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Majorly Depressed Right Now

Journal Entry: Thu Aug 7, 2014, 7:10 AM
So. Still jobless. I have no clue as to why everyone everyone is refusing to hire me. Eviction is yet again imminent and now my utility companies are threatening to cut the umbilical. In what world does having a fucking bachelor's degree and almost a master's equal "overqualified?" Oh yeah. The good ole US of A. I have lost count of how many applications I have sent out because I almost never get replies even if I call. I've had dozens of interviews, none of them have worked out. The teaching position I thought I had in the bag won't begin until January and even then I'm not guaranteed a job because they can cancel classes if not enough people sign up for them. The company I was freelancing for has totally left me in limbo and I have zero savings. I don't even have anything that I can sell because no one wants to buy my artwork (not for what it's worth anyways...and no I WILL NEVER do $1 and $5 commissions, that is insane). 

I wouldn't be as depressed if the fact that I'm graduating in the spring wasn't happening. If I can't get a job now how the hell am I going to get a job once I actually have another goddamn degree? If I was born 20 years ago this would not even be a problem, I wouldn't have even chosen to get a master's degree because I'd be set with a full time well paying job with just a bachelor's. I'm sick of being jerked around and jumping through hoops and spouting off buzzwords during interviews. I'm tired of constantly worrying about money. Every single time I think things can't possibly get any worse they instantly do. I found out yesterday that somehow I owe my leasing company almost $900. I have no idea from what ass they pulled that figure so today I get to go plead for clemency yet again. 

I would punch a wall, but I'm too tired to do so. I really can't take this anymore. 

  • Mood: Miserable
Hello patients! I've written a few blogs and tutorials on critique that I'll link at the end of this blog (along with some others I think you will like too) for you to quickly reference! In light of the previous blogs <Avoid That dArama and <No more excuses, it's time to improve your art I wanted to write some things about critique to bring both blogs full circle. I also realized that I failed to fully explain what critique even is in the previous things I've written on the subject :XD:Before I begin let me start off by saying that I don't write each blog for Artist's Hospital in a vacuum :XD: Each blog is about one specific topic, I can't throw in everything because then I would be writing a book!

So here's how I'll do this: we'll talk about what critique is, what it isn't, break it all down, explain common issues, then let's have a taco party!
I can hardly contain my excitement too!

:bulletred:What Critique is

The Critique - The Artist by NeonWhales
  • An objective overview 
  • A constructive formal analysis 
  • An intelligent conversation about an artwork's strengths and weaknesses
  • A detailed evaluation 
Just so you know I didn't make those points up myself, here are the dictionary definitions of the word 'critique:'

cri·tique

kriˈtēk/
noun
1. a detailed analysis and assessment of something, especially a literary, philosophical, or political theory.
synonyms:analysisevaluationassessmentappraisalappreciationcriticism,reviewstudycommentaryexpositionexegesis 
verb
1. evaluate (a theory or practice) in a detailed and analytical way.

:bulletred:What a Critique is not

Critique by Minnome
  • A personal opinion
  • Only negative/critical
  • A personal attack
  • Only positive
Based on dictionary definition of the word, it's easy to see that critique is none of the above (although those methods are used frequently around dA). 
For education purposes here's the dictionary definition for the word 'critical.'

crit·i·cal

ˈkritikəl/
adjective
1. expressing adverse or disapproving comments or judgments.
synonyms:censoriouscondemnatory, condemning, denunciatory, disparaging,disapprovingscathingfault-findingjudgmentalaccusatorynegative,unfavorable

2. expressing or involving an analysis of the merits and faults of a work of literature, music, or art.

:bulletred:The correct way: let's break it down!

  • An objective overview
Critique Stamp by LhuneArt

What does it mean to be objective? Being objective simply means leaving your opinions and expectations at home. Think of it this way, if you're having a tough time making a decision it helps to have someone who does not have an emotional attachment to the outcome to give you some perspective. Art inspires our deepest emotions, and while acknowledging an emotional bond you may have with an artwork can be helpful, it can easily cloud up your critique magnifying glass. 

  • A constructive formal analysis
Constructive Critisism stamp. by Route-03

If you're unfamiliar with formal analysis, read <Getting better at critique: Formal Analysis for a detailed explanation in this critique tool. For the sake of keeping things moving, let's continue with this point. For our purposes (artists who are working on improving our work) constructive comments are what we are in desperate need of. What does it mean to be constructive? It means not simply offering an observation of what is not working, it means offering ways to improve it. In your constructive comments, be sure to offer realistic advice. For example, it's unhelpful to tell someone that they need to work on color temperature when it's evident the artist has an elementary understanding of color theory. Break things down to the level of the person you are critiquing, you will help them even more. 

  • An intelligent conversation about an artwork's strengths and weaknesses
Advanced Critique Encouraged by StampsByNeekko

Speaking intelligently doesn't mean being bourgeois or highbrow (or an asshole, everyone hates those XD). It means using appropriate language. "Values," for example, is a more intelligent (and correct) way to talk about "lights and darks" in an artwork. Words like ineffective, unsound, and inexact are less likely to be construed as an attack than words like wrong, useless, bad, or broken. It's also helpful to remember that a critique is also a two way conversation. Allowing an artist to explain their intentions can give you further insight into the work and help you give an even better critique!

  • A detailed evaluation 

Critique My Work Stamp by SparkLum
Being as detailed as possible is both for your benefit and the artist! It will help you digest all the information in the artwork so that you can begin your critique, and it will help the artist recognize things they might not notice they put in their work. 

:bulletred:The incorrect way: let's break it down!

  • A personal opinion
I can't think of a name stamp by In-The-Machine

Personal opinions are really important, but they don't have much of a place in a critique. Personal ideas, morals, beliefs, likes, dislikes, etc. can get in the way of helping the artist. Check yourself consistently throughout a critique to be sure that you are not inserting your opinions. That's an entirely different conversation altogether. You may mention you're not a fan of something in the piece, but only do so if you are eloquent enough to instill that that fact does not render the work a "bad piece of art."

  • Only negative
Critique by OokamiKasumi

It seems counterintuitive to say that a critique should not be only negative. Calling out problems in an artwork is important, are you saying that we shouldn't, Xadrea? What are you talking about? What does water taste like? What is the meaning of life? What is the universe?!
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Calm down! There is a method to this madness! Here's an example of the dangers of a purely negative critique: Japanese American visual artist, interior designer, and architect Isamu Noguchi created a sculpture of a lynched black man titled Death in 1939. The overwhelming response to the piece was intensely negative and reported as being "a little Japanese mistake." Those words stayed with him throughout his career because they called upon his insecurities of his mixed ethnicity and the horrors of racism in the United States.
Balance is necessary to any and every good critique. Breaking someone's confidence as an artist is not necessary to give a good critique. And to handle what I mean about an artists's confidence is not me saying that you need to avoid bruising an artist's ego. Everyone's egos need a slap every now and then. I'm saying that you should never, ever, cause someone to question their passion as an artist. 

  • A personal attack

Critique vs Insult by Foedus-Stamps
If you are on the receiving end of a critique, it can be hard to hear some unsavory things about your artwork, even if you asked for it XD! If the person you are being critiqued by is not insulting your intelligence, calling you names, insulting your skill level, they are not attacking you. I repeat, you are not being attacked. Do not respond childishly if your ego gets bruised during a critique, rather wait until you cool off to continue the conversation. 

This goes for those of you giving the critique. If there's an artist you don't care for critiquing them is not a cloak and dagger way for you to find fault with them. Don't use critique as a way for you to exact punishment, hurt feelings, or undermine someone else. Cutting someone down is a vicious way to bolster your own damaged self confidence. Do, not, do it. 

  • Only positive

critique doesnt equal buttkiss by kohakuhoshi
Critiques should contain positive observations because they will let the artist know what is working. However, your observations should not only be positive! Likewise, if you are asking for a crit, you should not expect only positive feedback! If you only wanted positive feedback you were never asking for a critique in the first place. Only positive remarks will not help you in the long run because they overlook the things that are in need of work. 

:bulletred:A critique is no more a pat on the back than it is a punch in the face

Balance is key in giving critiques, and remembering that it is for your benefit is the key to receiving them! However even the best laid plans can be spoiled by a misunderstanding. In this section I'll lay out some of the most common issues that come up during critiques. 

  • _____ can't "take" my critique!!!
STAMP- Get over yourself by Kira-Ani-McGrath

Ok. And? I will be forever confused at the outrage that comes from (and I'm assuming) well meaning artists who are spurned by whoever they were critiquing. Carrying around resentment because someone did not like your well planned and laid critique is like being mad at a baby for crying. For as much time as you wasted giving the critique, you'll waste double that fuming about your smarting ego.

  • I don't understand the advice I'm being given/words they are using/technique they are describing!

Confused Onionhead Stamp by Ibilicious
That's an easy one! Just ask! Asking questions throughout the critique should be a two party process. Never be too intimidated to ask questions. 

  • This person is not on my level, therefore I can't accept a critique from them!

Anyone Can Critique by Haters-Gonna-Hate-Me
Nope. Wrong. You don't have to have experienced something to know about it in detail. It may offer an extra level of insight and empathy yes, but non-artists and those who are no Leonardo daVinci can still give kick-ass critiques too! If you know your basic art elements/principles of design (outlined below), you are qualified to give a critique, 'nuff said.

Principles of design

Basic Art Elements

  • This is my style/the style of _____

Anatomy Critique Stamp by KidateCalf
Believe it or not, there is a right and wrong way to properly handle stylization whether it's personal or an established international style. If your marks are appearing unintentional in your artwork, that is a weakness no matter what you call it. Accept the challenge and improve your work. There are innumerable amounts of books written about stylized drawing whether it's cartoony or fantastical, you're not unique, please accept the critique.

