If It Weren’t For Steven

Disclaimer: This post is going to be mainly me discussing Steven Universe, so if you want to watch the series with no spoilers at all then go do that, you don’t want to be here.

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Sometimes there are tv shows that come along that just change the way things in that genre completely, when it came to cartoons I’d say that Adventure Time was the first to change the cartoon genre of this generation. It was a cartoon that was both playful and fun on the surface, but was packed full of meaning and messaging that was both helpful to adults and children alike. It was, and still is a cartoon that is meant to be for everyone.

And so from Adventure Time, all the stars aligned and new creator with an idea so brillant was born.

Steven Universe was created by Rebecca Sugar, an artist working on Adventure Time who ended up leaving to work on her own TV show, Steven Universe. She is officially the first female cartoon creator in history according to this wiki article I’m skimming. Also she’s only 3 years older then me, she makes me feel like I could create something amazing.

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And parts of me tweak out on the absolute unfairness of this fact, but at the same time at least it’s happening now, and I can’t think of anyone worthier of carrying the meaningful catoon torch like Rebecca Sugar.

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Steven Universe is more then just a cartoon to me, it’s a friend. I started watching it on the week of the inevitable breakup, and even since then I’ve learnt so much from this show.

So the main premise of the show is that there is an alien race of space rocks called Gems, they are literally gemstones that project a light form of their choice, for this reason all the Gems are female as they don’t reproduce, they are grown in large groups. Anyway, the Gems essentially want to conquer everywhere so they had planned to use the Earth as a way to grow more Gems and deplete the worlds resources thus destroying the planet. A couple of Gems, the main one being Rose Quartz decide to try and save the planet, and they succeed for a while. Rose ends up meeting a human named Greg Universe and decide to have a child. In order for the child to exist it meant that Rose had to give up her gem and form in order for the child to exist.

And that’s who Steven Universe is half human, but also half Rose Quartz, he is essentially his mum.

This cartoon does not patronise the kids with perfect characters and unrealistic situations, already this show starts of with a pretty intense theme. And as much as it’s an incredibly colourful and all round beautiful show, it does an excellent job at confronting you with situations that make you think, without feeling afraid of it.

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I mean, just look at these main character designs;

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How’s this for showing every body type? And it’s not just like this for the main characters either;

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This is a bit of the cast of the Beach City town people. Rebecca Sugar goes above and beyond to show you as many different people as she can, because this how real life is. She doesn’t throw these characters in your face either, she portrays them as normal people doing their own thing in the town.

Also I love that there are a couple of short Gems, it’s the only show that brings up the concept of feeling weak because of being small.

Not only that it tackles just about every subject, and in a non preachy way. All of the main characters have their issues, sometimes they even do truly shitty things, but it’s always put into the context of that character being in pain or there being a reason of why they acted like that.

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This show also does a beautiful job at explaining the concept of love and relationships. The fact that Gems can fuse together in order to create another person thats stronger then both of them, is a pretty decent metaphor for sex and relationships. They show how fusion can be corrupted, and how people can be manipulated into doing it when they don’t want.

I’ve never seen a cartoon bring up the topic of consent before, but this topic gets brung up a few times throughout the series, just to concrete the fact that No means No in any circumstance.

And of course being a show this amazing and emotionally mature, it’s been banned a lot, mainly in Australia. Because the Gems are all female its safe to assume that there are lesbian relationships in it. In fact, one of the main characters, Garnet, is a fusion of Sapphire and Ruby, and because of how powerful their love is, Garnet has the ability to be Garnet all the time, whereas with every other Gem Fusion they eventually need to split apart or else they come corrupt and dangerous to be together.

I can’t think of a stronger metaphor for love then that.

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I love the whole concept of Garnet. I love how strong she is because the relationship is so strong. I love her design, her huge hips, her strong black woman vibe. She is the ultimate picture of strength, with all the sexiness because of her feminimity. I think showing a female character like that is incredibly hard to do without turning the character into an overly sexualised joke. This show celebrates the female form in my opinion.

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This show isn’t based on lesbian relationships though, it just chooses to show all forms of relationships, straight and homosexual respectively.

Anyway, there’s so much more I coud say about Steven, and there might be more posts along the lines so expand more on it.

Maybe.

But you should do yourself a favour and watch this show. Everything about it is good and relevant.

