Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thoughts in the Nebulae

There's an enormous, distant, and almost unfathomable reason why getting ourselves into space travel is essential to the human race. The moment we can physically look back at our home, one tiny speck amongst trillions of other tiny specks, will be the moment we can tell ourselves "Wow. We're very small. Imagine what other worlds might exist in those other countless arrays of stars and planets. All these petty issues on Earth hardly matter when the universe is out there, beckoning us forward. Let's drop the crap that separates humanity, and show all known existence what we can do together."

Some respond to such an idea with "But doesn't that make you feel insignificant? Why continue living if it's pointless and daunting beyond comprehension?"

I respond with, "It took us billions of years to get here. Why ruin what little slice of consciousness we have? This is what our universe is, and this is what we can do. Now, let's explore, understand, have fun, and live it to the fullest extent. Plus, it's cool."

Friday, December 25, 2009


Sorry for not updating in a while. Things are going well! Got a 3.6 for this semester, learned tons of stuff, made fantastic friends at college, and got a head cold the day I got home for break. =D I'm better now, though, and drew a dragon:

Feel free to click on the image to see the much larger size. I decided to try and beat myself at digital painting, and in my humble opinion it was rather successful. If you have any critiques, please don't hesitate to comment.

I hope you're all having a great winter!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

When Artists Rest in Stasis

A bizarre situation, indeed.

I'm specifically speaking about artists on any skill level who are caught in a perpetual state: a state lacking in improvement, and sometimes, succumbing to regression.

Two cases of such a feat have caught my eye in the past year. These online people were relatively close to me. For both, I met them years and years ago (before/at the beginning of high school), lost contact with them, and recently found their work again. I've decided to write about them. I won't mention names, but it's much too hard to describe their situation without at least a description and background.

-long post warning-

Misguided Comfort Zone:

Upon first finding this person on the Internet, back in my preteen years, I was amazed. It started a small obsession for me, which guided my art in a strange, but temporary, direction. Their art primarily existed (and continues to exist) in the realm of fan art to a popular franchise. The dinosaurs and characters they drew seemed so distant and professional to me. From my point of view, I could see this person taking their talent and skill into a career one day.

Now, at least six years later, I found myself thinking of them again. I looked them up online, and lo and behold, still around! And rather active at that. This thrilled me to no ends, and I instantly rushed to see their art.

It is an oddly tragic thing to idolize artist's work one day, then years later look upon it with surprised confusion and worry. They had hardly improved. In six years, their subject matter, skill, and style remained the same. Some aspects had even relapsed.

For instance, instead of improving anatomy, lighting, shading, and an expanded understanding of digital art tools like Photoshop and Corel Painter... They focused on developing a more painterly digital technique. This technique itself is a difficult thing to grasp. It can be done extremely well, but only after the foundations of art creation are understood. Yes, it is very apparent their recent art is more painterly. But without a full, well-rounded grasp on such aforementioned skills, their works lack integrity that one would expect after six years.

That isn't to say this artist is a bad person. Quite the opposite! They're very polite and amiable. In the past few weeks, they have finally begun expanding their subject matter, so I am curious as to how they will address more realistic approaches.

This in complete contrast to...

Improvement is Unnecessary, for [Self-Proclaimed] Mastery is Already Achieved:

When I first met this person, I could really connect with them. We were both young and breaking into our teens - out to take the world by storm. To me, they drew really cool dragons and art in general. We would roleplay our characters together, talk about art, and blab about random crap.

Unbeknownst to my teenaged Internet self, this person led a ridiculously psychotic online life.

They suddenly contacted me a few months ago. I hadn't spoken with them in probably four or five years. I was pleasantly astonished to meet them again, instantly curious about their artwork, and they eagerly guided me to a couple pieces.

I found myself feeling the same as I did with the previously mentioned person. This person had not improved. In a way, their skills even deteriorated.

With further investigation, I discovered their other online life: the one I must have been too blindly naive to notice way back when. They self-proclaimed themselves as a Master Artist sent from God - born with holy talent. Supposedly, they began consciously drawing at the ripe age of two. Those dragons and characters they drew?: a majority were copied off the style and scheme of a popular artist. They developed such a conceited attitude, that when they asked for comments about their art, they completely ignored any and all critique, suggestion, or help - even from professional artists (whose art was then called, and I quote, "shitty"). Their excuse circled around the idea that their art is already perfect. It is strange that they see themselves as divine, and then fish for compliments in every aspect of their life. If perfection is achieved, what would they care about what others think? One moment they say no one else matters, and the next moment they squeeze positive feedback out of you. Those who have provided even the slightest negative feedback have been ignored, cussed at, or argued against.

