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Critique: Get it? Get it? Ouch!

June 8, 2009

The first drawing class I took in university had one hell of a critique. I came back to my dorm feeling like I couldn’t draw. My whole life was filled with me and my sketchbook and admirers. People were always asking me to draw pictures for them, asking to see what I’d done- the validation and approval was amazing!

And of course I improved, constant artistic output will do that to a girl, but there’s some things we just don’t see on our own.

And when we’re used to all this praise then it’s really easy to take it to heart. And then when someone says something different- that maybe my paint looks muddy or that the ear is in the wrong place, it can do a few things.

One: You don’t know what you’re talking about.

Two: Oh my god, I can’t draw.

Three: You’re Right. I hadn’t thought of that.

Four: Endless combinations of the above.

Combine that with the knowledge that all Avant-Garde artists’ art went unloved at some point (heck, isn’t the traditional thing to be Famous After Death) then sometimes it’s easy to get all, “You Just Don’t Get It About My Art.”

That’s totally not helpful. A lot of non-artists feel like they “don’t get art” as it is- we don’t want to encourage them to think that way!

And you know, there’s nothing like being a great artist like standing on the shoulders of those who went before- or however that cliché goes. So if we can take our egos out of critique for a bit, then…that’s a win.

And then we can go on and be FAMOUS ARTISTS. My set date for this is June 7, 2016. What’s yours? I think it will take less than 7 years to become well-known and successful, but influence and fame take a little longer. I’ve got some growing to do. And I just sent some of my work off for critique at the Photoshop/Comic Book Artists’ forum Gutterzombie.  Feel free to crit me, too.

Post It Note: This post was quite inspired by Havi Brooks.

Post It Note: Garfield Herriot is making me some food. You can check out his blog- but all you get is some FOOD FOR THOUGHT. haha. I get both! Win!


Free Voicemail- Get You A Business Line!

June 5, 2009

I think it’s really fun to say …somewhat…unprofessional things in voicemail. You know, like, “HEY this is Katana! I miss you, let’s hang out more- that’s why you’re calling, right? Sweet! Oh, you just wanted to talk to my cat? I’ll tell her to give you a call.”

On the other hand, I’m not sure how well that goes over with complete strangers. “Is this a business or does she think I’m her new best friend?”

SO if you get a free voicemail, you will always have a pen and paper handy when you’re taking down times for an interview, and you can leave a nice professional voicemail. My favorite one is “Thanks for calling. Now you will recieve a wave of good luck! Please leave your name, number, and prepare to have a great day!”

See the difference? Here is where you can get that free voicemail:


June 4, 2009

I’m over at my friend Garfield’s and he’s taken out a game called Stare. On it are pictures of tiny paintings which one stares at for 20 seconds, than answers questions. It’s harder than it seems.

Garfield tries to teach me a memory trick so that I can do better. Because physical is memorable, and visualization is a mind-power thing.

“Stand straight, relaxed, knees slightly bent-” he models this for me.

I follow his direction.

“Imagine a tangerine shaped object behind your head. Doesn’t have to be a tangerine–”

I picture a tiny monkey with a wide grin and cymbals.

He continues, “…but just about that size. Just at the top back of your head, right here, That’s where you want the information to go, Now imagine it floating back three inches… ”

i shriek and leap forward and spin around! All at once! Oh my god!

“Whoa!” he says. “That is not the reaction I was expecting!”

I say, “I imagined this monkey. And then it was floating RIGHT BEHIND MY HEAD WITH CYMBALS AND IT WAS EVIL.” Could. Not. Handle It!!!

Shiny Lycra Fabrics

June 3, 2009

Pam Hogg is a designer that makes these god-awful Power-ranger catsuits. People wear them, they are expensive, they are certainly not for me. Everyone has their niche, right? I am a firm believer that everyone has their niche. You wanna wear a catsuit? You will find someone who loves you in it. Maybe it will be easier to find someone loving you in your catsuit if you are Peaches.

Pam Hogg catsuit on Peaches, and Style Bubble blogger Susie

So Susie Bubble goes to try on some of these things. She looks like she’s having a blast. She looks like HEY wearing a catsuit MIGHT be a fun thing to do. At any rate, she did it and owned it. And catsuits are kindof as bad as wearing American Apparel sometimes, for example, Jezebel thinks AA makes you look like a fat hooker. It should be noted, Susie did NOT look like a fat hooker.

