So I have been working on streamlining Pallo’s origin story this semester, making sure to incorporate my personal goals into every project, and my Writing for Visual Media course final was a script treatment for a movie. That one project really helped me figure out how to choose which elements to include in Pallo’s part of the Lodila Valley/Land of Lo series.
I have definitely increased my focus and intention on manifesting my animated films, and learning how to animate – even just as a beginner – has brought so much more to the surface! As of now, my plan is to create “Legends of Lodila – Claviger of Flowers” as an introductory film for a series. Here is my final slideshow…I found a perfect name for the character-formerly-known-as Frances Greenbaum, Pallo’s best friend – Putri! I’ll share the story of her name in another post.
Practice animations and character designs abound during this two week break before summer semester starts!
Today, I had a project due with animation/cinematographs done in Photoshop that represented Nightmares or Dreamscapes. Just thought I would share!
I know I promised to start writing about my more recent stories, but my free-range pet spider, Boris, is getting so big…I just wanted to acknowledge it. How long do spiders live, anyway? I first discovered him when he was still all white, and smaller than a quarter, building his home in my desk lamp back in February. Well, he loves that home, because he is still there. He is much bigger now. His web is cob-ish and fluffy, rather than the neat, shiny threads one usually sees from spiders. I hope he stays.
Of course, I know that arachnids of his ilk may not have a long lifespan. Still.
Sometimes, I have a hard time letting shit go. I think we can all say that there is likely some wound that has a difficult time healing completely – something that just fucking bothers you forever. At least, it seems like forever. And, sometimes, I don’t have a hard time at all.
I considered myself a pretty prolific writer, some years ago. I was always writing stories, poems, lyrics, to-do lists that would never get completed, and never thought twice to share what I created with people close to me. In fact, I used to get quite discouraged by the idea that my friends were more interested in our band’s guitar solos than my brilliant use of metaphor and rhyming in my lyrics. I have since realized that most people don’t digest lyrics at all, and even sing them – for their entire lives – without ever realizing exactly what they are saying. The words just aren’t important to everyone…I get it.
I shared. I got excited by my own work, and I showed, I read aloud, I sang the words out to whoever would listen. Then, people who were supposed to be listening for enjoyment, started listening for material. A-ha! The age old problem of plagiarism! I’m an amateur, right? A nobody! Who the fuck cares if someone steals my shit? NOBODY. So, I stopped sharing. It hurt terribly to be betrayed in such a way, and I went into my shell, collecting words like dust bunnies, hidden away under the bed.
So, here I am. Doing my best to start sharing again. Yet, I filter myself with this paranoia – “maybe they’ll see…maybe they’ll know I’m talking about them…”. I’m working on that part, still. But, here I am.
Pallo and friends are next….
In eighth grade, I was at Lake Region Middle School, right on the border of Naples & Bridgton, Maine. My art was definitely taking on an identifiable look, when it came to the cartoon-y characters I would draw – specifically, lopsided googly eyes were a “thing”. I explored in all kinds of other art forms, but sketching cute, quirky anthropomorphic or imaginary creatures was my specialty.
The class was given a project in English class, to write and illustrate a book. I’m sure there was a page minimum, but I think we were given freedom to choose the content. It was supposed to be a group project, but I was the odd person out, and worked alone. I think that was one situation in which I was totally cool with that, since it meant I had complete creative control. Typical.
Chester the Cow was born. Never mind that this animal was clearly gender fluid, being a cow named Chester sans udder. This cow was on a diet. (No influence from my environment there, no…) So, I created a silly cow who decided “he” was too fat, and had to eat salad and exercise. I still have this masterpiece, and it was officially the first complete book I had written and illustrated. If I find it in my things, I’ll update this post with a sample page.
There were some other experiences throughout school of being asked to draw things for people, including an unfinished set of illustrations for a book my Western Civ teacher wrote, in high school. As an adult, I chose debauchery and rebellion as my art form, and my creativity was intensely sporadic. I tried wrangling myself into responsibility here and there, but really just flopped around like a sad, whacked-out hippie fish until the new millenium. There are a bunch of wooden boxes and pieces of furniture with my paint on them, still floating around out there, I’m sure.
I got my first paying gig as a illustrator when a friend’s mother, who had self-published several books already, hired me to draw a lighthouse book for kids. Heddy the Lighthouse was not only my first opportunity to draw every page, it was also my first experience in working for a client. My ADHD package has a nice bow on top called “Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria”, which adds a little spice to any criticism – regardless of how constructive it is. I ended up rushing to finish, and I was unhappy with the end product. But, I got paid, and got a case of copies to distribute as a I wished. I still have some, almost 20 years later.
That experience taught me many things, but most importantly – I could do this all on my own. Within the next few years, I started really forming whole stories. It wasn’t until 2010 that I completed an entire book, with illustrations, and decided to self-publish it. Life happens, and I didn’t get it made until late 2011. It does deserve its own post, so…to be continued….
Since my mother read me bedtime stories – tales of hobbits, centaurs, faeries, aliens, and witches – I have learned the rhythm of fantasy fiction. I speak the absurd, revel in the music of madness, and totally believe that we are not alone. As a child, my make-believe was dramatic and detailed. As an adult, it was conjured into reality, by way of reckless abandon and bottles labeled, “Drink Me”.
I read everything. From cereal boxes to Dante’s Inferno, I read whatever was available to me at any given moment. I did the same with music. I could predict lyrics based on the rhyme scheme, so people would wonder how I “could possibly already know the words to a brand new song?!” often. Not so with the titles of the songs, however. Therein lies my weakness.
‘What is the point?’ you ask. ‘Why does this matter?’ Well, add genetic and environmental training in visual art, some attention deficit diagnostics, and a couple/few/handful of trauma stories, and you’ve got an author and illustrator of an unfinished collection of short stories about a land where the shores are lined with pearls and creatures in the sky meditate everything into existence.
My art and writing is ready to be shared. I have meditated, released trauma, cut cords, severed contracts, focused on healing my heart and my soul, and I’m ready.
I know this, because I have not given myself nearly enough attention in the area of creating my art and writing. This tells me I need to step completely into that space.
I have started these blogs before…much the same as personal journals, diets, exercise regimens, and the like, they did not last. My beautiful mind is easily taken on a new road entirely at any passing moment, and trying to persuade a wanderer to plant roots is a hefty and hopeless task, indeed. Yet, with eternal optimism in reset/renew/restart/and any new beginnings, I try, try again.
I will share my process with you here. I share my work with you on social media (via @the_land_of_lo). I hope to, someday, share my complete vision with everyone.
I look forward to it all,