Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Sketching Croquis & Improving Sketching

I've been doing quick poses gesture drawing life sketches from Croquis Cafe the free online video classes on YouTube. (Thank you, Croquis cafe & all the supporters & funders!)

Since I've started doing them starting back in May this year, I've actually noticed an improvement with my linework in my own personal artwork.

Here's one of my Djehkäujaa sketches BEFORE I started doing croquis sketches:

Then, here's the same sketch I went back to and worked on a bit:

Here's an Example of Some of the croquis I did:

1 Min Sketches:

2 Min Pose Sketches:

I'm still feeling frustrated with my skills. Back in 2001 and for several years after, i could actually draw a whole figure in forms & shapes in 30 seconds, and also draw live people and animals as they were moving.

I do, still, appreciate the kind words of encouragement people have given to me. But, I'm still unsatisfied. But, I have been improving. I often need to compete with my living room to use the easel to sketch from the Croquis Cafe YouTube class on my TV, because my spouse is also doing a lot of painting and sketching, and working on improving his portfolio.

But, You can see that by sticking to it, there's an improvement.

I want to enhance & improve my mental imagery ability to visualize the images & forms inside my mind like I used to have.

I don't sketch quite as much, nor as often, as I would like. There's been several things that came up like several: doctor's appointments, my daughter's birthday, going to the gym, going to University Orientation in Boston, going back to Boston multiple times to fix errors they caused.

I want to work more on developing my characters and work on my story, but I still need to improve my skills. SO, I'm headed in THAT direction.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

World Environment Day and Dead Tigers & Trafficking in Thailand Temple

World Environment Day and Dead Tigers & Trafficking in Thailand Temple

This morning, the weather was rainy, and I was was rather uncomfortable, and it was just so hard to get out of bead. All the stretching I did several times throughout the day was as tho' it hasn't happened at all, and all of my muscles, tendons, and ligaments were so sore and tight, and my joints swollen... so, I finally forced myself out of bed once I realized the clock passed 10 AM.... then, I started brewing HOT coffee (since it's a very cold day this morning) even tho' it's JUNE (unthankfully due to climate change), and turned on my computer....
It's WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY (and I'm an Environmentalist & Eco-Geek) which I'd completely forgotten.... and I opened my YouTube Subscriptions to THIS:

The headline was "Dozens of dead tiger cubs found at a Buddhist temple in Thailand", and the image its self was disturbing!

Unbelievable!!!! I watched the video in utter disbelief & horror!
After al week getting Buddhists and karma believers shouting down my face over eating meat, and now this! It's like a weird modern version of a corruption story of of the "Xi You Ji" (The Journey West by Wu Cheng En about the Monkey King) where monks or monestaries had become overrun with demons, or officials had become corrupt... only, there were no Guanyin Pusa or Sun Wukong to set it right...

It reminded me, very much, of a key plot point in my film/story that I'd written back in the 90s originally (Zenith Beyond Eclipsing The Dragon's Rue) which I am re-developing starting this year, as you already know...  This was somewhat similar to something my main villain/antagonist character was doing, and specifically with tigers and other endangered species... There were animals in jars, but a big scene in the film/story/screenplay was originally with my main villain doing a speech and holding up a tiger skin... (ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2016 COPYRIGHT KANDICE KATHLEEN ZIMBLEMAN) it was very neoliberalism/libertarian/anarchist/anarchocaptiolist greed driven brazen machoism in a suit & tie.... and, back then, after I'd written it it was one of those things I'd felt was TOO disturbing and TOO unbelievable, that needed to be toned down and audiences would probably not accept someone to be this evil....

What a horror to awaken to!


I wanted to know MORE! So, I began investigating the news all over the internet... and BOY did I find it!

Well..... suffice it to say TIGER SKINS were ALSO in the mix. This story got worse and worse the more articles I found. Animal abuse, corrupt monks, tiger meat, tiger body parts, animal trafficking, plus the fact that its Buddhist AND a monastery/temple makes it even MORE loathsome!

