Some Thoughts on the Future

If I fail at Digital Storytelling the way I failed at Web Design, what do I have left to fall back on?

What else am I good at?

I picked web design because I’m semi-good at it and I thought that by getting better I could achieve a somewhat-workable balance between doing web design for a career and character design/concept work as a hobby. But then I discovered that the idea of doing web design forever was just depressing because I couldn’t put myself into it 100% and I’m the kind of person that has trouble doing anything if I can’t be passionate about it. So I decided that if I wanted to be 100% passionate about my career I had to pick what I was most interested in. Concept work, character design, storytelling- whatever you want to call it. I never liked the idea of doing what I love as a career, but I like the idea of doing something I hate even less.

But in the event that I suddenly become totally unable to do what I love- well, then what do I do? It’s a pretty depressing thought. I’m not really skilled in much of anything else. My creative abilities have been helping me stumble through every aspect of academia (which is why I’m terrible at almost every aspect of both Mathematics and Science). So, if one day it’s just -poof!- no more creativity, what on earth will I do?

Well, I thought about it long and hard and firmly decided that creativity doesn’t just go -poof!- so I’m safe on that front, but instead what goes -poof!- is something more along the lines of confidence in one’s own abilities. Now, I don’t have much of that to begin with, but I’m going to work harder to improve my own artistic self confidence so I can avoid that -poof!- and get on with life. I’m not really sure how to go about this, but I’m sure that it’s one of those learning experiences that after I’m finished I go “oh, I see what I learned there”.

As a Girl Scout of thirteen years I learned two things that have stuck with me for life: “always be prepared” and “use your resources wisely”. As cliche and overused as these statements have become I stand by them and apply them to every life situation, including my future career goals. I’ve found that as a university student I have resources available to me out the wazoo. Seriously, is there anything that you can’t get help with on campus? I doubt it. As a New Media student I’ve found that there is no greater fountain of resource knowledge than your own academic adviser. At the advice of my adviser (amazing how that works, isn’t it!) I decided to take on a minor in Marketing. DUN-DUN-DUN. Scary, I know.

At this point I want to take a quick break away from what I’m going to do and give you a into what I might have done, if circumstances had been different. I will share with you my secret love for…interior decorating. DUN-DUN-DUN. Oh, wait, sorry- that’s not really appropriate in this case. Well, in short if all other creative things in my life fail me I will probably become an interior decorator. Why? Well, I like colors and customizing things and I like to set a mood using aesthetic principles, so why not? The only reason why I haven’t gone crazy decorating my own room is because I’m too poor to afford to redo it and too lazy to get off my butt and do it in the first place. But I still love to decorate things in any way I can. My grandmother is an interior decorator and I actually picked up a lot of useful knowledge while staying at her superbly decorated condo, when I lived back in California. As it is, I already miss IKEA…maybe I should just move to my fatherland (Sweden, not Ireland) and I’ll be content.

Returning to my original topic, I am in fact not in California or Sweden but Indianapolis, Indiana, which I still haven’t decided whether I sort of like or just hate with a passion. I think the only part of Indy that I enjoy is school…so I think that pretty much sums it up right there. Once I’m out of IUPUI I’m outta’ here, no question. The real question is outta’ here to where? I have no long term goals in that category because I’m the type of person who prefers to float along with the current rather than fight it. Maybe I’ll move back to Texas or California; maybe I’ll set out for Oregon or Seattle; maybe I’ll just forget the USA and move to Denmark or Finland, who knows? Not me, that’s for sure. But for now, Indianapolis. IUPUI. School…Oh god, school…

Sorry I can’t work chronologically at all…maybe I should go back and put things in order?

…Nah.

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Mu’s Nursery Rhyme

Silly little Mu in her silly little Mu nest
Silly little Mu, no there really is no contest
For there never was really
A Mu quite so silly
As the Silly, Silly, Silly Little Mu

Tinier Me VS Gaia Online (on hold)

After thinking through it, I can see where TinierMe has room for improvement and I can also see that more users and more content will clutter it further so that one day it may be as gaudy and cluttered as Gaia. At this point, it is not really a fair comparison. That being said I have decided to put the rest of the series about Gaia Online versus TinierMe on hold until TinierMe reaches a more stable level.