You might think I'm kidding, but the sad truth is that I am not.

As for their art specifically, the transparency of their artistic deterioration allows me to see who this person really is. They consistently avoid drawing hands and complete faces. Cartoony, simplified, and always identical facial features float around sporadically in their sketchbook, detached from completion. If they draw a torso, that torso is guaranteed to lack at least the head, legs, and hands. Sometimes, this goes so far as to forget about the arms, or even gravity. They boast a professional grasp of art but what they deem as professional is widely known as a fear of change and development, under the guise of self-proclaimed 'perfection.' Their understanding of anatomy is incredibly childish. They say they use references: art books, photography, life studies, and such. But looking at their work, you would never guess this.

It seems they unfortunately fall into what art professors call 'Drawing what you think you see / what you wish to see, and not what you actually see.' This is more common a trait than you'd like to think, but most growing artists pop out of this box. It is easily amended with some honest training, willingness to improve, and an open mind.

...Which this person lacks. I have never seen a worse case of narcissism.

Two entirely different personalities, yes. Should these people ever visit my humble little blog and recognize themselves, know that I don't regret what I've said, for it's true. To the first person - you're awesome because you are still working towards improvement. I'm excited about what you have in store for the future. To the second person - grow up.

If anyone out there is curious about the subject, feel free to comment here, drop me an email, or message me on AIM. I'm always open to discussions. =)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Art Update 01

I noticed a serious lack of art here. This situation is now amended. (sorry about the terrible image size+quality, I'll try to fix it) Here is some art I have done/have been working on this semester, both in and out of class:

Creepy skull monster thing

Ideas for the purple ship posted earlier

Linux Penguin stress ball, modeled for class in Maya

I felt the penguin didn't allow me much freedom, model-making-wise, so I've been messing around in Maya if/when I find the time.

Alley concept for CA(3D) class. My idea wasn't chosen, but we're working on a much cooler idea. ;)

A wooden pallet for CA class

Lots of stuff in Unreal

My next prop model for Unreal is a mattress (doesn't look like anything yet...)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Art as Illusion & Aesthetics

I recently gave a presentation to my Aesthetics class. Each of us had chosen a class session to present the topic of their choice relating to art and philosophy. My presentation summarized my own personal definition of art:

Art as illusion and aesthetics. Basically, 'perception deception' and brain-candy combine forces to make cool stuff like art, music, movies, games, etc., that people enjoy because it appeals to the senses. I defended my views by saying the more a person can recognize aspects of the piece, the better - whether that's complete realism, or a gestural and eerie painting of a crow, it's up to the creator's intentions of how they want viewers to see their piece. I'm bad at summarizing it, but moving on.

It proved to erupt a great argument in class. A couple of the students were aghast that my definition basically throws out, and I quote, "..the past one-hundred years of art." Namely abstract and modern art that resembles this level of skill, mastery, and talent:

(not my image)

Anyway, I actually told the girl that I didn't want to offend her or be very harsh, so I stopped my presentation short (short? It wasn't supposed to exceed 20 minutes, but I stood there arguing for a good 45 minutes, haha). If I had continued, however, I would have told her my later Facebook status:

"...sorry, but I have to let this out... A flat blue canvas is to art, as homeopathy is to medicine. It is -not-. Pseudoscience and pseudoart: things that try to play in the realm of reason but only succeed in ruining it. So sue me, argue with me, whatever you please. It just seems duly insulting when the profession I'm aiming for can be more easily achieved by, apparently, shitting in a can. [insert image of a serious artist's creation: a can of their own poo]"

Harsh, huh? Yeah, sorry; stuff like that angers me.

Besides, in all honesty, isn't art cooler when you see this sci-fi photo-manipulation I made...

...and after that, I tell you it's all from texture photographs I took around my own campus? It's not space at all. It's pixels on a screen. ;D

Oh well. I had a great Halloween, btw: I hope you did too!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dreams - Morning of October 19th

The world is colder, and human presence is lacking.

