ARTING @#!$%

I don’t know if I’m the only one who feels this, or if it’s simply because of the people around me, but I’m constantly stressed out and frustrated when it comes to taking time off to do art. I’m not a full time artist, I’m not even a professional artist, and I don’t have the money to pay for art school, but I’m still in love with drawing, so the only way for me to improve is to take personal time to practice drawing. Ultimately I’d like to one day make drawing and illustrating my profession, but in order to get there I have to push myself to do a lot of work first.

I’m not certain that many people are familiar with the fact that drawing is fucking hard, and that it’s also a skill that you have to build on. Just like any skill, it takes a long time to perfect it, and even at a high level there are still things to learn and new things to do, and all of this can be achievable with a lot of practice at drawing the same things over and over again in order to get a simple gesture or a simple strand of hair the way that you want. Art is also very organic, and sometimes mistakes can lead to unique new quirks in a character design or a painting, but there would never be any mistakes to be made IF I NEVER HAD THE TIME TO DO ART IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Starting to get mad just thinking about it.

When people hear that I’ve been drawing, they expect a finished product, which usually I don’t have because when I say I’m drawing, I’m usually practising drawing a character or a costume or a pose. None of these ever get finished because they’re quick drawings where I try to capture the essence of what I’m trying to draw.

When people hear that I’m practising drawing, sometimes I get the, “I thought you knew how to draw” face. Just because I CAN doesn’t mean I’m GOOD ENOUGH SHUT YOUR FACE.

Sometimes people forget that I have to draw as much as I can as often as I can, and that I have to be drawing every single day to improve on my skill. It’s like learning to play a sport or even learning how to play Star Craft. I need as much practice as I can, and the thing with drawing is that after I learn how to draw one thing, there will ALWAYS BE ANOTHER FUCKING THING TO LEARN TO DRAW. But instead of going to a gym or taking lessons, I’m sitting at home with my headphones in hunched over a pile of papers, so obviously people don’t take that seriously when they assume that I’m free ALL THE FUCKING TIME BECAUSE ALL I DO AT HOME IS DOODLE LIKE A CHILD, especially since I haVE NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT AT THE END OF 5 FUCKING HOURS so OF COURSE I CAN DICK AROUND ALL THE TIME GO FUCK YOURSELF.

I think the biggest underlying problem with this is the fact that what I do is not connected to any institution, and therefore nothing I do on my own free time is significant enough to respect as a serious thing. I do not go to school, so I cannot tell people I’m drawing for homework. I do not work for anyone, so I cannot tell people I have to meet a deadline. I work basically for myself, and more or less for volunteer, and when it comes to that kind of art work people tend not to take the amount of effort involved very seriously.

But when it comes down to it I care about what I do a lot, or to be more accurate, I care about what I want to do a lot. Now that I’ve begun working on a project again, I’m trying not to get distracted by other things, but at the same time I can’t focus on that work constantly. Sometimes I need to take a break, and there is where another problem arises.

People see me when I’m taking a break because when I’m working I never socialize and when I take a break from it I tend to interact with people more often, so everyone only remembers the “me” that is not working, therefore I must not work. It’s the same fucked up parent logic whenever they burst into your room without knocking and catches you taking a break from your homework and assumes that you’ve been taking a break the entire time they were not in your room.

In conclusion GET LEARNED FIRST BEFORE YOU FUCKING TAKE A SHIT ON OTHER PEOPLE’S PASSIONS, SHOW SOME FUCKING RESPECT.

 

-kwin

 

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Thinking About Stars

After every big movie comes out in theatres there will always be sensationalist articles critiquing the movie, pulling on one or two loose strands in hopes that the entire fabric of reality comes undone. I read one for Godzilla when I came out and I’m ashamed to say that for a few minutes while reading it I actually began to dislike the  movie, and then I remembered how I felt while I watched the movie: awestruck. Of course the movie wasn’t perfect, but that didn’t stop me from liking it. These troll articles are clever in their use of controversial subject matter to over-hype something and make the worst out of it. They like to throw the feminist card in there to get people riled up, and when read out of context, or if you haven’t seen the movie yourself, it might even make a lot of sense. They will complain when there aren’t enough female leads in the movie, and when it does live up to the gender equality standard they will complain that the women weren’t “well written”. Even if these women were three-dimensional, emotional characters there will always be something wrong with them, something wrong with the way they were portrayed. As if they were the authority on writing women. Other tactics include insulting the naming tactics for the characters, poking gently at possible racism and using a director’s past work to undermine him. Some of it can be reasonable (doesn’t mean that it is), but most of it is exaggerated way out of proportion.

