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Just thought I'd write a journal entry to say that I have now opened up an instagram account for my art. Mostly I publish little sketches that I don't publish here (ballpoint pen sketches seem to be my main thing now), because they're too small or too unfinished. Would love for you to check it out! You can find it here: www.instagram.com/ciuvaart/ I had hoped to be able to use my usual username, but it was of course taken...

Also: Do you have any instagram account where you post your art? I would love to see it and follow you! I am a lot more active there than I am here, and while I do follow quite a few artists already, there is always more to see :)
For this journal entry I don't really have any answers. But now that I'm back into painting I've grown increasingly frustrated with my own skills. Sure, I keep improving, technically, but there's something missing that I can't pinpoint. Perhaps I'm being overly self-critical, but I do feel rather stuck. Perhaps that's why I keep redoing old pieces instead of coming up with new ones.

Writing-wise, I know that I can come up with somewhat original ideas. I know how to take stories and plots and make them my own. While it's far from perfect, I feel like I know what I need to improve it. 

With painting... not so much. Some of my "art" feels boring. Some feels dull. Like I'm just going through the motions. With some exceptions they're just paintings. Not art, necessarily. Lifeless. And yet I cannot pinpoint exactly what is wrong. Is it the colours? The poses? The background? The composition? The character itself? Is it too static? I can see it in other people's art, but I just... Ugh. It feels as if I'm facing a wall that I need to get past, but I don't know how to do that. Sometimes I think I do, but it turns out to be wrong.

So I'm turning to you guys for help. How do you make your art go from "meh" to "wow"? I'm not thinking of technical skill here, though that of course plays a huge role in it, but that other ingredient that's far more subtle. Do you know of any tutorials or advice somewhere on the internet? Is there something that worked for you? I've googled, of course, but it's hard to find any good advice.

Any input or help would be greatly appreciated!
Every other weekend, I host a Saturday Snippet on my art blog, which you can find here. It's a post where I and whoever wants to join in, share snippets, excerpts or short quotes from our writing at various stages of completion. It can be whatever you are working on at the moment, something from older stories, something you have written for the purpose of sharing, or just random beginnings/story quotes that you have lying around.

So far it has mostly been me and one of my writing friends. We would very much like others to join us! A little extra exposure never hurts, right? I will read and comment on every snippet/quote that is posted :)

What to do:
First, check out the post for this week's snippet. Post your own snippet on your blog/website/dA journal or gallery (make sure to link back to the original post so that your readers also can participate). Add a link to your entry in the linkup at the bottom of the blog post so that I and others can find it, and voila! You're done.

If you can't participate this week, there will be a new opportunity on the 14th of February.

And yes, I know that today is Sunday, but I did not have time to post it yesterday because of a deadline.
  • Listening to: Star wars soundtrack
  • Reading: Beautiful Creatures
I recently returned to dA after a far too long hiatus, as you may have noticed. For a few years now I have almost exclusively focused on my writing, as well as, well, dealing with life. As I've already mentioned in a previous journal entry, sacrificing drawing was an utterly stupid decision (I'm not even sure it was a conscious decision, because if I had thought through it...). Having a busy life, I sat down recently to make a plan, to prioritize, and that's when I realised that I really wanted to improve, I wanted to draw, and I wanted to do what it takes to get there. I also realised today that I might actually have been bored by drawing the same things over and over, but without the inspiration or drive to do something different.

So now I want to challenge myself. Not just get better at what I already do, but to actually improve, tackle other things. Not just faces at certain angles, but actual poses, with non-sucky anatomy. Full illustrations. Other angles. Backgrounds. Actual landscapes. Something to strive towards.

I recently watched a youtube video on how to practice, I cannot remember the name now, and he recommended having a project of sorts. Something that will keep you working, force you to improve. So that's what I will try to have. I thought about it for a while and realised it would have to be one of my most annoying flaws (in my opinion): The lack of backgrounds. Or rather, the lack of backgrounds that are even remotely good. 

So that's my next projects: Places. Landscapes. Trees, houses, flowers, whatever. 