:bulletred:Exemplary examples of critiques on dA


Critique for LukeLdh by Spork-Critique 7-1-2012 by jeffwamester Critique: Save MeCritique of Save Me. by JasmineMaille
Hi there!
I'm here to fulfill a critique request made to *Critique-It. I like to remind artists that these comments are my opinion, and should be taken with the proverbial grain of sand.
Thinking about the assignment mentioned in your artist's comments, I'm not sure how this picture tells me something new about the safety pin. It is lying in a hand that has lots of shadows around it, but there's no message in that composition. I'd consider asking yourself what kind of message you want the safety pin to send to viewers, then retaking the shot with that message in mind. Conceptual photography should tell some kind of story - or lead viewers to implying a story of their own.
As for the actual quality of the photo - your lighting and the details from the skin show up very well. But the technical skill is a moot point if the shot doesn't make me think/feel/wonder about something. I'
Critique: Murder on the sec...Critique of Murder on the second floor by RedSky-atNight
I'm primarily a narrative poet myself, so I really enjoyed seeing more strict narrative poetry floating around on dA.  The pacing and plot work well for the piece.  The fact that there is no resolution to the "who dunnit" isn't a problem either.
The first thing I'd like to suggest is to go through a few parts of rough and rocky syntax.  I'm a linguist, so I'm all for rebelling against much of what our English teachers taught us in school (it's lies!  lies I say!), and it's true that in poetry you are given quite a bit of leeway with grammar and usage, but you can't throw it out the window, and you get much less leeway in narrative poetry than you do with lyrical poetry.  Even Jabberwocky uses proper syntax for the made up words.&


:bulletred:Links to journals, tutorials, and articles about all things critique!
The Art of Feedback: CritiquesI Asked: Why do you critique art? How do you critique art?
In this poll, I asked you to tell me a little bit about your process on how and why you give feedback. I got some really interesting answers!
"...if I give feedback, the other will appreciate the feedback, and then they might give feedback, it's basically a cycle of giving and getting. Win-Win situations are always good."
SonicWolvelina99
This is so true and something I hope everyone can come to understand. You don't need a widget or special symbol to give a critique or to get a critique. You don't even need special training or knowledge! You simply must be active as a community member.
"...I first start out with a compliment or pointing something out that looked/seemed really good in the piece of art/literature. Then I get to the part where I point out what might need a bit more work, not smal
Essentials of Writing a CritiqueEssentials of Writing a Critique
DeviantART has a wonderful feature that allows people to give constructive criticism about other people's artwork, or receive it for theirs. But this can be rather limiting when you can only give one critique per deviation. You have to make it as perfect as possible - so the other person can understand your perspective clearly. Here's my opinion on how you could go about writing a critique. Enjoy~
-  -

Describe:
I suggest that you always start off by describing the other person's piece. Sometimes, even addressing the obvious can help to 'set the background in motion' so the artist knows whether his piece's significance got through or not.
Analyze: Try to think critically. Though you want to share your opinion, it is sometimes helpful to see it from everyone's eyes. Also, divide the main aspects while writing a critique. If you're writing a critique on a digital art piece, you can divide it into line-art, then shading et
How to Critique Literature WellYou, too, can refrain from sucking at giving critical feedback!
First, for the love of fella, TAKE THE TIME AND READ THE MATERIAL. The author already knows what they've written. If you try to skim and then sound like you know what you're talking about, guess what, YOU WON'T. Read it multiple times, make sure you understand it, ask questions if you need clarification, but KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT.
Second, if you read into something too much and the writer says, "no, that's not what I meant. the sky really was just blue." then DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES TRY TO CONVINCE THE AUTHOR THAT YOU'RE RIGHT AND THEY'RE WRONG. If the sky was blue, then the sky was blue! Don't try to imagine something that isn't there. You're just making a fool of yourself if you keep insisting!
Third, EXPLAIN WHAT YOU MEAN! If you tell the author that something sounded "insert describing word here" tell the author what you mean by that. Not everyone's d
5 Pieces of Critique You Should Always Disregard1. "I have a problem with your premise." This is the red flag to end all red flags. I don't care how flimsy the premise is. Every idea has the potential to be a good story. Execution is something else entirely, but if somebody doesn't like your idea: don't listen to them. What they're basically saying is "I am not an Ideal Reader, therefore not your target audience, therefore I am not the right person to critiquing your work."  I hate, hate, hate people who think you should be writing for broader audiences than your story is capable of reaching. If you're writing romance, you're writing romance for romance readers. You're not trying to reach hard science fiction readers. Very few people even know what makes a breakout mainstream novel that has high market appeal. If they did, every single book ever written would be Harry Potter. It just doesn't happen. And for somebody to ask you to make that happen is ridiculous and unfair. For the most part, writers are writ Getting Better at Critique: Formal AnalysisLike our artwork, getting better at critique takes practice! First let’s look at the definitions of a critique:
A detailed analysis and assessment of something, esp. a literary, philosophical, or political theory. –Google Dictionary
A method of disciplined, systematic analysis of a written or oral discourse. - Wikipedia
A careful judgment in which you give your opinion about the good and bad parts of something (such as a piece of writing or a work of art) – Merriam-Webster Dictionary
So, in layman’s terms, a critique is a careful assessment, a detailed observation, an objective analysis. Sounds really egg heady doesn’t it? Well, it doesn’t have to be! The simplest way to start off learning how to critique is by conducting a formal analysis. Sounds uber smancy huh? A formal analysis is a careful and thorough observation of an artwork. A formal analysis is totally objective, it considers the formal properties of the artwork. T
What is a good critique: how make your crits greatHi all, before I get started, I want to make it clear that there is nothing keeping every deviant from critiquing artwork. If you are not a subscriber, you can still offer a critique to a fellow deviant in your comments ;)
Now, even if you have not been in art school/classes, most of us have a general knowledge of what a critique is. The critique is one of the most beneficial tools on hand for the artist, but it requires an outside person's opinion and observations. Since deviantArt is a community of artists, there's no reason why we can't support one another through critique =)
__________________________________________________________
Introduction
The things said in a critique can stay with a person for years depending on what was said. For example: Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi's sculpture of a lynched black man (Death c.1934) was given an unfair review from many critics, but the words of one stated that the piece was no more than "a little
Before you throw that pity party read thisBeing in touch with your weaknesses is important in order to grow as an artist, but are you so hung up on what you can’t do well that it’s holding you back? I'm not talking about the intermittent (or frequent) attacks of complete blockage, or even lack of inspiration, but full out pity parties.
I’ve seen far too many people on dA who post exercise after exercise, writing in the artist comments that once again they’ve failed, they’ve read hundreds of books, studied the masters for so many years, and they still cannot draw a photorealist rending of a man’s head. First of all let me say that I highly respect “self taught” artists and I’m not discouraging anyone who chooses (or must) go that route. However, setting realistic goals and finding your niche is extremely important. Let me say this: not everyone will be able to paint like a Baroque period artist! But that doesn't mean you can't be a painter, it just means
Are you THAT guy?Hey long time no see patients! I've oodles busy lately, but still developing new topics for discussion with you guys :D This blog is about what to do what to do if you happen to be that guy. By that guy, I mean someone who gets offended, hurt, defensive, or otherwise moody after a critique on his or her artwork. Now, I've talked extensively about unhelpful and abusive critiques, but have not yet talked about this. So let's talk about how to get more self aware and what to do if you are indeed that guy :D
:bulletred:Critical Responses Are NEVER Fun to Receive
I should begin this investigation by empathizing with you. Critical (or negative responses) toward something you have worked very hard on can be soul crushing. Unnecessarily personal or hurtful comments about the work (or yourself) can also be troublesome. I'm not at all negating your emotions during a strong critique of your artwork, so please bear with me here, the remainder of this blog might seem har
Knowledge is Out There, Grasp It!EDIT 2/13/14:
Due to a few concerns that I'm overgeneralizing through my use of the word ignorant, I wanted to amend some things: 
1. This journal was not written out of a pretentious attitude, in fact it's quite the opposite. I feel the need to share knowledge, and I do whenever I can. I could never be upset with those who truly do not know where to start when it comes to enriching their minds.
2. This journal is not about lording knowledge above those who do not yet possess it.
3. This journal is not about bashing someone for the barriers that can impede or prevent their desire or ability to absorb new information.
4. I do not encourage people to "just Google it," that is why resources are listed at the bottom.
5. If you would like to contribute a resource, please link it in your comments.
I’ve been hearing the phrase “I don’t know what ____ is” a lot as of late and it’s been a little irksome, and here’s why: we are currently living in


Art Tutorial: Critique by XadreaGuide to Giving Good Critiques by ThePhotoCriticGuide to Constructive Critique by RockstarVanity How to Accept A CritiqueFirst, there's a common misconception that I want to address before I even begin.  I've heard way too many people try to claim that they don't write for an audience or that they only write for themselves.  In my mind, this usually translates to something like, "You or someone else gave me a critique I don't agree with, so I'm trying to justify why I'm going to ignore it."  You're going to have a hard time convincing me that you don't care about anyone else's opinion of your work if you PUBLICALLY SUBMIT IT ONLINE.
I don't know if you've noticed, but dA (and any other site like it) is essentially structured to be used for peer review.  That's the main point of the ability to leave comments in the first place.  If you're really only writing for yourself, you would keep your stories in a shoe-box hidden under your bed.  And, no, the "I was posting it so my very bestest friend Mary Sue could read it" excuse doesn't fly either.
OC Mary-Sue Test 2.1OC Mary-Sue/Gary-Stu Test
This test is designed for Original Characters.  Questions for Role Play Characters and Fan Characters will be added soon.
Now, this tests for both the traditional Mary Sue/Gary Stu, and for 'gloomdog' style characters, which I suppose is a sub-category of the Mary Sue, but is often over-looked in this kind of test.
------------Instructions------------
Further down this test, there is a list of traits and characteristics, each one stating how many points that particular trait is worth.  Simply read through the list, and give your character the appropriate number of points for each of the listed traits/characteristics displayed by your character.
When you reach the end of the list, add up all of your character's points and refer to the results at the very bottom of the test to see (approximately) where your character is on the Sue Scale.
Now, while you're taking this test please also take into account
Resources: Critique by Critique-It CRITIQUE
INTRODUCTION
What defines a “critique”?
Let us start by quickly dismissing some common notions that seem to be held by many members of DeviantART.
“All art is good and should not be criticized…”
…is a myth.
“You can’t critique art, because it’s all subjective in the first place…”
…is false.
Don’t think I won’t let this famous saying unscathed either:  “All your comments should be positive, not negative…”
…is wrong too.  Before you start responding with comments such as “omg!  u suck! u r not kawaii, u r rude!!  eatshitdie," please do not misunderstand what is being conveyed and continue to read on.  These common myths about critiquing stem from some very good notions about how we treat our fellow deviants, but completely ignore the essence of what a real criticism is.  We often take a negative view on crit

Time for that taco party!

Need to raise $100 by Friday COMMISH ME

Journal Entry: Tue Jul 29, 2014, 9:08 AM
Hey hey hey folks! So the ongoing saga that is my life as a starving artist is yet again in a precarious situation :XD: So a couple of good things have happened: 

:bulletgreen: I'll be teaching art classes in a few weeks (not steady work, but I can make a decent amount of quick money with it) 

:bulletgreen: I've got an interview for another teaching position on Thursday this week and an interview at the public museum to be a gallery guard woot :D

So here's the not so good news: yet another freelance gig fell through and the payment that I would have received for the work was to be used for the balance owed to my leasing company. I only owe them $100, but since I have a total of $0 that's a bit of an issue :XD: 

So here's what needs to happen, I need commissions! Below is all my commish info and all that jazz, as well as links to my GoFundMe account and Paypal. Share this journal around social media folks! 



Commission Info


Custom (white) T-shirts 
  • $15-$25 each (one color only) +shipping
  • Provide me with a black and white design and I can silkscreen it on any size white t-shirt. If you have no design in mind, I can sketch one up for you. One color ink only. 

