Mascot Costume Help plz~

My mascot Techne is a cyber-ninja who loves cats and over-sized weapons. Her color scheme is mostly black, grey, cyan/aqua, lime green and orange. Below is my WIP vector of her with her finalized hair and eye colors and a typical set of work out clothes that are easy to vector (ha-ha)

I really, really, really suck at designing cool clothes/costumes for my characters. I found a few cool inspirations for the design, but really I don’t know how to put them together to make a cool outfit.

Here are some links to the outfit inspirations I’ve found:

Blue Peach’s Digital Poster Girl
Pyawakit’s Apple Cyber
Feca Warrior’s from the MMORPG Wakfu

[Cross-posted from my TM diary because I’m laaaaazy.]

The Paintbrush versus the Toolbar

This will be a short little ramble on how I feel about the separation of Art and Technology within my own major and the world in general. From this short piece of prose I hope to get some inspiration on two things:  One, the topic for my History and Theory of Digital Media paper;  Two, the themes I want to include in my next big composition “ART =/= TECH“.

To begin with, the first thing that always comes to mind when I discuss art and technology is the difference between digital art and what is now referred to as “traditional” art. Traditional art meaning that the medium chosen by the artist is something tangible and not digital and digital art meaning any form of art where a computer aided in the process. I have gotten into a bad habit of saying specifically that I am a Digital Designer, when in fact I do my designs in all sorts of media from pen and ink to Photoshop and Illustrator. That’s not to say that a large amount of my production time is not spent on the digital “side” of things, but it does mean that I don’t do everything on that “side”. I usually do most if not all of my planning and sketching on regular paper with a regular pencil or pen. I also do quite a lot of my writing on paper, even though I can type much more quickly and efficiently than I can write. The reason for this most likely lies in my own personal comfort zones.

Even though I have been using Photoshop for almost a decade now, I still feel the most comfortable with a pencil in my hand and a paper on the table than I could ever feel with a tablet pen and a screen. I love the effects of digital production and the fact that the limitations are almost entirely based in your own artistic limitations and not the limitations of the media itself. Still, for me this seems like a second step not a first step, in the process. “Traditional” media flows much more freely and quickly than digital media, without a doubt; so when those first little bits of inspiration shoot through my head I am always in a rush to get them down as quickly and clearly as possible. It’s usually a messy tangle of scribbles and mistakes, but that’s all it takes for that initial idea to come to life. I’m sure many artists feel the same way- at least, I assume that they do. Because we all started out with crayons on construction paper- nothing fancy- where you go from there depends completely on your interests and passions. I grew to love digital art from the first time I used M.S.Paint. Some people could never imagine completing a whole illustration on a computer screen.

There is another comfort-zone factor that I think exists within this debate between digital and “traditional” art and that is the tangibility, or lack-thereof. I can think of at least three friends who would never trust three or four hours worth of work on a piece to their computer’s hard drive. Being in complete control of where your work is at all times is definitely a comfort issue. If you’re more of a techie like me, then you may have some trouble getting through your head that someone would not trust their own computer to save information for them; especially since that is technically what is was designed to do in the first place. But there are some people who would rather risk carrying around their work in a plastic sleeve than ever save it to a hard drive and leave it there. Maybe it’s the idea that what you are creating on a computer screen is not really there, but just a representation of what could be there. What you are really creating when you open a new document in Photoshop and start slapping down paint strokes is a series of zeroes and ones that just happened to be arranged and aligned in such a way that they display exactly what you want on the screen. From you- the Photoshopper’s- point of view, you’re just creating the way anyone would. Step by step, working with different materials and producing different effects, but what’s there isn’t really there. It’s never really there until you make a physical copy of it, at which point it becomes tangible and therefore we once again gain total control over it’s existence. (This is probably why some professors feel more comfortable asking for “hard copies” of work than requesting it only sent through the OnCourse sharing site.)

I feel like I should be saying something far more enlightening, but this is all I have to work with for now. I think, as far as rambles go, this one is a pretty good start. I’ll need to do more in-depth research to gain more knowledge and opinions on these things though. For now, the ramble is a ramble.

Let’s try this again- New Notebook?

OK, with a slight change in plans regarding the iPod Touch situation I have decided to focus my attention on getting a new notebook. Not necessarily a netbook, but certainly something to replace AcerDemon. The truth is, my mom’s laptop (Oldy-moldy) Owl, took a spill the other day thanks to our adorable kitty Mu and now something isn’t quite right with the power adaptor cable- or that general area on the machine. I attempted to take apart the machine to get to the area in question, but poor construction on the part of Dell (c. 1998) kept me from the power supply and all I managed to do was break the table I was working on when it collapsed under momma’s Dinosaur–I mean PC.