My project is, as most other things that I do, tied to my stories. I have decided to draw the homes of all my main characters, across several different stories and worlds: 

- Shanni's little house in the village
- Shanni's cottage in the valley (she occasionally moves)
- Ceredi's cozy home up north
- The farm near the Forest
- Arodhi's fortress
- The Gatekeeper's little apartment above the shop
- The University in Whitebridge
- The "inn" by the docks in Ainethor
- The ruins beside Falcon Mountain
- The markets of Wirun

Aaand I guess you could say that it's a fairly ambitious project. I will have to improve quite a lot to be able to draw the university, for example, or the docks of Ainethor. I can't really draw architecture, but sooner or later I will have to learn anyway. Might as well be now. 

I don't expect to finish in the near future - I don't have nearly enough time for that - but perhaps within the year? It's less than a picture per month; should be doable. Frankly I do feel a little over-ambitious (my skills aren't exactly huge within landscapes and cityscapes) but then I've never been good with doable and sensible goals anyway.

Can any of you point me in the direction of any good tutorials for painting scenery/cityscapes/architecture? I'd be really thankful!
  • Listening to: K-pop (don't judge)
  • Reading: Beautiful Creatures
I was updating my blog just now, and was writing about a particular little challenge I've set to myself in order to improve. But as I was writing, I thought: Why not see if other people would like to join, too? That way we could encourage each other, offer feedback or advice, and keep each other accountable. I already have a writing challenge which runs every other week (well, when I restart it), but it's also an art blog, so what is better than an art challenge in the alternate weeks?

The basic idea is to make practicing a bit more fun and a bit more frequent/regular. It's basically a challenge to fill an entire sketchbook with practice sketches (anatomy, composition, whatever you need to work on) as soon as you can. I have set a minimum of one page per week for myself, but will try to do more when I can. 

So! You are very welcome to join the challenge! We all have things we need to improve, and this is the chance to get some of those New Year's art resolutions done and practice those exact things. Head over to my blog entry here to read more about it and see the first update. There's no obligation to be part of it every single time, just as many times as you would like, and you can either make your own blog entry, post it in a dA journal or comment on my blog. In future blog posts I will make one of those linky things at the bottom of the post, where you can post the URL to your own update. If anyone wants to join immediately, just post your link in the comments.

It should go without saying that everyone should be encouraging and supportive - but also not afraid to point out things that are not quite right. Be civil, in other words. Also, I will post in advance what I will work on until next time (this time it's shoulders), but that's mostly just to keep myself somewhat accountable, and you can practice whatever you like.

Is anyone up for it?
  • Listening to: K-pop (don't judge)
  • Reading: The Hero of Ages (Brandon Sanderson)
Sometimes I wonder how it happened, this fluttering from website to website, from interest to interest. Back in 2006-2008 or 2009 or thereabouts I did little else than painting, and I never realised (before I looked through my pictures and their dates) just how fast I actually improved back then. Of course, due to a rather crippling depression I had very little other things to fill my life with, and painting sort of became my lifeline when I doubted my ability to even function. And then life picked back up, and my old interests with it, and I became more and more distracted. 

Writing was always my number one dream. That's who I am; I'm a writer, a storyteller, even if I haven't always managed to write. Even my pictures carry stories - they are characters that may not even appear in any story, but they have their own nonetheless. I am also a language person. A music person. And somehow along the way I stopped thinking of myself as an art person, even if I've always scribbled portraits in ballpoint pen whenever I had a paper in front of me, and even if I never stopped intending to start painting again. Even if I never stopped looking at art, or thinking about it, or feeling that itch in my fingers that I never quite had time to do anything about. Perhaps I did too many of those personality tests (not the "answer ten questions and I'll tell you all about yourself" type of Facebook tests, but Myers-Briggs and that sort of thing), since they all tell me that I am about as far from a creative person as you can get. Because you apparently cannot appreciate logic AND be artistic or creative (which is a rant for another day).

While many have remarked that my interests are varied, in my mind they really aren't. Writing, language, music and art are really just different sides of the same thing, the need to communicate certain things and the need to do it in a way that invokes certain feelings. Each of them reaches into the other fields in more ways than we are really aware. 