It is early winter everywhere. Here, in a frost-hidden city, a lone man wearing winter clothes and a dark green beanie to cover his ears walked around, mulling something about alien abduction.

He wandered his way into a rather sizable house. All its windows and doors were either open or broken clean through - letting years and years of frosted snow enter, and coat every surface with barely distinguishable cloaks of chill white. Various furniture, covered long ago by plastic in a futile attempt to protect it, was scattered about the two-story, open living room. The man's eyes brightened up.

"This is a great place to do some Parkour," he said to himself, and began jumping on the furniture. The ice on the tables, couches, chairs, counters, crunched under the new weight. The points of impact dazzled with ice shards freshly broken.

A goldfish appeared in front of him, and the man quickly stopped himself before it. His eyes watched the fish as it floated around in its own warm glow, emanating heat, and a strange nostalgic beauty.

The man calmed as weird sensations came over him.

"I want to be a fish, too. The aliens need to abduct me... I want them to abduct me."

In the corner of his eye, the man spotted a few said aliens. Upon realizing he saw them, the aliens fled. The man instantly began chasing them.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A few Notes of Interest

First, I'll start off on a happy note: I have Jell-O! It is delicious.

Second, no doubt many others have seen this, but lately it's been particularly apparent to me that people really hate it when you question their lifestyle. I mean, who wouldn't? On the receiving end, things you've been taught; your thought process; things you've known to be true or false, are suddenly being interrogated under a spotlight. Daunting, no? It's a threat to one's method of living. I highly sympathize with reactions of confusion, frustration, sadness, anger - because it is natural to feel that way. I know this all too well.

But even though it hurts, I will be blunt: this is no excuse to disregard inquiry.

I'm speaking from my own stance here. If I question you, I'm doing it to not only understand you better, but to make you understand yourself better, to make you understand what you sound like to me. I ask out of personal curiosity. Yes, I acknowledge that it can and likely will boil your blood. If and when you do the same thing to me, my blood boils as well!

However, there are two different ways a person can take questioning. When I discover something about myself or the world around me, I can fully realize it. I can integrate it into my being. I can learn from my mistakes, and move on, and life can - and usually does - turn out for the better. Like the scientific method, even if I am deeply rooted in my knowledge or opinion, I must always be open to inquiry: mostly and especially towards that which makes more sense. Instead of pouting stubbornly, I take it into consideration.

Call me cold and logical and rational, but allow me to explain. Recently, I was re-taught the three basic functions of the human brain: the "Old" brain, the Limbic system, and the Cerebral Cortex.

The Old brain (also known as the reptilian brain) holds simplistic, primal instincts. Hunger, fear, lust, pugnacity, physical reflexes, etc. This is the animal in every human.

The Limbic holds the emotions. Love, sadness, anger, longing, happiness, etc.

The Cerebral Cortex is where higher cognitive thinking occurs. Rationality, consciousness, logistics, ideas, etc.

Whilst talking about these functions in my Dangerous Ideas course, people in my class tried to put them in order of importance. Although they made good general sense, I proposed that none of these are more important than the next. To make my point more clear, I gave examples. A person who lives only within the reptilian functions obviously lacks in higher understanding and sympathy. A person who relies purely on emotions will forget about their basic needs, and make irrational decisions. A person who only thinks about life and doesn't act is lacking in emotions and basic needs. This applies to all levels between the three functions.

Limbic + Cerebral = repressing deep desires
Cerebral + reptilian = absent of emotions
..And so on and so forth.

When a human is dysfunctional, these three features are not on the same level, or not close to the same level. The more the levels fluctuate, the more dysfunctional the person. A person is at their best when they take care to fulfill all these attributes. The Cerebral checks and balances the Limbic and reptilian so they don't go too far. The Limbic gives personal meaning to the Cerebral and reptilian. The reptilian feeds the pure instinct of the body - to satisfy the animal in all of us, to make our bodies content so they we may focus on other things.

I hope I've covered enough to make sense out of this outlook of mine. I try to balance myself between these kinds of thoughts. So far, it's worked pretty darn well!

To leave on a happy third note, enjoy arts!

Drawings for my project in Game Design class:

And, my kitty:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dreams - Morning of September 29th

A night of many dreams; one in particular stood out as downright creepy.