Digital Cover Illustrations 
  • (full color with or without text) $75-$150USD

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 3.09.13 PM by Xadrea  A Rose for Emily 2 by Xadrea   

Pumpkins by Xadrea   Pentatonix: Daft Punk by Xadrea   
Pentatonix: Love Again by Xadrea   Hero/Heroine by Xadrea  

Digital Character Portraits 
  • (black and white or full color) $25-$50USD

Patrick Stump Speedpaint by Xadrea  Pete Wentz Speedpaint by Xadrea  Fabian Speedpaint by Xadrea  Jenn by Xadrea  Nathalie. by Xadrea  Jules. by Xadrea  

Serigraphy (Screenprints) 
  • Full color (3 or more colors) $60-$200USD + shipping if applicable
  • One color (one or two color) $25-$60USD + shipping if applicable 

Run in Halftone by Xadrea  Ariel in Halftone by Xadrea  Anahita in Halftone by Xadrea  pip pip, cheerio, crumpets!WIP3 by Xadrea   Guilded5 by Xadrea  Guilded Face1 by Xadrea  Fall Out Boy Poster [black] by Xadrea  Fall Out Boy Poster [red] by Xadrea  Fall Out Boy Poster [brown] by Xadrea  

Watercolor Illustrations 
  • (up to 11x14 in physical size) $35-$125 +shipping if applicable
 
Sit Still Teddy by Xadrea  Ariel by Xadrea  
 The Queen of Hearts by Xadrea  Alice by Xadrea  Mad Hatter by Xadrea  Chesire Cat by Xadrea  
Briar Rose by Xadrea  Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 3.51.48 PM by Xadrea  
Frequently asked questions
  • :bulletgreen: How do I contact you for a commission? Send inquires through dA via note. Send inquiries through email to mellissajredman@gmail.com 

  • :bulletgreen:What is your method of payment? Paypal. My paypal email address is mjr39@zips.uakron.edu

  • :bulletgreen:Will you accept points as payment? Sorry, only Paypal is accepted.

  • :bulletgreen:Are all prices USD? Yes, all listed prices (and or quotes) are USD only.

  • :bulletgreen:What is your payment policy? 100% upfront for most commissions. If that is not possible immediately, 50% is required. I will not begin work on the piece until payment is received. If the 50% owed is not received 2 weeks after the initial agreement, the contract is void and I will scrap the project. 

  • :bulletgreen:Can you ship a commission to me (ie: a painting)? Yes! However you will be charged postage.

  • :bulletgreen: Can you ship internationally? Yes! However, you will be charged postage. 

  • :bulletgreen:What's your policy on copyrighted material? I will do fanart, however the proposed work cannot be redistributed by you for any other monetary gain whatsoever. That being said, I will not copy other artist's (meaning anyone on dA) styles or characters without their written permission. I will draw/paint/sketch your characters with your written permission (a contract will be provided if need be). 

  • :bulletgreen:Do you do NSFW pieces? Sorry no. 


  • Mood: Hungry
  • Listening to: *NSYNC Medley--Pentatonix
  • Reading: Peony In Love--Lisa See
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water

Patreon and Hair

Journal Entry: Sat Jul 26, 2014, 8:14 AM
Haaaaaay cupcakes! So I'm considering setting up a Patreon to help with my artistic things and also generating some income as I'm looking for new jobbies. The good thing is I'm set to start teaching a painting class in a few weeks :la: That's not a steady job, but it's only 2 hours per class and it has a base pay plus tips woot:dance:

So my question is: do any of your folks have a Patreon account? Are you a patron to any content creators? What's your take on it? 

In other news I've apparently neglected to show off mah new hairs to you all so BAM


All natural now (except for the Splat color of course :XD:


  • Mood: Hungry
  • Listening to: *NSYNC Medley--Pentatonix
  • Reading: Peony In Love--Lisa See
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water

Custom T-Shirts and Other Commissions

Journal Entry: Tue Jul 15, 2014, 1:08 PM
Hey guise! Since I opened commissions, here's my commission info (my old commish info is a bit dated so time to start fresh). Among the regular 2D work I do, I'm now offering CUSTOM T-SHIRTS! Woo! I may add bags if I see cheap canvas available at my local K-Mart/Dollar Tree. So spread the word around and if you're interested shoot me a note!

Frequently asked questions
  • :bulletgreen: How do I contact you for a commission? Send inquires through dA via note. Send inquiries through email to mellissajredman@gmail.com 

  • :bulletgreen:What is your method of payment? Paypal. My paypal email address is mjr39@zips.uakron.edu

  • :bulletgreen:Will you accept points as payment? Sorry, only Paypal is accepted.

  • :bulletgreen:Are all prices USD? Yes, all listed prices (and or quotes) are USD only.

  • :bulletgreen:What is your payment policy? 100% upfront for most commissions. If that is not possible immediately, 50% is required. I will not begin work on the piece until payment is received. If the 50% owed is not received 2 weeks after the initial agreement, the contract is void and I will scrap the project. 

  • :bulletgreen:Can you ship a commission to me (ie: a painting)? Yes! However you will be charged postage.

  • :bulletgreen: Can you ship internationally? Yes! However, you will be charged postage. 

  • :bulletgreen:What's your policy on copyrighted material? I will do fanart, however the proposed work cannot be redistributed by you for any other monetary gain whatsoever. That being said, I will not copy other artist's (meaning anyone on dA) styles or characters without their written permission. I will draw/paint/sketch your characters with your written permission (a contract will be provided if need be). 

  • :bulletgreen:Do you do NSFW pieces? Sorry no. 

Custom (white) T-shirts 
  • $15-$25 each (one color only) +shipping
  • Provide me with a black and white design and I can silkscreen it on any size white t-shirt. If you have no design in mind, I can sketch one up for you. One color ink only. 

Digital Cover Illustrations 
  • (full color with or without text) $75-$150USD

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 3.09.13 PM by Xadrea  A Rose for Emily 2 by Xadrea   

Pumpkins by Xadrea   Pentatonix: Daft Punk by Xadrea   
Pentatonix: Love Again by Xadrea   Hero/Heroine by Xadrea  

Digital Character Portraits 
  • (black and white or full color) $25-$50USD

Patrick Stump Speedpaint by Xadrea  Pete Wentz Speedpaint by Xadrea  Fabian Speedpaint by Xadrea  Jenn by Xadrea  Nathalie. by Xadrea  Jules. by Xadrea  

Serigraphy (Screenprints) 
  • Full color (3 or more colors) $60-$200USD + shipping if applicable
  • One color (one or two color) $25-$60USD + shipping if applicable 

Run in Halftone by Xadrea  Ariel in Halftone by Xadrea  Anahita in Halftone by Xadrea  pip pip, cheerio, crumpets!WIP3 by Xadrea   Guilded5 by Xadrea  Guilded Face1 by Xadrea  Fall Out Boy Poster [black] by Xadrea  Fall Out Boy Poster [red] by Xadrea  Fall Out Boy Poster [brown] by Xadrea  

Watercolor Illustrations 
  • (up to 11x14 in physical size) $35-$125 +shipping if applicable
 
Sit Still Teddy by Xadrea  Ariel by Xadrea  
 The Queen of Hearts by Xadrea  Alice by Xadrea  Mad Hatter by Xadrea  Chesire Cat by Xadrea  
Briar Rose by Xadrea  Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 3.51.48 PM by Xadrea  

  • Mood: Suffering
  • Listening to: Payphone--Maroon 5
  • Reading: Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: nothing

Rent Update/Opening Commissions

Journal Entry: Tue Jul 15, 2014, 11:52 AM
Good news everyone! Thanks to everyone who graciously donated funds to my cause I was able to pay my rent :la: The property manager decided last minute not to take my case to court so I avoided eviction proceedings and legal fees (which would have been a bonafide nightmare). I really appreciate everyone who donated and shared my journal around :heart::hug: It means a lot to me! 

Now that that crisis is avoided, I'm faced with other not so great things thanks to not having an income.

:bulletpink:My bus pass expires at the end of this week and without it I'll have no way to get to job interviews downtown (or to anywhere for that matter...curse living on the edge of nowhere). I'll be able to pick up another one, but it will expire a week after I buy it, thus landing back in the same predicament. 

:bulletpink: As you can imagine, my utility companies are at my throat for blood, and while I'm sure I can get away a bit longer without giving them anything, that time is nearing closure and I have no candles :XD:

So with those two dilemmas facing me now, I'm opening up commissions. I didn't open them beforehand because the money earned at the time would not have been generated quickly enough to deal with my emergency circumstances. So at this present time, they are OPEN. The quickest way I can complete commission requests is digitally, so if you're wanting something done fast that's the medium I suggest :D Payments can be generated through Paypal or GoFundMe (whichever you choose) and the buttons are below. Again, if you can't donate/commission, please share share share!




  • Mood: Suffering
  • Listening to: Payphone--Maroon 5
  • Reading: Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: nothing

Help me avoid EVICTION

Journal Entry: Wed Jul 9, 2014, 1:53 PM
So this it everyone. I have two weeks left before I'll be evicted from my apartment.  Don't feel guilty if you're unable to help (or if you've donated already). However if you can, please do. I need to raise $350 to pay rent for this month. Last week I was paid for an illustration job I had, but the entire amount of the payment was sucked into my then negative bank account :| So, although I've raised close to $350, I only have $200 to put toward rent, thus still needing to raise $350. My landlord will not accept anything less than the full amount. This Friday, the 11th, I'll be sued for the rent owed :/

I'm only two semesters away from finishing my Masters degree, and if I have no place to live that goal will almost certainly be derailed. I have an interview for a job next week, but even if I do get it that won't change the fact that eviction is fast approaching because I won't get paid enough or in time to avoid being thrown out. 

I seriously hate begging like this since by all accounts because I should have a job, and I should be self sufficient and I know other people who are struggling too will look at this request with scorn. I have had at least 10 interviews and countless numbers of applications sent out in the last 3 months alone :( 

So, all that being said, you may donate to either to my paypal or my gofundme campaign. If you cannot donate to either share the links everywhere. I'm running out of time. 





  • Mood: Defeated
  • Listening to: Love on Top--Beyonce
  • Reading: Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape
  • Eating: poptart
  • Drinking: tea

Help keep me from getting evicted woo!

Journal Entry: Mon Jul 7, 2014, 5:59 AM
Hey people! So, things aren't that great over here for me this summer for one recurring reason: again I am without work.  I launched a GoFundMe campaign about a month ago in the hopes of raising money to help out with my rent. I am currently without a paying job (still interning, and still contracted to several companies for illustrative work, but since there are no new projects, I am without an income). I've been looking hard for new work for months to no avail (like I seriously can't even get a job flipping burgers because I'm "overqualified"). That being said, things are now in emergency mode. I need to raise at least rent for the month of July ($550) and I'm reaching out for a helping hand so that I will not get evicted from my apartment. Any amount donated to my cause would help tremendously. If you would like to donate, you can send funds through Paypal to: mjr39@zips.uakron.edu If you can't donate anything, please share my gofundme link (on my timeline). In return for your kindness, you may commission me for artwork!




As always, if you cannot donate, share share share! I really appreciate all the continued support from everyone here on dA.Thanks guys!

