Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Great week-end

This week-end was great; I felt like if I was granted 2 extra hours per day! I had time to cook like crazy for my week to come (I don't have time to cook when I'm back from work, so I cook on the week-end and reheat my meals during the week), a buckwheat porridge-like breakfast with apple, cinnamon and chestnuts, home made cheese macaroni, a "coquille Saint-Jacques" (it's a french meal that translate like "Scallops Shell", which is roughly a kind of seafood stew with scallops, mini-shrimps, mushrooms, etc.), 3 fishes, a chicken with Thai-like peanut sauce, artichoke and citrus rice, and my famous oak crumble for dessert: this week it's apple, strawberries and pecans.

This February is like 10°C above average and we had little snow... and the snow started to melt in the middle of winter!! But we did have a bit of flurry this week, so it was (finally!) possible to go slide outside, plus the weather was so beautiful, the sun super shining... Really, we had to go outside! So we went at the park just behind where we live, where there's a small hill and I've slide with my baby daughter. She liked it so much!! So, with all the fun I had this week-end, there seemed to have no time for my project...

I mentioned to my boyfriend that it's really cool that I've started working on my project again, and see things going forward bits by bits... It's not going really fast, but it's advancing! I repeated all my life that creating, for me, is like a third lung... If I don't create, I feel like I have a hard time breathing! I feel almost suffocating! For the past years, I discovered that I could create with cooking and I've mastered the art of making improvised success, but it was not really enough for the artist in me... There was other things inside I needed to express and can only be by my writing. So to work on this project is like a trip in country side where you can get fresh air, it feels really good!

But then, when I don't have time to work on it, it started to hurt inside again... Creating is really a must in my life and for a long time now, I know that I want to do it not for the hits, or fame, or money, but because it's a need that I have, a must. It burns inside, I have to let it go and that's by writing it. The things inside I can't explain, then it's a must to draw it. Some of my drawings took me up to two years to understand their deep meaning!

Finally, with all the excitement, my daughter fell asleep really really early Sunday, so finally, I got some time for my maps.

Friday, I have scanned the colored and printed copy of the map I found last Thusday at work (my scanner is no longer compatible with my computer... another thing...). The scanner from work is simply a photocopier, so from my colored printed version, I now have a black and white "photocopied-quality" (meaning poor) copy, but I only want to retrieve the contour, so that should do. So Sunday, I took the scanned version that I've emailed to myself from work When I've opened the file and zoom enough to work on it with Photoshop, the poor quality scan end-up being super useful and easy to edit!

A very small part of the world map

See, all what used to be color and fades is now black dotes, really easy to erase! Well, it's still a long and finical, but with all the bad luck I had with this map, it could have been a lot worst! So for about 3 hours in a row, I worked on that map, which is a real record of free time for myself in one day!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Second update (Maps)

Thursday, I start thinking about the map for my novel. I mentioned before that it's the second writing... The first one was in 2002-2003 and once finished, I tried to publish, in 2004. It got refused, but I drew a map back then.

I thought I still had a Photoshop version on my computer, but it was gone... No worries, we made CD back-up, naturally (back in 2004, I only had 8 gig of space-disk, so we often made CD back-up to erase unnecessary data from the hard-drive).

Well, to find that CD took some times (and it's my boyfriend who did find it). I inserted it on my computer and the files were zipped with some software... Maybe it was popular back then, I don't remember, but my computer didn't reconized it... We searched the web for the last version of it. Guess what? It's not compatible with my Windows 7 (not even with Windows XP, imagine)!

I kept looking around the CD and there were other files, zipped with another software (still compatible). Guess what? I put a password to protect the access! Yeah, few years ago, I was very paranoid... not sure why or of what.

No worries, because I remember the password: it's super long and I only used it to zip my most precious files. Cool! Pretty good memory! Guess what? I doesn't work!!! I probably made a typo mistake when I last zip the file, just before burning the CD. I tried over and over, with caps. lock, without... I tried everything I could think of, I never been able to open the files I wanted from that back-up CD.

Well, there's only one file I can open, a JPG file (I was hoping for the photoshop files, to have access to the layers, which makes it easier to edit the drawing!) and that JPG is a "zoom" on one island (the most important, I still have a bit of luck left!) but else than the contour, everything has to be redone...

Believe me, I was depressed. Hopefully, I had a friend online who chatted with me and made me laugh about it instead of cry (thank you Sjr) =)

Before going to bed, incapable to let myself beaten like that, I search on my personal paper archives and I easily retrieved a printed copy of the precious map, illustrating the full archipelago, necessary to the story. But I still believe I have to redo the drawing. At least, I think the contours of the islands are good... I simply need to draw it in a way that it would be printable in black & white, photocopy quality... And names that appears on that drawing will probably change with the rewriting of the book!

So, Thursday and Friday, I couldn't really hold my engagement of doing something creative... Thursday, I was in the mist of searching the map and Friday, I was so exhausted (went to bed late few times in the week) that I haven't draw or work on my novel on my lunch-break and we watched a movie on the evening ("Coco avant Chanel").

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

First update (world religion)

So far, it's going somewhat well.

Monday, I had an appointment in the evening, so the only time I had was 30 minutes during my lunch time. I've worked a bit on my novel.

Tuesday, a friend of us was supposed to come to visit us (it didn't happened, unfortunately, but my daughter stayed awake late anyway and I didn't have a minute for myself until I went to bed myself). I've also used 30 minutes from my lunch time and continued what I've started Monday.