Also it’s inspired some art out of me, here’s one of mine;

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Including the music which is just catchy on so many levels.

This song mainly, it’s one I go back to whenever I feel like everything is getting too much.

No Soprano Anymore

I’m pretty sure I’ve made mention to it before, but I’ll mention it again. I sing, I’ve had 7 years training and 10 years worth of amateur (thank fuck for spell checker on that one) theatre experience.

It’s something my parents really drilled into me that I was good at, because it was a thing I showed potential in, or so my dad thought, when I was singing the Australian National Anthem, acapella, perfectly in key at the age of 5. I always wanted to be an actor, I didn’t even want to sing at the time, but mum encouraged me toward it because she said it would ‘increase my chances in the acting world if you know more then one talent’. Around that time I was forced into calaesthetics (a mix of gymnastics and dance), which I hated and blatantly refused to do. I don’t dance, I can be choreographed but it takes me a long time to learn.

The dance reason is probably one of the only reasons I don’t do theatre anymore, that and I lost my pure musical theatre voice when I started smoking.

I may not be my fathers perfect soprano anymore, I still feel like maybe my voice has worth to it. I’m a alto belter now, all of a sudden I went from quiet to loud and now it’s hard for people to be in the same room with me when I sing because it’s loud.

I’m posting something I said I’ve been wanting to do for a long while. The clip below is me, all Kim, singing Angel Of The Morning, to the backing track of some shitty karaoke version I found on YouTube. It’s filmed on my iphone, in a terrible camera position which makes the whole look of it downright embarrassing and awkward. I make a few mistakes because in all reality I still do not properly get the bridge, so see me struggle.

I’m doing this because I need to understand what I should and should not put out into the world.

I’m doing this because I would love some recognition, and the thought that the years I spent training weren’t just a waste of time.

I’m doing this to put myself out there, to say I’m ready to face the opinions of others, whether they be nice, harsh or helpfully critical.

I’m doing this to prove to myself that I was a muso once, and I loved it, and the tattoo of the treble clef and sheet music is not obnoxious or a lie.

This is pretty anxiety building for me, but I guess putting yourself out there always is. Keep in mind though that considering this is done on the shittest of shit equipment (as in no real equipment at all) if you need to criticise me on something, please just concentrate on the actual singing.

It’s ok, I’ve spent my whole life receiving constructive criticism without too much praise thrown in so I can take it.

I smirk when I know I’ve hit a bad note or didn’t do something right.

Oh, and if you don’t like the singing, I also made that large dream catcher in the back of the video on the wall.

Tank Girl Is My Otherkin

So I was watching Game Grumps the other day, and they were talking about the concept of spirit kin.

Spirit Kin is a term used to describe how people feel connected with a certain person that is real. Example of this is someone is a fan of Elvis, but instead of just really loving Elvis the fan envisions in their head that they are somewhat connected spiritually even though they’ve never met Elvis.

I love Jamie Hewlett, but I don’t think we are spiritually connected. But I do however feel like I embody everything that is Tank Girl and she’s a fictional character. So I looked up that and found;

Other Kin, which basically is the same thing as Spirit Kin except with fictional creatures or cartoon characters.

The rest of the write up was also super hilarious too.

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First Tank Girl picture that I coloured. By Kim 2005.
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Drew this in Math class in 2005. (I didn’t like math..)
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Pretty fucking proud of this one, just sayin’. Copied on a car trip into woop woop in 2005.

I’ve been pretty stressed and angry lately, and everyone told me to write. And I guess writing is the same as talking for me (because I’ve never had a problem with expressing emotion, more the opposite problem of keeping emotions tame), it doesn’t help. I don’t care what anyone says but ‘talking’ is not always going to be a good idea. Not for people like me anyway, I only dwell.

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First Tank Girl attempt, ever. If you can’t see the date up the top it says 2004, so I was 13.

So I decided to paint instead, and I realised that it’s much more therapeutic for me then writing. It switches my emotions off and forces me to think rationally and logically, and believe me, that’s a far more useful skill for me to have then just letting out my emotions.

I keep attempting to insert pictures between paragraphs but unfortunately for me WordPress only works on a decently running, updated desktop computer (because even laptops are too hard).

