Some encouragement, for all you creative types. :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011
So, I was browsing the interweb the other day, looking for nothing in particular. I think I was probably searching for art ideas. Do you ever do that? For me, it's a horrendous waste of time, and while I know it's true, I can never help but get carried away regardless. If you were to search through the "My Pictures" file of our Window XP computer, you would find, top-left, a folder called 2009-08-07. Original, right? Take it a step farther and click on that folder, and you would find several folders within that folder. (Folder-ception, if you will.) These various folders contain everything I would love to draw but don't have the patience for. Folders with names like "Art Ideas", "Textures", "Dream House", "To Draw", "Cosplay Project", et cetera. Within these digital-walls are a plethora of ideas of anything under the sun that could inspire a person to draw. But do I draw them? No. I dream of drawing them, though. ...And part of the dreaming process includes google-searching more stuff I'd love to draw.
I was doing just that, looking for more stuff to "inspire me", when I came across this poster. Kinda plain looking, but worth the read, seriously. For any of you who do creative things like drawing, playing an instrument, writing or taking pictures, I give to you this article. Maybe you'll find it to be somewhat encouraging.

...And thus begins my last year of school.

Sunday, September 25, 2011
I'm sorry I haven't posted any new updates on my life lately. My days seem to be getting smaller and more cramped. It's beginning to make me feel claustrophobic. I started school four weeks ago (even as I write that I can hardly believe it's been that long) and truly thought this year would be a breeze. My subject load looked pretty slack from the "outside." Now not so much. Calculus is tougher than I thought it would be (and it hasn't even gotten to the juicy stuff yet), I don't even know how I managed to finish both advanced mathematics and physics before 8:30 a.m. last year. Maybe I've gotten stupider over the summer. I hope not, because I still have to pass German. I am taking German by correspondence through Athabasca University this year. That's another subject that I figured would be a cinch. Guess I didn't notice the word "university" when I signed up. This course is definitely no kiddy curriculum. I can pretty much take the course on my own schedule, the only rule is that I must complete yea-many oral and written exams over the semester. I've done one oral exam and one written exam so far. The oral one is done on the phone with my tutor, the written one is emailed to Athabasca for them to grade. Thankfully, my tutor is a pretty great guy, very easy-going and makes me feel at ease. I'm quite confident that I'll be thankful that I've taken this course once I'm done. For now, though, I'm getting kind of overwhelmed. (One big plus about taking German is bëing äble tö writë with ümlauts. ;) )
I think maybe being homeschooled all my life has spoiled me. I'm used to being able to have any time after 1:00 p.m. to myself, now that just isn't possible. It'll take some adjustment, but I think I'll survive this school year. (I sure hope so, because I've already bought a grad dress!)

Costumes, ahoy!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I thought it might be nice to post some "how-to's" of the costumes I've been working on lately. So, here goes! I shall now attempt to explain how I made Sheik's Lyre. (A side note, I have changed my blog design in honor of C.S. Lewis' book "Perelandra".)

First, you start with a wooden base. I used a 5-ply board which was light-weight, but
also sturdy.

Now the strings are attached. I just used elastic from my local fabric store. I would recommend elastic over string, because it's easy to pluck, but won't lose it's tightness or bend the wood.

Now comes a fun and messy part, applying the goop to give the harp it's shape. I used paper mache clay, it was easy to work with and quite sturdy, once it's dry.

Here's what it looks like once it's completely covered. Pretty cool looking, but still quite bumpy. We'll get rid of that. :)

Once you've applied the clay to both sides, (and let it dry properly) it's time to cover your harp with joint compound. (Aka, dry-wall mud.)

Now it's covered with dry-wall and sanded so it's uber-smooth!

Now comes my favorite part, painting it!

There, the harp is done! ..and although it may not play music, it looks sweet.

If this past month were a geek contest, I'd win.

Sunday, July 31, 2011
I guess I haven't posted here in quite a while. The time seems to have flown by, yet so much has happened which I will try to record, for posterity's sake. ;)
At the end of June, Mom and Dad told my brother and myself that this summer would be "screen-free," which means no wii, no computer games, and limited facebook time. I wasn't really looking forward to it, but it hasn't been going too badly so far. We've kept ourselves quite busy lately, LIKE WITH OUR NEW OCARINAS!!! :D
My brother and I got these beauts
about two weeks ago, and they've been so much fun to learn! I've also really been keeping busy with my Zelda project. Recall the armor that I finished a few weeks (or is it months now?) ago? I've basically finished the entire costume now, and my brother and I are continuing to work on his Link cosplay. (cos-play verb /'käz,pla/ short for "costume play", is a type of performance art in which participants don costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea. Characters are often drawn from popular fiction in Japan.) We're planning a photo-shoot in August with my friend, who cosplays Sheik. When all is said and done, we'll be the coolest trio in Northern Saskatchewan! ...Mostly because we're the only cosplayers in Northern Saskatchewan. Oh well.

Oh, another thing that's "new with me," I got the chance to work at Bible Camp this summer! Actually, my entire family did. My brother, dad and I counseled, my mom worked in the kitchen. It was a really neat experience. I've counseled once before, but this was my first time as a senior counselor. I was pretty nervous about it, but was blessed with a really super junior counselor and a cabin of seven great girls. My JC (junior counselor) and I have been friends for a long time, as she's also a homeschooler and lives just outside my town, but somehow we really hit it off at camp. The chance to get to know her better may just be the highlight of my summer.

In other news, I've been drawing a lot lately (big surprise) and while I'm on a Zelda fanart streak, thought I'd share what I've been up to.

