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Friday, September 26, 2014

Y1W36 Ramblings of a Perfectionist & Viridescent Back to Back!

Leonie's small blog island says hullo! (:

Here we go! A few figures and heaps of thoughts on the pursuits of perfectionists.


Let's go crazy! Journal Time.

Spooky green!

Year 1, Week 36 (17th to 23rd Sep)

  • Client project: well doing some of it! Can't show it publicly indefinitely though. 
  • Arm, back and shoulder strain self reminder 

  • SDC 2014 Week 3 Days 15 to 21 (Pencil Kings)templates, notes and exercises continues! 







And now figures, I don't have time to do as much as I would have liked but these will have to do for this week.


Notes and figuring out figures
Figures three and four
There were several other figure painting studies on the to do list (and I've started them too) for this Challenge for Week 3 but I have decided to put them on hold for now. Week 4 is coming! 



  • Gestures, People Drawing, Derp Doodles, Learning: Wello! More green! 
Ooh more posing
Pensive times
Spider? Get that away from me
Suparrr back stretching
Oh hey
Scribble chair
Huh?
Ouch
Grinning models from pajama catalogue page
What is with the hands at the shorts and trousers?



Other Adventures: 

  • Games (watching bits or all of it): hello. And so it continues.
    • Resident Evil 6 - Ada & Agent campaign ending - wow it was actually creepy with all the goo and yet much mixed feelings about this whole game
    • Mario Galaxy - snippets
    • Claire
    • Destiny - bg noise
    • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Case 2
    • The Walking Dead Season 2 all over again from a different perspective
    • Paradigm Alpha
    • Catharsis
    • The Midnight Game
    • Terraria
    • Hyrule Warriors - gameplay wise can get repetitive to watch but Zelda universe goodness. My bro's playing it also.
    • Nidhogg - amazing tug o war of mind games and strategy
    • Prologue for Ori and the Blind Forest
    • Dark Souls II
    • Left 4 Dead Versus
    • Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
    • Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition
    • Uncanny Valley
    • Phantasmal
    • Metro 2033 Redux
    • Citizen Burger Disorder
    • Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution
    • SpeedRunners
    • Evolve
    • The Forest
    • Murder Garry's Mod shenanigans


  • Workstation Approach: makeshift standing "desk" report! Week 3 of this and not fully used to it as some days, I'm just too tired to stand but I'm withstanding what I can.
  • Movies: I'm actually watching movies still...and realising that there isn't much good movies out there or they're tremendously hard to find.
    • October Sky - realised I actually watched this before on TV but I didn't know what its name was at the time. Extremely relatable main storyline. The underdog, fighting for your dreams kind of story. 
    • 40 year old Virgin - I saw snippets of the movie but never actually watched it all through. It's obvious about the ending, the matter is how it gets there and what message it delivers. 
    • Planes- I'm seeing how similar it is to Turbo. 'Cheering for the underdog in a racing context despite all circumstances' kind of story. Except this movie feels somewhat better in terms of character development even though there were still many things and character arcs that were glossed over. And oh, the stereotypes; was amused at the Australian racer name, "Joey Dundee." The end credits art and animation looked sweet. It is sort of a feel good, well done movie but I can't seem to connect strongly with the story as it feels formulaic and extremely predictable. Good one off watch though but I wasn't engaged enough to pay 100% attention.
    • Oz the Great and Powerful - This is the Scrooge story "I don't want to die; I can change!" revised? The Wizard looks like he has the word "untrustworthy" in neon lights across his forehead from the onset for me, an unlikable character. The story is simple, has exaggerated characterisations and it really does feel like a pretty cg rollercoaster show more than having a strong, engaging storyline. All I care about is how does this guy become the Wizard (knowing that they don't really die because it's a prequel)? I wasn't too engaged with anything else and yet it made sense in the end. Is Glinda old too like the other witches? She's immortal after all.
    • Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues - over the top with a mixture of amusing and cringe-worthiness. I didn't see any build up behind the fallout in the friendship but it's not a movie to be taken seriously. The son's acting did throw me off a bit.
    • Samurai Cop - it was not a movie I would seek out to watch but the commentary made it bearably a really bad movie. Ah sex scenes, continuity issues and silly ketchup blood.
    • a few other movies that are just for background noise, lame humour and storyline so I wasn't really watching it consistently. Or they're so unmemorable that I don't even want to waste time mentioning them.
  • Helped out and gave non art related interview rehearsals...Wow I can sure be blunt 
  • Food...?! It's marinated microwavable meat but...I ate spicy steak! Wow! I haven't eaten beef since...I don't remember! It tasted goood! I had to mention it as such food things as they are a luxury for me! O: I am like an alien with food so I am easily content when I try something from a restaurant, stall and most things prepared for you out there. 
  • Doctor Who Episode 4 Listen: ah Moffat paradoxes. The whole dating thing is adorably sweet. The head on the desk thing Dan Pink does. While the Doctor essentially was a stubborn smart curious kid who wanted to find out about those dreams. Overall good episode but the being under the sheets was never really explained. 
  • Games (played) Hyrule Warriors co-op Legend Mode - my plan: go the opposite direction my bro's going. Pumpkin soup eating whale being electrocuted by lightning. What is this corny, predictable fanfiction. Sore left hand...why do I tend to hold my controllers too tense?! A lot of button mashing and being prevented from opening treasure chests just because I'm the wrong character. And there's clones of my character because I'm player two. And I recall how overrated Midna is again. For Legend mode, we are up to the end of the three era arcs. Wii remote waggle waggle.