Back when I started painting (as opposed to merely drawing), I had a dream to write a book and illustrate it myself. Where did that dream go? Yes, I realise it's hard to make that dream come true, far harder than merely writing a book if I want the quality to be good. When did I have to prioritise writing in front of painting as opposed to both at the same time? When did I grow so boring that I couldn't find any time for actual hobbies beyond writing?

This Christmas I've had plenty of time to paint, and somehow it's been as if everything has come rushing back. While I realise that I've said it before, and while I also realise that there's no way I can pursue absolutely every interest I want, why should I put aside something that was such an important side of me? Why should my studies and my work and whether or not I need to do my dishes decide whether or not to do something that gives me so much joy?

If nothing else, it is a hobby where it is so immensely visible (at least if you compare it to previous years) whether or not you are able to improve. In writing, it's much more vague. Perhaps you can see improvement, perhaps you cannot, but it's a greater commitment to look for it (since re-reading a story takes time, and re-reading your own story is seldom that interesting). With a picture you can see it at once. 

Besides, who says that painting time takes anything whatsoever away from writing? As anyone who has watched my gallery for some years now can tell, painting is a sure-fire way to come up with story after story. While painting, the mind wanders, and you start finding back stories, particular settings, incidents or full-fledged plots, and you flesh out characters in more ways than the looks themselves. Also it's a really good way to stop fiddling about with a difficult plot point and instead let it come to you.

I guess what I'm trying to say in far too many words is that I am done thinking that I have to choose between painting and writing, and if I don't have time for both, I will make time for both. Both of them are far too valuable to stop doing any one of them. I need to paint just as much as I need to write, and if I can stop being such a perfectionist and realise that it isn't a problem if my skills are a bit worse when I haven't really used them in years as long as I start using them again, I think I won't disappear again.

I hope. Anyway, it's good to be back :)
  • Reading: The Wolves of London
  • Eating: Christmas foods
Lo and behold, a journal entry that's NOT about me finally getting back to dA. It's only more than two years since last time...

I've been thinking a great deal lately. Particularly now that I've started to submit art again. Because while being on dA isn't a popularity contest (though it certainly seems like it sometimes), there isn't much point to uploading art if nobody is there to see it, or if people see it, but don't like it. Of course I realise that now that most of my watchers probably think I'm gone from dA forever, or have gone themselves, it is bound to take some time.

Misunderstand me correctly, it's not that I think I (or anyone) should just cater to what I think people would like. It's more that I want to make sure I actually improve instead of standing still, now that I'm finally back into art. I could spend eight more years doing stiff portraits that look like slightly-more-flattering-than-usual passport photos, but how fun would that be? I want to learn how to do engaging portraits, expressions that draw people in, poses that are more dynamic and visually appealing, lightning that is less boring - and of course backgrounds. I would like to learn how to do proper illustrations. Not just portraits with a random background slapped on, but whole images where the foreground and background are part of the same scene.

It seems like I finally will have to learn this patience thing that people keep talking about... Keep practicing, and start trying new things instead of just practicing the same stuff that I always do. I plan on spending more than a few hours with ImagineFX workshops and Photoshop this weekend, to put it like that :D
  • Reading: The Sea Watch (Adrian Tchaikovsky)
Why do I have the feeling that I've written far more journal entries with variations of that title than normal ones over the past few years? I do sometimes think I stretch myself too thin, but somehow I can't stay away from dA either even if I haven't painted properly in years.

The past year has been... interesting. I've been ill for months, starting exactly a year ago, and when I finally got things somewhat fixed, the side-effects of the medicine knocked me out. But there's good news! Last time I wrote in my journal I had plenty of economic worries and far too little work, but I now have a far better job! It's politics, of all things, but thankfully I'm only a secretary. So far it's very enjoyable. My finances got so far behind during the first half of 2012 that I'm still working hard on sorting that out, but at least it's steady income, and I don't have to rely on anyone else for making it through the month.

The bad news is of course that I don't have time for painting. There's so many other things that have priority - work, which sometimes goes into the evenings, dancing twice a week and running once a week, and then writing and my attempts at having a social life takes the rest. Well, not quite. My blogs take up quite a bit of time, as does my reading. Sooo... I guess you can say my motivation for working on my art isn't quite there. At least not on visual art. I do some photography, though. When I'm done sorting through my massive amounts of photos I'll upload some here, I think.