When it comes to critiques I much prefer this: 

So I watched Interstellar yesterday with a couple of friends, and I thought it was a great movie. I thought what they tried to achieve with the plot did not warrant harsh scrutiny in terms of science, because this was not a space documentary. This is a fictional movie, and it might that mean I don’t have standards when it come to movies, but all I was looking for from this movie was to be entertained, not to be educated. And I was. To be honest, the trailer did not intrigue me at all, so I was pleasantly surprised. I walked out of the movie really wanting to play Mass Effect. The plot twist at the end was corny and familiar, and glorified human capabilities. I had the same wariness for the trust that the universe places in humanity as I did when I watched The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)(which I did not like mainly for that reason), but that is understandable.

Of course when I read “The 7 biggest problems with Interstellar” I was immediately aware from past experiences that this was what I am going to coin as a “Troll Article”, which I guess could be classified under sensationalist journalism. It was not a real critique of the movie, it was shameless and desperate bashing. I was ready to write another post another article about how mad those posts make me, because apparently that is what this blog has become, but halfway through thinking about that I changed my mind. I realized that instead of watching the movie and never thinking about it again, this article impassioned me again into using my brain. Were the women poorly written? I didn’t think so, or at least I didn’t notice. Were there plot holes? Unfortunately. Did the dystopian world make sense? I didn’t see enough of it to form a conclusion, but it doesn’t matter because that’s not really what the movie is about. And ultimately, did I like the movie? Yes. It was intense, and I was stressed out through a lot of it, but I liked it. And I’m much more aware of my reasons for liking it now and can defend my position.

I’d like to say that this was a wonderful world where people look out for each other and Troll Articles are written to elicit critical thinking. That would be a glass-half-full type of assumption to make, and I’m not an optimist if I can help it. And even if these articles were written for that purpose there will always be people out there that will miss the point, unless clearly written out for them. I guess my point then, would be to think about troll articles even if they are infuriating. Like my rant last week, I had to actually stop and think about why the article was making me mad before I could put it into words and turn it into a post, and I didn’t write it in order to open the OP’s eyes. I didn’t want to change his mind, because I have come to understand that many people have closed their minds so firmly that they can’t even understand their own behaviour. I wrote it for my own benefit, to understand my own mind, and for the benefit for people who have kept their minds open, have yet to think about the issue.

So think about the issue.

-kwin

P.S. Interstellar 8.5/10

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BUT TROLL ARTICLES MAKE ME MAD

I always get mad at things I read or see on the internet, especially things made by trolls, and it makes me even angrier because I KNOW that they’re succeeding in their mission. That’s usually why I refuse to reply to obvious troll comments online, because 1) it’s a waste of time, 2) I don’t want to give them what they want 3) it’s common sense and 4) I get belatedly angry all the time. Sometimes I won’t even know I’m mad about something I read or was said to me until a day later when it’s too late to make a difference. Other times I’ll be spitting and red in the face but I won’t be able to put into words the reason behind my rage and I’ll have to sit down and write it all out and think about why I’m angry and why I think what was said or done was wrong and whether my anger is justified or not. Let’s face it people, ain’t nobody got time for that shit. Point is, when I’m angry, I rarely have the right words to say, and often come up with something better when it’s too late.

SO, why make the exception for this? This is one of those article that like to tease a sensitive topic (one man, singular, telling women, plural and universal, what to do) for attention from all across the internet. Whether intended or not by the author, it’s a troll article, because of many reasons: 1) It makes too many assumptions, 2) it is made up 90% of one person’s opinions and is under-researched and 3) it tries to pass off all these subjective variables as law, and dictates that certain behaviours are wrong or should not be done. There are many reasons why I should ignore posts like this, such as the fact that it is mostly made up of opinion, and that this guy is free to write whatever he wants on the internet, or that there are many people in the comments already voicing the same objects as me, or even the fact that I hate voicing my opinion because even though I know where I’m coming from and is confident in my own voice I can’t be bothered to defend myself against people who are obviously wrong (jk, no one is wrong on the internet, right???). What can I say, I’m just that lazy most of the time.