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Reflection for the week: On perfectionism & the Creative life


Hohoh. I ramble again this week as I think and explore like a silly philosopher.
Feel free to peep if you like. Though I imagine you're probably running the opposite way at the sight of this essay. That's fine too. (:



Whoa last week was about me & Marketing
You've survived and/or skipped last week's ramble (maybe I scared people away!) - either way congrats and you're here again! 

In short, last time I was reflecting on how I have much to learn as a socially quiet, introverted, reserved, attention avoiding, understated individual and that I am probably not the one to turn to for tips on marketing (getting yourself known) and networking (professional and/or personal friendships). 
I'm not proud of it but I'm not ashamed of it either. Well that's what I think of myself and I shall definitely leave it to you to judge what you think of me!

I digress! I am still working in those areas and I have the stubborn idea to take my time and do it my own way. I probably don't know for certain on what I'm doing but doing something relevant helps! Oh Derp, this is the only place where you talk about yourself without worry! So watch it! Perhaps I'm harsh but I'm allowed to be blunt and critical of Derp. Which leads perfectly well to...



This week. The standards of 'Perfect'.
Alright.
This time.
Perfectionism. 

How do I define this? In terms of actions, it's when you see someone controlling everything possible to live up to their high standards and values. 

Am I a perfectionist? Loosely I am probably. I nitpick away at everything that needs improving to my heart's content and yet I'm realistic, weed out what's not important and take my time about it. I don't have a concrete plan either as it's constantly changing around.

Positives of this is that one gets ambitious, one pushes themselves to do better to a self defined standard (and thus boosts everyone around them) and one can potentially achieve great things as long as they keep going through differing approaches and are realistic about their expectations. This is assuming we're doing this in moderation however.

And now the negative side of perfectionism, where it goes too far...




Constant comparing yourself to others; ultra competitiveness
Consequently you feel bad about your situation, choices and life and you blame others and/or yourself.

Common advice for this: to appreciate and cherish what you are and have, do your best, compare with your past self instead and strive to do better.

My thoughts: it's normal to compare yourself to others, when you size up who's in the competition and only see them as part of your driving force to do better. 
It's only a problem if your sole goal and obsession is beating your rival or idol or "friend/enemy". It's unfair as their upbringing and skill level will never compare or match. And if it ever does, what is left for you to strive for? Would you seek for the next person to target and "take down" then? What are you trying to prove and to whom? Is what you're doing what you really want and right for you? Or are you forever playing "catch up", leaving the joy in creating behind?




Snap Judgments with the people you meet
We've all done it before, looking down or distancing ourselves from strangers just because they're not like you and you assume that you won't find common ground.

Common advice for this: understand others with an open mind instead, everyone has their own battles to deal with, be conscious and aim not to make unreasonable presumptions. There's always something you can learn from someone.

My thoughts: This is a haaard one. I do plenty of this but not because I look down on people; it's our differences that makes life interesting after all! It's more of the 'not finding common ground' part as I do note non verbal communication, body language and sense whether there's mutual interest in getting to know each other. 