Well, that was that. Hopefully I'll have something to upload soon :) How have you guys been?
  • Reading: The Sea Watch (Adrian Tchaikovsky)
EDIT April 25th 2013: Please disregard this journal entry, commissions are closed. I just don't have the capacity to do commissions, I've discovered...

I don't like to ask for help. I really don't. And I don't know how many will actually read this, since I haven't been active here for ages. But my current situation is such that I don't really know what else I can do.

I have two jobs. One was originally at a hotel, but since the hotel switched owners I've had to resort to working twice a week (in good weeks) in the office instead. I wish I could have worked more, but there needs to be enough work, after all. My second job is as a translator in a business my brother and I started, but it takes time to build up a customer base, and we've just come out of some very slow months, so there isn't much money to be had there either, as we have to focus on paying our bills.

As it stands, each month I earn enough for my rent, maybe food for a week, and that's it. But as for the rest, like food for the rest of the month, my bus card and my two credit card bills (which are a headache by themselves), I have to borrow from my parents. I am 28 years old. I can't go on borrowing from my parents forever, and soon my student loans will have to be paid.

I am of course looking for another job, one that pays a little better, but there aren't many jobs for someone with my type of education. There would be plenty if I had studied pedagogy, so that I could teach, but I cannot afford to study anymore.

So. I sat down to think. What can I do that can bring income? I can write, and I can draw. I know that the prints that are in my prints shop here at dA are old and that several of my new deviations haven't been made into prints, but if you request the deviation as a print, I will fix it. (See list below for what I will offer) If you are in somewhat of the same situation and can't afford it, please pass the word on to someone who might. I will be forever grateful!

Please note that the prices on commissions are not set yet. I'm not interested in setting prices nobody can afford, so please contact me if you are interested and we'll figure out a price both of us can live with :)

The Grand List of purchase-able stuff:
Prints:
Any existing print in my prints account
Any deviation in my gallery that are NOT prints yet, apart from a select few very old ones. (Click "request as print" or send me a note, and I will make a print out of it).
Any image in my Flickr account (www.flickr.com/photos/catrines…)
Any image from my photoblog (www.csandal.com) (for these last two items, send me a note with a link to the image, so that I'll know exactly which you are looking for. If you want one of these, I will upload and sell them through dA)

Commissions:
5 USD: Character sketch, quickies, pencil or digital (no colour or very simple colour)
10-15 USD: Bust portraits (simple or no background)
10-15 USD: Simple landscapes and scenes (no characters)
15-20 USD: Full character (price depends on whether or not you want colour, background, and the required level of detail and complexity. Only one character.

Can also do other types of art, like full illustrations, writing etc. - contact me for prices.

Payment via Paypal only. I specialize in portraits, but I absolutely don't mind being challenged! The only things I do not do as a rule are hentai and gore.

Custom/other:
Mugs
Mousepads
Covers (perhaps you want to self-publish?)
Bookmarks
Other graphics, for example for your blog
Proof-reading or beta-reading

If you want something that's not on the list, contact me and I'll see what I can do.
  • Reading: The Sea Watch (Adrian Tchaikovsky)
It seems like I haven't written a thing here since right after I finished my thesis. Since then I've worked my ass off, been to a linguistic conference (scary and super-fun), and a long and refreshing Christmas break, and written a great deal. I am *almost* finished with my novel from NaNoWriMo 2011 (though needless to say, it became a little larger than 50k, and I'm still writing on it. I think that a few writing days plus a "write at least 10k" write-in tomorrow (and an hour or two re-working the plot) will bring me at least close to the end.

Speaking of writing, the club WA-Writersblock (Writers against writer's block) is now officially dead and gone. The group page is still there, but I won't be updating it unless someone else wants to take over the full responsibility.

Since I've been gone for so long I know that I have missed some great stuff. So I decided to ask for some recommendations - what great art has been created since last time (or before that, even)? What have I missed? Feel free to share as much as you want.

Lastly, I wanted to ask... If I updated my prints account to include some of my newer stuff, would anyone be interested in buying it? I am completely broke at the moment, and I have to find some income wherever I can, since my student loans have to be paid off and all.
  • Reading: The Deed of Paksenarrion
  • Watching: TV!

