Sunday, November 24, 2013

Her Name Was Lola...

...She was a showgirl - with yellow feathers in her hair and her dress cut down to there!

Riding that post CTN high as long as I can - here is Miss Lola from Copacabana. She's got all the potential in the world, trying so hard to keep things together and be a star. But she's still young at this point, still a bit clumsy and insecure with her body. She's much more at ease when her Tony is around.

I was inspired to start this mini project when listening to John Barrowman (Captain Jack! ^^ ) singing the Barry Manilow song about the tragic romance of Lola and Tony. It's also combining a few challenges that I received from Chris Oatley and others at CTN. It won't be nearly as involved as other projects - just doing the three characters named in the song - from there the number of additional illustrations or a storyboard will depend on where I'm at with other things. 

Very nice change from all the billowing shirts and crowns of the last set. I have a Pinterest board dedicated to all the research I did for her, so if anyone wants to attempt that hairstyle...good luck and let me know how much hairspray that took. ><

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it. I know I'm looking forward to some good food and hopefully some family time too. : ) 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Saints, Sinners and Survivors - Mourning 3

While not quite as intellectually impressive as wives 1 and 2, Jane was a skilled artist - an avid embroiderer. Fairly conservative, she was far more concerned with decorum than political maneuvering - perhaps discouraged by the fate of her predecessor. 
She was betrothed to Henry one day after Anne (A distant cousin) was beheaded and the only of his wives to be buried as a Queen of England, earning the final resting place beside Henry, but never actually crowned queen. 
She proved compassionate when reconciling Mary with her Father, and even achieved her goal of restoring Mary to the royal succession. She died in childbirth - the only wife to give Henry what he wanted - a male heir - Edward VI. Many remembered her fondly, some used her to further leverage themselves in court - such as her two brothers who both met rather dismal ends. 
I noticed rather quickly that the actress who played Jane in the Tudors was switched out in between seasons - but was rather surprised when my mother didn't notice this. Guess it goes to show how thoroughly they covered their tracks when starting up that third season. 
I feel like that was a type of bonding we did when I was younger - watch various shows and movies and make the connections almost like a game - "Oh yes, she was also in this and this where he also co-stared, etc." I suppose this is why some people think I am a walking IMDB. lol 
In regards to Jane herself, I do imagine she was quite the epitome of grace and prudence...but maybe a bit dull otherwise. 
Welp, that's all folks! Henry VIII did not in fact have VIII wives, only six. Thank you for joining me on this mini history lesson. For more information on these ladies you can watch the Tudors - not 100% accurate, but oh so entertaining! Now I am moving on to other projects, other times, other be revealed shortly! Exciting times!! :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

CTN 2013 Reflect

I forgot my camera. : (

Day One:
Raul and I left early Thursday morning and met up with Katherine at the airport. (Thanks Matt for dropping us off!) The plane ride went well and it was a comfortable 82 degrees in Burbank when we landed. We walked across the street to the Marriott - which was already bustling with convention-goers way more than I remember from 2012 - and relaxed a bit before meeting up with the Oatley Academy crew. It was really great meeting everyone I had been chatting with online for the past several months. Such awesome people!! : )
The van we were hoping would fit 12 people only sat my color coated ride chart wasn't much help. BUT we squeezed everyone in and set off for the Getty art museum. On the way we drove around *literally* the Disney lot which wasn't exactly on the way, but had to be visited. The Getty was beautiful! Much like DCC earlier, we mainly talked about the European Art and had planned on the cafe being open...but it wasn' we departed to find food. At this point I was separated from the Party Van and rode back with Tommy and David - passing Nickelodeon on the way. Why I was dubbed navigator, I don't know. I am directionally impaired, don't own a smart phone yet, and yeah...somehow we made it to a Chipotle and then back to the Marriott to eat and chat.
Chris then initiated "family time" and we talked about the upcoming year - which was very exciting! - and did a little exercise to keep everyone's positivity levels on high - very touching. My main take away from that was 1. I can't wait for Painting Drama to start up in the spring 2. Finishing Magic Box will be challenging, but very rewarding and 3. I am Hermione Granger. Pretty cool.
Ernest and Celestine was cancelled. : (
Around 9 or 10 we walked back to the airport to collect Owen and then cabbed to our hotel. (Marriott was booked solid AND so was ours so even though we had to cab back and forth, I thought it was worth it) And thus ends Day One.

I am really kicking myself for forgetting the camera. 