I do combine first impressions and observations (and whether I feel socially brave enough at the time) before I make any decision or judgement but even then there's probably loads of times where I've missed out on getting to know someone really cool. 

At this point, I'm just going with the flow and what feels comfortable really, given that I'm not at the socially overwhelmed stage. I will never know how accurate my assumptions are though whether it involved conversation or not. I strive to be open minded but I can't help but make observational judgments. Still, I welcome surprises and getting proven wrong! 



Your imagined ideal self who actually does the should haves, could haves, would haves; skilled and capable in every way

Ah high expectations and standards of yourself, the perfect self who is able to do all the things you wish you could do but could not due to limitations as a human being. It is common to forget this sometimes and it leads to self loathing and blame when you don't quite reach that level, make mistakes and fail. One can be terribly harsh to themselves and fixate on everything as if they were all under their control. And there's that feeling you're never enough nor ready...a fraud.

Common advice for this: to accept who you are, your limitations and strengths and use this to your own advantage. Allow yourself room for mistakes and frustrating times and let go of things you can't control.

My thoughts: not much to add as long as you keep striving. And if you want to be something, you need to believe you are that something already. That "I'm a fraud feeling" won't really go away until you experience the results of your efforts and are living the way you want to be in my opinion. In that respect, have a good idea of what your ideal life would be and work backwards from there. Something that wonderful must be earned and maintained; so you probably won't expect it to happen too soon anyway so be kind to yourself in the meantime.

As for me, I am much more judgmental of myself than others most of the time as I am increasingly aware how ignorant I am, the more I learn. I'm highly critical of myself but I make mistakes, I own it, I let go and move on and then keep going at least! Always learning new things about others and hence myself as a person. (:



Acceptance, approval, validation by the community you wish to join; social & professional status

Usually earned through accomplishments, respect, constantly working to prove our worth and value to others, by keeping up with everyone out there, trying to be fulfilled based on others' view on you, impressing others, skilling up and past that minimum employable standard, providing value to others, making friends in the industry and hiding behind a mask in order to stay diplomatic in the public view sometimes. 

This is where the fear of being judged for everything you do comes to play. 

Especially anything that's out of line or different from what the norm is doing in combination with the expectations of others imposed upon you. 

You keep working to prove that you're good enough or even the best at it. It's a cycle that never stops as you strive to do something equal or better than your previous best to your peers, those who inspire you and those potentially interested in your work. 

You want to belong. 

Positives of this is that it can drive you to do better in all areas. 

Negatives of this is that it's a potential workaholic cycle and can potentially lead to resentment and dissatisfaction with your circumstances and you are left questioning why you're doing this in the first place. 

This happens also to accomplished professionals of the community. If you have reached this stage, you feel trapped and you have lost a lot of that drive and direction in life because what you're doing is not what you're passionate about, at least not anymore. You feel sick, tired and jaded despite the great experiences you've had overall.


Common advice for this: Always do something you enjoy whether it is by taking your own little spin on things at work, do personal projects or take the brave leap out of the situation you're in. You can't please everyone so make sure you're sticking to your own standards, beliefs and values firstmost. 

Ah and the usual 'it's not what you know (competence), it's who you know (connections),' is what I hear often but I don't truly agree with the first half. Yes there are sometimes exceptions in the workplace but that's not for us to be concerned about and not always within our control. More on this later.


My thoughts: On one end, the loud and/or unhappy few would bring down others out of fear and insecurity just so that they could bring themselves up for their own gain. On the other hand, there are those constantly trying to please others which is essentially leaving themselves last in the priority list and hence everyone else's lists too. Usually we're sliding in between these two ends dependent on how secure we feel.

Where possible, don't do things if you aren't feeling genuine about it (terribly hard to do so all the time). Help others only if you truly don't expect anything in return (helping them was reward enough) and in turn, don't feel entitled that you have the right to pester people to give out their advice, tips, folio reviews, to give you a feature/publicity, to give you recommendations, to spend time on responding to you and whatnot (people have lives too! But if they do help you out, be super appreciative and somehow reward them for their kindness! Pay it forward even!) 

Or perhaps you have some clear agreement/expectations between both parties to scratch each others' backs and how. Whatever works and is fair! 