Finally back

Wed May 18, 2011, 5:53 AM
Ciuva's journal


Hi all,
It's strange being back here after so long. I haven't even opened the deviantART front page in months. In order to be able to finish my thesis I had to make some hard decisions regarding what my time was used for. Unfortunately that meant cutting out deviantART. But.

A few days ago I handed in my thesis, and apart from one oral exam and one presentation (both of which will be a piece of cake after the thesis) I am now done.

Hopefully I'll be able to get back into painting and drawing again, and hopefully I'll be able to finish a story or two, as well. And, of course, WA-writersblock . Sorry to everyone for disappearing from the club.

I don't know how active I'll be on here, since I'm not used to logging on here anymore, but I'm definitely glad to be back!

What have I missed since last time?

Clubs I'm in: (some of them)
:iconproseplease: :iconworkgroups: :iconfound-in-translation: :iconenchantedforest:
  • Reading: The Deed of Paksenarrion
  • Watching: TV!

Back again, I hope

Mon Mar 7, 2011, 3:45 AM
Ciuva's journal


Funny how things go in bursts. I used to be very active here on dA for quite a few years, but interests change and I just haven't wanted to paint or draw lately. It's not a thing I'm stressed about, I'm sure I'll want to paint again once life calms down a bit and I can afford a painting program that's compatible with Windows 7 and won't have to start up a separate computer for it.

I have written a great deal though, with three ongoing novel projects and several short stories. I suck at writing short stories, but how can you get better if you never write it? It's not like I was a novel-writing genius earlier on... Anyway, I think all of the novel projects have potential. I'm currently fiddling with the plot, trying to make things make sense and get the whole thing to flow properly. It's difficult, being that it's actually the first time I edit a plot instead of just making a brand new one.

In addition to that I have my master's thesis that's still not finished (will finish it in May at the latest), and which has top priority. I also have work, and I've just started doing translations... I also have a book blog (ciuva.blogspot.com - only in Norwegian though) that's starting to go well. So it's a lot. But it's fun.

I've also been without Internet for nearly a week - got it back just before the weekend, and got a TV subscription as well. It's such an effective way to procrastinate...

What have you guys been up to?

Clubs I'm in: (some of them)
:iconproseplease: :iconworkgroups: :iconfound-in-translation: :iconenchantedforest:
  • Reading: The Deed of Paksenarrion
  • Watching: TV!

Forgotten + links

Thu Dec 2, 2010, 6:22 AM
Ciuva's journal


I knew I had been away from deviantART for a while, but I didn't realise that it was THAT long. Truth is, I had as good as forgotten everything about dA and art and... well, most things for a while. September and October was spent working on my thesis. November was NaNoWriMo, which took pretty much all of my time. The rest was spent on work, school and sleep.

NaNoWriMo was much more fun than last year, which says a lot, since I had a blast last year. This year I actually met some of the other WriMos in my area, and we met every week for write-ins. It was great fun, and I don't think I'd have reached my goal of 100k without them. I tend to lose motivation after 50k (especially if the novel is done by then). I can hardly wait until next year.

My thesis is going moderately well; I'm currently doing research (or re-research) for a lot of the verbs I'm studying, just because something was not quite right. I hate this part. I should think it is fun, but it's insanely difficult, a lot of work, and I don't remember half of the Old Norse I need for this. I'll have to just gamble that it is right and hope that my advisor catches it if it's horribly wrong... :P

Art-wise I haven't painted or drawn for months. It feels a bit weird, I used to paint nearly every day. But I guess everything is in periods or cycles. Now I'm in a writing and world building period, something I've wanted to do for ages. But I have promised to make the cover of one of my fellow WriMo's book, as well as for my own, so there will be a little art at least. I just can't wait until my thesis is done so I'll have time for both writing AND painting...

Also, if anyone is interested I have two blogs that I update semi-regularly. I have a writing blog in English, which is at www.ciuva.com/blog/ and is updated fairly regularly. I also have a general one at ciuva.blogspot.com, but it's only in Norwegian. If any of you would stop by and say hello I'll be very happy. If you have a blog of your own I'll gladly check it out, just leave a comment. I LOVE blogs :D

Anyway, I think that was it. I have to do some work now. Schoolwork... at work. Yay.

