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On where things have gone...

It has been two years since I posted here... Funny how those two years have been radically different from the previous eight years. The last year seemed to be full of incredible accomplishments to the point I was in disbelief of what I was doing. It's weird how one will start rearranging one's life and relationships when they get in the mood to push towards a goal. The two main points of adversity have of course been finances and mental illness. Being bipolar can be an advantage when studying something so creative as animation where the excess mental energy can be channeled to be of use. However with the condition comes a definitely give and take. I am also combating depression and anxiety. Being borderline alcoholic does not help either...

A major change is that I am not experiencing rage like I used to. There is rarely a shortage of annoyances but not the rage that there used to be. The scary part of having a mental illness is that the feelings just don't turn off or run their course. The feelings will burn out of control until there is some major interruption. Discretion goes out the window, everything becomes a tactical situation and blah blah blah...

Now on to the sunnier side of life...

I now know what it's like to help a reconstructed breast cancer survivor feel really good her own skin. It is so much easier now to build a rapport with models and no longer the hit and miss of a few years ago. One lovely young woman who was modelling for one of my drawing classes was incredibly nervous, so during the break I told her about rolling slightly forward on her hips to avoid exposing herself, with tact of course. After this her poses were far more confident and everybody's drawings got better. I wonder if any of the models I have worked with are assault victims that I helped heal...

It's that thicker skin or that sense of quick to appropriate action that makes for and sees through better decisions which better manage life. Saying "absolutely not" when explaining that something is needlessly offensive. Forgiving when someone stops trying to drag you in when they are on a destructive streak.
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On a few changes

A friend whom I had seen in eight years is now back in my life, although her reappearance has been a mixed blessing. She is starting a new life out here as her life back in Alberta had fallen apart. In certain ways she has inspired me to make some bold changes that may mean some stress now, but ultimately better days ahead. we have done a few art commissions in the past, and are now setting the groundwork to more commissions together in the future.

The mixed part is that she gravitates towards chaotic situations and has injured herself as a result of horseplay in a dark park in the middle of the night. It was not her day for climbing a tree. What she did do for me was talk me into buying steel toed boots and handed the phone to when she was setting up an interview for a job. The outcome of her handing me the phone is that I now have a new job... Better pay and more dignity to boot!!! There are some definite goods, so let's make the bads not so chronic and a hell of a lot more manageable!!!

My other major change... I got into Commercial Animation at Capilano University. I am super excited as this is what I have been wanting to do for the last two years...  I have a feeling of now I am getting somewhere, but before I rest on my laurels I must accomplish something other than getting into a school!!!
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Another level???

I was recently contacted by email from someone needing an artist. It turns out that I have been recruited to do the drawing for an RSA animation style presentation of how the client company does business. My actual paying day job really lacks appeal and is at times frustratingly manic, so it is definitely in my best interest to get on this job. I always seem to do good drawing either in a pub or a cafe too. Some of those make nice studios... And yes I have had absinthe, and then went and drew a pretty naked girl... But I am bat shit crazy, so what else is new???

Back to business, I am doing individual drawings for this project so that I have something for when I draw it out on the whiteboard. It is interesting in that It is based off a flow chart.with an overall spiral design very much in mind. I met with my clients for the first time the other day, and we even went back to their office to discuss some ideas, watch the video to be edited and get a feel for a whiteboard. The video that will be remade into a whiteboard presentation seems to bounce all over the place and it confused the hell out of me, so they idea is to make it a nice linear presentation with nice pictures to accompany the dialogue that gives a clear concise explanation. The drawings I am doing right now are in two shades of blue and one shade of red colerase pencil. The light blue is for constructing the drawing, which basically composition and getting forms nailed down. The dark blue is for the black or dark areas later. The red is for anything meant to really stand out. Contrast communicates greatly.

I like seeing people in this industry how they dress in their regular clothes and don't have to be clean shaven all the time. I personally like wearing a couple days growth, although for the life of me can't figure out why pretty people give me flirting smiles when I look like a total heap of shit. 

I also did my first trip back to the island in two and a half months. Needless to say the karaoke scene loved seeing me perform 'Du Hast' and '99 Luftballons'!!! I also painted a friend in the painting that I want to sneak into the Pride parade this year...
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Back into the swing...

