2015#13 Waddling at Adelaide & My Experience with John Nevarez’s “Storyboard Illustration For Movies” Masterclass

Leonie’s small blog island says hullo! (:

Warning: Super duper long post!! 

The Hermit actually travels solo for almost a week!
I really doubt it but just don’t let my father know too much about it haha

What I’m going to do:

  • tell the whole journey as a chronological story
  • provide my thoughts on John Nevarez’s fabulous course at the end (skip to the end if that’s what you’re looking for but you’d miss the shenanigans along the way if you’re rushing to the end like that haha)

It will be a mix of daily journal entries and masterclass thoughts as noted in the contents below! :0

Lastly I feel like I must state the *obvious* first up: there won’t be actual course content here because it does not belong to me and will be unfair for everyone involved such as John himself and all the students.

But if you *really* want to learn from John himself, please do seek him and/or his representative to explore whether he could teach his course at your institution. He’s pretty busy already as I understand it but he is also open to doing story and film art as a freelancer. (:

Here are his links and wonderful, muscly, expressive artwork:

Okay that’s the introduction/disclaimer out of the way; doodles, rambles & photos incoming! 😀

Let’s go! Journal Time.

You will definitely need this!

Year 2, Month 9 (2nd Sept to 6th Oct)

Leonie Yue’s Sketchbook Collection (before Adelaide)

Can we hold hands? | Art study continues! As usual, a mix of already public (on social media) & not shown art in this blog post from the past 4 weeks (:
Wot wot wot hoot hoot hoot I’m not a female hoomin!
Art study with this cute creature. And being self aware with all the ladies I draw haha
Hot Red; Art study.
Couldn’t help but Smile
Art study continues; shall keep marking as such unless it’s not (:
I could not fathom | Art Study
I’m not surprised | Art study, spring and thin faux leather jackets
Glamour up; it’s Showtime | Art Study
You don’t need Wings to Fly | Art study
It’s a Moi | New profile picture hello 😀
Leonie is Evolving!! | My history of stiff, awkward walking. :0
Not better yet; causes for the swelling feet is still unknown.

Before the trip: Wait Leonie, aren’t you injured?!

Yes. Well as you can see in the illustrated comic above, I can still waddle about the place! I only started not using my crutch 6 days prior heading out for Adelaide too. I used these 6 days to get used to walking without it and it gradually felt less sore. (:

Essentially what my father finally told me as he finally accepted that he couldn’t change my mind. Note that from the beginning he is on the belief that I was heading for Melbourne’s CBD instead. Shushhh I got a traditional Asian dad.

If I showed that there was any struggle with walking, it would also be used against me from going. Yes, I have to be stubborn and fight to go to things. To be fair, my clinic doctor said prior that I should “Live my Life” and dull the pain with painkillers instead. She had a hunch that it shouldn’t be a problem, given how the feet investigation is going.

Well okay, I trust that. But I won’t use painkillers where possible. 😀

I wasn’t 100% sure if I should be go and if I was going to make it worse. But I made up my mind and was going anyway! I saved up my money for this course and accommodation with some sponsoring help from family for food so it’s time for some Adventuuuring!

Adelaide Day 1: Getting Settled, Art Gallery & Museum

Terrible doodles but all the same, it was part of the trip! 😀

Train ride and then an overnight 10 hour long bus ride from Melbourne to Adelaide!

Waiting for my bus for Adelaide
I actually got to eat Garlic Bread!! :0 Whoa!
There was also a kid with two toy Melbourne trains and colliding them with each other. Tiny Passengers died that day.
They were going for Sydney. What’s amusing was this couple looked my way when they checked whether people were watching. Haha I just acted otherwise as usual!
The Sydney bus headed off first as I waited for a couple of hours for my bus.
People also waiting for Adelaide
Oh and then I asked for a luggage tag:

My Bus driver: You don’t need a tag!!

Me: Yes I do!!

Bus Driver: Why do you need a tag?

Me: Because it’s in the rules! And my tag is a terrible makeshift thing!! (I don’t want to lose my stuff!!)

When he checked my luggage and then checked me in upon entering the bus:

Bus Driver: Do you snore??

Me: No!

Bus Driver: We’ll see tonight!

Me: Uh…

Bus Driver: You’re sitting right behind me. We’ll see. 

