Adventures with art #9

Yes, it’s John Reese from Person of Interest and yes, isn’t it a beautiful painting? I’ve linked the source to the image.

What’s going on, everyone? I’m guest posting for Skye again this week. Yayyy! I hope you’re as excited about this as I am. Not sure what I’m going to talk about today so I’ll just throw out some random topics about art in my life lately.

On copying: Apparently I’m not the only one who feels like copying drawings (aka referring to a picture while drawing) is a form of cheating in the art world. Well, guess what? It’s not. For the longest time I felt like a fraud whenever I drew pictures based on other pictures that I really liked. I’ve read and been told that it’s not copying as long as you’re learning from copying and not tracing the picture because no matter what, everyone has their own style.

So that’s good and it does make sense because I am learning by ‘copying’ and no matter how much I ‘copy’, I will not reproduce the exact same drawing. Why didn’t someone tell me this earlier? Or rather, why didn’t I think of it this way before? I read a great article on copying art the other day and I thought I bookmarked it but apparently not. 🙁 If I find it by some miracle, I’ll put up the link.

On drawing guides: I still remember after I expressed that I had the slightest interest to return to the art world, Skye started sending me art tutorial links by the dozens. I bookmarked quite a few but never really read through most of them simply because art tutorials scare me.

They’re so technical and while I know that you have to learn some technique if I want to improve, I am not one who enjoys reading technical pieces. Also, most art tutorials make me feel like I don’t know nuts. When I read something that I don’t know and the tutorial makes it seem like I should and must know it, I get intimidated and insecure.

That does not mean that I’m doing what I please without knowing some technical stuff. My source of art knowledge comes from Skye who feeds me tidbits and tips on how to improve and for that I am grateful. I secretly look forward to her art tips and summaries of art tutorials, shhh. She likes the technical stuff so it’s all good.

On inspiration: So what has been inspiring my art lately? Hmm, well, Ebba and lots of Hakuouki but you already knew that. I’ve been trying to draw some poses of my own – is it a bit too soon for a newbie to try that? – but I think I’m gonna need to study human forms a bit more to create more dynamic poses.

On asking for help: The story of this point came up only today when I was drawing Sano from Hakuouki and somehow the shape of his face didn’t turn out quite right. I erased 3 times, measured and remeasured, tried looking from different angles, almost threw in the towel and called it a day when it struck me that I could ask the maestro aka Skye.

I turned to Skye and asked her to help me see what I was doing wrong. She gave some suggestions, I tried them out and my drawing turned out okay! Lesson learned: I should seek advice or help if I’m stuck in a rut because someone else might have ways to overcome my problems.

On areas I need to work on: My mind’s eye definitely. I feel like I’m not seeing things enough and my ability to envision things isn’t as developed as I thought. My aim is to really see things for what they are, not just look at them. Know what I mean? Also, I need to work on figure drawing but I already said that somewhere up there.

Okay, so that’s it from me for this week’s Adventures with Art. It was fun writing this post because it allowed me to write out my thoughts on how I’ve been doing so far. Comments? Advice? Tales about your adventures with art? I’d love to hear them. Leave ’em in the comment section below! I’ll end today’s post with a quote:

“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut

Thank you for reading!

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Overcoming Anger and Stress #3

Anyone can become angry. That is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way… that is not easy.
— Aristotle.

Today’s guide is focused on anger and next week’s will be on stress.

Find out what makes you angry and whether it is worth getting angry over. If it’s not, why get mad?

A lot of times we’re not actually angry but anger is the emotion that just comes to us easiest just like wise Aristotle said. Sometimes anger acts as the outer layer of a bubble for other emotions such as frustration or pain or disbelief.

So this week, think about what makes you angry and list those things down. If you’re not comfortable writing it out, make a mental list and make it an honest one. Don’t try to sweep some of the reasons under the rug and pretend that they’re not important. I know this might be hard because sometimes we might not want to admit that our anger was just a veil for other emotions but think about the wonders of not being an angry person.

After making a list, go through them one by one and think about whether it was worth your anger. Did you mean to shout or hit something? If it wasn’t worth your anger, try to figure out why you got so upset. Were you trying to hide your frustration? Were you unable to express your frustration in words and turned to anger instead? Did anger just serve as a shield for other deeper emotions? Sadness, maybe? Pain? Pour it all out. Pinpoint the emotions you were experiencing before you got angry.