HOWEVER, recent events have changed my mind about being soft-spoken and with-holding with my words. I’m tired of letting passive-aggressive, narrow-minded, self-important people walk all over me all the time, so obviously I’m going to take it out on the internet. And this time I’m so horrified, maybe more horrified than this interview on CNN  that I had to stop reading the article several times to remind myself to breathe.

Ladies, Please Stop Doing This On Instagram
THIS IS THE ARTICLE IN QUESTION. I am so torn right now between telling you to go read the article, or telling you to boycott this one and others like this because they don’t deserve the clicks or views or comments or whatevers. BUT, I don’t have much of a following on this blog (thank you to those who do read this crap), so I don’t think any of those suggestions will be taken into consideration by many people anyway.

First off, I would like to point out that this article is extremely androcentric and therefore extremely biased. Why are men not mentioned in this article? Because I have seen my share of artistic, personal, pornographic male photos out there (thanks for that, Tumblr), but their self-esteem is not under attack here. Hmm. Sit on that for a bit, while I move on to other problematic issues.

Take your assumptions, for example. Do you know all of these young women on Instagram? Have you talk to them, sat down with them and gotten to know them? Probably not (since you think them so lowly and unworthy of your approval), so how do you know where they get their self-esteem? And during that non-existent conversation with them did you also ask them why they’re on Instagram too? Maybe they’re posting these pictures not because they think that’s how they will become happy with themselves, but because they’re happy with themselves? How would you know? You don’t! So shut the fuck up! You also don’t know what they do for a living! You don’t even know their age! They could be 25 and fucking successful, and just because they post pictures of themselves on Instagram you instantly assume they are unemployed and worthless. They could even be 15/16 and be working towards their future career. You. Don’t. Know.

Two can play at this game. If I were making assumptions I would assume that you, as a father of a 15 year old girl, feels guilty about how aroused you are by these photos and need to defend your ego by attacking others and displacing blame onto other people, telling them what they should or shouldn’t be doing so that you can feel like a good person. Not “contributing to rape culture”? You are part of it, because that’s the kind of logic behind victim blaming. Instead of teaching society not to rape, you punish women for getting raped. It’s okay for a pervert to be a pervert but not okay for people to post pictures sexy of themselves?

But I’m not going to do that (even though I just so totally did, in your face), because you could be a well-mannered guy and a good father except you have a medical condition where you come off as a jackass on the internet (that was a joke, not an assumption, if you missed that).

Also don’t you dare, as a man, talk to women about our self-esteem. In a male-dominated society, girls are taught growing up that our self-esteem needs to be defined by what other people see, so yes, in that case you are right in that “[women’s] self-esteems (or lack thereof) being fuelled by the wrong things”. This sentence implies that a woman’s self-esteem comes from beyond what she might be aware of, but instead of discussing the real issue of media’s tendency to objectify women (which you had SUCH a good lead into) you attack the women directly, who are surviving the only way we know how to, the way that society has taught them to. Again, victim blaming rears its ugly head. It’s not the media’s fault for teach our precious daughters wrong values, it’s our daughters’ fault for falling into that alluring commercial trap that you would never have fallen into yourself! Not in a million years because you’re so great and smart ermagerd.

In many cases it is difficult for women to feel comfortable in our own skin and love the self that we see in the mirror, and just when we feel confident enough to wear our own skin proudly you tell us that we can’t and it’s because our confident isn’t real? Guess what, you are also dictating what women should do in order to be “happy” or feel “beautiful”, and you are also dictating how women should define themselves. Just because a woman doesn’t get paid for taking a picture of herself doesn’t mean she’s not allowed to take these pictures and post them online. By your logic, if I don’t get paid to play games, then I shouldn’t touch a video game because I’m not a professional? You’ve GOT to be kidding me. Yeah, if you’re going to go into technicalities I guess she can’t be considered a “model” or whatever, but she can still do modelling. I’m not a professional gamer, but I can still play games.