Everyone is trying to find their own way to be 'accepted' in the positive sense of connecting with others while being professional and competent at what they do. Sometimes what might work for others, won't work for you. I don't claim to know the answers as I'm always working out all of this. 

Back to the earlier phrase, I'd like to change it to "it's who and what you know", both competence and connections would be ideal. But if you're extremely good at utilising connections/friendships to get your foot in the door or if you're really at the top of your game in the industry (on level with other top professionals), then props to you! The reality is that you still need good amounts of both and this phrase itself is somewhat simplistic so I'll go a bit deeper...

I won't go far into the "who you know" as that's marketing/networking and I've talked heaps about it in last week's post. I would like to add that herein lies how well you can work with others and if you're good and pleasant to work with; at least you need to prove you can collaborate, communicate, get through hardships as a team and stay humble and reliable without an ego getting in the way. 

The "what you know" part is where you need to prove and show you can do the job as claimed. You have demonstrated the awareness and experience of the hardships and challenges that comes with the role you're striving for. 

Proving both points assures others that you're capable...and it never really ends as you're always proving yourself, whether you're a beginner or professional.




Personally for me for this whole topic...
Yes I am hoping to do personal projects again and like many others, I did do a leap of faith when I resolved to completely cut myself off from another profession, in my case, the world of high school teaching. Occasionally I still get asked if I'm going to go back to it as "backup" and it truly annoys me because the implication that I will quit being a full time professional artist is there. 

If it was earlier this year however, I would actually think about it but only out of fear and insecurity rather than for the admirable profession itself (maybe I'll teach in the future in a subject I'm passionate about! Who knows!) Luckily my gut feeling has constantly fought to cut that idea out of my system. Note that I can't really say I'm completely secure and fearless but I am more confident that in time I will keep collaborating in increasingly cool projects. Have hope.

As much as I do want to belong to the internet artist community, I'm not actively in it and am somewhat out of the loop by choice, at least for now. Can probably call me self serving and selfish because I simply want to focus on learning; arting; working; being with just a handful of friends; when reasonable, help those who specifically ask for me or whenever I want and feel I can make a difference; doing other life things and probably blogging/rambling to my crazy self. 

Where possible, I don't show who I'm connected to or who my friends are on social media because I really don't seek social status (as much as that sounds detrimental to myself or how selfish I am). I am terribly reserved in this area as I highly value privacy and I feel it gives the wrong idea and impression on my social status, connections and reach (obscuring how tiny it really is). I'm not saying what I am doing is the right way nor I am recommending anything as this is just me and my thoughts behind it

I'm in the minority as there are countless of great, admirable people who demonstrate how influential, successful and impressive they are just from these numbers and utilise this to their advantage - we all judge from these social media numbers; we can't help it. 

Let's just say I am part of the group that prefers to keep such statistics to themselves as I don't believe it means everything.

If I genuinely want to call out people and teams out of respect, admiration, gratitude, credit for teamwork, whatever combination of reasons...I will do so (which is why it doesn't happen often at all). Still I definitely welcome thoughtful interactions even if it's just to see if it goes anywhere.  




You could say I'm trying to assure myself that this is okay, despite sensing the pressure to go turbo, get out there, share what everyone else shares and do more. In time I probably will do more little by little whatever I choose it should be. 

To turn that around, arguably I am sharing back to the community an insight to who I am and my art by blogging yet who* really has the time to read everything I type anyway? 

I'm not going to worry, especially since I've lasted this long without caring too much! Here is my comfy place to articulate my thoughts after all. (:

*If by miracle you did read this "essay" (probably the only one person who did) then thank you. 
You're a curious one, aren't you? Thank you for indulging me! (:





What do I know.
Haha whether all this talk is nonsense** or not, I think that's enough "essay level" rambling for a while!


**Just figuring things out for myself and I respect those who have learned, earned and found ways that worked for them. Am open to respectful discussion. Just in case, note that my views do not necessarily represent the views of my friends! 





What's up ahead?

SDC will be coming to a close and I will be juggling with personal projects but there'll be some art learning for you to see too. (:

The fun journey goes on for all of us. 
Go forth, stay kind to yourself and keep adventuuuring you! (:

Hey. Take care.

Leonie