my life is average

some of you diligent readers might have noticed the 'my life is average' link at the end of my blog. i'd forgotten about it until today, and just wanted to share some of my favorite entries i just read. i know...this does not excuse me from writing the posts scribed on my 'to post' list. i'm still getting there.
the first one is for you, brooke::
Today I was riding the train to school and a large man in his late twenties walked on carrying the third Twilight book. About three people snickered as he sat down and started reading so he looked up and said "I'm only reading this so that my sister will read Harry Potter. We made a bet." I applaud his sacrifice.

This morning I called Pizza Hut and asked if they recommended Papa Johns. They said Papa Johns was excellent and gave me their number. MLIA.

Today I slipped on a banana peel in the middle of the hallway and did a classic cartoon fall. I heard someone laughing and looked up to see my principal. He filmed it on his camera phone and it's already posted on youtube. I got up and gave him the most epic high five ever. MLIA

Today, I finally decided to returning pokes I'd gotten months ago from friends. Why? Because I recently set my Facebook to pirate, and it no longer says "Poke back", but "Fire Away!". Somehow, that's infinitely more exciting. MLIA

Today, I read an MLIA about putting two marshmellows in your mouth, and it being a choking hazard. Naturally I tried it out. With mini-marshmellows. I felt like I was beating the system. MLIA

Today, I applied a PUSH BUTTON TO REBOOT UNIVERSE sticker to a crosswalk button. Then I spent an inordinate amount of time observing people hesitate before they pushed the button. An afternoon well spent. MLIA

being average is so entertaining sometimes. what are your favorites?


why i celebrate

forgive my lack of posting; it's been a ridiculously busy month. on the upcoming 'to-post' list: tally hall, fall '09 classes, winter/spring '08 classes (wow, i'm behind), holidays, other such fun stuff

watch for 'em [hopefully...relatively] soon!

...but for now, i'll just let you know that Christmas was amazing. i hope you are all enjoying the holidays. for those of us who celebrated Christmas, let's remember the reason we have it, eh?

{these photos are brought to you by my camera and my mother's lovely house.}

to see another Christmas reminder, go here.

as my friend britta put it, Christmas = Christ + mas ("more" in spanish). so,
more Christ.

(i agree)


nope. this isn't the tally hall post, nor an art class post (as customary at each semester's end).
i'm still doing finals.

...and preparing for our annual Christmas caroling party tomorrow (you're invited- 4pm) and preparing a relief society lesson (on music!).

just thought i'd share this lovely little quote i recently discovered.

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

{Friedrich Nietzsche}

{painting by jack vettriano}


so close!

...but still so far to go. finals have been extremely difficult this round. BUT i am NOT sick! i think because i got so sick so much this semester, my body [gratefully] skipped my annual finals-sickness. really, almost every finals week for the last two years [maybe longer?] i've gotten very physically ill. not this time! for now. [i'm thinking of getting a doctor's note exempting me from finals the next time due to my apparent allergy to them....]

since last thursday, i've

gone to bed at 4am (twice)
gotten little sleep the other nights
taken my guitar final (so. easy! and i got my last 2 performances in the two days preceding that)
finished 3 paintings
sketchbooked (but not enough)
started and finished another painting...with really cool textures!

[this one:]

...and i still have to

sketchbook (more)
get figure drawing portfolio together
figure out the t-shirt contest stuff
write a paper on a problem in the illustration industry and how to resolve it (ideas? anyone? anyone?)
get gesture drawing portfolio together
finish another 2 paintings
start and finish another painting (this one HAS to be good...dangit...)
paint two portraits

by thursday.

(sadly, our model for this one

didn't show up for the last 2 [of the 3 total] times she modeled for us. and i can't find the photo i took of her to finish it. i really hope i can find it...soon.)


just apathy

[note: i had an amazing tally hall friday, and full documentation will follow. however, i just realized how much i need to get done in the next two weeks, so much that i'm not even going to work--i talked to my supervisor and boss today--and with lots of hard work, prayers and sadly little sleep i'll get it all done. note that on my to-do list up top, everything under illustration 2 are oil paintings. (read: panic.) thus, the tally hall post will have to wait. but it'll be worth it...promise.]

yesterday brought with it a stressful morning, and i got to my gesture drawing class late because of the snow. in being late, i missed my quiz (on this amazing book) and sat there while they discussed the answers (i knew most of them, which was frustrating) with no way to make it up. ironically, it was already a 'make-up quiz'. i needed it because i missed one day of class (due to me getting sick FIVE times this semester...yes, five). on the ONE day that i missed this class, our teacher hadn't been there the last week so he gave two quizzes. therefore, i missed both and need both make-up quizzes (there are only two allowed total), and yesterday i missed the first one. injustice! it's been a hard couple of days (weeks...) and that just kind of stomped on my optimism for a good start to the week. instead of sitting in the middle of the chatty group with friends where i usually do, i chose to sloop off into the corner, sit down with my drawing board and plug my ears up with my trusty earbuds, thereby dead to the world (i promise, this isn't typical of me).

the first thing to pop up on my ipod was tally hall. though i love tally hall, i honestly wasn't in the mood for 'happy'. but i couldn't deny the hall on my pod...the songs were just sitting there, staring at me. so, i scrolled down to the more solemn "just apathy" and listened while i started to draw. as the timid piano clinked in my ears, followed by the sad violin and finally rob cantor's somewhat disheartened voice, i felt i'd found an appropriate song for my melancholy mood as i paused to glance at the snowy blur outside. it was good to hear. however, i didn't stop the playlist when it continued with more cheery tally hall songs. surprisingly, i started to pull off some pretty decent drawings as i listened.

at the end of the 3-hour class, i'd listened to the entire tally hall album three times. and was substantially happier.

point being, though i am stressed beyond all reason by school, responsibilities, work, family stuff, relationships, hard decisions, and finals, i've pretty much hit my limit. however, sometimes i'm just reminded of little blessings that keep me going. i just have to remember to open my eyes and accept them for what they are.

for one thing, the back of my van has never looked better, thanks to jeff (you can ignore the dirt):

and yesterday at lunch, i was given a brownie by a random friend. brownies. are. my favorite.


a russian & possible giants: two reviews

regina spektor.
they might be giants.
two co
ncerts, two venues.

one night.


