Oooof…

Oh, pain. Knee. Pain. I can barely extend it straight. I’m hobbling about like an old woman. I was on my feet for about 6 hours after class last night, and I think this is what has killed it. Not the kettlebells, but the lack of rest and amount of weight on my knee. I used to feel this sometimes when I ran, and was hoping it would not revisit…but alas. I’m afraid going to class tonight will only make it worse, will instead spend time stretching and resting it. Even bought one of those drugstore knee braces, but I think that’s more of a $20 piece of mind/waste of money.

Since I only have pain when the knee is straight, I did a little research and it might not be the knee’s fault entirely (ok, it’s my fault, but still). Looks like muscles in my hip, rear, and back of thigh might be causing the knee cap to react this way. I looked through several sites for info and watched a video on how to stretch and massage it out. I didn’t have a tennis ball, so I made do with a croquet ball from the trunk of my car..I knew those would come in handy!

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Coffee

Yes, I have survived my first coffee without sugar EVER.

In the mornings I get an Americano, sometimes hot, sometimes on ice. Cream, cinnamon, cocoa powder…but no sugar today. A little strange at first, but I still managed to enjoy. It took me a year to get off aspartame/splenda and switch to raw sugar, so I wasn’t sure how this would go cold turkey. I used to be a diet Coke addict, but after the 4th kidney stone, decided to cut it out. Needless to say, I haven’t had a stone yet (and that was 2005), and I very rarely have a soda of any kind.

So, here’s to a new beginning of sugarless coffee!

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2010

So I’ve been a bit busy during the past month or so. It was holiday time, which with my cornucopia of a family, is a long and varied event. December includes a birthday for myself, a nod to Hanukkuh for one side of the family, and a very festive Christmas with the other. New Year is when Russians have their equivalent of Christmas, so it is another huge celebration, and a great time for after-Christmas clearance gifts. The 7th of January is Old Christmas (according to Russian Orthodox calendar), and the 13th brings “Old” New Year. These last two holidays got lesser attention, mainly since no one here in the states pays attention. Just small evenings of happiness for us.

Another addition to my schedule includes joining the creative team at Definition 6. They recently put out this video for Coke’s Happiness Machine campaign, so here’s a little flavor of their creative spirit.

Coca-Cola “Happiness Machine”

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It’s Official: the Slug has been stolen

Yes, it’s true, I’m sad to say. The Slug was stolen from WonderRoot Gallery on Friday, December 4. According to the staff, they were getting ready to hang for the ASIFA Animation Benefit Show…he was there at 10am, and at 4pm they noticed he was gone. I’m pretty sad, as I wanted him to meet everyone and perhaps do a little PR for me – he was supposed to hang for the duration of the show, the month of December.
I came Friday for the opening night and noticed my Nut piece was hanging, but the Slug wasn’t. I inquired, they said they’d look into it. Several days later, no leads. No slime trails. He’s a slug, right, can’t get that far, which is why he must’ve been slug-napped. Ok, had to throw that in to cheer myself up.
I know it’s not a Boccioni sculpture, or even art in some people’s eyes, but you just shouldn’t steal. On the plus side, it’s motivated me to make more…if people will steal it, maybe some moral people will pay a little money.
So sadly, there will be no slime for Christmas. If you have any leads, please let me know. I had a business card taped to the back, and my name signed as well.

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Nuts! Now in foam

ASIFA Atlanta recently had a call for cartoon/animation inspired art for a benefit show, so I entered the slug and this piece below. It’s from an illustration/branding project I had long ago at Portfolio Center, and I thought instead of just having a vector art printed or even a painting, why not use Fun Foam.

So, I had the bizarre idea to cut this thing out of foam to give it a bit of dimension and compliment its quirkiness. However, there’s much more strategy when working in layers of foam than you’d think (complicated by the limited size of foam sheets). Not to mention, clean cuts are not an easy thing, especially when layering four nut shapes on top of one another.

Anyway, I had a bunch of new sketches from this series I wanted to try out, but alas ran out of time. Enjoy, even if it looks a little flat from this view.

Nuts! Foam, 34″x 18″

Layers of foam

Squirrel detail, 5 layers of foam in some spots

The 3d feel is hard to photograph, can kinda see on an angle.

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Slugs!

A few years ago I woke in the night with an idea about a little snail going on an adventure. I quickly sketched it down, and incorporated it into Motion 101 class, which led to this.

Lately, I’d been thinking about creating a 3-dimensional slug, but just of its bust. Sort of a “happy face” to hang on the wall. Or a hunter’s prize, which is rather silly – not just because how could you stuff a slug for a wall bust, but rather why would you be proud of being able to snag a slug? Well, silly things give me joy, so here’s to some clay, slime and love.

Posing on the wall

“Spludge” – what I call wonderful slug neck fat. Looks better in person.

Slime test

Painting clay. Forgot to take pics of sculpting process…

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Happy Turkiness!