TL;DR? I want to give mom AcerDemon– which at least WORKS –to replace the (Oldy-Moldy) Owl.

This means, I need to get a new laptop. My parents are going to front me the money and I will pay it off in increments over the next year. Now that I have a job as a TCC at IUPUI, I will have a fairly steady income with which to pay them back. It shouldn’t be a problem, at any rate. Anyway, a few must-haves on the notebook that will either limit or expand my purchasing options:

  1. Must be a PC. NO, it has nothing to do with me hating Apple (I’m getting over that- in fact, I’m typing this from a Mac right now) it is in fact a choice based off of how comfortable I am with my computing skills as a programmer–comfortable enough to use a PC Fine, I’ll be honest, I just like PCs better, so there.
  2. I will NOT get another Acer- I don’t care HOW awesome it is. Acer gets no more money from me after last time!
  3. Needs to run Windows 7 OR Windows Vista with possibility of Upgrade is fine, since I own the OS. Needs to meet 7 specs.
  4. Needs to be able to run the Adobe CS4 Suite –
    • 1.8GHz or faster processor
    • 1GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation
    • 1,024×768 display (1,280×800 recommended) with 16-bit video card

That’s really all that I have spec-wise. There are a few aesthetic/personal things I’d like to avoid, such as teeny-tiny touchpads (or the ones that have holes and feel like little air hockey tables), less than 3 USB ports, an easily scratched surface and short batterylife. Ideally, if the battery life is less than 3 hours, I would like something in a 12-15″ screen, so I can carry the A/C adaptor with me in the same bag as the computer. A netbook would obviously solve this and I’m still in love with the supposed 9 hours that the Toshiba NB205 used to brag about, but anything from 3-5 hours would be great (the average time that I’m in a lecture or away from home).

The most important thing overall is weight. It HAS to be light. Less than 7lb, preferably less than 5lb. Oh yeah, and I don’t want to spend more than say $400-500 on it unless it’s a really epic machine.

But, I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions…

I hereby declare that I do not resolve, but might otherwise attempt to achieve in the next 360 days:

  1. Lære mere Dansk!
  2. Be more honest with my opinions of people
  3. Keep up with washing the dishes
  4. Do my laundry BEFORE I run out of clothes
  5. Wear more green.
  6. Find a proper illustrator for Reality. Hacked
  7. Take shorter showers
  8. Work hard in all my classes
  9. Surround myself with cute and happy
  10. Eat more food! Gain 5 lbs!!
  11. Blog at least weekly if not bi-weekly
  12. Do something exciting/profitable with Cubecats
  13. Dis poor font choices less often (ext. Papyrus, Comic Sans)
  14. Make a portfolio website!
  15. Don’t let my lack of phone/car prevent me from socializing
  16. Take the REDLINE more!
  17. WALK more!
  18. Take more photos of things.
  19. Look into studying marketing/merchandising
  20. Learn to love Macs (ugh)

Post-Christmas, Pre-New Years

It is now after Christmas and all pre and post holiday shopping is complete. All the great deals following the Christmas rush have been snatched up and I got some really cute stuff from Target, including a Target-exclusive, limited edition Kit the Cat from the Skelanimals series. I love the Skelanimals, who are a perfect mix of creepy-macabre and ADORABLE. I used to be frightened of skeletons as a child, so it’s surprised me that I found them so irresistibly cute. My Kit the Cat has angel wings and a little crooked halo. I will post a picture later. Posted!

Kit from the Target Skelanimals collection as an angel for holiday 09

Now, cute things aside (but not pushed aside, because pushing cute things is mean!) I still haven’t put much effort into designing my portfolio site yet. I still need to do sketches and some research. I’m pretty sure I am going to use the Gallerific technique that we used in my N341 class, since it is a fairly simple jquery plugin (that even I can utlize, ha-ha). I still plan to go with a mostly minimalistic approach, but I do want it to be a bit flashy to impress possible employers, of course. The ideas are coming slooooowly…

Also, new cubecats to come! More later on that~

Winter Holiday Plans

As usual, after arriving at my parent’s home for Winter Break, I am left with little to do but chat with friends online, watch TV, read, eat home-cooking, play with cats and sleep. A nice, contented existence compared to the hectic life of finals, but perhaps a bit too mundane for me. Some Christmas shopping here and there, a plan for this and that party, a little designing~ this has been my day. Since my family is rather short of funds this year, we are spending more time at home with the cats. Lovely little kitties. :3

It was a main plan of mine to design and put up my portfolio site during the holidays. I have done little planning into it, but I know I want it to be minimalistic, lots of white space- but still colorful, and definitely themed with cubes (not cubecats, per se, but cubes since I love them).