Clubs I'm in: (some of them)
:iconproseplease: :iconworkgroups: :iconfound-in-translation: :iconenchantedforest:
  • Listening to: Poetry for the Poisoned (Kamelot)
  • Reading: The Cardinal's Blades

Well...

Tue Aug 31, 2010, 1:02 PM
Ciuva's journal


It's been so long since I've submitted anything here on dA, so I thought I at least should write a new journal entry. I exist in some kind of limbo right now - I'm still waiting to know if I get student loans or not this year. I've waited for a month, and it might take another month before I get a final answer. I'm not really able to do anything while I'm waiting. I mean, it's quite an important thing that will influence my entire life for the next year. If the answer is no, I'll have to work as good as full time, and practically have no life until my thesis is done. If the answer is yes... I can consentrate more on my thesis and get it done faster, and make it better. I can even get quite a bit of writing and painting done. So... well. I hope I get an answer soon, or I'm going to worry myself sick. I'm kind of good at that.

Speaking of painting, I'm almost going crazy because I don't have any painting programs on the computer I got in June, and the last thing I painted was the picture I uploaded in the end of May. I have Corel Painter X on my old one, but it's not compatible with Windows 7, according to Corel's website. The Photoshop I have on my old computer isn't legal, and I haven't found a version that doesn't require me to fiddle with files I'd rather not fiddle with. There's always plain old pencil and paper, but I haven't installed the scanner software on my new computer yet. I guess it's back to my old computer for my painting needs... =P It's not a crisis, really.

Since I haven't been painting or drawing or writing or anything (not even for my thesis), I've spend countless hours watching TV on the Internet, exercising and reading. A lot. Right now I'm reading Shadow of the Apt by Adrian Tchaikovsky, which is really good. I was sceptical at first, but damn, it really draws you in and hooks you. When I'm not reading, I'm at work. August is really crazy in the hotel business in my town, since a lot of countries in South Europe have at least part of their vacations this month. I haven't really had any energy left for anything besides that, so I'm really happy things seem to settle down there now. Then I'll be able to relocate some thesis work to my workplace. My boss is completely fine with that, she actually suggested it recently so that I could combine school and work more easily, as long as everything work-related gets done.

Well, I think that was it for now, I should go and get something to eat before I starve to death... :P

Clubs I'm in: (some of them)
:iconproseplease: :iconworkgroups: :iconfound-in-translation: :iconenchantedforest:
  • Reading: Shadow of the Apt
  • Playing: Sims 3

All ideas seem to come at once

Mon Jul 26, 2010, 2:04 PM
Ciuva's journal


I just needed to share this - it really concerns WA-writersblock, but I don't really want to spam the members' inboxes, since the ideas aren't fully finished yet. BUT: When I say that I just got a whole lot of ideas regarding the group at once, that is actually an understatement. I've filled half an A4 page with keywords in tiny writing, all regarding different types of challenges and community projects and contests and... you get the picture. I just don't get why I never thought of them before. I won't say exactly what they are, but I feel confident that they're going to be good. You'll see next Friday :)

Of other news, my laptop just... I don't know what it did. I got the blue screen of death while uninstalling my antivirus (replacing it with another one), and then I suddenly couldn't access the Internet anymore. According to Windows something is wrong with the Network card (or whatever it's called in English) or its drivers. I'm going to back up what I have on my laptop and try system recovery - of course I've been too stupid to back up my computer before something went wrong. Anyway, we'll see. I have two desktop computers so I should be alright :P Computer addict, me? Hmmm... =P

By the way, has anyone by any chance read "Blood of Elves" by Andrzej Sapkowski? It seems to be somewhat popular, but I really disliked the beginning. In fact, I loudly asked how on earth he got published. Does the book redeem itself? Does it have at least some good parts?

Anyway. Off to bed...

Clubs I'm in: (some of them)
:iconproseplease: :iconworkgroups: :iconfound-in-translation: :iconenchantedforest:
  • Reading: Blood of Elves
  • Playing: Sims 3

The unnecessary journal

Sat Jul 24, 2010, 7:54 AM
Ciuva's journal


I don't really have anything to write about. But the longer I spend writing something, the longer I can put off actually working. It's been a completely crazy day at work today, and I am thoroughly exhausted. Oh well. Tomorrow's my only day off this week, so I can sleep then. Sleep, and then go for a walk, and then... sleep more? Read? I am currently reading through all the Harry Potter books again, so I'll probably read the last one, if I finish up HBP today.

