Posted in art school advice, art school life, comic reviews, study abroad

Hong Kong Week 1

 

So, if you would like the short version of my week, check out my travel comics, which I’ve collected into a moment on Twitter here.

For the long version… classes started Monday. I was super terrified. There’s seniors in both my classes, my HK Comics class is 5 people (one of which is a photo major) all of whom are natives to Hong Kong and know each other really well. My professors are both really nice and super legit. Here’s my comics professor’s portfolio site. He’s given me so many great tips on how to make things look good in photoshop really fast. My travel portfolio professor was a war artist in Iraq! He follows me on instagram and comments nice things on the assignments I post on there.

It’s amazing how after such a short time I already feel so much more comfortable drawing environments and cityscapes. Because I have to draw them. A lot.

I’ve been to the Bird, Fish, Flower and Ladies’ markets in Mong Kok, the art supply store in Yau Ma Tei, and the bars in Lan Kwai Fong (I’m legal here!). Also, swing dancing near the Macau Ferry stop, and the Gold Coast Beach today. I don’t swing dance but my roommate’s obsessed and dragged me with her so she didn’t have to take the bus by herself. I’m slowly getting the hang of the bus system here.

We had a Food Tour yesterday, and I tried egg tarts, pineapple bread, hong kong style tea, fish balls and shu mai, a fancy fruit tea, and takoyaki. My favorite was probably the egg tart, but everything was really cool. We went to the markets with my travel portfolio class on Wednesday, and I tried fried pig intestines on a stick then. They tasted okay.

I have way too many pictures of all of these places and I don’t want to go through them all for this blog post to be honest. Just check my twitter, @mashazart.

Thursday night we went bar-hopping, which was a first for me. We started at this place at the top of the Ritz hotel called Ozone, which was expensive, but very fancy and with a very nice view. I had an…okay-tasting drink, and forced myself to drink all of it because it was almost 20 USD and I felt guilty spending so much money.

Then we went to Lan Kwai Fong which was not fancy at all. Very loud, lots of people grabbing me and trying to sell me things. But we danced at a place for a while and that part was fun. Getting back was not fun. We missed the bus and ended up grabbing a taxi and got back to Gold Coast at 5 am. Then I got on the bus for the food tour just 5 hours later. It Was Fine.

Here’s some of the drawings I’ve done for Travel Portfolio so far. We have to fill 40 sketchbook pages of various sizes by monday, which is intense. One of them has to include collages of ~ephemera~, meaning paper scraps and things we find around the city. Also writing. I feel like I’ve learned a lot in a short time, and that I have the leniency to play more than I usually do.

On a related note, here are my tips for making good collages, learned from AP Studio when everyone was doing the collage thing for some reason:

  1. booklets, newspapers, thing with small text are textural elements. Those words aren’t gonna be read by anyone not even if you highlight the important stuff. The arrangement of the words on the page will impact the final composition more than what they say.
  2. Try to have a focal point the rest of the composition is founded around.
  3. Repeat similar elements throughout the piece to generate cohesion.
  4. Cut out background elements like the sky. Put in something else instead. Art.
  5. Try to create a narrative with the images you choose.
  6. It is not illegal to draw and paint in addition to cutting out and gluing bits of paper in a collage.
  7. Colored label stickers are great.

I kept all these things in mind when making my 4 collage spreads for class. I might do one more because I don’t like my second one very much, but I don’t want to run out of ~ephemera~ and I’d rather wait until the next assignment is officially assigned.

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In comics class, I drew this illustration for a concept I’ve had brewing for a while, a few years now, actually. We have to create an IP from zero to pitch-ready in the 5 week term, and it has to be connected to Hong Kong somehow. I decided to work with my millenial hell concept because the hell landscape could easily be reimagined to be inspired by Hong Kong street architecture. My professor helped me a lot with the coloring of this. First, my inspiration board.

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Here’s what I came up with, inspired by all of that.

I’m fairly proud of it.

Also in comics class Howard Wong local comic book writer came in and talked to us and gave everyone individual feedback on their concepts and it was super cool, I learned so much, what a cool dude.

Our Resources folder for that class contains rips of Blade Runner, Akira, and an episode of Samurai Champloo.

It’s kind of amazing.

Also, my prof told us all to read Bakuman, and I have made it through 6 volumes so far. It’s kind of sexist at the beginning, but overall very funny and interesting. I like getting an insider’s look on the manga-making process. It certainly seems like a better system than the US comics market.

Tomorrow, I’m meeting a good friend at Causeway Bay, which is super exciting, both because I haven’t been there yet and because my friend is a great person I haven’t seen in a while.

 

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Posted in art school life, comic reviews, study abroad

I’M IN HONG KONG!!