Also, I originally had Ao Xingtao with more Tiger motifs than dragons... I made him more dragon motifs now, but, I think I will utilize them both now... like those old scrolls in Chinatown Philly with yin/yang dragon & tiger artwork.

I will probably incorporate some of the tiger motifs again with Ao Xingtao again... and I think it makes the scene with the main villain/antagonist work better now. Also, it separates Xingtao from Djehkäujaa a lot more because I don't want them to be too similar, even tho' they have similar connections that are secrets or unknown.


Anyways, the disturbing truth of the news can be found all over the news. here are just a few of the newest articles:

BBC 40 Dead Tiger Cubs Found in Thailand Tiger Temple
Aljazeer What really Happened at Thailand's Tiger Temple?
Wall Street Journal Thailand's tiger Temple Probed For Links To Animal Trafficking
 CNN: Thai 'Tiger Temple': Five charged with possessing endangered animal parts

As I'm writing this NOW several other news articles are jumping onto this horrific story!

As an artist, I can't even express what tigers mean to many many artists.

For me, personally, tigers always had a special presence to them. In ancient times, people even thought tigers were gods. being in the presence of a tiger is different than other animals. They have distinct personalities, and even enjoy swimming.

Seeing a tiger REALLY stays with you once you've actually seen one even from a distance. I remember the very first time I went to a zoo with the intent of drawing them with other artists in middle school. There were many many animals. But, drawing the tiger has a whole other look, and feel.

Every single time I go to a zoo, or sanctuary, and see a tiger there's just SOMETHING about them. No other animal has that SOMETHING. No other animal can have that vibrancy in art either, which is why I've often drawn tigers in my artwork. It's almost magical, or majestic.

I recall, back in the 1990s, when I was a big fan of Jackie Chan, one of the major animals he was trying to raise awareness over in Asia to protect was TIGERS. they were on the top of the list. And, I even did a painting based on the photo graphics from his old website. 

I hope as not to offend any sense of the tiger lovers here. I've included my artwork as my expression my love for tigers. Please do not conflate the issue as an exploitation of a tragedy to self-promote my work. I'm not even popular at present so it wouldn't make any sense at all anyway.

Therefore, I will not include more than 3 links to my gallery artwork, and just keep them isolated to this blog post. If you wanted to see the full versions of these artworks, you could obviously find them easily on my gallery and searching it there, independently. (I do get questions anyway, if I don't include a link, and if anyone really wanted to find more, its a simple matter of using a search features)

In Honor & Tribute to Tigers:

I think this shows the relevance of WHY we have things like WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY... and yet, on Social media it's all but forgotten... FB has no intention of showing the holiday whatsoever... ALL THE HARD WORK to promote things like this in my youth, and it seems for naught, and all in vain...

I tweeted to Dr. Jill Stein this morning on Twitter a happy World Environment Day (presidential candidate for the Green Party) and I think even she FORGOT it. :(

That's really sad! Must be all the gun violence and insanity of the GOP and people poisoned from lead in the water that everything is decaying... :(

Here are a few things from Twitter:

I think this makes it more behooving of me to create my film/story because I feel people NEED IT. There's a VERY BIG Environmental and humanitarian moral to my story... altho' it's Fantasy/Sci-Fi it's a vision of what the world actually COULD BE, or COULD HAVE BEEN, NOW. I feel that so many Sci-Fi stories are about The Future or Futuristic... mine is what the world could be NOW, and what is SHOULD BE.... but, I admit, I'm am also making it a different, or alternate reality of this world, and NOT this world.

It is probably a good thing that I will major in philosophy in the fall. Perhaps I need more studies with Immanuel Kant.

BTW, I did log into Care2 today.