My novel, at this point, is really at the beginning, like, in pre-production. As I'm redoing it from scratch, and I obviously try to make it a lot more better than the first time, I'm revising all designs. I was working on a few religions systems.

Since it's a fantasy novel, in a nonexistent world, I don't want to simply pick an already existing religion. The story takes place in a really remote time... I don't even know if the religions we know today, as we know them today, existed back then! So, I decided to design two beliefs, with the symbols, rituals, holidays and all, which will afterward be used abundantly (through the context) in the books ..

Today (Wednesday), I had such a rushing and stressing day! I couldn't go to lunch before 13h30 (1:30pm). My colleagues were finished eating and back to work when I was ready to go for my break. As a result, I had more time for myself and my project (because I had nobody to chat with!)... 45 minutes!

I revised again my religion system and started some sketches for the symbols. I was really happy to draw a bit, though I was shy as some people were going through the lunchroom and look at me with a face that could mean: "What's the accounting girl is doing...? She's... drawing?" Some of them peeked, and it was... sketches and... weird symbols I was doing.

I can imagine what they could think about it, but on second thought, I don't really care. My life is really busy, but I can still find the time to make my project go forward. That's is all what matters. Plus, it makes me think about something else.

This evening, since my daughter went to bed early, I blogged a bit and now I'm going to draw. Lately, on evenings (when I have time), I'm working on a drawing that is not related to my manuscript. This is a drawing too large to bring to work. I thought I could start with something easy, so I chose existing characters from a movie that my daughter enjoys, as the subject for the drawing. Then, I'll could frame it and put it on the wall of her bedroom. I was surprise that I couldn't reproduce the character exactly as they are... I had to follow my personal style, like, my interpretation of them, which is good, I think... ^_^

See you later!
And don't forget to leave me a comment to let me know you're there ^_^

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Everyday Challenge to Myself

I'm starting this blog in order to help myself to draw & write again. I wish to say right away that English is a foreign language for me, (I'm a francophone) so I'm doing my best to express myself, but from time to time, my translation may be bad or meaningless... =/ If it happens, it would be nice to let me know, so I may correct my text. =)

So let's get started!
I have so many projects in mind, novels projects, drawings or painting projects, and so little time (even less since I'm a mother and start working again)!
When I was in Art school, they were saying "To be good at drawing, you must draw every day!"... and when I went in a writing workshop giving by Elisabeth Vonarburg, again "To be good writer, you must write everyday!" So when you're trying to be good at both at the same time, the list of "must do every day" starts to get long!

Anyway, if I do have time to (at least) think about my novel every day, I can't say the same for my drawings!
After I finished my studies in Fine Art and Computer Graphics, something happened that made it very hard for me to draw or paint again. I did finish some works, but it took me everything. Here's all what I've done after school:

Broken Wing
, 2006. Original is 16 x 20 inches / ~ 40 x 50 cm
China Ink & Acrylic Ink (white) painted with brushes and quill on Canson mat board (color : felt gray)

Brins d'Éternité No.13, 2006. Original is 16 x 20 inches / ~ 40 x 50 cm
China Ink & Acrylic Ink (white) painted with brushes and quill on Canson mat board (color : pearl)

Brins d'Éternité No.14, 2006. Original is 16 x 20 inches / ~ 40 x 50 cm
China Ink & Acrylic Ink (color & white) painted with brushes and quill on Canson mat board (color : indigo blue)

La Harley, 2005. Original is 18 x 24 inches (at 300 dpi) / ~ 46 x 61 cm
Photoshop with photo reference.

(You can see my folio (drawing, painting, computer graphics and photography) on my DeviantArt page)

So, as you can see, I can draw!

My problem is lack of time. And I'm so rusty that if I'm not finishing the drawing in a short time, I'm loosing the feeling that gives me the impulsion of creating the image... And when that happens, well, I can't finish it. It's a bit like when you're telling an anecdote and suddenly, you forget your point; you can't finish the story...

My goal here would be to try, every day, to either:
  • Make 1 drawing; if I have only five minutes, than it's going to be a five minutes drawing! I plan to use this as a way to regain some speed in the execution of my drawing and to search new technics. I'm really rusty and I've changed so much since I drew frequently!
  • Work on a bigger drawing project; since I'm really slow and I hardly have 1 free hour for hobbies per day, bigger projects may take more time to achieved!
  • Work on my novel; the project is immense, I already finished a book, presented it to publishers, it got refused, and as I mentioned just above, I took some writing workshop and I'm now ready to rewrite the whole thing. It's going to be a squeal.
  • Update this blog ^_^ It's not writing a novel, but it's a way to write as often as I can.
So, maybe I won't draw everyday, or write everyday, but I should do at least one of them each day.

My long term goal would be to either get a job in the areas I've studied, so my days would be filled with art (yay!) or being able to write my novel project to the end (and hopefully, publish it). In that direction, if I could write and draw my own project... wow! ^_^

I really hope I can hold this! My full-time job ask me enough brain energy, I'm still breastfeeding my daughter (which is also energy consuming) and it happens often that I'm so tired on the evening that I fall asleep while I try to put my daughter to bed! It's very hard to do personal hobbies when she's awake, since she wants to play with me and whatever I touch... computer included! That means I won't be able to blog everyday... I'll try to come at least once a week with updates and uploads of my drawings, even the 5 minutes ones ;o)

So, there's my challenge! And it's not an easy one (for me)!