Me: O____O; 

Sidenote: This same conversation happened twice with him. For the record, I didn’t snore haha

Other quotes from this sassy, hilarious driver talking late into the night to his passengers:

You know, it’s the blood moon tonight. People say that we’ll be dead. In the morning, we’ll all disappear. We’re all going to kick the bucket. I’m skeptical but let’s see. Last time it happened, it was said that we were all going to die but I’m still here!

I’m not Dracula but I’m from there. If you make things difficult for me…well. It’s a blood moon. Who knows what will happen to you. Ah. I’m not a vampire but how would you know, eh? 

I got to Adelaide 6am in the morning and I was disoriented with the map & with the slight timezone difference

Found my hostel and left my luggage there since I couldn’t check in this early.

Breakfast of delishhh! :0
The Adelaide map I found!
I drew the map I found because I got no GPS
Well I just spent my morning taking photos, making sure I knew where things were & got some life utilities too. My feet were starting to get a bit sore as I walked in my bulky sneakers but it was bearable.
Look at this cool Post Office Exterior! 😀
Getting the sense that Adelaide’s CBD is a more quieter and smaller version of Melbourne’s CBD in hindsight.
Town Hall? I didn’t investigate too far but it stood out to me.
These flowers caught my attention (:
Look at this sweet architecture
Where the flowers came from; gosh so many of my photos ended up blurry because I couldn’t keep my hands still with my fiddly phone 😐 I always made sure I “focused” before snapping too.
I found the Adelaide version of Daiso!! :0 I actually went there several times for things and I found a good black marker/ink pen (you’ll see it in use later on) and so I bought what was left before I departed from Adelaide. 😀
Does Adelaide worship EB Games or something?
Rundle Mall! Look how tiny I look (the central figure with the red bag in the reflection)!
It’s called the Mall’s Balls, I later learned from John :0
❤ the architecture!
I found some Adelaide piggies
Bright sunny day it was!
Some more cool architecture
Bright morning hey, Your Majesty?
Sire, is this your house?
Just wanted to capture the arcs and the splooshes
Remember to read kids. Ebooks, audiobooks, online articles, physical publications, whatever that rocks your boat!
Hey Art Gallery time!! 😀 My legs were in pain so I went in to sit and rest first up though!
I doodled what I could and then was able to do an art tour with a very enthusiastic lady 😀 I really should do an actual tour for Melbourne’s gallery. Braindead from the information of the tour too.
I’ll talk about the 5 legged mangled horsesexhibit later.
Yep I ate chips as lunch (the food at the gallery is costly for me)! Sore and exhausted, I fell asleep on one of their sofas and someone woke me up for better or for worse, thinking I was in trouble.
Anyhoo, I saw a lot of indigenous crafts & artwork too.
I wasn’t physically feeling it but I didn’t want to waste my time of hobbling around and standing for long periods of time on my sore feet at the art gallery…so I figured I should now take photos where I am allowed to.
Hey have some wondrous sculptures of figures 😀
During the tour, these were made by German craftsmen in the late 1800’s with Australian product & materials.
They immigrated here to pave themselves better new lives.
More German Craftswork! A pair of Germans did this and someone actually used it as a table by accident; look at those detailed patterns!
German Crafts-work
German Crafts-work
German Crafts-work 😀
German Crafts-work once again with cool looking chairs
The female Polish Artist who created this used moulds of real dead horses to create resin versions of them and stitched in the fur and hair. There are no heads and consists of 2 bodies merging somehow into one, 3 legs tied upwards and 2 legs spread across the floor.

It was placed in the middle of the room and it was hard not to ignore for the sake of shock value. These were made way back when large horses were bred specifically for war. Surviving War horses were too expensive to bring back home to Australia and so when their role in the war was done, almost all of them were shot.

The artist’s father was a butcher hence the meat hook being involved as part of the symbolism. The whole exhibit is almost as tall as the room. Essentially the tour guide told us that the message is “We are all flesh”. This is a loud call for compassion for War Horses and animals in general.

