Wednesday, August 29, 2012

On Biology...

I'm taking Biology online.  I know, I'm a senior and I still have two generals left.  It's not for any lack of interest in the sciences.  It's just that they didn't seem as pressing.  So for my online bio class, I watch streaming videos of Dr. James Harris addressing a studio classroom in basic lectures on biology.  Here are some of the things that Dr. Harris' lecture either addressed or led me to ponder while I was taking notes.

                     "It's a FUNGUS!"

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

On Old Friends...

Ah, so many old friends to rediscover in a new semester at UVU.

7am: Alarm clock, old friend!  How I've missed you.  I look forward to all the quality time we'll spend together this semester.

8:15am: Backed-up traffic on UVU exit, old friend!  I almost forgot what it was like, having you around.

8:30 am: Jam-packed parking lots, you're looking well today!  I know we became reacquainted yesterday, but it's always a surprise, how unavailable you are.

8:35 am: (five minutes late) Art 421R - Advanced Illustration - Richard Hull
                                          8:30 - 11am

Lots of familiar people in this class:  Rani, Kari, James, Nate, Adam, Frankie, James, Kyle, Matt.  Richard expounded for a long time (as he does) on the importance of hard work, craft, drawing and illustration in general.  Here is a photo of Richard:  

He doesn't usually sleep during class.  But I like this photo.  We all think he is sitting here dreaming about food.  Specifically, hamburgers.

Some gems from his lecture today:

"What's the benefit of a liberal arts education?  You have a greater world view.  You know more than just how to draw a good lizard."

"You guys improved immensely last semester.  I even gave out an A, didn't I?"  (In fact, Richard gave out TWO A's in Conceptual Illustration.  Neither of them went to me.)

"So, for this first piece, come up with a simple solution.  Not the history of the world with the complete cast. Make it maybe... three people."

"He's a three dollar bill, I'll tell you."

"Some fashion school.  Oh, the L.A. Fashion Institute had four fashion illustrator.  They all died of AIDS within two years of each other.  They never replaced them."

He also said: Ex-rox.  This made me happy.

Portfolio pieces and thumbnails due on Thursday.

11:10am: Talked to Rani for a while about her current projects.  Good job, Rani!

11:20am: Waited for Tyler to sign in on the walk-in sheet to see his academic counselor.  Sat for HALF an HOUR even though Tyler was the next name because a dude came up and said, "Rae Ann Ellis?" and the gatekeeper girl said, "Are you Tyler?" and he said. "Yes."  and she let him in before Tyler and CROSSED Tyler's name OFF the list.  Can you believe that?  Tyler said, "I think that guy stole my spot."  I went over to the list and saw Tyler's name crossed off and told the girl, pointing, "THAT'S Tyler."  She apologized and said the guy was rude for taking Tyler's spot and Tyler said, "It's okay." and I told her, "But it's not REALLY okay."

12:30pm: Ran errands.  Visited Camie for two seconds (she's sick).  Feel better, Camie!  

1:30pm: Hello, pillow, old friend.  I am just here for a quick visit.  I hope we have a nice long interlude tonight, after bedtime.


2:30 pm: Needed another book from the UVU bookstore.  Hello long bookstore line, how long has it been? Only one day?  Seems like a lifetime.

3:30 pm: Hello helpful Bursar's office, an old friend indeed.  Wait, how much do I owe?  Only FIFTY CENTS?  Please, please let me stand in your line for twenty minutes to pay what I owe.

When it's finally my turn, I walk up to the counter, slap two quarters down on the counter and say my student ID.  Helpful Bursar's office UVU employee, Sam, types it in, laughs apologetically and hands me my receipt.  I say to him: "Can you write Love, Sam on there, with a smiley face?  That would really offset the standing in line for twenty minutes to pay fifty cents."

4:00pm:  Geo1010 - Intro to Geology - Michael Davis

Michael is a very soft-spoken professor with an extreme love for rocks, tectonic plates, volcanoes and such. Some gems from his lecture:

"The Earth is old.  4.6 billion years.  That's like . . . really old."

When explaining the age of the earth when set in a 24 hour period, modern hominids have only been around for fifteen seconds.  "We can all fathom fifteen seconds."  Pauses.  "There was a third of it right there."

We need to have Chapter One in the textbook read by Thursday.

5:30pm: We drove past Adam Munoa waiting at the shuttle stop by LA.  In exchange for a ride to his car, he gave me these two prints:

He said they didn't print out right, but I think I got the sweet end of this bargain.  To see these piece up close, visit Adam's blog.  He's a wizard with digital paint.  The funny thing is, during Richard's lecture, I was daydreaming about someday having a series of Adam Munoa hero caricatures displayed a long well-traveled hallway in my huge-someday-mansion-house.  And now I have two!  Thanks, Adam. 

I know great artists.

6:00pm: Stopped by the Avalanche shaved ice shack a couple blocks from our house to get a snow cone.  The tip jar said, "I will sing for tips."  Of course, Tyler couldn't resist asking, so the cute Avalanche girl sang AND danced for us.  Something about muffin-tops and her sexy thighs.  It was actually quite enjoyable.  She was a delightful girl and a good entertainer.

I wonder what adventures tomorrow will hold.

Monday, August 27, 2012

On Chosen Insanity...

I feel like that's what college is.  A chosen form of torture that results in temporary insanity brought on by scheduled workloads designed to BREAK US.  But at the end we're all educated, right?  And we have skills.  Hopefully, if we've worked hard, we have skillZ.  Like this actual art student, Ginny.