Irking

The worst thing about being annoyed is not knowing where to place your anger. Trying to put the energy into something more productive is usually the best way, for me, but what if you’re tired? Being productive when your tired is practically being counter-productive. I do small things -wash dishes here, send in a Fall Semester job application there- to try and feel like I am doing something positive. Trying to make a positive from a negative. And this helps, somewhat. The physical anger- the urge to kick something or throw something- is gone, but the mental anger, which makes no sense to us, remains.

“Every second that someone is around I run the risk of saying something I shouldn’t.” – Something like that. A little introspection reveals that I’m just very aggravated at life in general, at the moment. No one person or one event has caused it, it’s just the aftermath of a rather annoying and destructive monsoon which leaves me so irked and ill-tempered.

In time, it will fade. The pieces will be picked up and placed where they go and everything will be fine. Until then, I wish for cheese and chocolates.

Changed the Theme

While I really love the Garland theme by Steven Wittens I feel like it’s a bit too lovely and shiny for my plain blog, so I switched over to something much, much simpler. I like the dark base colors and light blue of the ChaosTheory theme, but I’m a bit sad to lose some of my favorite widgets. Still, it should work better with posting more pictures and other media and such.

Today- A triumph!

Small victories are very important to me. And when you achieve them, they never really feel small do they? This victory, to someone that is not me, is not just tiny but minuscule and perhaps even pathetic. But it is really for me to decide on the size of the victory. I would call it a “medium” victory, at least.

Today, I learned how to ride a bicycle. Odd as it might seem for a near-twenty-year-old to say this, it really has never meant much to me to need to learn. I also cannot drive a car (in theory, perhaps, but in practice-no). It’s all a sense of nervousness I have for things like that. Once upon a time, around eleven years ago I owned a small bicycle with training wheels, but just about the time I was getting ready to remove them and ride for real we got rid of it. I can’t remember why, but we did.

In the Spring, my roommate starting riding her bicycle to work and to class. I didn’t think anything of it, because I generally walk to class, or if the weather is bad I enjoy the luxury of taking the free student shuttle. But one day we both left early and I was walking along side her as she cycled. I talked to her about her bike and learning to ride it and of course like everyone else she said it was easy. I decided then that I would give it a go, since I gave up learning to drive for the time being (long story). So, this last week my parents bought a nice bike at a garage sale. It’s a mens’ bike, so it seems a bit awkward, but it’s sturdy!

I learned first to ride on grass, then on asphalt. My dad helped me, of course. He was very supportive (sometimes literally holding the bike up!). I never really fell off or fell over, I just sort of wobbled and stuck my foot out to catch myself. I’m not one for falling down, even when I faint I always seem to catch myself. At any rate, I’m not saying I was an instant pro; I still have a lot to learn. Honestly, I get nervous about just about nearly everything so it was nice to be less nervous about the bike, but I was still nervous. I don’t like the idea that going slow is more difficult and dangerous than going fast, it seems backwards to me and I don’t like going at high speeds on anything in the first place, so that’s not helping. But, all in all it was a success. I can ride a bicycle on fairly level ground in a straight line for about 40 feet (the path was short).

It really exhausted me though. A mix of being horribly out of shape (just because I weigh next to nothing does not mean I am fit in any way!) and it being very hot outside made it pretty near intolerable after a while and I was shaking when I walked the bike home. There was probably quite a bit of aftershock from the anxiety too. In situations like that, where I have to put fear behind me and take risks, the anxiety comes back later on and bothers me then. It’s part of my medical condition, and I’m used to it. I laid on the couch while dad was watching The Matrix and then had a very light dinner to keep my gastronomical issues at bay.