Buck with Cigar – he’s so proud and shiny! More information about Buck is here and here. 😀
Cool Shinto Deities!
Actually, there was a lot of Contemporary Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art going on too if you’re interested; more info at tarnanthi.com.au as a sign of support!
The most famous painting of the whole gallery. It’s beautiful.
It showcases the hunter and gatherer way of life, an Aborigine family doing their thing alongside nature. Collecting food with hand weaved baskets too (examples of which were on display nearby). The still reflections are incredible (made with impasto I think) and there’s actually a tiny slither of a crescent moon in the sky (that my phone couldn’t capture)!
Why did I take a photo of this cool sofa/chair? Well countless times, I just sat here and napped a bit, ranging from 15-40 minutes. My feet were in pain and I couldn’t walk/stand more than 30/40 minutes at a time.
I kept feeling like taking off my tight sneakers off as they were really compressing my sore feet badly. And I wasn’t running on much sleep due to the bus ride.
I think you got shot with his arrow
The human condition
Bad photo but another famous painting! I remember studying this in Year 8 Art! :0
Drovers trying to stop the sheep from getting too far into the billabong/river and drowning themselves! The painter smudged the sheep for that smokey, motion blur effect 😀 A very patriotic painting, representing a snapshot of the Australian way of living at the time
An amazing sculpture of a female nude
Each figure of this religious piece is a puzzle section on its own!
They were painted separately and later meshed together I was told!
It was fascinating and scary to see all these mangled but intricately made figures and diorama as the story unfolds – wished I made the time to read up on it or asked about it
This was representing deaths of Children and Women living in war-torn countries
This is the skin of a tattooed pig. What happens is that young pigs were drugged to get tattooed so it expands it when they mature into adults. The tattoo ink poisons and leaves the pig inedible and so it becomes a commodity instead for its skin when they kill the pig? It has a madonna at the centre and a Mickey at the bottom left.
This whole process is definitely not my cup of tea.
Look! The skeleton is even sculpting itself with a knife as if he sculpted himself until death (self commentating artist about how long this carving takes him)!
Two angles of the same sculpture! Carved out of one slab of limewood which is an incredible feat.
It looks up to the heavens too. “Why am I doing art anymore??” Haha
Look at that detailed linework!
Some kind of ethereal feel here. And you can see a faint reflection of me D:
The tour guide mentioned that it was representing people of poverty & dire circumstances suffering & calling for help? Not 100% sure.
I am unsettled by this painting because her face seemed resigned to her demise while his expression is “don’t be ridiculous” and looks pretty annoyed. Or maybe the dog is ordering what the man should do haha
A snapshot of a short film. It’s a true story about a man who made a pact with his dying, sick wife to kill her, their 2 dogs and then himself. So he does it but failed to kill himself through electrocution with his toaster and consequently got charged for murder. Before his trial, he managed to walk into the ocean to fulfill his promise to his wife.
A real Waterhouse Painting!!! :0 So beautiful!
Oh gosh a reflection of me as I attempt to take a photo of this really nice piece
The 4 million painting by Camille Pissarro! :0 Really intricate!
Well it’s nothing compared to Monet’s 40 million price range, I was told.
And this is the end of my Art Gallery snaps.
Museum time! I only had two hours left before closing as I spent all day at the Art Gallery.
Loads of photo snaps as follows!
This is the only non blurry photo of this gallery area.
I guess I was really physically not up to making focused photos haha.
This is an incredible collection so I snapped some of them that caught my eye!
As much as there’s jokes and scary stories about, this is what’s really in the common Australian’s suburban backyard :0
Probably about over 2 metres tall when fully standing upright!
Look at these cool jaws!! 😀
Sections of the Great Squid
There were a lot more amazing dinosaur exhibits but they all turned out as blurry photos 🙁

And then I went back to my hostel and took a much needed shower.
Ate dinner with a roommate I just met! Spicy rice noodles & sweet & sour pork! 😀

Forced to get an upper bunk bed though and had to apply pressure to climb up with my feet but what can I do.
At this point my feet were in desperate need of a LONG rest thanks to all the walking about everywhere so I hobbled to bed, making sure my feet could breathe and were elevated.

Adelaide Day 2: Masterclass with John Nevarez Day 1

Woke up early and my feet were still sore but it wasn’t as bad. Not a good sign.

It’s probably because I pushed it so hard the day before, looking at things.
So I bought two ankle supports to wear for the day and I think it didn’t make it any better!

