top of page

All Thumbs

Dear Winterites,

As I’m sitting here thinking about my week, I’m realizing that it actually felt so long. Not that it passed slowly or anything; it really went by quickly. However, it does feel like the beginning of the week happened maybe a week or two ago.

Time is weird.

For Monday’s class, we were given time to work on putting together Pinterest boards, due Tuesday morning. Everyone always loves these time-wasting assignments (heavily dripping sarcasm). Now, gathering references for art is never a waste of time, but when you have to search for roughly 300 different references, it seems a bit excessive. Having too many references is a cause for another sort of headache as you now have to narrow down what from those 300 images you want to put into . . . 3. I would personally only use maybe 5-10 references per image, not 100!

Whatever. That’s just a personal opinion. It didn’t take me long to gather references, so I left class early to get started on another assignment. Got my thumbnails drawn up and submitted to my prof, who responded quickly on which one to proceed with. Excellent.

(And the winner is. . ..)

Feeling good, feeling fine.

In the evening I agreed to hang out with a few friends for a girl’s night. Getting away from the dorms and campus even just for an hour was muchly needed for my sanity. Truly. An occasional escape really does help.

On Tuesday, I basically spent the entire class reading stuff because . . . the prof said to. And the articles provided were so long! I tried reading them, but by the time I got to the last one, I was less than skimming it. I didn’t have time during class to get any real work done on my assignment other than putting references into the file for each of the three thumbnails. The plan: finish one thumbnail today and get the other two completed on Wednesday.

Except the thumbnail took me nearly 7 hours to complete! I don’t know why, but it just wasn’t working out. I had to force myself to push through the frustration. I do believe this project could be fun, but with the timeline we’ve been given, it’s stressful instead. I’m great at time management, but I spent my evening doubting whether I’d be able to get things completed if it was going to take this long for each step. No amount of time management can add hours into a day, after all.

My eyes suffered for it, but I did manage to get the thumbnail finished. I hate it, but it’s done.

(I basically only like the feature on the back wall. The rest of it . . . I don't know why it took me so long to draft this up. It didn't bring me to tears, but I was definitely annoyed.)

And then it was Wednesday. I don’t know what happened, but my thumbnails went much more smoothly, and I easily got both drawn up with time to spare. I still didn’t do much with my now free evening because I was mentally exhausted, but hey, I’m proud of myself for getting that off my plate.

(I honestly don't like much about either of these. I like the overhang idea of the left image, but I like the archway feature in the image on the right. Spoiler, I end up combining all three thumbnails into one master thumb!)

As a reward, I curled up on my bed for a bit to rest and very nearly fell asleep. I only take real naps when I’m sick, so I must have been more tired than I thought for I stayed there longer than intended. I only got up because of a need for food, and I prefer being able to sleep at night. I wasn’t about to ruin a good night’s sleep with a pre-evening nap.

Some people can do naps and be fine, and that’s great for them. I simply am not one of them.

Bonus, I also got in a little bit of writing before bed. It wasn’t a lot, but something is better than nothing.

In our life drawing class on Thursday, we focused on long studies as that will be our final project for the semester. I think mine turned out alright overall. Still having trouble figuring out how to properly utilize or understand that RoboBean. Alas.

**Warning, as it is a life drawing class, the models pose nude. If that triggers you, please ignore the photos or stop reading here.**

(Not a fan of this particular pose. I think I did decent justice to the model's right knee, but I did not enjoy drawing this one. I'm grateful to the prof who gave me pointers on how to find/draw the RoboBean.)

(Again, not particularly fond of the pose, but the focus was on the cylinders so it made sense. In this drawing as well, I feel I only did decent justice to the model's left leg. Not my strongest work.)

In between classes I sat with my classmates. I got in about half a page of writing whilst visiting with them. Being surrounded by chatty youths may not be the most productive environment, but it was fun. It’s also important to build some rapport with the people who could be co-workers and/or bosses in the future. It helps that they’re fun, even if they live, think, and breathe on a different wavelength. Maybe by sitting amongst them I can absorb some of their youthful energy.

No need for bathing in the blood of young women or eating children; I'll just photosynthesize essence. Ha!

Our second class only lasted about an hour, so I returned to my room and got to work on the actual barn drawing. Got the base elements laid down. Go me.

(I realize it's very light. This is the base that I'll be building up with layers of lines and then cleaning up with detail. I think I'm the only one doing it by hand. Drawing it digitally would likely be easier, but I simply felt the need to give my eyes a break from staring at a screen, so traditionally it is!)

In the evening, I went to a friend’s house for a jam session. I haven’t done much with music for a while, I wasn’t familiar with the songs, and there was no sheet music (I can’t play by ear), but the environment was good. Again, I just went to be with other people unrelated to my program or anything school related whatsoever.

Then there came Friday.

We did group critiques of our thumbnails during class. I’d been dreading it, not gonna lie. I know my thumbs aren’t the most fabulous, and I can pick out all the flaws before anyone else (I am my own worst critic as artists often are), but what I really wasn’t looking forward to was hearing my classmates struggle to find things they liked about it. I can handle people telling me what things to improve on or what can be changed to be better. I appreciate that. I want that, because I know I still have a lot to learn. I’m just not good with praise, maybe? That’s not entirely true, either. It’s just awkward.

Well, it didn’t end up being as bad as I’d anticipated. Not that it was pleasant, but at least I didn’t die of mortification.

I’ve decided something. I’m not going to stress over this assignment. If it doesn’t get completed, it doesn’t get completed, and I’m okay with that. I’m going to work according to a schedule that I’m comfortable with – I’ll still be giving plenty of time to the assignment, don’t get me wrong – instead of pushing myself past the breaking point. I will not jeopardize my health in any form for this.

I will work within regular working hours, during which time I will do my best to give my best. What will be, will be. And I think having that mindset will make the assignment that much more enjoyable.

Well, I Frankensteined my three thumbnails together, and now I have the image I will be roughing out next week. After getting that done, I worked more on my barn. Then I drew up a random quick sketch just because.

(It is currently very messy because I just spliced elements together. But it will all get fixed during the roughing stage. A lot of the current elements are just place holders until I figure out what design I want to use officially.)

(A few more details emerging.)

(For being only a 5-10 minute sketch, I'd say it turned out well. My first honest reaction was, "Hey, I'm getting better!")

Ending the week strong. Only one more week until the Christmas holidays begin!!

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page