Week the First

I know I had classes last week already, as noted by my previous post. However, this being the first full week, it is being labelled as the first.

And with that out of the way, let’s dive right in!


Dear Winterites,


There are times when journeying that the journey becomes something of a burden. Stress, worries, frustrations, doubts, they all combine to weigh down the weary soul. Truth be told, though studying animation is a new adventure, I have been travelling for a good long while already.

Rejoice in small victories.

This is something I’m aware of, yet people continue to reiterate this statement to me when I’m feeling particularly down. Yes, it’s a good reminder to find joy in little things. However. When it gets to a point where everything feels like a loss, and even the victories are bogged down by battles you failed to win, it gets extremely difficult to find the willpower to rejoice. In fact, it gets hard to find willpower at all. For anything.

I don’t know about how others deal with situations like this, or how they move on from those moments that feel particularly bleak. There are some who give up. There are some who lay down their arms in the midst of the war, raise the white flag, and surrender. Personally, I’m not good at giving up. I’m too stubborn for that. I’m also too loyal to the choices I make for myself to just turn on them like that. But that does open me up to a lot of heartache.

It is not my intent to be a downer, but if I am to document my journey, I would like to do so honestly. And the truth is, the weekend was a tough one. A lot of negativity compiled itself into one day, crushing my heart and my spirits. Most of it has nothing to do with animation itself, but there is life outside of school, and life is filled with anguish. There is beauty to be found, but I was not in a state to look for it.

Though not for any assignment, here is what I created to express my mental (and physical) state. There is much wrong with the drawing itself, of that I am aware. I know, I know.

There is no right and wrong in art.

Well, actually, when you're trying to go for something specific and you don't quite make it, your drawing is wrong. To your eyes, at least. That's just a fact.

However, I did not use any assists for the pose other than awkwardly looking at my own hands for reference, so I am still proud.

I feel achy and weak. My body trembles, and my legs feel like they have not the strength to carry me. Sometimes I find myself gasping for breath. At other times, I collapse to my knees in tears. Rejection. It’s cutting. And as it tries to break me, I force myself to do and to be, defying the tremors that would keep me wallowing in despair. But it hurts. It always hurts. No matter how hard I try, the world pushes back against me. Though I want to do something for myself, to pursue something for me, without trying to fit my dreams into someone else’s, life comes crashing down around me. Nothing worthwhile ever came easy, but why does it have to be so hard? I want to be strong, but I can barely stand. I want to move forward, but I can barely take a single step. I'm not enough. I was never enough. And yet, I’m still here…

~

Diving into Monday’s class, it basically sets the tone for the entire week. All three animation classes join together for this one. There are still so many people I have yet to meet!

I would like to bring attention to one thing I noticed. I’m part of the loudest class. Most of the questions asked were from people in Group 2. It truly will be an interested few months.

It being the first week, there was a minor confusion that happened when another class started poking their heads in two thirds of the way through our class. Schedule mix-ups. It got sorted quickly, but it made for an interesting dynamic as suddenly everyone worried that our class might get cut short by an hour! It didn’t.

With class done, it’s homework time and then working on my own projects. Hopefully I can keep awake long enough to get done all that needs done getting.

~

Today in class we started working on INbetweening. Yeah, I had no idea what that meant either. To put it in basic terms, it’s filling in the images that take place between key images to connect them in a smooth motion. We were given 5 images in a beginning position and an end position. Our task: fill in the transition image in between.

This project is both fun and exhausting. Staring at a screen for hours on end is incredibly draining. I’m grateful to my fellow travel companions who are willing to encourage me as I work and offer assistance whenever there’s something I don’t understand. I hope I’ll be able to do the same for them, if and when I understand something that they may not.

One assignment this week was due today. Making a Pinterest board of animated feature film lines tests. If you want to check out what I put together, here is the link: https://www.pinterest.ca/chantellegiesbr/pencil-tests/

As for the larger project that is due Friday, here is as far as I got. I know, it’s a lot of lines. I drew everything in blue. Still need to do some touch ups here and there, but I’ve got a baseline to work with. That’s what’s important at this point in the game.

(So much work to measure all those lines! And arches are going to be something I struggle with. It's hard to make them look good. Also, ignore the background noises.)