While I was riding, I was nervous but not afraid. When my dad shouted after me to forget about being afraid and just go, a sense of de-ja-vu washed over me and I shouted “Alright!” without even thinking and just went. It was- if I may be so dramatic as to put it so- a soul lifting experience to think suddenly that fear was an option that I could just drop for the time being and get on with my life. And after stopping and thinking for a bit I realized that I knew where that sense of de-ja-vu came from.

When I was twelve, I finally stopped being scared of the water and taught myself to swim. I did so by getting so tired of my dad telling me that there was nothing to be scared of that I just pulled an “fine, if you say so!” and jumped right in, even though I was terrified. And I floated of course, because that’s what we do when we relax in the water, we float. It didn’t take concentration to relax and just float along beneath the water, all it took was a little confidence and the willingness to say “fine, I’m tired of being afraid so I just won’t be”. I’m too stubborn to ever give up completely on anything that I really believe I can do. I get really scared of things, but after a while being scared just gets frustrating and you just have to make the leap. And afterward, when you succeed, it feels so amazing. Like riding on air.

It’s classic teen-fiction overcoming of obstacles stuff. I’m just overcoming my obstacles a little later along, I guess. But I’m used to being a bit late to the party on stuff like this. I just prefer to take my time.

Death to the Wii – Apples to Apples

That would be the title of my animatic for N190. The animatic which is nothing more than a concept and a set of quickly and poorly rendered thumbnail sketches for the storyboard. Sketches that were done in a pink highlighter pencil, since I have no clue where to buy a process red pencil or a process blue pencil which I like to use even though I don’t really need to.

The storyline for the animatic is not only short and simple but it’s not that interesting either. It’s actually just meant to be funny. Actually, the whole storyline for “Death to The Wii” is not a serious story, just a cute little anime-parody-esque thing that my roommate Billie and I made up based off of our own electronics. We’re true geeks and we name our electronics and with a name comes a personality, so all of our electronics are ‘characters’ in their own way.

The only two characters that appear in “Apples to Apples” are Kuroi and Touchi-san, the iPod Classic (5th gen!) and iTouch. Kuroi is a sassy little girl with long black pigtails and pink accessories that likes to kick butt with a fan made of Apple brochures that have been stapled together. She is the “little sister” to Touchi-san who dresses like a 1940’s era Chicago-style gangster and is a bit of a wimp. Together they make up the top two members of the gang “The Macintosh Mafia”. The bottom two members are Hoshikun who is a shy, bespectacled little Zune (that’s right, the Microsoft device is under the rule of the Apple devices- go figure) and The Demon Device, my own little evil iPod Shuffle.

The story itself can be summarized in a few short sentences. Touchi-san is grumbling and complaining about how his “family” deserves just as much as their rival family (The Nintenju Clan) and he over-dramatically throws an apple towards the Nintenju Shrine which is miles and miles away. It falls very short and hits Kuroi on the head. She gets mad at Touchi for complaining but never acting and pitches her deadly fan at him and knocks him off the roof on which he was sitting. She then picks up the apple, tastes it, spits it out declaring it disgusting, and makes a few sarcastic comments about how cliche it all is, walks away.

The animatic project was delayed by the instructor (for various personal and academic reasons) until two weeks before the actual due date, so the expectations for it have dropped to just abouuuut…nothing. From 2-3 minutes to 1 minute, from crisp, clean artwork to “sketches or stick figure theater” and from “dialogue and at least music” to “Whatever”. Yeah, “whatever” is definitely not my idea of a good production standard but “whatever”, right?

To save myself some time though, I’ll probably just do clean sketches and use Ps to put selective color down on the characters (who have monochromatic themes anyway) and do some simple grey-scale rendering for a background. Instead of audio dialogue- since I will need it or the joke won’t make any sense -I’ll be using “subtitles” that are color-coded to match the character’s color schemes. The text will be the easiest part. Hopefully, I’ll be able to put some music in the background too. I’d like to use “Dancing Samurai” a song composed for the Vocaloid voice library made by the Japanese Rock Star GACKT- called GAKUPOID. It’s sorta cute and fun sounding, should be interesting to chop it up and match the sounds to the actions.