Monday, September 17, 2018

The Blogger Recognition Award





The Blogger Recognition Award is given by fellow bloggers to show love and highlight worthy content within the blogging community.

I was nominated by the lovely Ruth, whose site is therollingtwenties.com. I'm so grateful to be nominated and especially by such a wonderful blogger. Seriously, I love hearing about her adventures and I dare you to find a day she's been horrible and not constructive to other bloggers. Never! She's such a kind person
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The Rules

  1. Thank the Blogger who nominated you
  2. Write a post as to why you started your blog
  3. Include 2 bits of advice you would give to other bloggers
  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and comment on their response 

Why I Started my Blog




I started this blog as a place to share my poems & artwork, and sometimes sneak peeks into my life while creating them. Originally I wanted to do pieces where I would interview interesting people and feature their stories in a mixed media portrait and a poem. That's why I named it We Earthbound Stars! 


While I love making art of nature and animals, and abstract ideas, I also adore making art that highlights what makes individual people unique and beautiful. Life drawing is beautiful but in the art world often times only represents a small portion of the variety of looks, shapes, and personalities that exists in the human race. I want to feature people that don't fit into familiar, palatable cubbyholes.

I also found in starting a blog that the kinds of blogs I really appreciated were the ones with honest, real, and relateable writers who were honest about their struggles. It would be so easy to only post the happy, finished-product, always-successful moments and that kind of positivity does attract a lot of views. But I think the real and honest content brings the kind of viewers that stick around to read the next post, and who are invested enough to share your content with their friends.

I call myself an artist and it's my passion. But often the issues that affect my lifestyle often get in the way of being able to make art at the rate or level I'd like to, and if I didn't write about those I would still be the distant, sporadic blogger I started out as and didn't enjoy. I write about my autoimmune disorder, and my mental illnesses that fog my mind and block out creativity sometimes, and I'm lucky & grateful that there are readers that relate and appreciate seeing those problems represented in an honest way.



My Advice to Other Bloggers


My advice for bloggers is to try not to take too much advice, honestly! It's easy to get hung up on trying to find “the best way” by seeing what other people are doing, and it's a good way to start, but the way to find your voice and your strengths is to forge your own path and define what your way is!

I would also say to not be afraid of either going niche or nicheless in terms of posting. What does that mean? Well, it means don't worry about keeping your posts strictly to one topic because you can get burnt out on ideas very easily. But sometimes being too broad and posting on anything and everything can cause the views you get to be unpredictable, and people may not subscribe to future posts. It goes both ways, so a happy medium of one topic (which could be your lifestyle, thereby allowing any topics that affect your life but still having a general “theme”) and some similar topics surrounding it is a good balance!



My Nominations

This time I nominated a group of bloggers I've been networking with on Instagram but felt I hadn't given enough Twitter love to. They are all wonderfully creative and have such a good variety of content!  Here you can find them on Twitter and links to their blogs



@_ellabellax           
lifeofellabella.blogspot.com


















Thursday, September 13, 2018

My Mini-Break

This week's post is more of a lifestyle & self care post and an explanation as to why there's no new art this week. I took a break last weekend to get in some R+R and stayed in a hotel outside of Boston and spent the rest of this week working on projects I'd like to get done before the Halloween & Christmas season.

It was my first time booking a room at a Hilton, I guess it's pet friendly and so not a "Normal" Hilton but we were searching by which hotels offered breakfast. The only other time I'd ever stayed at a Hilton was after being bumped off a flight traveling with my mom and brother as a kid, and we were given meal vouchers and put up at the airport Hilton for the night in order to take the next day's flight.



3 vital things: Firstly, BREAKFAST!

Secondly a comfy TV area to watch UFC 228. We ended up catching some Rick and Morty later on that night when we were up with giggly hotel insomnia.


Third, a big (and clean) tub for a quality soak. This one even had a curved curtain rod which I love. I get very claustrophobic in showers and I'm sure it's scientifically proven that the curtain actively encroaches on your territory in an attempt to smother you. Okay maybe it's more about air pressure but those things are still damp and rude.





We went out to dinner so I wanted to look nice. This is outfit no 2. because the parts for the stockings I had 99% finished for outfit no. 1 are still in USPS limbo (boooo your delivery is terrible, and offer better federal healthcare USPS!) The kilt was purchased when I was 19 and I thought my hips were done (ha!) so not a comfy fit anymore. But I refuse to get rid of it and I will scoff at whosoever calls me a Stewart in it. (But really, what's with *insisting* on guessing what someone's tartan is the second you see them at a Ren faire? And why is it every person?)