Man oh man. SO, I’ve been semi-offline for the past couple of days because I was having a hard time locating plug adapters for a) my phone charger and b) my laptop charger. Yesterday we went to a mall and I checked all 5 electronics store and NONE OF THEM had the type of adapter I needed, so I couldn’t use my laptop at all until this morning because my nice new friend Kathie who is familiar with HK and went downtown yesterday found me the perfect adaptor for 10 HKD (about $1.30 USD.)

I don’t feel like typing walls of text right now, so I’ll just post the pages of my travel diary comics I’ve been making since my flight here late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning.

The highlight of this trip so far has been the food. Like, even the cheap instant food. Even the Starbucks. Everything is new and different and better-tasting here. Do you know how many more flavors of Pocky there are here than at the Asian Food Market back home? So many. I had green apple and mango and blueberry pocky…all of which were delicious…

And strawberry marshmallows filled with chocolate, purchased in Muji of all places. MUJI. WHICH THEY HAVE, RIGHT IN TUEN MUN.

Here is a selection of pictures from my first few days in Hong Kong. First, my dorm. SCAD rents out several apartments in the Gold Coast Apartment complex, and every student living on-campus at SCAD HK gets a room. My room’s the biggest in my apartment, with a bathroom inside it. Sheets and towels and things are provided, which is super convenient for me. Also, it’s the rainy season, so everything is damp and unpleasant. Not as hot as it could be, though. There’s plumeria trees right outside my window, and the flowers are so, so beautiful.

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I made a snail friend yesterday, while waiting for the SCAD Bus to take us up to The Peak. IMG_20170617_164450694

At the Tuen Mun shopping complex, there was a store selling these super cute chocolate truffles. I wanted to buy some, but the store didn’t take card and I also just spent a lot of money at Muji, so. IMG_20170617_130843355

We also visited a wet market (a market that sells raw fish and poultry and even live animals for cooking purposes) and a guy in our group bought a whole cooked chicken and ate it. I can’t stand the smell of fish, so I spent as little time in there as possible. Still snapped a picture though.IMG_20170617_135512973

Then we went up to The Peak, which has the best view of the city ever, as well as two more shopping centers. I guess HK people love to shop. I went to a Starbucks and got a green tea frapp with earl grey jelly at the bottom, and I think it tasted better than green tea frapps in America. Two levels below the observation deck, there was this traditional HK-style restaurant that was hella fancy, and it had the same nice view of the city as the observatory, and my roommate and I had dinner there. I got noodles with duck and vegetables. They were extremely delicious. I’ve basically been subsisting on noodles with things in them and interesting pocky flavors. I should go grocery shopping today.

Classes start tomorrow! I’m taking Travel Portfolio and Hong Kong Comics. For Travel Portfolio, we already got a pre-quarter assignment. “Students will Research and Collect images and other reference from a journey, holiday or distant memory of a place. Consider computer print outs, photocopies, stills from moving image, found text, ephemera. This research can include primary and secondary sources. Students will make a collage of one of these memories in their A4 sketchbook pages. Write a brief story about this memory with emphasis on neat handwriting in your A6 sketchbook (150 words.) Produce one illustration in your larger A5 Sketchbook in response to all the
information gathered.”

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So, yeah! HK!

Oh wait I forgot to mention: when I went to SCAD on Friday for Orientation, I stopped by the library and checked out Truth is Fragmentary by Gabrielle Bell and I Kill Giants: Titan Edition!

Reviews: Truth is Fragmentary made me feel self-conscious about my own travel comics, but also I don’t really like Bell’s style. Lots of words. Maybe I’m not ~deep~ enough to get the appeal, though.

I Kill Giants I’d read before and loved it and it was great, but I hadn’t read the Titan Edition before. Titan in this case means in addition to the story, the book came with character designs, breakdowns, original scripts and insights into the creators’ workflow. Which was amazing to see. Definitely worth checking out.

Posted in art school life, comic reviews

Summer vacation and seeing old friends

So, I’ve been fairly busy this past week.

Wednesday, I went to get dinner and see Wonder Woman with two of my close friends. I really enjoyed Wonder Woman, but I’m not a big DC/Marvel fan, and I made the mistake of binge-watching Every Frame a Painting the day before, making me be super critical of the editing choices and the generic soundtrack.

Thursday, I went to Princeton with several of my friends, and then we ran into two more friends, and then we all went to my high school literary magazine’s end of the year party and spent some time hanging out and talking afterwards. I drew.IMG_20170608_193738.jpg

I went to Barnes and Noble and picked up a print copy of My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness, which I reviewed on this blog a few months ago, and I was really pleased with it! The print edition includes an extra chapter and an epilogue, and the author is in a much better place after her worked received the positive attention it deserved.

I also picked up Kase-San and Morning Glories, which is a cute fluffy yuri manga. I was alerted to its existence by this semi-viral animated short and decided I had to read it. It is extremely cute.