{as sadly becoming common to my posts, this was actually written on nov. 8, two days after the concerts. videos took forever to upload *sigh*}

regina spektor highlights:

-she couldn't stop smiling; neither could we
-it was fun to be with zach at his first concert
-regina: "you guys are sorta the best part of my day!"
-played lots of my favorites, plus new stuff
-variety: she played a beautiful piano, a keyboard, just sang while others accompanied, and played a sweet blue guitar (however, that guitar was stained with not-so-great songs later...boo.)
-she had the band who opened for her play with her as well for the first and last parts of the concert. it consisted of a violinist, cellist, and drummer. i LOVE those instruments along the piano that she played. beautiful.

*i apologize for the shaky videos and quality. it really was so packed in there. hope you can enjoy them anyway!

(sorry, i've gotta stick 'em in this time)
-in the venue was super dooper crowded, so it was hard to see
-my camera wasn't cooperating, so i didn't get great pictures/videos
-i had a pretty bad headache (on top of the cold that i hadn't gotten over)
-she liked to swear....like...a lot. not just swear, but she used the 'f' word frequently. i was pretty disappointed about this. i can tell she's a very sweet, very genuine person, and she seemed genuinely happy we were all there to support her. her other favorite phrase was "thank you so, SO much!". however, i couldn't ignore the fact that somewhere down the road she's traveled, that language has crept into her vocabulary that she would say it so often. it saddened me, because some of the lyrics she's sung have been my favorites in all...lyricdom. like, ever. but other songs were just spattered with that word, and it was quite sad to see the difference. i still love regina as a musician and think she's a charming person, but i didn't enjoy being there when she started frequently doing that.

one of my favorite regina lyrics----

no, this is how it works:
you peer inside yourself
you take the things you like
and try to love the things you took
and then you take that love you made
and stick it into some --
someone else's heart
pumping someone else's blood
and walking arm in arm
you hope it don't get harmed
--but even if it does,
you'll just do it all again.

{from "on the radio"}

but boy, can that girl sing. i absolutely love her voice. love love. it was angelic to hear. really.


we didn't stay long after, though, because then we were off to see they might be giants!

it was my first 21+ concert. i felt so grown-up (go ahead and laugh now. nogo on. i'll wait). and it was at the depot, only a few minutes away from in the venue where the regina concert was. luckily, by this point, my headache was mostly gone, although my sickness had started to make itself known again.

we got there just in time for them to sing cowtown! i LOVE that song!!! it was way fun. we saw jeff right in front, along with mark and tim, and other fabulous people i don't know super well (but still fabulous, i could tell). and we were right next to the stage. like, 2nd row (if there were chairs).

jeff was already dancing and it was contagious. we joined.

we'd missed half the concert already, but the last part was still totally worth it. (to read a good detailed post about the whole concert, visit jeff's post!) good music, good friends, super tons of energy from the band. it wasn't so crowded, which was nice, so we could dance and actually breathe!

turns out that tmbg recorded their 'flood' album 20 years ago from that date: nov. 7. so, they performed the entire album! i sang along with the songs i knew, followed along with the catchy ones, and just smiled and bounced with those i didn't know. jeff knew just about all the songs, and everyone else just enjoyed the atmosphere.

{to see more concert videos, click the videos after they're done so that they go to the viddler link. it'll show all the ones i've uploaded. more to come!}

the music was obviously very different from regina, but i like them both all the same in their own ways. they're more tally hall-queen-esque. tons o' energy, and not as much super technical stuff. so it was a good balance of concerts for one night.

this picture was taken after the concert, and i'm intentionally trying to smile big and wide but you can't really tell from that angle. so it just looks weird. :]

...did you know that tally hall is coming THIS FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4th?! ...just thought i'd throw that out there.


in the spirit of thanksgiving

i wish you all a happy thanksgiving.

it sounds cliche; but i truly appreciate the friends (and other readers whom i don't yet know) who read this blog. it really means a lot to me when you read or comment on my posts; this is a blog where i share things that are of particular interest to me, whether it's silly, spiritual, interesting, artsy, or something close to my heart. it's nice to have people to share that with.

more importantly, though, i am grateful for the people in my life in general. people really are so important to me, and i've realized that more in the past couple of months than i have before.

i'm also grateful for skills and talents, the education that allows me to cultivate those, and the freedom to do so.

though i've experienced multiple injuries and frustrations, i am so thankful for my body and the capacity and potential of human bodies.

i am also thankful for this family reunion, from which i am typing to you. my family is crazy awesome, and it's basically a double reunion-- i'm here at my dad's brother's house in arizona with all of that side of the family, and tomorrow and the next day is a huge reunion for my mom's side of the family.

we probably won't ever be able to do this again. i'm so blessed.

robin and i experienced many miracles along the way here, and even though we ended up getting thoroughly lost by the end, we made it. eventually. and for that, i'm grateful.

overall, i'm grateful for the gospel. for the hope, courage, and strength it's given me, especially in times of recent trial.

i'm off to go family-ize...but i have a question for you: this thanksgiving, what are you thankful for?