  • Mood: Defeated
  • Listening to: Love on Top--Beyonce
  • Reading: Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape
  • Eating: poptart
  • Drinking: tea

The "Feminist art movement" began in the early 1960s. Women’s roles were questioned in society and thus were questioned in art in an article by Linda Nochlin called “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” She argued that there were few women artists because they were held back by a system that denied them equal opportunity (academies and guilds). Also in a society in which the home was run and child rearing was done entirely by women, women did not have the opportunity to engage in academia or the arts. Generally, if women were artists, they had to have male family members representing or teaching them. Painting was the only subject a woman could engage in, but nude models were forbidden for female painters, thus never reaching complete potential for academy standards. Italian Baroque painter Artemsia Gentileschi was one of the few female artists who was able to rise above this.
Artemisia GentileschiJudith Slaying Holofernes (1614–20) Oil on canvas
Women painters painted vernacular works (life and children). Women have always been creating things, but it was always derided as craft. Women artists in the 1970s decided to raise up the things that were regarded as weaknesses and used them to their advantage in their artwork. They embraced the personal, the homey, with references to the kitchen and child raising (this is our home, and it is as important as politics). They used craft materials, things that were soft and textural, and non-traditional practices. They used the antithesis of high art and materials. They focused on the female body as a thing in flux. The female body is not controlled, and considered evil in both medicine and philosophically. 

Mary Kelly. Post Partum Project (1974-79) Mixed Media
The new feminists felt the need to celebrate the bodily differences and changes that occur in the female form. The changes affirm life, and change implies growth and life. They began to explore what was called the “messy worlds” of the body; the life forces of the body. Rather than take the usual western philosophical stance of the mind and body split, feminists wanted to praise the body on equal footing with the mind. 
Shigeko Kubota .Vagina Painting (1965) Performance

Judy Chicago's The Dinner Party 

Judy Chicago: The Dinner Party. Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). The Dinner Party, 1974–79. Ceramic, porcelain, textile, 576 x 576 in. (1463 x 1463 cm).
Judy Chicago's most celebrated piece is The Dinner Party. The installation includes women in history who were disregarded or vilified. She wanted to bring women to the forefront. She acknowledges all the people who worked on the dinner party and all the people in the dinner party. She used the shape of a triangle because it represented equality and the pubic area of women. There are a total of 39 women honored with place settings and the floor is decorated with the names of 999 other women from history. Each plate and place setting was made to match the place and time the woman lived. Each plate is designed to look floral or vaginal. She wanted to celebrate the craft and of women and the human body. The women represented by place settings are as follows:
"I was a young woman in the seventies, a time so full of hope. Many of us shared the belief that we as women could help to transform the world, not only for women but for everyone. As an artist, I believed that I could contribute to this transformation through art. I believed that art has the power to transcend differences, to help us see the world through other people’s eyes, and thereby help to create a sense of empathy with those who would otherwise be entirely unknown to us."

Sojourner Truth Place Setting
"I have continued to create art with this goal in mind, and I have seen many positive changes, many of them brought about by the women’s movement. At the same time, feminism has been turned into a dirty word. Several generations of young women—along with many of their male peers—have been persuaded that two centuries of effort by countless women and some men which brought previously unheard of rights and opportunities to these same young women was not something to be proud of, but rather to disown." 

Virginia Woolf Place Setting
"Why do I insist upon being called a Feminist artist now, in the 21st century, when many pundits insist we live in a post-feminist world? My definition of such a world involves a toppling of the hierarchy of white male dominance. Since neither our male-dominated world nor the art museums that carry its visual messages have changed enough, I see no reason to abandon the feminism which is one of the few alternative philosophies around. Also, as my underlying feminist philosophy shapes my art, I remain a Feminist artist."

Hatshepsut Place Setting
"It is also important to note that Feminist art is an ongoing, contemporary art movement. It is practiced today by women artists—and some men—all over the globe. It is stylistically diverse yet always focused on the authentic, distinctive, personal content of each artist, a personal content mediated by culture, geography, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation and all the many attributes of human individuality."

Emily Dickinson Place Setting
 "Do I still hope that Feminist Art can make a difference in the world? My answer is yes. I continue to believe that we need an art that can help us see the world through other people’s eyes and thereby lead us to a future where the world will be made at least a little more whole." - Judy Chicago via Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum 

Contemporary Feminist artist Nicole Hand


Nocturnal Respite, etching, lithograph
Nicole Hand is a contemporary printmaker whose works deal with femininity, motherhood, and traditional female roles. She is currently on faculty at Murray State University where she teaches Printmaking, paper making, and bookbinding. 
Departed Maturity, etching, lithograph
"Ideas, beliefs, and skills are passed from one generation to the next. The skills that were passed down to me were based on a traditional domestic structure. The duties within my household were divided according to gender roles, influencing my family structure, while at the same time I questioned their validity. The questioning of these roles inspires my work through an autobiographical perspective."

Intimate Discourse, etching, lithograph
"Themes of maternity, reproduction, femininity, closure, transitions, and correspondence are also apparent in my work. I use objects, placed in reliquary-like spaces, which have literal and abstract symbolism within a composition.The interaction between these objects explores the conventional and non-conventional roles of family and at the same time, documents a change of lineage. Layering objects and placing them in dream-like atmospheres suggests change, transition, and reflection. This allows me to preserve history and suggest tension, repetition, and change. The work becomes a documentation of these ideas as well as an organized time line of events with a feminist perspective."
Habitual Entitlement,lithograph 
"The techniques of printmaking and bookbinding complement my image development and need for repetition. While the processes are different from the skills I was taught as a child, both need to follow an exact recipe in order to have a desirable outcome. This, combined with my love of drawing, initiates my object-oriented narratives." - Nicole Hand via thINK editions 2011

Features



Every Job I've Ever Had

Journal Entry: Wed May 28, 2014, 7:33 PM
So my buddie simpleCOMICS wrote this Every Job I've Ever HadToday marks the one-year anniversary of the day I started working at my current job. It doesn't seem like it's been that long already. It got me thinking that I've never really shared much about my jobs with you guys. I've had a lot of jobs since I first started working in high school. Here's a summary of my career history. (btw, I'd love for you to make a journal about all of your jobs too.)
Job #1: Ceiling Tile Replacement - It's an odd first job, but for one Summer after tenth grade, I worked with a maintenance company that cleaned and repaired parts of the school over the Summer. My job was to go around the entire campus, with a cart of tiles and a step ladder, and replace those ceiling titles with water stains on them.
Job #2: Dishwasher - I was a dishwasher for a very expensive restaurant in my hometown. It was considered a stopping point for travelers passing through so it stayed busy. I would regularly work until 1am washing dishes. That restaurant was later destroyed by Hurric


spiffy journal today about his work history and I thought I'd do that same :D I'll add in my volunteer jobs too :D

Job #1: Children's Hospital Volunteer- More commonly known as "candy striping." I was a general volunteer for the Akron Children's Hospital for about 4 years and it was a pretty fun job ^ ^ I moved patients around for tests and x-rays, delivered specimens, blood, charts, beds, specimens, and wheelchairs all around the hospital campus. Occasionally, I did mail stuffing, held babies, played with children, and read stories to kids not well enough to get out of bed. I also led tours for schools and athletic teams. The only reason I quit was because college interfered with my schedule. 

Job #2: Student Assistant- More commonly known as a "page." This was my first paying job :D It had its ups and downs but it was fairly simple and I ended up making above minimum wage after my first six months there (and before state funding was cut and froze all our salaries permanently). Most of the work included shelving, shelf reading, and circulation but there was a lot of general customer service too. You'd be surprised how rude people are in libraries (not to mention creepy and unhygienic) :XD: I had that job for 6 years and I quit because I was moving out of state to go to grad school. 

Job #3: Service Clerk- I so hated my job at Walgreens as a service clerk. The work itself wasn't too bad outside of long shifts on my feet, and mean customers, it was the people I had to put up with on staff. The managers were unbelievably and unnecessarily rude to the people who worked under them, not to mention I was made to feel like an idiot all the time. If a customer was mad about a price and wanted to talk to the manager, they would take their sweet ole time to come up front, then act like it was MY FAULT for not breaking rules about pricing just to appease the angry customer. This was the only job I was never trained for, not even once. The only way I learned how to do things was by screwing up repeatedly after asking to be shown how to do said task correctly. The reasoning for this? Not enough "time" to train me...this was a 24 hour store mind you. When one of my co-workers who worked in the cosmetics department got pregnant and needed to work shorter shifts (and by shorter I mean 10-6 as opposed to 10-8) the store manager refused until she brought in a doctor's note. This store manager also had very unrealistic sales ideas and we were constantly being pushed to promote things on the front end of the store that were just stupid, like flu shots. He wanted us to ask customers if they got a flu shot, on their way out, and then send them back to the pharmacy for them to get one. That was 1 of 5 questions to ask the poor person while they were simply trying to buy a pack of gum ;_____; "Would you like to buy x, would you like to donate to x, do you have a store card, have you been immunized, on your receipt call the number to rate your transaction and give them my name. Be well." If you didn't say the whole script you'd get chewed out. I swear, the managers would hide to see if you did it, but of course they could never be found if there was an actual emergency. A woman ran into the store crying late one night because her boyfriend had beat her up and was after her. Both managers on duty conveniently split while I called 911 because the effing phone at the FRONT of the store could not call out (can you say irresponsible??), then after the police arrived and arrested the boyfriend and I had settled the woman down they acted like nothing happened and didn't write an incident report. I quit because it was insane to put up with that amount of bullshit on minimum wage with a Bachelor's degree./rant

Job #5: Illustrator- I still have this job :D I'm a contract illustrator for Laughing Dog Artworks! It's pretty fun, and fairly easy. The guy I work for is pretty straight forward with his projects and he's very transparent about changes he wants in projects. I draw dogs doing people things like playing baseball, walking around a college campus, ect. I'm paid pretty well for it too, so that's always lovely ^ ^ The only downside about it is that it isn't "steady" work. 

Job #4: Summer Intern- Last summer I was an intern for a healthy living company that runs it's own social media website thingy. My job was to write blogs that would increase traffic to the website. Ultimately, I'm not sure if that happened, but the editorial staff seemed to like my writing and most of my content was accepted without any critical feedback outside of grammatical errors. The only thing I didn't like about the internship was that I saw almost no one the whole time I was there. I could come in, go to my cubical for 6 hours and not see a soul except the secretary at the front desk.

Job #5: Teen Art Program Intern-By far my most favorite job was interning for the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology. Great people on staff, and great mission. It's a non profit organization that offers after school art classes (and trips to places like Chicago, Toronto, and Yellowstone) for teenagers and job certification/training for unemployed adults...all for free. The classes were cool too, like video production, photography, video game design, street art, and app design. I mostly did office work and things of that nature, but it was cool to see the inner workings of a non profit ^ ^ I was with them for almost a year, and they probably would've liked me to stay even longer, but I need a paying job XD

Job #6: Illustrator (again)- I recently signed a contract with the e-book company Borne Digital as an illustrator. Borne Digital produces e-books (and some published by the company itself) that help kids learn to read and increase vocabulary. This is an unpaid job for now, buuuuut it'll get me some more experience working in this field and with a larger company. Right now I'm working on a cover for O.Henry's The Gift of the Magi. 

Job #7: Summer Social Media Intern (again)- Another unpaid internship :XD: I'll be a social media intern for a company called TravelersToday this summer. I'll be aggregating viral content for their facebook page(s) and managing them as well. While it is unpaid, it'll give me some more valuable skills and build up my resume more. 