And Pam Hogg tells her to cease and desist. Basically, Susie is not famous and therefore had no business wearing the clothes that Hogg sells. Susie obliged-  taking her post and photos of trying on the catsuits, and in fact handled it in a very classy manner, despite feeling chastised and burnt. I was impressed.

point being: if you’re making art, and someone likes it FOR GOD’S SAKE, don’t be pretentious about it. Appreciate your fans. Don’t send them letters that make them cry!

And then go and check out Style Bubble.

Resources: Articles of Useful, not of Clothing

June 2, 2009

Oh, I love the lame jokes. Articles of Clothing. Get it? Oh man. Sorry, I’m really not trying to scare away my lovely lurkers, promise.

Anyways, I thought I would do a list of some things on the internet worth reading, proof that there are artists who are not starving, et cetera.

Shary Boyle on Kingdom of Style one of my favorite fashion blogs- regularly update as a bonus! Our Queen takes a peek at Shary Boyle- and I even got a little mention for pointing Shary out! Although I think I was second because I was so excited I didn’t notice someone said it first. Yay team!

10 Guerilla Marketing Tactics for Designers Keeping clients happy, encouraging them to stick with you as a freelancer. As long as you’re the one doing the marketing, this will be helpful!

Twitter Backgrounds A place to get someone to make you a twitter background. I make twitter backgrounds for $5, Perry-Belcher style, but if you make twitter backgrounds this would be a place to get started. Nice layout, easy navigation. I approve.

How to Make Money as A Freelance Artist Just what it says. More vague ideas than action steps, though, and I think artists have lots of ideas, not enough action steps. I’ve heard the idea “You should put your art in a cafe!” a zillion times, but has it happened? Nope. I am just as much a procrastinator as you are.

Create a Web Magazine An online magazine was the idea I had for my first website, All the Stuff. While I no longer maintain it, it’s still reasonably popular with the tween ringette crowd. The connection? Maybe you can do better than my eighth-grade self.

Daily Art Thing- Ferry Waiting Room

June 1, 2009
He was waiting for the Langdale ferry...

He was waiting for the Langdale ferry...

I only post Daily Art Thing when it’s A Photoshop Thing. To the detriment of many things in this world, I haven’t got a scanner. This is troublesome. HOWEVER! I am on the Sunshine Coast with a swollen face (an allergic reaction to god-knows-what). Oh well, If I can’t be beautiful today at least I’m somewhere with beauty!

And waiting for the ferry was this fine gentleman. I think it’s sneakier to draw someone when using a Wacom tablet (I’ve got a graphire). He didn’t notice a thing!

Twitter Backgrounds & A Fire Inside

May 28, 2009

My favorite band ever is AFI. I think Davey Havok is all kinds of pretty, and I use him as my good looking male archetype. I had pictures of him on the wall of my dorm room, and I bought two of the Black Sails in the Sunset CD’s- one of which I framed and is still sitting on my dresser at home. I would look at it now, but I’m subletting my apartment and won’t be living there for another week.

You’re like, “Katana, AFI sucks. You’ll grow out of it. Davey Havok looks like a girl. He has a whiney voice. Their drums all sound the same!” 

But so pretty! And I spent most of my time with Lady Gaga these days anyways.

Anyways, my point is not that every dude needs false eyelashes. The point is that we all like to have our favorite things surrounding us and we like to look at the faces of people we admire. So that is why you need a custom twitter background, so your followers can see who’s behind those clever things you’re saying and maybe find your blog and then maybe all kinds of wonderful social-media type things will happen.

This is not a post about why social media is awesome, it is a post about why if you have a crappy Twitter background it’s the equivalent of putting on khaki pants and a t-shirt that says “I’m out of bed and dressed, what more do you want?” when you go out to meet new friends. Chances are those new friends are not going to look like Davey Havok.

And yunno, if you don’t like Davey Havok, make your twitter background attractive to someone who likes golfing, and maybe you’ll find yourself a bunch of followers who are wearing golf tees over those khaki pants. THERE YOU GO! Win all around.