WORDPRESS, PLEASE MAKE YOUR WEBSITE USER FRIENDLY, SOME OF US ARENT REAL AUTHORS AND NEED TO USE A DEVICE INSTEAD OF A DESKTOP COMPUTER WITH WINDOWS 10!!!!

I have loved the comics since I knew who she was. Tank Girl is by far the strongest comic book character, period. She smokes and drinks, drives a tank and loves guns.

She drives a tank, how cool is that!

Ive been drawing and copying Tank Girl since I was 13, it’s now time to step up the game and paint her…

Wish me luck. I’ll put up the results once I’m done, depending on how popular this post gets.

Thats not true, even if I don’t get even one like for this post, if it turns out awesome I will post it anyway.

 

 

 

I Painted A Thing

So, mister has a 3D printer. It’s pretty sweet. About a year ago when we were living with mum and dad for a couple of months, mister decided to crank out the printer because he wanted to use his engineering program needed to form something to print. And so he spent hours designing a thing, gave up, and said, I’m just gonna go on the website and find some one else’s design.

Calm down, we didn’t steal anyone’s designs. The brand of the 3D printer has its own website and community where people can post what they’ve made and then the designs so other people with the same brand of 3D printer.

So mister thought, Bulbasaur Planter Box, why Kim you don’t care about plants or flowers, but I do care about Pokemon. And it makes total sense because it’s a grass Pokemon and it has a bulb growing on its back (hence why it’s called bulbasaur, it’s basically a baby bulb dinosaur Pokemon).

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(This is Bulbasaur the Pokemon, isn’t he cute)

So about 4-5 hours later, Bulbasaur finished printing. He came out like this next picture essentially, but these photos were taken after I prepped him by sanding off all his rough plastic edges and pulling the plastic bottom off it.

Still cute, but still looked bland, like every one else who decided to just print a Bulbasaur (because a strange amount of people like printing Pokemon themed pots for plants). The plastic is super thick and was liney because the plastic prints in layers, and it was so slippery so I wasn’t going to be able to get acrylic paint on him while he was still just plastic. So we spray painted him gun metal grey as an undercoat and I was meant to go back and paint him the week after that, but time moves forward and it’s about a year or more later and I only just finished getting the actual paint on him 2 nights ago.

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It took two hours, 1 hour and 15 minutes of that was letting it sit in front of the heater for 20 minutes at a time waiting for paint to dry.

I know understand the saying ‘about as boring as watching paint dry’. Fucking tell me about me it man, it’s literally one of the most fucking boring things in the world watching paint dry, which was what I was doing because I needed to get to sleep and I started painting it late at night on impulsive. I know it’s 1 in the morning but fuck it, I feel like I’m in the right state of mind to paint on a platform I’ve never really tried before. She’ll be right.

It came out alright though, right? Believe me my photography skills don’t flatter anything (I don’t understand how my brother is a genius photography and I’m completely inept)

I was honestly surprised at how well it turned out, I thought it’d end up getting sprayed over again because it looked like shit. What I painted was essentially a really big, easy miniature, that’s still a completely different thing to just painting on a canvas. It’s 3D, and I didn’t really have anything to directly copy, I had to actually, gasp, imagine what Bulbasaur would look like in 3D with no point of reference.

Kim’s art skill raised +1 level

I don’t like plants, but I would’ve made an effort to find the right plant to go in him, but now he’s mums as she saw him and claimed him, even though it’s a Pokemon, she doesn’t care, it’s a super cute dinosaur plant pot in her eyes. If it wasn’t mum though Jes would’ve gotten it, as he expressed interest but mum deserves it more (she’s got me out of homelessness, and I haven’t needed to bribe Jes in a long time about money he lent me). But I had to leave dad with strict instructions to seal him because she didn’t let me put the sealant on!

As you can see though it will totally function as a plant pot (I just don’t know how well yet) because of the drainage holes on his feets. And this is the gummy Bulbasaur too because I accidentally got a bit too enthusiastic with the sandpaper and sanded off his two little front teeth.

Anyway, I’m going to go play Pokemon TCG online (which is the Pokemon card game) because there’s no new Pokemon video games to play.

What do you reckon? Could I sell these at markets with plants in them?

Need Opinions Pweeeeeeeze

So I couldn’t call this post I made a thing, yet. Because I’ve technically only painted on one 10cm x 10cm canvas (which is coaster size for any country that doesn’t measure in centimetres or millimetres) and I’ve still got another 4 to paint.