So, all in all, I'm looking for more work this summer without much luck so far :XD: It's a bit of a catch-22 with the internship thing, they'll give you real workplace experience for short periods of time, but they're rarely paid positions. Meanwhile, you can't get hired in the jobs you'd prefer to have because you don't have enough "experience" :XD: Also, already owning a degree automatically overqualifies you for work you can do for some reason...it's the pits mang. Well, I don't want this to turn into a complaints fest so I'll wrap this up :lol: What's your work history? Do you have any funny or scary work stories?

  • Mood: Hungry
  • Listening to: Antonia- Motion City Soundtrack
  • Reading: Dreams of Joy--Lisa See
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape 3
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: nothing

Stuff and Things

Journal Entry: Sun Mar 30, 2014, 12:39 PM
Hai franzzzz! So it's been a little while since I wrote an actual personal journal entry :XD: anyways, here are some stuff and things that are happening in the marvelous misadventures that are my days:

I'm hunting for jobs! :lol: That's pretty much a constant thing, but I've really been scouting heavily as of late of places to take my illustration expertise. My current internship is nearing its end (it was also unpaid XD) so that means moar freed up time for another job! I'm still a contract freelance illustrator for Laughing Dog artworks, but as you freelancers know, you need a couple gigs at a time to pay the bills. I'm being considered for an internship with ArtPrize (sadly, tis unpaid), but if I do get it, it will leave enough time for me to work too since it will span the summer and a few months into the fall. I applied for a paid internship to an organization that is partnered with the place I'm interning now, so I have a good chance with that. I also applied for a graduate assistantship that will begin in the fall, but I'm not sure if I'll get it so fingers crossed people!

Gots lotsa shows coming up! Yus, exhibitions errywhere :XD: I've got work hanging in the painting department of my school to show off how good us graduate painters are, work in a graduate self portrait show called School Uniform, work in the spring arthop (Art.Downtown), and eight pieces in the Grand Rapids Children's Museum until the end of June :la:

Painting my arse off! I've not been so great with updating my gallery as frequently as usual, but I did a submission dump today lol. The painting I'm doing right now is very process oriented so I've got many pieces going on at once. 

Working on Queenie! I've been working on Queenie believe it or not, but I've been working mainly on the storyline and where to take it after a certain point (no worries about where its at currently lol) I've simply not had the time to put pages together the way I was before, so the hiatus will continue most likely until my classes are over this semester. 

I'm going to San Francisco in August! :meow: Wooo! My mom is graduating from college in May with a BA in criminology and sociology and she was invited to present one of her papers at the American Sociology Association's conference in San Francisco :la: It's a huge deal for her because she's getting a TON of agism in her program from her asshole professors, so this will offer a lot of self esteem for her and validation for her research interests (which have to do with race, the family, and social class). It'll be the first time I've ever flown in an airplane and the first time I've ever been to California :la:

So what's going on with all you guys? Doing anything fun or cool soon? Got any summer plans? Getting ready for college? 

  • Mood: Sociable
  • Listening to: What Hurts the Most--Rascal Flatts
  • Reading: Dreams of Joy--Lisa See
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape 3
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: nothing

PE: Telling Stories with your Art

Wed Mar 26, 2014, 6:00 AM


Storytelling and art were good friends for thousands of years until they had a fight and split in the late 19th century. Paintings that told stories often followed old academic traditions and were rejected by modernist artists. In some ways, the old traditions could be limiting and did not allow free creativity. Because of this, storytelling, or “narrative” was knocked off it’s pedestal in fine art and though most ideas and movements of the past 50 years in art have come full circle, we still have a tenuous relationship with telling stories in our artwork. Concept has become incredibly important in fine art. I have nothing against concept art, in fact a lot of my own work is very concept driven, but I believe that narrative is not being given its due.

Once regarded as “lowbrow” comics and illustration are gaining respect in high art. Yet, beyond the “art world” images that tell stories are quickly becoming more relevant than even written word. I had the opportunity to go to a lecture held by the art director of the New Yorker Magazine (Françoise Mouly)  several years ago and of all the bits of information about what was happening in the world, one main thing that stuck in my mind about her talk was how images can transcend time. Will what you’re saying in an image still be relevant 5 years from now? In 10? In 50? Comics and cartoons seem to have that kind of knack to speak to a wide audience and communicate a message that is easily understood and carries on for a long time to come.

But what about fine art? Can narrative be as compelling and effective outside simply illustrating a story? When handled clumsily, narrative can come off as too gimmicky, or too easy to understand and therefore pedestrian. For that reason, art forms that are heavily reliant on narrative such as comics are not fully embraced in art schools. Yet, when handled with care, amazing things happen. 

Egene Koo

Egene Koo is a painter and illustrator who is a native of South Korea. She is currently living and working in Seoul, South Korea. Her work deals with the past meeting the present, mainly with the telling and retelling of stories, specifically children’s fairytales.

Egene Koo. “Island of Witches who make Stories”, Oil on Canvas, 116.7X80cm each, 2011

Koo’s most recent series of paintings titled “ Neverending Childhood” have been derived from the fairytale “The Girl Who Trod on the Loaf” by Hans Christian Anderson. Objects from the story, such as shoes, bread, and animals are woven together into odd yet amusing combinations. Her compositions never go outside of the picture plane. All of them are set up with equal amounts of negative space in all four corners of the painting. The backgrounds often have nothing but light washes of a neutral color, so this draws the viewer’s attention to the objects in the painting without any confusion.

Egene Koo. “Spoiled Goddess”, Oil on Canvas, 145.5X97cm, 2011

This compositional setup allows the viewer to easily enter and exit the picture plane, while leading the eye in a circle throughout. Although Koo paints very realistically, there’s an illustrative quality in her work, which ties back into her subject matter.  There are no hints of the artist’s hand in any of her paintings; the textures are very smooth and satin-like. Koo’s style of painting the figure is very western given her formal training at Camberwell College of Arts in the United Kingdom and Korea National University of Arts in Seoul. Her artistic influences from the Western art world include Van Eyck and Van der Weyden; other influences come from traditional Asian painting.

Egene Koo. “Island of Flightless Birds5”, Oil on Canvas, 116.7X91cm , 2011

Beyond Koo’s technical mastery, her paintings are compelling because of her use of narrative. So what is the secret then? Is it the fact she's a "good" painter? Well, yes and no. Being able to properly handle a medium is important, but it isn't everything. The second "thing" that is allowing Koo's usage of fairytales to be acceptable and interesting is that she has not revealed everything all at once. She uses symbols from the tales, combining them in a way that pleases her, then it is up to the viewer to decipher the images. We can recognize the hare, the ribbon, even the shoes as reminiscent of folklore, yet the entire thing isn't given away in one glance. The key thing to keep in mind is complexity. 

Features:

             

Freedom by FlashyFashionFraud

      Freedom by Flashyfashionfraud        

Myself Drawing Us by SlimyYetSatisfying

Myself Drawing Us by SlimYetSatisfying

the queen is calling by curlytops

        The Queen Is Calling by curlytops

Keeper of Decay by bluealaris

  Keeper of Decay by bluealaris             

i am awake in this city by pettryb

   i am awake in this city by pettryb 

Sailor Spread 05 by protogeny

Sailor Spread 05 by protogeny 
           





Like our artwork, getting better at critique takes practice! First let’s look at the definitions of a critique:

A detailed analysis and assessment of something, esp. a literary, philosophical, or political theory. –Google Dictionary
A method of disciplined, systematic analysis of a written or oral discourse. - Wikipedia
A careful judgment in which you give your opinion about the good and bad parts of something (such as a piece of writing or a work of art) – Merriam-Webster Dictionary

So, in layman’s terms, a critique is a careful assessment, a detailed observation, an objective analysis. Sounds really egg heady doesn’t it? Well, it doesn’t have to be! The simplest way to start off learning how to critique is by conducting a formal analysis. Sounds uber smancy huh? A formal analysis is a careful and thorough observation of an artwork. A formal analysis is totally objective, it considers the formal properties of the artwork. The formal art elements are as follows:             

    ·      Line    
    ·      Shape and form                   
    ·      Space             
    ·      Color
    ·      Texture

When conducting a formal analysis, think of each of those things. Here are some examples of different images that I’ve analyzed:
     

     

 The Head of Acheloos (Etruscan), 6th Century, B.C.E 

 The head which is the main piece of this pendant is anthropomorphic, meaning that it has human features as well as animal parts; in this case bull horns and ears. There is fine detail in the curls of the hair and the beard. Although the beard and hair are very detailed they are also very unrealistic, or stylized. Since the hair is so stylized, we can tell that this pendant is definitely a face. Perhaps all of this detail is put into the pendant because it is only meant to be seen from the frontal view. The face is stylized as well, not revealing any individuality about this person. Considering that this is a jewelry piece, and that it is made of gold, it could be likely that it depicts, and, or was owned by a ruler. 

Justinian and His Attendants (Early Byzantine). Church of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy 547
This piece is a mosaic from the Church of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy. Justinian attempted to unite the Western and Eastern Empires of the Roman Empire, and he also established the “Corpus Juris Civilis” or “Body of Civil Law” which is still used today. Justinian is shown holding a loaf of bread that is part of Communion. The bread is a symbol of Christ’s body that was broken for the sins of the world. All of the figures portrayed are at level height with Justianian and are also symbolically representing Christ and the 12 Apostles. There is some individuality displayed in the faces of the clergy and the military attendants with the use of facial hair or the lack thereof. Justinian is clothed in a purple toga. Purple and royal Blue are colors used to symbolize royalty or authority. Although there is unity in the height of the figures, Justinian who is placed at the center, is the focal point. The horizontal lines created by the sameness in height make this piece easy to interpret. The goal of this work was to represent Justinian as a role model for the people he reigned over (essentially a propaganda image).
Saint Sernin (Romanesque) Toulouse, France 1070-1120
The Church of Saint Sernin is often called a basilica although it does not follow the plan of basilica churches. The plan of this church was also used in the building of cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, a famous pilgrimage church in Spain. The central nave of the church is barrel vaulted and is supported by buttresses on the outside. The ceilings are vaulted and it makes use of radiating chapels as well to display relics. Saint Sernin gained a lot of its recognition after Charlemagne donated numerous relics to the church which made the church a “pilgrimage site”. In addition to the various relics held within, many saints were buried within the crypt of the church as well.

               

George Lepape, Les choses de Paul Poiret V (Fashion Illustration), 1911
All of the forms, including the figures, have been simplified into basic recognizable shapes and filled with flat color and contained with an outline. These two facts are indicative of the influence of Asian art (particularly Japanese woodblock prints) during the late 19th century.
The color palette also deviates from a natural scheme and appears to be Japanese inspired as well. However, there is a sense of depth in the floor tiles of the patio as well as the darkened background against the night sky. Since the background is a deep indigo, the figures easily pop forward though they are not situated in the center of the picture plane. The figures are not facing the viewer, so even more attention is drawn to their clothing.
Altogether, the color scheme, simplified rendering of figures and objects, and lack of direct narrative tell us that this is a very “modern” image. The avant-garde aspect of this image is apparent in its simplicity (compared to other “traditional” western artwork of the day) but mainly in the clothing of the women. The dress of the women is relaxed, lacking hoopskirts, or the addition of a bustle. There are small accents of embellishment in printed pattern rather than beading or other sewn elements. The women appear to be excitedly viewing fireworks, and though there is a hint of “nightlife” there is no vast city or architecture in the background. There is a sense of the sublime calm of nature rather than the congested energy of the city.