Currently, I don't really know what to do with myself. I sent my application to Lånekassen (an institution for student loans and grants) some days ago, and I'm waiting for the reply. Usually they're very fast, but when they're slow, they're SLOW. Long story short, I have officially used up all the years I can get a student loan for, but considering that I now have gotten a year's sick leave (after the fact) from the University, they might be able to make an exception. Might. I don't deal well with this kind of waiting, my stomach is already in full revolt and my brain is following. So for my own health's sake I hope they are fast this time.

Apart from that, I'm at the end of the first out of two very intense work weeks. I work six days out of seven in the middle of the high season, so it's quite intense and exhausting. And rewarding, both on the mental and the monetary side.

Anyway, I should probably work now...

Clubs I'm in: (some of them)
:iconproseplease: :iconworkgroups: :iconfound-in-translation: :iconenchantedforest:
  • Reading: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
  • Playing: Sims 3

Back from holiday

Wed Jul 14, 2010, 6:26 AM
Ciuva's journal


Ah, it's good to be back to the good old Internet. I've been away on holiday for two weeks, and apart from the first few days and the few occasions where I put up with my dad's mobile broadband just to check my mail and check some prices, I haven't been on the Internet at all. It was actually quite refreshing, and the few days when I was alone in my parents' caravan (while they headed home for a wedding), I was very productive. I got quite a lot of world building done for my book.

I visited my brother and his family (I have officially the cutest niece ever), and then I spent a little more than a week in the south of Norway, were we take our caravan every summer. We are friends with another family who travels there quite often too, so it's quite nice. They have a daughter who's thirteen now, so we spent quite a lot of time together (even though I'm double her age).

During the vacation I did quite a bit of shopping both here and there, and bought more things than I should (strictly speaking). I went to the Kristiansand Zoo, did a lot of hiking and spent a lot of time just sitting by the sea. It was lovely! I also went to an annual Viking Market at Bronseplassen, which is a kind of museum built around a reconstructed "longhouse" from the Bronze Age. It was like stepping into a different world. The people who sold their crafts all lived at the site, in viking tents (though some had caravans and modern tents outside), and everything was made to be as authentic as possible. It was really relaxing, actually, just walking around, seeing the different goods for sale and watching the craftsmen make their goods. I bought a lovely snake necklace and got to see a similar one being made. I was at a similar, though smaller, market at the same place around 7-8 years ago, and I've wanted to go back ever since, but it's never really worked out. I'm happy I went, although I spent far too much money. I don't usually wear jewelry, but I bought three necklaces and some beads for "updating" one I already own, and a gorgeous leather "bracelet" with dragons on it.

Other than that I don't have much to tell. I'll probably upload some photos from my holiday, if they turn out well (I haven't transferred them to my computer yet). I don't think I'll have the time to make any new art soon, as I'll work six out of seven days of the week, and my spare time has to be used to work on my thesis and meet some friends. But I did some pencil drawing while I was away, so if I can get my scanner to work with my new computer, I'll upload some soon :)

Clubs I'm in: (some of them)
:iconproseplease: :iconworkgroups: :iconfound-in-translation: :iconenchantedforest:
  • Reading: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Playing: Sims 3

Connecting the dots

Fri Jun 25, 2010, 2:57 AM
Ciuva's journal


I just got the best realisation ever on my way to work this morning! I have wanted to write a novel about a specific character for a long time (since I first started writing, actually), but I've never really found a good story for her, nor a good setting. I've scrapped every single attempt, and they were all horribly full of clichés.

In the meantime, I've expanded the world I created for her, detailing and creating cultures and things that I personally find very interesting. I've written several stories (or started to write them, to be more accurate) from that world, and daydreamed nearly every day.

Then why in the world didn't I connect the dots sooner? I've been holding my creativity back because I forced her into a role that frankly didn't suit her. I wanted her to be something that was not right for her, and it wasn't even right for the world she lives in. It would prevent her from doing what I needed her to do to write the kind of stories I wanted to write, in order to be logically consistent.