The plan is to turn them into coasters. You can have 5 coasters in a set right, or does it have to be 6, I don’t know I’m not civilised enough to use coasters! This is why I need opinions, because these are potential Etsy ideas.

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My plan is themed pop culture coasters, mainly centring around video games because 8 bit art is cool. So this set I’m currently doing is main Nintendo franchise characters, so I’ve finished Megaman as you can see from the photo above. The date next to him is the date that the first Megaman game was released. The other characters I have are Mario, Link, Pikachu and Donkey Kong, all are going to be 8 bit like Megaman, with the date of their original release and the same patterned background except with the characters own background colour and either a line of silver around the edges (like Megaman) or gold. So either 2 silver and 3 gold or vice versa.

To turn them into coasters I’m tossing up on 2 ideas. The first being glue the canvas onto a tile then put plexi glass over the top. Or, instead of a tile I was thinking round balsa wood glued to the bottom, so it’s be almost raft like down the bottom, with a balsa wood border with the plexi glass.

Both ideas kind of cost the same, one may take a bit more effort but I’m prepared to put in the added effort if it makes it more sellable.

So please let me know what you all think, constructive criticism is encouraged and highly appreciated. So is honesty, I’d rather be told I suck and mope about it then spend all my money and be heartbroken because it wasn’t popular. So yeah, hit me with your best shot…

Unless it’s these things that I’m already aware of; shitty blue paint (I swear it’s the paint not me, the plan is to get better paint), mega mans legs aren’t totally symmetrical, the date looks a bit ratty and my signature looks like a small squished fly.

Aside from those, please nit pick away!

And Now For Something Completely Different…

To those who recognised where that quote was from kudos to you. Ding ding ding, we have a weiner Monty Python ftw! But seriously there’s like a few thoughts of blogs that are trapped in my head write now so I’m just gonna shove it all into one post.

So I drew another thing, this one took days, hours of giant book flattening and using a shitty glue stick to stick pages together. It was lame, the black is paint, it’s totally shit to use paint on paper. It’s also totally shit to use water on paper so the Derwents are like a big fuck you. Hehe here’s a perfect blending formula but your paper is going to mold itself into stupid shapes that’ll look poop.

Here’s a before:

DSC_0027.JPGThe main is obviously the  finished shot. I love the Gorillaz not just because they make cool as shit music but because the person that did their characters was Jamie Hewlett. If you don’t recognise the name he’s the artist of Tank Girl, my favourite graphic novel/comic book of all time. I could go on and on about how amazing Tank Girl is but that in itself deserves it’s own post.

But the Gorillaz makes a great segueway into music. I don’t really share music, I didn’t do it on Facebook and I didn’t really do it on any other social platform. But I’ve noticed there’s a few on here that are into punk and I must admit, our country have some cool bands. The two bands I’m going to share are actually from my home state which makes it even more cool!

City of Angels –  The Distillers (this songs about Melbourne!)

Greg! The Stop Sign – TISM this is serious mum (this band is an acquired taste, people either love or hate this band)

Look, I did a Thing!

It’s been a couple of days since I last posted, I haven’t been very active on comments and such either. I’m sorry! I said in my About that my attention span is kind of short, and I ended up with Christmas presents that re-kindled the drawing phase.

Let’s get things straight though, I am NOT an artist, I never claimed in my life to be one, just like I claim that I am not a writer/blogger. Being an artist requires creativity and original thought, both of which I lack. I copy everything, I’m so cdo (like ocd but in alphabetical order as it should be) that I gained the ability to copy an image down to a fine point. I do not use tracing paper, I just have the original picture next to me and I copy it to the exact detail. There’s always a lot of erasing, a lot of sharpening my pencil to the point where it’s so sharp it can pierce skin and a lot of re doing the same line over 20 times.

I was always cdo with colouring since I was 3 years old, I didn’t like drawing my own kiddy stick figure drawings, I liked colouring already drawn things, like in colouring books. My parents didn’t really allow me to be a child, would always correct my wrong pronunciation of words, would only praise me if I did something impressive. When I coloured I would prefer textas over pencils because I preferred bold colours, which I spent hours colouring between the lines. I was incredibly literal with the colours I chose too. If it were a cow I’d colour it in browns, a tree would be brown trunk green leaves, sky was blue, grass was green, you know realistic colours. In my first year of primary school I got time out for yelling at a child that they were colouring wrong because they were colouring a horse purple and also not really caring that they were going out of the lines. 

