Painting Pottery

In January, we went to a birthday party at "All Fired Up" in Etobicoke. We got to pick a piece of pottery off of the wall and paint it while drinking champagne. They'll fire them in a kiln after you leave and you pick it up a week (or more) later.

Today, I finally went to pick up our dishes. It's been 3 months less a couple days and the receipt suggests they will only keep your work for you for three months so I figured I'd best make the trek to get them before they are destroyed. (I actually went to get them about a month ago but only found out that they are closed on Mondays. I went all the way to Etobicoke for nothing. It was especially disappointing because I could see them through the window. They were less than a foot away from mee!)

They had a lot of different things to choose from. It took me around an hour to actually choose the object I wanted to paint. It cut into my painting time so I did not quite get to finishing the third coat they recommend. I don't know very much about the materials but you have to choose all of your colours exactly because the certain kind of paint you have to use cannot be mixed. We also had to use a different paintbrush for each colour and make sure the brushes were dry so they paint did not get diluted at all. This was also the night I decided I shouldn't drink wine anymore. I just started feeling really gross and dizzy later in the night and it wasn't the first time that has happened with red wine.

I picked a star bowl and painted hearts on it. <3 I figured I should do something I might be able to use at some point.

My boyfriend picked a dog bowl and painted this angry sun on it.


Birthday art time

It was my mom's birthday yesterday so I've been working on a little gift for her. She's planning to open up a café soon and she mentioned she wanted some fashion-type illustrations for the decor when she does.

So I broke out the watercolours and started doing some sketches to figure out what I wanted to do, and, you know, remember what bodies look like. I haven't drawn very much since I finished school last April, and haven't done any life drawing for a while before that. I'd like to go take a life drawing class at some point. Maybe I will have time after the end of May.

I decided to draw a fashion version of a mermaid. I used a little bit of wax resist for the print on the skirt, but otherwise just watercolour paints and watercolour pencil crayons. I decided to stick with making fashion drawing based on mythical humanoid creatures so for the second one I decided to make a genie. I think it looks too much like a genie literally and not enough like it was just inspired by one. Instead of having a magic lamp, I decided she could have a teapot; it'll be more relevant to the café environment. (Just now, I'm thinking she looks a little fat...)

I framed them in frames I bought at Dollarama and gave them to my mom last night when I got to her house and she liked them. "Now I'll need about six more of these," she said.



Today, for the holiday I had a bit of a drafting day. For Anime North, at the end of May, I am signed up as a crafter, and so I need to make things to sell. I've just started on my way to make that possible, although I haven't actually made anything yet.

To start, I decided to make other versions of things that have worked out for me in the past. I've had a couple cool ideas that I think people would be interested in, so I'm modifying them to be a little more practical and widely appealing. First is my Pokéball dress. I thought for a while it would be cool and cheeky to make and sell Pokéball bras. Since I made my dress, I took a bra-making course, so there are some improvements I could make to the bodice now. I also know how to make a bra properly, but bra sizing without actually knowing which sizes is a bit tricky, particularly since I'm picky about fit-- especially for bras. It was already difficult to fit the dress that I made because it is entirely made of non-stretchy twill fabric. Throughout a month (in a womanly kind of way) it'll vary from being too big to too small because the fabric just doesn't have any give.

What I resolved to do is make a knit tank top with a bustier kind of construction, with a cut and sew cup and no wires or padding. This way the fit is more forgiving, in cup-ratio and all-around fit. It will also be more appropriately wearable in the world than a bra (I don't really want to be encouraging teen girls to wear any less clothing.) while allowing more flexibility of styling than a dress.

I started working on the cups for that, by modifying the bra pattern that I made for school. I made a mock-up of the cup pattern in lingerie foam and then drew lines on it in chalk where I wanted the new seams to be. I then re-cut the lines and traced out the shape of each piece on bristol board, also modifying the shape for styling (essentially making the cups more circular like a pokéball!).  I then added the seam allowances and cut it out of black white and red knits. When I serged the pieces together, it worked out alright, just the corners on the outside of the black circle are hard to get at, so I will most likely have to straight-stitch that part. Once I have a working pattern and prototype I will work on grading it to different sizes.

The other item I've been working on is a version of the Hylian Shield backpack that I made for a Link costume several years ago. In Ocarina of Time, somehow Link carries around everything in the "Select Item Sub-Screen", and when he puts things away he seems to place them over his shoulder, behind his back; so wouldn't it make sense if his shield was a knapsack? The original that I made was a little floppy, and is constructed so I can carry a papier maché sheath on the same belt the knapsack is strung onto. I'm thinking I'll make one with actual knapsack straps and it will be more functional. I re-drafted and cut out the pattern for it so it'll be easy to make down the road.

Along the same vein, I'm thinking of making some other shield designs in a similar way as well as a Kokiri shield purse.

Saturday morning, I aim to go fabric shopping. I've only been able to do certain parts depending on what I've had materials on hand for, since I haven't gotten the chance to get to the fabric stores. (They close before I would get to Queen and Spadina after work.) Now that I've done some of this plotting and drafting, I have some of the measurements and specifics I need to get the next load of materials. Now I just have to make sure my list is complete.


The Beginning

I've spent a long time believing that I have to hide my mistakes and that showing weakness or imperfection should be avoided at all costs. It has turned me anxious, easily stressed, anti-social, boring, unmotivated, and afraid to try if I'm not certain I'll succeed. All of these contribute to an incredible unhappiness in my life and have created a vicious cycle from which I am having some difficulty breaking out.

This post marks the beginning of my creative therapy- my attempt to give myself the opportunity to try and to play and to let others see that I'm imperfect and be okay with that; my attempt to be better at things due to effort and to break out of what I should do so I can find what I want to do; and to stop comparing myself to others so critically, and believing that if I'm not the best or original, I am no good. In a sense, it is the journey of self-improvement I am starting through art (although I tend to be hesitant to use that word, or especially to call myself an "artist").

I've always been a procrastinator, but lately it has been especially difficult for me to motivate myself to start things. I've found that I'm externally motivated- that is, it is easier for me to do things if they are for other people and I feel more compelled to follow deadlines that have been imposed upon me than those I have set for myself. It makes it a little bit difficult for me to thrive in an environment outside of school. I am hoping that by starting this blog and putting my work and thoughts out there for you, the audience of the internet whom I may or may not have, that I will be able to convince myself to do the things I want to do but perhaps am too lazy or distracted to do, and that it will help me to focus on one thing at a time rather than to let myself get overwhelmed by a swirling tornado of thought and anxiety.

Lately, I am most concerned with preparations for Anime North 2012, which is in less than two months. In addition to wanting to put together a couple of cosplays to wear on the weekend, I have also booked myself a crafter's table, but I have not yet started anything for either. On less busy evenings, and the days I have off from my jobs, I need to put in some time to create items to display and sell at my table. For the next little while, these things will be my focus.

Here, you can expect me to share my inspirations, progress, discoveries and musings all around these. I aim to embrace different media and the process of learning and making mistakes more whole-heartedly, and I'd like to share it here. Here's hoping you hear from me soon.