Then Friday I met up with a friend in Princeton, again, this time so she could enable me to buy a lot of books and two Haikyuu! folders. (I like volleyball anime now, apparently. I don’t know what happened either but I finished the anime and am on chapter 71 of the manga and I’m mildly embarrassed but not enough to stop myself from buying these.)IMG_20170609_190923805.jpg

I’ve finished reading Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel (enjoyed both, viscerally offended at the blurb on Simon that says it’s a cross between John Green and Rainbow Rowell because how rude), haven’t started I’ll Give You The Sun. I’ll make a post about my LGBT book and comic recs soon, because it’s Pride Month and that’s my job.

Saturday my friend group and I went to Grounds for Sculpture and then to a friend’s house to play a board game, eat fruit, and relax. Grounds for Sculpture is a central Jersey thing featuring famous paintings turned into sculptural figures, and also weird modernist sculptures. Modern sculpture has been ruined for me since I took 20th Century Art History and realized everyone is copying Henry Moore, David Smith, and Alexander Calder. Here’s a picture of me and my friends posing with Manet’s Dejeuner sur l’herbe.19030509_892074567599479_8080471439124986116_n.jpg

Then, I took a train to NYC and saw Hamilton. On Broadway.IMG_20170610_212109.jpg

I still can’t believe it really happened, but it did. My train got delayed and I ran into the theater like 5 seconds after the opening song started and had to find my seat between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, Sir, but it was so amazing. Google play says I’ve listened to Hamilton all the way through 7 times, and to my favorite numbers 16 times. I know all the words to all the songs. I bought the ticket way back in September, justifying it as a birthday gift to myself, and I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did after so much time has passed. But, I did enjoy it a lot. I loved how the set stayed more or less the same, but the dramatic lighting cues changed the shape and tone of the place to feel like different locations whenever necessary. Burr and Jefferson were both played by chubby guys one of whom was genie in the Aladdin musical apparently, and it was weird at first but they were really good at it. Eliza smiled too much in the Schuyler sisters and did burn as if she was literally in the middle of crying, which was interesting. The new Hamilton played it a lot more comedically and kind of overacted at some parts but his voice was nicer. Overall, extremely enjoyable, except for the part where I missed my train by 2 minutes and got home at like 2 in the morning.

Then today my mom dragged me to the circus. Yeah. The Cirque Italia, or something like that, is open in the parking lot of the local mall, and I have a 4-year-old sister. So we went. It was pretty cool, but the tent was so humid and dark I felt like death.

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Artwise, I finished this four-page comic, and some commissions!

You too can commission me! For $10 I can draw your face or the face of a fictional character you like. Email 6masha@gmail.com for more!

Posted in art school life

COMMISSIONS! and end of Year 1

first of all, I’M DOING COMMISSIONS UNTIL I GO TO HONG KONG!

instead of dm-ing me because that is not how wordpress works you can email me at mashazart@gmail.com with references and any questions.

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Second of all, my SEQA and 3D final projects. I got As on both B)
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My 3D final was an artist’s book that reflects my aesthetic, body of work, and creative goals, which I think I accomplished.

(crossposted from facebook) I’m finally back in NJ after the end of my first year of SCAD in Atlanta. When I committed a year ago, I had a lot of hesitations, because the tuition here’s a huge investment and my chosen career does n o t pay that well. But after coming here, I can definitely say that for me personally, it was totally worth it.
So many doors open up when you put SCAD on your social media bios, when you tap your SCAD ID to enter the library, the computer lab full of CINTIQs, the exclusive talks at SCADshow. In just my first year, I’ve gotten to talk to representatives from Nickelodeon and Pixar, skype professional comics writers and inkers with my sequential art class, and get my artwork published in zines and online. I’ve gotten to read half the books on my amazon wishlist in our library for free, and made friends with so many amazing and talented people. And that’s not even talking about the classes.
I’m good at school, always have been. I learn best when someone else gives me assignments and deadlines and grades. The foundations profs here are so good at what they do and push you so hard (coughrodeckercough) I’ve improved by leaps and bounds since last August, and my diligence has improved too. I went from crashing and burning at Inktober and Huevember to completing Mermay and Nanowrimo and reaching day 63 of my 100-day project. Hours and hours of practice a week, guided by feedback from industry pros, helps a lot.
I’ve talked about this before but I have a lot of problems w/social stuff. I’m always worried other people don’t like me as much as I like them, or that I’m bad at being a person when I stay in and Consume Media instead of Socializing. I’ve realized that I don’t /have/ to hang out with people that make me anxious because I think they’re cooler than me if I don’t really want to hang out with them, and that it’s okay to spend my time by myself or with people that don’t intimidate me. I don’t need to stretch my comfort zone all the time.
I’m super thankful for all my professors this year, all my new friends, and everyone who joined SCAD Atlanta 2020 and SCAD memes for broke bees, the facebook groups I made so I didn’t have to talk to people to make friends. It’s been fun.
I’ll BEE back in September.