I don't think anyone reads this blog anymore.

You know when people are like

"....and then I realized that the thing I was doing in my free time was what I should be doing for a job! And then I was so happy and incredibly successful and blah blah blah—"

I'm happy for them. Really.

And then you know when people are like

"....and then I read about that person who made their hobby their day-job and I thought, 'There's no way I could make my hobby my day job' but then I decided to try anyway and incredibly, I found there was a market for my strange interests!"

I'm happy for them too. Really.

The thing is, I'm just not sure how to apply it to myself, because what I do in my free time is a list of about 20 things, and they're all tied for first place.  Honest. An even tie. And when I think about any of them, I think "Gosh I would love to do that full-time." But if ever I start to move in that direction, I do another of the 20 in my free time and think "No, I want to do this full time."

So what does that mean? That I'm not a candidate for the do-what-you-love=success thing?
Or does it mean that my hobby is: "doing whate'er the crap I want!"

If it's the former, then that's depressing.  But if it's the second, it's even more depressing, because the only career path that seems to point to is a rich housewife. Which is the last thing I want to be, but sometimes seems to be my most natural gift.


our dog

Joshua bit his bed into a thousand pieces yesterday, so he just slept on a blanket in his kennel last night.   Which means he didn't sleep well, which means he barked at 5 am.  I took him out to pee and proceeded to get restless sleep for the next few hours, and had a very realistic dream where one of BYU's anatomy professor asked if they could keep a cadaver in our trailer, and I said sure, and then when we "woke up," the face and right arm of the cadaver were missing, and Joshua was out of his kennel, licking his lips.

"Kyle, we've got to make him throw up!"
"But Kyle, it's a whole arm!  Soaked in formaldehyde!  He's gonna be sick if we don't make him throw it up!"

It's been years since I've had a dream that felt that real.  SO REAL.

Anyway, after I left this morning, he crawled into our bed and Kyle snapped this photo.


I need to post more.

So.  Here is some post.

I'm taking head painting this semester from the illustrious Chris Thornock.  We've been doing imprimatura studies (done in one color, usually burnt umber, and sketched with a paintbrush) and just started grisailles (sketch in an imprimatura, and then use "black" and white paint to give form to the, in this case, face).

Here's yesterday's imprimatura, done in 20 min.

Then you mix up a range of grays, and lay them in, starting with the darkest.  There's always a point where I stop and look at the canvas and think, "Uh oh."  You start to think you're doing it wrong because it looks like it's not going to come together, but you just have to trust that you've been putting the right values in, and once you get to the lightest colors and lay them down, the face will make sense again.  This is that uh-oh point.

And here's the final, after 3 total hours.  My professor painted a few things at the end to teach me, like the white around the head (there was a white sheet hanging behind the model) and showing me how to blend with a dry brush and make softer transitions.  But almost all of the marks are mine.

Haha.  When I finished it yesterday, I thought it was sooooo good.  But now, just 24 hours later, I can see all these things I want to change.  Oh art.

Lastly, here's the example Chris brought in at the beginning of class.  Isn't it funny that he might look at it and also see things he might want to change?  So hard to believe, but I'm sure it's true.



I recently got a really cool job; to create a book cover for a first-time author.  
Charami's official manuscript was with her publisher when we started working together, so she sent me a synopsis, and the text for the back of the jacket:

Once accepted to Brigham Young University—Hawaii, 
Teia Hunt arrives on the tropical island of Oahu determined
 to unearth the roots of her Polynesian heritage and in the 
process meets three girls who help her navigate the path to 
Australian native Lara Brodie is carefree and reckless—
until she joins the church; Jen Hartman and Kate Mitchell 
are best friends from small-town Utah who couldn't be 
more different, especially since one of them is carrying a 
devastating secret. Despite their differences in background, 
culture, and experience, the four girls forge a remarkable 
Island Girls is an inspirational story about relationships, 
faith, and the trials that shape our lives for the better. 

After reading everything, I knew all 4 girls had to be on the cover.  But fitting 4 heads/figures in one small space with good composition is really tough, and while I was working on a solution, I remembered seeing a picture in primary with a bunch of prophets lined up in profile view.  My google skills couldn't find it, so you'll just have to imagine what I'm talking about.  Once I realized that's a good way to fit in a lot of figures, I also remembered the profile in the Young Women's logo:

With those two inspirations, I made up this draft for the cover
(which is the one Charami ultimately picked).

The next step was to add color. I tried some iterations and 
sent her these two.

At this point, Kyle saw my first draft.  He said he liked it much better than these color versions, and that I should try to make the final look more like the rough.  I changed it accordingly, and he was totally right.  

Here's the final.



The interesting stuff in my life is happening over here these days.


New stuff

I applied for a job for women's services, and they asked me to create a poster for one of their events as part of the application.  I chose the yoga classes they offer.
I didn't want to draw some complicated yoga pose for the poster, because seeing those doesn't make me want to do yoga; they make me think that I should NEVER go to yoga.  So I decided to focus on a relaxing pose in a serene place.  

When I was sketching, I came up with the idea of a girl sitting under a waterfall and the water streams doubling as her hair:

Then I built it up in illustrator in b & w:

Then I fiddled with the colors, an arduous process for me.  
Once I was happy with them, I added text:

My coworker, Renee, pointed out that the browns and the pinks were the only warm parts, so the girl would stand out more if I cooled the browns down.  Renee was so right.  I imported into photoshop, put a soft light purple layer over the whole thing, and added some textures.  And voila:

I'm pretty happy with it, whether or not I get hired, and doing this reminded me that I always get better results when i start with a hand sketch.

For my narrative class this semester we illustrated Peter Pan.  
There are just too many interpretations of Peter, and I didn't want to add to them.  
I figured the story was well enough known that the hook would be a 
recognizable symbol, and simple to paint.  

For the back cover, I drew some crocodile skin because 
it's related to Hook and because their scales are COOL-looking.  

(Started with sketches on these, too)

Here's the lettering on the spine, which I created from a sketch Kyle did:

And here's the inside leaf:

Also, we had to do sketches for interior illustrations (aka we never rendered them) and here are a few of my favorites.  (You can view them all here)



This is interesting.  I just got this email from Kaplan that showed the average breakdown for how much they consider your GRE score when you apply to grad school.  Since my undergraduate gpa is gonna be poopy, I need to fully utilize that 31% my test score will get me.  
Time to start studying.


Part 1

In an ongoing series.  Dissecting famous works of art.

the failings of social media

Last night, Kyle got out an hour early from a math review.  I didn't think I had to pick him up for another hour, so I was watching hulu, far away from my phone's quiet ringtone.  
But he, being an ingenious boy, knew other ways to reach me.

 linkedin lol.

Jon's right. It doesn't.  I went to pick him up because I heard my phone during a commercial break.


Day 6 - Favorite Book Character

My 30 day drawing challenge is turning more into a 30 week challenge. 

This is a rough of Charlotte Doyle, from the book The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.  
Basically, she lives through a mutiny on board the ship by becoming one of the crew.  And then at the end, she chooses to stay with the crew instead of going home to her family. 


kyle is so great.

i told him i didn't feel pretty on our wedding day, and i wish i had one picture of me in my dress that i liked.  so we drove to rape hill and he took some pictures that turned out waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than I had hoped.  

click here to see them.

i drew this girl one time.

her name's runa.
half her head is shaved.

in other news, this crane fell on my building last month.