Its as if they are the only place left still conscious of things that often matter a lot.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Djehkäujaa Inspiration at The Gym

 Often, when I go to the gym, I find tons of ideas flood me! Or, also when I'm out taking a walk... since we often had good weather off & on, EXTREMELY OFF AND ON AGAIN, I would go walk among nature at South Field (Mass) and be among nature, and trees. Shea Field is kinda zen for me... But, I've been all over that place!

But, lately, its when I go to the gym. I keep getting floods of visuals for scenes in my mind!

There was a REALLY great scene I kept getting, overwhelmingly, that I often would black out, and forgot I was on a treadmill.

But, when I would sit down to try and sketch it out, I was often frustrated with my skills... which is why I'm doing a lot of croquis lately.

Actually, this scene is quite beautiful. It involves a window... and a lot of music... this film keeps wanting to be musical! Like, YOU HAVE NO IDEA! I often can HEAR IT. But, this song I couldn't really hear... it was not really connecting with me in audio... but, the visuals were there. 

And, it was also developing quite a bit of Djehkäujaa's story and character, herself!

Apparently, Djehkäujaa is very much a night-life person... But, what did ya expect from a DRAGON that hangs out with OWLS? Am I right???

It's funny, because Djehkäujaa in her humanoid form is often sullen, stoic, and stern... but, when the music is playing, she's kind like a Goth chick! You know the type! The music starts playing on the dance floor, and they;re all emotive, passionate, expressive, artistic, expressive!
But, Djehkäujaa could never really be a Neo-Goth. She likes COLORFUL THINGS, and a flashy SHOE collecting fetish, and likes shiny clothes. Especially colorful ones! 

I had a whole small story about Djehkäujaa's night-life, life, backstory stuff that was actually really good. But, I could also cut it out of a feature film version without it hurting the flow of the story. I like the idea of various versions of the story that's cut, or re-cut.

It actually has a very MTV music video cut to it... yet, still telling the story with music, song lyrics, and video... Altho' I haven't actually written any lyrics for it yet.

Djehkäujaa is also VERY MUSICAL. VERY

Oh, and here's a doodle... still working on developing Ao Xingtao.... still working on it...

he'll get there eventually...

But, I will say this. Even tho' Ao Xingtao and Djehkäujaa have some unexpected dragon ties in the story, THEY WILL NOT HOOK UP.

I also DO NOT want them to look alike.

I kept getting frustrated over trying to develop him last month, and the sketches looking too much like her.

Life Drawing Sketches: Croquis Cafe and More

I was feeling particularly frustrated, and somewhat embarrassed over the level of my skills, since it wasn't what it was, nor what I felt it ought to be. I can often be a perfectionist, and also a realist, and I was rather ashamed. that's why I never finished my manga back in 2004-2005.  I just felt my skills were terrible. Altho' I think compared to now, they are even worse than back then.

Luckily, I found out that there were FREE life drawing classes on YouTube by Croquis Cafe

So, I've been doing the classes lately! It's the best way to refine your skills, within 6 months!

You can see my most recent work HERE but you will need to log-in to the DeviantART because they are censored for nudity.

If you want to see the unfinished manga story I did back in 2005ish, the artwork is here. It was called
"Reluctant Slayer",
and I'd originally written it for a Tokyo Pop managa company that actually brought manga to the USA as a platform for non-Asian artists to do mangas in the rest of the world. It's ironic because when they first did that, they got so much flack, but their North American contest was so popular that getting your hands on the mangas of the winning entries was hard. 

A number of enthusiast kids in Plymouth (yes, where the Pilgrims landed), where I used to run our pop art business for a time at the Playmoth/Kingston mall, kept insisting I enter the contest. By 2005, I "interned" at Top Cow Inc in Century City (Greater Los Angeles, near Hollywood, next to Beverly Hills) and their umbrella company was Image Comics which by then did several mangas, and also started producing them in full color with watercolors, and anything you could think of. I probably still have some, somewhere... So, I was inspired to start working on the managa again while I was in working there and living in Hollywood... I was all "think positive" New Age chick at the time... but everything fell through, I ran out of money, my spouse was in China with my kid, and after a ton of computers crashed or blew up, and some drama with the web people, a bunch of folks got "canned" (as they call it). Then, once I finished a project of grunt-work for Brian, the producer was like: Sorry, we can;t keep you here anymore, so you have to go.... they also weren't paying me... I was still allowed to visit, or "hang out in the studio"... I never got ANY of the so-called training I was supposed to get... they never looked at my portfolio at all, and even tho' I liked the producer very much, I just didn't know what to do... and it hurt so badly that it all just crashed so abruptly that I didn't want to look at him at all... 