The setting morphed with a sudden momentum and landed dead-center in a brightly lit, claustrophobic jungle, where an extravagant plant-ridded mansion lay dead. I moved to my left, heading down the mansion's right wall, and soon found I had begun stepping on the stone tiles leading me into the back garden. The garden, without a doubt, was incredibly well-kept, but by whom, I shall never know.

With its curvy rows of flowers and bushes broken occasionally by a tall tree and red-brick walkways, the garden seemed a haven in the craze of the jungle. Before I could even breach beyond the mansion's back corner, however, I stopped in my tracks.

Out from the short shrubs to my immediate left, a tiny sheep appeared.

It was unlike any sheep I had ever seen... namely because this sheep was.. not only small, but its entire body a pale lime green. And stiff. The sheep stood completely erect, its feet locked together, its head locked forward, facing the wall of the mansion - all while moving towards the mansion at a slow, constant pace. And seeping out of the sheep - mouth unmoving - came a soft, airy voice filled with sincere concern.


I watched it move before me, in a straight line against the ground, body unwavering.

"..Molly? ...... Molly..?"

Time slowed, and the voice carried on.




Monday, September 28, 2009

Dreams - Morning of September 28th

Warning - These dreams often make little sense. Trying to understand them can cause socket damage.


Last night, I dreamt of a relatively small city-town, a cross between the Paris in Aristocats and the city of Lady and the Tramp.

..Only, deep at night, with the streets dimly lit by lamp posts and the occasional kindle escaping a window. No one was awake aside from two dogs.

The stocky hound was sniffing around the city, closely followed by his taller, ganglier friend. Together they discreetly searched the streets for clues. Recently, a good handful of crimes had been committed by a mysterious, unknown dog, and these two were out looking for a lead.

The hound kept reassuring his friend that he'd find something, while his buddy quietly insisted on hopelessness. After a great deal of searching benches, tables, posts, and dumpsters, the taller dog absentmindedly said "Maybe he doesn't shed."

Abruptly halted by the thought, the hound turned to his friend slowly with a grim discernment. "He doesn't shed," he said, shocked, and gradually sat down to take it all in. "He doesn't shed."



Friday, September 25, 2009

I'm nuts and proud of it

Space fish likes your spaceship.
All images (C) me, Kezrek - do not use without permission


I don't concern myself with worldly things to the degree in which many would want to believe. Please don't interpret that as some sort of blind belief. Upon entering my room, whether it be at home or at college, the first thing you'll notice is a lack of stuff.

It's like visiting a friend's house, and she shows you her room... only to think she's been mistaken, and shown you the relatively barren, hospital-like guest room, with pale walls tinted green and an off-white carpet worn dense by years of walking. There is only one window, and it only takes in direct sunlight in the dark months of winter.

Various small hints of ownership hide in plain sight. Namely, this includes a few dinosaur figurines upon a low dresser, locked in interaction, two painterly tropic-themed posters, a small row of sci-fi DVDs, big headphones attached to a small blue iPod, and several other items.

Before all else, I'm Katherine, aka Kezrek. I live in this room, and thrive in this room, for it allows my imagination to focus; to soar. The primary reason I own things is because they are functional, and give me a means for putting my thoughts on paper. I utilize my dinosaur figurines for references, the tropical posters for inspiration, the sci-fi DVDs for ideas, my headphones and iPod for musical motivation, and my drawing materials, which I use to thrust my imagination upon this world.

Spinosaurus aegypticus tooth for the win!

I have one load of laundry worth of clothes. I have one pair of high heels, and they sit at home in my closet, resting from their one-time thus-far use, at high school graduation. I have one pair of sandals, and two pairs of sneakers - one for hot summers and one for cold winters. My hair is washed, and brushed, and nothing else (air-dried, not blow-dried). I've never owned or used any makeup. My idea of a good time is playing video games, drawing, laughing, and reminiscing over life.

These are merely a few of my features. I'd like to thank my parents for tolerating my strange ways, and supporting my attendance at Ringling College of Art and Design as a Game Art & Design major. I love them very much. With each moment at college, I strive to make them proud for investing in me; this means working my best and learning as much as I can. Even if they never read this, I want to make it clear. =)

So, in a nutshell, that's me. This will be my blog, and it will be neat. Hopefully I can keep it going. Expect drawings both in and outside of college, sketches of dreams I've had, random spurts of philosophical jargon, and the occasional excerpt from ******