I was reading a contemporary art book just a few minutes ago… In it was mentioned that Odilon Redon considered himself to be in a “habitual state of melancholy” and the book attributed that to being one of the reasons he was not suited to be in the Academy. That is a very interesting phrase… It is something that my ‘old life’ involved all too often I think… it actually describes me in a lot of ways from the past… not really ‘depressed’ all the time, but in a negative state that bordered on it and may have led to depression at times… Negativity breeds negativity. However, on the other hand, catharsis is a good thing, so not necessarily all things negative should be avoided. Without shadows light cannot be used to see anything…
Found this list of questions in one of my old sketchbooks and decided to post it here since these are very important questions.
It’s vitally important that characters have character. Knowing the answer to just these sort of questions as a game designer, role playing game master, storyteller, etc. is very, very, very important. These are the kinds of questions actors ask themselves when preparing to take on a role and are the type of questions anyone involved in any art form that involves characters should be asking themselves.
Origin in Feeling toward others, society, organizations of note?
What is your concept of beauty?
What is your concept of fear?
Has your character encounters either ????
is characters goals, fears, hopes, aspirations?
Occupation? (or former occupation?)
Feelings towards… ?
physical = height? weight? shape? form, physique? eye color? hair color? skin color?
Love(s)? Lovers? Sexuality? Sexual?
Strength of will?
Intellect/physique meets background?
Reasons? (for being? for being in a certain place, etc.)?
Name?.. and true name?
When and how did important dreams meet your life?
Name enemies you have met, not met?
True Form (and it’s looks?) (physically and spiritually, etc.)
Who do you serve – people, self, country, a master, a religion, a gut feeling, a dream, a wife, a husband, kid, etc.?
Ever been to battle?
Ever been to a library?
Ever killed someone?
Ever graduate – from where?
What do you value (as your riches, goals, etc.)?
Motives – ulterior, true, false?
Beliefs – myths, truths, half knowledges, lies, afterlife(s)?
Angered by _________?
Turned on by ________?
Origins unknown – history unknown?
Anal accountant type?
How do you have fun?
Hangouts? With who?
Make a living by ___________?
Past Life ideas? — Reborn, death, life? Immortality?
Immortality as a goal?
Practice?, etc. etc.
(I could go on forever with more questions)…
Build character. Characters that have character are far better then those with no character.
A couple of weeks ago one of my friends on Facebook posted about the difficulty of doing a week with no media because she was working through the Artist’s way. It was very ironic because Facebook is a form of media. Anyways, that sounded like something interesting to me, and is something I had vaguely remembered seeing or hearing about some many years ago somewhere… so I went to Banes and Noble and bought the The Complete Artist’s Way: Creativity as a Spiritual Practice.
It’s actually 3 books in one, but the first book is a 12 step process that you are to do one chapter of weekly, but according to the forums some do it in more then one week per chapter or even a month a chapter, etc. It’s a very cool process. The first chapter deals with doing “morning pages” and “artist dates” where you have to write 3 pages out every morning to sort of clear the mind of thoughts that sit and hinder your creativity unless you get them out somehow, and going out somewhere to explore the art world around you for inspiration about an hour or more a week.
It is a neat little process, and it’s been about a week since I started this. I am looking forward to working through the rest of the process.
Find out more about all of it over at http://theartistsway.com/
Slowly working on portfolio website (see link on right). This weekend I put together a few of the pages over there. So far the Charcoal and Ball Point Pen sections are starting to shape up.
I have not put together the other sections yet completely since those require shooting digital photos of my works. Not being the greatest photographer in the world doesn’t make getting the quality that I like out of the camera the easiest thing in the world. Also, it does not help much that I’m shooting outside when I do the shots, and it’s been fairly windy the last several days. The other day I shot some of my brother’s old artwork from highschool and the tripod fell over with the wind while I was swapping drawings with others in the house. The part of the camera that attaches to the tripod flew off of the camera when it hit the pavement. I luckily got it back together, but have not tried to attach it back to the tripod since then. Note to self – add weights of some sort to tripod the next time I try to use it.
The ball point pen drawings are mostly some of the mall small scans I took. I tried to limit it to about 30 or so images for each section. That way a nice little navigation bar table fits well in most browsers. It’s still a little too wide for the smallest screen settings, but I really don’t think most folks use the smallest screen settings usually. If so, sorry folks… I am trying to get this thing looking good, not optimized for your super low res screens… It’s tricky using the floating navigation bars I’m using because Internet Explorer is tricky. If you don’t put the dtd type up at the top of the html, it doesn’t float the css navbars where they belong, and just sticks them at the top of the page where they scroll with the rest of it.
It’s slowly coming together. I’ve been doing some cleaning around the house this weekend since we’ll likely be moving before too long… found a bunch of ol floppy disks and that reminded me that the last time I tried to put together an online web portfolio like this I was doing it on floppy and zip disks on Campus because it was like the year 2002 and I was using the free modem pool that the University of Missouri had back then… a whopping speed of 28k! No wonder I got frustrated and quit putting together the website last time, lol.
This time, things are coming together a lot smoother, and hopefully this blog will help make things work out a little better. I’ll add more to the website as I get more images put together and organized. I really like this click the image to get a bigger copy of it idea. I also like the floating nav bars with transparent backgrounds that makes it nice, clean, and easy to maneuver around in.
Got any pointers, tips, or ideas on how I can improve portfolio? Shoot away and give me some comments. I like listening to what people have to say. 🙂 😉
The Dictionary of Imaginary Places: The Newly Updated and Expanded Classic
is one of the BEST books on fictional places. Lots of interesting maps and various descriptions. If you like fantasy, fiction, or role playing, this is a must have. I used this book a lot back in college when role playing and also for just plain entertaining reading. Love it.
I’ve been kicked out of Entropia Universe a few days now since Vista went kaput on my computer and I don’t have a restore cd that works. I hate HP for not putting the restore cd in the box when they ship it out and rely on a hard drive restore that may or may not work when you need it… and then they want you to pay them lots of cash to buy a restore cd that may or may not work since their blasted hardware is junk that relies on partitions on a hard drive that might get corrupted someday (which happened to me I think)…
I am trying to figure out a way to make Entropia Universe work under Linux, but it’s not promising. I got the installer to work fine under Wine, but now need to install Direct X on wine and a few other things, and even then, it still might not work.
In the mean time I’ve been reading some of my old art books, studying some old drawing books more, and also reading a lot of old role playing books and things. Future posts will probably have more scans of my drawings and paintings, but might also have some other more philisophical thoughts, thoughts on role playing, stage lighting, animation, and a number of other things. Being offline in the virtual reality I spend so much time in has started to get me ‘back to the basics’ on a variety of trains of thoughts that I had several years ago and wanted to follow through back then but didn’t because I got too distracted with this other “virtual world”… I enjoy fictional worlds as a means of escaping reality sometimes – but it’s very easy to take it overboard with a super hyper imagination and make that false reality in to your over-arching real reality sometimes… Its something we all do on some level – people think about their soap operas while they work… or maybe their comic books… maybe something else. We all have hobbies, and most of us don’t have the ultimate job that keeps our attention that we love so much that we never think of anything else — anyways, I’m getting back to the basics mentally and physically on a lot of various levels at the moment…
German social philosopher Ernst Bloch wrote that utopias and images of fulfillment, however regressive they might be, also included an impetus for a radical social change. According to Bloch, social justice could not be realized without seeing things fundamentally differently. Something that is mere “daydreaming” or “escapism” from the viewpoint of a technological-rational society might be a seed for a new and more humane social order, it can be seen as an “immature, but honest substitute for revolution”.