Let me also give some advice. If all of this stems from your concern for your daughter, why don’t you get off the computer so you can be a parent and teach her values yourself instead of complaining about women on the Instagram? Society doesn’t have to be  something abstract and intangible. Society can begin with you.

P.S. And you’d better start soon because you are part of the problem.

-Kwin

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Something’s Not Right

In my final term of university, a lot of the courses I take are meant to be credit whores, meaning I really don’t want to care about them, I just want the credits and I want to get out of there.

Lots of people probably don’t understand this kind of thinking without context, and here it is: I HATE MY MAJOR.

“How can you hate your major, you chose it?”

Trust me, no one is harder on me about this than me. With every course I take I feel like I’m furthering my doom. 22, and no skills to transfer to a work-place? Growing up sucks, especially when you’re a loser.

But the one good thing about my university experience is my minor: Psychology. I don’t think I’ll ever pursue a career in the field, because I’m just not driven enough. There are a lot of things that I want to do in life, and psych is not one of them. However, it is FASCINATING, and in most cases I can always look forward to going to psych lectures and understanding more about myself and the people around me.

However, like I said before, this is my LAST TERM, which means I CAN SEE THE END, I can almost TOUCH IT, so whatever energy was in my reserve to care about anything is almost completely drained. Nonetheless I still think my psych courses are interesting, especially personality psych.

Except I HATE IT.

And for the longest time I had no idea why I hated it so much. Was it the material? Definitely not. Although personality psych is one side of the spectrum, and biased onto itself, it is still interesting to explore aspects of personality and understand a bit of what might go on behind the scenes to drive a person’s behaviour.

Did I hate the prof? She was cheerful, seemingly friendly, and her lectures and engaging to a point. Granted she seems lazy and never shows up to our exams and showed two whole movies, but there was no reason to hate her for that.

Perhaps it was her slides. They are overly simplified, and a lot of the points are kind of useless because they’re so obvious. This isn’t a first year psych course, but it sure feels like one from reading the slides. For a while I decided that yeah, I hated this course because everything was too simple, too black and white. It was one or the other, and no spectrum in between, and the personality traits were treated as good and bad. People who are extraverted are the perfect definition of a healthy mind, and those who are high in neuroticism need help because they are prone to anxiety and depression. That’s not the whole truth, and I know that because this isn’t the first psych course I’ve taken, but it’s presented without any other alternatives. It makes me feel like she doesn’t care enough to go into the details, that she only cares about our results on the midterm and not our learning. It sucks learning about aggression when she presents aggression and violence in males so stereotypically, without bothering to go into any causes and theories. Men are angry because they’re testosterony. End of story? According to her lectures? Yes.

But I didn’t write a rant about her because her lecture notes are so one-dimensional, because I realized that that’s actually not the reason why I hate her class. The real reason is that all this information about personality is presented as though there was a right way for people to exist. If you have an unhealthy attachment with your parents as a child, then chances are, you will be fucked up and that’s too bad for you because that’s wrong and good luck with that in the future. Too bad you’re neurotic because in this society you’re a freak. You should try to be more extraverted because those people are born right, but well don’t try too hard because you CAN’T change who you are. Depressed? You need to correct your existence because look at the general population. They are happy 65% of the time while you are sad and pathetic! Everyone in the world should be happy and content most of the time, so why aren’t you like that?

I’m probably biased myself, because I’m neurotic, and introverted and have a tendency to be depressed very often. I have a very unhealthy attachment style and every now and then I feel like there’s no point to anything because I’m useless. But never in any other classrooms have I felt so personally attacked because of the way I am, simply because of the way a slide is worded, and in this cases its not one slide, it’s almost all of them. I’m not even a minority, I’m just human and I am, for some reason, wrong.

To me, being neurotic is a way of life, but in a lot of ways I am like a lot of people. I have breakdowns where I cry my eyes out and snot is just guzzling out of my nose. I have excellent days where I feel like I can conquer the world and I am the only person I want to be. At my set-point I am probably less “happy” than the average person, and because of that happiness to me is not real, and that’s how I cope with being who I am. I don’t have a white-picket personality, but you know what, that’s what’s normal, bitch, because nobody does.

What grade would I give this prof ? F, for fuck you.

 

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Immortal

(It would help set the mood of the poem to listen to the song as you read!)

