Friday, May 31, 2013

And They Shall Conquer the World in Silly Costumes

So I was driving around in Roseville, going shopping for my various supplies for my classes, and getting hopelessly lost. As I was fuming at a stoplight, I happened to notice a dude in a Statue of Liberty costume, waving a Liberty Mutual sign and waving to people. I waved back.

Then I got to thinking, in the way that a mad scientist does. If that dude were to just be standing on the corner in his normal togs, waving to people, he'd be considered a public oddity and would probably be attack by the police for suspicion of being under the influence of whatever. Mothers would hurry past with their small children, big, beefy men would come up to the dude and tell him to "buzz off. You're bothering my girlfriend."

But, put that same dude in a costume, however dorky, and let him continue to wave, suddenly he becomes alright. Kids wave at him through windows, big beefy men honk their horns as they drive past, and police only give him the gimlet eye.

My conclusion to all of this? Put big scary robots in colorful, silly costumes, and suddenly world domination will be accepted with smiles, waves, and cheerful car horns.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Constant Contact with Everyone, But We're Still Alone

You know, all this technology, Facebook, and other things are great. We're in constant contact with anyone and everyone. I can talk with a man in Australia, China, and England, all at the same time, as long as I have a computer as the mediator. I can converse about politics and religion all day, without ever having to look anyone in the face. And yet, with as neat as this is, we talk to so many people while we sit in complete solitude infront of our computers.

The email, the facebooking, the texting, and everything else has us talking to people all the time, where we have instant access to anyone and everyone. And yet, we never see the person's face, body language. We never hear the laughter or sarcasm in people's voices. When a time comes that we get to see the virtual personalities IRL, we're so used to the words on a glowing screen that seeing a person's face seems strange. I can't tell you the number of times I've had a long conversation with someone over the internet or wavelengths, only to be followed by meeting with the person, in person, and having nothing to say, nothing to do but look at our shoes.

All of this connectedness is great, to a point, but when people start thinking that online conversations are real socializing, we start to lose sight of what socializing actually is. Seeing someone, talking to someone, hearing their tone of voice, seeing their expressions, reading their body language. All of this is lost through the technological middle man. Emoti-cons don't do body language justice. You just can't capture the subtleties and nuances of a face to face conversation with LOL :D.

So, I'm going to get right to the point, put on my old man hat and squawk,
'Everything's going to Hell in a handbasket!'

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Transition From Science to Art

So, about a year ago, I found out that, as much as I might love math and physics, they do not love me. In the cramped, fast-paced world of college classes, I couldn't keep up. Fortunately, I don't give up easily. It took a few months of soul searching, but I soon found that, instead of being an Astrophysicist like I had planned on being since I was 14, I was better suited to being a computer animator. While looking through my various options and degrees, it looked like getting a Bachelors in Fine Arts was the way to go.

To better understand the magnitude of this decision, let me give you some Amaryllis History. My mom works at HP as a IT consultant, she has a BS in Psychology, and has always loved the sciences. My dad is, in short, a rocket scientist. He's worked on the Space Shuttles' instrumentation, air planes, fighter jets, missiles, you name it. Me? When I was very little, I wanted to be an Astronaut. About when I was fourteen, I decided that I wasn't competitive enough to be an Astronaut, so Astrophysicist seemed the logical next step. I graduated a year early from high school (as Valedictorian, I might add), then immediately jumped into my first college math class: Calculus 1. I aced that class, went to college for two years, then decided that I would rather be a computer animator.

Becoming a computer animator, a mere artist, wasn't an easy decision.

Then came my transition from the world of brilliant engineers and physicists, to the world or emotional, illogical artists. Artists, who don't calculate, but FEEL. Artists who don't formulate or postulate, but emote. Since the beginning of the year, I've been in contact with artists and only artists, excluding my parents. So, is it any wonder that the first unattached, male engineer I run across I find extremely attractive? I think not. Not that his good looks don't help, but, like any good zombie fan, I only want men for their BRAAAAIIINSSS.

It's been a different experience to come across people that share my artistic talent, as opposed to my mathematical talent. While most of the people I run across are very creative, they aren't always really bright or thoughtful. Sure, they can create a bowl that signifies bravery, honour, and pizza, but they can't formulate ideas or concepts having to do with science, economics, or politics. The artists can come up with inventive ways to represent a person through a few simple lines, and evoke a strong emotion. They can explain the symmetry, shape, and texture of an engine, but they can't explain how it works.

But the transition into art hasn't been all weird and annoying. I've found that a fair portion of the people that I run into in my art classes are more mature than those in my math and science classes. That might just be because I'm on a different campus, but I think I'll just give art students the benefit of the doubt.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Drawing the Human Head, not the Manga Head...

So, for the large majority of my life, I've been an artist. I've drawn, painted, sculpted, danced, composed music, and animated. When I was younger, I largely copied my dad's art style: blocky with limited definition. Still, it's a great style. Then, when I was a teenie-bopper, I discovered this magical, beautiful, and loverly style called: Manga. I instantly fell in love with it. The first anime I ever watched (other than Pokémon, everyone's seen that) was Yu-Gi-Oh! For those of you that have never seen it and never wish to see it, it's a show where people bellow rules at each other about their infernally stupid card game. Sure, there's life, death, and money involved, but the the entire show boils down to bellowing and rules' lawyers. Yet, I was at a tender, impressionable age, where big, shiny eyes, gravity-defying hair, and ridiculous clothing were all that was needed to make me a hard-core fangirl.

So, from about the time I was 12 to the time I was 19, all I ever drew was Manga. Big eye, crazy hair, and skinny boys. Then, I matured at the ripe, old age of 20 and discovered that there really was a "Bigger World" out there. Beyond the repetitive plot lines and inconsolable cry-babies of the Anime Otaku world, I discovered this thing called "real life," and all that it entailed in the art world. I learned that, yes, your eyes really are smaller than your ears. No, your hair won't come to a perfect, upright spike, no matter how much gel you use. And yes: noses are so much more than a little '>' sign.

The more I practiced drawing realistically proportioned people, the more I came to discover exactly how screwed up the Manga/Anime styles are. After about two months of fighting with hips and shoulders, I came to loathe Manga and everything it stood for. Soon, I learned the beauty of the human figure when drawn properly. I learned the joys of drawing a delicate, yet distinct nose. And I was converted to the truth of small eyes. Everything I had been missing for 7 years of my life, I found, waiting patiently for me to discover it.

My name is Amaryllis Graybill, and I've been anime clean for a year.