After class, one of my friends and I decided sitting inside at a computer all the day long is not healthy for our bodies and took the opportunity to use the rec facilities. There is a lovely track which I intend to use regularly. I’m looking forward to getting back into jogging. It’s been a while. Gotta make sure the body is taken care of, so the mind doesn’t get dragged down. Haha.

~

Wednesday, continued in our inbetweening assignment. This is how far I got.

(Still a work in progress, but I'm slowly getting used to this program and how to make things move.)

~

Thursday begins with Life Drawing. I know some people were somewhat shocked when I shared my drawings from the previous week. But this is an art class. And we’re learning how to draw starting by understanding anatomy so we can thereby understand how the body moves and flows. It’s art basics. And today we got to practice with a different model.

To warm up, we drew each other. It was cool to see how different people in the class chose to pose. Personality really comes through.


(I'm still terrible at gesture drawing, but I've still got a few months to work on that yet. Clearly, I didn't get to "finish" some of these.)


For our long drawing today, we took “nudity” to a whole new level. Not only did we strip away our model of his clothing, but of his skin, muscles, and organs. GASP!

For those of you who haven’t caught on, we drew a skeleton. No, not a real one. A plastic one. He was a terribly boring poser, too. Rather limp and otherwise uninteresting. That doesn’t mean I could draw Mr Skelly very well. The purpose was to practice using the sight measuring guide our professor shared with us. If you know it, it's the one where you hold the pencil up and squint one eye. I’m not great at holding my arm perfectly steady, so getting the measurements accurate is . . . challenging.

Though my second attempt turned out better than my first, I got everything severely off-mark. But it’s okay. I’ll get better!


(The left is my first attempt. Certain pieces turned out better than on the second drawing, but overall, I like the second one better, which is the drawing on the right. I made a few key areas too long, which resulted in others being too short. Sigh. Sight measuring is so difficult!)


For our second class of the day, Enviro, we got a short art history lesson. We also got to watch a couple short film pieces. Hey, if we’re gonna make animations, we’d better start studying animation.

We were given a Picasso piece to draw. If you’ve taken art classes before, you’ll recognize it. I did, and I only took one year of art back in high school. Mine absolutely did not turn out amazing, but it was cool. We all ended the class laughing at our pitiful attempts. It was great.

(Drawing Picasso is not the easiest at the best of times but drawing upside-down!? I should try to find the one I drew back in high school to compare. In this case, I made his head quite narrow and his shoulders rather long. Also, the chair in the corner was a quick sketch to show that we need to learn how to draw from life rather than from the icons that are in our heads. Fascinating.)

~

Last day of classes this week! Once again, it was mainly a work period. I was able to finish my project fairly quickly. It still isn’t perfect, and I have a lot to learn about maintaining proper volume, but I finished it.



For the rest of the class, I worked on another assignment. Our professor asked us to draw a picture digitally that she will keep and then reference at the end of the year to show how much we’ve developed. I’ve never drawn digitally. It’s not something I’m used to. But I was able to complete an image during the class time. Considering I haven’t played around with the program at all yet, and I chose a style that isn’t my usual drawing style, I think it turned out pretty good.


(Here is just a little bit of progression. He didn't turn out like I'd originally intended with the stick drawing. He sort of chose his own style. Typical of characters. I tell ya.)

(I'll admit, I rushed at the end a bit. I'm not sure what exactly he's doing, not gonna lie. Either he runs weird, is waving hi, or is in the middle of a dance move. Or this action could be something else entirely.)


Gotta admit, I’m pleased with myself. I can’t wait to see how I’ll have grown as an artist after one year of this.

In the afternoon, one of my classmates and I met to do our Communications 1 first assignment together. Honestly, everything this class teaches is stuff that I do daily. I went to talk to someone in person about it, and I’ve submitted for an exemption. Though my transcripts are old, here’s hoping the fact that I’m an author and have experience teaching English as a second language overseas will help my case. I’ll still be available to help my friends who need it, but I’d rather not study a course I don’t need.

I also got a chance to talk to someone about my financial situation. There isn’t much anyone can do at this point, but at least now someone knows. I’ll have to find other ways to work things out until I can get my loan, but it’ll all work out eventually. At least, I hope it will.

Lots of hope these days.

Nothing is certain.

As a bonus that has nothing to do with classes or studying, my roommate decided my Hog Goblin needed a friend and bought me a pig plushie. So funny! Such a sweet gesture, and one that made us both s


And that rounds out the week. Time is already passing so quickly!

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