It would never have amounted to anything.

I knew this before I even began,

An amorous habit,

and it won’t die.

Is it you that I adore? Or is it the feeling

you inspire? Isn’t that all I’m ever after?

Lone-poet, -writer, -artist, -lover

While that feeling lives

I will never die.

Because when I’ve forgotten the setting

When I’ve forgotten the faces around us

I’ll have preserved you

by creating you through my lens

and you will never die.

I am selfish for keeping this a secret,

instead of letting you in on it,

but I wanted to keep it forever

and have it live still with that hope

I wanted it to be immortal

and to never die.

wg

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Huuuuuh?

I thought this blog was meant to be a place of liberation, but somehow I’ve manage to make my words heavier than my physical body.

This isn’t right.

Where can my thoughts go to be by itself, free from my flesh, but still able to have material?

Maybe WordPress is just too professional a setting for my fleeting thoughts. It’s so concrete, and I am fickle.

[Insert long philosophical sigh] I guess I’m still not sure who I am yet, or I am in that ridiculously awkward phase of transition. A work in progress indeed (although that is no longer relevant since my blog is no longer called a work in progress. I think I’m going to go change it back).

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School, Ferrets and ABCD Motivation

After I climbed out of that pit that was 2011 I don’t really like to gripe about how shitty life is because I have rediscovered things in life that I want to do again, but because of school I actually wish I was dead so I don’t have to deal with it.

I’ve pinpointed a sign of relapse into the “bad place”, and that’s an unquenchable thirst to play games. This is actually how I dealt with the Bad Year. Gaming provides “cheap thrills” while wasting a lot of time that I cannot afford, especially when I need to be working on other stuff. There was a period of time at the end of summer 2012 when I was so motivated to work on my personal projects that there was no need for “cheap thrills”. I had absolutely no desire to play any kind of games whatsoever, because there was something more productive out there that is both rewarding and exciting for me to do.

Now that I find myself tormented by academic obligations, the warning symptoms are slowly beginning to creep up on me.

I keep saying that I’ll stop ranting about school, because school is something that I have to get through, and complaining is counter productive, but when it comes down to it, school is just not a place where I thrive. It’s slowly eating me alive and making me hate everything.

But I’m not saying school is wrong. There are people who are masters at it, people who are more patient, more tolerant, and have greater abilities of undergoing hardships, and even people who have moved past it and are able to utilize school for their own means; people who are natural geniuses, who are tuned into the academic frequency. I’m just saying it’s just not right for me.

So what do I do?

I’ve found motivations for life, for happiness and for the creative processes. I’ve been trying to find motivations for school, and every now and then I think I’ve honed in on one, because although I believe I’m mostly self-sufficient in most other aspects of life, I am heavily reliant on inspirators as a motivational force.

Perhaps the inspiration comes from a certain text that I have to read, or from a professor, or a fellow student, but the inspiration is short-lived. In the end my degree of not caring is greater than the inspiration. Is this possibly because I am in a major that I don’t thoroughly enjoy? I should wish that it was, but I’ve explored many fields of my faculty (the only faculty in which I believe I belong: Arts). For visual arts I felt that a grading system was pointless and the students pretentious, and I was creatively blocked for a year by taking creative writing courses because of the narrow style the program focused on.  At a basic level, PSYC is the only department that I have an affinity for, but regardless of how much I like it, I simply do not excel in an academic environment.

Does this sound like I’m making excuses for being stupid? Maybe. I certain feel stupid when I’m on campus. I also feel a lot of pressure from people that assume my loyalty to academia because of my enrolment in university.

What am I even talking about any more? I have a midterm and a presentation tomorrow, and I would like to sleep before midnight, but I don’t see that happening.

But by writing this I’m not trying to come to any solutions or concrete answers. What I’m going through isn’t an object problem that could be solved, it’s more of a subjective, internal dilemma that will probably continue until I’m done with school. Talking about it like this just makes me feel better, most of the time.

Then why post it on a blog instead of writing it down in a journal somewhere if I’m not looking for answers? I guess it’s a natural narcissistic tendency. It makes me feel better to imagine that perhaps someone might read this and that might ignite a certain train of thought in them, and that I was responsible for that spark of internal monologue. It’s not like I’m really expecting something truly profound to happen, it is just helpful to imagine it.