At the same time I have several roles that would fit her far better, and would make for far more interesting reading, but so far I just didn't realise that it was a possibility. In fact I mentally slapped myself when I realised it, just because it is so RIGHT for her. It's so obvious! And still it never occurred to me at all. I had all the little pieces, from daydreams and other stories, but I never actually put them together.

This whole journal is very vague, but I don't want to actually write precisely what it is before I am completely sure and have worked out the details (and preferrably written a great deal of the story), but I just had to share anyway. It's such a relief to finally stop banging my head against the wall, figuratively, and be able to start creating again!

PS. Apparently my mood is stuck at "Bewildered", because the emoticon legend won't load. But I'm not particularly bewildered, I'm more optimistic, excited, restless, creative, happy, and a thousand other good feelings. Also it's less than a week until my holiday, so I'm really excited about that too :D

Clubs I'm in: (some of them)
:iconproseplease: :iconworkgroups: :iconfound-in-translation: :iconenchantedforest:
  • Reading: Twelve Sharp (Janet Evanovich)
  • Playing: Sims 3
  • Drinking: Water

An interesting observation

Thu Jun 24, 2010, 3:52 AM
Ciuva's journal


I just discovered that I'm quite the hypocrite. You'd believe that what you paint yourself should be what you like to watch, right? If you're into, say, portrait photography, you'll not only do it yourself but also comment and fav other portrait photography deviations. I pretty much only paint portraits. According to this logic, that's what I should find interesting to comment on, right? Wrong. I find it boring. I mean, I love art with people in them, but the same kind I do? Noo. And I'm so lazy that I haven't actually commented - or even read - a literature deviation in months, if not years. And this is from a girl who wants to be a full time writer!

On a different but related topic, I really should start painting a little outside my comfort zone. I almost never practise, and I can't paint full figure to save my life unless they're standing upright. And that's boring. I also can't paint guys, apart from the occasional head. I suck at backgrounds, and I just paint the same things over and over and over again. It's time for a change. I just wish I wasn't so lazy - I should have been sitting with my drawing books and sketchpad in my lap, not on the internet. I have painted some small things lately, but I've only painted a little bit, and then scrapped them all. I'm just not inspired. I'm probably just bored with doing the same things over and over again...

Just to end this journal on a happier note than the rest, I have had my new computer in over a week now. It's fantastic! It has some compatibility issues with my joystick and some of my games, but I can just install them on my old computer again. Using widescreen is a new experience, and I really love it. I love all of it! It took some time getting used to Windows 7, but I think I like it :)

Clubs I'm in: (some of them)
:iconproseplease: :iconworkgroups: :iconfound-in-translation: :iconenchantedforest:
  • Playing: Sims 3

New computer (soon)

Mon Jun 7, 2010, 7:45 AM
Ciuva's journal


Quite some time ago I decided that when I finished my thesis, I would buy a new computer. My current one has started lagging and just generally acting up in numerous small ways, and I had to do maintenance (defrag, antivirus scanning etc etc) more and more frequently. When I decided that I would apply for more time, I wasn't able to wait much longer, so I decided that if/when I got a positive reply to my application, I would buy a new computer.

So, now I've ordered a new computer. I just love the website where I ordered it; in addition to the manufacturer-assembled computers and computer parts for building the computers yourself, they also have 5-10 computers that they build themselves. When you order one of them you can then choose to upgrade/downgrade/leave out/add all of the possible components.

It's going to be SO much better than the one I have. It has a good power supply and a tower with plenty of strong fans. The tower has USB ports and such on the top of the front panel, not the bottom. It has red LEDs (which is, since it's already there, a plus, but not a necessity). It has a great graphics card, Quad Core processor, 4 GB memory, 1 TB hard drive and 1 TB external hard drive, it has multicard reader, 21" HD monitor, and 64 bit Windows 7. I'm especially looking forward to testing Windows 7, I've never tried it before.

Clubs I'm in: (some of them)
:iconproseplease: :iconworkgroups: :iconfound-in-translation: :iconenchantedforest:
  • Playing: Sims 3