NO, matter what I did, I couldn't secure a job, and my rent was due. my so-called best friend, whom kept raping me, whom has pushed me to get a job constantly, while I was sick with jet leg and flu when I got there also couldn't seem to get me a job anywhere on his own... his mother bought me some blankets, so I'm guessing in his mind that made it OK to rape me. And, another guy tried to rape me. That's a whole other story. (That one involved connections to: Mohamed Ali, Michael Jackson's family, Lady Gaga, and more) Ya try and be a helpful person, and you get preyed on... 

So, I had to leave, and I flew to Philadelphia where my father picked me up, and I stayed there... actually, that May/June in 2005 I found out a lot of stuff. I found out that for years my Mom wouldn't answer my calls, call me back, or call me at all, and she kept telling me she was busy. But, at my father's house, she called my brothers every day, and several times per day..... This was strange to me because when I was in Hollywood, for months, she never answered or called me back sometimes for days, or not at all... 

And, a friend of mine, whom I'd worked with in 1997, kept making plans with me, to see me, hang out with me, and I was there for about 3 weeks or so... and each day, he kept promising, then changing his mind. So many other persons wanted to see me, and he seemed very enthusiastic about it... but, in the end, just a few days before I left, he came to see me, very late... and ONLY because I'd nagged him... not because he actually wanted to... then, he made it sound like he came out of some charity reason.... oh really? 
This was a person whom used to pester me all the time, was flamboyant, easy-go-lucky, bold, robust, and even used to abduct me when we were coworkers...

I don't have the words to express, nor describe, the sting, hurt, and pain of it all...

The cold, cruel reality that the people that you love, don't actually love you.
And, the jarring experience of so many folks wanting your attention for the wrong reasons...
Or, people that do love you, and altho' you're happy about it, and appreciate it, no matter how many of those persons love you, it doesn't soothe the hurt of the realization that the ones you loved the most, didn't love you back, or actually didn't love you at all...

It's like the ground falling from beneath you... 
-nothing to stand upon......

So, I don't know.... maybe that's partly where my depression started... then, several other misfortunes occurred after that... I was motivated to work on my skills after my shamefully embarrassing return from LA in 2005....  tried to start over again.... and was planning on going to CALARTS. In 2007, I was starting my portfolio again, and working on my skills... many hiccups with that too.... but, the Bailouts happened, and The Recession hit...

I spent 2008, mostly paralyzed, and cried every day... hiding it from my child...

 2009 was really, just, THE WORST. A number of relationships I just completely shredded, or went nuclear. I went from happy-joy-joy hopeful, HOPE & CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN to I'M FUCKING ANGRY! I was deathly afraid of "being negative" before... the whole trappings of what I misunderstood as political correctness, but actually wasn't... and, I'd started to address, and call things out.... having to run a business made one VERY abrupt, and astute. And, I could see the BS coming, or had to nip it in the bud... but, I hadn't actually ever applied this logic to relationships... just in parts.... the whole concept of  "if someone really loves you" or "if someone really is a true friend" then just a basic scrutiny and it will hold up to truth, or facts, or fess up, or reconcile, or amend... But, there was also the angle of accountability on my end... say, if I knew of immoral, or unethical things that a friend of mine was doing... should I abide by that? Should I pretend it;s not happening? Or, should I say something???? 

