Thursday, February 24, 2011

Black Swan? Intense!

So I watched the movie Black Swan this evening after months of waiting for a copy to come out.  I have to say it's probably the best ballerina movie I've seen so far. Black Swan is a 2010 American psychological thriller film directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, and Mila Kunis. Its plot revolves around a production of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake ballet by a prestigious New York City company. As is usual with some productions of that ballet, the production requires a ballerina to play both the innocent White Swan and the sensual Black Swan. One dancer, Nina (Portman), is a perfect fit for the White Swan, while Lily (Kunis) has a personality that matches the Black Swan. When the two compete for the parts, Nina finds a dark side to herself.

THAT was the Wikipedia version of the movie, but I find this movie WAAAYYYY more intense and should be described in a more 'colourful' and dark way. No? So Natalie Portman works at a NY ballet company. After being chosen to audition for the swan queen, she doesn't get chosen. She goes back, the teacher kisses her!! and then who gets the role of swan queen?? She does!! That's when the crazy starts to happen. 'Nina' starts to hallucinate thinking this girl 'Lily' is trying to take her role... At one point in the movie, Lily comes over takes her out to apologize for telling the teacher she was crying. So while they're out she puts drugs in her drink, they talk to boys, dance and then Nina takes her home and the girls make out then Lily eats her out. The Nina starts to think that Lily is sabotaging her role as swan queen, and I swear she just goes mad! Nina has a fight with Lily, and Nina thinks she killed her with broken glass. She goes on to dance the Black Swan part (having already danced the White Swan) really kicking ass. Scary how awesome it is, and she she sprouts wings. Then it's back to the dressing room to change back to the White Swan, and she realizes that Lily isn't dead, it's HER that's been stabbed!!!  The craziest part?? Nina fought herself, stabbed herself!!

It was the BEST dancing film I've seen. The director, the producer, they've all outdone themselves. I'm sorry if I spoiled it, but I wanted to share this with everyone. :) I recommend this film. 5 stars!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New hairdo!

So it seems when you tell people you're not able to pay for things, and you desperately need things done, these things happen! It so happened that yesterday I was chatting with a girl at the yoga studio I attend about really needing a haircut, and she introduced me to this guy, Eric, who works in a salon. He was talking about haircuts not being expensive, and I said I didn't have a cent to my name, but that I really needed a cut. Anywho... so today go in and get my haircut. Now I wanted it like Aeon Flux, but as short as the way Charlize Theron had it. Here's a photo of the cut I wanted:

I'm not disappointed by what I got, but it's definitely different cause it's longer than hers, and mine's more of a bob and hers is less.....
So there you go. I think for free, it's pretty darn good. :) A little funky!

So after a few days of playing around with my hair, I realized that perhaps the hairdresser misunderstood when I said "uneven," cause on the left side the longer bits are in front of my ear, and on the right side, the longer bits on behind my ear. I didn't think it looked as good long, so I chopped off an inch or two, and angled it a bit to sort of blend with the front bangs. Personally, I think this looks a lot better:

So there you go. I can't cut anymore, or else it'll just be a bob. I think the cut wasn't anywhere close to what I wanted, but I can't complain as it was free after all. :)


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A sad story ends... 

Well, I've finished reading the Harry Potter series for the second time, and I feel like I've lost a dear friend. These novels are fantastic!! Here's a quote from another blog about the last novel, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows:

"A few words about the last and final Harry Potter book, before we discuss the series:

It’s fantastic. From the beginning it pulls you in and grips you. Whereas other books in the series have been criticized for slowing down the pace over too many details, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows zips from intense scene to intense scene with barely a chance to breathe. The action is intense and the stakes are high.

This is a very dark novel, not at all a children’s book. While I salute and encourage all the children who are reading it, make no mistake: J.K. Rowling has just penned a mature, deep, fierce story, guaranteed to keep the attention of teens and adults.

But you fans of the series will have already concluded that yourselves, or will have shortly. You don’t need me to tell you how good the book was.

Instead, let me appeal to those of you who haven’t experienced the Harry Potter books yet. This includes those of you who have only seen the movies. While the movies are enjoyable, they fall far short of the brilliant storytelling in the books. If you liked the movies, do yourself a favor and read the books– or listen to them, if you prefer. Many fans of the series far prefer the audio versions.

Now then:
Common excuses for not reading Harry Potter

1. “They’re kids books.”
No they’re not, not all of them. The first two may not grip you, but persevere through the third book and you’ll find yourself reading some very heavy stuff. Besides, it’s fun to read kids books, no matter what your age.

2. “I don’t like fantasy.”
Ask yourself why you don’t like fantasy. If you truly can’t stand the genre, I suppose there’s nothing I can say to persuade you. Most people who dislike fantasy, however, dislike a particular feature of many fantasy novels, the deus ex machina. Many readers like to see problems solved with “real” solutions (brains, strength of character, moral fortitude), and they feel cheated when the characters simply magic away their woes, because that’s just not how life works. Let me hasten to assure you that the characters in the Harry Potter series do not– can not– cast a spell and make everything better. Rowling writes a very realistic series, albeit one with fantasy trappings.