Got some ham & egg croissant 😀 And doodled it
I dropped some food bits though to my dismay; I don’t eat with a fork & knife usually at all haha
There was this really fancy vase in front of me too!
These amazing looking coil things in the Myer Centre
Looking up from the elevatorrr
Get some architecture in here
Hey, even the elevator escalator gets screentime
I used this chair so much over the next several days because of my feet.
The provided me with some needed breaks between periods of walking. :0
Well this is where the class takes place! I’m not trying to advertise them in anyway but I’m just showing as it is; this is where I did it (: Don’t know how it’s like to actually study here as it’s something out of my financial reach anyway
Hey this is my setup right at the front row! 😀 Water, Vietnamese bread roll lunch, sticky notes to remind myself about ports on this old laptop and my makeshift booklet. There’s the ink pen (closest to the viewer) I bought shown too!
My view of the Instructor’s Desk. Now you can visualise the setting for these classes 😀

I sat with the enthusiastic Jasmine Rosetto (she was in my team when I did the Pixar Masterclass with Matthew Luhn & Andrew Gordon as I blogged before in 2014); she generously treated me with afternoon coffee (kept me awake) for the following 4 days too. 😀

Sidenote: She also reminded me how bad coke/soft drinks are.
I learned from her that when split on the concrete, coke gets treated as a chemical spillage and that it’s not even safe for sewerage/drains – so how is it safe for our organic human bodies?
Later on I remember watching this youtube video demonstrating how putting a dead rat in a bottle full of Mountain Dew completely dissolves everything into gooey mush (even bones) within the week. D: Eccak! 

Here goes the bits and pieces of work I did for John’s class:

I was trying to get used to using my laptop + intuos combination again.
All the scribbly! This is all I can show as there were demos and presentations too for Day 1.
How much do you charge for business? Ni How Ma?
I was heading back to my hostel after class and it was just 6:30pm! The scary thing for me is that my feet were in desperate pain mode so I couldn’t run if this guy actually got up and chased me down. >:
This is the only negative thing that happened for the whole trip, don’t worry haha

In other news, I got some BBQ dinner from the hostel – I almost missed it! 😀
Adelaide Day 3: Masterclass with John Nevarez Day 2

My feet were not doing that great and I was afraid that I can’t get around anymore. Pretending to walk normal isn’t going to work if this keeps up! I finally got the idea of not wearing my bulky, snug sneakers at all and stick with my loose sandals. Packed away the ankle supports too because it felt uncomfortably tight. As the days went by, my feet finally felt better.

I guess no tight fitting shoes for me! I learned what not to wear.

Free Pancakes for the morning & got my Bread roll lunch again.

And…back to Day 2 of class!

Quick Gestures with our great model John Nevarez haha
Volunteers entered the fray
Drew this guy from reference because Jasmine was telling me to haha

A lot of presentations and demos followed.

This was homework from the first day but this set of panels I’m showing here is my 4th pass since getting the feedback I got from John so he hasn’t seen these. Originally they were traditionally drawn in pencil and pen.
Wrestling with storyboarding scribbling.

Nandos Mild Peri Peri Chicken for the first time as my dinner!
Mmm, I’m hooked! <3

Adelaide Day 4: Masterclass with John Nevarez Day 3

The last day for this course! Nuuuu!

Where I got my Vietnamese bread rolls for lunch; they’re very friendly and took the effort to get to know me! (:
So much weathering on this pole here :0
My sandals + socks combination is a crime against fashion apparently but I’m past the point of caring. I’m just happy that I’m not in too much pain when I walk haha
The fact that I can walk without being obvious about the situation is good enough for me!
Put your stinky bottoms here yep
Good morning Adelaide
This entrance stopped me in my tracks as it looked so new compared to everything else around it.
I feel pressured to walk faster when I cross these roads so I hobble over even when I shouldn’t need to D:
This is so relatively clean!!
I just really like the foliage and silhouette
I wished I had the extra funds to get a chocolate tour and buy some chocolate too >:
Someday *stares*
Can someone explain what this does? I am so confused.
Again, these outside benches are so clean!
Really early morning at Rundle Street

Okay Day 3 sneaky artwork doodling during class:

Mostly art studies of males based on the art of others.
Lineup of characters from paintings
Doodling him as he was lecturing & demoing. He mentioned that there was Rugby on almost all the TV channels at his hotel room (Grand Final weekend for AFL – Aussie Footy Weekend was going on).
Perhaps it was actually rugby – but people in class insisted it was AFL haha! I’m not a footy person but hey, it’s a big thing for Aussies that there’s even a public holiday for it this time!
Art by John Nevarez | Time for class to end so there were people lining up to talk/get doodles from John.
I asked for something “awesome” for Sonny and John kindly drew me Super Hero Sonny! (John’s lead cat for his personal project; Look out for his Sonny project! 😀 )

So it ends and I got some pizza dinner with the class and found out about John wanting to do some sketching the next day with whoever’s interested, yay! 😀

I didn’t feel I fit in the usual CDW crowd socialising as half of the people were leaving and it was getting late (and yes I don’t want to bump into that creepy guy along the way back again). 

So I went back to my hostel to do some extra homework and rested instead haha

Adelaide Day 5: Sketching with Peeps (including John)

Originally I just planned to watch a movie or something since my bus back to Melbourne is at night and I’ve packed & checked out from my hostel early in the morning as required. I didn’t really have anything to do.

So getting to just sketch with John and other classmates was even better! It ended up being the four of us hanging about. (:

Witness the scribbles below the resulted from it:

Elderly couple eating together
I’m trying to squeeze the life out of my texta/marker.
Oh hey, I draw John again haha
Warped perspective! From left to right: Winson, Jasmine, John and lower bottom right is my hand
Wonky perspective with the inspiring John being part of the observational doodle.
I kind of lost track of time too as we kept drawing.
I’m not a talkative person but seeing Jasmine being infectiously happy was a joy to be around!
There was a young girl peeking and John generously got her to draw by lending his materials. 😀 She thanked him, got to draw some things and showed him too for feedback. And then he drew her Mike Wazowski as a gift (just in time before she was going to leave!!) and she exclaimed joyously “Mikey!!!” when she finally realised what the drawing was. Such a sweet moment!
She was very appreciative as well as her oblivious family when she showed them haha
Hey fellow artists out there, she might become an artist and be our boss some day! 😀

After almost 4 hours of sketching and John being generous, we eventually went our separate ways.

Still, I didn’t know what to do as my bus doesn’t come until very, very late at night.
What do I do in Adelaide for my afternoon and early evening??
I guess I made up it as I went.
But first, I was hungry as I haven’t eaten lunch at all!
Ate my last meal of Nandos and I decided to spend my afternoon here to doodle.
This is my view of the outside!
This is the interior of the Nandos I was at; basket lights! And my purple was dying.
That sunglasses couple was suspicious of me D:
There were three ladies talking to each other with great emotion but I didn’t understand what was being said.
One of them is pictured here
For some reason this came to be!
All the Real Talk left an impression in my mind!
Drew some more people before leaving for my hostel to collect my luggage.
Didn’t know what else to do during my last moments in Adelaide.
I was sitting at the hostel’s waiting room for a couple of hours when I did these…that’s how lost for ideas I was
Drawing the sketching times from memory
Starting to feel a bit achy in my feet so the waddling happens now and again
I guess I entered introspective mode gosh
Hmm…I don’t know who this is haha
More scribbles of people I see. There was a sweet moment of helping this lady watch her luggage as she when for the washroom and then she kindly did the same for me 😀
Random note: It was really hot at Adelaide so got myself a simple lemonade icy pole
Finally got on the Melbourne bus and noted figures in the late, late night during one of our breaks
Trying to sleep in the bus failed so I drew instead
This movie starring Dwayne Johnson as Hercules (2014) on the bus was going on.
Essentially an entertaining ride but I napped through some of it due to a headache.
I did find myself looking at how well they executed the whole movie, sans the predictable story. Look at those shots! Thanks John; I’m analysing movies I’m usually not interested in all of a sudden! :0
I was listening to a podcast at the beginning but I struggled with sleep.
I needed breakfast but my soggy bread roll from yesterday wasn’t that great.
Train people on the way back home and rambling with my bro

And then hello, I’m back at Melbourne!

The past two weeks: Overall thoughts on the Course & Trip!

The Masterclass
Something clicked for me somehow; before John’s course wasn’t sure how I should segway myself into storytelling. I didn’t think I articulated this that well to him in person but now that I’ve got some time to reflect and revise my scribbly notes about storyboarding…let’s see how this reflection goes!