On average, a person will spend four seconds looking at a piece of art in a gallery. Formal analysis will not only help you become a better observer of artwork, it will help you get better at looking at artwork critically too. Also, describing an artwork through detailed observation will help you become more objective and less subjective about critiquing artwork. Often times the idea of critique is that it is a personal opinion of a piece of art (and we’ll very often see personal tastes expressed in articles represented as “critiques” in the mass media these days). Learning to see rather than look is also a useful skill for a visual artist, and you’ll be able to pick up more about an artwork.

 :heart:Xadrea


The "Feminist art movement" began in the early 1960s. Women’s roles were questioned in society and thus were questioned in art in an article by Linda Nochlin called “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” She argued that there were few women artists because they were held back by a system that denied them equal opportunity (academies and guilds). Also in a society in which the home was run and child rearing was done entirely by women, women did not have the opportunity to engage in academia or the arts. Generally, if women were artists, they had to have male family members representing or teaching them. Painting was the only subject a woman could engage in, but nude models were forbidden for female painters, thus never reaching complete potential for academy standards. Italian Baroque painter Artemsia Gentileschi was one of the few female artists who was able to rise above this.
Artemisia GentileschiJudith Slaying Holofernes (1614–20) Oil on canvas
Women painters painted vernacular works (life and children). Women have always been creating things, but it was always derided as craft. Women artists in the 1970s decided to raise up the things that were regarded as weaknesses and used them to their advantage in their artwork. They embraced the personal, the homey, with references to the kitchen and child raising (this is our home, and it is as important as politics). They used craft materials, things that were soft and textural, and non-traditional practices. They used the antithesis of high art and materials. They focused on the female body as a thing in flux. The female body is not controlled, and considered evil in both medicine and philosophically. 

Mary Kelly. Post Partum Project (1974-79) Mixed Media
The new feminists felt the need to celebrate the bodily differences and changes that occur in the female form. The changes affirm life, and change implies growth and life. They began to explore what was called the “messy worlds” of the body; the life forces of the body. Rather than take the usual western philosophical stance of the mind and body split, feminists wanted to praise the body on equal footing with the mind. 
Shigeko Kubota .Vagina Painting (1965) Performance

Judy Chicago's The Dinner Party 

Judy Chicago: The Dinner Party. Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). The Dinner Party, 1974–79. Ceramic, porcelain, textile, 576 x 576 in. (1463 x 1463 cm).
Judy Chicago's most celebrated piece is The Dinner Party. The installation includes women in history who were disregarded or vilified. She wanted to bring women to the forefront. She acknowledges all the people who worked on the dinner party and all the people in the dinner party. She used the shape of a triangle because it represented equality and the pubic area of women. There are a total of 39 women honored with place settings and the floor is decorated with the names of 999 other women from history. Each plate and place setting was made to match the place and time the woman lived. Each plate is designed to look floral or vaginal. She wanted to celebrate the craft and of women and the human body. The women represented by place settings are as follows:
"I was a young woman in the seventies, a time so full of hope. Many of us shared the belief that we as women could help to transform the world, not only for women but for everyone. As an artist, I believed that I could contribute to this transformation through art. I believed that art has the power to transcend differences, to help us see the world through other people’s eyes, and thereby help to create a sense of empathy with those who would otherwise be entirely unknown to us."

Sojourner Truth Place Setting
"I have continued to create art with this goal in mind, and I have seen many positive changes, many of them brought about by the women’s movement. At the same time, feminism has been turned into a dirty word. Several generations of young women—along with many of their male peers—have been persuaded that two centuries of effort by countless women and some men which brought previously unheard of rights and opportunities to these same young women was not something to be proud of, but rather to disown." 

Virginia Woolf Place Setting
"Why do I insist upon being called a Feminist artist now, in the 21st century, when many pundits insist we live in a post-feminist world? My definition of such a world involves a toppling of the hierarchy of white male dominance. Since neither our male-dominated world nor the art museums that carry its visual messages have changed enough, I see no reason to abandon the feminism which is one of the few alternative philosophies around. Also, as my underlying feminist philosophy shapes my art, I remain a Feminist artist."

Hatshepsut Place Setting
"It is also important to note that Feminist art is an ongoing, contemporary art movement. It is practiced today by women artists—and some men—all over the globe. It is stylistically diverse yet always focused on the authentic, distinctive, personal content of each artist, a personal content mediated by culture, geography, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation and all the many attributes of human individuality."

Emily Dickinson Place Setting
 "Do I still hope that Feminist Art can make a difference in the world? My answer is yes. I continue to believe that we need an art that can help us see the world through other people’s eyes and thereby lead us to a future where the world will be made at least a little more whole." - Judy Chicago via Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum 

Contemporary Feminist artist Nicole Hand


Nocturnal Respite, etching, lithograph
Nicole Hand is a contemporary printmaker whose works deal with femininity, motherhood, and traditional female roles. She is currently on faculty at Murray State University where she teaches Printmaking, paper making, and bookbinding. 
Departed Maturity, etching, lithograph
"Ideas, beliefs, and skills are passed from one generation to the next. The skills that were passed down to me were based on a traditional domestic structure. The duties within my household were divided according to gender roles, influencing my family structure, while at the same time I questioned their validity. The questioning of these roles inspires my work through an autobiographical perspective."

Intimate Discourse, etching, lithograph
"Themes of maternity, reproduction, femininity, closure, transitions, and correspondence are also apparent in my work. I use objects, placed in reliquary-like spaces, which have literal and abstract symbolism within a composition.The interaction between these objects explores the conventional and non-conventional roles of family and at the same time, documents a change of lineage. Layering objects and placing them in dream-like atmospheres suggests change, transition, and reflection. This allows me to preserve history and suggest tension, repetition, and change. The work becomes a documentation of these ideas as well as an organized time line of events with a feminist perspective."
Habitual Entitlement,lithograph 
"The techniques of printmaking and bookbinding complement my image development and need for repetition. While the processes are different from the skills I was taught as a child, both need to follow an exact recipe in order to have a desirable outcome. This, combined with my love of drawing, initiates my object-oriented narratives." - Nicole Hand via thINK editions 2011

Features



PE: Combining Techniques

Thu Mar 6, 2014, 7:00 AM


Today I’m going to show you some cool ways to add a new level of interest to your work by combining different techniques into one artwork! This is otherwise known as Mixed Media.

What is Mixed Media you ask?

  • Mixed media, in visual art, refers to an artwork in the making of which more than one medium has been employed. - Wikipedia

Why would you choose to work with more than one medium? Well for starters, some things are just more easily executed if a different material is used. In other cases, you may be looking for a specific texture or surface that cannot be achieved with whatever you’re currently using. For example, printing or collaging a pattern can be more efficient than painting or drawing it by hand. Note that choosing to print or collage said pattern isn’t lazy, just a different manner of choosing to work. Also, by combining mediums you can find new methods of making!

Many contemporary traditional artists work in Mixed Media to achieve dramatic possibilities in their work.

Shahzia Sikander. "Chaman," 2000. Mixed Media, dimensions variable. Installation at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

James Siena. “Sequence One”, 2009-2010. Bound accordian-style book with 36 relief prints using oak blocks across 38 Masa paper pages. Page size: 14 1/2" x 18" (closed)

Onawa by MichaelShapcott

Michael Shapcott. “Onawa”, 2009. Graphite, Carbon, Acrylic, and a touch of Oil on Illustration Board
Below I list some examples of techniques that can be combined with each other or drawing and painting. Note that each of those techniques are not simply mixed media themselves, they must first be combined with one or more other techniques to create actual mixed media pieces. This is a brief overview of techniques that can be combined to create mixed media pieces from the Mixed Media gallery here on dA.

Collage

Collage can be combined with drawing and painting alike, and even dimensional pieces and sculpture. 

  • A technique of an art production, primarily used in the visual arts, where the artwork is made from an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole.- Wikipedia

''Describes Me" collage by SeltzerAddict

Freeing the Spirit by dancing-girl

Screenprinting

Screenprinting can be inserted into painting very easily, but also double for drawing in some instances. 

  • A printing technique that uses a woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil to receive a desired image. – Wikipedia

Detail - The Idiot poster III by reminisense

Dreamlike State by Xadrea

Altered Books

Altered books will often include cutting, collage, drawing, and painting. 

  • An altered book is a form of mixed media artwork that changes a book from its original form into a different form, altering its appearance and/or meaning. – Wikipedia

Altered Books - 6 by KeepItSimpleee

The Soul Has Illusions by magdalenamoon

Decollage

Unlike collage, decollage is creating the image primarily from cut of pieces of materials. These pieces can be drawn over, mixed with paint, or painted over. 

  • Is the opposite of collage; instead of an image being built up of all or parts of existing images, it is created by cutting, tearing away or otherwise removing, pieces of an original image. – Wikipedia

self portrait collage by fantomas1

Harry by patbremer

Installation Art

Installation art combines materials and space, often requiring several combinations of materials for the greatest impact. 

  • Describes an artistic genre of three-dimensional works that are often site-specific and designed to transform the perception of a space. – Wikipedia

The last you see Det siste du ser by rannveigfunderud

american muscle by landoncrowell

Image Transfer

Similar to screenprinting, image transferring can be a quick way to reproduce an image and it is often used along with water-based paints and mediums, but also oil painting. 

  • Transferring a photocopied image onto another surface with the help of solvents, heat, or acrylic mediums.

Yellow by SethFitts

Boolean by Trendar611

Watercolor

Other than using it on its own, watercolor can be combined with drawings or other painting techniques. 

  • The medium or the resulting artwork in which the paints are made of pigments suspended in a water-soluble vehicle. – Wikipedia

Organic by jamorro

The dream of the Blue Whale by yebbeba

These examples from around the Mixed Media gallery are not the only ways you can mix it up! The possibilities are literally endless as long as you’re open to experimenting with materials! Here are some handy videos on the “how to” of some of the above mentioned techniques:

Have fun experimenting!

 

:heart:Xadrea

 

 





For millennia, the body has been the most highly revered subjects in the visual arts. That's not new news for most of us though; even here on dA we see that most work here is figurative. The nude has been called timeless because it never changes, but I somewhat disagree with that statement. The body in art has changed multiple times over the ages, especially the nude. There's a big argument that the body (especially the female body) is too idealized these days, but I assure you, the body has always been idealized (and sexualized). The difference over time is what part is given attention to culturally.