So, soon I will be life drawing and hopefully bodypainting again. I recognise the need to get at both with a vengeance if need be so that I can be create again. I have an ongoing commission that started just before I moved from Nanaimo, but these things can only go so far before they run out of steam. I am hoping to get in an absolute furious amount of life drawing in before reapplying to Capilano next year. I have regained contact with the former animator who talked me into it in the first place, but have learned the hard way that looking to him as a possible resource is maybe not the best idea as last year when his personal life took a tumble, that resource was effectively lost.

I have recently contacted an aunt of mine in Delta after ten years. The lack of contact was due to too pain being inflicted at the wrong time when I was vulnerable after being stabbed. Her marriage was falling apart, her meds were not working and she was codependent on the Catholic Church. I am one of those who handles religion in small doses. Believe it or not more than half my mother's side of the family suffers from some mental illness or other. I got the bipolar card. I think my mom may have OCD. This coming weekend I plan on visiting and hopefully having a pleasant visit. Her two boys are doing quite well for themselves right now, but I suspect they did not have all ambition browbeaten out of them. The one cousin I suspected of having a creative streak is now a video game designer, so maybe he has a thing or two to teach me.

Well, not much else...
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Blah... and then some

Ever wake up feeling like you have really made a mess of things. I recently started a new job and at the moment I am all thumbs. The first week back to work was a shock to the system after a week off. My main worry though was that I was expected to be in today even though I am sure I was scheduled off. Maybe I really need to start socialising more, as one of the reasons for moving here was to live life again. Go out and meet people... Go karaoking or something. Take in burlesque shows and roller derby games... After all there are these things called women out there... Did I just write that??? 

Now, maybe I should do some other things too. Get a bodypaiting on the go here (OK, not with the model I painted for the event at Science World). I recently met a really neat lady who works at a costume shop who has done some modelling. She likes my work and maybe I should propose a collaboration to get the ball rolling here. She directed me to a store in Burnaby called Holly North that sells movie and theatrical supplies for about 3/4 the price I was paying before. It is my plan to start experimenting more with prosthetics this summer. The next painting is this coming Wednesday for a photographer from Saskatoon for a Vallejo inspired image that will mean a day trip to Nanaimo.

Needless to say I really should just kick my arse out the door on days off and go live life. Wallowing is unproductive and self-sabotaging!!! If I fucked up... learn from it and don't fuck up again!!! Wallowing is also as toxic as hanging around shallow people when you don't fit their standards. Like hanging around sexist people with no respect for a good male/female dynamic!!! 
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On regaining reality...

With the birthday I experienced some depression that was more of a now what sort of depression. I cancelled all appointments on my birthday and went back home to sleep. The trouble is the next day I was all over the place sleepwise and got nothing done. I did meet a friend for supper at Kaplan's Deli, which was a nice short walk from the Canada Line station at 41st. We chatted about life, and although we are good foods certain things just would not work out relationshipwise. The are more to do with expectations of life and how we are neurotic than being of different faiths. I am currently unemployed and my friend hates her job. Nothing new about people hating their jobs really. I have finally had knishes!!! That pastrami is worth another visit too!!! Evidently there is a difference between Jewish food and strictly kosher!!!

Afterwards we went into the Jewish community centre. In one part I felt rather underdressed wearing shorts and flipflops while sharing an elevator with my friend and several well dressed young men. Sadly she is the victim of perceived gossip, and felt most awkward. Maybe if this is not an area for those not of the faith, then we will not go there as I respect other faiths. We later went into another part that was more of the community centre than any sort of school. In here was an art gallery with art reflecting on Jerusalem and Klezmer music playing. She introduced me to people she has known since childhood including a sweet little old lady who I suspect if I were a guest in her house I might gain a half kilogram for every hour visited...

When I got home silly little things were starting to matter in ways that they should not. Other people's business and not mine, which is a warning sign to me that affairs of the upstairs need to be addressed. Having a mild mental illness requires that one be a little more sensitive to stuff like this in themselves. Other people are living their lives and I am not there... Um, time to get busy with my life as that is my main priority. This time I handled it by rewriting my resume with a one size fits all cover letter. I then must have made over thirty online job applications. It was a nice bit of productivity, because I now can at least feel like I am doing something. I also changed my voicemail message that I have had for more than three years... If someone is calling me for a job interview, "Gruess Gott, Sie hamm Corys Handy ang'rufen"... nope, short sweet and in English please. I after all am trying to make myself into someone who can be taken seriously!!!
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Plan B

Ok... So here I am on a job hunt and not accepted into the school programme I wanted to be in. Well, I will have that portfolio looked after soon enough, but a job hunt... Well moving here was my choice so no complaining!!! However I did not apply to that call for male models to have their faces filmed while orgasming. Writing cover letters was never fun, but I do prefer email over getting resumes printed because of convenience and cost. A quick internet search also feels like fishing in the right spot to begin with. So far most jobs I have applied for have been in North Vancouver, but it is almost as quick to go into downtown Vancouver as it is to go the more remote parts of North Van. I kinda live out in the boonies anyway.