To begin with, I haven’t been too confident in storytelling – I usually feel that I need to find a well developed meaningful message/core/theme or even some kind of whimsy, crazy, fun, interesting hook to convey. If I were to make up my own story, I’d want to work on something I care about in some shape or form at the least (nothing is completely original!) It’s the “preparation & skillset buildup that must be done before I even begin” kind of excuse.

Since I’m so used to building my way up through a comprehensive process, I’m not efficient at making up stories on the spot and doing improv; it’s something I need to practice!

“I’m not an entertaining, charismatic performer or writer!” is the internal voice that usually stumps me.

I don’t feel “enough” to develop my own stories and working on available stories by others has been under consideration many times – and yet again I don’t feel ready. Then these excuses prevent me from attempting fun, silly short and nonsensical stories sometimes!

Thanks fear & perfectionism! Shoo!

On Storyboarding:
I am still inexperienced with storyboarding as my focus has usually been on characters thus far. Storyboarding isn’t alien to me but likewise, it’s not something I have practiced on a regular basis so I insist that I am a newbie!

Thanks to John, I realise I need to keep storyboarding as something I must learn in due time and expand into. Not even a maybe.

Why? I’m probably stating the obvious but as a self educated learner: for me, storyboarding is similar to comics in that they are both about communicating stories through a sequence of visuals. Eventually I aim to exercise muscles in this area because I believe visual storytelling extends far beyond just a well executed piece of beautiful artwork.

And one day, I’ll be able to proudly publish my visual stories that people would enjoy! Or even be a part of something bigger that I truly believe in! 😀

Other Classmates:
I saw only a couple of familiar faces (including Jasmine) and greeted a handful of new cool and skilled people!
Hope to see them around in the future! 😀

In terms of actual “socialising”, not too much (I still don’t know most of the people there) as I’m pretty much solo once class ends (people have homes, existing friends and lives!)

I end up heading back to my hostel to do homework & relaxing until bedtime. If the designated “socialising with everyone” stuff doesn’t happen, then it doesn’t – I’m not going to force it! Plus, my feet needs the rest anyway haha

Back to John’s class:
Without going deeply into course content, the key thing I relearned is that I should just have my messy fun with storyboarding; stop caring how presentable it looks as long as it does its job. I felt the freedom by keeping that in mind consciously!

It’s not a thoroughly advanced class where students get assessed for progress – that’s not possible within a three day timeframe and the price would definitely hike up even more! It’s more of a “pack as much information as possible across the three days” class and all the same, it was meatily packed with knowledge, wonderfully insightful & helpful!

A lot of things finally clicked with me and I don’t feel terribly hesitant and daunted by storyboarding as a whole anymore.

It’s a mess but I hope this is an improvement since John’s feedback!
It was a struggle making up and tweaking what was happening and compose the shots once again. What a puzzle! 😀 Note that the first panel is an art study of an existing piece of artwork.

I doubt that John has time to read this post, but what can I improve? To anyone out there with storyboarding chops? If I were to be self critical, I can probably name gestures/poses, something with the flow feels off to me between panels 4 and 5 and some other things I’ve overlooked. I need some fresh eyes other than my own!

In terms of specifics on the course itself:

Content, Personal Learning & Presentation: excellent 
It included video, slides, websites, personal stories, art demonstrations/process and loads of art examples for educational purposes!

John provided a wonderful overview on a whole range of things from storyboarding, story, visual development (including character and set design), portfolio thoughts, brief overview of design, style & composition principles and they were easy to digest – ultimately it’s a matter of application and seeking advanced knowledge from this point onwards for the student!

I would say it’s great for newbie and intermediate level artists alike, particularly those who have never worked on an animated film in a studio environment before.

My personal learning: 
Aside from John’s art process, random tips & inspiring insights based from his experiences, most of the general knowledge wasn’t new to me. But I did lack practicing the theory to reinforce what I’ve learned, let alone applying the skill within an actual studio environment! And to see the big picture through John’s eyes and experience was amazing!! 😀

As previously mentioned it’s turned out to be:
“Hey Leonie, storyboarding isn’t that scary is it? Embrace that struggle & ride on with the mess!! Just make sure the boards get the job done!”