Summer.. :]

Saturday, July 2, 2011
Summer has finally begun for me! This is the first year that I have not finished school by the end of May, and summer has never felt so summer-y as it does this year.
This past Tuesday my tortures came to an end as I finished my last departmental exam. There were five in total, three maths, a physics and a bio exam. (My three worst subjects.) I don't think I did half-bad. I won't know for sure until I get my marks back, but I'm optimistic that I did quite well, especially considering I didn't take the courses. So, I'm well on my way to grade 12! I think next year'll be a breeze in comparison.

I s'pose there's a few other things that have happened over here since I last blogged. One, our dog had his second surgery. The silly little guy decided playing fetch with rocks wasn't enough for him, and thought it might be fun to eat one. Surgery and medication expenses in, that turned out to be a pretty pricey rock. He's back to ol' chipper self now, though, and loving life as much as ever.
Another piece of interest came two days ago when we took a trip to "the City" for some shopping. Mom had the great idea that dress shops may have some good sales once the school
year was over, and thought maybe we should have a look
around. Lo and behold, I came home with a grad dress. A bit early I s'pose, since I don't graduate til' next year, but the it's got room to grow. (Y'al are thinking, "Yeah right, Anna. What are the odds that you're going to grow this year?" Probably pretty slim.)

Oh, before I log off, I must announce that I finished Out of the Silent Planet this morning! What a good read, C.S. Lewis never ceases to blow me away with his verbal genius. Here's my impression of a hross, for any who care. I'm hoping to draw one of each of the hnau of Malacandra this summer.

If I were a cartoon character...

Friday, June 17, 2011
...I would probably look like this. :]
Finished this pic on June 15, my last digital art for a while since I shall be grounded from the compy for July and August. Guess it's time to try other forms of art! :)


Friday, June 10, 2011
What do drawing, writing, and playing the piano all have in common?
...besides the fact that you need fingers to do any of those activities, the all have this in common: any one can be an artist/writer/musician, but it takes feeling, depth and inspiration to go from being good to being great. My piano teacher has done a lot of work with me these past two years on teaching me how to play with rubato. (ro-ba-to /ro͞oˈbätō/ rubati, plural; rubatos, plural The temporary disregarding of strict tempo to allow an expressive quickening or slackening, usually without altering the overall pace) It applies to drawing and writing too! It's about more than just doing it right, it's about doing it with emotion. All this is to say, I find it easier to draw and write with emotion when listening to music. I'm not sure what you'd call my favorite music style. Lyricless, maybe? If you're interested in trying out my technique, here's some songs that I really love. :)


Thursday, June 2, 2011
I'm not a huge Disney fan, but I must admit that I rather enjoyed their redo on the story of Rapunzel. So I wanted to try some fanart. This was painted with Photoshop Elements (man, I wish I had CS5...) So yeah, enjoy.

Practice makes perfect!

Saturday, May 21, 2011
I've been working lately on improving my art technique, especially in my weaker areas. Drawing people is a hard task, but I hope I'm hoping to get better. Here's some hands & eyes that I've been experimenting with.


Friday, May 20, 2011
I love my puppy, I really do. After our first [good] dog, Goliath, acquitted this earth, I wondered if we'd ever own another dog which I could love so much as I did Goliath. Turns out, I could. About exactly a year ago we brought Tolkien home. He's a pure-breed mutt, with some chow-chow in his blood, but for the first few months of his life he looked like a fluffy rottweiler. His ears remind me of satellite dishes, and combined with the mane of hair about his face, it would be an understatement to say his head looks rather disproportional. But aside from all these quirks that make him so great, that is not the reason I love him. I love him because, in many ways, I wanna be just like him. I've never met a human being take such an amazing view of life. (True, Tolkien isn't a human, but don't tell him I said that because he still thinks he's gonna look just like us when he grows up.) He's so easily pleased. When we were gardening a few days ago, he was puzzled that we'd throw away such perfectly lovable weeds. He chose a dandelion my mom had thrown out and proceeded to pounce, mouth, shake and toss it until there was hardly anything left. To him, everything is a toy. He does have a few favorite toys of course, such as the tire, deer bone, log, tow rope and ball of string. (I think that last one used to be a baseball, but it's hard to be sure now.) Tolkien is always happy. Nothing gets him down. He loves unconditionally, makes friends continually, kisses unreservedly, and would follow you to the ends of the earth.
Y'know, it's kind of sad-- how many people can you say that of? How many of us give completely of ourselves without trying to maintain our image, or get something out of the relationship? Couldn't we all learn a thing or two from dogs?

Zelda's Armor

Monday, May 9, 2011
Yay! Finally done the first part of my Zelda cosplay. I know, I'm a Zelda die-hard, so sue me. Here's how I spent my last five days:

First, cutting, layering and gluing pieces of craft foam into the right shape.

Held the individual pieces over a stove burner to heat and then shape them.

Painted with glue to apply a layer of cloth to the bottom side.

(The fabric gives the armor strength and resilience)

Cut the fabric away at the edges and decorated with fabric paint.

Painted a glue-water concoction to the outside to glossify it, give it more strength and keep the paint from seeping into the foam.

Four layers of glue later and it's time to paint!

The painting is now done and gems are glued on.

The armor pieces are glue-gunned together and ready to wear!

The crown/tiara is done too!

This entire part of the costume cost no more than $7. More patience was required though.
Hope to be wearing it all soon, along with the rest of my costume-to-be!

'nother pic.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011
One of my newer and more favorite pieces of art. :] Her name's Zardiana, a twili residing in the Twilight Realm. Inspiration for this pic came greatly from ~VanEvil's twili art, and, of course, from Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

This pic isn't new, I just like it. :)
It's a cover-page picture I drew for our homeschool novel study on The Hobbit.