Day Two: 
Since we didn't get back in time for early registration on Thursday, we cabbed back early to the Marriott for Friday registration. Which wasn't too bad. Got to see Jon again - missed that afro! But couldn't stay for breakfast. I helped Chris and Travis set up the Oatley Academy booth. I started a rave with Josephine in the booth across the isle. I pretended to be Lora Innes so I could get into the VIP lounge and figure out when Chris's demo was that day and collect all the Speed Talent buttons for the booth. (I love you Lora, I represented you with dignity and gracefulness!) The booth was PACKED. Chris was constantly talking to people. We were explaining the classes and community online and handing out the new postcards with the new class offerings. Sarah Marino was also in the booth reviewing portfolios - she and Shane are so sweet! And there was a crazy amount of energy!! 
I managed to pull Chris out in time for his demo. There were some technical difficulties and it was difficult locating staff to assist. I tried the best I could with my IT experience and generally felt quite silly. This being my first time out of the booth, I poked around the new talent tent to say hi to my friends there. The layout seemed a bit odd to me since I was used to the studios all being in one area, not so spread out. Very crowded. ><
I got to wear a Speed Talent button most of the time, so I got to give feedback too, which was great. Some of the portfolios I was shown I recognized - "Hey...I know you! So great to meet you!!" - and some I'll have to start following too. : )
Afterwords it was nearly five, so I ran out to eat and grab Chris food too since once he got back to the booth there was no time to even sit. At this point I was feeling a bit tired and while eating had helped some, I was ready to go at 6 when Katherine needed to head back to the hotel. I was pretty much out by 8pm. 

Oh caaaaaaaameraaaaaa! Where are youuuuuu?

Day Three:
First thing Saturday was my portfolio review with Disney. I was under the impression that I was on Standby, but my name was in fact on the appointment list, so I didn't argue there. Took a while to find the line I was supposed to be in and then the list was not alphabetical, so everyone was a bit confused and several people were still hoping to get in even though they weren't able to confirm a seat online. Honestly, the organization was rubbish and the eager determination of some, while admirable, wasn't helping. But I got in and reviewed, so all's well that ends well. I thought the review went great, lots of actionable things to focus on and push further. When I went back to the Oatley booth Chris was swamped. Justin Copeland was there too reviewing portfolios and informed me that my Disney review was rubbish, so spent a good amount of time going over things with me that helped me better understand how I can improve on what Disney said I should do. Which was AWESOME! The next chunk of my Saturday was spent shopping. I had specific booths I wanted to hit and I got more EXCELLENT feedback from Brett Bean, connected with Helen, Elsa, Isaac, Liana, Brittney, Claire, Jessie, and everyone I follow. Though I did admittedly miss a few that I wanted to say hi to and poor Tom got sick. : ( 
The last portion of Saturday was spent in the line for Laika. I was really anxious about this one since I love this studio so much and while the line appeared short and to move quickly - I was still there for 3.5 hours. Apart from the cold weather, it wasn't bad. We were regularly checked in on by the darling brand manager Alise - she gave us little sketch books and chocolate croissants. I got to chat with Marisa in recruiting which was really fun. : ) And art director Alan had awesome feedback too - I took notes! After that was food and then huddling in the front of the hotel to chat more with the Oatley crew. Chris told us more stories - some a bit alarming. We debated different kinds of art school/learning styles, concept versus technique. I got even more feedback which was helpfully critical, but encouraging. Everyone was so proud of my progress and I felt like I was blushing the entire time. I love making other people proud! 
Then it was time to cab back. Our first two cabs were stolen by jerks, and the third was driven by a very funny Russian man. 

If you can't tell, I'm upset about forgetting my camera. 

Day Four: 
I was back in the Oatley booth Sunday morning after stopping by to see Victoria and Mike. It was much calmer, but that was understandable - and nice since the energy of the last couple days was INSANE. I very much doubt they'll try to squeeze CTN there next year, but who knows. If they do I'm booking waaaaay earlier. lol Our flight back was around two, so we headed to the airport a little early to eat before take off. The ride back was a little turbulent which stressed Raul a bit, but the landing was smooth. We played train hopping games in the terminal - at first unintentionally, but then just for fun - and Brit came all the way into the terminal to pick us up! We went out for dinner and shared the spoils of war and then decided that it was best to head to sleep since Raul had work today. 

And that, my friends, was CTN 2013. 

I am most glad to have today to regroup a bit - do laundry, sort my Select Shelf where all my favorite CTN spoils go, and most importantly start the attack planning for next year! I feel like I have an achievable goal for my next portfolio and enough direction to help me along, certainly enough people holding me accountable. (You guys are seriously the best; I love OA!) I'm very excited to keep powering through and have a very positive feeling about the future!! 

I hope everyone had a great time too - and for those of you who couldn't make it, I hope to see you there next year!! (When I will hopefully remember my camera) Until then, keep working hard, following your dreams, and if you need a hand - let me know! : ) 


Monday, November 11, 2013

CTNX 2013 – Game Prep!