Through the exercises, I got some practice at applying the knowledge! It was a much needed refresher and as a result, I have learned to actually apply many more concepts. There was a lot of opportunity for future self study, practice, struggle and learning after the class as with any skill and for ongoing growth but for the class itself, I appreciated getting homework to do as it got things to solidify in my brain. 😀

Structure/Pacing: pretty good! 
To be fair it was meant to be an informal amazing course of 3 days so things were always moving along! As I mentioned, it’s mostly an information overload class with lots of relaxed demonstrations in between.

So what I’m going to say in terms of improvement doesn’t need to be considered; they are just suggestions with due respect.

If I were to be nitpicky & let myself think as a teacher: I do feel that it could be better structured because as students, usually we don’t know what we don’t know (especially when there are complete newbies in the class as well as people who have been doing art for quite some time) and hence we all need some guidance or an idea on what we should focus for each of the three days to maximise the time we have with the instructor.

I’m probably wrong, but it didn’t seem like there was an overall focus for the class due to the information overload and overview for a considerable range of topics relevant to being a Story & Film artist. Coming in, I thought we were going to *entirely* focus deep into storyboarding and the process involved in transforming some of them into a story packed piece of Production Art. I stress that in the end, we did do this to a reasonable extent!

Perhaps the focus here is essentially John Nevarez’s experiences and knowledge as I think about it! An big picture overview of everything he knows as a Film and Story artist based on his resilient experiences when trying to break in as well as during his days at Pixar, Disney Toons and Disney TV animation.

And I presume that the students coming in should already have their own focus. Or the class can be another push for students to figure it out for themselves and what they want to take out of the class.

Do note that I didn’t mind and I wasn’t surprised at all that it’s mainly a lecture and demonstration format kind of class. It’s to be expected; a lot of packed information was involved after all!

It did feel like the exercises, homework or assignments would be better efficiently scheduled for outside of class so that we could focus on lectures, demos, gesture drawing, Q&A time and student feedback sessions with the instructor during class.

Then again, it’s just my old high school teacher self rambling here. Don’t mind me!

My silly nitpicking aside, just like many of the students, I’m just happy to have John providing his generous knowledge all the same and the course works for me as it is. I deeply appreciated and am grateful for what I got out of the class! 😀

Instructor Feedback & Inspiration Factor: excellent

In terms of getting feedback, you’d need to actively seek it which is reasonable and how reality works anyway. Personally I am completely pumped thanks to John’s 3 day course!Advice about life, portfolio, personal projects, the industry and studio insights was also involved = “Real Talk!” as he calls it. It actually echoed and reinforced a lot about what I grew to learn even if I haven’t worked in a real studio environment before – there are some similarities with my teaching days.

For some reason it gives me hope despite the pressure of knowing that there’s tens of thousands of artists hungrily wanting to do what you are currently doing, waiting behind you (as John describes it).

In the end, it can just be about helping friends to do awesome things and doing the best you can to grow and do awesome things too. Protect your belief in yourself.

And listening to John’s real talk about the industry felt strangely inspiring and empowering somehow even though it’s nothing new to me. Something clicked once again for some intangible reason. Yes, I do feel like I have no idea how I’m going to grow within the industry with this silly blind faith of mine but as many people have advised before me:

“Live with the Fear and Do it Anyway”.

However little it is, don’t give up! Let’s do this!

(For more info about this “Real Talk”: I rambled about what little I know about the Entertainment industry during Hermit Burpcast episode 9 too.)

Ultimately I note: 

  1. how relatable, humble, tenacious, down-to-earth and amazingly generous John is (definitely possessing the inspiring traits I talked about!)
  2. I’ve realised the amazing value of storyboarding in every visual media I see
  3. how I’ve forgotten how fun storyboarding could be despite its challenges; we’ve all got more to learn!
Verdict? Full 2 out of 2 thumbs up for John! 😀

Overall, I am glad I hobbled my way to Adelaide and back because it expanded my vision in terms of what I can explore doing.

Many more thanks to you John (if by a miracle you’re reading this)!
I wish amazing things for you and your future adventures! Hope to see you again! (:

The 5 day trip at Adelaide

So much freedom traveling solo! GOSH. You get to do what you want and when!

Sure, it feels incredibly lonely sometimes and everything is all up to you to figure out as the default but I found myself mostly staying in my hostel at night to do my homework anyway. I didn’t have to worry too much about “safety at night” dilemmas, I’m getting my much needed rest and I’m getting things done.