It was my turn to be selfie photobombed I guess, and he might have gotten away with it if it weren't for the audible "yarr" and of course, picture evidence.



Yarr!
 When we got back from enjoying pub food & drinks we headed back to our hotel for a dip in the pool and hot tub, then it was upstairs to see the preliminary fights and for me to have my nice soak with bath bombs and scrubbies.
 I had been saving this unicorn bath bomb and while its fizz left lots to be desired, the way it went about its job in the water was particularly funny to me after whatever it was I had with too much triple sec in. While the fights PPV was being set up we had caught the tail end of Sherlock Holmes (the movie starring RDJ) and during the credits there was a peppy Irish tune that perfectly matched the funny bobbing and spinning of the bath bomb. I got a quick snap of it in action and the water before setting about exfoliating and feeling like a mermaid.


if like me you're mad there's no sound to the GIF and the video wouldn't upload, this is the music youtube.com/watch?v=jxBKgOyMzSc



Plus it turned the water a fun shade of purple that didn't leave any color on my skin or the tub. Bonus!

Know your angles. Nude seated tub tap reflection is not my best and therefore stickied over.




 Thankfully there was also a TV in our bedroom. As UFC events go long into the night and I'd gone from tipsy to sleepy, we crawled into the ultra-plush fluffy bed with its feather pillows and enjoyed the feeling of being away for a night. I'd vowed to take a social media break and refrain from promoting the past week's post, but I still kept in contact with my friends with texting and Snapchat.





While I did enjoy being away, coming home was also nice and as it was a rainy early September Sunday, it was a bit chilly and it was nice to be in our warm apartment and continue to pamper myself with a meal of hot miso soup and peach lemon tea. 




The uglier the face, the more relaxed the cat. Proven fact.



Going away for any amount of time also has the great upside of causing our more aloof cat to act like I've been gone for years and turn into a lap cat. 









He's not usually a snuggly boy so he's not great at settling down on a lap and it shows how much he missed me that he was willing to jump on my lap when I was on my computer chair. He prefers a nice, predictable sofa to walk back and forth while getting pat and never really settle down in one place, the diva.


All in all, it was a good hotel getaway. I really enjoyed the pool and hot tub, and obviously a night to celebrate and relax. It was a good way to say goodbye to summer and turn towards autumn & the coming holidays!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Abandoned Art: Stardew Valley x Dragon Ball

If you've played Stardew Valley, you'll know the range of characters and their sprites are adorable and surprisingly engaging in their storylines. If you haven't, buckle up for a look at a semi-new, incredibly relaxing and life-encompassing game that recently updated to allow multiplayer.


img credit: steam page store.steampowered.com/app/413150/Stardew_Valley


I have endless ongoing, new, and abandoned art projects in my sketchbooks and craft cubbies and thought it might be interesting to feature some of them. This is an abandoned illustration idea I had when I was playing Stardew Valley after the multiplayer update. 


I had been playing with mods that hadn't been updated for the new version of the game so I made a new farmer and got the idea to develop her into a character and draw a few of the cutscenes in the art style from Dragon Ball & Dragon Ball Z. I started with just Dragon Ball as reference but needed to reference some expressions I could only find on Chichi so there ya go. After relaxing my rules a little bit it was easier because I could draw poses/faces from the girly characters like Bulma, Chichi, No. 18 and Mr. Satan.


img credit: tvtropes.org


I made a fiesty, purple-haired female farmer to revitalize Stardew Valley, as is the plot of the game. I imagined her as the quiet, determined type that's common to start out with in Harvest Moon-type games. Eager to befriend the NPCs (even the difficult ones) but aware they've got a lot of work to do!
I've played it through probably too many times, but never as a female farmer who, although I'd played through all the romance options, ended up married to Abigail so I made my character with that as the aim. This is her character model aka sprite.



Since I would be aiming to build a relationship with Abigail, I made my farmer purple haired so Abby & Seb wouldn't be the only "dyed" villagers. (Caroline, what gives with the green hair?)

I also gave her a biblical name to fit the theme although I'm not that type of religious.

Our fiesty female farmer was now dubbed Rebecca and she was ready to revamp the old farm! Doesn't she already look nice next to Abby?






I titled this one "I can do it!" Pickaxe in hand, Rebecca is ready for hard work!



Starting out, Robin the carpenter shows up at your door to let you know about her services and how you can upgrade your house. I didn't get a screenshot of it, but it's one of the moments I decided to illustrate. All of these are initial sketches that I meant to scan and illustrate digitally, so parts of what would have been one complete picture are drawn on different sheets of tracing paper here.