Tyler's first class today was cancelled due to low enrollment, but they didn't send out the email until this morning.  There were other frustrating things.  We talked to Geary, and asked her how school was going, she said, "I missed my first class today because I couldn't find PARKING."  She got to campus 45 minutes before her class, drove around for 30 minutes after her class started and there were no spaces.

This is an actual photo of ONE of UVU's parking lots.  As it always looks.  Unless you are looking for parking at 3am.  Luckily, the illustration department hasn't resorted to classes at this time (in spite of constant encroachment by the music department which puts our classes at more and more inconvenient times because we HAVE NO ROOM.)  I'm thinking of Vizzini in The Princess Bride, wondering what people will say about us after we've had enough and send our archers to reclaim our territory.  "Never get involved in a land war on GT level 5!"


The plague of insufficient parking has only escalated.  Soon, the plague will spread and people across the street at Walmart will have nowhere to park.  "What's going on?" they will cry to each other from their idling cars.  "Oh," will say one wise sage, "UVU's epidemic is upon us."

And here's an actual picture of the obnoxious construction signs all around campus, reminding us in bold text to "PARDON OUR DUST" and "BE PATIENT".

They do realize that our patience will not pay off, at least, it won't pay US off.  They're working on a parking structure?  Great!  When will it be finished?  December 2013, which we know actually means December 2033.  In the meantime, they've closed parking lots: L13, Student Center and Admissions Visitor.

So I drove him to school.  I found a space (hallelujah!) in the furthest lot above GT and we hiked into campus.  Tyler went down to see if he could find his teacher and figure something out.  I went down to find the department head, Don, and he was in the hallway, graciously agreed to speak with me and led me to his office.

Here is an actual photo of Don, sporting that jolly smile we all know and love.  He's holding this book because he's like... a god in the digital painting world.  Seriously.

I definitely commiserate with Don, he has about a bajillion things to do and students to see.  And his office is about 85 degrees.  Tip: If you're going to visit Don in his office, bring him a snow cone or a cup of ice or something.  Sometime, someone's going to come looking for him and all they'll find is a flesh-colored, gelatinous substance bubbling on the floor, a pair of silver glasses along with Don's generous head of hair perched on top.  Sad.  I told Don my woes, he told me some of his and then he helped me iron some things out.  He is stoked about Lost & Found, my BFA project.  I like Don.  And he's a phenomenal artist.  Check out this painting and you'll see.

Here is an actual digital painting made by Don Seegmiller:

See?  Check out those droplets, Stewart Craig.

I met Ty in the student center and we went to a kiosk so he could sign up for another class.  Success!  Then we went to the bookstore and grabbed the texts we would need for (cumulatively): Russian, Geology, Biology, History, Psychology and Anna Karenina.  (That last one was for Tyler's RECREATIONAL reading.  I know.)  We stood in line for FORTY minutes.  (I swear it was ninety degrees in there.  We had sweat literally running.)  And then we paid $300 for five books.  This is sad.  I'm used to going to the library book sales and spending $23 for 47 books.

Here is an actual picture of the UVU bookstore when it's NOT back-to-school madness.  Just imagine every square pixel of this image stuffed with human.  I don't know what the big black space is.  Maybe it's where we wish we could disappear after standing in line for forty minutes.

Ty and  I grabbed some lunch, we headed past Courtney's office.  I decided to check her office schedule and she was there!  Imagine.  I haven't seen her for four months.  And she was there, in all her glory.

Here is an actual picture of Courtney:

I know, she's too fabulous for words.  She was wearing a fabulous leather skirt today too, with her long wavy hair down around her shoulders.  I always make her turn around for me when I see her, because it makes my day just that much more fabulous.  It was nice to see Courtney.

Then finally attended my first class of the day!

This is an actual picture of me portraying how I felt at that time:

Not really.  But it is really how I felt.  And isn't it just the best picture ever?

Art324R - Children's Book Illustration - Will Terry
5:30 - 8:00pm

There are a lot of people I know in this class: Adam, Ginny, Matt, Alex, and others.  I called Nate later and told him to sign up, but I don't know if he'll have time.  

A lot of you already know how much I admire Will Terry.  I have learned an incredible amount of very practical stuff from Will, or Will Terry, as I like to call him, even though he asked us to remember him as  

Here is an actual digital painting created by Will Terry:

And even though I admire his mad art skillZ, I admire his business sense, industry savvy and practical wisdom even more.

We went over the syllabus (because it's practically required, even though we've all taken classes from Will Terry, except for Scott Shaffer) and then we discussed assignments.  Our first three assignments are children's book paintings: Little Miss Muffet, Jack and the Beanstalk and One Good Turn.  THEN: we are making an APP in his class this semester.  Yes, that's right.  An app.  And we will take it to publication (if we can finish it in that time) and it's going to be awesome.  Just by the way I wrote this you might be thinking that we will be working cooperatively on one app.  No, we will each create our own.

Here is an actual picture of Will Terry I found online:

He doesn't usually look like this.  

I suppose I could have used a more flattering picture, but this one appealed to me most.  Maybe because Will Terry makes me laugh.  If you want to see what he usually looks like, go find your own picture.

Thumbnails for "Little Miss Muffet" are due on Wednesday.

When we got home, Toby hadn't stolen anything out of the trash (which I actually put out of his reach, yay me) and I made pot stickers for dinner.  I actually warmed up two pans of oil on HIGH (which the directions on the box told me to do) but it was a little hotter than I thought and when I put the frozen pot stickers in, they burned instantly.

Here is an actual picture of the burned pot stickers:

Saddest dinner on my first day ever.  But Tyler kissed me and ate them anyway.

That's my first day.  I start at 8:30am tomorrow.  Which, if I take parking into account, actually means 6:30.