Weeks 41 & 42 Learning to use a smart device, game talk and lessons from frisbees

Leonie’s small blog island says hullo! (:

In this post: PV updates continue, budget tablet and frisbees, starting to use right arm for drawing… and I got a new subheading about non “art learning things” I do.

Let’s go patiently. Journal Time.

Week 41

23rd Wed: student film meeting & shenanigans

  • PV progress: was catching up with people day so I was drained by the end of it due to my introverted way of gaining energy (not because of people of course; stressing that I enjoyed spending time with great company)! Aside from that, things seem to be right on track and thanks to the team, there’s a dozen more shots to be rendered to get a basic film out. Very grateful for my team’s understanding during this time of recovery and I trust that the film will get done soon.

24th Thur – 29th Tues: lefty at work again

  • Arm strain update: looked into gyro powerballs once again for arm rehabilitation purposes (then decided to order one to try it out) and poi dancing exercises as recommended by kind people who’ve experienced it before. The pain itself is almost not there but as the form of a slight dull ache but I’m not going to jump to conclusions and shall remain patient about it. I had to miss out on drawing animals for now for another day. Dull ache, please go away! My patience was being tested for sure.
  • A lot of other non-art things irrelevant to this blog but I did cut out a lot of my About page! I even considered not blogging altogether until I get better but that wave of helplessness went away.
  • Feeling quite isolated with the world moving on without you (as it always does) while I’m not keeping up to date with social media that much anymore. Sort of out of loop with the people I know, yet it feels so liberating at the same time!
  • Reorganised my workstation for the umpteenth time but I heaved everything to a stable table. Unintentionally took off my backrest when I only intended to take of my armrests of my chair; needed extra assistance to screw it back together again as it was strenuous.
  • Portfolio: had to change the preview images as pointed out by feedback I got several weeks ago. More CSS/HTML fiddling also. My portfolio’s real plain at the moment yet I like how minimalistic it is; this internal conflict and the fact that I want to make even better art is nagging me. Need to keep reminding myself that it will keep changing anyway on the whim of the moment.

Week 42

30th Wed: Restlessness. Q.E.D.

31st Thur: witnessed Halloween craziness

  • PV Progress: helped a bit with the film’s production packet for tomorrow’s assessment with some Halloween shenanigans going on while I popped into uni. Great to see people again with a bonus helping of pizza, garlic bread and candy. Ah, it’s not often that I eat unhealthy food so I make the most of it.
  • Arm strain update: phantom dull soreness that can be forgotten unless arm used again too long. Had a look into elastic arm braces and it turns out my arm circumference is too small for size small. The only thing that fits was magnetic and too much constriction for me and I wasn’t sure about it so I didn’t get it. Meanwhile, gyro powerballs are hard; finally got the hang of rotating it and it was intense! Shall do it daily, along with some Chinese exercise metal ball hand exercises and lathering of deep heat cream.
  • Portfolio: got a Google Nexus 7 2nd generation for portfolio purposes in the mail at last. I haven’t played with a smart phone let alone a tablet before (yes I’m behind)! Very damaging to my wallet but this is relatively a budget tablet and at least I’m finally not too behind technology…I just need to learn how to get used to using this big smart phone (without phone capabilities) with my stubby tiny fingers.

It has hangouts, gmail, google+, chrome and all that…not sure how to make an offline portfolio effectively yet. But with this, I’m a kid with a new gadget! Had a go at Sudoku (on Easy for now), Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride on it and I now fully realise why smart devices are so distracting yet convenient. Suddenly a whole new world of possibilities opened up for me as I played around with it as a smart device beginner. Real glad I don’t have constant internet access with this or a smart phone with an internet plan else it will be hard to disconnect from the internet world. Someday Cintiq Companion…?

1st Fri Nov: Position: Vacant Assessment Day

  • PV assessment: the team worked hard and did well towards the assessment criteria; we’ll have to nitpick the film as a whole next week for screening purposes. Generally everyone was exhausted though. Found myself watching a movie on a classmate’s tablet, getting tips from people on figuring out how to best use tablets (because I am a newb) and peeping at other people working on their games and projects. I started a nitpick list for the film with the help of Will and Victor.
  • Portfolio: got an image only version of it on my Nexus finally! Woo! This is the main reason I got this tablet as according to Heath’s suggestion. All else was bonus fun and learning (and distraction).
  • PV feedback: got some!

2nd Sat: Intense Workout with Frisbees

  • Wait, frisbees?! Decided to turn up to a session and do something different and used my left arm as much as possible. See reflection below for details. Arm strain still present though. I planned to draw something substantial later in the day but I was exhausted so it didn’t happen. I did doodle with my stubby small finger on my tablet but it looks horrible for viewing haha.

3rd Sun: decided to use my right arm…had enough!

  • My signature: got myself doing something with my RSI arm while being mindful of it. Still sore from yesterday’s workout session too. It’s my TripleUinfinity egg again with my real name underneath. For those of you new to this egg of mine, the eyes and mouths make up the three letter “U”s and its bow tie is an infinity symbol. I took long breaks in between drawing this (so small steps) but huzzah! I drew something!
Still I decided to stick with the one on the right as a signature. The egg shall remain here as a silly blog mascot instead. Or maybe it will be my signature. Decisions, decisions. Hopefully I’ll stick to this one longer than my previous one.

4th Mon & 5th Tues

  • Compositional studies very slowly…wasn’t feeling physically great

Reflection for the Weeks


Other Adventures first: Frisbees and Games

  • Pokemon: The Origin anime is terrifyingly awesome and more like it should be with the game plus rapid character development; essentially I reverted back to my kid self and squealed in awe. The nostalgia of the original 151 and my core experience with Pokemon was with the Red version. Haven’t done much with the game series since as I’ve lost interest (same could be said with most anime in general actually).
  • Tapped through Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations and remembered why I found some parts of Ace Attorney games frustrating; I don’t consider myself a fan but I felt the earlier games are generally well written and satisfying when you finally solve cases. I realised later that I’ve played this game in another life too as I kept having deja vu moments.

At least it’s a game that I can play without intense button mashing (ie my arm) but I didn’t play all the way through; I stopped playing in the middle of case 2. I had enough of the gameplay and recalled how I was so glad it was over when I played it to the end another lifetime ago. The ridiculous dialogue, most of the charming characters and the interesting cases are great towards a visual novel but as a game, it’s not for me.

  • Frisbees under hot sun: I do light exercises regularly now but this was intense. There was strategy involved even and I couldn’t keep up fitness wise. My runners were left at home as they weren’t durable to begin with but I now regret that; sore feet!

Chatted with a lot of cool, well traveled and kind people (who kept giving me frisbee tips and encouraged me during the rounds as I am terrible, as a beginner should be). Hearing their stories and their action packed lives made me want to travel even more. Yet this means I need money, thus I need a job to sustain anything fun, social or adventurous.

Aside from alerting me to the fact that I need to become more fit, this random frisbee session I decided to do (really out of character for me as I am definitely not the sporty type) made me realise that there will always be a battle for me with self doubt and social events until the day that I can find my own two feet with my own independence, financial stability and career.
I might come back someday to play but only when my dominant hand is ready for action (as my left hand was no good during tense action) and the big one…when I am more stable, financially. Ha. See them in 5-10 years? Perhaps I’ll have an active social life and new experiences by then? Maybe then I can travel the world with great company too? I’m thinking worse case scenario here, mind you. Am still very glad I went to this session though! And who knows? I might be traveling earlier than I expected after all (10 years from now) haha

I’ve been foregoing anything resembling a social life for most of my life anyway but this year, I’ve been picky in social and industry events and outings as transport isn’t always flexible for me. Although I’m comfortable and usually content being a hermit and learning art when possible (ie this blog documents it), I can’t afford to go out too much anyway so I’m going to try to aim for something social/fun at least on a monthly basis (while the optimistic plan is biweekly or even weekly).

Of course, learning skills and finding a relevant and/or sustainable job is my top priority. BUT I’ll go out of my way to go to sketch meets and some industry events especially when my arm’s completely back to normal! I believe it’s getting there, slowly! Let’s all be tenacious. Invite me if you know of any local Melbourne ones; would be great to meet a few more people! (:

  • The Stanley Parable: looks splendidly amazing with well written dialogue! Would like to play it for the game design questions it challenges and brings up.
  • Watching through the game movie, Beyond Two Souls between breaks. Then I found myself doing a whole marathon of the game then saw all the endings. The story kept me watching, most scenes were well written in the emotional sense (though was she shedding tears in almost every scene?), Cole is my most liked character there, all the endings left me conflicted and the structure forces you to join the dots yourself as it jumps all over the place chronologically. An awkward nude scene makes a come back in QuanticDream games but at least there’s no crazy matrix stuff going on like in Indigo Prophecy. You find that you care about most of the important characters as you decide on whether you have them live or die (hence influencing the ending). Still, it’s really a ride you’d experience once at most.
  • “Today, I am a pony god.” Got shown Scream Fortress 2013‘s amusing Unicorn Hat and Bird head Voicelines from Team Fortress. I don’t play it anymore as I’ve lost interest but the comics and events are usually well written and interesting.

Art learning: weekly updates and social media

  • Nothing much during these two weeks unfortunately as I’ve just started to get back into it! I am slowly figuring things…what is drawing again? Haha. It’s going to be tricky finding a balance and getting back into it again.
  • It seems like I’ll be back to weekly blog updates! Hooray!! It won’t be much but I’m slowly drawing again so…see you next week!
  • Social media hiatus is done: lurking mode continues as my default now and I sometimes might comment or like here or there, like a ninja. I’ve cleaned out some clutter and the feeds I get so please assume that I’m out of the loop with facebook feeds, twitter feeds and the other social media channels. But! I will keep up to date with emails, blog comments and fb/twitter private messages/tagged comments.

I’ve been enjoying the extra couple of hours of free time each day I’ve gained from letting social media take a back seat and automating as much channels as I can so I can focus on what’s more important. It will be a slight change of mindset as I already limit my internet use already but it’s still guesswork towards reaching some kind of balance.

Ah. Speaking of my personal facebook, I’m going to start posting a few of the sketches from this blog there too while my facebook art page is just for finished stuff (or maybe I’ll just leave the page alone).

Thanks for reading & feel free to comment below! (:

Until next time, Leonie