I took a week off as I have not had time off in a while. It was a small holiday of sorts and I slept more than explored. Not racing from downtown Vancouver to catch that bloody ferry and be home in four hours really appeals to me. Funny how I never took the bull by the horns and moved sooner. The other day I took a meandering tour of Kitsilano but somehow did not come across Plögers delicatessen, which will rectifies soon enough. One of the things I moved across the water for was multiculturalism. I have already gone for a kosher meal and got to watch my friend indulge in what she calls stereotypical Jewish family infighting with her sister... Does she realise that her faith and my faith have another thing in common??? Catholic family in fighting is quite similar!!! well the Catholic church did evolve out of Judaism!!! Like father like son!!! Now to get my Chinese Canadian friends into gear.
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Moving on, the next chapter

So there was some planning on my part in case of a total disaster. Things actually went really well and it was one of the smoothest moves I have ever done. I had offloaded a quarter of my junk and my furniture, because it did not need to go across the water. Everything fit into my best friend's van and we were off. I even bodypainted a really hot roller derby chick mere hours before we loaded the van. Little wonder why Nina Hagen's My Way reminds my friend of me!!! Maybe twenty minutes to load and unload the van... Like I said it went well. I bought a two zone pass for over here so that I am mobile for most of the Mainland. I especially love counting languages on the transit. Although hearing German does make me miss A... An meinem Mutters Geburtstag fliegt sie nach Deutschland zurück... Schade, bin traurig...

So my first painting over here as a resident went... I'll leave it alone. I have a big contest tomorrow!!!

The last day at work was alright. I only heard Avril Lavigne's prostate torturing music once. Hmmm, nobody else will have DTH blaring from the training computer like I did... Let us not forget Rammstein too!!! And Nena and Sisters of Mercy!!! I got a good reference from the boss as he got reliability out of me.

Well that's it for now.
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A new twist to the trip...

On my last trip to the mainland from Nanaimo I made a stop where I was supposed to transfer and the bus that came 15 minutes later. After fourteen and a half years of madly buzzing past Park Royal Mall in West Van, I finally stopped in just to look. Interesting that I was on my way to an open house at Capilano University when I took a small break. On the prior visit I did some wandering around in downtown North Vancouver. Hmmm, the Opus art supply store is more or less across the street from a German restaurant that does not serve Weissbier... I serious wonder how much I miss when I am zipping around headless...

Sigh. On with the show. In spite of dashing frantically to catch a boat and leaving half my work behind, my portfolio is way more on the right track than it was before. Yet another reason to vacate Nanaimo!!! The tutoring that I have been receiving has definitely been paying off as I can now see through a drawing to find out how it was made. I was also given tips and reference links to some of the best drawing texts. The toys that they have in the animation are instant drool too!!! I raced back for a friend's birthday, and planned the exploring I'll do then...

I am going to like North Vancouver I think!!!
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The big push...

April 2nd is my deadline for submission,so I kinda gotta needta have my act together on this one. So far I have had five successful sessions with a tutor for my drawing as I want this to go somewhere. In March I will start my search for a new residence as I have actually lived in the same place for six and a half years. The truth is that I am moving cities. It only half seems real, but I still must see it through. I must admit though that family might actually be within easy reach again, and that could be a mixed blessing. Not much furniture will come with the move either.

All this portfolio business, and my drawing is getting looked at again on Saturday at the school I plan on attending. Interestingly enough I have moved away from sketchbooks to loose pieces of computer paper on a see through clipboard. This facilitates trace overs, clean ups and inking. My approach to gesture drawing has recently changed too. Now doing it in quick squiggles and putting the collages on hold. I have been receiving instruction in character design too.

The bodypainting is well... good and bad. I think I should distance myself from an unstable model as the last job with her involved dealing with stalkers. Thankfully the photographer dealt with it, and the shoot was finished. I do not normally like to copy other's creations, but I did pull off a borg from Star Trek with a different model. She is a die hard scifi geek, so talking her into be painted as a borg was a very low maintenance plan!!! I finally got a couple of Photoshop lessons and pulled some 3D constructions made in Blender into Photoshop and...