This will be my third CTN eXpo and they just keep getting better and better! : D

This year I will have the opportunity to see the Getty Art Museum with the incredible Oatley Academy crew. If anything like the DAM trip that accompanied this year's Denver ComicCon, it will prove both fun and educational. Post Getty, I have tickets for the screening of Ernest and Celestine - - a gorgeous French animation that will be shown in English here for the first time. (Normally I don't like dubs, but I don't understand French at all so this time is okay) At the convention I will make rounds to visit all the super awesome peoples I've been meeting/keeping tabs on and make my purchases – got a pretty tight budget this year so while I want to buy everyone's sketchbooks – I probably will only get a max of 3-5. : / I have applications in to two studios at the moment, so I plan on following up with their recruiters. And I also plan on getting feedback from my artist friends! I didn't sign up for any workshops this year because most of my time is going to be dedicated to the Oatley Academy booth #B51. I have my official Academy Tshirt packed and I'm stoked to represent this amazing school and the Magic Box course!! Some of the students will also be selling their work, but I think I'm going to just take orders this year – that is if anyone is interested. I'm easing myself into more and more booth activity so next year I might have my own CTN New Talent Table. ; ) I will do a full write up (Hopefully with pictures) the Monday when I get back – to encourage everybody who couldn't make it this year to come next year and to share any big announcements that might be coming up – so stay tuned for that!

A BIG THANK YOU to Matt and Brittany, who volunteered to drop off/pick up Raul and I from the airport in Denver, and to our hotel roomies Katherine and Owen. You guys are the BEST. : )

Saints, Sinners and Survivors - Praying for 1

As daughter of Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain, Catherine was destined to be a great queen. She was married first to Henry's older brother, Arthur, who sadly died months later. Denying that the marriage was ever consummated, she was then married to Henry. Their only surviving child was Mary - later known as Bloody Mary - and as no male heir was produced after many attempts, Henry grew impatient and distracted by Catherine's ladies-in-waiting, particularly one - Anne Boleyn. 
Catherine was a strict Catholic, fighting for her marriage and love until Henry installed himself as head of the church in England and annulled the marriage himself so that he could wed his mistress, Anne Boleyn. Even after, she firmly refused to accept Henry as having authority over the Pope and considered herself still his rightful wife. She was a much loved figure by the peoples. 
She was sent away from court and forbidden to communicate with her daughter. When Catherine died there were many rumors of poison being the cause, but modern medical experts suspect it was cancer. She was the eldest of Henry's wives to die at 50. Henry did not attend her funeral and Mary was again forbidden. It is believed Anne Boleyn miscarried a son on the day of the funeral. 
Catherine was probably my favorite of Henry's wives. From most every account I've seen/read/heard of her she was regal, respectful and very devoted - to her people, her daughter, her husband and her faith. Even those not so much her friends at the time had great admiration for her. In the Tudors the brilliant Maria Doyle Kennedy embodied these traits - and did what I thought was a convincing Spanish accent...which amuses my boyfriend to no end since I think he originally thought she had a lisp. >< 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Saints, Sinners and Survivors - Disarming 2

Daughter of Thomas Boleyn and Elizabeth Howard, Anne was educated in the Netherlands and France. Plans for her first marriage (to a cousin) fell through and so she became a lady-in-waiting to then Queen Catherine of Aragon. She was sent home by Cardinal Wolsey after a second betrothal (to a gentleman at court) failed. Third time was a charm though - she attracted the attention of Henry and the chase began. 

As her older sister Mary had been Henry's mistress before her, Anne refused to be so easily used. She held her ground and became so great a desire to him, Henry took control of the English Church and annulled his previous marriage 5 days before wedding Anne. Their first and only surviving child was Elizabeth - afterwards known as Elizabeth I. After three more miscarriages, Henry had moved on to courting Jane Seymour. Anyone sensing a pattern?? 

In April 1536 Henry had her investigated for high treason - the charges of Adultery, Incest, and Witchcraft tenuous at best. None-the-less she was found guilty and beheaded on May 19th of that year. During her daughter's long reign, she was honored as "the most influential and important queen consort England has ever had" due to her involvement in the English Reformation. And she is still quite the controversial figure. 

I'm not sure I feel quite as bad for Anne as for Catherine Howard. Catherine seemed to be young, careless and not terribly bright to begin with while Anne was well educated, exacting and indulgent. It was again amusing to watch my boyfriend react to Anne in the Tudor series because of her abruptness (See reaction to finding Henry and Jane together towards the end of the second season or the overly paranoid Mary-could-be-Queen scene in the first/second season) and "creepy mouse mouth." Obviously as we are both fans of Catherine, we are a bit biased against Anne. But I tried not to let that come across too strongly since she is my own sister's favorite.
This one goes out to you G! : )