I know I posted these a couple years ago – but just wanted to show my Thanksgiving spirit and bring ’em out. They weren’t even intended to by Turkey Day decorations, but I hung on to them just in case. The modeling clay is still holding up, but I lost the mini foam fez for the mini foam turkey.

As the background, I had a horrific typography class and was emotively typesetting the entire script of Full Metal Jacket. On 130 individually hand dyed pages, individually cut and wrinkled and printed. The story had an emotionally draining, depressing effect on me, but I was pleased with the result. To keep us from going insane in the class, we also had to come up with a self promotion idea that was fun. This was a direction, but was never persued…just fun break from death, war and vulgarity.

It’s my mission to make it a holiday tradition to add more turkeys to the collection, we’ll see…

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The Spaghetti Spoon Phase

The Spaghetti Spoon Phase.

Few seem to go through it and survive. Well, few seem to go through it at all. While going through my archives, it seems I passed through it circa 2001. Glad I have emerged, unharmed from any other kitchen utensils.

Jacks, oil on canvas

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Creative is in the name

Working from home/cafe can start to get to one after a while, but at least the interwebs provide some sort of distraction.

I noticed, while going through a regular gamut of sites today, that the word “creative” is a predominant theme. Well, I am looking at thing related to art and design, but golly it seems to be a bit overused in the ol’ URLs. Don’t worry, you won’t see me promoting CreativeSquirrel.com anytime soon…ok, so I just looked and it’s taken anyway.

First stop we go to Creative Hotlist to see if there are ever any new additions in Atlanta employment opportunities (rarely) and skim over New York positions to read and dream about positions (gotten some interviews off this, but no bites). While I’m browsing for gigs and hitting the C button, I check out Coroflot (even worse for ATL) and Craigslist (usually rotten egg opportunities for ATL, good for NY freelance) as well. And I’ve just found Creative Circle, which looks good for NY, but doesn’t cater to ATL. Creative Heads has one post for Atlanta, but it’s a motion gig, so that’s cool. And then there’s the Creative Group recruiting folks, but moving on…

Gig hunting takes me also to Motionographer, which then reminds me to look up some After Effects tricks….which leads me off to CreativeCow. A nice place for feedback and tutorials, and free. I still use Lynda.com, but it’s a good place to turn for random inspiration and I can put their tutorials on an ipod and watch em when I’m stuck in line at the post office (ew).

What to do this weekend? I stopped reading Creative Loafing in college, but I go back to the website every so often…got some inspiration, got some broken links, and even got a place I wanna check out tonight. Independent opinionated Atlanta newspaper, I’m still happy you are here through the ages.

It seems there’s much more “creative”ly named stuff out there, but that’s all on my mind for now. Ok, one more, which requires hitting the A button instead: AtlCreatives.com . I haven’t gone here much, but I probably should. I see their stickers around town, and anything with a sticker tells me I should be going there.

This guy just looks creative.

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Brush in hand

I’ve been wanting to paint lately, but I feel a twang of guilt each time I get close to the canvas.

The fact that I have downtime is new to me. I’m not used to having this time for creative exploration, and since I don’t know how long it will last, I want to use it wisely. Or it may go on forever.

So, should I be spending this time learning new skills or refining current ones? By these, I mean sitting in front of a screen. This fall, I got a really nasty note from a big client regarding my programming skills for a Flash project. I never promised to have any, but alas I was called “uncommitted” among other things. I was urged to learn Action Script until my mind exploded. That, with my creativity, would get me writing tickets anywhere (stated as a compliment). I never set out to be a coding master, but no one wants just a creative – at least when it comes to bottom level Interactive (i.e., recent grads trying to get the most basic of jobs).

When I was in the Interactive program at PC, we were constantly told to focus on the concept, design, functionality, usability, etc…find the limitations and benefits of technology, but someone else will handle what goes on behind the curtain. Well, right now people want both, and it’s a big game of catch up.  So, when it comes to sitting in front of a canvas or a screen, I hear that angry voice yelling “YOU ARE UNCOMMITTED!” and it’s back to sleepy AS3 tutorials….with my creative energy scratching at the back of my brain, ever so distracting.

For me, a painting is a big commitment. I can spend weeks, months on one. I’ve already spent hours sketching and digitally composing. I want to take a projector and sketch my work on the canvas, for the sake of time, but I feel guilty doing that as well. Am I not missing out on beautiful mistakes that could take me in a new direction? Both art and design are about exploration, and my end is not concrete (the beauty of personal work). Yet technology fuels faster production. which can lead to more time spent on other things – like mastering dreaded AS3.

The ideal is a balance between the two, where upon I just might find myself stressed about both and tinkering with After Effects projects instead.

 

Last painting, completed fall ’06 before I started Portfolio Center. Oil on Canvas, 30×40 (no black bars)

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Filed under animation, atlanta, design, flash, interactive, Portfolio Center, portfoliocenter