The mature, lady-like image was displayed in modeling in the 1950s, elegance, exaggeration, hourglass figure (a more mature woman’s figure, motherly). In the 1960s, youth was displayed in modeling, informal, very slender (almost underdeveloped, boyish figure), pixie cut hairstyles, doll like facial expression, ‘little girl’ mannerisms, juxtaposed with gritty street photography, undercurrents of danger. In the 1980s, the supermodel reigned the catwalk; powerful women, athletic, healthy, and physically strong looking. In the 1990s the ‘waif-like’ model was in, unhealthy figures, and an anti-fashion aesthetic. Any way that the body is presented is an idealized representation of a real human. Even models on a runway are idealized and representations of the human body. 

Final Piece - Ideal vs Real by ShasonEfen

The body, fashion, and society all work in unison to create cultural ideals. Fashion dolls were the first ways that fashion spread out to the masses. Fashion was initially set by the upper classes. Beginning with the Gothic period the local municipalities promoted the fashion and fabric industry. The promotion of these products instilled a feeling of pride and nationalism for the people living in the area (as well as cultural pride).  Fashion dolls were sent around between diplomatic courts to spread the fashions of a specific area. The fashion dolls had to be delivered by hand, so fashion was spread very slowly. In 1396, Charles VI of France had his court tailor make fashion dolls to send off to the Queen of Bavaria and the Queen of England. The mannequin dolls also had idealized body types to fit with the clothing and that changed with the time period. But this attention and commodification the “ideal” was not only unique to women.

George Bryan ‘Beau’ Brummell was the inventor of “dandyism.” The dandy’s clothing consisted of breeches, swallowtail coat, and riding boots, each of these items was tailored to fit the body closely (this type of dress was English in origins, but made “fashionable” by French Revolutionists). The reason for the tailoring of the clothes was to match the active lifestyles of the dandy. Diet and exercise became increasingly important to the men and women of the 1880s into the 1920s, so the costuming of their wardrobes had to accommodate their bodies. Historian Charles Baudelaire recognized the Dandy as a pre-cursor to the Bohemian. (Bohemians were against the pomp and circumstance that surrounded upper class lifestyles and elected for a more simple existence.) Looking at the Dandy we can see the rise of consumer culture, in the pursuit of “looking cool.” Brummel also had strict instructions for personal grooming and physical exercise if one was to be a “true” dandy.

If only catwalks existed in the 1700s

When we look back even further through time, we can see exaggerations of the human figure, both clothed and nude, to “fit” into the fashions and ideals of the time period.

The Venus of Willendorf, c. 28,000 B.C.E – 25,000 B.C.E (discovered in 1908 by Josef Szombathy)

King Menkaure and Queen, c. 2490–2472 B.C.E (discovered in Giza Menkaura Valley Temple by he Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition in 1909)

Jomon Period Figurine, c. 1000-300 B.C.E (the “jomon” prehistoric culture was discovered in Japan by Edward S. Morse in 1877. Jomon pottery is the oldest that exists in the world today)

Funerary statue of the Anavyssos kouros (Kroisos), c. 530 B.C.E (discovered in Attica, Greece)

Augustus of Prima Porta, 1st century C.E (believed to be a marble copy of a bronze original, also this, and other Roman sculptures, were originally painted)

Mosaic of Justinian and Retinue at Apse Entry, San Vitale, Ravenna, c. 546 C.E (notice that the body is now completely understated)

The Crucifixion, Rogier Van der Weyden, c. 1445, oil on panel

(Once again, the body is hidden and understated with the exception of Christ)

Venus with Cupid, Dog and Partridge, Titian, c. 1550 (notice the woman’s rounded belly and other “symbols” in this painting)

King Candaules of Lydia Showing his Wife to Gyges, Jacob Jordaens, c. 1646 (Jordaens was heavily influenced by the work of Peter Paul Rubens)

A Young Girl Reading, Jean-Honore Fragonard, c. 1776

(Notice that the girl’s neck is elongated to avoid interfering with the neck of her dress or the graceful slope of her chest)

Lady Godiva, John Collier, c. 1898 (Pre-Raphaelite painters like Collier looked back to ancient Greek and Roman art as well as Renaissance paintings for inspiration. They focused on painting the female form as it appears naturally)

Denise Poiret, 1914 (Denise Poiret was the wife and model of designer Paul Poiret. Her naturally slender build combined with Poiret’s draped fashion designs led to the new ideal of a slim, almost boyish figure)

1930s Women’s Suits (notice the military styling of the clothing and the feminine “allure” is downplayed)

Men’s fashion Illustration, 1944 (notice the “boxiness” created by the men’s crisp shirts and high waisted pants drawing attention to the broadness of the shoulders)

1950s Women’s Dress Catalogue (Wasp-waisted dresses and heavy makeup)

Twiggy, mid 1960s (Twiggy brought “androgynous sex appeal” back into fashion. Twiggy has since been accused for promoting an “unhealthy” body ideal though she was naturally slim as a young teenager)

1970s Men’s Bellbottoms Ad

RollingStone 1980s Cover (An athletic build and healthy glow was an ideal of the 80s)

Kate Moss, 1990s (The gritty, grungy look was adopted into high fashion, as well as super thin models)

Fashion is not universal; it does not exist as one form over time. Fashion is extremely transient, almost ephemeral. Fashion is something that is social. How we clothe the body shows how we idealize it. 

I’m not afraid to admit that I have been jealous of fellow artists. Jealous of their skill, their handling of material, their ability to make whatever they were doing “work,” and even jealous of their recognition. But, while jealousy can be a good motivator to push yourself harder, it can eat away at your self-esteem and damage your work. I got the initial idea to write an article about this after reading a news article about Florida artist Maximo Caminero. Caminero was arrested last week after smashing a vase part of Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei’s exhibition in Pérez Art Museum Miami… in the gallery. For those of you unfamiliar with Ai Wei Wei:

Wei Wei, born 18 May 1957 in Beijing, is a Chinese contemporary artist, active in sculpture, installation, architecture, curating, photography, film, and social, political and cultural criticism. – Wikipedia

Wei Wei is also was held in jail on the false charge of “tax evasion” in 2011 in Beijing, but released three months later. The destroyed vase was allegedly over $1 million dollars (Wei Wei disputes that it was worth that much, but is displeased nonetheless).

Why’d he do it? Well, here’s his explanation:

"I did it for all the local artists in Miami that have never been shown in museums here," he says. "They have spent so many millions now on international artists. It's the same political situation over and over again. I've been here for 30 years and it's always the same. "We are all taxpayers here and PAMM used $200 million of public money on its building and opened with Weiwei's work to draw attention to itself and as always continues to ignore local artists."

There are several problems with his statement. To begin with, he himself is a well-known painter in his community. Secondly, PAMM does indeed feature Miami artists. Third, it’s not a good idea for any institution to ignore progressive artwork to favor local artists unless that is the purpose of the gallery’s existence. And you know what is even more ironic than all of those facts? Caminero is a professional artist; his work is very mature and well rounded. He should have had no logical reason to have the gall to destroy another person’s work. But all of this aside, the fact remains: Caminero was jealous. He pulled a Kanye and basically did this: 

On another note, Florida’s reputation has been getting worse and worse as of late, yikes!

What can we learn from this? Well, it goes a little further than just wagging your finger at yourself in the bathroom mirror and saying, “now don’t you be getting jealous.” Like most things we procrastinate about, envious thoughts can go unchecked and turn into really terrible actions. I’m not suggesting that any of us will go quite that far, but there are other things that can really eat away at your chances to succeed artistically.

 Becoming absorbed with what we “perceive” as failure in comparison to someone else’s “success” can really hamper whatever successes we’ve already experienced. Contrary to what most of us were taught in school growing up (or even at home in some cases), success is not a straight line from beginning to goal. It’s a lot of crashing, burning, rising again (yes again) from the ashes, and striving on. 

I’m fully aware it is much easier said than done to physically go after something you want. Everyone has roadblocks unique to him or her that are unavoidable on the journey through life. Yet, we can decide to not let difficulties hold us down and smolder in anger, or we can focus on getting to the place we want to be. Again, please do not take this as me glossing over extenuating circumstances in an artist’s life that can slow down progress or goal reaching. This is about jealousy and how it can hold you back.

Patience is a HUGE part of this as well. We live in a very “now” oriented world. If you’re hungry and don’t want to cook, fast food is readily available. News is almost scarily instantaneous and bam, right there on your mobile device, laptop, tv, or radio. You get concerned (or even angry) if a friend takes longer than 5 minutes to text you back. Getting what you want with your art is not a microwave cycle away. It’s a problem that only you can solve, and it will take time to build yourself up to the level you want to be at.

I don’t know Caminero’s full story, but if he wanted more Miami based artists (including himself) to be represented by PAMM, there are so many things he could have done other than destroying a work existing in the gallery. What can you do to achieve your artistic goals? I can 100% guarantee you that harboring jealously and letting that jealously cloud over will keep you very far from that goal. What can you do today, it doesn’t matter how small the action is, to further your artistic goals? You need not be seeking a career in art to have artistic goals either, it can be a purely personal thing! Turn that jealously around into positive action, rather than negative complacency.

One thing that I found to be very helpful in seeing how well my own artwork has moved along is doing the Draw This Again challenge.

Draw This Again Challenge: Hero/Heroine by Xadrea

This deviant took the challenge a step further and compared a character’s development over a period of six years.

draw it again by littleulvar 

Here’s a blank one if you’re interested:

Meme: Before and After by Bampire 

If it’s your desire to one day work in the gaming industry, make graphic novels, cartooning, or illustration check out these character design challenges developed by LuigiL and his group Design-A-Character:

Weekly Character Design by LuigiL

LuigiL’s personal character challenge 

Lifetime Challenge by kungfumonkey

DAC Theme: Lifetime Challenge 

Prop Challenge 3 by WesleyRiot

DAC Theme: Prop Challenge – Weapon Design 

Buddy Challenge by karioks

DAC Theme: Buddy Challenge

 If you’re a writer, there are oodles of ways to stretch and grow yourself! One really cool thing that I participated in a few years ago was a writing contest/challenge to write a story that could be read both backward and forward! It was really helpful to me and it might be to you as well: 

Broken Hope
The problem was, I had already married him... And what I had wanted to tell her was that I was pregnant. Our relationship was far from perfect, and I had managed to ruin nearly everything, but with her, there was still hope. I threw my arms around her thin shoulders and squeezed. She was smiling. I raised my head and looked into Mom’s face slowly.
“ When you were born, I put all my hope into you. I just never thought that I would see you growing up and acting out my hopes for you so soon. I understand your decision, Taylor, and I can’t change your mind.”
Mom stood up and knelt down in front of me. She took my hands into hers and pressed them to her heart.    
“Mom, I know,” I answered softly. “But your dreams for me aren’t mine, they’re yours. I know that you want the best for me, please…I want this so bad.”
Mom rubbed her nose with the sleeve of her silken jacket and kept looking at her lap.
“ I, love you

 But the sweetness doesn’t stop there! Here are some cool prompts and resources to aid with writer’s block and just getting ideas in general: 

100 Writing Prompts Challenge by Sunshockk

Writing Prompts and Workshops by jamberry-song

Lit Exercise: Fictional Races by Seabirdicat

I Challenge You! by phasingirl

 For even more challenges, check out the following groups:

:iconspeedpaintstudies: :iconphotohunt: :icona-challenge-to-write: :iconamigurumi-challenge:

Also, if you’ve not yet done it, visit the DrawPlz forum for some really fun and zany ways to connect with fellow deviants over images: forum.deviantart.com/devart/dr…

 Do you want to pursue a career in the art world? Do some research! Find out what skills you’re going to need, work on that resume, seek opportunities to show and sell your work. Talk to established professionals and network with potential clients! If you want to get a degree in the arts, call the schools that you’re interested in, schedule a tour. Speak to financial aid representatives to learn about funding. Check out www.artstudy.org/ if you're not sure where to start. If you’re already in art school take every advantage to absorb the environment and facilities you’re in! 