I hasn't realized how much stuff I'd been turning blind eyes to... so, when certain things by those persons were pushing me, pestering me... at first, I wondered: Why am I being like this? Am I being a bad friend???? No... I was suppressing the truth... and it was leaking out of me as anger... and being snippy. 

What if your friend was a child predator? 
You would, most likely, at first deny it... no... it's not that.... it's not what I'm thinking... it's something else........ then, other things happen.... and also, this person keeps getting away with bad behaviors... Why? -because I keep covering for them.... but why???? 
And, what if that friend is a manipulator? A fraud? A conman? A humbug? Someone that uses people? Someone that misrepresents them self as oh-so-spiritual... and they also know ur secrets...

 I think this is how people get away with these things... because those around them are also being played, mentally... like that whole Penn State thing, or Cosby... 

Well, I blew THE FUCK UP! 

Back in 2007, when I was trying to get back on track with my dreams... I needed to redo my portfolio for CALARTS... when I needed was croquis sketches... but, Mr. Wnag blundered the class registration and got me the long pose classes, not the quick croquis gesture class.... it was hard enough at the time just to get the money to pay for the class, PLUS drive ALL THE WAY TO CAIMBRIDGE, with  a baby in the car, IN THE WINTER, and THE SNOW, just so I could do that... and no refund, and i never found out until it was too late to switch classes... 

It was a huge setback, but I was hoping to go to the spring classes, and get it right that time... even tho' he was giving me hell over it... plus, I was going to visit CALARTS since they liked me a lot, and my friends were helping me, and even picked me up at the airport, and drove me, and everything. SO NICE TO ME! I used to get stuff in the mail from CALARTS quite a bit, also.

But, the Recession hit... and everything was in vain, and all for naught...

So, this time, I will get it right, and just DO THE CROQUIS SKETCHES! 

I know i said I wanted to do painting.... but, I was also unhappy with my skills doing that as well...

the best fix for it all is doing the croquis... So, that's what I've been doing.

Altho' we did have a holiday weekend, and I have relatives visiting from China, I've been trying to get 1-3 classes per day (if I can) since the end of May.

My proportions are off, my symmetry is off, and my forms and structure are so off. I also need what was referred to as 'lines with confidence" and I don't have that right now...

Croquis sketches are like "zen training" for art, and all things visual.

So, hopefully, in a year from now, not only will I have been attending academic classes at UMASS, but I fully expect my skills to have greatly improved.

I still want to better design my characters again... there are so many scenes I keep seeing inside my mind, but I can't get them to come out onto the paper...

Ergo, the solution is croquis sketches!

Croquis sketches are quick poses that involve a live model, especially a nude one, that can be 30 seconds, 1 min, 2 min, 3-4 min, 5 min, 10 min, or 15 min. Also called "gesture life drawings".

The point is to sketch the entire form and figure as much as you can before the time is up. But, you want to sketch the form and figure in shapes, like stick and bubble figures. Some people do contour line drawings... but that WILL NOT HELP YOU.

Drawing in shapes, and forms, and lines, will help you to visualize the forms and shapes of the anatomy, and anything else, mentally so you don;t have to think about it anymore, and it becomes an automatic process, much like "zen training" such as Zen archery, zen carpentry, zen nail hammering, zen writing, etc....


I put my signature BACK to the original signature! I've removed my spouse's surname from my signature. over the course of doing the croquis and butting heads with my spouse over creative differences, I have definitively decided he shall have NO PART IN MY ART WHATSOEVER.

We DO NOT have the same ideas, perspectives, nor TASTES in art AT ALL.... Therefore, he has NO PLACE in my signature, because my art, and may artwork IS MINE!

He also WILL NOT allow me to study for an Art Degree, even tho' HE IS.

He also thinks I can't pass the GRE...


I'm STILL doing philosophy, AND ART.

And, for ALL the folks whom tease, taunt, and berate me for doing either I DEFY YOU, and will continue to do BOTH to spite you!

An another thing! :D
I've been going to the gym frequently, and my results are starting to show.