This week’s tip is to analyze the reasons for your anger. We should take a moment now and then to reflect on past mistakes so that we can work on becoming better versions of ourselves. So really just work on identifying the mix of emotions when you’re angry so that you can get to the core of why you flew off the handle. And if you haven’t already forgotten, remember to breathe!

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Read the previous episodes of this series: Week 1, Week 2.

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Overcoming anger and stress 101 #2

Last week was the first episode of this series. And I asked some questions which hopefully you answered no to because really, who likes anger and stress?

So today I’m going to explain a few things. Now let’s start with anger. If you’re thinking, oh I get angry a lot, this must be bad. No, not necessarily. Anger is an emotion that comes in different forms and can range from mild annoyance to boiling hot rage.

Anger is healthy as long as it doesn’t blow out of proportion and turn into a manic, rage episode. Anger is healthy as long as we can still think straight and be reasonable in an argument. In fact, anger is necessary for humans as it is part of our fight-or-flight system that is one of the deciding factors when we choose to confront or leave a dangerous situation.

The same goes for stress. Let’s just face it, everyone worries, whether selfishly or unselfishly, frequent or not, we still worry. But I bet you didn’t know that there are two types of stress – the good and the bad. The good stress helps us in terms of motivation. Let’s say finals are around the corner and you want to do well. This stress will (hopefully) motivate you to push yourself to do whatever it takes to get the grades that you want.

Or if you want an example from me, here it goes. Joining the Weekly Wishes Link-Up has made me stressed. In a good way though. It gets me going whenever I feel sluggish or unmotivated. On days when I think, it’s okay to skip today’s workout, right? A part of me will go, No, you have to do it, for your fitness level’s sake and for the sake of not writing an ‘I failed’ report for the recap of your Weekly Wishes post. See? Good stress.

Then there’s the bad stress where you feel like you’re being weighed down and you just can’t find it in you to think positively. Using the same example, if I were to engage in bad stress, my thoughts would probably go along the lines of, oh no this is weighing me down, why did I join it, now I have so much more on my plate, I can’t do it, I just want to give up.

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If you remember from last week’s post, my tip of the week was to Breathe. I know it might sound stupid in your head, especially when you get angry or stressed, but it helps. Don’t think about what other people think or say, just draw in deep, measured breaths.

This week’s tip is to walk away. That’s right. Walk away. If you’re engaged in a heated argument that is turning ugly or getting unreasonable, walk away with an explanation. Or if you’ve reached your breakdown point and you can’t see yourself doing anymore work, walk away. But remember to tell the other person that both of you need to take a time-out. Turn and leave. Find a quiet place where you can collect your thoughts and sanity. It’s not okay to walk away without an explanation, knowing full well that the other person can’t handle it and will apologize to you so that you can get your way. That’s a lowly manipulation tactic and complete rubbish.

I realize that some people won’t let you walk away. They’ll get offended and ask you what the hell you think you’re doing by walking away. The thing here is to not just suddenly walk off without explanation because that’s going to be worse the next time there’s an argument. Just try to block out whatever the other person is saying and breathe until you’re calm enough to tell them you need a break. Say, this is going overboard, we need a time-out. Sounds stupid too, right? But it makes sense so say it anyway. Say it as calmly as you can so that it won’t just stir up another bout of anger. Walk away knowing that this is just a break and things haven’t been resolved yet. Come back calmer and with a clearer mind and this time, make compromises or resolve the issue without getting mad.

As for being stressed and on the verge of losing it, I would advise dropping everything. All the balls that you’re juggling? Drop them, step back, walk away for ten minutes, do something relaxing like listening to music, come back with a clearer mind and pick those balls up one by one. Slowly! Sometimes all you need to do is walk away from everything for a minute. Hopefully when you return, you’ll have a clearer mind and be able to look at things from a different perspective.

I’m telling you this from experience. I used to be so frustrated at math questions (for the longest time, math was my most dreaded subject). When I couldn’t get the answer, I would stare at the question harder and harder, trying to make the answer come to me. Soon but not soon enough, I learned that I needed to get away from the book, walk around and do other things for a while then come back to it. More often than not, I would able to look at the question from a different angle and solve it. This method applies to other things in life of course, not just math questions.

Also, try making a list of the things you need to do. A list will help you see what’s important and you can start by focusing on the first important task then going to the next. You will feel much better. You’re not Superman. Cut yourself some slack. Tell yourself it’s okay to take a break because it is.

I hope this helps. Remember, guys, take it easy.

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For those wondering who the hot potatoes Raine is, read this!

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