That’s how I am motivated most of the time. A = something that I want to one day achieve. B = a source of inspiration (could be unrelated or related), either a person, a piece of artwork or an event. C = the potential of what could be in relation to B if I achieve A. I don’t know why I used letters to substitute those things, because there isn’t really any formula that happens. I guess A + B creates C in my mind, which creates D the motivation which might make A true some day. I don’t think I’m making any sense.

An example would be: A = I want a ferret. A source of inspiration (B) could be a person with a cool ferret. C would be dreaming that if I had a ferret, then I could go to the cool ferret conference and meet that cool ferret. D would be the motivation which will make me work for the money to buy the ferret, which might render C true in a universe where there are cool ferret conferences.

I AM CLEARLY JUST PROCRASTINATING NOW.

But I do feel a lot better.

Thanks, myself.

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Linkin Park: Vancouver

Going to the Linkin Park concert felt like closure. The band is like an old boyfriend who I regret leaving. He has changed, not for the worse, not for the better, but in a way that I am capable of understanding but don’t really want to understand, so I’ve been holding on, hoping that maybe some day I’ll turn around, that some day I’ll see, or that maybe one day everything will all be explained to me, like in some cheesy movie.

I don’t feel changed after the concert, not changed in the way that is dramatic and life-altering. The concert was one last connection. If anything, everything remained the same after the concert, that LP had changed and that I had changed; we’d both grown in different directions, but after the concert it just felt more okay than before.

Hearing them play live, seeing them in person right in front of me was like a metaphor for change. They are still the same band, with the same members, playing the same instruments, and despite all their new songs, the old ones are still with them, marking the path that they had taken, the path that I followed them down for a certain time, and no matter how many new albums they release, those songs will still be there, and Chester will still rip the stadium apart with his heart-stopping screams.

If you think about it in terms of a person, how much can someone really change? I don’t listen much to rock now, I’m investing my time in completely different genres, but when it comes down to it, I still love those old songs. There is a park of me that is still the same person that I had been before, the part that played a Linkin Park album on repeat for hours on end, first listening to the song, then to each individual instrument, breaking the song down, and that won’t ever change, no matter how many new tastes I acquire.

And as a final memento, I picked up a souvenir at the concert that was quite unexpected, like a small, personal, parting gift.

Overall I think I handled that break-up pretty well, don’t you? 😉

In all seriousness I still fully support Linkin Park, just not in the way that I used to. And I still can’t believed they opened with Faint.

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Kevjumba

It seems like there are a lot of people out there who are thinking about the Kevjumba/YTF situation. I’ve been a bit busy to follow up with YTF and their member statuses, but it would appear that Kevjumba is no longer in YTF (if you look on the new YTF Legacy page you can see that there are only six members on the front page). I’m just writing this quick post because a lot of people are talking about it, and knowing the internet, a lot of people are giving both YTF and Kevjumba shit for the split. This is like Jay and 2pm all over again … except not as bad.

It seems to me from Kevin’s most recent videos that he’s working really hard to pursue his dreams, and that these dreams might not coincide with the vision that YTF has in mind. However, no matter what they choose to do, they’re not doing it just to hurt anybody deliberately. It would be fun to assume that there was a big explosion of drama over the split and that there were disagreements on both sides. Fun, yes, so write a fic about it. I don’t really know what happened, and to be honest, I don’t really care, and not because I don’t care about YTF or Kevjumba, but because as long as they keep doing what they love to do, I’m content.

I’m sure there are a  lot more posts out there more helpful than mine regarding the minute details of their lives and why Kevin left YTF. This is not the place to find those details. I love YTF and I love Kevin, because they inspire me, but I’m not about to sit at my computer forever and let them inspire me for the rest of my life while I could be out there doing something instead while keeping them in the back of my mind.

I’ll never forget that Kevjumba was in YTF, but things change. Sometimes we might not like that change, but that’s life. Let’s say that was a bad reason why Kevin left YTF. If they weren’t entertainers then it would really be none of our business. Even if they are entertainers its still not really any of our business as fans.

Fans are meant to support their idols, to motivate them, to love them (but not too much ok) and to cheer for them.

Or to blow wind at Ryan Higa

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