First here's a shot of Robin in her home workshop for reference 

















Robin waits kindly while Becs takes in the state of the dilapidated farm.




Rebecca decides to take the challenge like a BAMF






















Rebecca in her home. There's a nice variety of  looks you can give the sprites and I really enjoyed this Peter Pan collared blouse. Not really enjoying what came of me trying to put that outfit on my drawing, however.

























I hope you liked this look into my world of art projects and how they find their way into every part of my life 😂 Although I did end up abandoning this project I liked where it was going and the creative idea of combining a game I love with an art style I love. It was fun and I definitely would try a similar project in the future.
Here are the character sheets I drew up from Bulma, Chichi, and possibly one or two shots of No. 18 or Videl, outlined so I could keep the expression or pose (woo tracing paper! Also great for designing clothes)





I really love this game and although the story hasn't changed besides allowing more character romance options, something has kept me playing this same game over and over since its release. If you grew up on Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing and haven't tried Stardew Valley, I encourage you to give it a try or look up some gameplay videos to see if it's something you'd enjoy.



At night your pet curls up into a ball and you can see it breathing gently. This game is like a digital xanax I swear.



Wednesday, September 5, 2018




9-5-18




we drive an isolated stretch of highway, bordered on our right by a ridge of green hill with waving grasses
on the left a pile of gravel, backhoes, construction workers

"The hill is pretty" he says and points with his chin to the right

that one will be pretty too, I think of the gravel
they will find chunks of this pavement broken up between layers of earth
or perhaps those will lie undisturbed and beautiful
with no one to look for them





Thursday, August 30, 2018

My Photo Picks


      
       For this week's post I thought I'd share what I consider my top highlights of my photography collection from my years before & in school for photography and painting. 
       I was always super into photography, but started out with a point-and-shoot Nikon Coolpix. The timeframe of these photos goes from that time through the beginnings of art school when I had a serious camera, so some of the quality isn't fantastic in some of these and the reason why they're not in my final portfolio.
       I hope you enjoy these as much as I do, as pictures and also as snapshots into my journey and travels as a young artist!






This first one was taken while camping on the Kancamagus highway in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.












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If I ever did pet portraits, this would be the picture I'd advertise with. His name was Eddie, and he taught me not to be afraid of Dachshunds by demanding I pet him and napping with me on the couch.







(I was bitten on the face by a dachshund when I was younger which left me with a scar I still have today. I still prefer the fluffy ones but will tolerate the plain sausagey ones. 
P.S. That poor dog dog bit like two other kids and the last I knew before moving away, he had gone blind and would end up running into my mailbox and we'd have to say "Frank, go home.")










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 I was standing at least 100+ yards from this bird (Osprey?), which was perched atop a dead tree in an area of Florida that had been swept by a hurricane recently.
I was standing on one of the back seats in a van, sticking out the sun roof and pushing my camera to maximum zoom to get a look at this beautiful bird.
I'm really grateful I got to capture a few shots of it and that the person driving was patient enough to stop and wait for me to stop hanging out of her sun roof like a maniac trying to get a picture.


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This shot taken in Boston reminds me of the house from Up. It looks ready to float away at any second.


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 Taken when practicing using studio equipment with my classmates. For some reason at the time I also snapped a picture of the setup we were using, so here's a peek behind the curtain- er, backdrop. 

























 A big, eerily beautiful house in the middle of a field in Florida. The house itself was lightly warped from age & weather but magnified with the tilt shift effect here.

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Fairy staircases in the forest that surrounds the dirt road where I grew up and where I started my journey with photography.





Below is a rare shot of yours truly, not taken by me but showcasing the beautiful scenery and its effect on me.  



















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Easter treats and color schemes on the kitchen table in my hometown.





























A pretty rock tumble captured in a New England mill town. The long brick buildings still line the rivers and stand with their empty windows looking lonely.



















Swans on the Thames. They were very accommodating models.

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New York , New York. As a gift for my sixteenth birthday, my brother took me to New York city for a day, where I went snap-happy with my photography and he took in the sights.

























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A photo from my "ice cave adventure" that led to some good shots but ultimately none that really convey what the space was like behind the wall of ice. Here's a semi decent pic of the toe of my boot for scale and some of the icicles for some reference. 

















And finally, after the 700+ step climb up the spire we went on a ramble outside Salisbury Cathedral and I had to stop and get this Constable-esque (Constabulary?) shot of the cathedral. 
By the way, the Bunker Hill monument can bite me after that! 

The way I framed it reminds me of this painting by another landscape artist of the time- 
Mantes, View of the Cathedral and Town through the Trees 
by artist Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot