissants, Lithographic print, 18x24
Lithography, Spring 2014
______Here is my first lithographic print! I began doodling some crescent-shaped worms in my sketchbook and quickly ended up with these delicate critters who are floating and bending in the atmosphere. I plan on working with them again, along with constructing some Sea Bagel buddies to abide them in their journeys. I think I'm going to create a whole family of underwater bakery brethren!
______I have really grand news about this print: my printmaking teacher shined a bright light on my dull day by telling me she submitted it to a showing at the PaperWorks Gallery in Birmingham. She used her people skills to ensure that mine had a place in the show since I was diligent in and outside of class, whereas the rest of my class has been pretty laid-back and slow to start. Say whuuut! She then proceed to muse out loud, telling me that since I was extremely self-driven, she'd gladly help me through an independent study in Lithography next Fall semester. That was a big honor since she usually tells people to go away when they want to do one. That means I would be able to make the independent study work around my own schedule opposed to attending to class at specific times. She straight up blurted out how my entire class was basically holding me back, but then said if I mentioned what she just said to anyone in the class that she would fiercely deny it.
______In my book o' life, there is really no larger compliment than one from a teacher, and I must say I feel as fuzzy as the fluffy cilia of my sea croissants.
______Some of you asked what Lithography is. It's a form of printmaking, but it's much more intensive than, say, woodblock or linocut printing where you carve into a block, slather it in ink, lay paper on top of it, and roll it through the press. It's based on the concept that oil and water repel each other... and that's all I'm going to say because describing the process would one) give you a case of the ultra yawns, and two) make you stare at me with wide eyes like I'm some kinda breakdancing rooster.
______But in a nutshell? It's sort of like ghosts. Lithography is totally just ghosts n' magic. And nitric acid, solvents and grease, and inky hands that whimsically perform all sorts of scientific wonders. It makes you smell like a hazardous auto shop and look like you've been attacked by tiny scooter wheels, but most importantly, it gives you a sense of pride when you're all done with it.
______Le end. Enjoy le sea croissants. But no eating them, for they are friends.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
______Has it... already... been a week?
______(waits for a response)
______(a tumbleweed flies by in the distance)
______(another tumbleweed flies by, this one so close it strikes my face, thus blinding me and sending me to the ground) hey now watch wheERE YOU'RE ROLLING YOU LITTLE PIECE OF SCRITCHY-SCRATCHY TURD
______Sorry, lost my cool (blog readers: "Can't lose what you never had, Ali!"). Hey now, you big beef jerkies. Slather a little less sass into your responses, will ya? Actually, no. Never stop. Keep on being the sassy pieces of sassafrass that you all are. That's how I like you--it keeps me thick skinned.
______So this week, I was finally able to print my Lithography plate with the help of one of the art grad students; there's a part of the process where the printing plate must be sponged with water and rolled up with ink repeatedly without allowing any dastardly dry spots to appear; plus, our Litho press is much more formidable and hefty than a regular press and requires upper body muscles which I, the noodle-armed queen, lack. The process is do-able with one person, but much more feasible with two!
______Plus, he and I made a new Litho song. It went a little like, "Ne-ne-ne-ne-ne...ne-ne-ne-ne-ne... ne NE NE!"
______This is how I make friends.
______Even after that, I had enough time to stop by the Art Department Faculty biennial art show's opening. I mingled around with faculty members and grad students for a hearty hour, all while munching on tiny gouda cubes and thinly sliced apples... which was astounding considering how haphazard carrying on a conversation with human beings can be for me. Social is teh hard. How does interact I?
______...and here is me alongside my older brother, Zach. While home, he decided that he wanted to tag along with mother dearest and I as we snapped these photos. Minutes after we began shooting, he wandered off, soon returning with a container of sushi rolls and a fountain drink nestled in his arms. He has the ability to find food in the strangest places, probably because he is actually Bear Grylls.
______If you could be a famous TV superstar, who would it be? For me, it's a tie between Paula Deen and Ellen DeGeneres. Do I want butter coursing through my veins, or great hair and a damn decent perspective on life? Maybe both.
Dress: Knowstyle (similar)
Necklace: Charming Charlie
Monkstrap oxfords: Jeffrey Campbell, via Bloomingdales
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
______Let us swoon over how whimsical the cape that SammyDress sent me is: it's twirly, it's classy, it's got a vintage vibe that's enhanced by it's deep, navy hue... it's got all the qualities that a sleeve-free garment should have. Plus, it's a spitting image of its product page, if not even more precious in real life. I adore the navy color (my favorite to wear!), the collared neckline, and the pleat on the back. Plus, the cape is made from a thick material that's lined to keep the brisk wind at bay. SammyDress boasts all sorts of coats and dresses that have cutesy, feminine styles just like this. I even received two kind compliments on it when I was running errands with the parents this weekend.
______It took a little under a month to arrive, which is quick considering it was shipped overseas. Plus, this product was shipped for free, so I definitely have no complaints. The e-mail representatives are very friendly and polite as well, and I would definitely order from there on my own in the future. Hooray!
______So this weekend, the parents and I rallied ourselves up for a family shopping extravaganza. First, we made a quick trip to the bookstore; my dad bought me a copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales, which I will delve into as soon as I get through George R.R. Martin's Dance of Dragons. And since snow pellets and were a looming threat this week, having a dangerous 0.0003% chance of actually turning into snow, we also went ahead and zoomed through the grocery store to stock up on a week's worth of food.
______Hey, now. Don't make fun.
______Valentine's Day is coming up! I get sort of peeved around this time, not because oh gosh never had a boyfriend, but because these other lovely ladies turn into little grey rainclouds that pour out self-depricating Facebook statuses and Twitter updates, putting themselves down for the pure fact that they don't have a significant other. Newflash, dudettes: this is the 21st century and you don't need no man to survive. If you've got one, grand! If you don't, stop sweating over it and attaching unworthy adjectives to your darling little self. The moment when your dreamy dream man steps into your life isn't really up to you. I've been single my whole life and I'm doin' just fine... maybe a little pyscho, but doin' just fine!
______Also, Valentine's Day is when the most adorable recipes pop up. How about these heart-shaped peanut butter blondies or some dark chocolate M&M bark?
______Bake away, my squishy little sea sponges!
Navy cape: c/o SammyDress (find it here!)
Polka dot dress: Ross Dress for Less ($8!)
Oxford heels: Jeffrey Campbell (similar)
Rose earrings: Charming Charlie (similar)
Ampersand ring: c/o BornPretty
Saturday, February 8, 2014
As Above So Below, Watercolor monoprint with colored pencil, 11x14
Monoprint/Monotype, Fall 2014
______Here's a digestible mixture of prints from my Monotype/Monoprint class last semester. I skipped over the beginning printmaking class since my art professor said that the linocut, woodblock, etc. styles of printmaking wouldn't suit my more drawing-based way of making. It's kind of nice to have friendly relationships with your teachers so you can skip over the classes that aren't going to benefit your artful production. I know many schools lack the true student-teacher relationships that my department has, so I'm more than thankful for being able to have it myself.
______She also suggested I take Lithography this year; although the heavy emphasis on process has me pulling my hair out, it's turning out to be pretty darn neat. She also told us we're basically doing alchemy, so knowing that I'm totally an alchemist now makes it worth the effort. Sweet beans.
As Above So Below (greyscale), Watercolor monoprint with graphite, 11x14
Monoprint/Monotype, Fall 2014
______I also have some excellent news--one of my art professors from last semester lent a kind word to the head of the Religious Studies department about my work and how it seemed to resonate with their desire to chalk out an illustration for their semester-ly newsletter. After meeting with the head for a surprisingly speedy hour, he and I planned out a front and back, illustrative, panel-style spread. When he uttered the minimum amount he'd pay me, my brain went internally blank since I wasn't expecting such an amount. However, trying my best not to hide my astonishment, I nodded cooly in agreement. He regarded me and hastily added, "But that's just the minimum."
______I couldn't have even fathomed such an amount that I won't disclose to begin with, but apparently the department head thought otherwise. One thing I about the my art department is how the professors are so approachable and easy to communicate with... and super kind, of course. Just the other day, my Lithography teacher stayed through her lunch break to help me solve a chemical issue with my printing plate.