3. “They’re so popular, they can’t be good.”
That was my excuse for not reading them till four books had already been published. I was dead wrong. I was too much of a snob to think they could have any real literary merit. With all due contrition, I confess that I was astonishingly mistaken. Though the prose is simple to read and comprehend, the quality of the writing is superb.

4. “They encourage children to practice magic.”
The books are fiction, very obviously fiction. While we might dream wistfully about Hogwarts being real (who wouldn’t want to play Quidditch?), we readers accept that it’s just not so. Children old enough to comprehend the Harry Potter stories are generally old enough to tell the difference between reality and imagination. They are also old enough to understand the basic theme of the series, that good is stronger than evil. I encourage parents with reservations as to the ethical soundness of the books to sample one of them to see if they might be appropriate for their children.
So give it a try. Start with the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone, to discover a richly-crafted world with compelling characters, pleasurable reading, and a storyline good enough to satisfy any age."

I recommend everyone who loves reading to give these a try. All I want to do is read them all day and night! :) Now that the final novel is finished, I don't know what to read. I have a few books in my little collection, and was thinking perhaps Jasper Fforde's first novel, The Eyre Affair. Now that I've perused the internet for some reviews on this first novel in the series I found this:

"Fforde's imaginative novel will satiate readers looking for a Harry Potter-esque tale.... The Eyre Affair's literary wonderland recalls Douglas Adams's Hitchhikers series, the works of Lewis Carroll and Woody Allen's The Kugelmass Episode."

USA Today

I think this sounds like a good next novel to start reading. My friend, Ben, has read most of them, and recommends them (well okay, he didn't say that, but he did say they were good). This might be just what I need to rebound from my loss with Harry Potter. Some might suggest I just read them again, but even I can say that enough is enough. :) Maybe in a year or so I'll read them again. They're timeless, always will be my favorite novels besides Diana Gabaldon's Outlander Series (which btw if you've never read these you SHOULD!!!).

So I haven't finished my painting yet (why am I not surprised?). I should really get on that... I mean it's been years since I've finished a painting for myself. I suppose I'm stuck because the drawing is so complicated, and I'm unsure about what colours to use. I guess I should just do whatever I want, and not worry if it'll look bad. :)

Well I hope everyone reading this has a good Tuesday night. I will be reposing (ok I don't use that word) relaxing on the couch watching some hunky guys take part in getting into a calendar!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saturday Evening.....

So I managed to get some painting done today. Not much, but it's a start!! I haven't painted in a long time (1.5 years feels like forever). Here's what I have so far... I don't know what you're going to think when you see it, but it's really not a paint-by-numbers. I had found this really cool Buddha line art drawing online and just used tracing paper to get it on my drawing board. It's easier to get the exact look when doing it this way. You might think "Oi! That's cheating!" but it isn't. A lot of illustrators work this way. We sketch our ideas, then trace them on our boards/canvas etc to get the exact look. If we were to freehand it, it just wouldn't work.

The text below is Ohm Mani Padme Hum which is a Tibetan Buddhim mantra which means the following:

"Tibetan Buddhists believe that saying the mantra (prayer), Om Mani Padme Hum, out loud or silently to oneself, invokes the powerful benevolent attention and blessings of Chenrezig, the embodiment of compassion. Viewing the written form of the mantra is said to have the same effect -- it is often carved into stones, like the one pictured above, and placed where people can see them. " Mantra spoken aloud

I'll post my painting when I finish it. Right now I'm trying to decide how colourful I want the rest of it to be. I guess I can do whatever I want since it is my painting. :)


Happy, Cloudy Saturday

Good morning everyone. Today is one of those days where I feel a little lost.  All my freelance projects are done for the time being, there aren't any jobs to apply for (being that it's Saturday), and I have quite a few projects that I should be doing.

I've thought about painting this Buddha on wood board (above). I don't know what's stopping me. In the past 2 years I've felt the want to paint sort of slip away, but I try to reel it back in by visiting the art store on a regular basis, sometimes buying supplies that I might need for future projects. Since I painted my "Flying Buddha" back in 2008/09 I haven't finished a painting. Why is that, do you think?

On another note, I'm going to enter in a design award competition. I did this really great brochure for the company I used to work for, Axis Lighting. I think it'd be great to try and win, because the recognition would help me advance in the field of graphic design. I can't sit idly by hoping someone will notice me when I don't do anything, right?? The only thing that makes it more difficult is that I've been unemployed for 3 weeks, and the cost of entering this contest will make my credit card jump up. I suppose to be noticed in a field that is highly competitive, one must do what's necessary to get ahead.

Well, in order to get this day started I think it's best I go off and get my breakfast started, brew some yummy hot coffee and just start the damned Buddha painting and be done with it!! That's all I really need, is to just start it instead of contemplating it. :)


Friday, February 11, 2011

Life is full of surprises

Welcome to my blog as a designer and illustrator and monster creator. With this blog, you'll be able to follow me throughout my trials and tribulations as a designer and as an arts and crafts person. You'll know how I feel, what I think, the good times and even maybe the bad times. Plus, you'll be able to connect with me as a person and perhaps feel inspired! :)