nope, this post isn't the concert reviews either. i promise, they're still coming. already written. i just delayed them for something that is more meaningful to me:

i really needed to see these. maybe you do too.


it all started with a mouse.

dear mickey mouse,
the walt disney company recognizes your official birthday as november 18, 1928.

first of all, i'm glad walt disney's wife lilly offered you the name of mickey, not 'mortimer' like walt first thought.

thanks for being walt's first creation after his first big character, oswald the lucky rabbit, was stolen from him-- by way of fine print in legal documents by those whom he had called friends. you really saved the day.

did you know you were the first cartoon to talk? ever?

i think it's pretty cool that you were created, in reality, as walt's alter ego. i also think it's pretty cool that walt himself was the voice of your character, and since then, only two others have held that cherished position.

both you and walt started off --very literally-- poor and shoeless.

did you know that walt disney designed you after the likes of charlie chaplin? he once said, "we wanted something charming and appealing, and we thought of a tiny bit of a mouse that would have something of the wistfulness of chaplin--a little fellow trying to do the best he could."

thank you, mickey, for being the symbol of hope through the Great Depression. your optimism was the silver lining on the clouds of despair that were shrouding the vision of the people.

president roosevelt admired your "spirit and resourcefulness"(according to pat williams). so, he ordered that your cartoons be played in the white house.

england even liked you--king george v made sure that your cartoons were played along with every film at the buckingham palace.

walt even received a medal from the League of Nations, recognizing you as a "symbol of universal good will."

things got crazy in the world, mickey, war broke out. good thing you were around.

you brought such comfort to the people, that adolf hitler actually banned your cartoons from german theaters!

at the time of the London Blitz, the English children were actually given gas masks bearing your picture! as pat williams* says, "the terror of the bombing raids was made more bearable because [mickey] mouse was there."

on D-Day (june 6, 1946) there was a password given to the soldiers fighting. it was one that all the friendly forces would recognize: "mickey mouse".

walt disney summed you up pretty well: "mickey mouse to me is a symbol of independence. born of necessity, the little fellow literally freed us of immediate worry."

you did all this, mickey, and much much more. i don't think the world today quite realizes what all you've done. so, i just wanted to say thank you.

happy birthday, mickey. i hope it was a good one.
a [not so secret] admirer

(this was the first mickey cartoon; the sound was added after it was released, when walt discovered sound technology)

*all of this information in my letter to mickey and the quotes are from one of my newfound most cherished books: how to be like walt, by pat williams with jim denney. it would be so very worth your time to read.

"I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing--that it was all started by a mouse."
-Walt Disney


my long-lost pencil tests!

so. i took intro to animation with kelly loosli...3 summers ago. i was already in illustration, and took it because murphy wanted me to take it with him, and i'm so glad i did! (sidenote, murph was all worried about making it into animation, but he totally got in and he's amazing at it! currently on a mission in buenos aires, argentina. i'm so proud of my friends :D)

i'm taking gesture drawing right now, and will be taking more animation classes too.

for class, we worked on our animations. had to sketchbook a lot. watched documentaries about amazing animators. studied cartoons for research. so. great. (!)

we also learned the principles of animation (these notes are straight from my class sketchbook):
1- timing --number of frames and their spacing over time
2- squash and stretch -- deformation of an object in motion
3- staging -- presentation of information in a way that is readable by the audience
4- straight ahead -- animate starting at the first frame and going chronologically
5- key framing -- animating the extremes in motion first, then putting in the 'tweens'.
6- slo-in/slo-out -- objects must ease into and out of motion (acceleration/deceleration)
7- anticipation -- preparatory movement before action
8- arcs -- natural, elliptical pattern of motion
9- follow-through -- usually main body of action. combination of movement through it's normal cycle
10- overlapping action -- main body of motion may have other elements connected to it that have to catch up to it's motion.
11- secondary animation -- main action, is defined by secondary action
12- exaggeration -- accentuation of motion
13- appeal -- aesthetically pleasing to the audience
14- solid drawing -- ability to consistently draw the same object, maintaining the same relative shapes and masses of that object. make a 2d object accurately look 3-dimensional.

in the intro class, we did solely hand-drawn animation, pencil tests, which were way fun and way frustrating. anyway, i recently found my animations from that class!

the first assignment was the bouncing ball. to my complete surprise and happiness, kelly praised mine in the class critique. however, i'm pretty sure my classmates upped their game after that, whereas i think i probably slacked off, as i wasn't trying to get into the animation program. i still worked hard, though! i don't think the rest of the animations weren't as well-done, but here they are!

this is my final project, where we could do what we wanted as long as we incorporated some of the principles of animation. i don't remember specifics, but i was excited about this freedom. however, sadly, i got incredibly sick the last two weeks of the spring semester--when it was DUE. as i recall, i was either in bed or up, being, well...actively sick. but i did the best i could under the circumstances:

we also did a walk cycle, but i disliked mine so i didn't post it :) instead, here's my favorite. the flour sack. it was the second assignment, i think, and good to do after the bouncing ball, because it's basically like two bouncing balls on top of each other, with personality and story. it only had to be 3 seconds, and the sack had to fall somehow. 14 seconds later, with something like 175+ frames (individual drawings), i was done. i still would have liked to slow it down in some areas, but simply lacked time. it's my favorite, which is why it's last. :]

welp, there they are! stay tuned for the next post (i think it'll include two concert reviews!)


shabby apple dresses design contest

in the spare time i [don't] have, i like to keep myself trying new things and enjoy getting inspired from all different kinds of venues. lately, i've stumbled upon some fantastically designed blogs and websites.

i came across a contest for shabbyapple.com [they sell awesome dresses that make good inspiration for drawing, and brief longing for more money than i have]. the contest for a dress design for shabby apple dresses is due today.

last week, i had a few minutes of free time at work and drafted this little dress up in photoshop. my favorite part about it is the buttons. i really enjoy the style of the 1950's, a kind of sleek yet sophisticated look, so i tried to echo that (these ones obviously aren't as poofy as some of theirs got, though i was going to design one like that, too). i love maroon/mauve and think that those colors look good on most people's skintones. i also included the green, because it's kind of spring-y.

i'd imagine the fabric of this dress with some type of polyester/cotton blend, with more on the polyester side. i wouldn't want it to wrinkle very much. on the other hand, it would be fun to have that polyester fabric that has intentional wrinkles...those are great because it's so little hassle. yay for low-maintenance dresses. :) i like simple things with small details, so i wasn't planning on patterned fabric. just different shades of the same hue. and adorable big buttons and trim. this would be SO FUN to accessorize.

i was planning on doing more detailed entries of tons of various dresses (i've never designed clothing beyond t-shirts until this), but was engrossed in painting for the last few weeks, in idaho all weekend, and sick in bed for the last two days. just figured i'd post this just in case. huzzah.


fun with fruit

nothin' fancy here. yesterday in bethanne's class, she challenged us to use different media than we usually do to make 3 apples, then to implement that into our color studies for our backgrouds...for our characters we designed. man. i really need to catch you all up with this semester....
you can't really tell, but the texture was pretty fun-- layered pastel on top of gouache. i do hope i will have time to post more later. i promise there really is some decent stuff coming. : )

bottom line is, i'm so pressured with having to do "good work", that i forget it's fun to just experiment. not for any assignment or project, but just to sit down and experiment. you should try that, too...in whatever aspect you relate with. free your mind and just forget the rules. it's liberating. i think i will try crayons next....


change something?

contrary to possible belief, i'm still alive. barely. and i have SO much to write about. later. this semester, school decided to take over my life.

no, really. my. entire. life.

true story.

it's actually been a pretty rough few weeks. sickness, stress, and frustration has somehow sneaked their nasty little selves into my life (and they won't leave me alone, the meanies). however, i just have to keep remembering this:

however, at times i want to just punch something (thing, not someone) just to get the energy of frustration out, then move on. and i think that occasionally, that's okay too. i guess that's what running is for. :]

ps, i found the image on the website of a company who e-mailed me, asking me to apply to be one of their networked freelance graphic designers......??


school girl

[above: 2nd day of school photos. amy, i accidentally erased my 1st day photo... :( hope this suffices.]

i know. it's been a while. here's the life update:

in general, i...

*have hair down to my waist, and might chop it all off for locks of love...next week?
*still sometimes write in all lowercase letters...just for kicks
*wasn't going to blog until i blogged about figure drawing and advertising....dangit.
*am still determined to blog about said subjects (it's photographing the images that takes time)
*still heart art

this summer, i...

*only took two days off work for fun purposes...and was sick for both
*went jet skiing and camping and to park city for those days
*went off of sugar for a while (yay me!)
*had some awesome sister bonding moments and days
*decided to start doing freelance photography (you can check my online portfolio on the right for a small sample)
*got released from the r.s. presidency and called to be a sunday school teacher...then got called to be a relief society teacher for the other relief society in our ward

regarding school, i...

*got into the illustration BFA! as of april.
*will be a senior this year...and next...and possibly next
*am taking four art classes (illustration II, narrative I, gesture drawing, and advanced figure drawing...for the 3rd time) and one other class...guitar (for the 3rd time).
*think it's pretty cool that all my art classes i'm taking are being taught by the heads of the illustration and animation departments (bob barrett, bethanne anderson, richard hull, and ryan woodward)
*got BFA studio space, which is handy and helpful
*have had 6 major headaches in the first 3 weeks of school, with 1 full migraine
*am trying really hard to be healthy regardless of the endless projects
*have straight classes from 1pm-8pm on tuesdays and thursdays

currently i...

*am still dating zachary, who's wonderful (& he got into the philharmonic orchestra this year, yay!)
*still love jambas
*miss being with people. i do...lots of art. lots. you can come visit me when i paint in my basement. really.
*am still contemplating a mission
*ache for some of my family members with their current trials
*pray...lots (hopefully this isn't just "currently")
*am realizing the that "the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance." (v.20)

i also...

*joined a health competition! check this out. it's been difficult because of my schedule.
*have gotten more comments on my long hair these last few weeks than i EVER have...i might not cut my hair just yet....
*am missing the first part of the first BYU home game. i'd best be off.

that's about it. i promise to post more soonish.


homesick for music

editor’s note: yesterday at work, i was listening to the newest addition to my ipod (thanks to zachary's generosity) and got completely inspired. my wish is that you’ll read this post (lengthy as it is) and find something in here that connects with you.

* * * * *

sure, i love tally hall, coldplay, queen, journey, mika, ingrid michaelson and kt tunstall just as much now as i ever have, but i'm so grateful for different genres and for the magic they individually bring to the musical world. eric whitacre is one of my very favorite composers and i always get so super excited to sing (or listen to) one of his pieces.

Eric Whitacre's Complete a'Cappella Works, sung by the BYU Singers is what i'm currently listening to. honestly, it's some of the most beautiful music i know of.

oddly enough, as i listen to this, i feel...well, the word that comes to mind is, homesick. homesick from not singing this kind of stuff since high school. i miss singing. i miss my voice and the skills that have wavered since high school.
imagine with me: you are walking onto risers on stage in front of adjudicators (judges) with your 18 other comrades in your choir. you glance around and a half-terrified, half-excited feeling of anticipation overcomes you as you take a second to sneak a glance at your audience, your fellow singers, then your eyes dart back to your director. the piano rings a lone note signifying your pitch. the director raises his arms, and looks around at all of you expectantly. his eyes meet yours for a second. then, on his cue, you are singing. you are harmonizing! through the song, you sing your heart out, knowing that you're one of only two people on your part at times. they’re depending on you, just like you’re depending on them. muscle memory kicks in and you start to remember all of the things you've rehearsed so many times. you have an adventurous feeling as you listen intently to where your part fits right in, and you nail it. you let your part soar at times, then suddenly make it mesh with the rest of the choir, and let others do the same, leaving the audience to guess where the sounds come from, before whisking them away to another part of the music. you hear the complete contrast between loud and soft, consonance and dissonance. you revel in the tension between suspended dissonant (clashing) chords, and the resolution to consonant cadences. as the song comes to a close, the last chord rings out and the director still has his arms up. it's completely and utterly silent, except for that last ringing sound…echoing into space. a sound that you've helped create….

and you feel like you’re home.

suddenly, there is immediate and thunderous applause. a huge smile crosses your face as the director presents the choir and bows. this applause makes you incredibly happy, and this is why: you understand that it doesn’t matter whether or not you are "the best" choir (that’s subjective), but are thrilled for the knowledge that you were able to share some of the wonder you just experienced with so many more people than yourself. something words alone can’t describe. the magic of music!
that's what singing whitacre (and many others) compositions felt like for me. i have always loved that, and sorely miss it. thus, homesick. it's okay though, because i'll always love it.

i’m so glad for the beauty that is captured in music, regardless of my personal longing and opportunity (or lack thereof) to be involved in such beauty. music is, after all, the universal language.

all these things…the perfectly placed dissonance, the suspension, the lyrics, the climaxes, the contrasts, the uniform constant sounds, the text-painting, the moving notes with floating suspended chords above them...mmmmmm. all of these can be experienced in whitacre’s music.

so you can experience it, too::

i especially love the song 'sleep'...one of my favorite songs we sang. though lyrics aren't always the most important part, these lyrics some of my favorites.

i also love lux arumque, another we sang. the latin lyrics, when translated, talk about light and warmth, and it's evident in the song. the first part, where all of the separate parts come in at different times, sounds like rays of light (ps, this is an example of text-painting).

when david heard tells the bible story of david and his son absalom (it was the first whitacre piece I remember hearing).

****okay, okay. one more. if nothing else, PLEASE watch this: Leonardo’s Dream. it’s a favorite that i just discovered!

why 'favorite'? because:
1) the song is about leonardo da vinci, one of my favorite artists who completely fascinates me. it combines visual art and music, two areas that are more closely related that most think.
2) in this clip, the singers talk about their experiences with the music, and it really makes it more personal and interesting to hear.
3) the byu singers are the ones singing: i know some of the people talking/singing! we live in the same building (the h-fac) since i'm an art major. :) sometimes, i wish i were a music major as well. just so i could sing like this.
4) it’s from eric whitacre’s blog! he says he loves the byu choir. heehee.

get acquainted with the wonder and beauty that is whitacre! what do you think? do you have an experience with whitacre or his music? do you have an experience with music in general? have you recently discovered (or rediscovered) a beautiful passion of your own?


first run in a year: CHECK!

that's what i just texted jeff.

i went to the podiatrist a few weeks ago (after i posted this) and he said i could go ahead and get new running shoes and start out again! i have to start slow (it's so hard to do!) but i can run! i was beaming when i came out of the student health center; it was a stark contrast to last july when i walked out close to tears.

i bought running shoes at 26.2 on thursday. i highly recommend the place. i got saucony hurricanes, like the picture shows. i walked a bit that night to try them out, but tonight decided to go ahead and start running.

my first run didn't go as i expected (alone, at night) but here's what was so great about it:

11. clean, fresh air filling up my lungs.
10. looking up as i ran: the stars are beautiful on dark nights.
9. earphones that made my music sound like a soundtrack to the quiet night.
8. taking my earphones out and hearing the silent patter of my own feet.
7. new shoes that make my feet feel like they're running on clouds.
6. excited wonder of something that i haven't felt in a long time, and the rediscovery of that feeling.
5. DOing...not just THINKing about it. on top of that, doing something that doesn't require anything but my own self...and some good shoes. perhaps one of my favorite things about running.
4. such. good. running. music. (<----you NEED to watch that LAST video...)
3. people outside doing activities. brought a feeling of security and extra motivation.
2. looking like an idiot: i couldn't stop smiling. at least i was a happy idiot...heehee.
1. silently vowing not to take this for granted.

"it's a wonderful night...." :)

quirky art musings

i don't know if it's just my personality or if it's my artsy-ness coming out, but sometimes i catch myself thinking total art-nerd things and decided to write them down in my sketchbook. i've posted a few, for your pleasure.
constantly noticing how people's outfits match their surroundings.

looking at the moon and apart from admiring its beauty, accidentally wondering what kind of a gaussian blur would be used to create that effect in photoshop.

constantly noticing how my outfit matches my surroundings...as unconventional as they might be: coming out of the bathroom the other day, i looked in the mirror and thought, 'hey! the color of the new stall doors, and the wall, and my outfit all look really good together! I should take a picture!!' honestly. who thinks that?!
looking at the sky and wondering how i would mix the colors and blend the clouds evenly if i were to paint it.
getting so distracted with determining what font a temporary license plate was scripted in, that i didn't even notice it was a flashy new little BMW until i looked a second time (after figuring out the font).
going back into the bathroom later and actually taking the picture.

i know, i know. i really am an art-nerd.

ps, the font on the BMW was 'mistral'. i double-checked. :)


animator vs animation

at work yesterday, i requested to go part-time for these last 3 weeks of the summer, because i feel like i don't have any time to have peace in my life. i'm always going a hundred miles an hour, and i can't hear myself think.

ironically, though, i was asked by the safety officer of our college yesterday if i could make a flash animation of putting things into a biosafety cabinet correctly. i told her that in all honesty, i'm a novice at flash and wasn't sure if i could do it. i told her, though, that i'd look into it and let her know.

i took IT's adobe flash class, but i'm not sure how much i remember. this would have been good to work on when i was working full-time (hence the irony of the timeframe).

getting back into flash, i'm pretty sure this is what's gonna happen:

(and no. i didn't make this animation.)


still, it's such a beautiful night

i'm sorry i haven't posted art lately. i have lots of half-written posts and life's been pretty crazy. i'm aiming to do my figure drawings next (they excite me the most)!

between mom having surgery, me working full-time, doing freelance photography, editing photos from that freelance photography, being involved in lots of church things, family stuff, that one boy, good friends, and making tough decisions...i haven't had tons of time to post 'real' stuff.

i promise, i'm trying. good thing is, though, life is awesome. and i'd rather live in the moment than try to document everything while the moment passes me by. i'll catch up. i always do. :)

for now, enjoy this happy video Coldplay released a while ago (december?).


11 lessons learned from "UP"

i am an avid pixar fan. pixar is kind of what drives me to be an animator sometimes. as i watched their newest film "Up"...4 times...i realized that there are a lot of "grown-up" lessons to be learned.

here are some little golden bits of wisdom i took from it:
1. there's something to be said about 'true love'. it's worth waiting for.
2. never stop dreaming.
3. never give up hope in trying to accomplish a goal.
4. i hate squirrels...
5. friends are true no matter what. they don't judge.
6. draw on your walls.
7. sometimes, if you just open your eyes and look for it, you're in the middle of an adventure.
8. POINT!!! (see above image)
9. through disappointments, we can see more clearly.
10. appreciate the past, live in the present, look forward to the future. cherish them all!
11."sometimes, the boring things are the things we remember most."

what did you learn?


typefaces give us signals

it's another typography post. i'm obsessed. i know.

have you ever thought about this before? it's what typography is all about. i think that typography is a main root of graphic design. we design to portray thoughts/feelings/expressions, to help people think a certain way or see a certain thing. this is why it's so crucial that good designers are good typographers.

Typefaces give us signals from erik spiekermann on Vimeo.

2 addendums:

1) i haven't forgotten about my 'whyit'sawesome' series. stay tuned!
2) thanks to those who commented on my portfolio (and those who will, hint hint). i really honestly love the feedback, especially after working on it for a while before i actually posted it.


my online portfolio!

check it out! i've been putting together an online portfolio, mainly so i can force myself to digitize pieces and get ready for 'the real world'.

it's definitely a work in progress, but so fun to do!

find it here.

i would LOVE your feedback, so just write under the 'thoughts' section of this post.

to reward you for reading my blog, you may have seen a lot of the things in there before. however, you may be surprised at others. and others that are already on there are forthcoming blogs...so it's kind of like a sneak peek.

or a box of chocolates.


antisocial part I: revisited [+ perspective]

remember my 'antisocial' series? remember the first one? i talked about my illustration 1 class. well, for my bfa (bachelor of fine arts) review in april, i revised them! take a gander. it's probably most interesting if you compare them to what they used to be. [the dr. seuss one (2nd one down) still isn't done...but a lot better, i think. the 'jack and the beanstalk' one was photographed weirdly, so i'll probably upload a better image later.]

click to enlarge!

i have to give a shout-out to brother richard hull, who was my professor, advisor and friend through re-doing these. endless patience, that man...i couldn't (well, i wouldn't) have done these without his direction.

quick religious analogy (i thought of it at institute a while back during the perspectives lesson): working with richard was like us taking direction from Heavenly Father. 'paint it purple!' richard would say. 'but i like orange!' i'd retort (in my mind). 'make that a soft edge!' richard would advise. 'soft edges are hard to make!' i'd think.

nevertheless, i knew that richard was on the committee for choosing who would and would not get into the bfa (you can only try out twice). and i trusted him. so, i bit my lip and did what he said. long, grueling nights. lots of painting. even more re-painting. however in retrospect, i think these look a whole lot better than anything i could have made by myself. i learned techniques and theory about paint, style, narrative, illustration, and patience in general. things i wouldn't have discovered on my own.

because richard could see the potential of these pieces (again, i'm not saying they're amazing, but look at the improvement...) he was able to direct me to change them for the better. in the end, i made it into the bfa. i don't think these are the most brilliant art pieces in the world, or the program for that matter, but by being submissive (patient...meek...humble...any scriptures ring a bell?) i was blessed to be teachable and richard realized that. because i was willing to take his criticism and direction and try my best to apply it, he learned that i was a hard worker and i really really wanted to get into the program. and i think that made up for my gaps in artistic skill.

when we allow ourselves to be teachable by the Holy Ghost, and really try hard to apply what he's teaching us in our lives, Heavenly Father and Christ recognize that. if we do our very best with our end goal in mind, though we're not perfect (some edges never did soften in my paintings), we can make it. our desires and attempts will bridge the gaps in our imperfection, along with the ultimate bridge: Christ's Atonement.

just keep painting.



i love being a graphic designer. but sometimes, i feel like this.


shoes for africa

30 pairs of shoes.
5 pairs of slippers.
4 pairs of flip-flops.

i really, really like footwear. tendinitis has made me more conscious of what i wear on my feet, and i haven't been wearing a lot of the shoes i own. still, it's hard for me to give them up. so many...memories, i guess. then again, it's hard for me to throw anything away.

tonight, mom showed me a flier that said, "WE DON'T WANT YOUR MONEY, JUST YOUR UNWANTED SHOES". it was an african relief effort and said that "shoes of all sizes and conditions needed!!" (two exclamation marks).

suddenly, i got excited. it was the perfect reason for giving my shoes away. i positioned myself between my 3 shoe racks and got right to work. any time i hesitated in reaching for a pair, thinking, 'i might use these some time' or 'these hold memories' or whatever, the thought hit me: i wear these, what...once? twice a year? and there are people in africa who don't wear shoes. ever. simply because they don't have them. but i do!

with that, i'd grab the shoes and stick them in the bag. i felt pretty happy.

7 pairs later, i had a big white garbage bag filled, and then some. i know 7 isn't a lot, but it's a start.

these specific shoes weren't my cutest (minus one pair) ever, but they were some of the oldest, and brought back good memories. i'd like to introduce you to them, via my favorite memories of each.

a) black flats-- used from 8th grade all the way until college. most remembered for being a part 5 of my 7 years of choir.
b) thick-soled moccasin-looking things. used in various costumes, and learning how to match my shirts with my shoes (a practice that i'm still pretty meticulous about).
c) sturdy hiking-boots- girls camp. memory: we once found a saltwater taffy stuck in a tree along our hiking on some remote trail. i was wearing these. memory #2: jessica barry and i led the hardest hike our last year of camp. all i remember is that it was really really steep. those poor little girls we led.
d) my very first pair of sketchers. once used in my dance-video phase: my sister robin introduced me to her paula abdul dance exercise video and others...these shoes were troopers when i was attempting early 90's dance moves on carpet while busting up laughing every few minutes.
e) my sodas: i liked how they looked when i finally started to find jeans long enough to fit me. started matching brown belts with brown shoes. i guess i like matching.
f) comfy shoes: my roommate steph gave these to me when she was going to throw them out. good for lounging. reminds me of all the good times at cinnamon tree.

of these, my favorites are specimen a: the black flats. i guess my favorite part about them is the fact they were there with me through so many concerts and performances. i really miss singing.

here are other reasons why i liked them so much (besides the square toe):

i really loved making spiral shapes when i'd walk through a puddle or snow to a performance

i loved the fact that i had everyone fooled by re-applying sharpie marker on the tips to keep the warn-out ends looking black

i loved the pink stitching

and here was its vice: the end had come unsewn. an easy fix for someone in the shoe-making business, i'm sure.

so i didn't end up going to ghana like i'd planned this summer. but my shoes will go to africa. :)


runners, until the race is won

oh man.
the sunshine. the rain. early mornings. late nights. good music. water. sprinklers. breathing hard. same stride. seeing people doing it...running.

all these things make me want to do it, too.

i only ran a season of track, my senior year in high school. i've been hoooked on it ever since. almost exactly one year ago, after i took a jazz dance class for spring term and was running consistently, i found out i have achilles tendinitis.

the cure? don't run.

i almost cried when i found out. i still find myself with excess energy, pacing around during stressful times...just trying to find a replacement...but nothing beats that feeling [for me] of doing something requiring no aid -- no bike, no car, no longboard. these things i enjoy as well, and a few years ago i discovered a love for motorcycles (with safe drivers) and that helped...but is still unobtainable to me. and it's not running.

to parallel running, i'm a dancer at heart. i don't profess to be a "real dancer" because i have little training or technique, but it's another passion that was prematurely halted by tendinitis.

i know i have so many blessings, and i shouldn't ever even complain. i guess i want to write this so that when i can run and dance again, i'll remember to be grateful for it. i injured my foot again tonight. not a huge deal, but it put me in a bit of pain, making my goal seem miles away. just made me think of it.

my brother kevin and especially sister-in-law debbie run lots of races. races for good causes. gives a purpose to running. this saturday i'm babysitting their adorable kids while they do the freedom run in provo. i love-love-love their kids, but this time, i want to join them.



periodic table of typefaces

remember how i adore typography?

yeah. me too.

i just found this site as i've been searching for design inspiration. enjoy!

this is now my new desktop background:

i didn't create this, but i wish i would have.


musical goodness from playlist

i've discovered some awesome music in the last few days...and months. thanks to the fabulous whitney, owl city is on there and my new favorite. and i just feel like regina spektor lately. and other such fabulous musicians. i set it so it won't play automatically, so you have the option. it's down on the right side. just letting you know it's there.

so take a listen...or don't. your call. if you do, feel free to comment on any of the music! i love to music-talk. :)

ps, owl city lyrics! the first is from 'rainbow veins'. this especially gets me through the 8-hour work day where i sit in front of a computer...
Your nerves gather with the altitude
Exhale the stress so you don’t come unglued--
Somewhere there is a happy affair, a ghost of a good mood....

also, here are some from 'hot air balloon':

I'll be out of mind,
and you'll be out of ideas pretty soon.
So let's spend the afternoon
in a cold hot air balloon

oh man. so great.


scripture + distraction = ?

I was reading my scriptures this morning in 3rd Nephi 11. I love that chapter, so this is the second or third time I've read it this week (which is why I have a weird scripture study pattern). I was reading in the first part of the chapter where God was introducing Christ. God spoke 3 times to the people, and the first two times they hear but don't really understand what He is saying. When they finally understand, "Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased", I'm sure they perked up.

Ironically, during this part, I was still reading but my mind started to drift off somewhere else, thinking of good things (visiting teaching to be exact) but not really comprehending the verses. When I got to that verse, I perked up, too. I read the next verse when Christ starts to descend from the heavens. Suddenly, all my attention was focused and I felt guilty for having skimmed over the first part of the chapter. Once more, I started over.

It got me thinking. How many times do we do that? When we're trying to be focused on the best things, only to get caught up on other things? Not to say that other things are bad; of course not! Logistics of visiting teaching need to be thought out and visiting teaching is very much an important part of the Gospel and our lives. Lots of our distractions are made up of good things.

However, we need to make sure that our first priorities are the best things. God. The Gospel. Family. I wonder, if I were a Nephite, would I have understood God's voice the first time? Or, like when I read about it this morning, would I have been distracted by something that was good but not as important at the present moment?

No wonder patience is required of us. Half the time, we're (excuse me, I can only speak for myself) I am messing up and getting distracted. Most times I don't always get answers in the way I think they should come or in my time frame. Maybe Heavenly Father is testing me to see if I'm really listening, really ready for the answer. Maybe it's just something that I can decide so He lets me. Or maybe sometimes He is trying to talk to me, but I'm just not hearing it, like in 3rd Nephi 11. "Not hearing it" can come in many ways, including not accepting it or not being willing or ready to act on it.

Anyway, this was a nice little experience to remind me to focus on the best things first. The lesser good things can wait. (By the way, that link is one of my favorites- it would be well worth your time to read or re-read that.)
"When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives." Ezra Taft Benson sure knew what he was talking about.


quick interjection --

look! Gale Larson, who is fabulous, paid me to create a baby shower invitation, pooh bear-themed if possible. i am a huge fan of Ernest Howard Shepard, the artist who first drew Winnie the Pooh. so i decided to go with that style. the line drawing actually his original, then i had fun in photoshop to color it (tangent: did you know that Shepard drew all of the illustrations in pen and ink, then when he was super old, like in his 90's or something, he was asked to color them? so he did! crazy. i think that's the story, according to Bethanne's history of illustration class). Gale's co-worker Lisa whipped out the poem in about a minute, i then designed the little card, gale printed it on cute little 5x7's and that was that!

i changed the info on the card in case any crazies come across my blog. sorry, folks. no stalking available here.

ps, how do you like the new blog header?


why it's wonderful I - typography::

now that my 'antisocial' series about fall 2008 is over, i'll write 'why it's wonderful' posts about the winter 2009 semester. stay tuned, hopefully these won't be as spread out over time :) i actually wrote this one on april 23rd.

Day: Wednesday
Class: Typography
Time: 7-11.....pm.

you'd think, with that schedule (on top of the fact i had class/work on wednesdays from 8 am-3 pm, 5-7 pm, and 7-11pm) i'd hate the dang class.

i didn't.

i actually...absolutely loved it.
the class::
typography is the study of type as a crucial element of graphic design. we learned things like kerning (how close each letter is to each other), tracking (how close the spaces in between words are) and leading (the space between lines of type). we learned the anatomy of letters, such as the x-height (height of a lowercase letter 'x', used to determine height of main body of fonts), ascenders and descenders (parts that ascend and descend the x-height, such as the tall part of an 'h' or the bottom of a 'g'), and counters (the middle parts of letters with enclosed spaces, such as 'p', 'g', 'a', 'd', etc). we learned about specific typefaces and created posters about them after we researched them (i chose neutraface. good-lookin!). we took note of type all around us with our 'typographic journals'. we also learned what good type looked like...and what it doesn't look like. we even created our own fonts!

*all images copyright kristin gulledge, 2009

the final project::
our culminating project that took the entire last half of the semester was the magazine re-design. we had to take a lifestyle magazine and redesign the entire thing, including the masthead (the actual letters that make up the name of the magazine, giving it an individual feel.) i chose spin magazine, because it's a music magazine for really artsy music lovers. perfect for me. ;) (however, after researching a lot of them, i don't suggest reading it...not all the issues are exactly my cup of tea).

i worked for many long and grueling hours on it, and would have posted the progress, but i was so busy and exhausted by the time i'd be able to post so i opted not to. BUT...here it is. the final project.

i'd rather you see the final physical project; it was so time intensive...we had to print it and mount it on foam core, then crop it. it looks awesome in real life. i guess you can check out the details here though. enjoy!

*note: photographs (excluding the garage photo) were found on the web, and used for educational purposes only. magazine masthead copyright kristin gulledge, 2009.

the nitty gritty details::

for those who would like to learn more
  • we had to design the masthead, mine being 'spin'. i had a bunch of different ideas and came down to the one you see below and one in a circle. i chose this because it's more interesting, and my teacher made the observation that it's more interesting because we usually think of "spinning" things as circles...not rectangles.
  • i tried to keep this rectangle thing as a theme throughout the whole magazine: i slanted the headlines and call-outs, also the photo (do you recognize it?) for the table of contents. consistency is crucial.
  • we were required to have one department. each magazine has many departments, or similar types of articles in each issue.
  • we were also required to have a 6-page feature, which is what the focus of the magazine is on in any particular issue.
  • grids are essential to good design. i used a three-column grid for the feature and a four-column grid for the department.
  • call-outs, in magazines, are certain parts of the text that are set apart from the rest of the words to give emphasis. mine are red and black, slanted with varying font size. this was actually inspired from my blog stylization!
  • captions, in magazines, describe pictures and they are set apart from the text as well by a different design element. mine are smaller, always next to a photo, and gray colored.
  • dummy text, or greek text, is just nonsense text that we use to fill in where text would be in a real magazine. even this, however, had to be custom-designed to an extent.
my goodness. i feel as if i've told all my design secrets; i guess i have no more to share. now you can go out and design fabulous magazines as well. piece of cake.*

*this is, in fact, a lie. it's NOT a piece of cake. it's more like a slab of stone...a really really big hard stone that you have to carve with a knife. a butter knife. call me masochistic, but i really love doing it.