Seek ways to get involved. Volunteer. Donate. Teach. Write. Compose. Read. Grow. There are so many things you can do to quiet that green-eyed monster, and you’ll be so glad you did.

:heart:Xadrea




Waterbased Media!

I love water-based media! What is “waterbased media” you say? Well that would be any kind of water-soluble ink or paint! There are many advantages to working with water-based media, the main one being that many water-based paints and inks are not extremely dangerous to work with (in comparison to oils which are not good to get on your hands people…wear gloves!), there is no need for special clean up or a specific work environment (on that note, please PLEASE do not paint with oils in your living room).  Another advantage to working with water-based media is quick drying times. This is a pro especially if you do illustrative works. A third pro to water-based media is that they are somewhat cost effective for us starving artists. Here are some types of water-based media: watercolor, ink, latex paint, and acrylic paint. My favorite type of water-based media is watercolor. Tip: you don’t need to buy fancy or expensive brushes when you paint with watercolor, a simple pack of craft brushes will get her done just as nicely as that camel hair brush in the fancy art store.

Watercolor is one of the oldest kinds of paint used to colorize drawings. You can buy watercolor in cakes, in tubes, or in liquid form. I’ve found that out of all the mediums I’ve listed, watercolor is the most economical. A little three-inch tube of watercolor can easily last you for years. Aside from simply adding color to a drawing, or doing an outright painting, watercolor is unique to regular paints because it actually stains the paper. Don’t let the permanence of watercolor frighten you though; if you are painting light to dark (and background to foreground) almost any mistake can be painted over with some ease. That being said, there is less spontaneity in watercolor painting, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be loose with it either!

Other than its permanence, another thing that frightens people off from painting with watercolor is difficulty to control the medium. Let me say this: water is the vehicle. How much control depends on how much water you have either laid down on your paper or added to your pigment. Control is also dependent on the size of your brushes. Tip: if you’re having trouble controlling your watercolor painting, try painting wet on dry. This means you will not add water to your paper, so the watercolor will not spread out as long as your brush is not sopping with fluid and pigment.

Ink is an amazing substance all artists should have in their toolbox! A little goes a very long way, it tends to be waterproof once it dries, and it like watercolor, is highly permanent. If you’ve got nothing but a bottle of ink and a few brushes you can do quite a lot! Dilute your ink with water to get varying degrees of color saturation. Tip: since many types of ink are both waterproof and permanent, consider using them last when incorporating them into mixed media pieces.

Latex Paint is the stuff that your walls are painted with! Latex is polymer based and dries with a bit of a rubbery, matte surface. Latex can be used as a more flexible alternative to acrylic paint, or as a ground for oil paints to sit on (they can make an exceptionally smooth work surface). You can get latex paints by the quart easily at any home and garden warehouse for decent prices too, which makes them an excellent choice for painting with. Tip: although a lot of latex paints are water-based, not all are. Be careful to select paints that do not have lead or zinc in the ingredients or any kind of oily solvent, both are hazardous to your health.

Acrylic Paint is awesome stuff! It can be watered down to an almost watercolor like consistency, or, with the help of additives, be thickened up to behave like rich oils. Many acrylic paints are not totally opaque, meaning several layers of painting are required to build up a surface to your liking. Acrylics are generally waterproof and dry quickly (overnight for heavy paint application). Out of the other three mediums discussed, acrylics can be used up pretty fast, especially if you are painting a lot or painting large. An easy way to get around this is to use craft acrylics. Other than a thinner consistency that the acrylics I use normally, I’ve not found any problems with incorporating craft acrylics into my acrylic paintings. Tip: wanna keep your palette from drying out and wasting paint you squeezed out but haven’t used yet? Get an airtight plastic container, line the bottom with synthetic sponges and dampen them (do not make them soaking wet). Scoop your paints onto the sponges and close the lid. Your paint will stay moist as long as you need it to. Rinse out the sponges and container every so often to discourage mold.

Now that you know about some cool water based media, here are some cool things you can add to your pigments for gnarly after affects:

Salt: salt works with watercolor, ink, and thinned out acrylic paint. The salt granules will either dissolve in the water as the paint dries, or the pigment spreads out and gathers in cool places around the granules!

Red Watercolor by spooypress

Denatured or Isopropyl alcohol: rubbing alcohol works with all four types of water-based media. When dripped, sprayed, or rubbed onto the still wet pigment, the effect is something like water and oil repelling one another! The amount of separation requires on the volume of alcohol you are using. Denatured alcohol is a very strong solvent and should be used with care, but Isopropyl (or rubbing alcohol) can come in volumes of 50%, 70%, or 90% alcohol. I have found that 70-90% works best with that type (plus it is available at the drug store on the cheap).

Abstract Flowers II by HaanaArt

Plastic wrap: plastic wrap also works with all types of media. Bunch up plastic wrap or cut up plastic bags in wet pigment, it will dry and gather in the wrinkles of the plastic for some really awesome effects!

Gray - watercolor by jennyleigh

Water: dropping clean water back in and lifting it out with a paper towel works only with watercolor. Lifting out layers can be done to correct deep mistakes or revealing another tone of the same color by removing part of a layer.

watercolor basic techniques by MeredithDillman

Rubber cement: rubber cement works with all types of media. Use it to mask off areas in your paintings and easily peel it off when you’re ready to paint them! Rubber cement is MUCH cheaper than masking fluid, and easier to peel up in my opinion as well.

Untitled by rocker4God

Wallpaper paste: need to lower the opacity of your acrylic paint, but you want to keep a similar amount of viscosity? Mix in some wallpaper paste! It will thin out your pigment while keeping the same consistency of paint!

Introspect WIP by Xadrea

This was just a brief overview of the possibilities of water-based media, but I do hope you will try your hand!







*crawls out of snow heap*

Journal Entry: Fri Jan 31, 2014, 11:51 AM
Well I hope it's warmer and less snowy wherever you all are right now (though since the entire continental US is having Frankenweather I doubt it :XD:) So, late last week Grand Rapids was forecasted to get no more than 4 inches of lake effect snow with the lovely arctic blast that came through. Last Friday I was coming home from my internship shivering half to death in the -20 windchill and I'm fairly sure it had snowed more than 6 inches by the time I dragged myself into my apartment :XD: It snowed more than 2 feet overnight and blowing and drifting snow made it as deep as 5 feet in some places. Needless to say, I've not had any classes this week. School was cancelled on Monday morning at the last possible minute. Seriously, I got up at 5:45, got out of the shower at 6 and right before I was about to bundle as many clothes on my body as possible at 6:30, KCAD sent out the email telling all of us to go back to bed, not only were classes cancelled, the entire building was going to be shut down :XD: It stayed closed until Tuesday. On Wednesday, I ventured out of my apartment into the wintery north to attempt to trudge the two miles I normally walk to the bus stop. LAWL. 
I got a quarter of the way and had to turn back, the snow was up to my thighs. None of the sidewalks around where I live have been cleared, in fact because so much snow has been removed from the roads, it's been PILED LITERALLY 10 FEET ONTO SOME OF THE WALKWAYS. I didn't even try to go out yesterday because I knew shoveling had not yet occured, and today I tried to get out again via taxi and practically every taxi service in the county is preoccupied :| Although, I feel bad for the issues the south has been having with their little barely 2 inches of snow, Y'ALL AIN'T GOT NOTHING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT, THIS IS THE FRONT OF MY BUILDING:
House by Xadrea
And those heaps aren't from plowing, that was from snow accumulation and drifting snow on top of the half foot that's been on the ground all month already. Oh yeah, and the windchill was well into the negative teens until this morning :( Winter, what are you doing, Winter STAHP.

So, it's been a week since I've been to my studio which is not good at all. All of my classes are on Mondays and Tuesdays, so I didn't actually miss any lectures, but I'm behind on getting paintings started. I've got oodles of sketches, but I really want to get something going and all of my really good art supplies and big paper are in my studio ;______; Oh well, I'll try again on Monday. 

Now, normally, I wouldn't complain too much about being stuck at home. I'm a home body lol, I actually get excited when plans are cancelled because that means I can snuggle up with some tea and watch netflix without any pants on. But, because of the snow, my internet signal has been interrupted, and that means no WIFI D: Also, I don't remember if I told you guys or not, but all (and yes local too) TV channels in my area have been encrypted by XFINITY cable :stare: I have a very teeny collection of DVDs and only half of season 13-15 of Law and Order SVU in iTunes :| First world problems, I know, but I must complain to someone :XD:

Anyways, enough of my blathering, how are you guys? Making some cool art I hope? Staying warm? Wrestling yetis? 


  • Mood: Tired
  • Listening to: Sugar, We're Goin' Down-- Fall Out Boy
  • Reading: Dreams of Joy--Lisa See
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape 3
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: nothing

School is back in session *heavy sigh*

Journal Entry: Thu Jan 16, 2014, 12:48 PM
well as the title suggests, school is back in full swing and this semester is gonna be a humdinger of one that's for sure. i'm taking a theory based ethics class, a contemporary art history, and lastly painting thesis. now, i've technically already hit the halfway point for my credits requirements for my grad program, so that means it's also time for my review. the review is pass or fail (how reassuring XD) and it basically determines if you're doing well enough to continue in the graduate program (and also if you have decent enough work to represent the school as a graduate student). i'm not worried about my grades, i've maintained a 3.8 since my first semester here a year ago, but i am concerned that i don't understand postmodern theory enough to sound smart enough to pass my review XD. i would be less nervous if i knew what criteria i'm going to be both quizzed on and challenged. it was different in my undergrad reviews, the first one was the basics of art and whether or not you were grasping them properly, the second one was to see your artistic growth and whether or not you had an idea for a final exhibition. this review is judging how well read you are and whether or not you can deal with defending your work (yes defending, not explaining lol). on top of that i've got quite a bit of reading to do in my other two lecture classes and i've got to come up with a 40 minute lecture on ethics in a week's time :| on a happier note, i'm back interning at the west michigan center for arts and technology and everyone was happy see me yesterday (it gave me the fuzzies) i've got a lot of stuff to do there in the upcoming months, but it's fun to work with the kids and peeps there, so it's not at all a burden to me. oooooh and i'm gonna get tickets to see fall out boy in july!!!!!! so excited for that :3 

well enough about me, how's everyone else doing? did you survive the so called polar vortex with no damage? if you're in school, how's the semester treating you thus far?


  • Mood: Tired
  • Listening to: Sugar, We're Goin' Down-- Fall Out Boy
  • Reading: Dreams of Joy--Lisa See
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape 3
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: nothing