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Onset of Autumn

Dear Winterites,

It’s the first week of October, and there’s a chill in the air. As the last remnants of summer fade, autumn rears its head. All around me is changing. The world I see prepares for the cold night but there will be no hibernation for me. I cannot join nature in growing dormant, for there is much yet that I must overcome and conquer.

There is no rest for the weary.

Though, in this case, weariness is perhaps not the right word. I am tired, to be sure, but it is more the fatigue of productivity. I do not feel particularly burdened or weighted down. It was a good week.

Monday began like any other. I’m always a bit on the tired side on this first morning of the school week. I’d rather sleep in. The day sends its summoning, however, and I rise to answer. That is the way of things. It is who I am.

In our first class we went over two assignments. The assignment for that week, and one due in two weeks’ time. We all wondered why would be given so much time for what seems to be a fairly easy assignment, and it’s because the next Monday is Thanksgiving and classes will be cancelled. Makes sense. We even half-finished the assignment together with our professor. Getting a head start.

After class I checked out the week’s Communications assignment. Just a few quick quizzes. They’re honestly not great. Unfortunately. I used the time to do some English research on the side to make it a bit more fun, but the quizzes themselves are otherwise useless. I did about half of them before deciding I was bored and spent the remainder of the day working on my own projects.

One of the things I have chosen to do in order to challenge myself to improve in art, is to take part in an unofficial Inktober. For those of you who don’t know what that is, in essence, it is a daily art prompt challenge. There’s an official list, but I chose to mix a few past lists together to make my own. So far, I am very happy with most of my sketches.

(To the left is day 1. I really like how the hands turned out. They're my favourite part of the image. To the right is day 2. I decided to leave it as a rough sketch because I thought it looked fun. Really love how the wings turned out.)

(Day 3 has a bit more of a whimsical almost childish style. Until you realize who is on the cover of the grimoire.)

(To the left is day 4. I think this one is my favourite thus far. I loved drawing the mermaid, and the perspective was just kind of cool. Very happy with it. To the right is day 5. I also love this one. It was originally going to be a forest made of fire trapped in the bottle, but then I just started drawing other elements, and this was the result. I love wisteria, so I'm quite happy with how that part turned out. Maybe someday I'll redraw this image digitally and make it flame-like.)

(Again, on the left is day 6. I love this one because it's adorable. It's done in yet another style, but I think it turned out decently well. Then on the right is day 7. This is my least favourite of all the drawings thus far. It didn't turn out how I wanted it to. Admittedly, it isn't terrible. However, I had something else entirely in my mind and just couldn't get it to translate onto the page. It happens. I drew something, and that's what matters in this process of learning.)

On Tuesday we dove right into our next animation project. We’ve done one bouncing ball, which I showed you in a previous post. This week, we were given a setting through which to animate another bouncing ball, only this one bounces off a fence. It’s terribly much fun. I got mine fully laid out and very nearly fully animated within the first class. Roughly, obviously. But it still felt great to have gotten so far so quickly. Absolutely loving it!

One of the best parts about working on the assignment in class is getting the opinion of fellow classmates. We help each other. If I figured something out, I help my neighbour. If they understood something I didn’t, they help me. We really just want to help one another succeed, and it’s a beautiful thing.

Something that frustrates me about the student living quarters is that there isn’t something akin to a grocery store on campus at which we can use our student meal plan. I’ve prepaid for my meals for the duration of my stay, but sometimes I just want to make my own food in my room. To do so, I must venture off campus to a nearby grocer. Now, that wouldn’t be so bad. If I hadn’t already spent all my food money on the prepaid meal plan at school. Hence why I wish there was a grocery store or some king of mini market for students who live on campus for buying basic groceries. Eating cafeteria meals day in and day out gets old really fast.

Wednesday class was continuing with the ball and fence project. The one-on-one feedback is excellent, but again, there wasn’t much for me to do as I was already mostly finished my assignment. Made the appropriate tweaks, and that was that.

The highlight of my day was meeting another new travel companion. We connected online and discovered we both attend the same school, so it was decided that we meet for lunch. A wonderful person, this new companion hails from Columbia and is only slightly older than myself. I’m sure we will meet up many more times.

In the afternoon I went on another mini side quest with my dragon companion. She needed a few items from Costco. It’s a dangerous place filled with many delectable temptations, but we braved it, nonetheless. Were I living in my own place, the temptation to purchase a cartful would have been much greater. My current lack of funds holds the stronger power over me, however, and I walked out of there having spent only five dollars. Success!

Speaking of a lack of funds. . ..

I tried calling student aid once again to find out what’s going on with my student loan. At long last, I made it through to the “on hold” line-up. That lasted all of maybe 15 minutes before that call, too, was dropped. Something about them experiencing higher than average volumes of calls at this present time. Please try again later. I can’t roll my eyes hard enough! I’ve only been trying to get through for over a month now. This is getting beyond ridiculous.

With my frustrations boiling towards the government, I began the process of applying for jobs. Hopefully within the next couple of weeks I’ll be able to land something to help subsidize the lack of financial aid I’ve received thus far.

First thing in class Thursday morning, my classmate next to me spilled coffee all over the floor. It was quite unfortunate for the coffee was nearly full, but fortunate for me as none of my drawing equipment suffered any damage. Only my bag smelled slightly of coffee after that. Easily remedied. Didn’t ruin the class at all, other than having slightly sticky hands from the clean-up, but again, easily remedied with a bit of soapy water.

Before we dove into gestures, out professor gave us her method for gesture drawing. She said she normally only teaches this to third years, but she thought, “you guys can handle it.” I’m so excited to be given instruction in this and start developing the method for myself. I don’t think mine turned out all that spectacular, but I’m trying to figure out how to put all I’ve learned thus far together. Once I get the hang of it, I’m sure my improvement levels will be able to jump up faster.

(Here is my practice with the bean. Definitely not my greatest gestures, but I can absolutely see how valuable it will be to have this technique in my arsenal.)

We did our first long drawing of an hour and a half. That’s a long time for the model, so we took a break about halfway through so she could stretch. I actually think mine turned out okay. I’m gaining confidence in the methods being taught, which are helping me quite marvellously.

(Got my sight measuring, plumb lines, the bean, and a little bit of negative space. "Oh yeah, it's all coming together.")

During the break between classes I joined some of my classmates in the library. Then in class we all went out to draw trees. None of the trees were speaking to me, so I didn’t get much drawing done. Plus, it started to drizzle. When I came out of my hidden corner of the garden, everyone else had left. I took the hint and returned to my dorm room to work on my own projects for the remainder of the day.

On Friday I officially finished my assignment and submitted it. For the rest of class I worked on a different animation assignment to get a little bit ahead. Why not, right?

Then it was prepping for a weekend venture to Peterborough for the Thanksgiving weekend! I did some cleaning and packing. Then, at 6:30, my roommate and I collected our car rental, and it was off for a long drive.

This is an adventure I’m very ready to have.

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