I got to eat and buy things I wouldn’t have access to normally and I was free to just follow my own routine! Since I knew that it wouldn’t last, it made it more amazing as I treated myself with one-off meals. Gosh the Nandos meals!

Back to Hermit Life reality!
Mmm yes. Cold nice soy milk.

Obligatory Health Update: Waddling Penguin

Feet Stamina Status:
From the trip, I learned about what not to wear for my feet if I needed to walk a lot outside. Wear sandals (if I have any good ones) I guess! I’m just sad I can’t wear lots of my favourite shoes anymore but ultimately it’s a little thing.
At least I can walk!!

I need to wear compression socks, stockings or tights to keep the swelling minimal if any. So the socks & sandals combination isn’t going away anytime soon!! Perhaps I should wear normal stockings/tights over it? I don’t know how to make it look presentable, if not fashionable so I’m going to start looking for options!

I need to walk really, really, REALLY slow else I’ll strain my feet if I force my legs to power walk (I predict that most people won’t want to walk alongside me anymore because I’m at “slow waddling penguin” status haha). I can’t even keep on sync with people walking at a normal pace now as they find themselves slowing down for me and one of which got impatient and acted passive-aggressive at me. >:

I can’t run, hop, dance or anything that involves considerable pressure on my feet. Even going up or down stairs requires caution. Otherwise I will have to bear with a slight ache (which happens anyway sometimes) and if I push my limits too far, it would swell up and be painful to move all over again.

What’s the diagnosis?
Generally, I have been told by the hospital clinic doctor this week that I’m healthy and nothing dangerous is happening. The only annoying thing is that the cause is still unknown. So it could *maybe* be Idiopathic oedema but even that is not 100% confirmed. Google it if you need more information!

It means that the cause is unknown, there is no cure but it can be managed. Standing/being on my feet for long periods of time is a no-no. Sitting for too long is bad too since I need exercise – something I’ll need to consciously watch out for. I need to eat more potassium high food and go for a low-salt diet which is fine by me.

Exasperated hands get thrown in the air really!

I’m stuck like this I guess? :<

What’s happening now & what’s next?
I did another blood test (that required fasting) yesterday morning at the hospital to my dismay! Apparently it’s to test out a specific ratio in my blood this time around. I was hoping to take a long break from doing blood tests and yet I still had to do another scary one haha

I asked for them to directly extract blood from my hand this time and thankfully they obliged this time (no more unnecessary arm stabbing, thank you very much!) There was a trainee nurse watching too! Gosh it reminded me when I was a “trainee teacher” haha

Yes, there’s that waiting list for a rheumatologist appointment and some GP appointments ahead of me to determine the blood test results. And to figure out if I should start using blood pressure tablets? This is just to be thorough but it’s looking like the rheumatologist will turn out nothing and this issue is something I’ll have to deal with whether I like it or not. Whether it’s diagnosed or not.

Frustrating to say the least but I’m not letting this get to me.
It’s an ongoing thing but at least all the “real nasties” or possibilities are ruled out! 😀

Thoughts so Far
This thing I have is not going away anytime soon, if ever. Who knows. I’ve mostly accepted it but this way of living is going to take some considerable time to sink in and work around when I ease myself to do more “normal” things.

I might push myself a bit to do fun things occasionally and just bear with the soreness. I still want to live life you know! I’ll just have to bear with the pain as it comes.

Thanks so much for those of you who were concerned! It really helps and it’s encouraging to know that you’re supporting me on your end. I don’t feel as alone in some strange way. I might keep updating about it if things change or even just to let out some steam. (:

The scary, painful, frustrating, confusing stage is mostly in the past and now it’s a matter of investigating loose ends, managing this as a given part of my life and people understanding why my walking/standing stamina is so terribly bad. (:

I’m very lucky that it’s not something life threatening!
I can at least walk slowly so let’s move onwards and upwards! 😀

Thanks! Keep adventuuuring you!

WHOA GOSH! That was incredibly long due to the images!
You made it here!! Thanks for joining in for the ride!

This marks the end; hope my reflective blog was insightful.
Let me know what you think through email or other social media channels!

What’s next for me? Well I’ve oriented myself back home now so back to the usual learning shenanigans of course!

See you in two weeks at the Burpcast!  (: