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.