Classic Santa

Remember those good ol' days when you'd be laying in bed and your heart would be leaping out of your chest in anticipation for the snide bearded creepster clown to break into your home covered in mud and ash only to eat your precious cookies, drink your tepid milk, and leave an assortment of unnervingly accurate gifts?

Yeah....Good times.

I loved being smothered with toy motor cycles, video games, giant stuffed animals, useless gadgets, and a year's supply of chocolate. Literally. A year's supply (chocolate oranges, symphony bars, chocolate mints, m&m's, wonkas, reeses, hersheys, dark chocolate almond butter, toblerones, and about 500 of our famous russian teacakes left over). Score.

One of my family's best traditions is Russian Teacake Day.
 We spend an entire day making over 1,500
of these delectable cookies to
 deliver to every family in our ward.
And we always have plenty left over.

But now things have changed. I don't need 10 different expansion packs for the Sims or Roller Coaster Tycoon anymore. Now I get misty eyed when I open an envelope with a couple gift cards and a check for tuition.
BTW- Santa basically just saved my life with that check. And my sanity. 
It's strange when your saved sanity is your christmas present.
But I like it.

And I still get my year's supply of chocolate. Plus a couple movies, essential toiletry items, a beatles guitar songbook, and more RAM to speed up my computer. See, my parents still love me :)

I hope your Christmas was as relieving and special as mine.
Happy Holidays!


Oh heyy..

Did I forget to mention that I got into BYU's Illustration Program?
Well, I got into BYU's Illustration Program.

So, my letter was ready last Thursday. They emailed me in the morning to come pick it up. Problem was, I had 2 finals left to take. I knew that I could not handle any terrible gut wrenching news right before I failed another couple of tests so I waited until Friday to get it. That way Andy could be with me in case I melted into a puddle of dread-filled sobs.

When I opened it, I was of course shaking. It's not like a mission call where it's going to be great news no matter what, because even if you get called to Ogden, Utah it's still a happy day. There is failure involved. We secluded ourselves inconspicuously in the HFAC parking lot in order to hide my anxiety from the public. It took like 5 minutes and a lot of coaxing from Andy for me to finally open the letter. When I did I immediately saw the words Congratulations and Illustration so I screamed in surprise and threw the letter into Andy's lap and made him read it himself because I'd started crying. I got in. I belong somewhere now. I have skills! It's a fantastic feeling. I feel like I'm now making progress in what I want to be doing.

Congratulations to me.


Desperate Inspiration

We're halfway through finals week and I feel like my head has exploded. Kind of like this:

(Zach Johnsen)

So, during my desperate search of some much needed inspiration and motivation and illegal-high-quality-pain killers (Psyche. I'm no druggy. But amazon has a surprisingly low amount of on-sale meds...), I came across this coolio stop-motion clip and it was perfect because this is EXACTLY what I feel like doing to all of my homework/studyguides/reviewsheets/crap.

Yep. Gifs and stop-motion. My 2 latest obsessions.

It took the Animator, Steven Briand, over 2 months to make it. 
That's a long time. 
I'm surprised he didn't gain weight. That would have sucked for the clip. You'll see why.
Anywhoo, get a load of this:



The best way to spread Christmas cheer...

In case you're also sick of reruns of that one Pachabel children's chorus thing on the radio (on this day, on this day, on this freaking christmas dayyyyy) and Bieb's version of "Drummer Boy" (oh my crap you have to listen to that. It's cringe worthy, but oddly fascinating), here is my somewhat-indie Christmas playlist that I burned to listen to in my car. Feel free to enjoy it for the last 13 days before Christmas:
The best way to spread Christmas cheer is
singing loud for all to hear

The Christmas Waltz, by She & Him
Mistletoe, by Colbie Caillat
I Saw Three Ships, by Sufjan Stevens
Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, by Jack Johnson
Christmastime is Here, by A Fine Frenzy
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), by Death Cab for Cutie
Happy Christmas, by Maroon 5
Silent Night/Away in a Manger, by Relient K
Winter Wonderland, by Jason Mraz
A Great Big Sled, by The Killers
Christmas Lights, by Coldplay
Carol of the Bells, by The Bird and the Bee
Little Drummer Boy, by Family Force 5
Blue Christmas, by Bright Eyes
Winter Song, by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson
Auld Lang Syne, by Pink Martini

Also good:
Relient K's entire christmas album. It still is, and will forever be, my favorite.

Christmas albums by Straight No Chaser & Eclipse. I'm a sucker for male a capella choirs when they're bursting with christmas spirit. Oh the testosterone...

She & Him, Michael Bublé, The Osmonds. All classy and classic.

And you can't go through an entire winter season without some of Adam Sandler's Hannuka:

Happy Holidays! 
(Including December 13. National Ice Cream Day. I know I'm celebrating.)


Random Thoughts That Give Me Pause:

My hot french teacher that looks and dresses like Jude Law only likes bratwurst. He would turn down a hotdog. A HOT DOG. How arrogant. I wish I was that cool. 

I happen to enjoy the random maniacal laughs that make people grimace as they walk past. There tend to be a lot of those at BYU.

Photos like this.
I made a friend on the last day of class. I think her name is Michelle. She is also dating someone from BYU Idaho. I could have used her for her relationship advice all semester. We could have carpooled. What a waste. 