At 9 years old I was copying Simpson’s character faces. When I first started I would cry for hours because they didn’t look right. After weeks of trying to perfect Homer I got him decent enough for 9 year old me to be happy with. I always got the exact opposite responses off my parents. Mum would say it was brilliant no matter if I handed her a scribble or a da Vinci masterpiece. It used to shit me because it didn’t help me get better nor did it encourage me to think I was good. My dad on the other hand would just say I wasn’t that good and shouldn’t brag, basically. I don’t think he ever was impressed with me till I reached at least 14. As much as his responses hurt and depressed me, I knew that if I got some praise out of him then it meant I must of done well. In doing so though I’ve never really been truly happy with anything I’ve done. I’ll be impressed after I’ve initially done something sure, but give me a day and I’ll pick it apart piece by piece.

Jumping to only days past Christmas though and mum got me the things I told her to get me because I couldn’t afford them. Yay for her listening to me! I used both of the things she gave me to do the Pokemon picture featured. Since I haven’t drawn in a couple of years because I’ve been painting instead I needed something easy to get me into the swing of drawing again. It’s a completely different platform that’s for sure. I can’t erase lines on a canvas but I can paint over all my mistakes. Once I’m colouring with textas on paper, or fine lining however, if I fuck that up then I’ve fucked up and can’t fix it. I can’t shade properly with paint but then again I never could figure out how to do it with pencil either. I am all about my hard lines and bold colours, that’s why I’m attracted to cartoons. I’ve been told I have a surgeons hand, I can quickly and efficiently draw a line without needing to shade, I’m also accurate at keeping a line straight. The way I draw is incredibly mechanical, nothing about my personality is arty farty, I’m dead serious expression in everything I do. I’ve been urged by a few to do tattooing but again that involves having an imagination which I just do not possess.

Anyway, here’s the first thing I got off mum:

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Watercolour fucking Derwent pencils 72 of the things! This is not a cheap set of pencils. And I know there’s probably heaps out there that are like oh my gerd there’s like totally better brands of pencils out there, but to them I say, fuck you man, Derwents have always been the top of the line for me. Granted, my parents got me my first set of the same thing at 7, I apparently showed potential at being amazing at art, they thought I was a child star so they got me top of the line pencils. The thing is for one I didn’t particularly like colouring with pencils because they didn’t give a bold enough colour and two, I had no idea what the difference was between just pencils, and watercolour pencils. You don’t either? Well I’ll show you!

This is the before shot of me just colouring it in with the pencils first:

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Notice how it looks like it’s been coloured in with pencils, duh. That’s what normal pencils do. But this second shot is after I paint over it with water:

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You may not be able to notice much difference but it’s definitely there! With just the addition of water, it makes it all blendy and smooth (notice I can’t explain shit properly, hence not an artist). Normal pencils don’t go all blendy and cool, only watercolours can.

Obviously the Pokemon title itself was not done by the Derwents, that was done with my textas of choice which I’ve always used from the earliest age of 3:

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These are connector pens, they are aimed at children because they’re like Lego textas, you can stick their lids together and make guns and shit! It’s such a childish thing, and believe me, the kids at school all wanted these because of the Lego factor. But these textas are hands down the best textas you can get, that are obviously not artist standard. Not only is the colour consistent if you colour in the same direction but they last for agessss. I lost a lid for one for a couple of days and the fucker was still working just as well! Plus when I was a kid, there used to be like 72 colours, now the highest you get is a lame 45 colours.

I remember walking into an art shop with Mister, like a full on ladi da type expensive art shop. We were there to get charcoal pencils and such for mister, coz he’s a proper artist, like can copy photos of faces and shit and draws his own stuff and can shade and shit. We were discussing art supplies with the chick at the counter and I said I used connector pens to colour in. She gave me this pansy arse scoff giggle and just ignored me whilst continuing to flirt with Mister. She thought I was a joke for using kids products to make art, well…

FUCK YOU BITCH, I CAN MAKE FINE PIECES WITHOUT YOUR EXPENSIVE ARTIST GRADE BULLSHIT!

I also failed art in school, go figure.