While creating my portfolio site, I will also be planning a matching redesign for this blog as well as an iGoogle theme (because I keep getting bored of the ones they offer) and wallpapers, icons, etc- for my own use. I really want to bring it all together with one theme that says “Krystal Weber”.

A pixelart of a tofu-cubecat

<[ Krystal Weber!]

Fall Semester- The End

Well, as of December 16 I have completed all of my Fall Semester finals and are therefore DONE with school until Spring Semester starts in January. Compared to last years finals these were fairly laid-back. There was some stress involved, but there always is. Out of my five classes, only one had a “normal” final- Chinese (C-119). There was a three page written exam and an oral portion where we had to answer questions, read a dialogue with a partner and then create a dialogue with a partner. I actually got to say “Oh yes, I have an allergy, I am allergic to studying!” in Chinese.

My web class (N-341) and Design Principles (N-280) both had group projects. I won’t go into the web one, because it was just too chaotic and I don’t feel like I really did that much to help. The N-280 final project was to design a themed deck of cards. My group picked Chinese take-out, which was a total joke at first, but we ended up going with it just because it was weird. My job was to design the face cards. I did the Queen first and then the King, Jack and Joker. I picked Red Pandas because I think they are quite under-appreciated and needed some love. Read more about them in the Artist’s Comments on dA. We got a 190/200 on it~ not bad.

My Intro to Digital Video (N-240)…ehh, I’ll get back to you on that one.

My last final (which was technically my first) was for Directed Study II (N299). It was a job shadow reflection paper, meaning of course that I went on a job shadow. Sort of. It was less of a job shadow and more of an informational interview, since we mostly sat around and talked about things. Myself and my classmates spoke with Steve Hodges, the Director of Electronic Media in the Offices of Communications and Marketing at IUPUI. He has won many awards for the creation of our school’s website (which is pretty awesome- I still LOVE that search bar). It was very interesting and informative and writing a paper for it wasn’t too hard.

Over the break I plan to work on assembling a portfolio site so that come Spring, I’ll have something to show for all my work in and outside of classes. I still need to find a good balance of my newfound love of design and my old love of drawing manga. I’m sure a few weeks away from classes will help with that. At least, I hope so! > w <

“Bloggage”

It’s the blog equivilant of “snackage”. I’m not sure exactly what it means, but I like the sound of it.

OK, well I feel somewhat guilty for not having blogged about anything since my last post of whiney introspection. Honestly, I’m doing better by way of health and such. I drink nutritional drinks everyday full of protein, vitamins and something that makes it sort of taste of chocolate. They are expensive, but keep me alive and alert. I also finally got my new glasses! They are 50% weaker- meaning I see 50% clearer than I did with my old glasses, which were too strong. I’m near-sighted and far-sighted, so I will be getting a second pair of glasses just for reading made out of my old frames. My new frames are super-snazzy though. I feel more creative just wearing them. They look like creative-person glasses. Whoo.

So, as for artsy-things, not much progress as far as inspiration. I made a painterly-esque CG portrait of Neo-Nana, a personification of my desktop PC, who I originally designed as a vector doll to practice my skills. I have yet to design her clothing, which will be a mix of Sweet Lolita Fashion and Cyber Punk. Lots of black, lots of lace, and LOTS of cute. It should be fun~ I haven’t designed such an in-depth character in a while. She also has three little sidekicks (her mice, since my computer has 3) but I haven’t made official designs for them as-of-yet.

Also, this year instead of making a usual wishlist or telling people to get me whatever, I threw together a quick Holiday page on my Google sites page that lists my favorite colors and things that I wouldn’t mind owning. I also included on the page a link to my Amazon wishlist, for people who prefer just working from that.

As for myself, this season I am making CUBECATS! Yes, Cubecats, my own little adorable creation. Cubecats are about 1″x1″ in size, white or blue (depending on whether they are tofu cubes or ice cubes) and have little ears and tails. I am making a large number of them out of white felt and a few larger ones out of off-white fleece. I’m not a great seamstress and I make a lot of time-consuming mistakes, but I still love working on them. And I hope people will like receiving them. For my far-away friends, I’ll be designing papercraft versions that resemble this one except there will be different versions and sizes. (And maybe some extras…hmmmn),

 

Aqua Duct Tape FTW

(mouse-over pics for instructions)