I almost sat in on the wrong class today. Yep, on the last day. My problem is that I'm one of those back-row students whose faces are 2 inches away from either their sketchbook -not their notebook- or pinterest. In essence, I don't recognize anybody in some of my classes. However, halfway through the semester I picked out an unfortunately acne-scared sad faced Latino girl in my World Religions class that I would be able to consistently recognize. That way I would know that I was sitting in the right classroom. But today she was gone. I thought I was in the wrong place until my teacher walked in. Maybe I should re-evaluate how aloof I keep myself at school.

At lunch my grandma called me homeless because of my frayed holey TOMS. Success! I'm hipster enough that I look homeless! That's the goal here, right? 

The apparent ban on skinny jeans at BYU Idaho was only apparent. Thank goodness. I would have had to entirely revise my wardrobe. However, I'm super judgmental of those judgmental folk who created that sign at the testing center. "If a student prays and they think that the tight, 'form-fitting' clothing is accepted by the Lord, they have not asked, or have not asked the right question, or they have chosen an answer for their own gratification. I don't believe the Lord would give approval to anyone to be disobedient to the CES Dress and Grooming Standards." -John Dexter, testing center manager. Also, biggest self-righteous dweeb I've ever had the privilege of not meeting. Can you imagine if this was actually the attitude of our church-run school system? I'm glad he does not manage my wardrobe. I'd be wearing Hammer pants and a trench coat in order to properly conceal my form. I am disgruntled. 

The 2 hardest jobs on BYU campus have got to be an interpreter for deaf students, and figure drawing class model. Both of them are being intensely watched by every person in every class, whether they like it or not. It's got to be exhausting. 

I got 23/25 points on an essay that was written more by Wikipedia than it was by me. Way to go random people of the world who know a lot about Byzantine architecure.

In my research of random movies I came across American Psycho. I watched a couple youtube videos and read the summary online. Absolutely and officially tremendously freaked me out. It's worse than the previews for Silence of the Lambs. I'm such a pansy. I need a good dose of Newsies in order to get that slithery Christian Bale out of my brain. 

And a happy gif from Modern Family to end the day because I'm obsessed (with both gifs and Modern Family):

Stay classy, Planet Earth. 


Theme Song of 2011

It's a pretty cool moment when you find your theme song.

You kinda freeze and stare blankly into space with an awkward half open grin on your face for a full 4 minutes and 2 seconds until the song is over.

Then you close your eyes and slowly shake your head

because you're pondering the incredibly deep life-changing lyrics that perfectly describe the past 12 months of your life.

So you press replay

and when it's over for the second time

You suddenly spring up and plunge into cartwheel,
And you do the Carlton dance.

Just kidding.
That last part didn't happen.
I can't cartwheel.

But I did find my theme song for 2011.

Losers, by The Belle Brigade

Yeah it's called Losers. Don't judge. And no, it's not Christmassy. Yeah, sometimes I don't listen to Christmas music at Christmastime. Go ahead. Call me a sinner.



What would your drawing look like if it were painted realistically?

Just kidding.
I'm sure you're an incredibly apt artist.
Not judging.

Just saying that this guy could take your crappy school girl drawing and turn it into a rockin realistic monsterpiece.
Dit bonjour √† Dave Devries. 
Basically he takes kid's drawings, and paints them creepy and realistic. His project is called the "Monster Engine". Somehow he makes them all dark and timburtonesque (Yeah. He's a word now. Look it up), and this is where it started: 

"It began at the Jersey Shore in 1998, where my niece Jessica often filled my sketchbook with doodles. While I stared at them, I wondered if color, texture and shading could be applied for a 3D effect. As a painter, I made cartoons look three dimensional every day for the likes of Marvel and DC comics, so why couldn’t I apply those same techniques to a kid’s drawing? That was it… no research, no years of toil, just the curiosity of seeing Jessica’s drawings come to life."

This is one of those projects where I go, "SERIOUSLY? Why the freak didn't I think of this first. Like really. It should have been in my brains."

I hate that feeling. 

But I still kinda want to go grab a crayon and attempt a rhinoceros with my left hand and my eyes closed, just to see what he could make of it. 

Dave Devries also works for Marvel and DC comics, you know, just painting creepsters and super heroes like it's nobody's business. Pro.

Here are some more of my favorites from his "Monster Engine" project:

There. Go be jealous of this awesome idea. 



Guess what.

I did it.

I applied to the Illustration program. I even pressed the "submit" button all by myself.

And yeah, I know that applying right now is basically a pride thing. I'm most definitely going to be transferring up to BYUI next fall, and I'll have to basically start all over... but you know what! I've wanted this for a long time and I stressed and cried about it anyway.

So now it's done and I feel triumphant.

Swedish Cottage: Watercolor on stonehenge

Minnie Mouse: Acrylic on canvas panel
Even Bears Need Bear Hugs: Acrylic on canvas panel

Street Magician: Maya 2011

Jimmer Collage: Acrylic paint, charcoal, newspaper, photocopies

Gestures: Conte crayon and pastel

Face Study: conte crayon
Face Study: conte crayon

Self Portrait: pencil

Bon Iver: micron pen and watercolor

Required Creative Exercise. Basically they give you a bunch of random squiggly lines and you have to make something out of it. This is what I did with white-out, colored pencils, and micron pen

I've left out all of the drawings I put in my sketchbook, but if you really care about those you can ask about them later and I'll show them to you.

Tell meh whatcha thunk.